Anyone working in the field of direct marketing and direct mail today has a feeling where things are headed: Smarter targeting, more data-driven communication and increased personalization. Yes, the technology and the data are better than ever, but prospects now demand such treatment if they are going to respond to your mail.
The most complete library of direct mail, Target Marketing Group's Who's Mailing What! Archive, continually monitors the use of premiums. Comparing the first quarter of the last four years reveals that despite the budget crunches many direct mail programs have faced during the overall economic slowdown, the use of premiums has not shrunk. And compared to 2007, when the economy was chugging along, the tactic has actually increased by 15 percent.
Here's a question for marketers: If three-quarters of you acknowledge using tools for personalizing offers is a priority, and four in five of you say it's important to increase Web site visitor value through compelling product and content offers, why are only half of you using personalization tools?
Times are tough for anything in this economy, including surveys and its authors, says the recent 7 Habits of Highly Successful Surveys whitepaper from Vovici, a survey software company. Phone surveys don't get the responses they once did, as people often assume the Do Not Call list exempts them from surveys (it doesn't) and many households only use cell phones (which can't be called in an automated fashion because of U.S. law).
The reality that many direct marketers face today is smaller budgets for their direct mail campaigns. Yet clients don't want to see response rates suffer—and in some cases, they are desperate to see response increase.
When you have a niche service for a niche audience, not to mention a niche marketing budget, more traditional marketing vehicles don’t always fit the job. In the case of LimoLiner, a luxury coach service for business executives and consumers traveling between Boston, Hartford, Conn., and New York, participating in online charity auctions not only delivers the right demographics, but also introduces the brand via a positive connection—helping prospects and customers support a worthy cause.
According to a recent comScore report, traffic to free online gaming sites grew by 27 percent in 2008, and time spent playing games increased by 42 percent. It's no secret that the role of online games is growing, and marketers understand that games are no longer a marketing afterthought, but rather an integrated part of an entire campaign.
Every day, it seems harder to get consumers to respond, and with marketing budgets continually getting slashed, offering premiums can seem like a dicey proposition. But Carolyn Goodman, managing partner and president of Goodman Marketing Partners, a San Rafael, Calif.-based direct marketing company, says premiums can provide an added boost to response. “I think today’s consumer is less willing to give you something for nothing,” she says.
KCSM FM is so jazzed its member retention drive struck the right chord with donors that the station plans to sing the same tune for at least the next year.
First used in the publishing world, the "publisher's note" or "publisher's letter" was added to a direct mail package that already included a sales letter, often from the magazine's editor. Usually on the small size, both in length and paper size, and signed by the publisher, it came to be known as the "lift letter" because it lifted (increased) response.