Direct Mail Alive & Well in an Online World

Monday, February 4th, 2019

You may think direct mail is old news in todays’ techy world, but it’s not! In a mailbox full of bills, statements and letters you have an opportunity to stand out with something unique. Especially when consumers are getting tired of spam, email ads and online ads. According to the USPS the average household receives only two pieces of direct mail a day compared to 157 e-mails. Media reports of statistics from eMarketer suggest that by the end of 2019, 30% of all Internet users will use ad blockers. That number is sure to rise as consumers tire of digital ads.

Don’t let this digital world scare you away from the sales possibilities provided by direct mail. Do you remember a day that you didn’t bring in your mail and look through it almost immediately? I thought not. We all sort though our mail every day, because we don’t want to miss anything important. In addition, printed mailers have a longer lifespan than other types of marketing. This includes email and digital ads. It’s also “sticky” as we refer to marketing terms, because it sticks with your audience longer than a digital ad.

Reach your target with direct mail marketing

You may have been scared off seeing figures of mail volume going down at the USPS. Fear not, less volume actually means a greater chance of your printed postcard being seen! In reality, less volume may have a lot to do with people opting in for online bank and credit card statements, as well as online bill pay. Therefore, there’s much less clutter in all of our actual mailboxes lately, don’t you agree?

In today’s hectic world, personalization is the name of the game in reaching your target market. Direct mail is called direct for a reason. It connects you directly to your audience. It’s also so easy to personalize. According to the DMA in their DMA Response Rate Report 2018, direct mail response rates are 9% when a house list is used and 5% when a prospect list is use. This is up over 5.1% and 2.9% respectively the previous year. Industries taking the most advantage of printed marketing mailers include travel, hospitality, not for profit, publishing, financial services, casinos and healthcare. These industries have realized just how much direct mail can enhance their marketing efforts.

Printed mailers that work

  • Realtor postcards
  • Medical and Dental postcards
  • Financial newsletters & postcards
  • Retail mailers & brochures
  • Catalogs
  • Financial advisor booklets
  • Sales flyers
  • Auto dealership postcards

Even Google, the king of online advertising, uses direct mail. For instance, as a business owner, I often receive Google postcards in the mail. They use printed postcards to advertise and offer discounts on business services such as Google AdWords. Obviously Google sees the benefits of direct mail in helping them quickly and effectively reach their target market. Another surprise user of direct mail is Apple. Of course they did it in the most attention-grabbing way, sending out printed posters to specifically targeted consumers to advertise the features of a Mac.

With direct mail you aren’t just running an online ad and hoping your message hits the right person, you are actually targeting that specific group you want to reach. Still think using the good ole’ US Postal Service doesn’t work? According to Forbes, even Millennials respond to direct mail with 77% of millennials saying they pay attention to direct mail.

The right marketing mix for your business

If you are a savvy businessperson, you will want to consider integrating direct mail into your marketing strategy this year. Use it as a way to grab attention and direct people to your website or drive foot traffic to your location. Reaching your target across multiple channels of advertising can help keep your business top of mind. In conclusion, direct mail can boost ROI significantly when used as part of an integrated marketing campaign. When it is well executed, direct mail can get you the attention you need to grow sales.  

Whether you need a printed mailer for your car dealership or printed postcard advertising your new chiropractic practice, Corcoran Printing delivers professional printed direct mail pieces at a cost to fit your budget.

Tap here to learn more about our direct mail services. Read our latest blog about catalog mailers Printed Catalogs Influence Buying Decisions.

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Printed catalogs influence buying decisions

Monday, February 4th, 2019

Did your brand decide to kick its printed catalogs to the curb? In an effort to save marketing dollars, many businesses made that same hasty decision. In other words, they began to channel catalog-marketing dollars in a more digital direction. How did that decision work out? It resulted in a reduction in sales for many companies, including major brands. They quickly found themselves lost in the noise of digital advertising.

If you’re like me, you’re getting sick and tired of all of the email ads that clutter your inbox on a daily basis. For instance, I have a specific email dedicated just for things like that it’s still overwhelming. Printed catalogs on the other hand, get my attention. More and more brands are producing printed catalogs as a marketing strategy to influence purchases. According to identity-international.com, websites supported by catalogs yield 163% more revenue than those not supported by catalogs. You just can’t ignore that figure.

Is email advertising all it’s cracked up to be?

After a recent weekend getaway, I came home to an inbox full of ads from travel companies, retail stores, restaurants, casinos, business services, magazines, media outlets, concert venues, financial advisors, social media apps and much more. You get the picture; the list goes on and on. I’m sure you are experiencing the same type of inbox overload. It’s getting ridiculous and many of us are just hitting the delete button over and over, not even bothering to open certain emails. Many of us may have signed up for these lists to get a one time special discount or another perk. Perhaps at the time, we didn’t realize we were opting in to an endless stream of emails.

A few interesting statistics

Most noteworthy, according to the email marketing firm, Listrak, only about one-third of U.S. retail email list subscribers have actually made a purchase from the retailer whose email they subscribed to. What does that mean for businesses? Firstly, many people are subscribed to email lists that they are simply not interested in, which leads to even further email overwhelm and frustration. Secondly, they may be so disinterested, that according to statistics from Convince and Convert 21% of email recipients report email as spam, even when they know it isn’t. In addition, 17% of Americans create a new email address every 6 months. Think they’re trying to run and hide from inbox clutter?

It’s getting the same way with digital ads for me as it is for emails. Similarly, it’s just an overload of ads all the time. I scroll through social media and it’s a stream of ads. I’m online and there are pop up ads. Although we are stuck to our smartphones like glue and constantly connected, are we really taking the time to look at all those digital and social ads? I know I don’t pay as much attention as I used to.

Printed catalogs can be the secret to sales success in 2019

So what does get my attention? Mail. Yes, good old-fashioned mail delivered right to my mailbox. When it’s in my hand, I’m definitely going to take the time to look at it.  And, I love a good printed catalog. I enjoy relaxing on the couch, sipping a cup of coffee and flipping through a catalog. For example, I read though home décor catalogs to get inspiration for home remodel projects and holiday decorating. I browse through retail clothing catalogs to see the latest styles.

At times, I will leisurely flip through specialty catalogs to get entertaining or recipe ideas. If I see something I like, I’ll go online and make a purchase or make a trip to a store. In fact, that actually happens quite often. Sound familiar? If the catalog has a beautiful magazine style cover, it may even grace my living room table for months or more. That’s a lot of staying power in the world of marketing.

Retailers are taking note and companies are printing catalogs to cut through email clutter and social-media overload. Certainly, a printed catalog can differentiate your brand. It helps make a deeper connection with consumers and sustain existing customer relationships in a way that email and other digital advertising can’t. Studies have also shown that printed catalogs and other direct mail are more memorable than email and digital marketing.

Statistics from the USPS report Catalogs: Trends and Updates

  • 84% of consumers have purchased an item after seeing it in a catalog
  • 71% of consumers responded that catalogs have an influence on their purchase decisions
  • 66% responded that a catalog has influenced them to go online to a store’s website to purchase an item
  • 84% of consumers enjoyed getting catalogs from retailers they previously shopped
  • 70% enjoyed getting a catalog from a company they were familiar with, but never purchased from

These statistics are extremely encouraging for brands taking advantage of printed catalogs. However, those who have done away with their printed catalog budget should take note. Here are two other interesting statistics from USPS research related to catalogs. A person spends an average of 15.5 minutes looking at a catalog and keeps it for an average of 20.3 days. When was the last time you spent 15.5 minutes looking at an online or email ad? Finally, 25% of consumers actually responded that they wanted more catalogs with their mail! Not printing a catalog? Well it may be time to start.

Brands jumping on and off the catalog bandwagon

Although we may not stop to take the time to look through a catalog the minute it gets delivered, chances are great that we will put it aside and look at it when we have time as I always do. It sticks around, unlike an email ad that gets deleted. That’s why brands continue to use printed catalogs as way to drive web traffic and retain customers.

Many consumers will still make online purchases, but they’ve been encouraged to make those purchases by printed product catalogs that direct them to a website. Interestingly, even Amazon jumped on the catalog bandwagon with its recent printed holiday catalog. In an effort to pick up former Toys “R” Us shoppers over the holiday season, Amazon printed full color catalogs that consumers could either get delivered by mail or pick up at a Whole Foods store. Imagine that. One of the largest online retailers in the world and they print a catalog.

The Victoria’s Secret lesson

Just what happened to that famous Victoria’s Secret catalog many of us loved? In an effort to redirect marketing efforts, Victoria’s Secret made a decision to do away with its popular catalog. According to media reports, the catalog had a circulation of nearly 250 million. Yes, you heard me correctly. That’s a lot of lingerie consumers to ignore. The elimination of its catalogs and direct mail promos, combined with leaving the swimsuit and apparel market, resulted in a huge decline in sales and earnings. Victoria’s Secret continues to struggle with sales as more and more women have trouble identifying with the brand. How much did ditching the catalogs contribute to the decline? It’s hard to tell, but choosing not to get your product in front of 250 million consumers on a regular basis obviously hurt. You know the old saying, “out of sight, out of mind.”

Catalogs can open those virtual doors

In conclusion, a printed catalog is a very effective way to direct consumers to your website. Moreover, it’s a great tool for enhancing brand perception for your business or products. Most importantly, a printed catalog influences purchases decisions. Need another perk? ROI is easy to track when it comes to catalogs through the use of unique sales codes and special promotions. Instead of pondering why print a physical catalog in a digital world, ask yourself why not? In short, cut through the clutter with a printed, full-color catalog. Learn more about printing a catalog at Corcoran Printing, an experienced commercial catalog printer. Learn about the benefits of direct mail on our blog Direct Mail is Alive & Well.  

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Tis the season to spread customer cheer with company holiday cards

Monday, October 16th, 2017

Printed company holiday cards connect businesses to the recipient in a way that an electronic greeting can’t. A printed corporate holiday card connects on a much deeper level than a social media or email greeting. People still love to get mail, even in this digital age. Consequently, customers really look forward to receiving and opening company holiday cards.

In addition, printed business holiday cards can help you generate goodwill. They will reconnect your brand with customers and also strengthen business relationships. A printed company holiday card will demonstrate the importance of your customers and how much you value them. Especially if you keep your approach sincere, with no sales pitch, just a genuine holiday message.

Facts about direct mail and customer loyalty

According to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), direct mail has the greatest impact because it offers a tangible experience for the customer. Research found that all age groups are interested in receiving and responding to mail. Company holiday cards are an ideal way to strengthen loyalty. Furthermore, branded holiday cards can also help improve customer retention. A study by Harvard Business School found that increasing customer retention by even 5% could increase profits between 25-95%. Achieve higher customer retention by building a strong rapport and developing loyal relationships. Build better customer relationships through personalized printed company holiday cards. Your loyal customers will soon become your best brand ambassadors.

10 Tips for effective company holiday cards

  1. First of all, don’t go digital. Print is worth the extra time, effort and expense, so you may show your customers they are valued. Printed branded holiday cards are much more meaningful. Paper cards have a much longer shelf life than a holiday email that can be easily deleted before being read.
  2. Custom design a vibrant corporate holiday card to fit your brand. If you don’t want to invest in a custom design, find an existing business holiday card design that best represents your business. Be sure your corporate greeting card is high quality and tasteful. The tone and style of your company holiday cards should reflect your business and your brand.
  3. Be aware of religious and cultural beliefs. Keep the card message and design more generic to avoid offending anyone. You can personalize more through a message.
  4. Try to avoid making a sales pitch. Keep the tone of your printed corporate greeting card more an expression of goodwill.
  5. Impress with special print effects on our holiday greeting card. Consider foil stamped company holiday cards. The effect will really stand out. Die cut holiday cards and embossed holiday cards are sure to get your brand noticed.
  6. Select quality paper for your custom printed branded holiday cards. Corcoran Printing will be able to help you select the paper stock and envelope style to best fit your card. There are many thicknesses and textures from which to chose. The paper selection should enhance the design of the printed corporate greeting card. It should also enhance any hot foil stamping or embossing.
  7. Personalize your printed corporate greeting card with a signature and personal message. Signing a card and adding a handwritten message is a wonderful touch. Printed company holiday cards signed by the business owner will also show a very personal touch. If your list is too large for hand-written personalization, incorporate your digital signature and a personal digital message. What will be most welcome and appreciated by the recipient? It could be a simple message of thanks and gratitude for their support over the past year.
  8. Start planning now. Most of all, be aware of the holiday mail rush. Be sure to order and mail your printed company greeting cards on time. You don’t want them arriving after the holidays. You can begin to mail your holiday card anytime after Thanksgiving.
  9. Double-check the accuracy of your mail list. Be sure to update contact names and addresses. There’s nothing worse than addressing it to the wrong person or having a typo in the recipient’s name.
  10. Finally, consider including a corporate branded holiday gift for VIP customers and clients. Corcoran Printing offers a wide array of branded promotional items and branded holiday gifts. You may have a few customers or business contacts that you would like to acknowledge with a bit more this holiday season. Corcoran Printing can help.

Order your company holiday cards today

Printed branded holiday cards will let the recipient know they are important and valued. Remember, people like to get mail, especially cards. Therefore, you can make a customer’s day this holiday season. Printed company holiday cards are a great investment in customer relationships. Most noteworthy, this small gesture of thoughtfulness can help solidify your business relationships.

Visit Corcoran Printing for more information on printed greeting cards. You will also find information on die cut printing for holiday cards, foil stamping for greeting cards and an extensive listing of our products and services.

 

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Corcoran Printing encourages the use of print media to enhance social media and get more Facebook page likes

Monday, April 13th, 2015

There are many ways to put print to work for you in the digital age. This includes cross promoting your Facebook page and other social media pages on all of your printed pieces. Including your Facebook URL and Facebook logo on printed materials is a great way to increase likes on your page. Examine all print media used in your business and develop a plan to include your Facebook information on all of your printed materials. Clearly display your Facebook page information on all printed ads, brochures, customer letters, statement stuffers, flyers, postcards, coupons, catalogs, direct mail pieces and even your business cards.

Posters and direct mail pieces, such as catalogs and postcards, are a great way to cross-promote your company Facebook page and your other social media sites, such as Twitter. Once you build your likes and followers, be sure to keep your fans interested with informative and insightful content. Be interactive, ask and answer questions, post photos and participate in discussions. Relevant content and interaction is a great way to turn Facebook fans and Twitter followers into customers.

How often should you posocst to social media? Yahoo Small Business says that in general you will want to post at least 3 times per week, but that posting every day is even better in keeping you connected with your fans. The shelf life of Facebook posts are actually quite short. A survey by Wisemetrics found that a Facebook impression takes only 2 hours and 30 minutes to reach 75% of its max. This is just another reason to post every day if you want to reach the maximum number of fans.

Print and social media go hand and hand in today’s world to help you get the most attention for you advertising time and dollar. Colorful graphics, foil stamping and die cutting on printed pieces still grab attention in the hands of potential buyers and those same graphics crossover well into social media. Driving customers and prospects to social media pages, as well as to your website, is a great way to insure immediate contact.

According to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) 44% of customers visit a brand’s website after receiving direct-mail marketing, while 34% search for them online. A survey by Pitney Bowes found that 76% of small business owners say their ideal marketing strategy encompasses a combination of both print and digital media.

With a combination of both, you will stay ahead of the competition in customer communication and engagement. Be sure to maintain consistency across both print and digital media to keep your brand instantly recognizable in both circles. Use special offers on printed pieces to drive customers directly to your website or social media pages and QR codes for customers to scan and go directly to your site. By printing a scanable QR code right on your printed piece, you not only allow customers to the ability to go immediately to your site, but you can also track use.

A fully digital marketing approach can be a big mistake. When planning your marketing and advertising strategy, remember that print and digital media work well together to enhance the results of your marketing efforts. When you find the right balance of both, you will see an increase in customer interaction and business.

Printed marketing materials are still the most effective way for companies to deliver their sales pitch to buyers. Great marketing materials can mean the difference between success and failure in sales. These materials must send a message that you are professional and serious about doing business. An emailed pdf just doesn’t pack the same punch as a well-branded pocket folder filled with professional marketing materials. Providing professional printed materials also lets your sales team know you are invested in them and their success. When you use these materials to enhance your social media presence, it will only strengthen the connection between you and your customers and prospects.

Corcoran Printing is a full service commercial printer serving northeast Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia and entire east coast. Corcoran Printing provides a full array of printed services from full-color postcards, brochures, kit covers, catalogs and other marketing materials, to specialty foil and die cutting projects and complete direct mail services. For more information on how we can help you reach your marketing goals, call 1-800-564-0085 or visit us at www.corcoranprinting.com. We also encourage you to like the Corcoran Printing Facebook page.

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Direct mail can generate leads and create new customers

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

SummerLoans_PCDespite the growing popularity of social media and online marketing, many businesses still find direct mail to be very effective in helping to sell products and services. Politico Magazine reported that direct mail isn’t just alive, but it’s thriving. Research shows that spending on direct mail reached nearly $45 billion in 2013 and still generates more consumer response than electronic marketing.

According to research by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), in 2013, nearly two thirds of all consumers say they purchased something as a result of direct mail. DMA also found that direct mail still has an average response rate of 2% to 6% as compared to email marketing, which only has an average response rate of .12%. Direct mail seems to evoke immediate action. Research by the Chief Marketing Officer Council Worldwide (CMO), found that 79% of consumers will act on direct mail immediately, as compared to only 45% who say they deal with email immediately.

Another encouraging sign for direct mail marketing, DMA reported that very young adults, age 24 and younger are the age group most responsive to direct mail. Why do so many major companies still use direct mail? According to Forbes Magazine, it’s because direct mail is profitable, it brings in revenue that the companies can’t touch with electronic marketing.

What type of direct mail works best? The U.S. Postal Service found that postcards are the mail format most likely to be read or scanned by the recipient, and DMA studies suggest that a whopping 56% of postcards are read by the recipient.

How can you develop a more effective direct mail campaign? Here are a few tips from the Corcoran Printing team:

  • Consider an oversized postcard.
  • Feature an offer prominently on the front.
  • Use a professional graphic designer for an eye-catching design.
  • Increase your impact with full color printing.
  • Invest in a good mail list.
  • Be sure to evoke action with your copy or offer. You need a great call to action.

Direct mail may not be trendy, but it’s is an efficient and cost-effective way to place your brand, coupons, and promotional items right in the hands of the consumer through a targeted mailing list. Unlike social media, direct mail is tangible, you can hold it in your hand, and many consumers still value that. Social media may be fun and exciting, but it is not a replacement for direct mail.

The professionals at Corcoran Printing can help your next direct mail campaign stand out. From targeted mailing list selection through design, full color printing and mail processing services, we will take you every step of the way. For more information or to get started visit us online or call or 1-800-564-0085.

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