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by in Direct Mail

Written by Doug Ainsworth, President and CEO

I think at this point we all agree that relevancy in marketing is here to stay; at least until the iPhone 24 comes out and controls our thoughts and makes our buying decisions for us. It truly is making direct marketing, direct. The more you know about the people you are talking to the more relevant you can make the conversation. You can even customize the offer, copy and graphics. Heck information about your target audience can help you determine the best times to reach out to them, their preferred response channels and how often to contact them.

So if relevancy is king (or queen) how come 1:1 marketing outside of name and address integration is not taking place at a faster pace? I’ll tell you why. At least in the Middle Market segment (the sandbox which we play in) no one is sure what their best customers look like – for that matter they aren’t sure what any of them look like. I know what you are thinking; you know or at least you think you’ve identified them. However, every time we dig deeper into the data we get another story – a different profile.

If this is so important why can’t companies get this right? Every marketing association will tell you the results of your campaigns rely heavily, as much as 70%, on the quality and accuracy of your data. If the data isn’t right, relevancy can’t be right. If you are using a prospect list, the list might not even include the precise people who buy your product.

It’s the data that drives the message.

Without getting too complicated with segmentation, RFM analysis and statistical irrelevance I want to explain the basics.

If you are a business-to-consumer company and you don’t know the following attributes about your customer, you could be wasting a lot of time and money:

• Demographic – Commonly used demographics include gender, race, age, income, disabilities, educational attainment, home ownership, employment status, and even location.

• Psychographics – Commonly used psychographics are attributes relating to personality, values, attitudes, interests, or lifestyles. Psychographical knowledge is extremely valuable.

If you are a business-to-business company you should know the following attributes at a minimum:

• Firmagraphics – Commonly used firmographics include employee size, revenue size, industry, number of locations and location of headquarters.

So what do you do once you have this knowledge? Group the information by common attributes. Decide which groups are growing, profitable and easy to work with. Then market to each group with offers, copy and graphics relevant to them. It’s that easy.

Once you get that down you can move on to true 1:1 messaging. Marketing to all of the groups simultaneously, but everyone gets their own version. Save on paper, printing, e-mailing, set-ups, you name it.

The technology exists, the know-how exists. You just need to know the data. You just need to know thy customer; it will help you find new ones.

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by in Social

Written by Lisa Fleetwood, Director of Marketing

As Director, Marketing Services I have discovered something important. And that is to forget all that I have learned in the Advertising side of the business over the past 18 years; where nothing could go to the client or to print or on-air until it was perfect. Now that I have made the switch to Direct Marketing and have moved closer to the “Client Side” I have struggled with letting go of perfection.

Direct Marketing lends itself to testing and retesting creative, messaging and channels, so the communications are forever evolving. In terms of the web, digital communications and constantly emerging technologies, perfection is something to strive for and it may never be achieved.

In developing and launching Modern Mail’s new website, it was determined that it would be a living, breathing extension of our company. Constant content and design updates will be the norm. Our ultimate goal is not perfection, but to provide useful information that gets us closer to it.

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by in Worth Considering

Written by Doug Ainsworth, President and CEO

It’s been three years since we decided to transition our direct mail production company into a marketing services provider. Three years! So why am I writing about it now? Because its time.

We just never thought you can turn it off one day and turn it on the next. We needed to do research, get an education, train and be trained. We had to purchase hardware and software. We rewrote our business plans, marketing plans and hired staff. We tested, tested, and tested again. We went to conferences, seminars and webinars. We even went so far as to have eleven of our staff members become Direct Marketing Certified Professionals through the courses offered by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA).

Our Business Leadership Team met weekly for six months discussing our vision, mission and our strategy; asking who are we? What do we do? What problems do we solve? Whose problems do we solve? What is our value proposition? Questions we haven’t visited for 20 years. We didn’t think we had to. A good look in the mirror reflected we were wrong.

We also discussed our vision, goals, markets, competitors, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. There would be no flip decisions, no flying by the seat of your pants operations and we put it all on the table. We came away stronger, focused and determined.

Our mission: to seek out and provide marketing services that offer significant value and deliver them better than anyone else. This requires forward thinking. Just turning on the switch is not going to accomplish that. We want to be the experts. We want to add long time value to our customers.

In the swiftly moving environment we live and work in today, it would be easy to catch the latest fad or idea and run with it. However we are a bit different. We believe that forward thinking means not just innovation but innovation that sticks. Integrating media such as print, mail, digital, mobile and social channels is forward thinking. It just took three years to figure it out.

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by in Direct Mail

WASHINGTON — The Postal Regulatory Commission has notified the U.S. Postal Service that price changes announced Jan. 13 satisfy the requirements of the law and will take effect April 17.

The first U.S. Postal Service mailing services price change in two years will have minimal impact on retail customers who will continue to pay only 44 cents for a stamp.
Check out how this might affect you

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by in Uncategorized

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