Monday, June 19, 2017

3 Tips for Optimizing Your Multichannel Marketing

Want to energize your print campaign? Combine print with other media to amplify its effect.
The most common channel pairing with print these days is email, but you might also want to consider text messaging, banner ads, social media (such as Facebook), and search engine advertising, as well. Each channel has different benefits depending on your marketing goals and the target audience you are trying to reach.
No matter which channels you choose, here are some basic guidelines to keep in mind:
1. Maintain consistent branding across all channels.
Different media have different requirements, so you can’t maintain 100% cross-channel consistency all the time. But whenever possible, use the same images, color schemes, primary messaging, and offers to maintain a consistent brand image and a consistent brand message.
2. Think strategically.
Know what role each channel is supposed to play. If you are going to combine email with print, what are you trying to accomplish? Are you trying to create awareness and anticipation of the print piece? Are you using email as a reminder to respond? Maybe if you’re driving traffic to a campaign-specific website, you might want to consider banner advertising in demographic hot spots.
3. Create appropriate channel-audience pairings.
Ensure that you are selecting the best combination of channels to communicate with your target audience. You’re not going to reach as many retirees with text marketing as you are Millennials, for example, and social media preferences vary, as well. Sixty-five percent of GenXers and Baby Boomers say their favorite social media network is Facebook, and while Millennials overall prefer Facebook, too, among younger Millennials (ages 18-24), the favored social media network is Instagram.   
There is a learning curve associated with multichannel marketing, but the ability to amplify and reinforce your marketing message can be invaluable. Need help matching your channels to your marketing goals? Just ask!

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Paper Coupons Are Alive and Well

Despite the popularity of mobile coupons and discount apps, consumers are slow to give up their paper coupons.
eMarketer estimates that 52% of adults will use digital coupons in 2017, up from 51% in 2016 and 48% in 2015. Growth is expected to continue through the forecast period (2017-2021), although that growth will gradually slow from 3.8% in 2017 to 2.1% in 2021.
Consumers clearly love the convenience of digital coupons, particularly mobile ones (eMarketer estimates that, of digital coupons users, 93% are using mobile versions), but slow growth points to deeper challenges that paper doesn't seem to have.
Why do consumers love paper coupons? According to eMarketer:
  • They love the familiarity.
  • They like finding all of their coupons in a single place (circulars) rather than having to wait for them to show upon on their phones or go hunting for them when they want them.
Take one retail category where coupon use is heavy — grocery. A February 2017 survey by Market Track found that when it comes to deals on grocery items, 59% of adult consumers search print circulars compared to only 32% using digital coupons, 23% using the circular’s digital version, and 12% downloading coupons from the retailer’s site.
Although growth in digital coupons may be slow, it is growing. By 2021, 55% of the U.S. consumer population is expected to be using digital coupons.  
However, while consumers may not be ready to switch from paper yet, don’t be exclusive, either. Not every consumer wants to use coupons the same way, and paper and digital coupons will continue to share the stage for some time to come. Continue to give consumers a choice!

URL: https://retail.emarketer.com/article/emarketer-forecast-us-consumers-slow-let-go-of-paper-coupons/

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Study Tests Effectiveness of Mailing Formats

What happens when you create a marketing promotion from a fictitious travel agency to test the effectiveness of different mailing formats? RAPP Germany, a multichannel marketing agency, hired Neilsen to find out.
With all other factors equal, RAPP wanted to know, which techniques would be most successful? It tested five mailing formats: standard envelopes, printed envelopes, self-mailers, wrappers, and email. It found that envelopes have a tremendous impact on the effectiveness of the direct marketing piece, especially if they are personalized.
According to the study, while custom-manufactured envelopes have the highest open rate of all of the marketing techniques tested (85%), personalization is key to success. For example, recipients who received non-personalized mailings were three times more likely to throw the mail in the trash or delete it than recipients who received a personalized mailing.
Even when recipients were predisposed to the marketing message, recipients of personalized messaging were more likely to indicate that they intended to investigate the travel offer further. Forty-four percent of those receiving the personalized mailings said they would investigate the travel offer compared to 37% of those who received static mailings.
Mailings received via a personalized, printed envelope were also more likely to be passed along to friends and family. According to the survey, marketing messages mailed in personalized envelopes were twice as likely to be passed along to others (14% vs. 8%) than personalized emails.
Want to increase your response rates? Personalize your message inside and out!

Source: “Consumers Value Physical Mail, Even In This Digital Era,” Print in the Mix (www.printinthemix.com)

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Thursday, May 18, 2017

Want More Reasons to Add Color? Here It Is!

When we think about adding color to marketing pieces, we often think about photos, charts, and graphs. But color can be added in many other ways, as well. These include highlight text, brightly colored banners, borders, and backgrounds, and symbols such as starbursts and arrows. 
Why think about more places to add color? According to Shoshana Burger, director of corporate strategy and customer insights for X-Rite Pantone, there are some powerful reasons:
  • People are 78% more likely to remember words and phrases in color.
  • Time spent reading a document is 80% higher in color.
  • Basic understanding of content is 80% higher in color.
  • Color increases brand recognition by 87%.
  • 65% of purchasing decisions involve color.
  • Color printing is 55% more likely to be read than black-and-white.
  • Response time is 30% faster in color.
  • When used in promotions, color increases the likelihood of purchase by 80%.
“Eighty percent of our human experience is filtered through visual cues,” noted Burger, speaking in a presentation titled “The Power of Color in Communications,” hosted by Printing Impressions magazine.  “Color also creates an emotional connection. Choosing the right color, and how that color conveys to the right user, is important.”
So look for ways to increase the use of color in your next mailing. Add a colored background to a text box. Use highlight color in your text to draw attention to offers or critical product details. Add an extra image, chart, or graph, or enlarge a colorful image that you already have.

Whatever you do, get more color in there!


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How Do You Know Your Efforts Are Working?

Creating a personalized print or multichannel marketing campaign takes significant investment in time, energy, and resources. You want to get maximum return on your investment. How do you know what is working and what isn’t? You have to measure the results.  
Measuring results goes beyond determining ROI. Sure, it’s important to know what kind of return you are getting, but it’s just as important to ask why you got the results you did. What factors influenced the conversion rate and value per sale? Why was this campaign more or less effective than the one before?
Say you give respondents a chance to win a sweepstakes for $500 if they log into a website and fill out a survey. The campaign generates a 5% response rate with 28% of those responses converting to sales of $200 each. It’s important to calculate the ROI on this campaign, but it’s equally important to test which parts of the campaign were responsible for the results and what happens if you change them.
For example, what if you increase the incentive to $2,500? Does the response rate go up? If so, does the dollar per sale increase, as well? Or does it not have a significant effect on the response rate or value per sale at all?
Don’t stop at one or even two tests. Analyze over time.
  • If you increase the incentive even more, does the response rate continue to go up? Or does it flatten out?
  • Does the effectiveness change based on the audience you are targeting?
  • Does a sweepstakes to win a free mountain bike motivate one audience, while a Nintendo Wii motivates another?
Mix it up, and test, test, test. This is critical intelligence that will help you refine your programs over time and get the maximum results out of your marketing dollars.

Need help? Just ask!


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Guide to Being Authentic

Whether you are writing copy for direct mail, email, social media, or mobile video, it is important to be authentic. People buy from people, so create marketing copy that is believable and that makes people want to buy from you. But like everything else, being authentic still takes planning. Here are five tips for keeping it real.
1. Be human.  Don’t sound like a corporate brochure. Instead of saying, “We’re going to leverage our core competency to shift the paradigm,” say, “As experts in this area, we’re going to do something new and exciting.” Use common language. Speak in a way that your audience can relate to.
2. Be passionate.  Passion is contagious. When someone argues deeply and passionately about an environmental cause, a weekend hobby, or an outstanding vacation destination, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement. Even if your product is as dry as Melba toast, find something to get excited about, then write from that source of passion.
3. Be vulnerable. Studies consistently show that consumers are more likely to trust a company that admits its flaws and failings but is honest about them and works hard to correct them than one who claims that all paths lead to success. Vulnerability is real, and we relate to it. Vulnerability builds trust.
4. Be honest. Don’t exaggerate the truth, and don’t make promises you can’t keep. If consumers sense that you’re not being honest about one or more elements of your marketing pitch, they will question the truthfulness of all of it.

5. Have fun. Have some fun in your marketing. Use humor, lighthearted pictures, and an element of surprise now and then. We have enough things in our lives that are dull and boring. Don’t make your product one of them.

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Thursday, April 20, 2017

3 Areas Where Direct Mail Beats Email

Don’t get us wrong—we love email. Like every marketing channel, email has an important place in the marketing mix. But with the pressure that marketers often experience to go all digital, it’s important to remind ourselves of some of the unique benefits offered by direct mail.
1. Direct mail doesn’t require an opt-in.
Before you can send a marketing email, you need to get the recipient’s permission. If people don’t want to receive your emails, they can block them. If they have opted in and later change their minds, they can simply opt back out. Direct mail doesn’t have these restrictions.
2. Direct mail doesn’t land in the spam folder.  
Direct mail doesn’t have spam restrictions. If you send direct mailers to accurate physical addresses, your target audience will receive them. 
3. In a B2B environment when the recipient moves onto a new job, direct mail still finds a target.
When your contact leaves the company for a new position, their email addresses are no longer valid and your marketing emails will bounce. However, direct mail still ends up on the desk of the next person to take their job. Not only does your message still find a target, but you have just introduced yourself to a new contact.
Both direct mail and email are powerful marketing tools, but they are not replacements for one another. Each has a role to play and offers benefits unique to that channel. Use direct mail and email individually, or better yet, create an integrated campaign in which they work together. But don’t think of either as a replacement for the other.
Want to learn more about the differences between direct mail and email?

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