Do old-school marketing tactics such as “snail” mail still work? You betcha, according to research gathered by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) from an online member survey this past spring. Yielding average responses from 34 of every 1,000 pieces distributed, direct mail is nearly 30...
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To help make direct mail easier to understand, the foldfactory.com has developed a new publication series called “Direct Mail Simplified.” It presents the process of creating effective mail from strategy through to design and postal optimization, testing, tracking and measuring results. Initial reviews of the content by USPS and a long list of experts in print, direct mail, and design have been very positive, Reese reported.
More Great Responses
At last month’s annual DMA Conference & Exhibition (October 15-18) in Las Vegas, Macy’s and United Airlines MileagePlus were honored with the 2012 Marketer of the Year Award. Over the last few years, customer-centric strategies have been employed across the Macy’s organization — from localizing the merchandise mix to enhancing how the retailer’s associates engage with customers, both in store and online. Macy’s has extended this vision into its marketing plans by creating more personal and relevant one-to-one communications with its best and most loyal customers. Working with dunnhumby USA, it has employed advanced modeling and statistical techniques to segment and define its key customer groups, and to test and learn the best ways to interact with those core customers. Macy’s direct marketing has leveraged a multichannel approach, including storewide mailings, category-focused mailings, emails, and online display advertising.
With the merger of United and Continental airlines, United Continental Holdings has become the world’s largest airline, and now operates the biggest loyalty program of its kind: MileagePlus. This merger required combining 90 million accounts and 30 years of transactional history into a single database. But United’s Mark Krolick, managing director of loyalty marketing and analytics, and his team took the data initiative even further with a massive marketing and CRM campaign. This process included launching a highly complex series of communications to guide members of the two pre-merger programs through the combination of the airline operations and the launch of the newly revamped MileagePlus loyalty program. As a result, United gained an unprecedented understanding of its customers (both inside and outside its loyalty program), and the ability to leverage that data to drive revenue and change the customer experience.
ECHO Award Winners
The DMA International ECHO Awards annually honor direct marketing campaigns that have excelled in direct response strategy, creativity, and results. Here is a look at eleven 2012 winners, who proved again that direct mail still can work very well if done right, especially when integrated:
Arts Centre Melbourne (Australia) wanted to raise funds to help children experience performing arts firsthand, but it faced an audience fatigued by donation calls for disaster relief. Recipients were surprised by a children’s book about “Sally” and her first show. The book, which was based on real-life case studies, played to the audience’s desire to share its passion for the performing arts and its desire to foster a new generation of performers and patrons. The gold-winning campaign increased donations 132 percent, nearly doubling the initial goal.
Travelers Insurance hoped to encourage agents to use its self-service direct marketing portal to boost out-going mail volume. The silver-winning campaign targeted agents who were not using the portal or weren’t taking advantages of certain important features. A newsletter educated them on how to use the portal and on results it could help generate. Using mail and email, the campaign kept in touch with agents over months and continued to share benefits and testimonials from other agents. Included in the communications were links to podcasts, QR codes leading to videos, and an instructional booklet. Mailings also offered discounts and special offers. Mail volume increased nearly 140 percent, well above the 50 percent target.
Austria Solar won bronze for its creative use of print, using its annual report to send a message of innovation. The piece doubled as a direct mail campaign that reached out to opinion leaders and journalists. The annual report, produced by Stefan Meier print shop, was printed using environmentally friendly, photochromatic colors that can only be seen in the sun and disappear after two to three minutes once out of the sun. The result was the first solar-powered annual report, and public response was extraordinary. The association received more than 400 requests from around the world for copies.