Have you ever wondered who’s on the other side of Valpak’s Blue Envelope, eagerly ripping it open and searching through/using those awesome local coupons?
We thought you might, so we went digging and unearthed some very interesting information. Then we took that information to create a visual story (infographic) about the real Valpak consumer… just for you!
Whether you’re a veterinarian, pet supply store owner, pet photographer, pet sitter or pet services provider, there has never been a better, more prosperous time to be a part of the pet industry. U.S. consumers are spending more than ever on the care of their pets—what millennials refer to as “starter children.” Pets are also influencing where consumers live, work and even what kind of vehicle they buy. Direct mail marketingcan help your marketing to pet owners by reaching them in your community and turning them into “furever” customers.
According to the 2017-18 APPA National Pet Owners Survey, 4 people in their 30s own dogs and over half of those also own cats.
For most Americans, pets are family. In that vein, people want to give their pets the same high-quality care they would provide to their own human children. Veterinarian care expenses in 2017 hit $15.95 billion.
Even though the pet industry is in the best position it’s ever been in, it doesn’t mean you don’t have to market your business. In fact, you may have to market your business more and in a more strategic way to get consumers to try you out while keeping your current customers.
Big word, right? Anthropomorphism is the humanization of something inhuman, like a pet, for example. It’s what more pet owners are doing these days and why Fido and Lassie are as important as John and Sally to some.
You wouldn’t just throw bread at your own children for each meal, would you? Neither would today’s responsible pet owners. Your pet supply and service marketing will have to appeal to today’s pet owners who are looking for high-quality, “real” food, treatment and products for their furry children. Pet lovers are notoriously environmentally sensitive, so any product that also saves the planet while being safe for their pet is a winner.
Pet food is closer to the human diet in more ways than ever before. It’s no longer acceptable to use grains and byproducts in pet food. The proteins need to be high quality and gram-sufficient and the sub-ingredients should be geared toward optimal health, such as sweet potatoes, brown rice, quinoa, green vegetables and the like. And when we say “protein,” we don’t mean horse meat, but salmon, turkey, chicken, lamb, venison and beef.
VACATIONING WITH ANIMALS
It’s not unusual for pet owners—especially dog owners—to take their pets with them wherever they go. Restaurants, workplaces and shops have loosened their stringent no-pet policies to entice consumers and employees. Likewise, consumers would rather take their pets with them on vacation than board them or leave them with a sitter, so pet-friendly destination vacations are popping up everywhere.
This also means that pet owners will need the gear to keep them safe and their vehicles clean.
SOCIAL MEDIA FOR PETS – “YOU HAVE ONE FIDO NOTIFICATION”
When a pet owner can’t be with their pet, there are gadgets galore to keep them connected. From mobile apps synced to a pet’s collar to automatic treat feeders and video monitors. Pets have their own social media profiles—nay—their own social media platforms where they…social petwork. Check out Petzbe.com, a pet social network where there’s “no humans allowed.” Who can blame them?
PET HEALTH INSURANCE
According to Canine Journal, pet health insurance is booming. Because pets are now more like family, health insurance is only natural. And smart. Pet insurance is reasonably affordable and statistics show that at least half of pet owners file one claim each year. The pet insurance market is expected to reach $1 billion by 2019. Becoming informed about pet insurance and even partnering with a pet insurance company will add value to your business and increase loyalty.
WHERE DIRECT MAIL COMES IN
Using direct mail to promote your pet-related business is a pawsome idea. Naturally, pet lovers will respond to adorable images of pets on a printed piece. Use emotive direct mail to target pet owners in your neighborhood—your ideal customers. Based on the increasing value of a pet’s worth, pet owners are always—even subconsciously—open to ways to give the best to their pets.
Promote discounts on pet toys, food and other pet care items. During flea and tick season, offer coupons on products that prevent infestation. Stay informed about trends in the pet care industry, whether it’s new nutrition discoveries, holistic health care, or supplements. Keep your community informed through a blog or even a direct mail newsletter that features a coupon.
Use direct mail to invite your pet owner community to special events at your store. Consider hosting dog training events or grooming specials. Connect with your customers and their pets to create familiarity and confidence. For pet owners, being able to trust their pet supply and care providers is key.
Direct mail offers you response. The DMA asserted that, year over year, direct mail customer response rates were up by 43% and prospect response rates were nearly 4 times that at 190%. For every $167 you spend on your direct mail campaigns, you will generate as much as $2,095 in revenue. No begging.
Even if you love your digital marketing, direct mail will complement your efforts and put you at multi-channel level marketing, which is the best way to reach consumers today.
Valpak loves pets, too! If you’d like to learn more about how direct mail marketing can unleash your pet business in your community and fetch more customers, contact your local Valpak representative today.
As a small business owner, you’re probably focused on attracting new customers. While new customers are important to your business, we’re going to let you in on a little secret: there’s more value in focusing on your current customers than attracting new ones. Customer retention marketing can cost up to 7 times less.
WHAT IS CUSTOMER RETENTION?
Customer retention refers to a series of actions a business takes to keep their current customers coming back. It’s important to understand that customer retention begins with the very first contact you make with a customer and continues throughout their entire relationship with your business.
WHY CUSTOMER RETENTION MATTERS
Increasing customer retention by as little as 5% can lead to profit increases of 25-95%. Plus, the likelihood of converting an existing customer into a repeat customer is 60-70%. The probability of converting a new lead? 5-20% at best. With numbers like this, it’s easy to see why retaining customers should be a top priority for your business.
3 CUSTOMER RETENTION STRATEGIES USING DIRECT MAIL
We know that direct mail is effective for attracting new customers, but what about retaining them? The key here is to know your customer and to tailor your message to meet their needs. Check out the 3 best ways to create customer retention using direct mail advertising.
You’ve likely collected information on your customers and their purchases. Now it’s time to use this information to create a strategic direct mail campaign. Targeting customers who have purchased from your business in the past can boost sales up to 35%.
Let’s say you own a heating and cooling business. You wouldn’t want to send a customer who just had a new HVAC unit installed a coupon with an installation offer. Instead, focus on what comes after the installation. Target these customers with a maintenance plan special or quarterly reminders to schedule their maintenance service.
2. DRIVE LOYALTY
Loyal customers are a major asset to your business. Nearly 80% of a business’s revenue is generated by the top 20% of their customers. Direct mail is a great way to keep your most loyal customers happy while growing your fan base.
Again, the key here is messaging. Target your biggest fans with an exclusive offer that inspires them to act or push customers to that next level of loyalty with an incentive. A flyer is a great way to feature all the awesome things about your business with enough room to include a special offer.
Winning back dormant customers is easy with direct mail. The first thing you need to know is why they’re no longer buying. Was it a bad experience or is it a matter of seasonality? Use a Business Reply Mail card or drive consumers to a unique URL printed on your piece to motivate them to respond to a survey. Don’t forget to thank them with an exciting reward.
Once you know why customers aren’t buying, you can work on re-establishing your relationship. Use a highly targeted direct mail campaign that addresses the reason they left and includes a motivating offer to return. Entice customers with special offers throughout the year, or simply use direct mail to stay in front of your customers, so that when they’re ready to buy again, you’ll be top of mind.
To sum up direct mail’s role in customer retention, check out this short United States Postal Service video. For more ideas on how you can drive customer retention and loyalty, contact your local Valpak representative.
Since 2001, Valpak’s Readership Study has been the consistent consumer engagement survey for The Blue Envelope®. The results of this year’s study are in – and they’re too good not to share.
Valpak partnered with third-party firm and industry leader Research Now to conduct this year’s survey. To ensure an accurate sample, we focused on our current mailing areas with quotas aligned to the Valpak household audience – including age gender, ethnicity, dwelling type and geography. Over 1,500 surveys were completed, with a ±2.43% margin of error.
Now let’s get to the good stuff. We ask the same set of core questions each year to gauge trends in our open rates, brand awareness and audience engagement. For insight into contemporary issues, like this year’s $100 Instant Win program, we rotate in a few new questions to ask respondents.
The results of this year’s study, once again, prove the Valpak audience is highly engaged, highly motived and drive more results for our advertisers.
1. BRAND AWARENESS
Over eight in ten (81%) households receiving the Valpak envelope were aware of it. What’s more, when we asked which brands participants recalled receiving coupons from in the mail, Valpak had the highest awareness among shared mail (81%). Compare that to RedPlum (57%), Money Mailer (47%) and Clipper Magazine (41%).
The readership study confirmed that Valpak continues to mail to a highly engaged audience. Among the households that recall receiving Valpak, nine out of 10 (92%) opened and looked through the Valpak envelope and 85% looked at every envelope insert.
The Valpak audience isn’t just looking at the inserts, they’re using them too. Of the households that opened their envelopes, 51% used Valpak coupons once a month to every three months. 65% set aside 1-3 coupons they intend to share or use in the future.
3. NEW COUPON ENVELOPE DESIGN
We wanted to know if the new envelope design and Instant Win promotion were motivating audiences to open the envelope. 85% thought the new Valpak envelope looked more modern and up to date, and 69% were inspired to open the envelope because of the new look. 59% of respondents were more likely to open the envelope because of the $100 Instant Win program.
4. WHAT CONSUMERS WANT
We asked what types of businesses participants would like to see in The Blue Envelope. The top five ranked categories were:
Through 50 years of direct mail experience, Valpak continues to lead the industry by providing dynamic advertising solutions for local businesses. How do we do it? Our Blue Envelope is sent to nearly 40 million households in the U.S. and Canada each month, targeting homes with discretionary income to spend. By targeting our advertisers’ messages and sending them at the right frequency, we ensure no wasted coverage and maximum ROI.
If you’re struggling with the best way to market your business, or just want to talk advertising, contact your local Valpak representative today.
Source: 2018 Valpak® Readership Study, Research Now®, May 2018.