Key Notes Vol. 02 No. 29

Creative QR Codes & Augmented Reality Examples There are an incredible number of ways to make your print interactive. Whether you’re looking to engage with your consumers, or just make it easier for them to engage with you, you can get creative to develop a solution that fits your budget and the level of integration you are after. In a recent post for Pitney Bowes – Print + Digital: Your Next Marketing Secret Weapon, Dreaming in CMYK discusses four ways to bridge the gap between the printed piece and the web. They share fun examples of QR codes and augmented reality tools. Click here to view. Source: Dreaming in CMYK

Higher Response Rates Although direct mail can be more expensive to produce than digital content, the response rate has proven to be much higher. According to the Harvard Business Review, a company’s email receives a .03% response, while internet ads receive only .04% of a response. What is the response for direct mail then? Each piece averages between 1.1 to 1.4 percent. Your mail piece should give prospective customers the ability to become engaged with your business online. Be sure to include your company’s URL, social media channels or a QR code that will direct them to a specific landing page. By utilizing a unique QR code, you will be to track your R.O.I. from the mailer. Source: Phoenix Business Journal

Why a Catalog Might be Your Next Best Marketing BetIn 2014, consumers who received catalogs spent an average of $850 per year on catalog purchases. What’s more is that, according to retail consultancy Kurt Salmon, 31% of shoppers have a catalog with them when they make an online purchase. In all, about 90 million Americans make purchases from catalogs, according to the Direct Marketing Association; nearly 60% of them women. And, the number of catalogs mailed in the U.S. increased 60% from 2007. Yet, in order to remain relevant, it is essential brands avoid gimmicks in favor of aesthetics, or risk going the way of Sky Mall, which filed for bankruptcy in January. In other words, consumers can see right through salesy language. They want to be inspired, not sold. Source: B2C

Debate Continues on Service Standards The Coalition for a 21st Century Postal Service, which represents many of the stakeholders in the mailing industry, has written a letter to two senators arguing against the House amendment returning the service standards that were in effect on July 1, 2012. The amendment would restore overnight First-Class mail standards that changed earlier this year.  C21 apparently believes that the amendment would force the Postal Service to undo most of the phase-one consolidations. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates it would cost the USPS over $1 billion to fully comply. Source: Save the Post Office

Post Office, Mailers at Historic Juncture The symbiotic relationship between USPS and bulk mailers is currently at an historic juncture, with the USPS struggling for its very survival and mailers dealing with an unprecedented “exigent” rate increase to help offset a steady 30% decline in First Class Mail and competition from the Internet. As it concluded its most recent fiscal year last September, the Postal Service declared a net loss of $5 billion and had posted losses in 19 of its previous 21 quarters. On the other hand, Standard Mail saw a $487 million increase over last year which clearly shows the continued viability and popularity of direct mail. In an increasingly digital age, marketers keep registering results that make them want to maintain a presence in people’s mailboxes. How much more of their budgets they continue to invest in the medium, however, will depend on what happens in Washington in the coming months. Source: DMNews