NEW YORK & AMSTERDAM–(BUSINESS WIRE)–At a time when the marketing industry for nonprofits is witnessing a convergence of direct mail and digital mail, Quadriga Art International (QAI) says the old practice of including a premium gift in a direct mail package is making a comeback. QAI – the leading marketing firm for nonprofits – says several organizations in Europe including UNICEF, Cancer Society, Care International, SOS Children’s Villages and Handicap International are all seeing higher response rates from using premiums.

“We are even seeing donors call the charity to thank them for the gift and ask for another one.”

QAI has seen premiums double or triple response rates and raise ROI simply because more people open the direct mail package with a smart gift seen inside and want to give to the charity.

“Getting donors to open a direct mail package is half the battle in a market that is flooded with direct mail and where charities keep mailing the same old mailings to the same old list with the same old results,” says Mark Schulhof, CEO of Quadriga Art. “Adding a smart gift such as personalized address labels, pin badges or cards not only gets the donor to open the package but we are seeing it add rather significantly to donor response rates and ROI. When people get a gift they feel more like giving one.”

QAI suggests charities be smart when using premiums. For example, the company says a charity should use a gift that is directly related or represents the nonprofit’s main mission which helps brand the charity. Schulhof also says a premium should be practical so that a donor can proudly use that gift which can further tie the donor to the charity’s mission. Such gifts could be tote bag from an environmental group produced from green materials or a stuffed animal from an animal rights group both of which have been receiving extraordinary response rates.

“Charities should feel good about the premium they choose and the cost of the gift and package and the extra cost of using a premium gift more than pays for itself due to higher giving rates and ROI from the direct mail package,” says Schulhof. “We are even seeing donors call the charity to thank them for the gift and ask for another one.”

 

If it seems like your mailbox is brimming with direct mail advertising these days, you are not imagining things. After three years of declines, spending on everything from simple postcards to glossy brochures is rising.
“I’ve seen more large stacks of direct mail at my doorstep,” said Rachel Hambick, a 31-year-old resident of Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood. “There are a lot of them,” mostly from grocery stores and restaurants.

Direct-mail advertising sales rose 3.1 percent last year, a significant turnaround from the previous three-year drop of 20 percent, according to New-York-based marketing consulting firm Winterberry Group LLC. The firm is forecasting a 5.8 percent increase in direct mail spending for 2011.

Bob Lieber, CEO of marketing strategy and services firm Original Thought LLC, said the increase is due to the overall improvement in business conditions.

“As companies see the economy turning around, they tend to increase their spending on marketing, because so many of them have cut back their spending during the recession,” Lieber said.

Glenn Cummins, national marketing manager of Ed Bristol Advertising & Printing Inc., observed that business is definitely busier than it was last year. “More direct mail printing business is coming in because the economy is rebounding,” he pointed out.

The deep recession in the financial services industry contributed to the cuts in direct mail, but marketers and retailers also shied away from it in favor of digital media, especially email, according to Winterberry Group.

But Hebert Rivero, owner of Minuteman Press, argued that the pendulum seems to now be swinging away from digital marketing and back to snail mail.

“People are not opening their emails the way they used to, because there’s too many, so they just delete marketing emails pretty readily,” he said.

Hambick agreed. “The emails I’m signed up for, they seem to email me several times a week, which is almost too much. You become desensitized to it.”

Rivero believes that is one reason why his business is up. He noted that in addition to stronger demand for direct mail, retailers’ pursuit of higher quality paper also contributed to the bounce-back in direct mail spending.

“Our retailer clients have done a lot of homework to give their mailers a certain look so that people would be more likely to open [them] and look at their marketing products,” he said.

Rivero observed that spending on commercial postcard printing has experienced the biggest gain, followed by newsletters.

“We’re entering a period where inflation is going to start to set in and people are going to try to raise their prices as demand increases,” Lieber explained. “It will drive marketers to try to be more efficient, so they will try to make inexpensive formats successful, for example, the postcard mailing.”

After primarily distributing coupons and fliers to local residents’ mailboxes, Hassib Blan, owner of the Olive Mountain restaurant in Evanston, is investing in direct mail.

“The economy is getting better, so we’re also putting more money into advertising,” Blan said. “We want to get more people coming to try our food.”

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Orginaly posted by: Dorothy Zhang on medill.northwestern.edu

A new report has indicated that direct mail remains the source of most charitable donations, though it is important for non-profit organisations to embrace multi-channel strategies.

Developed by Blackbaud’s Target Analytics company, the study found that although multi-channel giving has become a common objective of not-for-profits, it is not yet being widely practiced.

According to the research, the only donors who do significant multi-channel giving are new supporters acquired online.

However, a large proportion of these donors were found to move across the direct mail giving in subsequent years, highlighting the importance of a multi-channel approach.

Rob Harris, Target Analytics’ director of analytic products, said: “The internet is becoming an increasingly important acquisition channel but has not proven to be as effective for retention.”

The study revealed that the majority of gifts are still received through direct mail. Donors acquired online were found to give much larger gifts but generally have slightly lower retention rates.

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Direct mail was taken to a new level when Auckland marketing campaigners Mailshop sent breakfast trays to customers that included a printed piece of toast.

The Just for Starters pack — which won a Gold Medal in the Self Promotion Category of this year’s Pride In Print Awards — was the hero of the self-promotion campaign in which recipients received a personally-addressed box to peak the curiosity factor.

Upon opening they encountered their very own breakfast tray, personalised with their own fake newspaper (featuring them) and accompanying cereal, butter, jam and coffee cup. To further enhance the experience the toast was real Vogel’s bread (with “Mailshop” branded onto it) and the banana was a fresh mini Nino banana!

Recipients were directed to a personalised URL (PURL) with the invitation to enter a competition on line, offering a prize of a real breakfast at the Langham Hotel.

The germ of an eye-catching business-to-business mail campaign came when Mailshop moved premises last year and used the opportunity to refresh its visual identity through a logo rebrand. Dashwood Design worked with Mailshop and established a brand essence around the concept “no such thing as ordinary”. The change included a transformation of its website, a new business profile and new signage, stationery, email signatures and vehicles.

A campaign was then devised to showcase the capabilities of Mailshop’s latest Colour 1000 digital press, in particular the broad range of paper substrates and weights it could handle, and to demonstrate to clients what is creatively possible when utilising XMPie software, both online and in digital printing.

Mailshop Managing Director Deidre Ross says the desire was to surprise and delight clients and reinforce the “no such thing as ordinary” idea with a memorable cross-media DM campaign which recipients would want to keep and tell others about, creating conversations about Mailshop to their peers.

“The pack needed to be visually arresting with a high level of customisation and personalisation that would take clients’ breath away and showcase Mailshop’s prowess for detailed execution.

“Timing was critical to heighten the unveiling experience. As a result each pack was hand delivered to companies’ receptions as early as possible prior to 10.30am,” she says.

“The PURL was intended to be a quick and easy experience, a fun extension of the Direct Pack that enabled people to enter the draw and be re-introduced to Mailshop’s broader capabilities. This was subtlety referred to in the breakfast spread. No explanation was given but that did not stop 40% of recipients visiting it and as a result receiving an entry into the draw to win breakfast and a spa for two at the Langham hotel.

“Each pack had a lotto ticket nested into the mini newspaper. The ticket was an important part of the experience as the personalised newspaper showed the recipient being the Lotto ticket winner! It got people involved, they had to go and check it out – anything but ordinary!”

Recipients were high-value Mailshop clients, 120 in total. The mix was advertising agencies and direct marketing clients, chosen due to their activity in the creative direct marketing space.

The campaign resulted in comments such as: “WOW — what an amazing DM I received from Mailshop. Have been so impressed I’ve been showing everyone in the office. It’s great to see such innovation and something tangible in this eWorld we are now living in.”; “Got my awesome breakfast DM box yesterday! Everyone is talking about it around the office. Quick question, is the lotto ticket real?”; and “Thanks for the personalised breakfast box, fabulous! I love the newspaper and especially the lotto ticket inside!! Very clever!! I’ve just entered the draw, fingers crossed!”

Ms Ross says the campaign ignited many client conversations about what is really possible in the DM space and how the latest technology can deliver a more impacting experience that drives results.

Originally posted on www.scoop.co.nz

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You can only go to the well so many times. Even the greatest campaign for the best product, with the most attractive offer and creative collateral, will fall flat if you’re not reaching high quality, new business prospects. If you’re seeing a decrease in response and an increase in opt-outs, your lists are probably oversaturated. You know you need fresh ammunition. What should you do?

1. Identify suitable brokers. Find brokers who manage files that match your desired target audience in terms of company size, industry, geography, desired type of contact, job title, function and purchasing authority of influence. Obtain counts from your identified brokers to determine if their counts support the mass volume your b-to-b marketing program requires. Match rental options, including email, direct mail and phone, to your go-to-market strategy. Determine how the brokers’ lists are collected.

2. Test their lists. Tell the data list manager upfront that you intend to run competitive tests before agreeing to a long-term purchase agreement. Agree to terms, and then select three lists that match your criteria. Provide the broker with a list of the types of people you do not want in your target audience.

3. Measure results. Remember that even respondents who aren’t interested are valuable. If your list does contain the right people, you may just need to reach them in a different way or with a different business offer.

4. Select your vendor. Once you’ve aggregated the data, you’ll have a solid foundation for making your selection. Monitor your ongoing response rates to gauge how effectively the list company invests in continuously cleaning its files. If you see diminishing returns from your list purchase, I recommend 
repeating tests and your selection process annually.

From the June 01, 2011 Issue of Direct Marketing News

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The US Postal Service literally guaranteed the effectiveness of integrating direct mail into marketing campaigns when it launched a postage-back assurance program in mid-May to attract the business of large marketers. The USPS is conducting the “Mail Works Guarantee” to convert large advertisers into direct mail marketers and to counter the large yearly drops it is seeing in First Class mail.

“Direct mail is the most effective and measurable way to get a message to consumers, and we know it won’t automatically go to a spam folder,” said Susan Plonkey, VP of sales at the USPS. “Of course, a direct mail piece is only as good as its offer and targeting.”

The USPS will use its experience to advise brands on how to effectively include mail in their marketing mix but will not assist with metrics or branding advice, she adds.

“We assume companies will already have very solid metrics in place to determine success. What we believe we can do is improve the performance of that campaign with direct mail. We also assume companies have determined the right brand message,” said Plonkey. “With our years of experience, and our vast amount of data on the effectiveness of direct mail and our knowledge of how to improve the read and response rate of direct mail, we believe we are uniquely positioned to help companies incorporate direct mail into their advertising mix.”

The USPS has declined to name the large brands that are participating in the program, but the program’s parameters say each must spend at least $25 million annually on advertising and mail between 500,000 and 1 million pieces of Standard or First Class mail yearly. The Postal Service will refund up to $250,000 in postage costs if their mail campaigns don’t meet agreed-upon expectations.

Industry experts say direct mail still adds a vital element to most campaigns, despite the fact that many brands have moved a significant amount of their spending to digital.

“In many cases, there’s only a 20% click rate with digital,” says Russell Kern, founder and president of The Kern Organization, a direct marketing agency. “What about the other 80%? Digital is faster and less expensive, but single-channel marketing isn’t effective for any brand. When you lose mail, you close a door.”

However, Jeff Hassemer, VP of product strategy for the data management services group at Experian, notes that the integration of marketing campaigns has hurt direct mail in recent years as brands have moved spending to other areas. For that reason, the initiative will likely not turn many major advertisers into direct mailers, he adds.

“They have not reduced volumes because direct mail on the whole was not working for them, they reduced mail volumes because they are achieving a greater return on investment from the combination of direct mail and additional marketing channels,” says Hassemer. “In the end, a company will maximize its marketing investment across all channels. Direct mail was king of this for quite some time, but marketers are now focused on maximizing budgets across all marketing channels based on return alone.”

May 31, 2011 (Business Wire) — Blackbaud (Nasdaq: BLKB) today announced the publication of the 2011 donorCentrics Internet and Multichannel Giving Benchmarking Report, which features research on nonprofit online giving in the context of an integrated direct marketing program. The Report also includes an extended analysis on the value of multichannel giving.

> View the full Report at www.blackbaud.com/multichannel

Developed by Blackbaud’s Target Analytics company, the Report finds that although multichannel giving has become a popular objective of nonprofits as a way to build constituent support, it is not widely practiced. The large majority of donors give through only one channel and use only direct mail as their vehicle for donations. According to the Report, the only donors who do significant multichannel giving are new donors acquired online. Large numbers of these donors switch to direct mail giving in subsequent years. This is the group of donors for which multichannel giving is crucial for garnering repeat gifts and realizing true long-term giving potential.

“The Internet is becoming an increasingly important acquisition channel but has not proven to be as effective for retention,” said Rob Harris, Target Analytics’ director of analytic products and a co-author of the study. “It is the ability of online-acquired donors to use another channel – that is, to start giving through direct mail – that significantly boosts the long-term value of this group of donors. The most successful organizations have integrated online and offline marketing teams and CRM systems to develop effective multichannel communication strategies that can maximize donor value.”

The research also finds that for donors already on file, evidence of past multichannel giving is not a predictive factor for future retention or long-term value. Traditional direct marketing segmentation variables such as recency, frequency, and gift amount are far more predictive.

Other key findings about online donors include:

> The majority of gifts are still received through direct mail, although it has become increasingly common for new donors to give their first gift online.
> Online-acquired donors are significantly younger and tend to have higher household incomes than mail-acquired donors.
> Online-acquired donors tend to give much larger gifts but have slightly lower retention rates than mail-acquired donors.
> In aggregate, online-acquired donors have much higher cumulative value over the long term than traditional mail-acquired donors. However, long-term value varies depending on the donor’s origin gift level, and the substantially higher gift amounts given by online-acquired donors can mask issues with retention.

The data presented in the Report comes from the most recent transactional data available for the 28 organizations participating in Target Analytics’ donorCentrics online benchmarking service in 2010. The organizations that participate in these online benchmarking groups are prominent national nonprofits covering a range of sectors, including animal welfare, the environment, health, human services, international relief, and societal benefit.

The complete analysis, including a list of participants in the 2010 online benchmarking groups, can be found at www.blackbaud.com/multichannel.

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Originally posted Gamutnew.com

The postal service is pushing a “not so new” but improved feature called EDDM Every Door Direct Mail.

A simple explanation is that you can mail a “Flat” (determined by size) mail piece, saturating an area to as many full carrier routes as you like (up to 5000 pcs per day) without having specific addresses and without buying a postal permit.

Saturation mail has been around for a long time but they have made it easier to use. This should be a good thing.

*** 10 Observations about EDDM ***

1. The postage price was not reduced for this new program, but the process was made easier for the customer. Is that enough to grab their attention? Time will tell.

2. It is limited to flats. In my opinion if the USPS was serious, they would have opened this to standard mail also.

3. My customers are reluctant to jump on board because of the extra printing costs involved in printing flats.

4. In tough economic times, my customers are looking for the cheapest possible way to mail, period! EDDM is not the cheapest, it is just the easiest.

5. This was a huge blow to the list broker business. Before customers had to purchase a list, now the post office is offering this mailing with no addresses at all.

6. In my opinion the USPS should do national television advertising. Get the word out far and wide. Having their employees try to sell this to small business, is just not efficient.

7. They have limited the number of EDDM (retail) pieces to 5000 per day. That seems counter productive. Wouldn’t it be better to pave the way for customers to bring in as much mail in one day as possible?

8. This program is not open to non-profits. This doesn’t make sense to me. Since they didn’t reduce postage costs, why exclude non-profit?

9. You have to apply for a mailer ID to take advantage of this program. Although it’s not that difficult, it is mandatory.

10. The mail must be presented to the post office serving the area you are mailing to. So that may mean driving or shipping your mail to one or several out of area post offices.

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Originally Posted by: Donna Flanagin on Valpolife.com

When consumers receive a direct mail package, they often look at the design of the materials or the value of the offer. This leads many companies to spend a lot of time developing the creative aspects of their print marketing initiatives.

However, as Contracting Business recently suggested, it’s just as vital for companies to consider mailing lists as well. Relevant lists can help get products and services in front of the right people. For example, an apartment owner in New York City won’t buy lawn care products even if the sender is offering a great discount and has an eye-catching package.

“If you know the demographic and the psychographic of your customer, you can order a mailing list of very specific people to whom you should send your marketing materials,” explains the source.

Conversely, if a company is just trying to develop a broader awareness, they could use the saturation mailing service that the United States Postal Services offers. Whether it’s catalogs, brochures or other print materials, saturation mailing can help businesses reach as many as 90 percent of residential areas within a single ZIP code.

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Originally posted on overnightprints.com by Mark Haslan

Particularly among the small business sector, most branding strategies include a direct mail marketing component. Although often touted as out-of-date or overshadowed by its social media counterparts, direct mail is still an important aspect of marketing that firms should not neglect.

One way for a company to boost its return on investment is to link up its more traditional marketing methods – including direct mail – with digital advertising techniques to capture early adopters of technology.

Both the United States Post Office and the UK’s Royal Mail are promoting quick response codes through new consumer engagement initiatives. For example, as part of a USPS campaign this summer, mailers who include a QR code on their direct pieces will receive a 3 percent discount.

In the UK, marketers are offered “enhanced” services via a digital watermark, which functions in the same way as a QR code.

“This solution combines the strengths of the post and the internet. Digital watermarking technology means that a leaflet or mailing can open the door to a journey in the online world,” Dave Smith, Royal Mail’s chief customer officer, told the Telegraph. “By using this technology, businesses can ensure their mail campaigns are as effective as possible by linking directly to their websites, videos and even social network pages.”

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Originally posted by Mark Nolan on AmsterdamPrinting.com