Direct Mail Has Risen from the Dead – By Suzanne Stock of Marketscan Ltd

My digital marketing team have been pestering me for blog content for a week now (ok, it’s nearly 2 weeks). Usually I’m prolific with the old verbiage but have obviously suffered from blogger’s block of lately. I am therefore hugely indebted to Suzanne Stock of Marketscan for the post on the subject of Direct Mail. Couldn’t have put it better myself (and didn’t in fact, I cribbed off Suzanne)!

DIRECT MAIL HAS RISEN FROM THE DEAD

Just because we have TV doesn’t mean we don’t have books, and just because we have email marketing doesn’t mean we don’t have direct mail.

In a world of technological progress and a wealth of online marketing tools, it’s all too easy to assume that direct mail is a lost cause – but that’s not true at all. In fact, the ROI of Direct Mail has increased year-on-year for the last decade. And here’s how:

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Everyone likes getting post

Business professionals suffer from inbox overload – and with just under 300 billion messages sent each day it’s hardly surprising.Perhaps in reaction to the plethora of emails arriving every day, a study conducted by the The Direct Marketing Association DMA) in April 2012 found that the response rate for direct mail to an existing customer averages 3.4%, compared to 0.12% for email.

Add to this the fact that receiving something interesting (note: you have to make it interesting) in the post is a bit of a novelty nowadays, and that the cost of printing smaller quantities of personalised mailers has fallen dramatically, and it seems like DM should definitely be back in contention for a slice of your marketing budget.

DM + online interaction = true love

The DMA also says that print DM is a good way to drive digital interaction and that the move to digital marketing has actually driven more innovation in print DM, rather than killing it off. Being creative in your DM design helps to drive better results too and using ‘dimensional mail’ rather than traditional flat paper in envelopes has been shown to get significantly higher response rates in the B2B world.

Research has shown that dimensional mail:

  • has 20 times the penetrating power of flat direct mail
  • boosts response rates by as much as 75%
  • scores 80% or better in generating positive opinions among recipients

Making the most of DM

So now that print DM is officially back on trend, how can you create mailers that will get the response you want? This article from B2B Marketing has lots of great tips, including:

  • Focused targeting – don’t mass send to everyone in your database. Be selective, develop the right messages and send only to the right people. Remember – this will only be successful if you’ve got good, up-to-date data lists.
  • Get really personal – use of first name just doesn’t cut it anymore. You have to speak to the business pain your prospects are feeling or your mailer just won’t resonate, no matter how pretty it is.
  • Don’t go it alone – like all marketing channels, integration is the key and your amazing DM campaign needs to be surrounded by other marketing activities for maximum impact.

To-do list: how to do DM right`

  • Make an integrated plan that surrounds your DM with digital activities, so the mailer also creates a buzz online
  • Go for small, targeted groups rather than blanket mails for better results
  • Remember that, although the costs of a DM campaign may seem high compared to digital, if you get it right the potential ROI is a lot higher too.
  • Create a dimensional DM that has impact

Author: Suzanne Stock Marketscan Ltd

Categories: Direct Mail

What not to overlook in your business leaflets

Let’s start with the obvious…

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That’s right, weeding out the typos. Because if a council can make this error, than anyone can. We’ve been doing leaflets in Nottingham for long enough to see many, many companies make this mistake. Check for typos and check again…then get a fresh pair of eyes to look over your draft leaflet. Here’s just a snippet of a leaflet by Kirklees Council in Yorkshire which included 50 spelling mistakes.  Also, Take a peek at this rather embarrassing error in the programme brochure produced by the University of Texas… http://www.gingersoftware.com/blog/the-tuesday-talk-university-of-texas-should-have-used-ginger-software/

Sticking to the facts

Again, it may seem blindingly obvious, but it’s always worth checking whether you have all your facts right. You don’t want to be like this US group which managed to get so many things so wrong in its brochure.  It’s easy to stop seeing the wood for the trees when it’s your business. For more successful leaflet printing, ask someone else in your company or a friend to check those facts!

Avoid pizza leaflet syndrome

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We’ve all had those pizza leaflets through the door (sometimes three in a night). They don’t make us hungry, just confused. That’s thanks to pizza leaflet syndrome – information overload. For more successful leaflets, don’t use too much content. It only hides your marketing message.

Once upon a time…

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There’s a time and a place for a long story – the full start, middle and end. It’s like meeting someone at a business event for the first time and hearing their entire autobiography.  As experts in leaflet printing, we know that that is not a great approach for your leaflet. Look at the story of your business and only share what’s important to your readers.

Change the volume

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Being very experienced in leaflet printing in Nottingham, we’ve been surprised by how often this issue comes up. We see plenty of business-owners get the volume wrong..they either produce too few leaflets or too many. This seems very strange to us, considering just how versatile leaflet printing  is now. So, before you print too many leaflets for a one-off event or too few leaflets for your long-term marketing strategy, talk to someone who knows about leaflets! You’ll get much more out of your marketing that way.

For more tips on leaflet printing and more, keep in touch with our blog and join us on Facebook and Twitter now!

Our top 5 business flyer do’s and don’ts

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Business flyers. They’re a fast, affordable and easy way to promote your business. Sadly, many businesses keep on committing the same mistakes with their flyers. As specialists in flyer printing Nottingham, we share five of our top flyer do’s and don’ts here:

  1. Don’t: Make your business name the core message

Do: Make your core benefit the key message

This is true even if your business name describes exactly what you do. As experts in flyer printing Nottingham  we’ve seen the advantages of using your flyer headline to give a key benefit that is of interest to your potential customer. So it’s not just: Jane’s Dog Walking Services. It’s: Save time on walking pooch! Whether your key message is funny, formal or unusual, don’t just rely on your business name to sell the goods!

  1. Don’t: Cram too much in

Do: Value the white space as much as the message

Now we all know a flyer has limited space. And you have a lot to say. Flyers nottingham are under pressure. But resist the temptation to pack too much into one little flyer. Take the time to think about your core message and develop the most concentrated and eye catching way to say it. People want the essentials – not Encyclopædia Britannica.

3.         Don’t: Be the only one to look at it 

Do: Get a second pair of eyes

Just take a look at the classic errors here: http://www.ausrc.com/forum/showthread.php?31155-Some-funny-printing-mistakes. Now we’re not suggesting that you’re likely to make that kind of error with your flyers, but it’s a good reminder of the value of getting a second pair of eyes. Whether it’s your business partner or a friend, another person can prevent your flyer from being a source of amusement instead of business.

  1. Don’t: List facts instead of motivation

Do: Tell people how you answer their problem

This is a key point for flyer printing. When you list your services, you are only stating the facts. But when you list the ways you help people, you are adding value for your potential customers. This is what turns an everyday flyer into your sales vehicle.
5.         Don’t: Fail to inspire action

Do: Make it urgent and motivational

As experts in flyer design in nottingham, we know that it’s not enough to get your message and your contact details out there. You need to give people a reason to get in touch with you – ASAP! Don’t just give them your phone number and leave it at that. Motivate them to pick up the phone, whether that’s with a 10% discount only available for a short period, a special offer when they quote the flyer or limited availability. Urgency adds appeal!

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For more tips on the do’s and don’ts of the business flyer and much more, keep in touch with our blog and join us on Facebook and Twitter now!

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How to get ready for Spring business opportunities

February 25, 2013 Leave a comment

spring-time

Rain, snow and yet more snow… it’s been a long winter. But Spring really is around the corner (honest!) and now is the time to make sure you don’t miss out on new opportunities. Here’s how:

  1. Be prepared

2013 is gradually moving into the exhibitions and trade show season. Are your business cards nottingham or flyers nottingham up to date? Do you have the best resources to hand (literally) when you come face to face with a promising prospect? We’ve made it even easier for local businesses to move fast when spring starts, by refreshing our website so it’s even simpler to use! Don’t take our word for it. Take a look around for yourself.

  1. Set yourself up with a bargain

The time just before Spring starts is ideal for a little resource planning. Do you have all the flyers nottingham and business cards nottingham you need? Really? Don’t miss out. After all, the sales don’t just happen on the high street. Look out for special deals to get your marketing in order, like our own February offers and other deals.

  1. Get expert help

We hope you’ll see that our lovely new website is even easier to use. All you need to do is log in and click to order. All with the same superfast delivery time as usual. But we know that some projects require a little one to one attention. That’s why we love to meet business-owners looking for advice or help with logo design, printing business cards in Nottingham or anything else. We’d like to introduce you to Phil Hughes, Owner and all round Print and Design Expert at Printing.com Nottingham.

When you talk to Phil about your project, you’re getting over 20 years business experience and the know-how that comes from working with clients like Tesco, Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury’s, Speedo, Capital 1, Specsavers as well as many leading local businesses. We wouldn’t be so bold to describe our service as offering ‘creative genius or being ‘first class’, but our clients do.

  1. Plan a business spring clean

With a new season just around the corner, this is the ideal time to step back and look at how you’d like to change the way others see your business. Do your potential customers really know how you could help them? What would give your business more impact in the season to come – bolder website design, more interesting flyers, more creative brochure design? Not sure where to start? We love providing an impartial view on business marketing so why not give us a call?

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Stay up to date with tips to make your business stand out by keeping in touch with our blog and join us on Facebook and Twitter now!

Categories: Uncategorized

The eight essentials of web appeal

January 22, 2013 2 comments

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Web appeal…We all know it when we find it. It’s that website which looks great, is ultra-easy to use and which we can’t help revisiting. It’s a website which makes it tempting to buy into or buy from a company. A website that works like this doesn’t happen by accident. Sadly, it doesn’t often happen by intention either.

 

A website that effectively draws people in and encourages them to buy into your business? It’s one of the biggest business assets you can have. So why do lots of companies get their web appeal so wrong? What are the real secrets to a truly creative website, one that stays attractive and interesting to web visitors? We’ve worked with lots of companies to help boost their web appeal, as with Sporting Agent, pictured here.

 

These are our eight essentials of web appeal:

 

  1. Content

 

Web appeal is all about building a perfect match between content and design to create a strong message about the value of your product or service. Content is very valuable for building relationships and boosting web traffic. The secret is to create the right balance between content and design. Jargon and overly technical content do not add up to web appeal, which is why we don’t build websites with them in it.

 

  1. Design

 

Great web design is not about having a highly complex site with lots of bells and whistles. It is about making something sophisticated (the art of encouraging people to visit and stay on your site) feel effortless. Simpler is usually better because it looks less cluttered and ensures that your message is clear.

 

  1. Route map

 

Clear directions are a big part of web appeal. Never overlook navigation – the route people will use to journey through your website. Is it easy for them to move around the site? Do all the different aspects connect together to create a route that makes sense?

 

 

  1. Typography

 

This is an all too overlooked aspect of design. Yet, it’s how your web visitors connect with your message. Your choice of typography will affect how well your visitors take in your message. Too small and too busy and they may not bother to read what you have to say. Too large and too bold and your web visitor may feel that you are shouting at them. Your choice of typography needs to fit your format, your audience and your brand.

 

 

  1. Coding

 

“What does coding have to do with web appeal?”, we hear you ask. Well, coding is what shapes and styles your website, so it matters a great deal. As designers for websites for business, we know it’s not the most interesting part to our clients. But the right coding lies squarely behind the success of your site.

 

  1. Flexibility

 

Change is the whole point of a website. Yet so many business websites stay fixed in design and content from the first day they were launched. A flexible website is an appealing one. We always build our websites with an update centre so clients can keep their online presence fresh and up to date with changing customer priorities and interests.

 

  1. Timeliness

 

How current is your web presence? There’s not easier way to gauge how well a company is doing with this than by checking their blog or looking for news articles. If you can only find old news, the website is more likely to seem like old hat to visitors. Plus, it’ll be fast losing its place in the search engine rankings.

 

  1. Connectivity

 

A website needs to be well connected if it’s ever going to be seen as a great place to visit. That means making sure it’s hooked up to social media and sharing blog links, news articles and details of useful resources.

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Categories: Web Design

Five ways to wow prospects with your business card

December 20, 2012 Leave a comment

Printing-Nottingham-Business-Cards

Consider the business card. It’s an everyday staple of business life. It’s probably one of the first pieces of marketing collateral that you give to potential new customers. Yet it’s also one of the most overlooked opportunities for sharing what’s special about you and your service. Why waste it? Here are five ways to transform your business card from everyday to amazing:

  1. Be different, but stay strategic

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We’re not saying that your business card should be quirky just for the fun of it. That’s not strategic. The secret is to make it different in a way that explains what is different about you. For example, if you specialise in glazing, how about creating transparent business cards that demonstrate the clear difference that you make? One Greek restaurant chose to make their business cards out of fragments of pottery while an architect created unusual business ‘cards’ from small plastic bricks! Whatever you choose, keep it focused on the benefits you bring.

  1. Don’t let a gimmick get in the way of a good message

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It may be tempting, but never ever let a gimmick take over from your message. Whatever form you decide your eye catching business card should take, be sure that your contact details are easily accessible. Your prospect should have everything they need to find you quickly. Regardless of the style and shape of business card you eventually choose, it should be easy to read and understand. This may sound simple, but it’s amazing how many people forget it.

  1. Match great design with great content

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Your new business card is so well dressed that it’s bound to stand out. But does its voice match its great new look? Be sure that the content of your card matches its fabulous style. If you have a quirky format, create a quirky style. Be inspired by the high end restaurant that created a brilliant mini menu-style business card, with mouth watering food-themed content to match!

  1. Innovative shouldn’t mean it’s not green

recycled dog

A lot of us are concerned about the planet and our own corporate social responsibility these days. But it is possible to be green and have fantastically innovative business cards, with the right supplier. We now use 50% recycled artboard for most of our business cards. We also aim to use fewer resources in everything we produce, which is why we have received certification for the environmental standard ISO 14001! Recycled card and more eco-friendly inks can help add up to great business cards. We can explain more. Just ask us for more information.

  1. Deliver it the right way

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So you now have business cards which inspire interest and perhaps even questions. When you’re giving them out, allow time for people to respond. They might want to ask you why you chose this style or what inspired you. Take the time to answer them. It could well be the start of a conversation with a new prospect!

Looking for more exciting business cards, but stuck for ideas? We can help. Stay up to date with tips and news on print and design that sets your business apart. Keep in touch with our blog and join us on Facebook and Twitter now!

Categories: Business Card

Three ways environmental printing could help save the world

November 12, 2012 Leave a comment

Environment Man

Printing for business and saving the planet – traditionally those two things have never gone together. But that’s all changed. Now it is possible to help take care of the environment with print. Here’s how:

  1. Print smarter

That old fashioned reliance on print is not a friend of the planet. After all, it takes between 12 and 24 trees just to make a single ton of paper! That means you use nearly two trees per person on average a year just on the paper you print in the office. By putting just a little more thought into what you’re printing out and why, you can help reduce the strain on the planet.

  1. Don’t just recycle at home

It’s great news for the environment that recycling is now part of everyday life in most households. But what about in the office? Did you know that of the 65 million printer cartridges used in the UK each year, just 30% are recycled? That’s because 45.5 million end up in landfill! By applying a careful recycling approach from the start, you’ll help make every print job much more eco-friendly.

  1. Check the smallprint

So you’re doing great things in the office to help the environment. But isn’t there something you’ve forgotten? What about your marketing print? Before you go ahead with your print company of choice, check the smallprint on their environmental policy. Do they take their carbon footprint seriously? What’s their environmental policy like?

 

What we’re doing for the planet

As printers, we know the potential of making things better to help the planet. We do lots of things, from rewarding our Production Hub team for reducing waste to compacting and recycling any unavoidable waste paper – and using vegetable-based inks, pumped straight from large drums, rather than smaller cartridges in wasteful packaging. We’ve also changed the recipe of our best-selling 400gsm artboard so that it’s now 50% recycled. Because we also use this board for most of our business cards, showcards and folders, much more of our printing now has recycled content.

But we’ve also pledged to change more of the paper we use to be recycled or made from wood sourced from forests certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. Plus, thanks to our Tree Appeal, every order our customers make counts towards our goal of planting 100,000 trees for schools.

Want to stay up to date with tips and news on more eco-friendly print? Keep in touch with our blog and join us on Facebook and Twitter now!

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