Boost Revenues by Targeting Lapsed Clients

Did you know that one of your deepest wells for bigger profits is your lapsed customer base? These are customers who have done business with you in the past, but for some reason have not come back.

This isn’t always due to discontent with your company. Sometimes it’s forgetfulness. Sometimes people simply want to try something new, and once they’ve done so, stay with it for convenience. Or a competitor comes along and offers them a deal at just the right time.

Assuming that lapsed customers had a positive relationship with you, re-engagement campaigns targeting those customers can yield tremendous results.

Take the example of one optician in the United Kingdom. In its market, independent opticians have been facing increased price-driven competition from large specialist chains. It fought back using a direct mail campaign with personalized URLs and incentive vouchers to re-activate lapsed clients and increase traffic to the practice.

The results? The practice reported 82 campaign recipients responding to the campaign and spending an average of £150 ($250) each after voucher reduction. This generated an immediate ROI of over 400%.

Want results like that? Talk to us about targeting your lapsed customers!

How Do You Make Marketing Decisions?

How do you plan your print and multi-channel marketing campaigns? Do you trust your intuition? Or do you rely on data to inform your decisions about the most effective way to approach your customers and prospects?

According to a study written by The Economist Intelligence Unit and sponsored by Applied Predictive Technologies (“Decisive Action: How Businesses Make Decisions and How They Could Do It Better,” 2014), executives and senior managers use a range of strategies, including decisions related to marketing. Does one of these categories describe you?

Intuitive (“I primarily use my intuition in making decisions”) 10%
Collaborative (“I seek to collaborate on decisions as much possible”) 32%
Data-Driven (“I collect and analyze data as much as possible before making a decision”) 42%
Empirical (“Where possible, I develop hypotheses and perform tests before making a decision”) 17%

What’s interesting is that, while the plurality of respondents say they rely on data during the decision-making process, they still highly value their own intuition. Even when data is readily available, 73% say they trust their own intuition. Among the data-driven decision-makers, 68% still agree with that statement.

What do you do when the marketing data contradicts your intuition? Let’s say the data tell you that yellow envelopes are most likely to boost response rates during slow periods, but whenever you’ve mailed using purple envelopes, you feel that you get the best results. What then?

You test it! Create a series of A/B tests to see what approach is the most effective at reaching your particular audience. In the case of the envelopes, you might find that both the data and your intuition are correct. Certain envelope colors may boost response more at certain times of the year, for example, around certain holidays, or for certain audiences only.

Need help analyzing and testing your data to develop the most effective mailing campaigns?  Let us help! That’s what we’re here for.

Tear-Off Cards Make Responses Easy

Do you include tear-off response cards or other forms in your direct marketing pieces? If so, do you send them blank? Or do you pre-fill them with readily available information (recipient’s name, address, product serial numbers, seminar dates) to make responses as easy as possible?

If you are sending blank forms, you are leaving money on the table. Why? Because the more steps recipients must take to respond to your offer, the less likely they are to do it. Conversely, the easier you make it for them to respond, the more likely they are to do it.

Take the example of one marketer that had been promoting its customer education seminars with a self-mailer that included the dates and details of upcoming workshops. The mailers included a detachable reply card for registration. After more than two years, however, most of the registrations were still coming through the company’s website or sales reps, not the direct mailers it was paying for.

The marketer decided to switch gears. It freshened up the design and moved to a heavier coated stock. It also ditched its static response forms and began pre-filling them so all that recipients had to do was add the stamp and drop the cards in the mail. The company received such a bump in its registrations that it had to add an extra seminar session!

If you are sending reply cards, there is no reason not to pre-fill them. After all, the data you need is most likely in your marketing database already, and we have the skills and the equipment to make the entire process easy for you.

Want to get a quick and easy boost to your response rates? Talk to us about prefilling the response forms and reply cards in your next print campaign!


High-Performing Companies Focus on Personalization

What makes a high-performing company a high-performing company? According to a survey of more than 1,000 marketers, it’s a focus on personalizing customer experiences and using metrics to drive the creation of their creative.

According to Adobe’s “Digital Roadblocks: 2014,” when asked about their most important success factors, marketers gave the following answers:

  • Their CEO understands marketing (73%)
  • Marketing is becoming more important to their company (81%)
  • They are “completely” or “very” focused on personalizing customer experiences (63%)
  • Data (metrics from ads, campaigns, website, and so on) is “strongly informative” in evolving their marketing creative (28%)

Great marketing doesn’t just happen. It’s a strategic efforts that involves creative, commitment, and effective use of data. Great marketing also starts with a commitment from the top. Just ask the best marketers around.

Need help combining elements of personalization and metrics-driven creative in producing your next print or multichannel campaign? Give us a call!

Are You Listening? Or Just Talking?

In your marketing communications, are you building relationship or just selling? What was your last mailing? Was it a catalog? Promotional offer? Sales letter? That’s one-way communication. True communication is a two-way street that involves both speaking and listening.

If you are doing more talking than listening, how do you start a conversation? Here are some ideas.

  • Send out printed surveys and encourage feedback. Offer a discount or coupon when surveys are returned.
  • Use direct mail with personalized URLs to send people to personalized micro-sites where their responses can be automatically appended back into your marketing database and you can easily take advantage of what you’ve learned.
  • Use pop-up surveys on your website to capture customer attitudes online. Use customer email addresses to link comments back to the record for that individual in your larger marketing database.
  • Use your company newsletters as feedback mechanisms. Print customer letters (post positive and critical) and address the issues in a way similar to what magazines do.
  • Read comments to your blog posts, customer reviews of your products, or track conversations about your company in social media. When you see patterns, address those issues in company newsletters, on your company’s Facebook page, and other channels. Let your customers know that you are really listening.

If a customer has bought from you once, that person is already convinced that they can trust your company. Developing two-way communication with those customers reinforces that relationship and increases the chances that they will buy from you again.


5 Tips for Getting People to Read Your Content

The buzz is all about content marketing these days. Direct mail, newsletters, white papers, social media, blogs. But more important than the channel used to deliver your content is the content itself. Are you giving your audience something they want to read?

Here are give tips for developing content that will engage your customers and prospects and serve as a powerful marketing vehicle for your brand.

1. Develop a strategy.

Be strategic about releasing your content. What information do you want to deliver? In what order? Does timing matter? Do you need to deliver different content to different segments of your audience or through different channels?

2. Make it relevant.

Not every segment of your audience wants to hear about the same products or receive your message the same way. Adjust your content, timing, and channel to different segments of your marketplace.

3. Don’t be dull.

In an effort to present every relevant piece of information, marketing materials can be outright dull. Spice it up. Take a different angle. Use interesting graphics. Develop fresh and interesting ways to present the information. You don’t want it to read like an advertisement or bore your audience to death.

4. Make it worth their time.

You know what you — the marketer — are getting out of delivering your content. But what about your audience? What do they get out of it? How does it benefit them?

5. Make is sharable.

For email, mobile, and online content, create an incentive for sharing the content. When the coupons, event schedules, blog posts, or social media updates are shared by others they know, recipients see the information as more credible and they pay more attention.

Want more ideas for creating sharable content? Just ask!


Want More Responses? Clean It Up!

Have you ever seen a marketing piece so cluttered that your eye didn’t know where to focus? In which the marketer was throwing so much at you at once that the point of the entire message got lost?

Especially when you have a great product, this is easy to do. There is so much to talk about that you feel that you cannot leave anything out. The risk, however, is that by cluttering the page, the prospect may get overwhelmed and not buy anything at all.

Take a tip from apartment rental companies. One of their key rules of thumb is not showing prospects more than three apartments in any given visit. They know that if you show prospective renters only one or two options, they will leave without renting because they don’t have enough choices. But if you show them more than three, they will leave without renting because they have too many choices and need to think about it. If you want people to make a decision right then and there, three is the magic number. The same principle applies in marketing. Don’t overwhelm your prospects or you risk losing them.

If you think you are at risk of over-cluttering, here are some tips to keep in mind.

  • Select the top three points you want the audience to remember.
  • Keep the layout simple and clean.
  • In your text and graphics, focus on these key points so the reader knows what they are.
  • Have a clear call to action.
  • Make it easy to respond. Phone numbers, tear-out cards, and other response mechanisms should be easy to find.

Print marketing provides you with some of the most valuable real estate in the world. Use it wisely. Need help? Let one of our experts guide you in the right direction.

Don’t be fooled by folds

Folding mistakes can ruin an otherwise perfectly printed piece. People notice when a brochure fold is crooked or a booklet doesn’t lie flat. You have a dizzying array of folds to choose from so it helps to know a bit of folding lingo. Good communication is key to getting the end result you want.

You’ll run across a some folding terms that might be confusing at first. A panel is the two-sided section of the printed piece that is defined by the fold. So when you look at a standard “3-fold brochure” you are really talking about a 6-panel brochure. The flat size is the size of the piece when it is laid out flat, and the finished size is the size of the piece when it’s folded. For example, a 6-panel brochure might have an 8.5 x11-inch flat size, but a 3.75 x 8.5-inch finished size.

The most common folds for brochures are called the accordion (or z) fold and the barrel (or roll) fold. With an accordion fold, the paper is folded in a series of parallel folds that run in alternating directions, like the letter “z” or the bellows of an accordion. With a barrel fold on the other hand, the series of parallel folds are made so the second fold wraps around the first one, much like you fold a letter before you put it into an envelope.

With a broadsheet (or broadside) fold, the paper is printed on both sides and then folded in half. Then a series of parallel folds are done in the other direction. This type of fold is often used for maps or brochures that require a large diagram. Another common fold is called a gatefold in which two “flaps” fold over a center panel, so the edges meet in the middle.

Paper selection also needs to be considered. With heavier stocks, it’s particularly important to consider the grain of the paper. When paper is manufactured, the fibers align in one direction (the grain). When folding, it’s best if the folds run with the grain or you might end up with ink cracking or folds that don’t lay flat.

The best way to communicate your folding needs is to find samples that incorporate the folds you want. It’s also helpful to make a folded “dummy” out of your proof copies. When it comes to folding, a little up-front planning can save you a lot of time and expense in the long run.

“Make It Easy for Me to Buy”

Want to boost responses to your marketing campaigns? Here is a simple tip. Tell people what you want them to do and make it easy for them to do it.

One of the most common mistakes marketers make, especially in direct mail, is burying the offer or forgetting to include a call to action. So get it out there. Every direct mailer or direct marketing piece should contain the following three elements:

1. The offer. What do you want people to do? Make a purchase? Call for a free consultation? Ask for the free information kit?

  1. The call to action. Don’t assume people will know what you want them to do. Ask them to request a brochure, call for a free appointment, or sign up by scanning a QR Code.

3. Response mechanism. Make it easy to respond. If you are asking them to send away for more information, prefill the BRC with their name, addresses, and other information. If you want them to make a phone call, put the phone number to call in larger font or in a different color so it’s easy to find.

Assume that your audience is busy and you only have a few minutes of their time. Within just a few seconds of scanning the piece, they should know what you are selling, what action you want them to take, and how to do it.

Need help? Give us a call!

What Motivates Charitable Giving?

If you are a nonprofit, you know how critical direct mail is to your fundraising efforts. But do you know what motivates your donors to give (or not)?

Most nonprofits might say that the most important factor is having a personal connection to the charity or to the recipient of the donation. But according to YouGov’s “Giving Report 2013,” it’s trust.

When asked the biggest factor that motivates them to donate,

  • 12% of those giving to charities cited “trusting a charity/nonprofit”;
  • 8% cited “seeing a child, adult, or animal which will directly benefit from my gift”; and
  • 6% cited “easily seeing exactly how and where my money will be spent.”

The single biggest deterrent to giving? Inflated salaries and excessive administrative expenses followed uncertainty about how the money would be spent.

Next time you send out a fundraiser, think through the issues of trust and personal connection carefully. How can you tweak your message so that it focuses not just on the mission of your organization but any projects you might be working on? Also work in issues related to trust. While donors want to know how their money will be spent, only 3% said that “easily being able to do their own due diligence” was a motivator for giving a donation. It’s up you to get that message across.

Need help planning your next giving campaign? Give us a call!