Tech Line

What PFL Readers are Reading: From Strategy to Soda Bread

What interests our readers? Reviewing what PFL blogs are the most popular can offer some answers to that question. So, as we did for 2022, we are starting the New Year off by serving up the list of the “Top 10” most read blogs on our site. From awards and handwritten notes, to holiday catalogs and (yes, again) soda bread, here’s what content you, our readers, found most interesting and worthwhile in 2023. 

#1 – PFL Earns TrustRadius ‘Direct Mail Automation’ Award

PFL announced back in May that we were recognized as the winner of a Top-Rated Award in the “Direct Mail Automation” category by TrustRadius. Customers have also previously rated PFL as Best in the “Relationship,” “Feature Set,” and “Value for Price” categories. How were we chosen for such an award? By all the positive responses from our customers, of course.

#2 – Where are Marketing Budgets Headed in 2023?

In September of last year, we reported that marketing budgets were back on track in 2022 after a challenging 2021, when budgets dropped from 11 percent to 6.4 percent of overall company revenue. But what was 2023 going to look like? Take another read and see how closely our predictions aligned with your reality.

#3 – The Little Tale of Sister’s Irish Soda Bread

Up from #4 in 2022 is this short piece published in mid-March (St. Patrick’s Day, of course) about the author’s great aunt, whom everyone called Sister” and her Irish Soda Bread recipe—which is included. This one is the deal and is simply the best soda bread recipe you’ll ever find. It has nothing to do with direct mail marketing, but our readers love it anyway. 

#4 – The Right Audience-Engagement Strategy: It’s A Gift

While the “holiday season” is the traditional time that most brands participate in corporate gifting, there’s ample opportunity to lean into a gifting strategy throughout the year. Coming in at #4, this blog showed that our readers were eager to learn more about yet another way to help their brands stand out in our digitally overwhelming world.

#5 – Wake Up, Marketers, Digital Fatigue is A Real Thing

Back in July, we reported about how millions of customers have moved to a digital-first position when interacting with brands. Thus, the increased volume of digital content and messaging they receive from brands has created true digital fatigue. Our audience of marketers clearly were interesting in what tools were at their disposal—both physical and digital—to break through the digital din and grab consumers full attention.

#6How a Handwritten Note Elevated One Executive’s Customer Experience

Jan-Patrick Schmitz is the founder and CEO of Muirbury & Co., which specializes in the development of consumer brands. Throughout his career, he has traveled extensively. This is the story of a customer experience he had on a flight that proved the power of the personal touch.

#7Failing to Acknowledge Digital Fatigue Will Be a Fatal Marketing Flaw in 2023

Just about one year ago, PFL’s CMO, Jennifer Bellin, offered some thoughts on marketing in 2023. Readers were interested in her observations, among which was this: As marketers plan their customer-engagement strategies, failing to consider current levels of widespread consumer burnout will be a costly mistake. 

#8 Future-Proof Your Business with First-Party Data

We wrote back in April that a simple setting change in Google’s Chrome browser is going to wreak Y2k-like havoc on the entire digital marketing industry by the end of 2024—that’s this year. The change? Third-party cookies will default to being blocked. For marketers who predominantly rely on third-party cookies to reach eyeballs, this is bad news, indeed.

#9 The Metaverse and Web3 are Coming but the Physical World Rules

There was much talk about the metaverse last year, and it was remarkably easy to get caught up in digital hype. We reported that, as wave after wave of new technologies appear, pundits and prognosticators inevitably forecast all the ways these newfangled systems will change the world. How’d that pan out?

#10 – When You Wish Upon a... Catalog?

As was the case back in the 1930s with the Sears Holiday Catalog, the appearance of PFL's “2023 Holiday Lookbook” meant the holidays have really begun. PFL invited readers to learn  about the history of such catalogs, and to see what was in store from our carefully curated catalog chock full of ideas to make your holiday giving the best ever.