Direct Mail and Marketing Response Numbers

We have shared many statistics the past year about response numbers. We think we should review some of them.

More than 70% of Gen Yers (born 1977-1994) and Gen Xers (born 1965-1976) sort their mail immediately.

76% of internet users were directly influenced to buy an item or service thanks to direct mail.

78% of email recipients do not open the message, so that means that 94.1% of email recipients are not clicking through to your landing page.

55% of survey respondents cannot effectively measure marketing ROI of mobile, social media and video.

65% of companies had not increased revenue or profited using social media.

79% of all households read or scan the advertising mail sent to their home.

Confidence Building Tips

Staying cool under performance pressure is a learnable skill. Psychology Today republished an article called, “Confidence: Stepping Out”.

Most socially confident people learn specific skills:

Understand Your Body’s Signals

Six studies compared two groups of people during a hair-raising event such as an impromptu speech: One group said that their bodies were freaking out and another group said they felt calm. In five of the six studies, there was no physiological difference between the two groups. Everyone showed similarly increased levels of autonomic activation, such as sweating and speeding heart rate. “People who are very socially anxious tend to pay attention to their bodies and magnify that response, perceiving it subjectively to be much greater than it actually is,” says James J. Gross, director of Stanford University’s Psychophysiology Laboratory.

You can calm yourself by reading the signals correctly. The irony of misreading your nervous system’s cues is that far from harming you, your natural excitement can enhance your performance. Increased activation is not a sign that you’re failing, but that you want to do well and your body is ready to help.

Focus on Others

When socially confident people start to feel anxious or awkward, they focus on putting their conversational partners at ease. Some people need to work at shedding their constant belief that they’re failing. Yet for most people, fluctuations in self-esteem provide information that’s useful in navigating social relationships. For example, if you’re talking and someone yawns, your self-esteem drops, signaling you to switch the topic. When you tell a joke and people laugh, your self-esteem rockets up. If we didn’t feel bad when we bore or offend—or gratified when we delight—we’d never be motivated to change course.

Mastering social skills requires tuning in to your self-esteem. But instead of being self-conscious and fixating on your anxiety, work on creating positive interactions that make the people around you feel engaged and happy. Focusing less on yourself and more on others will yield big payoffs in expanded social opportunities.

Immerse Yourself in Your Fears

The article told stories about how Conan O’Brien and Will Farrell forced themselves to do the things they feared the most. Then they figured out how to challenge and transform themselves. The lesson? Even exquisite discomfort has a silver lining.

To-Do List Management

BNET recently interviewed David Allen abut 3 Reasons Your To-Do List Keeps Getting Longer.

  1. Personal organization tools don’t get you organized.
  2. Technology won’t help, it is making things worse.
  3. It’s not about managing time, it’s about managing your attention and focus.

So thinking about your customers, how can you help them? Present your information in a way that allows them to give it attention and focus. Direct mail is a great way to do that. The Mail Moment study gave us: “Right now – in a market you want to reach – your ideal prospect is just waiting for the moment. She’s eager to invite you in to see what your message can bring to her life. She’s even willing to set aside time to focus solely on what you have to say.”

An Attachment to Paper

Bain & Company published a brief titled “Publishing In The Digital Era” discussing adoption of E-Readers and the future for the publishing industry.

The report shared that most readers still report an attachment to paper, even younger readers born in the digital age. Paper beats digital information for yielding a response. This supports more wow numbers, magazine readership has actually increased 11 percent in the last 12 years. Typical young adults now read more magazine issues per month than their parents.

Help your Brain be More Proactive

The Harvard Business Review shared some ideas in a blog post about “How Your Brain Connects the Future to the Past”.

A good memory can help you better navigate the future. In business, anticipating and negotiating future demands is an asset. A proactive brain uses details from past experiences to make analogies with your current surroundings. It then helps you determine where you are and envision future possibilities. We are all born with proactive brains, but these things can help improve brain performance:

  1. Give it a lot to work with. Create a richer pool of information to draw from. Expose your brain to diverse experiences and situations.
  2. Borrow from others. Find out as much as you can about others’ experiences by talking, interacting with, and reading about other peoples’ lives.
  3. Think about what you want from the future. Take time to reflect values and goals, both immediate and down the road. These will help guide your brain as it envisions future scenarios that may best help you achieve your objectives.
  4. Actively ponder future rewards or accomplishments. Emphasize rich, detailed thinking about long-term outcomes. This reduces the lure (and the danger) of instant gratification.
  5. Let your mind wander. Undisturbed time gives your brain the space it needs to recall and recombine past experiences in ways that help you anticipate the future.

The idea that letting your mind wander gives it time and space to help you recall and recombine is also supported in research we shared about learning and assimilating new experiences.

Branding Basics

The Harvard Business Review in promoting an article for sale titled, The One Thing You Must Get Right When Building a Brand, offered some information to entice readers.

It’s wrong to think we’re entering a world in which traditional marketing activities will become irrelevant. Yet the scale and speed of social media make it urgent to get the branding basics right. The obvious danger is failing to keep pace with social media developments. An equal, less obvious danger is getting distracted by them and losing sight of the fundamentals.

We have a passion for helping you build your brand and your relationships with your customers. Call us for ideas to integrate your marketing and get everything working together.

Advertising Celebration

One of our favorite holidays is fast approaching. The day is this Sunday, a day most others refer to as Super Bowl Sunday. We love it because it is one of the rare days when most of us pay attention to the commercials and some of us even watch the game. We shared some great trivia about Super Bowl advertising last year.

This year 90% of the air time was sold by September, according to Reuters. This compares with a story ran in January 2010 by The New York Times that reported that the ads were “nearly” sold out.

Is this an economic indicator? If it is, then it is a good thing. Advertisers were confident enough to commit to spending $3 million for 30 seconds of our attention about four months earlier than last year. As we celebrate and pay attention to “traditional advertising”, remember that direct mail plays a great role in communicating with your customers.

Is It The End of the Marketing Funnel

Marketing has grown more complicated, media choices have exploded, and consumers have asserted themselves more visibly than ever before. So perhaps some of the classical ways to understand and visualize marketing concepts, need to change and evolve too. shared some information from Forrester that found that 53% of U.S. online consumers research products online that they’ll then purchase in the store. This process exposes consumers to brands they might not have previously considered, expanding their consideration set at exactly the point where, according to the traditional funnel, it should narrow.

The author, Forester analyst, Steve Noble proposes to bury the marketing funnel and introduce a new model–the customer life cycle.

Discover: Every customer must discover a brand, product category, or personal need–the initial trigger that leads to a new or repeat purchase.

Explore: In this phase, customers explore the brand–and their options. When visiting an online store or handling products in a well-crafted shop environment, customers are immersing themselves in the explore phase.

Buy: Customer experiences during this phase include product availability, inventory lookup, and satisfaction with the checkout process. It also includes the actual price paid, the perceived value, and the experience with the sales channel if there is a problem.

Engage: After buying a product or service, customers engage with brands in several ways.

We reported on the evolution of the way people make buying decisions based on some data from McKinsey. That study found that “traditional” marketing was still a very important part of the buying process, it just happened earlier. This latest information from Forrester Research also supports the important role that direct mail can play in the buying process, during the discovery and engagement phases.

Proof of Why Large Committees Don’t Work

In decision making groups, 7 people could be the optimal number.

The Harvard Business Review’s Daily Stat shared the findings of Decide & Deliver: 5 Steps to Breakthrough Performance in Your Organization. Once you’ve got 7 people in a decision-making group, each additional member reduces decision effectiveness by 10%. Thus, a group of 17 or more rarely makes any decisions.

What about your marketing? Do you have many people participating in the process?

Tips to Create Opportunity

It is still January and many of us are still feeling fresh and optimistic about the New Year. Productivity author and expert David Allen offered some great advice and reasons to clear out your surroundings.

Want more business? Get rid of all the old energy in the business you’ve done. Are there any open loops left with any of your clients? Any agreements or disagreements that have not been completed or resolved? Any agendas and communications that need to be expressed?

Want more clothes? Go through your closets and storage areas and cart to your local donation center everything that you haven’t worn in the last 24 months or does not look or feel just right.

Want to be freer to go where you want to, when you want to, with new transportation? Clean out your glove compartments and trunks of your cars.

Do you want more wealth? Unhook from the investments and resources that have been nagging at you to change.

Do you want to feel more useful? Hand off anything that you are under-utilizing to someone who can employ it better.

Want some new visions for your life and work? Clean up and organize your boxes of old photographs.

Want to know what to do with your life when you grow up? Start by cleaning the center drawer of your desk.

You have to clear and organize your stuff anyway, right? Narrowing what you see, use and interact with down to what is really wanted, useful and desired is better.

What about your marketing messages? Is it time to let go of what is not working so you can focus on what is working to bring new customers?