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July 2017

4 Great Direct Mail Welcome Ideas

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Can direct mail make a red-hot customer even hotter?

That’s just one question some marketers may want to think about when acquiring a customer. They’ve paid their heard-earned money for your product or service, but why not get that new relationship off on the right foot with a solid welcome package?

There are some solid reasons for doing so. A direct mail welcome package can be one of the first few communications that your customer gets after getting an email confirmation of their order. It’s your chance to shine, to let them know that they’ve made the right decision. And it’s only polite to express your thanks, and put it in print.

So how can you say “Welcome”? I looked at a ton of mail from Who’s Mailing What! for some ideas. Here’s a sampling of what I found.

1. Make It Personal

Here’s a direct mail piece I got when I bought my laptop. A simple 6”x8” 8-page booklet that has some personalization going on, and a nice image on the front panel. Inside, it welcomes me to the Dell family and recommends that I keep the booklet in a safe place in case the information it holds is ever needed.

What information? My purchase ID number is the big one. It also lists lots of tech support and customer service websites and phone numbers. Some of them came in handy when I spilled iced tea on my keyboard last summer.

2. Remind Them About Your Brand

New York Times direct mailThe New York Times likes booklets, too, mailing this one to a new subscriber. Its 24-pages include lots of copy about all of its online and print features as it helps readers along “your journey.” And, the perfed inside back cover smartly has customer service contact info in case you lose your access, or your Sunday Times doesn’t show up on your doorstep.

3. Talk About Security

American Express direct mailThink of how data and identity security are constantly in the news. You need to make your new customer feel safe. So it makes sense not only to take precautions, but tell your customers what you’re doing to keep them and their information secure.

American Express onboards new cardholders with yes, another booklet. Here, it includes fraud alert protection in a rundown of features that are available in its app.

4. Take Further Action

National Audubon Society direct mailSo you’ve already thanked your customer for their purchase. Now what?

How about another purchase? This is the perfect opportunity to cross-sell or upsell other products or related services as well.

For non-profits, the direct mail welcome is a great time to really energize new donors when they’re most engaged and enthusiastic. The National Audubon Society, in its documentation, presents new members with an action plan “so that you can make the most of your ongoing membership.” Among the checked items: volunteering at an Audubon center, participating in citizen science programs, or making another donation.

You have nothing to lose by letting a new customer feel good about their decision, and spending their money with you.

By starting with a good welcome, you can help create a good experience for them, build a foundation for their future loyalty, and establish your brand at the same time.

 

 

Article from

 

http://www.targetmarketingmag.com/post/4-direct-mail-welcome-ideas/all/

 

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NMGCorporation Direct Mail Printing PA

How to Generate Response With Your Direct Mail

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A lot of marketers go for flashy design with their direct mail. This can grab attention, but what if you could do something more? Can your direct mail make people think and react without even realizing it? Of course it can. So how can you design your mailings with that in mind?

Before we get into the how, we need to know more about this phenomenon. This is commonly referred to as neuromarketing — marketing that focuses on the brain and how it responds. People are not aware of where their first impressions come from, nor do we always understand what they mean; they just are. This means we can use that to our advantage as marketers and incorporate messaging and design to illicit a snap response once pulled from the mail box. This is thought to happen in the lower, old parts of our brain. Now, let’s see how we can do this:

  1. “Either or Scenario”: Create only two options to choose from in your direct mail. The good choice is your product or service and the bad choice is the other option. This is a great space for snap judgments, so make sure your distinction is very clear.
  2. Story: Use a real world story that shows your product or service and how it has helped other real people. This should be a short story that is clear and to the point. Testimonials are great!
  3. Messaging: Keep it short and simple. There is no need to get technical or to list a bunch of features — no one cares. Benefits sell for you so find the biggest one and use that in your message.
  4. Solve Problems: Your product or service solves problems for people show them how in your direct mail. Short and right to the point, you have this problem, our widget will solve it. One big benefit is your focus.
  5. Images: Invoke emotions and convey your message through powerful images and without a lot of copy.

On average, you have about 5 to 6 seconds for your message to be understood before the prospect or customer moves on. So in order to be most effective, you need to be using all five suggestions above while keeping your focus on your one overarching theme. Remember that the most important thing is to only be selling one thing at a time with your direct mail. The KISS method is your friend.

Your mail should never focus on reason or logic; that’s not what gets people to buy right away. It makes them think harder and slows down the whole buying process. Additionally, it is an instant turn-off for mail pieces. Do not end up in the trash! You highlight a big benefit when you solve their problem, just focus on that.

Take a look at your current mail pieces based on the five suggestions above: What could you change before you send out your next piece? Are you already doing some of them? Great, now just add the ones that are missing. Another thing to consider is to look at mail pieces you have received, which ones worked well on you? What did they have in common? This can help you build a better response with your direct mail campaigns. Do you have a great mail piece that worked really well for you? I would love to hear about it!

 

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How to Generate Response With Your Direct Mail

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5 Things to Not Do in Direct Mail

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1. Font: The most important thing in your direct mail is the ability for your audience to read it. If they can’t read it, they throw it away. When considering what font to use, make sure that it is easily read. Do not pick what you consider a fun and whimsical font; it makes your copy hard to read. Let your design and images do the eye-catching work. Your copy’s job is to sell your product or service, not look decorative. Your font size matters, too, so make it larger.

2. Lie: Your direct mail should never lie to people or as some people put it, stretch the truth. Always be open and honest about your product or service. You may get a sale under false pretenses, but you will lose your reputation and business in the long run. Your customers and prospects expect better from you. There are plenty of ways to create direct mail that works without being shady.

3. Old List: Old data is bad data. People and businesses move all the time. If you have a list that is three years or older without having ever been cleaned, don’t use it. Beyond the fact that addresses change, people and their circumstances change, too. Sending to people who are not there or no longer interested is a waste of money. There are ways you can clean it up, or you can purchase a new list of similar people. Keeping your data fresh means that you can correctly target the people most interested in your product or service.

4. No or Unclear Call-to-Action: The whole point of sending direct mail is to get people to respond. If you do not include a call-to-action where you tell them what you want them to do, they will not do it. Vague language and innuendo do not work either. A clear concise call-to-action is a must to drive response.

5. Features: Do not focus your direct mail on features — no one cares. People buy based on benefits, not features. All the latest gadgets mean nothing if they are of no benefit. Structure your copy so that you highlight all the benefits your customers and prospects are going to get when they buy your product or service. If you are having a hard time moving away from features, try listing the features on a paper and next to each one list at least one benefit. For instance, if you are selling a vacuum cleaner, a feature is the motor power. A benefit of a stronger motor is the amount of debris that can be picked up in a shorter amount of time. When you find the benefits and use them in your direct mail, you sell more.

This list could really keep on going, but we have hit in the five major areas. Have you made any of these mistakes or others? What else would you include in this list? We all make mistakes from time to time. The most important thing is to learn from them, to make your direct mail better. It’s time to make some great direct mail!

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Chester County officials urge residents to take survey guiding future growth

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WEST CHESTER >> Chris Alonzo, a lifelong resident of Kennett Square and third-generation mushroom farmer, remembers a time when there was only one traffic light in town.

 

 

But it’s not like that anymore.

 

 

“The number of people who want to live in the county has increased and the traffic has increased,” said Alonzo, the president of Pietro Industries and chairman of the Chester County Agricultural Development Council. “If we don’t plan this carefully, we’ll be the next Route 202 in Wilmington, Delaware, where there is a traffic light every mile.”

 

 

As Chester County officials plan for the future with the development of Landscapes3, the next comprehensive plan, they are looking at many factors, including the relationship between housing and jobs; growth and preservation; and trails and public health. The Chester County Commissioners launched a Landscapes3 public survey last month in an effort to gather residents’ input. More than 4,500 people have filled out the survey to date.

 

 

Alonzo believes all the Landscapes3 topics – housing and jobs; growth and preservation; and trails and public health – are interrelated.

 

 

“I agree they are all interconnected because when you have people who love living in the county because of how great downtown West Chester or Kennett Square or Phoenixville is, but also have the ability to drive a few miles and be in the middle of rural Chester County … and see horses, rolling hills and farms and be in this amazing place that is beautiful and scenic,” he said. “That’s why Chester County is one of the No. 1 places where people want to live.”

 

 

Alonzo — the co-chair of the Landscapes3 steering committee along with Matt Hammond, chairman of the Chester County Planning Commission, and Molly Morrison, president of Natural Lands — said Landscapes3 needs to balance the county’s vibrant growth with its scenic landscapes so that the county can continue to be a great place to live and raise a family.

 

 

“We have people who want to have businesses here, live here and enjoy open space,” he said. “Balancing that growth with that amazing sense of place is a challenge.”

 

 

Survey results to date have showed that open space and environment continue to be top priorities for county residents. As a result, embracing place will be a critical part of the Landscapes3 plan.

 

 

“Please keep as much open space as possible,” wrote one of the survey respondents. “The reason our county is one of the most popular places to live is because the towns are vibrant and the country living still feels like country: trees and streams and fields.”

 

 

Over 27 percent of the county, or 131,570 acres, have been preserved to date, according to county officials. Of that amount, 92,000 acres have been preserved over the past 20 years — since the adoption of Landscapes, the original award-winning comprehensive plan for the county.

 

 

Alonzo noted that agricultural businesses need to be economically viable so that open space contributes not only to our sense of place, but also to our economy. Agriculture is the county’s leading industry, and Kennett Square is considered the “Mushroom Capital of the World.”

 

 

From a growth perspective, the need for housing options and transportation choices are seen as important in Chester County. Enhancing choices in how and where people live, work, and connect will be an important part of the Landscapes3 plan.

 

 

“We need to have growth that is appropriate and planned,” said Alonzo.

 

 

Alonzo said there is a need to provide affordable housing to people of all income levels. He wants people of all occupations to be able to call Chester County home – not just a place to work.

 

 

Survey respondents made similar comments about the need for affordable housing choices.

 

 

“The need for more affordable housing in Chester County is the top priority in my opinion,” wrote one of the survey participants. “Many people are being ‘priced out’ of Chester County due to the majority of the housing being built (rental and for sale) is vastly overpriced especially in Phoenixville and Kennett Square.”

 

 

When it comes to future growth on a countywide scale, there are currently about half a million residents in the county, and a Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) report indicates there will be 146,000 new residents here in the next 30 years. There are about 310,000 jobs in the county, and the DVRPC estimates we will add 87,000 in the future. There are 185,000 housing units in the county now; there will be about 55,000 more in the next three decades.

 

 

Addressing this growth is a concern for some survey participants. “The upcoming generation will pick a place to live and then a place to work,” wrote one of the survey respondents. “Let’s figure out how we can move our communities together rather than having to rely on cars to get anywhere.”

 

 

After the survey closes, the county’s Planning Commission will evaluate residents’ feedback, and pull together other background information that has been gathered over the past year. The Landscapes3 steering committee will start meeting this fall to help guide the plan, update and create the plan’s vision and goals. The Planning Commission’s staff will develop the plan’s content based on the steering committee’s guidance and the continued input of the public and municipalities.

 

 

The message from the Chester County Board of Commissioners, Michelle Kichline, Kathi Cozzone and Terence Farrell, is unanimous: “Landscapes3 will serve as the blueprint for Chester County for the next 10 to 20 years. We are grateful for all the residents who have taken the time to fill out our survey and we invite anyone who hasn’t done so to participate now, prior to the close of the survey. We value residents’ input as we plan for our future.”

 

 

Residents are invited to share their input on issues that will be addressed in Landscapes3 such as managed growth, open space and the environment, modern infrastructure, transportation choices, the economy, healthy lifestyles, and housing options. Join the discussion by filling out the survey at: http://www.chescoplanning.org/survey.cfm.

 

 

The survey is scheduled to close at the end of June.

 

 

In addition to taking the survey, residents can stay involved and informed by signing up for future updates on the plan’s progress here: http://oi.vresp.com/?fid=a746e437ec and visit http://www.chescoplanning.org.

 

Original article from http://www.dailylocal.com/general-news/20170622/chester-county-officials-urge-residents-to-take-survey-guiding-future-growth?source=most_viewed

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