Tag Archive for personalized message

Direct Mailing Trends

Target Marketing Magazine examined the last year and a half of the Who’s Mailing What Archive and concluded a few trends.


Repeat mail was up 12 percent in 2010. It now represents a full quarter of all direct mail. The reasons include mailers being budget-conscious and staying with efforts that are clearly working.


Mailing premiums has increased by over 6 percent so far this year compared to 2009. Now nearly 20 percent of all direct mail includes a premium offer. “According to Archive Director Paul Bobnak , among nonprofits, incentives have taken on greater importance. Usage doesn’t seem to have increased. Instead of one tote bag or aluminum bottle, they’ll offer two or three as a premium. And tote bags and blankets (which have been good premiums) have begun to show up as ‘freemiums’ being mailed to prospects.”


Personalization is also used more, a 19 percent increase from last year. Used in 35 percent of direct mail, help make mail relevant for the recipient.

Financial Services Offers Are In The Mail Again

Major credit card issuers are adjusting to new credit card marketing regulations and are mailing offers. Some have launched new products. The best example of this is Chase with their multiple new cards.

Social Media

Mailers are increasingly promoting social media connections (Facebook, Twitter, …) in direct mail, particularly retailers. QR codes have been popping up too, although without much attention being called to them.

Self Mailers Declining

The one trend that is going in the opposite direction is the usage of the self-mailer. It is down 15 percent from 2009, in part because of production cost. It’s still used in 43 percent of all direct mail.

Tips for Using Direct Mail to Boost Website Traffic

Marketing Profs published a great article about generation more online traffic using direct mail.

Online and offline media work well together. An integrated approach can work wonders.

We told you about how 76 % of internet users were directly influenced to buy an item or service thanks to direct mail Better still, direct mail remains the one medium that gives you direct and reliable access to nearly everyone in your target market.

Tips to drive Web traffic with direct mail

  • Make a compelling offer. Give people a powerful reason to visit your site—a compelling and valuable offer, such as a free trial, seminar, white paper, savings coupons, or sample. It must be something they want, not just something you want them to see.
  • Use an easy-to-type address. Unlike email, where you can include a clickable link to your landing page, in direct mail you can only print a URL. Your prospect must type it into a browser. The shorter and easier it is to spell, then, the easier it will be for people to visit your page. If you create a separate domain for the promotion, try for a short easy URL.
  • Build a special landing page. Generally, it’s not a good idea to drive traffic to your homepage. There are too many choices on those pages and too many ways for prospects to get lost. By creating a unique landing page and driving people to that page, you can control the message, track response, and collect information for follow-up and future direct marketing efforts.
  • Consider a personalized URL (pURL). A pURL gets extra attention and creates curiosity. They are easy to type and allow for tight integration of the direct mail piece and landing page for tracking.
  • Personalized copy. Just as a pURL gets attention, personalized teasers, headlines, subheads, and body copy attract attention and encourage reading. Use personalization with restraint—to avoid the appearance of an over-the-top sweepstakes mailing.
  • Issue a clear call-to-action. People are more likely to respond when you specifically tell them what to do.
  • Push response with a deadline. As in most direct marketing situations, people are more apt to respond immediately when they know they have a limited time for doing so. With whatever offer you make, state a deadline near the call-to-action.
  • Test various formats. Because of printing and postage costs, many people use postcards to drive Web traffic. But you can also test self-mailers, flyers, and envelope packages. The amount of pre-sell required should dictate the format. The simpler and more valuable your offer, the less pre-sell you need. Only testing can show you for sure.
  • Capture contact information. A one-time visit offers limited value. Good direct marketing practice dictates that you use a first visit to begin a dialog. And to do that, you must at least ask for the visitor’s email address and maybe first name (to personalize future communications). Depending on the value of the offer, you might also be able to get full name, mailing address, and other information to build your own database.

Happiness Depends on Age

The New York Times reported on a Gallup Poll that found that people start out at age 18 feeling pretty good about themselves, and then, apparently, life begins to get challenging. They feel worse and worse until they hit 50. At that point, there is a sharp reversal, and people keep getting happier as they age. By the time they are 85, they are even more satisfied with themselves than they were at 18.

We hope you see opportunities and optimism with this information. Not only do you know that life will continue to get better, but you now have great information as you craft your marketing messages. Understanding some of the emotions of your target audience will help you as you write compelling appeals. This is a great complement to marketing to people during life changing events.

Tips to Make Direct Mail Work Smarter

Direct mail remains a vital component of marketers’ programs. Direct mail is becoming more sophisticated and is capable of delivering higher results. Late last year Randy Spurrier shared his thoughts about ways to improve mail’s results in a post on IMedia Connection. Some direct marketers are transitioning away from “blast” campaigns and are moving toward highly integrated, direct mail-meets-online formats that combine relevant mailers, personal URLs (PURLs), triggered and targeted follow up communication, variable content, and more.

Creating a relevant dialogue with customers is becoming crucial today. Response rates for relevant mailers, are typically 2-4 times higher than non-relevant ones. When customized direct mail is combined with interactive elements such as PURLs, triggered follow-up, and additional relevant communications timed at just the right intervals, response rates can climb up to 10 times.

It’s fairly easy to transition from an un-targeted direct mail program to a next-generation, relevance-based one. Most marketers have all the data they need to create fully automated, relevant direct mail-meets-online programs today. The way to leverage this data painlessly is to implement technology. Solutions allow marketers to set up, run, and optimize marketing programs automatically.

Here are a few strategies to get you started.

Automate from the get-go. One-to-one marketing programs, of course, would be out of reach from a cost and time perspective if you had to manually change messaging and set delivery parameters for each individual person. To get started with there are ways to harness technology to send customized print mailers (each with a link to a PURL with relevant offers and recommendations), and then, depending on the customer’s actions, automatically send timely follow-ups all throughout the purchase process.

Get the message right. The segmentation modeling used to determine whom to mail to does not determine what to say to those people. How do you know what they want to hear? Implement rules and technology to leverage your data to guide a relevant message and individualized offer for each prospect. Use propensity-to-buy modeling and purchase analysis to identify topics of interest that will form the basis of your relevant messaging. This will be used to deliver relevant and personalized messages.

Maintain the dialogue. Guiding your customer through the purchase process at every step is key to boosting conversions, especially when it comes to considered purchases. Communicate at timed intervals with automated touches, PURLs with engaging advice and recommendations, and even outbound sales calls. Keep your marketing engine rule-based, allowing you to deliver data-driven messages and automatically “trigger” new touches based on customers’ interactive feedback.

For example, your marketing technology and rules should be able to trigger timely touches based on customer responses, inquiries, or purchases. Say you send a customized mailer with a link to a PURL to a prospect. If they don’t visit the PURL after one week, you could send a follow-up mailing. If they visit the PURL or phone the call-center but don’t close within five days, the engine would send a second follow-up print touch offering an alternative video recommendation or a more compelling promotion. The PURL could be updated to reflect the new offer or product recommendation communicated in each follow-up touch.

If you send your prospects relevant and fully-customized mailers — integrating technology — they’ll not only keep your mailer out of the recycling bin, they’ll reward your efforts by making more purchases.

More Evidence that Paper and Print Feel Better

Deliver Magazine reported on a survey conducted by Harris Interactive that found that 64 percent of employed US adults say print media is easier to read than the digital equivalent. 68 percent say that they feel more comfortable reading something on paper than on screen, suggesting that we associate things we can touch and feel as being more “real”.

How can we help you put something “real” in your customers and prospects hands so they feel more comfortable and find your communication easier to read? Direct mail is a great idea!

Courting a Wary Customer

Deliver Magazine and Sid Liebenson suggest three ways to build and maintain loyal relationships when customers are running scared.

Consumers are retrenching, economizing and just plain scared. But as the saying goes, the pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity, and the optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty.

The recession presents the perfect opportunity to finetune your marketing efforts that will build loyalty among your current customers. It also is the prime time to go into acquisition mode and attract competitors’ customers to your brand. Here are three ways to do it:

1. Get personal. Consumers are vulnerable in a down market: They’re rethinking their brand loyalties as they look to economize and reconsider what they value in a brand. Keeping your customers means personalizing like you’ve never personalized before.

Mine your data to let your customers know you understand what’s important to them. For example, you might send a message on a catalog overwrap saying, “In the spring, you bought this lightweight cotton sweater from us. Now that it’s fall, here’s what people who bought that sweater are buying now.” This shows you care about what they are thinking, and there’s some logic to what you’re recommending — you’re not selling them something just to sell it.

Your marketing messages need to be not only personalized, but frequent. In a tough economy, it’s common for consumers to question where every penny is going. When they do that, suddenly every relationship is a little at risk. Their question becomes “Am I really getting value from this relationship, or is there something that will satisfy my needs equally for less money?”

2. Don’t make cuts. Now is not the time to scale back on marketing spending. If you don’t stay in touch with your best customers — while they’re continuously exposed to messages from your competitors — the idea of buying your brand gets further from their mind. This is especially true when consumers are already reconsidering their brand loyalty.

In several categories, competitors aren’t marketing as much or they’re reducing campaign frequency. With these cutbacks, some marketing media have become cheaper. If you’re not afraid to spend some money on acquisition, chances are your media costs can be a little more efficient.

3. Show them you care. Empathize with customers to demonstrate you understand what they’re going through during the recession. Health care, for example, is a big concern for consumers right now.

You should always practice good marketing — personalization, appropriate messages, frequent touches — but focus on these things even more to keep your customers with you through the economic crisis. When times are better, you’ll have your core group of customers — and then some.

A College Student’s View of the Mail

Loyola University student Andy Dorsey describes his feelings about personal postal mail in an opinion-editorial.

“Sure, it’s cheaper and easier to e-mail people, but it’s just not the same. When you see an e-mail in your inbox, you probably dread the homework assignment, request to attend an event or at the very least, the obligation of composing a reply.

Letters are different. Maybe many of my peers have never gotten a true letter in the mail, but it’s at once an exciting and human experience.  Texting may have the advantage of instant contact, but letters are physical pieces of paper prepared for your personal perusal. They are objects that have traveled from their hands to yours.”

Using direct mail to reach, even the youngest consumers, is great way to stand out and send some genuine personal messages.

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.