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Weatherall LogoYes, Direct Mail is still alive and kicking and should have a place in your marketing strategy for 2014. In 2011, businesses spent almost $48 Billion on direct mail marketing. And, it isn’t slowing down with direct mail spending forecast to increase 3.6% through 2014.

Here are 10 tips to consider when designing your next direct mail campaign.

A Good, Clean List
The right mailing list is the key to your campaign’s success. Profiling your current clients and members is a great place to start.

Clear Offer
Be clear about your offer. Direct Mail works best when it is specific.

Be Creative
Get creative with your campaign, but don’t put it before steps 1 and 2. 80% of the success of your campaign will be determined by the list and offer.

Test, Test, Test
Test different offers and designs. Direct Mail is easily tracked. You can segment 10% of your list and experiment with different offers and designs.

Personalize Your Campaign
Personalize the copy and images. Incorporating the prospect’s name into the copy will increase  your response rate. Even better, use relevant information such as gender and ethnicity to version each piece.

Plan for the Majority
Make sure you plan for the majority, not the exception. Obsessing over the gentleman who goes by “Jim” but “James” was on his mailer does not ruin the campaign. Correct it and move on to the next mailing.

Make Responding Easy
Have an online response mechanism. It can be something as simple as an email address, or a more personalized approach using a Personalized URL (PURL).

Pair Your Direct Mail with Other Marketing Channels
Consider pairing your direct mail with other marketing channels, like email. When an email address is available, coordinating the delivery of the email with the mail piece drives up responses.

Repetition
Commit to more than one mailing. Direct Mail has a drip effect that increases the likelihood of a response through repetition.

Contact Weatherall Printing at 800-273-6043
Call us and let’s get started on your next direct mail campaign.

Don’t miss out on a great opportunity to get your prospect’s attention and grow your business.

 

Weatherall LogoIn “SNAP Selling,” author Jill Konrath explains that “To get your customer to grant you access, it’s imperative that you convey all your information in a series of 20 to 30 second ‘touches’ (via direct mail, email, and phone).”

Inspired by this sentiment, Nosco (a health care packaging and solutions provider based in Gurnee, Ill.), decided to experiment with the concept of conveying the same message in different ways to keep it top of prospects’ minds.

Nosco has tested many types of marketing campaigns and found the most success from a combination of efforts that utilize different mediums. Depending on the featured product or service, the order of the channels may vary, but they all incorporate direct mail, email, and a call or voicemail.

The company also discovered it is not the size of the campaign that matters, but the consistent messaging and laser focus on the right audience. This requires upfront research and an alignment with your sales team to determine the best possible targets.

Ultimately, it is not about one channel working better than another – it is the combination of all channels with consistent messaging. With each campaign, you should consider prospects’ personas, regions and, if possible, their needs. Although direct mail, email, and voicemail are standard (and easy) ways to communicate, don’t be afraid to learn and try new technologies to get your message out as one of your campaign touch points – even if simply to test.

Plan, communicate, test, measure and repeat, integrating both online and offline marketing efforts to determine what works best in combination and in what order for your product or service. Nosco has found a formula that has worked best for it by doing just that. The company has also found that when its communications are personalized, the results are better.

Heather Hill works in Marketing and Communications at Nosco

For companies of all sizes, success often comes down to dollars and cents. Sales drives revenue and profit, and marketing can reach an audience that can ideally be converted into those sales. While major enterprise corporations have the luxury of spending millions, even billions of dollars on marketing and advertising annually to build sales and grow profits, small- and medium-sized business (SMBs) are often resource-strapped in three key areas; budget, time and expertise.

AS a SMB, your company is probably looking for a partner to help it market and sell in today’s cross-media world. You need solutions that integrate and automate marketing across print, online, mobile and social media channels, while being agile enough to support emerging media types and channels as they rise to prominence.

Just like enterprises, SMBs are also becoming more data-driven. While you want solutions that can help drive demand and generate leads, you also want information on marketing effectiveness across all channels and a calculation of return on marketing effectiveness across all channels and a calculation of return on marketing investment (ROMI) so they can further optimize marketing and sales.

Marketing automation technology has emerged with the potential to meet all of these demands. Many solutions on the market today provide a central location to manage a business’ marketing efforts. Based on workflows a user creates, these solutions can automate the creation, distribution, tracking and management of marketing communications for many different applications.

funnel picIn the case of sales effectiveness, marketing automation is used to keep leads engaged and nurtured as they work their way from a lead to a sale, which is detailed in photo. Triggers are often used as a way to prompt when a message is sent to a recipient: A prospect or lead may fill out an online form for more information; triggering further targeted communication based on the information that person provided. Most marketing automation solutions available today focus on automating and optimizing the use of email to communicate with customers and prospects more effectively. With an expanding interest in using direct mail and other promotional print, however, more solutions are also adding support to automate print marketing. These solutions often integrate with leading Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools to help manage and store captured information, such as behaviors and preferences, to drive more targeted (and successful) communications as these initiatives evolve.

WHAT SMBs ARE SAYING ABOUT
MARKETING AUTOMATION
Of the SMBs surveyed in the InfoTrends’ report Capturing the SMB Marketing Automation Opportunity, 14% are already using marketing automation solutions in their business. Many report improvements in marketing effectiveness and measurement capabilities.

Nevertheless, there is always room for improvement, and SMBs need to work on using marketing automation to help generate demand more effectively, improve the quality of sales leads coming into their companies and enable more effective communication with customers.

INFOTRENDS’ OPINION
SMBs face many challenges in this rapidly evolving world, especially as it relates to resource constraints around money, time and expertise. SMBs need easy-to-use tools, as well as sage guidance, to lead them in the right direction and help them get the most out of the resources they do have. Self-service tools and marketing automation technology help address a number of critical marketing and communication needs. These solutions are increasingly easy to use, provide time-saving functionality and leverage the Internet to provide a cost-effective choice for SMBs that think big.

Steph Pieruccini is a consultant for InfoTrends, a worldwide consulting firm for the digital imaging and document solutions industry.

Consumers definitely know their personal information is more readily available for companies to use than ever before. While this type of data can be used to give consumers more personalized experiences from the businesses they use, they still do not have a lot of insight into the scope of personal data floating around in tracking cookies or in third-party marketing databases. Similarly, they do not have a lot of power to control how this information is used and shared, which now happens in real-time and can be influenced by each user’s specific web activities.

While the marketing and advertising industries successfully deflected major regulations in 2012 through intense lobbying efforts, new regulations in 2013 are highly likely to be passed due to the sheer number of bills and other initiatives currently in the works, along with the need for laws to catch up with the fast pace of innovation in this area:

• Following the release in March 2012 of a two-year
investigation on consumer privacy in the digital age,
the U.S. Federal Trade Commission endorsed
legislative action around data privacy, including
the creation of “do-not-track” mechanisms in web
browsers that help consumers opt-out of online
behavioral tracking and targeting. Efforts by the
industry to self-regulate DNT were stalled at the end of
2012; the consequence may lead to legislative action
on the issue.

• Retiring Democratic Senator from West Virginia, John
D. Rockefeller IV, launched an inquiry into information
brokers like Acxiom, Epsilon and Rapleaf last October to
better understand their practices and determine if they
are handling consumers’ personal data appropriately.

• Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) recently released a draft
bill called “The Application Privacy, Protection, and
Security Act of 2013,” or the APPS Act, targeted at
creating guidelines for data collection, retention and
sharing practices of mobile app developers. With other
initiatives at various stages in the works, expect more
attempts — and some successes — to introduce new
marketing and advertising regulations in 2013.

The Road Map for InfoTrends’ Digital Marketing & Media Trends (DMM) Consulting Service helps companies understand how to harness the power of interconnected media effectively to meet their business objectives. To read the full DMM report, visit http://www.infotrends.com. 

We all have theories on how to best market to Generation Y (also referred to as Millennials). The industry is saturated with articles on how this group of young adults’ (born between 1977 and 1995) spending power will continue to grow. Some marketing leaders believe this group only responds to marketing messages when they come through an electronic device or a social media site.

One thing is certain: Generation Y is completely dependent on their technology, so you would assume this approach must be true. Have you ever witnessed a Gen Y lose their phone? Their world comes to a screeching halt.

Consider these ideas when creating your Gen Y campaigns.

Consider these ideas when creating your Gen Y campaigns.

It is important to understand how we move forward as marketers, given the fact that smartphones have taken the place of just about everything: CDs, calculators, watches, calendars, video game consoles, home phones, TVs, photo albums, trips to the bank, cameras, GPS, pen and paper, alarm clocks, video recorders, newspapers, address books, computers, invitations, social interaction and the list goes on.

Because of this, some brands believe the best, and maybe only, way to market to this generation is through social media or an integrated email campaign. But, I am not so sure this is completely true. With a massive amount of brand messages coming at them in digital formats, how do you break through the different messages they receive and really get their attention?

One idea that may be overlooked is printed mail (and yes, that is mail with stamps). Consider incorporating a direct mail piece into a campaign using multiple touch-points, including a printed piece.

Lamont Swittenberg, managing director at Luminosity Marketing, says, “Sending something by direct mail is a way of breaking through the clutter because they do receive so much communication that comes digitally, and you still can’t replace the personal touch from direct mail.”

With that said, you still need to think beyond a traditional direct mail print piece and understand how to speak to this generation in a way that makes them say,“That’s just cool.”

“The leap for marketers is to recognize the different lens Gen Y applies to reading their mail and adjust the marketing message to make those Gen Y differences a measurable advantage,” says Jason Ryan Dorsey, author of “Y-Size Your Business.” For instance, Dorsey says Millennials prefer pictures and directions to an online video rather than long blocks of text or fancy words.

Although there are many industry leaders teaching us how to “speak Gen Y,” Dorsey is a great resource, being a proud member of this generation himself. You can find more information to help guide you in all marketing touch points to this group of young adults at www.jasondorsey.com .

Heather Hill works in Marketing and Communications at Nosco, a health care packaging and solutions provider based in Gurnee, Ill.

Douglas Adams had it right. In the late 1970s, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” introduced the concept of a hand-held device that contained the sum total of all universal knowledge. In 2007, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs re-mixed this idea by talking about a “post-PC” world, a time when the PC went the way of the Dodo bird. Although the fight over terminology made for entertaining media posts, it’s stunniPC_Revolutionng how fast the post-PC vision has come to pass. The Internet is the now source of universal knowledge and smartphones/tablets are the devices nearly everyone is glued to for hours every day. At least on this planet, science fiction has become reality.

Most research now shows that we’ve just now reached the tipping point. According to Gartner, 2013 marks the year that more people globally will access the Internet through mobile devices versus desktop computers. The mobility revolution has changed everything. The resulting transformation in consumer behavior is shaking up whole industries. And, if you believe in the law of exponentials (see Ray Kurzweil’s “The Age of Spiritual Machines”), we’re just getting started. It’s still early days!

So, what?
Well, if you’re in business — any kind of business — you need to care about this deeply. The decisions you make today about how to go mobile, how you think about web development and how to create amazing customer experiences are critical, as they will affect your business in fundamental ways. As technology advances accelerate, businesses need to think about how to drive agility — the ability to respond quickly to unpredictable change. It’s not about features per se; features are transient. The real meaty decisions now involve how you approach web development holistically to include a wide range of touch points, including mobile, TV, kiosks and more. And how to invest in architectures and approaches that drive better agility with lower cost.

“The Post-PC Revolution Is Here —Don’t Panic!” is used with permission from author Mitch Bishop, CMO of MoovWeb. MoovWeb offers products and services that help its customers take advantage of the mobile revolution (http://blog.moovweb.com/2013/02/the-post-pc-revolution-is-here-dont-panic/).