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.
Corey Cinabro joined the Valpak Colorado Team in February. He grew up in Golden, Colorado, Graduated from University of Colorado at Denver with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing and minor in Finance. Corey brings over 18 Years of experience working with B2B in Northern Colorado. His values are to always put the client and their goals first and foremost and help them grow their business. Outside of the office he enjoys spending time with his bride of over 18 years and their 4 children and puppy “Buttercup.”
We’ve all heard someone say “print advertising is dead.” Or, “online marketing is the best way to market your business,” but we all know that is just not true. Don’t just take our word for it though, check out this article by Forbes to learn why direct mail is still the top channel for direct response.
We know that as a business owner, you are inundated with sales calls from marketers telling you why their products and services are different from and better than your current advertising. We also know that with all the conflicting information out there, it can make it difficult to decipher what truly makes one marketing service different from another. So, to help clear up any confusion, we would like to remind our clients what truly makes Valpak different from the other direct marketers.
Street-Level Mapping: A Powerful Marketing Advantage For Your Business
Unlike other direct marketing companies who mail saturation lists (every address within a carrier route) or use a 3rd party in a distant location to determine their mailing list, we use our years of local knowledge to select our audience. Our Street-Level mapping program is integrated with Google Street View, allowing us to include or exclude specific addresses based upon our local knowledge and research. Through the years, our constantly evolving list has developed into a powerful marketing advantage for our clients. You can be certain — and the results show — our list delivers Valpak clients’ messages to the best audience of local consumers.
If you are interested in learning more, ask your Valpak Marketing Advisor for additional information. Or better yet, schedule a visit to our office. We’d love to show you the process in person.
Local Advertising: Over $150,000/Year in Northern Colorado Advertising
We know advertising works, that’s why we practice what we preach and promote our Valpak Blue Envelope! You’ve seen our billboards. You’ve seen our blimp at the Colorado Eagles, our newspaper ads, and heard our radio spots. The consumers in northern Colorado have too, and that’s why they open Valpak and use your coupons! What do other direct marketing companies do to promote your advertising?
Instant Win Program: Drives Opens
Each month we randomly places $100 checks in our envelopes to encourage consumers to look through them every month, and the majority of them get cashed! Imagine the word-of-mouth exposure this creates among neighbors and the office! Who else has an instant win promotion?
Content: Ensures a Positive Consumer Experience
Valpak understands that content is key to drive envelope opens. We make sure there is a strong mix of categories that consumers want to see each month: dining, entertainment, retail, and home improvement categories.
Valpak.com Listings: Get Found Online
While our competitors may also list your offers online, Valpak provides you with your own unique URL on Valpak.com that is indexed on Google and other search engines. That means consumers can find you more easily and that you do not share a page with competing businesses.
Sleek Envelope Design: High-End Design for High-End Consumers
Recently, Valpak tested envelope designs with consumer groups and the feedback was clear — people want to see a sleek, clean, and BLUE Valpak envelope. In January 2018, we started delivering our new envelope design to better align with high-end consumers’ expectations.
Longevity: Most Recognized Direct Mail Program There Is
Valpak has been powering businesses for 50 years and our local franchise has been in operation since 1978. We credit our longevity to staying true to our mission: To be the most effective advertising medium at generating business for our clients. To engage consumers and motivate them to do business with our clients by delivering interesting content and compelling offers through the mail, online, and the phone.
Valpak of N. Colorado & S. Wyoming welcomes the opportunity to track and compare how your Valpak ads stack up against your other advertising programs. Contact your Valpak Marketing Advisor today to learn how.
Although it is still early on in 2018, the direct mail industry has already seen a significant increase in both postage and paper costs this year, which may have you asking, “What does that mean for my direct mail marketing?”
First, let’s start with the facts. On January 21, 2018, the United States Postal Service increased postage. The saturation letters class in which Valpak falls increased by 1.94%, which you can read more about here.
In addition to a postage increase, our industry has also seen a notable increase in paper costs, with companies experiencing an 8-10% increase in paper expense!
So what does that mean for your direct mail marketing with Valpak? Not much! As an advertiser in our our co-op envelope, you split the cost of these increases with the other advertisers in the pack. So unlike other forms of direct mail, these industry changes will have a proportionally small impact on your direct mail rate.
Want more good news? Direct mail continues to be a trusted and cost-effective form of advertising for small business owners. In fact, according the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), direct mail saw a 5.1% response rate in 2017, which is 10-30 times higher than that of digital advertising mediums!
On behalf of Valpak of N. Colorado & S. Wyoming, we thank you for your business and look forward to continuing to serve your advertising needs. If you have any further questions about how these increases affect your business, please contact your Valpak Marketing Advisor.
If you’ve ever considered starting your dream business, you’re not alone. Michael Gerber, the author of The E-Myth Revisited, called it the “entrepreneurial seizure.” I have to admit, I’ve experienced it a time or two as a business owner and actually grew up in what I call a “small business family,” working in my father’s business as a teenager.
In fact, I learned how to work mowing the lawn at home and sweeping the floors of my Dad’s warehouse. He was adamant that I learn a good work ethic, making sure that I understood the right way to both mow and sweep. I didn’t appreciate at the time that there was a right way and a wrong way to do either—those lessons are more meaningful to me now than I think they were then.
Having experienced the act of starting a business from scratch myself, I can share a few lessons I learned along the way. Taking the entrepreneurial leap should be a decision based on rational analysis rather than hope. As much as possible, grasp the sacrifices you may have to make so you can determine if the risk is worth the reward.
Fortunately, in a study conducted not too long ago, 90 percent of the business owners said they would do it again and never look back.
Before you entertain the idea of beginning your own entrepreneurship, here are some points to consider:
I met an inventor who had broken his arm. To ease the discomfort from itching, he drilled a hole in his cast so he could blow cool air into it with a hairdryer. He decided to make an adapter that could be placed in a cast by a doctor. Although it only cost him about $.30 to make, he charged $25. “Because,” he said, “doctors won’t buy it if it’s too cheap.”
I learned that you can price things too low as well as too high and make it more difficult to sell your product.
Participate in your community events by volunteering, setting up at street fairs, holding a fundraising event. Participate in Small Business Saturday® and Shop Small®. Or, start small and simple with your marketing by sending a direct mail piece that offers a new customer discount. Valpak offers their Blue Envelope full of local business coupons that households anticipate receiving. Invite your community to a grand opening or holiday event with a postcard.
In the very beginning, when my business was very small and we didn’t have a budget for the large direct mail campaign we wanted, my partners and I created our own postcards, addressed and stamped them after work on Monday, and deliver them to the post office. For somewhere around $100 every week we were able to send out postcards to customers and prospects to remind them we were there and introduce our weekly special. Like clockwork, the phones started ringing on Wednesday as our postcard arrived in their mailbox. Eventually, we had the budget for the large-scale direct mail campaign.
Marketing doesn’t have to be expensive, but you have to do it. Be creative. Don’t be afraid to try something new. And, don’t be afraid to tackle something yourself. I think one of the things that made our postcard so successful was that it didn’t look slick and overproduced. It looked like exactly what it was, something we were doing ourselves.
There’s nothing easy about starting your own business. It takes hard work, determination, commitment, vision, and sacrifice, but it’s also very rewarding. Doing your research and knowing what to expect will help you decide if business ownership is right for you. If it is, get out there and make your dream a reality.
If you’ve decided that business ownership is something you want to make a reality, or you’re already there, Valpak is here to help you grow. With over 145 franchise offices across the United States and Canada, there’s a Valpak marketing expert near you. Download our Media Kit* and contact us today!
Ty Kiisel is a contributing author focusing on small business financing at OnDeck, a technology company solving small business’s biggest challenge: access to capital. With over 25 years of experience in the trenches of small business, Ty shares personal experiences and valuable tips to help small business owners become more financially responsible. OnDeck can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.
We take our role as your Marketing Advisor seriously. Here at Valpak of N. Colorado and S. Wyoming, we want to ensure your Valpak campaign engages consumers and motivates them to do business with you. To do this, it is important for our clients (and for us) to understand where their sales and conversions are coming from, and lately, this leads to a discussion about first and last touch attribution.
First Touch vs. Last Touch Attribution
First Touch Attribution gives 100% of the credit to the marketing effort that drove a visitor to your site or store for the first time. Conversely, Last Touch Attribution gives all the credit to the marketing activity that immediately precedes the sale or conversion.
Marketers and business owners tend to rely heavily on built-in tools like Google Analytics and Google AdWords to determine where in the marketing funnel their sales and conversions are coming from. Less tech-savvy business owners may even rely on their receptionist to ask a consumer where they heard about the business. These methods usually end up crediting the last piece of advertising served to the shopper before they made a purchase, clicked on a link, or picked up the phone.
The problem with last touch attribution is that it tends to oversimplify the marketing process and and can undervalue important awareness channels. Awarding all the credit to the last marketing piece served to a consumer before they made a purchase is kind of like declaring the winner of a basketball game the team that scored the last basket, regardless of who had the highest final score!
Our Marketing Advisors appreciate the clients who dedicate time to track their coupons, phone calls and online conversions, but sometimes they fall into the “last touch trap” and end credit other online sources for their transactions while discounting their Valpak print piece.
While a customer may tell you they found you online, ask yourself how they decided to choose you. A customer cannot buy from you if they don’t know you exist! So, before you write off any marketing piece not directly correlated to a sale, remember: a lead may interact with your company multiple times before converting. Relying too heavily on the last click or view can discount valuable marketing pieces that helped lead to the conversion!
Ultimately, no purchase or conversion is exclusively attributable to a single advertising channel. Every channel, from direct mail to radio to search or display, needs to work together to move a consumer through the marketing funnel.
For help creating and coordinating your print and online advertising to help get consumers to notice you, choose you, and spend money with you, contact your Valpak Marketing Advisor today.
For the 5th consecutive year, small businesses in northern Colorado and Southern Wyoming will have an exclusive opportunity to use Shop Small / American Express branded marketing solutions through Valpak!
Shop Small is a nationally recognized movement dedicated to supporting and celebrating businesses and the neighborhoods they’re part of. Customers look for the Shop Small logo to see where they can Shop Small and support small businesses — like yours, year round!
As an official partner, Valpak has some fun (and FREE) Shop Small swag that we are more than happy to share with you! We also encourage any of our clients who accept American Express to go here to create your own FREE marketing materials to let shoppers know you’re a Shop Small participant and to join you on November 25 for Small Business Saturday.
For more information about Shop Small and how to get some free swag, please let your Valpak Marketing Advisor know.
Social media advertising has increased exponentially in the last two years, and it shows no signs of slowing down. As social media platforms respond to demand from advertisers, it’s important that small businesses understand the options and choose the platform(s) that best fits their marketing goals. We’ve put together some social media advertising tips to help you make good decisions when setting your small business social media marketing goals and deciding on an effective social strategy for your business.
Social Media Advertising and Its Growing Popularity
Worldwide, between 2014 and 2016, social media advertising budgets doubled, growing from $16 billion to $31 billion. By the end of 2017, it’s expected to increase by another 26%. According to Forbes, four million small businesses were advertising on Facebook in 2015.
As social media’s impact continues to grow it can’t be denied that social advertising is a vital way to support your multi-channel and omnichannel marketing strategies. Social media advertising allows for brand personalization, loyalty, engagement, and data analytics—all important components of a multi-channel and omnichannel marketing strategy.
Social Media Advertising Platforms for Small Business