Direct Marketing Archives - Convertible Solutions

Effective Marketing Copy Made Easy

marketing copyWhether you are writing marketing copy for direct mail, email, signage, or any other type of material, a few simple guidelines will increase your ability to grab your audience’s attention and communicate your message more effectively. Here are some fundamental principles of writing great marketing copy that will help you command attention:

  1. Be Creative – It’s easy to say the same thing in the same way all the time. It’s also a terrific way to bore your audience to death. You have a fraction of a second to grab someone’s attention so don’t waste it with the same copy your company has used since dinosaurs roamed the earth.
  2. What’s In It For Me – Cute and clever doesn’t get you anywhere by itself. You still need to convince customers your product or service has a benefit for them. Many marketers forget this, doing the bare minimum to achieve the sale. Make your audience so excited to spend money with you that you have a line outside your door or your website crash from too much traffic. That’s your goal.
  3. Be Concise – Being clever and clearly stating what’s in it for the customer is important. So is being brief. Time is our most precious commodity, so don’t use more time than necessary to communicate your message.
  4. Build Trust – If you betray your customer’s trust, you won’t be in business very long. Use your marketing copy to build a strong relationship with your audience and you’ll set your business up for years to come.
  5. Hire A Professional – Make sure your copy meets professional standards. Someone who is “good at grammar” isn’t sufficient. When it comes to marketing copy, there are rules for punctuation, capitalization, and usage that only professionals know.

Of course, there are other elements to great print marketing, as well. Good layout. Interesting graphics. Compelling offer. But great copy ties it all together. Need some tips? We’re happy to talk with you about that and more.

Smart Marketing: Getting The Most Out Of Your Information

Smart marketing is not limited to a set number of strategies or tacticssmart marketing. It does not have boundaries on what it can accomplish, and all it requires is looking at your situation from a different angle. Here’s a few ways you can take advantage of information already at your disposal and turn your marketing into smart marketing.

  • Segmenting – This involves taking an existing list and breaking it up into broad demographic or psychographic groups. For example, you might speak to women differently from men, singles differently from married couples, and those with children differently from those without. Although there will be variation within each demographic, there will be a number of shared characteristics that enable you to target the message.
  • Targeting – Rarely will you need to target your entire database at once. Instead, try selecting out target groups based on the goals of the campaign. You may select out your best customers for a special discount, for example, or promote certain products to key geographic areas based on anticipated weather conditions.
  • Personalizing – The ultimate in targeting is speaking to each individual by name and creating the message based on what you know about that person. A good example is travel companies offering personalized travel recommendations based on trips their customers have taken in the past.
  • Trigger-based mailings –  These are mailings that are automatically generated based on some external event. For example, automotive dealers often send mailings promoting trade-ins in advance of the expiration of a customer’s lease or encouraging customers to come into the service department at the time their car’s mileage is expected to hit a certain point.

As 2017 looms in the near future, smart marketing can make the difference between another ho-hum year with modest increases and the year your company takes off. You don’t need the latest app everyone is talking about. You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on purchasing new emails or addresses. If you approach your current information from a new angle, use smart marketing tactics like we mentioned above, you’ll grow your audience and revenue organically. Need a push in the right direction? We’re just a click away.

Choosing Branding Images That Reflect Your Value

branding imagesBranding images are essential for your business. Everything you need to know about them can be learned from the great 20th-century philosopher Andre Agassi who once said (while pitching cameras to us), “Image is everything”. He wasn’t wrong then, and he certainly isn’t wrong now. The branding images you select to represent your brand must do several things at once in order to click with your audience. We came up with a few ideas to help you select photos and illustrations that help to achieve your campaign objectives and advance your branding.

Mirror Your Target Audience

The quickest way to let your customers know your product is right for them is to use images that reflect who they are. A company promoting a new perfume might show a 35- to 44-year-old woman. A health club might use this same age demographic but change the image to athletic men and women working out. If your customers or prospects see themselves in your branding you’ll begin to build an emotional bond with them immediately.

Empathize With Prospects In Branding Images

If you’re going to have impactful branding images, you need to know your audience well. If your audience is comprised of single mothers, you should choose images that emulate what they experience on a daily basis.  If you’re a car dealer looking to sell reliable used vehicles, choosing images that reflect people who need reliable transportation but don’t believe they can afford it is the way to go. You have to think like your audience. Don’t make the mistake of assuming you know what is best for them. Empathize with them and draw your conclusions from there.

Demonstrate Your Value

Your audience needs you to solve a problem from them. Choose images that reflect your audience in the wake of your product/service. Perhaps a smiling spending time with her kids if your product or service targets busy working women. Show your audience why you’re their best option.

Be Authentic

Instead of a stock photo of a diverse team laughing together around the water cooler, use images of your own employees in real offices, or the delivery truck customers will see pulling up to their business or residence. If a prospect can believe in your pictures, she can believe in your words as well.

Be Consistent

Using images that reflect what people care about is a great way to engage customers and keep them coming back. Don’t go re-inventing the wheel.

Wondering what branding images best reflect your brand? We’re happy to talk you through the process.

Developing Your Email Marketing Database

email marketingEmail marketing continues to be a highly effective strategy for you to accomplish your business goals. According to QuickSprout, email subscribers are 3 times more likely to share your content via social media than visitors from other sources. That and 69 other stats about email marketing are worth your time to consider here. The bottom line? Clients who provide their email addresses are typically more engaged with your company, more brand loyal, and more open to multiple marketing touches. When marketing to these people—regardless of channel—you are likely to get better results.

Having an email address also provides the opportunity to warm your leads prior to sending a direct mail piece or to follow up on a direct mail campaign, nudging nonresponders into action. How do you capture your customer’s email addresses? Here are some ideas.

  • Just Ask – Next time you talk to your customers, ask if they are willing to provide an email address. Be sure to tell them about the benefits of receiving emails from you (e.g. exclusive deals, timely information, etc). You might be surprised how many addresses you can gather simply by asking.
  • Conduct A Survey – Mailing surveys to get feedback on customers’ perceptions and experience with your company is always a good idea. When customers respond, ask them to update their contact information, including their email address, at the same time.
  • Use Incentives – Use your website to allow customers to enter a contest or respond to a free offer. When they opt-in, require them to provide their email address before they access the offer.
  • Add A Form To Your Website – When people visit your site, make it easy for them to sign up for e-newsletters and other communications. Ask them to provide, or update, their contact information and watch the email addresses roll in.

These are just some ideas. Talk to us about these and other techniques for building your email database and driving even better responses to your print marketing.

5 Steps To Trustworthy Direct Mail Campaigns

People don’t just buy from companies they like. They buy from companies they find trustworthy. When you send out direct mail campaigns, it’s important to keep this in mind. Let’s look at five ways you can earn trust with your customers.

  1. Just the facts, ma’am – Joe Friday would have made an excellent direct mail marketer. There’s no need to embellish your product or service. Leave the extravagant claims and cheesy trustworthy direct mail campaignsuperlatives to the late night infomercials. Make your headlines and body copy factual, back up your claims, and be specific so people know that you are representing the product accurately. You’ll be perceived as trustworthy very quickly.
  2. Write for your audience – People like to feel special and unique. If your marketing copy sounds generic, recipients won’t feel that your claims are genuine and that you don’t care about them. It’s hard to trust a company that is willing to sell anything to anybody whether they need it or not. Target your offers, marketing copy, and calls to action to each target audience specifically so they recognize your claims as true.
  3. Credible design – Design can be just as superficial and cheesy as marketing copy if done poorly. If you use five different fonts and clutter the design area with tons of images and an impenetrable sea of text, your piece will look unprofessional. If your design looks unprofessional, your company will be perceived as unprofessional. Avoid super tiny fonts because they make it look as if you are trying to hide something.
  4. Use real people – Customer testimonials are great for establishing credibility, but they have to be from real life people. Use names, locations, and pictures of smiling faces when possible. Assure readers that these are actual people, not customers you made up. A great place to start are the reviews and recommendations you have on your social media accounts (e.g. Facebook, Google Reviews, etc).
  5. Proofread your text – Spelling and grammar errors don’t make for a professional image. Have a professional editor or proofreader get a final set of eyes on your copy to ensure that there are no mistakes.

When it comes to direct mail, there are no shortcuts. Be sincere. Be credible. Present a great product from a company that people find trustworthy. Need more tips? We’re happy to help.

Lessons on Customer Loyalty

Business experts agree that it costs less to keep an existing customer than it does to acquire a new one and that engaged customer loyaltycustomers tend to purchase more over time. But what is the best way to build customer loyalty? The answer is to use a mix of personalized direct mail, personalized email, social media, and mobile to stay out in front of them on a consistent basis.

How does this work? Just look around!

  • Do you have multiple catalogs (many from the same company) stacked on a desk or bookshelf?
  • Is there a direct mailer from your auto dealer taped to your fridge reminding you to bring in your car for a checkup?
  • How many opt-in emails with new product announcements and special deals have arrived in your inbox just in the last week?
  • While reading this, did you receive a text alert for some kind of ash sale at your favorite retailer?
  • If you’ve “liked” a company’s page on Facebook, have they asked you to participate in some kind of social media contest by sharing a story or uploading a picture to their page?

It’s all about maintaining customer loyalty and engagement over time.

Realtors are great at this. Once people close on a new home, they often begin receiving postcards from the realtor who sold it to them. Postcards typically arrive with the change of seasons and can be personalized based on the home. In the spring, families with large lawns might get tips on choosing a landscaper. In the fall, families with pools might get tips on closing them down or tips on winterizing their homes.

The slow, regular drip of personalized, relevant content keeps the realtor top of mind long after the closing. Why do they do this? If the homeowner’s friends and family are looking to make a move, the realtor wants to get the referral. If the homeowner eventually needs to sell the home, the realtor wants to be the first one they call.

Whether you are selling toys, clothing, jewelry, or sporting goods, the principle is the same. Maintain the relationship and customer loyalty through regular communications to keep your customers engaged and continually reinforce your brand. Use a mix of channels to engage people in different ways, continually feed them information on new products and services, and keep them coming back.

Need help? Give us a call at 866-832-0217 or send us an email.

3 Reasons Direct Mail Is Still Relevant

direct mailEvery year, Target Marketing conducts its Media Usage Survey. In this survey, the magazine asks how readers are allocating their budgets, which channels are increasing and decreasing, and which channels its readers prefer for a variety of marketing activities. While digital, social, and mobile media continue their astronomic growth trajectory, this year’s survey finds that direct mail is holding its own, and strongly. In particular, direct mail is growing for customer acquisition and retention:

In 2015, 54% of Target Marketing respondents were using direct mail for their customer acquisition efforts. In 2016, this rose to 58%.

In 2015, 51% of Target Marketing respondents were using direct mail for their customer retention efforts. That has risen to 55% today.

Why is direct mail growing for acquisition and retention, even in the face of consumers’ love affair with digital and mobile media?

  1. Email addresses go out of date very quickly, and mobile phone numbers are not always easy to get. Once you have a physical address, however, you can maintain contact with that customer for a long time. Even if people move and don’t provide a new address, you can get address updates from the U.S. Post Office through the National Change of Address (NCOA) service.
  2. Even when someone has opted out as a phone, email, and/or mobile contact, you can still reach them by postal mail. Direct mail is powerful and proven effective for re-engaging customers who have dropped off your email list.
  3. In a world of electronic media, the physical mailbox is a powerful open door. When a well-designed mail piece shows up in a customer’s or prospect’s mailbox, it doesn’t get lost the way emails in the saturated and highly filtered inbox do. It gets noticed right away—and nearly always read.

Want help using direct mail to break through the clutter and get attention? Give us a call!

7 Steps To The Perfect Direct Mail Piece

In today’s world of complex creative and nonstop marketing assault, it’s easy to forget the basics. Before designing that visually extravagant direct mail piece, take a step back and make sure you’ve covered the fundamentals. Remember, you can’t build your dream home without a solid foundation.

  1. direct mailSecure Your Audience – Who are you sending the mailer to? Is the list current? Are you mailing to the right people? Are the names up to date? Are there duplicates (or even triplicates) that need to be culled?
  2. Segment Your Audience – Even if you are not using full personalization, your mailing should still have basic segmentation that allows you to speak relevantly to your core target audiences. If you’re selling homeowners or auto insurance, for example, you’ll speak differently to families with children than you will to retirees.
  3. Cross-reference Your Data – Especially if you will be personalizing, it’s a good idea to cross-reference your data. You can assume that customers purchasing infant formula have young children, but maybe they are grandparents picking up necessities for their grandchildren, too. If those customers subscribe to New Baby magazine, however, you can have confidence that they have young children at home.
  4. Include a Strong Call-To-Action – Too many mailings suffer from not having a call to action. CTAs are critical to motivating behavior, and without one, even the most otherwise well-designed campaign can fail. Make the CTA visible. Make it bold. Put it in a starburst or use brightly colored lettering. Readers can’t respond to a CTA they don’t see.
  5. Diversify Your Response Mechanisms – Consumers’ lives are cluttered and over-scheduled. The more ways you can give them to respond, the more likely they are to do so. If you are using personalized URLs, include a personalized QR Code in case they want to respond on a mobile device. Give people a general URL, a tear-out card, and a phone number. Pre-fill tear-out cards with as much information as you can. Remove as many barriers to a response as possible.
  6. Maximize Your Space – Busy consumers don’t have time to read. When designing for direct mail, think “infographic.” Use bullet points, numbered lists, and graphic elements—anything that makes the information easy to absorb with a quick visual scan.
  7. Include a P.S. – No, really! Did you know that the P.S. is the most read part of a letter? Use this area to reiterate your key points and CTA. If people don’t read anything else, they’ll read that. Studies also show that including a deadline for the CTA is a great motivator. This is a great place to reiterate it

Ready to get your direct mail piece up and off the ground? Operators are standing by.

7 Ways to Maximize Impact on a Small Budget

marketing budgetA high-impact marketing campaign comes from creativity and strategy; not limitless resources. Let’s look at seven ways to optimize your marketing budget for maximum impact on minimum dollars.

  1. Concentrate on a niche market – Target your message to a smaller market versus a diverse group of prospects. Maximize your marketing dollars by sending highly relevant, targeted offers rather than general solicitations.
  2. Plan your printing – Involve us in the design of your printed pieces from the beginning. We can often recommend paper, ink, trim sizes, and layouts that will save you money.
  3. Maximize your postal spend – New postage rates have recently gone into effect that address size, shape, and weight. Using these new parameters, we recommend you to create mailings that minimize your postage expense while maximizing your ROI.
  4. Consider postcards. Some studies estimate postcard readership at close to 100%, especially if your design is eye-catching and your message is brief. Ask us for assistance in creating a low-cost postcard that meets postal service specifications for reduced postage.
  5. Be the expert – When prospective clients are in need of your product or service, you will have instant credibility if they have seen your name in print. Create a newsletter or blog, write articles for magazines, newspapers, and journals, or even consider producing your own branded magazine.
  6. Network – Join a speakers bureau and attend trade shows and conferences. Utilize online networking resources, such as LinkedIn. Pass out and mail business cards and brochures to boost awareness among your potential clients.
  7. Partner with non-competing businesses – Identify companies that offer complementary goods and services, and create cooperative marketing collateral using a pool of shared dollars.

There are many cost-effective ways to let future customers know about your company’s products and services. Be resourceful and you will reap the rewards on your balance sheet.

Direct Mail Checklist

ChecklistIn today’s world of complex creative and nonstop marketing assault, it’s easy to forget the basics. Before designing that visually extravagant mailer, take a step back and make sure you’ve covered the fundamentals.

List.

Who are you sending the mailer to? Is the list current? Are you mailing to the right people? Are the names up to date? Are there duplicates (or even triplicates) that need to be culled?

 

Basic Segmentation.

Even if you are not using full personalization, your mailing should still have basic segmentation that allows you to speak relevantly to your core target audiences. If you’re selling homeowners or auto insurance, for example, you’ll speak differently to families with children than you will to retirees.

Cross-reference.

Especially if you will be personalizing, it’s a good idea to cross-reference your data. You can assume that customers purchasing infant formula have young children, but maybe they are grandparents picking up necessities for their grandchildren, too. If those customers subscribe to New Baby magazine, however, you can have confidence that they have young children at home.

Call to Action.

Too many mailings suffer from not having a call to action. CTAs are critical to motivating behavior, and without one, even the most otherwise well-designed campaign can fail. Make the CTA visible. Make it bold. Put it in a starburst or use brightly colored lettering. Readers can’t respond to a CTA they don’t see.

Response Mechanisms.

Give people more than one way to respond. Consumers’ lives are cluttered and over-scheduled. The more ways you can give them to respond, the more likely they are to do so. If you are using personalized URLs, include a personalized QR Code in case they want to respond on a mobile device. Give people a general URL, a tear-out card, and a phone number. Pre-fill tear-out cards with as much information as you can. Remove as many barriers to a response as possible.

Bullets and White Space.

Busy consumers don’t have time to read. When designing for direct mail, think “infographic.” Use bullet points, numbered lists, and graphic elements—anything that makes the information easy to absorb with a quick visual scan.

Include a P.S.

Did you know that the P.S. Is the most read part of a letter? Use this area to reiterate your key points and CTA. If people don’t read anything else, they’ll read that. Studies also show that including a deadline for the CTA is a great motivator. This is a great place to reiterate it.

 

 

Imagine the Paperbilities® and discover new ideas for your next stellar print project. Our customers share creative samples and ideas to get your mind moving away from that blank screen or page and into an outstanding finished product. For your viewing pleasure -- Enjoy!

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