Wednesday, September 20, 2017

When Is Personal Too Personal?

One of the benefits of 1:1 marketing is the ability to increase the relevance of each communication by making the message more personal. By using the information you already know about the recipient, you can communicate on a more intimate, 1:1 level.
But this approach can also be misused. Individuals and businesses are very protective of their privacy these days, and rightly so. Customers want to know that their data is not only safe but that the marketers they do business with won't misuse it.
What are some first steps you can take to ensure that your customers and prospects know that you care about their privacy?
  • Include an official privacy statement in your information-gathering materials.
  • If you are collecting data, include a notice of physical and data security procedures and a promise of confidentiality.
  • When personalizing your marketing messages, don’t disclose overly personal details (“Hey, Bob! Ready to default on that sky-high mortgage?”).
  • Be transparent. Provide full details about what respondents have to do to receive any prizes or promotional items.
  • Follow all opt-in regulations, including double opt-ins for email lists and providing the option to opt-out of future marketing contacts.
  • Assure that respondents’ information will not be sold to third parties.

Privacy standards, both in print and online, are always evolving. So stay abreast of the discussion. Talk to your customers to find out any other concerns and address them. The more you can assure your customers that their personal information is safe with you and that it will be used appropriately, the more you will win their trust.

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Old Vs. New Media: Which Is Better?

When it comes to the effectiveness of local advertising, which is better, traditional media or new media? The answer might surprise you.
When local advertisers asked about which channels are most effective for building their businesses, Borrell Associates found that companies rated both equally. On a scale of 1 to 5, traditional media ranked 2.83, while digital media ranked 2.86.
“The push and pull between ‘old’ media and ‘new’ has occluded the fact that both are effective means of advertising products and services,” notes Borrell in its Chart of the Week [1]. “There are differences within each, however: the kings of traditional media, according to advertisers, are television and direct mail; the kings of digital are social, search, and email.”
So if you think that traditional channels are waning in favor of digital ones, think again. Traditional channels, including direct mail, remain strong for a simple reason. They work.
Source: Borrell’s Annual Survey of Local Advertisers, April-August 2017; n = 3,508 responses.

[1] https://www.borrellassociates.com/surveys

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Sell More by Educating Your Customers

Are most of your marketing campaigns used for direct sales? If so, why not mix it up? Try using your next mailer to offer advice or a helping hand instead. It’s a great way to sell products and deepen customer loyalty at the same time.
Just look at Home Depot. Why do you think it offers free seminars on do-it-yourself projects? Sure, seminars offer great advice, but they also generate additional sales for the home improvement giant. Attendees learn about a new product or technique, then while they are excited and motivated to try something new, they buy materials for completing one of those projects while they are right there in the store.
Think about all the products that get sold from a seminar on sponge painting, for example. Out of one event, the retailer might sell things like:
  • paint
  • sponges
  • paint rollers
  • rolling pans
  • paint brushes
  • edging tape
  • edging blades
They will probably also sell a bunch of unrelated items such as light bulbs, lawn fertilizer, and kitchen drawer hardware pulls, too.   
Think about the products and services that you offer. What educational materials could be developed around those products? How could seminars, newsletters, even tips and tricks postcards promote sales indirectly by offering ideas and solutions and letting customers get excited enough to try them or develop their own ideas?

Let us help you develop a direct mail campaign promoting your next educational effort!

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Thursday, August 24, 2017

5 Copy Tips for Better Direct Mail Response

Target Marketing recently published a terrific article on generating responses with direct mail. It doesn’t point to data-driven personalization, multichannel integration, or psychographic targeting, although all of these are important strategies. The article talks about the basics of effective marketing. We’ll summarize the points here and illustrate them with a TV commercial most of us will recognize: “Not You” from Realtor.com.

1. Create an either/or scenario.

In this scenario, there are two options: use your product, and things go well, use the other guy’s product and invoke disaster.

2. Use a real-world story to illustrate the consequences of the two choices.

Realtor.com does a great job with this. In the TV commercial, two women are looking at online pictures of the house one of them is buying. A third woman shows up and complains that this is the house she wanted. There are two primary characters here: you, who used Realtor.com to find and purchase the house quickly, and “not you” who didn’t use Realtor.com and missed out.  Whether we’re in the market for a new home or not, this is a scenario with which we can all relate.

3. KISS — keep it simple.

Direct mail isn’t the place to get technical. You are creating a scenario and tapping emotions to make your point. In the world of direct mail, simple sticks.

4. Focus on solving a problem.  

Realtor.com does this especially well. Problem: I don’t want someone else to get the house I want. Solution: Use Realtor.com.  Everyone understands this simple problem-solution scenario. 

5. Use images to evoke emotion.

In direct mail, you have a matter of seconds to convince the recipient that the piece is worth their time to pick up and read. People process visual information much more quickly than text, so use images to your advantage!

Direct mail is a powerful tool for getting a message into people’s hands quickly. Use these tips to make the most of the opportunity!


http://www.targetmarketingmag.com/post/how-to-generate-response-with-your-direct-mail/



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Why Foil Stamping?

Printed collateral, direct mail, and other printed marketing communications remain the bedrock of successful marketing campaigns, but their “look” is changing.
Consumers today, especially Millennials, are drawn to marketing touches that produce an experience. They love the novelty of print, and their ability to handle a tangible, quality piece stands out in the crush of electronic messaging. But not just any print will do. It has to be intriguing. This is where foil stamping comes in. Sure foil stamping costs more, but it can pay great dividends.
There are two types of foil stamping: hot stamping and cold foil transfer. Both create an elegant, standout look that says, “You matter enough to go the extra mile.”
Hot stamping is used to create the look of richness, quality, and elegance. In this process, the foil is applied to the substrate under the heat and pressure of a hot die. The process costs more than cold foil transfer but creates extremely precise images.
Cold foil transfer uses a photopolymer printing plate to transfer the substrate. The stock and the film are placed under light pressure between the plate and an aluminum roller and exposed to ultraviolet light to cure and bond the foil in the image area.  The process costs less than hot foil stamping, but the images are less precise.
Here are a few other important things to know about foil stamping:
  • Comes in a wide range of colors, both metallic and nonmetallic.
  • Comes in both gloss and matte versions.
  • Available in special effects versions, including marble, wood grain, and leather, as well as in holographic versions.
  • Most foil stamping is done over smooth stocks, but it can also be applied to textured stocks. When this happens, it will take on some of the texture of the stock beneath it. Foil stamping can also be combined with embossing to create a raised image.
  • Because foil is opaque, it does not change color regardless of the substrate on which it is used. This makes it great for use on darker and colored papers.

Foil stamping can offer tremendous benefits for the right projects and really creates breakthrough effects for the right audiences. Talk to us about when and where foil stamping will work for you. 

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Best Practices in Personalized Marketing

If you want great marketing results, it’s important to personalize text, images, and other content based on what you know about the recipient. But just dropping in data-driven content doesn’t guarantee success. Sometimes other factors can dull your results. Maybe the offer is great, but the design is so uninteresting that nobody reads it. Or the headline is snappy and the design is great, but there is no incentive for people to respond.
Let’s look at three best practices that need to be the foundation of any personalized print campaign.
·         Traditional marketing rules apply. Even with personalized marketing, traditional rules hold firm. Ultimately, all of the elements — creative, message (including personalization), offer, segmentation, call to action, and incentive —need to come together to determine success. 
·         Focus on relevance, not “personalization.” It doesn’t matter how “personalized” a document is. If it isn’t relevant, it is worthless. Take the shoe market. You don’t want to sell orthopedic shoes to teenagers. You can deck out the mailer with text messaging terms, pictures of X-Games, and use all the contemporary lingo, but it’s not a relevant message unless a teen needs to purchase a birthday present for grandpa.
·         Know your customers, then market to what you know. When the National Hockey League began 1:1 communication with its customers, it asked them to fill out a survey that indicated that 40% of the of NHL’s fan base lives outside their favorite team’s home market. That means these fans can’t easily go to games or access highlights. Imagine the opportunity for the league! So ask yourself, what don’t you know about your customers now that might allow you to create relevance in a more powerful way later? Do a customer mail or email survey. Use what you find out to speak directly to the needs and interests of your customers.

Investing in your marketing database and developing an intimate understanding of your customers takes time, dedicated resources, and manpower, but it is one of the most important investments you can make. Personalization is a powerful tool, but to get the big pay-off, it cannot work alone.

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Friday, July 21, 2017

Did You Know Personalized Printing Is Green Printing?

When you think about personalization, do you think about lower cost per lead, higher per order values, and increased ROI? You should. But you should also get excited about how personalized printing helps you go green.
Here are three reasons why:
  • Targeting means you send out fewer pieces of mail—saving trees, chemicals, and fossil fuels.
  • A cleaner database means that your recipients deliver fewer pieces right to the trash can.
  • Digital production has many green benefits, including no plates, no chemicals, and no spray powders.
Say you are a small college printing four-color catalogs to mail to prospective students. Each catalog is 252 pages, covering the full range of disciplines and activities. As a result, only 25% of the material is relevant to the prospective student. Now, instead of printing 252 pages, you print 64 pages of material relevant to each student. Not only does this increase the effectiveness of each booklet, but you’ve just reduced your consumption of paper, ink, and chemicals by 75%.
As another example, in a static mail campaign, you might send out 15,000 postcards to a generic list. With personalized mail, you are likely to select only a percentage of that list. This might be the top 10% of your customers, customers who are most likely to purchase certain products or customers who, based on defined triggers (such as an expiring auto lease), are most likely to be in the market for a new purchase. Now, instead of mailing 15,000 pieces, you might mail only 1,500. Not only are these offers more targeted and relevant, but you’ve just reduced your printing and mailing volume by 90%, a huge slash in your carbon footprint.
It pays to be green. Not only should you consider green alternatives because it’s the right thing to do, but also because it’s good business. Consumers want to do business with companies that are good stewards of the environment.

So double marketing dip—personalize it!

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