QR codes offer a number of benefits for marketers. One of the most important benefit is the ability to tie together the print, mobile and web channels to increase the response rates on multichannel marketing efforts.

Since QR codes make it easy for people to jump from print to the web, this intelligent tool can add to the success of your personalized URL (PURL) campaigns, too.

QR codes have the ability to lower the barriers often surrounding customer response which, in turn, leads to an increase in overall campaign response rate.

Here are several benefits that can be easily achieved by coupling QR codes with PURLs to boost the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns:

Providing one-to-one communication
PURLs can be embedded right into QR codes, so when a customer or prospect scans the code, they are taken directly to their personalized landing page.

Once a recipient is at that personalized page, you have the opportunity to engage with them and have a one-on-one dialogue.

Making it easy to respond
QR codes make PURLs portable. They allow the recipient to access each individual PURL without the need to sit in front of a computer.

Because people are on the go, and many carry their phones with them at all times, this portability is ideal in increasing the response rate.

Additionally, QR codes eliminate the need for a recipient to type what may be a rather lengthy PURL into their web browser.

By simply pressing one button on their smartphone, your prospect or customer is automatically directed to their own personalized website. This eliminates the chance of typos and

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decreases the amount of effort required by the recipient to access the information.

Tracking and measuring
Every marketer knows there is nothing more important than being able to measure the success of a campaign.

PURLs provide the ability to track which recipients visit their personalized page and, depending on the level of the PURL, gather additional contact information about each individual.

Similarly, various software programs have been developed that will also record the amount of scans per day, what time those scans took place, the location of the scans, and the type of device being used to scan the code.

Together, QR codes and PURLs can provide a more complete picture of which recipients express interest and which leads are the hottest.

QR codes will only enhance the value PURLs already bring to campaigns, becoming a logical extension of the PURLs you may already be implementing. Use them to fill the gap that other cross-marketing tools cannot.

Are you using your customer data to the best of your ability?  Are you not satisfied with your return on investment for all of your direct mail marketing efforts?  Utilizing variable data may be your answer to these frustrations.

By using this particular service, it will help you create more customized marketing campaigns for your customers depending on what information you have about them.  By creating and delivering more customized and personal messages to your audience, you can be sure to see an increase in your marketing response rates!

Here are some of the ways variable data can add more value to your marketing campaigns:

  1. Create personalized messages by using your customer’s name and company in your online and offline marketing campaigns.
  2. Add coupon codes for specific services and promotions.
  3. Use it for the numbering sections for invoices, and cross-promote related products if applicable.
  4. Take advantage of their order history to promote related products to them at a later date.
  5. Utilize their address or location for geographical promotions if you have more than one store.
  6. Add a personalized URL to track who went to the correlating landing page.
  7. Graphics can be different depending on what types of clients you are sending your promotion to.
  8. Just like graphics, text can also be adjusted to help your marketing message relate to your audience more.

As you can see from these examples, you can understand why these tactics will help make your marketing efforts stand out more to your targeted audience.  If you have data that can help you make more specific marketing messages to your audience, take full advantage of it!

If you would like to learn more about how you can start incorporating variable data in your marketing campaigns, give us a call!

There are very few marketers out in the world that will confess to having “enough time”.

Marketing departments are typically full of ideas and excitement – but they face the same clock as the rest of the world.

Their file cabinet may have marketing strategy documents… their whiteboard full of plans and action items…. and their desks may be covered in sketches.

However, the best intentions in the world do not always mean those projects will see the light of the day. Thus, when you do get a project done, you need to capitalize. Take full advantage of the content that you are pushing to the world.

For example, you may want to launch a campaign that promotes your eNewsletter while getting insights from your customers.  One strategy you can use to accomplish this is by using a landing page that features a quiz.

Respondents can be entered to win a prize after they submit their quiz answers and contact information, but can also be asked if they’d like to subscribe to your eNewsletter.

Yes, there are other ideas for campaigns that would specifically drive newsletter subscriptions. But here, you can take advantage of a campaign that did see the light of the day, and use it to help drive eNewsletter subscriptions.

Is it more important to post content frequently or to post content about the right topics? Creating content with targeted keywords and phrases is vital for companies. Below are two important steps to ensure that you can do that successfully.

Identifying the Right Keywords

The first step in identifying the right keywords involves answering the question, “What should I create content about?”

Oftentimes, we look internally for those answers. What do I want to write about? What am I passionate about? While those questions are important, we need to always consider the overall goal. Typically,

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that is to build an audience and to drive traffic to our website.

Thus, we must ensure that the topics that we want to create content about also match up to the interests and passions of our target audience.

At that point, we should find a way to build a list of the words and phrases that are associated to those topics. These items do not need to be stored in a fancy, complex system – you could simply keep them in a document or spreadsheet! But the bottom line is, make the list! Do not rely on yourself to try to remember the words and phrases that you should use when creating content.

Promoting and Sharing the Words and Strategy

The list of keywords must certainly have a big presence within the walls of a marketing department (whether those walls are physical or virtual). But they also should be shared among employees from all departments. Why?

Well, more and more, people from all walks of life and backgrounds are creating profiles on social networks. Perhaps they primarily use their accounts to talk about personal topics. But if they occasionally interact with a customer or prospect on those channels, or if they link to your company’s website, or simply list its name in their bio, they are representing your brand.

By sharing the list, you will be creating opportunities for all employees to build awareness of your company’s products and services.

Oftentimes, there may be an employee that wants to contribute to the online conversation about your business, but they are just not sure what to say. Sharing the list can be the spark that ignites more conversations about the topics that are vital to you and your audience.

If you want to re-ignite your marketing efforts, here are 6 tasks that you can do today that will drive results for your business!

  • Review Your Marketing Plan: Does your company have a marketing plan? If so, that’s a good thing. However, if it has simply been filed away since you created it at the end of last year, that’s not such a good thing! A much better approach is to keep your marketing plan in front of youMB7-224 constantly as the days and weeks go by. It can serve as a force that guides you and keeps you inspired! It can help to make sure that your daily tactics support your goals and objectives. If it’s been a little while since you’ve last looked at this year’s marketing plan, it’s time to print it and review it!
  • Spend Time Connecting and Listening on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn: If you have a profile on those social networks, that’s a great start! But if you primarily only use them to log-in, share some company information (perhaps a blog post, a press release, or some other news about your products and services), then you are truly missing out on some of the major value points social networking efforts can bring. Take at least 30 minutes today to simply use those networks as a listening tool. Read what your customers and prospects are posting there. Use each network’s search form to find out what people are saying about industry trends, conferences, and other news-worthy items. Also, spend some time making sure that you are connected with the right people. Look up some of your recent customers and sales leads, and make a connection!
  • Create a Video and Upload it to YouTube: “Video sells.” Have you heard that expression? If you haven’t used video yet in your sales and marketing efforts, you are missing out.
    225-030 Online video can be one of the most effective ways to reach your audience with compelling messaging about your products and services. Best of all, creating and uploading basic videos can be done quickly and inexpensively nowadays. Give it a try! Sit down in front of one of your company’s posters, banners, or other collateral items. Have someone film you with a smartphone or some sort of handheld device. Then talk for about a minute about one of the major benefits your company can offer… or simply talk about an industry trend. Then, upload the video to YouTube! But also make sure to include keywords and a link to your website in the “Video Description” field.
  • Write a Blog Post with Your Customers’ Needs in Mind: One of the best ways to keep your website fresh and up-to-date is through a blog. Of course, having a blog is not enough. You must make sure that you’re posting content to it on a regular basis. Also, in order for the blog to be effective, the content should address the needs and concerns of your customers. Take 10 minutes today and think about an item that might be on your customers’ minds. Then, write two paragraphs that include some commentary, advice, and/or tips that will help them with that item. Then, post it on the blog to offer instant value to your clients!
  • Analyze Your Website Traffic Reports: How often do you access and read your company’s website traffic reports? Chances are that it may not be enough. Take some time today to login to whatever system you may use for Website Analytics, or pull up the latest report that your marketing agency may have sent you. Read through what’s happening — take a close look at traffic trends (good and bad), keyword usage, sources, goal conversions, and other data points. You will most likely uncover important data points that can help you improve your website marketing efforts in the very near future.
  • Create a QR Code and Add it to Your Printed Materials: Print can still be an effective component in your marketing mix today! However, it often delivers the best results when it’s integrated with other channels, including mobile. QR Codes can make your printed items interactive, they can engage the mobile audience, and they can help you better measure the effectiveness of your marketing efforts!

I hope you found these tips helpful, and remember that it is never too late to strengthen your marketing efforts!

With inbound marketing, your website is your hub and you want your audience to not just visit, but stay and interact. To do this, you need to make sure that you are providing a wealth of information (without giving away the proverbial milk for free) and keeping your brand consistent. Hopefully, while you do this, you are displaying your ultra-cool company persona as well.

By sharing your expertise through blog posts, white papers, and more, you will attract and encourage your audience to pass the information along to their colleagues and acquaintances. In essence, you are inviting your audience to share your materials so you reach an even larger number of people over time.

But you can’t just throw things up on your website and assume they will be shared. You can’t just upload or post items and think that they will be received well and be the next viral email or Facebook post. Here are some tips to make sharing easy and encourage your audience to share your content over and over again:

  1. Don’t assume that your viewers are already connected with you. Many will not be. So make sure that visible buttons and links are available on your website for the audience to hop on over to your various social media profiles and connect with you via
    hot button issue. Also, take a look at your headlines…are they eye-catching? You have a second or two to grab your audience’s attention. Make your headline work for you.
  2. Talk to your audience. This is not monologue time. Think and post with a dialogue in mind, every single time. You are inviting interaction. You are nurturing a budding relationship. You want your audience to speak back to you, to pass along your amazing materials and spread the word about you. So don’t toot your own horn with every upload and offering. Ask for feedback. Ask for comments. Pose questions and start that conversation up.

Over time, you will come to see what types of items are passed along via social media platforms and what topics receive more interest and dialogue. As this happens, you should evolve your materials to fit that “need.” Remember, sharing is caring. So be a giver!

Content marketing is becoming a big player in the marketing world. It is the act of indirectly selling your products and services through educational and informative materials, such as blogs. Blogging is a great first step for those who want to take advantage of the benefits of content marketing. Whether you are new to this strategy or you want to make sure you’re covering all of your bases, take a look at our checklist!

  1. Make sure you have the right tools in place. Your blog should live directly on your website and your website should be on a search engine-optimized platform, such as WordPress!
  2. Determine who will write your posts. This can include you, employees, colleagues, or ghost writers.
  3. Decide how often you will publish a new blog. Consistency is important, whether it is daily, weekly, or even every two weeks.
  4. List out all of the topics you want to write about. Each blog doesn’t have to be high-level and generic, they can be customized to each of your targeted audiences and can
    highlight how your products and services can be used in different ways. Also, see what current news is happening in your audience’s industries, you may be able to use current events to spark interest from your prospects.
  5. Distribute your blog posts through multiple marketing channels. You can share your blog posts through social media, email, or highlight them on your website’s homepage.
  6. Create content in various media forms, it doesn’t always have to be copy-driven. Audio clips, videos, and images can all be great ways to mix up your blog posts and keep everything fresh.

Once you accumulate a number of blog posts, remember that you can repurpose them! Combine a few related posts together to make an eBook, or reformat the content in a different media type.

Blog posts can easily be the fuel to your content marketing strategy, so give it a try today!

Maybe your mother told you when you were growing up that you should treat everyone the same. Well, your mother was wrong…at least when it comes to the world of 1-to-1, or personalized, marketing. No longer are you encouraged to place prospects upon the same level playing field. In fact, with 1-to-1 marketing, you want to embrace the diversity of your prospects and customers. You want to play to those exact differences and incorporate them into your marketing messages in order to get their attention and make them want to work with you!

  1. Identify Your Audience: As with any marketing strategy, you start off by identifying your target market – the people who need your product or service. So you sit down and imagine a target. You imagine finding those people with laser point focus. You know who they are and now you have to get your message across to them. You have to tell them who you are, what you do and how you can help them. Using the 1-to-1 marketing approach, you toss aside the marketing shotgun; this is no time to “pray and spray” your message, hoping that it will be heard and acted upon.
  2. Add Personalization: The idea is that by personalizing your marketing message, you are showing the customer that you know how to serve their specific needs. No customer wants you coming at them with a cookie-cutter approach and a “one-size-fits-all” solution. They want to feel like you know exactly what they need, and that you are the business that can provide it. Thus, your message needs to be current and relevant to that customer.
  3. Stand Out: Your target market receives marketing messages on a daily basis. We all do, in both our personal and professional lives. It becomes second nature to ignore the messages that have little to do with our own needs. The same is true of any business. They all receive mailers, texts, and emails from other businesses, who are using the the same pitches and benefits to make the sale.

In the end, a customer will equate your marketing messages with the type of service they will receive when working with you. If your message is personalized and meets their needs, the prospect will anticipate that working with you will be a breeze. Everyone likes to work with the expectation of receiving terrific customer service and specific solutions.