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The Eye/Comm Blog

How To Purchase A Targeted Mail List

Posted by Summer Gould on Mon, Oct 24, 2016 @ 08:31 AM

San Diego Mail Lists

Purchasing a mailing list can be a real challenge. Since your response rate is directly related to who you are sending the mail to, it is extremely important to get the list right. There are many sources to choose from as well as selects from each source. It is important to have a trusted source. So we will break each one down to see the options.

Sources:

  • ExperianExperian's database of U.S. consumers gives you access to over 300 million consumers. Yet more important than the vast size of the dataset is the quality of the data. While many data providers merely resell third-party lists, they collect data from a broad range of sources, including proprietary credit data on more than 140 million households.
  • Acxiom - Acxiom’s data consists of publicly available information, information from surveys and data from other providers. While all of the data collection complies with laws and industry best practices, the marketing data adheres to an even higher standard. They review the marketing data suppliers’ online privacy policies to determine whether individuals are notified that information will be shared for marketing purposes and that people have a choice about such sharing.

You also have many list broker choices. The most important things to know are where they get the data, how often the data is updated and their policy on bad data. Once you know who you want to buy from, you need to select your targeting. The most common list selects are:

  • Age
  • Location
  • Occupation
  • Income
  • Homeowner
  • Gender
  • Marital Status
  • Type of business
  • Number of employees
  • Business financials

Keep in mind that there are many other selections from demographics and psychographics on both consumers and businesses. Take a look at your best customers, who are they? Once you know that choose the selects in your list that best represent them. One more thing of note is that the more selects you pick the better targeted your list, however you will also pay more for the list.

5 Ways to Create  Funny Direct Mail

Need ideas or help selecting your next list? Call us in San Diego at (619) 448-6111 or email [email protected]. We are glad to help!

Topics: Direct Mail, Direct Marketing

What To Do When Direct Mail Fails

Posted by Summer Gould on Mon, Oct 10, 2016 @ 11:34 AM

San Diego Direct Mail

Direct mail is a complicated marketing channel and can easily give you poor results. When done correctly direct mail has a great ROI. Don’t give up after one failed attempt at direct mail. Instead take a hard look at what you did and where it can be improved.

Top 5 Direct Mail Fails:

  1. List: The people you are sending to are very important. You need to correctly target your audience to your message/offer. Many times direct mail fails because the wrong people were sent the piece. The best way to drive a good response is to have a good targeted list.
  2. Design: When your direct mail has too much information crowed onto the piece it is hard to understand and will be tossed in the trash. Use colorful images with concise text to convey your message. Bullet points and bolding help to get the most important information to stand out.
  3. Offer: Your offer must be specific. Vague offers are trash. Give people a reason to respond to you by providing them an offer they cannot refuse. Tell them what’s in it for them. A limited time offer is better at generating responses than one without expiration. The larger the discount the better the offer is perceived to be.
  4. Response device: There are many response options today. How many are you including in your direct mail? The more the better. Each person has a preferred method of response, when you allow them to respond in the way they want, the better your response rate is going to be. The most commonly used ones are: phone, web, text, email, and QR code.
  5. Size: I know we all like to think that size does not matter, but it does. A 6 x 11 postcard is going to stand out in the mail box much more than a 4.25 x 6 one. Yes, the larger size does cost a little more, but when more people see it you get a better response rate. Go big. This will also allow you more room for creative and messaging. Keep in mind the letter size postage rates versus the flat size rates. You can maximize your costs by staying in the letter size postage rate category.

Don’t let the power of direct mail marketing pass you by. Consumers like getting mail and respond to it. Yes, even millennials! Take the time to carefully plan out your next direct mail campaign and take into consideration all 5 of the elements above. When all 5 are aligned well your response rate will be good.

How to Get Your Direct  Mail to Stand Out!

Still not sure you want to try direct mail again? Send us a PDF of your last mail piece that did not give you the results you expected. We can look it over and help you create a better one. There is no cost for this initial consultation and it can be done via email if you are crunched for time. Let us help you improve your ROI. Call us in San Diego at 619-448-6111 or email [email protected]. We are glad to help!

Topics: Direct Mail, Direct Marketing

Use Direct Mail to Get Noticed

Posted by Summer Gould on Mon, Aug 29, 2016 @ 08:00 AM

San Diego Direct Mail

These days we need to do more than just reach our customers and prospects, we need to get noticed. Direct mail is a very effective tool to do just that especially when combined with other channels. The more often customers and prospects are exposed to your marketing the better they feel about your organization and the more likely they are to buy. Adding direct mail gives you extra credibility since it is viewed as very trustworthy.

Here are 4 ideas to get your direct mail noticed.

  1. Use color envelopes - Color is inviting and not used often enough. Your envelope will get opened because it is unique. There are many standard colors available that do not drastically increase your costs. Keep in mind that reds and any color made with red are not USPS compatible and will cost you more postage. The optical machines cannot differentiate between red and black so your address is not seen. Your best bet is to stick with blues and greens that are not dark. Pastels are good too. Neon yellow and green can be very effective to catch the eye and draw interest in your mail piece.
  2. Use larger pieces - You can use up to a 6.125 x 11.5 postcard or envelope and a 6 x 10.5 self-mailer while still paying the same postage rates. Take advantage of that. Larger pieces get noticed faster and allow you to add graphics and copy without a small size limit. The easier it is to read, the more people who will read it.
  3. Add fun taglines -Get your recipients excited about what they are going to find in the envelope. You can also use fun taglines on self-mailers and postcards on the mail panel side. Get creative here, you want to make them curious to read more, make sure to consider who your audience is and what will grab them.
  4. Use stamps – Surprisingly not many people use stamps on their mail pieces. Stamping is not very costly and can add a more personal touch to the envelopes. There is a stamp for each postage class so no matter how you are sending the mail you can use a stamp.

Have you seen other pieces arrive at your home or office that grabbed you? How could you incorporate come of those elements into your direct mail pieces? A few bonus ideas are using scratch offs, stickers or adding mobile technology. Some of these can get pricy so make sure to evaluate not only what you think will work best but also what you can afford to try.

How to Avoid  Self_Mailer Design Issues!

If you have any questions call us in San Diego at 619-448-6111 or email [email protected]. We are glad to help!

Topics: Direct Mail, Direct Marketing

Why Use Direct Mail?

Posted by Summer Gould on Mon, Jul 11, 2016 @ 12:20 PM

San Diego Direct Mail

Did you know that in a study done by MarketingSherpa, they found that 54% of respondents preferred direct mail for updates and promotions vs. 47% by email? In another study using a cross media marketing strategy which included direct mail, email, PURL’s and mobile messaging, the response rates were as high as 8.7% with a conversion rate of 19%. As you can see direct mail is still very effective in a marketing campaign.

By no means are we saying you should only use direct mail, what we are saying is that when direct mail is combined with other channels you increase your response rate. As a marketer, your main objective is to get your marketing messages delivered and get responses to them. Direct mail is effective. Let’s look at another study, this one conducted by InfoTrends.

According to InfoTrends’ survey results:

  • 66% of direct mail is opened.
  • 82% of direct mail is read for a minute or more.
  • 56% of consumers who responded to direct mail went online or visited the physical store.
  • 62% of consumers who responded to direct mail in the past three months made a purchase.

These are very powerful numbers. You cannot ignore the direct mail channel. Don’t forget with all the latest technology, direct mail can drive mobile engagement as well as sales. This is not your grandma’s mail piece. Use both personalization and technology to increase your response. Get creative and encourage recipients to engage with you across multiple channels starting with your direct mail piece.

How to Get Your Direct  Mail to Stand Out!

We would be remiss if we did not mention that you need to track your direct mail results. Direct mail makes this easy to do with coupon codes, dedicated phone numbers, personalized landing pages and even just bringing the piece to your sale/event. Don’t let the power of direct mail pass you by. Reach out to your prospects and customers with direct mail, you will reap the benefits.

Questions? Need help? Call us in San Diego at (619) 448-6111 or email [email protected]. We are glad to help!

Topics: Direct Mail, Direct Marketing

Direct Mail Requires Focus

Posted by Summer Gould on Mon, Jun 20, 2016 @ 09:27 AM

San Diego Direct Mail

Direct mailis a great way to generate sales for both B2B and B2C companies when it is done correctly. 20 years ago direct mail was pretty simple, now the planning execution and postal regulations are all more complicated. That is why we are here to help you. When you can truly create focused direct mail your return on your investment will be much greater.

What is focused direct mail?

  • Targeted to the right people – Your product or service is not right for everyone. Find the right people and send your direct mail to only them. You will save money by not sending to people who would not buy from you anyway.
  • Personalized with the right offers – Identify key pain points with your customers and prospects. Then address them with your offers in order to increase responses. When you can solve a problem with your product or service your offer has more value to the recipients.
  • Clear concise message – Start by writing out everything you want to say. Then pick only the most important things. Use bullet points to highlight only key information. You bold to draw attention to important words. This can take time and you should enlist the help of someone outside your organization to make sure they understand the messaging the way you intended.
  • Graphics and images that support the message – Your graphics and images should be able to enhance your message or even state your message without using any words. Selecting the best ones will take time. Make sure to have others look at them to spot any unintended references.

The last consideration is postal regulations. These can be a real problem if your direct mail has already been printed before we have looked at it. We can help you spot any problems that may cost you more in postage before you print. Remember, postage is your biggest expense and design elements that run afoul of postal regulations can cost two or more times as much money. A quick review of your pdf by our trained staff can save you.

How to Get Your Direct  Mail to Stand Out!

If you have any questions or want a PDF reviewed call us in San Diego at (619) 448-6111 or email [email protected]. We are glad to help!

Topics: Direct Mail, Direct Marketing

How To Create Winning Direct Mail With Humor

Posted by Summer Gould on Mon, May 02, 2016 @ 09:21 AM

San Diego Direct MailWe all enjoy a good laugh, but besides the enjoyment there are real reasons to use humor in your direct mail. Laughter triggers the release of endorphins in the body. These are our feel-good chemicals. When we feel good we like it and associate that feeling with the product or service that made us feel that way.

Let’s look at a couple of things laughter can do:

  • Improve health: By lowering blood pressure, increasing oxygen in the blood, provide a workout to the diaphragm, abdomen, lungs and more, and it reduces stress hormones.
  • Increase memory, alertness, creativity and learning: studies have shown that when humor is added to instruction led to better test scores.

So how do these things translate into generating direct mail response? Humor makes selling easier. Laughing at a direct mail piece builds trust, makes you likable and therefore they are more apt to respond.

So now that you want to add humor let’s talk about how to do it right.

  1. Target Audience: In order to provide effective humor you need to target it to the right groups of people. In many cases this means you have various versions of humor depending on the group you are sending to in the same campaign. To get the best results test your humor ideas on people who are similar to your target audience. What you find funny may not be to other people.
  2. Strategy: Here you need to plan how to add the humor, not just for the sake of having humor but to create a benefit. This will take thought and time. The incorporation of your humor into your message and your brand is a must in order to work. If you have conflicts between them, then your direct mail piece will not be effective.
  3. Tone: It is important to hit the right tone. You do not want to try too hard to be funny, but you also do not want to scale back too much and make it not funny. You need to take calculated risks based on your target audience. You want real laughs not a quick chuckle and toss the mailer in the trash.

You can create your humor in many forms from images to text jokes. Find the right mix of what works for your business and what your recipients find funny. Remember that testing your ideas with people outside of your organization before you send them out is important, especially when you are trying to be funny. You can do this with some of your best customers and include a variety of personalities for the best feedback.

How to Avoid  Self_Mailer Design Issues!

If you are ready to add humor to your direct mail call us in San Diego at (619) 448-6111 or email [email protected]. We are glad to help!

Topics: Direct Mail, Direct Marketing

Direct Mail Postcards: Size Matters

Posted by Summer Gould on Mon, Apr 11, 2016 @ 08:06 AM

San Diego Direct Mail

The first hurdle in direct mail is getting noticed. Postcards are very effective at that, since no envelope needs to be opened. Images and copy are easily seen to capture attention. Better still is a larger postcard that stands out in the mail box. They are less likely to get shuffled into other mail as some small postcards do. A smaller card can seem as though you are trying to pinch your pennies, the larger card looks like it is worth more. Postcards work well for both B2B and B2C marketing. So, when doing a postcard we do recommend going with a larger card.

Here are 4 reasons why larger postcards are better:

  1. Get seen in the mail box
  2. Get read in the mail pile on the kitchen table
  3. More room for your message
  4. More room for your call to action

The best way to get people to read your postcards is to include colorful images that help to convey your message as well as draw interest. Grab their attention with the visuals and get them to respond with your copy. With a larger card you can easily convey your message without fear of overcrowding. Make sure to use bold letters and bullets to convey the most important things. Your call to action should really stand out, tell them what you want them to do and give them multiple ways to respond to your offer.

Of course the most important thing to do is to target your audience. Make sure you are sending your offer to people who will be interested in it. This will save you on printing, mailing and postage costs by not sending to people who will not want your offer. You want to be able to increase your return on investment and the best way to do that is to target your list.

5 Ways to Create  Funny Direct Mail

Keep in mind that the postage rate for standard mail is the same price for a 4.25 x 6 card as it is for a 6 x 11 so take advantage of that!

If you have any questions call us in San Diego 619-448-6111 or email [email protected]. We are glad to help!

Topics: Direct Mail, Direct Marketing

Direct Mail Marketing: Crunching The Numbers

Posted by Summer Gould on Tue, Mar 29, 2016 @ 08:52 AM

San Diego Direct Mail

Before we crunch the numbers, let’s look at consumer’s opinions on direct mail. Direct mail is considered to be the most secure and trustworthy form of marketing. Look at how companies like Google are using direct mail. They do that because it works.

Looking at what the DMA 2015 Response Rate Report we found:

  • The average response rate is 3.7%
  • The average cost per response is $19 which when compared to other channels is very competitive
  • Best performing style by category is an oversized envelope at 5%
  • The next best performing style by category is a postcard at 4.25%
  • The most expensive category to mail are dimensional pieces at $30 per response
  • The next most expensive are catalogs at $23 per response
  • The most common way to track direct mail response is online at 22%
  • The next most common way is through a call center at 19%

Are these numbers a surprise to you? How do your numbers compare? One key take-a-way is that direct mail response rates are higher than all digital media in the study. Direct mail can benefit your marketing mix, but you need to know your numbers so that you can keep doing what works and fix what is not working. There is no way to predict exactly how well your direct mail campaign will perform, however, knowing what the direct mail averages are helps. You need to know your average to set a baseline. From there you can work on making changes that could enhance your response.

The 3 core components to focus on with direct mail are list, design and offer. Keep in mind that when you create offers, free things are a better driver than a discount. This does not mean that you have to give away your product or service; you can give away a generic item such as a gift card for coffee. When you decide to make changes, keep a group of people separate from the changes. This will become your control group. You will use the control group results to compare with the changed group results to see which had a better response rate. You can test this many different times or further segment your list with a different change on each segment all at one time.

One other note, most marketers now use more than one channel in order to fulfill campaign objectives. The study found that in most cases marketers were using 3 or more channels. When they were, the channels used most often together were direct mail, email and social media.

Get your 2016 Postage  Rate Decrease Chart Now!

When you know your numbers you are able to predict your results with more accuracy and continue to improve the quality of direct mail you are sending out. When you are able to send the right offers to the right people by knowing your results, you decrease your cost per acquisition and increase your ROI. When you are just starting out, you can track your numbers in an excel spreadsheet. This will allow you to compare numbers from past campaigns as well as plan for the next one.

If you have any questions please call us in San Diego at 619-448-6111 or email [email protected] We are glad to help!

Topics: Direct Mail, Direct Marketing

The Direct Mail Touch

Posted by Summer Gould on Mon, Mar 14, 2016 @ 08:24 AM

iStock_000028222424_smaller.jpg

Touch is a necessary component to life as well as to communication. Since many marketing channels today are digital, direct mail really stands out with its ability to touch people and be touched by them. Through touch a company can communicate in a profoundly greater way than through words or images alone.

Let’s take a look at how touch empowers direct mail:

  1. Ownership – Touch creates a sense of ownership over the item being held. The product or service being offered can really be theirs.
  2. Value – Touch creates value and a sense of need. When I have something it is worth more to me than when someone else has it.
  3. Temperature – Touching warm things evokes responses in our bodies that improve moods that allow us to view things more favorably. Can you create that warmth on your direct mail piece?
  4. Decisions – Touch can sway decisions by generating favorable responses. People like things that make them feel good. How can your product or service capitalize on that?
  5. Trusted – High quality paper is more trusted and leaves a lasting impression for a longer recall of the product/service and the company offering them.

Seeing maybe believing, but touching is trusting. Because of this, direct mail is a powerful channel to drive purchasing. If you utilize the 5 elements above in your direct mail you have the ability to reach people without them even realizing it. Adding texture coatings and using high end paper can dramatically increase your response. Digital channels have no way to reach people like direct mail can.

Get your 2016 Postage  Rate Decrease Chart Now!

I am not saying that digital channels are bad, what I am saying is that it is best to exploit each channel in the way they work best. Then when you create your multi-channel campaign, you have unique opportunities with each channel to reach people in profound ways, thereby increasing your response rates.

If you have any questions call us in San Diego at 619-448-6111 or email [email protected]. We are glad to help!

Topics: Direct Mail, Direct Marketing

Direct Mail: Imagine The Possibilities

Posted by Summer Gould on Wed, Mar 02, 2016 @ 07:39 AM

San Diego Direct Mail

Stop for a minute to consider how to revolutionize your direct mail. Technology now exists that allows us to take a 2D mailer and turn it into a 3D experience with Augmented Reality or Virtual Reality. This provides you with the opportunity to engage your customers and prospects in a whole new way. Your direct mail is no longer just a piece of paper, but a gateway to a unique multi-sensory experience. When these first came on the scene, they were cost prohibitive for mid to smaller size companies. That is no longer the case.

With the use of mobile devices, your direct mail can come to life! Think of the ways you could offer recipients to experience your product or service through VR or AR. Before you get started on adding either one to your direct mail campaign there are a few things to consider.

Before you use AR or VR here are 4 things to consider:

  1. What: Start with your goals and objectives. What are you trying to do? How can AR or VR be used to accomplish them as well as add value to recipients?
  2. Experience: Think of how recipients will interact with AR or VR. How can you create an experience that is powerful and entertaining?
  3. Platform: What platform will you use to create the experience? Think of how your customers and prospects will use it. What will be the easiest for them?
  4. Uses: Now that you have a plan, in what other ways can you make use of this new experience? Can it be added to other print pieces, direct mailers, social media or other online channels? Being able to use this investment for more than one thing not only saves you money but provides the experience to more people.

AR and VR are powerful additions to your direct mail. Thoroughly planning them out before you start is critical. You also must make sure you have a way to measure responses. If you are cross pollinating other channels with your AR and VR then you will want to setup a way to track the response from each channel as well. The results will help you plan future campaign changes. This is a very exciting time for direct mail. There are so many ways that this technology can catapult a printed direct mail campaign into a new level of engagement and response.

Get your 2016 Postage  Rate Decrease Chart Now!

If you have any questions call us in San Diego at 619-448-6111 or email [email protected]. We are glad to help!

Topics: Direct Mail, Direct Marketing