Friday, November 11, 2011

Smart Marketers Are Always *Thinking.* Get This. It's Brilliant.

Entrepreneur and corporate strategist Colin Jensen has a great post up on Quora. Jensen says, "No matter what kind of business you're starting, you need more than one source of revenue, and hopefully at least one your competition won't have thought of."

That reminded me of a GoogleOffer that showed up in my mailbox just this morning. Fairfield Inn & Suites (Marriott property) has a hotel near Dulles Airport. Anybody who lives in the Washington, D.C. area has utterly NO reason to go to the Dulles area, except to fly or pick up fliers. But wait! Maybe there's something out there in Dulles land after all ...

Fairfield was making an amazing offer -- 14 days of parking and free every-half-hour shuttle service to and the airport for only $20! Fairfield says that's a $140 value and I believe it. Moreover, Fairfield is offering staff help to haul luggage in and out of the shuttle bus. (No, I don't work for them and, yes, I never knew they existed until this a.m.). Wow.

In fact, this offer was SO wow that I went to the Fairfield website just to see if they would let me use the service other times. Yes, we can! But, for Fairfield, the real benefit is that their hotel is now on my radar. I found out they have inexpensive weekend packages and I can also consider staying there overnight before an early flight.

The discounted offer won't make any money of course, but it won't cost Fairfield any money, either. In short, this is some of the best hotel advertising I've seen in years. I'm sure many other curious local gawkers hopped to their website this morning, too .. where we found all manner of other offers besides "fly and park" also featured. This is very smart marketing, right Colin?

-- scrubbed by MarketingBrillo

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A GREAT promotion to build Facebook "Likes"

Napco's "Publishing Business Webinar Series" sent an email this morning that got my attention.

The subject line was good -- "Like" Publishing Business and "Love" Your Free Gift -- but I almost never read subject lines.

What grabbed me was this fabulous graphic.

I went to the website and took a look. What a great way to honor staff. Now this is effective social media. And, yes, I like it -- very much, actually.

--scrubbed by Marketing Brillo

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Two Experts Recommend These Direct Mail Response Boosters

On November 1, DirectMarketingIQ hosted a Webinar featuring Patrick Fultz, DM Creative Group, LLC, and Michael Capuzzi, Copy Fultz and Capuzzi cited their favorite direct mail response boosters. Here's a quick recap.


Try variations of the envelope teaser:
• hand-written teasers;
• presenting the offer on the envelope;
• a novel approach to presenting the teaser;
• promising a gift inside;
• pointing out special features with handwritten arrows and notes.

Vary the size of windows in a window envelope to:
• show variable text elements on the outside;
• feature a product or sticky item (labels, etc.);
• show a premium or free gift through a window;
• create interest with specially shaped or odd-shaped windows.

Personalize with options like these:
• name and address, of course;
• variable images (in some cases, variable images have generated response rates of 40%);
• 1 to 1 marketing;
• tailored copy, offer, and images for individual relevance;
• handwritten personalization.

Consider a variety of options for the postage space:
• First class v. Standard;
• Indicia incorporating graphics;
• Live stamps;
• Meters with the company logo incorporated into the meter imprint.

Test changes in delivery format, including:
• Postcards (generally, these appear to be generating good returns now);
• Self-Mailers (these require testing, but can boost response and save on postage);
• In-line printed envelopes that offer additional personalization options;
• Three-dimensional mailers to create additional interest.

Test newer technologies:
  • pURLS, which can drive response rates up significantly, but need to be tested;
  • QR Codes, which are in wider use now, but should be used highlighted only when it makes sense to use them and always highlighted;
  • Mail Tracking. For example, it’s now possible to structure and track Standard rate mail to hit a 3 to 5-day window, thus saving on First-Class postage.
  • eMail follow-ups that are triggered by the direct mail drop;
  • Sound-Light-Video blurs the line between digital and print media and can be very powerful for the right audience.


Adopt creative strategies to help shut out the noise of other marketing:

Make It Personal.
1. Personalize the "who," the copy, the message, the offer.
2. Make your direct mail look like it's coming from a friend.
3. Make your direct mail distinctive (for example, try a hand-crafted look).
4. Apply handwritten messages that pop-out and work as eye-magnets and envelope teasers.
5. Use cartoons and comics to generate interest.
6. Use sticky notes, rubber stamps, doodles, and hand-art on letters and envelopes.

Create Envelopes That Get Opened.
7. Window envelopes with handwritten fonts generate interest.
8. Print on both sides of the envelope so all real estate is used.
9. Use "Do Not Fold" messages to pique interest.
10. Test cool stamps or multiple stamps.

Create Postcards That Get Results and Campaigns That Get Attention.
11. pURLS are appropriate, but not all the time. Make sure the web landing page for a pURL is also highly personal!
12. Handwriting is a smart way to get eyeballs to focus on certain parts of an envelope or letter.
13. Photos of the sender on the envelope are worth considering.
14. Be creative with the mailer (for example, try a brown paper bag to deliver the message).
15. Create urgency with envelope teasers and notes that say "Last Chance," "Final Offer," "Act Now," etc.

So What’s Working in the Real World?
16. Addition of a red note on the envelope saying "Your Tickets Enclosed" bumped response from 1.1% to 8.7% response rate.
17. Addition of an item circled in red and addition of two hand writte words (free and Stop boosted response rate from zero to 3.3%.
18. Adding doodles boosted response to 5.9%.
19. The sender sent the same letter, but added handwritten notes "Act Now" and "Call Me," along with underlines and other handwritten marks drove response rate up.
20. A 28% boost in response came when one marketer added a few red handwritten notes, underlines, and doodles to the letter.

-- scrubbed by MarketingBrillo