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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Create Sales Literature That Sells

Looking to freshen up your sales literature? Think carefully and create a plan. Sales literature stands in for you when you’re not around, carrying your brand identity and reputation to the marketplace. It plays a critical role in your business and needs to be planned out carefully.
Start by investing in good design. Eye-catching layouts grab attention, and provocative headlines and compelling text convince the reader to hear you out. Keep your production cutting edge and the marketing content fresh. If you cut corners on printing or circulate out-of-date information, your prospects might subconsciously conclude that you produce cheap, outdated products too.
Tie each printed piece to a goal in your overall marketing plan. Is the objective to drive new sales, cross-sell to existing customers, or communicate better with your stakeholders? The appropriate format (postcard, circular, product data sheet, package insert, newsletter) will naturally follow. Combinations of different elements—paper types, colors, repetition—can produce powerful subliminal effects, so it is important that you work with a professional designer.
Consider portability. An oversized piece might gain attention, but what will make someone pick up your piece and take it with them and then pass it along to others?
Communicate directly and succinctly about what you are offering, what is in it for the reader, and what action the reader should take. It’s tempting to overload your documents with every capability and feature you offer, but this can overwhelm and disengage someone who is just learning about you. As they move through the sales funnel, you can introduce more complex printed collateral. At this stage, however, the content should be just intriguing enough and the call to action persuasive enough to inspire the reader to initiate further discussion.

Even the best sales collateral isn’t going to close the sale by itself. What it will do is provide outstanding sales support, reinforce your message, and stay behind as your brand messenger. So pay attention to your sales literature and give it the attention it deserves. 

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

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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Best Practices in 1:1 Printing

Personalized printing, in which marketers personalize marketing text, images, and other content based on what marketers know about the recipient, gets better results than static mail. But by itself, just dropping in data-driven content doesn’t guarantee success. Let’s look at three best practices that need to be the foundation of all 1:1 print marketing.
1. Traditional marketing rules apply.
1:1 might be personalized marketing, but it is still good old-fashioned marketing, too. Ultimately, it is all of the elements—the creative, the message, the offer, the segmentation, and the call to action—that come together to determine success. 
2. Focus on relevance, not “personalization.”
It doesn’t matter how “personalized” a document is. If it isn’t relevant to the person receiving it, it is worthless. Take the shoe market. You don’t want to market orthopedic shoes to teenagers. Orthopedics aren’t relevant to teens unless they need a birthday present for Grandpa. Clearly, this example is tongue in cheek, but you get the idea. You can personalize a document to the hilt, but if it’s not relevant, it’s a waste of print and postage.
3. Get to know your customers, then market to what you know.
The more you know your customers, the more relevant your message can be. Ask yourself, what don’t you know about your customers right now that might allow you be more relevant later? To find out, do a customer mail or email survey. Conduct a focus group. Set up survey forms on your website. Ask questions and get feedback that will let you reap better results over the long term.
4. Think “Database”
To get personalization right, you need to invest in your marketing database. This takes time, dedicated resources, and manpower, but it is one of the most important investments you can make. Develop a basic database, then refine it, add variables, and keep it clean and updated. Make sure all of the new information you gather goes back in to be used in future marketing programs.

Remember, personalization is a powerful tool, but to get the big pay-off, it cannot work alone.

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

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Want a Strong Brand? Don’t Do This!

When learning from other companies’ marketing campaigns, it’s important to look at what they do well. However, it’s important to look at what they get wrong, too. This way, you don’t unintentionally undermine the positive steps you’re taking. Let’s look at 5 things not to do when it comes to brand management.
1. Don’t bombard your audience.
Although you want to communicate with your audience frequently using the right channel mix (direct mail, email, mobile marketing), you don't want to communicate so frequently that you annoy them and they begin to tune you out.
2. Don't complicate your message.
It’s tempting to load up your communications with every bit of information you can right out of the gate. The risk, however, is that your audience will get overwhelmed and buy nothing at all. Keep it simple. Let your most compelling points come ringing through. 
3. Don’t go Rambo.
Don’t try to go it alone. Get perspectives on your marketing message, delivery, and approach from others in the company. Ask objective experts. Do focus groups. By all means, ask your customers! Just because your message is clear to you doesn’t mean it’s clear to everyone else.
4. Don't forget the call to action.
Once recipients have read your communication, tell them what you want them to do. Call for more information? Buy a product? Sign up for a seminar? Without a CTA, the communication can get set-aside for later, then be lost or forgotten and never acted upon.
5.  Don’t rush.
When you’ve got a great idea, it’s tempting to want to take it to market quickly. But take your time to get it right. We can often offer suggestions on targeting, mailing formats, coatings, and other critical elements of a mailing that you might not have thought of.


Need help crafting your next print marketing project? Just ask!

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Or visit our website here for more information.

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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Digital Print: It’s Not Technology—It’s Marketing

Do you think of digital printing as an output technology or a marketing model? The reality is, it’s both. If you don’­t think of digital printing this way, maybe you need to think more broadly about digital print.
Traditionally, marketers have used digital presses to save money and “right size” their print volumes. Print on demand and just in time document management save companies tons of money every year. Marketers who are thinking only in terms of production, however, are missing opportunities to think from a strategic marketing perspective, as well.
Say you take a booth at four industry trade shows per year and print 10,000 brochures to give away. From a cost and logistics perspective, you can use digital output to produce 2,500 brochures at a time. This allows you to minimize your upfront investment and update products between shows. Plus, you don’t need to figure out where to store the extra 7,500 brochures after the first trade show is over.
You can think about digital production from a marketing perspective, as well. Each show might draw a slightly different demographic of attendee. By capitalizing on the benefits of digital production, you can break down the runs into four highly targeted segments. This way, you can tweak the selection of products, messaging, and offers for each show based on who its attendees are and what they are looking for.
As another example, let’s say you are running on a tight budget. You can use digital presses to print and mail only to a portion of your list and have lower out-of-pocket costs. From a marketing perspective, you can also think about how you want to split this list. Do you want to mail only to your highest volume customers? How about your bottom 10%? Try to reactivate dormant customer relationships? By targeting the mailing by customer profile or demographic, you can get a better response from mailing to this portion of your list than you would have from mailing to the entire thing.
These are simple examples, but they illustrate the difference between thinking about digital printing as an output technology and as a marketing model.

How are you thinking about digital printing?

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Effective Marketing Copy Made Easy

Whether you are writing copy for direct mail, email, in-store or exterior signage, or any other type of marketing material, a few simple tricks will increase your ability to grab your audience’s attention and communicate your message more effectively. Here are some fundamental principles of writing great copy that will help you command attention:
  • Be imaginative. It’s easy to say the same thing in the same way all the time. Break out of the mold. Look for unconventional ways to communicate your message.
  • Be a salesman. Cute and clever doesn’t get you anywhere by itself. Your copy still has to motivate recipients to action. Be creative, but also be clear. Sell benefits. Give an overt call to action.
  • Put the customer front and center. Make the customer the center of the message. Talk about their problems, their challenges, and their bottlenecks. Let them identify with the message, then talk about how your products and services can solve their problems. 
  • Build trust. Part of building a brand and gaining repeat customers is establishing loyalty and trust. Represent your products in a way that is accurate, helpful, and maintains your customers’ confidence.
  • Hire a professional editor. Make sure your copy meets professional standards. Someone who is “good at grammar” isn’t sufficient. 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. 

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

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