Right_Direct_Mail_List

How to Purchase the Right Business Direct Mail Lists

Do you need to purchase  business direct mail lists to make your next mail effort a success?

It’s a complicated question.  In years past, there was no question, but these days people are a lot more protective of their personal information and less likely to respond to “cold” advertisements than ever before.  Direct mail campaigns are still a great way to reach people, you just have to be a bit more savvy about how you go about it.

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Testing Your Direct Mail Campaign

Uncover strategies that get better campaign results and use them to get bigger results  

It’s exhilarating to get results from a marketing campaign. Finally, the hard work and cost of crafting an effective ad campaign. Keep your celebration short – there’s more work to do with direct mail testing to keep the success going over the long-run.  

Although you know that your campaign worked – what was it that resonated with future customers? Did you have the right direct mail list?   

Or, maybe it was the offer that did all the heavy lifting. Pinpoint the element that worked best with direct mail testing so you know what to use or change before your next campaign.  

Testing Matters

In the article “Successful Direct Mail Is All in the Testing” by Lois Geller, she tells an interesting client story. Her team had developed a new marketing approach for a correspondence school. The new method was more expensive than the old one 

The client used the same offer for the new campaign and got the same number of responses as the old. Because the new campaign was more expensive to deploy, the client dismissed Geller’s team and went back to the old method. 

Geller reports that something interesting happened. “Two years later our creative director ran into the client at a convention. The client said that our package had become the company’s control because, for some reason, it brought in a better class of customer, the kind of people who stick with the program a lot longer—and who are willing to pay a lot more money.”  

The client was just counting the number of responses rather than the quality of people who responded. When they discovered that their new customers stayed longer, they used the latest campaign to get better results. This is how you find a marketing element that can create higher ROI.  

Two men at laptops discuss testing

Review the data from A/B tests and deploy the best tactics.

What to Test?

The best elements to test for a direct mail campaign are the list and the offer according to the article “Direct Mail Testing – A/B split and multi-variable testing”. 

Sure, the copy and images are key componentsbut the elements with the biggest impact on ROI are the list and the offer. So, if you have limited time and resources, test the list and offer.   

Direct Mail Testing

The preferred test method is to focus on one element at a time to pinpoint the one that is working for you. If your current campaign has met your campaign goals, use it as the “control.”  

Create a test campaign to send at the same time as the control and monitor the results.  

In the test campaign, choose to either send the mailing to a different list – or, use a different offer. Track all the data and the results to see whether you get a better response from the new list or offer, or the old one.  

At some point, you may want to test your creative. You can do this by changing out the image that you use in your campaign, a key copy component of the mailer or you can use a different weight of paper to see if you get a better response. Make sure that you change only one element.  

After testing, create a new campaign that uses the elements that had the best results.  

It’s all about the data 

Creative brainstorming can get heated – many experienced marketers have developed an opinion based on what has worked for them in the past.  

To ensure that the future is better than the present, keep an open mind to what the data from direct mail testing is telling you. Remember – it’s not about who is right, smartest, or most skilled, the data will tell you what works with no ego involved.  

Just keep testing, improving, and growing more success.  Have questions? Contact the pros at One Stop Mail – we’re happy to help!

 

Vintage_Mail_Still_Works

Direct Mail Catalogs Are Centuries Old… And Still Relevant!

There’s a very common misconception about the history of advertising, and that’s the idea Arron Montgomery Ward created direct mail catalogs.  While Ward was a pioneer, he was far from the first.

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Top 7 Statistics For Direct Mail in 2017

Top 7 Statistics For Direct Mail in 2017

With the business world about to enter into the last quarter of the year, it is a good time to take stock of direct mail’s effectiveness in 2017 so far. Although the volume of direct mail went down last year, direct mail garnered a larger percentage of all mail. With technology and other tools to improve the timing of direct mail, this year’s statistics have shown that direct mail is not only still relevant in the marketing world, but that it is, in fact, one of the most successful channels available to marketers. Here are the top seven statistics for this year so far.

Household Response Rates Are at 5.1%

Yes, that decimal is in the right spot. According to compu-mail, direct mail has earned the highest response rate, with email and paid search at .6%, social media at .4%, and online display at .2%. Part of the reason why response rates are so high with direct mail is an increase in tools and information through technology that has enabled well-timed and personalized direct mail marketing campaigns.

77% of People Sort Through Their Mail

Many marketers are finding it difficult to get prospects to open emails. I personally usually delete without even looking any extraneous emails and promotions. It has just become routine, which is unfortunate for marketers, for I can only imagine how many other people are like me. Average open rates are typically below 20% in comparison to mail. I for one always sort through my mail, and when I see something that stands out, I usually take a few seconds to see what it is, which bodes well for direct mail.

Every $167 Spent On Direct Mail Resulted in $2,095 Of Sold Goods

I believe that ROI speaks for itself, but one must ask what industries reaped the most benefit from direct mail. The largest users of direct mail include companies that offer financial services and also consumer packaged goods. With print still playing such a large role in marketing, coupled with cost-effective green methods of print, one can only imagine that direct mail will still be a major component of marketing campaigns going forward.

98% of Consumers Bring Their Mail In The Day It’s Delivered

Many are concerned that after putting all of the effort to create a personalized direct mail piece that it will just end up in the trash with the rest of the junk mail. If it does, it is probably not due to a diminishing trend in the public’s responsiveness to direct mail, but rather the direct mail piece itself missing the mark. As the above statistics provided by the U.S. Postal Service exemplifies, whatever you send out will get eyes on it. Whatever happens after will, for the most part, be within your power to control.

Customer Response Rates Increased Year-Over-Year by 48%

Companies who have never thought of using direct mail would be smart to start considering using it as one of their marketing channels. Not only did customer response rates increased, but prospective response rates more than doubled with a reported 190% increase. As noted by the DMA, this is in part due to the “pairing of mailings with digital intelligence. “

Adding A Person’s Name and Color Can Boost Response Rates By 135%

We have discussed the importance of personalization time and time again, and if for some reason you didn’t believe it before, then perhaps this statistic can lend some credence to this idea. Personalization, particularly with the introduction of variable data printing, is now within reach of most budgets. And in turn, can improve your ROI, and make the money you spend go a greater distance.

Print Is 43% Less Annoying than the Internet

Bottomline, we all hate spam. I for one get irritated when advertising videos start on websites yet it is nearly impossible for me to find it to shut it off. Many of us have become blind and aggressively against online advertising in many ways. That is why direct mail is refreshing to most since it is usually personalized, relevant, and recognized as something that took a lot of effort on the part of the company sending it. This makes the consumer feel important and valued, which at the end of the day, is just good marketing.

How To Define The Best Target Market For Your Direct Mail Campaign

Defining the Best Target Market for Your Direct Mail Campaign

Whether you have identified a potentially lucrative part of the market you want to target, or you simply want to grow your customer base, doing the groundwork before you launch your direct mail campaign can be the difference between a positive and a negative ROI. One of the first things you should do is start with what you know.

 

Analyzing Your Current Customers  

 

Even if you are targeting a new target market, you should not disregard what you know about your current customers. These people have already purchased your product. To get more customers, you should compile details regarding past customers such as what area many of them are living in. If you can identify some key ZIP codes that stand apart, you can look up information through the Census Bureau to get other pieces of data such as average household income and age.  

 

Purchasing A Targeted List

 

To supplement any in-house research you do, you can then take it a step further and acquire a list compiled by a third-party company. These lists can usually be broken down by certain demographics so you only get the most relevant people to target. These lists can be targeted down to fathers with children under the age of 5 with a bachelor’s degree. You can get even deeper, such as if they own a home, and have a credit card.

 

Crafting Copy and Design That Is Successful

 

At first, you will probably be doing some guessing in regards to any new target markets. However, you can educate your guess with what you know about your current customers, and infer what will be attractive to this new market. Once you have a clear picture of this target market, you can do a smaller campaign to test the waters at a reasonable price. As you collect this new data, you can start to change the campaign so that you can improve your ROI.

 

However, not only do you need to be targeting the right people, but you need to take some time to determine what kind of copy and design will be the most successful. You want to not only make it eye catching so it stands out, but also have a concise message with a clear call-to-action. You will at most have 3 to 5 seconds to get your message across. So whatever you decide to go with, you need to make it count. To get an idea of what you can do with your budget, contact One Stop Mail to get a quote for your specific project.   

Mortgage Mailer

Creating A Captivating Mortgage Mailer Targeting Refinancers

Creating A Captivating Mortgage Mailer Targeting Refinancers

 

Mortgage companies have an opportunity to capitalize on the current market stasis by pushing out a captivating mortgage mailer that focuses on refinancing. If you are in the mortgage industry, you probably have stayed up to date on the latest trends. But if this is not the case, here is what is being reported as of today, August 9th, and what changes industry professionals are projecting over the course of this next week.  

 

Quick Overview of Mortgage Market Rates

 

According to an analysis conducting by Bankrate.com, Mortgage rates are holding steady. Here is what is currently being reported:

  • The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 3.27 percent from 3.28 percent.
  • The 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage rose to 3.49 percent from 3.48 percent.
  • The 30-year fixed-rate jumbo mortgage fell to 4.03 percent from 4.05 percent.

 

Also noted in the report is a drop in American buying sentiment. In fact, it has reached an all time low. Although homeownership rose with people under the age of 35 by 1.2% from last year, this segment of the population is still facing “inventory shortages and rising home prices.”

 

Moreover, according to a news release by Fannie Mae, buying sentiment is not the only thing down—so is the desire to sell.

 

In Bankrate’s weekly Rate Trend Index, where mortgage experts predict which way the rates are going to slide over the next week, 50% predicted they will fall, 30% predicted they will remain the same, and another 20% said they will increase.

Direct Mail Copy To Capture New Mortgage Customers

 

Although it seems the market looks grim for buying and selling, the rates are remaining low and steady with the possibility of going down ever further. This can be an opportunity for people to refinance their homes, which is where a well-timed direct mail campaign comes into play. Here are some things you should consider to create a successful mailer.

 

First, decide if you are going to go with a brochure, a postcard, or some other medium. This will allow you to plan how much copy and images you will need. On the one hand, brochures are great because people will typically flip through them, and you can have more room for images, such as a chart listing current rates and trends. However, postcards have the benefit of sticking around longer for people will most likely keep it for later, while with a  brochure, they may discard it.

 

No matter what you choose, the copy should be concise and do a few things:

  • Address how your company stands apart from your competitors
  • Have a clear path to your website to start the application process
  • Promote a sense of urgency with an expiration date
  • Be written in a way where the recipient can skim it and still get your message
  • Make sure it is personalized—e.g. Using pURLS or taking advantage of data provided by a mortgage mailing list
  • Include all necessary contact information

 

Always keep in mind that the direct mail piece is the key to the door. If it is the wrong key, the door won’t open. That is why you need to make sure the information and images you are providing are highly relevant and to the point. The goal is to get potential customers in the pipeline, no matter if it is via phone with one of your mortgage professionals or filling out an application form on your website. Since direct mail is highly trackable, you can monitor your results and find ways to improve the campaign.

 

If the current rates weren’t enough to entice you, then consider what Michelle Peel shared in her article “Why Online Mortgage Marketers are Investing in Direct Mail.” According to Peel, research that was recently completed by Competiscan found that Quicken Loans dominated Q1 2017 by being the leading mortgage/refinancing direct mailer. Now is the time to get off the bench and get in the game.  

irresistible-offer

Crafting An Irresistible Offer: Converting Prospects Into Customers

Crafting An Irresistible Offer: Converting Prospects Into Customers>

 

When creating a direct mail marketing campaign, we have talked about how design and personalization impact your results.  However, one aspect that could give you a significant increase in your response rate is your offer.

 

What Makes A Great Offer?

 

Put yourself in the shoes of your target prospect. Then take a look at your offer and ask a few simple questions:

  1. What sort of benefits will I be getting?
  2. Is the risk level minimal?
  3. What do other people say about this company/product?
  4. Is it worth my time?

 

One thing that we tend to get caught up in no matter what industry you are in is the product itself and its features. Being an architect of anything, you naturally get excited by this. However, just because you are excited by it doesn’t mean that customers will be too. Bottomline, the customer only cares how it’s going to benefit them. As soon as you start listing all of the features, they will most likely tune out and move on.

An important aspect of one’s purchasing process is the risk involved. If they feel like they are putting all of the skin into the game, they will probably not feel as compelled to give your company/product a try. If you can find ways to minimize the risk, such as offering something for free for a limited amount of time or some other easy entry for them to get into the pipeline, consider adding that to the offer.

Another thing we all want to see is reviews. It makes us feel safer when taking a risk on something new if other people say good things about it. Including a few testimonials in the offer will calm their worries and really get them considering what you are offering.

And lastly, something that is too often overlooked, is if the offer is worth their time. In other words, have you done a good enough job at concisely explaining the offer, and making it enticing enough where they will invest their time into it? Do you think that if you were a target prospect of this offer you would honestly consider opting in? And if the answer is yes, is it easy for them to sign up or get started?

Consider these things when assessing if you have done a good enough job with the offer. At the end of the day, your copy can be highly personal, but if someone doesn’t feel that these questions have been answered promptly and with precise diction, they just move on without batting an eye.

 

direct-mail-company

What to Look For in a Direct Mail Company: A Checklist

Top 3 Things Everyone Should Look For In A Direct Mail Company

 

Sifting through all of the direct mail marketing companies out there can be time-consuming. How do you determine if one is better than the other? Keeping these three key criterion top of mind will make sure that you can pick the best company that will meet your direct mail marketing needs.

 

They Have A Track Record of Success

 

This is a key indicator if a company is even worth pursuing. More often than not, you can usually see what sort of clients they have worked with in past on their website. Even if you do see them on their website, one of your first questions should be: what sort of clients have you worked with in the past and what results did you generate for them? This is the first hurdle that they must jump over successfully to garner your attention.

 

They are Reasonably Priced

 

Only you know what sort of budget you have to work with. That is why price should be one of the key things you ask up front. That way you aren’t surprised later down the road when you think you have found your ideal direct mail company.

 

You should also consider what you will be getting for your money. One of the things that One Stop Mail offers their customers is variable data printing, which is a cost-effective way to cater each direct mail piece to a specific individual. In this day and age, personalization is the name of the game. At the end of the day, you want to make sure your buck is going towards real results.

 

They Understand Your Needs

 

One of the simplest yet important things a direct mail company should do for you is to not only grasp your unique circumstance but also back up that understanding with a solution. The article entitled “What to Look for When Choosing a Direct Marketing Company,” sums this up perfectly with this quote: “They need to be willing to work with you to develop strategies, test them out, and make changes as needed in order to optimize them so that they can gain bigger, better sales for your business.” Your own situation will require “unique strategies,” so make sure that you are not only explaining everything clearly but they are taking in what you are saying.

 

Choose Wisely and Expect Fine Tuning

 

If you think you have found the best company for the job, don’t expect magic overnight. Direct mail marketing, and really, marketing in general, requires a bit of trial and error. Many people get uncomfortable with this because they don’t want their money to be wasted. But the fact of the matter is your money is not being wasted. It is being used to find the most successful areas to target so that you don’t get lukewarm results. The only way to do this is to test and analyze the data. If you have done your direct mail company research well enough, you should not have anything to worry about.

 

data-driven-direct-mail-marketing

Making Data-Driven Decisions To Improve Your Direct Mail Campaigns

Making Data-Driven Decisions To Improve Your Direct Mail Campaigns

 

The best way to improve the results of your direct mail campaigns starts with your data. It is important to have a system in place to monitor your direct mail results so that you can make more informed decisions later down the line. Whether this is about what copy works best or what color schemes are the most effective, data can help you change your direct mail game.

 

Audience Segmentation

 

Though it may seem like a no-brainer, one of the most useful things to help inform your direct mail campaign is information about your customers. It is crucial to have lots of data on your customers, such as name, age, profession, and other metrics so that you can not only personalize but also see how certain groups respond to your direct mail campaigns. This is called audience segmentation, and its purpose is to not only give you more data to target specific groups of individuals more effectively but allow you to monitor certain groups behaviors so that you can improve the performance of future campaigns.  

 

Data Drives Personalization

 

You have probably heard it time and time again, but there is a reason why personalization is taking over the marketing world. The use of data has grown over the last decade, and this has allowed companies to target their customers down to a specific individual. Some things that you can use to make your direct mail campaigns more relevant for someone is by using their name, be aware of their gender, use their purchase history to your advantage, and make an offer relevant to their location.

 

What Sort Of Data Should You Be Collecting?

 

Basically, you want to be collecting data that is going to be driving your decision making. If the data you are collecting is not doing this, then it is probably time to reconsider what data you are collecting. Furthermore, after you have started inferring what the data means and are not getting your desired results, this could be either a misinterpretation of the data or the data is not relevant to what you are trying to accomplish. That is why you should have defined strategy, be collecting data with an accurate system, and understand what your process is to weed out data that isn’t relevant and determine what parts of the reports are giving you your desired results.

Direct_Mail_Campaign_Test

Testing Your Direct Mail Campaign

Testing Your Direct Mail Campaign

There are many marketers that believe they are above testing because they have enough experience to know what works and what doesn’t. However, this sort of thinking prevents one from improving or confirming their marketing decisions. Testing your direct mail campaign should not be thought of as a one-time chore. It is a routine task that needs to be maintained because it is really the only way you can improve your campaigns, even ones that are already successful.

If It Is Already Successful, Why Test?

It is easy to disregard testing when your campaign is already successful. But even so, there may still be room for improvement. Moreover, for all you know, your competition may be testing a lot more and achieving greater results. In the article “Successful Direct Mail Is All in the Testing,” by Lois Geller, she tells an interesting story about how they “… developed a completely new and more expensive creative approach for a correspondence school. The client mailed it with the same offer to the same kinds of lists as the control. Our new creative brought in the same percentage of responses, so the client thanked us and said they’d stick with their cheaper control to save money.” Naturally, if you are getting the same results for more money, most would see this as a waste of money. However, the story takes an interesting twist as she continues, “Two years later our creative director ran into the client at a convention. The client said that our package had become the company’s control because, for some reason, it brought in a better class of customer, the kind of people who stick with the program a lot longer—and who are willing to pay a lot more money.” This is a perfect example of a client overlooking one of the most important metrics when testing—customer value. In this case, the client only focused on response rates rather than the quality of the customers who were responding. This is why testing when you already have a successful campaign can take your business to the next level.

What Should You Be Testing

Now that you have decided testing is a critical component to your direct mail marketing success, you need to determine what you actually need to test. According to the article “Direct Mail Testing – A/B split and multi-variable testing,” the top priorities for testing include two things: your list and the offer. The actual creative is an important component, but it should not monopolize your time. This is because the list and the offer are really going to have the most influence on your results at the end of the day.

Testing Strategies

Typically, you only want to test one element at a time. To do this, you need to establish some sort of control. So if you have a current campaign that is receiving some success, that can be your control. You can then develop a test campaign that you will send out at the same time and monitor the results. Perhaps you try different lists or a different offer. You can even try a different creative and see how it performs in comparison to your current design. This is called A/B split tests, and is the most common form of testing. If you are starting from scratch, you will just have to make an educated guess on what the best components will be and then test it. Make sure you track where all of your data so that you can make sure you are making the correct decisions based on reliable information. From there, you can combine the best elements to make an optimized campaign.

It’s Not A Chore, It’s How You Improve

Check your ego at the door. No one cares how much you know, or what success stories you’ve had in the past. What matters is in the present, and each campaign is different. From the outset, everyone must change their perception on direct mail testing. It is not a chore, but a necessity of life if you want to improve. Never stop at success, because there is always more success to be had if you are willing to put in the work.