5 keys to successful business postcard marketing

business-postcard-marketing-atlanta

We’ve written a good bit about direct mail and print marketing, and one of the most successful direct mail options are postcards sent to your target customers. Before you send your next business postcard, check out our 5 keys to a successful business postcard direct mail campaign.

1. Know your target audience

Before you begin to design your postcard and its messaging, be sure to know what audience you are trying to reach. For some campaigns, this may exclusively be previous customers that haven’t purchased anything from you in some time. Other campaigns may focus only on potential first-time customers in your area. Obviously, the postcards for each of these campaigns would need to be different. Which brings us to our next key…

2. Cater your campaign to that target audience

You wouldn’t want to send a card with the message “Thanks for shopping with us, come back and get 25 percent off your next purchase” to someone that has never shopped with you. Take the time to ensure the messaging and design of your postcard fits the audience you’ve decided to target.

3. Use the postcards to intrigue customers to learn more about your business

Always keep in mind that you don’t have to put all the information about your business on your postcard. The purpose of the postcard is to provide just enough information to make the customer curious to learn more about your business or the specific offer you’ve presented. This may mean coming into your store or checking out your website. But the postcard’s goal is to attract that attention; including too much information on the card can be overwhelming.

4. Use high quality printing

Speaking of attracting attention, you want to make sure that the great design you’ve come up with looks as great in print as it does on your computer. At Colorwise, we’re proud of the fact that we work with you to make sure your printed postcards look great.

5. Don’t forget to track the success of your postcard

We’ve written about how to track offline analytics online, and this is important for every piece of print marketing, including postcards. See our article on how to track print advertising online with Google Analytics, where you’ll find methods that can also be used for postcards.

4 ways local businesses can effectively utilize door hanger advertising

Door hanger advertising for local business

When used effectively, door hangers serve as an effective and inexpensive advertising method. Businesses too often overlook door hanger advertising these days, and the fact that they are seen less often makes them stand out and become even more effective when used in the right situations.

We’ve put together a list of 4 ways to effectively use door hangers.

1. Keep it simple

One of the great things about door hangers is that it puts your message immediately in front of your potential customer, rather than, say, buried within a stack of mail.

However, because of this immediacy, you only have a brief time to grab attention and convey your message. So you want your door hanger art to be bold but simple.

After all, you don’t need to put all the information about your business on the door hanger, you just want to use it to let your customer know where they can find more information. That may mean they come into your store, or it may mean that they visit a website.

2. Enables offline tracking

Speaking of sending customers to your website, if this is your goal then door hangers present a great opportunity to track your offline marketing materials online.

The primary way you will do this is to use a unique website URL on your door hangers that you don’t use on any other marketing collateral. For a more in-depth look at how this works and how to set up your URLs, see our article on how to track print advertising online with Google Analytics.

3. An inexpensive but effective advertising option

We know that many local businesses are looking for ways to stretch their advertising budget as far as it can go. Door hangers are not only a relatively inexpensive option, they also are a great choice for many local businesses that need to reach potential customers right in their community. They literally put your message directly in front of your target audience.

4. You get in front of your customer

You may even run into situations that are even better than having your message awaiting your customer, you will be awaiting your customer. If you distribute the door hangers yourself, then you likely will occasionally find yourself face-to-face with your potential customer. In this case you’ll have a chance to succinctly explain your company and how you can help their business.

If you have questions about how to make door hangers work as your next print advertising campaign, contact us today to discuss your goals and how we can help.

Track Print Advertising Online with Google Analytics

Google Analytics tracking print ads

We recently shared three tips on how to track the ROI of print marketing, and one of them focused on how to track your offline advertising online. The goal is to measure the visitors that come to your website because of a print ad campaign.

Because the topic is fairly complex and extremely important to understanding how effective your print ads are, in this article we’ll explore how to track print advertising in Google Analytics.

Step 1: Set up a URL specific to your print campaign.

The goal here is to provide a new and unique URL that is short and easy for a customer to remember, as they’ll have to type it into their computer when they see it on your ad.

There are two methods to do this.

Add a unique page to your website

This just means to add a new page to your site that is specifically targeted to your print campaign.

As an example, let’s say your company website is ABCwidgets.com. What you would do in this method is create a new page that is only advertised on your print ads.

Let’s say in this case you are using your print campaign to advertise a sale on widgets. On the ads you may direct customers to your new page, ABCwidgets.com/sale, that you’ve created specifically for the print campaign.

Purchase a vanity URL

The second method is to purchase a completely new URL; this is really more like an additional step to the first method. This doesn’t mean that you will build a separate website, just that you will buy a URL that will redirect to your existing website.

The advantage here is that you can purchase a URL that is very easy for customers to remember and type into their browser. Maybe you’ve already created ABCwidgets.com/sale page, but you don’t want your customers to have to remember that entire URL. So you purchase WidgetSale.com.

When customers enter WidgetSale.com, they will be sent to the page you set up, ABCwidgets.com/sale. To do this, see this article on how to set up a 301 redirect.

Step 2: Track the visitor in Google Analytics

Whichever method you use, it is key track the number of visitors you receive from the print campaigns in Google Analytics. Otherwise, the trouble you went to in step 1 was a waste of time.

To see how many customers came to ABCwidgets.com/sale, you’ll just go into Google Analytics, click “Behavior” in the left sidebar, then click “Site Content” and then click “Landing Page.”

In this section, look for /sale; the numbers in this row represent all the people that came directly to the ABCwidgets.com/sale page of your site without going to your homepage. Since you’ve only advertised that particular page on your print ads, you know they came to your site because they saw the ad. If you are tracking sales or conversions on your site, you can use this information to see exactly how effective your print ad campaign was.

Don’t forget to visit our previous article on calculating ROI on print advertising to also learn how you can track phone calls coming in from your ads.

3 Ways Print Can Help Your Business

3 ways print can help your business

We’ve published a slew of articles discussing the important role print plays in today’s world. This ranges from how print ad spend is rising to the growing importance of variable data printing.

Today we want to look at three simple ways print can help grow your business. We think you’ll find it interesting and informative as a way to distill down all the stats and figures about print.

1. Print brings back lapsed customers

It is easier (and cheaper) to retain an existing customer than to acquire a new one. But did you know print can help you re-engage lapsed customers? The following quote on the matter comes from the great article “10 killer reasons why you should be using print” from Content Magazine.

“There is one very good use for print, better than other content delivery systems and not enough brands are using it for this purpose, that is, re-engaging lapsed customers,” said Andrew Hirsch, CEO of John Brown Media. “Online footwear retailer, Zappos (which is not one of our clients), was experiencing a problem with re-engaging with lapsed customers. About two Christmases ago it sent their lapsed customers a print catalogue, and overnight some went on to become their best customers.”

2. Create trust and credibility

No matter what kind of print product you are producing, consumers see it as inherently more credible and trustworthy than digital products. And you don’t have to take our word for it. Joey Hinojoso, owner of Smart Levels Media, quotes a variety of studies showing how readers perceive traditional ads versus digital ads in a great LinkedIn article.

“An extensive survey conducted by The VTT Research Institute in 2012 found that 63% of consumers who read newspapers find the ads within them trustworthy,” he writes. “This is compared with a shockingly low 25% of consumers who derive the same sense of trust from internet advertising methods.”

3. It will help people remember your business

Studies have shown that those reading print publications retain information better than those that read the same information online. We quoted one such study that found the reason for this is that reading print is more effective than reading digital sources. And it makes sense in context of how information is perceived in today’s world.

“The knowledge that the information they can find online, even if it disappears after reading, is immediately electronically archived and thus imminently retrievable may make readers less apt to feel they need to store it in their memory,” said a researcher that worked on the study.

We hope this information shines a little more light on the importance of print and how it can help your business. For information on how we can help, contact us today.

What is corporate identity?

What is corporate identity?

Today’s successful company exists on an extremely visible level on a wide variety of media, both online and off. And a very successful company controls all those levels very carefully, presenting a unified and strong corporate identity.

What is corporate identity?

Harvard Business Review” defines corporate identity like this;

It is what drives your entire organization to perform, what makes hiring top talent easier, and what gives you the framework by which to operate the company. Powerful identities are coherent — they connect three elements: the value proposition you offer your customers, the capabilities system that allows you to create that value, and the set of products and services that leverages those capabilities and delivers against your value proposition.

The article also cites a study of executives that said companies with strong corporate identities outperformed other companies by 25 percent.

And your branded print product makes up an important part of the big picture that becomes your corporate identity. A large part of the way you present yourself both to customers and potential employers is the business cards, letterhead, brochures and all other printed materials. As we pointed out on our corporate identity services page, just putting your logo on a piece of paper does not guarantee an impressive showing to your customers.

Instead, corporate identity is a long process involving how you treat your customers and present a unified, professional brand image. This is an ongoing process that take time to cultivate and continued care to be effective.

Colorwise has worked with many companies to assist in creating strong corporate identities. Contact us today to see how we can help you.

Professional Print Ad Spending on the Rise

Professional Print Ad Spending

Medical publishing is the latest industry to see revived growth in both print publications and advertising in those publications. In 2015, medical-surgical print journal spending was up 8.4 percent to $372 million, according to Medical Marketing and Media. The number of print ad pages in medical-surgical journals was up 7.9 percent during the year.

This growth highlights a trend where print remains a growing and important aspect of overall marketing strategies in most industries. We’ve previously spotlighted a variety of these, including traditional retail and digital-first fashion companies.

Like those industries, the growth of print in medical journals is attributed to the realization that many readers prefer to have a choice in how content is presented to them.

“People are still reading journals — they’re still effective,” says Art Wilschek, executive director, advertising sales at the New England Journal of Medicine. “Digital is important, too, but it hasn’t replaced print.”

In fact, Wilschek goes on to say that there is not enough space in the New England Journal of Medicine for all the ad orders coming in. And that’s including a 35.3 percent increase in ad pages over 2014.

Wilschek also attributes the growth to the need for publishers to take advantage of all the forms of promotion available to them to serve the largest audience possible.

“I think people realize you need print, digital, and all forms of promotion,” he said. “Every doctor has a different profile. A lot read both print and digital.”

Lori Raskin, corporate director, research and communications, at Frontline Medical Communications, says the industry has come through the troubled times of the recession.

“The reports we’ve seen show that the industry is going to experience growth,” she said. “Medical publishing has weathered the storm. We’re content creators and we know the needs of our readers.”

Fortunately, her views echo the opinions of experts in other industries. To find out more about how print can help your business, contact us today.

 

Image Source: Wikipedia

2016 Marketing Survey: Direct Mail & Variable Data Printing Will Grow

Print marketing examples: direct mail and variable data printing

The news is good for print marketing: use of direct mail by marketers is growing, print holds the second largest piece of marketing budgets and variable printing data is on the rise.

This information comes from the 2016 version of the annual Media Usage Survey by Target Marketing. The magazine’s readers respond to a number of questions about how they allocate marketing budgets and what trends are coming into (or falling out of) fashion. Below are some key takeaways on what the survey reports about print marketing.

Use of direct mail is on the rise

We’ve reported on how direct mail remains a very effective way to drive sales, and the Media Usage Survey finds marketers are gearing up to spend more on the channel than they did last year. Of those surveyed, 25 percent said they would increase spending on direct mail this year, while another 44 percent said they spend the same as they did last year.

Additionally, marketers reported that direct mail remains an important tool for both customer acquisition and customer retention. When asked what marketing method delivers the strongest ROI for customer acquisition, 16.3 percent said direct mail. For customer retention, 14.6 percent of marketers said direct mail delivered the best ROI. In both of these categories, direct mail was the second strongest method only behind email.

Print remains a large portion of marketing budget

Marketers plan on allocating 28.5 percent of marketing budgets to print this year, including direct mail, magazines, newspapers, circulars and more. This is the second largest slice of the budget, following closely behind online marketing’s 37.1 percent share.

Variable Data Printing is growing

We’ve reported on how crucial digital printing is to personalized marketing, and the Target Marketing survey reports the popularity of personalized marketing using variable data printing (VDP) will continue to grow. 11 percent plan to increase spending on VDP in the coming year, while 16 percent plan to keep spending the same.

Contact Colorwise Printing today to find out how we help print marketing work for your business.

3 Simple Ways to Track the ROI of Print Marketing

Track ROI of Print Marketing

The Colorwise blog has included quite a few posts on the importance of print in today’s marketing world, from the comeback of print catalogs to the growing ability to provide personalized print marketing. With the growing number of advertising avenues, it’s more important than ever to be able to track your return on investment (ROI). With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of three simple ways to track the ROI of print marketing.

1. Use vanity URLs to track the online ROI of offline advertising

A vanity URL is a domain name that you buy for a specific marketing campaign or channel that redirects to your company website. If your company domain is examplecompany.com, then you might buy examplemarketingcampaign.com to put on your print campaign collateral.

However, that vanity URL is only for tracking purposes – use a 301 redirect to take the customer to a landing page on your site with a tracking code. For example, someone who sees your flyer and visits examplemarketingcampaign.com would be redirected to examplecompany.com/marketingcampaign?utm=*.

That last part beginning the question mark may be a bit confusing, but it’s the tracking code that lets you see in Google Analytics when a customer came to your site via your print material. For more information, see Google’s page on setting up tracking code.

Though it requires a bit of setup, using a vanity URL is a fantastic way to use your website to track the ROI of print marketing.

2. Create a custom phone number

What if your customer calls you instead of coming to your website? No problem, just create a separate phone number for your print campaign. Then the tracking is easy. When you track which number was assigned to which print campaign, then you know exactly how many leads each campaign generates.

This method also requires a bit of setup – namely, getting a new phone number. Depending on the size of your business, you may be able to use a service like Google voice to add a new number. If you are a larger business or need many numbers, you may want to choose a paid system like Marchex.

3. Ask your customers

Finally we have to the simplest tracking method, which requires no setup time at all: just ask your customers how they found you. This is something that seems natural, though it is often easy to overlook this step.

Additionally, once you find out where your customers found you, you must be diligent about recording those sources. After all, asking where they found you does no good if you don’t keep a record of it.

And there you have it: 3 simple ways to track the ROI of print marketing. Though all these methods are easy to implement, they can make a huge impact on the return on investment of your marketing budget.

Digital printing crucial to personalized marketing

coke-digital-marketing-personalization-campaign

With its ability to offer personalized packaging and marketing materials, digital printing is becoming increasingly important to marketers as they search for new ways to connect with consumers.

Reaching specific small groups of consumers online can be relatively easy because of the amount of data that follows internet users, but personalizing offline campaigns has typically been difficult and inefficient. Digital printing is helping to change that, allowing companies to offer specialized messages offline, as well.

A recent example is Coca-Cola’s recent “Share a Coke” label, which features people’s names directly on bottles and cans. Ad Age says it is one of the company’s “most successful promotions ever.”

And Coke may be looking to top itself with an upcoming campaign called “It’s Mine.” According to Ad Week, Coke will use digital printing to create a unique label for every single 12-ounce glass bottle of Diet Coke it sells during the campaign. A more limited number of patterns will be released for other bottle sizes; all in all the company will produce millions of unique labels.

“Marketers are increasingly looking to use packaging in nontraditional ways to connect with consumers,” David Luttenberger, global packaging director at research firm Mintel, told Ad Age. “Digital printing has been around for 20 years, but just in the past 18 months, brands are beginning to engage in digital package decoration — adding visuals, sensory cues, raised surfaces. It helps brands engage with consumers on more levels.”

In fact, Mintel named “Digital Evolution” one of the six global packaging trends they expect to see in the coming year.

The research company believes “brands and package converters [will] begin to move beyond using digital primarily for limited editions and personalization, and begin to capitalize on its economic and speed-to-market advantages for mainstream package decoration.”

Of course, this is not just true for consumer packaging. We are seeing new forays into traditional print marketing with digital printing as well, and trends suggest there is much more to come.

Image source: Wikipedia

Study: Print catalogs encourage online and offline purchases

Print catalogs mailbox

62 percent of shoppers that made purchases after receiving print catalogs said the purchase was influenced by the catalog.

This finding comes from a new study by InfoTrend examining how print materials in influence retail purchases online and at brick and mortar stores.

We’ve written about the resurgence of print catalogs (from companies as diverse as JC Penney and AirBnB), and the new study is a great look into how consumers are responding to the catalogs.

“Catalogs are effective at triggering online and retail purchases,” said Barb Pellow, Group Director of InfoTrends’ Consulting Group, in a press release. “62% of consumers receiving catalogs who made a purchase within the last 3 months were influenced by the catalog.”

The study found that although shoppers were influenced by big, well-known brands like IKEA, L.L. Bean and Victoria’s Secret, they also were paying attention to print catalogs from small businesses.

“The market is shifting to away from the big book, general catalogs to smaller titles targeted at niche segments,” said the press release.

Print catalogs were found useful across a variety of demographics. The study found “no dramatic differences when comparing age groups or in terms of income, gender, or parents/non-parents.” Catalog trends in both North America and Western Europe were studied.

The study also looked at direct mail, including marketing collateral like flyers, brochures, letters and postcards.

Not only is two-thirds of direct mail looked at, but over 40 percent of consumers make purchases because of direct mail they’ve received. This marketing channel continues to be an effective way to drive sales, both in-store and online.

Print catalogs clearly remain an important part of a multi-channel marketing strategy for companies small and large. Contact Colorwise today on more about how the print collateral we print can improve your marketing goals.

Photo source: Flickr
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