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Your Customer: “Pay Attention to Me!”

Congratulations! You landed a new customer—and they love you. As long as you continue to provide good products, reasonable prices, and great customer service, they’ll stay loyal as long as you don’t mess things up. Right?

Not necessarily. In today’s competitive world, you cannot take your customers for granted. You’ve worked hard to win them, but just like any relationship, you have to put in effort to make it last. This is one of the areas where sending regular personalized print and email communications pays off.

Here are five ideas for keeping customers happy and retaining them over the long term.

• Keep them up to date. Send a monthly print or email newsletter. Tell customer stories. Talk about new products. Provide insight they wouldn’t otherwise get. Speak to them by name and customize the content to be more interesting and relevant to them.

• Ask their opinion. Ask them how you are doing. It’s a great way to let people know you value their opinion . . . and their business. Use personalized URLs to make this easy and append the data back into your marketing database automatically.

• Send a card. Do you know your customers’ birthdays? How about the date they first became customers? Send them personalized “thank you’ notes and cards as a way to let them know you appreciate them.

• Offer advice. Once in a while, offer some free advice. If you’re a landscaping company, you might suggest the easiest care perennials for the upcoming season. If you’re a real estate office, you might alert them to the latest trends in front porch décor.

• Discounts galore! Send a coupon for a discount or a freebie “just because.” It continually re-engages your customers and helps them see the value in their relationship with you.

Client retention is critical to your bottom-line success. Be a company that does this well, and you’ll reap the benefits of great brand recognition and long-term customer relationships.

Survey: Marketing Budgets Soar!

Every year, Target Marketing surveys its readership to identify trends for the upcoming marketing year. This year, its “2019 Marketing Budget Survey” found that a whopping 10x more marketing budgets are increasing for 2019 than decreasing. Great news! That’s the kind of commitment that gets results.

Here’s how the data on respondents’ budgets broke out:

• 60% increasing
• 31% staying the same
• 6% decreasing
• 3% not sure

As part of its survey, Target Marketing also identified three top marketing trends that all marketers, whether digital or traditional (or both), need to know.

1. More money is going to tech and data.

Marketers’ highest spend is going for media and other outreach (28%) and personnel (20%). That’s to be expected, but this year, they take up less than half of marketers’ budgets overall. Technology, consumer data/data management, and metrics/performance measurement combined to account for 42% of spending overall. Data is the foundation of good marketing, and marketers’ budgets are reflecting that.

2. Marketing is moving from push to pull.

Channels that use pull marketing (social media, online video, content marketing) are growing faster than those that push (email). Social media advertising (59%), online video (54%), and content marketing (53%) are the fastest growing media channels. As you integrate digital media into your marketing efforts, make sure you are incorporating channels that pull, as well as push.

3. Marketers still demand conversions.

When it comes to grading performance, conversion metrics win the most favor for budgeting. As you justify your 2019 marketing budget to the higher-ups, focus on metrics that reflect conversions. Select metrics such as sales, lead generation, and sign-ups that prove that you are getting those conversions, however you define them.

Why Some Personalized Mailings Just Work Better

When it comes to increasing response and conversion rates, personalized communications are a powerful tool. However, don’t think that all personalization is equal. It isn’t. To get great results, you must use the right variables with the right audience in the right way.

Response rates for personalized mailings can vary widely. One study found response rates ranging from 6% to 75%, with an average of 21%. These are some eye-catching numbers, but why is the range so wide? To understand the variation and set realistic expectations for your own campaigns, it’s helpful to ask specific questions.

• What type of campaign was it? Customer acquisition? Customer retention?

• What kind of list did you use? Highly targeted, moderately targeted, or undifferentiated lists will yield different results.

• Did recipients have a previous relationship with your company? Or are you using a prospect list?

• What is the value of the product? Are you marketing a webinar or selling a Tesla?

• Did per-order value go up with personalization, and if so, by how much? A “low” response rate combined with a high per-order value will often net you better ROI than a high response rate with low per-order value.

• How are you measuring success? Response rates? Conversion rates? Cost per lead? Average sale? Each measurement tells a different story.

The answers to such questions can have a dramatic impact on understanding ROI. So before setting your expectations for your next personalized mailing, talk to us about your goals, expectations, and the data you are working with. Setting realistic expectations is a critical component to making your 1:1 print program a success.

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