Author: Patricia Uhrich

Brand Advertising and Direct Marketing – aka Beauty and the Beast.

by Bill Rogers   Many years before joining Direct Choice, I strolled into a creative presentation with Progressive.com weary from an early flight but emboldened by the solid direct mail concepts my team had prepared. This was before Arnold Worldwide had crafted the beloved Flo character. At the time, Progressive.com was the new kid on the block, smothering the airways with a bold offer: get the best quote on auto insurance even if it’s not ours!  It was a novel approach, not to mention an offer that was built for direct mail. The presentation was going exceptionally well until I presented a mailing which removed the Progressive logo from the envelope in favor of what I called an “urgent, under-the-radar” approach. They didn’t get it.   The argument I heard against the “under the radar” approach was the same one I hear today. Quote the client, “Why would we mail un-branded envelopes when we’re...

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USPS Boosts Savings in 2022 Promotions for Marketers

It’s no secret that the USPS loves commercial mail. While last year’s first-class mail volumes fell to their lowest since 1971, marketing mail was on the rise in 2021.  That must be one of the reasons why the postal service is encouraging marketers to innovate and save with six special promotions throughout the year. Many of these special promotions are offering increased discounts compared to last year.   Some quick facts on these programs and why you may want to take advantage:   4% Tactile, Sensory & Interactive Promotion (now through July 31): Perhaps you’ve always wanted to test an interactive pop-up format or a mailer with special textures, visuals, or sound? With this discount, which has been doubled for 2022, you can help offset the added production and first-class mailing costs. Besides making a big impression in the mail, you may discover the added cost is worth the boost in response/sales regardless of...

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What the HEALTH just happened with Super Bowl ads?

If you’re looking for the typical review of the best Super Bowl ads, you can count on AdAge or Adweek for that. They both agree that the Coinbase spot was the most effective. In case you missed it, here it is:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIUD_NE1BDo   $14 million well spent? Well, the bouncing QR code was so effective that it caused Coinbase to crash. Perhaps they took a cue from some of the DRTV spots Direct Choice produced last year?     Anyhow, what struck us about this year was the emergence of health-related ads and the absence of Anheuser-Bush. Super Bowl 2022 ads posed an interesting contrast to the typical fare of chips, dips, pizza and beer.   What’s Gotten Into Lindsay?  Planet Fitness made a good bet that Inquiring minds want to know. They’re also betting that people are ready to get back to the gym, BIG TIME. Love the moment between her and Dennis Rodman which was easily...

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Important Trends for Direct Mail, Digital and TV for 2022…

Because getting left behind is not an option. You don’t have to be a trendsetter to be relevant. In fact, it’s much safer to be a follower of proven trends as long as you’re an early adopter. With that in mind, here are some top trends for DM, Digital and TV that you need to be aware of as we plan for success.   DIRECT MAIL TRENDS QR Codes for Digital Response on the Rise: According to Who’s Mailing What, QR codes now surpass basic website URLs among mailings that include a digital response. QR codes appeared 40% of the time vs 31% for website URLs and 23% for social media. This is no surprise since QR readers are now built into today’s smartphone camera apps.   Informed Delivery Is Growing Fast: This service by USPS allows customers to get a preview of what’s arriving in their mailbox via email, web or mobile app. It also...

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New Year’s Resolution: Update your profile pics! Quick advice and free tools for a smart refresh.

Who was the President when you last updated your profile pics? If you answered anyone other than Biden, it’s probably time for a change. And if you’re wearing a puka shell necklace or a designer trucker hat in your pic, it’s DEFINITELY overdue.   Your profile pics need to make a solid first impression. They reflect your personality and can have an impact on networking, job opportunities and possibly your career. So don’t wait for that spare moment that will never come, follow these easy tips to create a fresh and fulfilling profile pic.   1) Frame yourself so people can clearly see your face. Especially important for professional/business profiles.   2) Take multiple images from multiple angles. Hold your camera at face level and shoot face forward, 3/4 angle, and side profile images. You’ll probably prefer one over the others.   2) Be conscious of the background. Flat colors that contrast your image are ideal. Also, try...

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Supply Chain Holiday Blues: Questions & Answers for Marketers.

It’s not just the title track of the 2021 Holiday Season. This year’s supply chain issue is a heavy dose of reality that has retailers scrambling to meet demand and end the year in the black. As marketers, we’re kind of caught in the middle with more questions than solutions. Our Q &A tackles some the broad questions behind this unprecedented Holiday marketing season.   Why isn’t the supply chain keeping up with demand?   The pandemic is ultimately to blame but there is no simple answer. Three key factors have led us to be unprepared for the uptick in demand.   Just in time inventory management: Rather than keeping warehouses full, companies have switched to having raw materials and finished products arrive exactly when they need them. It’s a way of running leaner by eliminating excess inventory. Unfortunately, it leaves little room for surprises like a pandemic.   Lack of warehouse workers and truck drivers:...

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Jack-o-lanterns. Skeletons. Candy. And the $10 billion in sales? … PART OF IT.

If you have not yet seen SNL’s Haunted Elevator (ft. David S. Pumpkins) skit, you’re missing out on the brilliantly odd inspiration for our headline. More importantly, if you can connect your product or service to Halloween in a fun and compelling way but fail to do so, you may be missing out on an easy seasonal boost in awareness or sales.   According to the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) 2021 Halloween trends, Halloween-related consumer spending is expected to reach an all-time high of $10.14 billion this year. That’s enough to buy 4 billion bags of Brach’s Candy Corn and still have money left for some Necco Wafers – yes, it’s still possible to hand these out to the dismay of unsuspecting trick-or-treaters.   We can thank the pandemic for the added enthusiasm and spending surrounding Halloween 2021. In fact, consumers are expected to spend an average of $102.74 which is close to pre-pandemic...

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Health plans should expect record ACA enrollments in 2022 — thanks ARP!

Back in April we promised to follow up on the American Rescue Plan’s (ARP’s) impact on the health insurance market. As you may recall, the ARP offered larger premium tax credits to a greater number of people who obtain coverage through Affordable Care Act health plans. It also created an extended special enrollment period (SEP) that’s slated to end on August 15th.   Here’s the good news from the ARP’s impact on 2021 enrollments: CMS reports that over 1.2 million Americans signed up for health insurance under the extended SEP as of June 1st.   3 million consumers reduced their monthly health insurance rates by applying for additional premium tax credits.   State-based marketplaces and healthcare.gov helped spur additional enrollments by promoting the SEP along with health plans. This included CMS teaming up with Stride’s Portable Benefits platform to help independent contractors enroll in an ACA health plan during a “Gig Workers Week of...

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Why your marketing plan MUST consider short-form video.

If you’ve been wondering if it pays to make the leap from online image ads to short-form video the answer is most likely a resounding, YES!  Even with the added production costs, video is too powerful to be ignored.   According to Social Media Today, video is the best performing content type on all social platforms. Video wins on engagement, response, shares and other metrics.   Consider these mind-blowing video ad statistics: Facebook: Video gains 2-3x higher click-throughs and a 20-30% increase in conversions compared to image ads (adQuadrant)   Instagram: Video posts gain 60% more engagement than photo posts (Hootsuite)   Twitter: Video delivers 10x more engagement and 50% savings on cost per engagement (Social Media Today)   LinkedIn: Video delivers 3x the engagement as text posts (LinkedIn)   YouTube: Best ROI for video with 34.6 billion visits per month (the world’s second most popular website after Google).   What qualifies a short-form video ad? Anything under 1-minute. 66% percent...

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A Quartet of Awards — Music to our ears.

Awards season is back for 2021 and Direct Choice is off to a strong start. Last week, our team attended a virtual presentation of the Philadelphia Direct Marketing Association’s Benjamin Franklin Awards (AKA Bennies) via Zoom. Other than the “Creative Only” category, these awards are judged based on a blend of marketing strategy, creative and response metrics. Direct Choice was recognized with awards in four categories:     Integrated B-to-C Winner: Blue Cross of NC Medicare Advantage Campaign. While face-to-face sales were made impossible by the pandemic of 2020, this campaign managed to drastically increase direct sales and decrease the cost per sale. The campaign included traditional direct mail and DRTV together with new social media strategies for highly targeted marketing.       Broadcast (TV or Radio) Campaign Winner: Blue Cross of NC Medicare Advantage DRTV: As part of the above campaign, we expanded our DRTV efforts with a new spot that leveraged the localized power...

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Here's something many of us can relate to in the era of virtual meetings - enjoy a good laugh and Happy Holidays from the DCI team! #virtualbloopers #Happyholidays #happyholidays2021 ...

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Way to go Reem, our resident @Peloton aficionado, for recently completing 500 RIDES!! #peloton ...

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Shout out to @michelafavazza who will soon be a Drexel University field hockey Dragon! Michela is the daughter of our very own Sal Favazza (a Drexel alum!) https://maxfieldhockey.com/2021-michela-favazza/ #drexelfieldhockey #drexeldragons #drexeluniversity ...

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Time to get your brackets done! #marchmadness #brackets #ncaabasketball ...

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Thank you to our friends from @Mayoseitz-media for the @dibrunobros gift basket! Looks delicious! Happy Holidays! ...

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You can tell a lot about a person by their favorite holiday movie - see if you agree with the DCI team’s favorite flicks! #holidaymovies #happyholidays2020 ...

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