Tag Archives: Direct mail

4 ways to enhance the print to mobile path to purchase

Last week, wearing my mobile marketing expert hat, I spoke to a group at the DMA mobilising print event. Some of you may know that I’m also MD at YooZap, a mobile technology partner of Fireworx. The subject of the DMA event was the use of mobile and traditional print in the path to purchase. Via presentations and a panel discussion we explored the growth of offline to online interactions in recent years, discussing current trends and best practice.

The smartphone has unlocked the capability to move online and the UK population have embraced it wholeheartedly. Not however, as the DMA’s research reminded us, at the exclusion of every other channel. 70% of commercial activity still happens in the real world. Now the DMA are no luddites, if that was the case I wouldn’t have agreed to speak. It does however serve to remind us that mobile is but a single channel. A new and exciting one, with great potential but just a channel all the same.

There were many take-aways from the morning; here are the key ones for me.

Print is dead, long live print
Panellists and delegates alike agree that print is having a renaissance. Neglected by many during the austerity drive and the rise of digital, direct mail, door drop and print are again featuring in budgets and campaign plans. Firstly, creative print stands out because the doormat has become such a barren land in recent years. Some younger groups even see it as novel.

Secondly, well-targeted, relevant print can engage, inform and deliver response. Its tactical nature means it is distinct from a tablet, phone or laptop and thus fulfils a different function for consumers. It co-exists with digital and as marketers are learning it’s a multichannel world. The consumer picks and chooses to suit their needs, lifestyle, location or even mood on a particular day. That leads neatly on to my second take-away from the DMA.

Ease is everything in mobile response
Mobile is still a new channel. Devices and technology are changing and customer behaviours are inconsistent. As such it is naive to try and second-guess the consumer and exclusively push consumer to a single digital response method.

Firstly, make it easy by giving lots of response options, short URL, QR codes etc. Secondly, tell the responder what to do “Scan here”. Finally make sure the digital media they connect to is responsive. Consumers switch between devices at will so whatever you offer should provide a sympathetic experience on every device.

Apps are a good debate point when we consider ease of interaction. The requirement to download an App puts an additional step in a customer’s path to purchase. This reduces response. The emergence of html5 based solutions bypass the download, speeding the interaction.

Apps still have great importance in the digital landscape. Where the target audience already uses an App, such as for airline customers, encouraging customers to respond via their App is entirely logical. Whatever makes it easy to transact is good for customers.

Transaction is key
The transaction is everything in this area of the communication landscape. Four years of test and learn shows the transaction is the key motivator to interact from print to digital. DMA research shows consumers are increasing their interaction from traditional media to digital. They are stimulated to buy, donate or subscribe.

The world has moved on from the days of scan a print ad to receive “enhanced” content. Consumers are looking for more. The reward for an interaction has to be transactional. With willing consumers and smartphones to facilitate there is no barrier to selling off a page or poster.

Analysis and attribution
Measurement and attrition is important. In fact it’s been a driving force between the success of many digital channels. As a result, marketers are numerate and accountable like never before. A lengthy discussion on channel attribution among DMA delegates is testament to that. However, measurement of real world advertising interactions has never been as clear-cut as it is online.

This new era of offline/ online interaction offers some opportunity for greater understanding and attribution. The combination of people’s identity, location and address combined with transaction behaviour alludes to a wealth of data for profiling and insight. This will remain a mere concept for the moment until consistent behaviours emerge and proxies for personal identity data can be established. I have little doubt the teams at Experian, Callcredit and the like are working on solutions.

I hadn’t expected to deliver earth shattering revelations at the DMA’s print to mobile – path to purchase event. Just reveal some personal insights, campaign experience and the odd battle scar. Apart from the positivity of delegates towards interactivity, I was most pleased with the consensus shown by the expert panel (good meeting you all BTW). A consensus that targeted, creative printed communication combined with a simple and quick digital transaction is the key to encouraging interactivity and improving response.

By DMA guest blogger Alan Beesley, Co-founder, YooZap

This is an edited version of a blog that first appeared on Fireworx Creative


Winning the DMA Awards’ Grand Prix: what happens next?

Has it really been six months since we dragged our Monarch clients out of the bar to pick up the DMA Grand Prix? OK, so we were celebrating winning Best use of direct mail. But to come within seconds of missing out on the most prestigious presentation of the night? Even Jimmy Carr was dumbstruck (well, for about 0.01 of a second).

But with the hangovers now just a distant headache and our dinner jackets and posh frocks back in our wardrobes, what’s happened since we picked up – or nearly failed to pick up – the ‘big one’?

For WDMP, having our work recognised by our marketing peers is a special moment. But when your work is acknowledged as the most innovative piece of work overall, you can’t help but walk a little taller. And that applies to everyone in the agency, not just those that were there on the night.

Rather curiously, a bit of green eye from the other account and creative teams has proved no bad thing. When you bring home such a prestigious award, it sends out a clear message; the bar has clicked up a notch. It’s been satisfying to watch everyone rising to the new challenge.

Beyond the walls of WDMP Towers, the Grand Prix has certainly got the right people making all the right noises. New business and recruitment have most definitely reaped the benefits.

Over at Monarch, winning the Grand Prix vindicated three years of hard work by our clients within their business to deliver a more sophisticated approach to CRM.

Together we’ve moved from a generic ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to a highly personalised one that embraces technology to deliver relevant and immersive experiences. Whilst the commercial value was never in doubt, being recognised by the industry as ‘best in class’ has helped further their cause in the pursuit of innovation.

And that leads us neatly to the next six months. A huge of amount of effort is going into helping all our clients – not just Monarch – deliver even more exciting and effective CRM campaigns.

With this in mind, we’re already looking forward to the 2015 DMA Awards. It should be quite a night – just don’t venture too far from the stage at the key moment.

By DMA guest blogger Gavin Wheeler, CEO, WDMP and DMA Agencies Council member

The 2014 DMA Awards are now open for entries

3 innovative B2B direct mail campaigns that marketers can learn from

The old days of simple messages in an envelope are long gone – to stand out from the direct mail crowd, you need to get creative.

Grabbing a prospect’s attention as soon as your missive lands on their desk is the hook that every campaign needs, no matter how good your direct marketing data is. So how are successful marketers making that positive first impression? Tetra Pack, NetNames and Oracle take their direct mail to a new level.

The basics: pushing the envelope
You’ve spent money attaining finely targeted direct marketing lists so now it’s time to consider your direct mail’s content, message – and just as importantly – its presentation.

While you may have a call to action that’ll make your prospects go weak at the knees, if it arrives in a brown envelope, you can expect all that work and investment in direct marketing data to be shown the nearest bin before it’s even been opened.

If possible, make the envelope the product, or at least reflect it in the packaging; Tetra Pak, the food and drink packaging company, wanted to show off its new Prisma Aspetic product that allows brands to print over the entire pack.

Tetra sent out Prisma Aspetic cartons with their prospect’s brand printed on it plus a personalised leaflet and a link to an online hypervideo for more information.


Tetra Pak 2 - Edited

The direct mail alone had a 53% response rate…

Go multichannel
While marketing bloggers can seem obsessed with comparing direct mail against supposed ‘competing’ channels such as digital, the smart B2B marketer knows that using a multichannel approach is becoming increasingly important.

NetNames wanted to make a splash by positioning itself as the leading global brand protection service for business. It focused its campaign on the concept of very literally ‘unmasking’ cyber criminals and deploying a key message ‘Search. Find. Stop’. The visuals were simple – orange ‘cybermatter’ splashed over an invisible thief, revealing his facial features.

Working with Earnest, NetNames created an integrated campaign with personalised content – from social media and microsite content to a powerful targeted direct mail campaign, the latter deploying a two-tiered approach:

Low Value
A simple but highly attractive animated, interactive lenticular postcard with the company’s core message personalised for each industry type and job role the postcard was sent out to.

High Value
A plush box containing a personalised pin-art gadget inside to underline the invisible threat of cybercrime to businesses both big and small.

By deploying such an innovative, multichannel approach, NetNames garnered over 72 meetings during the campaign.


Think true multimedia
Other mediums can be used to fantastic effect, again with technology and traditional direct mail being used to complement each other. Step forward Oracle’s B2B direct mail campaign that saw the company reaching out to 40 hand-selected companies in the oil and gas sectors.

Using a video-in-a-card (a personalised TV-style news show in a miniature, self-playing video pack), the campaign generated 33 leads and a sales pipeline of over £600,000.


  • Innovate with your packaging to ensure prospects actually open it
  • Don’t fear a multichannel approach to complement your direct marketing; embrace it instead
  • Personalisation and targeted direct mail marketing is more important than blanket-bombing hundreds of prospects, so make sure your direct marketing lists are optimised

Before sending your innovative direct mail campaign, download the eGuide ‘Wait – Before you send: The Direct Mail Checklist

By DMA guest blogger Suzanne Stock, Founder Director, Marketscan

Advertising mail on the up in 2014

Mail is back! What a relief after the last five years of wondering what was happening and worrying about how fragile the market for the physical mail product was at last there is light at the end of the tunnel. Maybe you hadn’t noticed how the number of letters you received seemed to disappear from the door mat. Or the constant encouragement to go online with your bills and statements. And to add insult to injury we were asked to pay for a paper bill. It all started looking better at the end of 2012 and the demand has continued to increase through 2013. Continue reading

One digital native discovers the wonderful world of print

Entering the direct marketing world as a digital native, I was quite oblivious to the developments that have taken place in print technology over the last few years. Having met a few marketing folk since I joined the DMA I must say I am much more informed now. So if there are any young marketers out there who think offline and digital are different channels, think again. The lines are blurring, and surprisingly have been blurry for a quite while now! Continue reading

I heart NY: my favourites from the Caples Awards

New York is one of the most populous urban agglomerations in the world. Its number further increases on 14 November when the world’s creative elite roll in for the annual Caples Awards. Continue reading

FMCG media planners are missing a trick

I believe FMCG marketers are missing a strategic trick on reaching target people and getting inside their heads. I’m going to call this trick ‘new advertising mail’ and anyone involved in FMCG should embrace it.

At the DMA’s Leaping off the page seminar in June, media guru David Brennan said no media channel is dead, it’s just how people use them in their buying journey that changes.

Then Mike Colling (MC&C), Linzi Clingan (Golden Charter), Liz Curry (Comic Relief), Tim Drye (Data Talk), and Sam Grimley (Blippar) shared nugget after nugget of proof on the power and place of advertising mail in the media and creative comms schedule and its impressive comparative ROIs.

Why digital cannot replace advertising mail
In 2004 Facebook launched and over the next six years the dazzle of digital pushed paper-based direct marketing aside. Hundreds of millions of pounds of shareholder funds in the form of marketing budget were hosed into the market on seemingly exciting, new wave digital campaigns, often however with questionable accountability.

So why during the last three years has there been a trend resurgence in advertising mail? (industry stats presented by Mark Young). Because quite frankly digital doesn’t turn people on all the time. More and more people are sick of the hijacking of social space by commerce. We’re all fazed by the volume of emails we have to manage every day. And on top of that, Twitterdom, World of Facebook, Linked In, Pinterest, blah blah and more blah blah.

What’s crucial is BALANCE. Not forgetting powerful response generating tools that work.

Of course the wibbly wobbly web and all its constituent elements and inventions are exciting and surprising. And the burgeoning real-time smartphone connection dynamics are frighteningly game changing.

Media planners wrong to ignore advertising mail
Printed advertising mail has fallen off the media mix radar and that’s stupid because consumers like it. CCB Fast.MAP has proved that. And the highest response from advertising mail comes from 18 to 25 year olds; the second highest after ‘busy housewives’.

Media agencies that control the majority of client budget in the UK don’t push it. Clients aren’t questioning what the media agencies recommend because in my experience they don’t know the right questions to ask.  Brand and marketing managers in their late 20s and early 30s don’t know because when they started work eight to 10 years ago (after college, uni or apprenticeship) they were being bombarded by the digital wave. Direct mail was what their parents did.

So, all the learnings from decades of direct marketing testing by the likes of Stan Rapp, Tom Collins, Drayton Bird paled into old hat past annals. Why? Human nature hasn’t changed that much, just a few new gadgets and widgets enabling a wider choice of comms consumption.

So REDEPLOYMENT is key. David Brennan talks about the appeal of at home media like TV and mail because they’re consumed behind closed doors, pulling emotional strings that ‘nudge’ people positively way before they’re into the shopping melee.

Advertising mail in the digital age
Printed advertising mail works because it is tangible, tactile, durable, real/not virtual, in the main trusted, and ‘mine’.

The big difference post 2010 versus pre 2004 is creative digital technology using smartphones can now hugely enhance the 3D experience your target consumer enjoys from printed advertising mail, and seed, or obviate, or shorten the continuing journey online… whether it’s addressed ‘Dear Mr Smith’ or unaddressed advertising mail (which is 10 times cheaper) such as SMART-Drop direct promotional advertising. It’s cost effective too – the media cost is no more expensive than cheap broadcast TV, but way more targetable to prospect households in the UK you want to reach.

The moral of the story?
1) Media agencies, hello, please change your media planning tools to include ‘new advertising mail/personalised addressed’ and ‘new advertising mail/unaddressed targeted door drop’. There are hundreds of case studies proving the profitability for clients. But they are each isolated microcosms of success, hidden in the main from the top table discussions between media planners and client marketers.

2) FMCG client marketers, hello, please take charge of your budgets that are shareholders’ funds, be more diligent in the accountability of your spend, put yourselves in your target consumer’s shoes and think how they would like to be communicated with, not just what your media agencies tell you. You might find some interesting new tests are worthwhile, beautifully written text on printed mail that springs to life with QR and AR image recognition to boost response and shorten the journey to purchase.

3) We’re missing a trick and to be successful in the future we should make the most of the opportunities we have.

Welcome to the world of ‘new advertising mail’.

Recipients like it more than many other media channels, so it should be PLANNED like a proper media channel.

By DMA guest blogger Rick Pullan, Managing Director, TBDA and  DMA Agencies Council member

Get insights into why print plays a vital role in the customer journey and hear the results of the DMA/fast.MAP/HP print tracking report at From letterbox to inbox – building customer relationships on Tuesday 15 October.
- See more at: http://dmablogs.org.uk/index.php/fmcg-media-planners-are-missing-a-trick/#sthash.fu6Lah6L.dpuf

Three reasons why I keep direct mail to inspire my work

As I’m a copywriter, I think receiving direct mail is truly fantastic. I suggest grabbing it all up and keeping it. Other than life insurance and PG Tips 2-4-1 promotions, here are three reasons why I use direct mail I receive to inspire my work:

1. It’s full of ideas. Sometimes bad ones, sometimes brilliant ones; often horribly-executed ones. Whether you’re stuck for a creative concept, a turn of phrase or a five-minute break to refresh your head: there’s a flyer for that.

2. It’s random. This is an extension of the point above, but worth its own point. We can only create using the thoughts in our head, and it’s hard to deliberately seek out randomness: we instinctively turn to the same websites, read the same newspapers or listen to certain genres of music. Direct mail offers a chance to inject something fresh into your thinking. Give it a glance.

3. It’s very visual. It’s colourful, pictorial, photographic. The brain likes pictures, even if it’s a copywriter brain like mine. It’s exciting. Make a point of noticing one thing that you like and one thing you don’t about each image.

Use ad mail, look out for it, collect it. Pick up flyers and postcards. And if it doesn’t give you something back creatively, then  you can at least enjoy a cheaper cup of tea.

By DMA guest blogger Laurence Collings, freelance copywriter