EP Blog

January 2022

Keep Them Thinking About You

In marketing, there is one thing worth more than gold. It is top of mind. Being top of mind means that when someone thinks about your product category, they think of you. Delivery services? Most people think of FedEx and UPS. Soft drinks? They think Coke and Pepsi. Laundry detergent? Tide. Are you top of mind in your category? If not, how do you get there? Here are five ways to stay top of mind with your customers:

1. Promote your selling proposition. Every company has (or should have) a unique selling proposition. This is the reason people should buy from you. Think about DiGiorno frozen pizza. “It’s not delivery. It’s DiGiorno,” right? Their selling proposition is a compelling one — it tastes like delivery without the wait. What’s your selling proposition? Identify it, then articulate it clearly, consistently, and briefly in all of your marketing communications. Keep saying it!

2. Create a consistent visual identity. There are certain brands you can identify from a mile away: their colors, their design style, their spokesperson, or mascot. A consistent brand identity is enormous when staying top of mind. Create a consistent look and feel in everything from your direct mail to your company stationery. Use templates if necessary.

3. Stay out there. A one-time advertising blitz can get your message out quickly, but you build credibility and stay top of mind with regular, timely communications. Drip your marketing communications a little at a time to remain part of the conversion.

4. Use multiple touchpoints. Direct mail is highly effective in reinforcing a personal bond between your company and your customers. Multiple media support that message by touching prospects at different times and ways. Send a customized letter giving your best prospects the inside track on a new product. Follow up with email. Send a postcard or brochure when the product is available. Send a note of thanks when the client makes a purchase.

5. Timing is everything. Strategically plan repeated communications so customers perceive you as a provider of helpful information rather than an intrusive pest. This requires both organization and dedication.

Never before have consumers had so many choices. Staying top of mind will lift you out of a noisy marketplace and increase customer retention and response rates.

© 2022 Great Reach Communications



August 2021

In 2021, Businesses Are Marketing Smarter, Not Harder

With the U.S. economy starting to re-open following the height of the coronavirus pandemic, what does this mean for marketing? Are companies continuing to hunker down? Or are they getting back to business? This is important to know both as a benchmark and for competitive insight. If your competitors are back to marketing full steam, you don’t want to give them an edge because you’re still sitting on the sidelines.

A strategic brief from the CMO Council, “Getting It Done in 2021,” gives us some critical insight. The survey found that, despite a challenging year in 2020, nearly two-thirds of CMOs plan to increase their marketing spend this year. But they aren’t just throwing their budgets any old which way. They are being strategic.

According to the CMO Council, marketers are focusing their budgets on the following areas:

Customer journey, acquisition, and conversion (50%)

Planning around digital growth strategies (36%)

Campaign execution and measurement (35%)

Demand generation and pipeline (32%)

Taking action on customer data insights (26%)

In other words, they are marketing smarter, not harder.

Want to stay competitive? Do the same. Focus your efforts on understanding your customers. What priorities, needs, and fears are driving their purchase decisions? How do they make those decisions and what types of content (and which channels) do they use along the way? Spending money on your marketing database may not seem as important as getting those direct mail pieces and emails out there, but it just might be the most important investment you make this year.

Need help? Talk to us about our data services.

Call 800.236.7515




June 2021

Is Brand Awareness Worth the Investment?

We all want to sell more products and services, and for decades, brand awareness has been the subject of research and study. Is this a good investment of your marketing dollars? To what extent does brand awareness truly influence the final purchase decision? As it turns out, quite a lot.

Here are the results from one fascinating study:

In a blind study by the University of Newcastle and the University of South Australia, 85.5% of subjects chose the familiar brand in the first trial, even if they preferred a less familiar brand.

Even when testing brands during an initial trial, consumers were more likely to purchase the product from a familiar brand name, even if they preferred the taste (or, by extension, the look, smell, or function) of an unfamiliar brand.

Consumers were not only likely to choose the more familiar brand but were more likely to make the decision more quickly — 9.8 seconds faster.

What does this mean for you? Get to the consumer early. Stay in front of them and don’t quit! Repetition is critical. One statistic we regularly run across is that the average person remembers three to five brands per category. To get in there, you have to push someone else out and then stay there.

This is where consistent drips of brand messaging can pay off in a big way. Send a direct mailer and follow up with an email. Invest in retargeting with social media ads for visitors to your website. Create constant reminders of who you are and what your brand offers.

Creating brand awareness is not always about getting someone to buy right now. It’s about staying top of mind—and keeping your competitors out in the cold—so that when your target audience is ready to buy, they think of you.

Source: “Brand Awareness Effects on Consumer Decision Making for a Common, Repeat Purchase Product: A Replication” (Journal of Business Research)




May 2021

The Call to Action: It Matters

Did you know that simple changes to your call to action (CTA) can have a considerable impact on how much revenue you generate from your campaign? Whether it’s direct mail or email, here are three ways to increase the chances that buyers will respond to your offer. 

1. Make it specific.  Although there are exceptions, the clearer and closely tied your CTA is to the offer, the better. If you are offering “buy one, get one free” pizzas, for example, “Buy Now!” will be less effective than “Get My FREE Pizza Now!”

2. Keep it simple.  Especially when your product is more complex, it’s important to simplify. When one financial services firm wanted to sell consolidation loans, for example, its offer and call to action were,

     Complete a free online budget analysis to help us understand your unique situation.

     Get started now.

For many people, however, that offer and CTA combination is way too complicated. Budget analysis? Get started? It’s overwhelming. But when the company changed its CTA to “Estimate my monthly payment,” it saw a 125% increase in conversion (source: MECLabs).

3. Get the sequence right. Don’t assume that people are farther along in the process than they are. If you spring the CTA too soon, you may lose them.

Say a couple wants to buy a home. The realtor doesn’t walk up to them on day one, before they’ve even started looking at houses, and say, “Here’s your new house. Do you want the 30-year or a 20-year mortgage?” The realtor first has to build trust, show them the options, and give them enough information to select the right home for them.

The simpler the offer and the less complex the product, the earlier you can put forth the CTA. If the product is takeout, you can put it right on the front of the flyer. If it’s more complex, such as a summer cruise, you might want to save it for page two or three of a glossy, four-color brochure.

Does this spark some ideas about changes you can make to your CTAs to generate more revenue? If so, great! But don’t just wing it—let us help. Let’s test some of your ideas in your next direct mail or email campaign and see what gets the most traction.



April 2021


Top Reasons Consumers Open Mail

The more you know about why the mail gets opened, the more you can tweak your campaigns for maximum effectiveness. Recipients’ top reason for opening any direct mail piece is that they are interested in the products or services you offer. But did you know that there are other reasons that recipients open their mail, too? These include:

• Having a positive view of the company.

• Seeing reading direct mail as a leisure activity.

• Seeing the production quality (printing/images/paper) as exceptionally high.

Add personalization on top, and you have a potent combination! Why? Personalization increases the chances of your mail being relevant to the recipient. If you know someone’s age and marital status, for example, you can use profiling to assign them to a life stage that gives you insights into their buying habits and needs. Likewise, if you know that a customer regularly buys books by a particular author, you can alert them when that author releases a new title.

Studies have found that recipients also open direct mail pieces because they have a positive view of the company. This tells us that regular, ongoing branding plays a key (if indirect) role in sales. When you invest in branding campaigns, even if you aren’t selling anything in those campaigns, this increases the likelihood that the recipient will open your direct mail piece when you are selling something. Even if the recipient does not have an interest in the product at the time, if they like your brand, they are likely to check out the offer anyway.

Want to increase the effectiveness of your direct mail even more? Studies have found that adding high-quality printing, imaging, and paper quality can increase open rates, too. When a piece is of very high quality, recipients feel obligated to open it and see what you have to say.

Combine these with personalized messaging, and your marketing pieces will have incredible stopping—and converting—power.




March 2021

Put the Power of Color to Work for You

When you hand out a piece of marketing collateral or send a direct mail piece, the first thing recipients notice is the color. In an instant, color does a lot of things, including:

  • Grabbing attention.
  • Highlighting areas of importance.
  • Establishing credibility.
  • Providing beauty.
  • (When particularly high quality) distinguishing you from the competition.

Used right, color is also a powerful way to elicit emotion. People tend to associate red with excitement and passion, for example. Yellow is happy, but also cautionary. Blue is cool and authoritative, as well as peaceful. Green is relaxing and symbolizes nature. Make sure your color palette is consistent with the message you wish to convey.

Specific color combinations convey meaning, as well. Consider these powerful examples:

Orange/blue. This combination is a great attention-grabber. Think about the packaging you see in the cleaning aisle at the grocery store.

Green/red. This does not have the same contrast as orange/blue, but it still gets attention. This combination is often used by restaurants because it stimulates the appetite.

Orange/yellow/black. This combination shouts, “LOOK HERE!” Go for maximum effect by placing black type against an orange or yellow background.    

Purple/yellow. These complementary colors create a sense of elegance and importance that are often associated with royalty.

When assigning colors to your printed pieces, remember that the color you see on your computer may not appear identical on the final printed piece. Images on your monitor are displayed using RGB colors, or those produced by combining red, green, and blue. Offset and digital presses produce color by blending cyan, magenta, yellow, and black (CMYK), so unless you have a color management system, the color you see on your monitor may not match exactly what you see in print. If color is critical, make sure to request a hard copy press proof before you approve the job.



February 2021

11 Eye-Popping Stats on Direct Mail

When it comes to ROI, some channels are just more effective than others. Knowing the effectiveness of each channel puts you in control. For example, did you know that one channel has an open/read rate of 42%? Or that recipients of content sent via this channel purchase 28% more items and spend 28% more than those who do not? Which channel is this? It’s direct mail. Surprised? You shouldn't be. Here are nine more statistics about direct mail that you should know.  

  • 41% of direct mail recipients look forward to checking their mailboxes each day. (Source: Gallup)
  • 73% of American consumers say they prefer being contacted by brands via direct mail because they can read it whenever they want. (Source: Epsilon)
  • Direct mail offers a 29% return on investment. (Source: Marketing Charts)
  • Consumers aged 45-54 are the demographic group most likely to respond to direct mail pieces. (Source: Data & Marketing Association)
  • 80–90% of direct mail gets opened, while only 20–30% of email does. (Source: United States Postal Service)
  • Only 44% of people can recall a brand immediately after seeing a digital ad compared to 75% of people who receive direct mail. (Source: Marketing Profs)
  • Direct mail requires 21% less cognitive effort to process than email. (Source: Ipsos/Canada Post)
  • Brand recall is 70% higher for consumers exposed to direct mail ads than to digital ads. (Source: Ipsos/Canada Post)
  • 30% of Millennials say that direct mail is more effective at getting them to take action compared to 24% who say the same of email. (Source: Direct Marketing News)

Think direct mail is a marketing rock star? We do, too! Talk to us about creating your next direct mail campaign.


Editor’s note: Thanks to Small Business Genius for compiling many of the stats cited here. https://www.smallbizgenius.net/by-the-numbers/direct-mail-statistics/#gref


© 2021 Great Reach Communications