Expert Tips for Kicking Off Your 2018 Marketing Right
There’s a certain excitement in the air at the beginning of a new year—an opportunity to start fresh with a brand new strategy. To ensure you put your best foot forward, here are 5 marketing resolutions we recommend making to grow your business in 2018.
1. I will use Personalization in all of my marketing communication.
Why this is important: Personalization is becoming a bigger and bigger deal as technology gives us the capability to offer it to our customers. You must focus on this in 2018 or you’ll be left behind. The annual State of Marketing by Salesforce report also points out that 52% of consumers are likely to switch brands if a company doesn’t personalize communications to them. This increases to 65% for B2B buyers.
How to do it: Start by personalizing your messages for the individual. If an email or direct mail piece includes the recipient’s name (such as Dear Susan or Dear Mrs. Jones, etc.) it is much more likely to be read. Maximize the power of your own data by identifying market segments within your customer database. This can be achieved by segmenting by age, gender, geography, where they are in the sales cycle and their purchase behavior. Don’t have any demographic data on your customers? No problem. Various demographics and lifestyle attributes can be appended to your customer database so you will have a better understanding of who your customers really are. Creating better personalized experiences for your customers will drive response and increase sales.
2. I will use email and direct mail to promote my business and activate my brand’s online experience.
Why this is important: No matter how much time people spend online shopping or researching a product or service, they will never visit your website or call your business if they are not aware that your brand exists. You have to be proactive in your outreach and introduce your brand to them. And considering the average person is exposed to up to 5,000 brand messages a day, it’s essential to use the best marketing medium and message that cuts through the clutter.
How to do it: Design your omnichannel marketing plan with direct mail and email as the foundation, using it to drive website and social media traffic. Make sure you have a strong digital retargeting plan in place (such as DM Boost) that allow you to capitalize on that traffic and keep your message in front of your audience long after they have left the page.
3. I will clean up my customer lists and validate their email addresses.
Why this is important: Bad or incomplete addresses on a mailing list wastes money on print and postage. Invalid email addresses can have a negative impact on your ability to get into the inbox of customers and bring down your sender reputation score or, worse yet, get you blacklisted.
How to do it: Have your mailing list run through NCOA (National Change of Address) to update addresses of customers (people or businesses) who have moved in the last 48 months (or use PCOA to go back up to 30 years!). Have your email addresses validated to ensure you’re sending to a clean list. Email list validation services are a proactive and effective way to remove bad emails and spam traps from your list which will improve deliverability, leading to higher open rates, clicks and conversions. Start by identifying people on your list who haven’t opened your emails recently. Then, set up a re-engagement campaign to draw them back in. If they still ignore your messages, remove them from your list. Remember, the quantity of email subscribers doesn’t always equal quality. Finally, remove any hard bounces. These negatively impact your deliverability rate and will ding your sender reputation over time.
4. I will set a goal and measure results of each direct marketing campaign.
Why this is important: You want to have a single purpose or goal for your marketing campaign and make sure to include a way to track responses otherwise you will not know if your goal was met.
How to do it: Often times, the goal of a direct mail or email campaign is to get the recipient to buy a product or use a service. Other goals can be to send people to your website or let people know about an upcoming event. By including a discount code or special offer that is unique to the campaign, you will be able to track any online sales that came from your promotion. If the offer is for an in-store product or service, include a coupon that people can bring in. This is an easy way to track business that comes from your ad. You can also send people to a landing page on your website that has a URL that is specific to your campaign. This is a useful measure of success if you are trying to drive traffic to your website.
5. I will push the boundaries of direct marketing.
Why this is important: Again, people see an average of 5000 marketing messages a day. Your brand has to remain interesting and relevant if you want your messages to cut through that clutter.
How to do it: Stay up to date with the latest direct marketing technology and best practices: Target Marketing, DMA, and Adweek are some of our favorite resources for keeping up with what’s now and what’s next in the industry. Find inspiration from these organizations and vow to try new things in your own marketing.
Your commitment to these goals will challenge you as a marketer. As a result, hopefully you will find yourself working more efficiently and driving strong ROIs that increase your bottom line.