Monday, January 24, 2011

Letter From Pete: TMI... Too Much Information!

Yep, there’s just too much out there. Or is there?

It can be a bit mind numbing trying to decide what is good information and what is bad. All we are talking about is Data… and Data is information.

20 years ago direct mail Data (names and addresses) and telephone numbers was about as good as Data got!

We knew where the information was coming from. We knew what customers bought, when they bought, and how much they spent. We knew the source of the information, meaning direct mail or telephone.

Also --- here’s the important part --- we knew what channel their response would come through.

See, back then there was only two ways of responding: direct mail and or telephone!

Fast forward to the present day. Now we have so many different channels of response. Buyers might respond via direct mail, maybe they will respond via e-mail, maybe they will respond through a website, or maybe they will respond via a cell phone.

So if a response comes in via a cell phone, well how did the marketer activate the customer to respond? Or if the response came in an e-mail, we have same question; how was it cultivated? And it is a question that we as marketers should be asking in every campaign our clients do. If a response comes via e-mail, is e-mail the best way to approach new prospects?

Well you see where this is going.

It is quite evident that the online world is and will continue to be a great channel for response --- and that direct mail is going to diminish as a response channel. But using e-mail and or cell phones as a prospecting tool leaves a lot to be desired.

Advertizing on the web to get response is good and growing. The new buzzword is open rate. And from what I see, the open rate for e-mail stinks and using the cell phones as a prospecting tool is not much better. Telemarketing is almost non-existent due to the DNC regulations. So, with all this information circulating it’s tough to make smart media decisions.

Allow me to back track to open rates. If the open rate for e-mail is low and the same for cell phone response, I have a solution!

Rethink direct mail!

It might not be the leader in response rate anymore, but as for open rates….direct mail gets opened!

Here’s your chance to make an impact! Use direct mail to drive people to the most convenient way they want to respond!

Many professionals can give you examples on how to get an envelope opened! Hell, we have been doing it for almost 75 yrs. And once they open the letter, brochure, or whatever you decide to send, Drive, Drive, Drive, and drive them to their computer.

Everyone looks up websites these days. Give them a reason to view your website and give them an easy way to respond. Give the consumer a choice! That’s what they want! Respond via the website or via e-mail or even via their cell phone! Give them an 800# to call!

And Direct Mail still works (and very well I may add!)

Just rethink how you can use it to its best advantage! Not to mention direct mail industry experts (like us) have all the information you need!

Do you want to know who is responding to your offer? Well, we have the data! With matchback capabilities, we can tell you over 300 (in most case) demographic elements of who your inquirers, prospects and customers are!

So start driving!

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