Category: Direct Mail Marketing

Emotion In Advertising Is Now More Important Than Ever

We all know good advertising when we see it or, more accurately, when we feel it.

The best brands – the ones that consumers turn to in good times and bad – focus on connecting deeply with their audience by consciously harnessing the power of emotions and using it skillfully in their advertising.

In recent weeks, in particular, we’ve been seeing this more frequently from all kinds of brands. From Budweiser to JanSport and Dominos, businesses the world over are tapping into the fear, loss and isolation many of us are feeling while waiting out COVID-19.

But emotional advertising isn’t just relegated to a screen. Dimensional print enables marketers to create emotional connections and build brand loyalty quicker and more effectively than ever before.

Here’s how:

It sets the stage. Who doesn’t love to receive a piece of mail? Especially now, when so many of us are stuck in front of screens or locked inside our homes, it’s an easy and (can be) a relatively low-cost way to surprise and delight. The format you choose for your piece can set the tone with the right emotional moments.

It presents options. Are you looking for something that pops? How about something that spins? Structural Graphics and Red Paper Plane can design anything from paper, whether it means incorporating sounds, lights, pull tabs or even video. The ways you can deliver your brand messaging are endless.

It can be tracked. Physical mailers are notoriously difficult to track. However, with designs like Web Keys and add-ons like QR Codes or NFC tags, these make it easy on your team to see the value of your advertising and assess if the emotion you’ve conveyed is on track.

3 Ways to Shift Marketing Strategies in the Age of COVID-19

The rise of COVID-19 has brought an array of challenges for brands, one of which is effective marketing. With a drop in on-site video and photo production, teams being asked to work from home, and businesses being forced to shutter indefinitely, it’s certainly pushing marketing teams to think creatively about how to cope with our “new normal”.

Here are a few ways to shift your current marketing strategy to help better equip your business during COVID-19.

Ditch the handshake: Unfortunately, we’re living in a world in which face-to-face interactions aren’t feasible for many of us for the foreseeable future. At a time when lead generation feels as though it’s being challenged, focus on engaging with the accounts that have the greatest potential for revenue. Refresh your LinkedIn page and increase your engagement with new or former customers. Set up one-on-one webinars to demo a product or service that can be shipped or installed in a safe environment. Create an immersive experience for prospects as soon as they visit your website or social media channels.

Shift dollars to dimensional: We all seem to be spending a lot more time in front of our screens than usual these days. Instead of investing in a one-dimensional marketing strategy, consider using print mailers to your advantage. Dimensional print pieces like the ones at Structural Graphics and Red Paper Plane stand out, deliver the message you want, and offer an interactive experience that’s sure to be remembered.

Communicate: We can’t think of a better time to strengthen your communications skills. Whether it’s updating internal staff on company news or sharing how your brand is pivoting during this time, consistent and engaging communication is integral to the longevity of any business.

Struggling With Lead Generation? Here Are 4 Simple Tips.

Lead generation. It’s the holy grail of the marketing world.

Everything hinges on it, whether that’s the overall success of your marketing campaign or the business’ bottom line. However, it’s important to note there’s no “one size fits all” approach when it comes to finding and converting new prospects.

So, where does one begin? Here are a few tried and true tips to get you started:

CURATE. Before beginning any type of direct mail or email campaign, it’s important to pare down any of your current mailing lists so that you’re only reaching out to the right people for your brand. Who is your ideal buyer? Where do they live? What income bracket are they in? Essentially, cultivate a targeted profile of who you want to take an interest in your product.

DELIVER VALUE. In our opinion, this is the most important (and often overlooked step). What is your value proposition? Once you’ve determined who your target audience is, it becomes much easier to decide how your product or service will solve a problem they have. Does what you’re selling offer convenience? Help with self-esteem? Provide comfort? Your mail piece, whether it’s a postcard or an email, serves a purpose. Don’t let it get lost because you’re unable to deliver value to the recipient.

BUDGET. No business wants their marketing assets to appear cheap, especially when making a first impression on potential new customers. However, it’s important not to break the bank either. Now is the time to decide whether you should use an in-house graphic designer, copywriter or photographer, or if it would make more sense to outsource. This is a great opportunity to explore helpful third-party websites like RedPaperPlane.com, which allows brands to customize “WOW”-worthy direct mail pieces at an affordable rate.

TRACK. If you want to know if you’re generating viable leads, you need some way to track who is responding to your marketing calls to action. Aside from using tracking software, consider incorporating QR codes, NFC technology or web keys into your direct mail piece. When used correctly, these interactive tools can tell you exactly what content is working for your business and who is interested in what you have to offer.

Ready to get started generating viable leads for your business? Give us a shout to learn how we can help.

Are You A Direct Mail Noob? We’ve Got Some Tips for You.

Are you a marketer who sees the value of direct mail marketing, but aren’t quite sure where it would be most effective with your brand or business? Here at Structural Graphics, we like to think of ourselves as direct mail experts and have put together a few quick tips for incorporating it into your next campaign.

Start with a goal in mind. Do you want to drive virtual event attendance? Website hits? Lead Generation? Whatever it is you’re setting out to achieve, make sure you outline your objective in detail and consider what a successful execution of your campaign would look like. From there, determine your budget, audience and time frame.

Now, make it pop (literally). Two-dimensional direct mail pieces are a thing of the past. To really capture the attention of your target audience, consider going the dimensional route with a Pop Up Cube, VR Viewer or Video Mailer. These designs are now easier than ever to find and have the ability to surprise and delight where a generic postcard just can’t. At Structural Graphics, and our online design-it-yourself offering, Red Paper Plane, you’re in the driver’s seat and can customize the dimensional design of your choice with logos, colors, copy, and graphics unique to your brand.

Finally, send and track. To get the most out of your direct mail pieces, we highly suggest using a detailed approach to tracking them. You put all that time into making sure they perfectly reflect your business, after all! Be sure to collect tracking numbers for each of the mailers you send, then create a spreadsheet to keep track of its status. It’s also important to include the intended recipient’s name, address, and the sales representative or project manager who is responsible for following up.

And that’s it! Follow each of these simple steps and you’ll be a direct mail marketing champ in no time. Give us a call at (860)-767-2661 or send us a message to find out how we can help you get started on your first campaign!

Entering Q2: Our Future Marketing Predictions

In the lead up to the new quarter, we put our heads together to share our vision for the months ahead. Here are a few trends we think will be shaping our marketing throughout the remainder of 2020.

Video Marketing

It’s no secret that customers respond well to visual content. Now, more than ever, this type of content is essential, due to in person meetings and events being cancelled. But, just because you can’t be there in person, doesn’t mean you can’t be there at all. Video marketing is relatable, emotional and aids in building relationships. Much like we predicted in 2019, video content will continue to be an essential part of any marketing strategy for the duration of 2020. 

Whether you’re just getting started with video marketing or you want to up your video marketing’s “wow factor”, give our Video Mailers a try. Not only are they attention-getting, they also provide a visual experience of your brand for your prospects.

Online Goes Offline

Believe it or not, what’s tried and true are staples for a reason. That’s why direct mail still has value.

However, now brands are using technology and data gleaned from customers’ online presence to inform how to approach them offline. Billboards, retailers and others have begun experimenting with this ultra-targeted communication and consumers are falling for it. 

Don’t have the budget (or the data) to do this yourself? Use what you do know about your customers to approach them in a thoughtful way that is both relevant and valuable to them. 

Increased Direct Communication

Similar to our above point about personalizing direct mail, we expect the channels of communication between customers and brands to improve. Instead of the impersonal connections that many social platforms and websites offer, we’re seeing text messaging platforms, real-time Twitter Q&As, and on-call customer service representatives resurfacing and resurrecting the strong direct connections many of us have missed having with our favorite brands.  

SleekPeeks® Cardboard VR Viewer

Sensory Immersion

It’s not just about pumping out consistent content anymore. Customers are oversaturated with it. Instead, capturing the attention of potential buyers will require brands to get more creative. Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) will continue to deliver on this front, but we’ll also see more interactive marketing experiences like this one that engage each of the five senses.

HIPPA and Direct Mail: Do You Know the Rules?

So, you think you know the rules when it comes to HIPAA, but do you know how it relates to your marketing?

HIPAA, or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, provides data privacy and security provisions for safeguarding patients’ medical information. It applies to organizations that are considered HIPAA-covered entities, including health plans, healthcare clearinghouses and healthcare providers. Private health information like names, social security and health plan numbers, vehicle identifiers, fingerprints or facial images are some of the information protected by HIPAA.

The HIPAA Privacy Rule defines marketing as “a communication about a product or service that encourages recipients of the communication to purchase or use the product or service”. With limited exceptions, the rule requires an individual’s written authorization before his or her protected health information can be used for marketing. (It’s important to note that the HIPAA Privacy Rule distinguishes marketing communications from those communications regarding goods and services that are essential for quality health care.)

When considering sending direct mail within the healthcare community, it’s important to remember that HIPAA is, ultimately, there to protect patient health data and to protect your business against violations and fines. However, there are still ways that your team can market without putting patients’ privacy at risk. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Digital

  • Don’t create ads, posts or emails using patient information without obtaining explicit permission from the patients involved.
  • Don’t allow staff members to take any photos or videos, including cell phone photography, within the practice if there is the potential that personal information will be visible.
  • Create and enforce social media policies for employees limiting what they can and cannot post.
  • Ensure that any third-party agencies, photographers or vendors are HIPAA compliant. Legal Business Associate Agreements must be executed with all vendors, including marketing firms.
  • Encrypt any email sent to patients that contains personal information, including name and email address.

Direct

  • Receive explicit authorization from patients before sending them any direct mail.
  • Send marketing communications via certified mail and require the intended recipient’s signature.
  • Clearly and prominently identify your organization (if you are the one sending it).
  • Include clear opt-out instructions.
  • Explain why the recipient has been targeted with your communication and how the product or service you’re selling relates to the health of the individual.
  • Disclose whether a covered entity, such as a healthcare provider or partner, has received or will receive direct or indirect remuneration for making the communication.

How to Acquire, Retain, And Re-Engage Using Direct Mail

Believe it or not, many businesses can benefit from integrating direct mail into their overall marketing strategy. As brands look to gain new customers (and keep them), an omnichannel approach to how you’re delivering your message can help you drive more business and convert customers, regardless of what stage in the marketing cycle they’re at.

In fact, 9% of recipients from a house list and 5% from a prospect list respond to direct mail, according to the 2018 ANA/DMA Response Rate Report. That’s in comparison to 5.1% and 2.9%, respectively, shown in the organization’s 2017 report.

Here are some other key takeaways that relate specifically to direct mail response:

  • Letter-sized direct mail performed best for lead generation with 15.1% response rate.
  • The industries that used direct mail the most were Travel or Hospitality (80%), Nonprofit (75%), Publishing or Media (71%), Financial Services-Banks/Credit (67%), and Healthcare (63%).
  • The most popular methods of measuring response rates include online tracking (53%), code or coupon (45%), and call center or telephone (41%).

How can we continue to acquire new customers?

Don’t overlook what – and who – you already know. This is your opportunity to bring in other departments – your sales reps, social media manager, guest relations team, etc. – and analyze your current customer base. Glean information from your colleagues to determine your target audience’s demographics, geographic locations, interests and other relevant information. With a deeper understanding of your current customers, you can then better target your mailings to reach people like them.

When developing your messaging, use a call-to-action (CTA) in your mailings to keep a pulse on the campaign and each recipient who engages with it. Some ideas are QR codes, developing a personalized URL via a format like a Web Key or integrating voice recognition software like Structural Graphics Connect.

What’s the best way to effectively retain them?

As your brand seeks to expand its current customer base, it’s important not to forget about the ones who are already purchasing from and/ or interacting with you. Keeping these customers happy not only helps your business’ bottom line, but it also creates brand advocates in the process. Loyalty programs are a great way to encourage customer retention – and direct mail should be a part of it.

How can we win former customers back?

While direct mail can be helpful in retaining or enticing new customers, it’s also a powerful tool to re-engage with customers who may have lapsed. Seeking insight into when a customer left or stopped engaging with your brand can prove to be extremely helpful data, and direct mail can help with that. Surveys with incentives (think a 25% off coupon) or customized postcards with helpful products or services tailored to that individual can help customers feel valued and connected to your brand again.

Another option is dimensional print. While designs like Pop Up Cubes, SleekPeeks® or The Flapper® mail flat, they also possess that unique “wow factor” that encourages discussion, sharing and longevity to keep your brand top-of-mind for days, weeks or even years to come.

Searching For The Perfect Holiday Card? Here Are 6 You Can Order Right Now.

There’s nothing quite like getting a holiday card in the mail.

It’s a tangible way to see how your nearest and dearest have changed throughout the year and it’s a relatively easy way to make someone feel even more connected to you or your business.

Even if you’re so plugged into your social media accounts that staying up-to-date on your favorite peoples’ lives is like a second job, it’s still worth the time, energy, and investment to let them know just how much you care.

This goes for brands, too.

But we get it. Getting organized with enough time to create, purchase, ship and mail holiday cards to their intended recipients within that narrow holiday window can be tricky. Then there’s the fact that just designing a unique card with the right sentiment can be anything but simple.

To get you started, we’ve rounded up a list of some of our favorite non-denominational holiday cards from Red Paper Plane that can be customized to fit your needs, with downloadable templates available online. Each one is sure to capture the attention of your clients and prospects this holiday season, and your card will be top of mind (and top of recipients’ desks) in as little as 7 days.

StandOut Greeting Card

Our StandOut Greeting Card line features three design options: a scenic winter sleigh ride, snowy park bench and holiday village, perfect for recipients to display on their desktops throughout the holiday season and beyond. Shipping flat, they take on their fully dimensional shape just by pressing in the sides. You’re able to customize the front oval, and also have the option to include a flat insert card or folding hang tag, where you can add your holiday greeting.

 

3″ Globe Greeting Card

Our popular Holiday Globes make the perfect keepsake for your business. All of our globes ship flat, and take on their fully dimensional shape just by pressing in the sides.

Pop Up Snowflake Holiday Card

Open this card and a big, bold, beautiful snowflake takes shape.

Birds N’ Branches Holiday Card

This holiday greeting mails flat, and once opened, the card expands and takes on its fully dimensional shape. This product is customizable with your messaging along the bottom panel and is sure to be on the desktop of everyone who receives it.

Tree Spinner Holiday Card

This holiday tree appears flat when removed from the envelope, and then spins into dimensional shape when the card is opened.

Holiday Tree Card

Open the card and interlocking die cut strips mesh into dimensional holiday tree shape.

Click here to see Red Paper Plane’s full line of holiday greeting cards.

No designer? No problem! Red Paper Plane also has a large selection of holiday cards with professionally designed artwork that are ready to be personalized. We can add your logo and message for free! See the selection.

Use It or Lose It

Thanksgiving is already a little over a week away, which means, the end of 2019 is upon us. For marketers with leftover money in their budgets, the end of year brings the prospect of using it now or forfeiting it next year, especially when revenue goals aren’t being met.

Spending your marketing dollars wisely is essential, even when the race is on to “use it or lose it.” Dimensional mail, the kind we offer at our online ordering division, Red Paper Plane, consistently delivers response rates that are 3X those of traditional mail, which are already superior to those of email.

Dimensional mail is effective, efficient, and at Red Paper Plane, fast. We have over 60+ designs to choose from. Each is ready to be designed by you on easy-to-download templates, and most ship in as little as 7 days.

Don’t waste your “use it or lose it” budget. Get the most from it at Red Paper Plane. For examples on how you can USE IT WISELY take a look at how others have found success below:

First American sent this video mailer to C-level executives, showcasing a recent client success video. These prospects were decision makers, so the piece needed to capture their attention.

The technology solutions provider, Eze Castle, hoped to turn new prospects onto the company’s cloud based solutions. They generated a positive buzz by including a promotional item in the well.

 

 

 

The company, EI Microcircuits, promoted their Ninja Circuits prototype services to prospects using the Flapper®. It continuously folds into itself allowing for multiple panels to showcase brand content.

The state government agency, Fish, Wildlife, & Parks, included this Pop Up Pen Holder, which promoted the agency’s brand beliefs, in a brand kit that conference attendees received.

 

 

 

 

Should I Send Direct Mail to Millennials? YES!

Not only are Millennials digitally-savvy and socially conscious, they’re also poised to become the largest living generation in the U.S. with the annual buying power of $200 billion.

It’s no wonder why everyone wants a piece of them.

According to the U.S. Postal service, brands aren’t doing enough direct mail marketing to this generation, possibly because the consensus is that they’re too tech-driven to care. But the USPS found that millennials spend the most time opening and reading their mail as well as engaging with it.

Surprise Slider

Diamond Pull

Hexagon Pen Pot

Below are three ways businesses can capitalize on direct mail marketing to millennials:

  1. Millennials rarely receive direct mail. With so much time spent online, letters, catalogs and postcards give them a welcomed break from their screens. Physical mail presents an opportunity for organizations to connect with them in a different, more meaningful way, and break through the clutter of email and digital ads.
  2. Personalization. If you’re a brand that can address a millennial by his or her first name or customize the content in your direct mail piece by his or her interests, then you’ve more than likely captured their attention. To millennials, investing the time into something like direct mail is much more appealing if they can see themselves reflected in it and if the product or service you’re offering specifically aligns with their life, their values or their interests.
  3. Direct mail delivers value. Not only do millennials associate direct mail with legitimacy, but they tend to remember physical promotions better than online ones. It’s been proven that direct mail is easier to process and that it stays top-of-mind longer than digital messages. Direct mail, if done properly, has the ability to encourage specific purchasing behavior so organizations can achieve an even higher ROI when conducting these types of campaigns.

VR Viewer

Video Well Box

Extendo Web Key