Direct Mail Journal

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USPS Price Increase

USPS Price Increase

The USPS increased the cost of postage today (August 29, 2021) based on approval from the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC). Postage increases are usually announced in November and take effect in January. This is the second price increase this year. There is usually only one increase per year that is designed not to exceed the rate of inflation.

This is the latest action taken by the USPS executing against the 10-year plan called Delivering for America. The USPS has announced that these changes are essential for building a sustainable service in the years to come. This plan has been widely reported in the media, as leading to slower delivery times, higher prices, and in some cases, more limited hours of retail service at post offices. The timing of these changes, just prior to the recent presidential election, which was more dependent on mail-in ballets due to COVID restrictions, has drawn the ire of some lawmakers as well.

Separately, the USPS announced last week (August 26, 2021), that service delivery performance for the fourth quarter was the best in over five years. Here are the highlights on that announcement:

● First-Class Mail: Delivered 88.8 percent of First-Class Mail on time against the USPS service performance standard, an improvement of 1.3 percentage points from the third quarter.

● Marketing Mail: Delivered 92.7 percent of Marketing Mail on time against the USPS service performance standard, an improvement of 1.7 percentage points from the third quarter. This metric reached 93.9% for the week of August 14 – 20.

● Periodicals: Delivered 82.1 percent of Periodicals on time against the USPS service standard, an improvement of 2.9 percentage points from the third quarter.

Here is a summary of the most recent changes in postal rates. A complete list of the postage increases can be found at USPS August price increase.

  • Full Rate First Class Forever stamps increase $.03 from $.55 to $.58 each
  • Presorted First Class Commercial Letters increase $.03 – $.035 each
  • First Class Postcards (now up to 6×9) increase about $.04 each
  • EDDM Flats increase about $.01 each
  • Standard Rate Marketing Mail Commercial Letters increase $.015 – $.026 each

The good news for clients of Zairmail is that postage rates and prices will not change until Labor Day (September 6, 2021). The price of a 6 x 9 postcard will reflect the lower postcard rate. If you have a campaign planned, submit it this week, and lock in lower pricing, before postage increases.

Zairmail is the fastest, easiest, and most cost effective way to send (postal) direct mail.

We would appreciate the opportunity to assist with your direct marketing needs.

Zairmail (www.zairmail.com) is the fastest and easiest way to send (real) postal mail. Give us a call anytime at 888.898.0066, we would be happy to help with your direct mail needs.

Direct Mail Creative and Design Approaches for 2022

Direct Mail Creative and Design Approaches for 2022

2020 was a good reminder that strategists should never be too rigid in the planning or execution of mail campaigns, always leaving some room for experimentation. In this conversation from C&E’s recent Creative Summit Conference, hear from direct mail strategists Alicia Sisneros of Sisneros Strategies, Aaron Evans of WRS, Erica Prosser of BerlinRosen, and Chris D’Aniello of Axiom Strategies.

Labor Day 2021

Celebrate Labor Day

The backbone of our nation is based on business leaders, entrepreneurs, and exceptional workers. Thank you from Zairmail for making us GREAT!

Zairmail (www.zairmail.com) is the fastest and easiest way to send (real) postal mail. Give us a call anytime at 888.898.0066, we would be happy to help with your direct mail needs.

Post-pandemic direct mail marketing for businesses

Post-pandemic direct mail marketing for businesses

Coming out of the pandemic, business owners and entrepreneurs across all facets of the human experience must put on their thinking caps and come up with some clever ideas on how to keep their businesses afloat while also building momentum to propel them to success in the months ahead.

Considering the impact that COVID-19 has had on businesses’ finance, marketers must be mindful of the cost of marketing and business promotion. At this time, the primary goal of any marketing strategy is to reconnect with customers, reassure them that you are committed to their success, and bring them back to jump-start business after so many months of lockdown.

One marketing strategy that businesses should consider is direct mail marketing. The benefits of using direct mail marketing are endless and you are sure to yield positive results without breaking the bank.

To give you a sneak-peek of what direct mail marketing can do for your business, it has the potential of increasing ROI up to 20% with a response rate that is estimated to be 30X higher than some other digital marketing channels such as email campaigns.

But that’s not all.

Having mentioned email campaigns, it may interest you to know that direct mail enjoys up to 90% open rate compared to email. In addition to such a jaw-dropping open rate, recent statistics by Fundera found that at least 62% of people who respond to direct mail end up making a purchase. As such, a higher response rate from direct mail can lead directly to higher conversation rates.

At this point, how about we step on the brakes to ensure that we are all on the same page? Suppose you are the new kid on the “marketing block” and are not sure what direct mail marketing is, or nature of the benefits it can offer your business. We will shine a little more light on that and offer some tips on how to leverage direct mail.

What is direct mail marketing?

Just as the name implies, this type of marketing strategy involves engaging potential customers (prospects) and existing customers offline by sending targeted mail (e.g., postcards, letters, snap-packs…). While some may argue that this form of marketing is archaic/outdated, it has proven itself to be powerful in today’s marketing landscape.

Interestingly, virtually every class of marketer, including demand generation teams, growth teams, inbound and outbound sales teams, promotional marketing teams, and many others, can leverage direct mail to connect with existing clients, qualified leads, and new prospects.

Yes, we are in the digital age, and more businesses are going online and learning how to include digital marketing tools in the “mix”. Digital marketing tools can definitely offer some unique benefits to business. However, the deafening “noise” and wealth of distractions in the digital environment, makes is harder and harder to break-through the clutter and get noticed. If your message cannot break through, then it cannot effectively connect with customers and prospects.

Because of the massive wave of information in the digital marketing space, marketers are seeking alternative means of connecting with their target audience; in part, by sending messages where they have greater chance of being seen — the tried and true (physical) mailbox. 

Does direct mail marketing work?

A straightforward answer is yes, but that simple response is not nearly rich enough. Here are just a few of the reasons a direct marketing strategy can give your business the boost it requires to push through the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Direct mail is universal

Direct mail can reach every household and business in America. Unlike email, you won’t have to guess which address/(e)mailbox to target.

  • Direct mail is targeted

Only pay to reach the customers or prospects that are the most likely to do business with your company. The demographics for direct mail lists are very well developed. If you want to reach dentists, in New Jersey, with a family of three, and an income of more than $300,000, that type of list is available. Just let your targeting creativity run wild…

  • Direct mail is trusted

Consumers and businesses diligently open their mail on a daily basis. The “mail moment” is an important ritual that is built into the American psyche.

  • Direct mail has a better response rate

Because of the human touch and the tactile engagement that direct mail offers, it can offer a higher response rate compared to digital tools (such as email) and can ratchet up ROI by at least 20%.

How to run an effective direct mail marketing strategy

To run an effective direct mail marketing campaign, marketers must pay attention to some important factors.

Start by clearly defining your audience. We know that if we send the right offer, to the right audience, then good things happen. It all starts with understanding the target audience for your product or service and the benefits that will appeal to them most.

Have a clear and powerful offer and call to action (CTA). The customer needs to effortlessly understand exactly what benefit(s) you are offering and how to take advantage of them. Don’t just offer them a way to respond, ask them to respond (now!).

Test your strategy. Don’t start by sending out 50,000 pieces and risk completely whiffing. Send out much smaller batches (postal discounts start at 500 pieces), with different approaches (e.g., art, copy, offers…) and see what resonates with each target audience. Once you have a winning formula, then you can step on the gas.

Embrace continuous improvement. Once you have a formula that works, don’t stop there – keep tuning. Products change, audiences change, needs change; so embrace change and continue to look for ways to refine and improve your campaigns.

Peter Drucker, one of the masters of modern business thinking, once said, “if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.”  Determine which metrics are critical for predicting the success of your programs and then collect and analyze them continuously. Critical metrics like this, are often referred to as key performance indicators (KPI’s).

You may want to track elements such as return on investment (factoring in lifetime customer value), brand awareness, repeat purchases, customer referrals, or others. One simple trick to measuring different campaigns is using different toll free numbers, or landing pages, for different campaigns, and then tracking the response for each.

Looking to put together a winning direct mail strategy? We are here to help. Zairmail can help you design campaigns that help you build relationships and sales.

Zairmail (www.zairmail.com) is the fastest and easiest way to send (real) postal mail. Give us a call anytime at 888.898.0066, we would be happy to help with your direct mail needs.

effective marketing campaign

Top tips on how to conduct an effective direct mail marketing campaign

Yes, direct mail has been around for a while, and it is also regarded as one of the oldest forms of modern advertising. However, its relevance in present-day marketing and advertising cannot be overemphasized — thanks to its dynamic and flexible nature.

If you are uncertain about direct mail marketing, or you have not yet wrapped your mind around how it works, don’t worry, because we’ve got you covered. To set the stage and give you an idea of how much impact direct mail marketing can make on the earnings of businesses; 2021 direct mail marketing statistics show that at least 82% of purchases are influenced by relevant direct mail. This explains why direct-to-customer brands regard direct mail as the offline marketing channel that provides the most profitable cost per acquisition (CAC).

More statistics on direct mail marketing

Statistics from the Data & Marketing Association show that at least 50% of direct mail recipients find direct mail postcards useful. Building on that, Fundera reports show that 70% of customers opt for direct mail because it’s more personal compared to its online counterparts.

Here are a few more tips on how to conduct a direct mail advertising campaign.

Step 1: Determine your target audience

Yes, it always starts with knowing your audience. It would almost never make sense to send stacks of letters or postcards, or any other form of direct mail, without taking the time to identify your target market. Thankfully, direct mail advertising makes it incredibly easy to target a specific target market or audience. All you have to do is identify the demographics (e.g., age, income, gender, location…) that are best suited for the benefits offered by the product or service you are selling.

As you can imagine, if you invest enough time to identify your ideal client and create a custom tailored targeted direct mail marketing campaign, the chances are that you will record much better results, and you will be smiling all the way to the bank.

Step 2: what is the source of your direct mail list

Having identified your target audience, you can shift your focus to identifying your mail list. There are two ways to go about this — you can either use a “house list” or you can purchase an external list. You can opt for the former if you have a good list that has produced reliable results over time. This could be a good approach if you are asking customers for an annual donation from year-to-year. This could also work well if you have a list of “warm” leads from older campaigns.

If you are new in business, or you are trying to test a new target market, then you can buy/rent a mailing list from a third party supplier, like a list vendor or consultant. These lists come in many flavors. Consult this Zairmail library article for more details on finding the perfect list for your campaign.

Step 3: Generate an effective copy

As the famous saying goes, content is king, and at the center of every successful marketing campaign is effective copy. Be creative in your writing style to help gain and hold the attention of your audience. The primary goal is to grab the recipient’s attention, immediately, and avoid being shoved aside. Do not beat around the bush or get too clever. Be direct. Get to the point. People are busy and they have a short attention span, if you don’t get their attention fast, the opportunity may be lost forever. Clearly highlight the key benefits your product or service offers, and then urge the customer to respond to the offer (ask for the sale). In some cases, we can compel an immediate response if we include a deadline or another impending event in our copy.

Step 4: Get your design right

You know, as they say in the culinary industry, people eat with their eyes first. We need to be able to break through the clutter. The mail piece has to “pop”. We can do that by using different colors, fonts, and forms. We can offer up an image that is outrageous or unconventional. We can be cute and cuddly in our approach. We can use humor if we are careful – humor can be a double edged sword. Whatever approach we take, it needs to get/hold attention, and it needs to fit with the overall theme of the campaign, the product/service we are offering, and our brand.

Step 5: packaging and sending process

Once we have all the elements identified, we have to assure that we can execute and get it right. Once we print & mail, it is very difficult to “take it back”.  Print production should take place in a scalable commercial facility that can rapidly and reliably produce a quality product. The service should be able to produce both short-runs (small jobs) and large jobs just as easily. The service should be able to provide pre-sort services to maximize postage discounts – the bulk of the cost in direct mail is postage.

This used to be a time-consuming, expensive, and error-prone process, that required weeks to complete. Thanks to automated online tools such as Zairmail (www.zairmail.com), direct mail campaigns can now be launched in minutes, right from your own PC, and be in the mail the next day. Zairmail even provides tools to track delivery and take some of the guesswork out of mail delivery.

Quality, cost, price, reliability, and customer service are all critical for this type of manufacturing process. Zairmail invented the concept of hybrid (digital to physical) over 20 years ago (1999). The company has continued to invest in automation, and to further refine the process, since that time.

Take the guesswork out of your direct mail campaigns. Zairmail is the fastest, easiest, and most cost-effective way to send direct mail.

Got a campaign or question? WZairmail (www.zairmail.com) is the fastest and easiest way to send (real) postal mail. Give us a call anytime at 888.898.0066, we would be happy to help with your direct mail needs.

direct mail postcards

Postcards in envelopes for marketing near holidays and special occasions

They are affordable, efficient, easy/quick to launch, versatile, and offer excellent branding opportunities. What are they? You guessed right — postcards in envelopes.

Contrary to popular misconceptions, direct mail postcards are not a thing of the past. Instead, they are fast gaining traction and causing so much buzz in modern-day marketing campaigns. And they have proven to be profitable for marketing tools.

If you are just learning about postcards in envelopes and the myriad of potentials for target marketing, you don’t need to beat yourself over it because we have got you covered.

We will discuss postcard marketing and share tips on how to make your postcard marketing campaign a success. This brings us to the million-dollar question;

Why use postcards in marketing?

Unless you are new to marketing, you will know that marketing with postcards is arguably one of the most popular and successful ways of building a profitable business. It’s even applauded for its ability to send targeted organic traffic to websites.

Adopting postcards allows you to leverage both print and digital marketing strategies. It provides businesses with many opportunities, convenience, and flexibility in connecting with their target audience.

But that’s not all.

It may interest you to know that direct mail postcards rank very high among other marketing channels and are applauded for their high household response rate.

Compared to the 0.6% for emails and paid ads, postcards in envelopes boast of a stunning 5.1% response rate. With social media coming in at 0.4%. Did you know that for every 167 dollars invested in direct mail marketing, 2000 dollars’ worth of goods is sold?

In addition to these figures, 57% of people say postcards marketing makes them feel valued, and it creates an authentic bond between them and the seller/product. Another 60% + of people say direct mail postcards mostly influence them to visit a website, and most of them are first-time shoppers.

With all of these figures rolled out in front of you, you will agree that direct mail marketing is powerful and efficient for your marketing campaign. Now imagine how much they will make when you deploy postcards in envelopes near holidays and special occasions. The result is best left to your imagination.

At this point, you are probably itching to know how to get started with direct mail marketing. Not to worry, we will share our guide to postcard marketing with you. But, before then, let’s quickly touch on the top benefits of using postcards in envelopes for your marketing campaigns.

What at the benefits of using postcards for marketing?

  • Postcards are affordable

If you are looking for an affordable and effective means of marketing your products or services, you should consider postcards. They offer high-quality marketing without putting a hole in your pocket.

In the business of targeted ads, postcards are regarded as the most cost-effective option. In addition to the low cost of printing them, postage is also inexpensive. As such making, promotional postcards an ideal option for virtually all businesses, regardless of their size or niche where they operate.

  • Postcards are versatile

Speaking of versatility, there is a lot you can do with postcards in envelopes. For example, they can influence sales at discounted prices, launch new products, and attract new customers.

In addition to attracting qualified leads to your products or services and announcing special offers, direct mails can also be used to motivate existing customers to reach for their wallets and announce and invite people to seminars, trade shows, and other similar events.

And yes, postcards in envelopes can also serve as coupons. Postcards fit in almost any marketing idea you have. If you can think of it, postcards will bring your marketing goal to fruition.

  • Postcards are impactful

What other way to get your message across to your customers in the most catchy and precise words than postcards in envelopes?

Unlike other marketing campaigns that use multi-page content (like a brochure) to get the message across, postcards are single-piece card stock or pasteboard. Postcards don’t beat around the bush, and you have so many options to explore, including the color, font size, and riveting designs.

Other benefits of postcards include but not limited to:

  • They are tangible
  • They are ideal for target marketing

Last but not least, promotional postcards bring stealth to the game of marketing. With postcards in envelopes in your arsenal, your competitors won’t know about your promotional offers and ideas until the results start to materialize.

Which is the opposite case scenario with marketing via billboards, newspapers, and other mass marketing approaches. That way, only your target audience gets to see your marketing messages. Think stealth, efficiency, and personalized marketing campaigns.

Guide to postcard marketing

While postcard marketing campaigns are easy and quick to launch, it’s always best to get started on the right foot — put your best foot forward. Speaking of putting your best foot forward, here is our guide to help you get started on your postcard marketing.

  • Plan your postcard marketing campaign
  • Don’t hold back on your copywriting prowess (while crafting your offer and call to action).
  • Make use of catchy designs — the use of white vs. Black and White and imagery.

If you check all the boxes in this guide, the result will be a compelling direct mail postcard marketing campaign.

Plan your postcard marketing campaign

Planning your postcard marketing campaign entails defining your goals, identifying your target audience, creating a compelling offer, and determining the recipients’ actions.

Having defined your postcard marketing goal (which we discussed earlier), your focus should shift to identifying your audience. Suppose you are reaching out to new customers; some demographic data you should gather include age, gender, location, occupation, buying habits, hobbies, and annual revenue among several other factors.

Creating a compelling offer

For you to be able to create a compelling offer, ask yourself what your customers need—put yourself in their shoes. You can start by asking yourself these questions.

  • What do your target customers?
  • What problems do your customers have (their pain point)
  • How do you intend to solve their problem and make their lives better — What is your proposition?

Having answered these important questions, you need to find a way to motivate customers to respond quickly. You can tinker along offering discounts, freebies or put out a buy-one-get-one-free deal. The idea is to get your customers to respond quickly. Think outside the box and be creative.

What actions should customers take?

Some ideas of customers’ actions include calling a number, visiting a physical store/location, visiting your website, or subscribing to your social media page.

Mind you, customers’ response is dependent on the nature of your business and the offer you made. So while you are at it, it’s always best to prepare for their response.

You can consider having staff on standby to attend to customers if you expect them to visit a physical location. On the other hand, if the customers are expected to visit your website, you should put up a responsive and informative landing page and catalog to look through.

Don’t hold back on your copywriting prowess

Earlier, we mentioned the need not to compromise copywriting in your marketing campaign. Recall that your postcard is intended to be compelling and motivate the recipients to take the desired action.

Most of the time, your promotional postcard’s effectiveness depends on the contents and how the message is presented. For example, it would be best to have a catchy headline that is themed to create excitement, address your customer’s pain points, make a special offer, or announce benefits.

Always make use of call to action

Call-to-actions are an important aspect of your postcard marketing campaign — They have to be compelling and powerful. Call-to-actions can be used to reiterate the benefits of your selling proposition, direct customers on what to do next, and maybe remind them of a deadline.

You can spruce things up with other offers like customer satisfaction and money-back guarantees and offer coupons/coupon codes to make your postcards stand out.

Postcard design

Before rounding off on postcards marketing, let’s take a second to answer one popular FAQ about postcards marketing. The chances are that you have asked the same question before now, or you have it in mind right now.

Colored postcards vs. Black-and -white postcards

On this particular subject about postcard design, colored postcards are catchy and vibrant. And of course, they have a higher tendency to rake in more profits than their Black-and-white counterparts.

While colored postcards are virtually everybody’s favorite, simply printing them doesn’t guarantee high ROI. You still need to follow the basic rules of making your direct mail marketing successful.

The idea of printing a colored postcard is to make your cards more appealing and give your presentation more power. That way, you are making your message more likely to be read and acted upon by the recipients.

Some creative ideas include using color to outline images, shapes, texts, and graphics. You can also draw the reader’s attention to your selling proposition and use contrasting colors (not the regular White-and-Black) to make your postcards particularly catchy.

We are Rounding off

If you are not considering postcards in your direct mail marketing plan, you should because they are affordable and offer higher ROI than other direct mail marketing strategies. Not to mention their personal feel, which makes them ideal for target marketing.

So, plan, identify your audience, create a personalized postcard with a clear call-to-action, and you are set to get your postcards in envelopes direct mail marketing campaign off the ground.

Zairmail (www.zairmail.com) is the fastest and easiest way to send (real) postal mail. Give us a call anytime at 888.898.0066, we would be happy to help with your direct mail needs.

Cost-effective Marketing

Postcards in Envelopes: A Super Cost-effective Alternative to Greeting Cards

If you’ve ever thought postcards are a thing of the past and direct mail is no longer relevant, sorry to burst your bubble — you thought wrong. According to recent statistics by marketing charts, direct mail has a 29% return on investment, which is one percent shy of the ROI on social media marketing campaigns.

In addition to the impressive ROI on direct mail, there are a thousand and one reasons why direct mail is an effective marketing tool.

Let’s take a look at some of them.

Why is direct marketing effective?

As we mentioned earlier, there is a long list of reasons why direct mail is still very effective in today’s business landscape. While sending series of emails and social media ads are proven means of promoting your brand, investing in direct mail is the icing on the cake.

Direct marketing helps you reach out to a particular market segment — your target audience. As such, direct mails allow you to execute personalized strategies on your marketing campaigns.

That way, you get to channel your resources (time and money) on engaging directly with your target market or audience.

Those (speaking of your audience) that will be fascinated about what you are selling (either products or services) and have high chances of converting into successful sales or retention.

Direct marketing leverage market segmentation and targeting

Before you delve into any business, your first thought should be identifying your potential clients by conducting market research. You will also care to know the market segmentation such as geographical, demographics, and customer behavior.

All of these findings will help you narrow your search to leads with a high conversation rate. As such, boosting your chances of successful sales.

Direct marketing leverage personalization

One of the major reasons why direct marketing is still effective is that it utilizes a personalized communication mode to connect with customers.

If you integrate direct mail into your communication channel, you will engage both existing and prospective customers on a personal level. Thereby creating a custom experience and memorable experience for the customer.

For instance, your direct mail could be postcards in envelopes. When the customer receives your postcard, you can only imagine how delighted he/she will feel.

It will be imprinted in the customer’s mind that you went all the way to create something unique and special for them. Now, that’s how warm your way into a prospect’s heart and keep customers happy.

Direct mail is cost-effective

It’s almost impossible to discuss the effectiveness of direct mail without mentioning its cost-effectiveness. Because direct mail marketing allows you to identify and connect with your target audience, you won’t have to cast a net over the entire sea of customers.

With direct mail such as sending postcards, you can conveniently engage your target audience without spending fortunes on trying to reach the entire market — including those without the slightest interest in your brand.

Think about it, channeling your efforts into engaging only your intended market segment or target audience will save you a lot of money instead of adopting the “everyone and anyone” approach.

Also, because you are investing in your target audience, rest assured you will recoup your investments in the long run after winning their trust and confidence. Your team will also be able to set realistic goals for their marketing campaigns because with direct mail, you measure and track your spending and make adjustments to your plans if need be.

Direct marketing allows you to upsell and re-engage customers

Direct marketing allows you to upsell and re-engage customers with personalized marketing approaches such as sending postcards.

As you can imagine, more personalization leads to equal more sales. You can also seize the avenue to tell customers who haven’t patronized you in a while how much you missed them and would love to rekindle the relationship with juicy offers.

Direct marketing makes it incredibly easy to test and analyze results

Because direct marketing uses a call to action and a means by which customers can respond — say phone numbers or an email address, you can evaluate what communication method yielded more results and adopt it for future campaigns.

Are you thinking of postcard marketing?

At this point, you should already have an idea of how you can leverage postcards in your direct marketing strategy. Postcards are arguably the most cost-effective and accessible form of direct mail available.

According to United States postal services, their simplicity makes them an excellent option for making announcements and getting customers to complete a desired action like visiting your store or website.

Postcards are versatile and inexpensive

Postcards are versatile and inexpensive and are an excellent marketing tool you should have in your arsenal. Compared to greeting cards and other traditional direct mail package, postcards are quick and easy to manage.

You can think of a postcard as a “mini-billboard” or a space you can hold. It can be a handwritten message to your customer or a photograph of a product you recently launched.

Your postcard can also serve as a reminder for an upcoming event, a mini newsletter, or a discount coupon. The major advantage of utilizing postcards for direct mail is that they don’t have to be opened to be read, unlike letters and greeting cards.

If you are creative with your postcards’ design and presentation, you will be amazed at the impact they will have on your business.

What postcard sizes are available?

Postcards come in two popular sizes — one-quarter of an 8.5 by 11 paper measuring 4.25 x 5.5 inches (small) and one-half of an 8.5 x 11 paper measuring 5.5 x 8.5 inches (standard).

Interestingly these two sizes can fit on a standard-sized paper. Of course, there are other sizes of postcards like the 6.125 x 11.5 inches (Jumbo) and 9 x 12 inches ( extra-large).

While you are at it, have it in mind the small-sized postcards (4.25 x 6 inches) are compact and easy to design. It also falls within the U.S postal services (USPS) size for postcards which is between 3.5 x 5 inches and 4.25 x 6 inches.

According to USPS, anything larger than that is considered a letter. If your postcard size falls between the USPS size range, you can send it at first-class mail, where it will get delivery priority.

We are rounding off

Top reasons why you should consider postcard marketing includes less competition because fewer companies think in this direction, it has a higher response rate, it gives room for creativity. It leaves a lasting impression on your customers.

If you need help leveraging postcard direct mail strategy in your business, you are always welcome to contact us. We can help you automate your direct mail marketing and help you yield the most ROI on direct mail.

Zairmail (www.zairmail.com) is the fastest and easiest way to send (real) postal mail. Give us a call anytime at 888.898.0066, we would be happy to help with your direct mail needs.

Direct Marketing Trends

Staying on Top of Direct Marketing Trends

The global business landscape is expanding by the second and businesses are in stiff competition to reach prospective customers. To successfully attract leads and get them to patronize you calls for clever means of communication and marketing.

Over the years, marketing has undergone a tremendous revolution, and digital marketing trend is causing so much buzz.

While some people will argue that online or digital marketing is effective, it also has its limitations. Topmost on the list is that it takes away the personal feel of direct mail formats like postcards.

Way back in the day, popular marketing methods included the publisher’s clearinghouse, lift letters and the historical Johnson box.

As you can imagine, all of those direct marketing methods are obsolete and have no place in today’s fast-paced business landscape. Before discussing modern trends in direct mail marketing, let’s take a second or two to discuss the Johnson box and lift letter. Shall we?

What is the Johnson box?

Named after its inventor Frank Johnson, the Johnson box is placed at the top of direct mail letters. The Johnson box contains a catchy message that tells the reader the gist of the message — it is intended to grab the readers’ attention and hopefully get them to read to the end of the letter.

While Johnson’s box may seem like an effective marketing tool, it has tendencies of hard selling. Some customers and prospects may consider the Johnson box inappropriate for formal content like the sales copy.

Today the Johnson box no longer serves the purpose for which it is intended. It’s now been used in emails to highlight catchy information and give the reader a preview of the contents.

Other applications of the Johnson box are at the middle of web pages, where it’s often used to highlight important messages and testimonials.

Because most businesses are focused on maximizing their returns on investment (ROI), there is less spending and testing of single-letter elements like the Johnson box. As such, making it an unpopular direct marketing tool.

The lift letter

The lift letter used in direct mail marketing is more like a short note delivered alongside a direct mail package to get buyers to respond to your offer.

Interestingly it was found that a well-crafted lift letter can boost the response rate to an offer by up to 25%. The lift letter has been used to pitch promo headlines and other related products customers might be interested in.

Other times, lift letters are used as a stamp of endorsement or approval from regulatory bodies or celebrities with the intention of bonding with the customers and getting them to take your offer.

While adding lift notes or lift letters to your package may seem like an excellent way of catching your customer’s attention, some sellers tend to go overboard with it. What was supposed to lift the customer’s response suddenly turns boring and intrusive.

Postcards: the new trend in direct mail marketing

Yeah, you read that correctly. Postcards! You have probably been thinking that with so many high-tech marketing tools out there, why should anybody think about using postcards?

It works.

Postcards are economical, flexible, and very effective. They are arguably one of the best tools for targeted marketing campaigns. Postcard formats of direct mail can be used to create brand awareness, make announcements, follow up on customers, and can also be used as reminders to clients. They are affordable, and you can send one from anywhere in the world.

Why are postcards taking the lead in modern direct mail marketing?

Compared to direct mail letters, postcards have higher chances of been read. According to the U.S postal services, postcards are six times more likely to be read than mail letters. With the figures put at 94% against 14%.

In addition to their high readership, postcards make it possible to communicate with your customers in a friendly and social tone.

Then, it’s easy to track your marketing performance and ROI on every mail via customer responses.

In conclusion

Postcards may not be entirely new in marketing your brand, and most people will look away at the mention of this direct mail marketing format.

With adequate planning and strategy built around postcards direct mail, businesses can expand their market reach and increase their customer base while also boosting profit margins.

Thankfully you don’t have to manage your direct mail marketing strategy by yourself. We are available around the clock to offer our expertise and help you achieve your goal.

Zairmail (www.zairmail.com) is the fastest and easiest way to send (real) postal mail. Give us a call anytime at 888.898.0066, we would be happy to help with your direct mail needs.

Pandemic marketing strategies

Being Sensitive and Still Building Business in a Pandemic

The pandemic has thrown a big wrench in the working of virtually all businesses. While many businesses are operating at a limited capacity, working remotely, or planning their exit, you don’t have to go in the same direction.

Despite the setbacks imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic, there is an opportunity to grow your business while still being sensitive to happenings around you.

To keep your business running and not lose either your customers and employees because of the pandemic, there are strategies you can adopt to keep your business afloat.

Let’s take a look at some of them. Shall we?

Leverage the internet in your marketing campaigns

While blogs, newsletters, and social media are free or low-cost avenues you can explore to build an online presence, it is always best to have a plan before investing your time and resources into taking your business online.

Interact with your customers on a personal level

It’s no longer news that businesses have turned to social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram to stay in touch with their customers and work remotely.

It’s not enough to open a social media account and post repeatedly. You need to identify your target audience and come up with creative means of engaging them online.

To connect with your customers on a personal level and imprint your name in their hearts, you should aim to provide customized customer services. Always check on your customers and provide solutions to their needs.

We will discuss how you can retain customers during the pandemic later on.

Fine-tune your virtual selling skills — first impressions still matter

Even though most businesses have taken to the virtual space and you are now pitching your brand over the internet, have it in mind that first impression still matters.

Always check to ensure that your audio and video are clear and easy to understand. Then your background should be spot on.

Be proactive and provide upfront value

Be proactive and give customers upfront value for your customers. You can provide prospects with resources and tools that will help them relate with your brand even if they don’t convert right away.

Because most businesses are operating remotely and the usual in-person shopping experience is no longer there, customers now take more time to make decisions —   thereby lengthening the sales cycle.

You need to maintain close contact with your customers and make sure they don’t look elsewhere.

Organize virtual events to educate and engage your audience

Earlier, we mentioned creating value for both existing and prospective customers. One way of creating value for your business during the pandemic is by hosting virtual events.

Not just any virtual event — thoughtfully planned virtual events that cater to the needs of your customers. And because virtual events are becoming an everyday thing, you need to find means of making yours stand out.

Make your virtual events interactive

Aim to make your virtual events interactive. If your budget can accommodate it, make provision for incentives and bring in an expert speaker to encourage people to join your virtual events.

At the end of your virtual events, utilize call-to-actions (CTAs) that will drive your customers to connect and continue to do business with you.

Last but not least, make the right connections to help keep your business afloat during the pandemic and ensure sincere and transparent communication with your employees and customers.

How you can retain customers during the pandemic

As we mentioned earlier, customer retention is an essential aspect of building a successful business during a pandemic. With the social distancing protocol still very much in place, businesses are experiencing less foot traffic. As you can imagine, you need customers to remain in business.

So, the million-dollar question is;

How do you retain customers during the pandemic?

First, you have to communicate with your customers and not leave them in the dark about what you are doing. Keep them abreast of all your business activities— if you are closing early, changing work hours, and what efforts you are doing to make your workplace safe. You can reach out to your customers via social media channels or through emails.

Have you considered direct mails?

Direct mail is an excellent way of engaging with your customers offline. You can send postcards or any other printed mailers. Thankfully, direct mails are flexible and cost-effective.

Because of their flexibility and simplicity, businesses can use them to connect with their customers, follow up on leads, and market their brand. Unlike other digital messages that could get lost in a pile of messages, direct mails always make it to the mailbox, and they always get read.

And because they have a personal feel to them, direct mails have a better response rate. They are memorable, and there is less competition.

Do you need expert help with your direct mail?

If you are not sure how to handle your direct mail, especially in making the right connections with your customers during the pandemic, you can always reach out to us. We can help you plan a successful direct mail campaign and ensure that you get the desired results.

Zairmail (www.zairmail.com) is the fastest and easiest way to send (real) postal mail. Give us a call anytime at 888.898.0066, we would be happy to help with your direct mail needs.

Improve Customer Engagement

Top Tips and Ideas on How to Improve Customer Engagement

It’s almost impossible to discuss how businesses can connect with their customers without mentioning customer engagement. To keep your business up and running and profitable, you need to build a community of loyal customers — those that will stick with your brand through thick and thin.

Defining customer engagement

You can think of customer engagement as maintaining a healthy or close relationship with your customers.

Customer engagement can be measured through regular interactions with customers via emails, reaction on social media channels, testimonials and customer feedback, click-through-rate, and re-purchasing.

Think about it. What better way for customers to show loyalty than re-purchasing?

All forms of customer engagement are intended to increase brand awareness and exposure, build customers’ trust and confidence in your brand and assess your level of customer satisfaction — with a view of enhancing customer experience.

Building a customer engagement strategy?

While reaching out and connecting with new customers is an essential aspect of doing business, another aspect of business that is equally important is holding on to the ones you already have. Think customer retention.

As we mentioned earlier, customer engagement hinges on building a relationship or connecting with people who patronize your business. It comprises every means of communication between you and your customers that you can think of — phone calls, social media conversations, emails. You name them.

Having mentioned that, you need a strategy to determine effectively communicate with both existing and prospective customers. The idea is to keep them happy and satisfied at all times.

What is a customer engagement strategy?

With all we have shared so far, you should already have an idea of what a customer engagement strategy is.

Any ideas? If you say, it is a plan that is developed to increase customer satisfaction. You are right.

But that’s is not all.

Customer engagement strategy also involves building a profitable relationship and having positive communication with customers — either online or offline. An effective strategy demonstrates proactive methods of customer engagement.

It should cover how your customer service team interacts with customers when customers get in touch with you and how your company can actively engage your customer base.

We are moving on.

Why do you need a customer engagement strategy?

It was forecasted that customer experience would be the leading reason why customers will patronize businesses by the end of 2020. And that forecast is already coming to fruition.

Still on customer satisfaction, if you can deliver a spectacular customer experience and get your customers to feel good about your business, the chances are that price will no longer be an issue.

A happy customer will spread the word

The extent you will go to ensure that your customers get maximum satisfaction can also lead them to recommend you to other people — their friends and family. And that is organic campaigns that will impact your business significantly.

Think of what referrals by a satisfied customer will do for your brand. The result is priceless.

Considering how customer engagement can impact your business, you may want to have a rethink and start paying more attention to your customer engagement strategy.

How do you track customer engagement?

If you already have a strategy going on for your business, you should track the performance of your customer engagement strategy. The easiest way of telling whether your strategy is yielding results is by checking the metrics.

1. Social media interactions

One of the quickest means of telling if your customer engagement strategy is working is a spike in your social media interactions. You may begin to notice more likes and comments on your social media channels and pages.

2. Positive reviews

Suppose customers are impressed by your customer services (which is key to customer engagement). In that case, they will shower you with praises and won’t hesitate to drop a fantastic review of Google, Yelp, Facebook, and other popular platforms where people go to check reviews.

3. Increasing number of happy customers

Another quick means of assessing your customer engagement is an increase in the number of happy customers.

You can measure this via surveys. Your survey question should revolve around satisfaction levels and if they will recommend you. While you are at it, remember to keep an eye on the response rate from your survey. Higher response rates equal high engagement and vice versa.

Customer engagement strategies you should consider

You can never run out of ideas for engaging your customers. All you need to do is be creative and think outside the box.

One popular trend in customer engagement is the “tag a friend” campaign you see on social media these days. You may have participated in one of those without noticing.

How to do it.

It is pretty simple. If you deal on products, you can take a picture of the product and post it on your social media channels.

Then ask your followers to tag their friends to win the prize. Remember to communicate the start and finish date of the campaign and how the winner will be selected.

You could end the challenge when you hit a certain number of followers, and the winner will be the person with the most number of tags.

Post shout outs across your social media channels

You will be amazed at how much engagement you will get from taking a screenshot of a review or referral message and posting it on social media.

Tag the writer and thank them for the kind word and cleverly encourage others to do the same. Now, that is customer engagement at its best.

Can I use direct mail postcards?

We did say think outside the box. So, Yep! You can use direct mail postcards for customer engagement. Sending postcards to your customers is another excellent customer engagement strategy you should add to your strategy.

Postcards show that you have your customers at heart, and you value their relationship with your brand or company. You can send a postcard mailer, say once every month.

Other great customer engagement ideas for your business include starting a fan club, rewarding engagements by sending gifts to active customers or long-term, saying thank you to those who referred you and checking up on customers you haven’t heard from in a while.

We are rounding off!

There you have it. Great ideas for customer engagement and how to get your customers to keep your business on top of mind. Regarding direct mail for keeping in touch with your customers, we have all the resources and expertise to help you run a successful customer engagement campaign. Do get in touch with us soon.

Zairmail (www.zairmail.com) is the fastest and easiest way to send (real) postal mail. Give us a call anytime at 888.898.0066, we would be happy to help with your direct mail needs.

 

 

About the Author

Wilson Zehr is a Direct Mail Industry Expert, Direct Marketing Specialist, and CEO of Cendix (www.cendix.com), the leading provider of Web-to-print solutions that increase sales both online and offline. He is also the founder of Zairmail (www.zairmail.com), the company responsible for many "industry firsts" in direct mail.

 

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