The Proven Formula for Direct Mail Marketing Success

the proven formula for direct mail marketing success

Having a strong and relevant offer to make, presented with compelling copy and visuals, is every direct mail marketer’s goal. Yet the real potency in the formula for campaign success lies with your data.

Whether you’re marketing to prospects or customers, your mailing list is responsible for up to 60% of your campaign’s response. Of course, good data is a powerful business asset and essential for more than marketing campaigns.

What defines “good” data, and what makes up a data-driven organization?

We talked with John Loury, president of CAUSE + EFFECT Strategy and Marketing, about data’s role in a small to mid-sized business (SMB), how organizations can use what they know about their customers and supporters to drive better results and how to fill in the gaps.

What defines a successful direct mail campaign?

LOURY:
Direct mail is a powerful marketing channel, and it behooves marketers to justify it by being data-driven. From my perspective, a successful campaign is one that is produced on time, within budget and exceeds the data-driven goals that are established prior to execution. Today, there is no reason why every campaign should not have some projections based on desired response rates or revenues generated.

Level one metrics might be website visits or event registrants resulting from a direct mail piece you’ve sent. And that’s great. Next level would be, did they show up to the event? And after they came, did they purchase or do the desired business action? To calculate the true ROI, you need to close the sales loop.



How do you go about segmenting data for better response?

LOURY:
Segmenting starts with identifying the goal(s) of your campaign and then building an audience to help you accomplish that goal. Start with an internal review of your current data. Once that is collected and compiled, ask yourself the following questions: Is our data set complete? Is there more data that we wish we had, and where is it? Are there third-party resources that could help us fill those holes or enhance what we already have?

Then it’s time to apply the attributes of the audience you think will help accomplish your goal to the data. Once that audience has been defined from a strategic sense, it’s important to choose the offer or value proposition for that segment and develop creative elements that are personalized to maximize the emotional appeal and desired response. All segments are not worthwhile targets for every offer.



How do SMBs typically mismanage their data?

LOURY: The biggest challenge I see is that SMBs don’t have all the data they need. You might collect response data or address data for a few months. And then someone gets busy, and before you know it, there’s a few months missing before someone picks it up again.

Most software programs make it easy to input data. The cleanliness or inaccuracy of it is due to human error. There are free tools or inexpensive tools that can do the wrangling or manipulation of data at a basic level: fixing capitalization, eliminating extra fields or characters, and removing duplicate records.

The next level is more about completeness or being thorough and detailed about what you’re collecting and who you’re collecting it from.



What are some ways to get more out of the data you already have?

LOURY:
Most can benefit from a better understanding of their data sources, regardless of whether you think you need it now or not. Anything business related should be accounted for and categorized.

For example, it’s not uncommon for finance, HR, marketing, sales and operations to have files kept in silos. You might not think you need operations data when you are measuring a marketing campaign. But, if you want to close the loop on ROI, being able to merge marketing or sales data with operations or finance data might be the linchpin to do that.

Today, being able to tie things back to actual business results has never been more important and never more possible.



Behavioral data versus transactional data. How do they interact?

LOURY: Behavioral data and transactional data are the two parts that make up the how, what and when a marketing success takes place. Behavioral data is knowing that someone has visited a landing page or opened an email. Transactional data would be the purchase of a product or attendance at an event. Sequentially, we hope that behaviors lead to transactions.

As a data-driven marketer, you set out to tie the two together, so you can duplicate this process and begin to understand the last piece, which is why this is taking place to generate more of these successes!

Need a hand with managing customer lists or sourcing prospect data? Let us know; we can help.

3 Ways to Build the Perfect List for Your Next Direct Mail Campaign

According to this DMA Report, direct mail campaigns have high response rates. They found for existing customer lists, the response rate is on average 9%, and for prospect lists it’s 5%. A well-planned direct mail campaign can help amplify your marketing strategy, break through the clutter from competitors, and drive customer action.Allegra Direct Mail Campaign

The effectiveness of every direct mail marketing campaign is directly related to the quality of the mailing list. To reach the right audience, you’ll need to make sure you create the list carefully. Here are some key considerations to keep in mind when you are in the process of building a mailing list for your next direct mail campaign:

  1. Analyze your existing data.
    A great place to start building a mailing list is by reviewing the data you have from existing customers. If you are in need of additional data, there are many different strategies marketers use to collect customer and prospect names, emails, and physical addresses. Some of these strategies include; gathering data with trade show registrations, social media responses, contest entry forms, white paper downloads, product warranty cards, e-newsletters subscriptions, and other simple sign-up forms. Once you start building your list organically, you will be able to use that information to track your customer’s behavior and make better marketing decisions.
  1. Harness the power of mailing list segmentation.
    As soon as you have the right number of contacts on your list, the next step will be to figure out which variables you can use to separate your contacts into smaller and meaningful groups. Highly targeted lists segment people based on things like geographic location, lifestyle characteristics or age group. Segmenting your house list will enable your message to be more relevant and meaningful.
  1. Personalize the message for each audience.

Today’s small and mid-sized business marketer can easily and affordably leverage the power of highly targeted data to reach a very specific audience. With variable data printing capabilities from your print marketing provider, you can personalize text and images by individuals or groups to improve response rates.

Are you ready to start planning your next direct mail campaign?

Your local Allegra can help you source and manage all the data you need to build a successful mailing list. Contact Allegra for all your business design, print, and mailing needs.

4 Ways to Drive Better Results From Direct Mail Marketing

In a digitally driven world, it’s easy to feel like your direct mail marketing efforts could be making a bigger impact when the goal is to generate brand awareness.

direct mail markeeting
Let’s check the numbers: According to the Data & Marketing Association, direct mail garners approximately a 5% response rate with a house file and a 2.9% rate for a prospect list. Comparatively, digital channels including email, social media, paid search and online display ads achieved a combined response rate of 2.6%.

Direct mail marketing remains an effective strategy with several key benefits including its targeting ability, measurability and memorability – all driving higher response rates. Here are four ways you can deliver a cut-through-the-clutter direct mail marketing campaign:

  1. Vary formats.
    From a simple, economical postcard for blanketing a geographic area to highly targeted, multi-piece envelope mailings, there’s a format to match your goals and budget. With textured papers and unusual folds, your mail becomes a standout in the box.
  2. Make it personal.
    With today’s variable data printing technologies, it’s never been easier for business marketers to create one-to-one campaigns with relevant imagery and content that connects with the individual. This in turn generates greater interest, engagement and response. Choose eye-catching and colorful paper and textured stock that not only represents your brand, but also stands out in even the most cluttered mailboxes.
  3. Add some dimension.
    For targeted audiences, consider using a different method to pique interest such as three-dimensional mailer. By switching out an envelope for a mailing tube or box, you can include your brand’s message along with a fun and useful promotional item that can drive your message home. According to the Advertising Specialty Institute, 85% of consumers remember the advertiser who gave them a promotional product.
  4. Clean it up and test it out.
    Mail only matters if it’s delivered to the right people. Remove duplicate addresses, names or businesses from your mailing lists to save creative and mailing costs. To further refine your efforts, test the messaging, offer or design treatment against a control to further refine your mail campaigns.

Want to learn more about driving better results from your direct mail? Your local Allegra Marketing Print Mail can help.

Simple Ways to Personalize Your Multi-Channel Marketing Campaigns

One of the most widely embraced marketing tactics for establishing and maintaining customer rapport and loyalty is personalization. Personalized marketing leverages your customer data to individualize messaging, adding important relevancy. Personalization can be applied to most of your marketing channels: direct mail, email, social media and other digital campaigns.

Though personalized marketing can seem daunting, chances are you’ve already collected basic customer data that can be used to tailor your campaigns. Studies show that any form of personalization can pay off when it comes to engaging your targeted audience. According to a report from Econsultancy, 74 percent of marketers say targeted personalization increases customer engagement.

Here are a few ways to integrate personalization into your current marketing efforts to boost engagement:

  • Using data collected from your current customer base, create your ideal customer personas and tailor your marketing strategy to meet the needs of each identified group. For multi-channel marketing campaigns, segment by group and tailor your approach based on communication preferences and customer demographics.
  • Personalize a direct mail campaign by tailoring the messaging to a desired customer experience, rather than just a target customer. A pet supply store that offers grooming, for example, could share coat-care tips with a coupon for shampoo to a targeted list of past purchasers.
  • Enhance your direct mail campaign with personalized landing pages to extend engagement and drive conversions for those who like to respond online.

Count on your local Allegra Marketing Print Mail to provide solutions for personalizing your marketing campaigns in the most targeted and practical way.