Monthly Archives: March 2012

Happy Client Highlight: US Data Corporation Reviews3:07 pm

By Stacey White

Happy Client Highlight

US Data Corporation has many happy clients; we are constantly flooded with US Data Corporation reviews from our satisfied customers all around the world! Check out this letter we received about a direct mail campaign we executed for one of our clients… Talk about a success story!

US Data Corporation Review
(click to enlarge)

Please contact US Data Corporation for more information on our mailing lists, email lists, and other marketing services by calling (888) 610-3282 or by emailing us at info@usdatacorporation.com.

Spring Cleaning with Data Hygiene Services1:59 pm

By Stacey White

Spring Cleaning with Data Hygiene ServicesSpring is finally here, and with it comes that chance for new beginnings, the infamous Spring Cleaning! This is the perfect time to give your mailing lists a good scrubbing and a fresh face with US Data Corporation’s Data Hygiene Services. Data hygiene is crucial to keeping your marketing campaigns effective and inexpensive, especially if your customer database has been neglected for a long period of time. Don’t let your hard-earned customer data get old and irrelevant – it’s time to give your mailing lists the Spring Cleaning treatment!

Outdated mailing lists quickly contribute to wasted marketing dollars. Over 1.2 million people move every month, meaning that your mailing lists can get stale in a mere matter of weeks. Additionally, the US Postal Service states that 35% of all bulk mail sent each year ends up in the garbage due to inaccurate addressing. Data hygiene will ensure that all of your mailing list information is formatted correctly, as well as removing duplicate and out-of-use addresses. This means that your marketing pieces will be sent to actual people, rather than drifting into the endless void of undelivered mail. At the end of the day, the simple process of keeping your mailing lists up-to-date with regular data hygiene will make your marketing budget go much further!

Here at US Data Corporation, we love seeing our customers make the most of their marketing potential, and data hygiene is an important part of that process. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at (888) 610-DATA to start washing your mailing lists today!

Photo by: Lise Gagne/iStockphoto

Direct Mail Marketing: Tips to Boost Your Response Rates10:15 am

By Melissa Cober

Direct mail marketing is an integral part of a well-balanced marketing mix. However, just like any other marketing strategy, it won’t succeed without the right combination of elements. Follow these tips for your next direct mail marketing campaign and watch your response rates soar.

Direct Mail Marketing

1. Don’t Lose Sight of the Big Picture. Many marketers tend to focus exclusively on the creative for their direct mail piece. Now don’t get us wrong: creative is important. It’s just not the whole story. Don’t forget to focus some of your energy on obtaining a quality mailing list and developing an enticing offer as well; these are just as important to your direct mail marketing success.

2. Target the Right Prospects. Your direct mail marketing campaign won’t get very far if it never reaches the people who might actually be interested in your product or service. Targeted marketing is key in improving response rates, and it will also help keep expenses for your direct mail marketing campaign down. Read this article to learn more.

3. Make Your Direct Mail Piece Stand Out. People receive lots of junk mail every day; don’t let your direct mail piece get lost in the pile. Your direct mail piece should be eye-catching with an appealing headline to draw people in. You might also want to consider sending out larger direct mail pieces as well – this can help it stand out even more.

4. Communicate Benefits, Not Features. Your target audience doesn’t care about your company. They care about what your company can do for them. In your direct mail marketing campaign, don’t just list off features; tell people how those features will benefit them. Ultimately, your direct mail marketing is not about you; it’s about your consumer and their needs.

5. Use Your Consumers’ Language. If your direct mail piece is full of industry-specific jargon, you run the risk of alienating a large portion of your prospects. Find out what language your consumers are using to describe your services, and then join the conversation on their terms.

6. Send Multiple Direct Mail Pieces. Prospects need to see your message several times before they are likely to do business with you. Don’t send one direct mail piece to a prospect and then forget about them; send follow-up pieces regularly. This will this show your consistency and keep your company’s name in the forefront of their mind the next time they need what you offer.

7. Use Other Marketing Strategies As Well. Not everyone responds to specific marketing strategies in the same way. One person may be extremely receptive to direct mail marketing, while another may throw direct mail in the trash without ever looking at it. Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket; use direct mail marketing in combination with other marketing techniques to ensure that prospects can engage with your company in whichever way they feel most comfortable.

Direct mail marketing can be extremely rewarding if you approach it in the right way. Improving direct mail response rates takes some work, but that extra effort will pay off down the road. We hope that you will keep these guidelines in mind for your next direct mail marketing campaign; we have a vested interest in seeing your marketing campaigns succeed.

Sources:
http://www.gianfagnamarketing.com/blog/2010/05/19/why-direct-marketing-campaigns-fail-7-common-mistakes
Image: digitalart

Targeted Marketing: Focus on Less to Sell More2:57 pm

By Melissa Cober

Targeted MarketingMany businesses are initially wary of targeted marketing. This is because the idea of marketing to less people in order to sell  more sounds counterintuitive. Trust us – it’s not. Here’s why your business cannot afford to overlook targeted marketing.

For one thing, no business has the resources to target everyone; it’s just too expensive.

Perhaps more importantly, though, if you attempt to market your business to everyone, your marketing materials will have to be extremely general and broadly appealing (read: watered down). Attempting to market your business to too general an audience will give you the reputation of a Jack of all trades, and people don’t trust dabblers. Your business should strive to be perceived as a niche expert. Targeted marketing helps accomplish this: By targeting certain demographics, you can tailor your message to them, allowing you to address their specific needs and demonstrate precisely why your service or product meets those needs better than any other.

Which would you find more convincing: An ad that says “BUY THIS!”, or an ad that says exactly how you personally will benefit from buying that product?

Here at US Data Corporation, we throw around the phrase “targeted marketing” a lot. That’s because targeted marketing is crucial to the success of any marketing campaign. However, this is sometimes easier said than done. The best way to identify your target audience is to take a look at your current consumers. What needs are you filling for them? Identify several key characteristics that can be extrapolated to demographics, and be specific. The more specific you are, the more relevant your marketing can be. However, don’t narrow down too far, either – a marketing campaign can’t be very successful if it is only seen by 1,000 people. You need to strike a balance between being relevant to your audience, and still having your message seen by as many potential consumers as possible.
Finally, re-analyze your target audience periodically to determine if your marketing campaigns are still as effective as they could be; people’s needs change over time, and this means that your target audience could potentially change as well.

Targeted marketing is well worth the extra effort it takes to identify your target audience. Don’t hesitate to contact US Data Corporation to find out how your business could benefit from a targeted marketing strategy.

16 Most Annoying Ad Mascots on TV Today7:01 am

By Guest Blogger

Every company needs a mascot. But some don’t always make the best “branding” decision. Whether you’re talking about an insurance company, a carmaker, a breakfast cereal, or a credit card, there are loads of annoying icons out there to champion the cause of an entire brand.

Here are the 16 Most Annoying Ad Mascots on TV Today, as we see it. Do you agree or disagree? Make sure to sound off in the comments section below.

1. Flo from Progressive Insurance

No one likes buying insurance, so if you’re going to run a nationally televised campaign for the stuff, you’d better do better than Flo. Played by actress Stephanie Courtney and dreamed up by the guys at Boston marketing agency Arnold Worldwide, Flo not only suffers from an unfortunate association to a specific time of the month for women, she also has an over-the-top fake smile and commercials that are stuffed with bad jokes.

YouTube Video Link

2. Dancing Hamsters from Kia

Hamsters are bad enough pets. We don’t need them selling us cars, especially the kind that throw in a cutesy dance attempt while doing so. The Hip-Hop Hamsters look and act like fur-ball versions of the Village People, for the 21st Century of course, and you’ve got the David & Goliath agency to thank for it. But what do we really know? Currently, Adweek.com is running a poll that shows the hamsters with a 64% favorable rating. Crazy!

YouTube Video Link

3. Peggy from Discover Card

Tudor Petrut, the Romanian born actor who brought Discover Card’s Peggy to life, will probably never be able to live this one down. While continuing to chase superstardom at the fringe of the acting and screenwriting business, he works as a high school algebra teacher, while having his biggest job-the inept off-shore customer service representative for a faux competitor of Discover Card-also remain his biggest curse.

YouTube Video Link

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The Tenuous Relationship between Email Marketing and Spam1:44 pm

By Melissa Cober

Spam EmailEmail marketing can be a delicate game to play; while it can be an extremely effective marketing technique, it is also perpetually haunted by the ever-present specter of spam. A successful email marketing campaign must differentiate itself from spam; if not, it will be shot down before it ever leaves the ground. This article will explore the complexities of spam in order to help your email marketing campaigns live up to their full potential.

First off, what is spam? Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary defines spam as “unsolicited usually commercial e-mail sent to a large number of addresses”. The key point here is unsolicited; a legitimate email marketing campaign should always be opted-in. One way of going about this is to purchase an opt-in email list.

In order to ensure that your email marketing campaign is in accordance with all CAN-SPAM regulations, always follow these guidelines: Be honest about your header information, subject line, and the fact that your email contains an advertisement; include a physical postal address in your email; give people the ability to opt out of your email marketing campaign, and then honor those opt-out requests. If you use a list company such as US Data Corporation for your email broadcasts, we will ensure that all of your email marketing campaigns are CAN-SPAM compliant.

It is worth noting that, if your emails are being sent internationally, you should research those countries’ laws regarding spam email as well.

Although the technical definition of spam is fairly straightforward, this can be a much trickier question when it comes to individual customers’ personal definitions of spam. Many people will flag an email as spam simply because they are not interested in that email’s content, even if they have technically opted in. Legal definitions of spam are therefore not the only factor in determining whether or not your email marketing gets through spam filters; a successful email marketing campaign must not only abide by legal requirements, but must also cater to its customers’ needs and wants. It is imperative that your email marketing be relevant to your customers. Test what works and what doesn’t work; if your customers are uniformly not engaging with your email marketing campaigns, this is probably their way of telling you that you need to change your tactics.

Although the relationship between email marketing and spam can get confusing, don’t get too overwhelmed – US Data Corporation is here to help you navigate the ins and outs of email marketing. Please don’t hesitate to contact our email marketing experts for your email marketing needs.

Sources:

http://business.ftc.gov/documents/bus61-can-spam-act-compliance-guide-business

Image: Patchareeya99 http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=1890