direct mail marketing

  • ALLPRO Marketing Minutes: Measure your advertising success

    Measure successAugust 2017

    Your advertising initiatives — whether print, online, television or radio — are costly endeavors that are often done without understanding the true return on investment (ROI). Unfortunately, it can be a challenge to evaluate the success of your advertising campaigns. You may think you know what’s working well, but it’s best not to fall into this trap and instead have simple methods to help you measure and evaluate your advertising spend based on data.

    While these tips are provided to give you easy-to-implement ideas for tracking, they may not always be true reporting measures. There is value in each impression your advertisement has, and building your brand awareness is also important. Be sure to consider your target audience and overall campaign reach when planning your advertisement schedule.

    • Use coupons. Everybody wants to save money, so coupons are a natural way to get people to respond. While coupons work great for print advertisements, you can use also use a promotion code with social media or IP targeting. Track the business you get from coupons/promotional codes so you can identify where you got the strongest ROI.
    • Email. Email campaigns are one of the most cost-effective ways to advertise your business. If you send an email to your target audience, use a professional company like ALLPRO Direct Marketing so you can see metrics like open and click-through rates. Other features and measurement tools are also available, but opens and clicks are the easiest to start tracking now.
    • Split test. Sometimes, you may have several advertising concepts you want to run with. To maximize their effectiveness, consider doing a split test. This involves splitting your distribution list into groups and testing each ad with a small percentage of the whole. See which performs the best and use that version to distribute to the rest of the group.
    • Landing pages. Consider adding a custom landing page for each advertisement you place. This will direct your audience to the page that is most associated with what they’re looking for, and will help you measure how well your ad performed by showing you how many people visited each landing page. ALLPRO Direct Marketing can help you get started.
    • Just ask. When in doubt, if you’re not comfortable with implementing any of the above initiatives to track your ROI, you can simply ask your customers how they found out about you. You might be surprised at what they tell you, but this will give you data to go on. Plus, the conversation will help build rapport with that customer.

    If you aren’t measuring any of your efforts, you may be throwing money away without realizing it. You’ll find that not every advertisement is successful but, going forward, you’ll at least have the data to make better business decisions and to nurture your prospects.

    For additional information about branding your business and general marketing assistance, visit or call 866-472-3982.

  • How Much Personalization Is Too Personal?

    personalinfoWhen you are personalizing print or email communications, it’s important to remember that there are real people on the end of the line. Good use of data can be very effective, but the poor use of data can make people uncomfortable.

    One marketer caused a stir, for example, when it targeted men with a personalized communication that used their names with “Jr.” added to the end to represent the son they might have some day . . . if they aren’t careful. Needless to say, plenty of recipients were uncomfortable with that approach! This is something many industry commentators call “the creepy factor.”

    So how can you personalize your content in a positive way without crossing the line? Here are three tips.

    1. Protect private data. There is a difference between selling educational materials and selling refinancing offers. If you’re selling educational books to children, for example, you might want to know that your neighbor down the street bought a set of the same materials. But you probably don’t want a mortgage company outing you as a good candidate for a refinancing offer.
    2. Make sure your data is current. Keep your data clean and current. One company was criticized for marketing to recipients as if they were one step from a retirement home when, in fact, many of them were not even retired. Use surveys to stay in touch with your customers and get to know them. If necessary, use third party data houses to fill in critical details.
    3. Be considerate. Use the data in a way that is respectful and considerate of the person receiving it. You may not want to let recipients know just how much you know about them upfront. Some marketers start with basic targeting and segmentation, then layer that communication with name personalization, rather than using highly personal details overtly.

    Remember that data is just data. When it comes to personalization, it’s what you do with that data that matters. Need help making sure that your use of data is a good one? Talk to us—we’re here to help.

  • Three Direct Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

    An expertly designed direct marketing campaign can spark interest and generate a response, but certain mistakes can mean the downfall of any good campaign. Not only can these foibles waste money, but they can also keep you from achieving your sales goals. Here are some costly direct mail mistakes that marketers should avoid.

    Avoid Marketing to the Wrong Audience

    An effective marketing campaign should target the demographic most likely to be interested in the product. Going too broad with direct mail advertising not only wastes money, but it also can irritate potential customers of future campaigns.

    Avoid Weak Calls to Action

    A good call to action, or CTA, nudges the consumer to take immediate action, and proper phrasing can make a world of difference. A successful marketing campaign will avoid vague language in the CTA by telling the consumer exactly what they should do next. Rather than “sign up today,” try “sign up for your free trial today.”

    Don’t Forget to Follow Up

    Make sure to maintain a relationship with the consumers that you have established a connection with. If you've made a sale, follow up with a "thank you" email or call to show appreciation. If the consumer didn’t buy the product, follow up to find out what went wrong.

    Keep in mind that direct mail marketing is relationship building with the consumer—it may not guarantee a sale every time, but it opens the door of communication. The consumer will be more open to buying from you at some point in the future, if not today.

  • Direct Marketing Then and Now

    Direct marketing practices are changing in today’s world, but many of these changes are rooted in the industry’s history. It’s important to understand the history of direct marketing in order to predict where the industry is headed.

    Direct Mail Marketing

    Direct mail marketing traces its roots back to Benjamin Franklin, who used it to market Poor Richard’s Almanac. It surged in popularity in the 1800s thanks to the Montgomery Ward and Sears catalogs, which provided people in rural areas access to the products they wanted without leaving their homes. For some companies today, direct mail marketing has turned into email marketing to encourage people to shop online.


    Telemarketing took hold in the 1970s when technological advances made it easier for companies and their customers to interact at little or no cost. Eventually, public perception of telemarketing changed, prompting the government to pass laws banning companies from cold-calling prospective customers. Telemarketing is challenging today, but businesses that take the right approach find that a person-to-person connection still pays off.

    Direct Response Advertising

    Direct response advertising was traditionally used by businesses that sent customers a postage-paid envelope, making it easy for them to order a product. The practice was adapted for television through the use of toll-free numbers to call, and later for email, where companies sent customers links to specific products on their websites. Today, businesses create product ads that are displayed to potential customers on the websites and social media platforms they visit.

  • Super Shoes Rocks Personalized Content

    Lead gen3Super Shoes Rocks Personalized Content
    Recently, we heard about a major retailer who rocked its print personalization, and we wanted to share its success with you. We hope you find it inspirational as you plan your print marketing for the upcoming year.
    Super Shoes sells more than 200 shoe and apparel brands in 40+ stores in eight states. To increase the effectiveness of its direct mailings, Super Shoes decided to get personal.  Super Shoes started with channel preference. While many of its competitors were turning to digital marketing, the retailer knew that its customers still preferred to receive direct mail promotions like postcards and catalogs.

    "We have an email database, but our customers tend to respond more to print," says Matthew Willard, marketing director at Super Shoes, as quoted in 1to1 Media.
    Super Shoes layered in attitudinal behavioral attributes (which can be purchased much the same way as demographic data) and past purchase histories. This allowed it to target its mailings based on demographic and psychological profiles. Customized content included images, copy, messaging and offers.
    Super Shoes had tested different mail formats (postcard, oversized postcard, newspaper insert, catalog) and found that an oversized postcard was the most effective for its customer base.
    It sent eight different versions of its mailer and tested against the generic version. The results? The generic offering had a 2.5% conversion rate. The personalized mailing had a 6.7% conversion rate.
    Want to personalize your next direct mailing and see how your conversion rates soar?

    Give us a call. 888-679-0255 or visit:


    As per a recent response rate report by the US’s Direct Marketing Association, 54% of mailed postcards are actually read by recipients as against only 30% in case of sales letters; 23.4 percent of consumers respond to postcards versus a mere 7.9 percent for letter-sized envelopes, and most importantly, at about 54.10 dollars, postcard marketing capitulates a far more lucrative cost-per-lead compared to other marketing tools.


    Well, now that you have decided to woo both prospective customers as well as make your existing clients feel valued by sending across quirky little postcards, don’t jump the fence by spamming them with jarring notes. Direct mail marketing through printed postcards could act as a great promotional tool only if implemented the right way. Go by the following thumb rules to make the most out of your postcard marketing plan.


    Size matters: Choose the size according to the message that you want to convey. While standard sized cards should suffice for holiday reminders or Thanksgiving wishes, if you are aiming at splashing across a special offer or discount, or displaying multiple product photos, opt for oversized cards.

    Custom designs: Focus on a design that goes with your industry type and at the same time does not look like an advertisement. There are already many out there to haunt customers so they don’t want one more to land at their doorsteps. Having worked with a wide array of industries, experienced postcard printing companies have an expertise in dabbling with different formats, templates, colors and designs to create customized cards for your business type and your specific target audience – they know what works best for whom.

    Getting personal: Your postcard must look professional but certainly not robotic. At the very first glance, it must strike an emotional chord with the one who’s reading it. Having a little personal note always works, generating more leads than those that read like regular promotions.

    Suitable timing: While spamming your audience with too many postcards in a month can irk them, not sending one when it’s needed can be equally harmful. Holiday, birthday or Christmas reminders and greetings have always been a hit. On the other hand, letting them know in advance about a special three-day discount or any cool offer whatsoever always makes a good impression.



    Information overload: Get rid of fluff. Nobody has the time to sift through tons of paragraphs to get to the point. Make a statement with a headline that’s direct, and then create an intrigue, leaving some room for curiosity. You really don’t have to say it ALL on that tiny card. Keep the message crisp yet informative, professional yet pleasant.

    Jargons and typos: Nothing can be a bigger put off for customers than a spelling error (that you want to pass off as a typo) or a bombarding word that doesn’t convey anything. Simplicity and accuracy is the key to successful mail marketing through post cards.

    Jarring colors: Be careful with the colors and graphics. If you’re dealing with a serious business, say cancer treatment drugs or mutual funds, stick to formal solid colors instead of going all funky. If you’re running a fashion store, a veterinary clinic or a party accessories store, you can afford to experiment with the pops and the neons, illustrations and cartoons.

    Wrong target: A hit-all strategy may not always work yet make a dent in your pocket. If your postcard doesn’t reach the right prospect group, you achieve nothing out of the whole campaign.

    So, arm yourself with the right strategies and you’ll not only create awareness about your product or service but also see your card find a place in the customer’s living room instead of the trash bin.

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