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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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.

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