About William

William is the principal designer of Scott Creative, a creative services and design studio located in Omaha, Nebraska.

New Logo Design for Kountze Memorial Lutheran Church

KMLC-Logo-Blue-Print

Scott Creative recently wrapped up a logo redesign for Kountze Memorial Lutheran Church of Omaha, NE. From the onset of the KMLC logo redesign, Scott Creative had two objectives for KMLC’s new brand identity:

1) To modernize the “look” of KMLC’s logo while retaining some of the elements inherent to the existing identity;

2) To provide KMLC with a logo that is truly unique to their church

Meeting these two objectives presented many challenges that were overcome through learning more about the unique history of KMLC – thanks in no small part to church/staff members – who contributed their time and talent to the project as well.

With a better understanding of both the Lutheran faith as well as the unique history of KMLC, Scott Creative set to work creating a series of visual solutions to KMLC’s identity problem. Several of the designs presented to decision makers offered more abstract designs, but in the end it was a simplified design, drawing inspiration from the shapes and forms found in KMLC’s very unique and recognizable architecture found on the south of the building that hit the mark. This design was combined with KMLC’s current logo typeface to bridge the gap from the old identity to this new, more unique identity that is suitable for use in multiple formats, sizes and colors as the church calls for them.

“We will continue to integrate the new logo into a variety of media, including print and digital publications, as we move forward” says KMLC.

The result is an identity is truly unique to KMLC and one that the church can implement for years to come in printed materials, large scale displays and online as well.

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3 Tips to Help You Make the Most of Your Marketing

We all hope to make the most of our marketing efforts, both online as well as in print. While it’s a necessity to have a strong online presence in this day and age, print media continues to flex its marketing muscle. While well-designed marketing materials can help bring your next content marketing piece, brochure or postcard from meh to wow, there are several additional steps you can put into action today to make your marketing efforts even more effective.

98% of marketers said better personalization would enhance the effectiveness of mail.

For starters, you could try adding an extra level of personalization to your marketing messages. According to a report conducted by Ricoh and the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), 98 percent of marketers said better personalization would enhance the effectiveness of mail, with 68 percent pointing towards image personalization as an innovation to improve its ROI. Getting to know your customers by providing useful content such as case studies and surveys can provide you with valuable data you can then use to match them to your products and services.

Focus on creating content marketing pieces that show the most potential for a return on your investment.

Thanks to research by the DMA, MarketingProfs and their partners, we’re able to tell that companies are pursuing content marketing more aggressively than in years past, but do content marketers know what types of content to create? As there is a wide range of options when it comes to content marketing, start by understanding your options and objectives before getting started on your next content piece. Note that not all forms of content marketing are created equal: some content marketing tactics are best suited to nurturing leads (a survey or white paper), while others are better suited to boosting your credibility (a video or podcast) or increasing your online search rankings (an article or blog post). As the price and difficulty of putting them into action also varies significantly, focus on creating content marketing pieces that show the most potential for a return on your investment.

A majority of U.S. adults (72%) prefer communication with companies to happen through email.

If you’re not currently using email and mobile marketing, you could be missing out on a low-cost yet highly effective way to engage with customers. According to MarketingSherpa, a majority of U.S. adults (72 percent) prefer communication with companies to happen through email. It shouldn’t be a surprise then that digital marketers rank email as their most effective marketing tactic. In fact, email is the only digital channel that outperforms old media standbys and is praised for having the highest ROI of any digital channel.

Share your thoughts and comments below!

Bring Print Back into Your Marketing Mix in 2016

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope you had a wonderful holiday season! This time of year, many of us are working on keeping to our New Year’s resolutions, while giving some thought to how we can make the most of the year ahead of us.

While you’re planning how to utilize those valuable marketing dollars over the year ahead, don’t discount the power of a great direct mail campaign. While it’s vital to have an online presence, print media is still a viable source for generating business. According to some studies, even Millennials (people between the ages of 18 and 34) prefer direct mail over digital marketing messages. When asked whether they would prefer to receive promotions via email or direct mail, 90 percent of people from this age group stated a preference for direct mail.

As the industry struggles with the effects of ad-blockers and consumers’ growing impatience with the messages relayed to them on-screen, could we see a shift back to print?

Print advertising and media may be in decline, but that’s not to say that you shouldn’t consider print as an additional marketing/advertising channel as well. Late last year, ad-blockers went mainstream with 13.2 million people in the U.S. alone using ad blocking software. According to Eyeo, this is a 23 percent increase from the same period a year before. Additionally, skipping those TV ads is increasingly becoming easier thanks to DVRs and new products such as TiVo’s Bolt, a device that allows users to skip entire commercial breaks with the push of a button.

As the industry struggles with the effects of ad-blockers and consumers’ growing impatience with the messages relayed to them on-screen, could we see a shift back to print? Is a better, more focused and influential use print to communicate our marketing and advertising messages on the horizon? I suppose we’ll see: we’re all going to have to get a lot more creative when it comes to relaying messages.

Here’s a short list of the many things that Scott Creative can help you with as you’re working on your marketing and advertising plans for the year ahead:
• Branding and logo design
• Print and email newsletters
• Business cards
• Banners, displays and promotional items
• Direct mail pieces
• Brochures and rack cards
• Print advertisements
• Magazines
• Print quotes/estimates

3 Reasons To Start Using a Print Newsletter

There’s no doubt that the function of print has changed substantially in the digital age. Print has to be more direct and more effective than ever before. So where is print’s place today? Personally, I think it should be rooted firmly in the content marketer’s toolbox. From what I’ve seen and heard from clients of my own, I believe that newsletters are a valuable content marketing tool, and here’s 3 reasons why:

Print newsletters are an economical supplement to the other content marketing strategies you might already employ.
A newsletter can be used to serve as a sort of collection point for several recent, service/product-related pieces (such as blog posts and infographics) that current clients and prospects will immediately see the value in. The Content Marketing Institute’s 2015 Report reveals that content marketers are creating more content than ever before and print newsletters, for one, excel at getting valuable content into your customer’s hands in a non-invasive, approachable way. Moreover, print has become a somewhat “unexpected” medium by today’s terms, which leads me to my second point:

Print newsletters deliver timely and valuable content in an “unexpected” format.
As the old adage goes, “timing is everything”. You never know when you could receive a call or an e-mail from a prospect about working with you simply because they received your message at the right time. You recognized/addressed one or many of their needs while also demonstrating that you have what it take to help them with their problems. In addition, you’ve pleasantly surprised them by providing them with something in print, rather than a run-of-the-mill e-mail that may have easily been overlooked. Four-fifths (79%) of consumers will act on direct mail immediately compared to only 45% who say they deal with e-mail straightaway. That’s why it’s crucial to deliver your newsletter on a consistent basis: to ensure that you’re top of mind if and when your customer/prospect has a need for your products/services.

Print newsletters provide the tactile experience that people still look forward to.
Print has an added value that online content simply can’t deliver. The fact that you can touch print is what still makes it so effective today. A recent study conducted for the U.S. Postal Service concluded that physical media influenced brain activity in more powerful ways than digital media. The study concluded that while participants processed digital content more quickly than print, participants spent more time with physical content, had a stronger emotional response to this content and also remembered it better. For long-lasting impact and easy recollection, it seems a printed piece is a better option than digital counterparts in many circumstances.

If you’re ready to get started using a print newsletter, the good news is you don’t have to break the bank to do so! If you’re a small business owner like myself, you want every dollar spent on your marketing to be effective. Fortunately there are several ways you can keep the costs of printing and mailing your newsletter low. Here’s a few tips:
• Instead of renting/buying a mailing list, look to your network to create your own. Start with your current and past clients, prospects, social network connections, associates and family members, and continue to grow the list from there.
• Instead of printing in full color, consider printing black and white copies of the newsletter to keep costs down.
• If you’re mailing your newsletter in an envelope, experiment with using a unique envelope (such as a transparent or colored one) to make it stand out in that pile of mail.
• Self-mailers eliminate the added cost of an envelope. Experiment with using a brightly colored paper (one that doesn’t make your newsletter difficult to read though) to grab their attention.
• Consider using some of your newsletter “real estate” for advertising space. If your recipient list is in-line with the same types of customers a client of yours is pursuing, they might be interested in advertising in your newsletter. Charging a fee for this ad space can help keep your production costs down and may even result in new business for the advertiser.
• If you have an e-mail counterpart to your print newsletter, give your recipients the option to sign up for that version as well.
• Save several copies of your newsletter to use as leave-behinds at networking events, office visits and meetings.

Of course, all your hard work spent gathering and/or creating content will all be wasted if the newsletter is poorly designed or difficult to read. If you’re not confident that you have the layout skills and experience to design a newsletter yourself or don’t have the time to do so, I would encourage you to speak with a print designer that has experience working with newsletters to do the job for you.

Don’t Click ‘Send’ Until You’ve Answered These 5 Questions About Your E-mail Marketing Campaign

There’s no doubt that e-mail marketing can be an effective way to engage your customers and provide prospects with valuable information about you products/services. As a small business owner myself, I can’t stress enough how integral e-mail marketing has been in my own marketing strategy. In fact, much of the business I receive comes from the people that subscribe to my monthly newsletter.

I’ve been using e-mail marketing for several years and over that time, I’ve learned a thing or two about how to set expectations and do what I can to make my email marketing messages as effective as they can be. If you’re reading this, it could be that you’ve never used e-mail marketing before or you would like to know how to make your next campaign more successful. Here’s a few things I suggest that you think about before clicking ‘send’:

Where is your call to action?
What do you want your your recipients to do after receiving your message? Whether it’s contacting you for more information about a product/service, downloading a content marketing piece or buying a product/service, your call to action should be easy to find and act on. Include a prominent link or button for it. As many of your recipients will spend only a few moments looking at your message, situate your CTA near the top of your e-mail: you want it to be easy to find and one of the first things they see.

What are you doing to get people excited about receiving your message?
The “If you build it, they will come” mentality generally doesn’t work for e-mail campaigns. Hopefully your recipients are looking forward to receiving your e-mails, but it’s not top-of-mind for them as they go about their daily routine. In the hours and days leading up to the launch of your e-mail campaign, I suggest reminding your recipients that they’ll be receiving your message soon.

Use your social media accounts to spread the word to a large online audience. You might also consider providing content teasers and a link to subscribe to your newsletter. Getting people excited about the prospect of receiving your message could actually increase the chance of them responding to your offers.

Have you optimized your campaign for mobile devices?
As nearly two-thirds of Americans own a smartphone today, optimizing your e-mail marketing messages so they can be read quickly and easily on mobile devices is a necessity. Multiple column layouts are better suited to tablets or desktop computers; a single-column layout is best for mobile devices (recipients shouldn’t need to zoom in or do much scrolling on their mobile device to your e-mail). It’s best to keep the e-mail design simple, using a single column layout that’s flexible for all screen sizes with text at a point size that’s easy to read.

How do you plan to measure the success of your e-mail campaign?
If the goal is to ultimately sell your product/service, what do you do when your e-mail campaign doesn’t result in sales? Call it quits? Hopefully not. E-mail marketing is by no means a sure-thing in terms of results. Some campaigns will be a great success while others will fall short of the mark. Set clear and attainable goals for each campaign aside from sales goals alone. Such goals could be a high open or click-thru rate, driving more traffic to your website, responses to an offer via e-mail, etc.

What will you do if you’re not happy with the results?
E-mail marketing experts have done loads of research and have shared a multitude of findings on how to get the most out of campaigns, including when the best time to send and even what day to send a message. While researching send times, implementing A/B testing, CTA placement, etc. can help you get the most out of a campaign, the simple truth is that some campaigns will be successful and others will not – for reasons that were overlooked or beyond your control. What can you learn from a “failed” campaign?

If you’re seeing a low open rate, it could be your recipients can’t identify who or where the e-mail was sent by. Consider using your name in the “to” field, rather than your business’ name, to personalize your campaign. You might also try A/B testing (using two different subject lines) to reveal which subject lines are more effective than others in terms of open rates.

If you find that your recipients are beginning to opt-out of receiving your messages, it could be that they’re tired of receiving so many messages from you. Or if you’re not sending messages frequently enough, that they’ve forgotten why they signed up in the first place. In such cases, try adjusting the frequency/rate of your messages.

Whether you’re new to e-mail marketing or a seasoned veteran, keep these five questions in mind before you click ‘Send’ on your next e-mail marketing campaign. What methods have you used that led to a successful e-mail marketing campaign? Share your thoughts below!