Wednesday, February 13, 2019

5 Ways to Market for Less


Did you know that even during the Great Depression, some companies thrived? While other marketers were cutting their spending, a few businesses like Camel and Chevrolet took the opportunity to use aggressive marketing tactics to grab market share from their competitors. It's proof that the key to long-term success in any economy is to get in front of your target audience and stay there.
Even if your budget strings are tightening, here are a few ways to keep your marketing on track.
Use fewer inks.
If you have a three-color project, consider dropping down to two colors. With the creative use of screen tints, you can often create a similar look for a lower cost. If you have been printing generic business documents like forms in two colors, consider dropping back to just black ink.
Use more inks.
This might seem counter-intuitive, but if you have a three-color project, it is often more cost-effective to bump it up to four colors. In many cases, the four-color process is less expensive than three-color spot printing because the press is already set up. Plus, you can ask about including your job in a gang run where it is on the press alongside other four-color jobs and then trimmed down to size.
Prepare your artwork and proofread carefully.
You can avoid many service charges by making sure you’ve prepared your artwork correctly and caught every last typo.
Clean up your mailing list.
It's tedious work, but it can drop your costs dramatically. With a clean list, you can print exactly what you need and avoid extra postage costs as well.
Consider different formats.
Just because you have always done a brochure for a particular promotion doesn't mean it's the only option. Experiment with a postcard instead of a brochure and see whether you get a better response rate. Testing is the key to effective marketing. A little creativity can go a long way toward saving money.
Need some help applying cost-saving principles to your marketing projects? 

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


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Have Regular Renewals? Use Trigger Marketing

Do you sell the kinds of products or services that are ordered on a cyclical basis or that renew according to a regular schedule? If so, you should consider sending simple, calendar-triggered reminders based on the customer’s purchase or service history to keep your revenues flowing. 
Auto dealerships use this technique all the time. To boost its service revenues, one dealership decided to slice its customer database (both active and inactive) by type of automotive service, such as emissions checks, tune-ups, and brake service. Then, the dealership sorted this data by date of the next service, such as all customers with emissions checks coming up within the next 60 days. They used this information to generate weekly alerts to car owners in advance of the recommended service dates for their vehicles.
With this approach, the dealership saw its service department profits rise to 18% within the first six months of the campaign, compared to 12% in the prior six months.
As auto dealerships know, a simple reminder can be incredibly effective. It works in other markets, too. Software upgrades. Computer service contracts. Gym memberships. Medical appointments. Pet care. Landscaping. Floral arrangements for birthdays and anniversaries. Any market in which the need for products and services is ongoing and cyclical.
Talk to us about how you can combine trigger marketing with personalized alerts and offers to keep your customers ordering. Don’t have those critical dates to send those triggers? Ask us about simple data collection. We can help with that, too!

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


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Creating Marketing Copy That Gets Read


In Confessions of an Advertising Man, David Ogilvy, founder of the highly regarded advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather, wrote, “Ninety-nine percent of all advertising doesn’t sell a thing.” You don’t want your products to be in that 99%. How do you make sure you are in the coveted one percent?
You might say “personalization and relevance,” and it’s true. Personalization stops you, and relevance gets you reading further. But even the most personalized, relevant message won’t amount to much if it isn’t paired with good marketing copy.  If the copy is not compelling, if it’s bland and uninformative, even the best personalization cannot carry the load. Your need good, solid marketing copy that is interesting, engaging, and compelling.
To make the most of your marketing efforts, here are some fundamental principles for great copywriting you can follow.
  • Be imaginative. Break out of the mold. Look for different or unconventional ways to say the same thing.
  • Be a salesman. Cute and clever doesn’t get you anywhere if it doesn’t sell anything. Be creative, but also be clear. Sell benefits. Give an overt call to action. Balance creativity and salesmanship.
  • Talk about your customers first. As one marketing communications site puts it, “Self-interest is the best hook.” Talk about customers’ problems, customers’ challenges, and customers’ bottlenecks. Then talk about how your products and services solve them.
  • Be honest. Part of building a brand is maintaining customer loyalty and trust. That starts with honesty about the products and services you sell.
  • Hire a professional editor, even if only on a freelance basis. An employee who is “good at grammar” isn’t good enough. When it comes to marketing, there are rules for punctuation, capitalization, and usage that only professionals know.
Of course, there are other elements to great print marketing, as well. Good layout. Interesting graphics. Compelling offer. But great copy ties it all together.
Talk to us about turning these simple rules into a standout 1:1 print campaign that will motivate your customers to action. 

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



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Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Personalization: Why It Works


Everywhere you look, marketing content is personalized. From grocery store receipts to your Amazon recommendations to postcards in the mailbox, companies are personalizing their communications to address who their customers are and what their customers need. Are you capitalizing on those opportunities, too?
Let’s look at some of the reasons personalized marketing works so well (and why you should be using it, too).
First, personalized communications give your customers the feeling that you care about them. It takes more time and effort to talk to someone by name (“Hi, Jane! We have a special offer just for you!”). Targeting based on their needs and wants makes your customers feel noticed and valued.
Second, personalized mailings are more relevant to your customers. When you market based on their interests and needs, they are more likely to respond. The combination of more relevant communications and the customer’s greater sense of value is powerful.
Personalization can really pay off in your results. One study found the following lift for personalized over static mailing campaigns


  • Lead generation: 6.9% lift over static mailings
  • Direct orders: 6.2% lift over static mailings
  • Traffic generation: 14.7% lift over static mailings

You do have to take different steps to personalize your documents than you do for traditional campaigns, but don’t be intimidated. It doesn’t need to be difficult. You don’t have to be an expert in databases or IT.
We are here to help. Talk to us about going from static marketing communications to making it personal.

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


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Your Customer: “Pay Attention to Me!”


Congratulations! You landed a new customer—and they love you. As long as you continue to provide good products, reasonable prices, and great customer service, they’ll stay loyal as long as you don’t mess things up. Right?
Not necessarily. In today’s competitive world, you cannot take your customers for granted. You’ve worked hard to win them, but just like any relationship, you have to put in effort to make it last. This is one of the areas where sending regular personalized print and email communications pays off.
Here are five ideas for keeping customers happy and retaining them over the long term.
  • Keep them up to date. Send a monthly print or email newsletter. Tell customer stories. Talk about new products. Provide insight they wouldn’t otherwise get. Speak to them by name and customize the content to be more interesting and relevant to them.
  •  Ask their opinion. Ask them how you are doing. It’s a great way to let people know you value their opinion . . . and their business. Use personalized URLs to make this easy and append the data back into your marketing database automatically.
  • Send a card. Do you know your customers’ birthdays? How about the date they first became customers? Send them personalized “thank you’ notes and cards as a way to let them know you appreciate them.
  • Offer advice. Once in a while, offer some free advice. If you’re a landscaping company, you might suggest the easiest care perennials for the upcoming season. If you’re a real estate office, you might alert them to the latest trends in front porch décor.
  • Discounts galore! Send a coupon for a discount or a freebie “just because.” It continually re-engages your customers and helps them see the value in their relationship with you.

Client retention is critical to your bottom-line success. Be a company that does this well, and you’ll reap the benefits of great brand recognition and long-term customer relationships.


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


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Pantone’s Color of the Year: Living Coral


It’s here! Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2019. It’s Living Coral, Pantone 16-1546. After considering trends in everything from fashion to décor, Pantone announced this vibrant, yet warm color as it top pick.
In a world filled with uncertainty, Pantone chose Living Coral for its warmth and optimism. After all, what better to represent hope than the beauty of the coral reef, a coastal community teaming with life?
Notes Pantone:
In reaction to the onslaught of digital technology and social media increasingly embedding into daily life, we [as human beings] are seeking authentic and immersive experiences that enable connection and intimacy. Sociable and spirited, the engaging nature of Pantone 16-1546 Living Coral welcomes and encourages lighthearted activity. Symbolizing our innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits, Pantone 16-1546 Living Coral embodies our desire for playful expression.[1]
How can you tap into the opportunity?
  • Use Living Coral for borders, backgrounds, and even text.
  • Select images that contain color(s) similar to Living Coral (or that are complementary to it) and incorporate them into your design.
  • Even consider using Living Coral for envelopes. Bring your audience a sense of optimism and cheer as soon as they take the mailer out of the mailbox!
Pantone’s announcement lets you capitalize on this fun and meaningful color that we’ll be seeing a lot of this coming year. So engage your creativity. How will you use Living Coral?

[1] https://www.pantone.com/color-intelligence/color-of-the-year/color-of-the-year-2019


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Or visit our website here for more information.


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Thursday, January 3, 2019

NEW POSTAL PRICES TO TAKE EFFECT JANUARY 27, 2019

The US Postal service has announced new rates for both Market Dominant and Competitive products that will take effect on January 27, 2019.  While the overall average increase is 2.5%, this percentage varies widely by class of type of sortation used to prepare the mail.
For example, retail rates for Market Dominant First-Class mail:
                First-Class stamp currently $.50 will be $.55, a 7.5% increase
                Additional ounces decrease from $.21 to $.15, a reduction of 28.5%
                Metered letter increases from $.47 to $.50, or 6.4%

First-Class Mail Rates
While Single-Piece Letters and Postcards increase by 7.5%, Presort rates for these pieces increases by only 1.0%.  
On the other hand, Flat-sized First Class mail decreases by 11%.
Priority Mail rates will increase for most packages by an average of 6.2% and Priority Mail Express will increase by an average of 3.9%. Priority Mail Commercial will only increase by an average of 3.2%.
In an effort to standardize its package services, the USPS plans to price First Class Packages based on weight and zone. First Class Packages were previously priced based on weight alone. This means First Class Package services will be more comparable to other USPS shipping products such as Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express.
In 2018, a 12 oz. First Class Commercial Parcel was $3.82, regardless of where it was being sent. In 2019, that same 12 oz. package could be $3.82 to $4.33, depending on the zone where it’s being sent.

Marketing Mail Rates
The average impact for Letter and Flats mailers is about the same, 2.4% and 2.6% respectively.   Parcels increase an average of 2.7%.  
Mailers of High-density/Saturation letters realize a larger increase of 3.8%, while HD/Saturation flats mailers see a similar increase of 3.6%.  
Standard Carrier Route rates increase .7%, while EDDM Every Door Direct Mail retail rates increase 5%. 

Periodicals
The overall average increase is 2.5% for Periodical mailers; 2.5% for outside-county rates, while Inside-country rates increase an average of 2.0%.

Package Services
Package Services increase by an average of 2.5%; BPM Flats increase 2.5%, BPM Parcels increase 2.2% and Media and Library Mail increase almost 3%. 

Please give us a call at 440-946-0606 for more information.

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