When you are looking to get a great response to a print marketing campaign, have you ever considered just sending a direct mail letter? Marketing experts have begun to advocate a return to this simple but effective approach.
Letters have an emotional appeal that doesn’t come from a postcard, a trifold, or even the most beautifully designed brochure. There is something about the personal connection that is made between the sender to the recipient when communicated in natural language in a way that’s easy to understand and relate to.
Letters are inexpensive to print and mail, but they can be profoundly effective when done well.
Here are some thoughts on letter writing and how to do it in very effectively.
1. It has to be great.
An average letter will not do the trick. You need to tell a great story, provide a compelling offer, and do it really, really well. This may mean hiring a copy writer, but it’s worth the effort.
2. Keep it simple.
Sometimes the most simple letters are the most effective. One marketing agency encouraged its client, Ford of Canada, to send a letter saying, “This letter is worth $1,500 to you when you buy or lease a brand new Lincoln.” Over a six-month period, that letter was responsible for the sales of about half the Lincolns in Canada.
3. Make it as personal as possible.
Be sincere. Use natural language. Affix real stamps on the envelope—or maybe even two. This alone can boost response rates significantly.
This is not about being fancy. It’s about making a real, emotional connection with your audience. Sometimes a fancy, full-color, high-gloss mailer or multi-channel marketing campaign is the right tool for the job. But sometimes a simple, but very well written letter will be just as effective — or more.
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Personalization Creates 30% Lift
Looking for proof that personalization works? Consider the case of one historical museum that used personalization to create a lift in donations of 30%
For the past decade, the museum had been using direct mail as its primary way to solicit donations. After years of success, however, effectiveness was starting to wane. The museum wondered if personalizing the message to each recipient would breathe new life into its efforts.
To find out, the museum split its mailing in half. To the first half, it sent a traditional static newsletter. To the second half, it sent a personalized newsletter. Personalization included the person’s name, the state in which they lived, the number of charter members in that state, and prefilled the response forms to make sending in a donation easier. The results?
- Among those actively contributing, response rates increased 30%.
- Among less active but still donating members, response rates increased 25%.
- Among both active and less active members, the value of the donations increased.
Why did this campaign work?
In this case, personalization taps into the recipient’s sense of responsibility to the organization. “They know me — they are relying on me,” not just as an anonymous donor, but as someone the museum relies on by name. When you call someone by name, there is a responsibility that comes with that, especially in the world of fundraising.
Including the number of charter members in the recipient’s state also taps into the sense of collective responsibility. “Look how many other people are deeply supporting this cause. I should be more committed, as well.”
Finally, the pre-filled form removed one of the barriers to responding to any campaign—the need to fill out a form, address an envelope, and add a stamp. If all the recipient has to do is drop a check in the envelope and put it in the mailbox, that alone can elevate response.
Whether you are a nonprofit organization or not, the lessons are clear. Call your customers by name, tap into collective responsibility (or collective participation in some kind of benefit), and make it easy to respond. Then watch your response rates soar.
We’re used to hearing that the average direct mail response rate is 1.0% – 1.5%. But according to a new study from the Pew Research Center (“Internet and American Life Project,” April 2013), this view needs to change.
According to the project, the average response rate for direct mail is now 4.4% for both B2B and B2C mailings. In 2012, envelope-sized direct mail letters achieved a 3.4% response rate when mailed to a house list and a 1.28% response rate when mailed to a prospect list.
In the study, the Pew Research Center also cites a recent Direct Mail Information Service report that more than three-quarters of direct mail is opened by the recipients. Nearly two-thirds (63%) of these recipients read the contents.
What is accounting for the growing response to direct mail?
In part, it is less mail in people’s mailboxes. As email and other electronic media channels continue to proliferate, the mail that consumers do receive tends to stand out and get noticed. There is also an increase in targeting, personalization, and customization (see Wheeler’s for more info on these tools), that makes the mail more relevant. Relevant mail tends to get a better response.
So next time you are about to cite the stat that direct mail has an average response rate of 1.5%, stop and think again. Direct mail has always been an effective marketing channel. As today’s direct mail techniques become more refined, its effectiveness is becoming that much greater.
by Gretchen Scheiman mediapost.com
Email is very well known as a direct-response tool, and there is plenty of free advice available to help sellers maximize their results and measure them effectively. But what about tips for editorial emails designed with content instead of sales as the primary driver? Here are the top five things you should do to get the best results from your email content:
1. Know your goals. If you have content to send in an email, you’re being measured on something. It might be website visits, audience size, or click-throughs. Whatever it is, you need to understand the goal in terms of absolute numbers and growth. This will lead to metrics and measures that are right for your business.
2. Cross-promote your content. Your sports content could be driving interest in other sports, business, or general news content — if only you’d think to ask for a subscription. Most of us forget to do this. Start by looking at your existing subscribers who read more than one of your content emails, and see if there’s a pattern in what they choose to subscribe to. You’ll want your “recommended reading” to include one or two items that similar subscribers found engaging, one or two items that you think are closely related, and potentially one item that’s a complete wild card. Make it easy for subscribers to sign up for more content, and you’ll be surprised at the response.
3. Don’t give your content away. It’s tempting to put an entire article into an email and send it off, knowing that your subscribers will engage with that content while they read the article. But it’s not likely to help you meet your goals. Instead, tease your audience with the headline and first 25 – 50 words or the first paragraph of your article, and then provide a link to read the full article online. This is basic for some of us, but I’m always surprised by how many publishers still give away their content without asking for a measurable action in return. Content has value. Even if your subscribers aren’t paying for that value with real money, they should be exchanging something for the content you provide.
4. Consider display media. If you have a website, you probably have the ability to display ads in emails as well as on your site. Stop hardcoding the ads in your emails. Instead, serve them properly so you can maximize value.
5. Dynamically serve content. You might consider dynamically serving some pieces of your content. You can do this to cater to smaller segments without creating a ton of new content, or to test the value of some content and let a dynamic serving engine act on (and therefore immediately maximize) your results. Either way, it’s an advanced way to continually test the value of your content. And yes, you should definitely be testing.
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With EM, you are able to:
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Ten reasons to Add Calendars to Your Marketing Mix:
1. Visual appeal for your brand
2. Command of wall or desk space
3. Controlled, targeted distribution
4. Remarkable cost-effectiveness
5. Creative design to fit your brand
6. Year-long high-frequency visibility
7. High-perceived-value for gift giving
8. Useful for personal record-keeping
9. Business people use an average of 2.5 calendars
10. Versatile styles, colours, formats and designs
Did you know? On average a person looks at a calendar 12 times a day, 84 times a week. After 365 days, your brand will leave a definite impression 4,380 times!
Call our shop today to get more information including a FREE catalogue of formats and themes. – 519-254-5237 Or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
So, you want to create and implement a Marketing Campaign introducing a new product or service, do you?
Well, here’s some basic fundamentals that you should have in order to increase the chances of success:
1) Data is KING! Is your database (mailing list):
– Up to date? Have you weeded out redundant listings, made certain postal codes and addresses are complete?
– Are the names in your list the ideal contacts to send your offer to? Can they make purchasing decisions for their company?
– In other words, will your Campaign reach your targeted audience?
– Is your offering compelling enough to make the recipient take the time to thoroughly read and understand your offer?
– Is the offer fitting for the entire audience you are marketing to?
– Is your offer timely? Example are you offering a sale on snow shovels in July?
3) Creative / Call to Action
– Does the imagery and text in your offer compliment the message without distracting from it?
– Is the message clearly understood?
– Does the message speak to the needs of the recipient?
– Is the piece persuasive?
– Do you have a strong Call to Action? (Phone #, PURL, eMail address to respond to, etc,)
Call us today – 519-254-5237 or eMail us YourTeam@printguy.com
by Anna Dispensa from http://mindfireinc.com/resources/blog/email-deliverability/ /
While email deliverability is an extremely complex topic, there are five things all campaign managers should know:
- Your results are only as good as your mail file. Garbage in, garbage out. The best lists are organically grown, opted-in house lists of individuals that wish to receive your messages.
- CAN-SPAM regulations govern your email blasts. You should be familiar with the requirements (including an opt-out method, a physical mailing address, and no misleading or deceptive information.)
- Unsubscribes are not bad. In fact, you should be grateful for them. Unsubscribes are the polite way of your email recipients letting you know that either your offer is not compelling enough, you are sending it to the wrong people, or both.
If this is not intuitive, consider the alternatives:
A: Your recipient complains and marks your email as spam. With many email providers, this not only prevents them from receiving more emails from you, it hurts your sending reputation which negatively affects future email blasts to other clients. Many times, you will not even know that your email was tagged as spam. Result: You continue to pay to market to someone that does not even know you are still sending them messages.
B: Your recipient deletes or ignores your email. Your email may reach the inbox, but if it is not being read, why bother? Result: You continue to pay to market to someone that does not read your messages. If they become frustrated with the frequency or irrelevancy of your messages, it can lower your brand value.
- Good emails are old school. This means that inline styles and tables should be used rather than the CSS web designers prefer today.
- Email deliverability is an art, not a science. There are many factors involved in ensuring your emails are delivered to the inbox, and none of the top email service providers are sharing their secret sauce.
From businessknowhow.com by Barry Fieg
Benefits of direct mail marketing are legion
The Perfect Direct Mail Piece in Twelve Easy Steps
There are as many theories about direct mail as there are direct mail companies. The main trick is to keep your communications hard hitting and flowing. Here are the twelve steps to a successful direct mail piece.
1. Target your audience carefully. Sales are directly related to how accurately you can identify your most likely customers.
2. Use the “you” word as often as you can. Direct Marketer Bob Serling, in his book Direct Marketing Hotseat, suggests you use “you” four times as often as you use “I”.
3. Send your letter under the “President’s” signature. People prefer to deal with the person in charge. Build and foster your relationship with your customer in all your sales materials.
4. Make a charter offer. People like getting in on the ground floor of an enterprise. Charter offers have strong pulling power.
5. Create a continuity program, like “the Fruit of the Month Club.” You can be sure of sales every month. Start your customers slowly with a trial membership so they can see how the program works without making a large investment.
6. Offer multiple versions of the same product. A “good” — “better” — “best” (or best buy) strategy or a “standard” — “deluxe” — “super deluxe” strategy allows people to make choices. Use these variances instead of a “take this product or leave it” offer.
7. Make your envelope work for you. Put a message on it like “Here’s some inside information.” Words like “free,” “new,” “announcing” and “important dated material” also motivate people to open the envelope.
8. Use reply cards and make the 800 number large. Make it easy for people to order or call for more information.
9. Use odd sized envelopes and experiment with textured papers. They make your mailing piece stand out from the crowd.
10. Test one variable at a time and use the results of the mailing for future mailings. Keep close track on who’s buying from what ad.
11. Remember, the consumer has not actually touched the product. They’re taking your word that the product is good and will be delivered in a timely manner. Offer free help lines and a super-strong guaranty.
12. Create a headline like you might find in a tabloid newspaper. Headlines can make or break a direct mail postcard. So don’t settle for your first attempt. Even professional copywriters rarely hit the mark on the first try.
Direct Mail can be a very efficient way of creating new leads, educating clients, and promoting new products and services. Wheeler’s makes it easy to produce beautiful and effective Direct Mail pieces.
Being in business for over 18 years, Wheeler’s knows its way around the marketing, promoting and advertising business. But, as we change from being just a print shop to developing products and services that solve your small businesses major issues, we’re realizing the solutions we are creating are paying off more than we could imagine.
For example; one new product that we will be introducing at the end of the month is EM (Everything Marketing). Simply put, it is THE solution for small businesses marketing efforts. Large companies have been tracking their customers’ information for years. They pay tens of thousands of dollars to organize, store, and develop new targeted marketing campaigns that use the information recorded about their clientele. But where does that leave your company with a budget much smaller than Walmart’s or Best Buy’s? Wheeler’s sees this as a problem that needs to be fixed!
With EM, and the help of Wheeler’s staff, you can use our software to help track, manage, organize and develop new marketing campaigns that will allow you to judge the success rate yourself.
There are many questions when doing marketing campaigns that you would like answered, but with every question comes another dollar spent on expensive ways of tracking that information. Some of those questions include; was the campaign successful? How do you know? What do you know about the people that have seen your advertising? Do you know what ways are the most effective at reaching them? Wheeler’s EM can help you answer all these questions and more, without the worry of spending thousands of dollars.
Keep in touch with Wheeler’s by liking us on Facebook, following us on Twitter and connecting with us on LinkedIn.
Solving the difficulties of your small business marketing.