Archive for the ‘Direct Mail’ Tag

Do Your Envelopes Make the Cut?   2 comments

At Eagle we’re always trying to determine what works best and why. Recently we turned our attention to what kind of direct mail envelopes are most effective in increasing return on investment. Maddie Houts, our ace summer intern, set out to do an informal experiment. Here are the results of Maddie’s investigation:…

Post Office Bin     photos 2

At my local post office there are two huge bins where you can throw away any catalogues, magazines, or letters you pick up from your P.O. Box and no longer want.  I decided to rifle through the bins looking for letters that didn’t “cut through the clutter” and make the ride home.

DFB Front  Dog Food Blacklist Envelope

The first I found was a letter from The Whole Dog Journal.  To me, this letter was enticing because it had key words printed all over the envelope.  It promises a “Free issue and a free gift” and on the backside says “WARNING” in a bold font and color.  The back of the envelope lists foods that are hazardous to dogs’ health, but only names the product on the inside.  You would think that any dog owner would open this up immediately, yet the envelope didn’t make it through.  It could be because, according to a Print in the Mix article, what is printed on the back of an envelope is significantly less important than what is on the front.  A supporting study revealed that around 60% of people would not even look at the back before opening one.  This is a possible explanation for its inability to catch the consumer’s interest, as most of the compelling words are on the back.

Envelope-Capital One

Who else finds this letter unexciting? I know I do! Then why am I showing this to you?  Because of all the envelopes in the bins, I feel that this one most effectively highlighted their window.  Experts state that windows aren’t just for bills anymore.  They are incredibly cost and time-effective, and a great use of space if you have the creative wherewithal.  The only color on this Capital One envelope is a blue band surrounding their two windows, which draws your eye to that space.  However, I personally don’t find their copy particularly enticing, and certainly not persuasive enough to make me consider switching my credit card or bank provider.  Also, there was no blue band on the back of the envelope, which I feel disrupts the visual continuity.  So though I commend their window highlighting, I think I understand why the consumer threw this one in the bin.

Envelope 1 Front and Back

SDZ 1 Front  SDZ 1 Back

Envelope 2 Front and Back

SDZ 2 Front  SDZ 2 Back

The San Diego Zoo does a great job with marketing so I was particularly interested in these envelopes. They were sent to two people with different materials enclosed.  They feature text and 4-color pictures, and quite frankly are the first ones I picked up because I had to get a closer look at those adorable animals.  So then why is it that The San Diego Zoo failed to make it through the clutter not once, but twice?! For the Envelope 1, the answer is clear to me.  Though there is an interesting photo and eye-catching text, there is no promise of what lies beyond.  Why do you miss me?  Are you going to renew my membership?  What is this about?  It is unclear and un-compelling motivation for me personally to spend time reading the contents of this piece. However, I think Envelope 2 does a much better job of creating interest in the materials.  It is decorated on both sides, states exactly what to expect of the contents, and offers a coupon.  Notice though that the words “you” and “we” never appear.  Studies suggest a mailer is more likely to fail if it lacks of personal interest.

My experiment and research both support this bottom Line: Use color.  Use words.  Use windows.  Use anything you can to cut through the clutter of the many direct mail campaigns filling the average mailbox.  Because if you end up in the reject bin, the only people who will see your pieces are curious marketing interns like me.

Read more articles about envelopes here, here, and here.


Is It Time to Change that Tune?   2 comments

Lately I feel like a broken record. I’ve been talking to so many of my clients and friends about an epiphany that seems so obvious and mundane it’s almost embarrassing to share. I stress the almost because if it was that obvious, we’d all be doing it.

My new found mantra?  How can I expect different results if I keep doing the same thing?

The simple truth is that to get different, and by implication, better results, we need to do something different. We need to embrace change, mix it up, step outside our comfort box.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how this applies to marketing, both for Eagle and for my clients. Whether you are using traditional marketing like direct mail and print ads or technologies like mobile, social media and email marketing, we all can get a little stale. And, like the vinyl records of old, we wear a groove so deep, it’s hard to skip a beat and change it up.  The comfort we feel by the familiar and the resistance we encounter around change, the more we can be assured our results will always be the same.

Take your company’s brand for example.  If you’re a business owner, you know your brand can and should be intricately linked to your core values and a reflection of your professional passion. And yet, that’s not always the case. Sometimes we get on autopilot, forget to check in and to reevaluate and reassess. We get head down and caught in the trees, so it’s hard to see the forest.

Our team at Eagle is passionate about helping our clients to see that forest.  We advocate for change, not always a revolutionary but almost always evolutionary, in thinking, approach and execution.

For example, how might we integrate their marketing tools with technology so campaigns are more interactive, engaging and memorable? How do we leverage loyalty marketing and referral programs to reward current customers in creative and meaningful ways? How might we refresh and organize a website so user benefit is more front and center and how can that site be better optimized for higher search ranking?  And always – ensure that the message is consistent, compelling, concise and in support of those core values and passion where it all started.

Even for a professional marketing agency, this can be a challenge.  We at Eagle have been asking ourselves some tough questions and reconnecting with what is our collective passion, what are our core competencies, and what makes us unique. On some topics, there is instant clarity. On others, we get caught in those darn trees.

So we are sharpening our proverbial saw and looking critically at what needs a refresh.

I’ll share a few items on our list and challenge you to reflect on a list of your own.

  • How can we use social media more effectively to promote our services?
  • How do we evolve our brand to better reflect what we do so well?
  • What clients haven’t we approached lately for testimonials?
  • How do we market ROI and value added to customers on a regular basis?
  • Where are the best opportunities for continuous learning in emerging technologies?

Maybe some on our list resonated with you. If not, maybe they should.

As Thomas Jefferson once said, “If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.”

So reflect for a moment back to that old, worn groove in the vinyl record.  What are the results you seek? Is it ROI, increased sphere of influence, brand awareness, customer base, or traffic on the web? What is it that you haven’t done? And what are you willing to do to get different results?

I think you’ll agree we could all sing a new tune now and again.

How have you made a change, even a small one, that made a big difference in your business? We look forward to your comments.

You say it’s your birthday?!   Leave a comment

Building loyalty takes a commitment to your consumers. You can’t always be selling. It is about showing them that you not only have great products and services, but that you’re a great company to work with. Birthdays are the perfect time to reach out to your audience to let them know you appreciate them. Whether you offer a formal birthday club with coupons or freebies or just capture their birth date in your e-newsletter signup and send them a simple card, recognizing loyal customers on their special day is a great way to connect.

Eagle Marketing has been running birthday clubs for clients for years. We regularly hear from delighted members how the birthday greeting made their day. Here are just a few examples:

“I don’t know whose idea this was but it is brilliant! And having the video with Ybeth? Now THAT’S what I call the frosting on the cake! Thank you all!!!!”

“Thanks, that was cool! 67 and counting…. Love BayNews9 – especially the weather staff!! Al and all the staff are very nice people and that is why I watch BN9 – You’re a community anchor.”

“Thank you so much for remembering my birthday and actually doing something about it. I know it is just a marketing ploy and you don’t know me from a hole in the wall, but you are the only ones to actually say Happy Birthday to me today. It felt good. Thanks. Your Loyal fan and listener of Baynews 9 since its beginning. -Bruce”

“Thank you Jackie and I am 91 years old smile…. Have a Happy Healthy New Year and many more years to come. – Marie”

Here are some tips to launching a great birthday club:

  • Direct Mail or Email? You choose! Use great creative and silly or heartfelt copy to endear them to your brand. On the one hand, I know I love going to the mailbox around my birthday to see something other than bills waiting for me. Having a tangible reminder of your brand can be powerful. On the other, email messages can include videos or animation and give you the opportunity to start a dialog with a happy consumer ready to thank you for the birthday greeting.
  • Personalize your message: Glean their preferences at signup and then customize your message based on these preferences. Whether it is a customized greeting from their favorite anchor or DJ, dropping in some content or text that would be meaningful to them, or freebies from their favorite show, you are letting them know you care.
  • Don’t Sell: This is the time to thank them for their business. Don’t tell them about the upcoming lineup, latest sale or new model. Simply wish them a Happy Birthday!

There is no reason to limit these interactions to once a year either.  Reach out to your database with holiday greetings throughout the year. Memorial Day, Thanksgiving, Winter Holidays, New Years, Veterans Day, July 4th, Earth Day and others are great times to wish them well. It is about connecting. Making them smile. It is a great way to stay top of mind without pushing your wares.

Objective Judgment   Leave a comment

What marketers do is often judged on a client’s perception of “whether it worked”.  But how do you know if it worked?  Without a reply vehicle it is nearly impossible to tell. Including a reply card, an online portal, or custom coupon code for point of sale gives you a tangible account of the campaign’s performance.

Quantitative response information gives marketers the opportunity to analyze the respondents by geographic, demographic and psychographic factors. Without this information, targeting future campaign is done blindly. With response information, revisions to the targeting strategy can be made to improve the response of the next campaign.

I was thinking about this issue and naturally came to the analogy of education. Without testing, how can we tell “whether it worked”? It would be unwise to base a student’s progress in a subject area only on gut feel. We have to be able to assess the student’s learning so we can adjust what is being taught and place that student appropriately in the future.

Please don’t judge a campaign based only on subjective information. Make the commitment to bettering your marketing plan by always including a response vehicle…and then committing to using that information for your future campaigns.

Posted April 9, 2012 by Dee Dern in Database Analysis, Direct Mail

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Is Gen-Y Tuning You Out?   Leave a comment

Generation-Y or Millennials are the 79 million US consumers born between 1980 and 2000*. These tweens, teens, collegians and young adults are tech savvy, cost conscience, cultural diverse and accustomed to on-demand access to entertainment, continual stimulation and extreme multitasking. With purchasing power of over $170B/year they can’t be ignored. However they have grown up to be suspicious of mass media. So how do you get them to become loyal listeners and viewers? Would you be surprised if I said direct mail?

  • Millennials say 75% of the mail they receive is valuable, and 73% of them have used direct mail coupons. (Source:Deliver Magazine-Jan. 2012)
  • According to the DMA Statistical Fact Book 2011, More than 18% of 22 – 24 year olds say they will respond to mail. This is actual a 13% increase over the 2010 results, showing that mail is actually growing in popularity with many younger consumers.

 “We tend to move a lot, so we don’t get as much mail as older people,”

says Matt Crandell, 24, owner-founder of a web design and computer services firm.

“So when we do get mail, it tends to be a bigger deal.”

(Source: Deliver Magazine-Jan. 2012)

Today, direct mail is morphing into “cross-media marketing,” a term that reflects the integration of data with digital print and online technologies.  Here are some things to consider when creating direct mail for Millennials:

  • Be authenticity:  The voice of the piece needs to focus on their situation and need. They don’t want to be sold.
  • Appeal to their love of technology: Don’t include large blocks of text. Instead add a QR code or directions to a digital experience like a video, personalized URL, mobile or social website for a richer experience.
  • Be creative, edgy and entertaining: Use compelling graphics, candid shots of teens and young adults, and clear, concise messaging.
  • Create a buzz: Get them talking to their peers about your station, campaign or offer.

Done right, direct mail can be a powerful tool to start building a relationship with this audience. Targeted, personalized and somewhat novel for an audience so digitally connected.  Tie in a well developed digital experience and they’ll be tuning in.

*Source: comScore – January 2012

Posted March 12, 2012 by Amy Blum in Direct Mail

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Direct Mail: Old School Cool   Leave a comment

As the Promobabe, I see value in most forms of marketing. I’m all for the Internet. I love a creative print ad campaign. And as a 20 plus year vet of broadcast promotion, I’m a big fan of advertising on radio and TV.

Problem is, so does everyone else.  Resulting in way too much “mass” communication.

So how do you zig when everyone’s zagging?  By going old school.  With  a beautiful piece of direct mail.

Unlike the mind-boggling frenzy of info on the web, or the blather of too many broadcast messages, direct mail can be your own personal playground of effective promotion.

Because, Dear Marketer, that 6 x 9 card is your turf. With an attention-getting design, clean layout and clear, engaging copy, direct mail can rise above the average ad — and become an opportunity to begin a customer conversation.  Even better, it allows you to target your prospects like a Jedi Master — so you can hone in on exactly the folks you most want to reach.

The other really great thing about direct mail? These days, it’s too often overlooked in favor of its high-tech brothers and sisters. Which means fewer of your competitors are likely to be there.

So, while everyone else is shouting themselves hoarse — trying to be heard over the other guy’s ads, questionable web “content,” or jammed into a broadcast break most people skip — direct mail puts you on your own island of advertising.  With your message literally in your customer’s hands.

Now how cool is that?

Need more convincing? A recent study showed that 50% of consumers prefer direct mail to email marketing.

Check out some of our other blogs addressing successful direct mail strategies:

1) Targeting

2) Compelling creative

3) Personalized messaging

4) Enticing call-to-action

Or contact Eagle Marketing today at 619.223.1273  or to learn more.

Posted February 8, 2012 by promobabe in Direct Mail

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What’s in Store for Direct Mail   Leave a comment

I am often asked about the future direct mail. People wonder if electronic media will replace it in the long run. My response is always “direct mail isn’t going away”. I firmly believe this and encourage people to continue to use direct mail as a key element in their marketing plans for several reasons.

  1. Direct mail has a long shelf life. If the creative or offer is strong, people will hang on to the piece—even if they don’t make a purchasing decision right away. They may handle it multiple times, reading portions of the offer over and over.
  2. Human beings like to touch things. We like fluffy things, soft things, squishy things. We like to see how the structure of an item changes when we press, fold or crumple it. Direct mail’s structure can reach people like no other medium.
  3. Integrating a mobile call-to-action into a direct mail piece makes it actionable and trackable. Whether you ask people to scan a QR code or opt into a text campaign to get a coupon, enter a sweepstakes or learn more, you can now provide them updated info and continued engagement.
  4. Most of us like to get mail that isn’t a bill. I remember so clearly, amidst the loneliness and homesickness of my freshman year of college, how a simple letter from home or from another friend who was away at school would brighten my day—or even my week!
  5. Your message with direct mail can be consistent and variable for all of your targets. Clear messages, consistent branding and a vibrant look and feel make direct mail appealing. Utilizing personalization and variable data can make your message personal and meaningful.

And, there are companies that are using direct mail to reach our other senses…even taste and smell! Imagine a direct mail piece that can not only sing, but one you can taste or even smell freshly cut grass. It’s already happening. Yes, my friend, direct mail will continue to evolve and is here to stay.

Posted December 12, 2011 by Dee Dern in Direct Mail

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