& Why They Matter
As you may know, new mover marketing is a big segment for Strata and an offering we’re quite proud of. We believe we do it best – not only because of our experience and skill, but because of the multiple channels we use, the data we provide and incorporate, and the digital touches we implement. We’ve had trust in, and have been executing, great new mover campaigns for several years now. It’s no wonder we have an eye on new mover trends that may arise and behaviors within this segment – but we’re not sure anyone predicted or was prepared for the shift in the new mover market that happened at and after the onset of the pandemic. Today, we’re looking at how the new mover market has changed since March of 2020, and the increased need for new mover marketing solutions that it’s caused.
Stats You Need to Know
To get started, we wanted to give you a few recent new mover statistics to take in and think on:
- A fifth of US adults moved or knew someone that did due to the pandemic.
- Over 110,000 people moved away from New York City between February and July of 2020.
- 487% more people moved out of NY in 2020 than in 2019.
- Although there was no “exodus” away from urban areas that some were claiming, people did and do seem to generally be “drifting towards the suburbs”.
- Families have mostly chosen to move to the suburbs, while those living alone have more often chosen to move to metropolitan areas (In the first half of 2021, 7 in every 10 people who moved into urban areas were those living on their own).
- 35% of moves related to Covid-19 happened because of financial hardships.
- 36% of movers in a recent study claimed their reasoning for moving to a new place was because they felt safer there.
- 10% of them indicated that they moved to places with less stringent Covid-19 restrictions.
Overall, the pandemic has shown to accelerate some moving trends that have already been underway – and also create a few new ones. This, of course, has also had an impact on the effectiveness of new mover marketing (marketing specifically targeting new residents in your area).
What’s Causing all the Movement?
There are several reasons people are moving, some of them which we stated in the statistics above – and others that we’ll get into now. First and foremost, a big reason many have moved and are moving is financial stress. Many are moving to less expensive housing and apartment living to cut costs during these financially tough times. Additionally, apartment amenities or “big city” expenses that were previously valuable became almost meaningless during the peak of Covid-19, causing apartment-dwellers to rethink their living expenses.
Due to increases in work-from-home life and more flexible working hours and situations, people are craving more space. Because of this change, many are moving to larger spaces where they can work more comfortably. Additionally, they’re moving to where they truly want to be instead of where they previously “had” to be for their in-office employment.
For some people in different areas around the country and different industries within the workforce, finding employment during the pandemic has been tough, so this has caused some to find employment elsewhere and relocate.
And lastly, throughout the pandemic, the realization or reminder of the importance and need for family support during times of crisis and distress has been prominent – so many have moved and are still moving to be closer to the ones they love.
Overall – no matter where, when, or why they’re moving, people are definitely on the move since the onset of Covid-19.
How These Numbers (And the Causes Behind Them) Make Marketing to New Movers Essential
As you can probably imagine, as people move out of your area, you lose those customers, but as people move in, the opportunity arises for new customers to replace the old. So, more movers mean more new opportunity – but not if a competitor snatches them up by getting to them first and making a good impression.
That’s why it’s so important to be the first to put your brand in front of this niche audience, and to deliver quality marketing that welcomes, attracts, and entices them. New mover marketing programs are made to keep you connected with these new residents on a consistent basis, so that you’re never missing out on a new customer that, if targeted correctly, could become a loyal, repeat one.
Strata’s program, SmartMove, is a robust, multichannel, multi-touch, new mover marketing program that helps you find the right time and place to reach your target audience, right as they move into your surrounding area. We’ll help you reach this audience throughout their customer journey to build brand loyalty and trust and turn them into long-term, devoted customers. Interested in hearing more of our thoughts on the new mover market, or ready to start your first (or next) new mover campaign? Give us a call.
What You Need to Know
In today’s world of marketing, we’re constantly surrounded by buzzwords – both old and new. As we evolve and keep up with the newest technology and trends, these buzzwords evolve as well. Yet, some buzzwords – like “Every Door Direct Mail”, otherwise known as EDDM, have stood the test of time for quite a while. In this blog, we’re breaking down this buzzword, walking you through its positives and negatives, and explaining when your company should or shouldn’t use it.
What is EDDM?
Every Door Direct Mail (better known as EDDM) from USPS is a blanketed mailing approach sent to potential customers near your business. USPS utilizes a mapping tool that holds demographic data based on census reports, such as age-range, household size, and income. Factors like these can help your company choose the routes you’d like to deliver your mail piece(s) to. Additionally, you can schedule that delivery for any time mail gets delivered.
You may create the mailer yourself, but it’s recommended you work with a company (like Strata) to help you design both professionally and effectively. The USPS website states, “Based on your unique business needs, either create an EDDM mailing yourself or get help with any part of the mail design, printing, preparation, and drop-off process using USPS affiliate vendors or find a local printer in the USPS Printer Directory.”
What Does it Cost?
The cost of EDDM varies, but it’s usually a lower cost option for marketing mail (which we’ll go over later on in this blog). You first have to choose between two options, EDDM Retail and EDDM BMEU, which you can read more in-depth about, here. The costs associated with these options are as follows:
- EDDM Retail® USPS Marketing Flats – $0.20 per piece
- EDDM BMEU USPS Marketing Mail Flats – as low as $0.168 per piece
What’s Good About EDDM?
EDDM is a good option to have if your marketing budget is low. It’s also possible to use it as a marketing test-run to see what audience members are most likely to respond to your communication (especially if you don’t have the budget for reporting).
It’s most often used for generalized, non-specific marketing awareness or brand campaigns. If you simply want to get the word out there – to anyone and everyone about your business, EDDM is an option to consider. Using EDDM can help you to avoid high postage rates, as long as you have a smaller print job in one geographic area.
Why Should I Consider Not Using EDDM?
EDDM definitely comes with its trade-offs. With it, you’ll lose the ability to target individuals based on very specified credentials, and won’t have as much leeway when it comes to time-to-market. Additionally, if your EDDM campaign is too large the cost savings you’d get with postage would be practically meaningless due to the increase in production processing. Lastly, EDDM doesn’t give you any options in terms of personalization – which, if you’ve read some of our blogs, you know is important in direct mail campaign effectiveness and ROI.
What are the Alternatives?
Before using EDDM, think through other ways you can get your message across, and who you’re trying to get that message to. Instead of using a blanketed geographic approach, you may want to try a more specified campaign like our SmartMove services (personalized, multi-touch mail that’s sent specifically to new movers). This way, you can better pin-point your audience, and provide a better experience to those who receive your mail.
Or, maybe the best marketing strategy for your company isn’t even mail at all, or is mail that includes a digital touchpoint. A more multichannel campaign could be your answer.
EDDM isn’t for every company and its marketing strategy – but as experts in the industry, we can say that it works for some companies. Yet, there are many times a more targeted strategy, like our new mover marketing options, will work better. Wondering how you can get started on your next direct mail or multichannel campaign? We’re here to help. Simply contact us whenever you’re ready.
Why They’re Not (at All) the Same
Sometimes direct mail gets a bad rep. Why? Because it’s commonly mistaken for junk mail. But other than being mail, these two have nothing in common. Direct mail only falls into the category of junk mail when it’s poorly executed. When done right, direct mail targets, entices, and benefits a specific customer. Someone, who through market research, is most likely in need of your product or service. It’s designed with purpose in mind, is backed by research and data, drives audiences with calls-to-action, and is highly customized and personalized. Take a quick read to further understand how direct mail differs from junk – and why it should be a key part of your company’s marketing strategy.
Direct Mail Starts with a Good List
The biggest difference between direct mail and junk mail is a good list. A list that’s backed by data, and one that targets the right people – not just any people. Before making an effective, comprehensive or specified list, first review the mailing lists you currently have. Who are you sending mail to? Who have you sent to in the past? Are they the right audience(s)? Are there more audiences (or more specific audiences) you should be targeting?
A wrong list will fail to target those who’d be interested in buying from you, and will often also target those who’d have no interest at all (cough, cough – junk mail). For example, sending “get 10% off your first order with us” to a loyal customer, or even worse, trying to sell meat to a vegetarian. Junk mail goes to anyone and everyone, and often with irrelevant and impersonal information. Plus, it’s often a waste of money, as many of those unspecified and uninterested customers will throw your mail out without a second thought.
In contrast, direct mail is sent to people in data-driven lists, and with messaging that makes sense for their specific customer profiles. Compiling this strategic list makes all the difference in targeting the right customers and catching their attention. Direct mail, unlike junk, is sent to direct people for direct reasons. In fact, 42% of recipients read or scan direct mail that’s relevant to them.
Types of Direct Mail Lists
Direct mail lists come in many forms, so it’s good to take a look at them all before deciding what will work for your company and its marketing needs. Here are the 4 most common ones:
House List: A list you’ve collected on your own time of prospects and customers you’ve made connections with. People on this list are likely to respond, because they’ve already responded to previous offerings.
Response List: A list you’ve put together of people who’ve responded to and reacted to your outreach before. Whether they’ve purchased something or have asked for more information, these people have some level of interest in your offerings.
Compiled List: A list of candidates that went through screener questions and possessed a characteristic or set of characteristics you searched for. These characteristics are fixed, and are most commonly age, gender, location, or income level.Another characteristic could be new movers – those who just moved in and are looking to become loyal customers of your services.
Segmented List: A list curated through a high-tech analysis platform that defines key prospects. This type of list accesses information far beyond age, income, and gender, and gives you the ability to micro-target your market for more extreme results and higher ROI. This type of targeted list also helps you avoid sending to “do-not-mail” contacts.
Direct Mail Has Personally Relevant Messaging
After you decide on a list, the next step is deciding on the right messaging. Direct mail isn’t just about knowing who to send to, but how to speak to them to get them to notice, develop interest, and potentially buy from you. Look into your customers’ buying habits. What entices them? What offerings are they most interested in? And, how can you best reach them? Knowing the proper way to connect with your current and potential customers will help your mailer stand out. Don’t just use a cheesy, typical slogan or generic text. Craft words that highlight who you are, what makes you unique, and why they should use your surfaces or buy your offerings (over others). Make your mailer personal by adding their name, incorporating content that makes sense to their age and other demographics, and including offers applicable to them. Lastly, a clear call-to-action can educate the recipient in how to respond in the most efficient and convenient way possible.
Direct Mail Has Purposeful & Impactful Design
Lastly, once you’ve crafted effective messaging, design your mailer with intentional and engaging visuals. Make sure you’re thinking through the following key design aspects:
Sizing: Think about what size mailer makes sense for your audience, and what will help yours stand out in the mailbox among others. And, in terms of font size – think over what message is most important to get across. Use sizing hierarchy to emphasize words like “free” or “grand opening”.
Layout: Always consider how you want the viewer’s eye to be lead across your mailer. One good technique is the “s-curve” layout – which leads the eye down and across by using imagery on the left and words on right, or a similar variation.
Graphics: Using unique and eye-catching graphics is a great way to make your business stand out from the rest. Be sure to use high quality images as well as consistent branding elements – such as a logo, fonts, colors, and textures. And, go further by using variable images depending on who’s receiving the mailer to make it resonate with the viewer.
Color: Pops of color are also a great way to spice things up – especially when they’re not expected, or to emphasize a call to action. For example, use pops of color on new services, departments, or special offers, or to emphasize a QR code.
Altogether, the key to good mailer design it to ensure it resonates with the customer and emphasizes who you are and the message you’re trying to send. For more help with mailer design, specifically, check out our blog on current direct mail trends.
Now that we’ve gone through what makes direct mail, well, direct – we hope you can see that it is drastically different than unsolicited junk mail. If you’re looking to make a change with your direct mailers or simply want to learn more, contact Strata’s experts.
How to Fight it & Flourish
As spooky season approaches and Halloween is around the corner, we’re thinking a lot about our biggest fears. But today we’re not talking about ghosts or goblins or even Michael Myers. We’re talking about one of the scariest things of all to any workplace…complacency.
“Complacency is man’s biggest weakness. It creeps up on us when we least expect it.” – Jay Mullings
Even if you think your company isn’t anywhere near complacency, there’s still always room to evaluate and grow. And, you may be surprised by what’s lurking behind the door of contentment. Complacency is not only bad for your company, but good for your competition, which we’d assume will give you a bit of a fright. If employees aren’t challenged to improve, things are the way they are because it’s the “way they’ve always been”, and the company isn’t growing, it’s definitely affecting your revenue. But don’t worry – it’s never too late to change. In this blog, we’ll take a look at the best ways to avoid company complacency and ensure you’re periodically updating and enhancing your culture, practices, and marketing.
Complacency can sneak up on any company without warning, shielding it from growth and stifling creativity and innovation. Why? Because if companies are seemingly doing “fine” and meeting their goals on paper, they feel no “need” or urgency to change. That’s where the biggest mistake is made, because companies should always be looking to evolve and thinking about their vision for the future. If not, ideas become stale, talent becomes bored, and eventually, the company comes to a jarring halt without any clue of how they got there.
When everything seems to be going well, it can be difficult to disrupt successes. And it may feel like the right decision to let processes and practices take their course rather than think about next steps and development, but often “the riskiest thing we can do is just maintain the status quo.” Without urgency and consistency for change, employee performance shifts and can even decline. Statistics show that only 30% of employees in America are actually engaged in their work, and only 13% of employees worldwide are engaged in their office environment. With such low numbers already, it’s so important to keep employees excited, energized, and motivated for what they’re doing and what’s to come.
With complacency being a bigger, scarier possibility than you may have assumed, it’s important to keep it top of mind and to make sure you’re doing your best to combat it. Start with communication of your company’s mission, vision, and values. Make sure they’re clear, known, and maybe most importantly – accurate and true. Know who you are. If you do – your employees will too, and in turn they’ll feel more connected with and motivated by your workplace. Allow employees to see their contributions to the bigger mission, and their worth as an asset to the overarching vision.
After all, having a good (and growing) company culture is key to combatting complacency and ensuring workplace satisfaction. How do you improve your culture? Many ways, but the most effective tools are company newsletters, employee highlights, group meetings, and employee appreciation. Again – make your employees feel valued, and they’ll more likely provide value.
Additionally, make sure team members feel important and part of the greater whole. Encourage managers and team members to communicate within their individual teams, and make sure responsibilities are delegated and well distributed. Employees are more likely to become bored when they’re doing the same tasks over and over, so give them room to be creative and explore new opportunities. You never know who may have the next best idea.
Lastly, be prepared for whatever may come your company’s way, and never be too afraid to challenge the status quo. If we’ve learned anything these past two years, it’s that anything can happen, and that the saying “it won’t happen to us” is just not realistic. It’s important to listen to the ideas of your employees and always be prepared for what’s to come with an open communication structure. Make sure you have multiple decision makers, not just one, and that employees feel comfortable enough to make some decisions without “permission” from a leader. Training your employees to make decisions on their own will be a key factor in combatting complacency.
Refreshing Without Fear
Almost as important as your workplace and its people is your brand and marketing. Without change and evolution, your marketing can quickly become out-of-date right under your nose (causing your employees to lack company pride and your audience to lose interest). But how do you know when it’s the right time to update your brand and marketing?
A sure sign (these days) of lack luster marketing is an absence of social platforms. Some would even say if you’re not online, you might as well not exist. And although we think that sounds a little spooky, we’ll admit that it holds some truth. If you’re hard to find and not posting relevant content and imagery, target customers may be choosing your competitors (who are more accessible and approachable) over you.
Also important to your brand and its relevance is your website. In this day and age, it’s very easy to tell when a website has been left alone so long that it’s developing cob-webs. If you’re finding that your website traffic is down and your customers aren’t interacting with it, it’s time for an upgrade. But, before any big changes, compile data and make purposeful decisions. What is your audience looking for? What do they respond well too? How can you quickly and easily get them to have interest in your company and purchase goods?
Additionally, make sure you keep your advertising and customer communication – whether digital or physical – energized and creative. Combine direct and digital marketing to reach specific audiences and keep your brand top of mind. Don’t settle for just one medium that “seems to be working” if multiple channels of communication could bring you more success.
Lastly, avoid complacency by focusing on helping the customer rather than selling to them. While the overall goal of most companies is to generate sales, it’s essential you show your customers that you care about their pain points and needs. To see all of these tactics in action, check out our recent blog on how to create successful marketing campaigns.
Company complacency can sneak up on you like a ghost in the night and lead to missed opportunities, poor customer service, and disengaged employees. Stay aware of the possibility of contentment and make sure you’re always exploring, evolving, and rising above the rest. Change is inevitable, but complacency doesn’t have to be.
For more information on what we do at Strata and how we can help you fight complacency with one of our marketing solutions, contact us today.
The 9 Most Unique Ways to Use Print in Your Marketing
Over the past two weeks, if you’ve been keeping up with our blog, you’ve gotten the chance to hear about the true power print holds. We’ve shared why print is still so powerful in today’s marketing world, as well as tips and tricks on how to improve your current print marketing practices. Print is trustworthy, cost-effective, results-driven, and sticks with customers, and we’re here to show just that. For our final blog of The Power of Print series, we’re taking you through the 9 most unique (and powerful) ways your company can use print marketing.
1. Letters & Postcards
“Letters and postcards” can really mean a variety of things. From packages to flyers – to dimensional mailers, sending these to customers and prospects gives you a chance to include personalized messages, catered services, tailored specials and more to gain their brand loyalty and trust while breaking through the digital noise. They won’t go to waste, as 44% of customers visit a brand’s website after receiving direct mail marketing.
2. Newsletters & Updates
You may already be sending out an e-newsletter or monthly updates to your customers to keep them in the know, advertise new products and services, and send upcoming company and event information. Why not switch it up and give them a surprise with a printed version every so often? For printed newsletters or update materials, you can choose from a wide range of materials, layouts, shapes, and sizes to share your company’s news in a fun, eye-catching, and creative way.
3. Business Cards
Business cards have been around for years, and there’s a reason they’re still used currently, despite all of the digital options available. Not only do business cards share your contact information quickly and effectively with others, but with all of the print options of today, they give you a chance to further show your brand’s quality and creativity. Unique and eye-catching business cards will always be great tools at networking events and social gatherings, and are a great way to stay on the minds of potential customers.
4. Loyalty Cards
This simple yet powerful tool will keep your customers coming back and get them excited to do so. Using loyalty program pieces or punch cards with your logo and brand is a great way to advertise and market your business, its products, and its services. Even better – make these cards super quick and easy to use by including a QR code that tracks customer purchases. Studies have shown that up to 64% of small businesses that have implemented a customer loyalty program have found that the program earns the business more money than it took to create – so get the most bang for your buck with this simple and effective print marketing piece.
5. Posters, Flags, & Banners
Posters, flags, and banners are physical marketing pieces that are so large that you can’t really ignore them. These are great advertising options because of their scale, cost effectiveness, and longevity. Use them in store, hang them in your windows, post them around town, hang them up at a tradeshow – over and over again. Spend a bit more on print quality, and you can use them for years to come.
6. Promotional Products
These non-paper items are a great print option that not everyone always thinks about. Almost every household in America has at least one magnet on their refrigerator – so, let’s make sure that one magnet promotes YOUR business. Or, place your logo and a unique design on a sticker to go on a laptop, water bottle, or phone case. Whatever makes the most sense for your audience, print it. If they like it enough and use it, you’ll get some free marketing promotion as they sport your company t-shirt, use your branded water bottle, or share your logoed hand sanitizer. Hand out these promotional items at trade shows and events, send them in the mail, or give them out as a parting gift after face-to-face meetings.
Printed, branded calendars are a great opportunity to showcase your brand or products – for 365 days of the year. Offering these to clients and potential customers is a great relationship starter, and since calendars are usually front and center on desks and office walls, your company’s name has a higher chance of being remembered.
Probably one of the most well-known ways to share company information, a brochure is a quick and traditional piece to remind customers of what you represent and what you have to offer. 48% of people retain direct mail for future reference – so sending them a brochure ensures that they can go back to your company information any time they’d like. Furthermore, brochures are versatile. They can be sent out, placed in establishments, or handed out at events. There are endless places and ways to get brochures circulating to share your brand and offerings.
The catalog has come a long way, and in today’s digital world, it’s much easier to design and print. The catalog is an extremely budget friendly way to share your products, and, like other print materials, it’s a great way to show your company’s quality and care by using thoughtful paper, color, and texture choices. It’s also a unique way to stand out among your competitors, and again, break through the digital noise of today.
Looking for ways to incorporate the power of unique print into your next marketing campaign? At Strata, we’re print experts (it’s in our DNA) and we’re ready to help! Contact us today to start brainstorming your next eye-catching print project.
Make a Mint off of Print
In last week’s blog, part 1 of the Power of Print series, we discussed how powerful print marketing really is, and how beneficial it can be as a central branding and promotional tool. This week, we have for you, part 2 of the series. Now that you’re convinced of its importance and relevance, we’re giving you key tips and tricks your business can use to enhance the power of your print marketing.
We know you’re busy, and you likely want to save all the time you have for productive business efforts and possibly some great marketing, so, we’re making this a quick and easy read. Like we said, we have more than a few (8, to be exact) top practices to create effective print marketing materials…
8 Ways to Improve the Power of Your Print
Know Your Audience
Any print material you distribute should be at least somewhat personalized and developed with your key audience in mind. Make sure your messaging and visuals speak to the people you’d like to reach above all else. Before even creating your print marketing materials, take time to research and understand your audience, looking into not just their wants and needs, but also their pain points and expectations.
Don’t Push Design Aside
You may think design can come as an afterthought – the last piece of pulling it all together and getting your marketing printed, but the total opposite should take place. Think through your visuals just as you would your content and call outs. Use them to connect with your audience and grab their attention. And, don’t skimp. Print’s already very cost effective, so spending that extra bit on design, paper, and colors is worth it, and could be the reason your audience starts to love your brand or continues to be loyal.
Have a Clear Message
When you’re dealing with print, there’s usually a limited amount of space available, at least compared to digital. There’s not as much room to “say it”, so your forced to “say it right” (which can be a great thing when determining necessary messaging to entice customers with fleeting attention spans). Make sure your message, especially your call to action (what you want the customer to do or know) is loud and clear – not hard to find. Don’t clump all of your products into one postcard. Instead, feature a few products, or better yet, use data to personalize the material and feature that specific customer’s favorite merchandise.
Make it Relevant
We’d like to reiterate – because of just how important it is – to always research, understand, and consider your target demographic before creating print materials. Why would your product or service interest them? Why would they need it? How could your material catch their eye? Personalizing this content will make it much more memorable and impactful. In fact, in a study conducted in 2019, 72% of consumers claimed they only engaged with marketing messages that were customized to their specific interests.
Engage the Senses
When it comes to creating print marketing, don’t just think about what the eyes can see. Print marketing is very much a multi-sensory experience. Consider textures, sounds, and scents (yes, scents!) that evoke feelings within your customer – whether those feelings are excitement, envy, importance, or nostalgia. Incorporating a three-dimensional effect, such as a texture, embossing, or thicker areas of material, can help your print marketing stand out among the rest.
Use a Call to Action (CTA)
Like we said before, you want your call to action to be loud and clear. You don’t want your potential customer setting down your print material without clarity on what you’d like them to do. Make sure to include your address, phone number, and any other applicable contact information like an email address or social account(s). Consider including a coupon for them to use or a sign up for a rewards program, subscription, or membership.
Combine it with Digital
Gain trust and credibility by incorporating digital touches within your print marketing, like QR codes, PURLs, social accounts, and other web references. The best part? Doing so will make campaign attribution a breeze, and will make it easier for you to follow up with interested customers.
Pick the Perfect Printer
The last step of any print marketing process is finding the right printing company to work or partner with – that has affordable yet reasonable rates – and quality print products. Seek out a company that will not only print your materials, but will care about your bottom line and success (almost) as much as you do. They’ll likely offer a variety of printing options, and will have a creative vision for your campaign and/or overall marketing.
Not to toot our own horn (okay, maybe a little), but at Strata, we’re print experts and it’s in our DNA. We’re prepared to work with you whenever you’re ready to brainstorm your next print marketing project. Just contact us when you’re prepared to make smart happen.