Marketing

Make Your Direct Mail Stand Out

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Every day, postcards, flyers, and other direct pieces and other printed material bombard us. How do you ensure that yours stands out in the crowd? Here are four highly effective methods for designing printed material.

1. Grab Their Eyes: People can’t read your message if they don’t see it. The first thing you must do is grab their attention. There are two complimentary techniques for doing this:

  • Pick the perfect images. People are hard-wired to respond to images. Bright, vibrant, compelling imagery will hook your audience every time.
  • Tweak the design to appeal to your specific audience. For example, if the audience is young and hip, give them a more edgy typeface that angles off the page. If they are more upscale and sophisticated, let white space and elegance be your guide.

2. Change the Shape: Interesting shapes stand out and make people want to touch your design. Shape the piece to convey your message or intrigue your audience. Shapes that follow the contours of an image or that contain different angles make your piece more appealing.

3. Add Texture: Choose paper that includes a texture, add an emboss or deboss to your design, or try a contrasting spot varnish. If the piece is on glossy paper, use a matte finish or vice versa. These tricks add both texture and visual appeal.

4. Fold It: An innovative panel or a fold that goes in the “wrong” direction adds mystery and interest to your piece. Try adding slotted folding panels or multiple folds to increase the uniqueness of your design.

Ask Us

We have other ideas and examples to show you, and we can help you build your file to accommodate these tricks easily. Intrigued? Give us a call!

Now’s the ideal time to ramp up for Fall Sales

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The Summertime Marketing Opportunity

Have you ever noticed that your mailbox gets emptier in the summer? That retail POP displays don’t turn as frequently? As the weather heats up, marketing typically slows down. The good news is, as your competitors take a break from marketing, this opens a window of opportunity for you.

Late summer is an excellent time to nurture leads and fine-tune your marketing strategies in preparation for the Fall. With less in the mailbox, you get bigger bang for your buck, especially when your competitors are asleep on the job.

Here are three ideas for maximizing your impact:

1. Dive into the world of QR Codes. Consider using QR Codes on your marketing materials, either inside or on the outside of the envelope. If you’ve been mulling the opportunities offered by print-to-mobile strategies, now is the time to put them into action.

2. Crank up the volume. Do you need to update your mailing list? Been thinking about launching a customer newsletter or creating new in-store displays? Summer is a great time to invest in creative print marketing because the results will really stand out. Can you imagine your target audiences going to their mailboxes and finding nothing but a direct mail piece from you?

3. Invest in a redesign. Is your stationery looking a little outdated? Is your marketing collateral a little stale? Use this time to freshen up your image and bust out with something new!

Take advantage of the summer window to nurture leads, stand out in the mailbox, and make a major impact in your “mindshare of customer.” See where the possibilities take you!

The lowly envelope.

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Tricks for Increasing Your Envelope Open Rate

Even the best written sales letter will be ineffective if it’s never read. This is why the envelope can be the key determining whether your direct mail gets opened or tossed. Here are some ideas for making your envelopes more enticing:

Oversize it. Anything outside of the standard #10 envelope will set your piece apart. Make sure the envelope is at least ¼” larger than your largest insert.

Stay clear of window envelopes. This makes your mailer look like a bill or bulk mail.

Get creative with envelope stock. Smooth, heavier stocks show off your color designs, while textured stocks, such as linen or laid, offer a high-end feel.  Explore the myriad of options available, such as vellum, glassine, and polybag-type envelopes.  

Use on-envelope messaging. Consider placing dynamic messaging on the front, back, and even inside of the envelope. Your copy should provoke curiosity, but not give everything away.

Change it up. While it’s important to keep the design consistent with your other printed materials, using the same envelope design for multiple mailings may work against you. Even a friendly prospect might assume he’s already heard the message inside.

Personalize it. Adding unique messaging for each recipient increases response rates, whether it’s through variable-data messaging, using a legible script font, or actual handwriting.

Use a real stamp. Postage stamps add another personal touch but may not be practical for larger mailings.

Use timing to your advantage. Envelopes have the best chance of getting opened if they are delivered on Tuesday, the lightest postal delivery day, or Wednesday, the second lightest day. Stay away from Mondays, the heaviest delivery day.

Don’t over-mail. Six weeks is a good interval between mailings. You want to stay fresh in your prospect’s mind without becoming a nuisance.

The abundance of creative options makes envelopes a versatile and highly effective vehicle for presenting your message. Get creative, personalize the experience, and change things up once in awhile!

3 Ways to Use Psychology to Boost Results Today

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Studies have shown that simple techniques related to human behavior can boost the results of marketing campaigns significantly. Here are three techniques that are particularly simple and easy to implement.

1. Set minimums.

Set a minimum purchase or, if you’re fundraising, a minimum donation. In research done for the American Cancer Society, Robert Cialdini found that, by adding a minimum to the call to action increased donations by 78%.

2. Use the power of labels.

People tend to be become who they are labeled to be. If you label someone a “power donor,”or if you’re a bakery, a “strudel lover,” for example, recipients tend to see themselves this way and act accordingly.  This is supported by a behavioral study examining voting patterns. Researchers found that people randomly labeled as “politically active” were 15% more likely to vote.

3. Make it urgent.

It’s easy to delay making a purchase, so reduce attrition by adding deadlines to motivate your audience to action. “Three days only!” is more powerful than “Act now!” 

It might be hard to comprehend how such simple wording changes could pay such huge dividends, but repeatedly, the studies show that they do.

Want to prove it for yourself? Contact us and let us help you transforming your marketing using these simple behavioral techniques.

Based on data drawn from “10 Ways to Increase Conversions Using Psychology [Infographic]” from HelpScout.

Can’t Touch This: 5 Reasons Online Can’t Replace Print

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In a world in which people have already checked their email, logged into Facebook, and responded to a dozen text messages before they drink their first cup of coffee, what is the enduring allure of print? Let’s look at five reasons print marketing remains the anchor of any great multichannel marketing program.  

1. Print is beautiful. It doesn’t matter how gorgeous your JPGs are, a beautifully printed piece will blow away your screen graphics any time. Print has a richness, depth, and allure that mobile devices and laptops can’t match.  

2. Print communicates beyond the subject line. When you communicate by email, recipients can’t see beyond the subject line unless they open the message. With clear envelopes, windows, and exterior envelope printing, you can communicate a tremendous amount of information in print before recipients even open the envelope.

3. Print plays well with others. Today’s complex marketing environment often requires multiple touch points.  Not everyone will respond to your message through the same channel or at the same time. Print remains a critical channel in the overall mix.

4. Print influences buying decisions. Marketers once thought that, as e-commerce became mainstream, printed catalogs would fade away. History indicates otherwise. Surveys consistently find that consumers who receive printed catalogs are more likely (in one study, twice as likely) to make online purchases at the retailer’s Web site as those who do not.

5. Print is credible. Open your e-mail. How much junk email do you receive? Unless it comes from a known brand, people are skeptical of claims made by email alone, and for good reason. Print still carries greater weight and authenticity than digital marketing. Combine that with personalization and you have a communication people feel they can trust.

Print remains a critical component in today’s fast-paced, “what’s in it for me?” world. While e-marketing is a necessary component in our multi-channel marketing environment, print — particularly 1:1 print — brings benefits that online channels just can’t touch.

Call us today to chat about how print can help your company succeed.

Need One Reason to Use QR Codes? This Is It

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Do you offer retail products and haven’t yet incorporated QR Codes into your business model? If you’re still looking for motivation to get on board, this might be it. According to a new study of mobile shoppers [1],

  • While shopping in the store, the majority (58%) prefer to look up information on their smartphone or tablet rather than talk to a store employee.
  • Well over half (62%) feel the information they get via their mobile device is more helpful than information on in-store displays or sales literature.

When people would rather interact with their mobile phones than a live person, it’s time to start paying attention to mobile.

Moreover, sales made through mobile devices is climbing, even for products sold in the store. Walmart, for example, has reported that 70% of the orders taken through its digital business come through mobile devices, and 10% of shoppers in its physical stores end up purchasing on mobile devices while still in the store, typically to order out-of-stock products or have products delivered to their homes.

If you’re selling retail products, it’s time to add QR Codes into the mix. Use them on packaging, shelf talkers, product displays, and in-store signage to link to more product information, consumer reviews, “how to” videos, and other sales support information. It just makes sense.

Need help adding QR Codes to your product mix? Let us help!



[1]Enhancing the In-Store CE Retail Experience Using Mobile Devices” (Consumer Electronics Association, 2014)

QR Codes: Making Your Print Interactive

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QR Codes. You may have seen them in on direct mail pieces, in print ads, or on billboards. When you scan these 2D barcodes with your phone’s camera (you may need to download free software if it’s not pre-loaded), you are taken to a mobile landing page. You access a coupon. You see a video.

QR Codes serve as an immediate response mechanism for your print marketing. Your prospects don’t need to wait until they get home or back to the office to see the content. They can access it right away — right where they are.

QR Codes add interactivity to your print materials. Because they are simply 2D barcodes, they cost nothing to add to your layout. Using one of the many free QR Code generators out there, simply enter the URL to which you want people to be sent, hit “get code,” and insert the resulting .jpg or .png into the layout like any other image. Yes, it’s that easy.

Here are some places you can add QR Codes to spice up previously static print items:

  • Sell sheets. Send people to a YouTube video to see a demo of the product.
  • Business cards and letterhead. Customers and prospects can add your contact information automatically with a single snap of the code.
  • Trade show materials. Allow people to view your entire product line and pricing right from the trade show floor!
  • Window clings. Give passersby access to discount codes that encourage them to come in and buy.
  • Direct mail pieces. Make it easy for people to sign up for sweepstakes in exchange for answering a few survey questions to beef up your database.

The possibilities are endless. You can do great things with just a little creativity and brainpower.

Talk to us about putting our QR creativity to work for you.

Too Good to Be True? Amazing Marketing Channel Does It All!

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Quick! Name a marketing channel that does the following amazing things:

  • Offers a massive 8.5” user interface — double the size of a tablet — and is expandable to 15”.
  • Provides crystal clear images that load instantaneously. No lag time!
  • Requires no cables or wires.
  • Comes pre-installed with thousands of applications.
  • Has infinite battery life.
  • Can be read from any angle, even upside-down!

What is it? It’s a book!

The ingenious ad campaign comes from IKEA. The home furnishing giant is promoting a YouTube video for what it calls its book book. In the words of the on-screen idea engineer, it is “an idea so simple, it seems familiar.”

In the campaign, the IKEA spokesperson teases the audience with this highly versatile medium that offers benefits that “wow” the audience. Imagine! You can view multiple pages at a time, allow different users to bookmark pages in a simple, intuitive fashion (colored Post-It notes), and despite its power, the battery never, never runs out! It’s a brilliant, entertaining video that every marketer should see.

Best of all, the benefits of this “book book” are real— and they can be applied to direct mailers, postcards, newsletters, and other traditional print marketing, too!

What do you think of this campaign? Watch it here:

 URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOXQo7nURs0

What’s Your Brand Identity?

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What is your company’s brand identity? Do you even know? Whether you realize it or not, all of the choices you make, from the colors on your business card to the graphics on your mailer, create a brand identity in the eyes of your customers and prospects. Let’s look at a few of the brand elements you should be paying attention to.

Color. The colors you choose for your marketing materials should reinforce your brand. Think UPS brown, IBM blue, and John Deere green. Color triggers an emotional reaction, so color is a powerful tool. Red elicits excitement. Blue is associated with faithfulness and trustworthiness. Black connotes luxury. What colors best represent you?

Image. Your presentation should be consistent with your industry. If your business is in a conservative field, such as accounting or financial planning, for example, your visual image should be businesslike. Would you trust your money to someone who gives you a florescent orange business card covered with cheap clip art and grunge fonts?

Distinctive. Your colors and logo imagery should be appropriate, but at the same time distinctive so they stand out from the crowd. “Distinctive” doesn’t mean complicated. In fact, many of the most recognizable logos are simple. Think about the McDonald’s Golden Arches or the Nike “swoosh.”

Quality. When you are producing your print materials, spend the extra money to produce high-quality work. You can talk about quality products and great customer service, but if your print marketing looks like it was done on the cheap, that is the image that will stick in your customers’ memories. Spend the extra money on “extras” like gloss coatings and heavier-weight paper when appropriate.

Once you have a solid handle on your brand image, be consistent. Whether it’s your business card, your corporate identity materials, or a presentation folder, all of your print communications should have a similar look and feel. Continually reinforce your brand image in the minds of your customers.

And Wheeler’s can help.

Boost Revenues by Targeting Lapsed Clients

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Did you know that one of your deepest wells for bigger profits is your lapsed customer base? These are customers who have done business with you in the past, but for some reason have not come back.

This isn’t always due to discontent with your company. Sometimes it’s forgetfulness. Sometimes people simply want to try something new, and once they’ve done so, stay with it for convenience. Or a competitor comes along and offers them a deal at just the right time.

Assuming that lapsed customers had a positive relationship with you, re-engagement campaigns targeting those customers can yield tremendous results.

Take the example of one optician in the United Kingdom. In its market, independent opticians have been facing increased price-driven competition from large specialist chains. It fought back using a direct mail campaign with personalized URLs and incentive vouchers to re-activate lapsed clients and increase traffic to the practice.

The results? The practice reported 82 campaign recipients responding to the campaign and spending an average of £150 ($250) each after voucher reduction. This generated an immediate ROI of over 400%.

Want results like that? Talk to us about targeting your lapsed customers!

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