Direct Mail and Marketing Tips

 

Archive for category: Uncategorized

envelope

Is Your Envelope Working for You or Are You Working for Your Envelope?

When it comes to email marketing, we think of the subject line in a similar way to how we think about the envelope of a physical direct mail campaign. The subject line of en email holds the key. Boring or irrelevant and customers simply don’t open it. With envelopes, it’s much the same yet it’s often not given it that much thought. If you send a boring envelope that blends in with all the other envelopes in the mail, then it’s no wonder open-rates might be below average.

But what are the alternatives? How do you jazz up an envelope?

Well, it’s actually much simpler than you might think….

Consider Color

That’s right, simply changing the color of your envelope from a boring blend-in white to any other color that fits your brand or message can make all the difference. Once your envelope is actually opened, the rest is up to the content (just as with email). 

Ditch It

You heard us right! You could even ditch the envelope altogether and send a piece of direct mail that doesn’t require one, such as a postcard. Postcard campaigns have many benefits and work really well for lots of offers, but they are not always suitable. Sometimes an envelope really isn’t avoidable. 

Snap Pack

A pressure-sealed mailer, also known as a snap-pack gives your mail a formal feel and stands out in its own authoritative way. A snap-pack gives you privacy to include personal information but it also really helps with open-rates even if you’re not sending sensitive content. They are often associated with rebates and PINS, so when a recipient sees a pressure-sealed mailer they are much more likely to grab and maintain attention. 

Make the Most of Space

Large white envelopes offer a further opportunity for a teaser, to add more promotions or information to the front or back, you could even use an enticing message (similar to the subject line of an email) to get the mail opened. We’ve seen businesses use this space to upsell, promote their website, or just be fun and quirky in getting the customer excited about what’s inside. For example, a message such as … ‘you won’t know what to do when you open this….’ on the front of an envelope would be hard to ignore!  

If you do have a teaser line on the outside, it needs to be super compelling because it automatically identifies the piece as ‘marketing mail’. Some people will not open it if they think you are trying to sell them something. So, the rule here is that if you have something really compelling to say, that will get them to open, then you can use a teaser. 

Think About Windows 

Another thing to consider is whether to send your envelope with a double window, a single window or a closed face. 

With a double window envelope, the name and address are printed on the letter inside and they show through the windows. If you have a single-sided letter then it can be printed on the back and folded so it shows through. This saves the addressing step and can reduce costs. This format can work well because it looks like a bill. Recipients are usually much more likely to open a letter if it looks important. Also, by building the address block into the front of the letter, you can let other teaser information peek through the window as well.

A single window approach usually includes a return address printed on the outside and the recipient address printed on the letter inside which shows through. Often using a return address will increase response rates, because people don’t assume it could be promotional mail. They need to open it to figure out who it is from. Some people choose to print a logo with their return address on the outside. This can create a more professional look. This helps set the tone for certain types of letters before they are even opened.

Closed face envelopes always have a more personal feel. You can use a script font to enhance that even further. You can also use a live postage stamp to make mail feel more personal.

When you think about it, mail has been around for so many years that it makes sense, now is the time to be creative and think outside the box. There has never been a better time to engage in direct mail marketing because the digital world is so saturated! Direct mail is perfect for complementing your digital efforts and really focusing on a multi-channel, multi-funnel approach to reaching and connecting with customers who are ready to take action. 

storytelling

Does Storytelling Work for Postcard Campaigns?

Storytelling in marketing campaigns serves to better connect you with your customers. It works like any other human connection. Storytelling is a way to get to know a person better, in this case, it’s a way for customers to get to know your business. When a customer is truly invested in an organization, their loyalty is always with that brand and they feel a part of that community too. The strength of this cannot be underestimated! So how can you use storytelling in your direct mail postcard campaign and what are the general do’s and don’ts? 

Keep it Simple

You can tell a story through words and images. The latter is ideal if you’re sending a postcard direct mail campaign. With a postcard, you need to present your message with very few words but also really STRIKE out and connect with the customer instantly. A complicated brand story just won’t work if you’re trying to express it through a handful or even one main image. Think about the ways in which you can simplify your story without losing the context and hook of the storyline. 

Emotive Stories Win

The stories we remember best are those that give us an emotional trigger. We remember things that make us laugh, make us feel empathy, or make us angry. The more extreme the emotional result, the longer something is remembered. Think about how you could use emotive words or images that would work for your story. For example, how can you play on those emotions through the use of colors?

Be Honest

The thing that makes your story unique is that it’s yours and only yours. If you don’t consider it to be that exciting compared to competitors’ beginnings and journeys to success, you might be tempted to make it up. This is never ever a good idea. It’s very possible to showcase a compelling storyline without being dishonest. Try focussing on the most exciting element of your story and be as creative as you can. Fabricating a story risks alienating your community. 

A Call to Action

When telling your story, make it clear what you want the receiver to do next. Is it clear WHY you are telling your story? 

Perhaps you’re an eco-friendly brand telling your story of passion for our planet. The call-to-action needs to fit with this, e.g, calling your customers to choose your sustainable clothing and become planet protectors with you. Don’t let the story overshadow what it is that you need the customer’s to do, and exactly HOW and WHEN they should do it. Everything else about delivering a successful postcard campaign should still apply. 

Repeat, Repeat, Repeat

If we are going to tell stories with pictures we need to hit the customer with multiple impressions. When doing so, the brand and theme need to be the same so that the stories can be connected.

However, we often want to change up the visual content a little so it’s still well received and isn’t blocked out by the viewer.

Here’s an example: Fresh Step (kitty litter) campaigns switch their graphics up slightly but the story remains the same. The graphical representation remains interesting and attracts fresh attention. It can also re-enforce previous images.

Don’t forget that storytelling is an art, it’s a job for one of your creative team members to turn a message into a story that really connects. If you don’t have the resources to get creative right now we might able to assist. Our expert designers have worked with many of our clients to create postcard designs that individually reflect your branding and messaging in a way that stands out and packs punch! 

Read more about smashing a postcard campaign right here: ‘Don’t underestimate the power of postcards when it comes to direct mail marketing. They are very efficient at delivering impact and getting results. So how can you ensure success when putting together your first postcard campaign?’

responses

How to Win More with Direct Mail Responses

When a business uses direct mail as a marketing method, its purpose is either to generate a response or build brand equity by staying connected. It’s worth us saying that while this article focuses on generating responses, it’s not always the only goal, you are investing in building a relationship. 

If the goal is a response, it could be an immediate response that takes place as soon as the mail is received or an action that is the result of numerous smaller campaigns. 

A response is the main goal of most promotional direct mail and you as the sender must enable this to happen. It doesn’t matter if every single household that receives the mail reads your message, it’s the response that counts. It’s the response that you will use to measure the success of the campaign. 

Tell Them What to Do

Your business won’t receive a response if you don’t facilitate it to happen. This involves outright asking for one! Tell your customers exactly what you want them to do and how they should do it. Make it clear and concise. 

The simpler it is to do, the more responses you will receive. Complicated response methods, with unnecessary steps or lengthy forms, will only serve to put people off.  We live in a very fast-paced world where businesses that reduce customer effort will always win. This doesn’t mean you should leave out important information to reduce response time/effort. Make sure you collect all of the details you need in order to progress that potential customer on to the next stage of your funnel. 

Offer Multiple Methods

Don’t limit customers to one and only one way in which they can take that desired action. Not every recipient will prefer the same response method, so offer them choice and freedom. Although it might be more efficient for your business to receive calls or emails, and although you might have one preferred method, it doesn’t necessarily serve all customers. The same can be said for any response method. Consider requesting responses via email, phone, web forms, and social media inboxes too. 

Include a Physical Response Method

Something that might not seem worth doing is allowing customers to reply using a physical form or slip of paper. Surely this is complicating the reply method for the recipient since it requires more effort? 

Well a physical reply form, even when it’s not used as the chosen response device, acts as a reminder of what is required. It highlights that you the sender, expect a response and it can even increase the number of calls, emails, and other digital communications you receive.

Of course, some recipients will actually use the physical method of replying so you should make sure it’s an adequate way to receive the information you need, leaving plenty of space for the response you desire. 

Tempt Them In

An incentive could offer that extra push to action, where a lack of one wouldn’t. Good examples of incentivized offers in direct mail are things like free samples or trials (physical coupons or digital codes) and time-sensitive discounts and promotional deals that create a sense of urgency. 

Please give us a call if you would like assistance formatting any of the above elements within your direct mail design and message. Our team of Zairmail specialists is on hand to assist you with every step of sending out your first direct mail campaign. 

trust

4 Ways to Build Trust with Potential Customers

Our primary goal should be to build relationships rather than just driving the volume of transactions. Relationships, in turn, can lead to transactions and tend to be much more enduring. Our relationship, over time, can actually become part of the product offering.

Relationships are based on trust, and trust can grow stronger, based on experience over time. This works well with existing customers. We have the opportunity to re-enforce the trust we have earned with each new experience.

With new customers, we don’t have that type of rapport to build on. So, how do we get them to “take the leap” and start building a relationship?

In order to build trust, at a minimum, three conditions must be satisfied.

  1. The prospective customer understands the offering and the benefits.
  2. The prospective customer is aligned with your brand and values.
  3. The prospective customer believes you can deliver.

Here are four suggestions that can help you satisfy these conditions for new prospects.

Offer Free Trials

Offer free trials when it is financially or logistically feasible. Sometimes there are variations on this theme that work as well. We probably can’t give a potential customer a new car, but we can give them a test drive. The offer can project confidence in the offering, and the first-hand experience will lower the risk and uncertainty in the mind of the customer. The lower the perceived risk, the easier it becomes to take the next step.

This can also invoke a sense of reciprocity. We shouldn’t do nice things for people expecting that they will return the favor and get angry when they don’t. But, if we can do the right thing, to build trust with our customers, they are more likely to treat us right in return.

Video Content with Real People

Customers do not do business with products; they do business with people. The more they know about you, your offerings, and your brand; the more likely a relationship becomes. One way to accelerate the process is to humanize your company using video that features real people. If you can use footage, that helps prospective clients visualize the outcome or benefits they can expect from your offering, that also helps to reduce risk and build trust.

An explainer video can also be an option to consider if actual customer testimonials are not available. The more clearly a customer can visualize your offering(s), and their success, the easier it becomes to take the next step.

Send Something Tangible

Digital marketing should not be ignored in 2020, it is an important piece of the marketing landscape. However, tactile (tangible) experiences provide physical evidence. 

If you can give your potential customers something to read, hold, or hang on the fridge, you can instantly build more trust. Direct mail still provides this opportunity to reach out and touch someone, even if they are not actively looking for you. You can also build on the earlier suggestions by sending premiums or free samples (when feasible).

Regular Communication

We need to focus on building a rapport with our customers (prospective customers). The more positive experiences a customer has with our offering/brand, the more comfortable they will be expanding their relationship with us and sharing their experience with others.

The purpose of every communication, direct mail, or email, for example, does not have to be promotional in nature. Give your customer valuable information, share some positive news, let them know you are on the same side. This will help you and help others; while staying relevant, and building (positive) top of the mind brand name awareness.

Once you have a relationship built on trust, it is up to you to maintain it. Deliver what you have promised, solve problems promptly when they surface and be an advocate for your customer. 

Consider this, isn’t this how you would like to be treated? Why should your customers be any different?

Zairmail is the fastest and easiest way to send (postal) direct mail. We are always here to help. Please let us know what we can do to assist you.

covid

What’s the Best Business Approach During COVID-19?

Right now, for many businesses, it’s a time of survival, digging deep to keep things afloat or thinking of unique ways to diversify and ride the waves. You might have by now resolved those short-term struggles to some level. You have hopefully somewhat stabilized the situation, but perhaps you’re struggling to find a way to ensure the long-term success of your business. Maybe you’re asking, what now?

It goes without saying that some organizations will be harder hit. The travel industry is massively affected, whereas the food-delivery industry is doing very well at this time. If the current situation has left you feeling like you’re fighting a losing battle, it’s crucial not to make any fear-based decisions. Easier said than done, of course!

Amazon, Zoom, Netflix, Disney are all seeing sales growth. Any type of system, software, or services that support remote work or communication is up. Desktops and laptops for use at home are still moving briskly. Companies will have to help re-stock the shelves of your local supermarket. There are rays of sunlight showing against an otherwise gray economic backdrop. If you are not in one of those industries, what do you do…?

Use Crisis to Force Change

Over time some parts of a business can become stale or even toxic. However, fixing these issues when the business is still rolling along, can be like changing the tire on a moving vehicle. Times of crisis are often when we have the biggest opportunity to make changes.  A crisis can be a forcing function to bring about important change. We may have to re-think or re-tool our business anyway. We might have more time, and our stakeholders and potential business partners might be more flexible than otherwise. This is one of the best times to rethink business as usual and get some strategic deals done.

Focus on the Prize

On a golf outing long ago, I was faced with a difficult shot across a water hazard.  I pulled out an old ball and dropped it at the spot. My golfing companion, an old friend of mine and very successful executive in the transportation industry said, “what are you doing?” I replied, “8 times out of 10, this shot will go in the water, so why waste a good ball?” His reply to me, “don’t focus on the water, focus on the hole grasshopper. Use your best equipment to maximize your chances and make sure you stick it.”  I reflected long and hard on this lesson after pulling the ball out of the cup.

It is easy to fixate on failure in the face of challenges, especially those as far-reaching and disruptive as the COVID crisis. Rather than focus on all the things that can go wrong, which we should already know, focus on where we need to go and creative ways to get there. Put your best foot forward, use your most talented people, your best resources and make sure you put it on the green.

Take a Different Perspective

In order to take a new approach, you first need a new perspective. Could you use this time to help and support other individuals or other businesses? Maybe for your company, now isn’t a time to focus on profits but instead to build brand awareness as a side-effect of supporting your local community. 

Support Your Team

Now is a perfect time to show true leadership and keep morale up, even from a distance. It’s a worrying time for employees as well as employers, and now if possible, you can demonstrate your company values and respect for your staff members by leading forward. Spread positivity and reassurance but also be honest with staff members about your plans and ideas. Involve wider team members in brainstorming.

Remember Your Customers Needs

Just as things have changed for you, so have they changed for every single one of your customers. This means their needs have changed and so has buyer behavior. If we take the example of a local gym business. The customers of the gym still need to work out and stay healthy, but their needs have changed because they must fulfill this need from home. How could the gym better support this change in needs? A local gym could rent out equipment to gym members if they don’t cancel their membership. 

Keep Communicating

Arguably the most important thing of all is to keep the lines of communication open with your customers. You can do this via social media, email, or direct mail. The more personalized you can make the messaging, the better. Everybody appreciates being remembered, valued, and supported. This is especially true at worrying times. Using direct mail to achieve this gives you a chance to stand out amongst all of the digital noise going on right now. You can set-up a safe, contactless direct mail campaign very quickly with Zairmail, and have your message in the mail within 24-48 hours. 

What things should you be saying?

Let customers know how you can support them (if you can support them)

Explain any changes in the way you carry out a service or offer products

Share any special promotions that are valid during this time (perhaps a discount for online versions of previous in-person services). 

Communication is our area of expertise. If you would like to reach out to customers in an effective and speedy method, please get in touch. We are operating as usual and adhering to social distancing and safe approaches to carrying out business.

doors

What’s the Best Way to Reach Voters in the Mail?

The best practices associated with political campaigns have changed dramatically over the last decade. The emerging role of digital media is profound. Campaigns must embrace tools such as websites, email, social media, mobile, and more daily. The landscape has become much more technical and complex from a marketing standpoint.  Still, one thing that has not changed is the importance of direct mail (yes, good old USPS mail) in the campaign mix.

The US mail reaches every voter in America unencumbered by SPAM filters. 

The US mail has the potential to add legitimacy to any campaign. A campaign piece in the mail makes any candidate/cause “real” in the eyes of voters.

US mail has the ability to target voters by age, income, gender, party affiliation, and a hundred other attributes. It is possible for campaigns to target the exact voter they want to embrace and persuade. 

41% of Americans of all ages look forward to checking the mail each day (mail moment).

When using the mail, just as with digital tools, there are some things to consider.

The majority of cost with direct mail (~70%) is postage. We want to minimize the cost of postage, while still reaching our target voter, at the precise time required to influence their vote. With the rise in mail-in ballots, which have only become more prominent based on Corona quarantine rules, we need to reach voters early and often.

There are three basic types of postage we can use: First Class, Standard A (Marketing Mail), or EDDM (Every Door Direct Mail).

First Class mail is the most expensive form of postage and is usually associated with the fastest delivery times (3 days anywhere in the continental US is pretty common). If the USPS cannot deliver the document they will return it so the database can be updated. This is the class of mail most often associated with bills, statements, notices, and personal letters. Pre-sort discounts are available for larger mailers – to assist our political customers, every job that goes through Zairmail is pre-sorted for accuracy, deliverability, and postal discounts.

Standard A is usually less expensive than First Class mail. The savings usually runs ~$.10/piece. However, it takes a little longer for delivery (7 – 10 days in the US is common) and there is no return service if the piece is not deliverable.  If we can plan in advance, it often makes sense to use Standard A, and save on postage.

With campaign mail there is one more important benefit to consider. If campaign mail is sent using Standard A, and it is flagged when submitted, the USPS will treat it as time sensitive mail and prioritize it. That means faster delivery times, at lower cost to campaigns and candidates.

Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) is a program that allows campaigns to blanket entire region or neighborhood with an identical message. The campaign selects (postal) carrier routes, produces a campaign advertisement (usually a flyer or postcard), and delivers it to the post office. There is no addressing required. The USPS will deliver the campaign piece to every household on the carrier route(s) selected. This is very similar to the old “door hanger” campaign piece.

This approach can (greatly) reduce the cost of postage; however, the number of printed ads required is usually much greater, which increase printing costs. The formats available with EDDM are more limited and personalization is not possible. The information that is sent will also be available to every voter on the carrier route – there is no privacy or targeting.

Given these options, what form of postage should we choose? 

If you are reaching out with a personal communication to a close group of supporters (e.g. an invitation, a newsletter, a personal letter, …) then First Class postage can be an ideal choice. The quality of service is exceptional (predictable) and the touch can have a personal feel to it.

If you are trying to reach a larger group of targeted voters who may still be undecided then Standard A (campaign mail) is probably the way to go. The cost of postage is lower, campaigns receive priority delivery, and targeting/personalization is still possible. 

In the case of primary elections, where voters may be required to select a candidate based on party affiliation, there really is no reason to touch every voter – it only makes sense to touch voters who can support your cause. This can still hold true in a general election campaign. If you know that voters will not step across the aisle to vote for a candidate or cause, no matter what you have to say, then it is better not to exhaust your resources on them. The best bet is to focus on the voters that are most likely to support you.

Finally, if you are trying to reach a larger group of voters, regardless of party affiliation or demographic, and they align with a carrier route, then EDDM can make sense. However, it will need to be a generic message that plays well for every voter along the carrier route. 

We all want to get the biggest bang for our buck, and the best possible outcome for our cause.

Choosing the right form of postage can minimize the cost of putting ballots in the box.

We are currently offering a Free Zairmail Analysis of the most cost-effective mailing programs for your individual circumstances. So whether you’re a political candidate running for the vote, a new small business or a large established firm, we can advise the best approach tailored to you. Within this, we will look at EDDM, First Class, and Standard A as well as making the best suggestions for the type of mailing campaign that would work most effectively. There is never a one-size-fits-all when it comes to marketing and much less when we consider direct mail marketing specifically. 

If you choose Zairmail to support your campaign we can promise to give you that edge. Our pricing is the complete ‘in the mail’ price which includes, processing, printing, addressing, mailing, postage, and tracking. There are no other setup charges or hidden fees. If you are sending postcards, we apply a UV coating for no additional charge to give a real professional feel and prevent scuffing in the mail. 

If you can tell us exactly what you would like to mail, we would be happy to work up a quote for you. We also have a price match guarantee, so if you can send us an invoice or quote, we can work from that for you. This will allow you to get the quality and service of Zairmail at the best possible price.

bad-habits

Stop These Four Bad Business Habits in 2020

Bad habits lead to bad outcomes and the same can be said for business. These four bad habits could seriously be impacting your growth, so we’ve taken the time to highlight each one. 

Failing to Strategize

We often write about forecasting and business planning on our blog. In the past, we have shared a 3 part series on strategic planning and we really can’t emphasize enough just how important this is. If you’ve never done any form of strategic planning now is the time to change that! Failure to strategize is the equivalent of ‘winging it’ in business. Sometimes if luck is on your side things work out temporarily. For a sustainable business strategy and planning is key. 

The first step is analysing the previous business year’s performance and asking why things played out the way they did. The second step is doing the math! Looking at your sales and breaking this down into months or weeks. The final part is understanding patterns in your finances. You can read all about each step in our guides as linked above. 

No Contingency Plan

2020 is proving to be one of the most challenging years yet, not just for businesses but for all of us around the world. Although this is a very extreme example, unforeseen circumstances must be extenuated as must realistically possible for business survival. In order to do this we need to forecast all eventualities. This is where strategy comes in to play again. In order to survive a rocky patch of business we need multiple contingency plans in place. 

It’s a bit like doomsday prepping but for business! If you were to lose your main supplier what plans do you have in place? If the cost of manufacturing increased substantially what would you do? There are so many possible variations and outcomes that could apply to your organization you can’t create too many contingency plans. The more you have, the more layers of protection you have. 

Not Delegating

When we’re busy running our companies it’s easy to get caught up in all the day-to-day menial tasks that don’t contribute to growth. As the owner or director of a business we must focus on opportunities for growth, growing business and building sustainability. Often this can be changed by simply delegating tasks to employees or outsourcing elements that eat into your precious time. Opportunities for growth are missed when we are consumed by daily tasks. If you’re too busy working in the business you can’t work on the business.

A Narrow Marketing Reach

If you don’t take a multi-channel approach to marketing you could be missing out on thousands or even millions of new customers. 
A multi-channel marketing approach is usually always best. Firstly, you can cast a wider net initially if you use multiple methods to reach customers (email, search, postal mail etc,.). Reaching customers where they prefer to receive information and where they respond best. Secondly, you can create a funnel to build on initial brand awareness and take a customer through the buying journey. For example, you might use a piece of direct postal mail to pull in the recipient. This could take them to your website, but you might later hit them with a remarketing advert on social media or a follow-up email marketing campaign. The type of funnel best for your business will depend on the product/service. A considered purchase, for example, might involve more channels and a longer process than a low-ticket sale.

build

How to Build a Business With Direct Mail in 2020

There are some modern marketers who have never considered postal direct mail.  This is often because digital marketing is seen as less expensive and more immediate.

Direct mail, email, search engine marketing, print ads, and even water closet media, are all forms of advertising.  They are tools that we can use to interrupt, inform, persuade, and call to action. We need to understand the capabilities and limitations for each of our tools to select the best one for the job.

Digital marketing can be a very effective tool for maintaining a rapport once you have a relationship with a current or potential customer. It can also be extremely effective if a prospective customer is actively searching for the product or service you sell. 

However, if you need to find a new customer, especially if they are not actively searching for your product/service (they may not even know it exists), then direct mail has several distinct advantages.

Direct mail is active communication. The customer does not have to look for it, it is delivered to them.  

The delivery (open) rates are close to 100% – especially for postcards. Compare that with delivery rates for email which can be less than 30%.  A client can’t open or act on a message they don’t even receive.

Direct mail can reach every household and business in America. The US Postal Service is changed with making sure your mail is delivered.  

The average American has 2.5 email addresses. This can include a work address and a personal address.  Consumers quite often have multiple personal email addresses. They may get one from their Internet provider, one from their smartphone provider, and email accounts are still free from Google, Microsoft, Yahoo!, and many others.  How will you know which address to use?

Demographics are very well defined for direct mail prospects. Reaching the right person, with exactly the right message, is the key to producing results.

If we want to find the mailing address for renters in Union County, Oregon, with an income of more than $24,000/year, with at least two children in the home, that list is available. We might even be able to tell what type of car they own or how they voted in the last election.  Of course, we have all seen, there is lots of data online. There has been no shortage of high profile data breaches over the last several years. However, it is still a challenge to link this data to a specific electronic delivery address.

Sharpening your tools.  Direct mail is not all created equal.  

The mail format you choose should depend on your goals.  A postcard can powerfully deliver an immediate message.  It is like a mini-billboard in the mail. Postcards are designed to stand out, grab attention with an eye-catching visual, and secure a spot on the fridge!  Direct mail is kept for an average of 17 days, so staking out a spot on the most popular appliance in the house is a solid accomplishment.

A snap-pack, also known as a pressure-sealed mailer, is an impossible to resist format when used to reach consumers.  This package requires the recipient to peel off the edges in order to open it, just like they might open a paycheck or PIN number. Snap-packs stand out in the mail because they are not as common, and they are (mentally) linked to a specific type of mail that people may have received in the past.  The sender can put private information for the recipient on the inside and add teaser copy on the outside.

A standard letter, or course, is another good format to consider.  A letter allows the sender to include more detailed information and it all remains private. The envelope used can be a double windows, single window, or closed face (no window). A letter in a double window envelope looks just like a bill, so most recipients will open it, just to make sure. This gives the sender the open they need to tell their story (in detail, if required).

Use a Reliable Partner

Zairmail has been helping organizations just like yours, deliver winning direct mail campaigns, for over two decades. Zairmail has a complete automated platform that allows customers to upload their document, upload their list, and approve a proof in real-time. That is all there is to it, Zairmail takes it from there.  The mail is printed, inserted, addressed, mailed, and tracked.

Zairmail can also help with marketing advice, campaign design, or direct mail lists.  Zairmail provides free postcard templates, access to thousands of specialized mailing lists, and specialized online software to automate your sales team.

The process is faster, easier, less expensive – and stress (virus) free.

Zairmail is your special delivery!

january

Break Through The January Business Blues

We discovered some reassuring news…the January blues are a real thing! If you’re in a January slump, you’re quite possibly not imagining it! The blues don’t just hit us as employees heading back to work, they can also strike business owners too! SO if you’re reading this feeling a bit lost, unsure of where to focus your attention this January, we have some tips. 

Make a Plan

Use these last few days of January to sit down and make a plan of action for 2020. It doesn’t need to be anything extensive, it just needs to give you that guidance and direction. Having this can really push you off to a good start. Last year we shared a four-part series of articles on strategic planning. If you feel it’s time you created a real strategy these articles are worth a read. Start with the first in the series, Strategic Planning For Business Owners.

Try Something New

Make 2020 the year you try something new for the business. Once again, this doesn’t need to be anything drastic, we’re not suggesting you start offering new products or change your branding (unless this is needed). Could you tweak promotional messaging or try a new marketing channel? 

One overlooked area of marketing in our now very digital world is still direct mail. If you’ve previously ruled out this channel, or just never considered it, we hope to convince you otherwise!

  • On average direct mail is kept for 17 days
  • 60% of people say that mail keeps products/services at the top of their mind
  • 70% of Americans say mail is more personal than the internet

Also, contrary to popular belief, direct mail can happen FAST if you need it to. It’s all about selecting the right company to partner with. That’s where we step it. We can get your mail out the same or following business day. You can submit orders 24/7 and we will work round the clock to meet your order. It doesn’t matter what size your order is, we take orders of all sizes. Many of the features we offer would cost a premium elsewhere, but we don’t charge extra for excellent service. It’s just who we are! 

Reconnect

The holidays are a time of connection, so when January hits it’s easy to feel disconnected and forget that just a few weeks ago everything was in full swing. For a seasonal business this is especially true. If things tend to quiet down at the start of the new year, use this time at month end to reconnect with customers. Remind them what is on the way, get them excited about future offers or just stay relevant. Brand awareness is more important than ever before because the competition is so high.

Another major reason for the January blues is post-December exhaustion. Yes, that’s right, businesses can also become exhausted and it usually shows! This brings us back to tip number 2, trying something new to break the rut. Alternatively, it might actually be time to strip back to basics and focus on a few golden projects rather than trying to master every funnel and meet every demand. Quality of quantity. 

2020

New Year Assessing What Did & Didn’t Work

Now as 2020 is officially underway it’s the optimal time to look back over the past year and assess what did and didn’t work. This is a crucial part of business growth; giving you the ability to successfully move forward. However, you should take this a step further and investigate why something worked so well, or why something failed. To succeed you must be adaptive and reactive and to be those things you must understand the bigger picture. 

Starting Point

You don’t have to be a professional strategist to carry out an assessment of your business. The best place to start is by writing down your overall thoughts on the previous year. You can do this casually as if someone has asked you, ‘how was business last year?’ You just need to get a good feel for where your business is at and whether it met your expectations for 2019. Once you’ve done this you should start by listing your top projects/clients/sales/campaigns of the year. Depending on the nature of your organization and the frequency of projects, this could be your top three campaigns, or your top 20.

Don’t Shy Away from the Numbers

Looking at the finances can sometimes feel like a mission, but as business owners, it’s a crucial part of planning.  Once again, start with the basics, were you up, down or flat for the year? What does your average order size look like?  What products are selling and which products are not?

After you’ve got this basic level of understanding, look to the specifics. Are there any trends?  Specific types of customers? Specific times of year that are better than others? Throughout this process, you must always ask ‘why’. We have to keep asking why, until we are sure we understand all the numbers. The “why” is often much more telling than the “what”…

Core Competencies

The next step is to list your core competencies, any type of skill or resource that gives you a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Take this further still and list only those areas that allow for a SUSTAINABLE strategic advantage. Can your current core competencies stand the test of time? If not can you evolve and develop them as your business grows. Should this be part of your 2020 plan?

Primary Offerings

What do you have in the pipeline so far in terms of primary offerings? A timeline can be a useful way to map out any campaigns or focuses throughout the year. If you find this too overwhelming or you’re a smaller business you might prefer to break this down into quarters and focus just on the next 3 months only. The main things you need to know are how you intend to split and use a budget, plus the timing of each element. 

Of course, you must then plan for how you intend to get attention to your primary offerings. Don’t be fooled by thinking just because you have the best offer customers will flock to you organically. A great marketing campaign can pull customers to competitor offers if it makes things more convenient or delivers a harder-hitting message. Don’t simply hope that customers will find you by ‘word of mouth’. Help them to discover your brand.

Sales will always improve with regular customer contact. It helps to ensure you stay the brand in mind when customers are ready to purchase. This is why there is a lot of power in building brand awareness, weeks, months or even years before an intended purchase. People might not always respond to every offer you send right there and then. You often reap the rewards longterm from brand awareness campaigns.

 

 

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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