Quick Printing magazine columnist Sandra Long (Above Right), who is also Vice President, Printer Market and Customer Development, for Pitney Bowes, yesterday joined one of her Pitney Bowes colleagues, North American Mailing Vice President Chris Giles (Above Left), to present a seminar titled, “Optimize Your Mail, Grow Your Business—Let’s Make it Personal”.
“Timing, relevance and really personalizing the content are key,” said Giles, while emphasizing the point that mail is no longer the only part of a marketer’s arsenal, but a one of several communications channels that help businesses sell value in their marketing.
While there is no magic formula for always knowing the exact right mix of media for a campaign, if a business knows its target audience well, it can achieve much better results by producing personalized, multichannel communications.
Long gave attendees a primer on how they can benefit from implementing the Postal Services’ Intelligent Mail Barcode (IMB).
The IMB will be a requirement by 2014 for full-service mailing from the USPS, “And yes, I believe it is happening this time,” answered Long in response to an audience question as to whether full implementation of IMB will be delayed as it has been before.
IMB gives businesses the ability to track their mail, and Long described a long list of benefits tracking offers. Mailers who choose to have their IMB mail tracked can opt to receive data about the mailing for free from the Postal Service, but the data is hard to use. Services like TrackMyMail from Pitney Bowes allows mailers to turn that raw data into actionable reports.
Long described one problem that could have been easily avoided with IMB and tracking, presenting the example of a resort that sent a mailing to its top customers. The mailing went out early, and the resort found itself understaffed to handle incoming calls. Tracking, Long noted, would have allowed the resort to see exactly when the mailing dropped and to staff accordingly to handle in-bound calls.
The Pitney Bowes co-presenters offered a number of additional case studies to highlight how different types of businesses are using data, personalization, and multimedia communications to improve response and drive new revenues. According to Giles, some of the common threads in creating good campaigns include personalization, relevance, and the nature of a business’s relationship to the mail recipient.
“Everything depends on who you are talking to, whether they already know you and whether they care about what you have to say,” he stated.