Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category

Trying to Reach New Customers? Try a Newsletter!

May 4, 2010

Many businesses understand the value of direct mail as a marketing tool. But have you ever considered the value of a newsletter as a sales-related publication? A newsletter can help your business or organization generate new business or increase membership; cultivate customer and member loyalty; increase repeat sales or continued giving; and boost referrals.

How can a newsletter accomplish all these objectives? By communicating useful information in an easy-to-understand format. And when we say useful information, we mean not only facts, tips and expert advice; but also new product or service information.

So what does it take to launch a customer-focused newsletter? In this issue of Printips we’ll provide some guidelines and suggestions to help you take advantage of a newsletter as a selling tool.

Practical Tips for Direct Mail Marketing

May 3, 2010

Direct marketing is an outreach to consumers or businesses that is designed to generate a response: an order, a request for further information, or a visit to a business. Direct marketing is effective because it can be targeted at a specific audience; it arouses interest; and its results can be measured. When done properly, direct marketing creates a relationship with an existing or potential customer.

The word direct denotes that the marketing outreach is straight to the intended recipient, without the use of third party media such as newspaper, magazine, or television advertising. Although some direct marketing outreach is in the form of door hangers, package inserts, broadcast FAX, telemarketing, or e-mail, the most prevalent means of reaching consumers or businesses is by using the mail.

Why You Should Use Us For Your Next Printing Job

May 2, 2010

Have you ever wondered why we decided to send this newsletter to you? If you’re a regular customer of ours, you probably can guess that we want to stay “top of mind” when you need printing. We also like to demonstrate our product knowledge and technical expertise, and provide useful information that will make your job of buying printing easier.

Now we’ll reveal a secret – we also send this newsletter to people who aren’t using our services. All of you not-yet-customers were not randomly added to our mailing list; rather, you hear from us because the profile of your business or organization matches the profile of one or more of our top customers. We do a good job for them; we think we can do a good job for you.

Our confidence comes from our relationship to our top customers. We know a lot about their businesses and organizations and how printing or copying or mailing services helps support their organizational mission. We are acquainted with their industry’s annual cycle of activities and how to reach their customers. We have developed expertise in the type of printing most used by businesses in that industry. Thus the relationship we’ve developed with our top customers can benefit you and your business or organization.

Writing Great Headlines

April 30, 2010

In a previous issue of Printips we discussed the importance of headlines for establishing interest in sales-related copy. As we mentioned then, advertising legend David Ogilvy is often quoted about the importance of headlines:

“On average, five times as many people read the headlines as read the body copy. It follows that unless your headline sells your product, you have wasted 90 per cent of your money.

The headlines which work best are those which promise the reader a benefit—like a whiter wash, more miles per gallon, freedom from pimples, fewer cavities. Rifle through a magazine and count the number of ads whose headlines promise a benefit of any kind.

Headlines which contain news are sure-fire. The news can be the announcement of a new product, an improvement in an old product, or a new way to use an old product—like serving Campbell’s Soup on the rocks. On the average, ads with news are recalled by 22% more people than ads without news.”

From Ogilvy on Advertising, 1985

Claude Hopkins, another advertising industry legend and author of Scientific Advertising (originally published in 1923), said, “We pick out what we wish to read by headlines.”

Writing That Sells

April 29, 2010

The term marketing communications, sometimes abbreviated as marcom, describes messages used to communicate with a market. Marketing communications focus on the products or services of a business or organization rather than on the company or organization itself, and are used to create demand or position a company’s product or service.

The task of generating marketing communications often is the responsibility of the business owner, sales manager, or development professional. Once written, marcom can be used to create a variety of sales collateral material – flyers and brochures, direct mail marketing packages, newsletters, press releases – and can also be used on company web pages.

Think of marketing communications as salesmanship in print. And just as you carefully prepare and plan for a sales call, you should prepare and plan for salesmanship in print.

Marketing and Branding: A Winning Combination

April 27, 2010

According to Robert Bartels in his book The History of Marketing Thought, marketing is “essentially a means of meeting and satisfying certain needs of people. It is a highly developed and refined system of thought and practice characteristic of a period in the development of a market economy.” Marketing is a comprehensive term that includes market research, advertising, salesmanship, wholesale and retail selling, extension of credit, and other activities designed to help people buy.

Marketing provides a framework for selling activities and for the materials needed to support sales — a theme that is consistently applied both visually and in content for all sales collateral and advertising. From this consistency it is possible to establish a brand — a combination of attributes that customers and prospects come to associate with a product or a business.

We are all familiar with branding as applied to large national and international businesses and organizations and their products. But what about smaller, local businesses and organizations? Does the concept of branding work for them? We believe it does, and that we, as your printer, can help you achieve brand identity on an appropriate scale.

Let’s Keep in Touch… Lessons for Business Writing

April 25, 2010

A fundamental task of every business is to communicate with customers and prospects. This may take the form of educational or sales information (newsletter, brochure, direct mail marketing material, advertising, sales letter) or may be central to the business’s products and services (technical manual, instructions for use, specifications sheet). In either case, the effectiveness of the writing is crucial in persuading people to buy or helping people understand.

In this issue of Printips we will present some methods for improving your business writing skills so your information will be read and kept. We’ll be emphasizing general writing skills, including grammar, punctuation, spelling, and style, as this is applicable no matter what your writing task.

Post Cards… The Workhorse of Direct Mail Marketing

April 20, 2010

A post card is one of the most versatile, inexpensive, and effective tools you can have in your marketing tool kit. Compared to the effort and cost of a brochure or a traditional direct mail package mailed in an envelope, a post card is quick, easy, and a great way to stretch your marketing budget. In addition, some kinds of post cards will help you keep your mailing list updated.

Think of a post card as a miniature billboard – a design space that can hold
• a photograph of a new product, a staff member, or your location
• a handwritten message to customers
• a published article
• a reminder of an upcoming event
• a request for an appointment
• a mini newsletter
• a discount coupon or admission ticket
• a newsworthy happening in your company

The advantage of a post card is that it does not have to be opened to be read, and if creatively designed, can have impact far beyond its size and cost.

Effective Promotions for Customers and Prospects

April 19, 2010

For long term success, every business or organization must attract and retain customers. Most of us understand the term marketing as the discipline associated with such activities. On the web site, Dr. Paul Christ offers this definition of marketing:

Marketing consists of the strategies and tactics used to identify, create, and maintain satisfying relationships with customers that result in value for both the customer and the marketer.

Marketing encompasses a broad range of activities, from product development and pricing to promotion and distribution. As your printer, we have a role to play in helping you effectively promote your business or organization’s products and services.

How to Write an Effective Newsletter

April 17, 2010

A newsletter is a popular and effective way to keep in touch with customers. It helps create top of mind awareness – having your company come to mind whenever a customer needs your product or service. It provides a way to talk about the benefits of new services, products, or equipment. It allows you to showcase your expertise and become a source of useful information or valuable advice. And it definitely can help you find new customers or members.

To be truly effective, a newsletter must be published regularly (whether monthly, bimonthly, or quarterly); well designed, eye catching, and content-rich; and written to keep the audience’s interest.

Each of these elements – regular publication, good design, and good writing – contributes equally to the effectiveness of a newsletter. In previous issues of Printips we’ve provided tips for good design, so in this issue we’ll discuss writing.