Friday, January 5, 2018

Planning an Event? You Need These 7 Items!

Are you planning an event? If so, marketing needs to go beyond direct mail and email. It requires a comprehensive strategy that ensures that your audience has a positive experience and spreads the word after it’s is over. Here’s a checklist that you make the event the best it can be.
1. Direct mail. Consider a drip strategy: one mailing well in advance and one (or more) closer to the date to nudge them to respond if they haven’t already. People are busy. Get on their calendars early.
2. Email. Touch base on a regular basis so people don’t forget about you. Send teasers about fun activities, engaging content, and featured speakers. Drip reminders and build excitement about the event.
3. Promotional items. Well-chosen promotional items mailed in advance can pique interest and remind people of the event every time they see them. Order additional items as giveaways at the event itself. Make sure to order six to eight weeks in advance.
4. Signs, banners, and floor displays. Use signage to provide clear identification of the location of the event and activities while it’s in progress. Clearly direct people to food, seminars, or other key events while they are there. Good signage creates a positive experience and increases the chances that people will come again.
5. Table tents. These often overlooked marketing pieces can provide additional event information and cross-promote upcoming events or activities.
6. T-shirts. Worn by your staff, branded T-shirts can be enormously helpful to attendees looking for information or support. Provided T-shirts as giveaways too, so attendees continue to promote your brand long after the event is over.
7. Social media. Use social media to promote your event, encourage sign-ups, and promote your brand (and future events) afterwards.

Successful events require a lot of support—before, during, and afterward. Give us a call well in advance so we can help you make your event a success!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Don’t Lose Customers Due to Inaction!

Do you know the primary reason companies lose customers? They stop communicating with them. It is that simple. When companies stop communicating, their customers lose interest. They move on to the competition and brands that pay attention to them. This is why it is not enough to just have a customer acquisition strategy. You must have a customer retention strategy, too. 

In this effort, one of your most powerful tools is personalized print. Think personalized newsletters. Personalized postcards. Personalized holiday giveaways and gifts. These are your customers. They should not be treated the same way as people you have never done business with. You need to reinforce the existing relationship and speak to customers on a personal basis.

When one chain of hair salons wanted to reduce guest churn, for example, it set up a customer retention program that included personalized direct mail. It personalized its mailers based on customer name, images, offer, salon location, and reward program status. Franchise owners started sending postcards every six weeks to stay current and top of mind with their hair salon clientele. 

The results?

    The chain has a high customer retention rate.
    Its rewards program customers have a one-third higher top “spend” than other customers.
    Franchisees have a much stronger upsell rate for their female customers.

Print personalization is all about strengthening relationships. It helps you stay relevant. It helps you stay top of mind. How often do you need to send out personalized campaigns? At a minimum, more often than your competition does!

Need ideas? Let us look at your list and talk about ways you can be engaging your customers on a consistent basis.  

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Three Tips for Getting More from Your Paper

It’s no secret. Marketers are benefitting from today’s healthy economy. But competition for consumers’ shopping dollars is still fierce, and marketing dollars are under more scrutiny than ever before. One of the places you can stretch your print dollars is with smart selections in paper. Here are three easy ways to manage your paper costs without impacting the quality of your print campaigns.   

1. Spend less, get more.
Paper prices fluctuate often, so if you haven't standardized on a specific paper, ask about less expensive options. Just because you notice a subtle difference between stocks doesn’t mean your customers will. (In fact, they probably won’t.) If you are mailing multi-page documents, consider switching to a lighter stock that can help you save on postage, too.

2. Try our in-house brand.
If your piece doesn't demand a specialty paper, opt to use our house stock. House paper isn’t less expensive because it’s lower quality. It’s less expensive because we purchase it in volume and pass the savings on to you.

3. Avoid the use of bleeds.
If color needs to go to the edge of the page, depending on the specs of the job, the job may need to be printed on a larger sheet of paper or on a larger press. This can increase your costs. If you don't include bleeds, your project might require less paper or be able to be run on a smaller format press. You might also be able to get a similar effect at lower cost by using colored paper.

We are experts at helping our customers maximizing their marketing budgets, including their use of paper. Need some ideas? Give us a call!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Best Practices in Personalized Marketing

Let’s look at three best practices that need to be the foundation of any personalized print campaign.
·      Traditional marketing rules apply. Even with personalized marketing, traditional rules hold firm. Ultimately, all of the elements — creative, message (including personalization), offer, segmentation, call to action, and incentive —need to come together to determine success. 
·      Focus on relevance, not “personalization.” It doesn’t matter how “personalized” a document is. If it isn’t relevant, it is worthless. Take the shoe market. You don’t want to sell orthopedic shoes to teenagers. You can deck out the mailer with text messaging terms, pictures of X-Games, and use all the contemporary lingo, but it’s not a relevant message unless a teen needs to purchase a birthday present for grandpa.
·      Know your customers, then market to what you know. When the National Hockey League began 1:1 communication with its customers, it asked them to fill out a survey that indicated that 40% of the of NHL’s fan base lives outside their favorite team’s home market. That means these fans can’t easily go to games or access highlights. Imagine the opportunity for the league! So ask yourself, what don’t you know about your customers now that might allow you to create relevance in a more powerful way later? Do a customer mail or email survey. Use what you find out to speak directly to the needs and interests of your customers.
Investing in your marketing database and developing an intimate understanding of your customers takes time, dedicated resources, and manpower, but it is one of the most important investments you can make. Personalization is a powerful tool, but to get the big pay-off, it cannot work alone.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Maximizing Your Multichannel Advantage

Did you know that 72% of consumers say they would rather connect with brands and businesses in a multichannel environment (SailThru)? And that 55% of marketers now use three to four channels to reach their target audiences, up from 44% two years ago (Direct Marketing Association)? Creating a multichannel mix doesn’t have to be daunting. Here are five tips for maximizing your efforts: 
1. Don’t let data paralysis keep you down.
“Multi” begins with two. Start with a simple one-two punch with email and direct mail. Or direct mail to mobile marketing video via QR Code. Add social media sharing buttons to blog posts and e-newsletters. Then add in other components one at a time.
2. Know the strengths and weaknesses of each channel.
Marketing channels are not interchangeable. Each has strengths and weaknesses, so know the pros and cons of each channel and match them to the right stage in the campaign.
3. Know your customers’ channel preferences.
For some campaigns, you may want to use multiple channels to reach the same customer at different times and in different ways. Other times, you want to communicate primarily or initially through their preferred channel(s). For example, if you offer a customer newsletter, don’t assume everyone wants the print or email version and send every person the same thing. Ask which channel they prefer, then honor their request. You’ll get more responses and improved customer loyalty that way.
4. Remember that social and mobile channels are driven by print.
If you want to grow your email and social media efforts, start with print. That’s because print is one of the key drivers of awareness of email and social media exposure and sign-ups.
5. Break down the silos.
Although multichannel campaigns don’t have to be integrated, simple reasoning says that they should be. All of these components need to work together, whether through a marketing automation system or being driven by human decision-making. This requires breaking down data silos.
6. Match channels to their place in the sales funnel. 
Marketing channels are not interchangeable. They are used at different times and for different purposes. Understand the role each channel plays in your sales funnel and match the channels up appropriately.
Need help understanding the benefits of each channel and putting together an effective mix? Give us a call!