Posts

Top 7 Statistics For Direct Mail in 2017

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.

Variable Data Printing

5 Reasons Why Your Business Should Use Variable Data Printing

5 Reasons Why Your Business Should Use Variable Data Printing

        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.

 

Long-Term Benefits

        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.

 

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.  

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.

 

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.

Direct_Mail_Company_Tempe_az

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.

Direct_Mail_Marketing_One_Stop_Mail

Building a Successful Direct Mail Campaign

Crafting a Successful Direct Mail Campaign

 

With a well-rounded understanding of the difference between branding and marketing, irresistible offers, and direct mail campaign tracking methods, any business can craft a successful marketing campaign. We will create a sample marketing campaign to show the benefits and ease of creation for even small business owners.

 

Branding or Marketing

 

Quality-Auto Used Cars is gearing up for an end of summer marketing campaign. They are purchasing many used vehicles and know they need to sell 200 vehicles during their upcoming weekend event. Jeff, the marketing specialist for the dealership, determines they need a marketing campaign due to their expectations of trackable results, not simply brand recognition for the dealership. With the understanding that getting people onto the car lot will require incentives, the dealership staff begins to brainstorm ideas.

 

Crafting an Irresistible Offer

 

A successful marketing campaign will have a strong core offering that attracts the ideal customer. The dealership staff discuss core offerings for some time and ultimately decide every attendee will receive a hot dog and soda during the “End of Summer Blowout BBQ”. All test drivers who purchase a vehicle will receive a $100 gas card, and 3 lucky winners will receive a BBQ smoker.

 

Implementing a Tracking Method

 

Quality-Auto Used Cars decides they will design the direct mail campaign postcard as cut-out tickets which can be used as food vouchers, and raffle prize entry tickets. This allows the dealership to track the turnout based on the amount of direct mail marketing postcards. The dealership will ask customers where they heard of the event during the sale process to ensure all vehicle sales resulting from the direct mail campaign are given due credit.

 

Contacting a Direct Mail Marketing Company

 

Jeff, the dealerships marketing specialist contacts Tony from One Stop Mail to get help with the direct mail marketing campaign. Tony suggests using One Stop Mail’s graphic design services to create a captivating illustration for the direct mail postcards. Once Jeff approves the final design, One Stop Mail uses Every Door Direct Mail, a USPS service, to deliver the postcard to all homes within a 5-mile radius of the dealership. One Stop Mail handles the difficult work and ensures the postcards are printed, sorted, and delivered at the local post office to be mailed by USPS.

 

Analyzing the Campaign

 

Now that the team at Quality-Auto Used cars completes their weekend long sale event, they can analyze the campaign see the benefit of direct mail marketing. Iterations are important in all forms of marketing. As a result, the dealership staff determines they want to run a second mail marketing campaign using variable data printing, to ensure all prospects who did not purchase a car, will receive a voucher for a free oil change and tire rotation with purchase of a vehicle. This remarketing allows the dealership to capture a greater percentage of consumers who showed an initial interest in a vehicle and attended the sale event, With variable data printing, the dealership was able to customize each letter sent, using the name of each person who test-drove a vehicle to add a personalized touch and increase the response rate.

 

Direct_Mail_Marketing_Tracking_Methods_One_Stop_Mail

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 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.

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 main line 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 nonintrusive 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.

This article is part 3 of a 4 part series covering:

Branding or Marketing?
What Makes an Offer Irresistible?
Direct Mail Tracking Methods
Crafting a Successful Direct Mail Campaign

OSM_What_Is_A_Good_Offer

What Makes an Offer Irresistible?

A successful marketing campaign will be meticulously crafted from beginning through end to maximize conversions. The core foundation of creating a successful campaign begins with establishing an irresistible offer. Whether a lead magnet, tripwire or standard promotion is used, incentive’s will 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 provides 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.

Examples 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 where they hope to identify 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 3 at full price.

 

Not All Offers Are Created Equally

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.

 

This article is part 1 of a 4 part series covering:

Branding or Marketing?

What Makes an Offer Irresistible?

Direct Mail Tracking Methods

Crafting a Successful Direct Mail Campaign

Branding_Marketing_One_Stop_Mail

Branding or Marketing?

Branding or Marketing?

 

Anytime you’re creating a new marketing campaign you find yourself asking a sleuth of questions. 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 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 trackable 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.

 

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.

 

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 trackable 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 the 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.

 

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.

 

 

This article is part 1 of a 4 part series covering:

Branding or Marketing?

What Makes an Offer Irresistible?

Direct Mail Tracking Methods

Crafting a Successful Direct Mail Campaign