To survive in this evolving digital landscape, those of us in the printing industry need to adapt — and FAST.
In the last five years, according to leading industry research company IBISWorld:
· Printing industry revenue has decreased an average of 2.1% per year
· Printing companies have disappeared at an annual rate of 3.2%
· The number of people employed by printing companies has decreased 4.2% per year
And while some of us are adapting, many still have not. IBISWorld predicts our industry will continue to decline — albeit slowly — for the next five years.
A slow death? No, thanks. We’ve found a way to continue growing our revenue — to the tune of more than $1 million per year — by offering new digital marketing products to supplement the printing and mailing services we’ve spent the last 17 years perfecting. You can do it, too.
Here are sixproducts you can offer to complement your traditional direct mail and printing services. They will keep your clients invested in the benefits of direct mail by improving their results while improving YOUR bottom line.
Ready? Let’s get right to it:
1. Business website design
Websites for businesses are no longer optional! They’re the new storefront. Just look at these stats:
· 95% of consumers visit a business’ website before contacting them
· 66% of new customers search online to find local businesses
· 46% of all online searches are for information about products and services
· 75% of searchers never scroll page the first page of results
I was dragged kicking and screaming into the website development business. I didn’t want to offer them at all! But I realized in order for my postcard clients to succeed with direct mail, they needed to have a good website. I tried playing the referral game, but if that didn’t go well, guess who they’re mad at! Yep. Me.
Here’s what it boils down to:
Many small businesses don’t have the experience to create their own marketing and sales-driven websites, and there are so many “web developers” out there who aren’t marketers and don’t think like you do. By offering website design services to your clients in addition to printing and direct mail, you’ll be able to provide them with better direct mail results. And that means more reorders!
2. Mail tracking
When you offer mail tracking to your clients, they’ll know when their mailings reach prospects and can prepare to make the most of their response.
How? Using an Intelligent Mail Barcode (IMB) — which the USPS offers for free.
The IMB contains all kinds of useful information for bulk mail: the sort category, the service being requested, an identifier for the mailer, a serial number for each individual mail piece and the delivery address. The USPS machines that use the barcode to sort the mail can also feed information back to the mailer.
When that information comes back, a software system (like MrMailTracker.com) translates it into readable tracking results.
You can charge a fee for this service or give it away to provide a better value than your competitors!
3. Call tracking
This feature allows your clients to put a unique phone number on each direct mail campaign. That phone number routes calls to their regular phone number, but tracks them so your clients can see exactly how many people are calling off of each campaign.
It helps your clients feel in control of their results. It gives them data they can use to tweak designs or messaging and ACTUALLY MEASURE the response. As they discover what’s most effective, they improve their results with each campaign — which encourages them to keep mailing!
I SWEAR by call tracking for my own business, so I know other companies find it invaluable, too.
4. Email newsletters
Studies show that 80% of sales are made on the 5th to 12th contact, which is why follow up is so important. But using only direct mail for follow up can get expensive, and now there are inexpensive online tools for the job.
To avoid losing your clients to cheaper online options, you can offer effective digital follow-up tools like email newsletters. You can create mass emails for your clients’ businesses and schedule them to go out on a regular basis.
At my company, we use Marketo — we don’t charge our clients any more than they do, but we do charge for managing it (writing, designing, scheduling, etc.).
5. Automated email drip campaigns
Using the same program you use for newsletters, you can create email drip campaigns (a series of emails automatically sent out on a predetermined schedule) for your clients.
Here’s how a drip campaign works: Every time a new prospect fills out one of your clients’ contact forms, an email is sent to the address provided. This is usually just an introductory message. The next week (or next day, next two days — it’s totally up to your client!), another email is sent that starts introducing them to what the company offers. Each subsequent email contains a bit more marketing content to gradually draw the prospect in.
These programs can be extremely time-consuming to set up (but once they’re up and running, they’re a huge difference-maker), so offering this service is very attractive to business owners.
6. Pay per click (PPC) ads
You’ve seen PPC ads: they’re usually at the top and to the right of Google search results. They also come in the form of banner ads (also called display ads) on various website. These targeted ads can be very effective for building brand awareness for your clients and are a great complement to direct mail.
The process of targeting and creating effective PPC campaigns is rather complicated. At PostcardMania we have a whole department dedicated to managing our clients’ PPC, so I know that many businesses are happy to hand off that responsibility. And if they can get it all under the same roof so their online ads resemble their direct mail campaign, all the better!
These are effective marketing tactics that can easily supplement direct mail AND take advantage of today’s technology without trying to replace the foundation that direct mail provides. In fact, they all BUILD on a good direct mail foundation. You’re not hurting the appeal of your direct mail services — you’re building on them to get your clients the results they want.
I KNOW they work, because they worked for us. PostcardMania was the beta company for DirectMail2.0 — a program that makes direct mail marketing even more effective by adding mail tracking, call tracking and online follow-up ads into a single, fully ingetrated and 100% automated campaign package.
Our clients who use DirectMail2.0 get better results, so they reorder frequently. The first year we offered DirectMail2.0, we added 933,000 to our bottom line. In the last 12 months, it has brought in more than $1.6 million!
We’re not just surviving, we’re THRIVING.
You can certainly add of the products above to your lineup separately, but I’ll tell you, as someone who went through it: it’s a LOT of work. Literally years in the making.
Or you can offer these services without taxing your current operation by letting DirectMail2.0 fulfill your orders FOR YOU. They do the work for you under a white label so everything looks to your clients as if it’s coming from YOUR company.