Archive for August, 2014

Boost Revenues by Targeting Lapsed Clients

Did you know that one of your deepest wells for bigger profits is your lapsed customer base? These are customers who have done business with you in the past, but for some reason have not come back.

This isn’t always due to discontent with your company. Sometimes it’s forgetfulness. Sometimes people simply want to try something new, and once they’ve done so, stay with it for convenience. Or a competitor comes along and offers them a deal at just the right time.

Assuming that lapsed customers had a positive relationship with you, re-engagement campaigns targeting those customers can yield tremendous results.

Take the example of one optician in the United Kingdom. In its market, independent opticians have been facing increased price-driven competition from large specialist chains. It fought back using a direct mail campaign with personalized URLs and incentive vouchers to re-activate lapsed clients and increase traffic to the practice.

The results? The practice reported 82 campaign recipients responding to the campaign and spending an average of £150 ($250) each after voucher reduction. This generated an immediate ROI of over 400%.

Want results like that? Talk to us about targeting your lapsed customers!

How Do You Make Marketing Decisions?

How do you plan your print and multi-channel marketing campaigns? Do you trust your intuition? Or do you rely on data to inform your decisions about the most effective way to approach your customers and prospects?

According to a study written by The Economist Intelligence Unit and sponsored by Applied Predictive Technologies (“Decisive Action: How Businesses Make Decisions and How They Could Do It Better,” 2014), executives and senior managers use a range of strategies, including decisions related to marketing. Does one of these categories describe you?

Intuitive (“I primarily use my intuition in making decisions”) 10%
Collaborative (“I seek to collaborate on decisions as much possible”) 32%
Data-Driven (“I collect and analyze data as much as possible before making a decision”) 42%
Empirical (“Where possible, I develop hypotheses and perform tests before making a decision”) 17%

What’s interesting is that, while the plurality of respondents say they rely on data during the decision-making process, they still highly value their own intuition. Even when data is readily available, 73% say they trust their own intuition. Among the data-driven decision-makers, 68% still agree with that statement.

What do you do when the marketing data contradicts your intuition? Let’s say the data tell you that yellow envelopes are most likely to boost response rates during slow periods, but whenever you’ve mailed using purple envelopes, you feel that you get the best results. What then?

You test it! Create a series of A/B tests to see what approach is the most effective at reaching your particular audience. In the case of the envelopes, you might find that both the data and your intuition are correct. Certain envelope colors may boost response more at certain times of the year, for example, around certain holidays, or for certain audiences only.

Need help analyzing and testing your data to develop the most effective mailing campaigns?  Let us help! That’s what we’re here for.

Are You Listening? Or Just Talking?

In your marketing communications, are you building relationship or just selling? What was your last mailing? Was it a catalog? Promotional offer? Sales letter? That’s one-way communication. True communication is a two-way street that involves both speaking and listening.

If you are doing more talking than listening, how do you start a conversation? Here are some ideas.

  • Send out printed surveys and encourage feedback. Offer a discount or coupon when surveys are returned.
  • Use direct mail with personalized URLs to send people to personalized micro-sites where their responses can be automatically appended back into your marketing database and you can easily take advantage of what you’ve learned.
  • Use pop-up surveys on your website to capture customer attitudes online. Use customer email addresses to link comments back to the record for that individual in your larger marketing database.
  • Use your company newsletters as feedback mechanisms. Print customer letters (post positive and critical) and address the issues in a way similar to what magazines do.
  • Read comments to your blog posts, customer reviews of your products, or track conversations about your company in social media. When you see patterns, address those issues in company newsletters, on your company’s Facebook page, and other channels. Let your customers know that you are really listening.

If a customer has bought from you once, that person is already convinced that they can trust your company. Developing two-way communication with those customers reinforces that relationship and increases the chances that they will buy from you again.

How can we help you?

5 Tips for Getting People to Read Your Content

The buzz is all about content marketing these days. Direct mail, newsletters, white papers, social media, blogs. But more important than the channel used to deliver your content is the content itself. Are you giving your audience something they want to read?

Here are give tips for developing content that will engage your customers and prospects and serve as a powerful marketing vehicle for your brand.

1. Develop a strategy. 

Be strategic about releasing your content. What information do you want to deliver? In what order? Does timing matter? Do you need to deliver different content to different segments of your audience or through different channels?

2. Make it relevant.

Not every segment of your audience wants to hear about the same products or receive your message the same way. Adjust your content, timing, and channel to different segments of your marketplace.

3. Don’t be dull.

In an effort to present every relevant piece of information, marketing materials can be outright dull. Spice it up. Take a different angle. Use interesting graphics. Develop fresh and interesting ways to present the information. You don’t want it to read like an advertisement or bore your audience to death.

4. Make it worth their time.

You know what you — the marketer — are getting out of delivering your content. But what about your audience?  What do they get out of it? How does it benefit them?

5. Make is sharable.

For email, mobile, and online content, create an incentive for sharing the content. When the coupons, event schedules, blog posts, or social media updates are shared by others they know, recipients see the information as more credible and they pay more attention.

Want more ideas for creating sharable content? Just ask!

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