We hope your pencils are sharpened, because today we have a pop quiz for you. Don’t worry, it’s painless. One question.
What’s the most effective marketing method?
☐ A. Radio
☐ B. Direct mail
☐ C. Internet and E-mail
☐ D. Television
Okay, time’s up.
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:
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
Pest control services
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.
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.
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.
There’s a reason Super Bowl commercials are funny, and there’s a reason they cost millions of dollars: Witty works. Humor had long been an effective tool in an advertiser’s arsenal, and no matter how daring or risqué an ad was, it always had a concrete connection to the product or brand. The punchline was tied to the messaging. Now? Now things are starting to change.
If you’ve been watching television, reading magazines, or surfing the web, you may have noticed a trend – advertising is getting a little weird.
Okay, scratch that. Advertising is getting very weird. But why?
Well first of all, advertisers are becoming aware of the power of social media and sharing. Viral is their new favorite word. And for good reason: a well-executed campaign can yield millions of impressions, now and for years to come, and at no additional cost.
However, execution is tricky because consumers are not easily tricked. They’re bombarded by advertising more than ever, and as a result they’ve developed natural defenses. They’re tuning out, changing channels, and filtering e-mails. If it smells like a pitch or looks like a promotion, their eyes glaze over and they look the other way.
It’s these factors that have created the perfect storm for the odd and unusual. Marketers are minimizing the what, as in what they’re selling, in favor of maximizing the what? As in what the heck was that, I have to show my friends. It’s hard to ignore the people that are important to us, which is precisely why advertisers are so keen on using them.
Remember The King? The creepy Burger King mascot that tormented us from 2004-2011? He was arguably the start of all this madness. And while creeping out your hungry customers hardly seems like the best idea, here’s the thing… it worked. People were talking about him, people dressed up like him for Halloween, The Simpsons spoofed him, and most importantly – Burger King profited.
He didn’t look like a fast-food ad. He wasn’t the perfect mouthwatering burger being grilled in slow motion, he wasn’t a waterfall of cola cascading over idyllic ice cubes, he wasn’t the imagery pretty much every other fast-food joint was using. He wasn’t a coupon or an offer. He was just…weird. The perfect thing for people to talk about around the water cooler without feeling like corporate shills. He was so intentionally disconnected from the product and typical messaging that Burger King was able to penetrate the average consumers’ defenses.
The creepy king was a carefully crafted promotional Trojan Horse.
And there’s countless examples of this strategy. Geico television commercials frequently feature short nonsensical skits that have next to nothing to do with their actual product. A pig at a football stadium? Really? GoDaddy has also switched from sexy and provocative to surreal and head scratching.
Best of all, this approach isn’t limited to video. Print ads can be just as odd. The key is to be memorable, and to have your brand somewhere on the page or the screen so they’ll always associate your brand with that memory. That’s it.
So as you develop your marketing strategy, consider doing something a little out there. No risk, no reward, right?
I’ll leave you with one of the strangest and most unnerving commercials I’ve ever seen. An advertisement for Totino’s Pizza Rolls that’s nearing 1,000,000 views. From mere word of mouth.
Do I want Totino’s after seeing that? I’m… I’m not sure. Am I ever going to forget the name?
In return for the discount postage rates it offers for First Class Presort and Standard Mail services, the USPS requires that both of these types of mail meet its Move Update standards. This is also called the NCOA processing requirement.
The Postal Service maintains a sizable registry of people and organizations who have recently moved; and it compiles this info in its National Change of Address (NCOA) database. Mailings that meet the Move Update standard must be checked against the NCOA database, and updated for any address changes.
This is good for mailers, since it helps ensure that addresses are up-to-date. And it’s good for the Post Office, since it minimizes the expense of handling all those bad addresses.
The downside to the NCOA requirement is that it costs money. And for a small mailer with a small list, an NCOA processing fee can seem just plain silly.
Luckily, the USPS provides two ways to avoid the NCOA requirement: Continue reading
OK, the secret is out: the most important factor in getting better direct mail results is improving the quality of your mailing list.
This may not seem that surprising. If you’re using really good criteria to select your mailing list, certainly you would expect improved results.
But a quality mailing list is more than the criteria you use to create it. It is quality content in terms of accurate names and deliverable addresses.
At magnetbyMail, we see hundreds of mailing lists each year — most of them are created by our customers who send them to us. They are usually lists of alumnus, subscribers, members, prospects or clients.
And many of these lists are full of errors that would cause the Post Office all sorts of delivery problems.
Now, the good news is that we’ll do our best to make the addresses deliverable. We’ll try to normalize and validate each address provided, so that it meets US Postal standards and matches an address that really exists.
But (although we try) we can’t do miracles. If you manage a mailing list of any size, you should understand some things about Normalizing and Validating an address, to ensure that your list is in tip-top shape:
Normalizing an Address
The Post Office wants to see addresses in a certain, normalized way. They expect an address with at least three lines of information: 1) Recipient Line, 2) Delivery Line address and 3) Last Line. For example: Continue reading
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.
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:
get your attention, either through imagery, a few words, or both;
draw you in to explore and learn more details;
change your emotional state — make you angry, curious, intrigued, excited, etc.;
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.
Sure, the real estate market is tough. Nevertheless, with proper pricing and good real estate marketing, properties are still selling.
According to Bloomberg, realtors are selling over 4.5 million units of US existing homes per year.
Based on the average home being sold for about $150,000 (Real Estate ABC), that’s $675,000,000,000 in sales total, just for existing residential properties.
And it’s no secret. Every good real estate agent knows the keys to selling real estate in 2012:
Pricing it right
Property looks its best
Seller is flexible — it is a buyers’ market afterall
and also, you should be
Now, considering 90% of properties are being sold by agents who already know about these four keys, what can an agent do to make his/her properties stand out from the rest?
The answer is: mail a folding postcard with magnet.
And if your response to that is ‘What?’, well let us tell you. (You see, we happen to make these.)
Our Foldup Magnet Mailer is a large 8-1/2″ x 11″ postcard folded in half, with a large 3-1/2″ x 4″ magnet inserted inside. The card is sealed with easy-peel glue, inkjet addressed on front, and mailed by the US Post Office to your prospect list or a direct mail list we can provide.
The postcard can be printed with all sorts of useful info, including color photos of homes for sale and listings in the area. The magnet typically includes your photo, contact info, website address and facebook url.
The Foldup Magnet Mailer makes a double impact: one, when it is received in the mail, and another when the magnet is applied to your prospect’s fridge or file cabinet.
The true power of the Foldup Magnet Mailer is in the distribution. Our experience shows that you should target your own community. You’ll likely gain more listings for yourself and you’ll be creating an invaluable network of neighbors who can become your Facebook friends and a great source for leads.
And you’ll have accomplished a nearly impossible feat: getting people to focus more than 2 seconds on the properties that you’re marketing.
The entire Foldup Magnet Mailer costs less than a dollar (1000 are 64 cents each). It provides you a high-impact presentation in the short term, and an effective way to keep your message in front for weeks, months or longer.
So be a part of that $675,000,000,000 in real estate sales, and kickstart your real estate marketing with a foldup magnet mailer.
Another service from magnetbyMail, doing our part to help promote the economy.
Late last year we asked potential customers looking at our products what they wished for.
They said, as much as they liked the idea of our postcard magnets, what they really wished for was more room to express themselves.
You see, we’ve always had our basic postcard magnets — these are jumbo postcards and custom printed magnets, one glued to the other and mailed via directmail.
But the Venti, our largest postcard magnet at 5-1/2″ x 10-1/2″ just wasn’t enough. Some marketers want more than the Venti’s 115 square inches.
So in January, we introduced our Foldup Magnet Mailer. This a very big, 8-1/2″ x 11″ postcard, folded in half, a magnet attached to the inside, and sealed shut with easy-peel glue. Marketers now can have over 200 square inches of printing area.
The fold provides lots of benefits. The standard postcard format has two sides or ‘facings.’ But the Foldup Magnet Mailer has three facings: the front, the back, and the inside. This gives marketers more space and flexibility to develop their message.
Another benefit of the Foldup is, because the folded piece is thicker than our regular magnet mailer, and the magnet is held securely inside, we don’t need to use poly laminate to keep the mailer as rigid for mailing purposes.
Saving poly laminate saves time and reduces costs. (We still provide a UV coating for shine and protection.)
Our customers can receive a Foldup Magnet Mailer for about the same price as our smaller postcard magnet.
A final benefit is that we can enclose custom shaped magnets with the Foldup. (Our standard postcard magnets could use only rectangle shapes, mostly.)
Foldup Magnet Mailers make sense for any marketer who wants all the benefits of delivering a magnet to a home or office, but who needs lots of space to convey their message.
One thing we should mention for designers: the positioning of the Foldup’s magnet is more restrictive than for our regular postcard magnets. The magnet needs to be attached on the ‘inside’ of the folded postcard, and ‘behind’ the area where the mailing address is to printed.
But if your design can work with that location, the Foldup Magnet Mailer may be the perfect way to deliver your message. You can deliver it with a 200 square inch format, and provide a custom magnet to help keep your message in full view for weeks or months.
Another innovative marketing device from your friends at magnetbyMail.com, your source for magnet mailers and other ingenious communications tools.
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.
You 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.