Direct Marketing

“Say it with Print”

In the digital age we now live in, the mindset that digital platforms will drive out traditional marketing can’t be any further from the truth. Today, we’re talking the power of print – and what it can do for your business that digital marketing alone, simply can’t.

Print Resonates

Print Resonates

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, it’s no secret that these days, from the time we wake up to the time we go to bed, we’re almost constantly confronted with marketing. Whether that’s in music, television, signage, emails, phone calls – it’s everywhere. 69% of recent study participants said that this tremendous amount of information overwhelms them. These days, creativity’s not only a good thing to have, but a necessary skill as a business producing marketing materials. If you’re going to reach your audience, your message (and the mediums you use) must be unique, eye catching, and stand out among and above the rest. Using print materials may not be your first thought, but these days print’s grabbing the attention of potential customers much more than other channels. Materials like brochures, signage, business cards, flyers, and postcards produce a bit of nostalgia, and break away from the digital noise we’re constantly bombarded by.

All forms of marketing still work in their own ways – and we of course think that every audience has a preference, and every message has its best way of travel. But what sets print apart, are the emotions it can produce. Print engages our senses. We can physically feel the quality and craftsmanship that went into that piece of paper or box, and get a sense of the thought behind it. What paper was used? What colors are on the print? What creative choices were made? Okay, maybe not everyone is thinking these exact thoughts, but our subconscious has a sense of these elements, giving us a new view of a company, or establishing additional trust and loyalty. We know this because 76% of people in the US say the quality and graphics of a print marketing material are what captures their attention. This is especially a belief among younger generations, as Millennials and Gen Z audiences tend to be more driven by experience and personalization.

Why not use this to your advantage? Try incorporating quality images and messaging, striking colors, and appealing visuals into your marketing materials – especially if you’re targeting a younger audience – and don’t forget about what it’s printed on. Sometimes a textured paper or an irregular, surprising shape can make all the difference.

A recent San Jose State University study found that “people reading on screens take a lot of shortcuts – they spend more time browsing, scanning and hunting for keywords compared with people reading on paper.” When you have something important to say, “say it with print.”

Print is Personalized

Print is Personalized

These days, services like print marketing lead the way in personalization. In a recent survey, 30% of Americans polled found personalization to be one of the most important features of print marketing – turning it into messaging that really stands out. Not only can you send print marketing directly to your customers in the mail, you can add their name, favorite products, incorporate their pain points, and offer a specific solution to their needs – all possible with the right data. Making your audience feel special with a physical piece of mail, postcard, flyer, or delivery, can really reinforce that they’re important to your brand and company.

Print Inspires Creativity

Print Inspires Creativity

There’s definitely something to be said about physical rather than digital when it comes to creativity. 76% of respondents from Canon’s Print for Action survey said they feel more creative when print is near. And Flora Kessler, strategy partner at Carat UK said: “There’s an element of creativity in print that you don’t always see in digital. So much budget devoted to digital…can soak up the creativity along the way.”

Print is Authentic

Print is Authentic

When companies use print media to display their message, there’s always an underlying message. That message? Stability – of imagery and wording that reflects trust and solidarity. Print can be pinned to a cork board, stuck on your refrigerator, tucked away in your pocket, and taken with you. Most importantly, it doesn’t change without your action. In this way, print is trustworthy, and therefore, much more authentic than digital alone. Print’s physical makeup also provides context. It’s tactile, and provides a story with a beginning, middle, and end. Digital media has no boundaries, and no known ownership. You can’t really be a title-holder, so to speak, of digital work, yet with print, once you pick up a piece, it’s yours to keep. Plus, print has no delete button – so it’s taken much more seriously. A digital work may be read over once or twice, but print work is read, reread, edited, edited again, and then probably goes through several other “final read throughs” and “double-checks” to follow. A printed piece is nostalgic, familiar, and comforting to most. It’s patient and kind, and does not ask you to ever “log in” to access materials.

As time goes on and marketing material options expand, the power and trust of print only grows. We’d suggest that you continue to use it, and intertwine it with digital whenever possible to get the most from your marketing and reach your audience(s) in more ways than one.

Looking for ways to incorporate the power of print into your marketing efforts? With years and years (and years) of experience under our belts, we’re print experts. Contact us today to start brainstorming your next print marketing campaign.

The Proof is in the Numbers

At Strata, it’s pretty obvious that we love (and believe in) direct mail and its marketing power, and think it’s an important touchpoint in any multichannel campaign. We could go on and on about why we think it’s great, but we understand that sometimes it takes some hard facts and solid numbers to seal the deal and make you believe in direct marketing, too. You’ll see – the numbers simply speak for themselves.

The Stats

  • For every 36 emails you receive (on average), you get 1 piece of mail in your mailbox.
  • The average lifespan of an email is 17 seconds, compared to direct mail’s average lifespan of 17 days.
  • 59% of US respondents say they enjoy getting mail from brands about new products.
  • Up to 90% of direct mail gets opened, compared to only 20-30% of emails.
  • Per USPS, 98% of people check their mail daily and Americans spend upwards of 30 minutes with their mail on a single occasion.

Source for stats above: Compu-mail

  • 73% of American consumers say they prefer being contacted by brands via direct mail because they can read or review the information at their leisure.
  • 41% of Americans of all ages look forward to checking their mail each day.
  • 60% of catalog recipients visit the website of the company that mailed them that catalog.

Source for stats above: Bolger

Direct Mail Stats Infographic

Sealing the Deal

More generally, we believe in direct mail because it’s:

Tangible

Everyone opens mail. Even if you don’t have access to television, internet, or a cell phone, as long as you have an address, you’re reachable through mail. Opening mail is a part of the daily routine for many, and neglected by very few. Direct mail seamlessly integrates into our lives and rituals, so we see it as welcomed rather than intrusive.

Targetable

With direct mail, you can target by geographic location and send your piece to all residences within your selected zip code(s). You have the ability to organize your mailing list by demographics, such as age group, income level, parenthood, pet ownership and more.

Customizable

There are never-ending possibilities when it comes to organizing and developing your content in an effort to present your message to your target audience and lead them to take action. You can use your pieces to inspire immediate purchases by including limited-time offers and copy that conveys a sense of urgency.

Measurable

Incorporating a special offer, online promotional code, or even a website questionnaire into your campaign can make it easy to track responses and measure success. After all, direct mail is proven to be one of the most quantifiable advertising platforms.

The Bottom Line

Direct mail is effective because of its seamless integration into our lives, yet strong presence on our counters. It catches our attention while giving us control as to what we’ll do next as a current or potential customer. That’s why we think, well…we know it’s one of the most effective marketing tactics for reaching large groups of consumers.

Ready to get the most out of your direct mail? Contact us to create a highly successful marketing campaign that incorporates the latest direct mail tricks and trends.

Make Your Direct Mail Thrive with Tracking, Enhancing, and Attributing Results

We’ve said it time and again – direct mail really works. In fact, direct mail open rates can reach up to 42%, which is a lot higher than most e-mail open rates. Recipients of direct mail also “purchase 28% more items and spend 28% more money than people who don’t get that same piece of direct mail.” While these are excellent stats, we know it’s not always that easy to track and measure ROI from physical mail in the same way you track ROI from your digital strategies. Don’t worry, we’re here to help you out. We believe in not only the importance of direct mail, but in its results – with the right tools and resources.

Be Consistent

First and foremost, consistency is key when it comes to direct mail ROI. To get the most out of your direct mail, make sure it isn’t just direct mail. What do we mean? Weave digital touches into your direct mail – like your social media, digital ads, and website – and make sure everything is connected. With the right direct mail partner or resource, you can take mailing addresses and match them with social accounts, IP addresses, and more to really understand who your audience is and what actions they’re taking. Weaving in digital information can help you share your message before, during, and after your direct mail is sent out – making the chosen brand message consistent and more impactful to your audience.

Not convinced this is all necessary? We are, because combining offline and online tactics is proven to really work. In a recent study, a whapping 68% of marketing respondents saw that combining digital and direct mail increased visits to their websites. Considering the multichannel experience and the customer journey while creating your direct mail will not just increase website visits, but many areas of ROI.

Track

When it comes to getting the most from your direct mail, it’s important to ABT – Always Be Tracking. Not only tracking information and results from your direct mail campaign like you would your digital ones, but tracking the delivery of your mailers – just like you would a package. This will help you know when to prepare the recipient with other messaging before delivery, and when to follow up with them to make the greatest impact. Take it a step further by working with your direct mail partner or resource to send the recipient an “informed delivery” message by USPS to make them aware of their mailer’s arrival, and send them direct links to ROI-rich landing pages. If you haven’t noticed already, every step we’re highlighting truly combines the traditional and digital worlds of marketing.

Attribute Results

If you’re still with us, you’ll see that we’ve created an experience for the recipient along many steps of their customer journey, tracked their direct mail’s physical journey, and have notified them that there’s a special something waiting in their mailbox. So, what’s next? Reporting, recording, and attributing. Without these, you won’t know how to improve upon your direct mail and increase your ROI for next time. Your recipients may respond or perform an action by phone, BRC, personalized landing page (PURL), or in another way, so it’s important that the information is correctly recorded in real-time. The best way to record and store this information is on a platform’s dashboard specifically made for tracking. There are many out there – so find whatever works for you and make sure you use it to your advantage. The chosen platform can help you store names, addresses, ages, and other helpful demographics to assist you in understanding and targeting your true target audience.

You may have some recipients who will visit your website but will not directly respond to your mail. That’s why it’s important to use identifiable URLs that you can easily track, like UTMs, PURLS, or specified QR codes. If these recipients aren’t quite ready to reach back out to you or make a move, you’ll still have a gauge on their interest, and will be able to send them digital ads or e-mails reminding them of your product or service until their ready to take the next step.

Stop Wondering

Instead of continuing to throw mail like paper planes to your audience, track and know if your mailers make an impact. Make sure you’re always examining your data and attributing it. You’ll quickly realize it’s easier than you expected to see what’s working, what’s not, and where you can improve on your direct mail campaigns.

As one of our specialties at Strata, we know that direct mail can be uber effective when using the right processes and tools. The key is always combining traditional and digital to catch your audience’s attention before, during, and after direct mail is in their hands. And, like we said before, never stop tracking and modifying.

To learn more about how to create successful direct mail, check out our direct-mail-focused blogs, “Dimensional Mail: Four Criteria for the Perfect Promotional Item” and “7 Ways to Make Your Postcard Stand Out”, or simply contact Strata. We’ve been doing this for years and would be happy to help you get an ROI rich direct mail campaign started.

How to Make the Most Out of Your Direct Mail

Are you a kindle girl, or a paperback jack and hardcover lover? It may be nice to “always have your books with you” with a digital user interface, but you really can’t beat the touch (and even the smell) of a real book. Ain’t nothing like the real thing. Who knows the journey it’s been on – whose hands it’s been held by? It’s exciting, authentic and holds a story, literally and figuratively. These, among many reasons, are why people ultimately prefer physical books. “67 percent of Americans have read a paperback in the past year, and 39 percent of people only opt for print. Contrastingly, 29 percent of readers use both formats, and only 7 percent exclusively consume books digitally,” (Oprah Magazine).

Does this idea transfer over to the physicality of direct mail? You bet. Unless we’re somehow completely avoiding technology (which these days is impossible), we’re constantly bombarded with digital ads and emails. To be specific, Americans receive an average of 605 emails a week, compared to only 16.8 pieces of mail. Basically, for every 36 emails coming in, only 1 piece of physical mail is received. Physical postcards, packages, pamphlets, or whatever else people can get their hands on all work to cut through the digital noise.

Pages…Chapters…No, Books of Stats

Not only does direct mail stand out among digital mail and ads, but its’ impact lasts much longer. “The average lifespan of an email is 17 seconds, compared to direct mail’s average lifespan of 17 days,” (Compu-Mail). What’s more? Direct mail has some serious ROI…

Direct Mail for Dummies

Here are some best practices if you’re new to direct mail or looking to improve:

Economize Words

As humans, we don’t like to read more than is absolutely necessary (unless we’re looking to get lost in a good book). The best direct mail uses clear and concise points. And, when in doubt, ask one simple question: Is this sentence absolutely crucial to the point/pitch? If it’s not, cut it. The best mailers are short and sweet.

Prioritize Graphics

The best parts of your favorite childhood book were the enjoyable illustrations and unique pictures. The same goes for eye-catching direct mail. Clean, attractive graphics can convey complex information while cutting down on copy. And, don’t forget to keep your brand standards in mind when picking graphics. It will help to remove the guesswork for your recipients.

Consider the End Product

While you’ll want to focus heavily on images and copy, remember to carefully consider format, envelope, finish, feel, etc. – and don’t be afraid to think outside the box (or in this case, the envelope). Remember, humans are tactile beings, and first impressions are lasting ones. Give them that nostalgic feeling they have when physically turning the page, or opening up an envelope or package.

Recommendations & Specifications

Trying to economize mail expenditures and use the most cost-effective option? If so, it’s best to follow the Post Office’s guidelines for postcard mailers:

Must be…

  • Rectangular
  • At least 3.5” high x 5” long x 0.007” thick
  • No more than 4.25” high x 6” long x 0.016” thick

Want to stand out and attract attention?

Consider opting for:

  • Larger postcards (6’’ x 9” or 6” x 11”)
  • Bi-folds, Tri-folds, Iron-cross formats, or Extra-large (9’’ x 12”) mailers
  • Dimensional mail that use boxes or bubble envelopes

Final Edits

A lot of writing, editing, rewriting, and finalizing goes into a good book. The same goes for direct mail. It’s only as good as the considerations you make before sending it. Here are some questions and considerations to keep in mind when creating your next piece of direct mail.

Questions

  • Who is my target audience?
  • What would resonate most personally with my audience?
  • What could I do with direct mail that hasn’t been done already?
  • Am I taking full advantage of personalization?
  • Can I convey my message faster/more clearly?
  • What tangible offering would best capture the attention of my audience?
  • How will they respond or access more information?
  • What response mechanisms will best serve my organization?

Considerations

  • Creativity counts – think about what will stand out in a crowded mailbox.
  • You’re only as good as your data – reliable list compilers make a difference.
  • Response is a direct reflection of the offer – make sure it’s enticing and engaging.
  • Provide as many options for response as possible – PURLs, QR Codes and BRCs are all great options.
  • Tie in a corresponding digital ad component when possible – multiple connections maximize results.

The Paperback & The Kindle

Remember when we mentioned that people saw some serious ROI from combining digital and direct mail? That’s because it’s the best of both worlds – the old nostalgic world, and the new fast-paced world – combined. Marketers have noticed some remarkable returns from the combo, like 40% conversion rates, 68% increased website visits, 63% increased response rates, 60% increased ROI, and more.

So, are you ready to get the most ROI out of your direct mail and cut through the digital noise? Contact us to start brainstorming your next campaign today.

How to Adjust from Marketing to the Masses to the Individuals that Make Up the Masses

Over the last several decades, we have made great shifts in the way we market to our customers.

One of the most prominent of these shifts is the way in which we’ve adjusted from marketing to the masses to marketing to the individuals that make up the masses. That fundamental adjustment is what separates many successful companies — and their competition — today.

Perhaps the best way this shift manifests itself is in some of our strategic tools, and of these, one strategy stands out — using personas to map the buyer journey. Put simply, mapping the buyer journey with personas is about plotting out each stage of an eventual purchase, from recognizing a need to securing whatever service or good fulfills it from the perspective of the personas.

Let’s take a look at how we can use personas to map and enhance a buyer journey.

Create Personas

We’ve touched on personas frequently in our StrataBytes blog series, and there’s a good reason for that — personas are a valuable resource. As a refresher (or for those of us who are not familiar), personas are lifelike, highly specific representations of customers. For instance, a basic persona may look something like this:

Jillian is 32 and assists in buying MarTech systems for her company. She values being able to do her research independently. Being tech-savvy, Jillian appreciates high-level content detailing the functions of the MarTech she’s looking into. Although she’s a thoughtful and independent buyer, she likes open lines of communication should she have questions, particularly when that comes in the form of a consistent sales representative.

Of course, this is just a basic example — most companies create significantly more specific personas by using their own data and research while also making personas representing different subsets of target demographics.

Plan Outreach

Now that we’ve created our personas, we can begin using them to map our buyer’s journey, and one of the first things we’ll do is plan our outreach.

Knowing that Jillian is tech-savvy, wants to do her own research, yet still values the ability to interface with a sales representative, we might choose to send her something that is both personally inviting and incorporates digital elements.

This could be a dimensional mailer from a sales representative with a short video displayed on a touch screen. After the video ends, Jillian can explore the pre-loaded content to get a better idea of what capabilities the MarTech system has to offer, including a QR code to download a more technical eBook outlining the finer points of the MarTech.

Identify Obstacles, Friction and Bias

We can also use personas to familiarize ourselves with the obstacle customers regularly face. It’s crucial to use personas in this way to gain a better understanding of our customers by putting ourselves in their shoes. 

Identify the pain points they may encounter in their buyer’s journey. For our Jillian persona, that would include things like limited availability of information surrounding the product, difficulty conducting independent research, or trouble contacting a representative with questions.

Our job becomes about removing these pain points and ensuring our fictional company has sufficient information available for those looking to research our products independently, providing varying depth of available content ranging from introductory to technical, and creating an environment where sales representatives are easily accessible through phone, email or online chat.

Update and Maintain Your Personas

People and companies change and this change necessitates the updating of personas to match. Constantly going back to your data and research — figuring out what works and what doesn’t — will fine tune your personas into more potent tools as you continue to use them.

Remember, it’s crucial to make unique personas representing different people going through different buyer journeys.

These tactics — using personas to enhance buyer journeys — can make a huge difference in how small and large companies approach marketing. A better understanding of your customer leads to better marketing, and an enhanced experience for them means enhanced sales for you.

Interested in learning how our services can improve you buyer journey? Contact us to learn more about what Strata can do for you.

How to increase the effectiveness of your next dimensional mail campaign

In the world of direct mail marketing, dimensional mail has become the unrivaled king.

A well strategized and executed dimensional mail campaign has the ability to yield consistently high ROI and for your money — figuratively and literally — there’s almost nothing better.

Almost.

There’s one exception — dimensional mail including a promotional item.

Sure, including a promotional item in your next dimensional mail campaign will be an additional investment, but it’s an investment worthy of your careful consideration.

If you’re like many, you may be having trouble choosing the right promotional item for your next dimensional mail campaign.

Where plenty of marketing is purely data-driven, selecting a promotional item is as much an art as it is a science. The best promotional items not only demonstrate your thoughtfulness, but also showcase your ability to understand your recipients.

We’ve got you covered. Here are our four criteria for picking the perfect promotional Item.

1. Is it Useful?

Make sure your promotional item is genuinely useful.

You have an intimate knowledge of your audience, and when it comes to selecting a promotional item, that’s an invaluable asset. Use it to choose an item that won’t just become clutter.

Remember: A frequently used promotional item will make your business an equally frequent thought.

2. Is it Personal?

Many direct marketing efforts are based on a macro approach — cast a wide net and see what hits. Dimensional mail typically takes a micro approach to marketing, and its primary strength comes from intense personalization.

Skip the generic and use your market research. Don’t be afraid to go niche when choosing promotional items for a highly segmented audience.

3. Is it Shareable?

When people hear “sharable” we immediately jump to other words like “viral”, but in this case, we’re not talking about social media — we’re talking on a significantly smaller, but perhaps more meaningful scale.

A good promotional item may make its rounds within the office, as well as between friends and family. This not only gives you the chance to make an impression on your recipients, but their circles as well.

Given the types of people generally targeted in high-value dimensional mail campaigns — think B2B buyers and executive teams — this word of mouth marketing could manifest itself in surprisingly big ways.

4. Can it be Shipped Easily?

This is perhaps the most obvious point on our checklist, so we’ll spare you most of the details, just make sure whatever promotional item you choose is light, not oversized, and isn’t a perishable food item. That said, if you’re willing to invest in extra shipping costs, have at it.

The good news is this: Choosing the right promotional item isn’t that difficult. If you’ve made it this far into a dimensional mail campaign, chances are your audience is already highly segmented. Couple that with our four-point checklist and choosing the perfect promotional item couldn’t be easier.

Want to know more about dimensional mail campaigns and other direct mail best practices? Contact us to learn more.

Effective direct mail means creating a unique user experience.

We’re getting used to being impressed, and not just by a superior product — we’re getting used to being impressed in the ways we’re made aware of that product.

Traditional direct mail is still important — it’s a good way to send follow up mail, surveys, and cover large areas for direct marketing campaigns — but when it comes to selling high-end products and services (particularly in the B2B sphere) traditional direct mail just isn’t as effective as it used to be.

That’s the bad news.

The good news is that there’s a solution to the direct mail rut we may find ourselves in, and that’s the User Experience (UX) Mailer.

What is a UX Mailer?

A UX Mailer is any sort of direct mail marketing effort that sells to a target audience, but does so in a genuinely engaging way focusing on the end user experience.

UX Mailers include pitch-related gifts, tools for viewing the mailer’s content, special die cuts, or a unique response vehicle. Many UX Mailers fit into the category of dimensional mail, but there are plenty of options for 2D UX Mailers.

Some examples of UX Mailers include:

  • A dimensional mailer with a small LED screen that plays a video upon opening
  • A “scratch-off” style mailer, where the user reveals QR codes leading to discounted promotions
  • A flat mailer with a QR code and fold-out cardboard VR headset meant to hold a user’s phone for a first-person product tour
  • A dimensional mailer containing a set of quality headphones to play an audio message, which can then be used with the recipient’s other devices

How to Use UX Mailers

UX Mailers are powerful tools when used correctly. Given the fact that UX Mailers typically require a fairly significant initial investment (more on this in the next section), you’ll want to make sure that your UX Mailer campaign is run as effectively as possible.

In general, best practices generally dictate that UX Mailer campaigns should target a significantly smaller audience than your average direct marketing campaign. This means that your company should focus its efforts on only the highest value prospects and convertible leads. So how small should your target audience be? It depends.

Even large companies employing a UX Mailer campaign frequently limit their target audience to less than 100 prospects, particularly if the UX Mailer is expensive. In more extreme examples, with the right information and projected success of conversion, some UX Mailer campaigns cross over the threshold into the mythical domain of 1-1 direct marketing, focusing all efforts to engage a single target.

On the flip side, there are times where a UX Mailer can be inexpensive enough to broaden the scope of your campaign, focusing on a more traditional direct mail audience. While you’ll always likely pay more for a UX Mailer campaign, there are many options that won’t increase cost prohibitively. For instance, a UX Mailer campaign with special die cuts may cost more to set up initially, but has little-to-no additional cost per-piece, making it a great option to run a larger campaign.

Investment and Return

You knew this was coming: UX Mailers are often a significant investment.

Of course, they’re only as expensive as you choose to make them — there are companies that put actual iPads in their UX Mailers and there are companies that rely on things like QR codes to keep cost down.

The reality is most campaigns fall somewhere in the middle.

For example, a company recently ran a customer appreciation UX Mailer campaign including a Tile key fob. The fobs were sourced in bulk, keeping the cost down to $8 per piece, with the campaign reaching 152 customers.

UX Mailers are an investment, and just like any other investment, their cost should be contextualized in the scope of projected return. With some industry data pointing to dimensional UX Mailers being opened nearly 100% of the time, our experience is that around 19% of UX Mailers result in response.

There’s virtually no other method of outreach with comparable engagement, making UX Mailers a worthwhile investment.

Why You Should Use the UX Mailer

As we’ve touched on, UX Mailers have a distinct set of advantages that boil down to two main points: they have incredibly high rates of engagement and can be tailored to fit most budgets.

Although they are an investment, UX Mailers are undeniably effective, particularly in the B2B sphere. With most B2B deals resulting in $10,000 to $250,000 gross return, the juice is well worth the squeeze.

Are you ready to put your best foot forward with a smart UX Mailer campaign? Visit us at gostrata.com to see what Strata can do for you.

From Long Sales Cycles to Fostering Loyalty, Dimensional Mail Often Works Best

There is a large number of incredible digital opportunities— automated emails, direct correspondence, pop-up ads, video ads. Yet, there’s a challenge in the overabundance of digital competition.

What do you do when the hottest marketing platform the world has ever known — the internet — presents such a substantial challenge?

A smart and savvy solution is to invest more heavily in physical direct marketing and pair it with your digital efforts. Despite the decades-long digital obsession of the marketing world, tactile and experience-rich direct marketing is continuing to succeed where its purely digital counterpart falters.

There’s a reason most industries — from global technology companies and Ivy League Universities to retail stores and your local pizza shop — run direct mail campaigns as crucial parts of their marketing initiatives.

Here are four reasons why:

Digital Overload

Some people refer to it as e-fatigue. Some people have labeled it digital burnout.

While the Internet is an ultra-valuable asset to every flourishing business, it can also be a significant challenge, like when we see too many digital ads. This competition can tire us, resulting in us paying less attention.

In fact, a relatively well-known Microsoft study suggested that between the year 2000 and 2015, our attention span had dropped from 8 to 12 seconds on average.

The challenge with digital isn’t just digital; it’s digital distraction — there are simply too many options immediately available to your audience to compete with.

We can use the idea of a teacher and tutor as an analogy for digital vs physical marketing.

Mass-scale digital marketing is like a teacher trying to educate a large, loud, distracted classroom — he or she may get a few words to especially attentive ears, but most of the students are so distracted by their environment, they’ll likely walk away with nothing.

Physical direct marketing, on the other hand, is more like a tutor that comes to your home, spends one-on-one time with you in an environment with far fewer distractions, and gets you acquainted with the material on a deep and lasting level.

The analogy extends: you don’t only use a tutor, you use a tutor to supplement the teacher — use both digital and physical for best results.

Long Sales Cycles

A place where high-impact physical direct marketing thrives, particularly when digital marketing is used as supplementary technique, is within long sales cycles.

Where digital may be a great way to begin creating brand awareness and invaluable in the consumer learning experience, it can be difficult to close the deal via digital platforms alone.

There are a few contributing factors here. For one, even personalized digital campaigns can lack the personal touch required to build trust and consumer confidence. Rarely does digital alone suffice to propel your audience into the final stages of the sales cycle. Another shortcoming of a purely digital strategy lies in the aforementioned competition for attention online, particularly in the case of social media.

Powerful tactile experiences, especially those delivered in the form of high-value direct mail such as dimensional mailers, can get you over these hurdles by conveying personal interest in your audience. They also keep your product at the forefront of consumer consciousness by entering avenues that competing products may sometimes neglect, i.e. entering their physical realm via the mailbox.

In a long sales cycle, these traits specific to physical direct marketing are invaluable.

Brand Loyalty

Brand loyalty is one of the most challenging aspects of modern-day business. With so much competition, it’s important not only to build a connection with your consumer, but to foster the development of that relationship in unique and thoughtful ways.

One of the best ways to build brand loyalty is through physical direct marketing efforts. This is particularly true when it comes to promotional items delivered via dimensional direct mail. We’ve touched on this before: a dimensional mailer consists of direct marketing materials that come in a box or another, 3-dimensional vehicle.

Not only do these tactile direct marketing experiences – through their dimensional presence – have the power to cut through the static, but they also have the ability to offer unique gifts or other promotional items. For instance, a “thank you” campaign sent out to valued customers can include everything from key chains and water bottles all the way to tablets and other high-end electronic accessories.

This kind of thoughtfulness and unique mailer does something that digital struggles to — it builds a real connection between brand and consumer. It speaks to a brand who truly values a customer and their business.

Influencing Silent Decision Makers

With virtually limitless information so readily available on the internet, more and more buyers have become silent decision makers. This means that most buyers aren’t reaching out to businesses to learn more about their products, instead relying on user reviews and independent research to form their opinions.

Physical direct marketing once again shines here, giving your brand the opportunity to stand apart and reach silent decision makers via a less competitive channel. If you can separate yourselves via physical direct marketing and convert that into an additional opportunity to make your case, you stand a good chance of making a lasting impression.

When it’s time for the silent buyer to pull the trigger, that impression you made with physical direct marketing may make all the difference.

An Invaluable Tool

With physical, experience-rich direct marketing’s ability to bypass digital channel overload, it’s no wonder why marketers consider it an invaluable tool. It possesses a unique ability to retain consumer focus through long sales cycles, building brand loyalty and influencing silent decision makers.

Are you working on a new product launch, looking to close a stalled deal, or simply want to strengthen existing customer relationships? Contact us to learn about our innovative approach to capturing mindshare, enhancing loyalty, and driving more high-qualified leads to the pipeline.

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.