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Marketing Resource Blog

When Direct Mail Disappoints

Lynndell Epp - Monday, December 16, 2013

Expectations are high, right along with the piles of direct mail pieces ready to go. But, results don’t measure up. What went wrong?

According to an article published by jacobsclevenger.com, a digital direct marketing agency, it could be a lot. The article, entitled “Why your direct mail is underperforming” offers insights. They include:

Assuming your audience is just like you

People consume and process information differently. Provide enough options to capture a wide audience. According to the article, “This is why a direct mail best practice is to include a letter and brochure in each package, presenting redundant information in different formats. Additionally, the direct mail letter should present the information in two different ways. The content should include full content in paragraph form in the body, with key bullets called out in either the right-hand column or within the letter itself. This allows the audience to read the content however they prefer, i.e., in-depth or by scanning.”

Over crediting recipients’ ability to take action

According to the article, “A successful direct mail campaign is generally built off direct mail letters that underscore the urgency in making response easy for the user. A standard direct mail best practice is to provide a call-to-action multiple times within the direct mail letter, and to be extremely clear on the desired action.”

Not doing enough to break through the clutter

Bottom line, make it personal. The article points out, “The average person gets 9,000 emails a year…Digital media has increased the number of messages that inundate prospects and customers, further underscoring the need for relevancy and personalization. Relevancy is the only hope marketers have to get users’ attention and their response… customers prefer and have come to expect personalized communications. Furthermore, successful direct mail campaign tests show that personalized information, including personalized URLs (PURLs), empower and reinforce your direct mail communications.”

Eliminating clutter is particularly critical—both in your marketing decision-making and how your messaging addresses the marketplace. I grew up on a farm, where it’s common to separate wheat from the chaff. In somewhat the same way, I want to help you separate out unnecessary clutter to get to the heart of what’s most important marketing-wise.

Interested?
Let’s talk: Lyndell@mailmasters.net, 303-607-9424.

Print Still Has Its Place

Lee Watson - Monday, December 09, 2013

Not as an alternative to digital, but as a partner

Just as fuel injection engines require both air and fuel to operate properly, so do marketing programs need the right mix of elements to fire on all cylinders. Working in partnership, digital and print can create the most productive and profitable outcomes.

Not everyone agrees. In July, a www.theonion.com article declared, “Print Dead At 1,803…Sources close to print, the method of applying ink to paper in order to convey information to a mass audience, have confirmed that the declining medium passed away early Thursday morning… The influential means of communication was 1,803.”

And HubSpot, the inbound marketing software platform company that promotes all things digital, doesn’t seem partial to print. A recent article on Targetmarketingmag.com notes, “4 Direct Mail Truths HubSpot Got Wrong…HubSpot misses the mark when critiquing direct mail… I have long admired the people at HubSpot for their online marketing acumen…But their recent analysis of direct mail—‘6 Horrific Practices of Direct Mail’—displays a stunning ignorance of what works and what doesn’t work in direct mail…To begin with, they go down the slippery slope of criticizing marketing without knowing what the results of those marketing campaigns are.”

These two reports typify the opinions of many who believe that if it isn’t digital, it isn’t marketing.

The International News Media Association (INMA) in Australia disputes this digital “first, always and only” orientation, pointing out in a real estate-oriented August article , “Print is not dead – it just has some company…New research into real estate advertising shows print still has its place – not as an alternative to digital, but as a partner…I’m sick to death of reading about the death of print—with stories written like suicide notes…”

Direct mail in particular is enjoying newfound popularity. A spring 2013 Denver Business Journal article points out, “Mark Twain once said, ‘The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.’ This quote also seems to apply to incessant reports about the demise of print as a communications tool…There are various reasons for its resurgence. A primary one is that print no longer is the primary communications medium, so it’s new and fresh again because it stands out from the crowd.”

The report adds that direct mail particularly is benefitting from this resurgence: “While many people are weary and wary of email pitches, enewsletters and other digital marketing, they’ll pay attention to well-done print pieces (just the opposite of what occurred when direct mail glutted everyone’s mailbox years ago). Another reason for print’s resurgence actually ties to the digital world, in the form of digital printing. Digital printing has made creating print pieces less expensive and more flexible.”

What does this mean for marketers seeking the right messaging platforms? View all marketing tools—digital and print chief among them—as part of a toolkit. Make decisions based on formulating the best mix of tools to meet strategic objectives. In some cases, this can be a mix of eblasts, direct mail, social networking support and mobile presence—perhaps coupled with a push for editorial media exposure. Other challenges may truly mandate an all-digital campaign; conversely, an all-print platform may prove the most impactful in select situations.

We stand ready to help you make the best strategic and tactical choices from what can sometimes seem like a dizzying array of options. By tuning out the noise around what’s trendy versus time-tested, it’s easier to get to the heart of the matter:

  • What has the best chance of success?
  • How does this fit within your budget comfort zone?
  • What metrics define success?
  • How do you measure and analyze results?

When you’re ready to start the discussion, email or call me:
Lee@mailmasters.net, 303-607-9424.

USPS New Delivery Schedule Announced - How Will This Affect Your Businesses?

Lynndell Epp - Friday, February 22, 2013

Direct Mail Delivery Schedule

This month the US postal service announced plans to implement a new mail delivery schedule beginning in August of 2013. This new schedule will maintain package delivery Monday through Saturday and limit mail delivery Monday through Friday.

Mail Masters understands the financial struggles facing our US postal service and their need to reduce cost.  We also understand the challenge this new mail delivery service schedule could have for our customers. Mail Masters wants to take a moment to remind you that we are here to help you reach your customers in a timely manner and will work with you to adapt to these delivery dates as the August date approaches. One of the things we can do is provide feedback to the USPS and Congress about the operational impact these changes may have on your business.  

If you have any questions please feel free to contact us about this impending change and for all of your mail marketing needs.