Archive for September, 2016

How To Use Postcards to Market a Business

With the ever improving technology that defines the 21st century, many people have questioned whether postcards can still be used to market a business. The answer is a resounding “yes,” but there are some critical rules to follow.

1. Disguise the advertisement within the postcard

First of all, the postcard should not look like an ad. Most advertisements are easy to pick out. Potential customers will quickly discard this item. Try to use fonts that look like handwriting. Print with uneven lines. Make the postcard look like a letter. People are more likely to read the postcard.

2. Leave a little mystery

Do not reveal all of the information on the postcard. If the customer knows everything up front, there is no reason to check out the rest of the business. Entice the customer with an attractive offer that will convince them to invest the time to check out the product. Make sure there is an easy web address to guide them to as well.

3. Print the ad on the back of the postcard

For people who have worked in the marketing industry, this is an ad trick. Mailmen have to look at the back of the mail to see the address. This is how they know where the mail goes. Therefore, the mail is placed in mailboxes face down. Print the ad on the back so customers do not have to flip over the postcard to see the ad.

Ultimately, these are some easy tricks to effectively market with postcards. Give it a try and see the results!

 

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5 Tips for Digitally Printed Materials

Although many differences exist between digital and offset printing, art results from both. Getting the most out of your digital prints requires preparation before you create your image. These quick tips will help you create the best result possible.

1. Plan your image. Keep it simple. If you’re planning a logo, it needs to appear clearly to viewers on any media from billboards to business cards. Using too many colors, shadows and details will render poorly on larger media. Avoid large solids, too, suggests Printing Industries of America. Shoot with a high quality camera at the highest resolution. Use a zoom lens, if needed.

2. Test the fonts. The gorgeous font you downloaded from a design site may contain a use restriction that prohibits .pdf printing or creation. Test each font after download to ensure you can embed it before you use it in a project.

3. Color correct images using RGB. Edit your photo before you convert to CMYK. An photo loses color information when converted from RGB to CMYK. Leave conversion to CMYK and its creation of the black separation as your final step.

4. Avoid printing photos over the fold. The toner used in digital printing varies greatly from the ink used by lithographic presses. Toner fuses to the printing surface using heat and fuser oil. Toner printers tend to band, mottle, or print large solids unevenly and to crack on the fold. If you must print along the fold, try to use rules, lines or headline text there. Ask the printer to score the printed sheet before folding if a graphic must cross the fold.

5. Use the best quality materials possible. Whether you’re creating prints to sell or business marketing materials, the quality of your print represents you. Show attention to detail, quality and care by using the best available materials.

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Direct Mail and Your Social Media Efforts: They work together

Many people see social media and direct mail as very different. However, these two techniques can work wonders together using these three tips.

Social Media Builds Excitement

Shakespeare wrote a good social media strategy, with Juliet proclaiming she’ll “look to like, if looking liking move.” Having a Facebook “Fan Page” is one of the best ways to create buzz and excitement for direct mail. However, users must “like” your page to regularly see what you post, and before they click “like,” they must actually like what they see. Ensure that “looking” leads to “liking” by filling your fan page with special offers and unique content. The best advertisement is providing useful offers and information. This makes customers see your page as a valuable use of time, making them likelier to become excited for any direct mail you send out.

The Power of Testimony

Before someone “likes” your fan page or otherwise engages with your business, they want to know what other people think about you. Use social media to provide things like customer testimonials and customer ratings. This is so effective because at the end of the day, customers trust other customers much more than they trust advertisements, and providing space for customer testimonials and ratings builds trust with new customers even as it builds engagement with the satisfied customers.

Direct Mail Social Synergy

One simple trick is to include a QR code on the direct mail that you send out to customers. This allows them to scan the code with their phone and be taken to your website, your fan page, or anywhere you want to direct them. This feeds customer curiosity and ensures that direct mail builds social media up just as social media builds direct mail up.

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Digital Campaigns Vs Print Campaigns? Which is better and When?

The real key to finding the right mix of print and digital marketing may very well be a holistic marketing strategy that blends  digital with traditional tactics.

Both print and online or digital channels deliver great results in different ways and the savvy marketing strategists marry the two  for optimal benefit and maximized investment returns.

Here are some fast facts to consider when you are creating your marketing plans.

Did you know?

  • Direct mail campaign produce on average $12.57 per dollar spent.
  • A recent marketing study reports that personalized print ads have a 6% response rate.
  • Personalized email marketing and PURL’s married to print campaigns cause the rate to jump to an 8.2% response rate.
  •  75 % of direct mail marketing is opened and of those, 63% are read by the consumer.
  • Direct mail averages 3.4% responses for business to business mailings and the percentage jumps to 4.4% for business to consumer mailings.
  • Emails typically average 0.12% response rates.
  • 65% of consumers regardless of age made a purchase as a result of a direct mail campaign.

Partner with marketing professionals who know.

You want the most cost effective  spending when it comes to your marketing dollars. An experienced fulfillment provider can offer suggestions on how to use unique tracking techniques such as QR codes in order to integrate technology and traditional marketing. Some audiences will be more open to digital communications. With the right metrics, measurements, and data you’ll be able to identify and target your digital campaign to those most likely to be receptive. Digital marketing is growing more accessible and less costly to distribute however,  print marketing has persuasive power. When combined with in a customized marketing campaign the two are a best practice and cost-effective way to reach your audience. 

Marketing requires a variety of approaches and a great team will empower yours by providing the power of print and the efficiency of digital for the ideal marketing strategy designed for your business, product, and unique audience.

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3 Easy Steps to Keep your Leads and Prospects Engaged

When you gain leads, you gain prospective customers who have opted into hearing more about your brand. This is great news! Now, the next step is to create a marketing strategy that will keep these leads engaged. Most likely, these customers have signed up for a newsletter, email list, or for SMS alerts. Whichever medium you use, you can follow these three basic principles for keeping your leads and prospects engaged.

1. Connect with your audience.

When you send out a marketing campaign to your leads, you want to provide material that they will resonate with. What do they want to see? What would make them excited? If you are a retail store, offering a coupon would be more than enough. If you offer a particular service, like landscaping, you can offer package lawn care deals. In the off seasons, you can provide helpful tips on lawn care and home maintenance, which will keep your brand in the forefront of their minds come spring.

2. Provide relevant content.

Let’s pretend you are a real estate agent who has an email list of 100 leads. This group is a mixture of past clients and prospective buyers. It would be wise to make sub-groups of these leads in order to tailor more specific campaigns to their situation. For example, prospective buyers would like to know about an open house, while old clients would be more interested in knowing how to prepare their home for cold weather. Overall, by sending your leads strategic email campaigns regularly, everyone can stay on top of your pulse and know where to turn when they have real estate needs.

3. Be persistent.

Sometimes people are busy when they see your email or text, but it may not be true the next time. The key is to not give up! Try sending another volley of emails out at a different time of day or day of the week. Keep on tweaking your strategy until you find something that works. Your persistence will show you are constantly working and making an effort to connect with your leads. If they haven’t unsubscribed, they are still on board!

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Can Mobile Marketing Work in the Retail Industry?

The answer to this question is an unequivocal “yes”!

In fact, mobile marketing should be a fundamental component of any marketing campaign. According to Global Web Index, “the world’s largest study on the digital consumer”, over 80% of internet users own a smartphone. These users are on the go and are constantly checking text messages, email, and chatting on social media. The retail industry has a vast well of marketing potential in mobile devices. By having customers opt-in to SMS, Email, or a store-specific app, retail stores can connect with their customers consistently, promote deals, and increase revenue.

SMS-Based Marketing

Most likely at the check out counter of a savvy retail store, you will see flyers that encourage customers to text a keyword to a number to “be the first to know” about new arrivals and hot sales. These texts offer fabulous savings and insider deals which lure customers back to use an exclusive mobile coupon or to take advantage of an end of season sale. SMS messages are easy to access and quick to read, making them an effective marketing tool.

App-Based Marketing

Another tool that works for retailers is creating a store app. One of the most compelling examples of a successful app-based marketing campaign is Target’s Cartwheel app, which offers great deals exclusive to app holders. Notices to download the app are everywhere in the store and heavily promoted by the cashiers. Being a member of the Cartwheel “club” tightens customer loyalty and keeps customers coming back.

Email Marketing

Just as customers can sign up for text alerts, they can also sign up for a mailing list. Though these are less in-your-face than SMS messages, email messages can contain more fleshed out images and detailed information about the store’s latest deals and coupons. Email marketing is also a good way to send customers your store’s informative blog, which keeps your brand’s name fresh on their mind, even when they are not buying your product.

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Keyword Strategy? What is That and Why Do I need This?

Keyword Strategy and Your Website

What is Keyword Strategy?

Whether for personal use or for business, many people are still learning how to use the internet to their best advantage. One issue that confuses people is the use of a keyword strategy to increase visits to their website. Keyword strategy is the ability to increase the readers to your site by using keywords that are most likely to be used in a search engine. Your website can have titles, subject matter, and other material that raises your visibility to potential visitors to your site. Not only will your business or website come up earlier in searches, but it will come up more frequently. When your website comes up in the first page of any given search you have greater opportunity to attract the attention of readers who are then more likely to click through to your site and learn more about what you have to offer.

Why Do I Need This?

Bring people to your site and build opportunity. Choosing your keywords carefully means choosing not only the strongest words and phrases that can be tagged to your website, but many uncommon ones as well. Potential readers may have different ways of describing the subject that they are interested in. For instance, if you have a website tied to your business of sports memorabilia, you want to include words that cover all the sports that you have material on, as well as all the words that might describe memorabilia. As a reader who has done searches yourself, rely on your personal experience. Now frame your titles, subject matter, images, and more, to include essential keywords and phrases. Cover all the potential keyword searches and you increase your website’s visibility.

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4 Ways to Boost Sales With Direct Marketing

Direct marketing is an advertising strategy which aims at increasing sales. No matter the kind of business you are involved in, one of your greatest priorities, if not the greatest, is to achieve skyrocketing sales. Direct marketing has to be done strategically otherwise, you will end up throwing a lot of resources down the drain. In direct marketing, you communicate with your clients in a more personalized way. For example, you can communicate through emails, text messages, promotional letters, and flyers among many other ways.

Monitoring and evaluation
Without carrying out a post-mortem on your previous direct marketing strategy, you will not be able to launch a better one. Once you roll out implementation, you must monitor your marketing activities at regular intervals. Mid and final evaluations also have to be carried out to ensure that every objective is achieved at each stage. According to this article by Vertical Response, you should emphasize the importance of keeping track of all your marketing activities.

Clear objectives
A successful direct marketing plan must have well laid out objectives and a goal. To boost your sales, every objective you develop should employ a marketing strategy that focuses on improving sales. You must spend enough time carrying out analysis and ensuring that your activities match your objectives.

Listen
This article from Selling Power demonstrates the importance of listening in direct marketing very well. Since you are addressing clients on a more personal level, your answers or feedback must show that you are listening. Listening shows the customers that you are interested in their needs and not just on making some quick money from them. Never take too long to respond to questions or any concerns from your customers. You must be consistent in your communication. Try, as much as possible, to be honest and prompt the client to take action.

Be consistent
You must be consistent in your communication. Come up with an itinerary for your marketing activities, be consistent in follow-up activities and portray professionalism. Develop high-quality marketing tools from the letterheads you use for your emails to the graphics used on your flyers and the language of the text messages. You must ensure that all your strategies are of high quality. Poorly developed marketing tools will increase the chances that the message will be simply ignored. Emails written in inappropriate language may directly be sent to spam.

You are bound to use direct marketing at one point throughout your marketing efforts. So, consider these helpful tips and make sure you are getting the most out of your marketing communications.

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