How New Mover Marketing Generates Loyal Customers

With so many options, retail marketing has taken on an entirely consumer-centric approach to sales and has created a battleground for businesses, particularly when it comes to courting and retaining loyal customers.

With so many brands and products to choose from, a campaign to develop a loyal customer base is the primary objective of many businesses.

This is particularly true for grocers, where a single loyal customer shopping for a family of four can equate to thousands of dollars per year in consistent revenue, year after year. Throughout this blog, we’ll discuss the age of consumerism, how new mover marketing acquires loyal customers, and why it’s a tool one should be careful not to overlook.

The Age of Consumerism

When we say “The Age of Consumerism,” we’re referring to the current trend in retail sales that caters to the consumer before the business. The competition is fierce – particularly in our digital world – and consumers are expecting choices (lots of them), all coming from the same retailer.

It makes sense – this is more or less that natural progression that gave rise to grocery stores in the first place, largely doing away with consumers visiting the dairy, the butcher, the bakery, etc.

The key takeaway is that consumers are expecting options – not just in terms of products, but also in terms of accessibility, technology and delivery – and there are plenty of grocers delivering, particularly when we look to retail ecosystems, like Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods.

New Mover Campaigns to Better Target Consumers

A great example of a campaign designed to acquire and retain new loyal customers is our new mover product – SmartMove. It relies on three core elements – targeted outreach, personalization, physical and digital integration.

There’s little more reassuring than going into a stressful event – a first day at a new school, a new job, moving into a new neighborhood – and being greeted by someone instantly and warmly. One of the best ways to develop loyal customers is to simply introduce yourself to new consumers just entering your market.

Let’s look to our SmartMove campaigns.

In our SmartMove campaign, the first step in creating loyal customers focuses on digital methods like geofencing for precision targeting of new movers, then we use variable-data to create advanced personalization campaigns, creating an immediate connection with potential customers.

The next step in creating loyal customers is courting and retention. Reaching out to new movers is good, but reaching out to new movers with attractive offers is even better. Better still? Reaching out in both physical and digital mediums, seamlessly integrating multiple channels to optimize their shopping experience.

Benefits of SmartMove

So now that we’ve gone over the strategy of SmartMove, let’s look to its benefits.

The first benefit is a jump on the competition. In order to effectively compete for business where consumers have nearly unlimited options all offering a similar variety of choices, one of the few concrete advantages a grocer can have in customer acquisition is getting to those potential customers first. Using geofencing and proactive outreach, SmartMove makes this possible.

The second benefit is the level of connectivity SmartMove affords to grocers looking to court new movers. With advanced personalization techniques, coupled with attractive offerings via digital and direct mail outreach, SmartMove allows you to build the connections you need to gain new, loyal customers.

Want to explore the Strata’s systems for creating and retaining loyal customers? Contact us to see how SmartMove can make a difference for your business today. 

How to Apply the Latest in eCommerce Functionality and UX Design to Increase Adoption

Digital capabilities and payment technologies have changed the way consumers shop; your colleagues are no different. Yet many businesses struggle to keep current internal marketing portals (also commonly referred to as “marketing stores”) that offer some form of ordering/purchasing features. Legacy marketing store systems were often built without scalability in mind, and thus many remain in a form where orders still have to feed through to purchasing departments or internal marketing teams for approval and fulfillment. Not providing a fully self-serve, user-friendly environment makes it harder for marketers to leverage all of the assets they’ve produced, and low self-sufficiency slows down customer-facing functions.

The lack of investment in these systems is understandable; they don’t directly correlate to the bottom line. But if you take the long view, they’re invaluable when it comes to brand and sales enablement. Customer-facing teams are among your best channels for promoting your brand. And with marketing increasingly being held accountable for justifying every expense, it’s critical that what you produce is visible and accessible to stakeholders.

The good news is that big hitters like Amazon and Zappos continue to update and perfect eCommerce, so companies wishing to upgrade internally-facing purchasing systems can capitalize on what is already in existence.

User Experience Is Top Priority

Research is increasingly confirming that one of the most critical determiners of the success of a web application is the user experience.

User Experience (UX) comprises a site’s look and feel, architecture, overall ease of use, shopping cart experience, and more.

You can leverage these very same principles to optimize efficiencies in your brand merchandise and marketing content ordering and purchasing portals. The superior UX and secure, controlled online purchasing available via your favorite websites can now be safely – and more easily – applied to better serve business stakeholders such as sales teams, distributors, and field marketers.

A UX-optimized marketing portal can accelerate many basic sales and marketing functions:

  • Increasing adoption and transparency: Pricing and inventory are readily visible and can be updated in real time. Purchasers are better informed, reducing the risk of order changes.
  • Improving internal perception of the marketing team: Providing excellent customer service always makes a good impression.
  • Speeding up purchasing, fulfillment, and billing: Put merch within users’ reach with features such as frequently purchased items and smart content: similar to what you see in eCommerce sites that feature product recommendations and related products.
  • Expediting order submissions and processing: Whether you need to change a ship-to on the fly or quick-ship 50 different pieces of merchandise to 50 different clients, those options are easy to access and process.

One aspect of customer experience that seamless eCommerce functionality does well is convenience. Users want to find what they’re looking for quickly, receive it hassle-free, and pay with their preferred method. While many older systems take in static requests that have to be routed to marketing teams for approval and fulfillment, a more streamlined portal enables automation that empowers users to take care of these processes themselves – easily and quickly.

And importantly, today’s best eCommerce-centric online marketing stores let users upload mailing lists to attach to their orders, rather than offering only a few predefined ship-to address options.

The Personalized Shop…

The level of personalization and ease of use that an eCommerce-style corporate marketing portal provides does well for internal brand perception. Consumers still highly value relationship – strong customer relationships boost loyalty, improve net promoter scores, reduce acquisition costs, and increase the likelihood of conversion, upsells, and expansion. Again, your colleagues are no different. When your tech can support them in every step of their tasks, you are building internal loyalty and teamwork.

Further, because eCommerce is primed to handle large amounts of data with minimal risk, it’s the ideal space to deliver personalized content and services and test new strategies.

…Integrated

If you integrate your internal corporate marketing portal with a robust content management system, you can take your online ordering and purchasing well beyond a more dated inventory library. You can deliver engaging content based on user activity and other data points.

You can also use personalization to move the relationship across channels conversational (chatbot-based) ordering and other purchase-based trigger communications. Such technologies make processes seamless, hassle-free, and scalable into the future.

Ready to talk about taking the best in UX and eCommerce to your online marketing store? Contact us to learn more.


8 Things to Ask When Evaluating Collateral Management Tools

Believe it or not, there was a time when marketing collateral pretty much just meant flyers, postcards, brochures, and rate cards. They often would be stored in a supply closet, in the cardboard boxes they were delivered in, and managers kept track of inventory with a pen, paper, and a clipboard. Digital content? What was that?

Today, hard collateral has multiplied, as has the number of people who access it. If this were merely a problem of volume, collateral management would be a relatively straightforward project. But because marketing is rapidly growing more sophisticated, automated, and personalized, segmentation is a key variable. Marketers need to be able to pivot, make changes quickly, and tailor resources to specific segments.

That’s why having a reliable marketing resource management (MRM) system is so important – and why it’s so important to know what to look for when evaluating the software that will work best for you and your team. All the more so if your organization has a central marketing operation with local teams out in the field – for instance, a university with several campuses, a healthcare center with specialists’ offices, or a restaurant chain with franchise locations. Without a system to manage and distribute printable assets throughout the business, the value of your marketing assets is at serious risk.

Here are 8 key questions to ask when evaluating marketing collateral management software:

    1. Does the software allow for easy content customization and print- and order-on-demand capabilities?
      Options such as these should be at the top of your checklist – a no-brainer for most collateral management software. The keyword is easy. Software that can adapt and grow with you will also offer smart tools for content customization, such as drag and drop, in-tool editing, or linking up with Adobe or other design software. Above all, make sure the level of tech is appropriate for you.
    2. If the software doesn’t quite match your needs right out of the box, can the company help you customize it?
      Even with a multitude of options and capabilities, no system is one size fits all. Make sure the software you choose comes with options and customer support so that you can tailor it to suit your unique needs. In some cases you’ll want to opt for a platform built to your specific needs.
    3. Does it help your team communicate?
      Like a game of Telephone gone wrong, the fastest way for a campaign to go off track is to have suboptimal communication across your team. If collaborators can access files and information easily and communicate with one another fluidly, edits and approvals can happen faster. Look for email or mobile alerts and shared workspaces to keep everything transparent and everyone on the same page.
    4. Do brand managers have sufficient control over shared assets?
      Today’s collateral managers have to balance flexibility and control. How do you control access to file versions, limit edits and spending, and monitor production and printing processes – while empowering your whole team to contribute? Consider how many levels of access you need and how that matches a system’s capabilities. Solutions can cover the whole range, creating permissions for groups of many sizes all the way down to individual users.
    5. What if I already have a digital asset management system? Does the software integrate into or replace it?
      If you’re considering new software, one of the first things to consider is ease of transition and onboarding. This impacts everything from your ability to secure buy-in to ensuring a decent return on your martech investment. A cloud-based solution offers quick setup, easy access, file security, and communication tools that are familiar to most users. Both have their advantages – and are distinctly preferable to cobbling together a system made of shared folders, a cloud-based design service, and email.
    6. Will your print and digital assets play well together in the new software?
      Plenty of MRM products can handle digital assets very well; others focus on creating, producing, or storing print collateral; not many do both. Look for software that can help you shepherd print projects to fulfillment; coordinate a range of digital content; and organize both by file type, campaign, and other filters.
    7. Does the system provide easy access and clear permissions for your entire team?
      If your organization has multiple locations that need to access files and produce customized content, then local team members need to be able to easily create, name, edit, organize, and release files. They also need clear parameters to work within. You may want a solution with strong centralized controls and flexible local access, such as MarCom On Demand, which offer benefits such as:
      • Quick and easy implementation
      • Improved brand consistency
      • Streamlined, faster delivery of marketing assets
      • Ease of communication across many locations and departments
      • Location-specific budget presets
      • Reduced production costs

Which brings us to our final point…

8. Does it measurably reduce costs?

The tool you decide to use needs to cover the basic functions of moving either print or digital marketing assets from idea to implementation: planning, design and editing (including template creation), proofing, approvals, and fulfillment including delivery to the mail house. Beyond that, it will help you streamline processes, minimize error, accelerate time to delivery, and reduce spend. As such, a key feature to look for is tracking and reporting so you can see orders, inventory, downloads, and other metrics that will help you plan and create more effective campaigns and materials.

Work with someone who can do custom options so they can help you determine whether something out of the box works for you, or if a custom solution would be best for you. Contact us to learn more.


Get the Right Analytics at the Right Time for More Dynamic, Successful Campaigns

When is it time to measure your new mover campaign’s performance – when it’s over? With a multichannel campaign, of course it’s essential to keep track of the many moving parts. But what if you could do even more? A campaign dashboard should give you a detailed, up-to-the-minute view of your campaign’s performance – so you can course correct as necessary, improve cost effectiveness, and leverage successes immediately.

Feedback – Now

New residents make decisions quickly, and you’re delivering a lot of information in a brief period. Give your direct marketing campaign the best chances of achieving optimal response. A campaign dashboard worthy of your marketing strategy should give you feedback in real time. This offers two enormous advantages:

  1. Course Correction
    If something isn’t working, you can recover quickly rather than learning only from hindsight. If you initially ran four or five different digital ads, but your dashboard is showing that engagement is coming mainly from just one or two of those, there’s your opportunity to pull the ones that aren’t working and double down on those that are.
  2. See What’s Working and Do More of That
    If your campaign is getting response from segments you didn’t anticipate, you can adjust to focus more attention on them. Let’s say you expected to receive responses from an even demographic distribution seeking a primary care physician, but your dashboard shows a surge in responses from women ages 24 to 34 looking for pediatrics. You can adjust your campaign to home in on those people and start building affinity even sooner.

Details, Please

A robust campaign dashboard will give you more than an overview – more than clickthrough rates or total of BRCs received. We now have the technology to quickly parse data to break down responses by age bracket, gender, income screen, neighborhood, and other demographic segments. You can also look at responses according to their interest in your products and services, whether you’re offering office supplies or ongoing healthcare.

In addition, you can learn a lot about which aspects of your campaign are working well. For instance, compare traditional business reply cards with electronic response. (Side note: Traditional BRCs are still highly effective in healthcare, where 69 percent of new-mover responses come through this medium.) Did Jane Smith access your website with the personalized URL on your direct mailer? Is your banner ad getting more clickthroughs than your display ad? All of this should be at your fingertips so that it informs not only your current campaign but future campaigns as well.

Consumers expect personalized service and relevant communications. To offer that you have to know, as soon as possible and in as much detail as possible, who’s engaging with your campaign and how. The sooner you get to know your market, the sooner you can convert prospective buyers into loyal customers.

SmartMove’s personalized campaign dashboard gives you a window into your new mover campaign. Contact us to learn more.

Use Marketing Technology to Build Stronger Brands from Within

Marketers in healthcare systems juggle a myriad of brand assets across an array of media. From patient relations to internal signage to external communications, your logos, font and color systems, messaging, and content really are just that – an asset that holds and conveys the organization’s value.

As such, the way you manage your brand assets helps to build efficiencies across the organization. The right digital asset management system can streamline content production and delivery, build credibility with current and prospective consumers, and strengthen your organization’s culture from within.

Cost savings and culture building become especially important during a merger. Brand assets in transition require additional oversight; further, research has found that about 75 percent of M&A deals fail to deliver their expected value, often as a result of cultural onboarding issues. In addition, research by Adobe in 2017 found that 29 percent of healthcare organizations plan to prioritize content marketing in the next few years.

A digital asset management system offers numerous benefits to healthcare providers:

  • Safely store, tag, and organize content including text, image files, audio and video files
  • Design workflows to accommodate complex approvals processes and improve collaboration
  • Store and retrieve data to better evaluate campaign performance
  • Ensure HIPAA compliance and keep a clear audit trail for regulatory agencies

Clearly, finding and utilizing the best-fit brand asset management system can create a significant positive impact during a merger – even more so if you’re also ramping up content marketing efforts at the same time.

MRM: Digital Asset Management Pioneer

While digital asset management is a strong player in brand management, it often has limitations in the breadth of content management it offers. For instance, DAM systems don’t always tie to printed output or offer ecommerce for ordering warehoused inventory – capabilities that are critical to rebranding and mergers.

One early and still reliable form of digital asset management is marketing resource management (MRM), offering organizations a platform built on a centralized database from which assets can be created and managed in house. MRM systems can handle large amounts of content and a customized platform for the specific needs of a single organization. Such systems are particularly well suited to consolidating the diverse data and resources that come together in a merger.

Asset Management for Next-Gen Content and Workflows

The core advantage of marketing resource management is that it facilitates the comprehensive management of branded assets. Combined with a user-friendly interface, MRM allows content managers to maintain brand control, stay in compliance, increase production and distribution speed, and reduce waste.

Additional tools, such as MarCom On Demand, empower marketers throughout a given network to access content they need while still enabling managers to maintain brand quality and consistency. When you minimize miscommunications; reduce waste of time, effort, and money; and maximize transparency and freedom, you not only improve your marcom operation – you make a huge contribution to your merged brand’s credibility and culture.

CCM: Improving the Patient Experience with Customer Communications Management

Designed to support outbound patient communications, customer communications management (CCM) systems (such as the one Strata Company provides) enable healthcare organizations to automate the creation of brand-specific communications. Among its many capabilities, a CCM solution can, for instance, capture patient data, create unique profiles, and build one-to-one communications in real time. This allows you to streamline, simplify, and accelerate effective branded communications on a very large scale. Further, CCM enables you to meet deadlines more easily, minimize error, and ensure regulatory compliance.

The Next Step: Ensure Success in Your Brand Merger

Strata Company offers MarCom On Demand and Corspon to enable marketers to exceed expectations and overcome challenges involved in healthcare mergers and other complex transitions. We offer dynamic templates, 24/7 cloud-based secure access, tracking and reporting, and more. Contact us to learn more.

Quick Tips to Help Your New Mover Strategy

Capturing new mover market share depends on immediate outreach using an approach that elevates your business above the rest. This is a receptive audience ready to spend on new products and services.

But retailers face inherent challenges, including a limited window of time and a lot of competition from other businesses. Moreover, evolving consumer purchasing habits demand that retailers adjust traditional marketing approaches.

If you haven’t evaluated the effectiveness of your new mover program recently, it’s time to check that your strategy is up to date.

  1. Direct Mail: Timely, Targeted and Action-InspiringDespite skyrocketing consumer preferences for all things digital, direct mail is still the best method as an initial point of contact for reaching new movers. According to a report from Marketingprofs, an industry research and education firm, 40% of consumers try new businesses after receiving a direct mail piece.
    • Precision in-home dates: Timing is everything. Your “welcome” direct mailer has to reach new residents immediately, or you risk falling to the bottom of the mail pile. Retailers can gain an edge by partnering with a direct mail vendor who’s perfected targeted in-home dates.
    • Clean data and list management: By nature, new mover mailing lists are in a constant state of flux and quickly become stale. Select a list vendor that sources from multiple providers and uses extensive hygiene practices to validate the accuracy of data.
    • Personalized: Personalized direct mail commands higher response, agree industry leaders and researchers such as the Data and Marketing Association. Go beyond first names – mine your available data to include variables such as:
      • Closest store
      • Locator map
      • Mileage to your nearest location
    • Compelling offers: Include a strong call to action that’s hard for new movers to resist, and make it easy to for them to act on. Make them feel welcome and valued – present the offer as exclusive to their status as a new resident. For inspiration, check out this Target Marketing article that analyzes several successful direct mail approaches businesses use to market to new movers.
  2. Cross-channel Outreach to Crystalize Brand Presence
    For maximum impact and continued engagement, new mover programs need strong follow-up via digital channels.

    • Landing pages and PURLs: Directing new movers to eBRCs helps retailers build in-house email lists and track consumer preferences.
    • Segmented email follow-up: Again, relevance and personalization are key: Consumers welcome emails they perceive as providing valuable information or offers, with open rates for segmented emails averaging 14.32% higher than non-segmented emails. Once you start collecting new mover email addresses and information on interests and preferences, you can send targeted offers and information, promote your customer loyalty program and stay in touch to nurture engagement.
    • Online presence: New movers are using the Internet in ever-growing numbers to research goods and services. Establish a strong online presence with:
      • Targeted digital ads served up to households on your mailing list
      • Strong SEO practices
      • Close monitoring of reviews and ratings

Join the Next Generation of New Mover Marketing

Strata Company, a Greater Philadelphia area marketing services and technology solutions company, has 25 years of experience creating and managing multi-channel new mover marketing campaigns. Our SmartMove program merges the power of physical and digital touchpoints so you can quickly reach the right audience and keep them engaged with your brand. Contact us to learn more.

Tips to Make Your Direct Mailer Successful

Great direct marketing is a mixture of utilizing time tested technique, adapting to new market trends and consistent creative excellence.

That’s no small order.

The fact is, the road to great direct marketing can be anything but direct, and while your team may experience the occasional misstep, here are 6 direct marketing mistakes you don’t have to make.

  1. Using Bad Outreach Data
    There’s no better way to shoot yourself in the foot than working with a bad list of corrupted data.In fact, the Harvard Business Review recently found that bad data costs US business around 3 trillion dollars each year.Most data needs some cleaning up upon acquisition, and basic data hygiene and maintenance is important, but there’s a difference between cleaning up good data and diverting excessive resources to salvage a bad list.Here are some indicators your team may be working with bad data.
  2. Failing to Consistently and Quickly Change
    Change is a good thing and the only constant in any thriving industry. Direct marketing—particularly direct mail marketing—has seen a lot of change over the years.As new mediums have come to rise (like specified social media direct marketing) and time-tested mediums have been adapted to better perform (like direct mail offerings in the form of dimensional mailers), many direct marketing campaigns have achieved success by adopting the latest in techniques.Keeping up with sites like MarketingWeek.com or TargetMarketingMag.com (here are their dominate direct marketing trends for 2018) can keep you in the loop when it comes to new trends taking over the direct marketing world and identifying those on the horizon (here’s a link to our own blog, consistently updated with more original content).Remember: new tech means increased efficiency, even for traditional methods of marketing many mistakenly believe tech will render obsolete. Here’s a great article by Forbes on how tech is changing traditional direct mail for the better.
  3. No Call to Action
    It’s shocking, but it’s something even otherwise great direct marketing pieces occasionally fail to include: a clearly defined call to action.A CTA that catches the eye and does its job of provoking an immediate response is one of the most powerful direct mail marketing tools you can employ, particularly when it comes to digital direct marketing and the ability to bring users from an outreach email to your website.Many campaigns use their CTA as a sort of mission statement or slogan. Here are seven of the best. Make sure your campaign includes a clear CTA in each of your direct marketing efforts—it may be the key to turning your direct marketing efforts into responses and conversions.
  4. Bad Design Elements
    Good design can be the difference between direct marketing that is considered or direct marketing that is ignored. This is particularly true for direct mail campaigns—unlike digital direct marketing (where the opportunities to effortless link other related content are endless), direct mail has to stand on its own.First and foremost, your direct marketing has to be visually interesting and easy to read. When it comes to content, consider the size, color and fonts you choose very carefully.While the majority of your designers’ effort may go into a direct mail brochure or nailing the layout of your newsletter, the vehicle in which is arrives should be considered. For instance, oversized envelopes have the highest household response rates at 6.6%, per the 2017 Data and Marketing Association Response Report.Looking for a place to get started? Entrepreneur discusses some of the most popular ways to package and format your direct mail here.
  5. Forgoing personalization
    Some campaigns fail to invest in the means to personalize their direct marketing, even when sources like the Wharton School of Business report that 85% of marketers notice increased response through personalization.In the digital and direct mail world, personalization means using data to provide prospective customers with a truly individual direct marketing experience via data driven marketing. Personalization can mean different things for different direct marketing campaigns, but including efforts to personalize is considered good practice across the board.Even if it’s something as small as including a prospective customers name in the design of your marketing materials, it’s simply worth doing.
  6. Saving the Best for Last
    When your team is choosing how to best present the benefits of a product or service to prospective customers via direct marketing outreach, it may be tempting to bring it all home by saving the best benefits and ad copy for last.When pitching via direct marketing, your best writing on the best benefits should always be up front, capitalizing on the limited window in which your audience will decide whether or not your outreach is worth their time.Don’t save the best for last, we didn’t.

Planning a direct marketing campaign and don’t know where to start? From mailers to cutting edge digital solutions, see what Strata’s 25 years of print and marketing excellence can do for you.

Helpful Tips to Generate Response from Your Next Postcard Mailer

An effectively designed, well-thought out direct mail postcard can net response beyond expectations. Create a postcard that’s going to stand out – rather than get tossed out – with these suggestions. (Note: incorporating some of these tips will depend on your goals and budget).

  1. Consider Going Big
    There are a few reasons to consider an oversize postcard format:

    • A larger size naturally attracts more attention.
    • Oversize postcards have been shown to perform better in terms of response rate, according to recent Data & Marketing Association reports.
    • They are less likely to get lost in the shuffle.
    • Extra space means more room for impactful design and messaging.

    However, you’ll want to consult USPS mailing guidelines for postcards. Postcards that exceed 4.25-inches by 6-inches in size are classified as a letter mailing, and will cost more to mail.

  2. Design to Draw the Eye
    To have any chance of competing for attention in the mailbox, postcards need eye-catching design that also works to support a campaign’s messaging and goals.

    • Avoid an overly busy design. Rather, design around a focal point using visual design hierarchy principles.
    • If your postcard needs to feature several products (e.g., weekly sale items), use a grid layout to achieve an organized rather than chaotic appearance.
  3. Choose the Right Paper
    Paper weight and texture can communicate volumes about the value of your mailing – something to think about investing a little extra in, depending on goals and audience:

    • A thicker weight feels sturdier and more dependable and will stand up to the mailing process.
    • A too-thin paper risks coming across as flimsy and getting damaged in the mailing process.
    • Textured paper adds a tactile element, another way to draw attention.

    (Again, USPS guidelines are a factor: a thickness greater than 0.016-inch will cost more to mail.)

  4. Try Unusual Formats and Print Techniques
    As with paper choices, these attention-grabbing features can increase project costs, so ROI will come into play when making these decisions.

    • Try a die-cut format for an unusual, eye-catching shape. Tie the shape into your company’s product or service offerings for added resonance.
    • Perforated tear-off coupons can add sizzle to your offer.
    • Including a simple giveaway (e.g., a magnet) will add noticeability and value.
    • Printing techniques like foil-stamping and embossing can instantly draw the eye. They may be best used for higher-end mailings – think invitations to a new location’s open house, introducing a premium product or service, and other similar promotions.
  5. Make Copy Work Hard
    The space constraints of a postcard mean you need to choose words wisely. Write to focus attention on the action message – what you want recipients to do.

    • Craft an attention-commanding headline that builds curiosity.
    • Include very minimal supporting information – just enough to tempt recipients to follow through on the call to action, or take advantage of your offer.
    • Use copywriting “power words” – words that spark interest and action. Check out a list here.
    • Be clear, don’t confuse your readers, and be action-oriented: Tell recipients how to take the next step.
  6. Make It Personal
    Relevant mail is far more likely to be saved and acted on. With the depth and breadth of data available today, the sky’s the limit regarding personalization. Here are a few pointers:

    • Personalize with an offer on products you know a recipient likes based on purchasing history, or include an image of a product recently viewed online.
    • Include region-specific maps for your businesses closest retail location of office site.
    • Use personal URLs (PURLs), a form of personalization that incorporates a prospect’s name into the landing page web address, to instantly capture attention.

    Investing in marketing automation software greatly boosts efficiency and accuracy in executing a personalized campaign. Also, make sure to choose a printer with variable data print capabilities.

  7. Partner with a Direct Mail Expert That Can Tie It all Together.
    Developing an effective direct mail postcard campaign becomes much simpler when you work with a vendor that provides professional design, printing and mailing services. With expert guidance on the creative points discussed above, plus someone else to handle the print and mailing details, you get more time to focus on big-picture goals and strategy.Plymouth Meeting, PA-based Strata Company specializes in data-driven direct marketing and technologies that help companies create more relevant, personalized marketing. A leader in direct mail marketing for nearly two decades, Strata has experience helping businesses create highly targeted multichannel marketing campaigns. Contact us to learn more.

4 Reasons You Need Cloud-driven Process Automation

While every business understands the need for standards, not all have taken the leap to technologies that help enforce them. Technologies with process management and automation at their core are ideal for setting standards in how campaigns are executed, customers are responded to, etc.

Long-term benefits are many and crucial, ultimately allowing businesses to stay competitive by increasing efficiency, reducing costs, eliminating errors, and fostering stronger internal collaboration, which in turn drives a better customer experience. They can also improve the alignment of everyday functions with top-level goals and strategy and allow greater agility.

A Central Repository for Standards, Assets and Workflow Management

The centralized access that process management oriented technology provides, coupled with features such as automated workflows, can eliminate common headaches related to the notorious “silo” approach. These include:

  • Resources housed in disparate systems
  • Approvals held up in email chains
  • Compromised effectiveness of marketing, brand management and overall efficiency

On the other hand, process management solutions create a controlled space where defined business standards can be easily shared and accessed. Here’s a closer look at some of the top practices for cloud-based control of business standards, and immediate improvements organizations may notice.

  1. Share Brand Standards and Guidelines
    Central storage of standards related to branding and asset usage helps companies present a more unified brand, providing:
      • Improved brand consistency and recognition
      • A more consistent customer experience
      • Organization-wide commitment to brand compliance
      • Faster delivery of brand assets to stakeholders
      • Reduced backlog on marketing – central access means less time spent fulfilling requests for branded materials
  2. Set Creative Standards for Materials and Content
    Through process management technology, the chance of off-brand, off-message collateral making its way to customers drops significantly. Using templates, marketing can define standards for photos, graphics, color palettes, messaging and other creative elements.Once templates are available in a single system, permission-based access allows users to customize them – without straying from the established visual brand and messaging.
  3. Set Timeline Mandates for Processes and Production Workflows
    With centrally managed timelines, automated reminders, and deadline requirements for functions such as proofing, approvals and campaign execution, process management technology keeps stakeholders up to date on overall project status and individual tasks. These features allow companies to:

    • Accelerate response to local markets
    • Increase speed to market for time-sensitive campaigns
    • Streamline formerly time-intensive workflows
  4. Place Controls on the Price of Goods
    Besides saving on indirect costs related to improved efficiency, companies can also use process management technology to automatically set pricing by location, vendor, user or any other sort of variable. This immediately eliminates back-end manual processing on a case by case basis.Systems can be designed to allow for “controlled” variability; the price for the same good can be dependent on the user placing an order, or even the ship to location. All of this, however, is taking place on the back end and is never transparent to a user. Global corporations can instantly set different pricing in their e-commerce tool, taking a fully hands-off approach while ensuring compliance with business pricing standards and protecting their bottom line.

Why Process Management Should Live in the Cloud

As mentioned, businesses have long recognized the benefits of globally available standards and controlled processes – which is why many still rely on a home-grown intranet for this purpose or – more simply – documents that are shared and have to be constantly updated and communicated about.

But many businesses are choosing cloud-based applications for process management, opting for advantages including:

  • Greater scalability
  • Greater accessibility
  • Increased mobility
  • Decreased strain on IT departments

And custom-designed, cloud-based process management systems can offer the best of both worlds: the advantages of the cloud plus the ability to build in very specific elements unique to what makes your organization successful.

Next Steps

For over 20 years, Strata Company, a Greater Philadelphia area marketing, communications and technology firm, has collaborated with clients to develop solutions that help take their business to new heights. We help them realize the full value of their data via cloud-based tools customized to their business goals and objectives. Through our applications they realize efficiency gains, reduce costs, improve the customer experience, and gain competitive advantage.