Thursday, June 27, 2013

Developing A Successful Cross-Media Campaign

Where to begin? That can be a difficult question to answer, especially if you've never planned a cross media campaign before.
If you follow a few simple steps, however, you should be able to build a great campaign.

1) The touch.

Every good campaign has to start somewhere. Print is usually the genesis, the launching point, the initial customer contact. Especially if you are looking for new customers or don't have much data on your current customer base. A postcard or a more complex mail piece are the most common approaches to contact, especially if you are looking to do a personalized campaign.

2) The offer.

Also known as the "call to action". This is a critical element to a cross-media campaign. Whether it's a free item, a discount, a contest, or a promise of valuable information - we need the offer in order to get the action.

3) The response.

Typically, the next step in a cross-media campaign is to lead the recipient to an online landing page, where they can find out more, or redeem their offer. A personalized URL (PURL) is ideal because it can be catered directly to their lifestyle, likes or interests.

4) The data.

The landing page is your data goldmine - where you have the opportunity to collect more information about the customer, which can be automatically inputed into your data program. The trick is to ask for the right type and amount of information, not too much or too personal which might make some people uncomfortable. Remember, you are doing this so that you can best serve their individual needs - so be polite!

5) The share.

A cross media campaign is a great opportunity for social sharing. Ex: make it a contest and ..  You can even track your best sharers and reward them.

6) The follow-up.

Don't put Baby in a corner. It's so important to nurture your customers, even after you have made the sale. Most commonly, follow up is in the form of a thank you email or another mailed offer. The basis of cross-media is a back and forth approach, which strengthens the relationship (and information) between the business and customer.

So line-em up, lay-em out and brainstorm your cross media campaign concept! Using these techniques can massively improve your ROI.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Extra! Extra! How to use your Newsletter for Extra business opportunities.

Newsletters can be thought of as a more "homestyle" communications opportunity for your business. Rather than being a selling point, the news letter can be used to keep in touch with your customer base and let them know what is going on in your company. It's a place to mention employees who are making a difference, charitable contributions, company developments or even fun facts. Think about the recipient looking at it the way they would look at a magazine - kicking back and scanning the headlines for articles that interest them. I advise outlining a structure of categories, so that you have a template to start with each time, making the writing and set-up much easier for you.

Today's alternatives to a printed newsletter are the email version. I doubt that a single person reading this right now doesn't feel overwhelmed by the amount of email they receive on a daily basis. I, for one, have a few email subscriptions that I will read every week, and the rest pretty much goes in the trash. People tend to go overboard in email with offers and sales pitches. If I get a printed newsletter from a company that I do business with, however, I will at least scan the headlines to see if anything interests me and read the articles if it does - especially if it is well-designed. I feel like they sent it to me because I was important to them (unlike email, which everyone gets).

Aside from business to business communications, a company newsletter may also be used for inter-company communications.

Using articles that educate readers can actually even reduce labor costs by answering frequently asked questions or introducing and explaining changes.

But what about email? I recently met with a software company. They mentioned that they were getting terrible email open rates even for important updates on their products that the recipients USED. When you send a printed information piece, the recipient is going to have to hold it before getting rid of it, which is more of a connection than the click click of email deletion. Chances are, the person getting the newsletter will feel like a valued customer, partner or employee for having received it.

Tips for a good company newsletter:

Make it personal. In relation to your company, don't make it about marketing. Highlight employees and express the personality of your brand. Build a relationship.

Organization. Make sure the information is well-organized for easy reference and quick reading.

Make a template. For the content areas as well as the design. To avoid re-inventing the wheel, define what categories of topics will fall in each section. ex: "Community Contribution of the Month".

Look and Feel. Think about the vibe of your favorite magazines to get ideas for the look and feel of the design.

Here's an example of how you might set up a newsletter template front page:

Friday, March 1, 2013

Ways to Engage

Hey there! Fidelity Printing created a graphic to offer a few ideas on ways to use print to drive social media and customer engagement. Don't forget to nurture those relationships and keep it fresh...enjoy!
Variable data printed postcards can offer birthday rewards, contests, social rewards and more.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

USPS Changes to Physical Standards.

They're at it again. New changes in postal requirements could affect your mail piece. Check before you design!

It's important to stay up-to-date about new postal regulations that could affect any current or future mail piece. There have been some design changes that affect locations of tabs and addresses, so you will want to check them if you are re-using a design for mail or creating a new design. If the design does not meet the Postal Service’s requirements, then the cost of mailing the piece will go up.

Some of the changes that we see on common mail pieces include the locations of binds or folds, tabs or glue and address panels.

Here is a link (below) to information available on the Postal Service's website, although it's probably best to go into an office or speak with your printer for further information.

See the info that's available online.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

5 Ingredients to Sprinkle On Your Marketing Mix

5 Ingredients to Sprinkle On Your Marketing Mix

You want to cook up some new business, or reheat some old business - but are you having trouble deciding what will compliment your mix? Here are a few ideas.

1. Make an offer.

One way to spice up your message is to make a special offer - but it takes careful consideration to decide what type of offer or promotion is best for your business. You don't want to discount goods or services if it will devalue your brand in the eyes of your customer, or if it will only attract customers who are only looking for discounts. The idea of a good offer is to introduce the customer to your business with less risk, and make them a repeat customer who is willing to pay a fair price. It can be tricky.

You don't even have to discount your product, you can also offer an added value like a consultation, information, or a freebie that's not a part of your for-profit product lineup.

A contest is a different type of offer that may have one or multiple winners, but greater community engagement. Consider promoting your business with a contest because it adds another level of fun and interaction, that you can build on. Good contests are community-oriented, so that brings us to the next point.

2. Get social.

Select only a couple of social sites to engage with. Chances are, you're not going to be able to participate in all of the options - and keep things interesting. If you've got employees who are already active on these sites, talk to them about what would be best for your business, and find out how they might be able to help.

3. Personalize print.

Digital printing makes such an easy job of producing variable data, there's almost no reason not to do it. It really doesn't cost that much more to make a piece variable than it does to print it in the first place - so why not speak directly to your customer with the words and images that are right for them? The trick is having the right data - which means you need a well-curated list. Contact information quality is really something that any business should be working on and updating anyway - it takes work, but it's totally worth it. Stay organized and "clean" your lists regularly.

4. Personalize online.

A PURL is a personalized landing page, or series of pages that a recipient might visit in order to claim an offer. The most valuable and important thing about a PURL is that it is a data collection behemoth. When visiting a PURL the customer is usually asked to fill out some information, take a survey, respond to an invitation, or similar. Each page can include different text and images based on how your respondents are categorized, so it is relevant to them.

5. Code it!

You've seen 'em. QR [Quick Response] codes. At the Farmer's Market, on a mailer, even on some product packaging. They're designed to quickly take you to an online page via your mobile device. USPS even ran a promotion offering discounts to companies utilizing a QR code in their mailer. Their heart was in the right place, they were trying to show businesses how to add value to their direct mail piece. But the QR codes have been used effectively, and not-so-effectively.

The not-so-effective way involves: having a code that leads the user to your website, the end.

The effective way involves: having a code that takes the user to a customized mobile-friendly landing page with specific information, offers, etc. relating to the promotion they acquired it from.