Posts tagged ‘direct mail’

Bored With Your Marketing Campaign?

Seeing the same marketing collateral day in and day out might get boring as a company insider, but is it actually boring to your audience? That’s the operative question here. Before going to the drawing board and reinventing your image, ask your design and executive teams the following questions:

1. Is your campaign fully integrated? i.e. does your logo appear on all materials in accordance with your style guidelines? i.e. does your campaign cover all markets such as print, viral, social, etc.? Do you and your printer have full and complete brand control?

2. Does your campaign reflect your company’s environmental philosophy? i.e. Are you using recycled paper with a credentialed printer?

3. Are you seeing quantitative results with the current campaign? i.e. are sales up, is your service being used, are you competing strongly in your industry? Does your printer provide full records management that allows you to track collateral usage as a productivity indicator?

4. Are your materials being created uniformly, efficiently and in a cost productive manner? i.e. are you using a print house that uses a marketing supply chain management system?

5. And lastly, are you unique to your specific niche market? i.e. are you trying to be everything to everyone or are you staying within your market purview and business competency?

These five questions are VITALLY important to the decision making process involved with creating, maintaining, altering or completely reinventing a current marketing campaign. Obviously budget is a huge factor, as is timing.

So, if your answer to any of the above questions is ‘NO’ then boredom might not be the only ill effect of your current identity. In fact, it might be time to check the budget, ramp up the design team and get your print shop account rep on the calendar.

If this seems overwhelming, remember that effective marketing is often what separates rapidly growing companies from those slower growing or even stalled companies within like industries. If you expect your business to continually grow, you must be or become an effective marketer, advertiser and promoter of your business.

Be smart – understand your position in the market place, research your campaign, think it through for execution and longevity, test it, and implement it fully! Keep in mind, you’re likely to grow your business to the extent that you master your marketing campaign. Visit us at Prisma Graphic to learn more.

April 7, 2010 at 12:16 pm Leave a comment

Door Hangers – The Underdog of Direct Mail

What is your company’s customary and acceptable lead generation cost? Chances are it’s more than eight cents per lead. If you don’t know this cost, do some research and find out, it’s critical to the bottom line of any direct mail strategy.

A unique and often overlooked component to a successful direct mail campaign that is SUPER CHEAP and SUPER EFFECTIVE is door hangers. Some door hangers are as cheap as eight cents per hanger, meaning that you could get your message to 100,000 targeted customers for about $800. Not too shabby, right?

So let’s talk door hangers. Pricing on hangers is no doubt attractive – but keep in mind that the hangers reflect your company, so make sure they aren’t so cheap that they’re trashed before read. It’s also important to determine quantity up front since you’re hanger will be cheaper to print based on a higher print run. Maybe printing enough for two campaigns works for you, just think ahead to stay ahead on pricing.

Design is the most critical aspect of an effective door hanger. Once it touches a prospective customer’s hand, it must catch their eye long enough for them to grasp either a WIFM (What’s In If For Me) or a call to action. Either way, the message must be clear, simple, vibrant and catchy.

The job of door hanger designer is to get customers to read it. You must grab the attention of the customer immediately and: 1) provide a solution to their problems; and 2) have a call to action. Don’t bog your door hanger design with distracting imagery that gets in the way of the message. After all, the purpose of a door hanger is to motivate a response from the customer, not to get a blue ribbon for your design.

Once hooked, copy needs to be brief, concise, and compelling. Using the back side is a great way to visually support your copy/call to action. Use large visuals here like a map, coupon, logo, etc. Stick to sound bites here, not sentences.

Still not convinced that door hangers do the trick? Think about it logistically…door hangers don’t get lost in the pile of junk mail from traditional mail sources. And better yet, recipients are clustered geographically by countless combinations of profiling labels such as income level, education, gender, age, etc. Odds are, that your message will be individually handled by a prospect, unlike any other direct mail component.

Comprehensive print shops offer various services to assist in making a successful door hanging campaign. Most print houses even have templates if interested in a more independent route. Remember, once the perfected door hanger is in hand, don’t waste it on an under-researched demographic. Make sure you’ve done your homework so recipients actually need your service/product.

Last step – ah! Dissemination. If you’re not lucky enough to have a large group of loyal friends or a massive family, many such distribution agencies specialize in this area. Check with your print shop once again, they are your expert advisor!

March 31, 2010 at 10:56 am Leave a comment

Print Smart: The Rewards of Being Green

Print Smart: The Rewards of Being Green

FSC LogoDespite the growth and popularity of the Internet as a marketing tool, the mailbox continues to be the preferred communication channel for information, promotions and announcements. According to a study by International Communications Research1, 70% of consumers prefer direct mail compared to 18% who prefer email.

 As consumer concern for the environment increases, so has sensitivity toward direct mail and its perceived negative impact. While direct mail accounts for only 2% of the country’s municipal waste, it is still a concern for businesses that use direct mail as a marketing strategy.

 So, what can marketers do to accommodate today’s consumers? Print Smart. For Sherri May & Company, a mailing proponent that specializes in direct marketing, being green is the positive result of simply printing smart. “We’ve been the most successful when we focus on delivering the right message, to the right audience, at the right time, using the most energy and cost-efficient means possible. Green production is a win-win all the way around,” explains Sherri May.

 To address the growing concerns of the environment and the impact of direct mail, the Direct Marketing Association, Pitney Bowes and the United States Postal Service have all published practical steps to become more efficient in direct mail and thus more environmentally responsible.

 Data Management – Reducing Undeliverable Mail

Each year almost 60 billion pieces of direct mail end up in landfills. By working with a partner who understands how to minimize undeliverable records and optimize the production process in general, you can save as much as 30% on each and every mailing. Incorporating USPS endorsed NCOAlink® software, Intelligent Mail® and OneCode ACSTM into the data process will ensure accuracy, helping to maximize ROI while maintaining good environmental stewardship.

 FSC Certified versus Traditional Recycled Paper

Besides positively positioning your company’s image, for little or no additional cost, using an FSC Certified paper helps reduce global warming, save forests, conserve water and lower emission of toxic pollutants. Moreover, using a recycled FSC Certified paper supports municipal recycling collection programs and diverts usable materials from incinerators and landfills.

 Generally speaking, the benefits of using a traditional recycled paper are more of a perception than a reality. Many countries continue to destroy rain forests for the hemp needed to produce the original papers used in the recycling process today. In fact, recycling traditional paper actually depletes more in fossil fuel and other non-renewable resources in the collection, fabrication and delivery than it saves for the environment. The FSC Certification demonstrates that your finished product was produced from start-to-finish, using sources and methods that promote responsible forest management worldwide.

 Manage the Mailbox

When possible, try to consolidate your message into fewer mailings. Instead of mailing monthly, consider mailing quarterly and augmenting the effort with opt-in, personalized phone and/or email communications. Combine multiple messages into a single envelope and always utilize the front and back of each insert. “Companies that are able to coordinate all their mailings through a single internal point person, do a great job of managing the customer mailbox. Customer perception can turn negative when they receive multiple mailings from the same company within a short period of time,” says Sherri May. These minor adjustments will stretch your marketing dollars and help to reduce your company’s impact on the environment.

 Manage the Message

Making an impression is sometimes easier than most people think. Minor size adjustments, self-mailers versus envelope mailers and even using a pre-printed corporate mailing permit instead of stamps, can all extend the budget of a direct mail piece. This creative thinking not only improves efficiency, but also inherently applies eco-friendly practices.

 Poly versus Poly-Less Envelopes

Implementing the use of a window envelope is a smart way to retain personalization, yet avoid the extra cost of match mailing. Also, by using poly-less window envelopes, especially on larger quantities, you can reduce production costs while making these envelopes easier for consumers to recycle.

 Vegetable/Soy or Petroleum Inks

The increasing demand for a front-to-back eco-friendly process has made vegetable and soy-based inks more cost-effective than ever before. Today, these inks are very competitively priced against petroleum-based inks, and customers appreciate receiving printed pieces from those who demonstrate a commitment to the environment.

Always Consider the Combo

Printing one project at a time is always more costly than printing multiple projects at once. Although that’s not always possible, a strategic approach to your next staggered, multiple-piece campaign could save your company thousands of dollars, while also reducing the manufacturing waste of the overall campaign.

 Become an Environ-mail-ist

Employing these simple initiatives into your direct mail strategy can improve your company’s image, will be good for your budget and ultimately good for our planet. Print Smart is more than a philosophy for Sherri May & Company and Prisma Graphic. We all have a responsibility to our clients and to our shared environment. Plus, if we’re able to reduce a carbon footprint along the way… we all win!

 Contact Sherri May & Company today to discuss everything from data optimization, mailbox management and how to develop a results-driven direct mail campaign that positively impacts our environment. Call 602 547-7020 or visit  www.sherrimayco.com . 

 1 International Communications Research (ICR) study dated 6/11/2007

2 The Truth About Green, February 2008, © Pitney Bowes Inc.

3 Forest Stewardship Council, see  www.fsc.org  for more information

 Mailing Made Simple

Over the years it became increasingly clear that print buyers were becoming tired and often frustrated managing multiple vendors in the direct mail process. This is especially true considering the everyday pressure to find ways of improving speed to market, while reducing costs at the same time.

 In response, Prisma Graphic hired a mailing expert, invested in the equipment and launched an in-house mailing department almost three years ago. This move quickly became an invaluable addition to our service offerings.  We have been able to shorten turnaround times and reduce overall project costs for our clients.  Today, our mailing department drops over 1.5 million pieces per month and continues to grow in output.

Advantages of a Knowledgeable One-Stop-Shop:

•          Start-to-finish quality control by a trusted contact

•            Improved speed to market

•          Waste reduction by using USPS endorsed NCOAlink®, Intelligent Mail® and OneCode ACSTM processes

•            Availability of saturation or demographic-specific list purchases

•            Promotional results tracking

 To find out how Prisma can help you reduce costs and make
your next direct mail project seamless, contact your a Sales Representative, or John Pisauro at 800 379-5777 or johnp@prismagraphic.com.

Sustainable Actions

Prisma PressEveryday at Prisma Graphic, we search for ways to step a little softer on the earth. From the inks we use and the paper suppliers we support, to the design of our 82,000 square foot facility and the company-wide recycling program, we are proud to say we have successfully implemented one of the most aggressive sustainability programs in our industry.

Most of our success and efforts are thanks to our General Manager, Alan McAbee. His 29+ years of seasoned commercial printing experience and devotion to sustainability have benefited Prisma, as well as the green initiatives of some of our clients, Arizona State University in particular. Truth be told, Alan is always willing to discuss current trends and real-world sustainability applications with anyone who shares his passion.

Prisma’s initiatives include:

•            Vegetable and soy-based inks

•            Energy-efficient equipment

•          Low-wattage halogen bulbs used in offices

•            Recycled shipping cartons

•            Recycle paper, aluminum and cardboard

•          FSC Certified & FSC Certified recycled paper

•          Trip Reduction Program (rewards for use of alternative transportation)

•          Eco-friendly floor mats, cleaning and restroom supplies

•          High efficiency HVAC units

 For more information about sustainability or to learn how Prisma can help with your efforts, please contact a Sales Representative, or Alan at 800 379-5777 or  alanm@prismagraphic.com.

November 10, 2009 at 3:24 pm 1 comment

The evolution of targeted marketing are you ready for the fourth wave?

The Evolution of Targeted Marketing   Will you be ready for the fourth wave?

by Mike Schmitt

 While it goes without saying that these are trying times for organizations across the board, there has never been a more important time to market your company. Times like these prove that effective marketing can guarantee your survival during a down economy. Because there are fewer consumers willing to spend on your products, target marketing will help you deliver on the promise of spending less for a higher return.

 During a time of economic distress the CFO rules. This spells trouble for mass media investments as the hard dollar ROI is often difficult to measure, let alone prove. Targeted marketing to the rescue. The CFO will appreciate the fact that you are sending offers exclusively to people who are determined to be good candidates for your products and overjoyed to learn that you will be able to directly attribute marketing dollars spent to revenue generated.

 Brief History of Targeted Marketing

 We can look at targeted marketing in waves. The first wave of basic segmentation finally moved (most of) us away from “junk mail” or unsolicited promotions. Offers became relevant based on demographics such as gender, household income and lifestyle traits.

 The second wave was defined by “actionable” consumer data and personalization solutions for both traditional and emerging media. Intuitive companies realized that their very own customer data, including their transaction history, allowed for a new class of both segmented and highly personalized targeted marketing. The really smart marketers enhanced their customer data with geographic, demographic and lifestyle information. So, the right offer got to the right person and with a relevant message to the recipient. Now a company could actually spend less on marketing campaigns and expect a higher return.

 Second wave marketers, however, were lacking a true connection with the consumer. Direct mail continues to be the medium of choice for prospecting, and variable data print has given new life to this proven method of product and brand promotion through the ability to cost-effectively personalize each printed document. The proof to me that the cost of personalization had become reasonable, to even the smallest business, was when our dog Max received a personalized postcard from our veterinarian!

 Importance of the Consumer Database

 We know that most companies have some form of customer database, as well as a transaction master. We also know that a significant number of companies have very poor and scattered data. Customer data is duplicated in several departments, mailing addresses are fairly outdated, little or no data verification (mailing, email, telephone) systems are in place and the list goes on-and-on. Bad data basically means that any attempt at targeted marketing will result in a poor response to the campaign. More importantly, the potential actually exists to lower lifetime value as you may send a very negative message to your customer.

An extreme case involves a hospital that sent out a promotion for a cancer screening, which targeted elderly people within a certain radius of the hospital. The hospital received a call from an upset woman who thought it was in poor taste to be included in the promotion, when her husband had recently passed away and at the very same hospital. Another person received multiple, redundant offers and wondered about the quality of the care if they were unable to even get a mailing correct. The message here is to spend the time and effort on the database, before any form of targeted marketing is considered. Everything is better with a good database. Your analytics and reporting will tell the true story, and you will have the confidence to launch highly personalized marketing promotions knowing your data is accurate.

 Integrated Cross-Media Marketing

We are now just entering into the third wave. Savvy marketers are branding their products and images in a consistent way and across all traditional and emerging media. While newspapers are getting roughed up by the Internet and network TV is competing with cable, all media remains important. Marketers are working to have consistent messaging on the web, traditional media, mobile phones (which greatly outnumber personal computers) and on email. Many marketers are also trying to figure out how to exploit social media (e.g. Facebook, MySpace, Twitter), but that is a topic unto itself. Thankfully, there are variable data composition engines that will produce output for emerging presentation spaces (e.g. mobile screens) and the ubiquitous 8.5″ x 11″. The new breed of composition engines help marketers format any given promotion to all sizes and resolutions required for cross-media marketing. Mobile, web, email and direct mail are all supported so the designer can concentrate more on the messaging and less on the presentation space. This is not to say that we can ignore the fact that a mobile webpage must be radically different than a typical PC web browser page, but the designer can prototype the various formats to ensure consistency across different media. This is far superior to using different design tools for different media.

 Marketers have also learned that some marketing messages are better sent as printed documents, while others are more suitable for electronic communications. Email, thanks to the spammers, continues to be a tough way to prospect as it is very hard to get through the clutter. Many marketers realize that direct mail can be used to drive online communications. Companies should determine the individual preferences of their customers and this means supporting traditional and emerging media; many direct marketers are predicting an explosion in mobile marketing. Americans love the concept of instant gratification, and the mobile phone gives the consumer an opportunity to respond to a promotion anytime, anywhere. As a marketer you get the chance to respond while the consumer’s interest is at its peak. Send a mobile coupon while asking for their email address – fully integrated and automated cross-media marketing.

 Marketing Nirvana – The Fourth Wave

 The fourth wave of targeted marketing can be characterized by the consumer managing their marketing communications from both a timing perspective and the channel of delivery. Imagine a consumer registering in a global marketing database their desire to purchase a diamond tennis bracelet within the next 60 days. Now also imagine that they prefer to receive mobile offers while commuting to-and-from work, email during the work days and direct mail at home on the weekends. Fourth wave marketers will have the ability to promote to people who are looking at the products they sell, during the time frame that they are interested, and through the channel the consumer has selected. Respecting the wishes of the consumer will reward the marketer with highly qualified prospects and nothing else.

 Marketers that have developed the infrastructure and processes necessary, to capitalize on the opportunities presented by the fourth wave, will obviously have a significant competitive edge over their rivals. I believe that consumers will respond positively to advertisers who spend the time and effort to fully understand their preferences for marketing communications.

So, get your consumer database ready — the fourth wave is a marketing tsunami that will wipe out those who ignore the signs.

Prisma Graphic works closely with Mike Schmitt, CEO of Clairvoyix, to provide our clients options that meet their targeted marketing goals. To discuss how we can help your company stay in front of direct marketing trends, please contact your current Prisma Sales Representative, or Rob Steele at 800 379-5777 or
 robs@prismagraphic.com.

 Clairvoyix is a full-service direct marketing company with a core-competence in database marketing and marketing automation solutions. Delivered as a “Software as a Service”, its branded database (Clairvoyix Knowledge Factory), is the foundation for fully-integrated, cross-media targeted marketing. Clairvoyix directly supports personalized communications utilizing any media type including direct mail, email, web, PURL and mobile campaigns. From customer data hygiene and consumer data enhancement to analytics and campaign execution, their company offers a complete targeted marketing solution for clients of all sizes. Call 877 866-8693 x709 or e-mail mike.schmitt@clairvoyix.com  for more information.

November 9, 2009 at 9:49 pm Leave a comment


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