Yesterday was what the United States Postal Service (USPS) predicted as the busiest mailing day of the 2016 holiday season. With just five days left until Christmas Day, deadlines are closing in on those of you who still have cards and packages to send to relatives and friends who live counties or states away. Almost nothing is more painful than purchasing a last minute gift that will not be delivered before December 25th. While the ground service deadline for arrival before Christmas has already passed, there are some postal services that are still available. Some retailers may promise one delivery date, but the United States Postal Service has some deadlines of their own:
December 20th—First class mail
December 21st—Priority mail
December 23rd—Priority mail express
Remember, the longer you wait the more expensive your shipping will be. Do not feel alone, according to the National Retail Federation, 91% of consumers still shop after Black Friday. Therefore, plenty of gift-givers will be purchasing last-minute gifts this holiday season. This means post offices will be jam packed this week. We want you to maintain a jolly spirit, so have patience and give yourself ample time to run the post office errand this Christmas Day week.
Just Wednesday, L & D Mail Masters’ marketing team spent the evening team building at Uptown Art where they painted Christmas owls to get into the holiday spirit together. It is opportunities and events like these that create a strong morale around a department in the workplace. The holidays offer abundant opportunities to grab the company or departments together to mingle with those you don’t normally get to mingle with. On Tuesday, L & D Mail Masters held their annual holiday luncheon on campus; this was yet another opportunity to boost morale. Henry Ford once said, “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” So why do we suggest you implement quarterly team building initiatives?
Team building motivates employees. The better the relationship between management and non-management, the easier it is for employees to voice themselves and their ideas. When employees feel their ideas are heard, the more confident they will become. This motivates employees to be innovative and creative, which in return will only enrich your business.
Team building breaks barriers. When employees feel they can connect with management on another level, other than just for work purposes, the better the environment will be. For management, they are given opportunities to be viewed as a colleague rather than a superior during team building events.
Team building allows for fun in the workplace. While there is a time and a place for fun in the workplace, many forget this aspect. Team building events open the door for a relaxed and fun atmosphere. When this occurs, people no longer dread the thought of coming to work. We all want that, right?
Team building bonds employees together. Knowing where people have been and what struggles they face in a non-threatening way brings understanding amongst one another. A sense of understanding is always beneficial in the workplace.
Every company has goals and it takes teamwork to obtain those goals. Team building enriches members on a personal level and a professional level. So, plan a company picnic or a company-wide luncheon to help facilitate team building. Make this a goal as we step into the New Year. After all, they say: “We can do more when we do it together.”
“Failure to plan is planning to fail.” With 21 days left in 2016, it is time to look at your company’s business development plan and dissect what initiative worked and what initiatives didn’t. And, quickly, those that didn’t, you need to find the nearest trashcan for them right now! End-of-the-year evaluations are not a waste of time by any means; we can learn the most at this stage of the year versus any other time of the year. These evaluations help gauge which departments were successful and which initiatives and programs within those departments were successful. After all, why fix something that isn’t broken? Here are three ways to enter the New Year feeling refreshed and goal-oriented company-wide.
Evaluate every department’s accomplishments for the year. Breaking these up by departments will help document this year’s statistics compared to last year’s stats. After this step, it is essential to share these numbers with the entire company. If everyone knows what initiatives were most successful and which were least successful, it is easier to transition as a team to improve for next year.
Evaluate community relations. Customers can teach you a lot about your company. Who have you retained? Which did you lose? And why were these results so? If you’ve gotten any complaints about your company this year and they are still pending resolution, there is no better time than now to resolve those complaints. Who wants to take dead weight into the New Year?
Evaluate your company’s core services. Have you invested in new technologies? Have you done away with old machines or services? What services were not so profitable this year? There is no better time than the month of December to evaluate and edit your company’s capability statement.
“You can’t know where you’re going until you know where you’ve been.” Every company has trials and tribulations, but end-of-the-year reviews help pinpoint those trials and turn them into lessons for the next year. Just remember, you only have a few weeks to accomplish these evaluations. 2017 will be here before you know it!
Does your company have a blog? Yes, you’re reading a blog about the importance of blogging. L & D Mail Masters is a direct mail marketing firm, but we understand and share with our clients that multi-channel marketing is the key to success. Blogging is just another avenue to get the word out there about your business, and inform your clients about industry news. Business blogs are a marketing channel that helps your businesses growth. They should be short form content about topics that relate to your industry. We have compiled reasons you should start a business blog if you haven’t joined the blogging craze quite yet. After all, Hubspot reports that marketers who have prioritized blogging are 13-times more likely to enjoy positive ROI.
Blogging helps drive traffic to your website.
The more content and pages you add to your webpage, the more likely it is to show up on search engine tools. Adding blogs frequently updates your website which shows Google that your page is active and worth the click. According to Hubspot, companies who blog receive 97% more links to their website.
Blogging generates social media content.
Every time you post a blog to your site and share the link on your social media channels, it increases the opportunity for others to share your post resulting in visits to not only your website but your social media channels, as well. According to Hubspot, more than half of marketers who’ve been using social media for at least three years report it has helped them improve sales. In the end, the more your company gains exposure, the more your company will benefit.
Blogging establishes credibility.
Not only is it a one-stop shop for those interested in answers about your company or industry, but blogs also beef up your company’s credibility. Think about it: who wants to do business with a company that hasn’t proved their knowledge? You have the opportunity to showcase the wealth of resources and facts your company has pertaining to its industry. The bonus is that your potential customers do not have to travel far to find this content.
One final thing, blog posts don’t take much investment. Be careful, though, sometimes blogs can be too much of a sales-pitch that it turns readers away. Another key: reuse your blogs! Hubspot says blogs get more traffic the longer they have been published; about 70% of the traffic each month on blogs comes from posts that weren't published in the current month. Now, appoint the best writer in your company—if you don’t have a content creator—and keep it consistent. Then, wait and watch as the leads flow in!
L & D Mail Masters was granted the opportunity to step into second grade classes in Southern Indiana this week to teach students the importance of playing significant roles in their future communities. The volunteering program is through Junior Achievement USA (JA) which is a nonprofit organization financed by businesses, foundations, government and individuals. JA contributes to the business and economic education for more than 100 million young people around the world. Did you know parents are the number one influence on their children’s financial behaviors? The ball that assures our communities are taken care of in twenty years is in your court. With money motivators like L & D Mail Masters president Diane Fischer who turned a $500 investment into a $30 million company, it’s important for us to teach kids “the sky is the limit” and being suave on the financial side of life, they can make an incredible living for themselves and the community around them. We wanted to help you break the ice with your kids, so here are three monetary aspects to teach your kids early. After all, they are our future bankers, accountants and investors of the world!
Wages—It’s important to teach your kids about wages. Allowances are good, but often young kids cannot differentiate the importance of receiving an allowance strictly because it is the cultural norm from receiving an allowance because they’ve worked for it. Therefore, it is suggested that allowances be given to kids after they have completed their weekly chores. This teaches them the dynamics of performing a job in the real world. We have jobs in order to make a living, and we must work in order to earn everything that we have.
Savings—Piggy banks are the oldest, yet still the most effective way to teach your young children the importance of saving. According to Bankrate, 66 million Americans have zero dollars saved for an emergency expense and 28% have only six-months worth of savings. How scary is that? It is never too early to start a savings account. The allowance your kids earn at home—after doing their chores—should be placed in a piggy bank of sorts. To teach them the importance of making a decision between spending and saving, it is essential to test their will. Give them their funds from the piggy bank and take them to the store. Challenge your kids: would you like to buy this new Barbie car or save? Put the ball in their court, but remember they are going to act out of your example. If you show the importance of saving versus spending, chances are they will too.
Giving—Finally, it is essential to teach your kids the importance of playing an active role in their community. Yes, they are bound to go to work in their communities. Yes, they will be buying goods out of necessity from their communities. But what about volunteering and sharing their money? According to the National Philanthropic Trust, Americans gave $373.25 billion in 2015 which is a 4.1% increase from 2014. The need is there for Americans, and teaching your kids the importance of giving to those less needy is life-changing. Challenge your kids to pick a place they’d like to help and have them give however much they feel to that organization or person.
Kids have an unwavering desire to feel “adult-like” and giving them the tools to make real-world decisions while molding them for the future is rewarding for everyone. Beth Kobliner of the New York Times says children as young as three years old are able to grasp the concept of saving and spending. It’s never too early!
In exactly two weeks many of us will be eating turkey legs, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce and pecan pie while sharing all we have to be thankful for. For others, it may not be the case. According to Feeding America, one in eight Americans struggle with hunger. That isn’t an epidemic that hits only on the holidays; this is a year-long problem that many of our neighbors face. As business professionals, the doors are wide open for us to open our hearts to helping those in need. Community service is fulfilling both internally for a company and externally, as well. Here are three ways to kick-start your company’s community service during this season of thanksgiving.
Giving initiative at work—There are many ways to implement a giving initiative in the workplace. Whether it’s a special charity every month or a cause based on the season, there are plenty of opportunities to include your employees in philanthropy. After all, “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” So, here at L & D Mail Masters we have chosen to give back as a company. Last year we were in the top five of companies whose employee’s gave back in Floyd County. In fact, we ended the year at 18,724 in giving dollars by our employee’s alone. How do we do it? Well, our employees have the opportunity to give to Metro United Way and the contribution of their choice comes directly out of their check. There are prize incentives, one of the most popular is their ability to earn a half or full paid-time-off day. It is a small price we pay to grant our employees the opportunity to give back to the community.
Making volunteer work a social affair—Many employer’s round up willing employees to tackle marathons, food banks, and building homes together. This is an easy solution for many who have more time than money to disperse. Working to feed the hungry in this season at food banks is extremely rewarding. According to Feeding America, “While the holidays mean no school days for kids, it can also mean empty stomachs for many. Nearly all Feeding America client households with school-aged children (94%) receive free or reduced-price school lunch through the National School Lunch Program.” Blessing others during this season will leave your employees fulfilled and will bring the morale up in your company.
Donating clothing, food, or teddy bears—This is another easy way to include your employees on community service. Place a box in a central location at the workplace and ask everyone who has extras sitting around to bring coats or teddy bears, canned goods or clothing to work for an organization of your choice. According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, about 565,000 people were homeless last January. One pair of gloves or one unused coat will impact the homeless population in a big way this coming winter.
Giving back as a company is the way the corporate world is going if you aren’t already involved. According to Tiny Pulse, “…four out of five millennials think that businesses should make a commitment to the greater good. Businesses are responding, with philanthropy growing at a rate of 64%, according to the Committee for Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy.” There is no better time to get out and build stronger relationships between you and the community and even within your company. Happy Season of Thanksgiving!
L & D Mail Masters celebrates its 30th birthday on November 6, 2016. In 1986 things were different, this 180,000 square foot facility was non-existent and Diane Fischer was taking calls and licking envelopes in her personal car garage. They were the days when we were introduced to The Oprah Winfrey Show, when leggings, over-sized sweaters, denim, plaid and jumpsuits were our daily attire, and we were blasting “Walk Like An Egyptian” on our radios. So many other things happened in 1986! Today, we’re taking a journey through that groundbreaking year for L & D Mail Masters by giving you 30 flashback facts from the past.
Maybe you're still undecided on the 2016 General Election and you are waiting for the right marketing piece to cross your path that will determine your final decision on who’s suitable enough to be your next president. For many, though, that decision has been made and their votes have already been placed. According to the New York Times, as of Monday, over 22 million ballots were already in. More than two-thirds of the states allow early voting of some sort. The increase in accessibility to the polls prior to November 8 is due to voter’s needs of convenience. Does the country’s dire need for convenience hurt the candidates’ last-minute campaign efforts?
Possibly. With efforts coming at you from your mail-box to your text messages, phone calls and via your televisions, candidates are still desperately attempting to influence your vote. If you’re one of the millions that have already turned over your ballot, though, these efforts may be falling on deaf ears.
Here are 10 ways candidates approach last minute marketing strategies:
- Direct mail
- Door to door
- Phone calls
- Social Media
- Text messages
- Yard signs
This new way of voting is the future. In 2008, one-third of voters voted early and that was 20-percent more than the election before that. Studies project nearly 50-percent of the population will vote early for this year’s general election.
So, what happens when someone changes their mind after they’ve casted their absentee or early vote? Well, depending on the state’s rules, voters are allowed to cancel their early vote and vote again at their designated precinct. Studies show that early voters aren’t easily influenced, though. These voters have voted early, because they knew exactly who they were voting for and those last ditch campaign efforts wouldn’t have changed their minds, anyway.
What’s this mean to campaign managers? It’s simple; those eleventh-hour marketing dollars should be targeted strictly to those who are yet to be decided. These audiences can be targeted using the remarkable data that direct mail firms, like L & D Mail Masters, are using today.
Did you know there is a direct correlation between customer retention and employee engagement and loyalty? Many companies are placing emphasis on employee appreciation not only to keep turnover low, but to also retain their customer base. According to a Globoforce Employee Recognition Survey, when companies spend 1% or more of payroll on recognition, 85% see a positive impact on engagement. This turns things around in every aspect of a business. We’re giving you three ways to make your employees feel valued, because according to Cvent, customer retention rates are 18% higher on average when employees are highly engaged.
Give them a voice. Employees who feel they are valued or that their voices are heard tend to work harder. Working harder will benefit your company not only for obvious reasons, but also with their innovative ideas. If employees feel that their voice is heard they will be more likely to offer suggestions that will benefit and lead your company into a new direction. Change is always good, right? Plus, we are often caught up in our own bubble of thinking, so hearing others’ and their unique concepts is good for business.
Hand-outs. These take place of the “thank you’s” that are not often communicated during the hectic work day. According to that Globoforce Employee Recognition Survey, organizations with strategic recognition programs in place exhibit 28.6% lower frustration levels than companies without recognition programs. At L & D Mail Masters, we hand out ice cream sandwiches on random days. The boost in energy and morale after those hand-outs is obvious and encouraging. The idea that your boss and employer is thinking of you speaks volumes and in turn keeps employees motivated and loyal.
Host Company-Wide Events. With it being holiday season, there is no better incentive than a Christmas or New Year’s party for your employees. While it’s fun, these events help create stronger bonds among employees, it gives the employees something to look forward to, and it’s another way to say “thank you”. L & D Mail Masters is getting ready for their annual Christmas party, and with fifteen gift baskets, half-PTO days, and cash up for grabs, employees are looking forward to the morale-boosting, social-building event. Your company can do the same. After all, there’s no “I” in “team,” and events outside of the typical day-to-day environment and operations help create that team atmosphere.
Halloween is within reach; Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Day are soon approaching, but there’s another “holiday” coming up that many businesses dread celebrating: The End of the Fiscal Year! Now, is a good time to review your 2016 goals, and if you aren’t quite there, there is still time to accomplish your goals. There are 10 more weeks in the year 2016. Remember it’s never too late to kick your marketing plan into overdrive. And don’t worry; if your budget has been challenged all year long and you don’t have much more to spend, there are cheaper ways to get the job done. Here are ways to have a successful end-of-the-year marketing campaign.
To begin, target your customer base using Facebook banner ads and email marketing. According to the National Retail Federation, 30-percent of retailer’s annual sales are made in November and December. That’s because consumers like to spend money this time of year. Aren’t you also guilty of thinking “I’ll just by one more gift?” What other time of the year would you have that mindset? You probably don’t. The holiday spirit makes everyone a bit lackadaisical with their money. Creating banner ads and email blasts are important, because consumers are out looking for the best deals. They are going to spend the money anyway; it might as well be with your company, right?
Another good idea to vamp up your end-of-the-year sales is to invest in direct mailers. According to National Retail Federation, 40-percent of consumers make their buying decisions using a catalog. Consider sending catalogs, postcards and Christmas cards this fourth-quarter. Find out more about that in this blog.
Finally, while you’re buying gifts for friends and family, consider purchasing gifts for your employees and your past customers. According to Synapse Marketing, on average, past customers are seven times more likely to purchase from you than prospective customers, and typically tell 5.2 people each time they have a positive experience with your company. This, too, can be a form of direct mail that will leave a lasting impression on those customers. Another way to market your company and their products is to do the same to your employees. While your past customers hold tremendous power in passing the word along about your products, so do your employees, especially when you treat them right. Consider making these branded apparel items. Find out more about those here.
While the end of the year is supposed to be a joyous time, that countdown to the fiscal year cutoff can add stress. Let L & D Mail Masters jumpstart your end-of-the-year marketing campaign, so you can enjoy the holidays both personally and professionally!
Everyday we are hit with the task of figuring out what's next on that to-do list of ours. Well, that's if you have a to-do list. According to a LinkedIn survey, 63% of professionals keep a to-do list. In that same survey, they say 50% of to-do list tasks are completed in a day. It's important to know how to handle the tasks that are sitting on our plates daily and how to handle them when we can't complete them in a day. L & D Mail Masters is here to offer tips on how to write those lists.
It’s that time of the year where aisles are full of costumes, jack-o-lanterns and candy corn. Aside from Christmas, Halloween is the highest grossing celebration on the entire calendar. Here is your chance to step outside of your marketing comfort zone and create a beastly campaign for the month of October. We have nailed down some of the best ways to carve the perfect Halloween promotions here:
This is one of the biggest years politically that will happen in the next three years. Statistically, Presidential elections have a greater turnout than that of midterm elections. We are just about seven weeks away from Election Day and with Presidential debates beginning in just a few days, it is time to make your last push politically. At L & D Mail Masters, we are equipped and ready to handle all political direct mail campaigns so you come out on the winning side of this year’s election.
To begin, let us remind you why direct mail is the route to go here in the final stretch of campaigning. Political direct mail is targeted in comparison to the commercials you may hear on the radio or see on TV. For local candidates, direct mail is more effective. With this kind of political campaign, money will not be wasted. These pieces hit your target audience in your targeted area. Your future constituents will get their hands on your direct mail piece and know it was meant specifically for them. With radio or TV broadcasts, it is easy to avoid the message. The targeted audience is not very targeted with these messages.
With that, political direct mail must stand out or these pieces will see their way straight to the trash can. It is important to use big headlines and catchy phrases on political mailers. If your mailer does not get read thoroughly, it is important to manage to get the message across in the first few words. Above all, your name and position in which you are running for should be the first thing noticed. After that, what is your message? After all, that is a major reason people cast their votes. The second most important aspect are visuals. Color, color, color! Use color and symbols to grab your reader’s attention, but remember there is a fine line between too much design and not enough design. Speaking of color, think outside the box on this aspect of the mailer; try not to use the typical political colors for your campaign. If you do, your political direct mail piece will look similar to your competition's and this defeats the purpose. The graphic designers at L & D Mail Masters are experts in designing the right amount for all campaigns.
Do you think you’re ready? We want you to make sure your campaign capitalizes on the amount of people expected to come out to the polls in November. It is not too late to accomplish your last push using direct mail. After all, according to Compu-Mail, at least 42% of Millennials prefer direct mail political ads over online ads, with 38% favoring both equally. This means opportunity, because Millennials match Baby Boomers as the two generations who will be represented the most at the polls. Let’s get you started so you can change the world. Vote L & D Mail Masters as your political direct mail provider!
Everyone makes mistakes. That’s a fact. One mistake that we are trying to help you prevent is creating an ineffective direct mail campaign. There’s nothing much worse than wasting time and money. There are a multitude of ways to drop the ball on direct mail campaigns. We’ve compiled the top five reasons we believe companies drop the ball, yet those that are easily fixable.
Mistake #1. Excluding an offer.
Solution: It is okay to bribe in direct mail pieces. After all, the goal is to get people to take you up on your offer whether that is buying a product, inviting them someplace, or alerting them about something—you want a response. Including a time sensitive offer places urgency on the piece and drives the consumer to act. Plus, offers increase the likelihood of your piece being opened.
Mistake #2: Using the wrong mailing list.
Solution: Even if you create the perfect mail piece, it means nothing if it does not get in front of the right person. Imagine sending a Valentine’s Day card in place of a Christmas card in December. The recipient would disregard the card, because a card intended for February has no meaning in December. Well, direct mail sent to the wrong recipient—one who maybe shares different interests or needs—will have the same affect. You also want to make sure you are sending to the most up-to-date lists possible. Again, if this does not happen, it will cause for wasted mail and money. Do not worry, L & D Mail Masters can purchase a list for you and help you determine which demographic you’ll need for the mailer you are sending.
Mistake #3: Impersonal messages.
Solution: You know that old saying, “Everyone loves to see their name in lights.” The same can go for direct mail pieces. When you personalize a direct mail piece you improve the chance of your call-to-action getting a response. Including the receiver’s name is much better than “Current Resident of…” name stamps. Also, signing your name or having your CEO sign their name will add a special touch to the piece. People will think they are not just one of many receiving the particular mailer.
Mistake #4: No call-to-action.
Solution: Drive your consumer somewhere. Never leave the reader feeling like “What now?” If this occurs, they will put it down or throw it away and never think twice. Place urgency on the piece by telling them when to act by, where to act, and how to take action.
Mistake #5: Poor follow-up.
Solution: Studies have shown that people are slow to action. Therefore, the first direct mail piece typically will not get the job done by itself. You must have a follow-up piece. Whether it is another piece, an email or a phone call or all the above, it is vital for your campaign.
If you need a hand on your next direct mail piece you can contact L & D Mail Masters here.
Now that the final summer holiday is over, the Christmas countdowns have begun. There are 108 days left and it's time to start thinking about your direct mail holiday campaigns. Why so early? Well, over the Labor Day holiday did you find yourself wondering what happened to the last eight months? It went by fast for sure, and the same is bound to happen to the fourth quarter of 2016. The sooner you plan, the better your marketing scheme will be. According to Marketing Week, EBay analysis from 2015's festive period reveals there were almost half a million searches on the site for Christmas during August, up 70% from the previous month. So, let's begin with what kind of direct mail pieces you can create for this holiday season.
Christmas cards never get old and quite frankly, they are just another excuse to get your brand and a sales pitch to your desired customer. According to the Greeting Card Association, 90% of Americans surveyed said that they like to receive greeting cards and personal letters from friends and family. If a company greeting card is sent in the same format as a friend's card, it has a higher chance of getting read. In addition, the brand will stand out against other brands. Christmas time brings a unique opportunity to trigger emotions in your customer. So spread the cheer one card at a time!
Promotional postcards are extremely popular during the holiday season; therefore it take a special design to stand out from the crowd. A recent United States Postal Service (USPS) blog suggests adding texture to postcards in order to create interest. According to USPS, adding texture to a mail piece increased sales by 150% for one telecom company. Triggering a couple of the consumer's sense at one time is powerful.
Finally, consider sending catalog booklets prior to the holiday season as another direct mail piece. According to DMA, while response rates for a direct mail letter stands at 3.4%, that number jumps to 4.3% for catalogs. This typically isn't just a one-time read, either. Catalogs can be turned into coffee-table or bathroom reads. Plus, the booklets stand out in the mailbox as they come in a different size than any other piece you will pull out of your mailbox.
Now, remember, the sooner the better for holiday mailers. While L & D Mail Masters can work with you to design, produce and mail out your holiday campaign in a timely manner, it is never too early to begin the process. Plus, the quicker you send out the first one, the sooner you can send your follow-up piece before the season wraps up!
September is National Coupon Month and according to RetailMeNot, 35.9% of consumers look through printed materials when deal-seeking. What’s that mean? Simply put; put a coupon in your potential customer’s face and they’re more likely to conduct business with you. In that statistic, it says consumers are looking through printed material, therefore it’s important to not cut coupons out of your direct mail campaigns. Here are several reasons:
To begin, coupons help with customer retention rates. RetailMeNot says that 68% of consumers state that coupons generate loyalty. Not only are the coupons persuasive, but coupons also generate relevancy. Modifying your coupons and direct mail to customer trends will always provide the opportunity to obtain and retain customers.
Another benefit to sending coupons in direct mail is to have a target audience. Say you want to promote a new product meant specifically for Millennials or you simply want to pull them in as a new customer base, then you would send out coupons that relate directly to them. And, if that is your target, it’s a good time to include them in on couponing promotions. According to Valassis, 85% of Millennials use coupons delivered in the mail. However, this approach will work for any targeted group, it’s just vital to understand what kind of direct mail piece and what type of product that specific group is searching for.
Finally, coupons typically have a high return on investment and it is easily track-able. As stated above, it is essential to target your customers correctly to increase their chances of redeeming your offer. You can always send different offers within that targeted promotion, and this will provide you with the tracking you need in order to provide the most beneficial services and products to your customer base. This is powerful, because you enlighten your business without asking the customer to fill out surveys.
With that being said, it is important to partner with a direct mail marketing firm who creates powerful mailers while executing your vision and providing you with the most useful pieces that promote and in return drive data back to your company. Remember, paper coupons aren’t dead. According to CreditCards.com, shoppers who are 18 to 25 years old use paper coupons twice as much as other methods. The cutting method is still relevant and important, so look no further than L & D Mail Masters to help you with your next direct mailing campaign and of course Happy Couponing!
So, we discussed the perks of loyalty programs in a previous blog. What we didn’t discuss is what companies can do with the data they collect from those loyalty programs and how L & D Mail Masters can help companies execute those remarkable loyalty program mailers. According to Chief Marketer, 76% of consumers are now expecting “any credible retail chain” to have a loyalty program in place, as well as 76% of consumers being very reluctant to hand over their data to a company unless it actually has a proper loyalty program set in place. While customers expect it, companies should too. Loyalty programs offer a unique opportunity to gain information and exceptional opportunities to communicate with their most loyal customers. Sure, some customers may deny providing an email during their purchase, but those that do provide their information offer an enriching opportunity for your company to communicate with them on a very personalized level.
To begin, one of the biggest advantages—on the data side—to customer loyalty programs, are discovering the trends of customers. These loyalty programs provide subliminal surveys without asking the customer to complete any paperwork. What do we mean? Well, data from these programs allow companies to find out what the customer is doing, what they’d like to experience and how your product or service is impacting them. Knowing customers’ preferences allows a company to target them with very specific offers to drive sales. These offers can be delivered through multiple channels like direct mail, email and social media.
According to the International Institute for Analytics, “Organizations that have become more data-driven within the past two years are much more likely to report an improved financial performance over the same time period (81% vs 58%) and are more likely to believe their market position is ahead of the competition.” If you know what the customer is looking for, chances are you’ll deliver offers that will increase the frequency and total purchase which can drive an increase in your numbers.
How do you even know if the mailings are getting to your customers? Well aside from increased traffic and usage of coupons, there are ways to find out exactly how many hands touched your mailing pieces. Every business would like to know if their dollars were well spent, especially when it comes to marketing dollars, and we at L & D Mail Masters are able to provide you with that ROI data.
Aside from the customer data, it takes creative, unique and brand relevant mailers to make your company’s loyalty program thrive. And, look no further! L & D Mail Masters can help you create those memorable loyalty program campaigns. The members of our graphic design team are experts in capturing a company’s visions one mailer at a time. We can produce a multi-touch campaign to keep your customer loyalty program members informed and interested.
According to Social Annex, 86% of loyalty program members agree that programs are worth the effort. So, look no further for your customer loyalty program partner! If you’d like to find out how we at L & D Mail Masters can help you create your loyalty program, click here.
Happy National Golf Month! If you’re a golfer, you’ve probably already been golfing all season long and this month is just an extra excuse to get out on the green. If you run a business or organization, it may be too late to plan a golf outing for this season, but it is never too early to plan for next year’s national golf month. According to Tee Times, there are over 1 million golf events in this country each year and the average golf tournament in the US raises $5,000. So, what are you waiting for? We are giving you four reasons why golf outings are the right investment for your company.
1. Fundraising. If your company has a corporate social responsibility program, a golf outing is the perfect place to bring attention to it while getting donations to support the cause. It is important to realize your goal for your golf outing. If it’s for competition or strictly for fundraising purposes, you must realize the level of expertise your golfers hold. That will determine if you host a scramble or a best ball format. Regardless of the play, the price tag on registration is important for both participation and fundraising. Tee Times says, “Golfers will play in your event if you show them a good time, you give them value and they have a relationship with you.” Of course, you must put together a phenomenal event to reach the fundraising goal you’re seeking. Hosting is just one way to play a part in golf outings.
2. Network. Network, network, network! Sending your employees or yourself to a golf outing can be extremely rewarding. Maybe you send a couple of members of your sales team to a couple of outings a year. Whether they are playing on the same team or on others, outings have prime networking time during lunch and dinner hours.
3. Branded promotional items. Find out if the golf scramble has a raffle. Most fundraising outings do, and they’re always looking for items to raffle off. Why not get a basket of your company’s branded promotional items together? This allows your company’s brand to get in the hands of a new potential client, while helping a good cause. Here is a look at one of L & D Mail Masters branded promotional items basket we put together for a golf outing this year.
4. Hole sponsors. If you don’t think the raffle idea is substantial enough, pay to be a hole sponsor. Listen, this is a golfer’s dream. Whether you’re providing water, a towel, or a golf ball bag, every golfer will be happy to receive a freebie. In addition, you will have the opportunity to introduce your company and its goods to those who visit the hole. This is another way to network, while enjoying the views of the sport at the same time.
If you are interested in providing a branded promotional basket at a golf outing or providing a branded towel as a hole sponsor, L & D Mail Masters can help. Happy golfing!
"I never could have imagined what we would accomplish as a company,” Diane Fischer said in L & D Mail Masters’ 30th Anniversary company video, “And I look forward to the next 30 years.” It’s hard to capture the success of 30 years in business in a couple of hours, but at L & D Mail Masters’ Open House on Thursday, August 4th, that’s exactly what happened. There were laughs and cries and shared memories in between, but the most memorial moment was when Diane Fischer and KrIsta Fischer spoke about family and not only how the Fischer family has been supportive of their mother, grandmother, and wife, but how the employees of L & D Mail Masters have become Fischer’s second family over the decades.
Krista Fischer, Director of Marketing at L & D Mail Masters, presented her mom with a stunning trophy on behalf of the entire company that celebrates Fischer’s 30 years of success. Krista spoke about licking envelopes way before she could even ride a bicycle. Eventually the company would grow into what it is today, a 30-million dollar company, as it symbolizes the true American dream, as Krista stated. Not only did Krista grow in the company, but so has all of L & D Mail Masters employees and for that they’re thankful.
Diane Fischer not only appreciates the Fischer family and the L & D Mail Masters family for their continued support, but those in the community who continue to support her, her employees and her company. Diane seemed to be emotional looking at the crowd as they gathered around to watch the company video and listen to her speech. At 5:30 everyone shared a champagne toast to show gratitude for their ongoing support. And, it wasn’t just those in attendance who were able to show their support. Using the hash tag #LD30thAnniversary on social media, Diane received support from those absent. L & D Mail Masters thanks everyone for their continued support.
The Open House was also a time for people to tour the facilities, eat some amazing appetizers and network. While on the tours, guests were able to see what exactly L & D Mail Masters can produce and what machines they use to produce those items. If you were not able to attend, you can call 812-981-7161 to schedule a personal tour today.
L & D Mail Masters Celebrates 30 Years in Business
NEW ALBANY, Ind.—L & D Mail Masters, Inc. is celebrating 30 years of business at L & D Mail Master’s Open House located on their campus at 110 Security Parkway in New Albany, Indiana on Aug. 4 from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. The Open House will be an opportunity to celebrate, network, and revisit the great things L & D Mail Masters has accomplished over the years with the customers and community that continues to play a part in such successes. Beginning at 5 p.m., there will be public open house from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. At 5:30 p.m., President Diane Fischer will host a presentation and a champagne toast to celebrate 30 years of success.
“When I started, I was 30 years old and now I am going to celebrate my 60th birthday. I still feel like I’m 30 years old! These years have gone by so fast. A lot can happen in that amount of time,” said President Diane Fischer. “It’s difficult for anyone to imagine what’s going through my head right now. When something starts as an idea on a piece of paper and it gets bigger and
bigger and bigger than life itself, it can be overwhelming, but for the first time in a long time I am in celebration mode!”
Fischer started the business in her garage with just $500 in 1986 and it has now grown into a $30-million business. L & D Mail Masters has given away over 1-million dollars to nonprofits over the last three decades. Recently, Fischer has invested millions of dollars’ worth of equipment to help provide the best speed and accuracy to their customers. Guests of the open house will have an opportunity to tour the facility and learn a bit more of what L & D Mail Masters is about. Diane Fischer says her success is about more than herself and the company, but also those who work for L & D Mail Masters, her customers, and the Southern Indiana and Greater Louisville communities.
“So many times in business all you think about is growing it and growing it. Sometimes you have to stop and look around at the amount of people who support you and who have helped you get to where you are. Sometimes in life, we are all running too fast and we need to stop and to see what we’ve accomplished,” said President Diane Fischer.
About L & D Mail Masters:
L & D Mail Masters, Inc. is a full-service direct marketing firm incorporated in 1986 in the state of Kentucky. L & D Mail Masters enables their clients to create campaigns that Relate, Captivate, Cultivate and Resonate with their target audience. The company’s 110 employees deliver measurable results for a broad range of clients nationwide. L & D Mail Masters is a women-owned business that serves clients in an array of industries such as insurance, financial services, higher education, sales, publishing and healthcare. They are experts at generating new business, retaining relationships and encouraging their clients to spend their marketing dollars wisely. From campaign design to implementation and all services in-between, L & D Mail Masters offers a wide range of solutions for your direct marketing needs. The company provides direct marketing at its best by bringing expertise, passion and professionalism to their clients. To learn more, please visit www.ldmailmasters.com.
Take a look at your keys! How many of those key chains are tags from the gas stations, grocery stores, or restaurants you visit frequently? How about your email inbox; how many of those emails offer a promotional deal to your favorite store? Chances are you signed up for a customer loyalty program of some sort. Were you hoping to receive freebies, coupons or promotional codes? In most cases, all the above is promised. These customer loyalty programs are blowing up and the programs are paying off for businesses. According to Accenture Interactive, members of retailers’ customer loyalty programs generate between 12 percent and 18 percent more revenue for retailers than customers who are not members of the loyalty programs. Different businesses have a wide range of perks, and we’re highlighting some popular ones that might help your company in the future.
To begin, one of the most popular loyalty programs are joined for club-only prices. From Marsh to Kroger to Rite Aid to Walgreens, these cards allow you to get a majority of your groceries at a discounted rate. What it takes? Just your phone number, home address and email address to sign up. What’s great about these programs is that they are consistently changing with the times. If you go into your local Kroger or Rite Aid without your loyalty program tag, don’t you fret, you can now enter your phone number to receive the points from that purchase. That’s another bonus. Not only will you receive automatic discounts, but racking up points can get you some pennies off of your gas or a coupon off of your next in-store purchase! There is absolutely no harm in these club loyalty programs; it is like your favorite credit card that gets you cheaper flights. You’re going to use them anyway, right? Why not get something out of it!
How about the loyalty programs that sends coupons and freebies for birthdays? Talk about a fan favorite! It doesn’t take much to “wow” the customer. A lot of restaurants will offer a free dessert when you dine in for your birthday. Then there are restaurants that go above and beyond for their customer’s birthday; like Benihana, they offer a $30 off coupon for those in their loyalty program. Other places will actually give their customer’s gifts for their birthdays, like Sephora, ULTA and Smashbox. You can also get $3 off at CVS and $5 off at Designer Shoe Warehouse (DSW). The deals are endless, but again, they are incredible perks to being a part of loyalty programs.
According to Business Wire, 49% of consumers will gladly switch brands for a coupon. With customer loyalty programs, there is no need to push customers to the other side. Who wants to guess which store or restaurant will be the cheaper visit? Most certainly you don’t. Loyalty programs drive customers to become brand loyal while receiving perks and points through the experience.
Did you know nearly 29% of 55-year olds have neither a pension or retirement savings plan? With that heartbreaking statistic, American’s are forced to work longer to generate income which is creating a very diverse group of people working together in today’s work force. There are four generations of people working side by side in companies today. From The Silent Generation to the Baby Boomers to Generation X and Y, many are forced to adapt to the weaknesses and strengths of one another. So, let’s begin with the breakdown of each generation.
The Silent Generation- This generation was born between 1925 and 1945. Their name comes from the idea at this time that “children should be seen and not heard.” This generation grew up at the time of World War II and the Great Depression and with that this generation seeks financial security; rightfully so. The Silent Generation are typically traditionalists, they’re patriotic, they demand quality and are great team players. This generation expects loyalty from employers as they are loyal and they believe raises should be rewarded based on tenure.
The Baby Boomers- This generation was born between 1946 and 1964. Their name comes from the spike in child births after World War II. They were the most populous generation before Generation Y. The Baby Boomers are free-spirited, experimental and they are individualistic. They believe teamwork is important to success and that hours worked is the true measurement of work ethic.
Generation X- This generation was born between 1965 and 1979. Their name comes from the lack of identity they felt. Generation X experienced more divorces than any other generation, and they are self-reliant. They believe in flexibility and freedom within the workplace and they believe in open communication on all levels of the workplace. They have an entrepreneurial mindset and are great at multi-tasking.
Millennials- This generation was born between 1980 and 2000. This is the generation of technology and mobile devices. Many would call this generation “entitled”. Millennials are more ethnically and racially diverse than any other generation. This generation wants to be liked by peers and has a low attention span. They are open for change and seek reinforcement from bosses and they work to live rather than living for work.
So how do we suggest you coexist under one roof? Well to begin, communication is key while working with four very different generations and knowing just how to communicate is essential. If you are a supervisor, it’s important to realize that the Silent Generation and Baby Boomers may like to be spoken to face-to-face, while Generation X and Millennials may appreciate an email or a text message. It is also important to allow each generation to tell their own story. Everyone will be able to relate to one another better by hearing where they’ve been and why they handle particular topics certain ways.
Millennials and Generation X can also learn a great amount from the Silent Generation and Baby Boomers and vice versa. Imagine when your grandmother asks you to come over and show her how to use a flash-drive. Don’t roll your eyes! It’s a compliment when you’re asked for help and you should be willing to give all the help you can! For you older generations, don’t be afraid to ask for help. On the other end of that, younger generations you should be a complete sponge. Absorb as much information as you can from those older than you while you’re able to work with them. Whether it’s financial advice, career advice or advice on stability within the workforce, they’ve got tons of experience and wisdom. That cross-communication and dialogue should be exhilarated in the workplace as it can lead to beneficial results.
The key to adapting to the wide range of employees within the office is to open up communication and to learn what each generation’s strengths and weaknesses are. Everyday should be used as a learning experience from other generations. The possibilities are endless with such diverse workplaces! It also takes you to be willing to open your hearts and minds to the insight from your colleagues young and old.
There’s a stigma around Generation Y, better known as millennials, when it comes to the business-world. Some companies dread hiring them due to their unique outlook on life. Yes, they like to explore. Yes, they are scatter-brained. Yes, they may be too technologically driven. But, there is no better time than now. By 2020, millennials will make up half of the work force, meaning hiring them is the inevitable. According to Forbes, millennials switch their attention between media platforms like laptops, smartphones, tablets and televisions 27 times per hour on average and that is 10 times higher than the previous generation. Many employers run at the sounds of such a stat, but we’re here to tell you: millennials offer a unique and enriching outlook to your company. Here are the top six ways millennials can help your company succeed.
1. They’re connected, increasing your digital reach. It’s no secret Gen Y is more connected via social media than any other generation. According to the Pew report, 75% of them have created at least one social media account and with 67% of consumers being influenced by online marketing, your company’s digital reach is extremely important. Something as simple as mentions on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter from your employees can make the world of difference. “What’s your company do?” is just enough to get conversations started that could end in possible leads.
2. They are cost-effective. According to U.S. census data, 40 percent of our nation's unemployed are millennials, which equals to 4.6 million young people out of work. With that, jobs haven’t come easy for millennials, so they take work at a cheaper price. Many would argue that it is easier to mold a younger employee into your dream employee at cheaper rates than to hire a more expensive professional.
3. They value education. Gen Y has the most degrees amongst them than any other generation. If you cherish employees who are constantly learning and wanting to grow, millennials may just be the route to go. In fact, 65% of them say that personal development is the most important factor in their careers.
4. They are the most creative generation to date. This is the generation of Liberal Arts degrees, and even if your business isn’t a marketing firm your company can surely benefit from that creative power. This trait is self-identified among millennials; according to Marketing Millennials, when women in their twenties were asked to select three values that best describe them from a list of twenty, “Creativity” is the value chosen most often followed by ‘Adventurous’. Many times employees within a company get stuck in their bubble of innovation and ideas; millennials are sure to bring a new and exciting way to fulfill your company’s goal.
5. They can extraordinary multi-taskers. Generation Y grew up with laptops and telephones, and while they’re constantly on their phones Tweeting, Snapping and Facebooking, they have learned to multitask. Remember the Forbes quote from above? Millennials bounce their attention off of many different things 27 times per hour, and that includes work. You throw many tasks at them, millennials will be able to handle more of those tasks than ever before.
6. They are extremely diverse. Millennials are the most diverse generation in the post-war period, according to a White House study, and just over 40% of millennials identify with a race other than non-Hispanic, white. This is an extremely beneficial aspect for the workforce. Millennials are able to work well in groups due to their diverse backgrounds and the diversity of their peers. There is a unique advantage to having such diverse opinions and suggestions within a company.
Stay tuned! Next week our blog will give reasons why blending different generations under one roof can accentuate each generation’s strongest traits.
Never worked with L & D Mail Masters? Don’t know how our services work? Unsure how United States Postal Services’ guidelines plays a part in your direct mailers? We went to the L & D Mail Masters’ sales team to ask them what the most frequently asked questions from clients are; we have compiled them below.
- What do I do if I don't have a mailing list?
L & D Mail Masters can purchase a list for you and help you determine which demographic you’ll need for the mailer you are sending. Demographics can include: age, income range, zip code, lifestyles, etc.
- How many pieces of mail do you need to mail in order to qualify for standard mail rates and how many for 1st class presorted mail rates?
You must have 200 automated pieces of mail to receive the presorted rate for standard mail rates. You must send 500 automated pieces of mail to receive the presorted rate for first class mail rates.
- Why do data files have to have the NCOA (National Change of Address) process ran in order for you to achieve discounted postage rates? What is the benefit to the customer if we provide this service?
NCOA decreases the amount of undeliverable mail as addressed. According to the USPS, they lose $1.5 billion a year on undeliverable mail. The USPS and L & D Mail Masters’ uses NCOA to keep your cost down and helps get the mailer delivered to your desired recipient.
- Does NCOA process have to be done? Is there a way around not doing this?
NCOA has to be done in order to receive presorted rates. When sending to a specific person, this process must be complete. If NCOA is not, you may send standard mailers to a person “or resident of…”.
- Why must the envelope of a reply piece have a barcode on it in order to achieve barcoded postal rates on the carrier envelope?
According to the DMM regulation every mail piece that has a BRE or CRE that will apply for an automated presort rate must have the automated barcode and FIM marks on them. This helps the USPS cut down on non-deliverable mail.
- What are the mailing requirements on a mail piece? How much spacing does it require?
L & D Mail Masters’ internal designers are skilled on the DMM standards and can capture your vision using the appropriate spacing requirements.
- How many wafer seals (or tabs) will be needed for a self-mailer (brochure)?
Any self-mailer over one ounce needs three wafer seals.
- When will my mailing arrive in the homes/businesses?
From start of production to the mailbox, it is hard to give a blanket answer. In that as every job is different and the predicted production time is given when you get a quote on the work from a sales representative, once the mail has been submitted it follows the United States Postal Service mailing standards. Mailing standards for first-class mail is 1-3 business days and mailing standards for standard mail from the USPS is 1-14 business days.
If you would like L & D Mail Masters to add anymore FAQs to this blog, please leave a comment below and we would be happy to answer those for you.
The average worker today stays at his or her jobs for 4.4 years and they say millennials stay with a company for half that time, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. So how do you get your employees to invest their time and devote their entire lifetime with your company? With 110 employees and just over forty of them working for the company for ten-plus years, L & D Mail Masters knows a thing or two about retaining their employees. President Diane Fischer says employees at L & D Mail Masters are encouraged to transition from one job to the next in order to continue to advanced with the company. Fischer believes this creates longevity within the company and keeps employees invested instead of becoming bored with the job.
One of those employees is Barbara Fischer who has been with the company for twenty-three years. Barbara started with L & D Mail Masters in the data processing department and quickly moved up to receptionist. She says her open-mindedness allowed her advancement within the company. “When I first started at L & D, I came from using a Macintosh computer and typewriter environment to a computer system that was totally ‘Greek’ to me. I gave myself a pep talk every day until I became comfortable with what I was doing,” Barbara Fischer says. Barbara currently works in the sales department and says she hopes to retire from L & D Mail Masters.
L & D Mail Master’s Chief Financial Officer, Karen Banet, has a similar story. Banet started as an Accounting Manager in a one-person department twenty years ago. “I was hopeful that I would be at L & D this long. I had been in both the public and private side of accounting out of college and in my first few years in my career, and was looking for somewhere to stay long-term and grow,“ says Banet. She attributes her long-stay with L & D Mail Masters on how much the company respects and values her opinion. When employees feel valued and their work is recognized, it creates more valuable results from them and drives them to give a longer tenure with the company. According to LinkedIn’s Talent Blog, 69% of employees say they would work harder if they felt their efforts were better recognized. Positive reinforcement is something L & D Mail Masters strives to provide.
Last year, the median job tenure for workers aged 20 to 24 was shorter than 16 months. L & D Mail Master’s CFO says she believes it is okay for young adults to find their niche, in fact, she encourages it. “I think when you are new in your career, it is important to try out different jobs. It gives you a better understanding of what you are looking for and what is important to you. Then when you find your landing spot, like I did with L & D, it is that much more fulfilling,” says Banet. And Barbara Fischer says it is best to not get wrapped up in the feeling of needing instant gratification within a company, because you never know when you’ll find your passion. “I would say look for opportunities within your company, if a supervisor or someone in a lead position wants you to try something new, be open. It never hurts to ask about learning something new. The benefits are gaining experience and knowing that you are part of a team,” says Fischer. Invest in your employees and listen to their needs and, in return, they will invest their time and talents into you!
If you would like to find out how to join L & D Mail Master’s team, you can click here.