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The Eye/Comm Blog

How Does Your Direct Mail Feel?

Posted by Summer Gould on Mon, Dec 11, 2017 @ 07:56 AM

San Diego Direct Mail

Our sense of touch is powerful. It can drive us to open a mailer just because it feels good. So how does your direct mail feel to your prospects and customers? From the paper you choose to the ink and coatings, are you generating curiosity and a desire to touch your mailer? There are many ways to appeal to a person’s sense of touch and many of them are not expensive. Have you considered using texture? Coatings do more than just protect the print from scratching damage in the mail. They can capture interest for your direct mail piece. When you create a unique textured feel, your response rate will increase.

Some fun coatings for you to consider:

  • MiraFoil: Create metallic effects in a precise fashion.
  • Raised: Gives the embossed look without actual embossing.
  • Pearlescent: Gives an elegant shimmer look.
  • Sandpaper: Gives a rough sand paper like feel.
  • Soft touch: Creates a velvet texture for a nice soft feel.
  • Glitter: A large glitter flake that is available in a variety of colors.
  • Metal Flake: Fine metal flakes similar to car paint.
  • Thermochronic: Temperature activated, changes color when heated.
  • Photochromic: This coating is activated by sunlight to change color.
  • Glow in the dark: This is a high gloss coating that will glow in the dark.
  • Scratch off: Available in gold or silver provides a non-see thru coat

Now that you have selected your coating, imagine how creative you can get with your design. You want to have the feel of bricks? No problem. 3D raised steps? No problem. It’s like the old “Pat the Bunny” books; you can have so many textures at your fingertips to choose from. Don’t go overboard and put several on one mailer, but mix a couple to really get people to want to feel your mailer. Show your prospects and customers how your product or service feels; grab that sensory emotion to increase your response.

Standard coatings to choose from are:

  • Varnish: This is basically like a colorless ink and can be applied in gloss, dull or satin forms as the piece is printed. This is not environmentally friendly.
  • Aqueous: A water based coating applied as the piece is printed. It protects better than varnish and is more environmentally friendly.
  • UV: This provides superior protection and comes in glossy or dull.
  • Laminates: This is best for protection from water as it seals in the paper. This is not usually needed for direct mail pieces.

With any of the above coatings it is a good idea to check with us to make sure we can inkjet over the coating. You do have a couple of choices if the coating is not inkjet compatible. You can knockout the mail panel when coating to leave it unfinished for inkjet. Or you can use and envelope/poly bag as a cover. Just one more thing to consider is that a paper envelope can be inkjeted, but a poly bag will require labels. Make sure to consider all your options and costs before proceeding.

Get Your 2018  Postage Rate Chart Now!

Direct mail is about engagement, pulling the recipient into your mailing by creating interest. The more interesting it is, the better response you are going to get. You will also find that when you create a direct mailer that people really enjoy, they show it to others. The more people who see your mailer, talk about it, and share it, the better your response will be. Sensory input leaves a lasting impression on the recipient. 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

How To Boost Direct Mail Response Now

Posted by Summer Gould on Mon, Nov 27, 2017 @ 07:00 AM

San Diego Direct Mail

Direct mail is very effective, but what can you do to increase your response rates even more? You can link it to other marketing channels. Some people have concerns with the complexity and timeliness of creating a multi-channel campaign. Your website is the base of your marketing. You channel prospects and customers there every day. Direct mail can be the perfect tool to drive web traffic. To do this, you add links on to your mail pieces urge them to your web site. You also need a call to action that resonates, otherwise they will not respond.

Before you start to create your campaign you need to figure out what your goal is. Are you trying to get people to buy from you online or is the goal to get an appointment? Define your goal and set your expectations in order to start building the campaign. To have a true multi-channel integration the transfer between channels should be easy and the branded look should be the same. So how can you do it? There are really just 3 steps.

How to link your direct mail to online channels:

  1. Landing Page: Create a special landing page for your campaign in order to track results and give them an easy clean site with only the information they need for the campaign.
  2. PURL: Create a personalized URL that is unique for this campaign and auto populates the person’s info. They give you an easy way to direct your audience to landing pages that matches the message of your campaign.
  3. Banner/Display Ads: These ads can be programmed to follow interested prospects as they surf the web, using a technique known as retargeting. These are ads you have seen before as you browse the web.

Direct mail works and it works even better when it is coordinated with your web presence. As you begin planning your next marketing effort give us a call so we help you plan an effective direct mail campaign which ties in additional channels to maximize your response results. It is easy, affordable and we will be with you every step of the way.

Get Your 2018  Postage Rate Chart Now!

There is an easy way to do it, call us in San Diego at (619) 448-6111 or email info@eyecomm.org. We are glad to help!

Topics: Direct Mail

Why Direct Mail Marketing Works

Posted by Summer Gould on Mon, Nov 13, 2017 @ 07:51 AM

San Diego Direct Mail

Direct mail has a long history going back to 1681 when William Penn sent pamphlet as the first American direct advertisement, according to the Philadelphia Public Ledger. We have come a long way since then. The evolution of mail in just the last 20 years is enormous. Technology has given us better ways to target mail to the right people and fun ways to integrate mail with other digital marketing channels. We are often asked why direct mail is effective, so now we will look into it more deeply.

Let’s look at what the Data and Marketing Association says.

  • People understand and remember what they read on paper better than what they read on a screen
  • According to the research, all age groups are interested in receiving and responding to mail and for ages 18-21, response rates doubled in 2016
  • Direct mail response rates in 2016 were 5.3% for a house list and 2.9% for a purchased list
  • Customer response rates increased year-over-year by 43%
  • Prospect response rates increased year-over-year by 190%
  • People read postcards; they had a year-over-year increase of 3.9%
  • 5 billion coupons were redeemed in 2015
  • Over 100.7 million people made a catalog purchase in 2016

The US Postal Service has a couple of more numbers that were just released: 55-57% of people read their direct mail and 21-24% scan their direct mail. These are impressive numbers and a good reason why direct mail should be part of your marketing mix, otherwise you are missing out. The direct mail of today should link to online content and allow people to make purchases online. The driver is still direct mail, but the fastest response is done online. You can track who comes from what method by using coupon codes or special landing pages.

You must also target your list. Not everyone needs to get every offer. Tailor your offer to each person to get the most bang for your buck. Your data is vital to your response rate. Make sure you are capturing purchase history as well as any demographic information you have access to. The more you know the more enticing you can make your offers. This in turn gives you a bigger response rate. Mail boxes are less crowded now, take advantage of that with targeted mail that stands out.

Get Your 2018  Postage Rate Chart Now!

Lastly, direct mail should not be boring. There are so many ways to add fun elements. Consider a few of these options that are not available for digital marketing: texture, fun folds, die cuts, or reactive inks. Consider adding technology such as: Augmented Reality, videos, or NFC. Get creative and make a fun interactive mail piece. Not sure how to get started, we are here to help!

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

Topics: Direct Mail

Create The Best Direct Mail List

Posted by Summer Gould on Mon, Oct 30, 2017 @ 07:56 AM

San Diego Direct Mail

Everyone knows that the more information you have on your customers/prospects the better you can tailor your message. Well, in many cases companies do not have that much information about people. So, what can you do to gather more information? Well, you could ask them to fill out a survey and offer a reward if they do, but what if you could gather information without having to take up someone’s time? There is a way.

Data List Enhancement:

List Profiling helps you model your ideal customers so you optimize campaigns and find prospects with similar characteristics. Data analysis and list segmentation will provide you with valuable insights into consumer behaviors, allowing you to tailor your message to match their needs and interests. This will increase the chances that they will act on your offer. Here is what you can expect:

  • Profile the unique characteristics of your best and most profitable customers to find more just like them. Learn their likes, dislikes, education level and so much more.
  • Target your selling messages to the right audience at the right time. This will allow you to spend less.
  • Increase your marketing penetration by opening new channels to reach your customers and prospects by using the methods they prefer. This is especially important now days with so many channel choices. Is direct mail in conjunction with mobile the right choice? Find out.
  • Boost response rates through more specific, personalized offers (as opposed to generic, one-size-fits-all promotions). When you send an offer that is specific to the person your response rate can’t help but go up.
  • Build loyalty programs that increase lifetime value. When you can provide relevant offers to people in a timely manner, you gain respect and loyalty.
  • Improve your database marketing with more profitable prospecting, through modeling and forecasting. Finding the correct prospects quickly will allow you to move forward with your marketing campaigns and get the responses coming in.
  • Dramatically improve your ROI, the more responses you get directly affect your return on investment. Since these are better qualified leads you should also make more money per lead.
  • Improve multimedia marketing by applying profiles to hit the target across all media. This allows you to create multiple channel campaigns while still targeting them where they want to see the messages.

Finding well qualified prospects is very difficult. With list profiling you can pick people who are just like your best customers. It makes the prospecting effort so much easier. For the most part the profiling is limited to the United States, so if the majority of your customers are foreign this is not going to work for you. Knowing who your customers are and what prospects you should target gives you a big advantage. You can spend less money on your marketing because you can target it better and at the same time make more money because you are sending to the right people.

Get Your 2018  Postage Rate Chart Now!

Think of how you can harness the additional information you will gain with the list profiling. This will allow you to create more detailed offers to the correct people and send out multiple versions as one campaign. Remember that your list is the first big opportunity in direct mail. A bad list will yield a bad result, no matter how great your design and offer are. A great list has the potential to yield a great result when combined with good design and a good offer. Consult with us to help you enhance your list today! Call us in San Diego at (619) 448-6111 or email info@eyecomm.org. We are glad to help!

Topics: Direct Mail

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

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

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

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

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

How To Create The Best Direct Mail List

Posted by Summer Gould on Mon, Aug 07, 2017 @ 08:25 AM

San Diego Direct Mail List

Your mail list is one of the 3 pillars in direct mail. If you have a bad list you are wasting your money on direct mail. Many times we have customers that need help with targeting their list to create an effective campaign. Based on these requests we have come up with a direct mail list guide. Are you ready to create a better direct mail list?

List creation guide:

  1. Knowledge – What do you know about your customers? The more you know the better you can group and target them. If your current data only has your company purchase history, consider profiling your list. This can give you valuable insight into your customers and therefore who best to target as prospects.
  2. Segmentation – The best way to get the results you need from your direct mail is to group like people together for each offer you have. Segment your data and any data you purchase to maximize the offer response.
  3. Current – Make sure that you have current addresses. People are constantly moving and most of the time they will not notify you. You can run you data through the post office using their NCOA platform to update your addresses to the current ones they have. Depending on the age of your data you may get some back that are flagged as moved but no address is available. You can just drop them as they will not get to your customers.
  4. Duplicates – Most people are running a dedupe to remove duplicate records before they mail, but it still should be mentioned here. In 2017 do not send duplicates. There are a ton of different software packages that can help you or we can do it for you. One thing to consider is if you want to send your mail to more than 1 person in the home. Depending on what you are sending you may or may not want to.

If you use all 4 steps you will have very clean data. This means that you are now ready to focus on the other 2 pillars to send out a great direct mail campaign. Remember that you can purchase lists to augment your customer files. When you have purchased a well targeted list based on who your best customers are you can expect a better response rate. Sending to the right people with a good offer and a great design will give you the advantage in the mailbox. Have you used customer knowledge to highly target your direct mail pieces? How did it work for you?

Get Millennials to Respond  to Your Direct Mail

Need help? 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