When it comes to direct mail, maximum results start, not just with a mailing list, but with a clean mailing list. So what does a “clean” list really mean? Here is a quick checklist that can help.
- CASS Certification. CASS Certification is the process we use to check the validity and deliverability of a physical mailing address. Bowman Street isn’t the same as Bowman Avenue, and getting it right can make the difference between the mail getting delivered or not.
- Address Element Correction (AEC). When CASS Certified address-matching software cannot match an address, it becomes a candidate for AEC. AEC corrects problems such as misspellings, nonstandard abbreviations, improperly ordered elements, and address lines that contain information other than the actual address. It also fixes missing elements.
- National Change of Address (NCOA). According to the USPS, 40 million people move every year, but their old addresses often remain in your database. In fact, estimates are that 8% of mail is undeliverable because of incorrect addresses. Taking the simple step of updating the addresses of new movers can save you thousands of dollars.
- Locatable Address Conversion System (LACS) Link. This method allows you to update addresses when a 911 emergency system has been implemented to convert rural-style addresses to city-style addresses or when a street address has been renamed or renumbered.
- ZIPMove. Sometimes addresses undergo a ZIP Code realignment, and when this occurs, ZIPMove will update your database to reflect the new ZIP Code.
You’ve taken the time and effort to collect the names and addresses of customers and key prospects. Now let us help you maximize your investment by keeping your list clean and updated so every mail piece hits its target.
More and more, we are hearing about print personalization, or variable data printing, to achieve higher response rates and better ROI. But does personalizing by name, geographic location, or demographic information really make that much difference? Can’t you just achieve higher response rates with a better offer? An over-sized postcard? Or a really great design?
These things do increase response rates, but they aren’t replacements for a personalized approach. Consider these research findings:
- 56% of consumers are more likely to buy from a retailer that recognizes them by name. (Accenture)
- 59% of consumers say that personalization influences their purchase decisions. (Infosys)
- 84% of consumers say personalization makes them more likely to open a direct mail piece. (InfoTrends)
Personalization works because it’s, well, personal. From a consumer perspective, it’s less about what’s good for the marketer and more about what’s good for them.
Why does it work? Just think about how you are being marketed to. What motivates you as a consumer? When you shop online, you are asked to register so that the site can greet you by name. Cookies follow your every move so that when you return, the page views are customized to your purchase or viewing patterns. At the grocery store, your receipt is printed with coupons based on the items you just purchased. When you receive mail from your financial advisor, it contains information only on those funds in which you have invested or that are relevant to you based on your past investment history.
Consumers—all of us—are used to being marketed to on a 1:1 basis, even if we don’t think about it this way. Personalization has become so ingrained in our experience that we barely realize it anymore. If you aren’t incorporating personalization into your print marketing (as well as your email and other digital channels), you are out of step with marketing’s cutting edge.
Need help personalizing your next print or multichannel marketing campaign? Let us help!
Have an event coming up? In-house seminar? Booth at a trade show? Whatever your event may be, you want to maximize your investment by ensuring that the people who commit to coming actually show up. There are three steps to making sure you get the highest attendance possible.
- Promote your event with early teasers.
People mean well, but even if they have RSVP’d, they can get distracted and end up doing something else. Keep them focused on your event with pre-event teasers, whether by email or mail, to keep them interested and their attendance top of mind.
- Drip detailed information by mail.
Build interest with more detailed information. If it’s a seminar, mail out a detailed presentation schedule with speaker bios. If it’s a trade show, send full-color brochures of products on display at the show. Create an interactive and cross-channel experience by sending them to entertaining and informative videos using QR Codes, augmented reality, or even embedded video screens. Customize the brochures to that specific event so everything they see in the brochure is relevant to their upcoming experience.
- Reward attendance with in-event gifts.
Have something planned to give away once they attend the event. Let them know what is in store for them and what they will miss if they don’t show up. Maybe it’s a custom-printed t-shirt, a personalized book, or a 3D printed model. Whatever it is, ensure that it has real value to the recipient and is something they don’t want to miss.
Looking for more ideas for making your event its best? Give us a call!
If you’re wondering whether it’s worth the effort to expand the number of marketing channels you are using and invest in deeper integration between them, just take a look at the data.
According to a study just released by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and Winterberry Group (April 2017), nearly 60% of U.S. digital marketing and media practitioners now engage in cross-channel marketing. This is up from 33% one year ago.
It’s no wonder. SailThru finds that 72% of consumers would rather connect with brands and businesses through multi-channel, and in a B2C environment, multi-channel B2C campaigns realize a 24% greater return on investment. Multichannel shoppers also spend 3x more than single channel shoppers.
Not surprisingly, marketers are increasing the number of channels they use. More than half (52%) of marketers now use 3-4 marketing channels. This is up from 44% of marketers one year earlier (DMA).
Here’s another 52% statistic you should know—52% of multichannel marketers say they “usually” or “always” hit their financial targets! (CMO by Adobe)
Want to be among them? Here are some of the channels you should be integrating:
- Social media
The trick isn’t simply using more channels, however. It’s not about volume—it’s about strategy. It’s about integrating the right channels at the right time to reach the right prospects on the channels they use most.
This can be daunting, especially if you have limited resources to invest. The good news is that you don’t have to go it alone. Let us help you navigate the multichannel world and create campaigns that use the right mix of channels for your products, target audience, and marketing goals.
An effective brand creates an enduring perception in the minds of your customers and distinguishes you from your competitors. An investment in branding can pay off in many ways.
Increase mind share. When you want a cola, you think of Coca-Cola or Pepsi. If you need a bandage, Band-Aid comes to mind. Are you top-of-mind in your market segment? The sensory components of printed materials engage readers on an emotional level, connecting customers to your brand in a way electronic marketing can’t match. Consider incorporating a gloss varnish, embossing, a distinctive die cut, or one of the many textures now available in papers and other substrates.
Build loyalty. A memorable experience with a quality brand creates loyalty, which translates not only into the likelihood of a repeat sale but also an increased probability that the customer will buy related items from the same brand.
Benefit from referrals. People who have never used your product or service may still recommend it if they’ve encountered your brand enough times to develop a sense of familiarity. Printed collateral can be more visible to the casual observer as the prospect doesn’t have to consciously seek out your message. Include your social media information on your printed products.
Command a premium price. A powerful brand can lift your product or service out of the ambit of a commodity, so you have buyers eager to pay more for what you’re selling. Many companies sell coffee, so what makes people stand in line and pay top dollar at Starbucks?
Lower your marketing cost in the long run. Although you have to invest resources to create a strong brand, once it is established you can maintain it without having to re-tell your story. Many budget-conscious marketers rely heavily on electronic media, but research shows that people still prefer print. We simply don’t have the same visceral reaction to an e-brochure as a professionally printed piece.
Less risk for the consumer equals more sales for you. If someone is put on the spot to make a decision, he will most likely choose the brand-name supplier. Consider monthly postcard marketing so prospects interact with your brand regularly. Printed materials have the advantage over electronic media based on portability and permanence.
Building an effective brand is a continuous process. Evaluate your brand’s market position periodically to make sure it’s fresh and relevant.
Great Lakes Integrated’s Jason Schultz Recognized as Leader in Printing Industry and Cleveland Sales and Marketing Community
-Jason Schultz Recently Appointed Chairman of the Printing Industries of Ohio and Northern Kentucky and Recognized as Cleveland Sales & Marketing Leader-
CLEVELAND, OHIO (March 29, 2017) – Jason Schultz, vice president, marketing at Great Lakes Integrated, Inc., a leading Cleveland-based marketing execution company specializing in printing, marketing software and fulfillment services has been recognized for his leadership and business acumen among peers in both the printing industry and Cleveland sales and marketing community. Schultz was recently appointed chairman of the Printing Industries of Ohio and Northern Kentucky (PIANKO) and was also named a 2017 Distinguished Marketing and Sales Award recipient from the Sales & Marketing Executives of Cleveland (SME Cleveland).
“As a fourth-generation family member in the industry, Jason brings a vast array of knowledge and experience to the Association for someone so young,” said Jim Cunningham, president of PIANKO, a trade association of graphic arts companies and suppliers located throughout Ohio and Northern Kentucky.
“Even more exciting is Jason’s energy and creativity which inspires other young people to consider print, and longtime industry leaders to recognize the potential impact of our young Association members. I look forward to continuing to work with Jason in the coming year as we expand the opportunities for new directions within the printing and graphic arts industry,” said Cunningham.
PIANKO has dedicated itself to helping members improve and expand their businesses through a broad spectrum of specialized services, educational programs, individual member partnerships, and legislative monitoring provides member companies with the guidance to plan for and attain profitable growth.
Another organization recognizing Schultz’ experience and expertise is the Sales and Marketing Executives of Cleveland (SME Cleveland), a Northeast Ohio association comprised of 300 sales and marketing professionals that offers valuable resources and networking opportunities for members and guests. Schultz was named a 2017 Distinguished Marketing and Sales Award recipient at the annual awards ceremony in February.
The Distinguished Marketing and Sales Awards (DMSA) is the profession’s premier honor to acknowledge excellence and provide community recognition for outstanding sales and marketing achievements. Selection criteria is based on the demonstration of the highest business, professional and ethical standards.
Schultz joined Great Lakes Integrated, Inc in 2001 as an Account Executive. He holds a Bachelors of Business Administration degree from the University of Cincinnati. In 2014, Schultz was a Hall of Distinction Award winner of the Graphic Arts Council of Cleveland.
About Great Lakes Integrated, Inc.
For the past 86 years, Great Lakes Integrated, Inc. has been leading the way in the commercial printing industry, with an array of printing services and solutions. Today GLI has evolved into a marketing execution company comprised of industry leading professionals whom deliver award winning print, advanced marketing software and state-of-the-art fulfillment and distribution services.
What’s the secret to personalized printing success? It can be summed up in a single word: relevance. You can “personalize” a document with dozens of variables related to a customer’s gender, income, geographic location and more, but in the end, if the document isn’t relevant to the recipient, it won’t be effective.
How do you ensure that your personalized mailings are relevant to the people you are sending them to? You get to know them.
The industry’s most successful marketers know everything about their customers. They ask questions. They do customer surveys. They conduct focus groups. They collect a variety of customer data that helps them create detailed profiles of those customers. They mine data efficiently.
How does this work? Say you are a marketer of women’s health products. You have been personalizing direct mailings by name, age and stage of life, but the response remains low. To figure out what’s going on, you conduct a survey to learn more about your customers’ lifestyles.
Based on the survey, you find that a high percentage of your customers are home-schoolers. While these customers value natural products, your research finds that their time and finances are restricted by home-schooling costs and activities. You also find that among this group, personal pampering is not a high priority.
Based on this new information, you might change your pitch. Instead of focusing on the appeal of your products to the recipient personally, you might begin to address this demographic’s larger concerns and lifestyle needs. You talk about the cost-effectiveness of natural products in comparison to commercial products. You talk about the ability of these products to boost energy, improve the restfulness of sleep, and provide long-term health benefits for growing children. What do you think will happen to your response rates?
There is a common saying, “Knowledge is power.” That’s as true in marketing as it is anywhere else.
Do you see marketing as a sprint or a marathon? Increasingly, marketers are taking the marathon view, developing their plans to focus on long-term results rather than just “right now” sales. In this view, marketing has a two-fold purpose: to foster immediate sales and to plant seeds for tomorrow’s.
First you must identify the factors that will further your company’s long-term marketing goals. You might not have a perfect understanding of every looming competitive, economic, legal, sociological, or technological force, but you can become alert to the possibilities. Arm yourself with information on the longevity and profit potential of your present market’s lifecycle as well as budding market opportunities so you can begin positioning your business for tomorrow today.
Here are a few ways to foster future business opportunities regardless of your business size or budget.
- Provide platinum-standard customer service. Your goal is always to exceed your customers’ expectations, but if you fall short, admit it. Many loyal repeat customers result from perfectly corrected errors.
- Cultivate your elite customers. Your best customers—those who are easy to work with, who really like you, and who have a positive history with your company—are a goldmine of quality referrals. Strengthen existing relationships and build new ones by giving your top clients and their guests special offers, insights, and previews of your innovations.
- Create top-of-mind awareness. Not everyone needs your product or service today, but many will at some point in the future. Capitalize on your vision of emerging needs and trends, communicated using our suite of multichannel marketing tools and techniques, to get your product in front of tomorrow’s customers now.
It takes time for the seeds you plant today to germinate into future business. Essential to all of this is to communicate effectively with your target audience. Consult with us to learn how our technology and expertise can support these efforts.
Digital marketing channels have an important place in the media mix, but as marketers have learned, ubiquity of presence doesn’t necessarily translate into greater profitability or effectiveness. Recently, an article in USA Today reinforced this conclusion. It discussed the hard copy vs. digital issue from the perspective of traditional print media, and there are important conclusions for marketers.
Despite the pounding that traditional media have taken in public opinion lately, here are a few points from the article worth noting:
- Investors are still lining up to make bids for ownership of traditional print news media. In fact, one group offered Time Inc.—not fire sale rates—but a 30% premium for its shares. The offer was rebuffed because management felt the paper had too much value.
- Tronc, formerly Tribune Publishing, also refused an inflated offer to buy its shares, even after a bidding war that drove up the price.
- Although margins are declining, many newspapers and magazines remain profitable. The fat has been trimmed, and profits are now about cost management and efficiency.
- What isn’t making a lot of money? Digital channels. Readers expect to have access to digital content, but after 20 years of fiddling with revenue models, publishers cannot figure out how to make it truly profitable. Readers expect digital content to be free. The revenues from the digital arms of traditional publications still cannot compete with those from print.
- Traditional publications like Time, Fortune, and The Washington Post (along with more populist publications like Sports Illustrated) have something digital channels do not—reader trust and loyalty.
What can marketers take from this? The print vs. digital debate isn’t unique to marketing, and neither are the conclusions. Whether it’s traditional news media or print and multichannel marketing, print continues to maintain a value and importance in the mix that cannot be replaced by digital channels. In order to maximize profits and reader (or customer) engagement, you have to include print.
Looking to build or expand your mailing list? If so, you have more options than the standard approaches of purchasing a targeted list or purchasing data to append the list you already have. Here are five ways to build a great direct mail list that you might not have thought of.
- Purchase a trade show attendee list.
Trade shows attract a very specific target audience, and they generally attract the decision makers in the company. Attendee lists from key trade shows in your market vertical can net you very high value prospects.
- Purchase a media list.
Like trade shows, specialty magazines (including trade magazines) have well-defined target audiences, and some will sell their subscriber lists to marketers. Demographic breakdowns are used for advertising sales, and by contacting the magazine, you can often obtain them.
- Tap your own content marketing.
If you offer an e-newsletter, ask for recipients’ street addresses at sign-up. If website visitors can download white papers or case studies, ask them to fill out an online registration form and include their street address as an option.
- Use Every Day Direct Mail (EDDM).
Every Day Direct Mail from the United Postal Service is an inexpensive way to target households within a specific demographic radius. Although EDDM lists do not include names, once people respond to your communication, you now have qualified leads—and names.
- Purchase a cloned list.
Do you already have a productive direct mail list? Just want more customers like the ones you already have? Cloned lists allow you to do just that. Create a profile of your best customers, then purchase a list that reflects that profile.
These are all smart, cost-effective ways to build your direct mail list that can yield great results. Need help? Please reach out to your account executive and if you don’t have an account executive please reach out to Jason Schultz at 216-634-5117 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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