Why Fugitive Glue May be the Better Choice…
Over the past few years the United States Postal Service (USPS) has implemented several changes to the regulations for direct mail, ranging from sizing specifications, postage rates, and closure requirements for folded mail pieces. Theses changes will affect many aspects of your direct mailing efforts and may impact your design efforts negatively, especially if your choose to use wafer seals in lieu of fugitive glue to close your mail.
Changes to closure methods, in particular, can distinctly interfere with your marketing efforts since the regulations have increased the amount of seals needed pass USPS inspection. There are two common types of closures: translucent wafer seals (hazy, round, sticky tabs) and fugitive glue (clear, removable glue adhesive). Both will hold your mail closed and are accepted by the USPS, but with recent regulation changes, wafer seals can definitely interfere with the look of your mail piece.
eCommerce Print Buying is Making It Easier and Faster to Order Printed Marketing Collateral and Direct Mail…
First, a printed piece starts the same way that most digital marketing starts — with a design created in one of dozens of computer applications. From simple brochures designed in Microsoft Word or Publisher to complex designs created in page layout applications like Adobe InDesign, it is simple to design your printed brochure or mail piece. Also, many printers have design capabilities, in-house, so a simple phone call or email message can get the whole process started.
Second, once the brochure is designed, the digital file can simply be emailed to your printing company or uploaded to their website or used through a Web-to-Print portal. Resources like this are making it easier for small and large businesses alike to print in a faster turn-around time than before. These online capabilities have also reduced costs because they create a streamline process that knock out the need for a middleman on certain projects
A QR code is essentially a barcode that usually exists in two-dimensional media such as, newspapers, magazines and books. These are used to encode vital information about certain products. These barcodes can be scanned by scanners designed for QR, smart phones, mobile phones with scanners and even certain cameras. Upon scanning, the QR codes can perform quite a number of functions including but not restricted to connecting you to a website, starting videos, making a call for sales information or even launching mobile applications. These codes can be used to make any space including billboards, interactive and informative.
Marketers and advertisers
Marketing professionals and advertising companies are always on the run looking for multi-channel marketing techniques that can help them reach bigger audiences. In addition, there is the problem of transitioning customers who have been using direct mail to company websites. Well one very easy and affordable way that is emerging is the use of QR codes. The customers can then scan the codes in their direct mail to be connected to the respective site. A lot of infrastructure is required for this however hence the rush by marketers to make the company sites mobile-savvy.
With the modernization of the world and the emergence of two whole generations after the baby boomers, a lot of focus has shifted from the traditional methods of advertising to more computerized methods such as digital marketing. This has however become overwhelming over time and consumers are getting tired of alerts and adverts that have absolutely nothing to do with them. Advertising is therefore taking a step back and considering the effectiveness of direct mail instead, an option many businesses around the world are overlooking as ineffective and too dated for the modern times.
Direct mail guarantees one on one communication
Like the name suggests, direct mail is communication that is meant for one particular person or group and which goes towards marketing a product from the sender. All you have to do with this kind of marketing is find prospects or potential buyers of your product and engage them enough (through mail of course) to want to take the action you need; buy your products or take up the services you are offering them. This type of one on one communication is not available with other forms of marketing which operate on a trial-outcome basis.
Total control with direct mail
Your prospects will not take up your offer unless it is impressive and better than that, they have seen or experienced elsewhere. Direct mail is a marketing strategy that gives you the power to dictate who to make your prospects as well as what to offer them. With this type of control, you have the opportunity to make wise and informed decisions on the pricing of your product since you will already have carried out trials to gauge the uptake by prospects. This also allows you to decide what media to use for extra marketing efforts.
Ability to integrate
Direct mail offers marketers the opportunity to integrate additional marketing methods into the strategy. One of these is print media. Print campaigns enhance the effectiveness of mail and create a greater impact than direct mail would when used in isolation. Other advertising options that work well alongside targeted mail include digital marketing, Search Engine Optimization, use of keywords and keyword buying, link building and many more. Mail marketing has one major advantage that other strategies do not. It guarantees fast response from prospects. A quick and timely response allows for ample time to strategize on follow-ups and future mailing lists.
A recent survey revealed that many executives who work with printers are still optimistic about the future of the medium, according to Print in the Mix. The survey polled 485 members of Xerox’s Premier Partners Global Network and discovered that more than 70 percent of these respondents claimed to remain optimistic about the future.
Of all the various outlets and avenues for print to participate in, direct marketing represented the most positive and hopeful channel for the future, with 38 percent of respondents believing that this channel can provide new or increased revenue. Ranking a distant second was packaging and photo specialty products, tied at 18 percent of respondents each, while TransPromo and book publishing rounded out the table of print revenue opportunities.
The data collected from this survey jibed with another recent report that looked at things from the consumer side. The latest Marketing-GAP survey, conducted by fast.MAP, revealed that more than half of consumers said they would miss printed advertising for products and services more than any other medium. In contrast, approximately a third said they would miss online advertisements, and less than 20 percent said they would miss telemarketing calls and door-to-door sales. This bodes well for direct mail marketing executives, as consumers have clearly indicated a preference in that department over other advertising formats.
One aspect of direct mail marketing that has consistently demonstrated high return on investment (ROI) and strong retention and conversion rates is personalization. Direct mail campaigns that speak to individuals instead of the masses tend to be more efficacious in their goals. One way to increase personalization of direct mail pieces is to use variable data printing (VDP). According to Target Marketing Magazine, VDP produces a mass of customized documents via digital print technology. Instead of printing the same message to, companies can use this technology to customize individual messages and designs as they see fit.
“When marketers are able to share specific information with specific individuals…they are able to increase engagement,” Gina Danner, the CEO of Mail Print, told the news source. “Essentially with VDP, marketers make it easier for people to buy.”
Companies have increased access to customized data and information. Marketers are able to acquire mailing lists that not only provide names and addresses, but also more specific and detailed demographic information. This additional information includes marital status, income, personal interests and other personal information. One IMS suggests that using VDP allows your company to cater to this sensitive data by creating custom copy for a direct mail campaign.
A recent poll from Harris revealed that parents are more apt than consumers without children to use print and online coupons to save money. Of the respondents, 33 percent of parents said they were looking for discounts and special offers through clipping coupons or printing digital promo codes, compared to just 26 percent of respondents who did not have children.
When the survey examined the sources of these coupons and savings, the value of direct mail among the parental demographic became readily apparent. Using coupons that arrive at their home through the mail was the preferred choice for 31 percent of surveyed parents. This was tied with clipping coupons from newspaper inserts for the most popular source. Following behind were other digital and high-tech options, including merchant email offers (30 percent), online coupon sites (29 percent), opt-in email offers from retailers (23 percent) and promo text alerts from retailers (14 percent).
With the high response and conversion rates of direct mail campaigns and printed catalogs, marketers are diverting more of their resources toward this promotional tactic. However, the cost of printing and mailing catalogs and other direct mail pieces can still be prohibitively high for many companies, especially small or medium sized businesses. Here are some tips on how to maximize your printing budget for catalogs and other mailers and get the most return on investment (ROI) possible.
Co-mailing for considerable savings
Co-mailing has been proven to present numerous savings benefits for companies. Retail Online Integration recommends insisting to your printer that each catalog drop have the maximum co-mail savings possible, even if in-home delivery dates have to be shifted around. Additionally, make sure that your co-mail estimates have included all related costs when its presented to you at the final budget decisions.
“Over the past two years we started co-mailing our smaller-volume niche catalogs at considerable savings,” Gay Smith, the marketing director for Hodges Badges Company, told Deliver Magazine. “For us, it’s all about focusing on the right market and positioning our products in the right way.”
According to a recent industry report, companies are struggling to accurately measure the direct impact of social media marketing campaigns. This lends further credence to long-held beliefs that direct mail campaigns remain a hallmark of marketing efforts, due in no small part to the efficacy of measuring direct marketing results.
The September 2012 report, from Econsultancy/Adobe, revealed that nearly three quarters of survey respondents said it was very difficult to effectively measure the impact of social media marketing tactics. Another two thirds suggested that their companies had no clear social media activity objectives, in stark contrast to direct mail campaigns which are known to have stated end goals.
Additionally, 20 percent of client-side businesses described their company’s ability to measure social media’s impact as being almost none, while 12 percent of agencies admitted the same of their clients. The deepest level of social impact reached and tracked across the board was engagement, with 57 percent of company respondents saying that had some form of interaction with clients. However, engagement is merely surface level tracking, unable to provide the depth of information that marketing executives rely on.
The marriage of print and digital technology in the advertising world continues, according to a recent survey by mobile engagement services company Nellymoser. The survey, which tracked the top 100 national magazines in the country by circulation, revealed that 1 in 10 (10.1 percent) of magazine ad pages contained a mobile action code, according to Print In The Mix. With the continued proliferation of these mobile action codes – suggesting that readers and consumers are increasingly warming to using these new technologies – direct mail marketing executives could consider adding them to their direct mail campaigns for added effectiveness.
According to the survey, the total number of codes that were printed in this selection of the top publications grew an astounding amount – from 1,155 in the second quarter of 2011 to 2,200 in the same time period this year. This is largely spurred on by the number of companies who have opted for action codes as an effective advertising method, with 598 brands in the second quarter of 2012 marketing themselves via the digital codes. This is up considerably from the 451 in the first quarter of the year, representing a 33 percent increase.