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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.

 

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Data and Direct Mail: The Marketing Dynamic Duo

Direct mail remains as one of the most rewarding marketing assets available for anyone’s multichannel strategy. Marketers today now have better data to inform them on their target audience, allowing them to make their direct mail copy more impactful and well timed. This is why I am calling these two the dynamic duo, for they will be able to help you win the marketing battle with your direct mail campaign.

With Data Comes Deeper Personalization

 

Data tells us all the things we want to know about our target audience: their preferences, what they are most interested in, and where they are located. Rather than blasting out general direct mail pieces, you can now incorporate this data so that you can achieve deeper personalization and connect with people more meaningfully than ever before.  In fact, according to a JWT report, almost eight out of ten Millennials—the biggest segment of B-to-B buyers

—said print makes them feel more connected than digital.” Moreover, according to an Epsilon study, more than half of the US consumers prefer direct mail over email. It seems we have achieved a role reversal. Before, most mailboxes were cluttered, making it more difficult to stand out with direct mail. Now, as mail volume has declined and email has gone up, it has made it easier for someone to engage with a direct mail piece since it removes the delete button out of the equation.

 

Direct Mail Is More Likely to Get A Response

 

With consumer interest still high with direct mail, you can expect greater engagement with your materials as well as an increase in consumer response. Email is much easier to ignore than a piece of direct mail. Most of us would expect that people would just shred their unwanted mail or open it while standing over their kitchen trash bin. However, 70% to 80% of consumers actually open most of their mail,m including the stuff they would label as “junk.” according to a 2014 poll by the DMA. But the big kicker is how direct mail is able to transcend demographics, especially with younger people who you would assume respond significantly more to digital marketing campaigns over direct mail. On the contrary,  another study found that 92% of young shoppers prefer direct mail for making purchasing decisions. By informing your copy with data, you can give these shoppers the information they want to better influence their next purchase.

 

If you haven’t heard it enough before then here it is again—print is not dead. Though we are in an ever growing digital age, this has only allowed us to make our direct mail campaigns more effective. Take advantage of the data your team gathers, and use it to help you make more impactful print advertising materials for your next multi channel marketing campaign—  sharpening the spear tip for your direct mail.

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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