Performance Marketing. Creative Principles. A Performance Marketing Agency

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1 Performance Marketing Creative Principles

2 Introduction Merkle s unique, highly disciplined creative approach is at the core of everything we do. It s what allows us to build on our unmatched track record of wins for our clients across a wide range of industries and channels. 2

3 How we get winning results: Message clarity drives results Creativity is objective -not subjective Discipline makes success repeatable It s central to our creative philosophy. Testing has proven over and over that a clear communication will beat a clever concept every time. At Merkle, we believe if it s not measurable, it s not meaningful. We don t judge our success by how many awards we win. Instead, we focus on results to consistently deliver new controls for our clients. It s why our track record is unmatched in the industry. To date, we have identified over 320 creative principles proven to drive response. These principles guide every communication our creative team develops. Exceptions can be made, but only to achieve a specific strategic goal not to sound or look different. 3

4 Channel-Agnostic Copy Principles

5 Channel-Agnostic Copy Principles 42 Make prospects believe they have made up their own mind by using directive headlines and eliminating attitude. See example.. 43 Use enhanced personalization like rewards balance, state map, city name, etc. to generate added relevance and boost response. 44 Include deadline date whenever possible to create urgency and drive response. If everything your prospects read presents a positive advantage in a seemingly impartial tone, they are more likely to keep reading and eventually respond. 13

6 Direct Mail

7 Direct Mail The marketplace is saturated with marketing communications. A direct mail piece is evaluated in a 3-second slow arching curve into the trash. Therefore, message clarity is key to driving response. Years of in-market results have led us to the development of a set of rules for each direct mail component, including the outer envelope, letter, response form, brochure and even the business reply envelope. These proven principles and tactics have been key to generating almost 1,000 controls for our clients since we opened our doors. Acquisition metrics include: Gross response rate Conversion rate (e.g., number of approved applicants) Sales volume (e.g., retail sales) Cost to acquire (can be refined to include behavior or value) Lead generation metrics include: Gross response rate Cost per lead/application Conversion rate Cost per conversion Lifetime value of customer

8 Direct Mail / Outer Evelopes 68 Don t try to be both official and promotional choose one approach for both sides. 69 Tell all or nothing in regards to the offer vague teaser headlines give prospects an excuse to discard the mailing. See example.. 70 Avoid overused teasers like Dated materials enclosed readers will instantly dismiss it as junk mail. 71 Leverage existing relationships to heighten relevancy/engagement for example, include company logo and/or copy reference like Customer Update. 72 The only job of the OE is to get opened it does not need to match the rest of the package graphically. Offer-driven envelopes leverage the end benefit to create engagement, while official envelopes use intrigue. 20

9 Direct Mail / Letters 99 Use the high visibility space next to the signature to reinforce key messaging, deadline or call to action it s called a signature box. 100 Picture who your target is and then write to that person it s the best way to ensure your message will resonate. See example Ensure subheads work together, so they can be read straight through and tell the story. Mary Miller U.S. Bank rewards cardmember Mary and her husband both work full-time U.S. Bank customer for seven years Relies on her credit card to help manage household cash flow Always looking for a good deal Aspires to use points for travel but often redeems for gift cards 102 P.S. is prime real estate use it to create urgency with a deadline date, reinforce a core selling point, or promote a unique benefit that does not appear in the body of the letter. 103 Use the letter back for details that don t fit on front, or to convey key messages in a different way (for example, 5 ways you save money or Answers to common questions ). 26

10 Digital Media

11 Digital Media Consumers spend even less time evaluating digital communications than direct mail. For instance, an is viewed for one second before being deleted. So it s even more critical to employ message clarity principles How Results are Measured: Open rate (% of users opened versus sent) Click-through rate (% of users that clicked on the button/link versus sent) Conversion rate and tried and true tactics in this channel.

12 Digital Media / Landing page / Conversion 194 Utilize directional copy focused on form completion. See example Streamline transaction process for ease of response. 196 Keep required form fields at a minimum the less information required, the higher the response. 197 Collect addresses when applicable for future communications. 198 Emphasize privacy with a privacy statement. Utilize graphic techniques to lead the eye to the form. 48

13 Paid Social

14 Paid Social twitter How Results are Measured: VPM (views per thousand impressions) Lead rate (leads per landing page views) Cost per lead/application Conversion rate Cost per conversion/account/policy/sale facebook How Results are Measured: VPM (views per thousand impressions) Lead rate (leads per landing page views) Cost per lead/application Conversion rate Cost per conversion/account/policy/sale

15 Paid Social / Facebook / General imagery 240 Avoid busy lifestyle images they won t stand out and are easy to skip past. 241 Use a simple, eye-catching image to capture instant attention and engagement. See example Imagery should relate to and support the ad s content. Doctor was the highest performing concept for over five months a lifetime in the paid social environment. 243 Ensure there is a strong brand link between the imagery and advertiser. 61

16 Non-Profit

17 Non-Profit While many direct marketing fundamentals apply across all verticals, nonprofit is a unique area that warrants its own special section within the guiding principles. Nonprofit marketing isn t selling a tangible product or service. It s selling an ideal, and that requires a whole new set of rules. While there are many different types of nonprofit organizations, from health charities to relief charities, these broad guiding principles are proven, effective techniques to drive higher engagement and response. How Results are Measured: Response rate Average gift Net income per name

18 Non-Profit / Direct Mail / Letters 302 For many organizations, primarily health charities, photos on the OE depress response. 303 When possible use handwritten notes and handwritten underlining to make letter look more authentic and personal. See example Bold or underline important information and to make the key message easily scannable. 305 Restate the call to action and key message in the P.S. Always include a P.S. This Komen letter uses a handwritten note to draw attention, highlight the call to action and add a personal touch. 79

19 Video

20 Video / Video ballparks 325 $40K - $60K for up to 2 min. of non-live action (animated) See example $60K - $80K for longer formats of non-live action 327 $80K - $150K+ for live action depending on number of locations, talent etc. Pricing would include creative and account/strategy on our side + production costs from a preferred vendor. Above: Visa SavingsEdge: See examples next 3 slides 86

21 Video / Visa SavingsEdge 325 Category: Small Business Length: :50 Description: Promote automatic merchant savings program 87

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