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Direct Marketing


Millennials are about to move into their prime spending years

By Blog, Direct Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Millennials, Mobile Apps, Technology


One of the largest generations in history, millennials, is about to move into their prime spending years. How best can you get your products and services in front of the millennial generation?

When most people think of millennials they think digital. According to Forbes, it is not uncommon for millennials to use multiple tech devices. “87% of millennials use between two and three tech devices at least once on a daily basis.” Perhaps this is why millennials are always pictured with a mobile device in their hand.

With an estimated $200 billion in annually spending and more than $10 trillion during their lifetimes, millennials are the “holy grail” of consumers.

Determining the Best Marketing Channel

There are a number of marketing channels that can be used to reach customers. Online video, social media, and email are channels that seem best suited for an “online” digital generation. But traditional marketing channels should not be ignored. In fact, research show that millennials react better to traditional forms of marketing, like direct mail, than to online electronic marketing.

A 2016 USPS Marketing White Paper reported that:

  • 84% of Millennials take the time to look through their mail
  • 64% would rather scan for useful info in the mail than email
  • 77% of Millennials pay attention to direct mail advertising
  • 90% of Millennials think direct mail advertising is reliable

And when it comes to marketing and purchases:

  • 82% read direct mail they receive from retail brands
  • 57% have made purchases based on direct mail offers

The chart below demonstrates that despite their digital appearance, millennials read, open and interact with direct mail.

The Top 200 Direct Mail Service Providers

Direct mail gets your message in the door and into the consumer’s hand, where it can be seen, read, and felt and generate a response! That’s why a big part of what we do is focused on direct marketing. In fact, it’s so big we’ve just been named to the Bell & Howell Top 200 Direct Mail Service Providers list for 2017.

The reason direct mail works for millennials, and all other generations, is simple. As Nabeel Jaitapker, Senior Communications and Marketing Manager, Content Development and Demand Generation at Bell and Howell stated, “Direct mail marketing is getting more personal, more real, and more effective thanks to affordable high-quality digital printing and technologies that simplify integration into a multi-channel campaign.”

The USPS White Paper highlights some of the new technologies that can engage millennials with direct mail. They include:

  1. Incorporate multimedia and digital: Embed QR Code® barcodes, near field communication, or augmented reality to link your mailer to video and interactive materials on your website or social media sites.
  2. Keep your messaging succinct and easy to read. Provide bite-size pieces of information.
  3. Be authentic. Millennials distrust traditional advertising, so avoid hard-sell language. Use a straightforward, transparent approach.
  4. Use enhancements such as scent, sound, or texture to make your piece stand out.
  5. Help them feel good about their purchase. Millennials are compassionate and want to improve their world. Campaigns that donate a percentage of profits to a worthy cause or in some other way demonstrate corporate responsibility can resonate—if they’re seen as authentic.
  6. Use slang with caution, even if you are a Millennial. You risk turning your audience.

When you’re looking to engage millennials, or any other generation, you need a variety of proven marketing channels. A direct marketing campaign that includes mail, video, email and social media, is sure to accomplish your goal.

The Omni-Channel Challenge: Getting Your Ship Moving

By Direct Marketing

doug-expoWe’re very proud of our fearless leader and company president Doug Grant. During this year’s GRAPH EXPO, held in Orlando, Florida, Doug was the Keynote Speaker at the Sunday morning Executive Outlook session. His presentation was entitled, “Winning the Omni-Channel Challenge: Inside Westamerica’s Journey.”

In Doug’s presentation he used the illustration of a rudder on a ship. When a ship is anchored, you can turn that rudder all you want and it won’t have any impact. But once your ship is moving forward, you can use that tiny little rudder to guide your ship in the direction you want it to go. In the same way, if we’re standing still in business, we’re going nowhere fast. But if we simply move forward – even slowly at first – we can begin to make small adjustments that may one day have a huge positive impact on our future.

One way we have “simply moved forward” is by accepting the Omni-Channel Challenge. We’ve made adjustments that have had a positive impact on our future. This includes implementing forward thinking marketing strategies. By doing this we’re able to help our clients successfully market their products and services to their clients.

Changing with the Times

Here’s an example of an adjustment we made that has had a positive impact for both our clients and ourselves. Forty years ago we offered direct mail as a good way to reach out to customers. Today, if you understand how to harness the marketing capabilities of both print and online media, direct mail is still a great way to reach people. We know how to use print media to lead current and potential customers to a website. Or visa versa, we can create an online website that can push users to request print collateral.

Direct Mail Done Right

A mail piece printed on heavyweight paper stock or printed using dimensional printing techniques can make your direct mail stand out. The truth is 71% of consumers interviewed said that the print and paper quality of a mail piece impacts their decision to open and read their mail.

And, once the consumer has opened their mail, it’s imperative that the information inside the envelope be relevant to the individual. The proper use of data can ensure that the offer you are making is relevant to the consumer. Research shows that 44% of consumers immediately discard direct mail if it isn’t relevant. Yet 80% say they are more likely to open their mail if it is personalized.

Google Uses Direct Mail

Google has researched the interaction between the consumer and the stimuli that causes the consumer to begin a search to lean more about a product or service. Google calls it ZMOT, the zero moment of truth. It’s the moment when the consumer sees a poster, an outdoor billboard or a direct mail piece and begins to think, “I-want-to-know,” “I-want-to-go,” “I-want-to-do,” or “I-want-to-buy.” This is why Google spends millions of dollars every year creating, printing and mailing direct mail pieces to targeted businesses.

Winning the Omni-Channel Challenge

Since opening the family business, once known as “the Printing Company,” back in 1975, until today, Westamerica Communications has grown by focusing on the needs of our clients. And, it’s by understanding data’s increasing central role in all audience engagements, either in print or online, that we are able to create and execute marketing strategies that increases our client’s success rates.

As Doug said during his Sunday morning Executive Outlook session, “our ship is moving.  We’re different today than we were yesterday.  We’re still figuring things out, and we’re still turning our rudder to respond to new information and new challenges.”

How to Be There When They Want a Loan

By Blog, Direct Marketing, Financial Marketing

A big challenge for any financial institution’s direct marketing strategy is to knowing how to be there when your people want a loan. Your best loan prospects might be shopping for cars or a Customer Service Improvementrecreational vehicle, or even considering a remodel on their kitchen. But no one at the institution knows it, so they miss the opportunity to provide a lending option via direct mail, email or any other direct marketing product.

And missing the opportunity is exactly what most small financial institutions are doing. According to CUNA Mutual Group, 91% of consumer lending happens outside of credit unions. That means the credit union crowd, they are only capturing 9% of the market. According to the FDIC Community Bank Study in 2012, community banks have fared much better than credit unions in community consumer (and commercial) lending, but their growth has declined (particularly in the asset sizes less than $100 million) while big banks continue to climb in asset size. So they are losing out to the bigger fish.

Most financial institutions present lending options at branch locations, through direct mail or online. These are great options, and they all still have great rates of re-turn for the investment.

But while direct marketing is an effective way to communicate pertinent information about your lending programs and all the great benefits of taking out a loan with you, it doesn’t identify when someone undertakes an active search for a loan.

So how do you do that? How can you be there when your customers want a loan?

It’s called the Loan Generator and here’s how it works:

• Using specific and most current data on your prospects, we pre-approve them for up to eight different loan products.
• The pre-approvals are filed with their account information, standing by so they are ready when your customer is.
• When the customer needs a loan, they simply activate their loan, immediately. They do not have to talk to a representative or go to a branch or fill out an application, they can activate it anywhere—including their mobile device. In that case, they sign the loan paperwork on their screen.
• It is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. (So any-time, literally).
• You can communicate these pre-approvals though several channels (as the video demonstrates…and you know that because we know you watch that video, right?).

And that’s great and all, but how do you get it in front of them at the right time? Now here’s where this product is brilliant. In this video, you see how a person could activate their loan—while they are still in the store shopping (This video is even shorter than the one above, so if you are only going to watch one, pick this one!):

CUneXus Mobile SSO with Documents from CUneXus Solutions on Vimeo.

Can you imagine the return on investment that your institution would reap from an initiative like this? You don’t have to imagine; we’ll tell you (we’re good like that). In multiple documented test cases, The Loan Generator TM has shown loan volume increases from 300% to 500% and a 5 to 1 ROI.

More and more financial institutions are embracing a technology platform that al-lows you to offer pre-approved loans at the point of purchase—when people are nowhere near your branch, their mailbox or their laptop. And, they are increasing their loan portfolio and the return on investment at the same time they are decreasing their acquisition costs.

Are you ready to be one of them?

Sources: Page 5

Cuna Loan Generation Brochure