Thursday, August 22, 2019

Can Surveys Help You Raise More Money? You Bet!


When first start planning a fundraising campaign, does a donor survey come to mind? If not, maybe it should. Donor surveys can be tremendously useful in planning a fundraising campaign so it raises the maximum amount for your project.
Let’s say you are a private high school looking to raise funds to replace grass athletic fields with artificial turf. Before mailing out your fundraiser, you decide to survey alumni and friends of the school who have donated to capital projects in the past. Questions might include:
  • Are you aware that our school is investing in an artificial turf field?
  • What do you think are the most important benefits of this investment?
  • Are you concerned about any health risks associated with artificial turf?
  • Do you see any competitive advantages of artificial turf over traditional grass fields?
  • Do you know whether any our school’s direct competitors already have artificial turf?
Surveys can be sent in print or by email, and the answers can help you plan your next marketing steps.
For example, if donors are aware of the performance benefits of artificial turf but don’t know about other benefits (such as reduced maintenance costs to the school, lower water usage, and reduced use of agricultural chemicals), this gives you talking points about the value of their donations they may not be aware of.
Likewise, if donors know the competitive advantages of artificial turf but are unaware of how many of your school’s competitors already have them, this allows you to position their donations as a way to help your school stay competitive.
Or perhaps donors have misconceptions about the health hazards of artificial turf based on their knowledge of older turf products. This allows you to discuss advances in technology and alleviate potential concerns before misconceptions can derail your fundraising efforts before they get started.
The issues and questions will be different for every organization. But what stays the same is how a simple survey can provide critical insights that can improve your messaging and get that project funded more quickly!

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3 Tips for Creating a Visual Brand


Top brands have key written marketing strategies, but they have visual strategies too. Think about some of today’s most iconic brands—Nike, McDonald’s, Disney. Just one glance and the entire brand—its core messages and key products—rush into your mind. Do you have a visual brand? If not, how can you create one?
1. Be consistent with brand colors.
There’s a reason top brands place such importance on their brand colors. Think Tide Orange and Coca-Cola Red. Not only are these brand colors used for products and logos, but they infuse every aspect of these companies’ marketing, both digital and print.
Even if you don’t have an official brand color, identify colors that are consistent with your company message and image. Use them consistently throughout your materials. Color can be a consistent presence in all of your marketing materials that triggers visual memory.
2. Tell your story in pictures.
What’s your brand story? How can images of your products tell that story? For example, from a branding perspective, Harley-Davidson doesn’t sell motorcycles. It sells independence and freedom. Visuals of the open road are as important as the motorcycle itself. Likewise, Lexus doesn’t sell cars. It sells prestige. Its advertising shows cars driven by men in expensive suits or by women dripping with luxury.
What feelings do your print materials need to evoke? Are your products designed to give people financial freedom, make them better moms, or boost their social standing? If so, what images will reinforce those messages?
3. Go professional. 
Stock imagery works in a pinch, but it tells a general story, not your story. Try hiring a professional photographer and using pictures of your storefront or corporate offices, your employees, and your products in use (rather than just house shots). Build a visual identity based on real people, places, and things associated with your company.

Visual branding is a powerful tool — use it!

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

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Nurtured Prospects Are Higher-Value Prospects

Lead nurturing is the process of drawing prospects into the sales funnel, then “dripping” relevant information to them via print, email, or other channels to keep them moving through the funnel until they make a purchase.
Lead nurturing is a powerful tool, but it is a process unfamiliar to many marketers. According to Forrester Research, companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost. It’s worth learning!
Let’s look at five types of lead nurturing campaigns and how they can boost your bottom line.
1.  Product-focused campaigns
Once someone “raises their hand” to show an interest in your products, your job has only begun. Now you can begin feeding them content such as case studies, white papers, and data sheets. Give them enough information, and the right information at the right stage of their buyer journeys, to make a purchase decision.
2. Overcoming objections
Part of a customer’s journey is asking questions, so feed them information that anticipates those questions and answers their objections. This might include technical papers, customer testimonials, or analysis from industry experts. A comparison/contrast with competitive products might be in order.
3. Lead re-engagement campaigns
At some point, prospects can become disengaged from the process. Maybe they were wooed away by a competitor. Maybe they handed the project off to someone else. Or maybe they just got busy. Blog posts, case studies, and customer testimonials are great ways to renew their interest. 
4. Promotional/closing campaigns
After a prospect has been exposed to escalating “drips” of relevant content, it is time to close the deal. Send a promotional offer or specific, personalized call to action to get them to pull the trigger.
5. “Top of mind” campaigns
Even once someone becomes a customer, don’t stop pursuing them. Keep that relationship going with a welcome letter, postcard, or information kit. Make new customers feel valued and appreciated, then stay top of mind with educational newsletters, tips and tricks postcards, and regular “drip” emails to keep them engaged until they are ready to make another purchase. 
Need help planning a lead nurturing campaign? Give us a call!

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

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Getting Great Results from Personalized Print

Personalized content is everywhere—direct mail, email, magazines, and even ads that follow you around the web. But as a marketer, how do you get there? Just dropping in data-driven content doesn’t guarantee success. Whether it’s print or email, here are three keys to remember when creating any personalized marketing campaign.
  • Don’t rely on data alone. In a recent study, 51% of consumers said that personalized communications make them more likely to buy. However, that’s only after you’ve gotten down the basics. Ultimately, all of the elements—creative, messaging (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. You can have the best residential landscaping service around, for example, but if your list includes a high percentage of people living in apartments or condos, your ROI will stink.
  • Know, know, know your customers. Understand what makes your customers tick, then market to what matters to them. For example, the Millennial generation prioritizes experience over specs. If you sell custom bicycles, for example, capture their attention with the value of a family cycling together or how much faster their urban commute would be without getting caught in an automotive snarl.
Investing in your marketing database and developing an intimate understanding of your customers takes time, dedicated resources, and human resources, but it is one of the most important investments you can make.
Need some help? Let us help you develop your next personalized print or email campaign. 

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


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5 Tips for Keeping Customers Coming Back


You want to keep your most profitable customers, right? Right! According to research by Frederick Reichheld of Bain & Company, increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%.[1] You can double your profitability just by keeping the customers you already have. So how do you do that? Here are five tips for keeping your customers coming back.
1. Go holistic. The more you know your customers, the easier it is to know what to do to keep them. Start by tying together all the data you have on each customer to get one holistic view. For example, John W. Smith in your mailing database may also be Johnny Smith Jr. in your email list and J.W. Smith on Facebook. Most customers need help tying these databases together. If so, contact us, and we can help.
2. Make it easy.  Reduce barriers to communicating with you. Give people more options, whether it’s via chat box or Facebook Messenger. Make it easier to buy and make repeat purchases. Something as simple as pre-filling response cards and subscription forms can improve the customer experience.
3. Treat them like real people. Customers don’t like feeling like a number. Take what you know about them and personalize text and images, whether in print or email. Invest in expanding your database to include new variables that will increase relevance.
4. Listen. Are you only pushing information out and not listening to feedback? Respond quickly and appropriately to comments sent to you through email, your company blog, and even social media.
5. Take the long view. Forget the gimmicks and quick fixes. Prizes, sweepstakes, and “experiential events” can get results, but they are short lived. As one strategist has put it, “Get to the trenches, examine how your customers live and use your products, and then design a complete meaningful solution for them across all touchpoints.”[2]
There are no quick fixes for customer loyalty. It requires developing a strategy, making a commitment, and investing in an ongoing relationship with your customers that includes listening, as well as talking.
Need help? Give us a call!



[1] https://www.forbes.com/sites/jiawertz/2018/09/12/dont-spend-5-times-more-attracting-new-customers-nurture-the-existing-ones/
[2] “The Missing Link to Customer Loyalty” (CrowdTwist, 2014)

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Magazine Ad Effectiveness Study Proves Print’s Value . . . Again


Have you ever considered starting your own niche magazines to connect with your customers and prospects? Build brand awareness and trust? If you haven’t considered it out of concern that magazines are passé, you might want to consider “The Print Campaign Analysis,” a study conducted by Millward Brown for the Magazine Publishers Association.
Millward Brown, an authority in the assessment of advertising impact, examined the data from nearly 100 ad effectiveness studies that the advertisers had commissioned. The report finds that print advertising results in the greatest increases in persuasion metrics (brand favorability and purchase intent) compared to other platforms.  It also found that digital platforms were most effective when combined with traditional media, such as print.
Top findings?
  • Print ad exposures generated lifts that were 7% points higher than those for online and 3% points higher than those for TV.
  • When it comes to improved brand favorability and purchase intent, print ads result in 11% lift, compared to 58% for TV and 4% for online.
  • When advertisers used print in combination with other platforms, they were most successful in raising outcome metrics.
  • Outcomes varied by industry. In the entertainment industry, in particular, print resulted in 18% increase in brand favorability (compared to 9% for TV and 5% for online) and 15% increase in purchase intent (compared to 10% for TV and 3% for online).
  • Adding print to a TV schedule helped consumers recall the TV ads they had seen. Exposure to both TV and print in ad campaigns improved consumers’ ability to correctly associate the advertised brands with their respective advertising messages.
Once again, print proves to be a powerful channel both on its own and as an amplifier for digital channels.
Whether you are considering adding a niche magazine to your communications mix or simply evaluating the value of print channels like direct mail, this study should give you confidence that print works!
Think a custom magazine might be right for your marketing goals? Let’s talk.

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Tuesday, June 18, 2019

What Are Customer Journey Maps (And Do You Need One)?


Customer journey maps are step-by-step guides to how customers arrive at a purchase decision for your products. Think “road maps” during a vacation. Customer journey maps are graphical representations of the route your customers take as they move through the sales funnel toward the destination (a purchase).
How does this help you? Buyers don’t simply wake up one day and decide to buy a specific product or service, so knowing the route others used helps you move new customers to a purchase, too. In addition, each stage typically uses different types of content delivered through different channels, so understanding how your customers reach each stage helps inform your strategy.
Customer journeys generally include . . .
  • discovery of the product,
  • education about the product,
  • trying the product,
  • purchasing the product, and
  • using and advocating for the product.
Discovery is how customers find out about your product in the first place. Is it social media? Direct mail ads? Web searches? Here is where you’ll use your widest range of channels: direct mail, print ads, web banner ads, and social media marketing. Know where your customers learn about your products, what types of content they use (social media reviews, blogs, in-store signage), and meet them where they are.
The education stage is how they learn about your product. What information do they need to move them to the next step? This could include drip marketing of product details and tutorials via print and email, QR Codes on packaging, or for more complex products and services, multi-stage mailings of high-quality print collateral.
Next, you want people to move to the try stage. For this, you might provide product samples or allow prospects to register for a trial period.  
Ultimately, you will move the customers to the purchase stage. That should be multichannel, too. It’s not unusual for customers to make a purchase only after the second, third, or even fourth attempt, so make responding as easy as possible. (Don’t assume that delay means no. Be persistent, but not annoying.)
Even once your customer makes a purchase, the journey isn’t over. You want them to move to the advocate stage. You want happy customers to encourage their friends and family to try the product, too. Customer-loyalty and customer-retention marketing pick up where lead nurturing left off.
Want to learn more? Give us a call!

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


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