Archive for the ‘Target Market’ Category

Write Like a Marketer

Tuesday, February 16th, 2016

Just about anyone can write. But writing – and writing for marketing – are two very different things. If you’re looking to sharpen your writing skills to attract and retain customers or clients, read on!

Typewriter

Anyone can write, right?


Top 10 Writing Tips for Marketing

1. Ditch the formality. Write like you speak so your market can relate to you. Enough said.

2. BUT, pay attention to grammar and spelling. PLS don’t write like YR 12 year old niece TXTS.  Always run spell check, and have a colleague check for grammar, proper context and meaning.

3. Avoid the “Paradigm Shift”. All it takes is one reference to buzz words like “Bleeding edge technology” or “value-driven mandates”, and people tune out. Use language anyone can understand. If your mom doesn’t know what your organization’s paradigm shift is, don’t use it.

4. Know your target market and write to them. Give them what they need to know when they need it. For example, you’re creating an ad campaign that introduces your company to your target audience. Highlight the main value your clients or customers gain from your products or services. At this point in the buying cycle, they need to know what’s in it for them. Your company history doesn’t matter to them just yet.

5. Know how long your content should be. As a rule of thumb, blog posts should be 1,500 words if search ranking and social sharing is a goal.  If not, shorter is fine – especially if you don’t have enough powerful content.  Email subject lines should be 50 characters or LESS.  A line of text should be no longer than 12 words. A paragraph should be no more than 4 lines. A Facebook post should be 100-140 characters (not words). Tweets (if you’re looking for re-tweets) should be 120-130 characters.

6. Tell your story. Share your passion – it’s what sets you apart. You may provide accounting services, but so does every CPA. Tell WHY you love maximizing your clients’ income. It will energize you, and your audience will feel it.

7. Brevity trumps long-winded. Take out any filler and fluff. Every word needs to add meaning for your reader. Attention spans are getting shorter. The number of smart phones used to consume content is increasing. Keep that in mind.

8. For headlines, create curiosity and use lively words. But remember to Keep it Super Short (KISS).

9. For blog posts, consistency is key. Don’t post twice a month then abandon your blog for 3 months, only to pick up again 4 months later. Respect your readers time and be concise in your thought. Use bullet points or lists to organize information. Same applies for email marketing.

10. Have one clear and compelling call to action. Everyone is distracted and busy. Your content needs to generate an activity. A generic call to action like “Contact us” will not inspire action. “Click today to receive a free sample” is so much better. Get clear on what you want your market to do. Including a deadline helps!

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Why Direct Mail Fails, and How to Fix It!

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014







Direct Mail is still one of the most highly effective marketing channels available to businesses, but it’s also one of the most misunderstood.  It’s complex and costly, and as a result, businesses tend to shy away from it either because of a bad past experience, or the fear of the unknown.  Direct mail can work for almost any business, and it doesn’t have to fail!  The key to success is in understanding this powerful channel’s strengths and weaknesses, so you can determine if and how it fits into your strategic marketing plan.  Some common direct mail fails we see often are:

  • Using a Bad List - Using an old list with obsolete contacts, or too general a list of names not targeted to your market is simply
    Why Direct Mail Fails, and How to Fix It

    Why Direct Mail Fails, and How to Fix It

    a waste of money.  Statistics show that personalized mail nets a higher ROI, but if you’ve ever received a piece with your name mis-spelled, or with someone else’s name, you know it’s actually worse than non-personalized mail.  In the world of direct mail marketing, a good, high quality list is – and always will be – King.  We feel it’s so critical to direct mail success, we created a separate post with tips on building and maintaining a high quality list.

  • Being Ordinary - Look through the mail you get now.  How much truly catches your interest. There’s so much you can do with size, folds, finishes, color and texture, that there’s really no reason to be boring. You’re brand is not ordinary or boring, so why on earth reflect that?
  • Not Knowing USPS Regulations and Options – There’s a lot of details involved in creating and sending a unique and successful direct mail campaign, which is why I think so much of what we all see in our mailboxes is boring. Consult an expert on how to make your mail stand out and get noticed while remaining deliverable for your budget. There are also a few unique products that the USPS offers, including the Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) service that can dramatically save businesses money.  Again, work with an expert that can provide guidance and help you plan.
  • No Clear & Measurable Call to Action – so many times, we receive direct mail pieces that simply ask the recipient to “contact us” or “give us a call”. People are so busy and distracted these days, you need to give them a super clear and strong call to action that includes a deadline, or they’ll set it aside and forget about it.  Consider this: about 40 years ago, the average person was exposed to 500 messages per day.  Today, it’s close to 5,000, so being clear and succinct is crucial now more than ever.  Add an offer code or train your staff to ask the question “How did you hear about us/this offer” when they call, and keep a record of the response you get.
  • No Clear Definition of Success – Knowing specifically what success looks like is critical to determining how to make adjustments going forward. Define success in specifics like: “We’d like to receive 50 calls for more information on our new service line in the next 2 months”.  Keep in mind, that on average, the response rate to direct mail is anywhere between 1- 4%. You want to make sure your definition of success is attainable, so work with a direct mail professional if you need help defining success for you.
  • One & Done - Only sending a mailing one time is such a common error we see.  Direct mail can be extremely effective, but you need to commit to more than one mailing.  Be consistent and constant and your market will realize you’re here to help them, and provide value to their lives or business. Use feedback you gather from your mailings throughout the campaign and tweak as needed.

RAD Graphics is a tactical marketing firm that helps businesses grow by creating, producing and delivering award-winning pieces and campaigns through a variety of marketing channels, including direct mail. For a free consultation, please call 216-371-3003.

 

Want Direct Mail to Work? Fix Your List!

Friday, April 25th, 2014







In the world of direct mail marketing, messaging, graphics and tactile elements are important… we think of them as the Queen of the campaign. But a good, high quality list is – and always will be – King.

Your list rules when it comes to direct mail

A good list is critical for direct mail success

Why is the mailing list so important?

Your campaign may include the most compelling offer, or incorporate unbelievably cool creative, but if it goes to the wrong group of people, or it’s deemed undeliverable by the USPS, it’s a total waste of valuable marketing resources.

Do your direct mail marketing efforts a service and treat your list like royalty. It will return the favor by increasing your organization’s direct marketing efforts effectiveness for years to come. Here are a few tips:

  • Check for incorrect information. Mis-spelled names and incorrect personal titles (Mr. vs. Mrs.) are a common issue with lists. Have you ever received a nice personalized direct mail piece that “talked” to you on a first name basis and made you feel special?  Personalized mail is proven to be more effective than non-personalized, but if you’ve got a mis-spelled name or incorrect personal title, it’s worse than receiving non-personalized mail… hands down!
  • Keep your database information consistent. Always, ALWAYS put the information in the proper columns of your spreadsheet. “First name” in the first name column, “Last name” in the last name column, etc. ALWAYS (sorry, but this bears repeating!) Mail merges and personalization of content will only work if this is correct. Placing your data consistently in the correct columns is also a simple way to identify and remove duplicate names on your list, or to see what information you might be missing. If you are gathering more data about your customers like birthdays, preferences, buying habits, etc., just create additional columns. Whether you use it or not it will give you the ability to harness this info and provide truly customized marketing campaigns both in print and email. 
  • Check for moves. Businesses, families, and plenty of individuals move all the time. Running your list against the USPS National Move database to ensure higher mailing deliverability. It won’t eliminate all undeliverable mail, but odds are good if 5% get rejected after a good cleaning, you would have likely seen 10% rejection without it. Work with a direct mail professional to get this service done.
  • Purchase lists wisely. If you don’t have a list or want to grow your existing list quickly, purchasing names is the way to go.  But here’s where quality is critical, so work with a professional marketing service provider like RAD Graphics to ensure you’re getting good high quality information. Demographics can be provided to generate a list, or predictive modeling can be used on an existing list to find prospects just like the qualified names that already exist on your list. Have names but no emails? Phone numbers and emails can be added to any existing list for integrated marketing efforts.

RAD Graphics is a tactical marketing firm that helps businesses grow by creating, producing and delivering award-winning pieces and campaigns through a variety of marketing channels, including direct mail. For a free consultation, please call 216-371-3003.

How to Choose the RIGHT Promotional Product

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013







Promotional products and apparel are great for showing your appreciation, launching a new service, or even for building loyalty. The key, of course, is to choose them wisely.  Here are a few tips for choosing the right promotional item for your customers, prospects or employees.

Know Your Target Market
This is the most important place to start.  Keep in mind your audience will accept just about any free item, but the goal is to get them to use it, and that’s why it’s important that the item addresses your target markets needs AND their tastes.

So, who is your target market?  What’s their average age, gender and income level?  What do they struggle with?  If your target market is a business professional, what position do they typically hold?  Analyze your customer base and figure out what makes them tick. You can do this by simply exploring social media sites, or surveying some of your clients directly.  Once you’ve defined who your audience is, it’s easier to find relevant items.  Reach out to us or a professional in the industry for help if you’re still stuck.

Know Your Distribution Method
How will you get these in your target market’s hands?  If you’re including a product in a mailing campaign, chose a light, thin item like a pen or a magnet.  Apparel items and mugs or stemware are ideal handed out in person or at trade shows.

Looks ARE Important
Cheap looking items or those of low quality, or worse, items that don’t consistently work, will reflect poorly on your brand and company reputation.  Always make sure they are good quality.  Keep in mind, that doesn’t mean expensive.

A few more tips to remember:

  • Don’t be boring. You’re not boring, so why should an item that represents your brand be boring? There are so many options for almost any type of product you’re seeking out.  Remember, the objective is to choose an item that gets held on to and used!
  • Choose a product with a long shelf life. The longer it gets used, the better brand exposure you get. Great long term items include lipbalm, unique mugs and quality apparel to name a few.
  • Imprint with your logo and a call to action. Do you want people to visit your website, email you or call?  Whatever you want them to do should be your call to action.  Make sure the color of the item works with your brand.
  • Have a few different items on hand for various occasions. This is a great strategy for trade shows.  Have an inexpensive give-away for all who stop by and a nicer item for those who give them contact info, and an even nicer option for those you have a conversation with.
  • Think ahead! It’s best to get a sample of what you’re interested in ordering so take action weeks – maybe even months – before you actually need the item in hand.  This allows time for you to touch, feel, and even use a sample before committing to a large run.

If you’d like our 3-step worksheet on How to Choose the Right Promotional Item, just send us an email!

What’s Not to Love About Every Door Direct Mail?

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

Direct mail is still the perfect complement to ALL other media channels, making it a great vehicle multi-channel marketing. It is measurable – giving marketers data to gauge its success, and information to improve future projects, and consumers still like to receive it. Think of it as a respectfully intrusive medium! Direct mail tends to linger around longer than other mediums, giving your brand more exposure. It’s also comprehensive. 90% of America goes to their mailbox daily. The US Postal Service (USPS) has 100% coverage of every business and residence in the country.

And now, marketers and business owners have an even better, much more cost-effective way to deliver their marketing message in Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) program from the USPS.

What is EDDM?

You may have seen the catchy commercials about the US Postal Service’s program for EDDM. It was created to give business owners and marketers a more cost-effective way to reach their audience using direct mail. If your target audience or customer base is within close proximity to your location, EDDM could be a great solution for you!

Why we love EDDM

Cost savings on Postage: A typical direct mail campaign for a letter size (6” x 11” max dimension) mailed presort standard would cost an average of 23.5 cents per piece. EDDM postage per piece is 14.5 cents… that can make a significant dent in your marketing expenditures! On oversized pieces, EDDM ships as a flat so it can be up to 12” x 15” inches in size while still only a 14.5 cent postage cost per piece. Traditional presort standard costs of a flat is approximately 35 cents per piece. That’s a 20 cent per piece savings!

Cost Savings on Production: No need to purchase a list: no need to inkjet address; no need to purchase a permit; no need to wafer seal. These are all hard costs that can be avoided with EDDM.

Speed of Delivery: Once delivered to the local branches, EDDM mailings are delivered in 1-2 days. Traditional presort standard mailings can take between 3-9 working days and with all the financial challenges at the USPS, my gut tells me it will be closer to the latter half. So, EDDM is cheaper than presort standard yet as fast as 1st class!

More Real Estate: Why send a postcard when you can send a multipage newsletter? You’ve got more real estate to work with because according to the post office, all EDDM can mail as a flat (up to 12” x 15” in size). Think of the story you can tell with a 22” x 8.5” printed piece that folded to 11” x 8.5”, or an 18” x 24” poster that folds to a 9” x 12” mailer? Now that’s an impressive piece to receive in the mail… and guaranteed to get attention! Will print costs increase? Absolutely, but postage savings and open rate will more than make up for it.

Brand Integrity: If you’ve got a solid, respected and trusted brand, then you need to make sure everything you do reflects that… right down to the delivery method of your message. There’s something to be said for mail being delivered by a trusted carrier and delivered to a real mailbox. Personally, I view fliers and postcards wedged between my door and curled into the railings of my porch much differently than those delivered to my mailbox, and believe me, your audience does too.

Who is ideal for EDDM?

Retailers having a grand opening or sale who want more foot traffic in their store.
Restaurants who serve the immediate community who want to fill more seats, or sell more pizza’s.
Service businesses like dentists or florists needing to drum up more clients.
Community-based non-profits who need to build awareness within their community or promote an event or fundraiser.

Keep in mind, EDDM is not the vehicle for personalized marketing, or for a targeting mailing to specific demographics. The USPS is able to offer this deeply discounted EDDM service because some of the burden of prepping the mailing is shifted to the client.

If you’re just starting out, make sure you work with a marketing company that has an official Customer Registration Identification Number (CRID) from the USPS, and has experience with EDDM mailings. They will be able to help you understand the process better, explain the cost savings you can realize, and get you on your way to real marketing success!

Contact us for more information on how EDDM can help you reach your target audience!