Thursday, May 18, 2017

Want More Reasons to Add Color? Here It Is!

When we think about adding color to marketing pieces, we often think about photos, charts, and graphs. But color can be added in many other ways, as well. These include highlight text, brightly colored banners, borders, and backgrounds, and symbols such as starbursts and arrows. 
Why think about more places to add color? According to Shoshana Burger, director of corporate strategy and customer insights for X-Rite Pantone, there are some powerful reasons:
  • People are 78% more likely to remember words and phrases in color.
  • Time spent reading a document is 80% higher in color.
  • Basic understanding of content is 80% higher in color.
  • Color increases brand recognition by 87%.
  • 65% of purchasing decisions involve color.
  • Color printing is 55% more likely to be read than black-and-white.
  • Response time is 30% faster in color.
  • When used in promotions, color increases the likelihood of purchase by 80%.
“Eighty percent of our human experience is filtered through visual cues,” noted Burger, speaking in a presentation titled “The Power of Color in Communications,” hosted by Printing Impressions magazine.  “Color also creates an emotional connection. Choosing the right color, and how that color conveys to the right user, is important.”
So look for ways to increase the use of color in your next mailing. Add a colored background to a text box. Use highlight color in your text to draw attention to offers or critical product details. Add an extra image, chart, or graph, or enlarge a colorful image that you already have.

Whatever you do, get more color in there!


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How Do You Know Your Efforts Are Working?

Creating a personalized print or multichannel marketing campaign takes significant investment in time, energy, and resources. You want to get maximum return on your investment. How do you know what is working and what isn’t? You have to measure the results.  
Measuring results goes beyond determining ROI. Sure, it’s important to know what kind of return you are getting, but it’s just as important to ask why you got the results you did. What factors influenced the conversion rate and value per sale? Why was this campaign more or less effective than the one before?
Say you give respondents a chance to win a sweepstakes for $500 if they log into a website and fill out a survey. The campaign generates a 5% response rate with 28% of those responses converting to sales of $200 each. It’s important to calculate the ROI on this campaign, but it’s equally important to test which parts of the campaign were responsible for the results and what happens if you change them.
For example, what if you increase the incentive to $2,500? Does the response rate go up? If so, does the dollar per sale increase, as well? Or does it not have a significant effect on the response rate or value per sale at all?
Don’t stop at one or even two tests. Analyze over time.
  • If you increase the incentive even more, does the response rate continue to go up? Or does it flatten out?
  • Does the effectiveness change based on the audience you are targeting?
  • Does a sweepstakes to win a free mountain bike motivate one audience, while a Nintendo Wii motivates another?
Mix it up, and test, test, test. This is critical intelligence that will help you refine your programs over time and get the maximum results out of your marketing dollars.

Need help? Just ask!


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Guide to Being Authentic

Whether you are writing copy for direct mail, email, social media, or mobile video, it is important to be authentic. People buy from people, so create marketing copy that is believable and that makes people want to buy from you. But like everything else, being authentic still takes planning. Here are five tips for keeping it real.
1. Be human.  Don’t sound like a corporate brochure. Instead of saying, “We’re going to leverage our core competency to shift the paradigm,” say, “As experts in this area, we’re going to do something new and exciting.” Use common language. Speak in a way that your audience can relate to.
2. Be passionate.  Passion is contagious. When someone argues deeply and passionately about an environmental cause, a weekend hobby, or an outstanding vacation destination, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement. Even if your product is as dry as Melba toast, find something to get excited about, then write from that source of passion.
3. Be vulnerable. Studies consistently show that consumers are more likely to trust a company that admits its flaws and failings but is honest about them and works hard to correct them than one who claims that all paths lead to success. Vulnerability is real, and we relate to it. Vulnerability builds trust.
4. Be honest. Don’t exaggerate the truth, and don’t make promises you can’t keep. If consumers sense that you’re not being honest about one or more elements of your marketing pitch, they will question the truthfulness of all of it.

5. Have fun. Have some fun in your marketing. Use humor, lighthearted pictures, and an element of surprise now and then. We have enough things in our lives that are dull and boring. Don’t make your product one of them.

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Thursday, April 20, 2017

3 Areas Where Direct Mail Beats Email

Don’t get us wrong—we love email. Like every marketing channel, email has an important place in the marketing mix. But with the pressure that marketers often experience to go all digital, it’s important to remind ourselves of some of the unique benefits offered by direct mail.
1. Direct mail doesn’t require an opt-in.
Before you can send a marketing email, you need to get the recipient’s permission. If people don’t want to receive your emails, they can block them. If they have opted in and later change their minds, they can simply opt back out. Direct mail doesn’t have these restrictions.
2. Direct mail doesn’t land in the spam folder.  
Direct mail doesn’t have spam restrictions. If you send direct mailers to accurate physical addresses, your target audience will receive them. 
3. In a B2B environment when the recipient moves onto a new job, direct mail still finds a target.
When your contact leaves the company for a new position, their email addresses are no longer valid and your marketing emails will bounce. However, direct mail still ends up on the desk of the next person to take their job. Not only does your message still find a target, but you have just introduced yourself to a new contact.
Both direct mail and email are powerful marketing tools, but they are not replacements for one another. Each has a role to play and offers benefits unique to that channel. Use direct mail and email individually, or better yet, create an integrated campaign in which they work together. But don’t think of either as a replacement for the other.
Want to learn more about the differences between direct mail and email?

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Want More Trees? Buy Paper!

Did you know? In North America, it takes less than two seconds to grow the fiber for a standard #10 envelope. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. According to Two Sides North America, here are some little known facts about paper and trees.
  • The time required to grow the fiber needed for a #10 envelope is 0.3 to 1.9 seconds.
  • The time required to grow the fiber needed for a ream of 500-sheet office paper is 0.3 to 2.2 hours.
Growth rates are based on 100 acres of managed forest in North America.*
The fastest growth rates are for Loblolly Pine and Hybrid Aspen. The slowest are for Black Spruce. Climate and temperature play a large role in growth rates.  
Here are some other fun facts:
  • A forestland owner or tree farmer with 100 acres of commercial pulpwood could produce 15.8 million #10 envelopes or 4,000 reams of copy paper (500 sheets each) in a single year.
  • Any market for paper products also benefits local communities, given that a portion of the income is re-injected into local businesses and services.
Unfortunately, claims such as “go paperless – go green” or “save trees” mislead consumers into believing that paper is environmentally damaging, as well as a cause of deforestation (permanent forest loss) when it is not.  In fact, paper supports the growth of North American forests, and well-managed forests provide a multitude of environmental, social and economic benefits to thousands of North American communities.  Forests are also key to helping mitigate climate change due to carbon sequestration and promoting biodiversity compared to other land uses.
Want to learn more? Check out Two Sides’ Fact Sheets or Myths and Facts series.

* Results are based on type of tree species used and the age and growing conditions of the trees. Data and fiber growth rate calculations were obtained from the literature for nine tree species used in pulp and paper production and occurring under different growing conditions in the U.S. and Canada.

URL: http://www.twosidesna.org/


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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Effective Communication Breeds Customer Loyalty

If your company has high levels of customer satisfaction, they are likely to remain loyal, right? Wrong.
In a customer satisfaction study of 10 major industries, an average of 72% of respondents indicated that they were highly satisfied with the products or services received. Yet 88% of the customers surveyed said that they were willing to switch providers for any reason!
Many of your competitors likely offer a quality product and service with prices and delivery standards that are similar to yours. In this fiercely competitive environment, how can you continuously attract and win new customers while fostering loyalty among your current ones?
All things being equal, your customers will naturally go where they consistently feel well treated and appreciated.
You care about your clients, but what matters to them is how you show it. Demonstrating their value to you requires more than quality service and good prices. It requires strategic planning. It requires ongoing attentiveness and creativity in the quality of your communication.
Direct mail is often viewed as a way of winning new customers, but its effectiveness as a customer loyalty tool should not be overlooked. It is powerful, relevant, and has a tangible cost. Sending direct mail (especially personalized mail) says to your customers, “You are worth the effort.”
Consider setting up a series of “nurturing” mailers throughout the year. Make it a continuous client contact program that will demonstrate at regular, pre-planned intervals that you are sincerely grateful for their business and care about their relationship with you.
Use the data you’ve collected to communicate, cross-sell, educate, survey and grow your relationship with these customers. Offer useful tips, and send newsletters, press releases, case studies, company brochures and timely incentives that remind clients of your commitment to service, value, quality, innovation, and loyalty.
Direct mail isn’t just for customer acquisition marketing anymore. It is a critical part of effective customer retention efforts too. 

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Tips for Maximizing the Cross-Sell

It is a well-known fact that it’s easier and less expensive to sell more products to existing customers than to try to acquire new customers. One of the ways you can do this is to cross-sell. Cross-selling can be highly profitable because it deepens the customer relationship. It also gives you a host of additional products to upsell the customer over time.
Here are some tips for best results.
1. Know your customers.
There is no sense trying to sell your customers products they already have or ancillary products for those they do not. If you track sales history, tap into that. If you don’t, let us help you use data gathering techniques to learn who your customers are, what makes them tick, and what they do and do not already have.
2. Know when they buy.
When are your customers most likely to make a purchase? What time of year? Time of day? Stage of the sales cycle? They will be most receptive during these times.
A study conducted on the airline industry, for example, found that nearly two-thirds of customers were most likely to purchase ancillary products at the time they booked a trip rather than sometime afterwards (such as prior to check-in, during the check-in process, or during their stay). This type of information can be very helpful to travel agents, who can then put the most effort into marketing their ancillary services upfront.
3. Know where they buy.
Where are your customers most likely to make a purchase? From you directly? From a reseller? How about an online retailer? Do your marketing materials reflect their full range of options? How about the way customers purchase? Do they want to purchase in-store? Online? By mobile phone? Customers will be most receptive if you find out their individual channel preferences, then use those preferences to interact with them on their terms.
Cross-selling is an important way that marketers to maximize their marketing budgets and reap the best ROI. Why not let us help you design your next cross-selling campaign?

Please give us a call at 440-946-0606
Or visit our website here for more information.

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