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What Is Really Motivating Your Customers?

When we think about motivating consumers to make a purchase, we think about using the right mailing list, creating the right offer, and having a compelling call to action. Whether creating a direct mail piece, a sales letter, or a magazine advertisement, those elements are critical. But the reasons people buy can also be more complex.

Particularly in the B2C environment, emotional factors are often at play. For example, if you are selling exotic vacations, you aren’t just selling a cost-effective hotel with great food and a seafront view.

• You are selling relaxation.
• You are tapping into the desire to escape from the daily grind of meetings, presentations, and child rearing.
• You are selling the desire to be catered to.

Tapping into these deep emotional wells can help you sell more. Instead of mailing a postcard with the headline, “Get 25% off plane tickets today!” Try, “Don’t you wish the office were a Thousand Miles Away?” Or, “Isn’t It Time that Someone Pampered YOU?”

Think about a parent dreaming of excitement beyond the children’s homework, playing shuttle for soccer practice, and meetings for the PTA. A trip offering whitewater rafting, bungee jumping, and skydiving might tap deep emotional needs for adventure. Try a postcard with an image of the face of a skydiver, wide-eyed and exhilarated—cheeks flapping in the wind—that says, “You, too, can FLY!”

Whether you are developing direct mailers, sales letters, or magazine ads . . .

• Think about unmet frustrations and deeper emotions that might drive recipients to make a change.
• List the potential motivators. To be recognized at work? Get a promotion? Be challenged? Break out of the mold? Feel empowered, youthful, and sexy?
• Show — don’t tell. Use the power of graphics to tell a story.

Emotions are powerful marketing tools. Emotionally driven purchases tend to be less price-sensitive and more spontaneous. The medium of print has the ability to tap into those emotions and motivate behavior in a way that no other medium can do. Take advantage of it!

3 Tips for Maximizing Results with Print + Email

Combine direct mail with email is a great way to increase response rates. Here are three ways to manage the timing to turbocharge your results.

1. Use email to follow-up to nudge response.
Email makes a great reminder for your direct mail pieces. Drop your postcard or letter. Then, while the piece is still fresh in people’s minds, use email to nudge them to respond. When one manufacturer wanted to invite customers to an in-house seminar, for example, it paired a dimensional mailer with two follow-up emails. The company received an 18% overall response rate.

2. Use mail tracking to optimize email timing.
Using mail tracking services, you can determine when the mail piece actually arrives at the recipient’s home or office, then time your email to arrive at the time that testing has determined will be most effective.

One B2B marketer split its email blast into two groups and conducted an A/B test. The first blast arrived on a predetermined day regardless of when the mail piece actually arrived. In the second blast, the mail drops were tracked and the email was timed to arrive exactly one day later. The timed follow-ups showed a 4.7% lift in response.

3. Send email first to save on postage costs.
Did you know that you can optimize your postal costs by sending an email first? Anyone who responds to the email blast can be removed from the direct mail list. This saves you print and postage.

In one alumni campaign, a university sent personalized emails based on area of study and graduation/reunion year. It followed up with a direct mailer personalized with the same information, but only to people who had not responded to the email. Not only did the university save money on print and postage, but it achieved an 8.5% response rate.

Email makes a terrific partner to direct mail campaigns, whether sent in advance of the mailing or as a follow-up. Looking for ideas for making the ideal one-two punch? Give us a call.

5-Point Checklist for Top-Notch Folds

First impressions matter. When a recipient reaches into his or her mailbox or picks up a piece of marketing collateral, what impression are they getting from your company? The quality of the folds you use is one of those details that matters more than you might think. Here is a five-point checklist to make sure your piece looks its best.

1. Create a mock-up.
Before finalizing the design, create a mock-up to make sure everything looks right. For example, check that folds don't run awkwardly through visual elements and that everything lines up correctly. You don't want to be making last-minute corrections because something got missed.

2. Double-check the folding sequence.
When the piece is run through the folding machine, the folding sequence is often different from how the panels appear on the printed sheet. Make sure that the panels are in the correct order even after the piece gets folded.

3. Allow for creep.
If you are doing multiple folds, adjust for creep. Especially with thicker paper, every time the sheet is folded, it moves over a little each time. If you are doing roll folds, each consecutive panel must be slightly narrower.

4. Don't assume it's machine foldable.
Don't assume that every piece is machine foldable. With more complex constructions, pieces may need to be hand folded. You don't want to be redesigning the piece right before the deadline to avoid an unexpected expense.

5. Consider the paper grain.
Ensure that the folds go with the grain of the paper, not against it. This will minimize the potential for cracking across those fold lines. If you have heavy ink coverage, you may want to pre-score the folds to keep them crisp.

These are five simple steps that can make for a piece that stands out in its professionalism and stays within the budget. Before creating any complex folds, talk to us first!

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