Direct mail is not a new marketing topic, but it shouldn’t be forgotten. It is tried and true and will be here for the long haul.

Recent studies show that direct mail’s average response rate of 9% is higher than the 1% average rate for email.

9 Reasons Direct Mail is Irreplaceable

1. Direct mail is long-term.

It’s something you touch and feel and need to think about before moving on to the next step of your day.

2. Direct mail is easy to understand.

There is limited space if you use postcards, brochures, or even letters, making your appeal quicker and easier to understand than online websites filled with endless copy.

3.  Direct mail entices customers.

Using a quick, direct mail campaign lets you send teasers to get your customers excited and curious about what you are up to.

4. Direct mail is customizable.

You can use unusual die cuts, folds, tear sheets, or other fun printing options to make your customers interact with your marketing.

5. Direct mail is more official.

Direct mail is a more permanent and trusted form of communication. People know that anyone can go online and get noticed, but serious businesses send out printed communication.

According to Marketing Sherpa, 76% of people trust ads they receive in the mail.

6. Direct mail is memorable and sentimental.

We all remember getting letters in the mail…right? Well, sending mail to your customers brings back that sentimental feeling.

Add a handwritten note or signature, making it even more personal.

7. Direct mail is inclusive.

Direct mail is more inclusive for older adults who don’t go online.

If you want to appeal to people who don’t even use websites or Google, direct mail is the best way to reach this target market.

8. Direct mail pairs with other media.

You can pair social media and digital content marketing with direct mail for a seamless customer journey.

Cross-promotion works wonders.

By incorporating your message online with the printed word, you will reach a broader audience and answer more of their questions.

9. Direct mail is dependable.

People like to check their mailboxes. On average, people get 122 emails per day. Compare that to the fact that 4 out of 10 people like checking their actual mailbox for items in the mail.

Oversized envelopes have the highest response rate (5%), followed by postcards (4.25%), dimensional mail, or anything more than 0.75 inches thick (4%), and catalogs (3.9%).

With this in mind, be creative and have fun with your direct mail so your customers will enjoy getting mail from you.

If you need further ideas on creating great direct mail pieces, we are here to help. 

0

You might think of Twitter, Facebook, and email when you think of marketing.

But did you know print is still a popular marketing strategy? That’s right. It’s tried and true, and it’s so much more personal than clicking a variety of non-personal ads.

The Global Commercial Printing Market projects the commercial printing market to grow over the next five years, which means people will use this valuable marketing method even more.

The organization predicts that 72% of corporations will use direct mail campaigns.

Such marketing efforts are relatively inexpensive and are a proven strategy for companies to keep their image and services in the public eye.

As a result, direct marketing is expected to continue its upward trend.

7 Reasons to Use Print as Opposed to Just Online.

1. It’s the most trustworthy.

Approximately 56% of customers find print marketing the most trustworthy type. In addition, direct mail response rates are 37% higher than email.

2. Be environmentally friendly.

There are environmentally-friendly ways to print, reducing the guilt with the printed word. For example, try using environment-friendly vegetable inks because they are made from vegetable oils.

And as far as trees go, only 17% of cut forest trees are used by the paper industry, which means the trees are fine. 

There are 20% more trees now in the United States than 40 years ago.

3. Think non-traditional printing.

There are basketball floors, signs, flyers, banners, and other types of print that help your business succeed in ways that online can’t match. 

4. Think outside-the-box printing. 

Right now, there are many ways to promote your business, and one of those is with a subscription box offering goodies to your clients on a monthly subscription-based business. 

5. Get your printing quicker. 

The options are endless. Printers can use many ways to print your marketing materials that will take much less time than before.

6. People love to be tactile. 

Having something to hold in your hands helps promote businesses. Try using oversize postcards and updated brochures more in your approach to advertising. Cross-promote with other companies, so you are supporting each other.

7. There is easy personalization. 

There are many ways to personalize your marketing using lists and data that offer information on specific people, where they live, what they do for a living, and the likelihood of buying from a printed piece.

Approximately 70% of Americans say mail is more personal than the internet. When you send out direct mail, you will get a better response than online marketing options.

People appreciate the extra care that goes along with a printed piece.

No matter why you choose to do printed marketing pieces, you know they are practical and have been proven to get results.

 

0

Ever feel overwhelmed by your to-do list? The Kanban method might help.

Kanban comes from the Japanese word that translates into ‘visual signal,’ to convert work tasks into a visual format and limit the number of tasks concurrently being worked on while increasing transparency and speed.

Kanban takes a group-focused approach and encourages everyone on the team to be a leader. Here’s how it works.

Kanban Boards

Kanban boards are the format of which kanban is worked off.

These boards can be virtual or physical, and they consist of columns that break the workload up into sections. For example, you can have to-do, in-progress, and done columns. 

Within the columns, there are cards. The cards represent each work item. They move from column to column, left to right, beginning from the backlog (a queue of work to be done) to the finished stage.  

Kanban boards are designed to help limit work in progress, which helps decrease lead time.

Kanban Cards

Kanban cards provide all the necessary information, including a title, description, owner, due date, time logged, and workflow stage.

The history and information are updated as the card progresses through the workflow, increasing transparency. 

The cards (or tasks to complete) can generate from customer-based feedback or from within the company at meetings. All team members should be empowered to create a card. 

The time it takes to complete each card should be calculated. You don’t want a card to resemble every minute task, but you also don’t want the card to take two weeks to complete. The optimal time for each card is about one day or 6-8 hours. 

Kanban Work In Progress Limits

By enforcing work in progress limits, thereby limiting the amount of work your team can do at once, you’ll decrease your lead time.

This is because multitasking is inefficient, and time is wasted by switching between various projects. Enforcing work in progress limits helps foster a healthy workplace because your employees won’t be overwhelmed. Quality will increase because your employees can focus on one to two tasks at a time. Customers will be happy because of the high quality. 

Work in progress limits helps your team members say no, which may be challenging for some. When there isn’t any space on the kanban board to take on more work, saying no becomes easier, and an explanation backs it up. 

The recommended work in progress limit for your entire kanban board, according to Agile Coach Max Rehkopf, should be your team size (the number of people contributing on the kanban board) multiplied by one and a half or two. The recommended work in progress limit for each column is the number of people that look after each column multiplied by two. 

Pinpoint Bottlenecks

Kanban boards help you pinpoint bottleneck points in the workflow.

Bottleneck effects often arise from projects waiting on those with unique skill sets held by only a few team members. To help decrease bottlenecks, prioritize a sharing of skill sets. In this case, if there is a backup in the workflow, other team members can jump in to help. 

Getting Started

When first incorporating a kanban board into your workplace, it’s important to remember it’s not meant to revolutionize the workplace but rather provide a methodology to the current roles and responsibilities. 

Begin with a physical kanban board in a prominent location. Use sharpies, pens, sticky notes, etc., to put it together. This kanban board will serve as a conversation starter regarding how you work, write cards, and move through your work. These conversations lead to changes in the workflow. Once the company and employees understand the workflow, upgrade to a digital platform like Jira or Trello. This is helpful because you can share the workflow with people outside of your location. 

Kanban is a helpful visualization tool to help speed up the workflow process at your business by decreasing work in progress and providing a method to your work. Need to organize your print marketing? We can help!

0

Marketing takes time and money to execute well, which means it needs to hit the mark and provide a good return on investment.

Here are ten ways to ensure your marketing efforts get the response you’re looking for. 

1. Find your target market.

It’s great to think that your business is for everyone, but it’s also unrealistic.

Marketers need to focus on the correct gender, age, profession, and so forth. That way, you know how to “talk” to them. Keep it real, and focus on who actually walks in your doors.

2. Point out the advantage of doing business with you.

Do your clients get freebies or a discount? Or maybe they get a free consultation?

Focus on the items that will get your prospects and clients to your door quicker. Offer them something unique that other people can’t get. If you target your market with direct mail, you can send specific offers to people you want to reach.

3. Find your niche and focus on it.

What makes your company special? How are you different from the competition? Show people how your company is doing business in a new, innovative way.

4. Target repeat customers.

Remember to target repeat customers rather than always looking to acquire new ones.

Clever marketing gurus find ways to include repeat customers and entice them to come back.

5. Follow up on your marketing.

Use a calendar to track when certain people have received their direct mail piece or other marketing, and then call on them.

Sometimes they just need an extra push along the way to get a hold of you.

6. Be personal with your marketing.

Make sure your target market feels special and knows you appreciate them and all their needs.

People are more likely to engage with advertising that they feel has been specifically tailored to them.

7. Create a hybrid campaign.

Direct mail is critical to most businesses’ success, but you’ll need to combine your efforts across multiple channels in today’s digital age. Use direct mail to point people to your website and online presence.

8. Test your marketing.

Rather than going all out right away, test your marketing on a small sample size.

Try mailing a small batch of direct mail to targeted customers. Then track it to see its efficacy before sending out the large campaign.

9. Use data points in your marketing.

Be sure to include codes on your promotional items so you can track your success. This will allow you to hone your advertising message and format to be more accurate.

10. Be patient.

While, of course, you want immediate responses, sometimes waiting is necessary to see if your efforts are working.

Remember that direct mail takes longer than clicking on a banner ad online. But the effort you put into your marketing will not go unnoticed.

Hone your advertising today with high-quality printing!

0

It’s an exciting time. You have a new product or service, and you want to let the world know.

Here are some tips to help you succeed.

Do Your Market Research

The best way to start is to do some market research.

A great way to do this is to call 10 or 15 of your current customers and ask them what types of issues they have had regarding what you offer. Ask specifics so you know how you could potentially solve the problem.

Your research should show you what motivates your customers, which should help you address that issue.

Define Your Positioning Statement

What’s your positioning statement?

Writing this should help you figure out just what you’re planning on offering customers. It will tell why you are the best place for them to receive help and why your product is the best. Flush it out so you know exactly why people should go to you over the competition.

After creating your positioning statement, it’s time to present it to stakeholders. Take time to explain your statement to managers, product developers, and others who might be able to offer some criticism. If they like what you have to say, you’re more likely to receive a warm welcome from customers. And if they have suggestions, welcome them and take them to heart to hone your marketing efforts.

Get Your Message Out

Think about how you will use the media to get your message out.

Create a buzz about your product or service. Include different media types, including press releases, ads, advertorials, and other media-related promotions.

Make sure you know how to write a press release, and don’t be afraid to reach out to journalists to tell them your story. Just remember it needs to be a story, not an advertisement.

Remember, you only get one chance to start the buzz and create something for people to talk about. So, get as much attention as possible.

Get Your Team Up to Speed

Be sure to assign roles to your staff, so they know what they are responsible for during the launch.

This will ensure a smooth transition into the new product or service and make sure no one is doubling up on a job, which can slow progress.

Consider Your Timing

Choose the right day for the launch.

Is your product or service weather-oriented or seasonal? Make sure you launch it at the opportune time so that people can welcome it immediately. During this time, make sure that stakeholders know what you are doing. Keep them in the loop so they can support you.

Reflect and Learn

After the launch, be sure to evaluate it.

Did you get the results you were hoping for? Did you increase awareness? Were there things you should have done differently? If so, be sure to note it for the next product launch.

Being organized in your product launch is vital, as is communication. We are here for you to update letterhead, create a new logo or direct mail campaigns, and more. Reach out to us today!

0

The 40-40-20 rule of direct mail marketing breaks up marketing into three parts to help you predict and evaluate the success of your direct marketing campaign. 

According to Investopedia, direct marketing is any marketing that uses direct communication or distribution to customers through mediums such as mail, email, social media, and texting.

The success of your direct mail marketing is:

  • 40% dependent on your audience,
  • 40% dependent on your offer, and
  • 20% on everything else.

Let’s break it down and look at each one individually.

Direct Mail Marketing: Audience

You’re not going to get very far in your direct mail marketing campaign if you’re reaching the wrong people. Money spent on advertising to the wrong audience is wasted money. This is why reaching the right audience constitutes 40% of your direct mail marketing success. 

The right audience must be within your target market. The more precise you can make your target audience, the more effective your direct mail marketing campaign will be because the marketing will be more personalized. For greater personalization and success, go beyond surface-level characteristics. 

Build up a well-defined mailing list. Include people on the list who have bought similar products through similar methods. Keep records of who has bought from you in the past and how they did it. Target those who have bought similar products because of a previous direct mail marketing campaign. These people have a proven desire to buy your products. 

Direct Mail Marketing: Offer

The offer includes the product itself and incentives to get the customer to buy it now. It constitutes 40% of your direct mail marketing campaign success. 

First and foremost, the product must be something your audience actually wants. It’s going to be challenging to sell an unwanted product. Before releasing products, test them out with customers to see if there’s interest. 

Next, the offer within your direct mail marketing campaign must be good enough to incentivize your audience to buy now. Try out the following tips: 

  • Create FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out): if you can get the customer to feel as if by not buying your product, they’re missing out, you have effectively created tension and pressure within your customer to purchase the product.
  • Create urgency. If the customer doesn’t feel the need to buy now, they might never get around to it. But, letting the customer know that the offer is only for a limited time or until supplies last creates a sense of urgency to buy now, which translates into more sales.
  • Provide safety. People, in general, are incredibly risk-averse. Don’t let people’s fear of loss hurt your marketing campaign. For example, offer a 100% money-back guarantee offers. 

Direct Mail Marketing: Everything Else

20% of the success of your direct mail marketing campaign relies on everything else. This includes the copy (written material), design, and format. Advertisers often put most of their time and energy here when creating an ad campaign. But, usually, when an ad falls through, it is because of the audience or the offer. However, that’s not to say this step is not important.

Copywriters should connect with and compel the reader by identifying the customer’s pain points, frustrations, and hopes. They should effectively convince the reader why this product will work for them. The copywriters should work with the designers, whose primary goal is to get the material read. 

The 40-40-20 rule of direct marketing will help you create more effective direct mail marketing campaigns.

0

It is nice to have an endless budget for marketing; however, most of us don’t have that luxury.

But a business needs to have at least eight printed marketing pieces to be successful and leave its mark.

Whether you are new to business or have tired marketing materials, now’s the chance to freshen up. Here are eight must-haves when it comes to representing your business well.

1. Business Cards

Create a unique business card that not only contains all your necessary information but that represents the unique business you are.

Try using unusual shapes, foil, bold colors, and images. Don’t let it get too busy so that there’s no white space. It needs to be well balanced. Ask us for tips if you’re unsure or have it professionally designed.

2. Brochures

Your business card is the teaser for what you offer, but your brochure is where you can shine.

You can add more detailed information as to what type of business you are and what you offer. Here’s where you lay it out. Include detailed pictures of your products or services, along with an excellent description of what your company provides.

3. Flyers

Create some excitement for your offerings.

Include a large graphic or picture to draw people in and create some questions. Then you can hand them a brochure to explain it more in detail, and you can go through it with them for added impact.

4. Folders

You will want a way to package your marketing materials, and a custom folder is where it’s at.

Have your logo printed on it, along with some die cuts for you to include your business card tucked inside. This is like your shiny new suit; it represents who you are as a business person. That’s why you want quality and up-to-date design.

5. Letterhead

Every business needs high-quality letterhead to include quotes, correspondence, and business details.

This sounds like a no-brainer, but an inkjet printer won’t do. It needs to be professionally printed to show off your commitment to quality.

6. Logo

A logo is so important, and many people don’t give it enough credit.

A well-designed logo will look good on just about anything. Use it on merchandise give-aways, such as tote bags, mugs, koozies, and more.

Your logo ties your marketing together. You can use it on your letterhead, folders, flyers, brochures, business cards, and your website. Don’t skimp here. Have a professional design it for you, along with your input.

7. Banners

How will people get excited about your business if they don’t know you are open or that you have something exciting going on?

A beautifully designed and printed banner will announce that you have new items or that you are having a sale or even a grand opening.

8. Postcards

One more step to getting the word out and creating repeat business is to use gorgeous postcards that have been custom printed.

A postcard is easy to read and hard to ignore in a pile of mail. Use them to thank your customers for coming in, or send out an announcement of a new product or service you offer.

Every business deserves to be celebrated with high-quality printed products. This is not where you want to cut corners.

These eight items are important in getting a business off the ground or re-inventing your business. It’s never too late to do this and announce that you’re the one to do business with because of your commitment to quality. We offer all these items and more to help you get ahead of the competition. Visit our product list to learn more!

0

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. 

0

There’s a common misconception in marketing the more elements on the page, the better the marketing.

But, that’s not the case.

White space, or the negative space that separates text and graphics, plays an enormous part in the success of your marketing. Take a look at this handful of reasons why you need to utilize white space in your design.

White space is the framework of your design.

Not only does white space frame your essential information, but it also creates balance and allows the eyes to focus on what is truly important.

White space creates more interaction.

White space is resting space for the eyes, allowing people to take their time when reading your content. This makes for better interaction between the reader and the writer.

White space creates elegance and sophistication to your marketing.

If used correctly, white space doesn’t make your marketing look sparse. It makes it look professional, helping your images and text stand out perfectly when you want them to.

White space creates balance.

Too much white space looks like you don’t have enough to say. But too little white space makes your marketing information confusing and disorganized, making people want to move on and not read what you say.

White space helps draw attention to your Call-To-Action (CTA).

Your message will stand out better when the right amount of white space surrounds it. When people have no doubt what you want them to do next, your results are better at getting your audience to do what you ask.

White space increases imagination.

When we see white space in a design, it allows our imaginations to roam free, which results in a stronger emotional response. And this is what we want when creating marketing materials because it creates a response and connection.

White space helps brand design.

White space helps your logo and photos stand out more. They are given a position of importance rather than having it just lumped into endless text.

White space provides direction to the reader.

White space can also lead a reader from one element to another so that the “story” is read the way it was intended.

White space brings focus.

The more white space that surrounds an object, the more focus will be put on it, and people will notice it and remember it better.

According to Pratik Hedge, a writer for Prototypr.io.com, there is a study showing that “proper use of white space between lines of paragraphs and its left and right margins can increase comprehension up to 20%.”

The use of white space can make or break your marketing efforts. Don’t forget to edit so that you can use the white space to your advantage.

We are here to help should you need advice on editing your marketing materials. We want you to be successful and have your marketing materials go far. Reach out today!

0

It’s no secret that we all like to be appreciated. So, why do we often forget to appreciate our employees?

According to Harvard Business Review, “Managers incorrectly assumed employees knew how they felt about them.” The study went on to find that only a few of the employees were being recognized. “If managers could make a far broader group of employees feel appreciated, the benefits would be considerable,” the study concluded.

The best way to keep good employees is to regularly show your appreciation to all employees. Here are ten ways to show your staff how much you like having them around.

Show Your Employee’s Appreciation With These 10 Ideas

1. Make birthdays special.

Order food or a cake for them on their birthdays. Some companies also give people a day off to use at their leisure since paid time off is what many people value.

2. Ask for employee feedback.

Ask employees to fill out a poll as to what they like and don’t like in terms of you showing your appreciation.

It can be as simple as candy, flowers, certificates, trophies, days off, gift certificates, etc. Let them tell you what makes them feel special.

3. Make appreciation fun.

Create a fun “trophy” to pass around the office when someone does something noteworthy.

It can sit on the person’s desk who needs to be appreciated for something they did. It will become something fun that they can look forward to, and it should also put a smile on their faces.

4. Verbal praise is still popular.

Thanking an employee verbally in front of others at meetings or in the office, where others can hear, is still popular with just about everyone.

5. Bring on the gifts.

Gift certificates for a massage, a restaurant, a bookstore, or other fun places can help employees feel appreciated and can do wonders to encourage them to keep doing more for the company.

6. Use food.

When you feel extra proud of your staff, bring in donuts, sandwiches, bagels, or cupcakes to lift their spirits and let them know you are thankful for them and their hard work.

7. Consider a wall-of-fame.

Hang a picture of the employee of the month in the breakroom or someplace where it will get attention. This has been a favorite for a long time at many companies because it works well.

8. Take your appreciation online.

Your website is a perfect place to show employees how proud you are of them.

Try to include as many employees on your website as possible and let them write their own short bio. Of course, some businesses can’t always do this, but try to list your employees on the website if possible. This makes them feel appreciated and wanted, and it makes them feel a part of a larger goal.

9. Offer additional education.

Another great way to show your appreciation to employees is to send them to a conference or workshop.

It lets them know you value their opinion and input, showing that you believe in them and want to invest in their future success.

10. Go one-on-one.

Take them out to lunch.

This is an excellent way to show you appreciate them, and it allows you to talk openly with them about their views and projections for the future.

No matter which ways you show your appreciation, we want you to know that we appreciate doing business with you. We are always excited to see your new projects and perform our best for you. See what we can do for you today!

0