Category Archives: Direct Mail Marketing

5 Factors Of E-Newsletters You Need To Know

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As much as we complain about email, it’s one the greatest inventions of the modern age. The ability to send and receive a letter through the web is a triumph of the times. And while I hate opening my personal inbox and seeing 30-40 emails a day, I’m thankful for the technology.

If you’re not doing so already, you should email a monthly e-newsletter to your customers in addition to a print newsletter. The monthly newsletter keeps them engaged with your company while giving you ample opportunity to sell products and services to your customers. It’s also the best way for you to distribute important (and fun) information.

The E-newsletter (aptly named because you send it through an email) has a list of pros that make it a great option for distributing news and updates for your company. Let’s take a look at some.

monthly e-newsletter

The Pros of E-Newsletters

Pro #1: Cost. You can create, produce, and send with less money than a print newsletter. Apart from the cost of writing and designing the newsletter, you don’t need to pay a lot to send them. Once you design your first newsletter, you only need to plug in the new content each month. And since you’ll send an email, you don’t need to worry about the cost and time of production.

Pro #2: Speed of Delivery. Another pro of E-newsletters is that delivery is instant. Once you’ve written and designed the newsletter, load your email list and hit send. Can it get any easier than that? Also, you can set up delayed delivery and other cool features that make sending newsletters even more effective. So what’s the easiest way to start sending them? Here’s a few websites that make sending e-newsletters a breeze: Campayn, Constant Contact, and MailChimp.

Pro #3: Hyperlinks and Calls to Action. Another great benefit of E-Newsletters is the ability to embed hyperlinks and calls to action within the newsletter. Within any given month, you can link articles or calls to action within the newsletter to give your customers a deeper engagement with your company. And from well-designed software, this process has become intuitive. You give your customers an easy, direct path to a buying decision. Because of this, the odds are much higher that they act on what they’re reading, compared to having to go online if they receive something in print.

These three benefits alone might cause you to consider this option, but a monthly E-newsletter is not without their problems. Let’s look at three of them.

The Cons of E-Newsletters

Con #1: It’s mixed with other emails. There’s a common phrase called “junk mail” that refers to the type of marketing pieces we toss in the trash. Most people think of direct mail when they hear this phrase. But if you think there’s a lot of junk direct mail, consider the amount junk email. The amount of junk email we receive on a daily basis outweighs junk direct mail by 10 fold. And if customers won’t read a direct mail newsletter, what are the chances they’ll read an email newsletter?

Con #2: Little assurance of delivery. While you can have confidence your newsletter will deliver in a timely manner, the same cannot be said about the assurance of delivery. How is this possible? How can something deliver quickly but not really deliver at all? The reason? Spam. It filters emails based on a number of various factors. And while it may deliver, your customer might not open it, let alone read it. There’s already a small open chance when it goes into the inbox, and spam only decreases those chances.

In an upcoming blog, we’ll weigh the pros and cons of a print newsletter. And then we’ll compare and contrast the monthly E-newsletter with the print newsletter, to help you decide the best fit for your business.

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An Easy Guide To Choosing The Right Offer

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You’ve finished writing out your sales letter or just finished the design on your latest postcard. Everything’s looking good but you realized you haven’t decided on what the right offer is going to be. You have a couple ideas but you need to finalize what you want to do. It’s time to set the hook to reel in the big fish with your mail piece. But first, what type of offer should you use?

Well, let’s explore a couple different types of offers that you could try out.

  1. Percentage and dollar off discounts
  2. Low or no risk experiences

choosing the right offer

Percentage And Dollar Off Discounts

As they say, “there’s nothing new under the sun,” and that definitely includes discount offers. But why are they so effective? We all know and understand that receiving 10% off or $5 off your first purchase might not save you that much. But it got you into the store, didn’t it? And you ended up buying more than expected didn’t you?

There’s something about a good sale or discount that makes it near impossible for our minds to reject. So when going about setting the right offer, how do you land on one that is effective for the customer, but also for you? If you’re going with the route of a monetary discount, always rely on this principle, “whichever one sounds like more.”

You want your offer to be irresistible so you need to choose the one that gives the highest perceived value. Consumers want to feel like they are getting the best deal and a large part of that is based on their initial impression of the offers. So, if your dollar amount is $50 off compared to a 15% discount, there’s a good chance that the $50 dollars off would outperform the percentage. Because a lot of people aren’t going to be doing that calculation of 15% in their head. The $50 off just sounds like a better deal. Studies have shown that even though two different offers give the same discount, whichever sounds like a better deal will outperform the other. And in some cases, as illogical as it sounds, a discount offering less, can still perform better because of the perceived value.

So how do you pick which one? The answer is to test them. Send out an A/B split on your next mailing. Make Offer A percentage off and Offer B dollars off. Compare how they perform and make adjustments with each mailing. The best way to find out which offer you should use is by testing.

Low Or No Risk Experience

But what if offering a monetary discount isn’t the best option for your business? Then, consider giving them a low or no risk experience. This could look like a “30 Day Free Trial” or a “60 Day Money Back Guarantee.” You have the greatest chance of making a sale when the consumer feels like it is a very low risk or no risk purchase. Ease their mind and concerns, by giving them the chance to try out your product without risking anything. And if your product and services perform as they should, you already have the sale made. You give them the opportunity to take it for a test drive. At that point, the odds are in your favor that they’ll convert into a sale.

Above all though, keep in mind who your target recipient is and what you’re trying to sell. If they’re spending several thousand dollars, they’re going to have more concerns thus needing less risk. Go with the free trial for them. But, if you’re selling a service that normally costs $75, use a monetary discount to get them in. Keeping these factors in mind will help you decide on the right offer.

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How To Create Deadlines That Drive Response

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To this day, I still remember reading Shakespeare’s Hamlet in my English Composition class my senior year of high school. After we had finished working our way through the book, we had to write a comprehensive six-page report. We had to detail every nuance and writing strategy we absorbed from the book. Let me tell you something, the only thing that made me write that paper was the deadline given by my teacher. Because if it wasn’t for that, I probably still wouldn’t have written that paper to this day…

Deadlines are motivating factors to take action on things. They give us a sense of urgency to make an immediate movement toward a decision. Deadlines in offers do the same thing. They motivate people toward a decision or commitment, regardless if it involves a sale or not.

your deadline

So how do you choose the best deadline for your offer?

There are generally two different types of deadlines:

  1. Limited period of time
  2. Limited spots or opportunities

Limited Period of Time

Limited period of time is the one you’re most familiar with because it’s used more often. This could be an actual expiration date such as “expires 4/15/18.” Or, “order product Y in the next 48 hours to claim your special pricing.” A specific time where your offer ends gives a definite stopping point to your customer. This can motivate them to act quickly because they may have a fear of missing out on this good deal.

A factor to consider with a timing deadline is exactly that. How much time should you give in your deadline? Well, the answer depends on what you’re offering and how you want the recipient to respond to your offer. If you’re simply driving them online to your website to claim a limited time printable coupon, the deadline could be as short as a week. Because you know that it won’t take very long for the customer to perform that action.

But, if your offer requires your customer to walk into your store, then it’s a good idea to give them a couple weeks so they have ample opportunities. You don’t want to set the deadline too short for fear of not giving your customer enough time to redeem your offer. But, if your deadline is too long, there’s a good chance your customer will put your offer on the side of the fridge and forget about it until a couple months after it expires.

Limited Spots or Opportunities

The second type of deadline you can use is limited spots or opportunities. Here are a few examples of what that can look like. “We can only schedule appointments with the next five people who call this number.” Or, “Our inventory is running low and once it’s gone, it’s gone. Don’t wait and place your order before we run out!” Or, “Limited seating available: only 12 seats left. Claim yours before it’s too late!”

As you can tell, these give the customer a great deal of urgency because they’re informed there’s a chance they can miss out on this opportunity. By limiting the number of people who can redeem this, you provide a more competitive feel for the recipients of this offer. Plus, it allows you to control how much you’re giving away with your offer. You gain control from both a financial perspective as well as a timing perspective. Especially if you can only handle a certain number of appointments in a certain amount of time.

Your Deadline

Lastly, when making the decision of your deadline, the important question to answer is this. What is the goal of your deadline? As we talked about, with both types of deadlines, there are different factors that come in to play. Understand how you’re wanting recipients to respond to your offer and pick the deadline accordingly. As always, be sure to test. Try out a two-week deadline and see how it compares to only allowing 10 spots. You can always switch up the type of deadline with each offer you send out. Find what works best for you to drive more traffic to where you want it.

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Is Direct Mail Dead?

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Oh great… another blog post from a direct mail company saying people like receiving direct mail. Give me a break – It’s the age of email and smartphones. Direct mail is dead. And dead it will stay!

I get your skepticism. You’ve every right to be skeptical when mainstream news outlets say the same things: direct mail doesn’t work. Market online. Send emails. Strengthen your SEO. They suggest anything BUT direct mail.

Direct mail’s got a lot of haters. But is the hatred justified? We don’t think so. Our clients don’t think so. And the facts certainly don’t think so!

direct mail box

According to the Data and Marketing Association, the #1 hub for marketing statistics and information, direct mail is alive and well.  

According to their stats, direct mail has a better response rate than email, paid searches through search engines like Google and Bing, and social media. And not just by one or two percent. But four to five in almost every comparison.

For example, the household response rate for direct mail ranks number ONE at 5.1% whereas the other response to Google Clicks and email measures less than one percent

And we’ve all heard those “tech-savvy,” “digital-native” millennials only shop online or with their smartphones. But do they? Again according to the DMA, it simply isn’t true; the direct mail response rate for millennials is 12.4%! So… is direct mail dead?

So Why Does Direct Mail Work?

First, it slices through the clutter. It’s clean and simple. It’s not competing with hundreds of other marketing pieces. It’s dropped in the mailbox with four to five other mail pieces. But compare that with email – where the average person receives 10-20 marketing emails a day. There’s too much. Companies are bombarding us every day, and it’s causing our heads to burst. 

Second, it’s tangible. You can feel its texture and weight in your hands. It feels … well … it feels real. Contrast that with an email. Emails seem cheap. They lack substance. What does it say to your customers when you only contact them with an an email? I’d say not much.

Yes, we’re a direct mail company, but that’s not the reason we believe in direct mail. We believe in it because it works. And almost every direct mail marketer will say the same thing.

So if you’re looking to improve your marketing, mix in direct mail. There’s nothing wrong with sending emails, but compound your efforts with direct mail. The results might just turn you from hater to believer.

So what do you think? Is direct mail dead?

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