Tag Archives: print marketing

3 Tips for Optimizing Your Multichannel Marketing

Want to energize your print campaign? Combine print with other media to amplify its effect.

The most common channel pairing with print these days is email, but you might also want to consider text messaging, banner ads, social media (such as Facebook), and search engine advertising, as well. Each channel has different benefits depending on your marketing goals and the target audience you are trying to reach.

No matter which channels you choose, here are some basic guidelines to keep in mind:

  1. Maintain consistent branding across all channels.

Different media have different requirements, so you can’t maintain 100% cross-channel consistency all the time. But whenever possible, use the same images, color schemes, primary messaging, and offers to maintain a consistent brand image and a consistent brand message.

  1. Think strategically.

Know what role each channel is supposed to play. If you are going to combine email with print, what are you trying to accomplish? Are you trying to create awareness and anticipation of the print piece? Are you using email as a reminder to respond? Maybe if you’re driving traffic to a campaign-specific website, you might want to consider banner advertising in demographic hot spots.

  1. Create appropriate channel-audience pairings.

Ensure that you are selecting the best combination of channels to communicate with your target audience. You’re not going to reach as many retirees with text marketing as you are Millennials, for example, and social media preferences vary, as well. Sixty-five percent of GenXers and Baby Boomers say their favorite social media network is Facebook, and while Millennials overall prefer Facebook, too, among younger Millennials (ages 18-24), the favored social media network is Instagram.

There is a learning curve associated with multichannel marketing, but the ability to amplify and reinforce your marketing message can be invaluable. Need help matching your channels to your marketing goals? Just ask!

 

Is Your Direct Mail Trustworthy?

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

  1. Use solid, believable content. Leave the extravagant claims and cheesy superlatives to the late night infomercials. Make your headlines and body copy factual and believable. Back up your claims. Be specific so people know that you are representing the product accurately.
  2. Write for your audience. If your marketing copy sounds generic, recipients might not feel that your claims are genuine. It’s hard to trust a company that is willing to sell anything to anybody whether they really 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. Marketing copy can be superficial and cheesy, and so can design. 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 too. 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.
  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 not just a great product, but a company that people can trust.

Snatch Customers Before Your Competitors Do!

Investing in direct mail for customer acquisition? Your competitors are! As their efforts become more proactive and strategic, how do you plan to attract those same customers before your competitors do? Here are three proven strategies for grabbing attention in the mailbox.

  1. Use dimensional mail.

In a stack of envelopes, a padded envelope, a package, or some other three-dimensional mailer gets attention. Usually, these are opened first. While dimensional mailers cost more than flat mailers, they get response rates that can make your mouth water. According to the Direct Marketing Association, dimensional mailers receive response rates 200% – 300% higher than flat mailers. So when your marketing ideas take shape, make it a literal shape!

  1. Try out unusual finishes, folds, and bindings.

Tangible elements are what make the print channel stand out. Consider using some of the many spot coatings, textured coatings, die cuts, pop-outs, and foldouts that your customers don’t see every day. If you have been meaning to investigate fresh new options and still haven’t had an excuse to do it, now you do.

  1. Try new mailing formats.

Not all mailing formats are created equal. There are many different formats available: postcards, folded mailers, mailers placed into envelopes, envelopes that are personalized, envelopes that are not personalized, window envelopes, and more. Envelopes and mailers can be different sizes, thicknesses, and colors. Experiment with colored substrates, clear envelopes, and on-envelope personalization.

It’s time to get noticed! If you need some ideas or want to test new formats, substrates, and finishing options, just ask.

 

Marketing in an Omnichannel World

We are bombarded with electronic media. Cellphones. iPads. Kindles. Nooks. Facebook. Video streaming. Where does print fit? Right square in the middle.

To be effective, marketing needs to be multi-channel. From a consumer perspective, there isn’t print and online media. There is just marketing. As succinctly stated by Lazar Dzamic of Kitcatt Nohr Digitas, a London-based creative agency, “People don’t think ‘offline’ and ‘online.’ They just see a brand in all its touchpoints.”

Regardless of channel, marketing success starts with data. You want to gather as much data about your target audience as possible to make the message richer and more effective. You also want present a consistent brand and marketing message across channels.

Here are some best practices to get you started:

  • Verify and correct existing customer data.
  • Append that data to learn more about each customer.
  • Customize messages based on customer insight.
  • Personalize consumer interactions across all touchpoints.
  • Integrate communications and present a consistent message across all channels.

When you develop the print portion of your campaigns, focus on those aspects of print that are unique to the medium or that are particularly suited for it:

  • Use great design that pops off the page in a way not possible on a screen.
  • Tap into the richness of printed color to create a lasting image. Add special effects such as coating, die-cuts, and embossing.
  • Integrate tactile media, such as textured surfaces or stocks to create a memorable experience.
  • Include product samples, personalized booklets, and other incentives not possible in a digital world.

Print offers unique benefits that cannot be replicated on a screen. Take advantage of them!

Need some fresh ideas? Just ask.

Switching from Static to Personalized Makes Results Soar

With consumers squarely in charge of product research long before they ever contact your company, content marketing is more important than ever. One of the most important forms of content marketing is the customer newsletter—and more and more are moving to personalized editorial.

What happens to results if you switch from a general-education newsletter to a fully personalized one? One community-based healthcare system found out. After sending a traditional newsletter for years, it began matching the content to what it knew of patients’ health conditions. Personalized content ranged from advances in treatments to schedules for clinical trials.

After about a year, the healthcare system conducted a readership survey to find out how the new approach was being received. The results?

  • 93% of respondents felt the articles were relevant and of interest.
  • 73% read the entire newsletter every time it came in the mail.
  • 77% said it was easier and quicker to read.
  • 95% said they became aware of services that were previously unknown.

Not only did the healthcare system solidify its relationship with existing patients, but nearly every one of those patients learned about some of the provider’s services they didn’t know about before. Imagine the impact on revenues!

Not every marketer can track to this level of detail, but there are many simple, cost-effective steps you can use to monitor your marketing effectiveness too. Personalized URLs, barcodes (visible and invisible), discount codes, and multiple landing pages for various iterations of the same campaign are all ways to track and measure results.

Talk to us about converting your content marketing into personalized content marketing!

Boost Customer Loyalty with Surveys

One of the best uses of your marketing dollars is to protect your existing customer base. You’ve worked hard to earn their loyalty. Now you want to keep it. Consider the benefits of utilizing customer surveys.

Let’s look at an example. A regional grocery store chain was experiencing increased competition from a large national chain and wanted to preserve its most valuable customer relationships. The chain sent two personalized surveys to its top 400 customers: one in the fall and one in the spring.

The first survey included six personalized questions and a letter addressed to the shopper, signed by the store manager of the location they frequented most. In the second, questions were designed to see how well the chain had addressed the issues raised in the first survey. Recipients also received a personalized cover letter from the store manager.

The surveys received a 52% response rate. While specific data on customer retention was not provided, a research study conducted by Rice University and published in Harvard Business Review found that, over the course of a year, customers who received similar customer surveys were twice as likely to continue their relationship with the company than those who did not.[1]

There are no surprises here. Once people have made a purchase from you, they are your customers to lose. Show them that you care what they think, that their opinions are valuable, and you will act on information they share with you. They will reward you with their loyalty.

Why not talk to us about incorporating a customer survey into your next mailing?

[1] “Sending out a Survey to Customers Can Double Sales,” by Vivek Bhaskaran, http://www.questionpro.com.