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 Is your stationery looking a little outdated?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!
If you want inexpensive, real-time communications, online marketing can be a powerful tool. But if you want highly relevant marketing communications that consumers respect, then personalized print is the way to go.
In a survey of more than 1,200 people conducted for ad:tech London by Zussi Research, 69% percent of respondents saw traditional advertising as relevant to them, compared with 45% for online marketing. Respondents also described online marketing as “chaotic.” This reflects how misdirected and intrusive ads can create a high level of annoyance, even when those efforts are supposedly targeted.
Compare this to print. Databases tend to be more accurate and targeting more focused. Personalized print earns consumers’ trust and respect. Consumers also appreciate the purposeful investment print requires in the marketer’s relationship with them. It creates a sense that that they are valued.
So while you may want to expand your marketing to include some electronic channels, don’t make the mistake of replacing print with alternative media. Instead, personalize it!
Capitalize on consumers’ positive perception of print to differentiate yourself as a company that cares about your customers in a way that consumers often perceive online advertisers don’t. Then build on that perception with relevant, personalized communications they’ll remember and respect!
Want to hear a surprising statistic? New research by Nielsen (“Mobile Shopping Report” 2013) shows that two-thirds of smartphone shoppers and four out of five shoppers on tablets do their shopping at home. That’s right — they are using their mobile devices to shop right from their couches.
Not only this, but these “mobile at home” shoppers are more likely than not to make their actual purchases from home, too. Ninety-five percent of tablet shoppers and 72% of smartphone shoppers who make a purchase do so from home, according to the study.
This is yet another reason to incorporate QR Codes with back-end shopping content or links into your printed marketing materials.
In fact, in a 2011 MobiLens study that is still reflects consumers’ mobile behavior today, comScore found that 60% of people scanned QR Codes from home. The most popular hours of scanning? Midday and early evening between the hours of 3 p.m and 7 p.m.
So if you think QR Codes are not relevant to your marketing because your customers mostly shop at home (where they might prefer other channels, such as print catalog or laptop), think again. In fact, QR Codes could become one of your most powerful tools for motivating shoppers to do a little retail therapy as they unwind and decompress from a hectic day at work.
I happened to be in to my neighborhood Home Hardware and there sitting on the checkout counter was a pad of paper with tear-off slips with a big QR code on them. See below.
Upon scanning the code I landed on a nicely organized Landing Page welcoming me to the Daily Gift Card Giveaway contest the hardware chain was having for the month of March.
What worked perfectly about this campaign was that the Welcome Page and subsequent pages were mobile friendly, scaled to fit a smaller tablet or smartphone screen. After signing up to the contest. I immediately received an acknowledging email, thanking me for participating in the contest. The site also allowed me to browse sale items the chain had on sale this month.. Too often marketers do not give enough thought to where and on what device the person scanning the code will be viewing the campaign. How many times have we all seen a full desk top sized web site scrunched down to a smartphone sized window. Too much work for me to scroll, pinch or zoom to read the message and I simply log off.
Nice job Home Hardware!!
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by James Alexander (@getvizibility) from www.cmswire.com/
QR (quick response) codes are a major marketing trend. You may have noticed the ubiquitous contrasting-colour squares on items as diverse as ketchup bottles, movie posters and business cards. The codes can be scanned with a smartphone to direct users to online content.
According to social news blog Mashable, more than 14 million people in the US scanned a QR code in June of 2011. Marketing trends come and go, but QR codes seem well positioned to grow in use for a couple of reasons. First, the number of smartphone users in the US currently exceeds 140 million and is expected to grow. Second, the content to which QR codes direct readers is not static, so it can be kept relevant and timely.
Another factor that may add to QR codes’ staying power is their compatibility with social media tools, which remain a force in corporate communications strategies. Fortune 500 companies’ use of Facebook increased in 2011 to 60 percent, a slight uptick from the 58 percent using Facebook in 2010. Of Fortune 500 companies that maintain Twitter accounts, 62 percent posted tweets within the last 30 days according to Fortune Magazine.
QR code use is also growing, and not just with large companies making direct consumer goods pitches. The trend is catching on in professional services marketing sectors and among individuals seeking to connect with customers or potential employers. While product packaging, magazine and newspaper placement account for most scanned QR codes, more than 13 percent were scanned from business cards or brochures.
Mobile Optimized Marketing
The fact that QR codes are primarily a mobile tool also contributes to their relevance for marketing and social media interaction purposes. About half of all online searches now originate on a smartphone, so it’s important for individuals and businesses to provide information in mobile-optimized form.
QR codes can be a great avenue to a mobile site. A word of caution, however: if you use a QR code, make sure the URL to which it leads is optimized for mobile viewing. QR codes convey a tech-savvy image, but that can be immediately negated if the scan leads a user to a site that isn’t optimized for mobile devices.
Incorporating QR Codes into Your Social Media Strategy
If you plan on using QR codes to enhance your social media strategy, it’s a good idea to keep it simple.
An effective approach is to provide a vCard, curated Google results and links to your social media networks such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. If you maintain a customer-facing blog or share video content about your business, you can also provide links to that material.
Unlike printed collateral, the information at the URL linked to your QR code can be updated, so you can provide fresh content as your focus changes.
As you think about adding QR codes to your marketing toolkit, make sure you partner with a QR code specialist who offers ease of administration as you generate and manage your QR code campaign. Assess a potential partner’s ability to maximize social network connections to help you take business networking to a higher level. With the right strategy, QR codes can be a powerful new dimension in customer communications.
by Anna Dispensa from http://mindfireinc.com/resources/blog/email-deliverability/ /
While email deliverability is an extremely complex topic, there are five things all campaign managers should know:
- Your results are only as good as your mail file. Garbage in, garbage out. The best lists are organically grown, opted-in house lists of individuals that wish to receive your messages.
- CAN-SPAM regulations govern your email blasts. You should be familiar with the requirements (including an opt-out method, a physical mailing address, and no misleading or deceptive information.)
- Unsubscribes are not bad. In fact, you should be grateful for them. Unsubscribes are the polite way of your email recipients letting you know that either your offer is not compelling enough, you are sending it to the wrong people, or both.
If this is not intuitive, consider the alternatives:
A: Your recipient complains and marks your email as spam. With many email providers, this not only prevents them from receiving more emails from you, it hurts your sending reputation which negatively affects future email blasts to other clients. Many times, you will not even know that your email was tagged as spam. Result: You continue to pay to market to someone that does not even know you are still sending them messages.
B: Your recipient deletes or ignores your email. Your email may reach the inbox, but if it is not being read, why bother? Result: You continue to pay to market to someone that does not read your messages. If they become frustrated with the frequency or irrelevancy of your messages, it can lower your brand value.
- Good emails are old school. This means that inline styles and tables should be used rather than the CSS web designers prefer today.
- Email deliverability is an art, not a science. There are many factors involved in ensuring your emails are delivered to the inbox, and none of the top email service providers are sharing their secret sauce.
Tablets and smartphones continue to influence local search and consumer buying habits, but social networks, mobile apps and daily deals have become the go-to source for finding information about nearby businesses, according to a new survey. Some 49% of mobile and tablet users use apps for local business searches, and 64% of tablet owners search for local stores on the device at least weekly, with 86% making a purchase from their most recent search. In addition, 61% of smartphone users conduct local searches from the device, according to the Localeze and 15miles Fifth Annual Local Search Usage Study conducted by comScore. Local search has always been fragmented across search engines, but it has become “uber” fragmented because of the many more devices and applications, said David Dague, vice president of marketing at Localeze.
The name, address and phone number — the anchor identity for the business — must be consistent across search engines because they share information. If it’s not consistent, the search engine receiving the information from the other cannot match information and ads, Dague explains. Think of the business listings as an extension of a print and online campaign.
Consistency matters. The study proves that local businesses need to pay more attention to the information in local profiles, not only on search engines and mapping apps, but social networks and sites like Pinterest, Facebook, Google+ and Twitter. In fact, the study reveals a 67% increase in social network local business searches since 2010. About 35% of those who primarily use social networking sites for local search do so daily, while 45% of social local business users submit reviews online for local business, according to observed behavior of 1 million consumers who agreed to have their online searches tracked anonymously in December. Search marketers have continually stressed the importance of updating business profiles on
Google, Bing and Yahoo map programs, along with social sites. Ironically, 61% of online searchers consider local search results more relevant versus 10% for paid-search ads. Fifty-eight percent trust local search results more, vs. 9% for paid ads. The highest percent goes to social networks, with 63% more likely to use the information about the local business when available. When it comes to local businesses connecting with local residents, daily deals appeal to consumers. For coupons offering local products or services, 60% of survey respondents use daily deals, 88% named Groupon and 86% named Living Social as preferred services, and 86% said they have or plan to purchase future deals.
Mobile sites help expand the audience you are able to reach. Looking for help with setting up your business on more of a mobile network? Wheeler’s can help! Contact us today!
From http://smallbiztrends.com by Lisa Barone
Sometimes we want advice for the right now of life. We want stuff we can do today and immediately see results from, not have to wait three weeks to see if it’s taking effect. With that in mind, below are seven things you can do on Twitter today to make a difference and help grow your audience and following. Its bite-sized action chunks for your Wednesday.
Got a spoon?
1. Schedule your tweeting: For most of us, checking Twitter is part of our routine. We do it first thing in the morning, after lunch and maybe again for a few minutes in the afternoon. And this is why scheduling your tweets when you know your audience is there and waiting is such a good idea. “Scheduling” your tweets may simply mean picking which times of the day you’ll be around for conversation and making an appointment with yourself or it may mean using a tool like HootSuite to help you automatically tweet instead of doing it manually. Either way, what’s important is that you’re engaging with your fans when they’re waiting to be engaged with.
2. Find some cool followers: Why not make some new friends today? Use a tool like FollowerWonk, take ten minutes, and find five new people to follow. These can be people who are in your area, share a common passion, or who you see tweeting about your competitors. Follow them and say hello. Say nothing about what you do or the products you sell and just start a conversation like a regular person. Sounds crazy, right? It’s really not. That’s how relationships form.
3. Know your audience: It’s important to know who your target audience is on Twitter so you can be sure to share information/content that they’re interested in. If your audience is known for being an expert on a particular subject, then you don’t want to tweet beginner tutorials or too many How Tos at them. Or, conversely, if they’re just learning how to speak a new language, you don’t want to go too far over their head about conversational Spanish. By taking the time to create a developed user profile for your audience, it can help you tweet information that is relevant to their interests and wants.
4. Share news: Are you subscribed to any blogs or RSS feeds to help you stay up to date on important information related to your niche? If yes, share one piece of content today that really made you think, made you angry, or made you want to take some sort of action. If you’re not already subscribed, use a feed reader like Google Reader to help you stay up to date on your favorite blogs and always have something tweet-worthy to share with your audience.
5. Solve a problem: After lunch take another few minutes and perform some Twitter searches. Search for things like[keyword phrase + problem] or [help + keyword] to find people talking about a problem that your business can solve. Once you find the tweets, share a relevant link or a resource with them that may help with them with their problem. Or, if you don’t have an answer yourself, retweet their message and see if anyone else in your network can help.
6. Tweet tips: Boost your credibility among your followings by tweeting tips today related to your industry. Share tools, resource sites, helpful followers, ideas, strategies or anything else you think will be helpful to someone in your niche.
7. Tweet your goods more than once: One fatal mistake many SMBs make is that they tweet their content the moment they publish it…and then they never tweet it again. If you’ve just created something awesome, don’t be afraid to tweet it 2-3 times over the course of the day to help get as many eyeballs on it as possible. Most people don’t stay glued to their Twitter stream the entire day, they’re only checking in.
Those are seven things anyone can do right now, today, to make a difference in their tweeting strategy and increase engagement. So…what are you waiting for?
Wheeler’s Printing and Copying
1685 Windsor Ave
(519) 254 – 5237
In this article, we’ll cover information and tips on interactive marketing using SMS text messages to help those businesses and organizations that are looking for a new and more effective way to market to their customers.
If you are looking to expand or grow your business through an effective means of marketing to reach out to your customers and build your clientele list, you might want to consider using a text message marketing campaign to do so. There are a lot of reasons to use mass text messaging to reach out to existing and potential customers as a way to spread the word about new promotions, discounts and other events and happenings. To effectively use text marketing, it is pretty easy. However, keeping in mind these tips on interactive marketing using SMS text messages is a great way to get started with this new and innovative method of marketing. Keep reading to learn more about how you can use text marketing to effectively build your company or business.
To get the most out of your mobile marketing campaign, you need to know how to use it properly to get the biggest return on your marketing investment. First, let’s get a clear understanding of how an interactive text marketing campaign using SMS messaging works and how you can make it work for your business. To start, you will need to establish a list of opted-in contacts (individuals that have agreed to receive text messages). From there, you can create your message within the allotted number of characters and send your contacts information about promotions, discounts, upcoming events for your company, appointment reminds and more. There are tons of possibilities when it comes to using your text marketing service. However, there are a couple of ways you can use the service more effectively to see a bigger return from your customers.
First, know your audience. You will likely already know the type of customer or text message recipient that has signed-up for your service since it must be done on an opt-in basis in order to stay compliant with the Mobile Marketing Association. If you are able to appropriate your text marketing messages so they are eye-catching, short and easy to remember, as well as directed to the type of customer you are looking to attract to your business, you are likely to see this marketing method as more effective. Because text messaging can be a very personalized method of communication, don’t be afraid to make your messages seem very personalized. As soon as you’re text marketing campaign appears to be like SPAM, your message will get immediately trashed and the recipient will not even remember what it said. Make sure you are writing the message in a fun way they will want to read and remember what it says.
Next, choose your keyword for SMS wisely. This is the word your text marketing participants will be using to opt-in to your text marketing service. For example, if you run a pizza parlor and you want to offer customers 10 percent off on their next pizza to get them to opt-in to your text marketing campaign, you can choose something like Pizza or Pepperoni as your keyword. This is a keyword that relates directly to your business and it also easy to remember when your customers are interested in opting-in to receive text marketing messages from you. Also, along these same lines remember that it is important to keep it short. Because those character spaces are valuable parts of your message, make sure your keyword is short, simple, catchy and easy to remember.
Lastly, another important tip on interactive marketing with text messaging to remember is to publicize the fact that you have text marketing available and want to use it to reach out to your customers. Let your customers know that you have a text marketing campaign that they can opt-in to in order to receive discounts on awesome products and services, promotion and event information and more!
You can do this by putting up flyers in your store, posters, radio ads, commercials on TV, banner ads on the web and even do a blurb about it on your own website online. Let your customers know about your short code and how they can use that code, along with your keyword to opt-in to your text marketing service. These are all effective ways you can build your business using an interactive method of marketing like SMS messaging.