Direct Mail Contributed to Winning Trump the Election

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According to the FEC filings, Donald Trump spent 37 cents of every dollar on direct mail, whereas Hillary Clinton spent 20 cents.  Unless you’re living under a rock, you know that Trump won the election. Trump was notoriously frugal during the campaign but spent $29 million on printing and postage. This contributed to him raising money from rural voters (62% of rural voters voted for Trump), as well as mobilizing them to vote.

So what does this tell us?

Targeting is everything. While it is possible that Trump wasted some money targeting Democratic voters, he clearly did something right. He purchased lists for rural voters, which led to an epic turnout, at least according to early polling. Utilizing direct mail lists can create an effective campaign.

Where else did they differ in terms of spending?

As of October 21st, Trump has spent $40 million on weekly TV ads, vs. Clinton, who has spent $140 million.   Even though Clinton far outspent Trump on TV ads, she still didn’t win. People are tired of being inundated with political commercials. People drown that kind of information out, whereas direct mail is an unobtrusive way to not only encourage voting, but encourage donations. Tangible objects (like mail) allows users to look at it on their own time, which is imperative to Millennials. Commercials play to everyone with cable, vs. direct mail which can be targeted to likely voters.

What about digital advertising?

As of November 1st, Trump spent $237K on Facebook, and $1.4 million on Twitter. Clinton spent $6 million on digital outlets, although there isn’t a specific breakdown. According to NBC, Trump spent $8.4 million on digital as for August, most of it for buying and renting email lists. This would’ve been a great chance for either campaign to utilize list profiling and digital direct mail to target their digital spending, rather than showing general ads, especially since both campaigns spent so much on direct mail.

Why did Trump’s brand resonate better?

Trump had easy, simple messages that he got across at every turn. These kinds of statements are great for direct mail, in which there isn’t much space. Clinton had long, complex ideas, that didn’t induce excitement. Trump’s messages were exciting and created an emotional following. Appealing to emotions is a great way to make a direct mail piece stand out.

It’s interesting that Trump outspent in direct mail (percentage-wise) and underspent in other forms of advertising, yet he still won the election, isn’t it?

2017 USPS Promotions & Incentives

The USPS has been implementing the Mailing Promotions & Incentive Programs for First Class & Standard Mail since 2011 to create awareness of innovative usage of mail. You can achieve a 2% upfront postage discount on mail that qualifies for these programs, except for the Earned Value Reply Mail, which has its own promotional value. Check out the calendar to see the registration dates and program periods. The registration date for the Earned Value Reply Mail is almost over, so don’t miss the important details about this and other upcoming promotions/incentives:

1. EARNED VALUE REPLY MAIL

What: This promotion encourages first class only mailers to promote mail as the primary reply mechanism, versus encouraging their customers to use technology for their preferred reply method.

When: Registration period is November 15th – December 31st, 2016. The actual program period is  January 1st – June 30th, 2017

How: You must have an Intelligent Mail Barcode, and incorporate your Mailer ID on your Business Reply, Courtesy Reply Mail, or Alternate Postage (Share Mail) enclosures.

Why: Technology is becoming an increasingly popular way for customers to respond to mail they receive from businesses. Instead of paying an invoice online, the USPS would like you to encourage your customers to pay with a mailed check.

Who: Anybody who offers Business Reply Mail, Courtesy Reply Mail, or Share Mail as a way for customers to respond to your letters and invoices. Make sure to register your Mailer ID, and include IMB’s on your Business Reply Mail or Courtesy Reply Mail pieces.

How much: Rather than saving 2% upfront on postage, mailers earn credits of $0.05 per BRM, CRM, or Share Mail pieces that are counted (returned) based on their MID’s for first time mailers in the program.

2. TACTILE, SENSORY & INTERACTIVE MAILPIECE ENGAGEMENT

What: This promotion encourages mailers to incorporate some type of sensory or interactive element into their direct mail pieces. Standard Mail and Nonprofit Standard mail only is eligible for this promotion.

When: The registration period is December 15th, 2016 – June 30, 2017. The actual program is February 1st – July 31st, 2017.

How: You must incorporate some type of sensory element into your mail piece. Examples include:

  • Light-changing ink, conductive ink, or ink that changes color when exposed to water.
  • Scented paper, mail that has a speaker, or sandpaper paper.
  • 3-Dimensional mail pieces, pop-ups, or infinite folding mail.

Why: Neuroscience and neuromarketing research supports that sensory mail can have a significant impact on brand recognition. This can drive customer engagement, and really help them remember.

Who: Any company trying to expand their direct mail marketing should take advantage of this 2% of eligible postage discount. It’ll inspire your crew to be creative, and you’ll have mail that could go viral. At the very least, it’ll be very memorable.

3. EMERGING & ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY

What: This promotion encourages mailers to integrate direct mail with mobile technology, video/print technology, NFC, augmented reality, or virtual reality.  This works for First Class, Standard Mail, or Nonprofit Standard Mail only.

When: Registration period is January 15th – August 31st, 2017. The actual program period is March 1st – August 31st, 2017.

How: You must incorporate NFC, enhanced augmented reality, iBeacon/Beacon technologies, incorporating video in print, or virtual reality, leading to a mobile optimized webpage.  A new facet is Digital to Direct mail, in which a customer interacts with your website, and a direct mail piece is sent out based on that behavior.

Why: Incorporating some type of emerging or advanced technology into your mail is a great way to get a consumer’s attention.

Who:  If you are a company looking to expand your marketing messaging, this is a great place to start. The iPhone 6 has incorporated NFC, as has the Apple Watch, both of which are discussed in a previous blog. There have been some brilliant pieces incorporating enhanced augmented reality, which includes full 3-D animation or videos that pop up on your phone.

If you only do transactional mailing, this promotion is not for you.

4. Direct Mail Starter

What: This brand new promotion is offered to first-time promotion mailers to promote events and offers that incorporate print-mobile technology, up to 10,000 mailpieces. This will save 5% on postage!

When: Registration period is May 15th – July 31st, 2017. The actual program period is May 1st – July 31st, 2017.

How: This is open to any mailer that hasn’t participated in past promotions, and who utilize QR codes, NFC, a link leading to your website (and you have IMB) or some other type of print-mobile technology. Only Standard Mail and Nonprofit Standard Mail is eligible.

Why: The USPS Mailing Promotions have been effective in encouraging mailers to utilize their mail in different ways to obtain a postage discount. This will be an “entry-level” promotion that doesn’t require changing much in your mail, and ideally you’ll utilize other promotions moving forward.

Who: Anyone who hasn’t used these promotions before, and mails out in Standard Mail should definitely consider doing this. It’s super easy, and a great way to get a big discount for just adding a QR code.

5. PERSONALIZED COLOR TRANSPROMO

What: This promotion encourages mailers who produce bills and statements to incorporate color Variable Data Print on First-Class Mail utilizing dynamic variable personalized trans-promotional marketing messages on bills and statements.

When: Registration period is May 15th – December 31st, 2017. The actual program period is July 1st – December 31st, 2017 — so the promotion goes on for the last six months of 2016.

How: You must incorporate personalized dynamic variable color messages into the text of your bill or statement to qualify. It has to be a full color piece. Examples of personalization include addressing the customer by name, promotions based on an existing relationship, or leveraging any demographic and psychographic data. The promotions do not stack — you can’t use this promotion and something else on the same mail piece.

Why: Personalization increases the bond between you and your customers, and increases response rates greatly, and colors attract the attention of these customers.

Who: If you already print in color, utilize consumer personalization, and mail First Class. It’s absolutely worth trying to take advantage of this 2% of eligible postage discount for your bills and statements. Work with the post office or United Mail to make sure you meet all of the requirements.  If you mail standard mail only, then this isn’t going to work for you because this promotion is for First Class Mail only, and it’s probably not worth upgrading to First Class.

6. 2016 MOBILE SHOPPING

What: This promotion encourages mailers to incorporate mobile marketing into their direct mail pieces. Standard Mail and Nonprofit Standard mail only is eligible.

When: The registration period is June 15th – December 31st, 2017. The actual program is August 1st – December 31st, 2017.

How: You must incorporate a QR code or another type of print mobile technology into your mail piece, leading to a mobile-optimized website, or to a social media ‘buy now’ button. The QR or qualifying barcodes must be a minimum of 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch, and the placement needs to be included next to a marketing message. At this site, you must have a way for someone to purchase a tangible item that can be delivered via FedEx, USPS, or UPS.  The social media can link to any product on social media, such as Pinterest, as long as it has a “buy now” button on the page. Charitable donations are the exception to this rule, though you still have to provide a thank you note. The USPS has very strict rules to follow, so if you are interested, let United Mail assist you with the details.

Why: People look at their phone at least once per minute. QR codes readers come pre-downloaded in most phones, and are easily scanned. It’s a great way to drive engagement with your website. Social media is very prevalent, and directing a consumer to a social media site with a “buy  now” button is a fantastic option.

Who: Any retailer or charity should take advantage of this promotion. All you have to do is add a qualifying barcode to your direct mail piece, and you get the 2% upfront postage discount. It doesn’t take that much work, and it’s better for you to have a mobile-optimized website, anyway.

2016 USPS Mailing Promotions & Incentives Programs: Get the Low Down

The USPS has been implementing the Mailing Promotions & Incentive Programs for First Class & Standard Mail since 2011 to create awareness of innovative usage of mail. You can achieve a 2% upfront postage discount on mail that qualifies for these programs, except for the Earned Value Reply Mail, which has its own promotional value. Check out the calendar to see the registration dates and program periods. The registration date for the Earned Value Reply Mail is coming up, so don’t miss the important details about this and other upcoming promotions/incentives:

1. EARNED VALUE REPLY MAIL

What: This promotion encourages first class only mailers to promote mail as the primary reply mechanism, versus encouraging their customers to use technology for their preferred reply method.

When: Registration period is February 15th – March 31st, 2016. The actual program period is  April 1st – June 30th, 2016.

How: You must have an Intelligent Mail Barcode, and incorporate your Mailer ID on your Business Reply and Courtesy Reply Mail enclosures.

Why: Technology is becoming an increasingly popular way for customers to respond to mail they receive from businesses. Instead of paying an invoice online, the USPS would like you to encourage your customers to pay with a mailed check.

Who: Anybody who offers Business Reply Mail or Courtesy Reply Mail as a way for customers to respond to your letters and invoices. Make sure to register your Mailer ID, and include IMB’s on your Business Reply Mail or Courtesy Reply Mail pieces.

How much: Rather than saving 2% upfront on postage, mailers earn credits of $0.02 per BRM and CRM pieces that are counted (returned) based on their MID’s for first time mailers in the program, or those who did not meet or exceed each BRM and CRM MID’s previous total counts from the 2015 Earned Value Promotion.  While mailers who meet or exceed each BRM and CRM MID’s previous counts from the 2015 Earned Value Promotion earn $0.03 credits per BRM and CRM pieces counted (returned).

2. 2016 PERSONALIZED COLOR TRANSPROMO

What: This promotion encourages mailers who produce bills and statements to incorporate color Variable Data Print on First-Class Mail utilizing dynamic variable personalized trans-promotional marketing messages on bills and statements.

When: Registration period is May 15th – December 31st, 2016. The actual program period is July 1st – December 31st, 2016 — so the promotion goes on for the last six months of 2016.

How: You must incorporate personalized dynamic variable color messages into the text of your bill or statement to qualify. It has to be a full color piece. Examples of personalization include addressing the customer by name, promotions based on an existing relationship, or leveraging any demographic and psychographic data.

Why: Personalization increases the bond between you and your customers, and increases response rates greatly, and colors attract the attention of these customers.

Who: If you already print in color, utilize consumer personalization, and mail First Class. It’s absolutely worth trying to take advantage of this 2% of eligible postage discount for your bills and statements. Work with the post office or United Mail to make sure you meet all of the requirements.  If you mail standard mail only, then this isn’t going to work for you because this promotion is for First Class Mail only, and it’s probably not worth upgrading to First Class.

3. 2016 EMERGING & ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY/VIDEO IN PRINT

What: This promotion encourages mailers to integrate direct mail with mobile technology and now, with new advances in video/print technology. This works for First Class or Standard Mail only.

When: Registration period is January 15th – August 31st, 2016. The actual program period is March 1st – August 31st, 2016.

How: You must incorporate NFC, enhanced augmented reality, iBeacon/Beacon technologies, or by incorporating video in print.

Why: Incorporating some type of emerging or advanced technology into your mail is a great way to get a consumer’s attention.

Who:  If you are a company looking to expand your marketing messaging, this is a great place to start. The iPhone 6 has incorporated NFC, as has the Apple Watch, both of which are discussed in a previous blog. There have been some brilliant pieces incorporating enhanced augmented reality, which includes full 3-D animation or videos that pop up on your phone.

If you only do transactional mailing, this promotion is not for you.

4. 2016 TACTILE, SENSORY & INTERACTIVE MAILPIECE ENGAGEMENT

What: This promotion encourages mailers to incorporate some type of sensory or interactive element into their direct mail pieces. Standard Mail and Nonprofit Standard mail only is eligible for this promotion.

When: The registration period is January 15th – August 31st, 2016. The actual program is March 1st – August 31st, 2016.

How: You must incorporate some type of sensory element into your mail piece. Examples include:

  • Light-changing ink, conductive ink, or ink that changes color when exposed to water.
  • Scented paper, mail that has a speaker, or sandpaper paper.
  • 3-Dimensional mail pieces, pop-ups, or infinite folding mail.

Why: Neuroscience and neuromarketing research supports that sensory mail can have a significant impact on brand recognition. This can drive customer engagement, and really help them remember.

Who: Any company trying to expand their direct mail marketing should take advantage of this 2% of eligible postage discount. It’ll inspire your crew to be creative, and you’ll have mail that could go viral. At the very least, it’ll be very memorable.

5. 2016 MOBILE SHOPPING

What: This promotion encourages mailers to incorporate mobile marketing into their direct mail pieces. Standard Mail and Nonprofit Standard mail only is eligible.

When: The registration period is May 15th – December 31st, 2016. The actual program is July 1st – December 31st, 2016.

How: You must incorporate a QR code or another type of print mobile technology into your mail piece, leading to a mobile-optimized website, or to a social media ‘buy now’ button. The QR or qualifying barcodes must be a minimum of 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch, and the placement needs to be included next to a marketing message. At this site, you must have a way for someone to purchase a tangible item that can be delivered via FedEx, USPS, or UPS.  The social media can link to any product on social media, such as Pinterest, as long as it has a “buy now” button on the page. Charitable donations are the exception to this rule, though you still have to provide a thank you note. The USPS has very strict rules to follow, so if you are interested, let United Mail assist you with the details.

Why: People look at their phone at least once per minute. QR codes readers come pre-downloaded in most phones, and are easily scanned. It’s a great way to drive engagement with your website. Social media is very prevalent, and directing a consumer to a social media site with a “buy  now” button is a fantastic option.

Who: Any retailer or charity should take advantage of this promotion. All you have to do is add a qualifying barcode to your direct mail piece, and you get the 2% upfront postage discount. It doesn’t take that much work, and it’s better for you to have a mobile-optimized website, anyway.

Eric Brown Joins United Mail as Sales Executive!

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Eric Brown is United Mail’s proud new addition to the sales team. He will be assisting with client’s marketing and mailing efforts from our Cincinnati location, and we’re excited to have him.

Eric has 13 years of experience in training and consulting, with a sales component. He wants to help you grow profits by engaging with new and existing customers and providing innovative solutions that make your competition obsolete. He has worked with primarily service-oriented organizations, including insurance and healthcare companies, as well as working as a government consultant. He has delivered keynote speeches on a variety of sales and HR compliance topics, ranging from 20 to 1,000 attendees. He has written for several publications, including Communique magazine, Insider Talent, and Business First Louisville.

In his personal life, Eric likes to go salsa dancing, he has been a professional magician, and he likes to spend time with his family. He has two children, Sofia, 4, and Sebastian, 2. He has defeated the Indiana State Chess Champion as a part of his chess hobby.

Eric is moving to Cincinnati from Louisville, KY for this position, and is excited to get to know marketers in the Cincinnati area, and figure out where United Mail fits in the marketing landscape. He wants to let clients and potential clients get a chance to know him, while he learns how to use his skill set to best partner with your company.

You can contact Eric by email at ebrown@united-mail.com, or by phone at 513-242-5100!

 

How Healthcare Systems Can Preserve Brand Identity Amid Ongoing Mergers

By guest blogger Veronica Combs

Doctor

 

As the healthcare industry moves into year 5 of the Affordable Care Act, hospitals are buying up other hospitals and care providers at a fast pace. Since the law passed in 2010, consolidation peaked in 2012, dipped in 2013 and surged back up last year. The Camden Group predicts that “consolidation will continue at a strong pace and spread” this year.

Competition for customers is increasing too. To keep current patients and attract new ones, physician practices, home healthcare providers, and nursing homes need to build trust with families and patients. Monigle, a marketer that specializes in healthcare, found that the top qualities people want from a healthcare system include honesty, caring, accessibility, compassion and friendliness.

As big health systems gobble up smaller ones, the challenge is to preserve trust that is already in place. The LHC Group found a way to grow through acquisition and maintain the brands of the acquired companies.

LHC Group is a post-acute care provider, which means they take over a person’s care when he leaves the hospital but still needs regular care. The company’s services include home health, hospice care and long-term care hospitals designed for patients with serious medical problems. The company has 10,000 employees in 29 states and partners with 60 hospitals and health systems.

As the LHC Group has grown, they have not changed the brands of the companies they have acquired. The problem was that every company was executing its own marketing campaign.

There was no centralized platform that allowed the LHC team to manage the promotional materials in one spot. The United Mail team helped LHC solve this problem with a digital storefront.

The United Mail team imported all the different logos, forms, documents, mailers, and recruiting pieces into the system. United Mail President Chase Kirkwood explained how this changed the workflow for   LHC employees all around the company. He used the example of a recruiter in Denver who needed to produce a flier for a job opening.

“Once that recruiter logged into the system, she was only presented with the brands she managed,” he said. “Once she had the piece ready, she could upload the distribution list and hit print. Then, we took care of the printing as well.”

The new system allowed the LHC Group to create, manage and track all their marketing documents in one place. Kirkwood said that the digital storefront allowed LHC to standardize the marketing message across all the brands and control the cost center as well.

“With this system, the LHC team was able to lock all of this down, and manage the overall spend and content  in one place,” he said.

The centralized system allowed LHC to receive the benefits of scaling up to be a larger company, while still preserving the brand equity and consumer trust that the individual companies had already established.

Don’t Get Stuck in the Direct Mail Dark Ages

Crusader

Direct mail is known as dated and stuffy, with no easy way to determine effectiveness and response rates. This has been especially difficult in the past, because without mail tracking, you might not even know if your customer received a mail piece, much less if they read it, analyzed it, and kept it. Well, we have a few tips and tricks to upgrade your medieval marketing techniques, with current technology.

1. Digital Direct Mail

One of our  newest technologies is Digital Direct Mail, which is essentially identifying your potential customer’s home computer address, and serving up banner ads specifically to them. We do this by checking our mailing lists with their digital signature. This means you know exactly when your potential customer has seen the ads, and how often they’ve been served. Generally you should display these a week before and a week after the direct mail piece arrives at their door. These ads can increase your direct mail response rate 30-60%!

2. pURLs (Personalized URLS)

We’ve talked about pURLS before, but we would be remiss if we didn’t use them to greatly increase direct mail response rates. In fact, without pURLs, it can be hard to know if there’s a response rate at all.

3. List profiling

List profiling works hand in hand with IP Marketing to make sure that you’re targeting the right customers at the right time. However, there’s more to it than buying lists. We have cool technologies to find customers that look very similar to your current customers, as well as ways to predict the actions of potential customers with our modeling programs.

4. NFC/Augmented Reality

With the iPhone 6 and Apple Watch utilizing NFC technology, there’s no better time to jump on the NFC bandwagon. With NFC chips in your mail piece, you can just wave your phone or watch, and your advertisement will play. We recommend a video of some sort.

 

Contact Us

United Mail Sorting, Inc
4410 Bishop Lane
Louisville, KY 40218-4506
502-485-1400

United Mail Ohio, LLC
1221 Harrison Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45214-1719
513-242-5100

Toll Free
866-542-2107

info@united-mail.com
SOC II Type II Certified Mail House