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.
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.
If you are familiar with the ins and outs of direct mail, then you have probably heard of variable data printing. Variable data printing is on-demand printing in which components of the printed copy, such as text, images, and other things, are changed from piece to piece without slowing down the process. This enables marketing teams to create highly personalized direct mail pieces, which can be a game changer for your business. Here are five reasons why you should consider using variable data printing for you next big marketing push.
More Bang for Your Buck
First and foremost, the greatest benefit you can reap from using variable data printing is getting a better ROI. With greater personalization, response rates should be higher, putting your money to better use in comparison to other approaches. And if you are thinking that the internet is where all the action is at, think again. Interestingly, 66% of Millennials are more likely to use a voucher if they have a physical copy, with 36% of people under the age of 30 saying they look forward to checking the mail every day. Direct mail is still a big player in the marketing world. Coupled with the personalization offered with variable data printing, it is an invaluable tool to have in your pocket.
Integration with Online Marketing Campaigns
Most marketing strategies conducted by businesses utilize multiple channels to improve their effectiveness so that they do not put all of their eggs in one basket. You can take personalization to the next level with custom QR codes and personalized URLs. Integrating variable data printing with an internet campaign is an effective way to get more engagement and response with your marketing campaigns.
Personalization Does Not Mean Slow Turnaround
When many of us think of personalization, we worry about how much time will have to be put into building the campaign for each individual we are targeting. But as we have mentioned before, variable data printing offers the ability to personalize without slowing down the process. Time is money, but variable data printing will provide a quicker turnaround than you might expect.
Segmentation on A Larger Scale
Variable data printing yields you the opportunity to take your data segmentation and apply it directly to various marketing pieces. You can target an individual based on their purchase history, their interests, age, and many other indicators that detail what kind of things a person will be interested in. Increasing your marketing campaign’s relevance to a particular individual will resonate more than with something that is more generic or not as personalized.
Tracking Becomes Much Easier
Tracking the response rates and other data metrics is much easier with variable data printing. Marketers have to constantly interpret data to formulate conclusions about customers so to improve and curtail campaigns. By making it more personalized with QR codes and personalized URLs, you can track the response rates of your target audience much more clearly than with other strategies.
With variable data printing, you can nurture current and new relationships with customers by acknowledging their uniqueness rather than grouping them into a more generic group. This will not only make them feel valued, but also set them up to have greater brand loyalty. Find out how you can foster long lasting customer relationships through variable data printing with One Stop Mail.
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.
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.
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.
Building a Mailing List To Better Understand Your Target Customer
Every direct mail campaign relies upon a mailing list. You need to know who you are sending your copy to so that you can implement all of the best practices for personalization. The first step starts with a little hard work, and that involves compiling the data you already have on hand. With this data, you can understand who are your biggest purchasers and determine similarities between each individual so that you can target other customers like them in the future more effectively.
Working With Your Own Data
The first step should be determining who is your target customer. You can do this by reviewing past customers and start building a list from the ground up. When you do this, you should pay special attention to commonalities between customers so you can start constructing customer profiles. These profiles will give you a snapshot of your various customers and empower your marketing campaigns with all of the unique data that segments these individuals.
Now, every customer is unique. To say that a certain segment of your customer base is identical is a little misleading. You will most likely end up with a lot of different kinds of customer profiles, and there will be subtle differences that make each purchase just a little bit different. But this is where your hard work comes in since it’s your job to find where the data may overlap.
Though it may seem like a no-brainer, it is important just to focus on the customers that generated the most revenue for your business in some way—at least at first. Your other customers are important too, but initially, you should focus first on the profile that will help you target the most lucrative prospects.
What To Do With Your Profiles and Mailing List
Although the goal is to ultimately understand your target audience, these profiles and mailing list can serve to inform many of your marketing decisions. You can break the mailing list down, if you haven’t already, by each individual’s purchase history so you can find trends in their buying habits to improve any marketing that targets past customers. You can also use these lists to help you form a reminder campaign, which is particularly relevant to any business that is appointment based.
Another common practice businesses use is after they have put in all of the hard work of building your their mailing list to determine their ideal customer, they take this vital information and go purchase a clone mailing list. A clone mailing list is a collection of prospects that fit the customer profile you have developed. This is why it is important to focus on the customers who have purchased the most from your business since this new set of similar prospects will have a greater potential of bringing in large amounts of revenue.
One Stop Mail offers great consumer & business mailing lists.
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.
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.
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.
If you have ever had to send correspondence to someone or mail billing, then you are familiar with the #10 size envelope. To many, when someone says envelope, that is the first image that comes to mind. However, envelopes come in many different shapes and sizes. Each one has a specific purpose, allowing its shape and size to suggest its purpose. In this article, we will cover different envelope styles and how they can be put to use.
Outside of the #10 Envelope
So we already know everything about #10 envelopes, which is the most common used size of commercial envelopes. Businesses typically use these envelopes, and they range in size from #5, smallest, to #14, the largest. They are open sided, and may or may not contain a window on the front.
Then there is the A-Style. The “A” stands for “announcement.” They can come in two forms: either with a deep pointed flap or a shorter flat flap.They are usually used for special announcements, whether that be business related or more personal. They can also be used for photographs, small booklets, and greeting cards.
Another familiar envelope style is the catalog. It is the standard mailing envelope for important documents such as reports, folders, and contracts. If you are like me, when I hear Manila envelope, these are the kind of envelopes I think of. They are typically open on the short side of the envelope and may have a flexible piece of metal to hold the flap in place or a mount to tie it shut.
Similar to catalog but different in its own respects, the booklet style. These kinds of envelopes are typically used for magazines, catalogs, booklets, media kits, and other multi-page documents. They are open ended on the long side of the envelope and have some sort of sealant to close the flap.
The final two envelope styles we will cover are remittance and donation. Remittance envelopes have large flats and are used to hold private information like credit card numbers or other private documents. Donation envelopes also referred to as offering, pew, or tithe envelopes, are a cheap way to collect donations. These are most prominently used by religious organizations and nonprofits and cannot be mailed.
Direct Mail and Other Use Cases
Marketers should carefully consider the envelope that will contain their marketing materials. After pouring over every detail of that document, you should not put it in something that is not equal in quality. As you can see, there are a lot of different options. Whether you want to attract attention by using a different style than the standard commercial envelope, or you want to spruce up a commercial envelope to stand out, One Stop Mail can put to use its own in-house envelope printer to fit your marketing needs.
The use of envelopes doesn’t stop there. Perhaps you are in real estate and need to send an important property notice that is time sensitive, or perhaps you own an auto care shop and want to make car drop offs more convenient for your customers. Envelopes have many other use cases outside of mail. With the ability to fully customize them to your needs, consider them as a solution to improve customer service, or increase the efficiency of how you handle day-to-day business.
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