Archive for January, 2013

4 Key Metrics for Tracking Printed Materials

While it sure can be fun to generate personalized URLs and QR Codes and then put them on a piece of printed material (direct mail, flyers, brochures, etc), the real enjoyment can come from the time you spend actually tracking and measuring how things are working.

Here are four metrics that may help you do this effectively:

  • The number of people that scanned or clicked: Half the battle of launching a successful marketing effort involves simply getting someone’s attention. How can you make your message stand out from the clutter of other messages that the recipient may have received? Well, pay attention to the group that at least takes some action on your response mechanisms. Even if they do not actually respond to your questions on the landing page, the act of scanning a QR Code, typing in a URL, or sending a text message involves effort. That bit of effort may indicate a bit of interest in your message; thus, those people should be treated differently than those found a home for your printed materials in their waste basket.
  • The number of people that responded: Yes, we love these folks. They took the time to visit your response page, enter some contact information, and perhaps answer a few questions. Make sure that you are ready to embrace these leads quickly. Of course, pay attention to the data that they provide to you! If they shared preferences on how they prefer to be contacted or in what they’re interested in, make sure that you respect and honor that.
  • Where are the responders in the sales pipeline: At some point, leads are handed off between marketing and sales departments. However, marketing’s job is to support sales the entire way through the pipeline. Thus, marketing folks should have the ability (and the desire) to see where the leads they’ve generated have moved down to in the sales funnel.
  • Actionable intelligence from the responders feedback: We often tend to look at each response and lead as its own entity. This is good and understandable. However, we should also look at the data from a high-level perspective. Take the time to look for trends — when do people click? When do they respond? What answers are being provided/selected by the majority of folks?

Answers to these four metrics should certainly help us to grasp whether our current printed materials are effectively reaching our audience. But more importantly, they should also help us to create and launch better marketing efforts in the future.

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Posted in: Direct Mail, Marketing

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3 Ways to Make Print Interactive

To truly capitalize on advancements in the worlds of marketing and communications, businesses must find ways to make print work with new channels.

Here are three ways that print can be made interactive:

Use QR Codes to Drive People to Mobile-Optimized Sites
The numbers behind the growth in mobile marketing truly are impressive. More and more of your customers and prospects are visiting websites on their mobile phones. By adding a QR Code to your printed materials, you will be able to reach that mobile audience. QR Codes truly can make print interactive. By driving people a mobile-optimized site where they can watch a video, learn more about a product, or sign up for future alerts, you will further build your database and increase brand awareness.

Promote Social Media Pages for a Company or Product
Companies of all sizes and across all types of verticals are turning to social media to help better serve their customers and interact with prospects. However, they need people to know those pages exist to truly maximize the impact. One way to do this is to promote the social media sites on printed materials. Many people use their smartphone to hop onto sites, such as Facebook or Twitter. They may do the same thing after learning that your company has something to offer on those sites.

Use SMS/Text-Messaging as the Call-to-Action
While we may place less phone calls on our cell phones than we did two years ago, SMS/Text-messaging usage seemingly continues to rise. A number of companies have found ways to engage their fans and build their mobile marketing database by inviting people to send a text message to opt-in for a special offer.

There are plenty of tools and channels to choose from when trying to make print interactive, so see what works best for your audience and take it from there!

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Posted in: Direct Mail, Marketing

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4 Ideas to Test Your Emails for Greater Success

It is certainly wise for your company to continue using email efforts in your marketing mix.

However, one of the biggest challenges that marketers face is how to get their target audience to pay attention to their emails.

One of the best ways to improve the success of your efforts (whether you’re measuring by open rates, click-throughs, or a further conversion) is to test and try variations of your content and design.

Here are 4 features that you could try testing in your email program today:

  • Subject Line: If you are sending out an eNewsletter, then you have a prime candidate to try a test with. Measure the effectiveness of an email that simply says “[Company Name Here]‘s Newsletter” versus a Subject Line that describes what is in the article (i.e. “News For You: Direct Marketing Case Study, SEO Tips, and More”).
  • FROM Name: The Display Name that people see in the FROM can play an important role in their decision-making process as to whether to open and take action on an email. Are they familiar with the name? Do they associate that name with an unsolicited sales pitch or with someone who has helped them in the past?  Try running a test where you send the email out from the name of someone on your staff (perhaps the CEO, VP of Sales, a Product Manager, etc.) and then measure that against what happens when the FROM displays the name of your company.
  • Image Buttons vs. Text Links: Getting someone to open the email might be the first step. But from there, you need them to take action. Try testing an email that primarily includes text links versus one that incorporates graphical buttons in the call-to-action.
  • The Wording of Your Offer: What would work better on your audience: “Try our brand-new product today!” or “Improve Your Business: Get Started with [Product Name Here]“? Run a variation of the key words in your offer and then measure to see what drives the highest number of clicks and conversions.

Email is definitely a marketing channel that shouldn’t be neglected, you just have to be aware of which components you should adjust and track for more success!

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Posted in: Email Marketing, Marketing

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3 Ways To Track Direct Mail and Its Impact On Your Website

When you are planning on sending a direct mail piece out to your target audience, make sure you include measurement components into your marketing strategy.  That way, you can see which marketing methods are the most effective!

Use Google Analytics to Benchmark Direct Traffic
Prior to sending out the direct mail piece, monitor and record the Direct Traffic that Google Analytics reports on your corporate website.

Then, monitor those numbers as the direct mailer starts to land in recipients’ mailboxes. While this is not going to tell you exactly how many people hit the website because they saw your URL on the mail piece, this approach may help you to gauge if the needle moved at all.

Yes, it may sound simple and less than scientific… but it’s something that should and can be done by anyone.

Use Personalized or Unique URLs on the Direct Mail Piece
Rather than printing your corporate website URL on the direct mail piece, use a custom or unique URL that will only be promoted to the people receiving the direct mailer.

That URL may simply serve as a redirect to the corporate website once it’s entered. Or maybe it points to a landing page that is embedded into one of your site’s pages.

This activity should help to serve as a good indicator if the mail piece made an impact.

Ask People!
This approach is often simple to execute and can result in solid data… but it’s often overlooked. In the contact forms that are provided on your website, add a question that asks people how they heard about you.

Also, train and encourage sales reps to ask new prospects that request more information if they received the mailer and then record it.

Moving Forward
Of course, direct mail’s impact isn’t necessarily measured only within the few days it arrives at the recipient’s house.  People may store and return to that mailer at a later date — perhaps even weeks later. Thus, keep an eye on website traffic over the long-term to see if the impact of the mailer is still being felt.

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Introducing Latka Communications’ New Website!

New year, new logo, new equipment, new services!  It’s all happening here at Latka Communications.

Like most websites, ours took months to plan, write, design, select photos, and encode … all to ensure that the final site meets our viewers’ expectations as well as our own.

We wanted the site to be bright and fresh and to represent our forward-looking approach of being a business and marketing resource as well as a service-provider to our clients.  We also wanted the site to be user-friendly:  interesting, easy to navigate, and mindful of our viewers’ information needs and limited time.

We hope you agree that the time spent planning was worth it and that the new site achieves all of these aims. We think that the green and purple color palette with plenty of white space and photos is inviting and reflects the excitement we have for our new strategies and technologies. The simple design allows us to make available in-depth industry and technical information as well as to provide quick access to case studies, testimonials, and news about Latka’s services and personnel.

We kept the text brief and conversational and used clear links and headlines to ensure information is easy to find and access. Our white papers and newsletters are available for convenient download as well as archived for easy retrieval.

So whether you are just browsing our services or looking for a discussion of multi-channel marketing, for example, please take the time to review our new site and indeed return often to see what’s new.

And be sure to send us your comments; like all websites, ours is a continuing work-in-progress and we invite your comments to help us ensure that it meets your information needs.

 

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3 Must-Haves For Your Mobile Website

Taking the leap towards a mobile website is a big step. Maximize your investment by including these three essentials components into your new mobile site.

1. Keep Your Branding Consistent

Your mobile site is another medium that your company can use to engage with potential customers. Keep the same branding and color scheme that your existing website has. This helps with recall and recognition, two critical components of any advertising or marketing strategy.  Visitors will also know right away that they are on the site they’re looking for- yours!

2. Calls To Action

Much like your desktop website, you want your mobile site to inspire some action from viewers. A mobile site offers the opportunity for commerce and immediate data collection. Give viewers the ability to sign up for newsletters or other initiatives. One great feature is “click to call”.  Display your phone number on your site, and one click dials the number. Now that is instant gratification.

3. Navigation Ease

A smartphone screen isn’t excessively large, and a lot of us need glasses to read their phones (ahem).  So don’t defeat the purpose of a mobile-optimized website by squeezing tiny text onto a page and adding small buttons and links. Eliminate the need for scrolling and zooming.  Also, think about the type of content you are adding to your mobile website.  Everything should be simplified.  If your website has 3-5 paragraphs on a page, you may want to cut that down to just a few sentences.

If you have questions about building a mobile website, contact our team today!

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