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Why Direct Mail Beats Email and How You Can Make It Work for You

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Nov 15, 2016 @ 11:53 AM

Ever since digital technology came onto the scene, the myths about print marketing began swirling. But those myths – the ones that claim all print channels are dead – are just that, myths.

The truth is, print marketing is very much alive and well. Direct marketing in particular has been enhanced by web technologies and works synergistically to get leads to visit a webpage to collect information from prospects.

But, too many marketers are relying on digital channels alone, ignoring the data that clearly indicates consumers want to be engaged via multiple formats. A better approach is to engage your prospects everywhere they are. This includes in there living rooms or kitchens with a direct mail piece.

Make no mistake, with the increased saturation of digital marketing, direct mail response rates are higher than ever. Here are four reasons why you should consider using direct mail in the new year:

People are Overwhelmed by Emails

How many emails would you say you get a day? 10? 30? 100 or more? The truth is, most people open, let alone read, very few of the daily emails they receive. While it used to be fun to hear, “You got mail,” many of us now dread checking our email fearing we will be instantly overwhelmed by all the news, updates, and solicitations awaiting us.

What does this mean for email marketers? It means big budgets wasted on sales messages that never get read.

But, going to our physical mailboxes and pulling out the few pieces of mail, especially when none of those pieces are bills, is an enjoyable and welcomed experience nowadays, which means your sales message has a much better chance of being read.

People Trust Print MorePeople Trust Print More

In some ways, technological advances have made consumers’ lives easier, but in many others way, technology has made them vulnerable to privacy risks. With so many reports of hacking in the news, people are becoming more and more fearful of digital communications.

Direct mail is simply not faced with these same privacy issues, and hence, people fear secure opening your mail.

Direct Mail Offers More Creative Options

Human beings look for visual signals throughout their daily lives that help them know how to react to things. When people look through their mail they watch for thick envelopes that may hold treasures, colorful envelopes that seem like the letter is from family or friends, or actual handwriting on the envelope instead of a typed label.

You don’t get these same creative options in email marketing. You have one shot – the subject line – to grab someone’s attention. But direct mail offers many more creative options that will help get your message noticed.

Now that you know why direct mail marketing is beneficial, let’s look at some of the best practices so you can ensure you get the optimum ROI on your next campaign.

Use PersonalizationUse Personalization

Consumers today demand personalized communication, so if you want your direct mail campaigns to be successful, you need to analyze your customer data. By mining information from your CRM and automation platform, you will be able to narrow your segments and personalize each offer and message.

Leverage the Power of Integrated Campaigns

It’s important to make direct mail a part of your overall marketing campaign and integrate it with your other channels. Always send multiple waves of personalized offers through direct mail and make sure your branding and messaging is consistent across your print and digital channels.

Measure Outcomes

How will you know if your direct mail campaign was a success? What does that look like to your business? You’ve got to determine this before you launch any campaign.

Be sure to forecast KPIs and set up your direct mail programs in a way that makes it easy to track results. To determine the ROI of your direct mail campaign, consider using metrics such as cost per mailing, response and conversions rates, and average revenue per buyer.

If you’ve heard that no one is using direct mail any more, you’ve heard wrong. Direct mail is an extremely effective channel and, in many ways, outperforms email campaigns. To be successful with direct marketing, just be sure to focus on personalizing your messaging, integrating your campaigns, and tracking your results.

Download this fact sheet and learn 10 reasons why newspapers are still an effective advertising channel.

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Topics: email marketing, direct mail

This Article Will Help You Lose 50 Walnuts and Pay Off Your Chicken

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Wed, Oct 21, 2015 @ 09:07 AM

You clicked on this article, of that much we know.

But what made you click on it?

Chances are it was this devilishly creative headline.

You see, had we composed a title that read: “This article will help you write better subject lines,” you would have not given it the slightest bit of your attention.

Had we written: “This article will help you lose 50 pounds and pay off your mortgage” some would have clicked on it, but not enough for our liking.

No, we instinctively knew the thing that draws nearly everyone’s attention is chickens. The walnuts were just a diversion.

We are sorry for misleading you but we can neither help you lose weight nor reduce your mortgage payments.

However we can offer you something very lucrative indeed. And that is some pretty killer tips on how to create subject lines that get more prospect attention. The more clicks you get, the more chances you have at making money. And that’s what it’s all about. Oh, and helping people solve their problems, of course.


Tip Number 1 – Say Less

Your prospect is texting and heating a Hot Pocket at the same time they are checking their email – that’s a true story. Don’t write a long subject line that will take them more than the 4 seconds they’re willing to give. Keep it short and sweet, 50 characters max.


Tip Number 2 – Be a Real Person

Do you like communicating with an automatic messaging systems? No! No one likes it one bit, we want to speak with a real person. The same goes for getting emails. No one wants an automated message because they are gross. So always make sure your “from” address says something other than “noreply@company.com.” Use your real name so you look human and so that prospects will add you to their email address book.


Tip Number 3 – Don’t be Corny or Weird

There was a time when we were all told to use your prospect’s name in the subject line as well as in the body of your email. But now we all realize how corny and weird that was. I don’t know you and you don’t know me, so why are we going to pretend we do? Don’t do this.


Tip Number 4 – Don’t Bend the Truth

Don’t be like me and lie to your audience. That was chicanery pure and simple. You should never lie to your prospect to get them to open your email. You’ll wind up in their spam folder quicker than an ugly cat goes viral.


Tip Number 5 – Know What’s Working and What’s Not

Some people only A/B test their email body content, not the subject line. That makes about as much sense as only putting deodorant under your left arm. Your subject is the gateway to the rest of your content and business, it’s critical you test it to see if you’re getting enough response.


Tip Number 6 – Get Creative

People get the same old same old in their inbox every day. Using some humor and creativity to stand out from all of that digital noise ain’t a bad idea.


Tip Number 7 – What’s in it for Them?

Why should anyone care about your email? We live in a self-involved society. People need to know what’s in it for them if they take the time to open your email and read it, so tell them right there in the subject line. “Learn the 3 simple tricks to making perfect crepes every time.” Great, I want to know that so I look cool with guests and now I am going to open it and read every word.

Have you noticed anything about these 7 tips? They’re pretty much common sense. But every so often we humans have to be reminded that common sense works. It does, so use these 7 tips to get more people to notice your emails, click on them, and buy from you.


 Download the CMO's Guide to Integrating Print and Digital Media

Related Posts:

How to Ensure Your Gmail Contacts See Your Promotional Emails

5 Truths about Emails You Can Use to Cut Through the Clutter

How You Can Optimize Your Email Marketing

Topics: email marketing

How to Ensure Your Gmail Contacts See Your Promotional Emails

Posted by Hannah Hill on Mon, Oct 28, 2013 @ 11:03 AM

If your promotional or marketing emails are suddenly not being read, don’t panic. It’s not because your writing suddenly stinks or your customers are going on a strike against emails. Most likely, it’s because of Gmail’s new tabbed inbox.

Promotional and marketing emails used to be flagged as spam even though they weren’t spam. Now Google has taken this problem to a whole new level. Gmail’s tabs feature is designed to help users organize their emails more easily and avoid reading emails of little interest to them. Unless users go to the trouble of undoing tabs in their preferences, Gmail routes emails to one of three tabs depending on content: Primary, Promotions and Social. The Promotions tab, like the spam folder of years past, is a black hole that sucks up emails, never to be seen or read by the intended recipient.

How to Ensure Your Gmail Contacts See Your Promotional Emails

Some Gmail users actually like this system because it helps them stay organized and on top of their inbox. But most users are being inconvenienced without even knowing it. Emails and RSS Feed updates they signed up to receive–like your emails or blog updates–are getting lost in cyberspace, and unless they accidentally click on All Mail or decide to check out the Promotions tab, readers won’t even know your emails have been delivered.

It would be ideal for marketing automation providers to be able to mark emails “NOT A PROMOTION.” But Google doesn’t let you do that, at least not yet. Instead, it uses some complicated, top-secret algorithm to decide what gets routed where; unless you want to do some questionable stuff to make your promotional emails look like a letter from Aunt Sally, you can’t break the system. However, you can do a couple things to make it more likely your contact list sees your email.

  1. Tell your contacts to move your messages. 
    Since you can’t stop Gmail from mis-categorizing your emails, do the next best thing: tell your contacts to move your messages into the Primary tab. It’s not too hard; anyone who can sign up for an email or RSS Feed should be able to do it. Gmail users just have to click on a message in the Promotions tab and drag the message into the Primary tab. Once they’ve done this, they have to click “Yes” to agree to let Gmail put your emails in the right place. (Of course, sending the instructions via newsletter will fail. Announce it on Facebook or Twitter.)
  2. Ask your contacts to whitelist your email address.
    Whitelists tell Gmail that your email has been pre-approved. It stops emails from being routed to spam. Who knows, it might keep them out of the Promotions tab, too. It’s worth a try.
  3. Send your messages via some other method besides your marketing automation solution.
    Gmail seems to automatically move any message sent by MailChimp, Constant Contact and other email programs into the Promotions tab. If you don’t use these distribution systems, you have a higher chance of getting through to your recipients’ inbox. If you have a lot of subscribers, you might be better off sending your messages via carrier pigeon since you can’t email them all manually. Or, you could send your email just to yourself, archive it and post the link on Facebook. Remember that you’ll lose some tracking and analytics if you send it manually, but if it only takes one to get everyone on board with your strategy going forward and your email in the Primary Tab, it’s probably worth it.
  4. Use social media to send your messages.
    Some email marketers have gotten clever and posted on Facebook or LinkedIn, knowing that those subscribers who have enabled email notifications will get an email about it. Gmail diverts these, too, to the Social tab. For some reason, Gmail users are much more likely to look at emails in the Social tab.

We haven’t found a foolproof method for defeating Gmail’s tabs, but all these methods help ensure your contacts will actually see your emails. Track your opening stats for a few weeks to see how these ideas are working. If all else fails, do a webinar on how to turn tabs off. It’ll attract more people to your business and help readers find your emails, so it’s a win-win. If Baby Boomers are among your email distribution list you’ll want to download our new eBook ‘The Benefits of Marketing and Advertising to Baby Boomers’ and learn the golden rules in marketing to Boomers.

Download The Benefits of Marketing and Advertising to Baby Boomers

Image credit: HipVine

Topics: email marketing, email marketing tips, automated email marketing, marketing emails

5 Truths About Emails You Can Use to Cut Through the Clutter

Posted by Amy Xiong on Tue, Feb 14, 2012 @ 08:49 AM

  1. The average user receives 147 emails a day

  2. People spend about 2.5 hours checking their email

  3. In less than three seconds 80% of emails are deleted

  4. The average person writes about 40 emails a day

  5. There are 12 messages we receive that will take more than 90 minutes of our day

There’s a lot of talk about email and its effectiveness. Some think the medium has lost all ability to communicate a message while others still rely heavily on its ability to send information to a targeted group. If you’re with us in the second group and still believe in email’s ability to communicate your message, the infographic below highlights ways you can be sure your email remains in the effective bucket.

For starters, the text in your email should NOT contain the following words: confirm, join, assistance, speaker, press, social or invite. Some words to include in your subject line to get a better response or to get the emails opened are: apply, opportunity, demo, connect, payments, conference and cancellation. Email users are also more likely to read your email between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. or around noon while most people are on their lunch.

Once you get someone to actually open your message, be sure the call to action is located on top. For example, if you’d like someone to click on a link put that link on the top line. You should also make your email message concise. Bullet points help get your point across and make it easier for the reader to scan your email message.

boomerang email infographic1 resized 600

What tactics do you use to get your emails read or responded to? Are you still using email to reach your targets? Tell us about your experiences in the ‘Comments.’

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Topics: email marketing, email marketing tips