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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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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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American Rescue Plan equates to huge opportunities for insurers

Here at Direct Choice, we’re capitalizing on a new wave of marketing opportunities for our health insurance clients brought on by the American Rescue Plan (ARP). That’s the self-aggrandizing title for what you may more readily recognize as the most recent COVID-19 stimulus/relief package. Signed into law on March 11, 2021, Biden’s $1.2 trillion package includes direct stimulus payments, extended unemployment benefits, expanded child tax credits and other safety nets for struggling Americans.   One of the less publicized aspects of the plan includes a big win for people without employer-provided health insurance, including middle-income folks. Here’s a breakdown of how the new law is expanding access to affordable health insurance for Americans in 2021 and 2022:   Larger premium tax credits According to HHS.gov, monthly premiums will decrease by an average of $50 per person after credits. Four out of five enrollees (up from 69% pre-ARP) will be able to find a plan for...

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One year into the pandemic … thoughts from Direct Choice

It goes without saying that we are eager to put the pandemic in the rear-view. Up ahead but not yet in clear view, we anticipate our return to the office, vacation spots, concerts, sporting events, etc.   Before getting too far ahead ourselves, we felt it would be remiss not to look back on the past year and consider the impact of such a sudden shock to our daily lives. With that in mind, we put together a few quick questions for our staff. See how your answers align with ours…   What was the hero of the pandemic for you — i.e. something that made life easier throughout the past year?   Nick: From a serious perspective, the hero(es) of the pandemic are the front-line healthcare workers — many risking their lives every day to save lives, as well as having to keep a distance from their families when they returned home from their shifts. ...

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Why it was good to see some Big Brands sit out the Super Bowl

For marketers, the Super Bowl traditionally begins in the summer when budgets and creative ideas are set in motion. This year was anything but traditional. Although all 256 regular season games were played, some advertisers chose to sit out the Super Bowl. In fact, it was the first Super Bowl in 37 years without Budweiser airing a spot during the game.   Clydesdales, Mr. Peanut, Korean cars, Mexican avocados and Coca Cola were all conspicuously absent. Whatever their PR people may have said before the game, we know it’s all because most big brands aren’t risk takers and couldn’t handle this year’s uncertainty — but that’s a good thing and below are three reasons why:   1) Budweiser, Kia and Planters diverted money to good causes.   According to Ad Age, Planters is shelling out (ha ha) $5 million to support unsung heroes this year while Kia plans to expand its giving to support America’s youth....

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Gettin’ GIFFY with it.

As a new year approaches, perhaps it’s time to update your stable of favorite GIFs. We’re talking GIFs used to spice up conversations with friends and colleagues, not GIFs for marketing your business.   We’ve pulled together some marketing and office life-related favs for you to share. Of course, you can always choose your own from GIPHY which is now owned by Facebook. That’s right, back in May the social media empire paid a reported $400 million for GIPHY. Apparently we can’t get enough of these charming little loops.   First up, some marketing-jargon gems from Schitt’s Creek:   via GIPHY via GIPHY via GIPHY     And when you need to remind someone that you’re still working from home:   via GIPHY via GIPHY     When you’re back in the office and someone books a tiny conference room for a big strategy meeting (but there’s still no vaccine):   via GIPHY via GIPHY     Or, you’re working with someone who clearly needs a little caffeine:   via GIPHY via GIPHY     And when we’re all...

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Learning from the pandemic: 5 direct marketing survival facts

While the term “new normal” has become a cliché, it’s an apt description for the pandemic’s impact on daily life. We are resilient creatures and we’ve quickly adapted to living with COVID-19 in ways that will forever change the way we think and act. Looking ahead, marketers need to recognize that much of the new normal is here to stay. Consider how these 5 facts and trends may affect your marketing plans:   1) The value of E-commerce cannot be overstated. This comes as no surprise but it’s important to note that the lockdown has forced traditional brick-and-mortar retail shoppers to become more comfortable with online shopping. At the height of the lockdown, there was a 66% spike in global daily e-commerce sales. If you sell directly to the consumer via your website, now is a critical moment to ensure that your shopping experience is optimized.   2) Technology’s role in customer relationships is...

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5 hot blogs & news sites for insurance professionals

With professional organizations putting conferences and meetings on hold for now, staying abreast of hot topics within your industry takes a little extra effort. Fortunately, we have some great recommendations for those of you working in the world of insurance.   The Triple I Blog (property and casualty focus): Brought to you by the Insurance Information Institute, this blog provides professionally written articles on everything from insurance fraud to catastrophes. Whatever’s trending in the industry, you’ll find it here.   org (for consumers and professionals): While the website is aimed at educating consumers, their blog called The Scoop focuses on providing the latest news on health insurance and health reform. Each edition has several easy-to-digest news bites covering the entire nation.   America’s Health Insurance Plans (trade association blog): If you work for a health plan, this blog should be on your reading list. You’ll get the inside scoop on current issues and...

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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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