Going Postal in 2014
On January 24 the USPS increased postage rates by an average of 4.9 percent. Another reason print will die – right? Well not so fast. Read some interesting direct mail facts at http://printinthemix.com/fastfacts/category/8In fact Direct Mail Marketing remains one of the simplest and most powerful means to convey your message directly and most effectively to your target clientele. A well planned direct mail marketing campaign will boost your business revenue by grabbing the attention of not only current customers but also of potential ones as well. Direct mail should be an integral part of a marketing campaign!
Other Links of Interest in This Article
A Little Direct Mail History
The first recorded direct advertising program occurred about 1000 B.C. when a landowner wrote on a piece of papyrus and advertisement for the return of a runaway slave. Fast forward today and the United States Post Office processed around 65 billion piece of mails in 2013. Sounds like a lot until you compare it to emails. Since the first email sent in 1971, traffic has grown to over 144 billion emails sent every day. Just look at your inbox! Check this infographic out at. http://mashable.com/2012/11/27/email-stats-infographic/
Paper Does Have Something to Offer Beyond Digital Media
First of all direct mail doesn’t get reject by ISP and email client spam filters. Secondly, according to a 2012 Channel Preference Study, 62 percent of Americans still enjoy checking their postal mailbox every day, and that 51 percent pay more attention to the items in their postal mailbox than their email inbox. Research has shown that direct mail with strong creative achieves twice the average response rate while digital does offer immediacy, speed and efficiency and is well suited for brief, follow up messages to existing customers. Whether digital media connects you with buying customers is open for debate according to a report from Information Resources Inc. Because print lives in the physical world it isn’t consumed in the same way or quite often at the same time as its competing digital platforms. How often do people at work still print out that presentation or email so they can read through it at their desk and make amends with a pen? Whether the cause is Computer Vision Syndrome or how the reading brain works in a digital world I am not sure. Digital devices, however sophisticated, cannot replicate the look, feel and individual characteristics of paper and other substrates.
Why Not Just Use Social Media?
Social media might be addictive for many people but the bigger question is whether you business organization is social to begin with. It is widely know that people are addicted to social media and are highlighted in this Harvard Study.
Whether social media can work for your business largely depends on whether your business has a social angle. Online social chatter is the same as in the real world conversations; it revolves around popular topics like sports, fashion, music, TV and food. If your business products or services are ones that people like to talk about and find interesting, you will have a much easier time acquiring social media interest, fans and followers. If you run the local petrol station or manage a chain of hardware stores, social media is still largely a gamble. Social media platforms are about users having fun, connecting with their friends and exploring their interests. Your brand needs to enable users to achieve these social goals. While it is possible to make your business social, it takes time and money. Not many products are less social than razors so check out this YouTube video at http://youtu.be/ZUG9qYTJMsI
Offset Postage Increases with Postal Automation and Targeted Lists
USPS IMb Full Service Automation Discounts. The USPS offers volume discounts for mailings as you probably already know. Eventually your mailer will need to be IMb Full- Service certified to qualify for discounts. The IMb code can contain additional data useful for marketing. One of the additional benefits is IMb tracing which allows you to track the progress of your mailing through the system, and be able to get electronic updates on address changes.
Do you know the difference between NCOA and PCOA? When people move and change addresses not everyone completes and registers this change-of-address with the USPS. Without this registration the move is not recorded in the NCOALink database, and therefore no forwarding address can be provided. However, by using a PCOA (Proprietary Change of Address) service you can search beyond the boundaries of NCOALink alone.
The PCOA database is compiled from multiple private sources, such as magazine publishers and credit card companies. Often these companies will receive change-of-address notifications that are not reported to the USPS.
This allows you to opportunity to update your database and stay in contact with your customers who might otherwise become undeliverable records on your marketing database.
All PCOA matches are performed at the individual level only to avoid false identification. This means that your full first and last name and mailing address must match to the previous address record on the PCOA file before we consider it to be a match and can provide a new mailing address to you.
Use a targeted list to acquire new business – Targeted lists can help you reduce costs by finding new customers or members that match your current ones. You will need to decide whether to use compiled list in which data is gathered from many sources or a response list with data from a one specific source. Click here for more information on this choice http://www.chiefmarketer.com/database-marketing/deciding-between-compiled-and-response-lists-03022012
In 2014 Graphics Plus can help you grow your business. Call Mike Jais at 630.968.9073 and let’s talk.