By Robin Nelson, programmer at Trialogue Direct
If you’re anything like me, you never considered planning a wedding until you got engaged. And for those of us involved in any aspect of wedding planning, it can be quite stressful and even make some bride-to-be’s just a tad bit crazy.
Fortunately for me (and my husband and anyone else involved), I was quite the unconventional bride and focused on aspects that typically aren’t the norm. I didn’t fuss about the flowers, the dress, centerpieces or location; my concerns were the printed pieces and creating a “campaign” to market my wedding. Perhaps I’ve been in the print industry far too long and have developed some strange appreciation for paper and printing—or maybe I’m more of a nerd for technology than I care to admit—but either way, I had a very specific plan I wanted to execute.
Because weddings are such personal events, more often than not, the bride and groom have a very unique understanding of each of their guests. This in itself allows for such a relevant and almost effortless recipient data collection not typically available by any other means. Having taken full advantage of this aspect and the resources available to me, I was able to utilize XMPie solutions to truly personalize each piece in my wedding campaign.
Being able to embrace and leverage technological tools like XMPie technology not only allowed me to create a cross-media wedding campaign, which honored much traditional etiquette with a modern flare, but also truly made a world of a difference to me. From gathering more information about each of my guests, to the simplest tasks of organization, the advantages in technology can be quite extraordinary to any bride—and greatly appreciated by her guests.
Among my first tasks was to spread the news after getting engaged, and what better way to do so than the traditional methods coupled with the use of technology? Although I’m no designer, I very much wanted to create a website and handle the creative for such a personal project, even if it forced me into unchartered waters to handle certain aspects. Nonetheless, I was able to incorporate what I do for others on a daily basis for myself.
With the use of variable data printing, there was no confusion on head count (thanks to the guests who updated their RURL, especially in regards to children). This allowed me to stay within budget and easily manage my guest list, which goes hand-in-hand with creating a seating chart. Not to mention, this also allowed me to subtly inform each guest how I anticipated any “plus ones.” And of course, the added benefit for anyone who’s heavily reliant on their phone, such as me, is having so much personal contact details on friends and family being consolidated to a single data source with relevant information—truly quite the gold mine.
Another added benefit was a minor savings in postage, and quite possibly a very underrated convenience for guests to RSVP. With the preferred RSVP methods received from the RURL results, and assuming the logical approach depending on the answer given, submitting a RSVP and meal preference couldn’t be made any easier. Having the XMPie Marketing Console iPhone app had also proven itself handy. It allowed me to provide final head counts and meal preferences to my caterer and vendors alike by merely updating my reports on-the-fly.
Of course, after the wedding, there’s still the daunting task of properly thanking each guest with the gratitude they deserve. Fortunately, I had anticipated this aspect to be among the most challenging and quite possibly the most demanding, so I created a listing of QR codes assigned to each guest, which I would snap to update my SQL table with the item(s) received as I opened each gift. Although this process may sound a bit overboard, it truly helped expedite the entire ‘thank you’ process on a highly-personalized level. And although the thank you notes were NOT hand written, they more than possessed your traditional, personal touch.
And so, unlike many happily ever afters, XMPie most certainly has contributed its fair share to this one.
By Frannie Garvey, operations manager, XMPie Users Group
The 2011 XMPie Users Group Conference is less than a month away! This year’s event will take place October 23 – 26 in Miami, Florida, and we’re looking forward to spending some time with the XMPie user community in some warm, sunny weather.
This is the only opportunity for face-to-face education and networking for marketing professionals using XMPie software – register today to reserve your place at this can’t-miss event!
- More than 35 unique sessions, including nine customer-delivered sessions
- Three educational tracks for programming, design, and marketing professionals
- General sessions featuring the XMPie management and technology teams, the XMPie Users Group Board of Directors, industry professionals and partners
- A number of networking opportunities to enable you to connect with your fellow XMPie customers
- Pre-conference tutorials providing deep-dives on programming and designing with XMPie solutions
- Dedicated time to talk with the event sponsors
A full copy of the event agenda can be downloaded from the XMPie Users Group website.
Best of the Best Competition
We will once again be running the Best of the Best Competition at this year’s XMPie Users Group Conference, providing attendees with the opportunity to showcase their successful cross-media marketing campaigns to their fellow XMPie users. If you’re interested in participating in this year’s competition, please contact the XMPie Users Group HQ team. Need more details on the contest? Check out the 2011 Conference overview page.
Registration for the conference is $895 USD per attendee, but full members of the XMPie Users Group receive a discounted registration rate of $595 USD. There is an additional registration fee of $249 USD to attend the pre-conference tutorials.
Travel and Hotel
The 2011 XMPie Users Group Conference will be held at the Hyatt Regency Miami. We have negotiated a special room rate of $159 USD per night for conference attendees; however, you must reserve your room by Friday, October 7 to ensure you receive this rate. You can make your reservations online.
If you will be attending the conference, you can fly into the Miami Airport or the Fort Lauderdale Airport. Additional details about traveling to and staying in Miami can be found on the XMPie Users Group website.
The XMPie Users Group in Germany kicked off their first meeting on May 24th. Hosted at Xerox Germany offices in Neuss, the event was a successful initial gathering where some of the top CEO’s and consultants in the direct marketing business attended.
In addition to networking breaks, the agenda at the meeting consisted of discussions about the need for a German-speaking Users Group, discussion of important case studies, as well as presentations given by key people from XMPie, including Yaron Mohaban, Vice President of Sales, EMEA, who spoke about the XMPie vision, strategy and roadmap.
The next meeting will be held on November 11, 2011 and will be organized by the managing board. Stay tuned for more details.
On a similar note, we are excited to announce on behalf of the XMPie Users Group that they have launched a new website (www.xmpieusers.org)! The new site has more publicly available content and offers improved networking and education functionality to better enable online collaboration.
New tools and features include:
- Improved online communities with photo galleries, discussion forums, libraries and wikis;
- A Career Center to post and search for positions related to working with XMPie (Note: this benefit is only available to full, paid members);
- A dynamic member profile with the ability to share resumes, upload images, and pull and share content from personal LinkedIn, YouTube, Picasa, Flickr, Facebook and Twitter accounts;
- An enhanced XMPie Users Group membership directory;
- Member and community “walls” to exchange messages with other members; etc.
They have also added a new Guest Membership option. Guest Membership provides increased access to the site, including the ability to participate in the online communities. This new option is intended to make the site more inclusive and provide potential members with better insight into all the group is able to offer, and best of all, it’s free!
We encourage you to head out to www.xmpieusers.org and sign up as a Guest Member to test out the site if you’re not already a member. If you have any questions about using the new site, please email email@example.com or call +1 (312) 321-5115.
By Bruce Meberg, senior vice president of Business Development, USADATA, Inc.
In order to reach the right audience for direct marketing acquisition campaigns, companies need to know as much as possible about their customers. Appending additional fields of information to each customer record is a great first step. There are several great business elements (e.g., industry, company size) and hundreds of potential consumer elements available (e.g., age, income, gender, marital status, home owner, life stage cluster, interests, etc.). A life stage cluster is a group of households with similar demographic characteristics and propensity to buy certain products and services.
One approach to gaining insight into customers that provides much of the benefit of high-end custom models, but at a fraction of the time and cost, is to append life stage clusters to each record, then analyze which clusters are appearing in the customer file more than would be expected (based on the cluster’s average share within the target geography). The highest 10-20% (7 to 15) of “indexing” clusters from the profile analysis can then be used to select prospect lists for acquisition campaigns. Life stage clusters offer a simple (single dimension of 60 or 70 different segments) yet powerful method, since they are based on a pre-defined model that was created using advanced statistical methods.
Life-stage clusters, such as Personicx, also come with rich background information on each cluster, so it is possible to create a modified message or variable data images for each cluster. Analyzing campaign response is also simplified…just look for the clusters with the highest response rate and use this information to fine tune the next campaign. All in all, a great way to get started on the path to higher response rates and marketing return on investment!
USADATA is a cloud-based/Data-as-a-Service (DaaS) company that combines consulting, data and technology to help its customers improve direct marketing ROI. The company’s data neutral experts have access to all leading compiled databases and specialty lists, and help businesses find new customers more easily and cost effectively through a combination of data (mailing lists and sales leads), consultative support, and easy-to-use technology.
This was a short recap of a recent XMPie Customer 1to1 Webinar series session. For more information on this topic and to learn about special XMPie customer promotions, visit www.usadata.com/xmpie.
Filed under: Cross Media, Events, Marketing, One-to-one
How to Make the Most of a Virtual Conference
By Peggy Hatch, Group President, Target Marketing Group
Foreword by Larry Zusman, Worldwide Marketing Manager, XMPie, A Xerox Company
When I heard about the show that Peggy talks about below, I was extremely excited for two reasons: (1) I can attend and staff our booth from the comfort of my own office (and return to my own home, and my own bed, when it’s all over), and (2) I am going to have the chance to talk to many more of you at one time than what’s possible at a live trade show about all the cool things our customers are doing (that you should be doing if you’re not doing them already). I’m talking 1:1 cross-media communications. The kind that will also make it possible for you to talk to many more existing and potential customers at one time than is possible with traditional marketing.
If you are a direct marketer, copywriter, designer or printer, and you want to learn how to succeed in today’s challenging multichannel marketing environment, attend this show next week and visit the Xerox-XMPie booth. We’ll show you examples, we’ll share some tips and tricks, we’ll open up the floor for all of your questions and comments, and we’ll chat about personalization, customer data, PURLs, QR codes…you name it! Most importantly, we’ll teach you how to open a prolonged, interactive dialogue with your customers using the best solutions out there, and turn pennies into dollars.
Peggy Hatch took the time to help you prepare for this stellar new event. Read on to learn how to take advantage of all there is to discover at the show!
If you’ve never attended a Virtual Conference – now is your chance! Direct Marketing Day @ Your Desk is on March 15th and it’s free! Simply go to http://bit.ly/fY1eXt to check out the agenda, the speakers, the sponsors and register.
Here are some quick tips on how to make the most of the conference. First of all, the conference is live on March 15th, but will remain on-demand for 90 days. This lets you pick and choose what you want to do on the 15th, and then come back later – at your leisure – to attend more sessions, download more resources, or check out something you might have missed from the live day.
On the live day of the Virtual Conference, you want to make sure you:
- Login and set up your profile. If you’re serious about professional networking, your profile is a great tool to introduce yourself. At “My Profile” is where you can set your avatar, privacy options and change your password.
- Ask Questions! On March 15th, the speakers will be taking your questions – not only during the sessions, but many will be continuing the discussion in the networking lounge.
- Visit the Exhibit Hall to learn about the latest technologies. The booths will be staffed during the live day for you to pop in and find out about the products and services that will help you grow your business.
- Earn points and be eligible to win a FREE iPad! The more engaged you are by attending sessions, chatting with attendees, downloading resources, the better your chances to win.
Virtual Conferences are rich with resources – both through the sessions held in the Auditorium and through the many whitepapers, webcasts and other materials in the Resource Center. You can download these resources and place them in your Virtual Briefcase along with any V-cards you might exchange with other attendees during the event.
Kick back, grab a cup of coffee and join me on March 15th. I’ll “see” you there!
By Oliver Langer, sales channel manager, Central Europe, and Viktor Schimanovich, Customer Solutions Specialist, XMPie, A Xerox Company
The world of paper processing met for four days last week in Lucerne, Switzerland for the Hunkeler Innovationdays 2011. We had the privilege of joining Xerox Europe’s booth to showcase XMPie’s software solutions for high speed variable data printing (VDP), integrated cross-media publishing, high volume image personalization, personalized Web-to-print and marketing portals, and campaign tracking and analytics (and we got to use a cool touch screen to do so).
The week kicked off with the Xerox-co-sponsored DOXNET event on Monday night. This was an afternoon dedicated to interesting presentations about the newest trends and information around digital printing. Since DOXNET is a cross-sector professional association with more than 590 members from 180 companies and organizations, the turnout was great and so was the networking!
This was actually the first time that XMPie has had a presence at the Hunkeler event, which is more targeted for continuous feed and transpromo, but we believe it was a very successful event for us. We had great traffic at our stand and interest from many visitors, which shows their belief in our play in that market.
We gave a daily XMPie presentation at the Xerox Theater (in English and German), plus several other presentations from Xerox regarding direct mail with XMPie also helped to keep our stand busy with visitors wanting to see demos on our station. If you missed the show or the presentations, check out the Xerox Virtual Hunkeler Innovationdays at www.xerox.com/virtualhunkeler. And be sure to check out the Xerox Real Business magazine when you get there for great customer stories highlighting cross-media and high volume VDP applications.
If we get the opportunity, we hope to see you all at the next show. Not only did it bring in the best in solutions and innovations in the areas of paper processing and digital high-performance printing, but there was also great, free food!
Word around On Demand is that attendance is light, but you wouldn’t know that based on the traffic in the XMPie booth. From the minute the doors opened on Tuesday, the demonstration stations have been packed.
The XMPie Advantage Theatre presentations have also been very well attended. In fact, XMPie customer Brian DeWitt of Prism presented yesterday to a full house of attendees all interested in hearing how Prism is using XMPie software for a very unique sales application.
If Tuesday is an indication, we are poised for a hectic and successful On Demand!