Why Your Direct Mail Needs a Response Device

Enticing recipients to read your message is only the first step. Profitability lies in what comes next: getting those readers to take action and become customers.
 
The single most important element of your direct mail marketing piece is the request for a response. Here’s where you tell prospects what you want them to do, whether it’s placing an order, using a coupon or requesting information.
 
The success of the mailing will be judged on how many recipients took the step you asked for. What’s more, responses that include customer information can help you expand and improve your database for greater effectiveness in future mailings. Here’s how to make sure that response rate is the best it can be.
 
Offer more than one response method.
Give prospects a choice of whether to respond by mailing back the response form, calling you, emailing you or visiting your website’s response form. That way, everyone can choose the method they’re most comfortable with (such as internet use with younger demographics or paper forms with older ones) and you won’t miss out on any potential customers.
 
Always include a physical response device.

Even if you expect to receive most responses through telephone or digital channels, a paper reply form or card is an important visual cue about the purpose of your mailing. It increases response in all channels, not just physical mail.
 
Repeat the offer on the response device.
Reinforce your message with an actionable headline, such as “YES, I want to help homeless families have Thanksgiving dinner” or “YES, I want to learn more about your 0 % premium Medicare Advantage plans.”
 
Add an incentive.
Give prospects an extra reason to respond to your offer.

  • Discount coupon or simulated check
  • Urgency — limited time or quantities sale
  • Free sample offer
  • Frequent shoppers club membership
  • No-risk merchandise trial with free return shipping
  • Testimonials

 
Make it easy to understand and do.
People just won’t bother with complicated, time-consuming or unclear response methods — except to throw your mailpiece in the trash. Use a clean, minimalist design, step-by-step instructions, 6th grade level language and large, readable fonts.
 
Keep it as simple as possible, but don’t leave out any essential information. For example, if there’s an expiration date or minimum order, it should be re-stated on the response form in case that’s the only part of the mailing recipients keep.
 
In your physical response form, give people plenty of room to fill it out. An address field whose lines are only 1/4″ apart will cause problems not just for the responder trying to write, but for you trying to read what was written.
 
Reduce their effort.
You can make it even more convenient for readers to respond by doing some of the work yourself, such as pre-printing your address on the return envelope or providing a postage-paid reply vehicle. Click2Mail offers reply formats that simplify life for both you and your customers:
 
Reply Postcard with a tear-off post-paid reply card
Reply Letter which returns the response in the original envelope
 
Our direct mail response experts are standing by if you need help designing or using these formats, or want to create your own. Please feel free to give us a call.
 

 

2022-10-11T22:43:34-04:00June 10, 2019|Click2Mail, Direct Mail Marketing, News|

Top Tips for Direct Mail Fundraising

If your nonprofit has been disappointed with the results of telephone or digital campaigns, add direct mail to the mix and watch donations soar.
 
A multi-channel approach that includes well-integrated direct mail, email and website yields a 28% higher conversion rate than digital alone, according to Nonprofit Source. Check out these proven tricks for getting the best return on your investment.
 
1. Personalize it.
Using the recipient’s name and full color can increase response by 135%. Adding more database information can increase the response rate up to 500%. Imagine the impact of receiving a letter that addresses you by name, thanks you for your previous donation (including the date and amount) and shows a photo of a specific goal that was achieved with the help of that donation.
 
Sound like a lot of work? It’s not, thanks to Click2Mail’s automation tools. Just a few clicks create a mailing where every piece is fully customized to the individual donor.
 
2. Persuade with positivity.
Draw readers in with a story of a recent success, or how your overall mission is being accomplished. Make it emotional, as that’s why most people give. Provide proof (anecdotal, statistical or visual) that you are saving or changing lives. Emphasize the “opportunities” rather than the needs.
 
Include engaging images. Happy looking people and animals draw better than sick ones, and photos of people draw better than photos of buildings.
 
Relate to the recipient one-on-one with frequent use of the words “I” and “you” and references to his/her interests and “valued support.” Include a handwritten signature (or an image of it) of the organization’s leader.
 
3. Stick to the goal.
Each mailpiece should have one — and only one — purpose. If you’re soliciting donations, don’t add any other communications such as news items; it will only confuse and weaken your message. Save those for a separate mailing.
 
4. Create an effective appeal.
Repeat the appeal several times throughout the mailpiece. Most importantly, it should be in the last paragraph and again in a P.S. below the signature.
 
Ask for a specific amount, or tiered options for giving (Basic, Patron, Leadership). Next to the check boxes, show how each amount will help the cause: “$50 buys 36 bowls of pet food.” You could also make the amount a customized field based on the recipient’s donation history.
 
Avoid using the word “gift.” Better words are “contribution,” “help,” “support” or “investment.”
 
Create a sense of urgency. Give a deadline for making a donation and the reason for the deadline, such as to relieve a currently urgent situation.
 
5. Make it easy to respond.
The call to action should offer clear directions for them to send you the donation. It might be a response card and return envelope, a link to your website page, or a scannable QR code that will take users to the website.
 
Actually, your website should always be listed in your mailpiece for those who want to learn more about you, even if they’re mailing you a paper check.
 
6. Follow up.
Sending a follow-up letter a few weeks later makes a huge difference in response rates. For those who didn’t respond to the first letter, say that you haven’t heard from them and repeat the appeal. For those who did respond, thank them and ask for an increased donation.
 
Even better, plan a direct mail calendar that touches your donors throughout the year, keeping them up to date and making them feel valued in between fundraising letters.
 
7. Maintain professional quality.
Even in our digital era, physical mail is valued more highly than email or online ads by all age groups. And the classier it looks, the better it performs. This covers everything from design to spell-checking to the paper it’s printed on. Don’t risk turning off prospects by cutting corners.
 
Optimize your database for more cost-efficient, targeted mailings. For example, categorize it by people who gave 1 year ago, 2 or more years ago or never; people who’ve attended your events, and so on. Of course, your list must also be checked for duplicate and outdated addresses, which will reduce postage costs.
 
Click2Mail helps nonprofits create successful fundraising appeals in minutes with a sophisticated array of database and automation tools, powerful design templates, super-fast print-to-mail times and state-of-the-art delivery to the post office. All right from your computer! Get started today, and please feel free to give us a call if you need any help or advice.
 
 

2022-10-11T22:57:59-04:00May 28, 2019|Click2Mail, Direct Mail Marketing, Mailing Online, News, Tips & Tricks|

Click2Mail Announces Two Mobile Apps for Sending Postal Mail

ARLINGTON, Va., May 6, 2019 — Today at the 2019 National Postal Forum in Indianapolis, IN, Click2Mail announced the release of ZendaNote and Mail-it Now on the iTunes App Store. The free apps enable smartphone users to mail personalized notecards or documents from their phone or tablet to any address in the world, from anywhere they happen to be.

 

 

Click2Mail's mobile apps Mail-it Now and ZendaNote preview panels

"With Americans' renewed interest in all things analog–including hyper-personalized physical mail, and everyone's love of mobile convenience, Click2Mail felt compelled to offer apps that makes sending postal mail quick and easy," said Lee Garvey, Founder and CEO at Click2Mail.

 

Many individuals and businesses already benefit from Click2Mail's cloud-based SaaS print-to-mail services, now clients can utilize Click2Mail's services from mobile devices.

 

With Click2Mail's new apps for iPhone and iPad users can:

  • Send elegant photo-personalized notecards with ZendaNote.
  • Instantly mail any doc or image scanned or sketched via Mail-it Now.
  • Standardize U.S. addresses and track mail delivery via USPS barcodes.

This launch is another significant advancement for Click2Mail in the enablement of physical mail on every connected device. Google selected Click2Mail to develop the Mail My Doc Add-on for Google Docs, and recently the company launched a Word Add-in for Microsoft Office.  All Click2Mail apps are free and available for immediate download on the respective app stores.

 

About Click2Mail

Click2Mail is a SaaS print-to-mail service that enables companies nationwide to automate postal-related functions and bring them out of the mailroom and into the cloud.  What that means for customers is: no printing, no postage meters, no permits, no subscription fees and fewer trips to the post office.  Click2Mail has disrupted the traditional mailroom model to provide affordable cloud-based, just-in-time mailing services. Since 2003, Click2Mail has helped more than 400 thousand clients send millions of mailpieces. For more information, visit http://www.click2mail.com or call our U.S.-based customer service team on 866-665-2787, M-F, 9 a.m.- 8p.m. EDT.

 

Click2Mail, ZendaNote and Mail-it Now are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Click2Mail in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

2019-05-06T06:48:00-04:00May 6, 2019|Click2Mail, Developers, Inside Click2Mail, Mailing Online, New Products, News|

4 Reasons Why Your Small Business Needs Direct Mail Marketing

As a small fish in a big, competitive pond, you need proven strategies for growing your customer base and keeping existing customers coming back for more.

That’s where direct mail comes in — again. Small businesses are now realizing that, while digital media may be inexpensive, it’s yet another huge pond where small fish get lost in the crowd.

With direct mail, on the other hand, it’s much easier to precisely target and reach your ideal audience. Here are four ways it can help you achieve business marketing success.

1. Increase Brand Recognition
People won’t patronize your business if they don’t know you exist. Use direct mail to send your message to a specific group of prospective customers based on demographic data (age, marital status, income level, etc.); need for/interest in your type of products or services; geographic area around your location; and more.

For example:

  • A pizza delivery restaurant sends a menu to every household in its neighborhood
  • A realtor sends a sales letter promoting its services to high income homeowners
  • A pet store sends a postcard with a coupon to pet owners

Brand recognition isn’t only about making a first impression. Long-term engagement is the real key to lasting business success, so it’s equally (if not more) important to stay in touch with your existing customers. Build loyalty and encourage repeat business by reaching out periodically with news about your products or services, promotional events, or even a thoughtful thank you card.

2. Build Your Dream Mailing List
When you’re first starting out, you may have to buy or rent a list of prospective customers (such as pet owners). But as people respond to your marketing efforts, you’ll be able to fine tune that list to those who are genuinely interested and most likely to buy. With every successive list refinement, the potential return on investment grows.

It will also enable you to customize mailpiece content to each recipient. How? You can capture information through reply mail, website response forms and customer purchasing history. Then, by using on-demand variable printing, present each individual with the information, offers and images most relevant to him or her.

For example, the pet store owner mentioned above might customize the postcard’s image to a cat, dog or bird, depending on what species of pet the recipient owns. The coupon could also be customized to a discount on cat, dog or bird food.

3. Get Better Open Rates
Given the spam filtering and blocking technology now in common use, the likelihood of your marketing email being read by prospective customers is pretty small. Most of them will never even see your subject line, let alone open the email.

Direct mailpieces, on the other hand, are at least glanced at before the recipient decides whether to read them or toss them. Eye-catching design and a compelling call to action can further improve readership. As long as the offer was correctly tailored to the customer’s needs/wants (during your list development), you’re practically guaranteed a far better response rate than you could ever hope for from an e-blast.

4. Look Sharp
Never underestimate the importance of presenting a professional image in every contact point with your customers, from the corporate brochure to the invoice. Elegant, consistently designed materials help your business be perceived as more trustworthy, successful and authoritative. And that’s sure to translate into more decisions in your favor, rather than your competitor’s.

We’ve given you four great ways that direct mail can boost your business marketing. Even better, our advanced automation tools make it as fast and easy to execute as a digital campaign. It’s the best of both worlds: delivering your message to the right people at the right time, with minimum effort and maximum results.

2022-10-11T23:06:14-04:00March 20, 2019|Click2Mail, Direct Mail Marketing, Mailing Online, News, Tips & Tricks|

Marketing Trends for 2019 That Direct Mailers Can Cash In On

Just when you thought all the marketing action was in the digital arena, customers are demonstrating that direct mail is still effective. In fact, if you use the strategies below, it can be MORE effective than online and email messages.

The Personal Touch
With marketing “noise” at deafening levels, customers are turning off and tuning out the generic messages that pop up on their screens and in-boxes. What gets attention now is personalized content. And no medium, besides a one-on-one sales talk, does personalization better than direct mail.

• 48% of consumers spend more when marketing is personalized
• 90% of marketers believe that personalization will continue to increase in importance
• 74% of consumers hate when marketing content is irrelevant to them

Of course, the basic “Dear Bob” personalized mailpiece has been around for decades. But current technology takes it to a whole new level. The smart marketer captures information about the customer from every channel and interaction, and uses it to create content that’s uniquely relevant to his or her needs and interests. On-demand digital printing makes it easy to customize every piece in the mailing.

However, marketers must also be aware of the increasing demand for privacy and security of customers’ information. The GDPR, which took effect in Europe last year, and California’s privacy law, coming in 2020, are signs of the future. The key is to use the information ethically, in a way that adds value rather than violating trust.

The Experience
The “touch-and-feel” qualities of direct mail are, ironically, as influential with millennials and gen-Zers as they are with baby boomers. Just as old-fashioned vinyl records are making a comeback in the face of streaming music services, the physical presence of a brochure, postcard or letter is perceived as having higher value than an email or internet banner ad. Not to mention that such digital efforts are often blocked by the user.

• 90% of millennials believe that direct mail is a reliable form of advertising
• 83% of baby boomers say direct mail is a trusted source of marketing

It’s part of a bigger social trend towards the desire for rewarding experiences, which is playing out in every venue from shopping malls to the travel industry. Marketers capitalize on the trend by providing a consistent, stand-out experience that builds customer loyalty.

Companies that previously focused on short-term sales gains are now realizing that a long-term relationship is not only more lucrative, but costs less to maintain than to acquire new customers.

Omni-Channel Marketing
You’re probably already doing multi-channel marketing, where you communicate with customers through different media, including your physical location, direct mail, email, social media, etc. Omni-channel marketing turns those two-way streets into infinite loops which connect the media with each other as well as the customer.

For example, you might send prospects a postcard with a scannable QR code that takes them to your website, social media page or email response page. By tracking interactions through the various channels, you provide a seamless experience for the user and demonstrate that you care about their specific needs and wants.

Automation
From lead management to invoicing, new technology tools are doing much of the labor that once was necessary to produce a direct mailpiece. This trend will keep going strong because of the benefits it offers:

• Saves time over manually inputting list data
• Reduces human error
• Integrates the sales and marketing departments, eliminating silos and duplication of effort
• More effectively tracks customer responses, payments, etc.
• Performs follow-ups at programmed times or trigger events

At Click2Mail, we connect with hundreds of business and accounting management applications to transform your data into a direct mailpiece with just a few clicks.

Keep these trends in mind as you develop your direct mail strategy for the year ahead. Every one of them can help you increase the precision and effectiveness of your marketing efforts, preventing wasted time and money. What’s not to like about that?

2022-10-11T23:09:43-04:00January 21, 2019|Click2Mail, Direct Mail Marketing, Mailing Lists, News, Tips & Tricks|

Postage Increase – Boo! Our Discounts – Yay!

The new postal rates are almost upon us — they start January 27, 2019*. So if you’re planning a mailing in the near future, now’s the time to do it.

Fear not! It’s Not All Bad News

Some rates are staying the same, and some are actually going down. Here’s what’s ahead in 2019 for the most popular mailing formats:

• First class letter rate increases from $0.50 to $0.55 for the first ounce.
• First class letter rate for additional ounces drops from $0.21 to $0.15.
• Postcard rate remains at $0.35.
• International letter rate (Country Groups 1-9) remains at $1.15 for one ounce.
• International postcard rate (Country Groups 1-9) remains at $1.15 for one ounce.

Even More Good News
You can still take advantage of our fantastic postage discounts on every mailpiece with a STANDARDIZED address. Look how much you’ll save:

New Postage Rate Effective 1/27/19

Postcard  New Rate  C2M Discounted Rate
 $0.35  $0.274
Letter New Rate C2M Discounted Rate
 1 oz letter  $0.55  $0..428
 2 oz letter  $0.70  $0.274

On a mailing of 3,000 postcards, your savings add up to $228 — 20% off the full rate. That’s not chump change!

At Click2Mail, we MailNerds are here to help. If you have any questions about your upcoming mailing please contact us.


PLEASE NOTE: Mailings submitted after 8PM EST on Friday, January 25, 2019 will be calculated at the new postage rates.

2022-10-12T19:39:05-04:00January 11, 2019|Click2Mail, Direct Mail Marketing, Inside Click2Mail, Mailing Lists, Mailing Online, News, Tips & Tricks|

USPS Announces Important Deadlines for the Holiday Season

 

The Postal Service recommends the following mailing and shipping deadlines for expected delivery by Dec. 25 to Air/Army Post Office/Fleet Post Office/Diplomatic Post Office and domestic addresses:

 

 

Nov. 6      – APO/FPO/DPO (all ZIP Codes) USPS Retail Ground®
Dec. 4      – APO/FPO/DPO (ZIP Code 093 only) Priority Mail® and First-Class Mail®
Dec. 11    – APO/FPO/DPO (all other ZIP Codes) Priority Mail and First-Class Mail
Dec. 14    – USPS Retail Ground
Dec. 18    – APO/FPO/DPO (except ZIP Code 093) USPS Priority Mail Express®
Dec. 20    – First-Class Mail (including greeting cards)
Dec. 20    – First-class packages (up to 15.99 ounces)
Dec. 20   –  Hawaii to mainland Priority Mail and First-Class Mail
Dec. 20    – Priority Mail
Dec. 20    – Alaska to mainland Priority Mail and First-Class Mail
Dec. 22    – Alaska to mainland Priority Mail Express
Dec. 22    – Hawaii to mainland Priority Mail Express
Dec. 22    – Priority Mail Express

 

*Not a guarantee, unless otherwise noted. Dates are for estimated delivery before December 25. Actual delivery date may vary depending on origin, destination, Post Office acceptance date and time and other conditions. Some restrictions apply. For Priority Mail Express® shipments mailed December 22 through December 25.

 

Busiest Mailing and Delivery Days
Thanks to more people shopping earlier and shopping online, the Postal Service’s “busiest day” notion is now a thing of the past. Instead, the Postal Service now has a busiest time, and it starts two weeks before Christmas. Beginning the week of Dec. 10, customer traffic is expected to increase and the Postal Service expects to deliver nearly 200 million packages per week during these two weeks. The week of Dec. 17-23 is predicted to be the busiest mailing, shipping and delivery week. During this week alone, the Postal Service expects to process and deliver nearly 3 billion pieces of First-Class Mail, including greeting cards.

 

 

– Source: USPS.com

 

2022-10-12T19:45:57-04:00October 17, 2018|Click2Mail, Direct Mail Marketing, Mailing Online, News, Tips & Tricks|

Western States Wildfires Impacted Mail Delivery

Please be advised that current weather conditions and wildfires in California and other western states will inevitably impact mail delivery in many areas of the northwest United States for an unforeseen period of time.

Up-to-date reporting by the US Postal Service on conditions and delivery service disruptions can be found here: https://goo.gl/8YLP9B

We recommend that these disruptions be considered and monitored prior to scheduling any postal mailings to this area through Click2Mail. Just because something gets mailed, doesn’t mean that it can be delivered. We suggest checking delivery service is available to an area before mailing to it.

We appreciate your patience and our thoughts and prayers are with all of those affected. Please contact us if you have any questions or need assistance in accessing USPS updates.

2022-10-12T20:07:17-04:00August 10, 2018|Click2Mail, Inside Click2Mail, Mailing Online, News, Tips & Tricks|

Direct Mail Marketing: Does it Still Work in 2018?

There’s no doubting that online marketing has taken the world by storm. Not only is online video consumption reigning supreme over traditional TV viewership, but it seems the world has gone mad for—and forgot about—the value still held in offline marketing.

One of those offline tactics is direct mail: sending letters, postcards, and notes to the mailbox of your ideal customer.

With the rise in popularity of online mailboxes, the ones stood outside your door get a bad reputation. Emails deliver discount codes for your favorite shops, but IRL-mailbox space is filled with bills, right?

Not necessarily.

Here’s why direct marketing should form part of your strategy in 2018 and three brands who’ve set a fitting example.

What can direct mail marketing offer that online marketing can’t?
Online marketing is great, but its offline alternative has been proven to drive better results.

It’s easier for customers
One reason direct mail marketing is more effective is because it’s easier to understand. One study found it takes 21% less cognitive effort to process, meaning your audience don’t have to invest time (and brainpower) into your mail.

 

The success of any marketing campaign—whether it be online or offline—depends on how it resonates with your ideal audience. If they’re finding it tough to understand or become confused at any point, it’s unlikely to meet your objectives.

 

Direct mail is more memorable
Think back to some of the greatest advertising campaigns you’ve seen in the last 10 years. Chances are, you’ll roll a handful of brand names off the tip of your tongue, without a Google search in sight.

The brands you’ve listed nailed their marketing campaign; it had a long-lasting effect on you. Direct mail marketing is proven to be better at this than the virtual alternative.

It’s been found that millennials who spend more time with physical ads have a stronger emotional response, leading to better memory of them. You could be on the list of the next generation’s most-loved advertising campaigns by optimizing your use of direct mail.

It has a better response rate
Earlier, we briefly mentioned that people often prefer virtual mailboxes to those outside their homes. But, that doesn’t mean the online version is more effective.

Direct mail has a better response rate than email marketing, with 4.4% of campaigns receiving a response when delivered through the mail, compared to just 0.12% online. 

That means that in a campaign delivered to 1,000 people, 43 more people will interact with your direct mail than your emails.

You’re missing out if you push your entire marketing budget into email—especially when direct mail can be more cost-effective.

 

3 key tips to create a successful direct mail campaign
Want to stand out from the crowd and make sure you pull off a marketing campaign that drives a high ROI? Here are three tips.

1. Be creative
Direct mail empowers you to be creative. Don’t just fire off a boring letter that could get mixed up with a target’s bills; create something nobody has seen before. Throw a party in their mailbox!

 

You can do this by sending:

  • Foldable origami
  • Customized postcard designs
  • Interactive letters, where your audience needs to do something to reveal a message

 

A fantastic example of creative direct mail marketing comes from the team behind World Water Day’s campaign. Their aim was to raise awareness about the event, but they opted to create a direct mail with words that only became visible when soaked in water.

Direct mail marketing example

Not only did this direct mail campaign explain their aim creatively, but it became an interactive piece of content. Interactive content has been proven to generate 2x more conversions than its passive alternative. Genius, right?

 

2. Make your audience feel something
The second way to ensure your direct mail marketing campaign is a success is to make your audience feel something. Emotion has been the marketer’s secret weapon for years. Various studies show that people rely on emotions, not just logical information, to make buying decisions.

Feelings of anger, disgust, affirmation, and fear often top the list of emotions that work well in advertising.

A fantastic example of this comes from the Natural History Museum. In an attempt to educate local people about the danger of animal extinction, they sent an eraser to their audience with a quote about the topic.

 

Direct mail marketing example

Because their audience could see a visual representation of extinction in their daily lives, it made them stop to think about how serious it is… and want to act.

Pick an emotion and drive it home through your next direct mail campaign. You’ll soon see the impact emotion has on marketing—but the victories will be for your own brand.

 

3. Make it unique
For the most part, mailboxes aren’t fun environments. Bills, bank statements, and unwanted letters clog up this marketing route, but you can stand out by making your direct mail campaign unique.

A fantastic way to do this is through juxtaposition. Can you think of a smart, innovative way to show how powerful your offering is by comparing it to something completely different?

Let’s take this direct mail campaign for example. Created by the theatre team behind a local performance of Macbeth, they wanted people to visit their show. Instead of online marketing, they exploited their direct mail opportunity and found a way to stand out in a mailbox.

Direct mail marketing example
You’d probably never compare a Shakespeare play to a fast food joint… but that’s why it works.

The juxtaposition of both elements makes you take a second take at the direct mail, rather than toss it in the trash. It’s bound to make an impact on their audience, who possibly have an interest in both but would never expect them to be paired together.

– Elise Dopson

Ludicapress

 

2022-10-12T20:14:05-04:00May 21, 2018|Click2Mail, Developers, Direct Mail Marketing, Guest Blogger, Mailing Online, News, Tips & Tricks|

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