5 Top Reasons Tracking Metrics is Vital

You stress over minor details. You plan. You delegate. You edit. You design. Then you execute.

Your marketing deserves to be read and digested. But how do you know how effective it is? That’s where tracking metrics come in.

Without tracking metrics, you have no idea if your campaign and business are thriving.

Proper metrics should be giving you answers to the following questions:

  • What were your results in the past?
  • What are your goals for the future?
  • Is there something that should be improved?
  • Which targets did you reach?
  • Which targets did you miss?

5 Top Reasons Tracking Metrics is Vital

1. Makes your business efficient.

Looking at metrics helps analyze how well all aspects of your business are doing.

When you’re able to view and analyze key metrics, it makes it much easier to run your business. In addition, you know where to invest your resources and focus on the most critical issues.

2. Gauges performance of staff.

Tracking metrics helps analyze the performance of your staff, and it will show you what areas are succeeding and what areas are lacking.

Then, if there are problems, you can tackle the issues head-on.

If not, you can reward your employees.

3. Alerts you to problems.

Keeping an eye on metrics will immediately alert you to problems and issues in your business.

This helps when you’re out of the office or on vacation and want to stay updated on how things are going.

In addition, metrics will alert you to the areas you need to focus on when you return.

4. Develops accountability and consistency.

Knowing what areas to improve will help your business become more vital.

It’s like training for an athletic event. The more specific your metrics are, the better you are to train for the big day or event.

5. Improves business.

Good metrics rely on numbers rather than opinions.

Words like good quality, bad quality, and acceptable quality are vague. They may depend on the personal opinion of the person expressing them.

But when you have the numbers in place, you can get the numbers that will enable you to improve your business.

When you have good metrics, you can improve different areas of your business, coach your employees, and meet your customers’ needs.

Our metrics show that our customers are happy with our products and service, as you are probably aware.

Check us out today!

How to Keep Up With Direct Mail Trends

As we march through 2022, many businesses are left wondering if direct mail marketing is still a trend, if it is worth it, and if their business is missing out by not implementing this form of marketing.

Despite the many new marketing avenues available, direct marketing remains a multi-million-dollar industry, with companies spending $38.5 million of total advertising revenue in the United States on direct mail campaigns. 

With an average response rate of 4.9 percent, direct marketing is still alive and is a beneficial marketing tool all businesses should take advantage of.

Continue reading to learn more ways to help you and your business keep up to date with current direct mail trends: 

Watch What Is Coming in the Mail

One way to see what other businesses are doing is to keep an eye on what is coming through your mailbox.

Whether a letter, postcard, magazine, etc., there is much to learn about increasing brand awareness by watching and taking note of which advertisers are trying to get your attention. 

Ask Your Customers

Take time to learn from your customers and what drives them to different businesses.

What types of ads caught their attention? How do they hear about most local companies? What direct mail marketing items, such as ads, coupons, specials, and more, are likely to get them into a store or to hire a local business?

Check With Other Business Owners

Ask other business owners with similar products or services what works for them and which direct mail campaign strategies have proven to drive results.

Most business owners are willing to share their plans, while others might be tougher when sharing information with a competitor. Access to knowledge other business owners possess is vital in developing long-lasting positive relationships with other business owners, so you can share ideas and work together to learn more about direct mail marketing. 

Direct mail marketing campaigns are on the rise as more businesses start implementing various tools to help directly reach consumers. Everything from postcards to catalogs and coupons to letters can target consumers drawing attention to your brand.

Understanding the latest direct mail marketing trends can help keep your business on top of the latest advertising strategies, helping you stay competitive in your target market. 

5 Do’s and 3 Don’ts of Print Marketing

We all know how much the internet is used today, but some people forget that print marketing still works wonders.

The Do’s of Print Marketing

1. Do update your logo.

Make sure your logo is updated and reflects your image appropriately. You want to ensure the logo looks up-to-date, attractive, and professional.

Unless you employ a graphic artist, it’s best to hire one to help with this part of your image since it will be used on everything, from online to print.

2. Do communicate your identity.

Have a corporate identity in all you do. This broad term encompasses your brand’s values, purpose, and design elements.

Set your business apart from the competition with a consistent corporate identity in your letterhead, business cards, envelopes, brochures, rack cards, and more.

3. Do use both online and offline marketing together.

This is a tried-and-true strategy. However, when you isolate your marketing to only using one of these, people won’t respond as positively, and you won’t get the desired results.

It’s critical to have digital elements, such as a website and social media accounts, but print collateral is equally essential.

Try adding a technical aspect, such as a QR code or a link to your website. Then, offer a coupon or special deal when they go to that online location.

4. Do write a compelling headline.

No matter what you are writing, the headline gets read most. So make sure it’s an attention-grabber.

5. Do know your target market.

Reach prospective clients through appealing colors, images, and text.

The Don’ts of Print Marketing

1. Don’t use outdated materials to save money.

You will gain more respect from the public if your marketing materials are fresh.

2. Don’t forget to have a call to action.

If you don’t ask your customer to take the next step, they might not. So you need to be diligent in asking them to visit your website, call you, email you, or do whatever you want them to do next.

3. Don’t forget the 4 P’s of marketing. 

Product, price, pace, and promotion are essential to any marketing effort. Make sure your include mention to all four in your marketing efforts. These are considered to be the pillars of a strong marketing program.

These are some simple tips to keep your marketing healthy and robust.

We want to help you when you require the printed word. We work with your marketing team to create up-to-date, attractive marketing materials to keep your customers noticing you.

Word-of-Mouth Marketing: What is it, and How Does it Benefit Your Business?

Since the introduction of social media, word-of-mouth marketing has dramatically increased.

Before the internet, someone would tell a friend or two if they had a good experience. Today, if they have a good experience, they tell thousands with a short post.

Word-of-mouth marketing allows your business’s brand to potentially get noticed by thousands of consumers, which, if done correctly, can spread like wildfire.

Understanding how word-of-mouth marketing works and how it can benefit your business helps increase your chances of attracting new customers.  

Why Word-of-Mouth Marketing Is Important

According to the American Marketing Associated and the Word of Mouth Marketing Association, 64 percent of marketing executives believe that word-of-mouth marketing is the most effective form of advertising.

However, only about 6 percent claim to have mastered this marketing technique.

With a majority believing in word-of-mouth marketing and so few learning the skill, understanding this marketing tool can put your business in front of the competition and keep your products and services in the minds of consumers.

Even if a person does not need a product or service, they may be more inclined to tell friends and families about what they know about your business through word-of-mouth marketing. 

Using the Three Es of Word-of-Mouth Marketing

Three tactics can help you increase your word-of-mouth marketing reach, often referred to as the “Three Es.”

1. Engage

The first E is “Engage,” which means you engage with your followers and customers by setting up a presence in their lives.

Some ways to engage include sending birthday cards, offering special discounts and gifts, and consistently responding to social media posts, comments, and messages related to your business. 

2. Equip

The second E is “Equip,” which means giving your customers something to talk about, such as a fantastic product, high-quality customer service, and fun facts about your business.

When consumers like a company and have things to talk about and share with others, it encourages them to let everyone know about their favorite products and services, which could be yours. 

3. Empower

The final E is “Empower,” giving consumers different ways to talk and share their experiences and recommendations.

The more methods you offer for consumers to share your business, the greater the chance they will. Additionally, empower consumers to feel like they are a part of the process, such as asking questions, running contests, etc. 

Word-of-mouth marketing has been around since the first caveman started trading, and with technological advancements, it has become significantly easier to utilize this advertising method.

Additionally, it has become more crucial for businesses to understand how word-of-mouth marketing works to use this tool best and achieve optimal advertising results. 

Using Direct Mail to Promote Your Website

Both direct mail—the printed word—and websites are essential in promoting your business.

So, how does it work? What’s the secret to using direct mail to promote your online presence? Let’s take a look.

Don’t rely on Google to sell your site to anyone. Just because you have a website doesn’t mean you will become an overnight success. There are so many websites and businesses competing for consumers’ attention that you will need a little more help than just having a site.

As Barry Fieg, author of “Streetwise Low-Cost Web Site Promotion” says, “Google doesn’t care about your sales. Nor does Google help you target your market.”

Fieg says two things have to happen: First, you need to get people to your site. Second, you need to convert them from surfers to buyers. And, according to studies, you have about seven seconds to grab peoples’ attention.

And this is where direct mail comes in.

Direct mail can lead people directly to your site.

Direct mail prepares prospects and clients for what they are about to see on your site.

You can tease them with a little bit of information in the direct mailer. Then, you can elaborate on it when they go to your website. You could show people the details of your product, give a tour of your business, or show options that you offer in real-time.

Direct mail allows you to target the exact people you want to reach. 

You can pinpoint your audience, send direct mail to them, and lead them right to your site online.

Direct mail is like a personal invitation to your guests to see what you offer and to buy it online. Most people actually appreciate the fact that you sent them something directly in the mail, versus in a quick email, and it has more of a personal touch.

Direct mail allows recipients to engage with you on their time.

If you send out postcards, you allow customers to carry that information with them until they sit down in front of the computer.

Postcards are convenient, catchy, and direct. It doesn’t take long to get someone to punch in your website address now that it’s in their hand. And if your direct mail is creative, it will grab people’s attention right away.

Direct mail is preferred over email.

People get lost in hundreds of emails a day and often delete them without truly looking them over.

But direct mail is different. It is tangible, and it gets noticed.

Successful businesses realize that there needs to be more than just an online presence; direct mail is the transition from advertising to buying. In a recent Info Trends study, people actually preferred direct mail three times as much as receiving emails.

Direct mail is cost-effective.

Direct mail is cheaper than radio ads, which disappear in 30 seconds, and it has a longer shelf-life than TV ads.

Direct mail can be read over and over, even if it’s just sitting on a desk, and it commands attention.

No matter what your direct mail is—whether it’s postcards, catalogs, brochures, flyers, or other items—the tangible mail is worth the extra effort to drive people to your website. You can’t rely only on search engines to bring you virtual traffic.

If you need fresh, new ideas, we are here to help make you even more successful. Reach out today!

The Benefits of Banners

A banner is a large piece of fabric or flag used to advertise a business by displaying a slogan, logo, symbol, or promotional offer. It is one of the oldest forms of advertising, and it is still around today because it is low cost and effective.

Benefits of Banners

Banners have a wide array of benefits. Below is just the tip of the iceberg.

  • Visibility. Banners are highly noticeable. Pair it with an eye-catching design, and it’ll be hard to miss.
  • Positive response. Unlike t.v. or radio commercials where the audience can become quickly tired of the advertisement and eventually irritated, banners don’t have that problem. The audience can choose to look at the banner or not. Therefore, the chances of them becoming annoyed by it are lower than alternative forms of advertising.
  • Cost-effective. Compared to t.v. commercials or media advertising, banners are much more cost-effective. In advertising, you’re going to want to spend as little as possible to generate the most sales. Banners are a good intersection.
  • Reusable. If you make sure to use durable, high-quality inks, your banners should be reusable time and time again. This is perfect for local events, trade shows, and social gatherings. The banner’s reusability adds to its cost-effectiveness.
  • Easy. Getting banners printed is usually just a call away!

Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of banners is their vast customizability.

Ways to Customize Banners

No two banners are alike because they are customizable.

  • Size. Banners come in various sizes ranging from 2’ wide by 4’ high to 6’ wide by 30’ high. The standard size is 6′ wide x 3′ high. The size you end up choosing largely depends on where you’re placing your banner.
  • Portrayal. Banners can come single or double-sided. If you’re placing your banner against a brick wall, it’s probably best to go with the single side. But, if your banner will have both sides exposed, then it’s best to go double-sided.
  • Material. Banners can come in matte, gloss, fabric, mesh, or vinyl, depending on your printer. The material you choose often depends on the placement of your banner. For example, if the banner is outside and needs to survive the weather, it is best to choose more durable options.
  • Finishing. Depending on how you want to hang your banner, you can choose grommets, hems, or pole pockets. Grommets are the holes on the outside of the banner for it to hang. Usually, you can select the material of your grommets, such as brass, stainless steel, or plastic.
  • Viewing distance. Depending on your printing company, the quality of the design can be adjusted based on how close-up people will be viewing your poster. If they’re only going to be seeing it from far away, there’s no point in wasting money on a detailed design.
  • Design. The banner’s design is highly customizable, and it’s what makes your banner unique and stand out. Using excellent design skills helps draw in customers’ attention. Try incorporating graphics, a memorable logo, complementing color schemes, patterns, and your unique selling proposition. A unique selling proposition states why customers should buy from your business over your competitors.

Banners are the perfect addition to your advertising campaign for customizability, effectiveness, and price!

How to Become a Great Leader

Great leaders motivate employees to be productive to reach personal and shared goals.

They increase employee happiness, engagement, and retention. Great leaders lead to company success by growing sales and profits. Leaders are not born but made through hard work and experience. Find out how you can become a better leader. 

Focus on your strengths 

Not all leaders look the same. That’s why it’s essential to focus on the strengths that make you unique.

Be yourself.

After all, you are the best version of yourself, but you can only be the second-best version of someone else. If you’re not sure what your strengths are, do some reflection. Seek feedback from your employees. When finding your strengths, also pinpoint your weaknesses. Doing so will allow you to improve and ask for help when needed. 

Develop your emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence is the ability to manage the emotions of yourself and others effectively. This is a valuable skill, especially during hard times. It helps bring stability. 

Provide constructive criticism to your team 

This may generate difficult conversations. But, although it can be difficult, constructive criticism is ultimately beneficial. Usually, your employees want to improve. Plus, the better your employees are, the better off the business will be. 

Become a level 5 leader 

Business consultant, Jim Collins, published his research about great businesses in his popular book “Good to Great.”

He identified businesses that had what he termed level 5 leaders. These leaders held traits within all five levels of leadership. 

  • Level 1: a highly capable leader who is knowledgeable, talented, and skillful.
  • Level 2: a leader who works well with others to generate a successful team.
  • Level 3: a leader who can organize people to effectively achieve goals.
  • Level 4: a leader who is able to meet performance goals.
  • Level 5: a leader who has all abilities within the other four levels, along with humility and will. They ask for help, take responsibility, and hire great employees. They are disciplined and passionate. 

Resources to improve your leadership skills

Luckily, many free programs are available to help you develop your leadership skills. 

Master Class Management provides free management and leadership skills training courses online.

It’s good for both new and experienced managers. You can learn at your own pace and convenience. They offer a ‘Management Training and Leadership Skills Course.’

Coursera is a free online learning platform that provides courses from leading universities.

Some classes on leadership include ‘Leadership’ from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, ‘Organizational Leadership’ from Northwestern University, ‘Leading People and Teams’ from the University of Michigan, and much more. 

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) also offers free courses on leadership.

They offer a two-year course called ‘Organizational Leadership and Change’ and a one-week introduction to leadership course called ‘Building and Leading Effective Teams.’

Alison offers thousands of free online courses.

Their leadership courses include ‘Transformational Leadership,’ ‘Classical Leadership and Decision-making,’ and ‘The Essentials of Leadership for Career Development.’

Becoming a better leader takes hard work, but it will be worth it in the end. Both your employees and your business will benefit. 

How a Target Audience Can Save You Money

A target audience is the people who are most likely to buy your product or service and should therefore be the ones you target in your marketing campaigns.

Identifying and utilizing your target audience is extremely important because advertising to the wrong people is a waste of time and money.

After all, a little bit of advertising to the right people is often as productive as a lot of advertising to the wrong people. 

Finding Your Target Audience

Trying to pin down your target audience can be deceptively tricky and overwhelming. However, breaking it up into small categories can help ease the load. 

  • Consider useful demographics. This includes age, gender, location, hobbies, interests, income, education level, profession, marital status, who they trust, what they read/watch, purchase intentions, subcultures, etc. Consider each of these aspects to determine where your ideal customer resides—the more specific, the better. Try creating 3-5 buyer personas with extremely specific target markets. This will help create more personalized and effective marketing campaigns. 
  • The decision-maker vs. the supporter. Understanding the difference between the decision-maker and the supporter is key. The decision-maker is the one who ultimately buys the product or service. The supporter may not directly buy the product but heavily influences the purchase. For example, gift receivers and children reside in this category. Targeting both these demographics is useful, but it’s important to understand which one you’re reaching. 
  • Research your current customer base. Usually, your target audience consists of people already buying from your business. Send out surveys and collect data on who are already your customers. Determining your competitor’s target market can also help determine your own. This will also give you insight into what your competitors are doing and what you can do to win over customers. Understanding your competitors is just as insightful as understanding your own business.

Reaching Your Target Market

Identifying your target audience is just the first step.

The next step is reaching them. This can be challenging, especially when not all people especially like being advertised to. 

Infer where your target audience receives advertisements.

Use various aspects of your target audience to determine the best way to reach them. For example, if you’ve determined your target audience prioritizes their health, perhaps the best way to reach them is through websites, magazines, and social media pages promoting health. 

Bring in third-party help.

Various third parties exist that can help you identify the best ways to reach your target audience effectively. For example, social media is quite adept at this. Many sites store user information for advertisement purposes, and businesses can then advertise through those sites to effectively reach their target audience. 

Timing is everything.

When it comes to getting the attention of your target audience, determining the best time to reach them is crucial. You’re going to want to reach them at a time when they’ll be most likely to see it. For example, if you’re trying to reach them over email, avoid weekends because many try to avoid their emails during this time. 

Determining your target audience saves your business money by helping you reach the people most receptive to your advertisements. However, target audiences aren’t everything. Don’t let it cloud your judgment and make you miss interested potential customers.

Elevate Your Marketing Campaign with Postcards!

Happy New Year! How crazy it’s already 2022! How was your 2021 marketing strategy? Whether splendid or slightly lacking, any marketing strategy has room for improvement.

In the new year, try incorporating (or reincorporating) direct mail marketing strategies. This long-standing proven method, with added new technology, is a perfect way to hit the ground running in 2022.

And the best part? It can start with a simple postcard.

The Many Benefits of Postcards

Postcards are highly effective.

Did you know that 86% of customers take the time to read through their mail? Due to postcards’ higher visibility, you can expect a higher response rate than any other marketing medium, along with a 70% higher brand recall.

This translates into a high return on investment.

Every $167 spent translates into about $2000 in goods sold. That’s a great investment! Increase your benefits by incorporating a fantastic postcard design. 

The Postcard Design

The postcard design is important and should complement your message and marketing strategy. Here are a few aspects of postcard design to keep in mind.

The material is part of the design, and it reflects on your company.  For example, if environmentalism is essential to your company, share that value with your customers by using recycled material. Or, if you want to send a message of quality, then use heavier material. If your postcards are high quality, then your customers will believe your products and/or services to be high quality as well. 

The size of the postcard is important too. Average-sized postcards are great and effective, but more oversized postcards will stand out due to their inherently larger nature. Try giving the 6-inch by 11-inch postcards a try. 

The two main finishes are glossy or matte. A glossy finish portrays elegance, while matte seems more professional.

A well-thought-out headline is important! You want the headline to sum up your main idea while prompting the customer to keep reading.

A call-to-action prompts the potential client to react in response to the postcard. Examples include requesting that the customer call, visit the store, explore the website, or like/follow social media.

Call-to-actions are most effective when there is a deadline associated with them. Therefore, many companies find it beneficial to offer limited-time deals. Along with driving customer interaction and sales, a call-to-action will help you determine the effectiveness of your postcard campaign for future use. 

Developing a Plan

According to Benjamin Franklin, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” Set yourself up for success by planning your postcard campaign.

Set SMART goals. SMART goals are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. 

Set a budget. Don’t break the bank, but invest enough to see results. 

It’s important to be aware of the static and dynamic postcard costs. Static costs don’t change, while dynamic costs depend on the number of postcards you decide to send. The more postcards you send, the overall cost per card is lowered. Static postcard costs include copywriting and design, while dynamic costs include printing services and postage fees. 

Sending the Postcards

Next, you need to decide where you are sending these postcards. 

  • Send the postcards to existing customers. Given that they already have shopped at your business before, these postcards would mainly promote another sale.
  • Create or rent a new mailing list. This strategy will reach new customers, generating new business. When you create or rent this new mailing list, ideally, you’re going to try to find households within your target market demographic.
  • Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM): In this strategy, you mail a postcard to every household within a geographic area. Sometimes specific demographics congregate in neighborhood clusters. If you can identify your target market within a neighborhood, this strategy is useful. If your business is close to a certain neighborhood, it may be helpful to let the locals know about you, and they may love your business out of proximity convenience. 

Repeat!

Send follow-up postcards.

Potential clients need to hear your company’s message about seven times before they decide to buy. The more familiar your business becomes to the customers, the better off you are. In marketing, familiarity generates sales because people are drawn to the familiar.  

Developing a postcard marketing campaign will set your business up for success in 2022!

Choosing the Right Paper for Your Next Print Project

People might think paper isn’t a big choice when starting a project. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Choosing paper is one of the first things you should decide on when starting your new project. No one sheet fits every project. Paper is three-dimensional and makes all the difference in how your project turns out.

When your rough graphic design is done, the next step should be to talk to your printer about choosing the right papers. Ask them for their paper suggestions so you can decide what would be best.   

Turnaround Times for Paper

Getting your quote early will help you know the turnaround time to expect and when you will need to provide the design to your printing firm to get it on time.

Durability of Paper

When choosing the right paper, evaluate whether it needs to be something that will last or if it’s something meant for a shorter lifespan. If meant for direct mail, you might choose something less sturdy. But if you are working on a marketing brochure, annual report, or a catalog, you will need something sturdier and more heavy duty.

Personality of Paper

Considering the life span, texture, color, and personality of the piece will determine what type of paper you should use. Ask yourself what impression you hope to make with this piece; then make sure your paper represents that well.

For example, if you are promoting the environment, be sure to use recycled paper. A non-profit asking for money probably doesn’t want to invest in top-tier quality because it might make the recipients think they already have enough money. However, if you want to represent quality and luxury, choose a paper that will represent that.

Use a coated, glossy, matte, or silk sheet for colorful, crisp images or photographic reproduction. For more of an understated type of image, use fluorescent inks and the more natural surface of uncoated papers. 

If you want to create a unique look, try a one-color printing job. Pair it with unusually textured papers or specialty papers. This is a huge trend in Europe and is making its way to the United States and Canada.

The Many Whites of Paper

Just when you think your project is easy because you want white paper, think again. There is blue-white, balanced white, natural white, soft white, and much more. You will definitely want to talk to your printer about these options. The blue-white is quite popular right now because it allows the various colors to shine through. Warmer whites are more comfortable for the eyes to read for long periods of time.

Other Paper Considerations

If you are looking to print on both sides with heavy ink, you will want to talk to your printer about choosing a heavier stock. If your project will be mailed, you will need to consider the weight to make sure it fits the USPS requirements; otherwise, it can cost you more to mail.

There are so many variables when it comes to printing your latest marketing project, and that’s why we are here to help. We offer sound advice with solid delivery on our promises. We want to help your business shine. Contact us today!