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The Eye/Comm Blog

Direct Mail: USPS Announces Request For Postage Price Increase For 2018

Posted by Summer Gould on Mon, Oct 16, 2017 @ 08:00 AM

San Diego Direct Mail

The USPS announced on October 6, that it intends to increase postage rates January 21, 2018. The first notice, was for changes to competitive product rates.  Those changes include: Priority Mail with an overall 3.9% increase, Parcel Select with an average increase of 7.0%, First-Class Package Service with an overall 3.9% increase, Retail Ground with an increase of 3.9%, and International Products will increase an average of 3.9%. The second notice, was for proposed changes to market dominant prices; they re-quire review and approval by the PRC before taking effect.  Price increases by class of mail were slightly less than 2%.

The largest increases for the class were for the single-piece (retail) rate.

NON-AUTO (Under 1 oz.)

Letters

Cards

Flats

Single Piece (Machinable)

.50

.35

1.00

 

Standard mail which is also now referred to by the USPS as marketing mail has a rate increase average of 1.908%. Nonprofit mail saw the smallest increase. 

 

STANDARD MAIL

NON-PROFIT MAIL

AUTOMATION (3.5 ounces or less)

Letters

Flats

Letters

Flats

Mixed AADC

.287

.598

.172

.432

 

Get Your 2018  Postage Rate Chart Now! 

If you have any questions call us in San Diego at (619) 448-6111 or email info@eyecomm.org. We are glad to help!

Topics: Direct Mail

Email Marketing: How To Choose Email Send Times?

Posted by Summer Gould on Mon, Oct 09, 2017 @ 07:00 AM

San Diego Email Marketing

The most common question we get about email marketing is “When should we send our email?”. Of course this is the hardest question to answer, because it is different for each company.  There is no one size fits all answer. Let’s look at a few things to consider when selecting the best time for your email.

Questions:

  1. Who: Who is your audience? Are they local to your time zone or spread out all over? Are they working normal business hours in an office or do they work from home?
  2. What: What you are sending matters. Is it a newsletter or a coupon with a quick expiration date?
  3. Where: Where are people opening your emails? Are they on mobile devices or on desktops?

Now that you know this information, you can start testing emails with your list.

How should you test?

  • Send Times: Send emails to your list at different times until you find a time that works best for you.
  • Send Days: Send emails to test the best day of the week for your list.

You may find that you need to stagger your sends based on trends in your data. Grouping people into like segments helps you deliver the email at the optimal time for each segment. Really look through your email history to find trends you can take advantage of. The more you know, the better targeting you can do.

6 Engaging Email  Marketing Tips

Questions? Call us in San Diego at 619-448-6111 or email info@eyecomm.org. We are glad to help!

Topics: Email Marketing

How To Improve Direct Mail With Data

Posted by Summer Gould on Mon, Oct 02, 2017 @ 07:00 AM

San Diego Direct Mail

Direct mail is a powerful driver of response, but when you harness your data in the right way you can exponentially improve your direct mail response. Your data is the most important marketing tool you have. So how can you harness your data?

3 Ways to Improve Direct Mail with Data:

  1. Images – Use your data to select images based on the person. When you select the right images your mail piece is more appealing. For instance, I love fishing and get mailers all the time that highlight a bunch of new lures or flies that I don’t use. Once I received a postcard that first of all had a woman fishing (finally not a man) and it was all about bait, fish eggs, power bait and so on, it captured my interest immediately and of course I used the coupon to buy bait. Images are powerful.
  2. Offer – Use your data to create offers tailored to the person. When you know what they like you can make an offer they can’t refuse. For instance, I love to read and get book offers all the time. The ones that stand out to me and I buy from are specific books by authors I love. If you give me a 25% off coupon for the latest Patricia Cornwell book, I am all over it. The right offer to the right person is commanding.
  3. Messaging – Use your data to tailor your message. When you get personal with your message your draw your customer into your mail piece. By personal I mean more than just using their name. Mention past purchases or interactions with your company. Engage them on a human level. For instance, I am very empathetic s when I get a letter from Meals On Wheels about how a specific senior needs my help to keep from going hungry I cannot, not help. A message that resonates with customers drives response.

As you can see adding in personal details takes your direct mail to a new level. People like to do business with people. Build relationships with trust and knowledge of their needs. The better you harness your data the better your response rate will be. Guard your data from cyber thieves and from potentially bad data. Make sure to vet all data you acquire before using it. There is nothing that makes a person angrier than to tell them they are something they are not. I am not a man and have never been, but many times I get mail addressed to me as Mr. Summer Gould. That goes in the trash and leaves a bad impression with me about the company who sent it. Don’t be like them, be better. Are you ready to get started?

How to Get Your Direct  Mail to Stand Out!

Call us in San Diego or email info@eyecomm.org. We are glad to help!

Topics: Direct Mail

Ideas For Your Next Mobile Marketing Campaign

Posted by Summer Gould on Mon, Sep 25, 2017 @ 07:00 AM

San Diego Mobile Marketing

Mobile marketing is more than just creating a mobile friendly website and slapping a QR code on a printed piece. To take advantage of the true power of mobile you need to create a true mobile marketing campaign. So what are your options with mobile?

Here are 3 ideas to try for your next mobile marketing campaign:

  1. Mobile Ads: You can purchase banner ads and page ads that show up during mobile searches and on your website. You can do hyper-local targeted ads, based on the user’s physical location. Just make sure that if you’re going to spend money on a mobile ad, that you’re driving people to a mobile-friendly landing page.
  2. SMS Text Messaging: SMS (short message service) should be an opt-in campaign. People give you access to their smartphone number when you provide them with something of value. This works great for coupons and notifications that are important to them. Rewards programs work great too, as long as the perks you provide are wanted.
  3. Augmented Reality: There are so many fun and creative ways to use AR. Think of the Pokémon Go craze and the Ikea catalog that lets you see the furniture in your own home before you buy it. The great part is the engagement created with your customers and prospects when you create a fun experience.

As you can see, there’s a lot more to mobile marketing than just your website. Mobile allows you to reach people where they are quickly. Your audience is on the move, so you need to be too. Marketers currently underestimate the importance of mobile marketing. As more and more people rely on their mobile devices for shopping and information, business need to be there or get left behind. The sooner your business gets a mobile plan in place, the faster you will be able to take advantage of these exciting technologies.

Why Use  Multi-Channel Marketing

Are you ready to get started or have questions? Call us in San Diego at (619) 448-6111 or email info@eyecomm.org. We are glad to help!

Topics: Mobile Marketing

Why Use Direct Mail Marketing?

Posted by Summer Gould on Mon, Sep 18, 2017 @ 07:00 AM

San Diego Direct Mail

Marketers everywhere are faced with too many marketing channel choices. It’s hard to know which ones will work best. When choosing your channels don’t ignore direct mail. You may think its old school, so why use it, but direct mail can really add to your ROI. You can use direct mail to drive online engagement too. Add QR codes, PURL’s, and Augmented Reality to link your marketing channels together. Let’s take a look at the direct mail channel.

Why choose direct mail as one of your marketing channels:

  1. Recipients: They view direct mail as less intrusive than other forms of marketing and in return, are more receptive to the message. Even millennials enjoy getting mail. As long as you are sending them offers that are correctly targeted.
  2. Competition: There is less competition in the mail boxes these days so you can stand out. People are inundated with messages all day long from email and so much more. You can build brand recognition with direct mail as well as get noticed.
  3. Tangible: With a direct mail piece you can grab the senses in so many more ways than with online channels. People can touch, save for later or even pass the information provided in a direct mail piece to their friends. Use the senses to your advantage by adding texture and scents to your direct mail. Create a powerful experience.
  4. Target: Unlike all other channels, you can target your audience very specifically with direct mail. There are so many selects to choose from it would be hard to list them all. Make a list of all the specific things you are looking for in your prospects and in many cases you can match them with a direct mail list.
  5. Personalized: Direct mail is more refined now. The personalization available creates a much more appealing direct offer. You can use images as well as text to create each piece targeted to each person.

As with any marketing channel, knowing who your target audience is, is the key to better results. You cannot create a targeted direct mail campaign if you do not have a good grasp on who you are sending to. Your messaging, your list and your creative are all effected by who you are trying to reach. Don’t forget that you need to be tracking your results. The only way to continue to improve your campaigns is to modify them based on the results from previous campaigns. Don’t be afraid to segment your recipients and try something new to a group of them. It is only by trying new things that we are able to identify possible new lifts in ROI.

Create Visually  Appealing Direct Mail

Are you ready to get started? Call us in San Diego at 619-448-6111 or email info@eyecomm.org. We are glad to help!

Topics: Direct Mail, Direct mail marketing

How To Keep Customers Satisfied With Order Fulfillment

Posted by Summer Gould on Mon, Sep 11, 2017 @ 07:00 AM

San Diego Fulfillment

Order fulfillment is a crucial part of your brand. What your customers get in their package and how it is packaged really matter. The customer starts the process when they place an order. The clock starts ticking from there. This time between order placement and delivery is where the majority of problems take place.

3 Key areas to keep customers satisfied:

  1. Timing: Be very clear when an order is placed on the amount of time needed to pack and ship it. Customers are very impatient and will assume a much earlier time schedule if you do not provide one. To keep them happy, give them a realistic schedule. Of course you then have to meet that schedule.
  2. Accuracy: It is extremely important that people get what they order. Nothing is more frustrating than opening a package and not getting what you expected.
  3. Packaging: In order for the items to arrive in good condition upon delivery they need to be properly packaged. The use of bubble wrap and paper dunnage can help to keep items safe during transport. Brocken or damaged items do not make your company look good.

Some other things to consider in your processing are:

  • Stock levels: Do you have enough stock on hand to meet demands? Are you keeping an accurate usage report so that you know when peak demands are?
  • Space: Have you allocated enough room to store all your items until they are ordered?
  • Reports: Do all the key people in your organization have access to the necessary reports such as inventory and orders?
  • Backorders: What is your backorder policy? Does everyone know it? How can you prevent backorders before they happen?
  • Returns: What is your return policy? Does someone inspect all returned items for damage? Does it then get restocked?

The last key to customer satisfaction is clear communication from you. Let them know what to expect and when to expect it. Allow them access to track orders 24/7 as well as place orders 24/7. The easier it is to do business with you the more business you will get. Happy customers tell others, but the real point is that unhappy customers tell around 10 other people. Not only that but they do not forget, they continue to give bad feedback about you when asked. So keep your customers satisfied with good fulfillment practices. When you do have an issue with a customer, resolve it quickly and keep them happy.

Learn 5 Things a Good Fulfillment Center Must Provide

Questions? Call us in San Diego at (619) 448-6111 or email info@eyecomm.org. We are glad to help!

Topics: Fulfillment

Why Track Direct Mail?

Posted by Summer Gould on Tue, Sep 05, 2017 @ 07:45 AM

San Diego Direct Mail

How effective is your direct mail marketing campaign? That's the question that you need to answer in order to make the most of your marketing. Focusing on what works best and spending your budget in the most effective way is key to affordable direct mail.  Too many times we have customers that are not sure if their direct mail campaigns are effective. If you are like them, you need to track your responses. If you are already tracking, you may find a couple of new ways to track what you are doing. 

Before you launch any direct mail campaign, set a system in place that will allow you to track the results. Tracking means you can see what resonated best with your customers or prospects, what got the most interaction, and what led to the most sales, sign-ups, or other action. You then have the information you need to focus on the things that work, thereby preventing your business from losing money on the things that don't. Don’t forget that this also allows you to test different types of messaging at one time.

Here are 7 tips on ways to track your direct mail: 

  1. QR codes: The landing page for each scan should be created specifically for each campaign. You can easily track who is hitting the landing pages and what they do from there. 
  1. URL or PURL: As with scanning the QR Codes, you need a unique landing page for each campaign. 
  1. Coupons: Make sure to create a code on the coupons that you can use to track responses as people redeem them. 
  1. Donation reply cards: Create a code for each campaign, imprint that code somewhere on the reply device so that if they return it with their check you can track which campaign it came from. 
  1. Phone Call: Use a special phone number for each campaign or if that is not possible, ask for a code you imprinted on the piece as part of your order intake. 
  1. Text Messages: Many people find that text messaging it the easiest way to respond. When you setup your campaign either create a special number for each one or require that as part of the text message they need to enter a code from the mail piece. 
  1. Mail piece: One of the easiest ways to track direct mail response is to require the recipient to bring the mailer with them in order to get a discount or some other special offer. 

Creating effective direct mail is all about knowing what works and what does not. That knowledge can only be gained through tracking of your own campaigns, because what works well for one company may not work well for you. Trying to utilize general direct mail trends published by the DMA or others is not an effective method. What you don’t know in direct mail can hurt you. 

No matter what kind of marketing response method you're using, ask yourself first how you will track it. Give your direct mail campaigns the best chance of success by putting a tracking system in place so you can compare and contrast their effectiveness and return on investment. You can work with us to decide which methods work best for each campaign you do.

 Increase Direct Mail  Response With Psychology 

Are you ready to get started or have questions? Call us in San Diego at (619) 448-6111 or email info@eyecomm.org. We are glad to help!

Topics: Direct Mail

Social Media Marketing For Business

Posted by Summer Gould on Mon, Aug 28, 2017 @ 07:00 AM

San Diego Social Media Marketing

Keeping in mind that each social network is slightly different than the other and in some cases approaches may need to differ, the overall objective of social media marketing is to get your customers and prospects to engage with you. The reason you want your customers to engage, is that they then become your advocates and buy from you. They will post and share information about your company to their friends/followers which extends your marketing reach. The more good things they have to say about you and the more recommendations they make of you the more people will buy your product or service.

People do not use social media to buy from you right away, what they do is check out your company. They get information and feedback from your messages and followers. If they like what they see and get value from your content, they will become your followers. This slow build leads to better engagement with your company and greater loyalty when they become customers. This means that social media is not a quick direct sales forum, but a long term investment.

Today, if a company does not have a social media presence, they are considered out of date or out of touch with their customers. Your key to social media marketing success is to find where your customers are, what they are looking for and engage with them to help spread your marketing messages. Each network may need a different type of message, but all should stay with the same brand/theme of your organization. The message is just tailored differently for the different audiences.

How to Build Relationships  With Social Media Marketing

As with any other marketing tool, you need to have a way to track your results and benefit from knowing what is working and what needs changes. Social media is very fast and fluid, so make sure you are constantly monitoring it and responding quickly. There are many tools available for you to do this. Just posting information and not following up or starting conversations, will quickly ruin your social media efforts, it is all about engagement. People want to feel as though your company gets them. What is working well for you on social media?

Are you ready to get started or have questions? Call us in San Diego at (619) 448-6111 or email info@eyecomm.org. We are glad to help!

Topics: Social Media Marketing

How Can Direct Mail Help My Business

Posted by Summer Gould on Mon, Aug 21, 2017 @ 07:57 AM

San Diego Direct Mail

Many times companies feel that the cost of direct mail marketing is too great, so they turn to digital alternatives. With so many marketing options it’s not really so surprising that direct mail is left out of the marketing mix. However, if you are not using direct mail you are missing out. Direct mail is a very powerful marketing channel.

Not sure if direct mail is for you? Check out these stats from a 2016 InfoTrends study:

  • 66% of direct mail is opened: You are getting in front of your prospects and customer and they are seeing it.
  • 82% of direct mail is read for a minute or more: You have a great opportunity to get your message read and understood.
  • 78% Think Direct Mail is Effective: People like to get mail that is relevant to them.
  • Response rates on average are 5% for customers and 2% for prospects: What are your current response rates with digital alone?
  • The mean number of direct mail pieces received in a week are 3.5 letters in envelopes, 2.4 flyers/pamphlets, 1.9 brochures and 1.3 postcards: Mail boxes are no longer full, less mail means you stand out more.
  • 56% of consumers who responded to direct mail went online or visited the physical store: This is what you want them to do, check out what you have to offer.
  • 62% of consumers who responded to direct mail in the past three months made a purchase: This is the hot zone, you have just converted your prospects into customers and convinced customers to buy again.

These stats prove direct mail is effective. Are you convinced that you now need to add direct mail to your marketing mix? Great! Now you are ready to learn how to effectively do that. There are 3 keys to effective direct mail. They are your audience, your design and your offer. If any of these three are not well thought out, your direct mail results will show it. We can help you to create powerful direct mail.

Increase Direct Mail  Response With Psychology 

If you take the time and effort to do direct mail right you will see the results. As mail boxes are less full than email and other digital ads we are bombarded with, direct mail stands out and is the marketing you need to grow your business. You can start small and test a couple of difference offers with postcards to keep your costs down. Give direct mail a chance to produce results for you.

Are you ready to get started? Call us in San Diego at (619) 448-6111 or email info@eyecomm.org. We are glad to help!

Topics: Direct Mail

Mobile Marketing In 2017 with NFC

Posted by Summer Gould on Mon, Aug 14, 2017 @ 07:00 AM

San Diego Mobile Marketing

With mobile use at an all-time high marketers are reaching for more and more ways to interact with prospects and customers on their mobile devices. Have you considered using NFC (Near Field Communication) technology as part of your mobile marketing mix? Not sure what this is? Just like Bluetooth and WiFi, NFC works by sending information over radio waves. So there are no application downloads for your prospects and customers. NFC connects phones to each other as well as to NFC embedded sensor.

This technology really needs to be a part of your mobile marketing mix. NFC technology gives you the ability to transfer data to mobile devices when a person uses a wave motion or tap above an imbedded sensor. These sensors can be placed in print pieces such as posters, flyers, direct mail, packaging and so much more. Have you ever wondered how tap-and-go services like Apple Pay and Android Pay work? They use NFC. Now consider how you can use NFC in your marketing.

3 Quick Tips To  Start Mobile Marketing

The benefit of this marketing technology over augmented reality and QR codes is that it does not require an application to be downloaded by the user. This allows the user easier access to your information and will increase your interactions with them. As a marketer you can use NFC embedded paper to connect directly with customers/prospects and provide extra product information, vouchers, promotions, links to social media, how-to videos or any type of content you want. Get creative to wow your customers and prospects with a powerful experience.

Questions? Call us in San Diego at (619) 448-6111 or email info@eyecomm.org. We are glad to help!

 

Topics: Mobile Marketing