Email Marketing Challenges Solved by Direct Mail

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Those paying attention to trends in inbound and outbound marketing have caught wind of direct mail’s recent spike in popularity. Goldman Sachs recently devoted $25 million to the integration of direct mail in its email-centered automated advertising platforms.  Furthermore, the popular email marketing platform MailChimp, debuted a new service that empowers people to design and even mail their own postcards with minimal effort. These are just some of the examples of ways in which the marketing landscape is rapidly changing.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is highly effective if used in the proper fashion.  The challenge lies in establishing a legitimate email list and designing emails for distribution in mass quantity with minimal or no unit cost.  Ideally, email marketing messages will be centered on target customers’ buying habits, demographics and behaviors. As long as the message is relevant and presented in a somewhat artful manner, it will generate a response.  However, those who have an over-reliance on any one single marketing channel run the risk of tunnel vision that ultimately hampers sales.

How Direct Mail Solves Email Marketing problems: Email Fatigue

If you are on a mailing list, you know what it is like to grow tired of reading the same old messages over and over again.  The answer to this conundrum is for service/product providers to incorporate direct mail with email marketing. Direct mail steps can be included in advertising automation programs to provide a fully personalized message to target prospects and current customers.

Tackling the Problem of Unsubscribes

There is a good chance your emails will catch some recipients at a point in time at which they are excessively busy.  These irritated clients will likely unsubscribe if they continue to receive your messages amidst hectic workdays. The answer is to establish a direct mail based drip advertising push that keeps your business on the minds of target clients.  If the customer has a lengthy sales cycle, a quarterly transmission might prove acceptable. However, if the sales cycles are comparably short, consider transmitting large postcards on a monthly basis or even mixing things up with a more involved mailing.

The Battle for the Inbox

An email that is not read in the first couple hours probably won’t be read at all.  An even worse outcome is Gmail redirecting the email to the often-neglected Promotions folder.  Furthermore, it is challenging to distinguish a brand through email as the medium is inherently limited by a couple text boxes.  The best approach to overcoming these problems is to transmit direct mailers to marketing lists.

Embrace the Challenge of Building Your Email List

Do not shy away from email marketing out of a fear that you will never assemble an expansive email list.  You will build a solid email list in due time. It will help to use direct mail as the initial contact point for lead generation.  Use direct mail to ramp up brand awareness and warm those leads prior to a sales call and/or unique offer that steers leads to your landing page.  Once leads arrive at the landing page, have them enter their email address that is added directly to your email list.

The Latest Email Design Trends

Direct mail marketing has quickly become a highly effective means of maintaining a rapport with interested clients.  The design of your emails matters just as much, if not more, than the actual content. Find the right mix of design and content and it won’t be long until your direct mail marketing campaign generates real results.  Let’s take a look at the importance of using email as a direct form of outreach and the latest email design trends.

The Importance of Email Marketing

Email marketing is now considered an incredibly valuable marketing channel.  A list of legitimate email addresses is worth good money. After all, just about everyone has an email address in 2019.  More importantly, a good number of people check their email obsessively. In some cases, all it takes is clicking “send” on an email list to connect with upwards of tens of millions of people.  However, if the emails are not properly designed and informative, they will not prove effective. It is up to you to present a visually appealing combination of images and text to keep readers interested and coming back for more as time progresses.

Consider the use of Illustrations and Other Artwork

More and more email marketers are incorporating graphics and illustrations in their emails.  The careful use of images and color makes these messages that much more aesthetically appealing and indelible in the mind’s eye.  Everything from cartoons to mascots and illustrations are now being used to engage audiences and position the company as sympathetic to the human condition.  If you can’t come up with ideas for your email design, consider outsourcing the work to a graphic designer or another visual artist.

Shareability

Social sharing is all the rage these days.  The best email marketing campaigns allow for the sharing of specific sections.  Include sharing icons or lines in the midst of your emails to facilitate sharing.  This elevated user agency will keep the audience that much more engaged while helping spread the word about your expertise and services.

Mind Your Logo

Pay close attention to the manner in which your business logo is featured in your email marketing materials.  The logo design should be positioned at the top portion of the email as well as the bottom. Include your email signature toward the bottom by the logo.  Furthermore, it will help to create a unified theme by featuring the logo colors in other areas of the email for visual uniformity.

Request Feedback

A trend is emerging in which readers are directly asked to respond toward the end of emails and other marketing materials.  Requesting feedback is an efficient means of gauging the audience’s response to the marketing message.

Integrate Social Media With Care

It was not long ago when social media page buttons were lined up like ducks in a row at the bottom of emails and web pages.  Nowadays, designers are finding creative ways to implement social media icons. Consider enlarging some such buttons, display them as vibrating or presenting them in another creative manner to capture the audience’s attention.

Be Careful When Positioning the CTA Button

The CTA button should jive with the brand in terms of color and size.  Position this button toward the center of the page so it can be seen and clicked with ease.  Ideally, your CTA will be positioned above the fold, meaning in the middle portion of the top half of the page.

Keep an Open Mind as new Trends Emerge

Email marketing will continue to evolve in the months and years ahead.  As an example, interactive emails seem to be the new wave. This style of email is enjoyable, engaging and memorable.  Interactive emails feature everything from surveys to images, the option to purchase within emails, the ability to perform queries with built-in search bars and so much more.  Remain open to similar advancements and the investment you make in email marketing will pay big dividends.

Automotive Direct Mail vs. Email: Which is Best for Your Marketing Campaign?

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In the beginning, there was mail…

And the mail was good. Letter and post delivery has a centuries-long history. For much of the last 300 years, it’s been the main, and perhaps most efficient way for people to communicate with each other over long distances. Love letters, packages, bad news, catalogs, job applications, and so many other things were passed from delivery person to depot to station and back again to whomever it was addressed. For many who lived in rural and remote areas, mail was a way to reach out to the world and to get the things that weren’t readily available in the world around them.

But then came the information age.

Then, in the late 20th century, there was email. Email was first a means of electronic communication among the few, often within the same network or institution. Then came the digital age, household Internet, and free email services. Now, almost everyone has at least one email address.

Email is nearly instantaneous. It’s cheap, and for most recipients, it doesn’t cost a thing. An email to your co-worker in the next office takes just as long as to the office in London or Shanghai. 3 words or 3000, pictures, attachments, and the like can zip through space and time.

So, why would anyone still use snail mail?

Email never actually replaced snail mail.

Email can never be tangible. It can’t be glossy or satin, or brightly colored. It can’t be seen peeking out of the mailbox. It can’t be held in the hand, opened, and unfolded. It can’t contain a little gift, or a hand-signed letter. There’s nothing crisp and complete about email; unlike a letter, if there’s something to open in an email, it needs a virus scan first. No one wants to see the black-on-white text of your emails, but that letter with the cool graphics? The postal carrier, your roommate, your significant other, and whoever else can pick it up and look at it.

Email marketing hasn’t replaced direct mail, either.

In fact, direct mail marketing is seeing a quiet Renaissance. This may seem counterintuitive: after all, who reads mail anymore? Everyone who opens their mailbox reads some part of a single direct mail piece, even if it’s just the hook line the envelope before they throw it out. That is a visual-tactile sensory that will stay with the reader, an experience that email just can’t mimic.

On the other hand, does anyone actually go through their spam folder anymore? And how many times have you unsubscribed to an email list simply because you received too many emails?

Sure, email can be sent directly to someone important. If you want to reach the CEO of a company, you can email the CEO directly (if you have her email address). That doesn’t your email will be read by anyone though, or that the title of your email will make it stand it out any more than the other emails.

However, a beautiful direct mail piece may land on her desk, and even if she doesn’t open it, she sees it. She picks it up.

You may be getting less direct mail than you did 15, 20 years ago, but you’re looking at the direct mail you’re getting nowadays because it is specifically targeted to you, highly designed, and carefully planned.

Is Direct Mail always the answer to my marketing questions?

If the question is “How do I become seen by as many people as possible in the most direct way?” then the answer is yes. However, if the question is “how do I hold the attention of the customers I already have?” the answer is…

…it depends.

A good rule of thumb: quick campaign, quick method. Slow campaign, slow method.

Have a flash sale? Want to reach a core group of subscribers or members today? Use email. Are you anticipating more sales over the holiday season? Send a direct mail piece.

Or use both.

You can always send an email blast to your customer list, but if you want to reach just a few of them in certain demographics at certain times, or you want to do a favor for the most loyal customers, consider all the options that direct mail provides. Printing too has caught up with the times, and the possibilities are nearly endless. Now, you can create vivid, eye-catching direct mail packages for small campaigns without having to worry about the ROI on a niche campaign requiring no more technical know-how than desktop publishing.

You always have the option to email your customers, but don’t overlook direct mail and the power of curiosity that makes someone open an envelope.

Targeted, Personalized, and Web-To-Print Expected to Grow Fastest

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In order to grow your business, targeting marketing practices is extremely important. The more personal the advertisement, the greater the chance of the information landing home with the potential customer. In order to do this, utilizing different forms of marketing is key. One of the fastest growing methods for performing this action, especially at the local level is through a Web to print (also known as Web 2 Print) format. This method of marketing uses both traditional, print based marketing and Internet based options in order to best reach a perspective client.

The fact of the matter is some people respond better to local advertisements they receive in the mail while others are more likely to interact with an ad they see on their social media account. Due to this, it is very important for any business to obtain and source their information and use variable data they receive in order to convert their Internet visitors and possible clients into print recipients of marketing material, which can help drive sales up through the roof.

With the help of Web to print marketing, a company can obtain all of the specific information they need o a key demographic, ranging from the products they are more likely to purchase to the kinds of services they like. From there, they can alter their print marketing campaign and send out the mailers, posters or other marketing material directly to the customers. This way, the company uses the benefits of the Internet while producing the close, personal material of a traditionally produced marketing campaign. With the utilization of both of these formats, it is possible to take advantage of all of the different benefits and services available and to also grow the company faster than ever thought possible.

Email Marketing and Small Businesses

Time has changed for everyone in the world, especially for anyone in business. Whether the business is small, large or a corporation, technology has changed the way businesses market their company. Technology is everywhere in businesses and private homes and the Internet is becoming the fastest way to keep in contact with customers. Email marketing is what helps to keep the business profitable.

Email marketing is an affordable way to contact customers for any number of reasons such as, product information and problem solving, perks, rewards, coupons and promotions. Businesses find email marketing cost-effective and when small business email marketing done in the correct fashion can build their brand and form a group of loyal clients.

Most companies send out newsletters and there is no better way to do this than through inexpensive emails. Emails help businesses to tailor their products and their customer services through emails.

If a small business decides to correspond with their customer base through emails, they must decide if they need an HTML. There are pros and cons to this question and the small business owner must research these pros and cons and decide if an HTML is going to fit their needs. Next, the small business needs to ask themselves if they are going to offer a newsletter as many other businesses do for their customers.

Newsletters offer information about specific products, services, sales and special tips. Add a bit of humor to your new email newsletter and people will sit up and pay attention. There is an old saying that says it just right, “Why I am too broke to even pay attention.”

Surveys find that more and more businesses are establishing themselves on solid ground through a business website. When small businesses start email marketing like the big companies it puts them in the race and gives the small business owner the same advantages when it comes to competing businesses.

The small business owner must get in and run the race for profits through their use of Internet marketing and email marketing to stay profitable and compete with other small businesses offering the same products and services.

Five Steps To A Solid E-Mail marketing List

In order to extend sales opportunities and generate new customers an email marketing list is a very influential tool for reaching potential customers, with targeted messages or promotions. Here are five steps, that are sure to build a solid email marketing list according to Entrepreneur.com

Sign Up With Email Marketing Service Provider

In order to get the opt-in form, you must pay (around $20 a month) a service provider to collect email addresses, send messages to providers and manage the volume for you. Once you have your account set up, customers can sign up.

Create email opt- in link on your home page

Integrating an email opt-in link on the first landing page of the website will quickly get attention, ask the least amount information as possible-its gets more sign-ups. Offering a gift or bonus to customers for signing up is a great way to increase your list, and keep them coming back.

Ask For Opt-In At Check Out

Most payment processing companies work hand in hand with email marketing, adding an opt-in form at check out promising future discounts and sales information to customers that already buy your products is beneficial for return sales.

Pop-Up Forms

The continued presence of pop up ads proves although irritating, proves they are an effective marketing tool. However opt-in pop-up forms have to be tracked for an increased subscription rate, if it is effective you will see it in the metrics.

Opt-In Forms On Blog Sites

Proving a popular way of reaching people that are already VIP customers, communicate on your blog and have a genuine interest in what your company is all about. Engaging customers in useful conversation. Using blog plug-in software, a low cost investment (about $100) for a more personal connection with customers.

Email marketing strategies change, keeping current on trends and most importantly “what your customers want” will ensure a solid email marketing list to grow and business to expand. In order to continue the success, tracking and inventive ideas and promotions are sure steps to a solid email marketing list.

Digital Campaigns vs. Print Campaigns

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The very basic fact – which has been true for some time now – is that digital email campaigns don’t have as high a conversion rate as commercial printing. The reason: brochures, posters, banners, direct mailers, and similar products are in front of potential customers, and in easy view. For example, anyone who has ever gone through their physical junk mail knows that any flyer, brochure, etc. that is high quality and has a particularly visual ad will easily draw their attention. Thus, they are effective at generating interest in a service or product.

On the other hand, email campaigns are much more affordable and can reach a much larger volume of potential customers than print campaigns can. However, what needs to be taken into account is that cheaper isn’t always better. Most email account holders can and often do delete an ad email without ever reading the actual email. Moreover, most people are bombarded by dozens of emails each day and they most often only pay attention to emails sent from people they know. This makes it difficult for a large number of people to open a digital advertisement email. There’s also junk email filters and spam filters to worry about as well.

Any product from a quality printing company – posters, direct mailers, brochures, etc. – will allow you to reach more people, captivating their interest from even thirty feet away. This is effective even if it’s for a moment or two. Some printing advertisements can be seen as works of art that capture the human eye, and ultimately the person’s interest. Sure, print costs more but it has proven time and again to have the highest conversion rate among potential customers just for the fact that you can’t immediately delete a print advertisement.

Is Email Marketing Still an Effective Marketing Tool?

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This is a trickier question than it seems to be. Print campaigns and email blasts both have their benefits and drawbacks. It may be safe to say that in order for companies to truly be effective in their marketing endeavors, both campaigns should be used. That being said, email blasts are not completely dead as an effective marketing tool.

There are a number of reasons why email blasts continue to be part of the business arsenal. If a company sends out a traditional print mail campaign, that company cannot track whether or not the intended recipients trashed the mailer, read it then trashed it, read it and kept it, etc. That is the beauty of email campaigns – you can do what you can’t do with print. Of course, it is important to mention that print campaigns do have a higher conversion rate than email campaigns. But that depends on the design of the printed materials, the quality, and who you’re sending it to.

With email blasts, assuming a company is using an established email marketing system, there are a number of advantages. For one, most of these organizations provide email reports that allow companies to know if their email was opened, when they opened it, how many times it was viewed, if it was forwarded, which links they clicked on, and a number of other useful pieces of information. In turn, this information can be used to then target future email campaigns to certain individuals to ensure that they both open the email and actually read it.

One of the most obvious reasons email blasts still exist is their cost effectiveness. It is much more affordable to have a company create and design an email blast and send it out than it is to design print materials.

5 Tips for a Successful eNewsletter

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There’s no doubt eNewsletters are highly effective ways to market goods and services to both existing and prospective clients. But how do you create a successful newsletter that customers will read and respond to?

Here are some tips to consider.

1. Write an effective subject line.

The first thing the reader sees is the subject line. Make sure it’s enticing and lures the reader into your content. Otherwise, the piece get sent straight to the trash folder.

2. Use the masthead appropriately.

Make sure your masthead includes your logo (linked to your site, of course) as well as a catchy name for the newsletter. The masthead shouldn’t take up too much space either. You want your content to be prominent and not “below the fold.”

3. Include a table of contents.

The average reader will spend less than a minute deciding if he or she will read your content. Make certain you’ve given them a clear picture of what’s in store if they investigate further. Oftentimes, a reader will use the table of contents to select the content the want to read instead of reading what you’ve placed at the top. The result? More clicks for your site.

4. Avoid sales speak.

Newsletters are supposed to contain just that – news. Readers don’t want a blatant sales pitch. Include facts, figures, photos, infographics, statistics, how-tos, tips and other helpful content that a reader can actually use. Sales pitches should be made in separate emails.

5. Highlight clients.

Incorporate testimonials and client spotlights so readers know your business is a quality outlet. Plus, by highlighting a client in your newsletter, you’ve secured your relationship even further.

Use these tips to create an effective eNewsletter for your customers and prospects. You’ll enjoy greater client engagement and increased sales thanks to a little forethought.

Benefits of a Monthly eNewsletter

In today’s economy, it is harder than it has been in a very long time to get the customer to open up his wallet and give you his credit card information. Due to this, small businesses that fail to innovate or, worse still, fail to connect with their existing customer base, simply fail. One of the simplest ways to make this vital connection with an existing customer base is to produce a monthly e-newsletter.

In addition to the obvious benefit of making the customer base feel appreciated and “in the know,” a monthly e-newsletter allows for experimentation within that group of people. By taking the core of your consumer base and subjecting it to things such as new schemes for sales, you are given a

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quick and dirty look into how well this new idea will fare with the cross-section of the population with the highest response rate toward your personal product. This high response rate also extends to the ability to leverage your existing customer base to provide free product reviews, free general marketing information, and free off-the-record critiques by simply asking them. People are often quite pleased when they learn their opinions not only valued, but specifically asked for. Use that impulse.

For those with very small businesses, the production of a monthly newsletter is just another regular cadence that can prove to the IRS that you are a business and not just a hobby. Remember, hobbies don’t pay the self-employment income tax, but cannot offset losses with deductions to anywhere near the same extent as a business. For those who are transitioning to a larger, more stable business, having as many sources of proof that you are serious about this as you possibly can will help enable you to classify yourself as a business.