Spice It Up!

Are you looking for ways to spice up your direct mail campaigns? Even if your response rates remain high, are you looking to freshen things up a little? Here are a few ways you can update your direct mailings and give them new appeal.

1. Update the package.
Are you using the same envelopes you have for years? If so, try something different. Change the color. Change the size. Add a personalized teaser on the front (“John, check this out!”). If you are selling high-value products or services, consider really shaking things up with dimensional mail or novelty envelopes that look like UPS packages or USPS Priority Mail.

2. Tweak your text.
Still using the same marketing text from last year? Try another direction. If you’ve been using a dry, informational style, insert some humor.  If you’ve been sending short, punchy one-liners, try adding more informational text.

3. Freshen up the images.
How long have you been using that same picture of your headquarters? Is your headshot in the lower right-hand corner 10 years old? Have a photographer take a new company photo. Upload a current headshot with a fabulous smile. Or maybe you just want some new images as backgrounds or illustration. Today’s selection of royalty-free imagery is professional, full of variety, and inexpensive. Try something new and see what happens!

4. Add a new variable.
If you are personalizing your mailings, why not add a new variable? If you’ve been personalizing by name and gender, add age bracket or income. This gives you a whole new way to relate to customers and increase the relevance of the message. Don’t have the data? Adding variables can be as easy as a simple data append. You give us the names, we order the data. It’s that simple.

5. Try a new offer.
What incentive have you been using to get people to respond? 15% discount? If so, try 10% or 25%. Go crazy and try BOGO. How are you encouraging people to log into their personalized URLs? Entrance into a sweepstakes for a gift card? Try a set of concert tickets instead.

Experiment with new approaches and see what works. Mixing things up also tells people you are a progressive company, always growing and looking to improve. So get creative. Step outside the box and see what happens.

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Elements of a Successful Cross-Media Campaign

Want to energize your print campaign? Add demographic or psychographic segmentation and personalization. Want to energize your print campaign even more? Combine print with other media to amplify its effect.

The most common cross-media campaigns these days are print and e-mail, but you might also want to consider banner ads, social media, SMS text messaging, search engine advertising and other avenues that complement print. Each will have different uses and benefits, depending on your marketing goals and the target demographic you are trying to reach.

Here are some basic rules to keep in mind:

1. Consistent branding across all media.

Different media have different requirements and limitations, so you aren’t going to be able to maintain 100% consistency all the time. But whenever possible, try to use the same images, color schemes, messaging and other elements across media.

2. Strategic application of media.

Know what role, specifically, each medium is supposed to play. If you are going to combine e-mail with print, what are you trying to accomplish? Are you trying to “prime the pump” for the print piece? Are you using e-mail as a follow-up? Maybe if you’re driving traffic to a campaign-specific website, you might want to consider Internet banner advertising in demographic “hot spots.” The key is to match the medium to the audience and the message so that each medium plays off the others strengths.

3. Appropriate matching of media to the audience.

Ensure that you use the right medium to communicate with each target audience. Not all media are appropriate for every demographic. You’re not going to reach many senior citizens with SMS, for example. Plus, the mix is always changing. For example, only teenagers and college students used to use Facebook, but increasingly professionals and businesses use it as well.

Identify your marketing objectives, and then ensure that each medium is the right one to accomplish those goals. Make sure that you match the medium to your demographic and your offer, and use it appropriately within the best practices of that medium.

There is a learning curve associated with multi-channel marketing, but the ability to amplify and reinforce your marketing message can be invaluable.