Data isn’t just a character from Star Trek

Cost is often a large factor in business decisions; everyone wants to get more for their money. A clean mailing list, whether for email or print, can save you a lot.

If your mailing is going to 2,000 recipients and 10% of the addresses are no longer relevant, why send something to them? Our data analysts can clean and organize your data as needed, as well as verify the addresses with the USPS. Whether a simple data clean up, or a an in-depth update to your list, we’ve got the knowledge and tools to make your data work for you.

Below, we’ve compiled some tips for your mailing lists and we hope you’ll find them useful. We’ve also made a basic data template available for download here. Your account executive is also more than happy to help with any questions you may have about databases. If you do not have an account executive, please contact Jason Schultz at 216-634-5117 or jjschultz@gll.com.

Tips for mailing lists
1. The software used by the United States Postal Service is specific. When it comes to addresses, when it doubt, spell it out.

2. For the deliverability of an address, you can check here.

3. It’s important to include words like east and west if they’re part of a street address.

4. Make sure you’ve checked zip codes as well as state abbreviations to make sure they’re complete and correct.

5. If you’re shipping to an international address, make sure you provide the country names and postal codes.

6. Always put address fields into individual columns in Microsoft Excel.

7. When providing a list of email addresses, make sure they are current and properly formatted.

It’s Never Too Early

The holidays are hectic, so why not let Great Lakes Integrated manage your holiday eCards?

If you have a concept you’d like brought to life but aren’t sure where to start, we’re here to help. Add as much or as little personalization as you’d like. All we need is a spreadsheet of your contacts. Have a specific date and time you’d like the eCard to be sent? No problem.

This holiday season, Great Lakes will take care of your eCards while you take care of carving the pumpkin and cutting the turkey.

To learn more about holiday eCards, please reach out to your GLI account executive. If you do not have an account executive, please contact Jason Schultz at 216-634-5117 or jjschultz@gll.com

Some Customers Still Hard to Reach by Email

Did you know that, even in today’s multichannel media environment, some customer segments are more difficult to reach by email than others? For example . . .

  • 41% of U.S. consumers aged 65+ still do not have Internet access.
  • 53% of U.S. consumers in this group do not have broadband.
  • 18% of these consumers do not have smartphones.1

Particularly for older retirees in lower income households, print remains a critical part of the multichannel mix. For many, it may be the only way to reach them. Even those who do go online may require text-only emails rather than the HTML versions many marketers are geared up to send.

But before you write off U.S. retirees as non-email-reading, non-Internet using consumers, remember that not all consumer segments look the same. In fact, among younger, more affluent, and more educated retirees, 90% have Internet access and 82% have broadband. That’s higher than the U.S. adult population overall. For this segment, email is an important tool for marketing communication, both as a primary means of messaging or as a follow-up to print communications.

So before you reach out, know your audience, their media use, and their channel preferences. It can have a critical impact on your multichannel mix.

Need help figuring it out? Give us a call, 800-765-4846.

1 Pew Research Center (April 2014)

3 Email Trends That Will Affect Your Marketing Strategy

Are you looking to improve the effectiveness of your email marketing program?

If so, there are always different things that we can look at — this might include content, delivery rates, Subject Line testing, and more. Along with those items, I wanted to share three trends that may help companies to experience more success in their email efforts.

P.S. These trends are not necessarily new. But even though people may have been aware of them for a little while, many of us have still not taken any action.

Mobile Devices and Reading
As the number of smartphone owners continues to rise, more and more people will become quite acquainted (and addicted) to having the ability to check their email at any time, wherever they may go.

This will mean that marketers will need to invest time and effort in doing the following:

  • Testing how their current emails appear on various mobile devices
  • Finding ways to tinker with their content, layout, and underlying HTML/CSS to ensure their email looks good across as many devices as possible

Of course, many will acknowledge that designing emails for typical desktop and laptop viewing was already a challenge, due to the fact that various email clients render the code differently!

However, there are various resources popping up that do provide some help on how you can design your emails for mobile devices.

Social Networks and Sharing
We all know the power of word-of-mouth marketing. We want our content to go viral. But do we make it easy for people to start sharing and spreading our messages?

When it comes to creating and designing emails, we often spend most of our time worrying about the content and layout. And while that is important, we certainly do not want to overlook adding features that might encourage people to share our content. This may include:

  • Adding a “Tell-a-Friend” link or button
  • Displaying icons and links for sharing specific articles on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
  • Dropping subtle hints that might remind someone to pass along an article to someone else

Personalization
Technology has made it easier than ever before for marketers to build & manage databases. It has also made it easier for people to create emails that will have variable content based on the data that you may have.

However, this is an option that is often ignored. Many marketers feel the pressure to simply “get the email out the door”. Thus, taking the time to plan and create multiple versions that will offer up unique content might seem like a tactic that could stall a project.

But it may be worth investing the time to try and test out some form of personalization in your next email. Whether it’s simply serving up an article that might appear to specific industry that is represented in your list, or customizing your wording based on the types of products & services that your subscribers may offer, you may be able to increase the effectiveness of your emails.

7 Creative Ways to Make Your eNewsletter Stand Out

eNewsletters are a very valuable tool for reaching out and keeping in contact with your followers and clients. Many benefits can come out of this marketing effort when they are being used correctly, here are some of our favorites.

Company news can be shared.  eNewsletters can contain all of the top news your business has been generating, important industry trends, or pertinent human resources events. It makes complete sense to have an eNewsletter to send out to your database.

Contact lists can grow.  Encourage customers to enter their emails on your website in order to get a variety of news and bulletins in a timely manner.  Overtime, a few new contacts here and there will become a brand new list of inquiries your sales team can follow up with!

Other marketing channels can be promoted.  eNewsletter can be highly interactive, especially if you integrate your social media marketing channels.  By adding a YouTube video to your eNewsletter, you can deliver a more personable message and stand out from all of the other text-heavy emails that are out there.

Your team can be promoted.  An eNewsletter is a chance for your company to exhibit some personality and to humanize your brand. Being personable and stepping out from behind the company’s curtain makes your brand more relatable to your readers.

Great information can be shared.  A lot of valuable content can be shared through eNewsletters. Information such as industry tips, best practices, and case studies can all be ways to help educate your audience and start a conversation with them.  Encourage readers to write back with questions and comments!

Brand awareness can be built.  Design your eNewsletter to match your company’s branding and color scheme, and give it an appealing layout that won’t overwhelm the eyes of your subscribers.

Services can be promoted.  By utilizing the sidebars or banners of your eNewsletter, you can offer promotions or additional links that you might want to steer subscribers towards.  Promoting upcoming webinars, available eBooks, or related services entices readers to visit your website to learn more about that particular topic.

Your eNewsletter is a powerful asset if it is well put-together.  It involves your readers and offers them multiple forms of media for them to engage in. Make it so good that your customers can’t wait to get next month’s edition!

4 Quick Ideas to Test Your Emails for Greater Success

It is certainly wise for your company to continue using email efforts in your marketing mix.

However, one of the biggest challenges that marketers face is how to get their target audience to pay attention to their emails.

One of the best ways to improve the success of your efforts (whether you’re measuring by open rates, click-throughs, or a further conversion) is to test and try variations of your content and design.

Here are 4 features that you could try testing in your email program today:

  • Subject Line: If you are sending out an eNewsletter, then you have a prime candidate to try a test with. Measure the effectiveness of an email that simply says “[Company Name Here]‘s Newsletter” versus a Subject Line that describes what is in the article (i.e. “News For You: Direct Marketing Case Study, SEO Tips, and More”).
  • FROM Name: The Display Name that people see in the FROM can play an important role in their decision-making process as to whether to open and take action on an email. Are they familiar with the name? Do they associate that name with an unsolicited sales pitch or with someone who has helped them in the past?  Try running a test where you send the email out from the name of someone on your staff (perhaps the CEO, VP of Sales, a Product Manager, etc.) and then measure that against what happens when the FROM displays the name of your company.
  • Image Buttons vs. Text Links: Getting someone to open the email might be the first step. But from there, you need them to take action. Try testing an email that primarily includes text links versus one that incorporates graphical buttons in the call-to-action.
  • The Wording of Your Offer: What would work better on your audience: “Try our brand-new product today!” or “Improve Your Business: Get Started with [Product Name Here]“? Run a variation of the key words in your offer and then measure to see what drives the highest number of clicks and conversions.

Email is definitely a marketing channel that shouldn’t be neglected, you just have to be aware of which components you should adjust and track for more success!


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