Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Highlight Color Brings in the Dollars


While color is a powerhouse in any type of marketing, you don’t always have to use four-color process to improve your response rates. In fact, the State of California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) shows that strategically placed highlight color can result in huge bottom line benefits, too.
The California FTB produces more than 14 million personal income tax returns each year. It used to send out standard tax notices, but it found that many taxpayers found them confusing. Taxpayers didn’t know what they needed to do, how much to pay, or where to send the payment.  The result was slow payments and expensive volumes of calls to FTB’s call centers.
The FTB decided to do something different. It added highlight color to its contact letters and personalized its messaging to explain exactly what action each taxpayer needed to take. Key information was displayed in blue, guiding recipients through the document and giving them specific instructions.
The result? Faster payments and fewer mistakes. This translated into millions in additional interest income and, at an average cost of $15 per call to the call center, significant savings from reduced call center contacts.

The takeaway? Color boosts your profitability, not just in your graphics, but in your messaging, too. Let us help you make strategic decisions about how to use color to make you money and save you money, too! 

Jeff Lampert
Director of Marketing & Business Development


The first one gets the oyster the second gets the shell. – Andrew Carnegie

Friday, October 31, 2014

Can Boosting Response Rates Be This Simple?

When marketers think about successful 1:1 campaigns, they think about factors such as the creative, the offer, the mailing list, and the selection of 1:1 variables. But there is another, even simpler step that you can take to boost response rates.
Provide multiple response mechanisms. Yes, it’s that simple. Give people options. Not everyone wants to respond to your marketing campaign in the same way. One person might feel very comfortable responding by email. Another might prefer to respond by phone. Yet another might prefer to respond to a personalized URL.
Consider your audience. A twenty-something sipping coffee in Starbucks might not respond to a tear-out form, but she might be willing to pick up her phone (which is probably sitting right next to her coffee) and scan a QR Code, taking her to a mobile website. But if you’re marketing to retirees, you might want to include a tear-out form and an 800 number instead, even if you’re primarily hoping they’ll go to the Web.
Testing different response mechanisms is a great opportunity to learn about the different demographic groups in your database, too. One marketer got a surprise when it offered recipients the opportunity to respond to the survey using a personalized URL or by filling out a tear-out card. It thought tear-out cards had become outdated, but it found a surprisingly high percentage of the cards returned, many of them from older recipients who were not comfortable giving out certain information online.
So when you are planning your campaign, include detailed consideration of the response mechanisms you provide. Test different methods with different demographic groups. Once people respond, add this as a variable in your database and capitalize on this knowledge the next time around.

Need help? Give us a call!

Jeff Lampert
Director of Marketing & Business Development

Opportunities don't happen, you create them. 
~Chris Grosser

Friday, October 3, 2014

Using Google Analytics to Track Your Progress

If it was your New Year’s resolution to improve the effectiveness of your marketing, how do you determine if it’s working? Since one of the benefits of 1:1 print marketing is the ability to drive traffic to your website, one of the ways to determine success is to use Google Analytics and similar tools to monitor your Web activity.
Online analytics tools are about more than the number of visitors to your site. They can tell you where these visitors are coming from, how long they stay, which sites or search engines are driving the most traffic, and more.
In addition to basic site traffic, let’s look at some of the metrics Google Analytics offers.
  • Absolute unique visits. Number of individual visitors (as contrasted with people who might be visiting the site more than once).
  • Page views / average page views. When people come to your site, how many pages do they click on before they leave?
  • Time on site. Once people hit your site, how long do they stay? Are they taking the time to read the content? Or clicking out right away?
  • Traffic sources. Where are your visitors coming from? Are they typing in your URL directly? Coming from referring sites? Search engines? If the latter, which ones? What keywords are they using?
  • Page navigation. Did people land on each page directly? Or did they click through another page to get there? After viewing the content, did they click through to more pages? Or leave the site?
What can you learn from this type of information?
If you’re running a specific 1:1 printing campaign, for example, you can watch how effective it is for driving website traffic—how quickly traffic peaks and how high.
Once people land on your main URL, if they leave without clicking through to other pages, it might tell you that you need to improve the relevance of your index page or make the content more compelling.
If you know the keywords being used to drive the most traffic from search engines, you can use this information in your SEO (search engine optimization) efforts.
If you track which pages people are landing on or clicking through most often, you can add content or links to those pages to maximize your message.

You make a significant investment in 1:1 print marketing, so maximize every dollar you spend. Once you’ve driven people to your website, free metrics tools can help you sharpen your message and improve site relevance, navigation, and functionality. You will capture more site visitors, hold them, and ultimately drive more conversion to sales. 

Jeff Lampert
Director of Marketing & Business Development

Letting your customers set your standards is a dangerous game,
because the race to the bottom is pretty easy to win.
Setting your own standards, and living up to them,
is a better way to profit. Not to mention a better way
to make your day worth all the effort you put into it.
-Seth Godin


Friday, September 19, 2014

What’s Your Brand Identity?

What is your company’s brand identity? Do you even know? Whether you realize it or not, all of the choices you make, from the colors on your business card to the graphics on your mailer, create a brand identity in the eyes of your customers and prospects. Let’s look at a few of the brand elements you should be paying attention to.
Color. The colors you choose for your marketing materials should reinforce your brand. Think UPS brown, IBM blue, and John Deere green. Color triggers an emotional reaction, so color is a powerful tool. Red elicits excitement. Blue is associated with faithfulness and trustworthiness. Black connotes luxury. What colors best represent you?
Image. Your presentation should be consistent with your industry. If your business is in a conservative field, such as accounting or financial planning, for example, your visual image should be businesslike. Would you trust your money to someone who gives you a florescent orange business card covered with cheap clip art and grunge fonts?
Distinctive. Your colors and logo imagery should be appropriate, but at the same time distinctive so they stand out from the crowd. “Distinctive” doesn’t mean complicated. In fact, many of the most recognizable logos are simple. Think about the McDonald's Golden Arches or the Nike "swoosh."
Quality. When you are producing your print materials, spend the extra money to produce high-quality work. You can talk about quality products and great customer service, but if your print marketing looks like it was done on the cheap, that is the image that will stick in your customers’ memories. Spend the extra money on “extras” like gloss coatings and heavier-weight paper when appropriate.

Once you have a solid handle on your brand image, be consistent. Whether it’s your business card, your corporate identity materials, or a presentation folder, all of your print communications should have a similar look and feel. Continually reinforce your brand image in the minds of your customers. 

Jeff Lampert
Director of Marketing & Business Development

Change is not a threat, it's an opportunity. Survival is not the goal, transformative success is.
Seth Godin


Friday, September 5, 2014

Maximize Your Marketing Dollars with This Simple Tip

It’s a standard rule of thumb in marketing. It costs 10 times less to keep the customers you have than to generate new ones. This means one of the best uses of your marketing dollars is to maintain customer loyalty. One of the easiest ways to do that is to use customer surveys.
What makes customer surveys so effective?
  • They make customers feel valued.
  • They provide an opportunity to learn about customer habits and purchasing patterns.
  • If there is a problem with the customer relationship, they open the door to correct it.
How often should you survey? Some marketers survey their customers on an as-needed basis. Their goal might be to understand different customer behaviors, such as a drop in sales or a shift in purchasing patterns, or to get to know their customers better in order to drive 1:1 personalization programs. Others have an ongoing commitment to customer surveys, such as sending annual questionnaires “just because” or follow-ups after each sale to monitor customer satisfaction.
Regardless of which approach works best for you, customer surveys are a valuable tool for maintaining the loyalty of those customers who help your bottom line the most.

Need to send a customer survey? Ask us! We can help. 

Jeff Lampert
Director of Marketing & Business Development

Winners don't wait for chances, they take them.
Unknown

Friday, August 8, 2014

Tear-Off Cards Make Responses Easy

Do you include tear-off response cards or other forms in your direct marketing pieces? If so, do you send them blank? Or do you pre-fill them with readily available information (recipient’s name, address, product serial numbers, seminar dates) to make responses as easy as possible?
If you are sending blank forms, you are leaving money on the table. Why? Because the more steps recipients must take to respond to your offer, the less likely they are to do it. Conversely, the easier you make it for them to respond, the more likely they are to do it.
Take the example of one marketer that had been promoting its customer education seminars with a self-mailer that included the dates and details of upcoming workshops. The mailers included a detachable reply card for registration. After more than two years, however, most of the registrations were still coming through the company’s website or sales reps, not the direct mailers it was paying for.
The marketer decided to switch gears. It freshened up the design and moved to a heavier coated stock. It also ditched its static response forms and began pre-filling them so all that recipients had to do was add the stamp and drop the cards in the mail. The company received such a bump in its registrations that it had to add an extra seminar session!
If you are sending reply cards, there is no reason not to pre-fill them. After all, the data you need is most likely in your marketing database already, and we have the skills and the equipment to make the entire process easy for you.

Want to get a quick and easy boost to your response rates? Talk to us about prefilling the response forms and reply cards in your next print campaign!

Jeff Lampert
Director of Marketing & Business Development

“I don’t look to jump over 7-foot bars — I look for 1-foot bars that I can step over.” —Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway chairman and CEO

Friday, July 11, 2014

High-Performing Companies Focus on Personalization

What makes a high-performing company a high-performing company? According to a survey of more than 1,000 marketers, it’s a focus on personalizing customer experiences and using metrics to drive the creation of their creative.
According to Adobe’s “Digital Roadblocks: 2014,” when asked about their most important success factors, marketers gave the following answers:
·        Their CEO understands marketing (73%)
·        Marketing is becoming more important to their company (81%)
·        They are “completely” or “very” focused on personalizing customer experiences (63%)
·        Data (metrics from ads, campaigns, website, and so on) is “strongly informative” in evolving their marketing creative (28%)
Great marketing doesn’t just happen. It’s a strategic effort that involves creative, commitment, and effective use of data. Great marketing also starts with a commitment from the top. Just ask the best marketers around.

Need help combining elements of personalization and metrics-driven creative in producing your next print or multichannel campaign? Give us a call!

Jeff Lampert
Director of Marketing & Business Development

It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.
Charles Darwin