Archive for January 14, 2010

New Statistics About Mail

In a recent article in Target Marketing Magazine titled To Mail or Not to Mail author Pat Friesen cited some surprising statistics.

“Fifty-six percent of Americans surveyed by InnoMedia say receiving mail is a pleasure.”

“Sixty-seven percent of Americans feel traditional mail is more personal than Internet communications, according to research from the U.S. Postal Service.”

“Among Gen Yers (born 1977-1994) and Gen Xers (born 1965-1976), more than 70 percent sort their mail immediately reports the USPS.”

Young consumers invest time with their direct mail knowing it is advertising. They are motivated to receive information to help make buying decisions.

“Studies show direct mail is favorably received by young consumers because it’s tangible-they keep and browse through catalogs; it’s private-there’s an advantage to NOT being able to forward it to everyone in someone else’s address book; and it’s secure-58 percent still prefer receiving and paying bills by mail.”

“There are people who are more comfortable receiving and responding to direct mail than e-mail, even when they have e-mail addresses. For example, marketers of products and services for older seniors (75+), continue to use direct mail to generate leads and sales. These seniors are motivated readers that open and keep direct mail. NOTE: Don’t assume that because you have e-mail addresses for any age group, e-mail is the preferred medium for hearing from you.”

“Mail is more private than e-mail according to 66 percent of those participating in a recent U.S. Postal Service study. They said the Internet is not a substitute for mail. Sixty-eight percent also said mail is more secure.”

Executive Confidence Rising

According to an article extracted from a November 2009 McKinsey Quarterly by Harvard Business Publishing, executives are becoming more optimistic about the economy and the strength of the recovery. In the survey conducted during the last week of October 2009 that measured executive mood, 51% said they think the economy is better now than it was in September 2008.

Why Is Direct Mail Effective?

Few other selling tools deliver your message with exact precision and impact. The amount of mail in your mailbox everyday attests to the success of this medium (If it didn’t work, your mailbox would be empty!).

Mail works when you’re not. Regardless of what you’re doing, working or playing your direct mail is talking for you. It gives your best presentation without you being there.

Mail multiplies your efforts. Send out thousands of postcards or letters and your best sales pitch is being presented to thousands of people simultaneously.

Mail allows you to aim with accuracy. Direct mail allows you to pinpoint the people who fit your profile, with as much or as little detail as you want.

Mail makes it easy to track your return on investment. With direct mail marketing you can code your mail pieces to determine the exact number of responses you received from each campaign.

Mail is relatively inexpensive. It is amazing what you can get into a small business size envelope and keep under the one ounce limit. Or you can use a jumbo size postcard and tell your story beautifully.

Mail gets one-on-one attention. One of the best things about direct mail is that it gets one-on-one attention from your target prospect. Direct mail is opened one piece at a time and read one piece at a time.

Mail gets delivered. There are no high tech filters on physical mailboxes. Your recipient will see your name and decide what to do with your message.

Mail is something you can touch and feel—it hangs around. Direct mail is something that you can hold in your hand. It is physical. It is something that can hang around for a period of time. It has “lingering” marketing effects.

Prepare For the Upturn

Many people are hurting and according to most experts it is going to take a long time for the employment rate to pick back up. However, just as it took a very long time for people to admit that our economy was not good, things may be better than we think.

In October of 2008 I looked at what was happening in the economy and tried to understand what many people were saying and why they said it. I looked at a history of recessions in the U. S. since the early 1900’s. Today I looked at the economy from the other perspective, focusing on the periods of growth and prosperity; believing that the glass is half full, not half empty.

I found details about the US Gross Domestic Growth Rate (GDP) going back to 1947. A negative GDP for two or more quarters is what defines a recession.

When I look at the chart I see:

  • Times have been good much more often than times have been bad
  • It looks like the worst is over and we are moving into another growth period
  • Perhaps the recent decline would not have hurt so much if growth in 2006 was not so big, I think we thought the good times would go on forever

What about your strategy right now? This is a great time to start cultivating new prospects. Get your name, your products, your solutions in your customers minds so that when they are ready to buy, you will come up on the short list. Think about sending mail.

Should you alter your marketing plan to prepare for the upturn?

Do More Marketing with Less Money

  • Stagger mailing schedules (200 piece mailings still qualify for presorted postage discounts)
  • Think about new ways to get more from your customer list
    • Would you tell a different story to someone based on where they live or the business is located?
    • Would you offer a deeper discount if they have not purchased from you in the last year?
    • Would updating your customer file with more details help you create more personalized messages?
  • Now is a great time to implement existing customer retention programs like newsletters, anniversary (their wedding or when they last purchased from you) letters or postcards, birthday cards, postcard reminders…
  • Get coop advertising support from your vendors
  • Cooperate with nearby businesses
  • Cooperate with similar but non competing businesses

We have more ideas please call us at 602-272-2100 and let us help you.

Doing More with Less

These days we are all doing more with less:

  • Squeezing the very last bit of toothpaste from the tube
  • Cooking more at home, using leftovers
  • Giving your time as Christmas gift
  • Finding joy in shopping bargains

Direct mail has always been the advertising method that offers measurable results. Mail is scalable, you can send as many cards or letters as you can afford and have the resources to fulfill. In this economic climate, this is still true and more important than ever.

We recently attended a seminar that talked about marketing. They spent a lot of time talking about websites, social networking, search optimization… Yes they are all important, yes they are more important now than ever before. However, they are not the only way you can and should interact with your customers and your potential customers. Do you have a valid email address from everyone who has purchased from you before? Does every one of your customers want your marketing messages in their email inbox? We know that different types of people respond to different types of messages from many sources.

You need to be able to be found in the moment of purchase, that means when someone searches for you on the Internet, you are there. But what about being on the short list of possible vendors? Maintaining relationships with customers who have purchased from you before is less expensive than investing resources to capture and create a bond with a new client.

Marketing in Tough Times

These are ideas we shared some time ago. They are still true.

Don’t cut your marketing budget! Those businesses that continue to advertise will triumph when the economy picks up (and it will).

Let your customers help you. Retaining your existing customers and getting repeat business from them should be your highest priority. Customer testimonials are extremely effective in gaining new business. Referrals help you close new sales very easily and don’t forget to reward the customer who provided the reference.

Focus your marketing. This means use direct mail, marketing and offers that allow you to measure the results.

Be consistent with your advertising. If you are not persistent in your advertising, your customers will not recall you and will place orders with someone else.

Alter your marketing messages to take advantage of declining trends and promote features that relate to saving money for the user of your product or service. For example, “we just installed a new piece of equipment that is up to 50% faster — that’s a real labor saving advantage.”

Don’t keep doing what you’re doing just because you’ve always done it. Don’t let inertia be your marketing plan. Change creative often, unless it’s working.

Write a sales letter to your best friend, even if you’re not a writer: David Ogilvy got some of his best headlines from his clients. You’ll probably write a compelling, honest and factual account of why your product or service is worth considering.