Talon Mailing & Marketing

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Welcome to the Talon Mailing & Marketing July 2019 Newsletter.

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Four Direct Mail Tips For Digital Marketers

By Patricio Robles, Econsultancy.com

Direct mail is back in style.

With a greater and greater percentage of marketing budgets being directed to digital campaigns, competition is fiercer than ever and for many marketers, that means that standing out is becoming harder and more expensive than ever.

A growing number of direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands are turning to direct mail because they’re hitting the limits of what digital can deliver.

Ryan Babenzien, CEO of the sneaker brand Greats, put it simply: “Digital is noisy and direct mail is calm.”

The good news for marketers is that, as oxymoronic as it might sound, direct mail can today be treated much like a digital channel because it is now possible to programmatically create and manage direct mail campaigns. In other words, marketers can send physical mail almost as easily as they can send email.

To profit from this capability, however, marketers need to use direct mail thoughtfully. Here are four tips for doing just that.

1. Personalize

Just as personalization can be a game-changer for digital marketing campaigns and customer experience, personalization can and often should be applied to direct mail. Even the most basic data, such as name, can help a direct mail piece stand out.

Historically, personalizing many kinds of print materials on an individual basis would have been too costly to be viable but again, thanks to programmatic print services, in many cases marketers will find that it’s surprisingly easy and inexpensive to personalize print materials in meaningful ways.

2. Integrate

To maximize direct mail, marketers should think holistically and integrate their print campaigns into campaigns they’re running in other channels, including, of course, digital. Retail provides the best examples of this as retailers have in recent years embraced print catalogs, proving that predictions of the retail catalog’s death were greatly exaggerated.

For example, after Toys ‘R’ Us failed, a number of large retailers sought to capitalize and incorporated print catalogs into their broader marketing efforts during the holiday shopping season. Amazon got into the act with a print toy catalog that it distributed to customers by mail as well as at Whole Foods locations.

And Target attempted to make it easy for recipients of its print toy catalog to purchase products from the catalog online. Using the Target mobile app’s barcode scanner, shoppers were able to hover over a catalog page, retrieve information about the products on it, and add products of interest to their shopping carts.

3. Retarget

Retargeting has proven to be an incredibly effective tactic for digital marketers and there are many ways marketers can use retargeting with print. Because of print’s ability to stand out, it is especially well-suited for reaching out to individuals who might be considering a high-value action.

For example, a retailer could send a special coupon code to a customer who had abandoned a cart containing high-ticket items. A real estate agency could send a flyer to a client who had viewed one or more properties on its website multiple times. And so on and so forth.

Combined with personalization, print mail retargeting has the potential to be a very powerful tool.

4. Attribute

Direct mail, like most non-digital channels, presents some attribution challenges. But fortunately these are often easily addressed. For instance, coupon codes and special landing pages can be used to identify and track individuals who respond to a mailing.

Of course, not all direct mail campaigns rely or should rely on discounting, and even landing pages can be problematic as recipients of a print mailer won’t necessarily go to the landing page if they recognize the sender. Instead, they might go directly to the sender’s website or mobile app.

With this in mind, some companies are developing more sophisticated attribution approaches. For instance, Article, a DTC upstart that sells furniture, built an attribution model in-house. As Digiday explained, “To do so, it set a time period of two months to watch for results…and used a holdout group to track traffic and conversions from demographics that were sent the catalog, in comparison to ones that weren’t. What the brand watched for in terms of results was traffic to product pages featured in the catalog, engagement on social media in the regions that received the catalog, and primarily, sales.”

Nordstrom Cuts Direct Mail and Subsequently Loses Sales

By Melissa Campanelli, Mytotalretail.com

Looks like there's a lesson to be learned from this: Direct Mail done right still works.

Recently, Nordstrom cut its forecast for full-year sales and profit after reporting weaker-than-expected first-quarter results that were hurt, in part, by stopping its use of direct mail to promote its new loyalty program.

According to Yahoo Finance, co-president Erik Nordstrom said on a post-earnings conference call that the company stopped sending rewards "notes" to its loyalty customers by mail in an attempt to get the program online and reach customers faster.

That shift caused a reduction in foot traffic at all of its stores, Nordstom said, as many customers rely on receiving those rewards by mail.

"We're making the changes we believe are necessary to drive our top line as we continue our aggressive focus on expenses," Erik Nordstrom said. The company also said trends from the fourth quarter continued into the first quarter and that it had to ramp up promotions in order to clear excess inventory from its winter collection.

Total Retail's Take: It's rare that an executive says that cutting direct mail from a company's advertising budget can have such a negative impact on sales, but that's essentially what Erik Nordstrom said. We're not sure if Nordstrom will reinstate its direct mail program, but to me, it sounds like direct mail is having a "moment."

Just this month, for example, Total Retail published several articles about how brands that use direct mail in a meaningful way can really connect with customers.

In one article, Tommy DeLuca, vice president of sales at PebblePost, a digital-to-direct mail marketing platform, cited a PebblePost study that found that 76 percent of shoppers discuss relevant mail from a brand or retailer they’ve purchased from in the past.

The same study found that 61 percent of recipients consider direct mail influential in driving purchase decisions. Furthermore, I just received in the mail RH's 2,500-page catalog, or "Source Book," as the company calls it.

Is direct mail seeing a resurgence?

How to Fix the B2B Data Meltdown

By Sam Meenasian, Marketo.com

Here are 8 Steps to Turbocharge Your Data:

B2B marketers are in a pickle when it comes to data. Data insights are critical to boosting marketing and sales performance. Yet the marketer’s trust in data has plunged to a new low that’s putting a damper on strategic marketing initiatives, according to Dun & Bradstreet’s (D&B) recently released Sixth Annual B2B Marketing Data Report.

Just 50% of D&B survey respondents expressed confidence in the quality of their data—down from 75% in 2017. And only 11% expressed extreme confidence in 2018. “The lack of confidence B2B organizations have in their data is hindering the ability to deploy key sales and marketing initiatives,” the D&B report concludes. “Instead of creating opportunity it’s creating chaos.”

A case in point: Only 38% of marketers surveyed said account-based marketing (ABM), a leading data-driven B2B marketing tactic, is currently part of their go-to-market strategy. The report notes that ABM requires quality data to identify and zero in on key accounts and targets, reach them across channels, and deliver relevant content. Marketers are forced to rely on information that’s outdated, contradictory, misleading or otherwise flawed, and that’s costing them. They’re left with a limited or inaccurate view of customers or prospects.

Meanwhile, quality data is the key to providing personalized content, which is crucial to enhancing the customer experience and driving revenue. VisionCritical predicts the customer experience will overtake price and product as the top brand differentiator by 2020, and Forrester estimates that a mere 10% increase in data accessibility will result in more than $65 million additional net income for a typical Fortune 1000 company.

What’s a marketer to do? In my company’s work with data, we’ve discovered eight steps to ensure your data is working for and not against you.

The 8 Steps To Turbocharge Your Data:

1. Commit to improving data quality.

It’s important to improve data quality to make sure your company’s data is accurate, up-to-date, complete and consistent, and that it produces the depth of insight required for solid decision making. Define data quality based on business objectives.

2. Assign data quality ownership.

Give one person central responsibility for ensuring data quality. This is your new chief data officer. That person should work with a team, including members with roles such as software developer, program manager, project leader, data steward, and data analyst.

3. Fine-tune your data collection process.

Don’t drown in excessive information. Determine exactly what kinds of data are relevant to answer your questions and help you make informed decisions that fulfill your business’s goal. Ensure your data comes from knowledgeable, trusted sources.

4. Check contact data as it’s collected.

Validate information systematically or manually before entering it into a database. Pay attention to email addresses and missing information. Engage customers directly through a phone call, a web form or live online chat. Once you have updates, make sure your database is complete.

5. Standardize your data.

Because information is collected from diverse sources, your database may include various spellings or formats of the same data point. For example, while you know the United States, the U.S., and the USA are the same, marketing automation platforms and CRMs view them as different—and that can impair your smart lists, scoring, and segmentation. Create standardization, or normalization, smart campaigns in Marketo or use a third-party tool such as RingLead Data Management Solutions.

6. Identify and purge duplicate records.

Multiple fields of duplicate information can impede marketing automation. Set up trigger alerts for automatic notifications. Search your database for suspicious entries to be investigated manually.

7. Integrate marketing and sales data.

Despite years of efforts to align these functions, it’s still common for marketing and sales to use different CRM and automation systems to manage data, causing confusion and mistakes. Organizing all data in one location best supports personalized marketing that delivers the right content at the right time.

8. Conduct regular data reviews.

Develop and implement a strategy for regular database checkups. Augment real-time verification with regular bulk processing to ensure contact data integrity.

These eight steps will sharpen your understanding of your data and help you measure and improve its quality for the long haul. Is it a lot of work? Yes, gathering and maintaining first-class data attuned to your company’s needs requires serious, ongoing effort. But the stakes are high, and the direction is clear.

Do you know of anyone else who would be interested in receiving our newsletter?  Please let us know by email:  mb@talon-mailing.com

To learn more about our company, please visit our Web site: www.talon-mailing.com or contact Michael Borkan at (631) 667-5500 x 11.

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In this Issue:

Four Direct Mail Tips For Digital Marketers

Nordstrom Cuts Direct Mail and Subsequently Loses Sales

How to Fix the B2B Data Meltdown

New Clients

Mike Borkan's Apps & Links - Apps & Web sites you probably haven't seen

View Samples of Our Work

Newsletter Archives

Direct Mail Humor!

New Clients:

Talon welcomes the following new clients this month to our growing roster of customers:
  • Independent Living

  • Tri Marketing

  • 2 New Lists From Statlistics

Mike's Favorite Apps & Links:

Some interesting things to check out...

Getivy.co - A stress-free way to get things done. Discover the secret productivity method used by world-class experts like athletes, scientists, and CEOs.

Omnicalculator.com - A website with 781 different types of calculators that make it easy for anyone to solve their day-to-day calculations.

Curious.com - Join millions who never stop learning. Curiosity brings you the world's most inspiring articles and videos on subject matters you choose.

Awkwardfamilyphotos.com - The Greatest Awkward Family Photos In Internet History.

Mentalfloss.com - A popular website that will provide interesting content. Everything you need to feel smart again delivered in daily doses.

Theuselessweb.com - Takes you to random useless websites. A festinating selection of weird, pointless, websites.

Lazyday.tv - Easily find something to watch on popular streaming services. 

Work Samples:

Did you know Talon offers the following services? 

Click on the links below to see samples.

Direct Mail Humor!

Click on the image below to enlarge.

Do you need help marketing to your clients?   Talon can help!  Call Michael Borkan at 631-667-5500 x 11 to learn how to increase revenue.

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