Archive for Direct Mail

Digital Campaigns Vs Print Campaigns? Which is better and When?

The real key to finding the right mix of print and digital marketing may very well be a holistic marketing strategy that blends  digital with traditional tactics.

Both print and online or digital channels deliver great results in different ways and the savvy marketing strategists marry the two  for optimal benefit and maximized investment returns.

Here are some fast facts to consider when you are creating your marketing plans.

Did you know?

  • Direct mail campaign produce on average $12.57 per dollar spent.
  • A recent marketing study reports that personalized print ads have a 6% response rate.
  • Personalized email marketing and PURL’s married to print campaigns cause the rate to jump to an 8.2% response rate.
  •  75 % of direct mail marketing is opened and of those, 63% are read by the consumer.
  • Direct mail averages 3.4% responses for business to business mailings and the percentage jumps to 4.4% for business to consumer mailings.
  • Emails typically average 0.12% response rates.
  • 65% of consumers regardless of age made a purchase as a result of a direct mail campaign.

Partner with marketing professionals who know.

You want the most cost effective  spending when it comes to your marketing dollars. An experienced fulfillment provider can offer suggestions on how to use unique tracking techniques such as QR codes in order to integrate technology and traditional marketing. Some audiences will be more open to digital communications. With the right metrics, measurements, and data you’ll be able to identify and target your digital campaign to those most likely to be receptive. Digital marketing is growing more accessible and less costly to distribute however,  print marketing has persuasive power. When combined with in a customized marketing campaign the two are a best practice and cost-effective way to reach your audience. 

Marketing requires a variety of approaches and a great team will empower yours by providing the power of print and the efficiency of digital for the ideal marketing strategy designed for your business, product, and unique audience.

Posted in: Direct Mail

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Integrating QR Codes with Personalized URLs

Integrating QR Codes and Personalized URLs
QR codes offer a number of benefits for marketers. One of the most important benefit is the ability to tie together the print, mobile and web channels to increase the response rates on multichannel marketing efforts.

Since QR codes make it easy for people to jump from print to the web, this intelligent tool can add to the success of your personalized URL (PURL) campaigns, too.

QR codes have the ability to lower the barriers often surrounding customer response which, in turn, leads to an increase in overall campaign response rate.

Here are several benefits that can be easily achieved by coupling QR codes with PURLs to boost the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns:

Providing one-to-one communication
PURLs can be embedded right into QR codes, so when a customer or prospect scans the code,  they are taken directly to their personalized landing page.

Once a recipient is at that personalized page, you have the opportunity to engage with them and have a one-on-one dialogue.

Making it easy to respond
QR codes make PURLs portable. They allow the recipient to access each individual PURL without the need to sit in front of a computer.

Because people are on the go, and many carry their phones with them at all times, this portability is ideal in increasing the response rate.

Additionally, QR codes eliminate the need for a recipient to type what may be a rather lengthy PURL into their web browser.

By simply pressing one button on their smartphone, your prospect or customer is automatically directed to their own personalized website. This eliminates the chance of typos and decreases the amount of effort required by the recipient to access the information.

Tracking and measuring
Every marketer knows there is nothing more important than being able to measure the success of a campaign.

PURLs provide the ability to track which recipients visit their personalized page and, depending on the level of the PURL, gather additional contact information about each individual.

Similarly, various software programs have been developed that will also record the amount of scans per day, what time those scans took place, the location of the scans, and the type of device being used to scan the code.

Together, QR codes and PURLs can provide a more complete picture of which recipients express interest and which leads are the hottest.

QR codes will only enhance the value PURLs already bring to campaigns, becoming a logical extension of the PURLs you may already be implementing. Use them to fill the gap that other cross-marketing tools cannot.

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Posted in: Direct Mail, Marketing, Mobile Marketing

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Make the Most Out of Your Direct Mail Marketing

For companies that run direct mail campaigns, the ability to effectively measure the highs and lows of those campaigns is vital to the success of their advertising as a whole. The following tips will have you well on your way toward making the most out of your company’s direct mail marketing:

  1. Utilize a tracking software system that will measure the statistics of your campaign easily and efficiently:  Yes, there is no denying that it may cost less money to send emails than it does to send direct mail. However, if the act of sending direct mail to your audience could bring you better results, wouldn’t you want to do that? Of course! However, we must put forth the effort to prove that is true.  This may primarily mean that we set up our campaigns and landing pages in a way so that direct mail responses are measured differently than responses to your emails, social media posts, or activities on another channel.  Response mechanisms such as QR Codes and personalized URLs can help us measure direct mail effectiveness as well!
  1. Select a focused audience versus conducting a blind mailing effort, thus increasing the potential for successful contacts: The days of spray-and-pray must be a thing of the past. This is certainly true from a budgetary perspective. But it also should be true from the fact that technology makes it easier than ever to create targeted, personalized materials and by doing so, we can increase our response rates.  By segmenting our audiences, we can deliver direct mail pieces that may have text, images, and offers that are relevant to each individual.
  2. Ensure that your direct mail pieces are both informative and aesthetically pleasing: We must never forget marketing fundamentals. Sure, it can be fun to get excited about new marketing channels; however, we must not neglect putting forth an effort to ensure our direct mail pieces look good and tell a compelling story.

These are just a few of the ways that companies can successfully incorporate direct mail into their marketing mix.

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How Do I Track My Direct Marketing Campaigns?

When starting a marketing campaign for your business or company, the first thing you want to establish is a way to track the success of your campaigns. This will help you figure out what is working for your company and what’s not working. By establishing clear cut ways to track your marketing efforts, you can determine where your ideal audience is viewing your marketing efforts and if they are responding to it.

Traceable Codes

There are 2 main ways you can use traceable codes in your marketing campaign as a way to measure their success. If you are sending out mailers that indicate a special sale or promotion that you are having, use a specific code on the mailers that the users have to enter in order to access the discount. When the promotion or sale is over, you will be able to determine if customers found the sale via the mailers and unique code you used and how effective the mailers were. The other way traceable codes can be used is by adding them to your coupons that you offer. You may choose to offer coupons to your newsletter subscribers and a lesser coupon to all of your other potential customers. With 2 unique coupon codes, you will be able to trace which coupons were the most effective.

Sales Campaigns with Unique URL

When sending out mailers or a newsletter to your customers, you can include a specific, special URL that the potential customer has to type in or click on in order to get to the offer or discount. This way, you will be able to track how many people accessed the discount via the specific URL.

Offer a Gift with Specific Purchase

A great way to track a marketing campaign is to offer a small, free gift with the purchase of an item. You can offer this free gift when the item is purchased with a specific code, through a specific URL, or during a short time frame. You will then be able to check how many customers redeemed the free gift offer.

Posted in: Direct Mail, Marketing

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Methods for Effectively Communicating Messages on Printed Collateral

Direct mail continues to be a strong and viable marketing tactic for businesses of all sizes, providing an average response rate of 25 percent — 2 percentage points over email — the CMO Council, citing the Harvard Business Review, says. The ultimate success of any direct mail marketing campaign depends on how well a business is able to get their message across to the targeted demographic. Here are some ways to effectively communicate your message on printed collateral and make direct mail work for your business.

Give ‘Em An Offer They Can’t Refuse

People today are inundated with advertisements, and you only have a few seconds to get your company’s message across. Your printed collateral should prominently feature an offer that’s easy to read and understand. Preferably, the offer will be one that recipients can’t refuse.

Link To Your Company’s Website Or Landing Page

QR codes let you include links on printed collateral that can easily be scanned with a smartphone. By including a QR code that links to your company’s site or a landing page that’s specifically designed to complement the direct mail campaign, you’ll make it easy for potential customers to purchase your offer. Of course, whatever page the QR code links to should be mobile-friendly, since most people will scan it with a phone or tablet.

Personalize And Individualize The Campaign

A personal touch will show recipients that the mailing is meant for them, not just anybody. From using regional phrases to including the colors of a favorite local sports team, there are lots of ways to create a personalized mailing without actually changing each, individual one.

Direct mail is one of the most effective marketing tactics, but it requires an ability to effectively communicate your message on printed collateral. Include an unrefusable offer, link to a landing page and personalize your campaign. You’ll soon see your response rates climb.

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Improving Response Rates and ROI with Direct Mail

Because the digital world has become so prominent in our era, businesses have started to abandon marketing methods that have been working for years. Direct mail still remains as one of the best ways of connecting with prospects and existing customers alike. In a world where you have to scroll through multiple junk emails to get to an important one shows that marketing emails may not always have the greatest impact. Consumers and professional decision makers respond differently to direct mail, which arrives directly on their doorstep than they do to other types of media. Direct mail is essentially marketing collateral that you mail directly to your target market. Whether it’s something as simple as a postcard or letter, or as complex as a box filled with promotional material or product samples, it has an impact.

Every marketing effort and campaign must be justified since you are using marketing funds to bring about any plan you may have. This means your efforts will have to bring forth the best return on investment (ROI). If you’re having difficulty getting an acceptable response rate and ROI from your direct mailing campaigns, do not stress. Below are important things to remember when marketing and if done correctly, will help you improve your response rate and greatly increase your ROI. Always remember to track your efforts and test different mailing ideas, helping to optimize your mailing campaign as you progress in your efforts. Here are some helpful to remember when sending out direct mail:

Narrow Down Your List

In order to get the best response rate and ROI out of your direct mailing campaign, you have to make sure your mailing list is highly targeted. Regardless of whether you serve consumers or businesses in an area, an effective campaign has to target those who are interested in your products or services and are willing to spend the money. The success of your campaign relies on your choosing of the right prospects to target. This will help you gain high-quality leads and increase your ROI.

Timing Is Everything

Mailing lists can become outdated, so it’s important that you order a list only when you are ready to launch your campaign. If you built the list in-house over time, take the time to do some research and confirm that the person or business is still located at that address. Businesses are easy to confirm because most of them have online directory listings or websites with their information. Having an up-to-date list will help you get a higher response rate.

Define Your Main Objective

Before you build your campaign, you need to determine exactly what your objective is. Are you trying to generate leads and sales or are you just planning on introducing your brand? Once you have determined your goal, you will be able to build a strong campaign.

Make it Stand Out

If your marketing piece looks like the rest of their junk mail, it will end up in the trash. Make sure it stands out and is appealing to your target audience.

Always Have a Call to Action

To ensure you get responses, you must create a campaign that generates excitement. By adding an offer and a call to action, you are telling the prospect that you are interested and want to be in contact with them.

Personalize

Personalizing your mailing pieces helps create a direct relationship between you and your customer. Using a prospect’s name and address entices them to look at the mailer. Some companies will give prospects unique URLs with their name on it, or “account numbers” which are essentially just ways to track responses.

Provide Various Ways for Them to Respond

Some people prefer speaking over the phone while others prefer sending an email or filling an online form. Regardless of what you believe your target prefers, it’s best to offer multiple ways for them to contact you. Eliminating any one method of contact may mean that a percentage of your prospects will simply no longer be interested. By providing multiple ways for them to contact you, you’re showing consideration for your customers, something that they appreciate.

Sending out One Marketing Piece is not enough!

Each time you mail out a different marketing piece, you are not only expecting results, but you are also getting your name out there. On average it takes 7 to 9 tries to actually get your prospect’s attention, and may take longer for them to make a transaction. Remember to remain consistent, showing that you want to build a relationship.

Follow-up with a Call

This may not be suitable for consumers, but if you are marketing to businesses, your best bet is to make a follow-up phone call. Phone calls will help your campaign become more personal and will help reinforce your brand, while building trust and a relationship with your prospect, furthering the chances of closing a deal.

Test and Keep Track of Results and Calculate ROI

When sending out mailing pieces, you may want to try controlled testing. By changing only 3 things on your campaign each time you send out something, you will be able to better track the response rate. It will also help you keep track of the ROI of your overall direct mailing efforts or individual campaigns.

Once you have sent out some mailers, you will have a better idea of what prospects become leads and eventually sales. This will help you make better decisions for your future campaigns.

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New Techniques for Mailers That Catch More Attention

Even in a period where technology seems to rule the world, direct mail is still an effective marketing campaign. In fact, in many cases, it’s much more powerful than sending out a mass email advertisement, which can get placed in a “spam” folder. However, just because it’s a useful tool in marketing, it doesn’t mean that any colorful ad with generic, overused buzzwords will sell a product or service. Below are some helpful tips to consider when sending out a mailer.

Be Creative

When sending any piece of mail to someone directly, it’s important to think outside of the box to grab the attention of potential customers. Ditch any lame ads with a clipart picture of what your business does, and forget about advertising with words like “free,” “innovative” and “leader.” Become innovative, using words like “sale,” “save,” “guarantee” and “proven.” Include authentic and eye-catching pictures, helping to attract customers. For example, if you’re advertising your landscaping business, use a picture of a real yard that you landscaped rather than a cartoon-looking image of a lawn mower.

Don’t Overwrite

Stop with the flowery language that sounds good but is nothing more than fluff. With most customers preffering to skim material, avoid writing anything that is wordy. Instead, use descriptive language and sum everything up in simple terms. In addition, include your business’s information because most people don’t want to waste time checking out your website or calling you. They might just rule your company out if you make them do too much to find out about you. They’d much rather just know everything up front.

Stop Overselling

Don’t make a product sound better than what it is. You shouldn’t use words like “best,” especially if the products aren’t the best. Instead, tell the truth and amplify the benefits without boasting or overselling. For instance, rather than saying “the best prices,” you could say, “competitive prices.”

Use Second Person

Always talk to the reader. They are the potential customer, and you want to speak directly to them, making sure that you meet all of their needs.

By following these tips, you are already on your way to becoming an innovative and successful company.

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How much should you value direct mail in 2015?

In 2014, direct mail experienced noticeable growth. Many people found that surprising, likely because they assumed companies would all switch to digital options and let direct mail fade away, as an outdated way of trying to reach customers. However, companies know that they can still make money and bring in customers through direct mail, so they keep using it. As long as advertising is cost effective and works for a company, why not use it? With its surprising but continued growth, direct mail should be a valuable part of your advertising strategy in 2015 and beyond.

Your direct mail strategy for the future may need adjustments, though, because consumer mailing preferences continue to evolve. Instead of sending out “maintenance” mailings to existing customers, focus on only sending direct mail to potential customers (prospects). Recent studies have shown that existing customers prefer their vendors to communicate through emails, which is another effective marketing channel. In doing so, your direct mail budget can be spent on true advertising, which is designed to acquire more customers for your business and bring in more revenue from different sources. The more innovative you are with your direct mail campaigns, the better.

The costs of direct mail are stabilizing, which is good for companies that use it or that want to use it. They will generally be able to maintain the level of direct mail they already have when it comes to potential customers, and may even be able to reach out to more people. According to recent journals published by the Business/Marketing Association, it seems highly likely that 2015 will continue to see continued effectiveness in direct mail that companies send out.

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What Is “Inbound Mail Tracking” and Why Is It Important?

We’ve all seen the news clips of the mail carrier that throws a package over some customer’s fence not caring for a minute what’s in the package, or if it gets to the recipient in one piece. It’s kind of funny on a YouTube clip, but it’s not as funny in real life. What about marketing letters you send out via mail, or email blasts, are you sure they are getting to their recipients? Inbound mail tracking is a way to keep tabs on how many of your customers are actually reading the advertisements, or information you send to them. So how does inbound mail tracking work, and why is it vital to your success?

Most importantly you don’t want the emails you send out to end up in someone’s SPAM file, never to be seen or read. That would be a waste of valuable communication. There are great software programs available that can monitor your email deliverability. You also want your “bounce rate” to be on the low side, which means the number of emails that are getting sent out to undeliverable email addresses. Another good way to check on how well your emails are getting to your customer is to create a set of ten email accounts. Each time you send out a mass email, include those “dummy” accounts to see how many of those ten emails ended up in the SPAM folder. This will clue you in as to re-wording your emails so they pass over people’s SPAM filters to land in their inboxes where they will have a chance to actually read them. There is a common list of words that can cause your email to get bounced to SPAM. Try to avoid those words at all costs.

In business, if you are mailing bulk packages, or actual letters to people you can easily track whether they arrive to your recipient or not. The inbound mail tracking for packages couldn’t be simpler. The package receives a special bar code that is scanned upon leaving it’s origin, then along the way it gets scans to track the progress, and finally you can tell its arrived at the destination, because you’ll get a confirmation message saying that it has.

Whether you are talking about packages, emails, or letters you want to make sure that you can track these things with inbound mail tracking systems. Latka Print can do that for your business to make all your marketing endeavors a great success.

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How Mailing Data Helps Customer Relations

Whether it’s for fun, fashion, or hobbies, everyone subscribes to email newsletters. The companies behind these newsletters craft them in a catchy way; the subject line needs to be interesting and engaging so that the customer clicks on the email. The content within also has to spark the customer’s interest to keep them reading.

These emails sent from a company to a customer are known as mailing data or database marketing. With this type of marketing, a customer volunteers their email address through a form on your website. You then begin to periodically (either weekly, monthly, or quarterly) send out emails to your customer base.

Of course, you want the most customers possible, and there’s a few ways to make that happen. First of all, you have to promote your company’s mailing data. Whether through your website, blog posts, or social media updates, attempt to get more customers to subscribe to your emails. Word of mouth is also very useful. Including buttons so that the customer can forward the email or post it on social media allows new eyes to see it that just may become subscribers and customers.

Once you start gaining momentum with your amount of customers, you need to keep them hooked in. Just as someone can subscribe to your emails with the click of a button, they can unsubscribe just as easily. In order to prevent this, you need to make sure that your messages are informative and brief. Pepper in links and include discounts, giveaways, and freebies as applicable.

Lastly, you need to make sure that you’re still sending out emails to actual customers. People shut down their email accounts all the time or switch to new ones. Some software lets you check if certain email addresses are dead so that you know to exclude these from the mailing data.

Overall, emails are a simple but effective marketing tool that can increase your amount of customers and improve your relationship with them. By not sending out emails too often (like daily), keeping the messages short and sweet, and asking that your customers share the emails to draw in new customers, you can market your company effectively.

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