Archive for the ‘Direct Mail’ Category

Engage Your Readers… Effective Headlines

March 1, 2015

HeadlineSMWhen you are writing a marketing communication piece – print ad, sales letter, direct mail piece, brochure, blog entry, press release, newsletter, webinar – where do you start? You may be surprised to learn that experts advise starting at the top by writing the headline.

The headline is your promise to readers, a statement of what they can expect if they continue reading. Promises are first made, and then fulfilled. So make the promise to readers through the headline, and fulfill it in the content.

The importance of headlines is not a new concept. Writing in 1923 in his book Scientific Advertising, Claude Hopkins said, “We pick out what we wish to read by headlines.” Forty years later, in his 1963 book Confessions of an Advertising Man, advertising legend David Ogilvy wrote On average, five times as many people read the headlines as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents of your dollar.” Continuing today, busy people decide what to read on web pages, e-mail, or blogs based the strength of the headline.


Integrating Print Into Your Marketing Mix

January 7, 2011

A few months ago in this newsletter we introduced you to the power of combining traditional direct mail marketing with web-based communication, and provided supporting research for the concept. Since then, new research has been published, providing even more evidence for the idea that print remains a viable and valuable part of any marketing campaign.

FedEx Office, in conjunction with the Ketchum Global Research Network and Braun Research, conducted the third annual Sign of the Times small business survey in spring 2010. The survey respondents were small business owners employing 5 to 100 employees and whose companies generate over $100,000 in annual revenue; over 500 interviews were completed. Survey results include:

• 87% of survey respondents indicated that printed marketing and advertising tools are somewhat to very effective in driving customers to their businesses.

• 57% of owners aged 18-34 believe in the power of flyers and brochures – more than their older counterparts (47%).

In addition, 44% of respondents said they plan to increase communication with existing and potential customers via a printed piece – a newsletter or direct mail.

How to Use Direct Mail fIor Marketing Success

January 7, 2011

If you’ve been reading our most recent newsletters, you’ll notice a theme – that traditional direct mail and e-mail work best together. Both have their place in a marketer’s tool kit, neither cancels the need for the other, and the two may even work symbiotically, as when a post card is sent offering a premium if the recipient provides an e-mail address.

While we acknowledge the growing importance of web-based communication to reach customers and prospects, computers and mobile wireless devices like smartphones cannot by themselves reach everyone in a business’s or organization’s target market. That could change as the use of mobile wireless devices spreads (which is happening rapidly). But until that time, traditional direct mail still has valuable place as a marketing tool.

Traditional direct mail is a good choice for some audiences (such as an older demographic whose adoption of web-based communications may be lagging younger audiences) and for anyone who clearly states a preference for direct mail.

Traditional direct mail is also a good choice for businesses and organizations whose target audience is local. Sustaining member campaigns, fundraisers and financial support appeals by community-based non profits are a good example where outreach by traditional direct mail to the homes of donors is likely to outperform web- based appeal.

Anticipating the addition of, or even the switch to web-based communication, businesses and organizations are collecting e-mail addresses and starting permission-based newsletters and blogs. But until that task is complete, traditional direct mail could be the only way to reach a customer or prospect.

Content is King… Direct Mail or E-Mail Marketing

January 7, 2011

Amid the ongoing debate about whether direct mail or e-mail is the best method to market to customers and prospects, very little is being said about the one thing that is crucial to the success of both – the message. Unless the message is relevant to the audience and persuasively presented, it doesn’t matter how it is delivered. So while the discussion about direct mail versus e-mail continues, focus on developing good content and honing your writing skills.

Why market with mail?

The objective of both direct and e-mail marketing is to persuade a customer or prospect to take action, either now or later. When a seller consistently and regularly sends a communication such as a mailed post card or a newsletter (either mailed or web-based), a buyer is more likely at a future time to take the action desired by the seller. In other words, direct or e-mail marketing is less about an immediate sale than about positioning the business or organization to be top-of-mind when the potential buyer is ready to make a purchase.

This is especially important in business-to- business selling where the sell cycle is often long (especially when compared to business-to- consumer), and it is hard to stimulate demand. Direct mail is also important during an economic downturn when either budgetary constraints or the unwillingness of the purchaser to spend money creates a long sell cycle for both businesses and consumers.

Taking it to the Street… How Good is Your Mailing List?

May 27, 2010

If you’re a regular reader of Printips, you know we strongly believe in the power of direct mail marketing as a way to build business. Keeping your company or organization’s name in front of customers helps to reinforce their decision to use your products and services; for prospects, it creates name recognition; and for both groups it builds top of mind awareness for your brand.

The success of any direct mail marketing campaign is determined by three factors: the quality of the mail piece itself; the offer; and the mailing list. Of these, the mailing list is significantly more important than the other two. In fact, the Direct Marketing Association attributes 60% of the success of a mailing to the list itself and just 20% each to the mailer and the offer.

Practical Tips for Direct Mail Marketing

May 3, 2010

Direct marketing is an outreach to consumers or businesses that is designed to generate a response: an order, a request for further information, or a visit to a business. Direct marketing is effective because it can be targeted at a specific audience; it arouses interest; and its results can be measured. When done properly, direct marketing creates a relationship with an existing or potential customer.

The word direct denotes that the marketing outreach is straight to the intended recipient, without the use of third party media such as newspaper, magazine, or television advertising. Although some direct marketing outreach is in the form of door hangers, package inserts, broadcast FAX, telemarketing, or e-mail, the most prevalent means of reaching consumers or businesses is by using the mail.

Direct Mail + List Management = Effective Marketing

March 20, 2010

Direct mail is a very popular way to market a company’s products or services. We have helped many customers design and print effective direct mail marketing pieces.

But here is something you may not know – the success of any direct mail marketing campaign is more dependent on the mailing list than on any other factor. You can verify this for yourself with a simple hypothetical example. Suppose the owner of a pizza parlor mailed a post card that looked just exactly like a delicious pepperoni pizza and offered a pizza for free just for returning the card. That would seem to automatically guarantee a high response rate. But suppose the mail list used for the mailing was comprised only of vegetarians – a sure case of a great mailing to a bad list.

Form and Function–The Two Faces of Direct Mail Design

March 17, 2010

If you are like most of our customers, you have a lot of questions about designing an effective direct mail marketing piece. Should you use a post card, a self mailer, or an envelope? Use lots of copy or lots of white space? Announce who the mail is from, or build the reader’s curiosity? With so many variables to consider, where does one begin to seek the right answers?

To help sort through the maze of interlocking decisions, remember that there are two ways to judge how well a direct mail piece has been designed. One set of standards comes from the discipline of good graphic design; the other comes from what makes mail move efficiently through the mail stream. We believe both are important, and that a good strategy is to thoroughly understand each set.

Use Direct Mail to Grow Your Business

March 15, 2010

Direct mail marketing – the process of using a printed piece to communicate directly with a selected audience – is experiencing a renaissance. The surprising popularity of the federal Do-Not-Call registry for telemarketing, combined with public ire at Internet-based spam, is causing renewed interest in using the mail to create leads or generate orders.

Direct mail offers several benefits over other marketing techniques:

• Targeting. Prospects can be targeted by using a list containing individuals or businesses that meet a specific set of criteria.

• Measurable results. The results of a direct mail campaign can be evaluated by computing a cost per lead or cost per sales transaction.

• Flexibility. Direct mail literature can be personalized or tailored to the individual receiving it.

• Affordability. Even a modest advertising budget can fund a successful direct mail campaign.

The ABCs of Saving Money on Postage

February 24, 2010

If you are using direct mail as a way of communicating with your customers, contacting prospects or selling your products and services, you have probably noticed that postage can account for a significant portion of what you spend each time you mail. That’s the bad news. The good news is that you can exercise considerable control over postage costs as well as the level of service you get from the postal service by learning the ABCs of postage management.