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Increase_Revenue_Direct_Mail_Marketing

Winter is coming: Get a jump on your holiday direct marketing tactics

When it comes to holiday marketing, it’s time to start planning for it. The Holiday season – starting with Black Friday and continuing through New Years – is prime retail season for everyone, and you should focus your budget on proven direct marketing tactics.

Direct marketing via postal mail can still have a vital role to play, especially for smaller shops looking to compete with the “big box” stores in town. Creative, interesting, and engaging holiday marketing materials will help ensure people remember you, no matter what Macy’s has on special.

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Stand_Out_In_The_Mailbox with direct mail tips

Stand Out in the Mailbox with These Direct Mail Tips

Direct mail is still one of the most popular, affordable, and effective forms of marketing available… but you need to catch people’s attention quickly.  44% is never opened, and most of that boils down to a failure of presentation and not using well-known direct mail tips.

When consumers are time-pressed, your direct mail needs to immediately grab their attention and become the first thing they open.

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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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EDDM Mailers deliver to Every Mailbox on Carrier Route

Leverage the Advantages of Direct Mail when Marketing Locally

You may think the advantages of direct mail might seem like last century’s marketing, but it’s not!

Despite all the advances in digital advertising in the previous decades, good old direct mail is still one of the single most effective and cost-effective marketing options available for local outreach.  Physical mail never went away, and it’s still one of the most-used communications methods in the country.

If you haven’t thought about direct mail lately, here are a few things you might want to know about just how effective it still  is!

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Personalize Your Targeted Direct Mail Campaigns, But Don’t Be Too Personal

One of the most contentious issues in marketing today is the issue of privacy, especially in regards to data-gathering.  A recent Pew Poll showed significant across-the-board concerns about the amount of private information that’s getting into the hands of business, and this is undoubtedly affecting customers’ attitudes towards companies and targeted direct mail campaigns.
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Successful Direct Mail Campaigns Create Multiple Mailings that are Effective For Brand Recognition

One common mistake we see when an organization embraces direct mail is creating only one piece of mail for a given campaign. Sure, a little mail marketing is better than none, but it’s not the most effective method to develop successful direct mail campaigns.

Mailbox marketing can be a rewarding way of building brand awareness and engaging your leads via multiple types of messaging. Since virtually everyone checks their mailbox once a day, it gives you ample opportunity to put your brand in front of people… and in a format that’s separate from the distractions of nonstop electronic advertisements.

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direct-mail-marketing-trends-2017

Direct Mail Marketing Trends 2017

With the dawn of the new year, it is time to look ahead at what trends will take shape. At the center of discussion will be direct mail. However, we will also look at some of the more general marketing trends that will play into direct mail’s destiny.

Omnichannel and Data Driven Marketing

Two of the biggest things that marketer analysts are predicting for 2017 is an increase in omnichannel and data-driven marketing. More businesses, specifically retailers, are getting more accustomed to the idea of having customers start a purchase on one device and finish on another or in-store according to Eliza Fisher, Marketing Strategist and Editor at Social Annex, Inc.

Connected to omnichannel success is the analysis of data from 2016. Devin Fitzpatrick, Founder, and CEO of CDF Consulting predicts that data will be king. The first step with any marketing campaign is to understand the customer first. To get a better understanding of how to reach your targeted audience, analyze as many layers of data as possible.

What This Means For Direct Mail

Based on the previous two trends, direct mail will be affected in a positive way. This is due to direct mail’s strengths as a marketing asset. Firstly, direct mail is great at driving results through other channels. With direct mail, you can further advance your omnichannel efforts. Secondly, it is a perfect for targeting specific audiences. This plays into data-driven marketing. By wielding your data surgically, you can greatly increase your personalization and reach your desired audience with a relevant message.

With Personalization Comes Variable Printing

Part of the above domino effect that marketing trends will have on direct mail, we will see businesses making greater use of variable printing. It is now easier and more affordable for companies to print direct mail marketing materials with greater variety. According to Arrow Marketing, small businesses are starting to realize that local marketing efforts can be improved with a direct mail campaign. In fact, they state that direct mail still makes up 43% of local retail advertising, and 76% of business owners say that their marketing strategy combines digital with print communication.

2017 Outlook: Direct Mail Integral To Marketing Success

With omnichannel and data-driven marketing trends predicted for 2017, we have seen how this will make direct mail an important part of company’s marketing campaigns. Due to direct mail’s ability to drive customers through different channels, deliver highly personalized messages to targeted audiences, and remain affordable with variable printing, we expect to see another productive year for direct mail.

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Direct Mail Tracking Methods

Often we judge an advertising campaign’s success by the amount of conversions, new customer acquisitions, or revenue. Without a definitive incentive or variety of direct mail tracking methods, it can be nearly impossible to tally the actual success of a campaign. Try to think of the last time a customer came into your business and without being asked gleefully said, “Hi! I just wanted to let you know I found you on Google or I came in because of ‘X’ marketing you did.” More than likely the experience is extremely rare if it has occurred. When tracking methods are implemented properly, the guesswork is eliminated and campaigns become more transparent through analytics.

Direct Mail Tracking Methods

The best use tracking methods will allow a company to understand the progress and success of an advertising campaign without reliance on the customer to take additional action.

Tracking Number

A tracking phone number can help understand conversion from cold prospect to a warm lead. With a dedicated tracking number, you can isolate the number of phone calls from one specific campaign. For example, Nick’s Pizza may use the tracking phone number (949) 555-5555 for his Direct Mail Marketing campaign only. The phone number (949) 777-7777 is used on a landing page tied to a Google AdWords campaign. Both phone numbers get forwarded to (949) 123-4567, the mainline for Nick’s Pizza. Nick can use the dashboard provided by his tracking service, Call Rail, to see how many calls are coming into each line. Nick is able to identify that in a 30 day period his pizza shop derived 327 orders as a result of sending out 2,000 Direct Mail Postcards.

Coupon

Cut out coupons are a great way to manually track offer redemptions. Tom’s Automotive is offering $10 off an oil change and $20 off a synthetic oil change to new customers. In addition, there are many great offers like a coupon for a completely free electronic diagnostic, a $60 value. In order to redeem the offers, the customer must cut out and present the coupon at Tom’s Automotive. At the end of the promotion, Tom is able to tally how many redemptions were made in addition to the total revenue spent by those customers and average customer spend. Tom is able to determine that offering a significant discount on an oil change allowed him to bring in 41 new customers and those customers spent $193 on average.

Reference Code

Companies trying to generate leads with Direct Mail Postcards or Mailer Letters can find great success and lead handling efficiency when using reference codes. Student Solutions, a student loan debt relief agency, has purchased a database of 100,000 individuals who have graduated college and are delinquent on their student loans. Their IT team has uploaded all prospect information into their CRM and attached a unique reference code to each prospect. Student Solutions utilizes Variable Data Printing to print letters that have the first and last name of each recipient alongside their unique reference code. Having a personally addressed letter created a higher conversion rate. The reference codes provide the Student Solutions employees a simple and non-intrusive method to bring up the prospects information when they call in for assistance. New sales can be filtered by all reference codes with the prefix PJ36. The company determines that mailing out 100,000 postcards created 3,000 new customers and generated $700,000 in gross profit.

Managing a successful direct marketing campaign requires knowing specific steps, including the most effective direct mail tracking methods. When it comes time to rely on a direct mail company with experience, contact One Stop Marketing for your printing, mailing list and delivery needs – call 602.962.5104 today.

 

This article is part 3 of a 3 part series covering:

The Advantages of Direct Marketing versus Branding
See These Irresistible Offer Examples to Help Entice Customers
Direct Mail Tracking Methods
Crafting a Successful Direct Mail Campaign

OSM_What_Is_A_Good_Offer

Learn to Entice Customers with these Irresistible Offer Examples

A successful marketing campaign will be meticulously crafted from beginning to end to maximize conversions. The core foundation of a successful campaign begins with an exceptional offer. Study irresistible offer examples so you can create your own, including a lead magnet, tripwire or standard promotion and the incentives can determine whether a prospect turns into a client. Understanding that not all promotions are created equal is paramount in crafting the perfect offer for your business.

Lead Magnet

The quid-pro-quo of marketing, a lead magnet requires the business to provide a freebie in exchange for an opt-in or participation from the prospective customer. A few examples of irresistible lead magnets can include free product, a significant discount, product trial or giveaway.

Irresistible offer examples that are lead magnets include:

  • Tony’s Pizza gives a voucher for an absolutely free personal pizza to new residents in the city.
  • AAA+ Automotive provides absolutely free basic diagnostic via an OBD Scanner to get people in his shop.
  • Grandview Timeshares provides a $100 restaurant gift card in exchange for participating in a presentation.
  • Sarah’s Insurance gives all prospects a $10.00 gas card for getting an insurance quote through her agency.

 

Tripwire

Creating a low barrier entry point for prospective clients is a great way to let consumers test a company’s products or services without having to commit to a large purchase. A tripwire aims to capture a greater amount of new customers by casting a wider net and luring them in with a low-cost offering.

An example of this might be an HVAC business offering a cleaning and inspection for $49.00. This provides a service which may not be incredibly lucrative but allows the company to do business with the homeowner. As additional services are needed it becomes easier to sell the client higher priced items or services based on the established business relationship.

Examples of great tripwires include:

  • Perfect Auto & Mechanic is offering a $30.00 oil change and multi-point inspection. Irresistible offer examples like this hopes to uncover additional repair needs.
  • A’s Pizza & Brewery sells $2.00 slices during lunchtime to help increase familiarity with their dinner menu and ideally bring the whole family.
  • West Park Valley Dealership is offering a $300.00 ‘Sell Your Car’ detailing package which gets your vehicle to a pristine state. Their emphasis is to get people to test drive and buy vehicles since they know the detailing customers are looking to sell their vehicle.

Standard Promotion

A promotion can simply be a discounted percentage or variable offer and still produce a high conversion rate. Although standard promotions are most commonly seen in marketing, they are often poorly implemented. One of the most important aspects of a standard promotion is to include an urgency factor such as a time constraint for redemption.

Examples of standard promotions include:

  • Jeff’s Dog Grooming offers 15% off a bath and haircut service.
  • Golden Hair Salon is marketing a promotion that gives $10.00 off a cut and color.
  • Ray’s Tires is giving a 4th tire free when you purchase three at full price.

 

Types of Irresistible Offer Examples 

Keep in mind consumers are advertised constantly and in every aspect of life. Via cell phone apps, Facebook, Instagram, billboards, radio, TV, you name it. An offer has to really sizzle to make a consumer decide to purchase or opt-in. A great incentive will be the differentiating factor between you and your competition. If you own a lawn care business, you know that 95% of your customers will need to use you more than once, so it makes logical sense to offer a steeper initial discount in an effort to persuade the prospect to choose you over the competition. Here are offer incentives ranked from most to least effective.

 

Best

FREE – Everyone loves free. When Iron Strength Karate is gearing up for summer and back to school promotions they offer a completely free karate uniform. Dave, the owner, understands the initial investment eliminates the entry barrier for most families and is able to maintain most students as customers for years. Due to the

 

Good

Dollar Amount Off – Getting a set amount off a product or service is great. Consumers don’t have to guess or do the math to understand the savings and benefit. Customers will be more inclined to frequent your business versus competition and have increased loyalty if they feel you provide a good value.

 

Mediocre

Percent Off – We’ve all see discounts ranging from 5-75%+ off. Although consumers do redeem these offers, they’re often difficult to understand. Unless a buyer thoroughly knows your pricing beforehand, it’s tough to get an idea of true savings and often requires a calculation. This method makes it difficult for a consumer to understand the value. Additionally, many buyers feel that percentage discounts are played out and often feel prices are artificially inflated to give a false sense of savings.

 

Customer Value

Ultimately what you’re willing to spend or give in exchange to acquire a new customer will depend on what you are willing to invest to earn the client over your competition. It makes far more sense to invest in a new client upfront rather than having to win them over from the competition. The cost of a new customer with incentives factored in can actually have a higher customer value over customers acquired without incentives. Consumers see marketing promotions as a positive benefit and are much more likely to become loyal, repeat customers.

There are many steps to a successful direct marketing campaign – don’t go it alone. An experienced direct mail company, like One Stop Mail can build a specific customized mailing lists, offer diverse printing options and can  execute crucial elements of your campaign. Give us a call at 602.962.5104 or reach out to us to discover how we can help you make your next campaign successful.

 

This article is part 2 of a 3 part series covering:

The Advantages of Direct Marketing Versus Branding

Learn to Entice Customers with these Irresistible Offer Examples

Direct Mail Tracking Methods

Crafting a Successful Direct Mail Campaign

Branding_Marketing_One_Stop_Mail

The Advantages of Direct Marketing Versus Branding

Anytime you’re creating a new marketing campaign, you may find yourself asking a slew of questions about the advantages of direct marketing and whether it matches your campaign goals. Will the objective of your campaign be to increase brand’s reach, acquire new customers, monetize your existing customer base or if you’re like most– are you unsure of what to expect? Understanding the difference and setting the correct expectations will infinitely improve mediocre advertising tactics and allow you to make the most of any campaign.

 

What’s the Objective?

 

If your marketing department functions like most, you’ve got an annual budget and department expectations that were established by upper management during the latter end of the previous year. We’re past the halfway mark and now the pressure is on, we need results. One of the most frequent questions we get is, what’s the difference between branding and are there specific advantages to direct marketing?

 

Brand Awareness – Think billboards. You’re driving on the freeway and see a catchy ad with cows telling you to eat more chicken. Some drivers familiar with the brand will get a laugh out of the billboard while others unfamiliar with the brand may connect the logo with a restaurant they see occasionally. The goal of this marketing method is to increase awareness and be visible to as many people as possible. Strictly defined sales goals are not to be expected of this method and more often than not, you won’t see strict tracking methods implemented with brand awareness campaigns.

 

Marketing – If the name doesn’t say it loud enough, direct-action result-based campaigns strive to provide a measurable increase in conversions. Whether the conversion metric is more newsletter signups or an X increase in new customers that translates into a Y increase in revenue, your campaign has set expectations and goals. Examples of these campaigns include coupons, limited time offers and opt-in campaigns.

 

The Purpose of Branding 

 

Increasing brand awareness may nearly impossible to correlate with monetization. For branding, reaching new, existing and potential customers is the objective. An example of an awareness through conversion cycle for a brand awareness campaign can look start with a direct mail postcard or billboard ad designed to peak your interest.

 

Fictitious pizza chain Chewy’s Pizza has been experiencing a slump in sales for nearly a decade. A focus group has revealed the brand’s image is struggling due to its low-quality pizza’s and sub-par taste. The pizza chain has decided to revamp its entire operation and will now use high-quality ingredients and focus on an artisan pizza rather than provide a bottom dollar product. The general perception of the brand needs to improve. Chewy’s Pizza runs radio ads, tv commercials and send postcard mailers to all homes within a 4-mile radius of a franchise in each market.

 

The advertisements emphasize a brand revitalization and commitment to top quality ingredients and taste. The messaging directs people to pizzamatters.com, a website the Chewy’s Pizza created to build value and modify existing perception of the brand. The company is monitoring campaign impact by keeping a close tab on the amount of unique and return visitors to the website. A conversion will be counted anytime an individual watches a video about the company’s new image or signs up for the mailing list.

 

The Advantages of Direct Marketing

 

For many SMB’s it is crucial to understand if a marketing effort is profitable, has the potential to become profitable or perhaps it’s a complete wash. Direct-action result-based campaigns strive to provide a short customer monetization cycle with a measurable value tied to each conversion. The ideal way to track campaign effectiveness is to use a variety of calls-to-action and tracking methods that will simplify how the results can be segmented.

 

Fictitious company Lazer manufactures computers and computer peripherals. The company has 50,000 addresses of previous customers but is having a difficult time engaging its fan base through emails and social media. Robert, Lazers sales director, has been tasked with spearheading a sale in an effort move stagnant inventory and make room for upcoming new products. The company decides to mail a scratch to win postcard to all previous customers. The direct mail marketing postcard offers vary with incentives ranging from 5%-50% discounts and a select few postcards have online-store gift cards or free item redemption codes.

 

The offer codes needed to redeem the incentives will allow Lazer to track how many customers redeemed offers, the campaign participants’ average spend if individuals purchased additional products and additional data to determine lifetime customer value and the potential for future monetization. Data shows Lazer that the campaign was able to provide a significant increase in revenue and was able to re-engage previous customers who had not made purchases in a long period of time.

Check out our helpful article for more information about building a great direct marketing mail campaign.

 

Which Do I Use?

 

Although branding and marketing can function in tandem, it is important to understand the difference in order to craft a successful advertising campaign. If your goal is to spread the word far and wide, branding could be the best solution to your advertising woes. Marketing campaigns have the benefit of being incentive based and allow time constraints to increase urgency. Next week we will discuss the difference between good offer and a fantastic one.

In the meantime, if you’re looking to get results on a direct mail marketing campaign, turn to experts with many years of direct mail experience. One Stop Mail can help you achieve your objectives — give us a call at 602.962.5104 or reach out to us here.

 

This article is part 2 of a 4 part series covering:

The Advantages of Direct Marketing Versus Branding?

Learn to Entice Customers with these Irresistible Offer Examples

Direct Mail Tracking Methods

Crafting a Successful Direct Mail Campaign