Synchronizing digital and direct mail marketing is the way to outpace the competition today.
“Do you hear me, loud and clear?” Grammar aside (should be loudly and clearly) everyone is familiar with this question, probably since Kindergarten. When we want to be certain we are heard and understood and we happen to be in positions of authority such as that of a teacher or a drill sergeant, we can bark that firm question at our underlings. Typically, all it takes is a scan of the room and we can tell exactly who among them is getting the message and who has been dismissing whatever call to action may have been issued at that particular moment.
If you are a business owner, it would be easy if you could gather your current and potential audience into a room, get a bullhorn and ask them boldly if they hear your call to action “loud and clear” and even easier if you could have each respond immediately and favorably. But we do not yell at those we hope to secure and keep as clients (unless we run fitness boot camps) so we need to find a way to unify your brand voice and connect ALL marketing channels into a synchronized selling machine.
Parris Frisby, owner of Minuteman Press in Akron, Ohio, advises his clients well when it comes to properly targeting their audiences in a way that helps their message and their call to action resonate with them enough to respond. He talks about the need to combine direct and email marketing as part of an integrated marketing approach, saying, “Direct Mail and Email Marketing are both needed to help grow your business. They can be used together as a marketing campaign or separately to target existing customers vs. new potential customers. We do very well with email marketing to current customers or those who haven’t ordered in while. We offer promotions within the email blasts, but most of the time it is used to just remind customers that we are still here and remind them of our products and services. We may have a promotion for banners and signs and end up getting an order for a company’s letterhead and envelopes.”
Parris and his team put direct mail to work as an example to current and potential clients of the high quality work they offer. Direct mail is efficient and gets the job done for all businesses, including the modern printing industry leader, Minuteman Press. Parris says, “Direct Mail can be used the same way with current customers that are within our database as well as targeted potential customers that have never heard of Minuteman Press and have not yet ordered. This way they can see the quality of our printing and realize that we can offer the same mailing service to them to promote their own businesses.”
Email is the strongest marketing channel available now? No.
It seems each year generates new studies that argue in favor of email marketing and it does have some credence. You can contact people quickly and everyone has their nose to their smartphones, so it seems. Yet, the same ease and efficiency that allows you to hit send and reach people so quickly is part of the problem when it comes to making sure your call to action is heard “loud and clear”. Email marketing is a congested jam of competition, all fighting for the same attention. It is losing steam as a primary way to make an impact that results in returns. However, it has its use as a compliment to print marketing, especially since it is cost-effective and not time-consuming to align with the rest of your campaign.
Those promoting products and services through direct mail, however, discover with efficiencies such as EDDM (Every Door Direct Mail) and variable data printing, it is possible to reduce costs, customize their message and properly track returns. And if you take a peek into your email inbox right now, it is probably not at “0” as many of us have dozens, if not hundreds of emails awaiting our attention. In fact, a study by MailChimp on email benchmarks reveals that companies see average open rates that are below 20%. Such is not the case with the old-fashioned mailbox.
“You can’t unsubscribe from a mail campaign or delete a postcard from your mailbox. They’re going to see it.” Keith Cawley, Minuteman Press International Regional Vice President located in Atlanta, Georgia
As if to back-up the words of Keith Cawley, data from the U.S. Postal Service reveals that 98% of people check their mail on a daily basis. Further, people are excited to sort through their physical mail (unlike email) as Epsilon did a study that revealed an impressive 77% of us sort through our mail from our mailboxes as soon as we get it.
Guess what the payoff is when you consult with a marketing specialist and synchronize your off and online efforts? Your message and your call to action will be heard “loud and clear!”
People can be lazy; many of us will admit that. Your call to action needs to spell out all the fantastic things they will get if they get on the phone with you or visit you online or at your location. You must also give explicit instructions on exactly how easy it is to get the good stuff from you they didn’t realize they needed. It is at this point that a lot of people make mistakes because it is not their field. Partnering with a marketing specialist who listens to you can help identify and isolate your call to action so it can be broadcast “loud and clear”.
Chris Jutt, RVP – Pacific Northwest Region, Minuteman Press International, offers 2 tips to make sure your calls to action are heard loud and clear:
1. Make no moves until you HAVE a call to action: Did you go on about your new product, print a full color piece, add a phone number and think you could get new clients on charm alone? You are mistaken. Remember, people need motivation and your headshot and phone number are not enough to qualify as a call to action. SHOW them how to place an order, precisely what they will get and create a sense of urgency by putting a time limit on the offer. If you do not do these things, you may never speak to them. Boost your call to action with reminders to “order now” on the bottom of the printed pieces and on any digital communications.
2. Kill the clutter: It’s great if you have two dozen great products to offer with multiple order combinations and accompanying services from which to choose, but your audience will snooze or scratch their heads and neither of those is good. They will not appreciate the confusion about which option is their best one and in frustration, they will lay your offer down or put it in the trash.
There is a study that was conducted using a California gourmet market and their offering of two assortments of jams, one a large assortment, the second a smaller assortment from which to choose (Sheena Iyengar, a professor of business at Columbia University). 60% of their customers did visit the large assortment table and 40% went to the smaller one, but a healthy 30% of the ones who tried samples from the small assortment went on to make a purchase. Only 3% of those facing a large selection went on to buy a jar of jam.
A professional marketing specialist knows how to help you design just the right piece with a clean selection and a clear call to action.
Companies with big marketing budgets might be able to afford the waste of blanketing the area with untargeted promotional assaults and many do. However, this is why inboxes and other ads are so congested. It is wise to get the right professional help so you to concentrate on the exact channels, the perfect design and excellent quality needed to get the attention of your audience, specifically.
Kathy Hunter, owner of Minuteman Press in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, models prudent integrated marketing choices that are designed to deliver a clear call to action to just the right people. Her B2B industry clients take notice and follow suit. She says, “We use both. We feel that each supports the other in name recognition. All marketing efforts are a consistent matter of planting seeds; the more we plant, the more we grow.”
Everyone knows first impressions matter, but they must be sustained and strengthened over time to make a positive impact on your business. Interconnectivity between marketing channels projects your brand consistently and with precision, right in front of those who may or may not have known they really need you for particular products and services.
Kathy Hunter knows this and is always thinking on behalf of clients of her Minuteman Press franchise in Wauwatosa, WI when she designs and implements her own campaigns. She concludes, “The way that we use integrated marketing to help our franchise grow also serves as an example to show our existing customers that we are always looking to the next product or technology to serve them better.”
For more information on Minuteman Press graphic design, marketing, printing, and promotional products and services, visit www.minutemanpress.com
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