Often I am asked by novice direct mailers what elements to include on their mail piece. They are simply looking to design the best mailer possible to yield a high ROI.
Here are my Top 10 recommendations (in no particular order)
- Make sure your list, mail piece and message are all targeted to the correct audience. What is your goal – lead generation, customer retention, a new product roll out?
- A clear, provocative call to action and a nice incentive.
- A compelling message – don’t forget, most people want to know “What’s in it for Me?”
- A First Class mail permit. Don’t skimp on standard mail postage. 10% of your mailing list may never receive the mail piece and you’d be surprised how many people simply disregard any piece of mail with a standard permit.
- Add a PURL, or Personalized URL. This will tie your printed piece with an online experience. Make sure the PURL ties in with your theme.
- As long as we’re adding hot new technology with that PURL, let’s add a QR, or Quick Response, code. You’ve probably been seeing a lot of QR codes on all kinds or marketing – from billboards to pizza boxes. We’ll talk more about QR codes and using them effectively in an upcoming blog.
- Use a fresh, unexpected image and a memorable tag line. You only have seconds to grab the reader’s attention.
- You’ve probably heard it said a million times, and it’s true, your response rate is only as good as your list. We will delve into list effectiveness in future blogs.
- Include a follow up on the call to action. Perhaps include an expiration date. This also makes room for a second communication (perhaps an email?).
- Since we repeated the call to action, repeat the PURL as well. Remind them how to respond to that call to action!
Tell us, what are your thoughts on creating the ideal direct mail piece? We’d love to hear your suggestions!
Are Email Campaigns Part Of Your Marketing Strategy?
Lately we’ve focused quite a bit on direct mail and specifically on Every Door Direct Mail. Let’s not forget that there are many marketing channels available to you and, often, a mix of these channels is the best plan for getting your message across.
Email marketing does not have to be intimidating. It is a simple, effective means of communication when you keep these tips in mind.
Grab the Readers Attention
- Create a compelling subject line
- Make sure you don’t look like spam
- Identify yourself
- State the intent of the email clearly
- Provide an opt out
- Personalize whenever possible; include the persons name, a reference to a previous purchase, etc
- Make the message relevant. Tie the subject line neatly to the body of the email.
- Keep the tone of your message conversational
- Be brief! No one wants to read a long, drawn out email. Studies show that on average, people spend about 15 – 20 seconds with each email message.
Before You Hit “Send”
- Test the email through several different email clients, both in text and HTML. You’d be surprised how different one email may appear through different devices.
- Make sure your email list is appropriate. Whenever possible get permission to email a person or place of business.
- Check again that your current marketing message is relevant to those on your list
- Keep your list clean. Remove any hard bounces from previous campaigns and always remove anyone who has opted out
Test, Track and Measure
- Track your click through rate, conversion rate and delivery rate. You want to make sure people are receiving your email, opening your email and clicking through
- Try variations of your message – change the subject line, offer or call to action – and see if your results vary
- Subscribe to feedback loops and pay attention to the data they provide
- Try launching your email campaign on different days or at differing times of the day and measure your responses
Properly executed, email marketing provides you yet another avenue for reaching and speaking to your customers and prospects. Why not make an email campaign part of your marketing strategy?
Tips to Manage Postage Rate Increase
Now that the Postal Service has raised rates again (this is the largest rate hike in the past 11 years), it seems like a good time to review steps you can take to help manage your postage costs.
- Take advantage of a local mailhouse or presort vendor. Presorting your mail lets you take advantage of reduced postage rates. There are many ways you can work with a vendor; they can manage your data, print your mailpiece and mail it for you or perhaps all you need is a daily pick up of your already prepared mail. Either way, savings are there for you.
- Keep a clean, healthy database. Make sure all of your addresses are complete, correct and updated. When you receive Undeliverable As Addressed mail back from USPS make sure you update your data accordingly. No sense in mailing people who have moved or are deceased.
- Dedupe your data. If your data includes multiple contacts with similar sounding titles within a company, can you mail to just one of those people? Are you seeing duplicates such as John Sample and John Q Sample at the same address? Check for duplicates both by name and address.
- Personalize and target your mailing. Studies have shown that the more personalized and targeted your offer is, the greater response you will receive. Build and manage data such as last purchase, date of last service or purchase, geographic area or household income. The list of ways to segment and create relevant messages/offers is endless.
- Use multi–channel marketing. Follow up your mailed promotion with email. Try to keep the same look and feel of your mailpiece. Include a link to your website, other marketing page or survey if appropriate. You can use a QR code or pURL on your mailpiece to drive recipients to your website.
Postage rate increases are uncomfortable for mailers. The USPS points out that the increases over the past few years have kept pace with inflation. The change is intended to generate $2 billion in annual revenue for the Postal Service.
As a reminder, below are the new full pay, retail rates.
- 1 ounce First Class letter – $0.49
- Each additional ounce $0.21
- Postcards $0.34
- 1 ounce letters to all International destinations $1.15
Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly – Falalalalalalalala
We mailed our annual holiday cards this week and followed up with an email. We like to take a moment to show our appreciation to all of our customers and friends for their business over the past year.
Keep your eyes out for these cards and emails; we’ve included a special QR code and pURL you can use to order a (free!!) personalized 3D Cube or Accordion picture display perfect for your desk or home.
Not sure what to get your friends/family – or even a treat for yourself – these personalized picture displays make a great gift!
Happy Holidays to each and every one of you.
How To Get More Out of Your Marketing Program Using VDP
Variable Data Printing (or VDP) has changed the way marketers plan their programs and design their mailpieces. No longer are they creating for a mass market, but instead using carefully mined data to make highly personalized messages.
Data can be gathered from customer calls, interviews, emails and phone calls to create targeted messages relevant to each customer/prospect. Data can be organic from your company or purchased from a 3rd party vendor. Put thought into what data you are gathering; while you don’t want to be intrusive you do want to get as deep as possible.
Pay particular attention to aligning the message of your mailpiece with the artwork. Tie the right art and copy to speak directly to the recipient.
A good example would be a program for a car dealership. Say Mr. Brown bought a mini van 5 years ago. You know (and have within your data) that Mr. Brown has 4 small children. You wouldn’t want to send him a message about buying a 2-seater sports car, would you?
Conversely, Mr. Jones bought a sporty little car from you a couple of years ago. Unless you know from your data that Mr. Jones’ situation has changed, does he have interest in a mini van?
Because this type of marketing is more relevant to the customer/prospect, you should expect to see a greater response rate from your mailing. Consider multi-channel marketing as well. Send a postcard, followed up with an email. Within the email, create a customized landing page with the same or similar message and artwork.
So get to work on that data and start building a truly great, targeted mailing!