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.

eco_friendly_paper

Eco-Friendly Marketing: Recycled and Sustainable Paper

Eco-Friendly Marketing: Recycled and Sustainable Paper

There have been many arguments made about eco-friendly marketing. Some have cited that digital is the only true green method. However, many of these arguments lose viability when you consider the carbon footprint of factories, the energy required to run devices, and growing amount of e-waste in the world. On the other side of the dividing line lies the the other option stacked against paperless advocates: recycled and sustainable paper. Many companies have started to use this option as a way to improve their brand image with the growing millennial generation, one that is willing to pay more for a product if it is green. Before we get too ahead of ourselves, let’s start with this question: what is recycled and sustainable paper?

 

The Differences Between Recycled and Sustainable Paper

Recycled paper is created by reconstituting paper used by consumers. This is a great alternative to buying brand new paper. The downside to recycled paper though is the fact that paper can only be recycled a few times. Only the best quality paper can be used more than this, but it also has limited renewability.

Sustainable paper is different from recycled paper in the sense that the paper comes from forests that are constantly having new trees planted to replace the ones cut down. This is what “sustainable” means since this kind of deforestation does not leave stumps in its wake but freshly planted seeds to grow new trees. Another thing to note is that the trees that are cut down are not entirely devoted to making paper. Other parts of the tree are used for other things, making greater use out of the wood.

 

So, Why Does This Matter?

Now for the real question: why is it a big deal when a company decides to go green by switching the kind of paper it uses? As mentioned before, millennials are the most environmentally aware generation to date. Moreover, due to their constant exposure to social media, they have become increasingly aware of brand image. According to “5 Reasons Why Visible Sustainability Matters to Millennial Consumers,” 59% of millennials are willing to spend more on a product if the company is portraying the right brand image. The article also goes on to state that “to many millennials, the simple act of selecting a packaged beverage during a lunch break is the potential for a statement about their identity and values.” As millennials age and accumulate more buying power, companies should take heed of their environmental awareness to better market to them.

 

Planning For The Future

With environmental concerns constantly being at the forefront of many modern debates, it would not be too far-fetched to say that going green is an investment for future success. As more generations grow up in a highly environmentally aware society, one can only expect that this will remain an important concern for future generations. Consider recycled paper or sustainable paper as an alternative to satisfy your paper needs.

 

every_door_direct_mail

Using Every Door Direct Mail to Effectively Canvass Neighborhoods

Every door direct mail, or known simply as EDDM, is a marketing tool offered by USPS that targets mailing routes instead of individual addresses to get direct mail out to the masses. This is obviously different from the typical direct mail campaign we are all familiar since you are not necessarily targeting a specific individual but rather a large group of people in different neighborhoods. Due to this difference, it is important to keep in mind these things when considering if EDDM is right for your business.

 

Who Should Use It?

EDDM is great for those that want to target a new location but do not have a list of addresses for that area. This can enable you to get your brand in front of new customers in a specific region. EDDM typically works best for local businesses that want to get their name known by residents surrounding their area.On top of it having the capability to target a large group of people, EDDM is also cheaper than your typical direct mail marketing campaign. Rather than spending lots of time on catering your copy to a specific person, you need to make it more general and relevant to a variety of individuals.

 

Design Keys For EDDM

First and foremost, what will help you stand out is your color choices. As we discussed our other article called “Applying Color Psychology To Direct Mail,” color can imply different things to a person. Such as too much red coming off as aggressive or angry, or blue which can make someone feel cold and disconnected. Really consider what color choices are best for your messaging, and be sure to use the right amount.

After color comes the actual message you want to convey. Now, when we said that you needed to be more general, this does not mean you should not consider who your target customer. Start with who you think would be interested in your services, then develop messaging that can appeal to a wide range of individuals underneath this umbrella. This means wrestling with how to target different age groups, men and woman, and other customer identifiers. Though this may seem a bit challenging, it will ensure that you do not narrow your EDDM campaigns messaging to a small group of people, which defeats the purpose of EDDM.

 

Is EDDM Right For You?

EDDM can be an effective way to get new customers while keeping your costs down. Though many consider the lack of personalization a drawback, the goal is to get your name in front of as many people as possible. This is perfect for those that just started a new business and are not well known yet, or for businesses looking to up their brand awareness in their area. Determine if EDDM is the best marketing strategy for your business with these principles and common use cases in mind. It could take your brand awareness to the next level and help you increase your business with new customers.

Effective_Direct_Mail_Data

How To Target Baby Boomers: A Direct Mail Strategy

How To Target Baby Boomers: A Direct Mail Strategy

 

According to the Population Reference Bureau (PRB), the number of baby boomers currently in the U.S. numbers around 76 million. That is almost one-quarter of the entire U.S. population, making them a prime target for marketers. One of the best ways to reach the baby boomer generation is through direct mail. However, it is critical that you don’t approach this like your other direct mail marketing campaigns. Here are some things to keep in mind as well as some useful tips when developing your direct mail marketing campaign targeting baby boomers.

 

Besides Their Population Size, Why To Target Them

 

The baby boomer generation controls approximately 70% of all disposable income in the U.S. This generation is quite affluent and empowers them to make buying decisions. But this does not explain why direct mail would be a good marketing channel to use. According to Neil Patel in his article, How to Reach Baby Boomers, Gen-Xers and Millennials with Your Online Marketing,” the baby boomer generation “are more likely to respond to direct mail campaigns than any other generation.” Another factor to consider is how many of them are reaching retirement age, and have more free time to engage with content. According to a Marketing Chart Study that surveyed purchase influence among baby boomers between the ages of 50-68, they found that “more than 3 in 10 survey respondents reporting that direct mail had influenced them to purchase a product or service during the prior 6 months. Interestingly, that was the most commonly-cited purchase influencer of 16 identified, ahead of word-of-mouth and online consumer reviews.” With these things in mind, you can see why direct mail is a prime marketing option. To make sure that your campaign reaches them effectively, keep these things at the forefront when crafting your message.  

 

Be Straightforward Rather Than Creative

 

When you are drafting your copy, make sure that your message hits home on everything and does not come off vague. According to the Entrepreneur in “5 Ways to Effectively Market to Baby Boomers,” they say, “seniors want to see everything spelled out in print. It’s far more important to use the right language than catchy copy.” Any sort of ambiguity or lack of information can cause them to not trust your offer or leave with them unanswered questions. This is why the article goes on to say, “Address every potential question a user may have. Include the answers in printed brochures, direct mail materials, and make the information easily available on the website.” Brainstorm all of the questions that someone may have after your reading your copy, and find a way to work the answers into the final marketing piece.

 

Dump Conventional Wisdom

 

Many of us have a certain predisposition to retirees, which misleads marketers into thinking falsely about baby boomers. In Eric Cosway’s article, “Send baby boomers direct mail and let the magic unfold,” he states that, “conventional wisdom has long been that retirees value comfort, stability and the relaxation of a quiet life. Just as they defied the conventional wisdom of their era as teens, baby boomers are defying today’s stereotypes of retirees.” It is important not to cater your message with this in mind, for it will most likely fall flat on its face. Cosway makes a good point that the baby boomer generation actually shares more things in common with their children than they did with their parents, such as, “adventure, change, achievement, and happiness.” He boils it down to one basic principle, “don’t make them feel old.”

 

Shoot Straight and Focus The Message

 

Considering how the baby boomers are quite receptive to direct mail and are in a position with greater spending power that other generations, you want to make sure that you nail your message. Your call-to-action should be very clear and simple. When composing your copy, don’t leave anything out. Any question unanswered is just one more reason why they should throw your copy in the trash rather than following through with the action you want them to take. And lastly, keep their personal values in mind, and flush the retiree stereotypes down the toilet.  

 

direct_mail_strategies

Increasing the Longevity of Your Small Business with Direct Mail Services

If you are a small business owner, you know that it is do-or-die to reach your customers with resonating dialogue. The main reason why small businesses fail to accomplish this is due to a poor marketing strategy. Even though we live in a highly digital age, direct mail allows businesses to bypass spam folders and get a piece of copy in the consumer’s hands.

The Effectiveness of Direct Mail

According to a Compu-Mail article called “25 Direct Marketing Statistics Prove Direct Mail Works,” 56% of customers find print marketing to be the most trustworthy type of marketing. This is due to the fact that direct mail offers small businesses the ability to get more personal with their message. This makes the customer feel less like a name on a list and more like a valued individual whose needs want to be met by your brand. Moreover, many recognize that it takes more effort to personalize a physical piece of copy rather than an email. With 70% of Americans saying mail is more personal than the internet, it may be time to consider using direct mail to reach your customers in a more meaningful way.

What Kinds of Copy Should You Send?

There are many things you can send to customers to ensure that your business stays top of mind. You can send postcards, coupons, brochures, catalogs, and other sorts of promotional materials. When trying to draft a design of your copy, you should be mindful of three things: eye-catching visuals, a strong message, and a clear action. All of these aspects need to then be tied together in a way that is personal for the customer. Without that key aspect, your copy will not have the glue to stay together when it gets into someone hands, and will most likely fall on deaf ears.

Who Should You Target?

The old method of mailing to as many people as you possibly can in the hope someone finds interest in your brand is just not feasible. This is especially wasteful for marketing budgets. The best way is to build customer profiles by figuring out who would be your ideal customer. From there you need to learn as much as you can about this customer like their age, demographic, and shopping habits. Of course, this will require more work if you are trying to target a whole new group of people that have not heard of your brand. You should also be targeting your current customers, for it is much easier to maintain current customers that have than it is to get new ones.

Start Your First Direct Mail Campaign

Direct mail is still an effective method for reaching your customer base. With highly personalized messaging complimented by stunning visuals, you can improve customer engagement and response with your marketing campaign. Take advantage of the direct mail’s versatility by sending different kinds of copy. Start physically connecting with your ideal customer with One Stop Mail, and begin breaking down the digital barrier that separates your brand from reaching eager ears.