"Give them what they want!" - Relevant Marketing

At no other time before in marketing history has it been more necessary to make a targeted appeal to prospective buyers and subscribers than now.  Consumers don't have to open their emails or their direct mail, they can opt out and in, they can choose to tell you more about themselves; and because of the deluge of information, they are more discerning. If your message doesn't appeal to them, they hit the delete button or send your mailpiece to the trash bin.

Lucky for us, technology coincides with supply and demand.  Databases, internet marketing, Personal URL's, email marketing, and direct mail are not only keying from the same sets of data, but they are working in unison to approach a consumer, befriend them, and start a happy relationship.  They are not tools designed by list companies to sell data; they were born by a need driven by consumer desire.

So how do you tap into that information mine and generate revenue? Successful organizations use the channel that has the greatest success in starting a relationship, grow that relationship with multi-touch marketing, and above all, send relevant messages. 

If you don't have a relationship or a "can't live without it" product, the best way to begin that relationship is with direct mail.  Direct mail is more expensive than email marketing, but direct mail is more likely to engage new customers.  However, it must be relevant in both images and offers, and our digital world allows personalization of almost every element of a printed piece.  Not only are consumers engaged with marketers, databases are becoming increasingly intelligent allowing high speed digital inkjet to tailor messages in color for long run direct mail.  Whether it is transpromotional messaging on credit statements or offers for pet food, the information and the technology to differentiate between a dog and a cat is here today.

While high speed inkjet is fast, there are some things to consider.  By its nature, there are inherent additional expenses with inkjet technology.  There is upfront data work to understand and develop the logic to use the data available to you through inside and outside resources.  There is programming work on the application side to develop the format to display the data, and depending on your message there may be additional costs for the ink required for printing.  The technology will continue to develop, but for now digital ink is an expensive commodity.  Lighter coverage images may pose only minor additional expenses, but heavy ink lay down can add up quickly. 

Remember, though, it's all about the lifetime value of each customer and the return-on-investment.  If printing a totally customized direct mail offering with a follow up email to opt-ins meets your ROI objectives, then it is money well spent.

For more information about direct marketing options, contact Bob Houghton, General Manager of Fry Direct Mail.