Archive for June, 2012

A Reprint of an article that I liked

June 16, 2012

5 Tips for Effective Direct Mail Postcard Campaigns

by Cynthia Fedor | June 15th, 2012

Even in today’s social- and digital-media-rich environment, well thought out direct mail campaigns have the ability to capture a recipient’s attention, get them to read and process content, commit to the message, then execute a specific call to action. Done correctly, direct mail can be an affordable small business marketing tool that provides exceptional results.  And, although there is no secret formula for direct mail design and strategy that will guarantee 100% response from all recipients, there are best practices marketers should follow to increase brand visibility, consumer response rates and overall ROI.

Over time, these fundamentals haven’t changed much. When I asked the question on LinkedIn, “If you only had one direct mail marketing tip to share, what would it be?” these five core essential tips for effective direct mail postcard marketing stood out.

1. Cultivate the perfect list and craft targeted messaging.

“Make every piece count. Instead of a spray-and-pray approach, go for a targeted approach looking for the best audience. Understand how subgroups within that audience differ and message appropriately. And for each subgroup, test multiple types of messaging, creative, offers to determine the winning formula for each subgroup in the target audience. Continually fine tune and refine future campaigns based on learnings.” Kamal Tahir, Management Consulting, Greater Chicago Area

2.  Personalize content and be personal.

“With digital print technology it’s so easy to tailor your direct mailing to your recipient. Use their name, business name, interests, any relevant information you have about them on your database to make your direct mailing personal, relevant and responsive.” –Amie Peters, Head of Direct Mail at An Post, Ireland

3.  Be specific with your call to action, and focus on just one.

“Marketers should be blunt and clear in describing what the next step should be for the recipient. Keep the design of the direct mail piece simple and uncluttered. Place emphasis on the call-to-action and make sure it supports the one main idea of the piece.” –Cynthia Fedor, Marketing Team Lead, QuantumDigital

4.  Include a way to track performance, then test and measure what works.

“Make sure your efforts are measurable. No matter how awesome your direct mail piece is, you’ll never know unless you can track it. Examples of the easiest ways to do this would be to have a question like, “How did you learn about us?” or have them enter a code from the direct mail upon registration.”  –Brittney Honkomp, University Student, Texas

5.  Continually optimize and be consistent with direct mail efforts.

“Prepare. Test. Measure. Analyze. Modify, Repeat.

“Prepare by sitting down and working on a clear strategy with measurable goals and objectives so you can make an informed decision regarding the effort. You need to use historical performance along with your understanding of the current market (society, economy, political, competition etc.) so you can project what needs to happen in order for the campaign to succeed [ie] pay for itself or generate a profit. If your response rate won’t generate enough sales on an offer that is too inexpensive and has low margins…you might want to rethink the campaign.

“Test your lists. Test your offers. Test your creative. Test your messaging.

“Measure response rates, conversion rates, average order size…whatever helps determine if the effort was profitable.

“Analyze the results. What tests worked? What tests didn’t? Are there opportunities to redirect focus [ex] move the budget in order to reach more people in an over-performing list/group and/or eliminate under-performing lists/groups?

“Modify your strategy and tactics, goals and objectives based on historical performance….learn and move on to the next campaign because a 1-off is not the way to go. Marketing campaigns need to be ongoing and integrated.

“Test again. Because everything we do is a test. Remember, a great campaign is one that turns a profit…and, typically, that requires a response rate of less than 1% which means we failed to motivate the audience to respond more than 99% of the time.” –Pat McGraw, Sales & Marketing Executive, Maryland

Read more: http://thedirectmarketingvoice.com/2012/06/15/5-tips-for-effective-direct-mail-postcard-campaigns/#ixzz1xzSXqj9o

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A Reprinted Article that I liked

June 16, 2012

5 Tips for Effective Direct Mail Postcard Campaigns

by Cynthia Fedor | June 15th, 2012

Even in today’s social- and digital-media-rich environment, well thought out direct mail campaigns have the ability to capture a recipient’s attention, get them to read and process content, commit to the message, then execute a specific call to action. Done correctly, direct mail can be an affordable small business marketing tool that provides exceptional results.  And, although there is no secret formula for direct mail design and strategy that will guarantee 100% response from all recipients, there are best practices marketers should follow to increase brand visibility, consumer response rates and overall ROI.

Over time, these fundamentals haven’t changed much. When I asked the question on LinkedIn, “If you only had one direct mail marketing tip to share, what would it be?” these five core essential tips for effective direct mail postcard marketing stood out.

1. Cultivate the perfect list and craft targeted messaging.

“Make every piece count. Instead of a spray-and-pray approach, go for a targeted approach looking for the best audience. Understand how subgroups within that audience differ and message appropriately. And for each subgroup, test multiple types of messaging, creative, offers to determine the winning formula for each subgroup in the target audience. Continually fine tune and refine future campaigns based on learnings.” Kamal Tahir, Management Consulting, Greater Chicago Area

2.  Personalize content and be personal.

“With digital print technology it’s so easy to tailor your direct mailing to your recipient. Use their name, business name, interests, any relevant information you have about them on your database to make your direct mailing personal, relevant and responsive.” –Amie Peters, Head of Direct Mail at An Post, Ireland

3.  Be specific with your call to action, and focus on just one.

“Marketers should be blunt and clear in describing what the next step should be for the recipient. Keep the design of the direct mail piece simple and uncluttered. Place emphasis on the call-to-action and make sure it supports the one main idea of the piece.” –Cynthia Fedor, Marketing Team Lead, QuantumDigital

4.  Include a way to track performance, then test and measure what works.

“Make sure your efforts are measurable. No matter how awesome your direct mail piece is, you’ll never know unless you can track it. Examples of the easiest ways to do this would be to have a question like, “How did you learn about us?” or have them enter a code from the direct mail upon registration.”  –Brittney Honkomp, University Student, Texas

5.  Continually optimize and be consistent with direct mail efforts.

“Prepare. Test. Measure. Analyze. Modify, Repeat.

“Prepare by sitting down and working on a clear strategy with measurable goals and objectives so you can make an informed decision regarding the effort. You need to use historical performance along with your understanding of the current market (society, economy, political, competition etc.) so you can project what needs to happen in order for the campaign to succeed [ie] pay for itself or generate a profit. If your response rate won’t generate enough sales on an offer that is too inexpensive and has low margins…you might want to rethink the campaign.

“Test your lists. Test your offers. Test your creative. Test your messaging.

“Measure response rates, conversion rates, average order size…whatever helps determine if the effort was profitable.

“Analyze the results. What tests worked? What tests didn’t? Are there opportunities to redirect focus [ex] move the budget in order to reach more people in an over-performing list/group and/or eliminate under-performing lists/groups?

“Modify your strategy and tactics, goals and objectives based on historical performance….learn and move on to the next campaign because a 1-off is not the way to go. Marketing campaigns need to be ongoing and integrated.

“Test again. Because everything we do is a test. Remember, a great campaign is one that turns a profit…and, typically, that requires a response rate of less than 1% which means we failed to motivate the audience to respond more than 99% of the time.” –Pat McGraw, Sales & Marketing Executive, Maryland

Read more: http://thedirectmarketingvoice.com/2012/06/15/5-tips-for-effective-direct-mail-postcard-campaigns/#ixzz1xzSXqj9o

Does Facebook Have a Future Yes or No?

June 5, 2012

Report: Facebook Users ‘Bored,’ Ads Not Effective

David Cohenon June 5, 2012 12:00 PM

A new poll shed more doubt on the value of Facebook’s 900 million-plus users to advertisers and marketers, uncovering negative results in terms of advertising and time spent on the site.

The online survey, from Reuters/Ipsos, which drew more than 1,000 respondents, brought some alarming results, including:

  • Four out of five respondents have never bought a product or service as a result of advertising or comments on the social network.
  • 34 percent of Facebook users are spending less time on the social network compared with six months ago, while only 20 percent are spending more time on it. The rest (46 percent) said their time spent on Facebook had not changed.
  • Of the 34 percent who said they were spending less time on Facebook, the reason cited most often was that the site is “boring,” “not relevant,” or “not useful.”
  • 44 percent said Facebook’s troubled initial public offering left them with a less favorable opinion of the company, and 46 percent said the Facebook IPO made them more wary of investing in the stock market in general.
  • Nearly 40 percent said they use Facebook every day.
  • 21 percent did not have Facebook accounts.

eMarketer found in a February study of its own that email marketing and direct-mail marketing influenced consumer decisions more than Facebook advertising, and Analyst Debra Williamson told Reuters:

It shows that Facebook has work to do in terms of making its advertising more effective and more relevant to people.

On the flip side, looking at the recent decision by General Motors to pull $10 million worth of advertising off the social network, Nielsen President of Global Media Products and Advertiser Solutions Steve Hasker cautioned that the success rate of a campaign was dependent upon the product or service it is promoting, telling Reuters:

If you are advertising Porsche motor cars and you can get 20 percent of people to make a purchase, that’s an astonishingly high conversion rate. If you are selling instant noodles, maybe it’s not.

As far as the issue of boredom, Gartner Analyst Ray Valdes pointed to the constant cycle of change at Facebook, including the introduction of timeline and its $1 billion acquisition of photo-sharing application Instagram, telling Reuters:

Facebook continuously has the challenge of Facebook fatigue, of the novelty factor wearing off, and therefore, they have to introduce new kinds of interaction.

Readers: Do you think the flurry of changes Facebook has been making of late will be able to stem the tide and reverse some of the negative trends found in the results of this poll?