29 May How to Tackle Your First Personalized Direct Marketing Campaign
It seems like no matter where you turn, there are marketing companies declaring how easy it is to create a direct marketing campaign. But what if this is your first personalized direct marketing campaign? There are several important decisions to be made and a number of services you could employ to help you create your first personalized direct marketing campaign successfully. This post is intended to help you navigate the sometimes-frustrating world of direct marketing campaigns so that your first doesn’t completely turn you off using this highly converting form of marketing.
What is a Direct Marketing Campaign?
The first question you may be asking yourself is what is a direct marketing and how can it help my business? Direct marketing is an advertising campaign which seeks to target a specific demographic group and then elicit a response from them through marketing communication. This marketing communication can be from a variety of sources, to include, direct mail, telemarketing, or email marketing to name a few. While there are numerous forms, for the purposes of simplicity, we’ll focus primarily on postal mail direct marketing campaigns for this post.
Digital vs. Print Marketing Campaigns
With the recent popularity of online advertising venues such as Google AdWords and Facebook Ads, another question that arises often surrounds the digital vs print direct marketing campaign decision. While digital is an exceptional opt-in with its own merits and advantages, people are surprised to learn that personalized print direct marketing campaigns have much higher conversion rates (people answering your call to action in the marketing message). How much higher? According to the Digital Marketing Association’s (DMA) 2015 numbers, direct mail enjoys a 3.7% response rate for a house list versus a 0.62% response rate from all digital channels combined Additionally, the cost-per-acquisition (how much you are paying to acquire a new prospect/customer) for direct mail is around $19 versus a range of $21 to $30 with paid search online.
Steps to a Successful Personalized Direct Marketing Campaign
Step 1: Set Your Marketing Campaign Goals
Nearly everything in business starts with picking your target market beforehand. Establishing your target customer or client is a basic campaign goal, which will make it easier to buy, source, or build a mailing list. Other questions to ask yourself and your team at the goal setting portion of your marketing campaign are:
- What are we attempting to do (build brand loyalty, grow market share, generate new leads, etc.)?
- What is our desired action for the customer to take?
- Can we measure the established goals?
- Why should your audience care about your company’s product or service?
You should spend more time on creating your marketing campaign goals than nearly any other step in the process as everything else depends on its success. Additionally, you want to take care to ensure your goals are SMART marketing objectives, which is: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-limited. By using the SMART method as a measuring stick for your goals, you’ll be ensuring that they are beneficial to your company.
Step 2: Create a Mailing List
In order for any direct marketing campaign to be successful, you must personalize your message, and the key to personalization is data. Marketing rules are plentiful, however, the one that rules direct mail campaigns is quality over quantity. By having solid data on potential clients, you can help solidify your direct marketing objectives. To gain a mailing list you have a couple of options: you can buy it from your printing company or a lead generation company or build it yourself.
When buying a mailing list, your goals and pre-defined target audience will come in handy. You see, with modern data acquisition techniques, there is an absolute wealth of information about consumers out there and so you can buy a mailing list based on innumerable different demographic categories including: by location, personal stats, business stats, or hobbies/interests. Having set your goals, you’ll know exactly which type of list to purchase to improve your ROI.
Building your own list from data you’ve generated from various sources can be more cost-effective. You can use events your company has hosted, business cards you’ve collected, sign-up sheets, and website opt-ins. Using the data that you’ve collected yourself has its pros and cons. The main advantage of using your own mailing list is that your target audience most likely has some awareness of your brand, while the main disadvantage being the skewed demographics of the mailing list.
Step 3: Create Your Message
Now that you have well defined, SMART goals it’s time to craft your actual marketing message that you want to reach your prospective customers. Creating your marketing message should focus heavily on your goals, but also prescribe to the “keep it simple” philosophy. You want to avoid cramming too many messages into one campaign. This is your chance to tell your customer about your services/products, introduce something new, introduce yourself, or invite your customer to initial contact. Above all, it’s your chance to deliver something different and stand out from the crowd.
Step 4: Create Your Direct Mail Files
Also known as your mail piece, this step involves incorporating pictures, graphics, your message, and other content into a printable file. This step involves working with a graphic designer and/or the printing company you plan to use to print your mailer. Having a graphic designer who is skilled in graphics manipulation/creation and Adobe Creative Suite can speed up this step in your direct marketing campaign process. In lieu of that, your commercial printing company can offer advice on how your files should be delivered to them in order to be considered “print ready” and in the correct format. Additionally, it’s in this part of the process that you want to issue key codes, which you can use to track the effectiveness of your campaign. Key codes are designed to test the response rate of your direct marketing campaign.
Step 5: Send your finished files to your Printing Company
By being in close contact with your printing company, you’ll also have the knowledge of what type of final formats to send over, what your turn around time will be, and what their variable data and direct mail capabilities are. A total print management solutions company can fulfill your printing project by sorting, packaging, and distributing your personalized direct marketing campaign. By choosing a printer with this ability, you’ll save yourself a tremendous amount of time in the process.
Step 6: Track responses and Refine Your Message
It’s important to manage your expectations on your first personalized direct marketing campaign. It is quite rare for a small business to experience a deluge of new customers from the first direct mail marketing piece. It may take several mailings to cause a customer to react to your message. Do not become discouraged customers aren’t breaking down your doors on the first mailing. Once your first direct marketing campaign has run its course, you can look at your results (assuming you set highly measurable goals) and study how you can improve results for future marketing campaigns.
How to Choose a Printing Company
With the right amount of research, time, and money, direct mail campaigns can be highly effective and offer a superior return on your investment. People enjoy receiving something unexpected and clever by mail, and so this is your chance for your business marketing to shine. When you are shopping commercial printers, you should take both printing costs and services offered into consideration.
If you’re still unsure about any of the steps involved in putting together a cost-effective and profitable, personalized direct marketing campaign, Acme Printing in Morristown, TN can help you with your direct mail campaign through our digital print services from purchasing a mailing list, to graphic design, and, of course, the printing and distributing of your piece. Contact Acme Printing at 423-581-8534 or online HERE to find out how to streamline your direct marketing campaigns through our digital, variable printing capabilities and direct mail services.