Friday, April 28, 2017

Benefit from Effective Branding


An effective brand creates an enduring perception in the minds of your customers and distinguishes you from your competitors.  An investment in branding can pay off in many ways. 

Increase mind share.  When you want a cola, you think of Coca-Cola or Pepsi.  If you need a bandage, Band-Aid comes to mind.  Are you top-of-mind in your market segment?  The sensory components of printed materials engage readers on an emotional level, connecting customers to your brand in a way electronic marketing can’t match.  Consider incorporating a gloss varnish, embossing, a distinctive die cut, or one of the many textures now available in papers and other substrates.

Build loyalty.  A memorable experience with a quality brand creates loyalty, which translates not only into the likelihood of a repeat sale but also an increased probability that the customer will buy related items from the same brand. 

Benefit from referrals.  People who have never used your product or service may still recommend it if they’ve encountered your brand enough times to develop a sense of familiarity.  Printed collateral can be more visible to the casual observer as the prospect doesn’t have to consciously seek out your message.  Include your social media information on your printed products.    

Command a premium price.  A powerful brand can lift your product or service out of the ambit of a commodity, so you have buyers eager to pay more for what you’re selling.  Many companies sell coffee, so what makes people stand in line and pay top dollar at Starbucks? 

Lower your marketing cost in the long run.  Although you have to invest resources to create a strong brand, once it is established you can maintain it without having to re-tell your story. Many budget-conscious marketers rely heavily on electronic media, but research shows that people still prefer print.  We simply don’t have the same visceral reaction to an e-brochure as a professionally printed piece.     

Less risk for the consumer equals more sales for you.  If someone is put on the spot to make a decision, he will most likely choose the brand-name supplier.  Consider monthly postcard marketing so prospects interact with your brand regularly.  Printed materials have the advantage over electronic media based on portability and permanence.


Building an effective brand is a continuous process.  Evaluate your brand’s market position periodically to make sure it’s fresh and relevant. 

Friday, March 31, 2017

5 Ways to Build Your Direct Mail List

1. Purchase a trade show attendee list.
Trade shows attract a very specific target audience, and they generally attract the decision makers in the company. Attendee lists from key trade shows in your market vertical can net you very high value prospects.
2. Purchase a media list.
Like trade shows, specialty magazines (including trade magazines) have well-defined target audiences, and some will sell their subscriber lists to marketers. Demographic breakdowns are used for advertising sales, and by contacting the magazine, you can often obtain them.
3. Tap your own content marketing.
If you offer an e-newsletter, ask for recipients’ street addresses at sign-up. If website visitors can download white papers or case studies, ask them to fill out an online registration form and include their street address as an option.
4. Use Every Day Direct Mail (EDDM).
Every Day Direct Mail from the United Postal Service is an inexpensive way to target households within a specific demographic radius. Although EDDM lists do not include names, once people respond to your communication, you now have qualified leads—and names.
5. Purchase a cloned list.
Do you already have a productive direct mail list? Just want more customers like the ones you already have? Cloned lists allow you to do just that. Create a profile of your best customers, then purchase a list that reflects that profile.
These are all smart, cost-effective ways to build your direct mail list that can yield great results. Need help implementing one or more of these ideas? We can help!


Friday, March 24, 2017

Positioning Your Business for Tomorrow


First you must identify the factors that will further your company’s long-term marketing goals. You might not have a perfect understanding of every looming competitive, economic, legal, sociological, or technological force, but you can become alert to the possibilities. Arm yourself with information on the longevity and profit potential of your present market’s lifecycle as well as budding market opportunities so you can begin positioning your business for tomorrow today.

Here are a few ways to foster future business opportunities regardless of your business size or budget.

1. Provide platinum-standard customer service. Your goal is always to exceed your customers’ expectations, but if you fall short, admit it. Many loyal repeat customers result from perfectly corrected errors.

2. Cultivate your elite customers. Your best customers—those who are easy to work with, who really like you, and who have a positive history with your company—are a goldmine of quality referrals. Strengthen existing relationships and build new ones by giving your top clients and their guests special offers, insights, and previews of your innovations.

3. Create top-of-mind awareness. Not everyone needs your product or service today, but many will at some point in the future. Capitalize on your vision of emerging needs and trends, communicated using our suite of multichannel marketing tools and techniques, to get your product in front of tomorrow’s customers now.


It takes time for the seeds you plant today to germinate into future business. Essential to all of this is to communicate effectively with your target audience. Consult with us to learn how our technology and expertise can support these efforts.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Rethink Ink on Paper in a Digital World

The New Year is the perfect time to rethink your print marketing strategy, revamp your messaging, and refresh your brand. This requires an understanding of the role traditional ink on paper plays in a time when technology adoption and digital delivery are reshaping marketing and customer engagement.
1. Invest in customer retention. We all know that it costs less to keep the customers you have than to capture new ones, so keep your customers engaged with a consistent multichannel marketing plan. Maybe you’ve abandoned a print newsletter for an e-version, but your email is getting lost in the inbox and anti-spam legislation is creating new challenges for deliverability. Mailing a newsletter, particularly one that uses variable data to deliver a personalized message, is a great way to keep your company top of mind.
2. Get to the point. Your customers have more choices and less time than ever before. Rewrite your copy to tell consumers why your company is the only real choice. Change rambling copy into a powerful, focused message.
3. Be the customer. When you take a step back, are you engaging customers at the right time through the right channels? The way content will be created, delivered, and consumed in 2017 isn’t the same as it was only a few years ago. Is it worth your prospect’s time to follow you on Facebook or Twitter? When they scan the QR Code on your direct mail piece, are they landing on a page with a specific call to action?
4. Freshen up. If you’re anticipating a change in management, introducing a new product or service, or celebrating a significant business milestone, consider a brand refresh. With slight revisions to your branding elements and positioning, you can preserve your brand’s existing equity while infusing new energy into your offerings.
Need help navigating the increasingly complex world of print marketing? Let us help you get 2017 off to a profitable start!



Friday, December 2, 2016

How Much Personalization Is Too Personal?

When you are personalizing print or email communications, it’s important to remember that there are real people on the end of the line. Good use of data can be very effective, but the poor use of data can make people uncomfortable.

One marketer caused a stir, for example, when it targeted men with a personalized communication that used their names with “Jr.” added to the end to represent the son they might have some day . . . if they aren’t careful. Needless to say, plenty of recipients were uncomfortable with that approach! This is something many industry commentators call “the creepy factor.”

So how can you personalize your content in a positive way without crossing the line? Here are three tips.

1. Protect private data. There is a difference between selling educational materials and selling refinancing offers. If you’re selling educational books to children, for example, you might want to know that your neighbor down the street bought a set of the same materials. But you probably don’t want a mortgage company outing you as a good candidate for a refinancing offer.

2. Make sure your data is current. Keep your data clean and current. One company was criticized for marketing to recipients as if they were one step from a retirement home when, in fact, many of them were not even retired. Use surveys to stay in touch with your customers and get to know them. If necessary, use third party data houses to fill in critical details.

3. Be considerate. Use the data in a way that is respectful and considerate of the person receiving it. You may not want to let recipients know just how much you know about them upfront. Some marketers start with basic targeting and segmentation, then layer that communication with name personalization, rather than using highly personal details overtly.

Remember that data is just data. When it comes to personalization, it’s what you do with that data that matters. Need help making sure that your use of data is a good one? Talk to us—we’re here to help.


Thursday, October 27, 2016

Switching from Static to Personalized Makes Results Soar


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!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

3 Reasons to Use Direct Mail That You May Not Know

There are lots of reasons to use direct mail, and you may have heard many of them. So here are three statistics on the value of direct mail marketing that you may not have heard.
1. Direct mail has higher value in persuasion.
According to a recent study by Canada Post and True Impact Marketing,[1] direct mail generates a motivation score that is 20% higher than digital media.  The study found this score to be even higher when direct mail creative uses print enhancements (for example, special coatings, dimensionality, and print-to-mobile technologies).
2. Direct mail is easier to understand.
A wide variety of studies confirm that information provided in print is easier for people to understand and process than information provided in digital form. In the case of the True Impact study, direct mail was found to require 21% less cognitive effort. That means your message is absorbed more quickly and effectively.
3. Direct mail results in higher brand recall.
Not only is information in direct mail easier to process, but it is more likely to be retained. True Impact found that brand recall was 70% higher among participants who were exposed to direct mail ads rather than to digital ones.
Need more reasons to love direct mail? Just ask!





[1] “A Bias for Action” (Canada Post and True Impact Marketing, July 2015)