Direct Mail Trends for 2020 & Beyond

Marketing strategies have personalized printing with direct  mailchanged throughout the years, yet one tactic has shown to produce results time and time again: direct mail. However, just because direct mail has been in the marketing game for the long-haul, that doesn’t mean that it can’t be refreshed or used in new ways today.

As your business evaluates options for direct mail marketing, there are plenty of different methods, designs and features to test. It’s a tried and true approach, but the success of direct mail comes from what you put into it.
 

Make it Personal

If you’ve ever received a mail piece addressed “dear neighbor,” or “valued customer,” you may know the feeling of being just another recipient on the mailing list. Personalize and customize your materials as much as possible to reach your targeted audience in a meaningful way. Address each card using real names and offers tailored to the recipient’s needs or interests. For new and prospective customers, offer trials or free consultations to get them in the door. For past customers, include promotions for services or items they’ve previously shopped for to get them coming back for more. Direct mail has the power to evoke emotion and memory and customizing your strategy to fit your target audience on an individual level will help make that connection.

 

Leverage Multi-Channel Opportunities

Direct mail doesn’t have to end on the flat surface of a mail card. With today’s advancements in technology and multi-channel platforms, your direct mail strategy is simply the beginning. One easy step to take your message beyond the mailbox is printing QR codes on your mail pieces. Whether it is for a promotional offer or a resource for more information, recipients will be able to scan the QR code from the mail card with a click of a button on their smartphone and be instantly redirected to a website page, social media profile or any other digital platform. If you want to experiment even further, consider integrating Augmented Reality (AR) technology to stand out from traditional methods and bring your message to life.

 

Aim for an Attention-Grabbing Design

If you’re familiar with the eight-second rule for websites – the statistic that online viewers have an attention span of just eight seconds on average – you might be interested to know that the attention threshold for direct mail is just as short, or even shorter in some cases. Use a creative approach to make sure you can grab your audience’s attention at first glance. Showcasing original imagery and bold design will catch the recipient’s eye while also appearing more personalized and thought-out than stock photos. Don’t be afraid to integrate out-of-the-box elements like unique folds, tear-backs or 3D features too.

 

Direct mail strategies will only continue to evolve as the years go on, but the long-standing tactic will remain a staple in the marketing world in one way or another. While your business may benefit from experimenting with different designs, customization and features, take note of what works for you and what doesn’t. How are your customers or prospective clients responding to your direct mail strategy? What are your competitors doing? The world of direct mail marketing is larger than you may think – immerse yourself in it.

Contact the experts at Allegra to discuss ways to make direct mail work for you!

How to Benefit from Bulk Mailing

Place your brand in the hands of potential customers with Allegra’s mailing solutions.

bulk mailing

The key to every successful direct mail campaign is having a well-targeted mailing list. For smaller and medium-sized businesses, putting together this list can be challenging, and this is where bulk mailing services can come in handy.

Local businesses can use bulk mailing services to reach potential clients in their nearby communities. This service sends your preferred print marketing pieces such as postcards, flyers, menus, or even product samples to a specifically geo-targeted area. Use this service to promote; exclusive sales, give out discount coupons, invite people to a new location, or event, or simply to remind people you are near them.

If you own a local business, consider these four reasons to add bulk mailing to your marketing mix:

  • These types of mailing campaigns are effective. Think about how many times you’ve found out about nearby restaurants, and other businesses around you via mail, the answer is — probably very often. This strategy continues to be useful because it puts your brand, location, and contact information in the hands of potential customers close to you.
  • Mailing campaigns are affordable. While the pricing per campaign may vary depending on the weight, size, and format of your mailing, the return on investment and brand exposure are often higher than the results of similar campaigns in digital channels.
  • These mailings are sent to unaddressed mailings. This means your business doesn’t need to worry about putting together a mailing list. This bulk making solution doesn’t require specific names or complete mailing addresses.
  • You can track the results. To monitor the response rate of these campaigns, all you need is a trackable phone number, a custom URL, or even a specific coupon code attached to your mailer.

Being able to reach a local audience is crucial for many businesses, and the best way to do so is by hiring an experienced team to handle it. At Allegra, you will find a creative partner for your business. We can help you design, print a compelling marketing piece, and send it to the area you want to reach.

Are you looking to learn more about our direct mail solutions? Your local Allegra can help!

Take advantage of our knowledgeable team to help guide you and recommend the best strategies to reach your business goals. To learn more about bulk mailing solutions, contact Allegra today!

3 Ways to Build the Perfect List for Your Next Direct Mail Campaign

According to this DMA Report, direct mail campaigns have high response rates. They found for existing customer lists, the response rate is on average 9%, and for prospect lists it’s 5%. A well-planned direct mail campaign can help amplify your marketing strategy, break through the clutter from competitors, and drive customer action.Allegra Direct Mail Campaign

The effectiveness of every direct mail marketing campaign is directly related to the quality of the mailing list. To reach the right audience, you’ll need to make sure you create the list carefully. Here are some key considerations to keep in mind when you are in the process of building a mailing list for your next direct mail campaign:

  1. Analyze your existing data.
    A great place to start building a mailing list is by reviewing the data you have from existing customers. If you are in need of additional data, there are many different strategies marketers use to collect customer and prospect names, emails, and physical addresses. Some of these strategies include; gathering data with trade show registrations, social media responses, contest entry forms, white paper downloads, product warranty cards, e-newsletters subscriptions, and other simple sign-up forms. Once you start building your list organically, you will be able to use that information to track your customer’s behavior and make better marketing decisions.
  1. Harness the power of mailing list segmentation.
    As soon as you have the right number of contacts on your list, the next step will be to figure out which variables you can use to separate your contacts into smaller and meaningful groups. Highly targeted lists segment people based on things like geographic location, lifestyle characteristics or age group. Segmenting your house list will enable your message to be more relevant and meaningful.
  1. Personalize the message for each audience.

Today’s small and mid-sized business marketer can easily and affordably leverage the power of highly targeted data to reach a very specific audience. With variable data printing capabilities from your print marketing provider, you can personalize text and images by individuals or groups to improve response rates.

Are you ready to start planning your next direct mail campaign?

Your local Allegra can help you source and manage all the data you need to build a successful mailing list. Contact Allegra for all your business design, print, and mailing needs.

The Right Way to do a Multi-Channel Direct Mail Campaign

Studies show that companies can build more trust with current and potential customers by opening more lines of communication. Armed with this information, many companies have been doing just that. Their methods of communication now include mailing services, text, phone calls, chat boxes, social media and email. Many have also been using indirect forms of communication, such as web ads, guest articles, and magazines, to reach more customers and increase their market share.

3d illustration of notepad with check list, all tasks is done

While it’s great to have a wealth of options from which to choose, too many options can hurt a marketing strategy. This is especially true for smaller brands that don’t always have the money to splurge on every avenue that’s open to them. In fact, even larger companies want to save a buck or two on marketing, so they can invest in other areas of the company, such as research and development. So, to help you fine-tune your marketing strategy, let’s discuss the right way to run a multi-channel direct mail campaign.

 

Create a Goal

Every business strategy needs to begin with a goal that can be measured and quantified. This helps marketers track progress during the campaigns they produce. It also helps to track the effectiveness of these campaigns once their run-time is complete. Without a clear-cut goal, companies would just spend blindly, never knowing what worked and what did not.

When creating a goal, keep it realistic. Look at where the brand currently is, where you want it to go, and the short-term milestones that will get you there. Remember – each campaign is just another milestone on that journey.

 

Create Metrics

Now that you have a goal, you will need to figure out how you will measure success. When it comes to digital forms of marketing, this is relatively easy. There are many apps available that require little more than signing in to track audience reach, levels of engagement and conversion rates.

Direct mail is another measurable channel. Many companies track delivery of their mail and include special offers and promotion codes for easy tracking. When these are redeemed, the promotion code used allows marketers to attribute the sale to the direct mail campaign.

 

Assess Your Audience

No matter what kind of marketing campaign you are planning, it’s important to know your audience. Gauge their preferences about your product and service, how they use it, and what aspects are most attractive to each demographic you serve.

 

 

Select Your Channels

Your audience uses multiple forms of communication, but based on the demographics of that audience, communication will vary. For instance, running a late-night ad on Instagram is unlikely to reach your audience if your target demographic is primarily made up of the elderly. The good news is that there is one channel that almost everyone has access to: the mail.

 

Direct mail campaigns are the cornerstone of many successful campaigns. When you use the coupons mailed to you by your favorite coffee shop or find yourself purchasing your car insurance specifically from the company that congratulated you by mail on your new car, those are instances of success for a direct mail campaign.

 

Build Your Persona

When you understand your audience and the channels they use, you are better able to create the persona behind these different forms of communication. Start from personal preferences, especially if you line up well with your target audience. How do the traits you display change as you move from one form of communication to the next?

 

For example, your professional persona may come out in a business letter, your witty side in a tweet and your silly selfies on Instagram. How will your brand translate its business persona across multiple platforms that require different sides of the same “self”? This is an important question you will need to answer.

 

Craft Your Message

It becomes easier to craft messages for your brand when you understand its tone and voice. This may take time and may even evolve over a period of months or years, but the important thing is to do your research, start from an informed position, and make necessary changes along the way.

 

 

Maintain Brand Consistency

When looking at consistency in branding, it’s important to begin with the visuals. When customers receive direct mail, they should instantly be able to tie the look of the material to your website and social media. Don’t be afraid to use printed marketing material to invite your customers to join you online, especially if you can offer them an incentive to do so.

 

For online brand consistency, using the same profile picture across all platforms is a wise choice, but do not duplicate content. You do want customers to visit as many channels as possible and if they are all pushing out the same content, it gets repetitive. Instead, focus on sharing tone and topics across platforms. Even if you share the same links and photos, switch up the captions and timing.

 

Managing multiple channels of marketing, including direct mail, can be quite the challenge to undertake on your own. Luckily, there are companies like Allegra Marketing Print Mail who can help you to assess your marketing needs and meet (or exceed!) your objectives. Contact us today to get expert advice for your next campaign.

Multi-Channel Marketing Made Easy

 

With so many options, it’s no surprise more than 92 percent of North American consumers shop on more than one marketing channel.

i channel

Considering shoppers need an average of nearly six touch points before making a purchase decision, it’s clear that a multi-channel marketing strategy has become a must-have.

 

Multi-channel marketing is often achieved online with your website, email marketing, digital ads, social media and more. One powerful offline component that can boost your multi-channel efforts is direct mail marketing.

 

According to the Heinz/PFL 2018 Multichannel Marketing Effectiveness Report, B2B marketers that use direct mail report higher overall effectiveness of their marketing versus other non-digital channels, like events, public relations and print advertising.

 

Still, it’s important to establish a presence where your customers are likely to be found – online. Fortunately, there’s a simple bundle of services that will upgrade your direct mail campaigns to automatically bring you the advantages of multi-channel marketing, specifically on Facebook and the Google Display Network. Here’s how it works:

 

You send a mailer to your defined list, driving them online to your website. The mail recipients who visit your website and later log into Facebook will see an online display ad in their newsfeed that matches your direct mail piece for a 30-day period.

 

Through a code added on your website, you can automatically repeat advertising efforts to visitors who have not purchased a product, filled out a form, etc. Plus, for 30 days, ads matching your mail piece will follow these prospects when they visit any of over a million sites on the Google Display Network.

 

Make multi-channel marketing easier for your 2019 plan. Download your free copy of Marketing Insider to learn more or ask us about our integrated, multi-channel solution.  We can also help with sourcing mailing lists or designing mailers and online ads.

 

Put Your Direct Mail to the Test

Testing can help you put the stamp of success on your next mail campaign.

Following are some of the most common questions from small and mid-sized businesses, organizations and nonprofits in regard to testing mail campaigns.

Why test direct mail?

The short answer is because you can. With other media such as outdoor or radio, you often have to dive right in. But with direct mail, it’s relatively easy – and potentially cost savvy – to dip your toe in the water before fully committing yourself.

What should I test?

Many test their mailing lists to see which one is most effective in gaining responses. Another popular test subject is the offer. Which works best, a dollars-off offer or a percentage discount or a free trial? You also can use testing to evaluate headlines calls-to-action, formats and campaign timing.

How do I test a mail campaign?

Perhaps the easiest way is to create “test cells” to compare key variables of your campaign. You might, for example, divide your mailing list into four parts and send Offer A to 25%, Offer B to 25% and so on. Just be sure the sample size is large enough to provide “statistical significance” – meaning that the results from the test are likely to be replicated when you mail again to the rest of the audience.

When do I test?

If planning a big campaign, it can make sense – and save dollars – to pre-test on a smaller scale prior to the launch.

Another less formal way to benefit from testing is to track your results on a continuous basis, adjusting as you go. If 2017’s campaign drew a great response from a free trial offer whereas 2018’s effort featuring a percentage discount gained fewer responses, consider repeating or refining the free trial offer in your campaign this year.

Need help? We invite you to put our direct mail expertise to the test.

4 Ways to Drive Better Results From Direct Mail Marketing

In a digitally driven world, it’s easy to feel like your direct mail marketing efforts could be making a bigger impact when the goal is to generate brand awareness.

direct mail markeeting
Let’s check the numbers: According to the Data & Marketing Association, direct mail garners approximately a 5% response rate with a house file and a 2.9% rate for a prospect list. Comparatively, digital channels including email, social media, paid search and online display ads achieved a combined response rate of 2.6%.

Direct mail marketing remains an effective strategy with several key benefits including its targeting ability, measurability and memorability – all driving higher response rates. Here are four ways you can deliver a cut-through-the-clutter direct mail marketing campaign:

  1. Vary formats.
    From a simple, economical postcard for blanketing a geographic area to highly targeted, multi-piece envelope mailings, there’s a format to match your goals and budget. With textured papers and unusual folds, your mail becomes a standout in the box.
  2. Make it personal.
    With today’s variable data printing technologies, it’s never been easier for business marketers to create one-to-one campaigns with relevant imagery and content that connects with the individual. This in turn generates greater interest, engagement and response. Choose eye-catching and colorful paper and textured stock that not only represents your brand, but also stands out in even the most cluttered mailboxes.
  3. Add some dimension.
    For targeted audiences, consider using a different method to pique interest such as three-dimensional mailer. By switching out an envelope for a mailing tube or box, you can include your brand’s message along with a fun and useful promotional item that can drive your message home. According to the Advertising Specialty Institute, 85% of consumers remember the advertiser who gave them a promotional product.
  4. Clean it up and test it out.
    Mail only matters if it’s delivered to the right people. Remove duplicate addresses, names or businesses from your mailing lists to save creative and mailing costs. To further refine your efforts, test the messaging, offer or design treatment against a control to further refine your mail campaigns.

Want to learn more about driving better results from your direct mail? Your local Allegra Marketing Print Mail can help.

Simple Ways to Personalize Your Multi-Channel Marketing Campaigns

One of the most widely embraced marketing tactics for establishing and maintaining customer rapport and loyalty is personalization. Personalized marketing leverages your customer data to individualize messaging, adding important relevancy. Personalization can be applied to most of your marketing channels: direct mail, email, social media and other digital campaigns.

Allegra Direct Mail

Though personalized marketing can seem daunting, chances are you’ve already collected basic customer data that can be used to tailor your campaigns. Studies show that any form of personalization can pay off when it comes to engaging your targeted audience. According to a report from Econsultancy, 74 percent of marketers say targeted personalization increases customer engagement.

Here are a few ways to integrate personalization into your current marketing efforts to boost engagement:

  • Using data collected from your current customer base, create your ideal customer personas and tailor your marketing strategy to meet the needs of each identified group. For multi-channel marketing campaigns, segment by group and tailor your approach based on communication preferences and customer demographics.
  • Personalize a direct mail campaign by tailoring the messaging to a desired customer experience, rather than just a target customer. A pet supply store that offers grooming, for example, could share coat-care tips with a coupon for shampoo to a targeted list of past purchasers.
  • Enhance your direct mail campaign with personalized landing pages to extend engagement and drive conversions for those who like to respond online.

Count on your local Allegra Marketing Print Mail to provide solutions for personalizing your marketing campaigns in the most targeted and practical way.

4 Ways to Improve Customer Retention

The Harvard Business Review suggests that it is anywhere between five to 25 times more expensive to acquire new customers than retain them depending on the industry. Here are a few considerations as you develop what works best for your company’s retention strategy:

Customer Retention

  1. Keep VIP customers happy.
    Track the buying patterns of your best customers and reach out with personal communication if they lapse. A dormant accounts survey may be the first step to determine the why behind their absence: needs have changed, moved their business to a competitor or there’s some level of dissatisfaction that should be addressed.
  2. Start a rewards program.
    According to a Bond Brand Loyalty Inc. report, 76 percent of shoppers think that loyalty programs are key to their relationships with businesses.Small businesses can use customer loyalty programs to reward customers who regularly buy products and/or services to incentivize repeat sales.
  3. Give special offers.
    Customer appreciation strategies go a long way when it comes to customer retention. From branded gifts and personal notes to promotional giveaways and birthday cards, regular customer appreciation activities are tangible ways for your company to show appreciation that can generate positive sentiment and measurable brand loyalty.
  4. Don’t forget the follow up.
    According to DMNews, 53 percent of consumers feel that it’s important for businesses to recognize them as the same person across all channels and devices. Engaged customers are likely to remain long-term customers, so gear your small business’ blog content, emails and other communications with customers in personal ways that keep their attention.

Interested in bolstering your customer retention strategies and driving brand loyalty? Contact your local Allegra Marketing Print Mail today.

Three Ways Promotional Products Can Elevate Your Direct Mail Campaigns

Direct mail is an effective way to stand out from the digital noise and reach your key audiences. One tactic to increase your direct mail response rate is to make your mail more appealing by giving it shape, compared to a typical flat mail that people receive every day.

Three Ways Promotional Products Can Elevate Your Direct Mail Campaigns

According to a 2017 Data & Marketing Association report, a dimensional mailer can outperform a flat mailing by up to 300 percent, and at 5.49 percent, has the highest response rate of any direct response medium. Already a strong performer, your direct mail can benefit from an added lift with the inclusion of promotional products.

Here are three key considerations when integrating promotional products into your direct mail campaign:

  1. Keep it useful. Pick a product that is useful, making it more likely the recipient will hold on to it. A Global Impressions study from Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI) shows that eight out of 10 consumers rank usefulness as the most important attribute of an advertising specialty.
  2. Make it memorable. ASI reports that 85 percent of consumers remember the advertiser giving them a promotional product. Include your logo on the product and brief contact information, like a website or phone number.
  3. Save your budget. Promo products have a lower cost-per-impression (less than a cent) than TV advertising, national magazine advertising and newspaper ads, and are comparable to radio and internet advertising, says ASI.

The message is clear: For your next targeted direct mail campaign, say “not this time” to plain envelopes, and try a box or tube. They can be customized and printed with a key message or theme.

Looking for ways to lift your direct mail marketing and drive greater interest and response? Contact your local Allegra Marketing Print Mail for assistance.