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Direct Marketing Tip #5: Test everything

Despite the popularity of e-marketing, direct mail still works for many companies. How well it works depends on a number of things, it really is all about the variables!

We will be posting a tip each day to help you improve your response rates.  As a respected Canada Post partner and a long established direct mail company in the Toronto and Mississauga area, working with Innovative Response Marketing Inc. can help you target data, create tangible mail pieces that will grab your market’s attention and keep your costs down.

Test everything.

Brainstorm about the many factors that can impact your results and do test mailings. Colours, headlines, lists, delivery time, paper stock and the time of year that you’re mailing are just a few things to consider. Always do one or more test mailings before you invest in a huge direct mail campaign.

Direct Marketing Tip #4: Call to action

Despite the popularity of e-marketing, direct mail still works for many companies. How well it works depends on a number of things, it really is all about the variables!

We will be posting a tip each day to help you improve your response rates.  As a respected Canada Post partner and a long established direct mail company in the Mississauga and Toronto area, working with Innovative Response Marketing Inc. can help you target data, create tangible mail pieces that will grab your market’s attention and keep your costs down.

Call to action.

What do you want the recipient to do? Call for information? Reply to a survey? Order a product? Visit your store? Too often, direct mailers forget to include a “call to action.” Make it convenient for recipients to act. If you want them to call, clearly provide the phone number and hours. If you want them to respond to a survey, enclose a postage-paid reply envelope.

Direct Marketing Tip #3: Persistence Works

Despite the popularity of e-marketing, direct mail still works for many companies. How well it works depends on a number of things, it really is all about the variables!

We will be posting a tip each day to help you improve your response rates.  As a respected Canada Post partner and a long established direct mail company in the Toronto and Mississauga area, working with Innovative Response Marketing Inc. can help you target data, create tangible mail pieces that will grab your market’s attention and keep your costs down.

Persistence works.

Many companies make the mistake of giving up on direct mail after one or two mailings. A rule of thumb in direct marketing is that you should mail to recipients, including your own customers, at least six times per year. Of course, you want to vary the content of your mailings, but give them a “family” look so that they’re instantly recognizable as coming from your firm.

Direct Marketing Tip #2: Headlines count

Despite the popularity of e-marketing, direct mail still works for many companies. How well it works depends on a number of things, it really is all about the variables!

We will be posting a tip each day to help you improve your response rates.  As a respected Canada Post partner and a long established direct mail company in the Toronto and Mississauga area, working with Innovative Response Marketing Inc. can help you target data, create tangible mail pieces that will grab your market’s attention and keep your costs down.

Headlines Count.

Your direct mail piece has about three seconds to hook recipients. The headline must trigger their “what’s in it for me?” reflex. That’s why pitches like: “Lose 10 lbs. in 2 Weeks!” motivate many people to read on. Notice it says nothing about the product and everything about what the recipient stands to gain.

When you’re writing headlines, “benefits” are more enticing bait than “features.” By the way, there’s an important piece of direct mail real estate that often gets overlooked. It’s the space on the envelope or the address side of a post card. There’s room for a teaser, such as “Valuable Coupons Inside.” Just make sure the placement of the phrase meets postal requirements.

In addition to a good headline, your solicitation can be enhanced with a good postscript. Many people who only scan letters will read down to the P.S.

And don’t forget the stamp!  You can now customize your *postal indicia (**replaces a stamp for most types of direct mail) by using a text or graphic that is created to look like a stamp.  Creating impact at the envelope stagewill only enhance the overall offer.

Direct Marketing Tip #1: “Direct” is the operative word

Despite the popularity of e-marketing, direct mail still works for many companies. How well it works depends on a number of things, it really is all about the variables!

We will be posting a tip each day to help you improve your response rates.  As a respected Canada Post partner and a long established direct mail company in the Toronto and Mississauga area, working with Innovative Response Marketing Inc. can help you target data, create tangible mail pieces that will grab your market’s attention and keep your costs down.

“Direct” is the operative word.

A key advantage of direct mail versus traditional advertising to a mass audience is the ability to effectively reach people who are good prospects for your product or service. How well do you know your target market — age, gender, level of education, marital status, household income, geographic location, etc.? If you’re working with a list broker, such information helps determine which lists will bring the best results.

The more specific your list requirements, the higher the cost. But it may be worth it. A carefully targeted mailing reduces printing and postage costs and that savings is magnified over multiple mailings.

Whether you maintain your own direct mail database or rent a list of names, it’s important to have current addresses. Watch out for bargain lists whose principle source of contacts is the telephone book. A significant percentage of listings are outdated even before the phone book is published.  Innovative works with established list companies who regularly check and cleanse their data, plus, our trade pricing will ensure that you get the best deal on rented names.

Because certain types of direct mail does not get forwarded or returned to the sender, it’s smart to clean up your data base or list before mailing by obtaining address changes. Anytime you can increase the number of pieces delivered to your target market, you improve the response. Our company offers National Change of Address (NCOA) data services, no longer will you have to worry about a long time client/subscriber moving and not notifying you!  Working with the most current Postal Code databases, this is now a simple program.

We find ‘em, you keep ‘em!

Myths of Outsourcing Print and Mail Management

Businesses that do not limit themselves to one particular marketing style always look for new and innovative ways of reaching out to their customers. Their endeavor is to create individualized and personalized communication targeted specifically to that market segment so that it has a greater impact and provides better results.

In the recent years, many businesses have turned to outsourcing their print and mail requirements for such marketing campaigns. Those who have availed professional services, have seen the difference between an expertly run campaign with the right kind of materials and others that have dramatically fallen short. However, some still hesitate and this is exactly why we have created a ‘myth buster’ list to ensure that you understand and implement:

Outsourcing print and mail management services is expensive

Cost is definitely a crucial factor to consider when you decide to outsource. However, many print management companies ensure that you get the most out of your dollars and maintain a competitive pricing strategy.

Quality will not be consistent and your business will suffer

Myths of OutsourcingThis is the next and very important myth that needs to be busted. Well, the print management company has the expertise, the equipment and the resources to provide you with the best quality material for your marketing campaigns. They have a team working specifically to ensure that they maintain the quality standards that your customers expect. Their equipment is well maintained and of the latest technology. So, they are overall better equipped to deliver high quality services than you could in your own premises!

Print lead times will increase

This is another important factor to be considered. These companies work on strict SLA’s (Service Level Agreements) and hence deliver on time. They have enough resources to ensure that your campaign is not delays due to their services.

Will make your company less agile

Your employees are free from print and mailing tasks and can concentrate on marketing strategies and implementation instead. You can focus on planning while leave the routine tasks of printing marketing matter and mailing it to your customers to the specialists.

For businesses who strive to get nothing but the best for their marketing campaigns, outsourcing printing and mailing services could be the best choice. Once they have brainstormed their ideas and finalized the campaign, leave it to the experts to get the job done! It simply works out best for all!

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The Most Common Mistakes of Direct Marketing

The ability to reach customers reliably is one of the hardest parts of marketing. Direct marketing, unlike email marketing helps achieve this more efficiently. It allows you to elude that ‘spam’ folder and send your message directly in the hands of your target customers. Studies show that at least 77% of those who receive a direct mail sift through it immediately and your chances of them responding and taking action also increases.

While it’s a known fact that direct mailing service is a more reliable from of marketing, it’s also important that you do not make the most common mistakes while you run your campaign:

The mailing list

To begin with, the mailing list is by far the most important part of your campaign. However compelling your content is, or however alluring your design and print is, if the list of target audience is messed up, your direct marketing campaign is bound to suffer. So, it’s important to do some research and draw up a list of highly targeted list of customers who will most likely respond to your mail. Check out those customers who previously brought the product or a similar product. Check out the results and enquiries from your public relation campaigns. So, before you begin any serious marketing – get the list ready.

Direct MarketingThe testing

Not testing your mail is another mistake that most marketers make. The end result is that you repeat the same mistakes. The easiest way to find out whether something will work is to test it. You cannot depend on past experiences and assumptions to estimate the results. This is exactly why running a test on a small group of customers or potential customers is of utmost importance.

The sales letter

Receiving a package without a letter specifying what it is about is looked upon as ‘junk’. That’s the third most common mistake that businesses make. If you are sending out free samples of your new product line, make sure that you send a sales letter along with the package. This letter is one of the most important parts of your package and has the ability to draw greater attention to your product and attract a response.

Superficial copy

The lack of content in your direct mail totally kills the campaign. The idea or the aim of a direct mail is to create a response. So, make sure that your mail copy has to the point – precise information that includes facts about your products or services rather than concentrating too much on the glamorous designs (designs are important too, only of the content is compelling enough).

Finally, there are going to be some pitfalls on the way, but make sure that these are not due to sheer lack of research or homework on your part!

Take care of these points while you run a direct marketing campaign and you shall see success sooner!

Innovative Response Marketing offering Direct Mail Services in Toronto & Mississauga, which includes bulk mail services, envelop printing and more.

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Order Fulfillment Services Could Help Run a Smooth Business

Collation, assembly, warehousing, distribution and material management – quite a daunting task to handle single handedly. In today’s fast paced world, whether you are a startup that needs to handle smaller volumes of orders or a veteran business running all these processes in-house, it has become imperative that orders be accurately delivered to their destinations and in time too.

Fulfillment services are a great option if you do not want to deal with all the hassles of shipping and warehousing:

Storage issues sorted out

Well, when the orders start rolling in and your office or storage area looks over crowded; it’s time to sort out some storage issues. With professional services for handing all the storage, you will not be bogged down with inventory, packaging and shipping. These service providers ensure that they have secure premises for storage purposes and maintain high standards when it comes to careful handling of your products.

Efficient distribution

ecommerce-graphicEnsuring that the product reaches the right destination is essential for the smooth running of a business. Streamlined and efficient distribution can increase customer satisfaction and at the same time save your business from extra costs that are involved in sending the package for the second time to the correct address. With professional fulfillment services, you can be rest assured that your transit time and delivery expenses are reduced.

Flexibility

Fulfillment companies provide enough flexibility so that you can instantly ramp up or gear down your distribution as per the demand. They take complete responsibility to meet the service levels agreed upon, even during peak business hours when orders flood in.

Cost effectiveness

Handling fulfillment yourself is not as cost effective as it appears. It has a lot of overheads that include storage space, racking, moving equipment, utilities, payroll, packing supplies, software, security, insurance, taxes, maintenance, etc. If you hire fulfillment companies to do the task for you, there are no capital expenditures. Since the only cost you incur is a onetime payment to these companies, your overall costs are more predictable and you can allocate funds and resources more effectively. You have more control over where you spend and how.

Innovative response marketing provides you with fulfillment services in Toronto. We have a 3PL facility for with a pick and pack cross dock capabilities, custom packaging and lots more. Our facilities are well maintained and highly secure. Monitoring, inventory and reporting provides us with greater control over the shipment. Well, our online portal provides you easy access to your inventory and provides you with the flexibility to work on your terms.

We work with multiple shipping carriers to ensure that your package is delivered where and when you need it.

Above all, if you are looking for a reliable, flexible and cost effective way of shipping and distributing your products, you can avail our order fulfillment services.

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5 Things to Look For When Choosing Your Mail Service Provider

Sure, price is always going to be a factor.  But when making the decision to award your print and mail campaign to a DM Agency, there really is more to think about.

Integration

A good mail service provider should do more than just stuff envelopes.  Choose a company with people who know the mail service but can also think creatively.  Collaboration with someone who knows Canada Post, USPS and how to effectively market your product or service in the mail will work with you from design to Post Office delivery.  Along the way to you can expect to pick up design tips that save you money on postage, get the best overall print pricing through trade partnerships and have a partner that can work with you creatively during the production process.  Your idea may not be as simple as a piece of paper into an envelope!

Customer Service

Face to face meetings with knowledgeable salespeople, one direct internal contact who supports your entire account (print, data, mail and fulfillment), accurate proofs, statements to confirm your mailing went out on time, accurate and timely billing……….all of these are crucial to a satisfying customer experience.  If you find yourself stuck in a revolving email cycle between several people, its time to look for a mail service provider who can provide all of the above – under one roof!

email-marketingInspiration

We’ve all worked with companies who say “you can’t do that”.  It’s frustrating for creative types who work in marketing and advertising to hit a wall when it comes to their print and mail service provider.  Pair with a company that works with you to find solutions to your creative dilemmas.  Good suppliers are here to achieve your objectives.

Accountability

Top mail service providers know that you have to take ownership of your services; from honoring the prices contained in your quote to dropping the completed mailing at the Post Office on the date specified.  A supplier who stands behind every activity is one that truly shows a commitment to your business.   There is much more to reliability than just honoring prices and drop dates though – where does your current supplier stand on data security and know-how?  Can they supply best practices for precision targeting?  Can they do variable data printing so your mail pieces stand out?

Confidence

There are a plethora of mail service providers out there.  So making your final selection sometimes just comes down to a gut feeling.  Always choose a supplier that has a strong industry reputation but a flexible approach.  The services of large shop, but the personal attention of small one.  Your job should be handled by people that you trust.

Interested in finding a mail service provider in the Toronto area who offers all of the above?  Contact Innovative Response Marketing today.

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The Science Behind Direct Mail

We’ve all heard the talk about how the internet will eventually kill the mail, and with the younger generations doing everything via a smartphone, it does seem like a valid concern to many.

However, as a direct mail service provider, we can tell you that marketing in the mail has not lost its momentum. For a variety of reasons, other forms of marketing have yet to beat out the humble letter or postcard that arrives in your mailbox! Let’s look at a few simple reasons before we get to some facts about direct mail:

1. It is very easy to block spam through basic email settings. Companies shy away from email marketing because it is just too easy for the recipient to block or delete the message. There is nothing tangible.
2. Marketing via social media is only good for certain industries. Typically, direct selling, home based businesses and smaller companies choose social media as their marketing tool of choice, but larger companies? They are not seeing the value.
3. Top internet search spots generally go to the Fortune 500 companies who can pay to obtain them. Factor in bots and click throughs and again, not a good ROI. Does anyone remember banner ads???

So why choose the mail? Well, studies have shown that for some target audiences, it’s simply easier to understand. Having a tangible piece of direct mail can actually increase your drive to action. Don’t think of a letter in an envelope here – direct mail has gone full sensory with mail pieces that can talk and even emit a scent to illicit a reaction from your audience!

Personalization plays a major role and is the cornerstone of any large, successful direct mail campaign. You need to tap into the information you have about your customers to increase the effectiveness.

66% of people keep mail that they consider useful. That pizza flyer on the fridge? The tip-on card in your wallet for 10% off an appetizer at your local restaurant? The sample you received of a new laundry detergent? All things that stay with your audience, and can be used later to influence a buying decision.

In a recent study, 57% of people feel more valued when brands contact them through the mail. It can be as simple as letting your customers know that you truly appreciate their business.

Want to add direct mail as part of your marketing mix? Then you should know that in response to direct mail:

~ 43% ordered a product online
~ 64% visited a website
~ 54% engaged in social media

When planning your next marketing campaign, think about leveraging these services to achieve the best saturation for your message. Working with a direct mail service provider can help you achieve the results you want, and offer many fresh new ideas.

Sources: Complete studies of Breaking Through the Noise, 2015 and A Bias for Action, 2015 are available for download at canadapost.ca/smartmailmarketing.

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