Welcome to the Talon Mailing & Marketing March 2015 Newsletter.
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Bounces Back to the Top of Direct Mail Marketing
By Barbara Perkins, blogs.seacoastonline.com
While digital, offers a cheap and quick point of entry, it falls short at
providing evidence that it works.
Complaints about unwanted banners, pop-up ads and
unrequested email have skyrocketed. Indicators point to an overload of
online messages being sent to folks who don’t want to hear them. Toss in
security breaches or computer viruses and the world of online marketing is
not only plagued by too much noise, it is now all-out interruptions.
Consumers fed-up with bloated in-boxes come as no surprise to John Sobczak.
An industry veteran, with Hampstead, N.H.-based RAM Printing, Sobczak says
he personally gets more than 200 emails a day. “I don’t have time to deal
with that either,” he says. However, customers angered by online marketing
is precisely the type of news that bodes well for companies like RAM – one
of a handful that remain smitten by print.
The origins of the digital disruption slowly took shape in the early
2000’s. That’s when internet, email, online gaming and social media
platforms were welcomed advertisers joining in on the marketplace noise.
These inexpensive new ways to reach the masses grew in popularity while
print spiraled to new lows. By 2013, the number of mail pieces handled by
the postal service fell to 158 billion.
“Direct mail today is very different from what it was in the past,” says
Sobczak. “We try to reach folks who actually want to read their mail.”
Among his responsibilities, Sobczak advises clients on best practices for
building, maintaining and streamlining in-house databases. Advances in
data-mining, personalization and targeting techniques, have changed the
game. Mass mailings blanketing consumers is simply an outdated concept.
What RAM does instead is more of a one-on-one type campaign. In effect
they manage existing relationships between their clients and their
customers – creating value for both.
Ushering in an era of enormous discounted marketing costs, the surge in
internet marketing has fostered a renewed interest and commitment to
address print’s perceived impact on the environment.
Sobczak quickly ticks off a number of ways that RAM adheres to sustainable
business practices. Consuming less energy and generating less waste are
starters, then there’s the ink. While some printing companies use
oil-based inks; RAM’s are vegetable-based. There’s no compromise on
quality or color and the green-friendly options make economic sense.
While the company didn’t initially launch with sustainability in mind —
they were quick to embrace it. RAM was among the first printers in New
England to become affiliated with the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC),
“We wanted to make a swift and clear demonstration of our commitment to
sustainability,” says Sobczak. So even if clients dictate their paper
choices, RAM ensures that only paper which is FSC certified is procured.
RAM Printing was also one of the inaugural Business Partners in the Green
Alliance. A community-based consortium formed in 2009, the Green Alliance
works to promote area companies that embrace and champion environmentally
sound business practices, policies and concerns.
“When it comes to direct mail, a lot of people just assume using paper is
not so great,” says H. Bradley Kahn, communications director of the Forest
Stewardship Council (FSC). But direct mail works he says. Take
California-based Patagonia Inc., a company that’s considered very
environmentally aware. They use direct mail all the time, says Kahn. And
they always print on FSC certified paper. “When a company like RAM aligns
with us, it communicates that they too value the environment,” says Kahn.
Not only does seeing that FSC logo send a message to consumers that RAM
cares about forests, but it sends a signal to the landowners, paper mills
and even the truckers – every link in the paper chain – that the way they
do business really does matter.
Paper used in direct mail campaigns germinates from the forest, and
forests, when properly managed, are renewable. If companies and consumers
stop using paper, landowners will eventually use their property for other
things – in some instances that means clearing the way for urban sprawl
and development according to Kahn.
“Using paper along with other media can really impact the effectiveness of
marketing campaigns today,” says Dennis J. McCarthy, a director with South
Carolina-based Blackbaud Inc. a marketing and fundraising consulting firm
whose roster boasts 30,000 clients in 60 countries. Catalogs and other
print pieces encourage phone calls, store visits and website purchases he
says. An integrated marketing guru, McCarthy, attributes the current
direct mail rally to better messages and more prudent mailings. People
will pay attention to it now because direct mail in its latest incarnation
is so much more targeted and interactive. “People really do like to touch
things,” says McCarthy. “They like to turn pages.”
to Track and Measure the Success of Your Postcard Campaign
By M. Marlin, PowerHomeBiz.com
Tracking the results of your promotional postcards is key to determining
the success of your campaign.
Unfortunately, many businesses simply drop their postcards in the mail,
hope for the best, and never bother to keep track of response rates.
Not keeping track of response rates is a
sure-fire way to misjudge the effectiveness of your message and miss out
on opportunities for improvement.
But don’t worry! Tracking the results of your postcard marketing is very
simple, even for beginners. You don’t need sophisticated marketing
technology. All you need is a clear plan of action for how you (or your
staff) will track response rates and present the results once the campaign
Steps on How to Track Your Postcard Campaign
Let’s work on this strategy together.
1. Designate a point person to oversee the
This will likely be a project manager or marketing specialist who be in
charge of executing the campaign and compiling all information, including
mailing list size, response rates and so on.
2. Put a special phone extension or web address
on your direct-mail postcards (if possible).
This will ensure that most people who respond to your postcard will be
directed to a dedicated line, salesperson or landing page.
3. Notify all necessary sales reps.
Anyone who answers the phone or deals directly with customers should know
about the postcard marketing campaign. Instruct them to keep careful track
of all customers who are responding to the promotion, which ones convert
into sales, etc. Make sure they know to enter this information into the
appropriate system, or to simply relay that information to the main point
4. Track everything.
How many postcards? How many calls? Website visits? Sales? You’ll need
this information to figure out the final results of the campaign.
5. Calculate your most important response rate.
Divide the number of people who responded to your campaign (or performed
whichever action was desired. i.e. a sale) by the total number of
promotional postcards your mailed. For example, if you mailed 10,000
postcards and 500 people responded, your response rate would be 5.00%. Not
6. Create a report.
Have your point person turn all the data into a clear, easy-to-understand
report. The more information included, the better, especially if you’re
doing A-B split tests. Make sure everyone involved with the campaign,
including your creative teams, get a copy of this report. Even better, go
over it together and highlight the most important findings.
7. Use the data to make improvements on your next
Don’t worry if your first batch of promotional postcards bombed. Use what
you learned to make it better and try again. This is important for all
forms of marketing, and postcard marketing is no exception.
a Grip on Your Data
By Shannon Duffy, btobonline.com
With the real-time flow of information, the data world demands constant
updating—if you don't keep up, your business data will quickly go bad.
All marketers are guilty of neglecting their data
at some point. We understand that numbers are important, but our
competing creative side is bored with the monotony of data entry and
updates. With the real-time flow of information, the data world demands
constant updating—if you don't keep up, your business data will quickly
go bad. When your information is out of date, your messages aren't
hitting your target audiences. Leads slow down, and so does your
While the flow of real-time information has increased, what hasn't
changed is that marketers still need to have control over their data in
order to fill the funnel with prospects. Get a grip on your data with
these three steps and reap the benefits of a full funnel:
Zero in on what matters.
With the data buffet available to marketers today, it's easy to become a
glutton. The problem is the time wasted collecting, sorting and sharing
irrelevant data could have been spent on refining the data points that
mean the most to your customers. More isn't always better; instead, zero
in on what's most impactful to your business and keep it up-to-date. This
year, get the most from the Big Data buzz by defining the stats that
closely tie to your business and help your team the most. Select the
necessary data components and forget the rest.
Create a framework.
Once you know what information your team needs to be successful, creating
guidelines and a framework for data input is a must. As you look through
your databases today, chances are you have more than a few empty fields.
It may not seem like a big deal, but over time standards will drop and
your database will deteriorate.
The best way to avoid a bad database is to understand the information
needed for success and require that your team inputs the designated data
when they add a new contact. In addition to new contacts, hold your team
accountable for regularly updating their records. Or better yet, invest
in a service that will update your information automatically through
Maintain visibility between sales and marketing teams. After data points
are agreed upon and baseline requirements established, making that
information accessible is the next step to keep your head above water.
For years information has been hidden behind IT gatekeepers. Marketing
and sales teams would make requests for lists and eventually receive
stale databases in a first-come, first-served manner. But now the cloud
has enabled the democratization of data across departments. Sales and
marketing teams can update and share information on the Web to take
advantage of the most recent data possible.
Data can be a difficult component of the marketing mix to master. It's
not as attractive as creating fun campaigns, but it's crucial to customer
success and business growth. By defining necessary information,
establishing baseline requirements and improving transparency, marketers
can maximize their data's potential.
Shannon Duffy is VP-marketing at Salesforce's
Data.com. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Print Bounces Back to the Top of Direct Mail Marketing
How to Track and Measure the Success of Your Postcard Campaign
Get a Grip on Your Data
Mike Borkan's Links - Web sites you probably
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Direct Mail Humor!
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