Do You Know These 5 Loyalty Behaviors?

If you want to know whether your customers are loyal, there are five places you can look. These behaviors, called “loyalty behaviors,” are like breadcrumbs that customers leave that tell you whether they are loyal to you… or not. These are five behaviors you want to excel in! How would your company fare in each?

1. Repeat purchases.
Do you track your customers’ purchases? Do you know if they continue to buy from you after the first sale? If customers are not coming back, do you know why?

2. Recommendations.
Do your customers recommend you to their friends and family? Have you ever asked? A simple print or email survey can tell you a lot.

3. Forgiveness.
If a mistake comes to your attention, be quick to apologize and make things right. Send a letter (always a card or letter—email apologies fall short), offer a “we’re sorry” discount, or make things right another way. Use mistakes as a chance to deepen, rather than disrupt, the customer relationship.

4. Trust.
Here is another place surveys can play an important role. Ask customers to rate how much they trust you on a sliding scale. Create different scales for different areas of your company (products, service, customer care). If you rank low in some areas, you know where to get to work.

5. Willingness to try new things.
Happy, loyal customers buy more, and the more loyal they are, the more they buy over time. If you track your customers’ purchases, you can suggest upsells and cross-sells and alert them to new offerings based on what they have purchased in the past.

Customer loyalty is serious business. Knowing these five loyalty behaviors gives you a head start on where and how to focus your efforts to communicate with your customers and keep them happy, satisfied, and buying more.

Don’t Send Your Next Mailing Until You Read This

Getting ready to launch your next mailing campaign? Stop! Even if you’ve got the correct list, the right variables for personalization, and a “knock your socks off” design, don’t forget to double-check your content. Too often, businesses send the same messaging over and over again, and even if it’s still effective, it gets stale.

Here’s a five-point checklist before you send your next campaign.

1. How many times have recipients seen these images? How many times has your audience seen the same image of your storefront? Or your award-winning BBQ? Is it time to take some fresh photos or invest in some new stock photography? Keep it fresh.

2. Is your message the “same old, same old”? Think beyond features and benefits. Sure, you want to talk about the need your product solves, product pricing, and how your products stack up to those of your competitors, but it’s important to address how your products satisfy your customers’ lifestyle needs and emotional triggers, too—and those are constantly changing.

3. Is one discount better than another? What’s your “go-to” call to action? If a customer has been seeing “50% off” for the past two or three mailings, it’s probably stale. So change it up. Try “buy one, get one free.” Even though it results in the same discount, it sounds different to the customer’s ear.

4. Get new testimonials. When was the last time you updated your customer testimonials? If you still use the same ones from one or two years ago, your customers are probably glossing right over them. It’s time to get some new ones!

5. Keep it simple! It’s tempting to overload your direct mailer with everything but the kitchen sink. Trim it down. Use simple images, easy-to-read headlines, and clearly placed calls to action. Don’t create confusion by cluttering things up.

Need help with your next direct mail messaging? Let us offer some ideas and help you test those ideas, so you know that you’re mailing what really works.

5 Insider Marketing Tips for Savvy Marketers

No matter what channel you are using — direct mail or signage, email or print advertising — a great headline grabs the reader and won’t let go. It makes them stop what they are doing and say, “Wait! I need to pay attention to this!”

Here are five “marketing insider” tricks that will increase the stopping power of your headlines.

1. Jolt the reader.

Jolt the reader out of complacency. For example, along one major highway is a billboard with a smiling senior woman and the headline: “I didn’t want my chest cracked open!” The billboard is for less-invasive heart surgery at a local hospital. Such headlines should not be used for the sake of shock value alone, however, but tap into deep emotions and move your audience from complacency to action.

2. Tie into breaking news.

Tying your products and services to current events increases the relevance to your audience and the urgency for them to act. Financial services take advantage of uncertainty in the stock market. Retailers of snow blowers and electric generators tap into predictions of early winter storms. What current events can you tie into?

3. Be an advocate.

Everyone wants an advocate—someone who will look out for them. The message is: We care. This is a technique used to great effectiveness by accident lawyers. “Hurt in an accident? We can help!”

4. Be a name-dropper.

This technique takes advantage of people’s inherent interest in celebrities and inside gossip. You may not know the star personally, but you can use a line from a movie, a TV show, or a newsy interview. For the financial market, it might be a quote from Warren Buffet. From the sports world, it might be LeBron James. In your market vertical, it might be a well-known industry leader.

5. Say, “I get you.”

Share the reader’s frustration. “Don’t you hate it when…?” Then solve their problem. Sharing in their frustration creates identification. Showing that you can solve their problem moves them to action.

Let us help you plan your next direct mail campaign.

Why Do Marketers Love Millennials?

Millennials are one of the most coveted demographics in marketing. These consumers number 92 million (nearly one-quarter of the U.S. population) and spend about $600 billion every year. Because Millennials tend to value experiences over material things, they also tend to have more disposable income than other generations. (According to Statista, Millennials have a mean disposable annual income of $70,000.) When treated right, Millennials also tend to be loyal to the brands they like. They are a valuable market!

Like any other demographic group, Millennials are not homogenous. Many sub-groups think and act differently. Even so, there are some overall qualities of this generation that you should pay attention to. Here are a few that you should keep in mind.

  • Millennials are experienced-focused and time-pressed. Millennials tend to value experiences over “things,” but they are also squeezed for time. Get to the point quickly. Make the shopping experience easy. Focus on convenience. Millennials tend to be willing to pay for convenience options.
  • Millennials spend more time researching their purchases. This group of shoppers grew up with online research. They spend 30 minutes more on research per purchase in certain categories than GenXers do and nearly an hour more than Baby Boomers. So get the information out there for them to find. Be intentional about creating a content marketing plan. Encourage online reviews.
  • They love direct mail but are more likely to buy online. Despite being the original digital generation, Millennials gravitate to direct mail, but they make most of their purchases online (particularly on their phones). Creative, engaging physical mail is highly effective in this demographic but ensure that their online purchase experience is positive, too. ICSC found that 74% of Millennials would switch to a different retailer or brand if they had a negative customer experience.
  • Personalize. Experience-driven and out to change the world, Millennials appreciate the extra effort put into personalized communications. Make them feel special, noticed, and appreciated.
  • Invest. Millennials can be fickle shoppers, and they love a deal. But give them what they want, and Forbes has found that 60% of Millennials are loyal to their favorite brands. According to Yes Lifestyle Marketing, rewards programs are critical to this loyalty.

Millennials are a powerhouse generation, but like any key customer group, they want to be catered to. Invest in them, and they will invest in you.

Personalized Marketing is the Key

It seems simple, personalizing your direct mail, email or other marketing campaigns. By simply going that extra mile, it can make a difference to your customers. And, just might be the key to grabbing the attention of potential new customers. I have found that there are 3 key reasons personalized marketing works.

1. Increased Response Rate
It’s time to put your clean database (or purchased database) to good use.  Using PURLS and QR Codes to drive customers to a personalized landing page has shown to improve click through rates by 14% and conversion rates by 10% (Source: Aberdeen Group). By personalizing your marketing efforts and using your customer data to its fullest, more relevant emails drive 18 times more revenue than broadcast emails (Source: Jupiter Research).

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Personalized campaigns can generate response rates of up to 20-40%. (DMA)

2. Allows for Tailored Marketing
It’s more than just a first name. You can version a piece based on gender, ethnicity, buying habits, and even job titles. Using personalization and variable data printing, allows for more target-specific marketing.

3. Relationship Building
Build your relationships by taking the time to know your customer. It’s the little things in your marketing and customer service that go a long way to building lasting relationships. Personalizing your direct mail, email and even your phone calls is the first step. Learning your customers likes, dislikes, buying habits and incorporating them into your marketing strategies. People who respond to personalized mailers tend to become loyal, long-term customers (Cap Ventures). Also, make sure your Customer Service Department is engaging with your customers in the same way. If you have a Customer Relationship Management tool, make sure Sales, Marketing and Customer Support all have access to the software.

Same Message, Multiple Channels

Weatherall LogoIn “SNAP Selling,” author Jill Konrath explains that “To get your customer to grant you access, it’s imperative that you convey all your information in a series of 20 to 30 second ‘touches’ (via direct mail, email, and phone).”

Inspired by this sentiment, Nosco (a health care packaging and solutions provider based in Gurnee, Ill.), decided to experiment with the concept of conveying the same message in different ways to keep it top of prospects’ minds.

Nosco has tested many types of marketing campaigns and found the most success from a combination of efforts that utilize different mediums. Depending on the featured product or service, the order of the channels may vary, but they all incorporate direct mail, email, and a call or voicemail.

The company also discovered it is not the size of the campaign that matters, but the consistent messaging and laser focus on the right audience. This requires upfront research and an alignment with your sales team to determine the best possible targets.

Ultimately, it is not about one channel working better than another – it is the combination of all channels with consistent messaging. With each campaign, you should consider prospects’ personas, regions and, if possible, their needs. Although direct mail, email, and voicemail are standard (and easy) ways to communicate, don’t be afraid to learn and try new technologies to get your message out as one of your campaign touch points – even if simply to test.

Plan, communicate, test, measure and repeat, integrating both online and offline marketing efforts to determine what works best in combination and in what order for your product or service. Nosco has found a formula that has worked best for it by doing just that. The company has also found that when its communications are personalized, the results are better.

Heather Hill works in Marketing and Communications at Nosco