“Transpromo.” “Precision marketing.” Whatever you choose to call it, more and more experts say that mail optimization techniques are a boon for direct marketers. Here, experts Sandra Zoratti of InfoPrint Solutions and Don Mathis of Fiserv share tales from the trenches … and offer some advice.
Don’t be a stranger
Toss the generics. “Precision marketing is all about using data to deliver the right message to the right person at the right time,” says Mathis.
If you’re a veterinarian, delivering the right message means addressing your mail correspondence “to the owner of Sadie the Dog” and a photo of the same breed of pet as Sadie.
Remind the owner of Sadie’s dental exam and back it up with a time-sensitive coupon for a discount.
“By making it personal and relevant to me, then your return is going to jump up 15–20 percent or better,” Mathis says.
Companies today have tons of data on their customers, so make and save money by leveraging that information.
According to a CMO Council Report, 73 percent of customers said they had received promotional offers on products they already had purchased from companies. Irrelevant correspondence costs you money and ticks off customers.
“Don’t make an offer of a college loan to someone who doesn’t have kids,” says Mathis. “It’s a waste of space and possibly a detractor from the pleasant experience.”
Out with the inserts
Today’s consumers are positively allergic to inserts.
InfoPrint Solutions issued a study via Zoomerang Online Surveys & Polls, and a whopping 86 percent of respondents said they had never purchased a product from inserts stuffed inside mailers.
“Inserts are absolutely ineffective,” says Zoratti. “This statistic should serve as a reality check for those companies still implementing this tactic.”
Use color and graphics …
Working with the cable company CSG Systems, InfoPrint Solutions conducted a pilot where it mailed out 50,000 color statements and another 50,000 monochrome statements.
“The color statement produced a 27-percent uptick in response rate to the promotion vs. the traditional black and white document,” Zoratti says.
“The surprise ‘aha’ was that 50 percent of the recipients of the color statement responded within the first two weeks. Only two percent of the black and white responded in the first two weeks. That demonstrates the value that color can provide.”
… but sparingly:
Color is great for capturing attention and enhancing the statement experience, but use discretion.
Mathis advises utilizing color only for “critical things” like your logo, section borders and your featured promotion on a mailing statement.
“You can over-utilize graphics and color, and create confusion instead of clarity,” says Mathis.
Pimp your catalog
While conducting a survey of a magazine’s subscriber base, Zoratti solicited consumer comments regarding content that subscribers wanted to receive. InfoPrint Solutions created 70,000 customized magazine covers based on the responses.
The resulting publications featured personalized graphics and advertising. “We learned that when we customized the advertising, consumers say they have a much higher probability to respond to that advertisement,” Zoratti says.
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