Pop Quiz: Best Marketing Method?

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We hope your pencils are sharpened, because today we have a pop quiz for you. Don’t worry, it’s painless. One question.

Ready?

What’s the most effective marketing method?

 

☐ A. Radio

☐ B. Direct mail

☐ C. Internet and E-mail

☐ D. Television

 

Okay, time’s up.

Pencils down.

The correct answer is…

 

☑E. All of the above.

 

I know, I know. You’re probably saying, “Hey, that’s not fair! That wasn’t even a choice.” And you’re right. We cheated. But be honest, it’d have been way too easy if all of the above was an option. It’s always all of the above, right?

We wanted you to think about each individual method and the unique advantages and disadvantages they present. Because yes, while one is better than all the others, the real lesson here is the power of using multiple marketing methods at the same time.

the real lesson here is the power of using multiple marketing methods at the same time.

You need to reach your target audience on multiple fronts to really send home your messaging. We’ve talked about the importance of exposure rate many times before, but if you need a quick refresher – the more someone sees your message, the more likely they are to act on it.

And if they’re exposed to your messaging on different platforms, they’re less likely to tune it out. People tend to be either auditory learners or visual learners, so relying on just one marketing method can be inefficient.

Using multiple methods of marketing can be more costly, but are you actually saving money if you’re not reaching the people you need to reach? Because when it comes to marketing, there’s really only two options:

☐ A. you reach them.

☐ B. you don’t.

Take all the time you need on that one, folks.

A Little-Known Mailing List Could Be Your Best Source For New Customers

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The US Census estimates that nearly 36 million people move every year. And with an ever-increasing population, that number is only going to rise.

That’s a lot of mailboxes.

And as I’m sure you know by now, wherever there’s a mailbox, there’s an opportunity for marketing. What you may not know is that there’s something called a New Movers mailing list that, as its name suggests, specializes in targeting people who’ve recently moved.

There’s many industries and professionals who can take advantage of this information:

  • Doctors and Dentists
  • Plumbers
  • Pest control services
  • HVAC installers
  • Dog walkers
  • Interior decorators
  • Pizza delivery
  • Landscapers
  • Maids and cleaning services

And that’s just to name a few.  Really, it’s about getting creative and understanding one simple fact – people who are new to an area are typically looking for new resources. If they haven’t had a chance to fully explore their new surroundings, and if they’re in need of whatever it is you have to offer, it’s very likely they’ll go with you.

In fact, statistics suggest new movers will spend more in three months than people who are settled into their homes will spend in five years.  Let those numbers sink in for a second.

There are those who are skeptical about using direct mail in today’s digital age. But the evidence is clear: direct mail works.  Especially when someone is just moving into town. They may not have their computer unpacked or their Internet installed yet. But they’ll have a mailbox.  And they’ll be anxious to see what you have to offer.

Consider these facts:

  • direct mail is tangible and it creates a personal connection
  • when you reach out to someone new to an area, they’ll feel welcomed and appreciate you for it
  • new folks love seeing mail pop in their new mailbox, so they feel good about you right from the start

New Movers lists are inexpensive and they’re pretty easy to come by.  Most mail list brokers rent them on a subscription basis.  You can receive weekly updated names and addresses that allow you to periodically send off batches of mail with your welcome offer.

And that’s the secret to making the whole thing work: your offer.  You only have one chance to make a great first impression, so  make sure your mailing  includes something enticing — and something that the recipient can act on. Offer a free calendar with local landmarks, a discount coupon, a free home inspection.  How about a free magnet with important local phone numbers?

The best part about reaching out to new movers is that you’ll connect with people who are the most open to hear what you have to say.  Make the most of that opportunity with something they’ll appreciate.  Start laying the groundwork for relationships and referrals that can last for years or decades.

Be one of the first to reach their mailbox.

 

 

Healthcare Marketing Discovers Life In The Mail Box

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Healthcare marketers face one insurmountable reality: that timing is everything.

Deliver the right ad on the wrong day and your potential patient simply hits delete or turns the page.

Thankfully, there’s a solution to this problem.

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Postcard magnet mailers.

The postcards have all the informative benefits of traditional direct mail, but it’s the attached magnets that are the real game changer. Why? Because magnets stick around. And unlike traditional direct mail, magnets have a practical purpose beyond their offer.

When an orthopedic surgeon sends out postcard magnets and someone without any back pain receives one, they’ll still have a use for it. They’ll use the magnet to pin their grocery list to their fridge or filing cabinet. And a few weeks later, when they throw their back out because they tried carrying too many shopping bags at once, guess who they’re probably going to call?

if you’re involved with healthcare, you should be involved with postcard magnets.

Doctors and healthcare providers are beginning to realize the power and potential of postcard magnets.  Here are some ways healthcare marketers are using them:

  • Primary care doctors are announcing the grand-opening of their practices
  • Dentists are sending out annual updates and cleaning reminders
  • Sports physicians are promoting pre-season physicals

And while these healthcare professionals’ specialties and approaches may vary, they’re all experiencing similar results – an increased awareness among their local communities, fuller waiting rooms and big booms in business.

Still need convincing? Here are 3 more reasons why postcard magnets are great for healthcare marketing:

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1. Scope

As far as advertising mediums go, you’d  be hard-pressed to find one that’s as flexible as postcard magnet mailers. You can send out 250 to one particular neighborhood, or you can send 1,000,000 across the country. The dosage is entirely up to you.

 

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2. Focus

Because postcard magnets utilize mailing lists, you can be incredibly targeted with your approach. Sure, you can blanket an entire area – and sometimes that makes perfect sense. But you can also pay a little extra to hone in on specific segments. For example, if you’re a pediatrician, you can target households with children. If you’re a plastic surgeon, it might benefit you to reach out to more affluent individuals with higher incomes.

Regardless of who you want to focus on, the important thing is that you’re able to. It’s this quality over quantity approach that usually pays off big. Other forms of advertising might be able to get you and your message in front of more people for less money, but if those people aren’t interested or in need of what you’re offering… what’s the point?

 

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3. Reach

While digital methods are new and exciting, the fact is most organizations can reach only 40-50% of their potential customers via e-mail. A lot of people still prefer the personal connection and tangibility that comes from receiving physical mail.

Don’t get us wrong, we’re not saying postcard magnets are the be-all end-all solution to marketing. In fact, they can work best when used in tandem with other media. If you have billboards or online ads, postcard magnets can further cement your place in the minds of potential patients.

The more ways they’re exposed to you and your services, the more likely they are to visit. Exposure is everything.

But it in the end, it’s all about results.

If your healthcare magnet is positioned on somebody’s refrigerator, who are they most likely to contact when a need arises?

Six months after your postcards are mailed, new patients will still be walking in your door.

And you can relax, having solved that ‘insurmountable’ healthcare marketing problem.  You, and a one powerful little magnet.

 

For more information on postcard magnets for your healthcare organization, please call us at 800-233-6690.  Or visit us at magnetbyMail.com .

 

Why Use Tangible Advertising In The Digital Age?

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It seems like everything is going digital these days. Netflix replaced video rental stores, mp3s replaced records, and for many people, tablets and smartphones are replacing their daily newspaper. So why spend time and money designing physical promotional materials — like customized mugs, pens and magnets — when you could just send an e-mail at a fraction of the cost? Surely tangible advertising is outdated too, right?

Wrong. Today there’s a great opportunity for physical advertising, precisely because digital has become so popular.

For one, home mailboxes aren’t as cluttered and bombarded like they used to be. Don’t get me wrong, consumers still aren’t interested in junk mail. But that’s the beauty of most tangible items: they’re not junk. They’re useful goods with a real purpose.

A well designed postcard with a magnet attached is more akin to receiving a small gift, instead of an inconvenience like most other forms of advertising. The perceived value is much higher, especially when compared to an e-mail. Everyone knows what an e-mail costs.

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Another postcard magnet advantage? E-mails aren’t a constant reminder. For most people, once they’ve read an e-mail (assuming they read it at all), that’s the end of that. They delete it, or it’s pushed down by waves of new e-mails, never to be seen again. With postcard magnets, your message is there to stay.

Once your magnet makes it onto the fridge or the filing cabinet, the odds are pretty good it’ll be there for a  long time. And if it’s there for a long time, it means your target audience is going to be exposed to your messaging over and over again. We know that on average, most people need to see a message six times before they feel compelled to act.

Do you think that’s going to happen digitally?

 

you can’t feel an e-mail.

 

Finally, when you’re considering what method of advertising to use, remember this: you can’t feel an e-mail. For many people, a tactile experience goes a long way towards creating a connection to whatever it is they’re trying to understand. By feeling something with weight and texture, the senses are activated in a way they simply wouldn’t be by merely looking at a screen. When the mind realizes something exists in the real world as an object, it suddenly gains more priority and importance.

These are just a few of the many ways time-tested postcard magnets can be superior to their digital counterparts.  How about you? What kind of advertising do you find yourself responding positively to? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

 

What is Good Design?

Original photo by Tomasz Piskorski

What is good design, exactly, when it comes to direct mail marketing?

The short answer is:  the design that achieves the results you need.

And with that you’ll note good design is above all, results-oriented.  The entire reason for good design is, not to make the world a prettier place, but to maximize the impact of the message.

Good postcard design

The longer answer is more helpful perhaps, although no more precise:  good design is using visual elements of form — space, lines, shapes, color and textures, along with function — a compelling message — that achieves an action or some goal for the marketer.   Often, it’s about finding an appealing balance between form and function — that is, a pleasing presentation;  but this is not always the case.

There’s no single design that is the perfect design.   Further, a design that works for one type of message may not work for another.

And a design for one audience may not work for another.

When it comes to postcard magnet mailers (what we do at magnetbyMail) we’ve seen all types of designs for all types of messages and audiences.

The designs that work best seem to be the ones that:

  1. get your attention, either through imagery, a few words, or both;
  2. draw you in to explore and learn more details;
  3. change your emotional state — make you angry, curious, intrigued, excited, etc.;
  4. and lead you to a next step — to a website, a phone #, a donation, etc.

Personally, I like simple layouts.  Grab the attention, give a message that’s succinct, and ask for action.

The design philosophy for this is “less is more.”   The principle is that unessential elements are distractions. So if an element isn’t necessary to your core message, consider doing without it.

Where do you find good ideas for good design?  I suggest starting on the Web.

For postcard designs, check out BestPostcardDesign .

On a future post, I’ll provide a list of my favorite websites that are helpful for design inspiration.

Until then, I suggest:  less is best.

 

Another little marketing nugget from magnetbyMail, your source for postcard magnet mailers and other nifty marketing aids.

Animal Rescue: A New Breed of Marketing

Photo by Sue Byford

To the Rescue

It’s startling to find out how many dogs and cats are rescued from our streets.  According to the Humane Society, there are 6-8 million dogs and cats in animal shelters each year, in the US alone.

Each one of these animals needs to find a home.  And many new organizations have sprung up to take on the challenge.

These groups don’t necessarily call themselves marketers, but that’s exactly what they are.

Their mission is to raise the awareness of the abandoned animal issue, recruit likely adoptee families, match animals with new owners, promote best practices to the community, and even sponsor legislation that helps save animals.

The animal rescue groups of today use many of the same cutting edge marketing strategies you might find in any major business, using social media like Facebook and Twitter to broadcast rescue news to thousands.

But because not everybody subscribes to their Twitter feeds, these groups have found they need to use traditional media.

And that’s where we come in.

Dog Rescue postcard magnet mailerYou see, we make postcard magnet mailers.  That’s a custom-printed, jumbo postcard and a magnet, one glued to the other, and mailed to a mailing list via the post office.

These magnet mailers are one of the most effective ways for rescue groups to get their message out: to ask people to consider adopting an animal in need.

Our Foldup Magnet Mailer is good for helping tell a more complete story — it’s designed with the magnet attached inside a large, folded postcard, and provides over a hundred square inches of space for text and pictures.

So how does the whole thing work exactly?   Simple: the Foldup Magnet Mailer reaches the family through the mailbox.  It will likely be opened and read, and maybe discussed.   The magnet will be added to a file cabinet or refrigerator, working as a mini billboard for on-going awareness.

Then, one day, the Forces of Good will converge  and the family will decide that they’re interested in learning more about adopting an animal and will find the rescue group’s web address on the magnet.

It sounds like great fiction but this process is really what happens every single day.

In fact, there aren’t many other ways for an animal rescue organization to get so much exposure, for so few dollars (…cents, actually).

It might take three or four months for a family to reach that magic moment, and decide to adopt a pet.  The Foldup Magnet Mailer provides all the right ingredients to facilitate that multi-month process, and help keep the rescue’s message at top of mind.

Of course, you don’t need to be rescued to benefit from our postcard magnet mailers.  You just need to be interested in getting your message out, and keeping it there.

Another timely message (we hope) from your friends at magnetbyMail.com , your source for of postcard magnets and other neat promotional devices.

Stuckup: Pizza Marketing Idea

Ok, maybe you don’t run a pizza shop. You still could benefit from a marketing idea that helps deliver pizza sales from coast to coast.

Pizza Takeout Menu Postcard MagnetIt’s our Stuckup Mailer. We can print a takeout menu on one side of the postcard. On the other side we attach a magnet and inkjet a mailing address you supply.

We prepare all the Stuckup mailers for bulk mail, so you get a sizable postage discount, and drop them in the mail for you.

If you need a low cost way to reach an entire neighborhood, we can provide a saturation mailing list, and you could reach your entire community for pennies.

With an enticing offer or artwork, the card makes a quick trip from your recipients’ mailboxes to their refrigerator doors.

At 3-1/2″ x 8-1/2″ and UV coated on front, it’s just right for a small takeout menu (which is why pizza restaurants love it).

But it’s also a great size for advertisers and organizations who need to distribute lists of phone numbers, key contacts or web addresses. Or useful procedures, recipes, emergency preparedness checklists, key tips, calendars, schedules or campaign bios. Or maps, inspiring quotes, artwork or colorful travel vistas.

With a good Stuckup Mailer, you’ll discover that the refrigerator door is the most valuable spot in the whole house.   And you’ll be making the most of this space.

Best of all, your promotional message could be there for months or more.

Makes you want to order take out, doesn’t it?

 

Another marketing tip from magnetbyMail.com, your source for magnet mailers and other innovative marketing ideas.

Advertising to Gen-Y

Ask most marketers how they reach the Generation Y audience and they’ll tell you it’s challenging.

cs-1-6-postcard magnetsGen Y, that demographic group born roughly between the mid-1970’s and early 2000’s, doesn’t use lots of the traditional media (newspapers, network tv, magazines).   So for marketers trying to reach the group, the media choices are the social networks like Facebook, Myspace and Twitter.  And unless a marketer can create a buzz that goes viral, he or she is not going to reach an audience at all.

So now it’s come this: when marketers think about going ‘outside the box’, they now mean ‘outside the Internet.’   The ultimate web-based marketers are finding new solutions using ‘traditional’ media,  like  magnet mailers.  Here’s how:

The cyber game world is a billion dollar industry featuring multi-player Internet games where the other players – one’s teammates and opponents – could be on the other side of the planet.  Games like  Starcraft or Counter Strike Source are run from independent network server companies, offering high-tech computer power that needs to be fast and affordable for their Gen Y customers.

But marketing a game server company isn’t easy.  Competition is global and its fierce.  Email marketing has become ineffective and even viral marketing strategies seem to return diminishing results.

We provided the solution in the form of our Basic magnet mailer — it’s a large, full-color laminated postcard carrier, and a custom printed magnet attached. With a good mailing list, and a postcard / magnet combo designed to promote a web address, we helped a US-based game server pinpoint its Gen Y target and deliver a message that could stick around.

The end result: a 20% increase in ‘guest’ traffic at the website and five new accounts for every 100 magnet mailers sent.

Which all goes to show that, even in the tough Gen Y marketplace, if you can get in front of your prospect, you can still win.

magnetbyMail:  helping make sure your message stays in front

Mail Smarter

If you like being able to track the packages you ship through companies like FedEx(R) or UPS(R), you’ll like hearing about this new service from the US Postal Service…

USPS IMB Intelligent Mail barcode

Example of IM barcode (courtesy Wikimedia)

The USPS IM barcode is an Intelligent Mail barcode that can provide you tracking details of the mail you send.  Similar to the barcode already used on most US mail, the USPS IM barcode is 65 vertical bars that encodes 31 digits of data for USPS scanners.

Based on the 31 digits, the USPS will be able to know: the type of service for the item (1st class, 3rd class, etc), the identity of the sender, a sequence number and the Zip Code of the delivery point.

The sequence number is what’s really interesting.  This is assigned to the sender;  it identifies the mailing piece from the thousands the sender might be mailing.

So now a mailer will be able to know when (and if)  their mailing piece made it to the doorstep.  Before, it was a matter of faith.

Also, by confirming delivery, mailers will be able to update their mailing lists for future mailings.

And marketers will have end-to-end tracking of their campaigns, just like they do with email campaigns!  It’s nirvana for those using analytics.

The new Intelligent Mail service will start this May.  Mailers will need to use the IM barcode to qualify for automation prices.

Postcard magnets mailed by magnetbyMail will be processed using the new Intelligent Mail service, at no additional charge.

The fine line between the Internet and old-fashioned marketing just disappeared.

From your friends at magnetbyMail .

 

 

Cause and Effect

From saving organic farming  to saving Haiti, there are thousands of good causes, each one with a message.  Each cause competes for our attention.  And each competes with the thousands of other messages that crisscross  in front of us every single day.

campaign promotionsAdding the Internet to the mix hasn’t helped.  In fact, it’s only increased the volume of message traffic.

And for any cause, being able to convey a message to a targeted audience can be critical.  It can be the difference between fulfilling a mission, or disappearing.

Luckily, there’s a solution: custom imprinted postcard magnets.  OK, so we’re biased; but listen to this recent example:

A community organization needs to rally county support for a major change in zoning.   Within three weeks the group needs to convince residents that changes are something that need to be approved.

The group decides to have magnetbyMail print and mail Venti postcard magnets — jumbo postcards and square refrigerator magnets — to every voter in the county.

Within days of the mailing, hundreds of hits come through the group’s website.  The previously-hard-to-get newspaper and tv news reporters appears  for interviews.  And the night of the zoning meeting, there is an unusual sight: full attendance.

The zoning changes are approved by a wide margin, and the organization makes lots of new friends for future projects.

And in many of the area’s homes, the magnets are still in use many months later.

There’s little else that works quite like a postcard magnet mailer.  The postcard is the carrier, the magnet is the billboard.  The combination is quite effective, and very affordable.

Have an important message to convey? Check us out at magnetbyMail.