This week I’m back to writing about tracking your print campaigns. How can you do it? Yes, there are QR codes and PURLs. And two weeks ago, I wrote about XMPie’s solution for tracking print campaigns.
Today I’m writing about another software solution from DirectSmile®. I learned about DirectSmile from Andreas Weber. Andreas is the CEO of Value Communication AG in Mainz, Germany. For this Tip, Andreas focused on DirectSmile Cross Media, which allows you to create personalized print pieces, personalized emails and personalized web sites. I asked him a few key questions.
How does DirectSmile help marketers track their print campaigns?
DirectSmile Cross Media allows you to create personalized print pieces, emails and websites. Additionally, different media can be combined into cross-media campaigns. It can track various things, mostly related to the online media being used, such as the opening of an email, visits to a landing page and specific activities of website visitors.
The print pieces that are part of a typical cross-media campaign cannot be tracked electronically, of course, but are tracked indirectly. As part of the distribution process, a barcode can be printed on the piece and filmed during sorting or enveloping.
To track usage, a printed flyer can include a QR code. The software then tracks how many people used this code to access a landing page (which has already been created with the software).
During an active campaign, it might be important to know if a printed piece has been produced for a specific record; for example, a person who has confirmed his attendance at an event can needs to receive a printed VIP ticket.
In this case, there is a special database “event” that can be set, which tells the campaign manager that a printed piece for this specific record has been produced.
In addition, database fields may be used for tracking activities.
Do marketers ever purchase this app, or is it typically print service providers who do so?
The DirectSmile app has both types of customers. Marketers within corporations buy it as do service providers. One aspect for larger corporate clients is the fact that they don’t want their data to leave the firm.
In a nutshell, how does it work? Is it most effective for multi-channel campaigns, or can it work as well for print only?
The DirectSmile Cross Media app is most effective for cross-media campaigns based on two or more media; for example, print used with a website. In fact, the future will show that print in combination with online creates the highest effectiveness for communication campaigns.
The beauty of this application is the fact that it allows you to create personalized, targeted print products and combine them with one or more other media so you get the best of both worlds – without needing programming skills like html.
The user can simply and easily create websites in a graphical editor.
So you could say that DirectSmile Cross Media allows you to enhance the significance of print pieces by making it as easy as never before to add other media and create a real response cycle.
This application can be used by any print-focused user who simply wants to add a response line and measurability to a great printed piece.
Is there a real-time component, so that the printers/marketers can see how a campaign’s doing?
Yes, the app provides users a dashboard. The user can also create this by using drag & drop and creating a dashboard with the corporate identity of the campaign owner.
Where can readers learn more about DirectSmile, Andreas?
For more information, please visit
(real demo of the software, 10 mins) to see how this works.
This movie is created for the perspective of a marketer and explains what the software does. It’s also interesting for a service provider because it presents some typical challenges marketers are facing in corporations.
This shows a case study of a campaign created by a print service provider who made printing a lot of personalized cards a big success for his end customer “LoveFilm” (live demo)
To get in touch with a DirectSmile specialist, contact:
Alt-Moabit 60 ∙ 10555 Berlin, Germany
Tel: +49 (0)30 62 777-114
Thanks, Andreas! I hope this Tip will be shared with marketers who are trying to determine which software app best suits their need. Do check out the videos linked above; I found them particularly informative.
© 2013 Margie Dana. All rights reserved.