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!

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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

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!

Timely Print Design Projects Pay Off

RC-Remodeling-Flyer-Front

Here in the Omaha Metro Area, we recently had a surprise hail storm that struck parts of town. Realizing that homeowners effected by the storm would have a serious need for the construction and remodeling services that his company offers, Ryan Chappelear, owner of RC Remodeling contacted me for help with a project. Shortly after the storm, Ryan planned to canvas the areas of Omaha most effected by the storm with a simple marketing piece that communicated to homeowners on a personal level, informed them about the services he has to offer and urged them to contact the company for repairs to their home.

RC-Remodeling-Flyer-Back

The project needed to be completed quickly, so copy was written and the flyer was designed, printed and delivered to Ryan within a few days.  At the end of the following week, I learned that this simple marketing piece has been a huge success for RC Remodeling. By the end of the week following the storm, Ryan had 10 new roofing jobs as well as some deck repairs resulting directly from using the flyer. Just goes to show you that while timing definitely plays a role in your marketing decisions, marketing using print design components can still be extremely effective in meeting – or exceeding – your goals.

Do you have your own print marketing success story or advice/feedback to share? Leave a comment below!

Newsweek Going Fully Digital in 2013

Newsweek on iPad

After 80 years in print, Newsweek recently announced it will cease all print publications at the end of this year. Newsweek will consolidate all of its existing publications into a single, worldwide edition named Newsweek Global, targeting a mobile audience.

“Exiting print is an extremely difficult moment for all of us,” says the company’s statement. “But as we head for the 80th anniversary of Newsweek next year we must sustain the journalism that gives the magazine its purpose—and embrace the all-digital future.”

While the publication’s print sales declined nearly 10 percent in the past year, its digital presence has seen significant growth. TheDailyBeast.com now attracts over 15 million unique visitors a month. With data from a recent Pew Research Study indicating that nearly 40 percent of Americans get their news from an online source and mobile device & tablet use growing exponentially, Newsweek felt the time was right for the transition to an all-digital format.

“In our judgment, we have reached a tipping point at which we can most efficiently and effectively reach our readers in all-digital format. This was not the case just two years ago. It will increasingly be the case in the years ahead,” (Baba Shetty, CEO).

The last print edition of Newsweek will be their December 31 issue.

 

Source: A Turn of the Page for Newsweek