While predictably receptive to online promotions and communications, research shows tech-savvy millennials have an unexpected affection for more traditional direct marketing.
The 2017 Annual State of Marketing Consumer Survey from Keypoint Intelligence – InfoTrends reveals 71 percent of North American millennials say they look at most of the direct mail they receive.
“There’s just not as much clutter in traditional media, like print and mail, and it’s engaging to digital natives,” says Kate Dunn, Business Service Director at Keypoint Intelligence – InfoTrends.
However, not all mail will capture the hearts of millennial buyers. Here are three ways to win them over and inspire long-term loyalty:
Get personal. Most appealing is customized, printed content that reflects a website they’ve visited or products they recently purchased, according to the Consumer Survey.
Interactivity is important. Dunn notes that millennials are more likely to use a QR code to access special offers, coupons or video, bringing digital assets into the conversation. Augmented reality is another big hit, creating opportunities to bridge the gap between the physical and digital world.
Multi-channel matters. You’ve captured their attention with a direct mail piece – don’t lose their initial engagement with a lackluster website. Ensure your website is well designed, mobile friendly and recognizable based on their first exposure to your brand, Dunn advises.
Allegra Marketing Print Mail hosted speaker Carla Johnson, world-renowned storyteller and author of Experiences: The 7th Era of Marketing, for our latest webinar: “How to Fast-Track Great Ideas … and Make Them Stick.”
While there are people who seem to effortlessly come up with great ideas on the spur of the moment, there’s no special magic trick you’re missing out on. In this webinar, Johnson teaches marketers powerful ways to not only come up with great ideas, but also how to pitch them and receive buy-in from peers and managers.
In three highlighted case studies, see how businesses and nonprofits have launched powerful campaigns by seeking unexpected sources of inspiration.
By generating better ideas faster and learning how to draw on past experiences, you can overcome the barriers holding you back, help your organization reach its goals and inspire your next big success. No matter your role or experience, you can benefit from this proven formula and take your ideas to the next level.
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 about 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 marketers 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 last year’s campaign drew a great response from a free trial offer whereas this year’s effort featuring a percentage discount gained fewer responses, consider repeating or refining the free trial offer in your upcoming campaign.
Need help? Put our direct mail expertise to the test; contact Allegra today.
With just five seconds — or less — to catch a prospect’s interest, you must first get them to notice you. One of the best ways to accomplish this is through the use of eye-catching creative design and clear, concise text.
How do you get there? Try following some best practices for good “creative”:
Focus on the benefits.
Stick to customer benefits in your copy rather than your product’s features. For example, the weight and dimensions of a power drill are far less meaningful than saying it fits securely in your hand with a comfortable grip.
Add contrast to add interest.
Headlines, subheads and quotations will add visual emphasis and draw the reader to your most important information. Add visual contrast by leaving white space and varying the size of graphic elements. For example, two photos of dramatically different sizes on a page are more appealing than two photos of equal size. The “weight” difference also communicates which elements are more important.
Project the right image.
Use consistent typefaces and colors to create an easily identifiable “look” that distinguishes you from your competition. For example, you may want your audience to perceive your company as professional, friendly, corporate, dynamic or cost-conscious. The design you create reinforces these qualities and elicits the appropriate emotional response.
Never forget strategy.
Creative is designed to get results. And you can’t get results without strategy. Here’s how to motivate the desired action:
• Use a targeted list for your direct marketing to avoid waste and reach those most apt to buy.
• Create a sense of urgency. (Example: limited-time offer)
• Use incentives, like cash-back or free additional services.
• Include a clear call to action. Your prospects can’t respond if you don’t tell them what you want them to do or how they should do it. (Examples: Download a white paper, register for an event, make a donation, visit our website or contact us today.)
Talk to us about your creative challenges! Allegra can help.
Sponsorships, donations, pro bono services, discounts and volunteering. These are just a few of the ways through which small and mid-sized business owners can begin to build a profile as a good neighbor in the community.
Besides the “feel good and do good” nature of philanthropic activities, there are business-boosting ancillary benefits. Community involvement can give you the chance to network with other business leaders and may occur by sitting on the board of a nonprofit, for example. In this setting, you contribute your expertise to a clear need and can gain exposure to heavy hitters who could be potential business partners or customers.
Where to Start
With endless ways to share your time and talents, develop a purpose statement for your giving that defines your interests.
Provide opportunities for your employees to give back, too. Encouraging your staff to support your company’s or their own pet projects has shown to increase morale, teamwork, employee retention and satisfaction.
And, don’t overlook professional affiliations. Chambers of Commerce and other business and professional organizations and consortiums require volunteers to survive. Head a committee or help with an event and build important business (and personal) relationships.
For established events, explore sponsorship opportunities. Or, you may be able to pool your resources with other business people and share event space to create a unique experience.
When you and your organization are woven into the fabric of your community, everyone wins. You gain the reputation as a good place to work, allowing you to attract talent and retain top employees, customer satisfaction is higher, and you grow as a business person. Stronger businesses mean a healthier community.
Interested in formalizing a program and materials for your company to give back to your community? Let us know; Allegra can help!
Wouldn’t it be nice if great ideas could come to mind at the press of the button? While this may be a bit far-fetched, there are people out there who seem to effortlessly come up with great ideas on the spur of the moment.
The good news is, their ability to generate great ideas isn’t out of reach. As it turns out, you can easily learn the principles and apply them to your own brainstorming and idea generation to drive better business results.
Allegra Marketing Print Mail will host, “How to Fast-Track Great Ideas … and Make Them Stick,” a comprehensive live webinar to teach you tips and tricks for generating more ideas faster than ever, and how to draw on past experiences to inspire your next big success. This proven formula will transform any audience from skeptics to hands-down believers.
The free webinar will feature world-renowned storyteller Carla Johnson. Her latest book, Experiences: The 7th Era of Marketing, sets the benchmark for marketing’s evolving role in business. Today, she travels the world teaching people how to cultivate idea-driven teams that breed unstoppable creativity and game-changing innovation.
No matter what role you play or how much experience you have, you can learn powerful ways to come up with great ideas and pitch them to quickly gain buy-in from peers and managers, helping your organization reach its goals.
We hope you’ll join us Thursday, October 25 at 12 p.m. (ET) for the free webinar. For more information or to register, visit www.allegraideas.com. If you’re unable to join us live, we’ll send you a recording so you don’t miss a moment.
The holidays are the perfect time to spread good will and remain in the minds of your customers moving into the new year. What better way than with a gift that shows them you care?
Considering that 81 percent of people keep promotional products for more than a year, now is a great time to show your customers and employees some appreciation. Here are several branded gifts they can get excited about and use all the way until next season, creating buzz for your business:
Gift your customers and employees with a branded travel mug and a box of tea, hot cocoa or a bag of coffee. Finish with a gift card and bring some warmth to the office. Reusable and easy to tote around, they’ll promote brand awareness wherever they go.
Activewear and Outerwear
Fun, functional and trendy. These are the top three reasons why people keep promotional products, according to a study conducted by researchers at Relevant Insights. How about a branded quarter-zip or a fun logoed scarf, knit hat or ball cap?
Improved health and fitness are two of the most common New Year’s resolutions. Customers and employees will both appreciate workout towels, bags and water bottles.
Sure, there are plenty of digital options for calendars. Yet according to research by the Advertising Specialty Institute, 76 percent of consumers who own calendars say they display them prominently in their homes or offices. Topped only by umbrellas (14 months), calendars are kept longer than all other promotional items (12 months) and tied with mobile power bands.
New desk accessories are perfect for ringing in the new year. Logoed sticky notes, a pen and pencil set, and notebooks are all items that can be put to immediate use. Incorporate these little tokens of your gratitude into your holiday gifts to remind your VIPs how valued they are this holiday season.
Looking for inspiration on how your business can spread some cheer this holiday season? Contact your local Allegra today to find the perfect gifts to add to your promotional marketing mix.
Infographics are a great content marketing strategy that can serve as a powerful, informative tool for your business. Not only are they an eye-catching way to educate and promote products and services, they can also simplify complex information or processes for customers and internal audiences. Here are three ways that infographics can take your marketing to the next level:
1. They are attractive and digestible. Given that 90 percent of information transmitted to the brain is visual, infographics help any important numbers, facts and figures you want to share really stick. Using striking colors, interesting font pairings and graphic elements that align well with your brand image help appeal to the visual needs of consumers and those who crave a quick way to digest content.
Infographics serve as a compelling way to deliver information to your audience in the most attractive way possible.
2. They help create a narrative.
Memorable, measurable content marketing comes from good storytelling. Turning information and processes into a narrative, especially ones that are complex and difficult to understand, can help your audience receive the information more easily and retain it.
Say a veterinarian has an infographic in their waiting room telling the story of an owner’s first year with a new puppy. Relying heavily on visual elements to tell the story, it can grab someone’s attention and break down details, such as finding the best food for their puppy or housetraining tips.
3. They can be repurposed on social media.
Infographics are great for printing and hanging around your office for employees and customers or embedding into emails, but they’re also social media-ready. Posting clickable infographics on your social media channels is a perfect way to capture the attention of your followers and drive clicks to your site or collect more leads, depending on your call to action.
Plus, they boost engagement, making them more likely to go viral. Infographics are liked and shared on social media three times more than any other type of content.
Need help creating compelling infographics for your business? Contact your local Allegra to take your content marketing strategy to the next level.
Print communications are affordable and effective for today’s small business and nonprofit marketers. To get the most value from your marketing dollars, here are just four of the many ways you can cut the cost of your print communications – without cutting corners:
Plan to stay on schedule. Printers are accustomed to working with tight turnarounds. You can ease the process and save money by avoiding “do-overs.” Always ask for help if you’re unsure how to prepare your art files. Then, leave yourself plenty of time to review proofs and catch errors you may have overlooked early on to prevent re-dos and re-prints that can add up and extend your timeline.
Skip special orders. For many projects, you can save money by using in-stock papers. Ask your print provider to show you samples of what’s on hand. Unless you require a specific look or have budgeted for a higher-end piece, stick to the basics for your day-to-day materials to stretch your dollars.
Target your mailings. Mailing lists are more plentiful and robust than ever before. Many are highly-targeted to help direct marketers easily and affordably reach a very specific audience, preventing unnecessary waste and expense. After all, why spend money mailing to people who will not be receptive to your message or worse, those who may want to hear your message but who have moved and won’t receive your mail?
Print digitally, on demand. Many projects considered too small to be worth the investment in set-up charges on a traditional offset press can be affordably printed digitally. This printing option is ideal for short runs as the per piece price is the same whether you print 10 or 1,000. It also opens the door to variable, customized text and images from sheet-to-sheet for more targeted and effective messaging.
Keep on-demand digital printing in mind to avoid the waste associated with storing and ultimately throwing away materials that are quickly made obsolete when service specifications or product parts numbers, for instance, are frequently updated.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Eleven Allegra Franchise Locations on Printing News Magazine’s Annual Top 100 List
Eleven Allegra franchise locations have been named to the Printing News Top 100 Quick & Small Commercial Printers list. Allegra Network’s corporate-owned center in Plymouth, Mich., ranked eighth overall in the listing...