Commentary & Analysis
Packing a Punch with Print: Catalogs and Direct Mail
Catalogs and direct mail can help overcome the ‘digital fatigue’ that many consumers are experiencing today. Our customers are frequently telling us that when done right -- personalized and relevant to each recipient – it is the printed piece, especially when married with other media, that helps marketers boost response rates.
Published: August 8, 2017
By Ayelet Szabo-Melamed, Product Marketing Manager, XMPie
Relevancy is the key to print marketing success. Relevancy is more than simply including a recipient’s name: it means tailoring imagery, messaging and information that speaks to a specific individual. A Xerox and InfoTrends study found that 44 percent of direct mail is immediately discarded if it’s not relevant, and 80 percent of consumers are more likely to open direct mail pieces if they are personalized.
Catalogs are back in style.
More than ever before, catalogs and brochures are driving sales to both digital channels and brick-and-mortar stores, especially when they are beautifully designed and personalized to each recipient. The study I mention above also found that with personalization - such as a cover page with targeted messaging or special offers based on relevant data history - the revenues generated on a per-catalog basis can be three times greater that a static catalog.
The form that the printed piece takes can be as important as the content. 69 percent of consumers prefer to consult a printed catalog before making a purchase online, and 77 percent visited a retail store due to products or promotions in a catalog, according to another Xerox and InfoTrends study.
Another factor to consider is that inkjet technology is advancing, and bringing with it high-quality color options, rich substrates and high speed. This means that inkjet is fast becoming a platform for much more than just the legacy transactional applications world. New inkjet technology is transforming catalogs into cost-effective personalized marketing vehicles.
When Lexus dealers in the Netherlands wanted to extend their personal touch to their print collateral, they turned to Hollandridderkerk, a leading provider of graphic media solutions. Using XMPie’s variable data print software, the Hollandridderkerk team created a personalized catalog called “My Next Lexus,” which has the look and feel of a magazine. The catalog’s content is customized to reflect the customer’s interests, such as their preferred Lexus model, colors, options and accessories. The piece also contains relevant articles and branded content, as well as the Lexus sales rep’s contact information. The sales rep orders the catalog after a customer visits the showroom, and it is dispatched by mail soon after.
The new catalog has generated “wow” reactions from recipients, effectively extending Lexus’s red-carpet treatment beyond the showroom. It also serves as a useful reference when dealers follow up with customers.
Kicking off a retail store opening with direct mail
In a recent multichannel campaign produced with XMPie software, Rethink CCM, a UK-based print and marketing service provider, delivered a store-opening event invitation and a program loyalty launch simultaneously – with great success. The campaign generated a huge 24.46% click-through rate compared to a Sports Industry average of 3.35%, and an even bigger web conversion rate (i.e., those who performed an action on the PURL) of 54.07% vs. a 5% average.
The campaign kicked off with a three-part print touchpoint including a fully personalized letter, eight-page promotional mailer and personalized envelopes. The introductory letter and mailer contained information about opening day activities, event information and an introduction to the new customer loyalty program. A ‘call to action’ was included on both the letter and mailer using both a QR code and a personalized URL (PURL). Scanning the QR code with a mobile device or clicking the personalized link on any web browser, directed the recipient to a personalized web page.
Once the print recipient moved over to the digital PURL, they were given the opportunity to register to attend the opening day event and reserve a goody bag. The PURL also included the options to amend existing contact details, update communications preferences and refer a friend to the event. In case the recipient didn’t act and failed to visit their PURL within a few days of receiving the initial printed mailer, Rethink used database information to send them a follow-up communication in the form of a personalized email, which was completely attuned to the look and feel of the printed promotion.
A generic web page (GURL) was provided from Facebook and Twitter promotions that were running in tandem with the rest of the campaign. Any of the social respondent data was captured, re-messaged and refined to personalize communications going forward.
The store opening enjoyed a fantastic turnout and the loyalty program continues to go strong!
Raise the bar on your next campaign with personalized, relevant direct mail and catalogs
The customer experience is evolving into more of a balancing act than ever before. Make sure you have the right tools to meet the technical demands for highly creative personalization. Take advantage of these print applications and transform static communications into a two-way conversation, building a vital customer relationship for the long term.