Posts Tagged ‘direct mail’

Write Like a Marketer

Tuesday, February 16th, 2016

Just about anyone can write. But writing – and writing for marketing – are two very different things. If you’re looking to sharpen your writing skills to attract and retain customers or clients, read on!

Typewriter

Anyone can write, right?


Top 10 Writing Tips for Marketing

1. Ditch the formality. Write like you speak so your market can relate to you. Enough said.

2. BUT, pay attention to grammar and spelling. PLS don’t write like YR 12 year old niece TXTS.  Always run spell check, and have a colleague check for grammar, proper context and meaning.

3. Avoid the “Paradigm Shift”. All it takes is one reference to buzz words like “Bleeding edge technology” or “value-driven mandates”, and people tune out. Use language anyone can understand. If your mom doesn’t know what your organization’s paradigm shift is, don’t use it.

4. Know your target market and write to them. Give them what they need to know when they need it. For example, you’re creating an ad campaign that introduces your company to your target audience. Highlight the main value your clients or customers gain from your products or services. At this point in the buying cycle, they need to know what’s in it for them. Your company history doesn’t matter to them just yet.

5. Know how long your content should be. As a rule of thumb, blog posts should be 1,500 words if search ranking and social sharing is a goal.  If not, shorter is fine – especially if you don’t have enough powerful content.  Email subject lines should be 50 characters or LESS.  A line of text should be no longer than 12 words. A paragraph should be no more than 4 lines. A Facebook post should be 100-140 characters (not words). Tweets (if you’re looking for re-tweets) should be 120-130 characters.

6. Tell your story. Share your passion – it’s what sets you apart. You may provide accounting services, but so does every CPA. Tell WHY you love maximizing your clients’ income. It will energize you, and your audience will feel it.

7. Brevity trumps long-winded. Take out any filler and fluff. Every word needs to add meaning for your reader. Attention spans are getting shorter. The number of smart phones used to consume content is increasing. Keep that in mind.

8. For headlines, create curiosity and use lively words. But remember to Keep it Super Short (KISS).

9. For blog posts, consistency is key. Don’t post twice a month then abandon your blog for 3 months, only to pick up again 4 months later. Respect your readers time and be concise in your thought. Use bullet points or lists to organize information. Same applies for email marketing.

10. Have one clear and compelling call to action. Everyone is distracted and busy. Your content needs to generate an activity. A generic call to action like “Contact us” will not inspire action. “Click today to receive a free sample” is so much better. Get clear on what you want your market to do. Including a deadline helps!

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Every Personalized Marketing Campaign MUST BEGIN with Accurate Data

Thursday, April 16th, 2015







Personalized marketing is proving to be really effective. In fact, In a study of 650 multi-channel marketing campaigns, personalized campaigns consistently and overwhelmingly beat out static campaigns in generating a high response rate from recipients. (Source: MindFire).

Data is at the heart of all personalized marketing – whether print or online. While personalized marketing is proving to be incredibly effective, it can also be quite a risky move for marketers.  All it takes is one column in your Excel sheet to get bumped up or down, and you’re sending out a potential disaster for your brand and offer.
Great Personalized Marketing Begins with ACCURATE DataLet me give you an example… the other day, I received a beautiful, glossy full color mail piece that personalized a romantic gift – created just for me and my true love. The direct mail piece features a personalized, heart shaped, Swarovski crystal-studded necklace with “Liz” engraved on one side of the heart with my birthstone, and “Alec” on the other, with his.  It’s a spectacular example of how data and creative can integrate seamlessly into a one-of-a kind printed piece. Unfortunately, this piece got my attention all the wrong reasons… Alec is my son, not my husband. WHOOPS!

They key to success is to begin with data sourced responsibly. Even if you’re using in house data, following a solid set of quality control processes can help you steer clear of potential disasters.

So, how can you reap the amazing benefits of personalized marketing while avoiding the blunders of bad data?

Sarah Bender, of New Loyalty USA, Inc., a direct mail and fulfillment company, shares a few ways that data mistakes can happen, and offers a few tips on how to prevent it.”These types of mistakes usually happen for two reasons: 1. Excel spreadsheets are often sorted, and the person doing it accidentally highlights the spreadsheet incorrectly and the columns get out of sync – thus the variable data becomes “off”.  2. The merged and printed pieces are not being quality checked thoroughly for accuracy.

A good rule of thumb is to SAVE the original data file. Only sort from a copy of the original. When the data is merged and printed with the variables applied, do a random quality check of at least 20-30 pieces against the original unsorted list.  Have your IT department check the Q/C samples as well, have them verify that the variable data fields match back to the original list provided.  This is critical since they could have imported the data into Excel and inadvertently merged it incorrectly – providing your digital print and/or press operators with incorrect variable data in the first place.”

If you’d like more tips on how to keep your list in top shape, read tips on building and maintaining a high quality list.

Let us know if you’ve found this information helpful.

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What’s Not to Love About Every Door Direct Mail?

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

Direct mail is still the perfect complement to ALL other media channels, making it a great vehicle multi-channel marketing. It is measurable – giving marketers data to gauge its success, and information to improve future projects, and consumers still like to receive it. Think of it as a respectfully intrusive medium! Direct mail tends to linger around longer than other mediums, giving your brand more exposure. It’s also comprehensive. 90% of America goes to their mailbox daily. The US Postal Service (USPS) has 100% coverage of every business and residence in the country.

And now, marketers and business owners have an even better, much more cost-effective way to deliver their marketing message in Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) program from the USPS.

What is EDDM?

You may have seen the catchy commercials about the US Postal Service’s program for EDDM. It was created to give business owners and marketers a more cost-effective way to reach their audience using direct mail. If your target audience or customer base is within close proximity to your location, EDDM could be a great solution for you!

Why we love EDDM

Cost savings on Postage: A typical direct mail campaign for a letter size (6” x 11” max dimension) mailed presort standard would cost an average of 23.5 cents per piece. EDDM postage per piece is 14.5 cents… that can make a significant dent in your marketing expenditures! On oversized pieces, EDDM ships as a flat so it can be up to 12” x 15” inches in size while still only a 14.5 cent postage cost per piece. Traditional presort standard costs of a flat is approximately 35 cents per piece. That’s a 20 cent per piece savings!

Cost Savings on Production: No need to purchase a list: no need to inkjet address; no need to purchase a permit; no need to wafer seal. These are all hard costs that can be avoided with EDDM.

Speed of Delivery: Once delivered to the local branches, EDDM mailings are delivered in 1-2 days. Traditional presort standard mailings can take between 3-9 working days and with all the financial challenges at the USPS, my gut tells me it will be closer to the latter half. So, EDDM is cheaper than presort standard yet as fast as 1st class!

More Real Estate: Why send a postcard when you can send a multipage newsletter? You’ve got more real estate to work with because according to the post office, all EDDM can mail as a flat (up to 12” x 15” in size). Think of the story you can tell with a 22” x 8.5” printed piece that folded to 11” x 8.5”, or an 18” x 24” poster that folds to a 9” x 12” mailer? Now that’s an impressive piece to receive in the mail… and guaranteed to get attention! Will print costs increase? Absolutely, but postage savings and open rate will more than make up for it.

Brand Integrity: If you’ve got a solid, respected and trusted brand, then you need to make sure everything you do reflects that… right down to the delivery method of your message. There’s something to be said for mail being delivered by a trusted carrier and delivered to a real mailbox. Personally, I view fliers and postcards wedged between my door and curled into the railings of my porch much differently than those delivered to my mailbox, and believe me, your audience does too.

Who is ideal for EDDM?

Retailers having a grand opening or sale who want more foot traffic in their store.
Restaurants who serve the immediate community who want to fill more seats, or sell more pizza’s.
Service businesses like dentists or florists needing to drum up more clients.
Community-based non-profits who need to build awareness within their community or promote an event or fundraiser.

Keep in mind, EDDM is not the vehicle for personalized marketing, or for a targeting mailing to specific demographics. The USPS is able to offer this deeply discounted EDDM service because some of the burden of prepping the mailing is shifted to the client.

If you’re just starting out, make sure you work with a marketing company that has an official Customer Registration Identification Number (CRID) from the USPS, and has experience with EDDM mailings. They will be able to help you understand the process better, explain the cost savings you can realize, and get you on your way to real marketing success!

Contact us for more information on how EDDM can help you reach your target audience!