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Marketing: Be More Effective, Cut Fewer Trees

I love when I hear about marketing campaigns that have a double benefit — they are more effective than traditional campaigns and they are greener, too. How does this happen?

Typically, it happens because marketers make smarter use of their databases. They select out a portion of their customer databases and create more customized or even fully personalized campaigns that, when done right, are more effective than static campaigns. I’ve written up case studies showing ROIs of 10:1, 80:1, even 1200:1.

From an environmental perspective, these campaigns are fabulous because by using only a portion of the database, they are slashing your carbon footprint, too. If you send to 20% of your database, you just reduced your environmental impact by 80%. At the same time, you are actually getting a better return.

Take the example of Club ABC Tours. In the past, Club ABC Tours has mailed static 30- to 72-page catalogs in an undifferentiated mailing to hundreds of thousands of people. Working with Magjak Printing, it tried something new — personalization.

The company selected out 20,000 high-value targets (chosen based on age demographic, income, home ownership, and other factors) and created personalized mailers based on customer status (active member, dormant member, prospect). It created custom messaging based on customer segment and layered on personalization by prospect or customer name.

To boost effectiveness, it used a series of personalized emails to prime the pump for the offer and nudge non-responders into action.

See video of the campaign.

The results? By precisely matching the messaging to reach prospect’s demographic profile, the campaign was far more relevant and therefore more effective for each recipient. In fact, it generated a return of more than 10 times Club ABC Tour’s initial investment in just the first month’s sales.

The cost? The personalized self-mailer boasted a lower cost per piece than that of Club ABC Tours’ typical catalog of trip options.

So the campaign was more effective, less expensive per piece, and greener. What more could a cost- and environmentally conscious marketer ask for?

Like this post? See all my “Greening Print Marketing” posts.

Written by Heidi Tolliver-Walker

Heidi Tolliver-Walker has been a commercial and digital printing industry analyst, feature writer, columnist, editor, and author for nearly 20 years. She is known for her meticulous research and no-nonsense perspective. In addition to having written thousands of industry articles for top industry publications, she and Richard Romano have been the face of the well-respected industry research firm The Industry Measure (TrendWatch Graphic Arts) for many years. In her more than 13-year tenure with the firm, she has written countless reports on digital printing, 1:1 (personalized) printing, Web-to-print, personalized URLs, and other hot industry applications. She is also a long-time contributing editor and columnist for Printing News, for which she writes two monthly columns, including "Personal Effects," which features monthly analysis of 1:1 (personalized) printing case studies. She is also the author of three titles for the National Association of Printing Leadership: Designer's Printing Companion, Ink & Color: A Printer's Guide, and Diversifying Via Value-Added Services. As a small, niche publisher (Strong Tower Publishing), she is active in utilizing these technologies in her own business, as well.

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