Interactive print? Is that even possible?

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When it comes to print ads, there are thousands of different ideas and concepts that can be employed and used. How do you make your print interactive? Though it may seem like interactive print is something that is unattainable, it is far easier than you might imagine. Here are three ways that you can make your print interactive and really get your readers and viewers involved.

 

1    QR Codes- Everyone has smart phones these days, something that proves as a distinct advantage to the individual or the company that is using print ads. A QR code is a block code that can be read by QR readers on smart phones. These codes can lead your viewers to websites, other content, videos, other advertisements, and so much more. These codes are easy to make, easy to use, and incredibly fun.  Put them on a postcard, for example, leading scanners right to your corporate website!

 

2    Purpose Driven Ads- Another great way to amp up the interactivity of your ad is to create an ad that can be used for something else; an ad that has a purpose. This could be something as simple as an ad that has perforated edges and can be popped up to create a 3d ad, to something as complicated as an ad that can be made into something else. This will allow companies to make their print ad and convey the information they need while creating an ad that is fully interactive and completely memorable.

3    Wired Ads- There is a whole new genre of this, that is fully interactive because it has been wired. This means that the ad actually does something. It could be anything from playing music, to reading a message or changing the color of a picture. Whatever it is, these ads will be highly interactive. While they can be great, they do sometimes cause problems and tend to be more expensive.

 

By following these tips, your company will become a creative and memorable business. Remember: Interactive ads are a thing of today, not a thing of the future.

Improving Response Rates from Your Mailing Campaigns

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Mailing campaigns are an important marketing and advertising strategy, but it can become too costly when response rates are low.  To improve response rates for your mailing campaign, follow these easy tips.

Find Your Target Audience

Because mailers are not the cheapest form of marketing, it is crucial to find your target audience. When mailers are sent to the right people at the right time, they are highly effective at creating leads or sales. Sending out fewer mailers to highly targeted audience will often have better response results than sending out higher volumes of mailers to a poorly targeted audience.

Consider Using Postcards

Mail that has to be opened is often thrown away before the recipient has a chance to see what great offer awaits them. The advantage of using a postcard is that all the information you want to convey is readily available.

Make a Response Easy

People prefer to respond to mail offers in different ways so make every option available. Include a form for a mail response, a phone number, a web address for online responses and an invitation to any social media sites you use.

Use Easy-to-Understand Language

Because a mailer is a paper version of a sales person, the tone should be conversational. Avoid using technical terms or industry jargon in order to make the recipient feel comfortable with your offer.

Highlight the Benefits of Your Product

Emphasize what is most important to the potential customer. Make it very clear what solutions your product or offer have for the customer. People generally are not interested in anything that does not directly benefit them.

Track Your Efforts

To continually improve your response rates, make sure you are thoroughly tracking each mailing campaign. Use the data to find trends and learn what works and what doesn’t.

How to save money using direct mail

No other advertising platform has stood the test of times better than direct mail marketing. Below are some tips to get your campaign started.

1. Start out with a standard template.

Templates create the foundation for all your mail campaigns and are as easy to use as personalized business letterheads, envelopes and stationary. This template should include all the basic information including your contact and location plus an interesting design/logo to catch the prospective client’s attention. Make the template easy to edit and update by creating certain areas where you can easily make the necessary changes. For instance, you can have your basic info and design, then have four ‘text boxes’ formatted to easily remove or add text and pictures as you need them. This way you can use your template again and again.

2. Use EDDM

Every Door Direct Mail allows you to work smart instead of hard. This is a mail service where small businesses get direct mail discounts without the hassle of getting permits or using application forms. EDDM goes straight to the post office and is distributed to local clients from there. This marketing tool is a powerful service that deals with a broad area without focusing on demographics. EDDM is an effective medium used to distribute newsletters, flyers and postcard by retail stores, grocery stores and lawn care companies because it’s great advertising at a lower cost.

3. Keep Up With Existing Customers.

Pare down your mailing list to target existing clients. These are the best customers to work with as they are familiar with your product and are interested enough to patronize your business. Sending postcards and newsletters keep your business alive while acting as a reminder to your present clientele. Many small companies lose business not because of poor service, but because their customers forget about them. Think radio advertising; a constant audio reminder of what customers want – direct mail has the same power.

Compelling Direct Mail Designs

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The key to a successful direct mail design will always include a few important elements. Arguably the most important, however, is that the content must be compelling in the first place. If you plug all of the appropriate information into a direct mail design template and send your message off to your mailing list, you won’t stand a chance of making it past a reader’s inbox if you aren’t giving them something worth reading. To help make sure that your direct mail design is as compelling as possible, there are a few key things you need to keep in mind.

Urgency and Call to Action

One of the most important things that you can do when creating a compelling direct mail design is to create a sense of urgency in the copy as a whole. Inform the reader of the problem that they’re currently having that can be solved by the product or service that you’re offering. Entice the reader to want to learn more about how your company can fit into their lives and make it better than it was before.

At the end of the message, you also need to make sure to include a call to action to let your reader know what to do next. This can be as simple as including your phone number so the reader can get in touch, or can even involve adding a link to your website where the reader can find out more information.

Brevity

Another important factor that you’ll want to consider is one of brevity. Keep your sentences as short as possible while still being direct and to the point. Use a lot of white space and embrace bulleted lists with active words, as these are great tools for readers who want to skim your mailing but still need all of the important information.

So long as you make sure to include a few key elements, you’ll have a direct mail design that will improve your responses in a significant way.

Myths About Direct Mail

A variety of myths are associated with marketing strategies, including the use of direct mail in your marketing. The problem with myths is that they tend to grow over time and it can be hard to separate the truth from the myths. By understanding some of the myths associated with direct mail, it is easier to create a realistic marketing strategy.

Copying Others Will Work

It is a myth that using the same strategies, color combinations and marketing solutions as a successful business with provide the same reasons. Your company is unique, and that means you must focus on a marketing strategy that is created for your business.

Do not copy the strategies of another company. Use that as an example, but change it up and focus on your goals as a company.

Focusing on Results Will Improve Sales

Although you do want to mention the product or service that you are trying to sell, do not focus solely on the details. For example, if you are selling a hammer, then don’t go into detail about how the hammer works. Instead, give a picture of the hammer and a few words. It is a myth that several details will make it easier to sell your products or services. It can actually cause more problems if the target audience is not an enthusiast for the products you sell.

Direct Mail Cannot be Recycled

It is a myth that brochures, flyers or other forms of direct mail cannot be recycled. Most of the materials used in direct mail are recyclable.

The myths associated with direct mail can focus on sales, the results or even the materials that are used. In most cases, the myths associated with sales or the growth of the company are misunderstandings or assumptions, but they can cause confusion when you are trying to create a realistic marketing strategy.

Should Your Company Be Using Direct Mail?

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The marketing strategies that work best for any company depend on the dynamics of the business, but direct mail is a useful way to capture the attention of potential customers. Most companies can benefit from using direct mail, regardless of the products or services that are provided by the business.

Focusing on the Target Audience

A key reason that direct mail works for any business is that it focuses on a particular group or target audience. That means that you are only sending out mail to appropriate individuals on your mailing list or in a particular area.

Targeted marketing is an effective way to obtain new customers because the flyer, brochure or coupons that you are sending out are reaching people who need the products or services that you provide.

Adding Personal Elements

The problem that many companies can face is providing a personal element to the business. If your company is struggling with personalization, then direct mail can be a realistic solution. When you send out a postcard, you can put the name of the individual at that address. It automatically makes the advertisement more personal and reaches out to individuals who may feel that businesses are lacking a personal touch.

Easy Measurements

The personal element and the targeted mailing is only the beginning. Direct mail is also easy to measure based on the number of homes that receive the mail. You can determine the effectiveness of your marketing strategy based on the inquiries and sales that you receive.

Every business can benefit from direct mail, but the decision to implement the strategy depends on your goals and your understanding of how the process works. Direct mail is an effective way to reach your target audience with an element of personalization, and it can help improve your sales.

[Source: USPS]

Dos and Donts of a Direct Mailer

Don’t neglect direct mailing just because you’re heavily invested in the online marketing world. Direct mailers are a viable marketing method, particularly if you want to build up your business locally. However, there are right and wrong ways to go about a direct mail piece.

Do:

  • Make it clear what the offer is.
  • Provide a call to action.
  • Consider using QR codes on your mailer to send the recipient to a website for additional information.
  • Send out a targeted mailing about specials and seasonal sales.
  • Provide as much information as possible on your products or services to help increase the response rate.
  • Incorporate direct mailing in an on-going campaign instead of a one off, as repeated exposure is necessary to build up brand trust and recognition.

Don’t:

  • Purchase untargeted address lists and waste the time and expense sending out mailers to people who won’t be interested in your offer.
  • Work with designers who have only worked in the online space, and do not understand the advantages and limitations that direct mailer formats have to offer.
  • Send out a single, unsuccessful mailer and decide that direct mailing doesn’t work for you. Direct mail response rates take some time to build up, and you have to send out repeated mailers to see the impact.
  • Check work sent from outsourced printers. If you’re going to save money on your direct mailing costs by outsourcing it to a cheap bulk printer, get some proofs before you send it out.

Establishing a Successful Direct Mail Campaign

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Although they are often overlooked, direct mail campaigns are one of the most effective means of promoting your business. In order for it to be successful, however, there are a few key elements you should incorporate into the campaign.

Research your target area. Choosing the right target area for your mailing is critical. Make sure the recipients are ones most likely to benefit from your products or services. For example, a roofing and siding company would not benefit by targeting newly built homes.

Create a mailer that stands out. Whether it’s a post-card, flyer, brochure or letter, your mailer needs to be eye-catching and attract the reader’s attention immediately. Grabbing the recipients’ attention will be the difference between having your mailer be read or tossed into the trash without a second glance. Use bright and bold colors, easy to read text and an opening sentence that makes them want to read more.

Make an offer. The point of a direct mail campaign is to attract business. Give the customers a reason to want to do business with you. For example, a service based company can give a discount offer on services performed, a product based company can offer a free item.

Provide company information. This is key! Customers can’t contact you if they don’t have your contact information. Be sure to supply a range of methods including your business location, phone number, website and social media platforms. Consider placing a QR code on your mailer if it fits with your target audience.

Send multiple mailings. Sometimes, your first mailer is cast aside. Maybe even the second. It often takes several mailers to obtain a response.

Track your results. Develop a way to track the results of your direct marketing campaign so that you can measure its effectiveness. This information can be used to improve future direct marketing campaigns.

Incorporate Marketing into Your Printed Materials

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Social media marketing is one of the hottest marketing trends. There is a huge amount of people using social and nearly every company has a marketing scheme designed to conquer different social media platforms. With the shift towards social that does not however mean that traditional print marketing should be abandoned altogether. Rather than ignoring print marketing it is now important for marketers to adopt a system that incorporates social media marketing into print. Making sure branding of social platforms and tags are all made available through print is a must as the social world progresses and people start looking for new ways to advertise themselves.

Combining both forms of advertising is a must as print media previously was self-reliant. Social can be self-reliant but it is more beneficial for a company to allow both users of social and non-social to know about each other. The goal is to market the company or brand and incorporating social branding into a print campaign can save a great deal of money and increase an ROI altogether. Incorporating marketing into your printed materials is a fantastic way in which to establish new customers by tapping into the vast potential of people who didn’t previously know about your company and its functions.

Print marketing still reaches a huge amount of people. People like to hold and possess physical objects and always will. By providing a physical printed sheet full of your company’s information, you can easily reach a new potential number of customers that previously seemed out of your grasp. Utilizing print marketing is a must to go beyond the traditional set barriers of marketing and merge the old and modern world together for huge results that are beneficial towards a companies growth and help to maintain sales and influence within a market in an industry.

Why Should Direct Mail Campaigns be a Part of Your Marketing Strategy?

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Marketing your business does not necessarily mean focusing on online tools or mobile strategies. Although direct mail might seem old-fashioned, it is an effective way to reach your target audience. The benefits of direct mail campaigns make it worth considering when you are looking for ways to reach out and attract new customers to your business.

Limiting the Location

A key reason that direct mail campaigns are a useful way to reach your target audience is the limitation on the area. Local businesses can reach potential customers in the specific location rather than wasting advertisements on individuals who are not likely to visit the store. It limits the location so that only the target group is receiving the advertisement.

Reaching the Right Demographic

Not every individual is able to access the Internet or has an interest in using online tools. That is particularly true of older men and women, who may or may not enjoy using the Internet. Reaching a specific demographic is a key reason to consider using direct mail marketing. It ensures that the advertisement reaches the appropriate demographic audience.

Likelihood of Looking at the Ad

It is easy to ignore banners and advertisements online. Individuals simply do not

look at them. Individuals are less likely to overlook direct mail because it is found in their mail box. Even if the products or services are not necessary at the time an individual sees the ad, they are still likely to look at it and remember it when they do need that product or service.

Direct mail campaigns may seem old-fashioned at first glance, but ultimately it can help you reach your target audience. By sending the advertisement through the mail, your target audience is more likely to look at and notice your advertisement.