Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Hidden Hazards of Email Marketing

Should you abandon your direct mail marketing in favor of an email campaign? The lower cost and instant dissemination of your message may sound appealing, but keep in mind that there are drawbacks. Emails are considerably less effective than direct mail for getting a response. A high percentage of emails are dismissed without even a minimal glance at the benefits your product or service is offering. Today’s decision makers are inundated with email and are quick to hit the delete button. 

And here is something else to consider; Some email providers, like Google and Yahoo, sell advertising space with each email. G-Mail uses keywords within your email to target ads to the recipient of that email. Whatever you are selling, Google will pick up on that keyword and deliver your message along with a column of ads from companies who may be selling the same thing! You may want to tell your customers or prospects about your special offer on fishing gear, but you may also be sending them “sponsored links” from potential competitors in the fishing gear business. 

We are not suggesting that you abandon email marketing altogether. On the contrary, use all the tools at your disposal. But when you consider the advantages, don’t overlook the limitations of your media. We use email marketing here at CR Print, but we also continue to use direct mail. The combination, or integrated marketing, works far better than either media by itself. Call us to see if your business can benefit from a multi media approach.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Combining Color, Text and Graphics gets Envelopes Opened

The following article is reprinted in its entirety from Print in the Mix, a clearinghouse of research on  the effectiveness of print media published by the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Pitney Bowes commissioned a study to identify factors that could influence when and whether recipients would open their mail and read it. The April 2010 study by Leflein Associates, examined preferences, attitudes and behaviors about mail as received at home by approximately 1,500 U.S. adults.

Participants were presented with graphic depictions of envelopes to determine which features would make them most likely to open them. Respondents examined an average of 16 screens, each containing 4 randomized envelopes, to test for variables including the presence of text, graphics and color on envelope fronts and backs. The key survey findings included the following: What’s printed on the front of the envelope strongly influences when and whether people open it. Participants were 69% more likely to open a mail piece with color text and graphics on the front before opening pieces with no headline or graphic; Given a choice of color graphics or black-and-white text, participants indicated they were 2.5 times more likely to open envelopes with color graphics first.

What’s printed on the back of the envelope is less influential. 57% of participants indicated they hardly ever noticed what was printed on the back of the envelope when sorting through or opening their mail; However, as with the front of the envelope, the study indicated that the presence of color text and graphics on the back was significantly more likely to influence their decision than black-and-white only.

Participants said they prefer physical mail to e-mail for bills, invoices and financial statements, as well as most catalogs and promotions.

66% of participants preferred to receive catalogs by physical mail;
61% preferred to receive bills and invoices by physical mail; and
59% preferred to receive financial or bank statements by physical mail.

About: A total of 1,503 opt-in research panelists (age 18+) completed the online survey between February 23 and March 3, 2010, resulting in a sample margin of error of +/-2%.

Source: Pitney Bowes, Color Makes a Noticeable Difference, July 27, 2010.

The Above article is reprinted from Print in the Mix.