Better mailers for bigger response rates

Mailer response rate
We just mailed something really great to decision-makers at 50 major grocery chains, but we wanted to share it with you, too. If you’re a retailer in any sector and you’re currently using direct mail to boost sales and customer engagement, we think you’ll identify with the challenges in this story. We’re all looking for reduced cycle times, lower costs and stronger response rates. At ALitho, we’ve found that a fresh format is often the key to achieving all three. This story shows how it works.

Solving one problem – but taking a deeper look

We were working with a regional grocery store chain with 400-plus stores. This grocer mails monthly coupon packages to 600,000 customers in their loyalty program. Their control was performing well enough, but they wanted to know: did we have ideas that could help them increase redemption rates, store traffic and basket size while cutting costs and manufacturing cycle times? First things first, though. The immediate need was to improve the product images in the existing mailer. They looked muddy, which diminished the quality image of the brand. Using ALitho’s new state-of-the-art imaging system, we increased all images to 600 dpi, but we also asked our creative team to look for other possible improvements.

Putting a new concept on the table

The team studied the client’s control package, which was a pocket self-mailer holding individual coupons. They felt this client could save a ton of money and time with a different approach. They created a detailed comp showing how the package could be retooled as a coupon booklet, taking full advantage of in-line production on our web presses. Targeted offers would be imprinted on the coupons using data on customers’ specific buying habits and history. Name personalization would confirm that loyal customers were receiving offers selected especially for them. But the greatest advantage was the 32% reduction in cycle time – an amazing 6 days, which helped the grocer reach customers with exactly the right offers at the right time.

The results made everyone happy

After the new format was approved, we printed and sent the first mailing and waited to see how customers would respond.
Wow. Just wow. Within a month or two, the grocer reported that gross sales had jumped in excess of 6%. The cost of their mailings had also dropped by 28% per month. The marketing team reports that trends are up, so there’s every indication that sales among loyal customers will continue to grow.
Pretty good for a conversation that started with some fuzzy images.

Can we do it for you?

We’d love the chance to talk with you about the possibilities. But you won’t hear us recommending any cookie-cutter solutions. Every retail chain faces its own unique set of challenges. No two situations are the same. Which is why we ask detailed questions before we even begin to discuss potential solutions. We want to know: how’s your direct mail program performing now? How long have you been using this approach? What are your specific goals? Is your DM control fatiguing? If so, are you interested in looking at an entirely new offer, creative hook or format? Recommendations we make come with full, detailed comps so you can see exactly how a new package would look and feel in the customer’s hands. And because we know that changing your current package means taking a risk, we offer low-cost testing for all new concepts. We welcome the chance to discuss your direct mail needs. If lower costs and higher response rates sound good to you, let us know how we can help. And if you’d like an actual sample of the package we just sent to leading grocers, just drop us a note – we’ll send one right out to you.

ALitho’s work with major retailers, financial services groups and consumer brands to deliver measurable results.
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