Posts Tagged marketing

Direct Mail Marketing Campaign

You’ve decided that you want to do a direct mail marketing campaign – now what?

Direct Mail images

You’re priority should be designing a mail piece that will deliver results. One important factor is the copy you use on your mailer.

Want some quick tips?

First make sure you nail down the message you want to send. Keep it short and simple – more words won’t necessarily grab the reader’s attention so focus on what is important to them about your product or service.

Keep the layout clean and simple too. Don’t use a lot of different fonts. Don’t have copy running all over the place in an attempt to be fancy. If you make it hard to decipher your message, guess what? No one will respond.

Focus on areas that the reader will naturally gravitate towards. Put your most important words (free offer, huge discounts, act now) in the headline, subheads and as the first parts of a sentence.

Take advantage of action words and verbs as much as possible. Don’t write about something, speak directly to your customer and tell them what you want them to do.

I can’t stress enough how important it is to proof read and then proof read again. Have co-workers and maybe even friends and family take a look. Sometimes you are so tied up in the process that you can’t see the forest for the trees!

Successful copywriting will get you off to a great start in designing your direct mail piece.

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Increase ROI with Direct Mail Design | Top 10 Recommendations

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)

  1. 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?
  2. A clear, provocative call to action and a nice incentive.
  3. A compelling message – don’t forget, most people want to know “What’s in it for Me?”
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Use a fresh, unexpected image and a memorable tag line. You only have seconds to grab the reader’s attention.
  8. 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.
  9. 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?).
  10. 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!

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Are Email Campaigns Part Of Your Marketing Strategy?

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?

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Data Tips | Don’t Let All The Talk of Big Data Scare You Off!

Don’t Let All The Talk of Big Data Scare You Off!

Here are a few tips to get you started.

  1. Decide on a strategy: How can you improve your current strategy with data? Think about what data you want to collect and how it will be used in future marketing efforts. How will this affect the marketing channels you choose – direct mail, email, social media?BigData
  2. What do your customers want?  Identifying what matters to your customers allows you to improve your communications with them. This also helps you craft and target personalized messages to customers through any of the marketing channels you may choose.
  3. Don’t ask for too much:  Give some thought to what data you really need right now. Do you need to improve your email address list? Find out what services/products are most important to customers? Determine how satisfied they are with your business? Keep it short and simple for them to respond. You can always dig deeper for more information down the road.
  4. Give multiple methods of responding:  If you are using direct mail to contact customers/prospects, include a website where they can submit information, take a survey, etc. Consider response cards, pURL’s and QR codes. Make sure all pieces are mobile compatible. Test, test, test to make sure all of your communication platforms work seamlessly.
  5. Don’t get overwhelmed or discouraged: Data is a big area and can be a lot to wrap your head around. Start small. And don’t expect overnight success. Build on what you have and tweak your communications as you add more data.

More questions about how data can help you grow your business and deepen relationships with customers? Call one of our qualified Customer Service Representatives today to discuss your needs. | (816) 756-2733

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Tips for Improving Customer Statements

4  Tips for Improving Customer Statements

The most opened and read mail consumers receive are transactional in nature. Statements are related directly to where their money is going so it earns a higher spot in the hierarchy of mail box content.statements

So how can you get the most out of this opportunity?

  1. Easy to read, easy to understand statements.  The number one complaint people have about their bills and statements is that they are difficult to read or hard to locate crucial information. Review your statements – is it clear how much they owe and why? Is it easy to locate a customer service number if they have a question? Have you spotlighted a way for them to contact you or pay their bill online? Think about ways you could utilize highlight color to draw the attention to specific information or perhaps give a better flow to the overall design.
  1. Mobile applications.  So many people are deeply connected to their smartphones, why not offer an opt-in and provide due date reminders or notices when their statement is ready? Think of this as another way to improve your cash flow by receiving payments timely. Mobile payments, provided they are device friendly, can help deepen the relationship with your company.
  1. Electronic billing or e-statements.  Do more than offer a simple pdf. Your e-statement should match the printed statement for a clear, cohesive customer experience. Using your printed statement, offer an opt-in to receive only electronic communications. Include a website where customers can view, pay, review past statements and even view special offers.
  1. Special offers and marketing messages.  Use your statements, both paper and eStatements, to make relevant offers of products/services, tips for savings and other marketing communications. Again, make sure any electronic statement matches your mailed (paper) statement.

In short, make the customers experience as easy and concise as possible. Provide multiple methods of statement presentment and use the real estate on your statement to highlight special communications and offers.

Questions?  Feel free to contact a Strahm Client Service Representative at (816) 756-2733.

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Direct Mail Leaves a Deeper Impression than Digital Media

Revealing Study Shows that Direct Mail Leaves a Deeper Impression than Digital Media

directmailVSdigitalmediaDoes it seem to you that digital is taking over everything? Technology may make it seem like traditional methods of marketing, advertising and communications is going extinct.

But is it?

A study conducted in October 2012 by Millward Brown, stated that physical media like direct mail left a “deeper footprint” in the brain, as opposed to digital media through some sort of technology. The study makes a strong argument that our brains respond differently to digital vs. physical media. Direct mail and other physical media continue to be powerful tools in marketing and communications.

The study was titled Using Neuroscience to Understand the Role of Direct Mail. 

Presenting physical material resulted in greater emotional processing, more “real” to the subject, which is important for memory and brand associations. This tangible experience is more readily internalized, which means the ads should have a more personal effect thereby positively influencing motivation.

Does this mean you should abandon digital media such as email marketing, Facebook and Twitter? Not at all. A well planned program of both digital and physical communications will increase your chances for success.

How are you combining digital and more traditional physical marketing? Where and how have you experienced the most success?

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7 Whys of Direct Marketing

Explore The “Why” of  Direct Marketing Instead of “How” To Do Direct Marketing

Technology is changing and getting better all the time. We all know this. We have easier, faster, less expensive options and channels to get our marketing message across. But perhaps we should explore the “Why” and the “What” of using direct mail.MarketingCampaign

It is important to understand your purpose for each campaign. The key objective for most direct mail marketing is to elicit a response from the recipient. This can be in the form of a purchase or action. You need to be clear, and make clear on your mailpiece, the purpose of your marketing campaign.

Here are seven key drivers to get your brain going in developing the “Why” of your next marketing campaign.

  1. Customer Acquisition. This is basic Prospecting 101. Direct mail is still a great option because it gets directly into your prospects mailbox. According to DMM, 98% of us still check our mailbox every day. Sure, you could purchase a list of email addresses for these prospects, but your impact may be slim. Think of how many unsolicited emails you receive (and quickly delete) every day. Now think of your mailbox and how many pieces of direct mail you receive. Not only that, but many people keep these mailpieces longer and refer back to them.  I know I do.
  2. Building Email List. For many businesses, their overall client list is far greater than their email list. If you need to grow your email list, direct mail can be a fantastic tool. Consider a personalized mailpiece with a nice incentive for signing up. Once you begin an email campaign to your new list, make sure you track response and keep your list clean. Include an Opt Out within the email itself. If a prospect has not agreed to your marketing emails, you should remove him or her from your list.
  3. Communication Preference. A study by Epsilon shows that people still prefer direct mail over email in almost every category including financial services, insurance and travel. Ask your customers how they like to be reached and respond accordingly. Tracking customer response rates of direct mail vs. email will also help guide you in communication channel. Don’t risk alienating customers.
  4. Multichannel Marketing. Aside from communication preference, why limit yourself to one channel of marketing? Combine a direct mail campaign with a follow up email campaign including the same marketing objective/message. Perhaps include a pURL on your mailpiece and a personalized link in your email. Use QR codes to drive respondents to your website for a special offer. While they are there, ask for their email address. Boom! Now you’ve accomplished driver #2 as well!
  5. Migration. Test, test, test and measure, measure, measure. This is all about knowing what works within a campaign. You want to make sure that not only is your message correct and relevant to a particular customer/prospect, but that it gets to them and is read.  If they aren’t responding to a mailpiece, are they responding to an email? Tweak your lists as necessary.
  6. Lifespan. Back to the issue of deleting unsolicited emails without even a glance! How quick are you to hit that delete button? But a properly crafted message, to the correct target and slated to be in mailboxes within a given date range, is most likely to make it into the home from the mailbox, allowing more potential to become actionable. 5 second email or 5 day direct mail?
  7. Differentiator. You have so many options available for direct mail. Think size, shape, feel. Think 3D and create a clever box or other shaped container. Most people can’t resist seeing what’s inside a box. The possibilities are really endless. The USPS will deliver most anything, anywhere for just a matter of postage. Make your mailpiece – and therefore      your message – stand out in the mailbox.

In short, take the time to determine why you are planning a marketing campaign. Make sure your message is relevant to and receivable by the correct person. Whether you choose mail or email, really grab their attention with something that sets you apart from all the other advertisers.

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How Data Drives Marketing

How Data Drives Marketing | Engaging with Digital Consumers

datapeopleInfosys recently released a study “Engaging with Digital Consumers” which offered valuable insight into what consumers want and how your data driven marketing plays a role.

  • 57% said they would be “more likely” to make a purchase from a retailer again if the retailer kept them updated on new offers and services through social media.
  • 78% of consumers said they would be “more likely” to purchase again if provided with offers targeted to their specific interests and needs.
  • 45% said they would be willing to trade “some privacy” for offers specific to their individual shopping needs.
  • 43% said they wouldn’t mind if retailers’ apps tracked their phone’s or tablet’s location if it meant they would receive ads or promotions targeted to their local area.

Data is so important to driving your marketing campaign. As marketing continues to move toward multi-channel applications, you have increased opportunity to gather data from digital marketing and apply it to printed pieces and vice versa.

Here are a few ways you can use digital and print both to build your marketing database.

Beef up your data and help make consumers “more likely” to buy from you and continue to buy from you in the future.

Have questions about data driven multi-channel marketing? Contact us at sales@strahm.com or (816) 756-2733 and one of our qualified Customer Service Representatives will be glad to help!

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Get More Out of Your Marketing Program with VDP

How To Get More Out of Your Marketing Program Using VDP

DirectMailvdpimageandtextVariable 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!

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Using Effective Marketing to Increase Customer Touch Points

Using Effective Marketing to Increase Customer Touch Points

effectivemarketingHow often do you “reach out and touch” your customers?

On average, it now takes nine touch points of communication to build a sales relationship. Most sales people give up after three.

The best way to lose a customer is to lose touch with him or her. Some data indicates that 60% of customer loss is due to lack of communication.

Every prospect and customer should hear from your company at least every 90 days. Savvy marketers reduce this cycle to every 30 days.

Sales force effectiveness increases by as much as 40% when supported by an effective marketing campaign.

Direct mail as part of an ongoing campaign can reinforce your brand again and again. Mail is effective for creating and building brand awareness.

Use strong, targeted messages when “talking” to your customers. How will your product or service help them? Customers are looking for one of two things – reducing or eliminating their pain or increasing their pleasure. It’s a simple as that.

Use a variety of methods for communicatingtouchpoints

  • Direct mail – especially personalized, interactive pieces
  • Email or PURL campaigns
  • Open Houses
  • Phone Calls!  When was the last time you just said hello?
  • Surveys

So how are you going to step out and communicate with your customers and prospects?

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