Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Using Content to Win New Customers

 


Marketing content is a useful tool for any business trying to generate more traffic to their doorstep, either digitally or in person.

Whether your content is provided through a direct mailer or digitally, the right information catches people's attention and attracts them to want to find out more.

And that generates valuable activity that causes sales to happen.

Yes, content is powerful and profitable, but what kind of content works? Here are valuable content tips that can make a difference for your business.

 

Don’t Reinvent the Wheel

A lot of energy, time, and resources are consumed creating new methods from scratch, whether in business or anything else.

So why go down that road when you can learn by working examples instead?

The key is to focus on companies and organizations that put out both digital and print content that is wildly successful. It doesn’t even have to be the same industry as yours.

Instead, look for methodology and strategy. What is it about these businesses that makes their content work? Find the system, learn the approach, and then apply it to your business.

 

Pinpoint What Attracts Customers to You

In traditional marketing, identifying viable customers is known as “defining a target market.”

Typically, a marketer would find the right type of demographics mix that makes up a target market and then aim marketing efforts towards that person, hoping for a response.

Today, however, things are easier.

Ask your current customers what they appreciate and like about your business and find more people with similar interests. Then shape your content accordingly.

 

Screen Your Existing Material for Easy Gems

Most likely, your company has already produced a library of information that can be used to create content for customers.

Review your existing resources, modify the material, and post or print it for them to find. Customers connect to the most amazing things; the trick is to tell a story that brings them back for more.

 

Don’t Brain Dump, Choose Material Wisely

Content is never an accident.

Your customer-oriented material should be part of an overall story you tell each month to audiences. Every piece should connect and integrate with the next during each content push window.

One of the best ways to do this is to shape your content for each month. Whether weekly or daily, the month’s material should be planned, summarized, and segued from one piece of the story to the next. Consider each content piece a chapter in a bigger book.

 

Make Sure Your Writer is Passionate

If your content is just a chore for whoever gets assigned the task, it will show in the writing.

Make sure your writer actually has a passion for your topic, and the difference will come out naturally. It will also be far more attractive to your customers, who will find the content genuine and natural.

 

Avoid Hard Calls to Action

Remember, your content’s goal is to generate an audience for your business.

Hard messaging stands out awkwardly in genuine content. Instead, the material should be informative, helpful, and useful. The body of the content will do its work and attract customers, who will then seek your business on their own and connect it with your business. Their interest will do the rest on the natural. This is why content generation is so powerful.

Lastly, make your content human and personal. Put a face to it if possible. Customers connect far more to a person than generic information.

 

To contact Chuck Gherman, Theresa Kauser or Veronica Carter for more information about how Printing Arts Press powered by PROforma can help organizations with their Marketing and Human Resource needs through promotion and print communications please visit www.printingartspress.com.


#Print #Directmail #Marketing #Mail #Banners #Publications #Postcards #PromotionalMerchandise #BrandedApparel #Catalogs #HRmanuals
 

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Increase Customer Engagement with Out-of-the-Box QR Codes


Not long ago, scanning books or groceries by a rectangle barcode seemed quite novel.

It was fast, convenient, and just a little fun. But as society’s pace accelerated, so did our need to read barcodes efficiently. In 1994, Japanese auto-makers adopted “Quick Read” QR codes (square matrix barcodes that could be scanned from any direction) that stored a hundred times more information than conventional barcodes.

Enter QR Creativity

In this micro-attention age, QR codes can catch the fleeting attention of your audience by adding both efficiency and quirkiness to your designs.

Today’s customers love to actively participate – not just passively consume – so why not take people on a “digital scavenger hunt” you’ve created by leading them to a URL for your landing page, a direct link to your social media page, or to retrieve personalized texts from your team?

While many QR codes are bland, they don’t have to be. Here are just a few out-of-the-box ways businesses are using printed QR codes to build bridges with clients:

WiFi Network Sharing

Want to make your network accessible and convenient for your guests?

Simplify this step by building a QR code that allows them to connect to your WiFi with just one scan. Instantly connect users to the network and make their lives more simple and stress-free.

Surprise Gifts

Gifts are a treat, but surprise gifts are even better.

When you want to thank a VIP customer or impress a first-time client, offer them a printed thank you postcard with an unexpected giveaway they can access by scanning the QR code. This builds emotional engagement by adding both participation and a greater level of surprise.

Menus

Try replacing bulky tri-folds with simple table tents or bookmarks when you want to keep your menus crisp and current.

Customers can scan the QR code to read the full menu, view seasonal or daily specials, or even pay after completing the order.

Invoice Surveys

When you ship goods to your client, offer a discount if they complete a quick survey after scanning your QR code.

Happy clients are more willing participants. Grab them on the spot as they unbox their new purchases!

Die Cut Overlays

If you use plain brown gift bags or simple white boxes, you can add color and charm with die-cut labels that double as a funky patterned QR code (like this playful QR valentine).

Who says beauty and functionality can’t co-exist? Have some fun taking people on “the code less traveled.”

Captivating Colors

Why live in the monochromatic when you can design in color?

Modern QR code generators allow you to add zest to your QR code based on your aim, style, and brand theme. Some software even allows you to choose patterns, build logos or faces into your code, or add sophisticated gradients.

Bridge the Gap Between Print & Digital

Nielson found about 56% of consumers rely on printed matter for sales information, specifically when seeking information on a purchasing decision.

Print is seen as a concrete, reliable source, especially for prospects nearing a decision. By including QR codes in print marketing, you increase the potential for landing a valuable client. Consider using QR codes for:

  • Product packaging, invoice stuffers
  • Printed menus, business cards, or rack cards
  • Store promotions with discounts available at checkout
  • Promotional games, puzzles, or scavenger hunts
  • Stickers for merchandise, packaging, displays, or cards

Increase your conversion rates while coaxing prospects further down the sales funnel in a fun, effortless manner.

 

To contact Chuck Gherman, Theresa Kauser or Veronica Carter for more information about how Printing Arts Press powered by PROforma can help organizations with their Marketing and Human Resource needs through promotion and print communications please visit www.printingartspress.com.

#Print #Directmail #Marketing #Mail #Banners #Publications #Postcards #PromotionalMerchandise #BrandedApparel #Catalogs #HRmanuals

Thursday, September 9, 2021

7 Steps to Overcoming Decision Fatigue


 

Just like any muscle in the body, the brain can also get tired.

According to Medical News Today, a human’s ability to make decisions can worsen after making many decisions, as their brain will be more fatigued. This can lead to an emerging phenomenon called decision fatigue, which can cause mental fatigue, increasingly worse decision making, impulse buying, procrastination, decision avoidance, lack of focus, pessimism, and lapses in judgment.

And it could be the reason you find it hard to get stuff done. It’s not your fault. It’s just your brain’s natural defense mechanism.

When the brain becomes depleted, it shuts down non-essential services, including the prefrontal cortex, which is the area of the brain responsible for complex decision-making.

Unfortunately, entrepreneurs can be affected by decision fatigue because they make many decisions throughout the day, feel greatly affected by the decisions they make, and make stressful and complex decisions.

Luckily, there are steps that you can take to alleviate the mental toll of constant decision-making.

 

7 Steps to Overcoming Decision Fatigue

1. Simplify

Find ways to reduce the number of decisions you have to make in a day by simplifying your life and creating habits.

For example, create a minimalistic wardrobe. Food prep or form consistent meal plans. Develop habits, so you no longer have to decide whether or not to do something. You start to do it automatically.

2. Plan Ahead

Plan the night before for the day ahead.

This will limit the number of decisions you’ll need to make during the day. You’ll no longer have to decide if you should do this or that. It’s prewritten. You just need to follow the script. Much easier.

3. Hard First, Easy Second

Tackle the hard stuff first when your brain is the most energized.

Some may find it tempting to take on the easy tasks first in order to ease into the day. But, when you reach the more challenging items, it will be much harder to complete because your brain is already depleted. You’re not doing yourself any favors.

4. Take Breaks

Small breaks energize your mind and make you able to continue working optimally for longer.

These breaks could include a meditation (focus on breathing for a set period of time), a short walk, or even a power nap. You’ll come back energized and ready to conquer the rest of the day!

5. Self-Care Matters

Take care of yourself.

Your brain and physical body function optimally when you are eating right, sleeping well, and not overworking yourself.

6. Don't Go It Alone: Outsource

Reduce the number of decisions you must make by outsourcing them.

For example, hire virtual assistants to cover the simple business decisions or hire extra employees to tackle more complex decisions.

7. Stand Firm

Once a decision is made, stick to it!

You already spent quite a lot of energy making that decision. There’s no need to go back, spend more energy, and change decisions. You’re just increasing your workload and decreasing your mental energy.

It's Start with Your Mindset

Interestingly, it could be beneficial to change your view on how mental energy is used.

A study was conducted comparing Westerners and Indians. The Indian participants believed that exerting willpower was energizing, while the Western participants believed that exerting willpower was draining. The Indians performed better. Therefore, perhaps just changing your mindset regarding the brain’s energy could affect your energy levels.

A world full of decisions can be draining, but luckily there are multiple strategies to help you combat decision fatigue.

 

To contact Chuck Gherman, Theresa Kauser or Veronica Carter for more information about how Printing Arts Press powered by PROforma can help organizations with their Marketing and Human Resource needs through promotion and print communications please visit www.printingartspress.com.


#Print #Directmail #Marketing #Mail #Banners #Publications #Postcards #PromotionalMerchandise #BrandedApparel #Catalogs #HRmanuals 

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Expand Your Market: 15 Ways You Can Use Direct Mail to Sell in Todays Market

 


 

Life is noisy.

In today’s world, everywhere you look, you’re constantly swamped by ads: buy this, watch this, subscribe now!

How pervasive is this? These stats give us a glimpse:

  • Thanks to the internet and new technologies, the average viewer is exposed to between 6,000 and 10,000 ads daily.
  • Google has managed to grow its advertising revenue every year for the past 19 years. It made over $134 billion in 2019 alone, just from advertising.
  • Sixty-five percent of people say they skip online video advertising – doing so as soon as they get the chance – and 76 percent say this is an ingrained behavior.
  • In 2020, the average open rate for marketing emails was around 21%, and more than 20% of marketing emails never made it to a subscriber’s inbox.

In contrast, more than 40 percent of recipients scan or read the direct mail pieces they get, and consumers are 22 percent more likely to purchase products promoted through direct mail than they are products advertised through email.

Maybe this noise overload is one reason younger people are placing greater value on print products. Millennials say they value direct mail in general: 69% of Millennials said they “somewhat” or “very much” like print coupons for restaurants, and 65% said they like coupons for retail businesses. In one survey of Millennials, 75% of respondents said receiving personal mail makes them feel special.

 

Open the Door with Direct Mail

All of these are wonderful reasons to add direct mail as an arrow in your marketing quiver.

In the digital age, an ink-on-paper sales letter or direct-mail package that your customers can hold in their hands will really distinguish you from competitors. More exposure means higher response rates. Higher response rates lead to more leads. And more leads generate greater sales!

When you’re ready to expand your market, here are several ways to package your message through direct mail.

-- Make an announcement (perhaps using a flashy invitation or an oversized postcard)

-- Send a sales letter or script font note combined with a catalog or brochure

-- Introduce a new product or service

-- Distribute a maintenance or service checklist with a detachable coupon

-- Generate long-lasting impact with a sleek postcard magnet

-- Invite people to attend a product demonstration, educational seminar, or nonprofit fundraiser

-- Send renewal reminders for subscriptions, contracts, insurance policies, or service agreements

-- Send holiday greetings with a special New Year’s offer

-- Welcome inactive customers back with an incentive

-- Get your company in front of fresh prospects using new mover marketing lists

-- Promote a “live” social media event you are hosting

-- Distribute valuable content through educational newsletters

-- Conduct a sweepstakes event or contest

-- Sell seasonal merchandise or products linked with hometown favorites

-- Offer a free analysis or a complimentary cost estimate, review, or consultation

 

New Prospects = New Possibilities

Some marketers shy away from print, which is truly a loss.

Mastering direct mail can help you strengthen your reputation, drum up leads, entice new prospects, and make you a hero to your clients or boss.

Need some quick-to-print templates or tips on no-hassle mailing lists? Contact us today! We’re here to help.

 

To contact Chuck Gherman, Theresa Kauser or Veronica Carter for more information about how Printing Arts Press powered by PROforma can help organizations with their Marketing and Human Resource needs through promotion and print communications please visit www.printingartspress.com.


#Print #Directmail #Marketing #Mail #Banners #Publications #Postcards #PromotionalMerchandise #BrandedApparel #Catalogs #HRmanuals 

Friday, August 13, 2021

Use Collaborative Design Blasts to Craft Show-Stopping Ideas

 


It happens.

The design deadline looms, your mind is adrift, and your page is blank. How can you generate creativity and move out of this slump? Two resources to leverage are your time and your team

Often the longer you spend on an idea, the less productive you become. Especially if you are working alone. With an open concept and no firm timeline, designers may sit at their desks for weeks, spinning endless variations of a vague concept or completely losing sight of the project goals. This is a dead end that can drive everyone mad.

 

Instead, apply a simple process to prompt stunning ideas efficiently:

1. Gather a team

Everyone has good ideas, not just designers.

Who could you pull – account assistants, content writers, a family member – to brainstorm for a brief stretch of time? Use a pen and paper and spend time thinking aloud together about names, word pictures, or image ideas. Keep it short and sweet but have fun!

 

2. Review the design brief and project goals 

Amidst the flurry of creativity, stay focused on your target.

When you gather the team for an initial brainstorming session, always review the project requirements. Be sure you understand what the client wants, the project parameters, and the goals for final outcome. This task review and initial brainstorming should last for no more than 10-15 minutes.

 

3. Launch a 60-minute development blast

Time to send the troops into battle!

If you are the sole designer, it’s all you. If not, send a small batch of people to work for one hour. The group has 60 minutes to come up with ideas. No more! The abbreviated timeframe forces your brain into green light thinking, prompting more spontaneous creativity. Typically pencil, pen, and paper are best for stretching ideas without inhibitions.

After an hour, meet again to chat. Give comments or suggestions to develop the full potential of the best ideas. Usually, a handful of ideas emerge as the best candidates. Now a final concept can be clarified, assigned for full development, and kicked into the digital realm.

If you can’t decide which idea is best, pick the top three and draw scamps to a higher level of finish. Pin them to the wall, talk about the pros and cons of each, and see what the collaborative process brings. Just a little team mojo can make a mediocre idea magical.

 

4. Keep early and rejected work

Often when you pitch ideas to clients, some of the best ideas get cut.

This is unfortunate, but not all is lost. All good designers will build up a collection or rejected work. Whether it’s an early stage scribble or a fully developed logo, keep a printout of every piece of work. Scan sketches and scamps and clearly label them, so they are accessible later and easy to find.

You invest lots of time shaping a concept, so don’t let an initial rejection close the door on your idea forever. Down the road, these ideas may be a catalyst for an even better spinoff design!

 

To contact Chuck Gherman, Theresa Kauser or Veronica Carter for more information about how Printing Arts Press powered by PROforma can help organizations with their Marketing and Human Resource needs through promotion and print communications please visit www.printingartspress.com.


#Print #Directmail #Marketing #Mail #Banners #Publications #Postcards #PromotionalMerchandise #BrandedApparel #Catalogs #HRmanuals 

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

The 8 Dos and Don'ts of Branding

 


Your brand is often the key to growing and keeping your customer base. 

A recognizable, identifiable brand with a cohesive look and feel helps you get the attention of a potential customer and keeps the would-be one-time customer coming back for more. You want your brand to be instantly memorable, especially when it comes to print-based marketing. This is why it is essential to make sure your brand is in tip-top shape!

How do you know if your brand is on point or missing the mark? You follow these dos and don'ts of branding.

 

The Dos of Branding

1. Take the Time to Update Your Brand Logo

Even iconic brands like Coca-Cola revamp their logo on occasion.

The longer you have been in business, the more likely you need to update your brand logo. You want your brand to appear fresh and relevant. You don’t have to redesign your brand logo completely; just give it a revamp. 

 

2. Pay Particular Attention to Detail

Designing for print leaves little to no room for error.

You want to get it right the first time and avoid costly fixes down the road. Therefore, it is usually best to start with a digital design before printing the final product.  

 

3. Take Advantage of Print Textures

Because print-based marketing gives the consumer something they can hold, don’t forget about using print texture to enhance your brand.

Techniques like folding, embossing, or even well-placed foiling can create a unique print experience. 

 

4. Respect White Space

With print, sometimes less if more.

Try to leave space between the icon and the text. Try your design in black and white before adding color. You’ll see just how impactful it is or realize you need to go back to the drawing board for tweaks and adjustments.  

 

The Don’ts of Branding

1. Forget to Edit

Editing is often the best friend of printing and branding.

Come up with several options before settling on something final. Brands will inevitably evolve, but spending the initial investment of time on the front end will allow you to come up with a solid brand.

 

2. Add Too Many Fine Details for Printing

There is a time and place for intricacy when it comes to branding.

Intricate designs with multiple colors and gradients may be amazing for digital marketing platforms but will most likely get lost in translation in print. So instead, think simple but unique for print purposes by scaling back fine details.

 

3. Use a Wide Variety of Colors

One of the goals of print marketing is to get the customer’s attention.

While you can do this with color, too many colors may have the opposite effect. Think about the size of your print materials and use that to guide your choices of colors. 

 

4. Use the Wrong Font

Think about your brand. Is it bold? Demure? Classic?

Choose a font that represents the overall feel of your brand. For example, a construction company would likely never utilize a swirly font with loopy letters. Put your font choice to the test before making a final decision. Look at it in various sizes. If it doesn’t translate well to several settings, choose another font.

Creating a brand for your business doesn’t have to be an impossible task. When you keep these dos and don’ts of branding in mind, your business can be well on its way to iconic status in no time. 

 

Partner With a Marketing Expert

When it comes to building a successful printing brand, partnering with an experienced team of marketing experts is crucial. With years of valuable experience, we're here to help your business shine. Contact us today to get started!

 

#Print #Directmail #Marketing #Mail #Banners #Publications #Postcards #PromotionalMerchandise #BrandedApparel #Catalogs #HRmanuals

 

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

How 2021 Direct Mail Marketing Works for Retail Food Businesses

 


 

While people are finally able to obtain a vaccine for COVID-19 and the ability to travel, move around, shop, and dine out is increasing, restaurants have a long hill ahead of them before getting back to a business “normality.”

In fact, entire behavior patterns have changed in people after a year of completely living at home and avoiding regular work presence, school, commuting, and traffic. And that means businesses have to work extra hard in diversifying how they produce income and revenue channels to stay viable.

Many restaurants realized early the only way they were going to stay in business was to boost their ability to handle delivery, ordering out, pick up, and other forms of fresh-cooked food transfer to customers who could no longer dine in.

While people generally tried producing their food regularly at home, overall, Americans are used to picking up and eating out. So, the demand never actually left; it was stifled by COVID restrictions.

However, even now, many communities are still maintaining social restrictions to prevent new COVID infections until vaccinations are fully in place at every age level. That means restaurants and food preparation businesses have to continue leveraging direct mail to be heard, seen, connect and remain on the attention radar of customers.

 

4 Reasons Direct Mail Works

1. Direct mail is almost always local.

The most likely customers that can and will visit a restaurant from the surrounding area are the primary target for print mails.

2. Direct mail is significantly lower in cost than other marketing channels.

This is a key factor for food businesses that are already strapped and trying to stay in breakeven with the loss of income thanks to COVID.

3. Direct mail has a higher return on investment.

The return on investment of a simple print card mailer can be thousands upon thousands of dollars when a customer responds to an included call to action.

Add in the additional benefit of discounting, and that same customer is likely to buy even more, increasing a business's revenue and cash flow per sale.

4. Direct mailers should be designed to be re-used.

Customers love the ability to use a marketing tool or coupon repeatedly.

And that creates both business retention and a greater amount of income stream for a restaurant or food business, again the primary goal of the effort in the first place.

 

Now is the Time

Restaurants and food businesses that rely on retail traffic shouldn’t be waiting for social restrictions to lift further.

Marketing takes time to have a positive effect, which is why direct mail efforts need to be sent out on a cyclical basis, pushing and reminding folks of a restaurant’s presence and availability.

As people keep being reminded, especially as they start commuting to work again, the food business will become viable and convenient for a warm meal, even if it is still takeout or delivery. Card stock direct mailers can help tremendously. So don’t wait for the market to reappear. Get out there and chase it now!

 

To contact Chuck Gherman, Theresa Kauser or Veronica Carter for more information about how Printing Arts Press powered by PROforma can help organizations with their Marketing and Human Resource needs through promotion and print communications please visit www.printingartspress.com.


#Print #Directmail #Marketing #Mail #Banners #Publications #Postcards #PromotionalMerchandise #BrandedApparel #Catalogs #HRmanuals #Advertising