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The 4 Most Common Direct Mail Marketing Mistakes

Direct mail has solidified itself as a key component of any multi-channel marketing campaign. However, those that develop the most successful direct marketing campaigns know how to avoid these four common mistakes. It is important not to overlook the importance identifying your audience, having up-to-date mailing lists, not developing a captivating offer, and finally an overly complicated call-to-action.

Identify Your Audience By Their Response Rate

Not only should you be targeting a specific audience, this group of prospects should have a history of responding well to your marketing initiatives. According to Craig Simpson, author of “ 10 Direct Mail Marketing Mistakes to Avoid,” he states you should, “…spend some time analyzing your best buyers. What is their demographic? What are their other interests? Then use that information to define your most promising mailing universe.” In the end, putting in that little bit of extra work will set your campaign up for an increased chance at success.

Select and Update Your Mailing List with Clean Data In Mind

This piece of your direct mail marketing campaign is the most important. As Robert W. Bly states in his article “ The 12 Most Common Direct Mail Mistakes…And How to Avoid Them,” that “in direct marketing, a mailing list is not just a way of reaching your market. It is the market.” He goes on to say, “a great mailing package, with superior copy and scintillating design, might pull double the response of a poorly conceived mailing. But the best list can pull a response 10 times more than the worst list for the identical mailing piece.” Craig Simpson recommends two things that can help improve your list: make sure if you use a list broker that he or she is reliable and compare the list to the National Change of Address list to ensure you are sending your materials to your prospects current residence. Once you have established the best list for your campaign, then you can go ahead with the design and message of your copy.

Make An Offer They Cannot Refuse

A common mistake is to push the product in your copy and not your compelling offer. Robert W. Bly defines the offer as “what the reader gets when he responds to your mailing.” This can take shape in a variety of forms, but the most obvious way to garner someone’s attention is to entice them with something free. Take their wallet out of the equation, and you increase your prospect’s chances of responding. Bly continues with, “your copy should state the offer in such a way as to increase the reader’s desire to send for whatever it is you offer. For example, a catalog becomes a product guide. A collection of brochures becomes a free information kit.” Consider what you sort of compelling offer you can include in your campaign and place less emphasis on trying to sell the product. Though the sale is the ultimate goal, with direct mail, you want simply engagement and response, which will lead to that sale you ultimately want to achieve.

Simplify Your CTA

When you are crafting your direct mail CTA, you should reduce it down to as few steps as possible. Most people these days won’t bother with following through if there are too many steps or if those steps are not clear enough. In “ 5 Direct Mail Mistakes Marketers Should Avoid,” by Vignesh Subramanyan, he says, “ don’t ask your prospects to complete more than three tasks. For example, don’t send respondents to a web page that asks them to fill out a form. Make your call to action as simple as possible to complete. ” Limiting your CTA to three tasks is a good rule of thumb, but if you can get it under three, your chances of getting a response will only increase.

Laying the Foundation for Direct Mail Marketing Success

By identifying your most responsive audience, updating your mailing lists, crafting a great offer, and implementing a simple CTA, you can build a direct marketing campaign that will have a higher chance of success. Avoiding these 4 common mistakes won’t necessarily mean your campaign will automatically be successful. You still have to put together a complete mailing package after you have put the necessary work into seeing what design or style works best. However, avoiding these mistakes from the beginning will save you from wasting time and money.

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Direct Mail Marketing Trends for 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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Targeting the Consumer’s Desire to Save

No matter what level of income someone makes, everyone cares about saving money. It is a misconception that those who use coupons are confined to a certain income level. In fact, recent studies have found that affluent shoppers do indeed care about saving and are receptive to offers. This is why it is important for companies to incorporate print promotions in their omnichannel marketing strategy.

Connecting People to Your Brand

Coupons are still one of the best ways to build a bridge between your brand and your potential customer. The desire to save money will never wane from people’s minds, and that is why it is so reliable. Shoppers 18 to 25 years old use paper coupons twice as much as other methods. With direct mail, you have an opportunity to target an age range that most would consider unreachable unless using a digital method. However, paper is still strong, and is not ending up in the trash but rather are being redeemed in stores. A Vlassis study found 87% of all consumers use print coupons they receive in the mail. It is clear that mail is still one of the strongest delivering methods for deals and other specials that can get more customers purchasing online or at your brick and mortar locations.

Influencing the Purchase of New Products

Trying to get consumers to try a new product or purchase from a different brand can be a challenge. There are a variety of strategies one can use to influence a shopper’s decision making, but one of the most effective methods has been tied to one’s desire to save money. In a Vlassis survey that targeted specifically affluent shoppers, they found that in their pursuit of savings, a majority are also influenced by coupons to try new products (86 percent) and to choose brands they would not typically buy (80 percent). If you can influence someone with an offer they can’t refuse, you can help your brand increase the sales of new products and set the foundation for new customer relationships.

Incorporating Direct Mail

Providing opportunities for shoppers to save will never go out of style. Consider how effective your marketing strategy is now, and how much more you can improve its performance by adding a direct mail marketing campaign to the fold. Put the coupons right in the hands of the consumer so that you can empower them to make their next purchase without breaking the bank. In doing so, you will build a valuable relationship with new customers while also achieving the goals of new products.

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Getting Personal with Direct Mail Marketing

Successful marketing campaigns rely upon personal messaging. People don’t want to be barraged with advertising but rather desire a highly personalized message that speaks to them. This message should make your target consumer feel as if they have VIP status, cultivating a relationship that will turn them into brand loyalists. The best way to do this is with direct mail.

The Difference Between Personalization and Being Personal

Consumers are constantly being recommended what to purchase or engage with on a daily basis. We all have experienced this. After you purchase something you might receive an email recommending similar or other popular items. Or say you just binge watched a new television show and now notice another one is highly recommended in the same genre. This method of providing constant advertising based off of the consumer’s habits is nothing new and is what I call personalization. The idea is to serve one with relevant recommendations to make the advertising more personal.

However, the fact of the matter is consumers are constantly being recommended products based on their recent purchase all the times. After a while, these recommendations start to feel less and less personal and more like carpet bombing advertising. I don’t know about you, but I usually ignore these top recommendations. In most cases, I know what I want and I don’t trust someone else to tell me what to buy. This is a direct result of the company’s inability to be more wholeheartedly personal and establish a trustworthy relationship.

Direct Mail Cuts Through the Online Noise

Slicing through the noise of digital channels to reach consumers on a personal level is the challenge facing every marketer. Many overlook the effectiveness of traditional marketing channels such as direct mail. If you can analyze the data you have collected on your target audience, you can create compelling content and place it in the consumer’s hands with direct mail. There is a misconception that the younger generations, particularly millennials, are not responsive to direct mail. But in reality, 36% of people under 30 look forward to checking the mail each day. And 66% of millennials are more likely to use a voucher if they have a physical copy to carry around. I speculate this is because vouchers in digital form are saved or archived for the purpose of using it in the future but then simply just become forgotten. It is much easier to forget something when using a device because our attention might be pulled away to Facebook or even a new text message.

Companies have also seen a boost in sales because of direct mail. For example, retailers have seen a $21 million dollar difference in online sales per million site visitors between those who had received a catalog at their home address and those that had not. Although you might think people would throw away catalogs they receive in the mail, Boden customers spend up to 15 to 20 minutes with their catalog, vs. an average of 8 seconds for an email and 5 minutes with their iPad app. Digital channels are simply so fast moving that often times the message does not reach its desired destination and result.

The bottom line is that people are still very interested in receiving something physical in the mail. To be more precise, 70% of people are curious to find out what’s in their mailbox. So take advantage of people’s curiosity. Surprise them with something that they never expected, and compel them to act with your piece of direct mail.

Every Door Direct Mail – New Expanded Features!

 

If your company currently uses direct mail, the US Postal Service has just introduced a great new tool to increase the effectiveness of your campaigns. Or if you’re not currently doing mail campaigns, this may give you an added incentive to give direct mail a try.

The new initiative is called Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) and it adds significant ability to research and customize your mail delivery before even finalizing the mailer.  And the best part is, it’s totally free to use, aside from the standard postal fees, of course.

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Postcards Are Still One Of The Most Cost-Effective Methods Of Outreach

There are so many different ways of reaching out to customers these days that it’s hard to even settle on which methods to use.  Plus, the rush of technology means there’s always potential to deploy thelatest-and-greatest gimmicks to grab people’s attention.

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Direct Mail Postcards Are Cost Effective!

If you’re looking for the cheapest and easiest way to get your message out to a wide segment of the public, especially a segment based on local geography, there’s often no better option than standard direct mail postcards.  When ordered in bulk, each only costs a few cents -or less- to print and mail, making them the most cost-effective option for mass terrestrial messaging.

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Grow_Your_Business_with_Direct_Mail

Grow your business with mailing services

In the rush to adopt all the new electronic mediums in advertising – the Internet, email, blogs, etc – it’s easy for a business to overlook the cheapest and most widely-seen of all marketing ventures: Simple postal mailing services. People may be “cutting the cord” in terms of their phone and TV services, but everyone still gets postal mail.

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