Printers – Face the Brutal Facts!

The recently released Borrell Associates report “Direct Mail Doomed, Long Live Email,” projects a 39% decline for direct mail over the next five years, from $49.7 billion in annual ad spending in 2008 to $29.8 billion by the end of 2013. And if that isn’t devistating news enought… they also predict that Direct Mail will never recover from the downfall.

The report has put many printers in a panic mode- hands over the ears, heads down and all! Printers that ignore these brutal facts are heading down a dangerious road. Face it!.. The “good old days” of print as we have known and loved it for centuries are never coming back. And if you continue to operate your business the same way, it is doomed to failure.

On the other hand… those that face these brutal facts head on, and react to the new trends and strategies in the industry, will gain an signifcant advantage over the competition.

Print is certainly not completely dead, it just needs to find its place in the new age of marketing. Print marketers need to eduate themselves of new technologies and pass this education along to their customers. By getting involved now with technologies such as Personal URLs, print service providers can add significant value to their service offerings and increase their credibility with customers.

The Powerful Landing Page

Studies show that more than 42% of direct mail recipients prefer to respond online, so landing pages provide a convenient response option.

Using Purlém you will be able to easily create landing pages with data specific to the person viewing the page. Purlém will also track each visitor and instantly notify you of their activity via email or SMS text message.

Other benefits of using landing pages:

  • Quickly generate sales leads. No need to wait around for BRC mail-ins or call center activity reporting.
  • Leverage the valuable information gathered from landing pages to continually enhance subsequent offers to better match your prospect’s profile in order to deliver more timely and relevant offers.

What is Personal URL (PURL) Marketing?

A Personal URL (PURL), is a unique and personalized Web address created especially for each recipient of your direct mail or email marketing campaign.
Example: mikejones.yoursite.com

Some reasons to user PURLs…
– Increase response rates.
– Track ALL responses from your promotional pieces.
– Customize web pages for every one of your prospects.
– Measure the effectiveness of individual campaigns.
– Know who your most valuable prospects are.
– Quantify results previously immeasurable.
– Maximize subsequent campaigns.
– Convert responders’ preferences into revenue.

How “A” Prospects Provide the Fastest, Least Expensive Way to Dramatically Increase Sales.

The following strategy has helped more companies double their sales faster than any other single concept. In a sentence: There is always a smaller number of “A” prospects, than there are all prospects. So marketing to them is cheaper than marketing to all buyers. A direct mail effort to 100 “A” prospects is obviously less expensive than a direct mail effort to an entire audience of 10,000 prospects.

“A” prospects have shown interest in your product or service. By focusing your marketing efforts intently on “A” prospects, you can dramatically increase sales.

To succeed with this marketing approach, a business needs an effective way of gathering “A” prospects – which is the advantage of Personal URLs. Start with a larger mailing to all prospects, and include on that mailing a Personal URL (PURL). The PURL will direct the recipient to a customized website that automatically tracks their activity. Voila! You have your list of “A” prospects who have shown enough interest in your product to visit your website.

The trick is to treat your “A” prospects like gold, because that is exactly what they are. This group of people is more likely to purchase your products or services than the rest of your prospect list. Plan on reaching out to them every two weeks from every angle — phone, email, snail mail. Be creative and fun with your marketing efforts. By doing this, your prospect will go from not knowing you, to knowing a little about you, to understanding exactly what you offer, to almost feeling obligated to purchase from you because of your persistence! This approach separates you from the competition and will double your sales faster than any other single concept.

ATTN: Print Service Providers: Discover a New Technology That You Can’t Afford to Ignore.

Today, strict accountability is being asked of all marketing efforts as businesses look to cut costs and preserve the economic return of their marketing efforts. This comes after years of relatively uninhibited expenditures on mass print and broadcast advertising, where the effects of the advertising are difficult to link to specific purchasing behavior.

A sophisticated Personal URL (PURL) program can be the solution to the accountability that executives demand today. A PURL is able to track responses and report back with valuable analytic data such as who responded, when they responded, and whether a conversion was made.

Print service providers who have PURL technology can change their target market from print buyers to the marketing and advertising executives themselves. The reason: Print buyers are only concerned with procuring print at the right price. They typically have five to seven providers who regularly send them quotes. On the other hand, marketing and advertising executives are concerned with driving the company’s success through marketing efforts that are not only effective, but also accountable.

Give the executives a solution to their problem, and you are no longer just one of five to seven print providers bidding for the business. You are the one and only solution to their problem. You’re not just ahead of your competition… you’ve put yourself on a completely different level.

* Brady, Kiley, and bureau reports, “Making Marketing Measure Up.” And Beiren and Hein, “Marketer’s Mantra: It’s ROI or I’m Fired!”
** Patricia Source. “Data-Driven Print”

Gain a Deep Understanding of Your Prospects with the Feedback-Loop.

Imagine having a database of your best prospects that contains information such as how many children they have, what hobbies they enjoy, and what restaurants they are keen on. Imagine the creative marketing that you could do with such information!

Customized marketing communication can be made even more powerful when you can provide relevant information to your current customers and prospects. The trick is capturing and using this information without a large investment of money or resources.

A Personal URL (PURL) has the inherit capability of capturing this valuable information and storing it in a database for future use. Let’s take a little deeper look at how this feedback-loop works.

A PURL is a unique website address that sends the direct mail recipient to a customized website. That provides an unsurpassed opportunity to engage your visitor with relevant content and capture further information about them. Generally, you would give them an incentive for providing their information – a white paper, a chance to win… or other encouragement. The visitor information collected by the website is stored in a database you can easily access for subsequent campaigns, making future contact even more relevant to the prospect or customer.

Take Five Seconds to Skyrocket Your Conversion Rates.

Surveys show that every second, minute, hour, and day that goes by without contacting an interested prospect will result in a proportional loss of interest, subsequently reducing the chance of converting that person into a customer.

The best way to skyrocket your conversion rates is to integrate quick follow-up practices into your sales strategy. This, however, can be quite the task for businesses ranging from several to thousands of sales people.

42% of people prefer to respond to marketing messages online versus picking up the phone. When one of the 42% visits your website, and requests more information, where does that request go? Are you able to follow up immediately to the inquiry?

The solution: Implement quick follow up practices that give your sales people a tool to instantly put the lead into their pocket. Personal URLs allow real-time tracking of visitors to your website, with information on their activity there. This information will be sent immediately to the correct sales personnel, based on geography, via email or sms text message. No matter where the salesperson may be, he will be able to respond quickly to any online activity.

Stop losing sales due to slow response times. Start using Personal URLs to monitor and instantly respond to online visitors in order to convert more sales.

* Direct Marketing Association “2007 Statistical Fact Book”

Decreasing Junk Mail Improves Our Environment…and Increases Your ROI

Did you know that we each get about 40 pounds of direct mail each year? 50% of which we discard, totaling over 4 million tons of paper wasted annually. 4 MILLION TONS!

Mass mailings have escalated the paper entering this country’s solid waste stream from 55 million tons in 1980 to 85.3 million tons in 2006.

Thousands of print marketers are doing their part to lessen this massive problem by simply printing less. Yes, you heard me right… They’re printing less! They are using new digital printing and database technology to send customized mailings to a more targeted consumer. The customized mailings, in turn, provide the marketer with substantially higher response rates and improved ROI.

One way of customizing your mailing is with the Personal URL. This strategy alone has dramatically increased response rates for hundreds of Green marketers, allowing them to print less and make more.

87% of Marketers Are Doing This. Are You?

For the first time in over 60 years of detailed record-keeping, U.S. marketers
reduced direct mail investment in 2008, spending a total of $56.7 billion on preparation, production and postage connected to their mail efforts — a drop of 3.0 percent from 2007 spending. The current economic climate, combined with rising postage rates, has caused direct mail’s influence as a high-volume, mass-oriented response driver to all but vanish into thin air.

The trend away from mass to targeted marketing is quickly gaining momentum as marketers begin to look for more efficient ways to generate sales. When a group of service providers were asked which tools or priorities would grow in importance in 2009, 87% indicated Digital/Online Integration (Including the use of Personal URLs).

The old school 1.3% response rate is simply not cutting it for a majority of industries today. The solution is targeted marketing with Personal URLs that will result in dramatically-increased response rates and incredible tracking capabilities.

* Winterberry Group, A Channel in Transformation:Vertical Market Trends in Direct Mail 2009

One Word Can Dramatically Increase Your Response Rates.

We have all been there… completely engaged in a conversation, seemingly ignoring everything around us. Then a voice from across the room, in a normal tone, cuts through the clutter. Someone has mentioned your name and instantly your attention turns to the other conversation. It’s nearly impossible to resist this distraction!

Now smart marketers are able to harness this attention-grabbing power of a prospect or customer’s name in their marketing material with Personal URLs (PURLs).

Personal URLs contain the first and last name of a customer or prospect in a URL. (ex: MikeJones.yoursite.com) When Mike receives this piece with his name creatively displayed in a URL, it grabs his attention, and curiosity drives him to respond.

Take a look at the 2004 report from PIA/GATF’s Digital Printing Council. Their study reports that response rates for a customized color direct mail campaign ranged from 6% to 75%, with an average of 21%! Compare that to traditional direct mail’s response rate hovering around 1.3%.

Marketers that utilize customized mailing technology (including PURLs) see an average of 14 times the response rates!

*Interquest, “Variable data imaging Opportunities with Digital Printing Presses”