Blog

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.

Image Credit: goo.gl/OuWGr8

Take Advantage of Print and Mail Services for Your Next Marketing Campaign

It is an established fact that 53% of customers are more likely to read and save a direct mail piece than an email. Only 26% might open a marketing email even if it is from a known source. It is also a known fact that direct mail works – even in today’s electronic age of emails and social media. In a world where there are a number of opportunities to send messages across to customers quickly, very few compare to the reliability of a properly prepared, tangible, direct mail piece. Direct mail campaigns that are printed and sent to a targeted customer list have a greater impact than an email that is most often considered as spam and filtered or deleted by the same technology that gets it out in the first place. Despite popular opinion, print and mail service is still a powerful tool that companies use to send out messages to their potential and existing customers.

Print Services
Extra care is taken to ensure that the message looks professional and yet has a personal touch. This personalization increases the response rates. Powerful content along with relevant images and colors ensure that your message is effective and highly targeted.

Printing services also include the printing of the letter and envelope that goes with it. All these elements are created after thorough research of the type of message sent and the target audience.

Direct mail pieces, if designed appropriately, have the power to influence the minds of customers and positively impact your marketing campaign. Customizing and personalizing your mail piece ensures that the potential customers are engaged enough to send responses and hence add to the success of your marketing campaigns. Adding appropriate graphics and ensuring that the content is precise and crisp means that your mail will not go unnoticed. Another important aspect to be considered is the color combination used in the mail. Make sure that the color combinations are inviting and create a positive initial impact on the minds of viewers. These are some of the important aspects of a mail marketing campaigns that need to be taken care of.

printing_mailing_services

Mailing Services
Today’s Direct Marketing Agencies are one stop shops. Reliable data, print, mail and fulfillment services are offered as a personalized, single source solution that ensures your mail reaches and engages your target to effectively increase your ROI. Working with the right provider means clean and up to date data, impactful marketing pieces that are professionally printed, and considerable postage savings. Postage is generally the highest cost of any mailing campaign and working with an established mail service provider will ensure that you are receiving the deepest discounts possible. That alone is a huge advantage.

If you are looking to run a successful direct mail campaign in Toronto, or simply want to obtain a competitive quote on your existing mailings, Innovative Response Marketing can provide you with the services to ensure that your campaigns get the right direction and the right coverage.

Image Credit: goo.gl/JnXNw4

Thinking About Outsourcing to a 3PL?

If you are, then you are not alone.  Approximately 20% of shippers now outsource fulfillment and order processing services to better meet their customer’s needs and to get processing at a low cost.

With a 3PL on your supply chain team, you will become more efficient in how you respond to your customers.  Working with a 3PL ensures best practices in fulfillment services and more delivery options.  3PL’s use proven, streamlined systems for the picking, packing and delivery of items to customers.

But how does it work exactly? Here are the key steps involved in 3PL fulfillment services:

1. Choose a Reputable Partner

Find an established 3PL that shares your values and can deliver the service levels you promise to your customers.  Many printers and courier companies offer these services but be wary, they often lack the knowledge of a seasoned 3PL or force you to use only one carrier for deliveries.  As part of your research, ask about their systems and processes.  They should have a proven warehouse management system (WMS) in place that provides accurate inventory control and offers efficient order processing.  If you are planning on growth or have an Ecommerce platform, ensure that the WMS can easily integrate into your system. Try to gauge how quickly the 3PL can adapt to your businesses changing needs, can they ramp up if your 200 orders per week quickly evolves into 600?

2. Setup Systems

3PLOutOnce you have chosen your 3PL, you will need to work to get your customer information and inventory information set-up.  For smaller, more informal arrangements, this can be done through an import process or even via manual data entry.  For integration with your corporate website or Ecommerce site, your IT people will need to work together. Ensure that the 3PL you choose has flexible options as a well integrated approach adds value to every order shipped and increases customer satisfaction.

3. Establish Work Flow

You can sit back and relax at this stage!  All 3PL’s should have a dedicated representative in place who quickly becomes familiar with your items and who will work with a knowledgeable in-house production team.  This will ensure accurate and cost effective picking, packing and delivery of your items.

4. The First Order – Picking, Packing & Shipping

When the first order comes in through the WMS, the order is verified and sent to the floor.  Trained warehouse personnel will pick your items, pack them securely and ship them to arrive based on your wants or the customers needs.  Once order volume gets established, your team will have enough background data to make crucial decisions about handling and shipping.  A good provider should recommend different packaging options, will move fast moving stock to a closer area and will host a wide range of delivery options with reputable carriers.  3PL’s have the benefit of combined buying power, consolidating shipping for multiple companies through rate contracts ensures that every customer gets deep shipping discounts.  The power of many!

5. Reporting

You should have full access to reports on your stock and its movement.  Ongoing visibility of orders, stock levels and stock movement is a crucial component for managing your business.  Your 3PL will have options available to you that fit your business needs and will regularly audit their processes to ensure the information they provide through reporting is accurate.

Image Credit: goo.gl/OKr7Nqgoo.gl/7SuFjO

E-Commerce Fulfillment Services – The Benefits of Partnership

You’ve started your online store and are getting ready for orders to start rolling in!  As a start-up, it makes sense to leverage your growth by doing everything yourself; until your basement is full of product and the spreadsheet you used to track your inventory has crashed.

Not everyone wants the rules and regulations that come with the big 3 fulfillment providers or has the tech knowledge to do everything “in the cloud”.    Sure, you can turn to a shipping company for these services, but are you really getting the best price by committing your entire business to just one carrier?

Sometimes the practical solution is the easiest solution and in our case, good people make all the difference.

Support

FulfillmentWe’ll help you set up your account, manually count all your inventory as it arrives and customize our reports to your unique business requirements. We offer a clean and secure warehouse in Mississauga Ontario.  You pay only for the storage that you need and all receiving and inventory control is done automatically by our team.  You can choose to do and review everything 24/7 via a web portal, or you can do things in a more personal manner, by direct communication with your dedicated representative.

Subject matter expertise

We have been offering fulfillment services in the GTA for over 20 years.  We know how to manage your inventory, pick and pack your products securely and only ship through reputable carriers.  In fact, since we do this for so many customers, we offer the benefits of combined shipping rates.  Our customers help each other save money!

Flexible solutions

SMALL-B2BNeed custom outer packaging?  We have a supplier for that.  Want your products gift wrapped?  No problem.  Want to include a personalized letter or card with the order, our on-site variable printing can do the job.  All of our fulfillment services are on-site and all are handled by your dedicated representative.  Ask us for help.

Strategic account management

Feel confident in the care of a dedicated Account Co-ordinator who is familiar with your history and business needs.  He or she will guide you through the initial set-up and ensure that your orders get to your customers on time and on budget for years to come.  Our fulfillment services are completely scalable; we grow as you grow!

Image Credit: goo.gl/I64nnZ, goo.gl/VTGEpS

Do’s and Don’ts of Direct Mail Campaign [Infographics]

Canada Post Expert Partner Status

With over 20 years of experience as a Direct Mail service provider in Toronto and GTA, Innovative has the knowledge and expertise to handle campaigns of any size and requirement.

We have been awarded the prestigious Canada Post Expert Partner designation consistently since 2012.

Only a few companies throughout Canada meet the criteria necessary to achieve this designation and we are proud to be a partner.

Our expert status has many benefits for our clients:

  • We are informed on the most recent product and service offerings from Canada Post
  • We can advise on new marketing and selling tools available to your team
  • We can guide you through obtaining a no cost Canada Post Customer Number/Account
  • We can provide substantial discounts on postage costs and parcel shipments

Factors Which Contribute to Successful DM Campaigns

In an age where emails and social media are becoming the primary means of communication, Direct Mail still out performs them all in terms of the overall impact it creates on the receiver’s mind. Direct mail, if appropriately designed, has the power to influence the minds of readers to a greater extent than any other form of communication.

Customers feel more connected and more involved in the business when they receive a direct mail piece that is applicable to them. Studies show that around 79% of customer’s act on a direct mail offer immediately and do not discard it as junk. Statistics also show that around 34% of the direct mail pieces received by consumers generate new customers.

Here are some of the factors that directly contribute to the success of a direct mail campaign:

Colour

Selecting the right colours for your campaign is important. The colours should reflect the message that you are sending.  Brand promotion is always key so your corporate logo and colours should stand out.  A donation ask, event announcement or new product launch will need colours and impactful graphics to make your message stand out in the mail.

Texture

There is plenty of stylish stationary available for printing. Make sure that you select the one that is relevant to your business. Sending out a business communication might not require a glossy post card, however, if you are sending out invitations to your customers for an official event, you can get creative with the texture of the mailing stationary.

Direct-mail-marketing-servicesCopy

Copy is crucial.  Create a compelling sales copy that attracts attention and keeps your customer interested until the end. Highlight your most important points.

Personalization

It is a known fact that personalization improves response rates. Create highly targeted and effective direct mail pieces to increase your response rate and attract more customers to your business.  Personalization can be as basic as using the prospects first name throughout your offer, to an expert level of changing graphics to subconsciously appeal to your intended market.

Relevance

Customers will only read though mail that is relevant to them. Otherwise it is discarded as junk. If you want your direct mailing campaigns to succeed, make sure that your data is up to date.  Basic services like address verification and correction, duplicate elimination and National Change of Address (NCOA) are commonly offered by your direct mail service provider.   But keeping your internal database clean – or renting a list from an outside source – will ensure that you are hitting the right people for your product or service.

If you are looking for direct mailing services that include completely personalized and variable printing, fully automated lettershop services and postage discounts for mail sent within Canada and the USA, you can contact us at 905-826-1411 or visit us online at www.innovativeresponse.ca.

Image Credit: goo.gl/7EZaWM

Canada Post Strike Update 2016

We have been fielding many questions from our valued clients about how best to proceed with scheduled marketing mailings in light of the current labour issues at Canada Post.

As a Canada Post Expert Partner, we are kept abreast of the latest information with regard to the labour issues and how they may affect the direct mail industry.   We will provide regular status updates to our valued clients so that you can make the right decisions for your business.

First and foremost, we expect mail service to continue without interruption

There is no current need to suspend mailings or change your direct marketing campaigns.  We feel strongly that Canada Post is open for business and is committed to negotiating with its Union without impacting the service that it offers.   In fact, with so many people deciding to “wait it out” now may be the perfect time to drop a large, targeted mailing – there won’t be as much competition in the mail and your message will certainly stand out!

Here is a brief rundown of the current situation at Canada Post:

  • On Sunday, July 10, Canada Post withdrew its 72-hour notice, which was to take effect Monday, July 11.
  • The Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, MaryAnn Mihychuk, requested that both parties continue discussions without the threat of a labour disruption.
  • Canada Post agreed
  • There is an expectation that the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) will honour what it has publicly stated – that they wish to negotiate and have no plans to issue a strike notice.
  • With this development, Canada Post expects mail service to continue without interruption, and they feel that business can return to normal while they focus on negotiations.
  • Please note, the process continues and either party could issue a 72-hour notice at any time. We will advise our clients immediately should this occur.

Image Credit: goo.gl/x0XUy3

Tip on Cards

A great way to increase redemption. Tip-on-cards can be produced in many sizes and attached to a variety of creative carrier pieces. A creative mail piece can showcase your brand and message, while the cards keep your offer in your customer’s hands and drives them to action. Innovative has executed many successful tip-on-card campaigns for our clients.

Give us a call to learn more

Neighbourhood Mail™ Targeting

Targeting the right audience is the difference between a successful and unsuccessful mailing campaign. At Innovative we are experts at mail preparation and mail targeting. Using available census data, we can help identify the neighbourhoods that best match your target audience. Targeting the right audience reduces waste, saves money, extends your reach and boosts your ROI.

Give us a call to learn more