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Are Recipients Getting the Message?

How often have you seen a slick direct mail piece—well written, with great graphics and a compelling call to action—but wondered, “What does this company want me to take action on?” Sometimes the simplest components of great marketing pieces are overlooked. One of these can be the actual goal of the piece.

Take a recent marketing effort from a well-known university. It was mailed to upscale professionals within a targeted geographic area. The headline read, “The Power of Discovery Starts Here.” The graphic was a rolling ball maze with the university’s logo in the center. Inside were more printed brain games. On the main page were printed the name and dates of the program in bold reverse type on a bright red background.

The piece was eye-catching, and the graphics and headlines made you want to take action. But on what, specifically? Based on the headlines, one might think it was to encourage recipients to further their education through a post-graduate or continuing education program. In reality, the piece was promoting a college prep program for middle-school aged children. The target audience was the parents of middle schoolers, but that wasn’t clear until well down into the body of the text.

This was a mistake that could have been easily fixed. Instead of “The Power of Discovery Starts Here,” the university might have said something like, “Give Your Middle Schooler an Edge!”

How to avoid this mistake in your own marketing?

• Clearly define the goal of the piece upfront. What do you want people to do? Buy a product? Sign up for a program?
• Clearly define your target audience. Ensure that the audience not only has the need for the product or service, but that they have the ability to take the desired action. (For example, that they have the authority to make the purchase.)
• Get a second or third set of eyes on the piece. Does the reader understand the goal? Is the CTA clear? Is the value well presented?

Some simple steps upfront can ensure that your mailing is its best. Need help? Contact one of our business development experts today!

Make a Stronger Impression with Print

Marketers should be paying attention to today’s trends in education. The same tools that help young readers learn and absorb information help the target audiences for your marketing campaigns learn and retain marketing information, too. One of these tools is paper. In a new report, “Third Annual Back to School Annual Report,” the Paper and Packaging Board has gathered a vast number of statistics that show just how vital print remains to learning.

Take a look at this data:

• 96% of parents think that paper is an essential part of their children achieving their educational goals. This includes 95% of Millennial parents.
• 86% of parents say their children learn better when they write things down on paper.
• 56% of Millennial parents feel “most comfortable” helping their children when they are working with textbooks and worksheets.
• 72% of parents overall say they use paper to help their children focus.
• 95% agree they often see their child do well on homework when they complete it on paper.
In a world dominated by electronic communication, paper continues to show its muscle. Studies consistently show that paper aids the absorption and retention of information, which are the characteristics that help your prospects absorb and retain your marketing message, too.
Paper remains a mainstay of marketing for a reason!

Tapping Your Envelope’s Most Powerful Real Estate

What is the most important real estate on your mailing envelope? It is the upper left-hand corner, the location of the return address. It is here that your prospect will often decide to open your envelope... or not.

Here are three reasons this space helps recipients decide to open your envelope:

Existing customer relationship: If the mailer is from a company the recipient already does business with, studies show that they will often open the envelope simply because of that relationship. Even if they do not have an immediate need for the product or service, they will often open it because it is you. If you are mailing to existing customers, play up that relationship and make sure your company is clearly identified.

Brand recognition: If it is from a well-known brand that the recipient does not do business with but they respect, they will often open the envelope as long as it is a product they are interested in. Here is where positive, established brand identity and smart targeting play an important role.

Attention-getters: To get people to open an envelope from a company or organization they may not know, use attention-getting techniques such as images, colorful brand logos, and other techniques. Some even use the signatures of celebrities. One nonprofit, for example, gained permission to use the signature of actress Natalie Portman above its logo to attract attention. Identification with a well-known figure can have a powerful effect. Just make sure that you have the correct permissions and that the images relate to the product or service you are marketing.

Take advantage of this powerful real estate. Use it to create a powerful emotional connection and tell a story, even before the envelope is opened.

Source: Taken from the video “Engaging Envelopes: The Corner Card,” sponsored by Tension Corp. and hosted by Target Marketing

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