Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Want to Boost Results? Think in Color!

Did you know that from the moment you walk into a retail store, your experience is highly calibrated? Retailers know that the amount you purchase is influenced by the style and speed of music it is playing, the luxury of the scents it is wafting, and even the level of the floor beneath your feet. (If you step down into the display area, retailers know that you are more likely to buy than if the floor is level.)
While you cannot influence the music, the olfactory environment, or the location in which your audience reads your mail, you can affect their mood and inclination to buy based on the colors you use in your layout and design. If you are already segmenting and personalizing your mailers to improve relevance, choosing the right colors can add some extra muscle to your marketing. 
Different colors affect the reader’s mood in various ways. Yellow is bright and cheery; it connotes youth and optimism. Red implies energy, action, and sense of urgency; but it can also suggest rebellion. Blue conveys trust and security. Black connotes power.
Understanding this, you can match the colors you use to the message you want to convey. As consumers, yellow makes us happy. Try using it for starbursts, backgrounds, and borders. Red creates urgency and encourages readers to take action. Use it to announce deadlines, clearance sales, and short-term offers. Blue is associated with trust, so it is often used for banks and finance. Did you know that purple is associated with relaxation? That is why it is used for marketing products related to aging and retirement.
Research has also shown that color influences different types of shoppers differently. KISSMetrics, which offers software for online analytics, has found the following correlations:
    • Red, black, and royal blue are associated with impulse shopping. These colors are often used by fast food restaurants, outlet malls, and for clearance sales.
    • Navy blue and teal appeal to shoppers on a budget. They are frequently used by banks and large department stores to promote value but not discounts.
    • Pink, sky blue, and rose are associated with more traditional shopping patterns. They are often used by clothing stores.


So take your personalization to the next step. Integrate color into your targeting and messaging as much as you incorporate demographics and other personalization fields. Start with conventional wisdom about what works and what doesn’t. Conduct A/B testing to refine your understanding into pinpoint accuracy. Then sit back and reap the results!

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

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Simple Strategy for Designers to Stay on Task

Even the greatest technology is only as productive as the user. If you want to get more done, it takes more than great design software. It takes great time management.
Take it from designer Jake Knapp, who wrote the book Sprint. In the book, Knapp codifies the concept of a “design sprint,” his five-day process for coming up with ideas, prototypes, and testing to help designers get the most out of their ever-compressed work schedules.
For everyday projects, however, Knapp has a more simplified way to stay on task. As a visual guy, he suggests creating a graphic to visually represent daily priorities.  
Here’s how it works:
1. Fold a piece of paper in half to create two columns. 
2. On the left side, write a list of the most pressing (mission-critical and time-sensitive) projects.
3. On the right side, write a list of the tasks that are important but without the same level of urgency.
4. At the bottom of the right-hand side, write down the rest of the “to do” items (i.e., wish list) that you can fit in as you go along.
Pin the paper where you can see it. Look at it regularly throughout the day. Scratch out completed items and recreate your lists as tasks are completed.

As you work through your lists, consider tacking each new list over top of the old one instead of throwing the old one away. This way, when you feel that you are falling further and further behind, you can look back through your old lists and see just how productive you’ve really been!

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

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Are You Selling for the Short- or Long-Term?

When you create personalized print communications for your customers, are you thinking about short-term selling or long-term relationships? While getting the quick sale feels great, the biggest profits come from long-term customers who provide recurring revenue over time. Here are five reasons to focus on recurring personalized print programs rather than “quick hit” campaigns:
1. Building relationships. 
Personalization, by definition, is personal and implies a relationship. To establish a relationship with your customers, you need to get to know them. No one-off campaign, no matter how successful, can do that.
2. Learning more over time.
At the beginning of a campaign, you are making educated guesses about how your customers think and act. As they respond, you learn more about them. This allows you to modify your messaging, offers and calls to action to have the most impact over time.
3. Making more money.
As you learn which campaign elements are most effective at motivating your customers, your campaigns will be more profitable. More refined campaigns translate into higher response rates, higher conversion rates, and increased ROI.
4. Maximizing investment.
Setting up your first 1:1 print campaign requires an investment in time and money. By developing programs rather than one-off campaigns, your set-up costs are amortized over the life of the program. As costs become amortized, your ROI per campaign goes up.
5. Not continually having re-prove program value.
Unless you are the president or owner of the company, chances are you had to work with a team of others to make the initial decision to deploy personalized print communications. Each time you run another campaign, you need to go through the entire process again. With programs, you have the freedom to refine and maximize your efforts without having to re-prove their value before each deployment.


So think long-term. Programs allow you to develop and refine your marketing strategy over time and take advantage of the value of relationship-building. One-off campaigns can produce great short-term results, but the deepest profits come from investing in your customers for the long term. 

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

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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Make Your Print Faster to Read

Who has time to read marketing communications these days? Consumers love print, but they have less and less time to read. You have to hook them fast—and keep them engaged. The solution? Make your printed pieces faster and easier to read.  Here are five ways to freshen things up and make your printed pieces “sticky."
1. Make your pieces scannable.
Most people scan their printed materials. They don’t read them. So make your projects scannable. If your messaging tends to be text heavy, try saying the same thing in fewer words. In fact, why not try cutting the number of words in half?
2. Use more white space.
Use more white space and give your design breathing room. Choose typography that is easy to read. Tight kerning and condensed fonts let you pack in more information, but they can also result in communications that feel cramped.
3. Replace text with images and graphics.
People absorb visual information more quickly than text, so ditch the text and tap into the power of graphics and icons, images, and data points.
4. Go big!
Have you noticed that most postcards these days are oversized? It’s not unusual to see letter-sized pieces printed on card stock that is 6” x 9” or 11.375” x 6”. While you can still be successful with traditional-sized mailers, over-sized projects stand out. They won’t disappear as easily between the utility bill and the catalogs. But oversized or not, the “less is more” rule still applies.
5. Target your messaging.
Segment your mailings by key demographics and customize the content to speak to the interests of the people receiving them. This means more than just swapping out demographically appropriate imagery. It includes changing up the tone and the messaging to reflect the unique “personality” of each target audience.

Want to hook and engage today’s consumers? Get creative. Give them pieces they can read quickly and can’t resist. 

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


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The Empowerment of Personalization

Every now and then, data points jump out at you. Here are two data points about personalization that jumped out at us recently:
  • 35% of Amazon's revenue is generated by its recommendation engine.
  • 75% of consumers are more likely to buy from a retailer that recognizes them by name, recommends options based on past purchases, or knows their purchase history. (Accenture)
We live in a world in which we have access to more information than ever. This can be both empowering and paralyzing. When consumers have too many choices, they can get overwhelmed and end up not choosing anything at all.
That’s why personalization is so important. Done right, it helps consumers navigate and simplify the maze of choices and take the stress out of making a decision. With personalization, brands are essentially saying, “We know you. We know what you like. Let’s make this easy.”
Personalized recommendations are just one way data-driven communications can be highly effective, however. Other types of personalization, such as triggered direct mail, demographically targeted email, and personalized cross-sells and upsells are highly effective, as well.
Are you tapping the power of personalization? Do you know what your customers like, when they buy, and what motivates them to buy? If not, you’re missing critical opportunities to connect with them and guide them into smart purchases—yours!

Need help? 

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


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5 Reasons Print Stubbornly Refuses to Be Replaced

No matter how frequently marketing gurus prophesy the demise of print, and no matter how loudly and publicly they do it, print marketing remains the bedrock of any successful multichannel marketing program. Let’s look at five reasons why print is here to stay. 
1. It’s just prettier. It doesn't matter how gorgeous your JPGs are; a beautifully printed piece will blow away your screen graphics every time.
2. You can’t avoid it. When you communicate by email, recipients can't see beyond the subject line until they open the message. With clear envelopes, windows, and exterior envelope printing, you start communicating your print message as soon as the piece arrives in the mailbox.  
3. Print is one of many touchpoints. Today's complex marketing environment requires multiple touch points. According to the Online Marketing Institute, it takes six to eight marketing touches to generate a viable sales lead. Repetition is critical, and print is a critical channel in the mix.
4. Print influences buying decisions. Marketers once thought that with the growth of e-commerce, printed catalogs would fade away. History indicates otherwise. Surveys find that consumers who receive printed catalogs are more likely (in one study, twice as likely) to make online purchases at the retailer’s website as those who do not.
5. Consumers trust print more. Open your e-mail. How much junk email do you receive? Unless it comes from a known brand, people are skeptical of claims made by email alone. Print carries greater weight and authenticity than digital marketing. People continue to trust messages communicated in print.

Print remains irreplaceable in today’s “what’s in it for me?” world. While e-marketing is a necessary component in any multichannel marketing campaign, print carries benefits that online channels just can’t touch.

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

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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

When Is Personal Too Personal?

One of the benefits of 1:1 marketing is the ability to increase the relevance of each communication by making the message more personal. By using the information you already know about the recipient, you can communicate on a more intimate, 1:1 level.
But this approach can also be misused. Individuals and businesses are very protective of their privacy these days, and rightly so. Customers want to know that their data is not only safe but that the marketers they do business with won't misuse it.
What are some first steps you can take to ensure that your customers and prospects know that you care about their privacy?
  • Include an official privacy statement in your information-gathering materials.
  • If you are collecting data, include a notice of physical and data security procedures and a promise of confidentiality.
  • When personalizing your marketing messages, don’t disclose overly personal details (“Hey, Bob! Ready to default on that sky-high mortgage?”).
  • Be transparent. Provide full details about what respondents have to do to receive any prizes or promotional items.
  • Follow all opt-in regulations, including double opt-ins for email lists and providing the option to opt-out of future marketing contacts.
  • Assure that respondents’ information will not be sold to third parties.

Privacy standards, both in print and online, are always evolving. So stay abreast of the discussion. Talk to your customers to find out any other concerns and address them. The more you can assure your customers that their personal information is safe with you and that it will be used appropriately, the more you will win their trust.

Please give us a call at 440-946-0606

Or visit our website here for more information.




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