Your Top 5 Direct Marketing Problems

What do you consider your greatest marketing problem? Or perhaps of even more interest: What do your peers report as their top marketing problems? And if you could, wouldn’t you want to know what channels your competitors report as working for them?

Angry manWhat do you consider your greatest marketing problem? Or perhaps of even more interest: What do your peers report as their top marketing problems? And if you could, wouldn’t you want to know what channels your competitors report as working for them? I recently surveyed a few marketers with those questions, so today I share what’s on their minds, along with an analysis of those marketing problems and successful channels as we go into 2016.

First, the top five problems:

  1. “Finding new customers and reengaging the ones we have to buy again.”
  2. “Competitive pressure is relentless and we’re struggling to break out.”
  3. “Overwhelmed with channel choices and uncertain what channels to use.”
  4. “Marketing in general isn’t delivering like it used to.”
  5. “Profitability is too low.”

Next, the channels with the highest satisfaction:

  1. Email
  2. Websites/landing pages
  3. Facebook
  4. Video
  5. Direct mail

Combining these two topics, I offer this analysis in the form of three takeaways:

Takeaway No. 1
Problem No. 1, finding new customers, and No. 3, channel choices, are linked. If these two elements are your problems too, you may be limiting your profitability with the channels you’re using. The number of channel choices and the pace at which they evolve is dizzying. You need to be knowledgeable about them (or find someone who can untangle them for you). You may need to venture out into the unknown. As they saying goes, you need to “meet your customers where they are.” If they’re on a channel you’re not using, then you likely suffer from difficulties in finding new customers and reengaging past customers.

Now, let’s overlay these problems with the channels where your peers report satisfaction.

  • The marketers who I heard from are satisfied with email marketing. If you’re not happy with your email marketing results, maybe it’s time to more aggressively A/B test new approaches to identify winners. Don’t forget the importance of your landing page to close deals.
  • Consider A/B testing of video on your landing page and evaluate its impact on conversions. Or test a long-form video sales letter. A well-done video can create greater comprehension.
  • Have you tried Facebook remarketing? Promoted posts? Are you engaging your followers frequently, with meaningful content, to create raving fans? Once you build Facebook followers, you have to continue to deliver meaningful content before you see results.

Takeaway No. 2
Problem No. 2, competitive pressure, and No. 4, marketing not delivering like it used to, can also be linked. How do you break away from your competition? You may need to re-examine your unique selling proposition, and then reposition your product or organization.

Have you conducted a competitive analysis? Research what your competitors are doing online and the channels they are using. Document your findings, then make a list of the top five things they’re doing that you’re not and test new approaches.

Takeaway No. 3
Problem No. 5, low profitability, reveals that you need to find lower-cost channels, or make a higher-cost channel like direct mail work better. Another possibility: reevaluate your offer and price. The top three channels where marketers are satisfied (email, websites and Facebook) are typically less expensive than direct mail, but require ongoing content development. Video doesn’t have to be expensive, especially if you’re able to use customer-generated video for testimonials.

If profitability is lower than you want, now is the time for two tests: One is to invest in lower cost channels. The second is to test new creative and/or production values in direct mail to either increase response, or lower your cost per response.

Direct Mail Marketing Drives Response

Marketers everywhere are faced every day with many marketing channel choices. It’s hard to know which ones will work best. When choosing your channels don’t ignore direct mail. You may think its old school, so why use it, but direct mail can add to your ROI.

Marketers everywhere are faced every day with many marketing channel choices. It’s hard to know which ones will work best. When choosing your channels don’t ignore direct mail. You may think, “Its old school, so why use it?,” but direct mail can add to your ROI. You can use direct mail to drive online engagement. Add QR codes, URL’s, and augmented reality to link your marketing channels together. Let’s take a look at the direct mail channel.

Why choose direct mail as one of your marketing channels:

  1. Recipients: They view direct mail as less intrusive than other forms of marketing and in return, are more receptive to the message. Even millennials enjoy getting mail. As long as you are sending them direct mail that is correctly targeted they are open to it.
  2. Competition: There is less competition in the mail boxes these days so you can stand out. People are inundated with messages all day long from email and so much more. You can build brand recognition with direct mail as well as get noticed.
  3. Tangible: With a direct mail piece you can grab the senses in so many more ways that with online channels. People can touch, save for later or even pass the information provided in a direct mail piece to their friends. Use the senses to your advantage by adding texture and scents to your direct mail.
  4. Target: Unlike all other channels, you can target your audience very specifically with direct mail. There are so many selects to choose from it would be hard to list them all. Make a list of all the specific things you are looking for in your prospects and in many cases you can match them with a direct mail list.
  5. Personalized: Direct mail is more refined now. The personalization available creates a much more appealing direct offer. You can use images as well as text to create each piece targeted to each person.

As with any marketing channel, knowing who your audience is, is the key. You cannot create a targeted direct mail campaign if you do not have a good grasp on who you are sending to. Your messaging, your list and your creative are all effected by who you are trying to reach. Don’t forget that you need to be tracking your results. The only way to continue to improve your campaigns is to modify it based on the results from previous campaigns. Don’t be afraid to segment your recipients and try something new to a group of them. It is only by trying new things that we are able to identify possible new lifts in ROI.

How Can You Get More Out of Your Direct Mail List?

Everyone knows nowadays that the more information you have on your customers/prospects, the better you can tailor your message. Well, in many cases companies do not have that much information about people. So, what can you do to gather more information?

Everyone knows nowadays that the more information you have on your customers/prospects, the better you can tailor your message. Well, in many cases companies do not have that much information about people. So, what can you do to gather more information? Well, you could ask them to fill out a survey and offer a reward if they do, but what if you could gather information without having to take up someone’s time? There is a way.

Data List Enhancement:
List Profiling helps you model your ideal customers so you optimize campaigns and find prospects with similar characteristics. Data analysis and list segmentation will provide you with valuable insights into consumer behaviors, allowing you to tailor your message to match their needs and interests. This will increase the chances they act on your offer. Here is what you can expect:

  1. Profile the unique characteristics of your best and most profitable customers to find more just like them. Learn their likes, dislikes, education level and so much more.
  2. Target your selling messages to the right audience at the right time. This will allow you to spend less.
  3. Increase your marketing penetration by opening new channels to reach your customers and prospects using the methods they prefer. This is especially important today with so many channel choices. Is direct mail in conjunction with mobile the right choice? Find out.
  4. Boost response rates through more specific, personalized offers (as opposed to generic, one-size-fits-all promotions). When you send an offer that is specific to the person, your response rate can’t help but go up.
  5. Build loyalty programs that increase lifetime value. When you can provide relevant offers to people in a timely manner, you gain respect and loyalty.
  6. Improve your database marketing with more profitable prospecting, through modeling and forecasting. Finding the correct prospects quickly will allow you to move forward with your marketing campaigns and get the responses coming in.
  7. Dramatically improve your ROI, the more responses you get directly effects your return on investment. Since these are better qualified leads, you should also make more money per lead.
  8. Improve multimedia marketing by applying profiles to hit the targets across all media. This allows you to create multiple channel campaigns while still targeting them where they want to see the messages.

Finding well qualified prospects is very difficult. With list profiling, you can pick people who are just like your best customers. It makes the prospecting effort so much easier. For the most part, such profiling is limited to the United States; so if the majority of your customers are foreign, this is not going to work for you. Knowing who your customers are and what prospects you should target gives you a big advantage. You can spend less money on your marketing because you can target it better, and at the same time make more money because you are sending to the right people.

Think of how you can harness the additional information you will gain with list profiling. This will allow you to create more detailed offers to the correct people and send out multiple versions as one campaign. Remember that your list is the first big opportunity in direct mail. A bad list will yield a bad result, no matter how great your design and offer are. A great list has the potential to yield a great result when combined with good design and a good offer. Consult with your direct mail marketing provider to help you enhance your list today!