Posts Tagged direct mail

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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You Still Need Direct Mail

When you create a marketing campaign, you will need to make sure you have all the elements in place. As technology grows, many people think they can just stick with technology for marketing and forget about direct mail. While it is important to focus on technology, especially mobile technology, this does not mean that it is acceptable to forget about other forms of marketing. There are a few ways that direct mail can still be beneficial for your company.

Build Brand Recognition

When you use postcards, you are building brand recognition. Even if the person throws away the postcard, they still take the time to look at the advertisement that you have mailed. While this may be something they put out of their mind, it is still there. This is why repeat mailings are the best way to go.

Improve Sales to Your Campaign

The more you advertise, the better your results will be. Direct mail can be a great way to direct customers to where you want them to go. For instance, if you have a landing page where you want to capture their information, send them there with a link or QR code. This can help to improve the return on investment that you see. All your campaigns should work together so that they are cohesive.

The biggest thing to remember when using direct mail though is that you need to have the right format and layout. When you choose a company to handle this for you, they should be able to go over the right layout and format for your needs. This will help you to get just what you are looking for out of the direct mail marketing as well as your entire marketing campaign.

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Myths About Direct Mail

A variety of myths are associated with marketing strategies, including the use of direct mail in your marketing. The problem with myths is that they tend to grow over time and it can be hard to separate the truth from the myths. By understanding some of the myths associated with direct mail, it is easier to create a realistic marketing strategy.

Copying Others Will Work

It is a myth that using the same strategies, color combinations and marketing solutions as a successful business with provide the same reasons. Your company is unique, and that means you must focus on a marketing strategy that is created for your business.

Do not copy the strategies of another company. Use that as an example, but change it up and focus on your goals as a company.

Focusing on Results Will Improve Sales

Although you do want to mention the product or service that you are trying to sell, do not focus solely on the details. For example, if you are selling a hammer, then don’t go into detail about how the hammer works. Instead, give a picture of the hammer and a few words. It is a myth that several details will make it easier to sell your products or services. It can actually cause more problems if the target audience is not an enthusiast for the products you sell.

Direct Mail Cannot be Recycled

It is a myth that brochures, flyers or other forms of direct mail cannot be recycled. Most of the materials used in direct mail are recyclable.

The myths associated with direct mail can focus on sales, the results or even the materials that are used. In most cases, the myths associated with sales or the growth of the company are misunderstandings or assumptions, but they can cause confusion when you are trying to create a realistic marketing strategy.

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Should Your Company Be Using Direct Mail?

The marketing strategies that work best for any company depend on the dynamics of the business, but direct mail is a useful way to capture the attention of potential customers. Most companies can benefit from using direct mail, regardless of the products or services that are provided by the business.

Focusing on the Target Audience

A key reason that direct mail works for any business is that it focuses on a particular group or target audience. That means that you are only sending out mail to appropriate individuals on your mailing list or in a particular area.

Targeted marketing is an effective way to obtain new customers because the flyer, brochure or coupons that you are sending out are reaching people who need the products or services that you provide.

Adding Personal Elements

The problem that many companies can face is providing a personal element to the business. If your company is struggling with personalization, then direct mail can be a realistic solution. When you send out a postcard, you can put the name of the individual at that address. It automatically makes the advertisement more personal and reaches out to individuals who may feel that businesses are lacking a personal touch.

Easy Measurements

The personal element and the targeted mailing is only the beginning. Direct mail is also easy to measure based on the number of homes that receive the mail. You can determine the effectiveness of your marketing strategy based on the inquiries and sales that you receive.

Every business can benefit from direct mail, but the decision to implement the strategy depends on your goals and your understanding of how the process works. Direct mail is an effective way to reach your target audience with an element of personalization, and it can help improve your sales.

[Source: USPS]

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Connecting Your Direct Mail Piece with Social Media

One fact that everyone can be sure of in today’s society, regardless of the industry they’re in, is that social media is here to stay. About 20 percent of women who are online use Pinterest, 100,000 tweets are sent per minute, and over 1 billion users are registered on Facebook. Now, it’s time to mix the old with the new to create a truly successful marketing campaign.

By combining your direct mail piece with social media, you get a high conversion rate and ROI as well as the addition of more qualified leads, increased traffic to your website and social media sites, and overall added exposure to your business. Plus, you’ll also learn a little more about your customers.

There are a few ways to combine social media and direct mail initiatives.

Add a call-to-action: Many companies are already in the practice of this, but offering incentives like discounts or coupons by simply “liking” your Facebook page can pay off big. It also allows potential customers to see that you want to build a real relationship with them.

Include a QR code: Including a QR code that links people to your YouTube videos or your Facebook page, or any other social media site means instant connection.

Social badges: An easy task but one that’s critical is to add badges to all of the social media sites you are on such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. The only way they’ll know you’re on those sites is if you show them.

By offering quality content via social media, you can improve your relationships with potential customers. An added base of people with whom you can share updates, news, and special deals includes a pool of interested, engaged customers and prospects. The opportunities of pairing direct mail with social media are endless.

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Dos and Don’ts of a Direct Mailer

Don’t neglect direct mailing just because you’re heavily invested in the online marketing world. Direct mailers are a viable marketing method, particularly if you want to build up your business locally. However, there are right and wrong ways to go about a direct mail piece.

Do:

  • Make it clear what the offer is.
  • Provide a call to action.
  • Consider using QR codes on your mailer to send the recipient to a website for additional information.
  • Send out a targeted mailing about specials and seasonal sales.
  • Provide as much information as possible on your products or services to help increase the response rate.
  • Incorporate direct mailing in an on-going campaign instead of a one off, as repeated exposure is necessary to build up brand trust and recognition.

Don’t:

  • Purchase untargeted address lists and waste the time and expense sending out mailers to people who won’t be interested in your offer.
  • Work with designers who have only worked in the online space, and do not understand the advantages and limitations that direct mailer formats have to offer.
  • Send out a single, unsuccessful mailer and decide that direct mailing doesn’t work for you. Direct mail response rates take some time to build up, and you have to send out repeated mailers to see the impact.
  • Check work sent from outsourced printers. If you’re going to save money on your direct mailing costs by outsourcing it to a cheap bulk printer, get some proofs before you send it out.

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Establishing a Successful Direct Mail Campaign

Although they are often overlooked, direct mail campaigns are one of the most effective means of promoting your business. In order for it to be successful, however, there are a few key elements you should incorporate into the campaign.

Research your target area. Choosing the right target area for your mailing is critical. Make sure the recipients are ones most likely to benefit from your products or services. For example, a roofing and siding company would not benefit by targeting newly built homes.

Create a mailer that stands out. Whether it’s a post-card, flyer, brochure or letter, your mailer needs to be eye-catching and attract the reader’s attention immediately. Grabbing the recipients’ attention will be the difference between having your mailer be read or tossed into the trash without a second glance. Use bright and bold colors, easy to read text and an opening sentence that makes them want to read more.

Make an offer. The point of a direct mail campaign is to attract business. Give the customers a reason to want to do business with you. For example, a service based company can give a discount offer on services performed, a product based company can offer a free item.

Provide company information. This is key! Customers can’t contact you if they don’t have your contact information. Be sure to supply a range of methods including your business location, phone number, website and social media platforms. Consider placing a QR code on your mailer if it fits with your target audience.

Send multiple mailings. Sometimes, your first mailer is cast aside. Maybe even the second. It often takes several mailers to obtain a response.

Track your results. Develop a way to track the results of your direct marketing campaign so that you can measure its effectiveness. This information can be used to improve future direct marketing campaigns.

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Why Should Direct Mail Campaigns be a Part of Your Marketing Plan?

Marketing your business does not necessarily mean focusing on online tools or mobile strategies. Although direct mail might seem old-fashioned, it is an effective way to reach your target audience. The benefits of direct mail campaigns make it worth considering when you are looking for ways to reach out and attract new customers to your business.

Limiting the Location

A key reason that direct mail campaigns are a useful way to reach your target audience is the limitation on the area. Local businesses can reach potential customers in the specific location rather than wasting advertisements on individuals who are not likely to visit the store. It limits the location so that only the target group is receiving the advertisement.

Reaching the Right Demographic

Not every individual is able to access the Internet or has an interest in using online tools. That is particularly true of older men and women, who may or may not enjoy using the Internet. Reaching a specific demographic is a key reason to consider using direct mail marketing. It ensures that the advertisement reaches the appropriate demographic audience.

Likelihood of Looking at the Ad

It is easy to ignore banners and advertisements online. Individuals simply do not look at them. Individuals are less likely to overlook direct mail because it is found in their mail box. Even if the products or services are not necessary at the time an individual sees the ad, they are still likely to look at it and remember it when they do need that product or service.

Direct mail campaigns may seem old-fashioned at first glance, but ultimately it can help you reach your target audience. By sending the advertisement through the mail, your target audience is more likely to look at and notice your advertisement.

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Why You Should Incorporate Qr Codes Into Direct Mail Campaigns

Direct mail campaigns need to be effective beyond anything else. While it’s also a good idea to make sure they are colorful and informative, they need to be effective. This means that you have to use all of the latest tips and tricks to make sure that readers see the benefit in what you are putting in their mail box.

The QR code is a great way to make sure people are able to benefit from your direct mail campaign. If you have a hard-to-type web address, you can simply place a QR code on your flyer so that people can scan it with their mobile device. They will then be taken to the website where they will learn more about your business.

More and more people are learning about QR codes. Not exactly sure what this code is all about? It stands for quick response and is designed to carry a lot of information inside of it. Mobile devices often have an app that will scan the QR code and decipher it. Depending upon how the QR code was created, it may provide an image, bring you to a website, or send off an email for you.

It’s very easy to incorporate a QR code into a direct mail campaign. It’s not going to cost you anything to create.

There are lots of websites that make it easy to create a QR code to your website or anything else for free. Then you simply add it onto your catalog, post card or anything else that you want to mail to your mailing list.

QR codes make it easier for people to take action. They can go to your website. They can view your menu. They can send you an email. Plus, a QR code makes people want to take action. They want to know what your code is going to reveal to them. So go ahead and make sure your direct mail campaigns are using QR codes.

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Is Advertising In Newspapers Still Worth The Cost?

It used to be that if you wanted to make sure people were reading about your business, it was necessary to advertise in newspapers. Now, it’s important to ask the question: is it worth it? Newspapers are still selling advertising space, but it’s expensive. Is it worth the expense?

There are plenty of ways for you to advertise that are more effective than newspapers. Target audience has a lot to do with how you choose where you will advertise. For most people, the newspaper is not a place where they get a substantial amount of information any more. There are many people who no longer subscribe to the newspaper in their community simply because everything that they need is online.

With so many places to advertise, why advertise in the newspapers where it’s not as cost effective?

The reason that some people are still advertising in the newspapers is because they don’t know where else to advertise. If you don’t want to advertise online, direct mail is still an option for you. You simply create a campaign with a postcard, brochure, or catalog, get a hold of a mailing list, and advertise inside of everyone’s mailboxes.

Direct mail can be more affordable than advertising inside of a newspaper. You aren’t limited by space and you are able to get your advertising message into more hands simply because you are putting your message into a mailbox where everyone goes at least a few times a week.

Especially when you are in a new area, advertising to a large audience is important. When you are looking for a place to advertise that gives you mass appeal, it’s not as cost effective to advertise in newspapers as it once was. Try direct mail and you will see an increase in your business as a result.

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