The marketing strategies that work best for any company depend on the dynamics of the business, but direct mail is a useful way to capture the attention of potential customers. Most companies can benefit from using direct mail, regardless of the products or services that are provided by the business.

Focusing on the Target Audience

A key reason that direct mail works for any business is that it focuses on a particular group or target audience. That means that you are only sending out mail to appropriate individuals on your mailing list or in a particular area.

Targeted marketing is an effective way to obtain new customers because the flyer, brochure or coupons that you are sending out are reaching people who need the products or services that you provide.

Adding Personal Elements

The problem that many companies can face is providing a personal element to the business. If your company is struggling with personalization, then direct mail can be a realistic solution. When you send out a postcard, you can put the name of the individual at that address. It automatically makes the advertisement more personal and reaches out to individuals who may feel that businesses are lacking a personal touch.

Easy Measurements

The personal element and the targeted mailing is only the beginning. Direct mail is also easy to measure based on the number of homes that receive the mail. You can determine the effectiveness of your marketing strategy based on the inquiries and sales that you receive.

Every business can benefit from direct mail, but the decision to implement the strategy depends on your goals and your understanding of how the process works. Direct mail is an effective way to reach your target audience with an element of personalization, and it can help improve your sales.

[Source: USPS]

An estimated 74 percent of customers get frustrated when ads that are featured for them do not seem to have anything to do with their personal interests. That alone should be enough reason for companies to realize the importance of personalization, but the benefits do not stop there. When companies take the time and energy to personalize the advertisements they are sending out to their customers, companies get more for their investment and customers receive information about products and services that are helpful for them. It’s a win for everyone involved.

Improving Conversions

Ads that are personalized have a much better chance of netting customers. Customers enjoy feeling appreciated and singled out by companies, just like they appreciated individualized service in a store. Personalized emails, for example, were found to improve conversion rates by 10 percent alone. Customers are being bombarded by marketing and advertisements on nearly every platform. Creating ads that are personalized to the individual user means that these marketing tools will stand out to customers by being actually useful.

Improving Customer Retention

Personalization of advertisements is a fantastic first step towards building a relationship with the customer. Loyalty programs and other offers that contain personalized offers are much more likely to be responded to and customers will feel more positively about a company that has gone the extra step.

Personalizing marketing offers is a fantastic way to reach customers. Rather than hitting everyone with a generalized message, personalized messages are directly applicable to the customer receiving them. Although this might take a bit more of an effort on the part of the company, the potential benefits of higher conversion rates and higher customer retention greatly outweigh any cost. Companies should definitely investigate how personalized benefits can help them be more successful in their marketing campaigns.

Outbound or Inbound?

A great deal of the debate among marketers today centers on the issue of inbound versus outbound marketing strategies. Of course, every progressive marketer is now fully aware of the advantages of successful inbound marketing techniques. This is the process whereby you the customer or prospect initiates the conversation with your company, as opposed to you trying to get their attention by traditional advertising or outbound processes.

The problem in this ongoing discussion is found in making the issue one of either-or. The reality is that a modern, cost-effective marketing strategy is almost always going to consist of carefully integrating both approaches. Certainly, the days of spending thousands of dollars a month on yellow page advertising are over for most companies. Likewise, simple mass mailings of unattractive direct mail pieces are probably useful in only a few circumstances today.

However, it is important to remember that today’s marketing message is all about the conversation. It’s great when the customer initiates that process, but it’s up to the company to make it a truly two-way and productive conversation. While you can respond with an email (and many fail to even do this), there are many traditional ways to follow up with prospects and clients that are cost-effective and relevant. According to a recent article in Agency Access, postcards are one of the most effective and affordable means of keeping that conversation going.

There are several reasons that postcards remain popular with creative marketers. At the heart of these are the capabilities of modern printing. Stunningly attractive postcards can be personalized and printed in small quantities to address any number of special needs for communications. Modern web-to-print services even provide full addressing and mailing services. These nifty items affordably and professionally announce a special event, send an automated reminder, or blanket a neighborhood with news of a grand opening.

Postcards may seem old school to some, but to many savvy marketers they’ve graduated to a new and powerful marketing tool that leverages inbound marketing success.

Thanks to the progression of computer technology, digitally printed materials have far surpassed the use of traditional printing techniques. Whereas pre-computer days meant that printing involved messy powders and time consuming paper printing methods, today you can print on a variety of mediums. Digital printing provides the tools to print on practically any surface ranging from walls to T-shirts to mesh. However, with this form of printing you should consider ways to make this technique work to your advantage.

  1. A simple image is important for viewers. For example, a logo with a highly detailed graphic filled with 10 different colors and shadowing is going to be difficult to identify from a distance, such as via a billboard or wall image.
  2. Digital photos may not stretch into a large scale without becoming blurry or grainy. Consider this when taking photos to be used on your digitally printed materials. Opt to use the finest resolution possible, as well as a high quality camera with a zoom feature.
  3. You can print on a wide variety of surfaces including flooring, canvas, plastic, 3M ControlTac™ and glass. Keep this in mind when you are selecting a printing process. Sometimes you can have an idea about where and how to share your marketing message that goes beyond the basic print on paper.
  4. Skimp on spending somewhere other than your digital printing needs. A poorly printed sign or the use of a cheap surface will translate into poor execution of an idea, as well as a spendthrift business. Show potential clients that you will do whatever it takes to win their business, which includes spending what is necessary to print high-quality marketing tools.
  5. Once you decide on a logo or business slogan, stick with that graphic or phrase throughout all of your printed materials. Whether you are printing flyers for an upcoming sale or you are printing copies of your newsletter to distribute to clients, your logo should always be included in the prints.

Maintain a professional manner by choosing digitally printed materials for your business’s needs. By making the most of this technique, you are more likely to benefit in the long term.

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.

Social media marketing is one of the hottest marketing trends. There is a huge amount of people using social and nearly every company has a marketing scheme designed to conquer different social media platforms. With the shift towards social that does not however mean that traditional print marketing should be abandoned altogether. Rather than ignoring print marketing it is now important for marketers to adopt a system that incorporates social media marketing into print. Making sure branding of social platforms and tags are all made available through print is a must as the social world progresses and people start looking for new ways to advertise themselves.

Combining both forms of advertising is a must as print media previously was self-reliant. Social can be self-reliant but it is more beneficial for a company to allow both users of social and non-social to know about each other. The goal is to market the company or brand and incorporating social branding into a print campaign can save a great deal of money and increase an ROI altogether. Incorporating marketing into your printed materials is a fantastic way in which to establish new customers by tapping into the vast potential of people who didn’t previously know about your company and its functions.

Print marketing still reaches a huge amount of people. People like to hold and possess physical objects and always will. By providing a physical printed sheet full of your company’s information, you can easily reach a new potential number of customers that previously seemed out of your grasp. Utilizing print marketing is a must to go beyond the traditional set barriers of marketing and merge the old and modern world together for huge results that are beneficial towards a companies growth and help to maintain sales and influence within a market in an industry.

Given the technological advances in digital printing, there are differences and distinct advantages that translate into a direct impact on your bottom line.

Is There a Difference Between Offset and Digital Printing?

With offset printing, the technology requires the use of metal plates in order to transfer (“offset”) an inked image onto a rubber blanket, The image is then rolled onto a sheet of paper. During the offset printing process, ink is never directly transferred onto paper.

The advantages of digital printing become evident with short runs. For example, If you need 100 or even 400 4/C brochures or sell sheets, offset printing is definitely not the way to go. With offset printing, there are costs that involve labor, setup and the technical steps required to make metal printing plates. With this type of short print run, the only cost-effective solution is digital printing.

Digital printing involves the transfer of a document from a personal computer, or other digital device to a variety of media through the use of a device that accepts graphic output and text. In order to facilitate its reproduction and storage of the data, the document information is digitized (reduced to binary code). It’s also very easy to make change, revise, and update files.

Additionally, digital printing gives you the flexibility and convenient option of on-demand printing along with a much shorter turnaround times. And, there’s never a need for traditional plates, metal plate mounting, or ink keys.

Digital copiers provide many advantage for business. For starters, since they contain fewer moving parts, there are fewer mechanical problems and breakdowns. Digital copiers are not only much quieter, they provide a combination of functions such as copiers, network printers, scanners and fax machines.

As far as the reproduction of photographs and fine lines, digital copiers win hands down.

Printing and mailing often go hand in hand. Why? When you print something, think about what you are going to do with it. If it is some kind of marketing campaign, it needs to be distributed – and this usually means mailing it.

The printing industry often supports the mailing industry. While many people have gone to electronic statements for their credit cards and receive a lot of other things electronically, businesses are still able to market inside of a person’s physical mailbox. They will work with a printing company and then seek a company that offers mailing services to get it all done.

When you can find a company that works within the printing and mailing industries, you get the best of both worlds.

It can be extremely easy to create a direct mail campaign when your print company will do all of the work for you. Think about all of it – designing a flyer, printing a flyer, and distributing the flyer – all provided by one company so you can save time as well as money.

The mailing industry is much more than simply helping things get mailed to different locations. The mailing industry is also responsible for managing mailing lists. If you want to print something and have it distributed, you will want access to a mailing list so that your marketing campaign gets into the hands of people who actually care about the product or service that you are trying to promote.

It works to your advantage for the printing and mailing industries to have a very strong connection. When the print industry partners with the mailing industry, you benefit because they are able to offer you better services.

Direct mail is the outcome of the relationship – and you can market your business effectively because people still like seeing things in their mailbox.

Despite all the new technology found on the internet, the old fashion methods of reaching new customers are still powerful and effective. Companies literally spend billions of dollars each year on print marketing ads and campaigns.

Managing a successful print campaign is possible when business owners can answer two of the most important questions in marketing. What is your company’s goal, and what are you hoping to accomplish?

Perhaps a new product has great potential and the market is ready for something new and exciting. What better way to introduce the newest product to potential customers, than print ad marketing and campaigning. Completing an analysis of the marketing demand can increase brand awareness, and increase sales and profits.

To measure a successful and profitable print ad campaign, just follow these simple rules:

Have a system for locating and tracking the success of a print ad campaign. Make sure the trail leads back to the company’s marketing department.

  • Perform self initiated analysis and assumption, and plan accordingly. Know how many ads to print, where to distribute them, and which audiences are targeted.
  • How many responses are expected, how much does the project cause and what profit is the business expecting in ROI.
  • Custom print materials can track sales and customers. Using codes and coupon with special numbers imprinted, can track sales and responses.
  • Train personnel and customer service representatives to ask the important questions. “How did you find us?” “What products or services are you interested in?” and “How can I make you happy today?”

Print marketing is concrete. Potential customers see an item that want, that pass the print along to the people in their circle. This form of networking, gets the print moving in new directions, and can actually increase sales in unexpected geographic locations.

To truly capitalize on advancements in the worlds of marketing and communications, businesses must find ways to make print work with new channels.

Here are three ways that print can be made interactive:

Use QR Codes to Drive People to Mobile-Optimized Sites

The numbers behind the growth in mobile marketing truly are impressive. More and more of your customers and prospects are visiting websites on their mobile phones. By adding a QR Code to your printed materials, you will be able to reach that mobile audience. QR Codes truly can make print interactive. By driving people a mobile-optimized site where they can watch a video, learn more about a product, or sign up for future alerts, you will further build your database and increase brand awareness.

Promote Social Media Pages for a Company or Product

Companies of all sizes and across all types of verticals are turning to social media to help better serve their customers and interact with prospects. However, they need people to know those pages exist to truly maximize the impact. One way

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to do this is to promote the social media sites on printed materials. Many people use their smartphone to hop onto sites, such as Facebook or Twitter. They may do the same thing after learning that your company has something to offer on those sites.

Use SMS/Text-Messaging as the Call-to-Action

While we may place less phone calls on our cell phones than we did two years ago, SMS/Text-messaging usage seemingly continues to rise. A number of companies have found ways to engage their fans and build their mobile marketing database by inviting people to send a text message to opt-in for a special offer.

There are plenty of tools and channels to choose from when trying to make print interactive, so see what works best for your audience and take it from there!