Thursday, November 29, 2018

Why Some Personalized Mailings Just Work Better


When it comes to increasing response and conversion rates, personalized communications are a powerful tool. However, don’t think that all personalization is equal. It isn’t. To get great results, you must use the right variables with the right audience in the right way.

Response rates for personalized mailings can vary widely. One study found response rates ranging from 6% to 75%, with an average of 21%. These are some eye-catching numbers, but why is the range so wide? To understand the variation and set realistic expectations for your own campaigns, it’s helpful to ask specific questions.
•    What type of campaign was it? Customer acquisition? Customer retention?
•    What kind of list did you use? Highly targeted, moderately targeted, or undifferentiated lists will yield different results.
•    Did recipients have a previous relationship with your company?  Or are you using a prospect list? 
•    What is the value of the product? Are you marketing a webinar or selling a Tesla? 
•    Did per-order value go up with personalization, and if so, by how much?  A “low” response rate combined with a high per-order value will often net you better ROI than a high response rate with low per-order value.
•    How are you measuring success? Response rates? Conversion rates? Cost per lead? Average sale? Each measurement tells a different story.
The answers to such questions can have a dramatic impact on understanding ROI. So before setting your expectations for your next personalized mailing, talk to us about your goals, expectations, and the data you are working with. Setting realistic expectations is a critical component to making your 1:1 print program a success.

Please give us a call at 440-946-0606
Or visit our website here for more information.



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Want to Keep Customers? Ask Their Opinion (Then Act on It)


Want to keep your customers loyal and continuing to shop from you? Ask their opinion . . . then act on what you learn.
One of the most important ways you can value someone is to ask their opinion. When you ask what they think, it makes them feel important. From a marketing perspective, this deepens customer engagement and solidifies their loyalty.  If you actually act on what you learn from those customers, so much the better.
Let’s look at an example. A regional grocery store chain was experiencing increased competitive pressure from a large national chain and wanted to preserve its most valuable customer relationships. The chain sent two personalized surveys to its top 400 customers: one in the fall and one in the spring.
The first survey included six survey questions and a letter addressed to the shopper, signed by the store manager. The second was a follow-up to find out how well the chain had addressed the concerns raised in the first survey. Recipients of the second mailer also received a personalized cover letter from the store manager.
The surveys received a 52% response rate. While specific data on customer retention was not provided, a research study conducted by Rice University and published in Harvard Business Review found that, over the course of a year, customers who received similar customer surveys were twice as likely to continue their relationship with the company than those who did not.[1] We can assume a similar result here.
Once people have made a purchase from you, they are your customers to lose. Show them that you care what they think, that their opinions are valuable, and that you will act on information they share with you. They will reward you with their loyalty.
Need help designing a customer survey to incorporate into your next mailing? Let us help!




[1] “Sending out a Survey to Customers Can Double Sales,” by Vivek Bhaskaran, www.questionpro.com.

Please give us a call at 440-946-0606
Or visit our website here for more information.


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3 Approaches to Measuring Results

When you invest in any marketing effort, you want to know if it’s working. There are many approaches to results measurement, and the right choice for any marketing campaign will depend on your marketing goals. For numerous marketers, response rates are the first measurement they use. But there are other measures that are more telling.
Let’s look at three of them. 
1. CPL (cost per lead). When you are developing a mail campaign, it’s easy to focus on the price per piece. It’s hard for personalized mailers to compete with high-volume static mail on a cost basis, but everything changes when you look at what your program costs per lead.
If you mail 100,000 postcards at $.25 each (including postage), that’s a project cost of $25,000. If that campaign achieves a 1% response rate, that’s 250 leads at the cost of $100 per lead. On the other hand, if you mail 25,000 personalized mailers at $1.00 each, that is still a project cost of $25,000. However, if you achieve a 12% response rate, that’s 3,000 leads. Now your cost per lead drops to $8.33!
2. CPS (cost per sale). Not all leads translate into sales. To find out what it costs you to actually close a sale, divide the number of people who make a purchase into your total costs. If only 33% of respondents to the above campaign make a purchase, for example, your cost per sale is $300 for the static campaign, while for the personalized campaign, it is $25.00.
3. LCV (lifetime customer value). The value of the sale often goes beyond the initial purchase. If personalized communications woo the buyer of one automaker to another, and if that customer becomes loyal to that brand, the return on investment from that mailing piece includes the value of every car purchased by that customer over his or her lifetime. This is an important metric for marketers of long-term purchases, such as automobiles, financial products, and insurance.
The bottom line? Before you measure your results in any print campaign, make sure you understand all of the available measuring sticks, then use the one(s) that are the most meaningful to you.

Please give us a call at 440-946-0606
Or visit our website here for more information.


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Friday, October 12, 2018

Every Door Direct Mail: Your Secret Weapon

If you run a local business or a larger regional or national organization that relies on sales and support from local neighborhoods, the United States Postal Service’s Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) might be just what you need to take your marketing to the next level. If you haven’t tried EDDM, you could be missing a tremendous asset in your mix.
EDDM is perfect for the following:
  • Increasing awareness.
  • Boosting traffic at retail locations.
  • Promoting special offers or events.
  • Delivering coupons.
  • Driving new customer acquisition.
If you aren’t familiar with EDDM, it just might be the most cost-effective way to reach local customers using direct mail.  It’s simple and does not require mailing permits, paperwork, or drop-offs at the Post Office.
To use EDDM, go to the USPS’s EDDM mapping tool, enter the desired ZIP Code(s), and select the carrier routes you want to mail to. If you’re going to mail to specific demographic audiences, such as by age, income, or household size, you can identify the best ZIP Codes to reach them.
So what are some things you need to know to take the most advantage of the program?
1. EDDM addresses to LOCAL POSTAL CUSTOMER, so you won’t be able to personalize by name. Instead, design a great mailer to grab attention and gather more detailed customer data on the back end.
2.  Make sure that EDDM is a good fit for your marketing goals. Your offer is not going to be relevant to every household in your chosen ZIP Code(s), so make sure the products or services you are selling are relevant to enough of your audience for the promotion to make sense.
3. Invest in the front end. Because you cannot personalize with EDDM, you’ll need to be creative. Use high-quality images. Write a compelling call to action. Tell a powerful story.
Every Door Direct Mail is an excellent tool for the right campaigns. Give us a call to see what it can do for you!

Please give us a call at 440-946-0606
Or visit our website here for more information.


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Should You Gamify Direct Mail?


As you brainstorm ideas for making your direct mail more engaging, have you considered gamification? In this strategy, you turn your direct mail pieces into components of a game. You might deliver game boards, tokens, or pieces of a puzzle. Gamification creates an element of fun and engages your target audience in a fresh and interesting way.

In an article written for Marketing magazine, Jennifer Browers, director of loyalty marketing, Epsilon, listed four benefits of gamification. We added number five.
1. Takes the dull out of onboarding.
Introduce your products by letting recipients learn about them by adding pieces to a game board. Or mail out a series of surveys over a period of time, allowing you to gather data on your customers while they earn prizes for the surveys they complete.
2. Get your competition on.
Create competition between household members or colleagues in the same organization.  Or create a group challenge for members of a team.
3. Bidder, bidder, bidder! 
Browers points out that auctions are a form of gamification, too. Nonprofits can really benefit from this strategy.
4. Buddy up for a good cause. 
Rewards earned in games can be used for a variety of purposes. Consider allowing recipients to donate the prizes they earn to programs and causes they care about.
5. Create long-term engagement.
Games create engagement that lasts over time.  It gives you an opportunity to send a marketing touch every few days or week.  These are contacts that your customers and prospects will not only tolerate, but actually look forward to. That’s marketing gold!
Are you ready for marketing gold? Let’s get your gamification on!

Please give us a call at 440-946-0606
Or visit our website here for more information.

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Securing Your Customers’ Loyalty


Your customers are a hot commodity. Everybody wants them. So how do you keep them loyal to you? Make your relationship so great that they don’t want to go anywhere else.
1. Market in the age of “me.”  
Know your customers well enough to give them a personalized experience. This goes beyond targeting with basic demographics like gender, age, and household income. Look at the channels your customers respond to, when they make purchases, and what they buy. Acting on this data helps your customers see that you know and care about them. It helps with cross-sells and upsells, too!
2. Coupons galore!
Consumers have a love affair with coupons, including mobile. According to Juniper Research, mobile coupons are 10x more likely to be used than printed coupons.
3. Don’t be channel agnostic.
Know which channels your customers are most likely to respond to, then use them. If a customer requires two emails to respond but responds the first time to direct mail, get them on the “mail first” list. If someone else is more likely to respond to an email than a printed newsletter, get them on the “email first” list. Keep your branding, message, and imaging consistent regardless of channel.
4. Ask their opinion.
Use response cards, personalized URLs, and other survey mechanisms to get your customers’ opinion on products, services, and potential business changes. When one specialty retailer wanted to give its location a facelift, it used a targeted direct mail piece with personalized URLs to ask its customers about products and services they wanted but the company didn’t offer. It got an earful! The retailer incorporated the most popular suggestions, and its sales soared.
5. Remember to say “thank you.”
Everyone likes to be appreciated. Send a personalized “thank you” letter, postcard, or other mailer once in a while. Attach a no-strings coupon or discount just to engender their goodwill . . . and you will.
Gaining customer loyalty doesn’t have to be rocket science. You just have to put in the effort.  

Please give us a call at 440-946-0606
Or visit our website here for more information.

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Friday, September 7, 2018

Don't Let Print Buying Stress You Out


Does print buying stress you out? There are so many details that can make or break a print job. Then you have finishing, mailing lists, dealing with the USPS. . . . and oh, yes, schedules. Print buying can be a daunting task. Try these common sense strategies to make your experience more predictable and (hopefully) stress-free.

1. Get into our ears. By involving us early in your project, you will get a high quality result while saving time and money. Tell us your concept, then we will suggest colors, papers, layouts, and finishes that can minimize production time at the best cost.

Plan backwards. Given today’s advances in printing technology, buyers often underestimate the time required to deliver a job. Sure, we may be printing on a digital press, but you still have prepress, proofing, special order requirements, and finishing. Providing ample lead time will save money by preventing rush charges.

Know your specs. The more explicit your instructions, the more likely you are to be happy with the quality and cost of the end product. One missing piece of information or last-minute change can delay a cost estimate, proof, or final production.

Proof everything. We will alert you if we identify errors in your file, but we aren’t experts in your marketing copy—you are. Your print job cannot move into the next stage of production until you sign off on the proof, and that includes your copy.

Even if you do not have a job to submit today, give us a call so we can start preplanning your next project. Together, we can create a stress-free print buying experience that will exceed your expectations for quality, efficiency, and cost.

Please give us a call at 440-946-0606
Or visit our website here for more information.

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