The Daily Word - WordTech Blog

Direct Mail Is A Winner

Posted by Brenda Morgan on Mon, Dec 4, 2017 @ 09:12 AM
direct-mailIs direct mail dead? Old fashioned? Tired and past its best in an interactive age? The answer is a simple no.
Direct Mail is a crucial communication channel which needs be considered when building a successful marketing campaign. It’s proven to increase ROI and according to the DMA has a response rate of 30 times that of email.
56% of people believe that print marketing is the most trust worthy form of communication. 66% of consumers keep their mail for over 2 weeks and Direct Mail gets 44% of recipients on to your website.

There’s certainly no single way to undertake your marketing strategy – indeed exploring all methods of communication available to you is a must. What is evident though, is that effectiveness increases when different methods of communication are employed as opposed to just the one.

Still unconvinced? Well here’s 5 reasons to use Direct Mail:

1) Personalization – Digital printing means you can customise and personalise Direct Mail, you’re far more likely to receive a good response rate this way than sending out standardized postcards for example

2) Saturation - While not everyone uses the internet, watches the TV, reads a newspaper or listens to the radio at the same time, everyone does receive post – every day, on a one-to-one basis. You can reach every household you wish to with Direct Mail.

3) The physical element – Receiving mail in the post adds an additional, lasting dimension to the brand experience.

4) Creativity - Direct Mail is unique. We can show you all the different formats, shapes, sizes, colours and materials you can create to make a memorable experience for your customer.

5) New business – With Direct Mail you can target a specific audience and attract new business.

Direct Mail continues to be a strong and very successful channel, and the team at Wordtech are here to make your life easier. We draw on our long list of trusted mailing house partners and have vast experience and industry knowledge. We continuously help our client’s deliver successful Direct Mail campaigns, which can range from single bespoke projects to campaigns running into their millions.

Get in touch today to learn more about how we can help you!

direct-mail-nonprofits

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Topics: Direct Mail, direct mail campaign, direct mail vendor

USPS Hints at January 2018 Price Hikes

Posted by Brenda Morgan on Wed, Sep 27, 2017 @ 13:09 PM

us-stamps-price-scott-539-1919-2-cents-washington-rotary-perf-11x10-siegel-1107-512.jpgThe U.S. Postal Service is planning to raise virtually all rates a bit in January, apparently including a one-cent hike of the Forever Stamp, to 50 cents. And it’s also hoping it will soon get the power to implement larger rate hikes.

The USPS will raise rates for both market-dominant mail (such as First Class and Marketing Mail) and competitive mail (such as Priority Mail) on Jan. 21, 2018, postal officials told mailing-industry representatives this week.

The average rate increases for market-dominant classes are limited by an inflation-based cap, currently close to 2%. A postal official indicated that rates would rise from 1% to 3% for most market-dominant products, according to attendees at a meeting of the Mailers Technical Advisory Committee.

Postal officials didn’t spell out what any of the new rates would be. But a statement that the increase for letter mail would be about 2% almost certainly means that the price of the popular Forever Stamp for First Class letters will rise from 49 cents to 50 cents (a 2.04% hike).

The new rates for flat Marketing Mail and Periodicals would provide greater incentives to create efficient mailings, which is good news for catalogs and magazines that are co-mailed, as well as for printers that provide co-mail services. But it means higher-than-average rates for small publishers that don’t take advantage of such mail-consolidation programs.

The USPS is most likely to file the new rates with the Postal Regulatory Commission in October. As long as the PRC determines that the USPS proposal meets certain standards, such as not violating the price caps, the new rates will take effect without modification.

Next month, the PRC is slated to announce the results of its 10th anniversary review of the law that created the price cap. If it determines that the law’s system for regulating market-dominant rates is not meeting the law’s objectives, the PRC can modify or replace the system.

Postal officials argue that, because the system fails to meet the objective “to assure adequate revenues . . . to maintain financial stability,” the PRC should loosen or eliminate the price cap. But a significant PRC overhaul of the rate-making rules would probably lead to legal challenges that could delay implementation of any changes.

 

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Topics: Direct Mail, USPS, postage rate increase, price increase

What is Direct Mail?

Posted by Brenda Morgan on Tue, Sep 12, 2017 @ 13:09 PM

direct-mail.gifWhat is Direct Mail Marketing?

Direct mail makes use of the United States Postal Service to send a message to customers in order to prompt an immediate response.

The message that is sent can take many different formats. The most familiar formats include postcards, flyers, brochures, and letters.

The message can be sent alone using the same material as the message itself (such as a postcard) or can be enclosed in a package (such as an envelope or box).

The mailing can be sent out in bulk to entire neighborhoods or every every resident in a zip code. Or the mailing can be high targeted to individuals that match certain demographics or to a particular group of customers.

Why Use Direct Mail?

Targeted marketing using direct mail can increase sales dramatically.

While direct mail may seem out-of-date, in this era of high tech communication it can be a unique way for your business to connect with customers. It’s a way of distinguishing yourself from all the noise and clutter which are bombarding people on their cellphones and emails.

Marketing that is highly targeted to a particular group of customers and personalized as much as is practical, always yields the best results in a direct mail campaign. This is the opposite of doing mass mailouts addressed to “dear resident” and commonly referred to as junk mail.

The use of direct mail requires a commitment to keep doing mailouts. It’s a long term activity that is part of a bigger marketing plan.

The Mailing List

The list is the most important aspect in a direct mail campaign.

Your Current List

The best list to start with is the one you already own. It may be the list of your current customers or the people saved on your cell phone and email contact lists.

Don’t Forget:
You are collecting the names contact information of your customers, right? If not, you must start capturing this information from this point forward and it must include their mailing address.

Mailing Lists for Sale

The next step is to buy a mailing list. While lists that are highly targeted to the particular customer you want to reach.

The criteria that can be selected when buying a mailing list can be highly detailed.  The main thing to remember is that with a good list, you can target your marketing efforts more effectively and communicate your message to the right audience.

Testing the Lists

Direct mail marketing that works best over time is the result of testing lists and types of mailouts. In addition to merely sending out a message, each mailout should always be a test where results can be tracked and compared to other previous mail outs and to sub-groups of customers in the list.

Tracking the results of every mailout will enable you to get better results in subsequent mailings.

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Topics: Direct Mail, direct mail campaign, direct mail philadelphia

Discounts for Direct Mail 2.0

Posted by Brenda Morgan on Mon, Aug 14, 2017 @ 12:08 PM

darts-155726_1280.pngBeginning March 1st a new United States Postal Service (USPS) Discount program lets all US-based direct mail companies qualify for up to 5% off their clients’ postage costs when they sign on to integrate their clients’ campaigns with Google ads using DirectMail2.0.

DirectMail2.0, a white-label software available to US-based direct mail companies has been approved for two USPS postage discount programs for 2017. The software allows Direct Mail companies to automatically integrate phone call tracking (and even listen to recordings of those calls), mail delivery tracking, and online ads through the Google network, to their clients’ direct mail campaigns. The software comes ready-to-use and allows the direct mail company’s clients (businesses of all sizes) to log in and see results in real time.
  • DirectMail2.0 allows direct mail companies to seamlessly integrate their clients’ direct mail campaigns with online ads, mail tracking, and call tracking – all of which can be accessed in real time from an online dashboard. DirectMail2.0 white label partners also now qualify for a 2% and 5% postage discount with the United States Postal Service.
  • DirectMail2.0 allows direct mail companies to seamlessly integrate their clients’ direct mail campaigns with online ads, mail tracking, and call tracking – all of which can be accessed in real time from an online dashboard. DirectMail2.0 white label partners also now qualify for a 2% and 5% postage discount with the United States Postal Service.

The Postal Service is running two mailing incentive promotions in 2017 that give discounts to all DirectMail2.0 partners. The programs offer postage discounts to mailers who use advanced technologies to improve their prospect’s experience. The first is the Emerging and Advanced Technology promotion, which offers 2% off postage for first-class mail with no quantity restrictions. The second is the Direct Mail Starter program, which offers 5% off postage (up to 10,000 pieces) to businesses and nonprofits who are not currently using direct mail.

The Emerging and Advanced Technology program is effective from March 1 – Aug. 31, 2017. Because DirectMail2.0 users see significantly better results from their campaigns, they mail more often — a win for both direct mail companies and the USPS.

“It’s exciting to see the that Postal Service recognizes the value of this software,” says DirectMail2.0 CEO Joy Gendusa. “And it’s great news not just for direct mail companies, but for the small businesses who use direct mail. Now they can not only experience exponentially improved results from their campaign, they can save money at the same time.

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Topics: Direct Mail, direct mail 2.0

Christmas in July? Time To Get Ready!

Posted by Brenda Morgan on Mon, Jul 17, 2017 @ 11:07 AM

SantaBeach_addmustard_318305414.jpgWe are getting the holiday started a bit early, in hopes of catching a few of you from falling into that candy cane gift yet again. We have noticed again and again, that the best ROI from marketing comes from those that prepare early.

The Christmas card is the tried and true option.  But what about adding a calendar?  Just Make sure that calendar is worthy of being posted and viewed for 365 days! The Holidays are a great time to stretch your creative muscle with unique pieces that engage the recipient while building brand equity.

Use Holidays to Your Advantage

A key to successful marketing is often reaching consumers during their decision-making process and influencing those decisions by offering something valuable, whether it’s a discount or a solution to a shopping dilemma.

A direct mail campaign can help build awareness during the key holiday purchasing season. Direct mail can help familiarize customers with your brand. Even more so, it can help drive trial purchases when you offer customers something of value in your direct mail piece.

Direct mail can be the tipping point between considering and making a purchase, and having that first successful interaction with a brand can help build loyalty. Once customers have had positive experiences with a brand, those same customers are more likely to consider that brand for similar purchases in the future.

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Your direct mail campaign should ideally reach customers at the critical juncture when they are evaluating options but before they make a purchase, and a strong holiday message that conveys value and commitment to their personal successes and happiness is the perfect way to help close that gap.

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Topics: Direct Mail, direct mail philadelphia, holiday

Will Informed Delivery Affect Direct Mail Marketing?

Posted by Brenda Morgan on Mon, Jun 19, 2017 @ 10:06 AM

informed.jpg

 

 I receive this email every day with snapshots of my incoming mail.  I'm still waiting for a marketer to add a ride-along image, but I'm sure it is coming any day now. Here is a screenshot of what a ride-along image might look like.

informed-delivery-campaign-elements-guide.pngSo, should you adapt your marketing efforts?

We would certainly say yes. Those looking to build brand loyalty and boost donations and sales conversions should consider the following recommendations.

  • Only one side is scanned.  Delivery scans and shares only the fronts of envelopes. Special offers, big announcements, website links, and calls to action should be brought to the front where they can be seen in Informed Delivery previews.
  • Use the right format.  USPS Informed Delivery currently only shares previews of letter sized mailings processed through USPS’ automation equipment.  If you are working on a large brochure, dont waste your time optimizing it for Informed Delivery,
  • Pay close attention to tones. Keep in mind that all Informed Delivery images are scanned in grayscale. Make sure your images are easily identified in Informed Delivery. Some colors just "pop"  against eachother.
  • Raise their curiosity. Most users can identify a business mailing right away.  By using a font that looks handwritten, you will peak their curiosity. With informed Delivery, most users viritually sort their mail before they even get to the mailbox.  Get the upper hand and make your mail stand out.

USPS Informed Delivery will have an impact on direct mail marketing. Users can expect USPS to expand features and fine-tune the service in the coming years. Direct mail marketers should keep a close eye on these changes to stay ahead of the curve and outpace their competitors’ conversion rates.

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Topics: Direct Mail, direct mail philadelphia, direct mail 2.0

Integrate Google with your Mailing for Better Results!

Posted by Brenda Morgan on Mon, Jun 5, 2017 @ 11:06 AM

Think of direct mail as a knife. It is extremely effective at its one job. (In direct mail’s case, that is generating leads.) Think of DirectMail2.0 as a robot Swiss Army Knife that handles a knife’s job, and all kinds of other jobs – without you needing to lift a finger.

Direct Mail 2.0® includes four features in one package. Old-school direct mail only operates on one. Direct Mail 2.0 is a seamlessly integrated system that maximizes your marketing impact. Instead of just sending out a direct mailing, Direct Mail 2.0® consists of Direct Mail, Mail Tracking, Online Follow-up Ads, and Call Tracking. Here's how it all fits together: 

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Step 1: Your Mail Pieces Are Sent

Direct mail pieces are mailed to your target market. This tried and true marketing medium produces results by delivering your artfully designed and clearly written marketing message right to your prospect’s mailbox.

Step 2: Mail Pieces Are Tracked

Using a cutting edge barcode technology system we designed ourselves, we track the mailing process of your order. You can log in anytime to know exactly when your cards are due to arrive, so you can plan for the influx of new customers.

Step 3: Automatic Online Follow-up through Google

Every prospect who visits your website following your direct mail campaign is funneled into an automatic follow-up system. Through our partnership with Google, text and image ads matching your direct mail piece follow your website visitors around the internet after they leave your site. So if prospects don’t take the desired action (fill out a form, buy, etc.) on your website the first time, you stay in front of them until they do. No leads left behind. (Dentists and other practices check out DirectMail2.0 New Patient Edition)

Step 4: Phone Call Tracking

We use a unique phone number to track the number of calls your mailing generates. You can use this data to gauge the effectiveness of different strategies and marketing messages. It also records calls so you can check for quality in your lead reception and sales processes

 

 

Topics: Direct Mail, direct mail philadelphia

Creating a Successful Direct Mail Campaign

Posted by Brenda Morgan on Tue, May 30, 2017 @ 12:05 PM

checklist_blue.pngCreating a direct mail postcard campaign may appear simple on the surface. After all, all you do is slap your contact information on a postcard with a stamp, mail it to everyone in the neighborhood and wait for the cash to come in, right? Wrong! The truth is successful direct mail campaigns are conducted very strategically and consistently over long periods of time. Before stamping and sending, agents must first take into account different variables and decide how to best maximize resources. Covering bases ahead of time will not only save time and money, but future headaches.

Below are five steps to creating a successful direct mail campaign.

  • Start With Your List
    Before beginning a direct mail campaign, you must first determine your target audience. Who are you trying to reach? Identifying your target audience beforehand will not only streamline the direct mail campaign process, but provide a foundation to begin designing your postcard and tailor your message. Agents typically segment their lists between clients and prospects.

  • Craft Your Message
    A clear understanding of your audience will help shape your message. Tie in specific marketing and sales objectives and you will have a well-constructed direct mail campaign. You may, for example, want to sell Product A because it has a great profit margin. However, if you determine 90% of your customers prefer Product B, you should craft your message accordingly. Simply illustrate the benefits of Product A over Product B and offer a strong incentive to buy Product A.

  • Design Your Print Piece
    After you prepare your list and perfect  your message, begin designing your postcard. Remember you only get one chance to make a first impression. Make sure your postcard is interesting and stands out from the crowd. That doesn’t mean, however, your postcard should be unprofessional. Nab the attention of potential clients, but don’t shock or offend them.

  • Measuring Response Rates and Calculating ROI
    The Direct Mail Association reports that the average direct mail response rate is 1-2%. That means you could send out 100 postcards and not get a single response! This is because a 1% response rate does not guarantee you will get 1 response every 100 postcards. Rather, response rates represent averages calculated over hundreds of mailings. This is why consistency is the single most important principle in planning a direct mail campaign. To achieve an average or better response rate, you must either mail repeatedly to the same list and/or significantly increase the number of pieces you send.

  • Be Consistent
    If you sit down to watch TV one night, you’re bound to see the same car commercial five or six times. Ad agencies have spent billions of dollars studying consumer behavior and have found that it takes multiple impressions to generate response to a marketing message. The same is true with direct mail: sending one mailer simply won’t get the results you want. You must mail to the same person repeatedly and consistently to get their attention, reinforce your message and ultimately drive a conversion.

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direct-mail-nonprofits

Topics: Direct Mail, direct mail marketing, direct mail philadelphia

Congratulations Ben - A Rising Star

Posted by Brenda Morgan on Fri, Apr 28, 2017 @ 12:04 PM

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Congratulations to our very own Ben Ohanesian who is being recognized as the Rising Star by Graphic Arts Association. Neographics – The Power of Print – is one of the nation’s largest regional graphic communications contests in which graphic arts, packaging, converting, design and publishing excellence is selected and showcased. Neographics is a contest dedicated to recognizing and rewarding the quality and service that is provided by the graphic communications, packaging and converting industries to their worldwide customers.

The Neographics Call for Entries is sent to more than 6,000 firms including print buyers and other people who work with the graphic arts communities in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. Neographics is sponsored by the Graphic Arts Association in Philadelphia, PA.

The Neographics Awards Exhibition and Ceremony is the culmination of the entire process and is attended by hundreds of industry representatives and their customers and employees. The winning pieces are all displayed at a cocktail reception prior to the awards ceremony.

Neographics winners provide the customer with proof quality, service excellence and craftsmanship. It’s a message which is being heard and seen by more and more people every year.


We support Kisses for Kyle Foundation offers a variety of services to families fighting childhood cancer in the Delaware Valley. We urge you to consider a donation by clicking on the logo.

kisses-for-kyle-logo-final-RGBfor-web-610x139.jpg

One in every 330 children will develop cancer. While we cannot take away this diagnosis, we can help alleviate extra stresses by providing financial assistance and special experiences the entire family can cherish. It is our mission to make a positive impact on local families fighting the same fight the Snyders fought, and in Kyle’s beautiful memory.

Topics: Direct Mail, direct mail company, direct mail philadelphia

Informed Delivery Has Arrived

Posted by Brenda Morgan on Fri, Apr 14, 2017 @ 09:04 AM

seinfelld.jpgIn one stand-up routine, Jerry Seinfeld said: “If I could talk to the post office, if I could say to them, if you really want to be helpful to us, just open the letters, read them and email us what it says!  Well, it wont be doing that, but starting today they are doing something extraordinary.

The future is here. Imagine seeing what is in your mailbox before it even arrives. Or if you are traveling and wondering if the neighbor is taking your Bed, Bath and Beyond coupon. Get ready: mailboxes are going digital. 

Starting today, the USPS is piloting a service called Informed Delivery that lets customers digitally preview their mail before it arrives. Subscribers of the service will receive an email every morning that captures the front side of letter-size mail, giving visibility who the sender is and to whom the letter is addressed.

The email will appear in the form of a black-and-white newsletter and contain up to 10 digital snapshots, which can be viewed on the desktop online dashboard or through a mobile app. If over 10 mailpieces are received, a link will be provided to view the remainder through the dashboard. Magazines, catalogues, and other flat-sized pieces may be supported in the future.

Results from a market test in New York City show 70% of subscribers opening daily notifications and more than 90% reading notifications more than four times a week.

The USPS has also shared plans to unite physical and digital advertising: by giving companies the ability to provide hyperlinks to ads and promotions in the newsletter, driving more attention to advertising promotions.

Marketers: Combine Digital and Direct Mail

“If a direct mailer wants to give us an HTML, then we can actually make that piece click through to their website, so it can create a buy-it-now experience,” said Gary Reblin, Vice President of Innovation and New Products. “So not only would the end mailer get more impressions, but they also create the easy capability to be able to click through and purchase.” In other words, more eyes on mailings.

This service is poised to elevate the role of direct mail in the everyday consumer experience, engaging them in the environment of their choosing. In an age where consumers want to take data into their own hands - tracking everything from fitness to package deliveries - Informed Delivery responds directly to this. Marketers will need to match the enthusiasm for tracking data in order to reach the right people with the right message at the right time.

“If you can do a QR code interaction on a mail piece, you can do this,” said Postal Service CMO Joe Cochrane. “But what we can do is measure when recipients engage with Informed Delivery and then when they go to your site or convert. This is going to do a lot for the attribution issue.” Analytics that point to when and which mailpieces consumers view and what actions they take will certainly give rise to personalized brand experiences. 

The service is free for now, with no plans to later monetize it. Visit the USPS' Informed Delivery website to learn more.

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Topics: Direct Mail, marketing, direct mail philadelphia