Tom Kubinski www.shapco.com
This issue ties in quite nicely with the January 2009 issue, "Why Print? (Especially During a Down Market)" - make sure to take a moment to review that column if you hadn't gotten to it yet. (I just know it was one of your New Year's resolutions..."Monthly MUST READS are TK's KORNERS!")
2009 is likely to be a year of reckoning. In the last year, we've seen several important direct marketing production technologies reach critical mass: VDP-variable data personalization, Web-to-Print, Cross-Media Marketing, Personalized URL's (PURLS), Micro-Web sites and Automated Trigger Response, to cite the most obvious.
Today, these are the essentials of any solid direct marketing program. In short, you can't (or shouldn't) do business without them.
What else is cooking? Well, believe it or not, direct marketers are in for an even more complex marketing stew than any yet brewed. Direct marketing suppliers have given customers a lot of choices, and they love it. They're sure to demand even more.
Yes, there is a lot to know and here's what direct marketing managers need to know right now to stay ahead of the curve.
First, deliver more sophisticated mailing know-how. For any high-volume mailer who wants an automation discount, the new Intelligent Mail Barcode from the U.S. Postal Service will be going into effect in May 2009. Every direct mailer will need to be on board with Intelligent Mail, but you can bet "smart" mailers are going to turn this into marketing magic. Not only can marketers now communicate very personally with current and prospective customers, they know exactly when they've received the offers.
There's more. The postal service's rigorous new "Move Update" requirements is already in effect beginning November 2008 for Pre-Sort Standard and increased the Move Update frequency minimum from 185 days to 95 days prior to date of mailing for Pre-Sort 1st Class Mail. By doing this, some of our customers have seen between 5-10% or more savings, due to move updates reducing the amount of printing and postage costs.
Finally, look to the co-horts; drop shipping to EMC or SCS facilities, co-palletization and commingling. These ensure that you're getting the best postal rates possible. Make sure your mailer is approved for these services where necessary. See TK's Korner In House Mailing Capabilities and Postal Increases, Changes and Mailing Requirements issues.
Food for thought -
Average Minds Discuss Events,
Small minds discuss people."
Admiral Hyman Rickover (1900-1986) U.S. Navy
Now, in addition to high-tech personalization options and save-every-penny mailings, direct marketers will have to wrestle with several new technologies that may lead their marketing programs in new directions.
*Mobile Phone Marketing It's tricky and it's targeted, but if you know what you're doing, it can work.
Print isn't dead by any means, but it will become thinner and greener, and that means fewer but far more personal pieces. If you haven't put variable data printing into your direct mail program, you need to! Using new Variable Data Printing (VDP) and One-To-One messaging techniques, you can personalize each and every piece of your print campaign, right down to the specific photos you use and every word of your pitch. "Did someone say Relationship Building?"
The more you individualize print, the more individuals you'll inspire.
It can be costly, but the reward can be a dramatically improved ROI.A major publisher boosted return rates on a direct mail package by 40%
In an Interquest report, response rates for customized color direct mail campaigns ranged from 6% TO AS HIGH AS 75%.
"Improved Response Rates with Digital Printing"
How to Increase Response:
Variable Data Results:
*On average, response rates were 5.6 TIMES HIGHER for customized color versions vs. simple mail merge applications.
Custom Publishing Review Found that of people surveyed -
They're believers because print is the credible medium.
NOTE: Sexton Printing has been doing VDP printing for quite some time and can assist you with this venture.
*PURL's Earlier this year, researcher and consultant Lee Gallagher posted to Marktingproofs.com that global giant International Data Corporation was reporting a 28% adoption rate to personalized URLs. "I believe that the early adopters of personalized URLs will end out ahead of the gang if they start now," he said. I agree. Get with a PURL production partner who can tell you what to do and start harvesting.
NOTE: Sexton Printing can also assist you with this venture with our newest division called, Sexton Strategic.
While 2009 is all about new forms of marketing, Automated Responses will be the foundation. The best campaigns anticipate, embrace and predict possibilities, then seamlessly direct the results into appropriate channels. Did your member or prospect request more information? It's ready to go out the door. Did a registration or product order come in? You send a thank-you note, of course, but you also are prepared with a cross-sell or up-sell.
NOTE: Sexton Printing can assist you here again, with, Sexton Strategic.
*Digital Publications The catalog industry made lemonade out of bitter postage-rate hikes when they made digital catalogs part of the new mix. These fully searchable, link-heavy, page-turner PDF's are popping up everywhere. Don't give up on print but keep in mind what your target audience is used to receiving, and need to receive in order to feel comfortable about placing orders. Otherwise, you may lose out. Some love to order online, but feel more comfortable actually seeing it printed on paper first.
Remember that New Year's resolution? January 2009 issue, "Why Print? (Especially During a Down Market)" gives you the Top 10 Reasons to Print - Print is for keeps, it's portable, drives higher ROI, beautiful, plays well with others, buyers seek print, it's credible, puts them in control, it's personal, it's everywhere.
*Video as a direct marketing tool Whether they are short videos posted on your Web site, YouTube viral videos, instructional videos to accompany product sales, or something none of us has thought of yet, video is here. Try to let go of assumptions about what works. For example, webinars heated up in the last quarter of 2008, but have you ever sat through a webinar - I mean all the way through? This technology is still finding its sea legs...
MEN...For your own safety and well-being, please review this YouTube video PRIOR to Valentine's Day...IMPORTANT!
In short, when direct mail was your only option, direct marketers could confine their creativity to the mail package itself. Far more is required today. It's your job now to think about direct marketing as a huge toolbox for building customers. And it's a toolbox full of some old tools and a lot of new ones.
Successful marketers are using all three outlets below to maximize their ROI's.
Buyers seek print. Consumers seek print when they're ready to buy. That's a fact supported by a study done by The Direct Marketing Association. Scoring the primary channels for Generating Orders:
Percent of sales by channels also showed Prints Pulling Power:
Print doesn't have to be the only medium you use. But you most definitely should consider Print whenever you want to Persuade, Inform or Entertain. Each medium connects with a different target audience in different ways and can work well together.
Portions of this issue were obtained from:
The Print Council - a business institute that explores the persuasive power of print
The Rochester Institute of Technology
Sappi's book "Life With Print"
Retail Advertising & Marketing Association
Referrals are greatly appreciated, if you know someone I could help, or who might like to receive TK's Korner, please let me know.
Take care and have a great day!
You may also want to see the following TK's Korner issues -
22 Immutable Laws of Branding
Creative Coating Techniques
Picking the Right Paper
Paper Mill Tour-Coated Papers
Paper Mill Tour-Uncoated Papers
Read worldwide throughout the many countries listed below -
Selected portions reprinted in Print & Media Buyer, a national magazine for the print industry (Search for Tom Kubinski).
Print & Media Buyer Magazine, Winter issue 2007
Below, please find a PODi case study of nationally recognized campaign plus 3 issues that have been published in a National magazine.