Print Production Spotlight: Defining Print’s Role in Modern Direct Marketing
A recent lab test dramatically boosted enrollment in Miami University of Ohio's honors program. In the test, conducted jointly with direct marketing provider b+p+t communication solutions, nearly identical multimedia campaigns using direct mail, PURLs and email were sent to two groups of 20,000 randomly selected prospective students. One group's campaign applied relevant content based on students' interests, while the control piece limited personalization to basics, such as name and address.
The data-driven campaign generated a 1,466 percent greater response rate than the control and a 6,000 percent increase in targets converting to prospects. Seventy-six percent of PURL visitors had received the personalized mailer. Campus visits increased by 32 percent over the previous year, reaching capacity and thereby shutting down promotions early. The incoming class size was 31 percent larger than the school's goal, and 90.5 percent of the enrollees had received the data-driven mailer.
Results like these have convinced many enterprises to include print in multichannel marketing. Universal Pictures puts most of its budget into broadcast, but "Print is seeing a resurgence since digital [printing] came into play," says Doug Neil, senior vice president, Digital Marketing, Universal Pictures. "There are touch points with consumers in all different media. We're making sure all our touch points are covered."
Driving Better Responses
One reason direct mail makes such strong contributions to multi-media campaigns is that today's more relevant, personalized print drives better response rates than the static and "Dear Frank" personalized pieces of the past. Where average direct-mail response rates long hovered at about 1 percent, the 2010 DMA Response Rate Trend Report found letter-size envelopes generated on average a 3.42 percent response rate for a house list and 1.38 percent for prospects.
And, contrary to the popular belief that direct mail is tossed directly into the wastebasket, eight out of 10 households reported that they read or scan direct mail received at home in the 2010 U.S. Postal Services Household Diary Study on 2009.