Data is GOLD found within your customers, sales prospects and any other marketing lists…

Data is GOLD found within your customers, sales prospects and any other marketing lists…

but you must mine your lists and categorize each to get the shiny gold you want!

Today’s customers, prospects, sales leads and so-called contact list of maybes can be reached using a ton of tactical marketing channels daily. 

The glaring question most people search an answer for “Which marketing channel is the best one for us to use?” The best answer may be all of them. What channels do your customers respond to? All your contacts in your databases control the marketing communication they use in their company. 

Trying to look for gold in a stream by your house or office is probably crazy. Sending a message using a marketing channel your contact does not respond to, email for example, is like waiting for a sunrise on a stormy, cloudy day. Time wasted is lost. 

Fortunately, today’s databases can process a host of data, using a variety of options to reach the right customer using their preferred channels of communication.  In addition, there are a variety of niche segments to consider, so an open mind may be your best option. 

Here is a list to help you get started and to assure your team is headed in the right direction.   

IDEA: Put a value on your corporate database so it is not viewed as an expense.   

  1. Match your products or services to customers’ and prospective customer’s wants/needs. You want your data to give you a summary of your customers’ buying patterns. Knowing customer data will help you customize offers for use in any marketing channel. If you’re looking for an increase in answers, you may find gold in these channels.
  2. Select new list purchases that fit the profiles of existing customer data. Use your Website landing pages in conjunction with an email newsletter you send regularly. 
  3. Maximize personalization in your customer channel selection communication and more than one offer. This is a proven method that increases response. Address your customer by name, title and add additional data from their last purchase date. You may want to add a discount or another offering that will pique their interest.
  4. Provide ongoing interaction with customers, especially the ones receiving your email newsletter. Out of sight is out of mind. Your goal is to stay in touch with your customers to learn their preferred communication channels. Be careful. Too much too soon could shut down the lead spigot.
  5. If there is no preferred communication channel, start the conversation using direct marketing mail. Make an offer of value on a landing page on your website. You want to gather some additional data, creating an awareness that triggers consideration and beginning to build your brand awareness and customer loyalty.
  6. Pinpoint timing and frequency of promotions. See who responds and at what time of the year. Use the results to spread offers to your customers and your prospective customers. Make sure to collect the results and add it to your data. Some large companies with a diverse customer base use a special customer event once or twice a year to help fill the sales pipeline.
  7. Measure response and be responsible for results. Direct marketing mail is measurable. More than any other medium, it can be evaluated for its impact on a specific goal. When results are not satisfactory, go back and learn what went wrong.
  8. Collected customer data will help to determine offers to share with others in your lists. If a customer makes a request about your marketing enter it into your company data fields. As you test different offers and promotions, compare the responses of each to see if some produce better results than others. Most important, listen to customer suggestions for future deals!
  9. Demonstrate that your customers are valuable assets. Check your customer data and customer service data for ideas such as having a workshop, personal presentations of new products, or a customer rewards/sales incentive program. These programs have a history of building brand loyalty and customer satisfaction.
  10. Show customers you care about their opinions. Conduct a customer satisfaction survey through direct marketing mail. Add an offer to increase the rate of surveys. If you hear back from inactive customers, you can tailor an event or promotion to bring them back to active status. If you have a sales team, train them to ask questions and learn what you want to know 

Always remember that a clean customer database is a quality database. Quality customer database results are valuable business tools that in turn is a quality asset for your business. When you communicate us.

Thanks for reading. I appreciate comments and ideas for future articles.

Marketingdoc      Mdoc@direct2customers.com

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Hey marketers, “did you hear the latest about Informed Delivery from the US Postal System?”

Hey marketers, “did you hear the latest about Informed Delivery from the US Postal System?”

And this service is FREE! 

Most every mailing campaign can benefit by taking advantage of this great innovation available from the US postal System. Yes, it is FREE! If you care to see examples of just how creative and effective Informed Delivery can be, read on and I’ll share as much as possible. People are really getting it, and it’s making a difference to them. 

Informed Delivery 

Informed Delivery® is a free and optional notification feature that gives residential consumers the ability to digitally preview their letter-sized mail and manage their packages scheduled to arrive soon. Informed Delivery benefits the entire household by allowing users to view what is coming to their mailbox whenever, wherever – even while traveling – on a computer, tablet, or mobile device. 

How do you get started? 

You must live in an eligible ZIP Code™ location and be able to verify your identity in order to sign up for Informed Delivery.  In rare instances, you may live in an eligible ZIP Code, but cannot sign up for the feature because your individual mailbox is not uniquely coded; this coding determines which images are provided to each Informed Delivery user and ensures that users view mail destined for their address only.   

While most addresses are uniquely coded, not all are, especially in high density areas (e.g., apartment buildings or condos). If your address is not uniquely coded, you will not be able to sign up for Informed Delivery at this time, but please check back later. USPS is working to increase the number of addresses with access to Informed Delivery. 

How does Informed Delivery work? 

The United States Postal Service® (USPS) snaps the image of the front of a letter-sized mail while running through our automated mail sorting equipment. USPS is now using those images to provide digital notifications to users in advance of the delivery of physical mail. 

Users receive emails to the email address in their personal USPS.com® account containing grayscale images of the exterior, address side of up to 10 pieces of incoming letter-sized mail that is arriving soon. These images are also accessible on the Informed Delivery dashboard at informed delivery.USPS.com. Only the first 10 pieces of mail appear in the email currently.  

The remaining mail images can be viewed on your dashboard. This measure helps limit the size of emails being sent to users. Additionally, participating mailers can supplement their digital mail piece with a clickable and interactive color image below the grayscale image or provide an image to replace the grayscale image. 

Some mail pieces (e.g., catalogues or magazines) are not imaged by our automated equipment and will not appear in your Informed Delivery notification. If a scan is detected on these types of mail pieces, users will see a message stating, “A mail piece for which we do not currently have an image is included in today’s mail.” 

For any item with USPS Tracking®, including items such as Certified Mail® and Registered Mail®, users can view the delivery status in Informed Delivery notifications. Users can also provide USPS Delivery Instructions®, manage their notifications, and schedule redelivery from the dashboard. Users can also receive USPS Tracking updates for incoming packages via separate email or text notifications. 

The dashboard displays mail images for a seven-day period, and package information displays for 15 days after each package has been delivered. Users can opt-in to receive separate email or text notifications with status updates for incoming packages, too. 

Stay tuned for additional information. 

Thanks for reading. If you have any comments or questions, reach me at Mdoc@direct2customers.com

 

800-251-3608     

      

 

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Here’s how to use a secret B2B marketing code…

Here’s how to use a secret B2B marketing code…

that will keep your business growing and growing.

Your customers and even a few of your prospects can be influenced to purchase your goods through a variety of marketing channels. There’s email, a call-to-action on a web page, text messaging, LinkedIn, and yes, even direct mail. It’s always recommended to use the channel of choice favored by the people you want to hear from you. 

Email marketing, as a communication channel in use today, is recommended for B2B marketing and sales organizations. Yet, there is a lot of talk about spam, fewer people opening their email, or just cherry picking the emails to open and read. 

Most businesses have a website. Along with the website, corporate email is a given. So, where does email come into play? There is a lot of abuse regarding email addresses. Besides spam, many people who promise they won’t share an email address, do. 

What makes a good B2B marketing campaign in today’s digital market?  

For starters, send an email introducing yourself and the company you represent. If Social Media is a good place for a B-2-B company like yours, do some checking on the competitors to see if they have a presence in social media. 

For instance, let’s say that a lot of lead time is the norm using customer acquisition programEven being cautious, sending an email to someone you don’t knowis usually not a smart move. Aggravate the wrong person with an unwanted email or sending the same email to a person who received it two weeks prior, you’ll likely lose your place in line. 

When starting a quest for new customers, play by the rules. Having prospects opt-in to your email database is a good rule to abide by. Adding another communication channel into the mix is a great idea. 

Email and direct mail were made for B2B. 

For example, direct mail is one of the safest communication channels to get information needed to introduce your company’s products and services. Aligned with email, you’ll find this is a great way to increase opens and response. Be patient. Your time is well spent on learning more about the companies you contact and their needs. 

Wait, there’s more. 

In the old days, maybe in 2007, email and direct mail started to team together with some forward-thinking companies. Tying them together with the World Wide Web using landing pages and call-to-action tools of direct marketing, these companies were getting additional responses from the contacts in their data base. Company personnel started smiling more with better open and response results using beginning new found segmentation usage with the company database. 

Many of today’s successful B2B campaigns are using a variety of strategies in direct marketing, direct response, customer-centric, data driven, websites and landing pages, social media, digital and content marketing with a variety of communication channels to reach contacts and turn them into customers.

Thanks for reading. I can be reached at Mdoc@direct2customers.com or 800.251.3608

 

 

 

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Valuable Pointers That Will Help You…

Valuable Pointers That Will Help You…

navigate the course of marketing and sales using personalization!

When it comes to direct marketing personalization, is your database or CRM, last usage date from the previous decade. You are not alone.

Is your database of customers and prospects a hodge-podge of, well, just names? You are not alone.

It’s easy to end up having egg on your face embarrassing yourself and your company. Bringing about a response that is entirely opposite the one you were hoping for is about as popular as a bee sting on one’s backside. You’re still not alone.

Target the right market.

Ultimately, the key to eliminate direct marketing waste is to target the right people at the right time with the right messages. Personalization assumes that you know something about the people to whom you are mailing, emailing, or sending to a landing page and so on. It’s an effective way to keep customers spending their money on your products and services.

As data increasingly becomes more accessible, most marketers are looking for ways to make it more scalable and actionable in order to better target prospects in various stages of the buying journey. If you are a small B2B company, more than likely the cost for purchasing big data is way beyond your marketing budget.

However, consider, small B2B companies are usually closer to their customers. Therefore, if sales will communicate with your marketing team, work with them, and share their data, will they work together? Maybe. Depending on your CRM or database.

“CRM is over 30+ years on and salespersons still hate it.”  

Customer Think, Thomas Wieberneit, July 9, 2019

We are now over thirty years after the first CRM tools were introduced, initially as helpers for the sales force. Our first encounter was with a software program called ACT! As you can imagine the software was limited, but a few tools existed such as addressing and adding notes from the sales team was a good start for anyone’s sales force.

According to MarketingProfs, organizations that align sales and marketing, are seeing more than a 30% increase in sales. 

Personalizing your content marketing doesn’t have to be complicated. So, quit thinking it’s a waste of time. When it’s done right, it can be the most powerful persuader in your efforts to influence customer behavior and building better relationships.

On the other hand, doing personalization badly is worse than doing no personalization at all. Fortunately, you can avoid those bad outcomes by getting into personalization slowly, step by step. If you are not sure about the personalization, test it with customers you know well who’ll give you the best feedback.

Customer data is the fuel for achieving previously impossible levels of personalization with a customer-centric strategy. Personalization is the key to keep your customers engaged.

Strategy’s, such as direct marketing and customer-centric are used with today’s technology, and the vehicle’s that allow you to deploy your customer message in a variety of channels they prefer. You want each customer to feel your marketing message is personal, every product recommendation right-on and the timing is always impeccable.

Critical Pointers that will help you navigate the world of marketing and sales personalization.

Are you aware which specific companies are currently in-market to buy your product? Wouldn’t it be easier to sell to them if you already knew who they were, what they thought of you, and what they thought of your competitors? Any good direct and customer-centric strategy focuses on people and the delivery of a message that will resonate. Personalization is one key to keeping your customers engaged.

  • Accuracy.

Probably, the single most critical element when it comes to personalization. There is nothing more unbelievable than mail or in other communication channels, when your message arrives and personalized incorrectly. Receiving such mail or email, is an immediate turn off for many businesspeople. Consequently, do everything in your power to get your information right.

When you’re not sure about a name or spelling or any variable data it’s best to use personalization in moderation or as in a testing mode. When you make a mistake once, maybe it’s only a typo, and you may be forgiven. But when you make the same mistake multiple times, in the same correspondence, your error is blatant, and a relationship comes to an end.

  • Data tools.

Start with good data and good information. Check and double-check your facts, verifying spelling and accuracy of names, and every piece of variable information in all your communication channels including in your direct mail piece and other communications channels.

  • Today, personalization is not a name and other contact points.

Personalization is more than a name. When people think about personalization, they usually always think about names. Personalization can include any information that could be helpful to your marketing and sales activity. Obvious fields could be features and benefits of your product and services.

  • Keep adding and updating data.

Continually add to the good data you already have. Every time you and your sales team communicate with a client, use this opportunity to learn more about their business. Add what you learn to your database.

  • Go slow with prospects.

Don’t overuse personalization with prospects. When you use too much personalization too soon, you’re apt to lose prospects to the never-ending round trash can to never be seen again.

It stands to reason that you would know more about clients and customers. But when prospects get messages from you that include information that is totally wrong, you’ll never have a chance to do business with them.

  • Alternative personalization. 

Use personalization alternatives. If you’re not sure about the variable data you have, try personalizing your message in ways that do not rely so heavily on using the prospect’s company name, products and services. This “generalized personalization” helps take the guesswork out of direct communication when personalization in direct mail was so prevalent.

A good use of color can eliminate any negatives one may feel when you neglect some important personalization.

  • Do not overuse personalization.

Yes, this happens all the time. Use personalization in a natural way. Don’t overuse personalization in such a way that it seems every paragraph has a personalized message. It’s a turn off and makes people think you’re scamming them when using email or other channels.

  • Know when to capitalize.

Watch out for capitalization in personalized data. It’s a sure sign that what you’re sending really isn’t “personal.” Convert your data to upper/lower case. Examine the copy one record at a time, if necessary. Otherwise you might get Ibm instead of IBM. Or Mcduffy instead of McDuffy.

  • Be Careful with abbreviations.

Watch out for abbreviations in personalized data fields. It’s a sure sign that your personalization isn’t really personalized but a mechanical function. In the real world and in a truly personal communication situation you’d probably write out the word “Suite.” When it appears in the address as “Ste,” it’s a sure give-away that it’s not personalized. Even color may not help in this situation.

  • Personalization is powerful.

Once you start using personalization, you’ll discover that it is a powerful tool, and that you’ll want to get better at using it. The key is to determine ahead of time all the fields you’ll really need in your database. Use a database structure that allows for substantial growth potential.

  • Personalize just right.

Personalize only what needs to be personalized. When people begin utilizing a variety of communication channels, personalization in their sent materials, tend to personalize everything, at every opportunity. In a real one-on-one letter, you probably wouldn’t use the person’s name in every single sentence. You’d use it sparingly and perhaps for an effect. So, carry this practice into your use of personalization for direct marketing and use restraint.

That also means to target the right accounts. Ultimately, the key to eliminate any digital marketing waste is to target the right people at the right time with the right messages. Intent data paves the way to do just that. FYI, “Intent data” is online behavior-based activity across the internet (not just on your website) that links buyers and accounts to a topic. (Intent data is on our publishing schedule for fall.)

Summary

Personalization pays. Personalized reply cards and letters almost always out-pull non-personalized direct mail as well in email and other communication channels you may select. But you need a guide and a good guide cannot only show you if it’s right for you but can help you learn how to best use it for your situation.

Thanks for reading. I can be reached at Mdoc@direct2customers.com or 800.251.3608

 

 

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Why Old-Fashioned Direct Mail Is Still Awesome for B2B Companies

Why Old-Fashioned Direct Mail Is Still Awesome for B2B Companies

The postal service reminds us today, nearly four in five B2B companies open most of their direct mail. 

Digital marketing and advertising tactics are playing a major role generating interest among consumers who are not already customers. Demand creation through advertising or better known as acquisition advertising, is implementing certain strategies to market a company’s products and services to new customers. It typically requires collaboration and alignment between marketing and customer service teams. 

But old-fashioned direct mail in lead generation can also play a big part.  

That’s because most consumers, including b2b, open most of their direct mail. They consider this type of mail communication less intrusive than email, which often arrives in floods. According to a few advertising and marketing publications, direct mail is the second most popular form of acquisition advertising behind television. 

“The part of the advertising industry that hasn’t been impacted by the internet and frankly can’t be because the internet does not do acquisition advertising,” said Gary Mulloy, CEO of Money Mailer, a demand creation direct mail business that reaches 15 million homes a month. 

To be sure, companies will continue to rely on search advertising, in which a company targets current customers mostly online. The next time you try to read a newspaper or another type of publication advertising online, count the number of digital advertisements you encounter. 

By exposing consumers to products and services in digital advertisingthey many not beware their data is collectedused and shared with others. By a few estimates, businesses lose about a quarter of their customers each year. To compensate, they need to replace them, so collected data sold by others may be tempting 

More than two-thirds of advertising dollars are spent on demand creationNike famously refers to its athletic endorsements as Demand Creation” that spurs interest in its shoes and apparel. Overall demand creation advertising is a $140 billion to $150 billion-per-year industry. Direct mail accounts for about one-third of that.  

“The biggest companies of marketers need is to have a primary demand creation medium” said Mulloy. People are more apt to open physical mail than one of the many emails they receive, or another advertisement goes unread. That is a less intrusive form of advertising.  

Consider that: 

  • The average American gets 570 emails a week compared with 19 pieces of direct mail advertising. 
  • The U.S. Postal Service says that about 98% of people check their mailbox daily. 
  • A 2014 study by the marketing research group DNN found that 77% of consumers open most of their direct mail.  

The most effective strategy for demand creation is combining direct mail and internet advertising to drive traffic to company websites. Direct mail can build brand awareness at a reasonable cost. 

“The internet and search trends appear to be speaking to current users and you cannot grow your business by only talking to current users. You need to constantly acquire new customers,” said Mulloy.

Thanks for reading. I can be reached at Mdoc@direct2customers.com or phone 800.251.3608 (USA)

 

 

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