The Right Way to do a Multi-Channel Direct Mail Campaign

Studies show that companies can build more trust with current and potential customers by opening more lines of communication. Armed with this information, many companies have been doing just that. Their methods of communication now include mailing services, text, phone calls, chat boxes, social media and email. Many have also been using indirect forms of communication, such as web ads, guest articles, and magazines, to reach more customers and increase their market share

3d illustration of notepad with check list, all tasks is done

While it’s great to have a wealth of options from which to choose, too many options can hurt a marketing strategy. This is especially true for smaller brands that don’t always have the money to splurge on every avenue that’s open to them. In fact, even larger companies want to save a buck or two on marketing, so they can invest in other areas of the company, such as research and development. So, to help you fine-tune your marketing strategy, let’s discuss the right way to run a multi-channel direct mail campaign.

 

Create a Goal

Every business strategy needs to begin with a goal that can be measured and quantified. This helps marketers track progress during the campaigns they produce. It also helps to track the effectiveness of these campaigns once their run-time is complete. Without a clear-cut goal, companies would just spend blindly, never knowing what worked and what did not.

When creating a goal, keep it realistic. Look at where the brand currently is, where you want it to go, and the short-term milestones that will get you there. Remember – each campaign is just another milestone on that journey.

 

Create Metrics

Now that you have a goal, you will need to figure out how you will measure success. When it comes to digital forms of marketing, this is relatively easy. There are many apps available that require little more than signing in to track audience reach, levels of engagement and conversion rates.

Direct mail is another measurable channel. Many companies track delivery of their mail and include special offers and promotion codes for easy tracking. When these are redeemed, the promotion code used allows marketers to attribute the sale to the direct mail campaign.

 

Assess Your Audience

No matter what kind of marketing campaign you are planning, it’s important to know your audience. Gauge their preferences about your product and service, how they use it, and what aspects are most attractive to each demographic you serve.

 

 

Select Your Channels

Your audience uses multiple forms of communication, but based on the demographics of that audience, communication will vary. For instance, running a late-night ad on Instagram is unlikely to reach your audience if your target demographic is primarily made up of the elderly. The good news is that there is one channel that almost everyone has access to: the mail.

 

Direct mail campaigns are the cornerstone of many successful campaigns. When you use the coupons mailed to you by your favorite coffee shop or find yourself purchasing your car insurance specifically from the company that congratulated you by mail on your new car, those are instances of success for a direct mail campaign.

 

Build Your Persona

When you understand your audience and the channels they use, you are better able to create the persona behind these different forms of communication. Start from personal preferences, especially if you line up well with your target audience. How do the traits you display change as you move from one form of communication to the next?

 

For example, your professional persona may come out in a business letter, your witty side in a tweet and your silly selfies on Instagram. How will your brand translate its business persona across multiple platforms that require different sides of the same “self”? This is an important question you will need to answer.

 

Craft Your Message

It becomes easier to craft messages for your brand when you understand its tone and voice. This may take time and may even evolve over a period of months or years, but the important thing is to do your research, start from an informed position, and make necessary changes along the way.

 

 

Maintain Brand Consistency

When looking at consistency in branding, it’s important to begin with the visuals. When customers receive direct mail, they should instantly be able to tie the look of the material to your website and social media. Don’t be afraid to use printed marketing material to invite your customers to join you online, especially if you can offer them an incentive to do so.

 

For online brand consistency, using the same profile picture across all platforms is a wise choice, but do not duplicate content. You do want customers to visit as many channels as possible and if they are all pushing out the same content, it gets repetitive. Instead, focus on sharing tone and topics across platforms. Even if you share the same links and photos, switch up the captions and timing.

 

Managing multiple channels of marketing, including direct mail, can be quite the challenge to undertake on your own. Luckily, there are companies like Allegra Marketing Print Mail who can help you to assess your marketing needs and meet (or exceed!) your objectives. Contact us today to get expert advice for your next campaign.

Pantone Color of the Year

2019 is here, and with it comes the new Pantone Color of the Year: Living Coral. What can this color do for your brand, your products, and your customers?

2019 Pantone Color of the Year: Living Coral

If you’re looking for a color with hints of pink, but with added power, then Pantone’s 2019 Color of the Year, Living Coral, is an excellent choice. Living Coral has energetic elements of pink, orange, gold and red, absorbing the best parts of each. Like its namesake, this color automatically brings to mind peaceful afternoon walks at the beach and the feel of soothing sand under your feet.

3d render of stationery with textile color swatch lying on desk. Living coral. Color of the year 2019.

Coral can be the perfect tool to give your business an unforgettable marketing presence, thanks to its vibrant, warm and natural qualities. This unique hue gives print and digital media a human touch, creating a real, one-on-one connection with customers.

What Living Coral Feels Like
With elements of both pink and orange, coral is filled to the brim with emotion. This color creates an ambience that is comforting and supportive. It represents passion and intimacy balanced with experience and determination. Above all, coral is honest and trustworthy. It’s the color of a person who deeply values friends.

Living Coral is also skillful at bridging the gender gap. It caters to people who love pink, both women and men, while providing the extra “bite” of orange.

Amazing Color Combinations
Living Coral reminds people of the ocean, so it pairs especially well with beach tones: sand colors, aquatic tones, faded yellows and darker blues. Coral adapts effortlessly to different design palettes, making it easy to highlight facets of orange or pink for increased intensity or softness respectively. Other possibilities include warm hues of white and gray, cream tones and bluish shades of purple.

How Color Drives Purchasing Intent

Does color really have the power to motivate people to purchase your products? Absolutely. Metrics reveal that as many as 93 percent of potential customers base their decision to buy a certain product on its appearance, and 85 percent mention color as the biggest motivating factor. Why is this?

Scientists have known that color affects people on a psychological level for quite awhile. The hues you choose for product branding, website design and marketing campaigns affect your customers in at least five ways:

  1. Specific colors generate increased excitement
  2. Colors determine how consumers view the product’s effectiveness
  3. Contrasting hues allow your products to stand out from the crowd
  4. A harmonious color theme tells a story that engages customers
  5. Colors reach potential buyers on an emotional level

Our marketing experts understand what colors to use to transmit feelings of excitement, sophistication, caring, durability, professionalism and innovation, among many others.

The Effects of Color on Brand Identity

How can making good use of color improve your brand message specifically? Here are three important avenues where color is a huge help:

  • Brand personality: Every business wants people to see its strongest qualities. Making sure your core business values show through goes a long way towards being a brand that people feel automatically attracted to. Your choice of brand colors tells customers whether your business is primarily artistic, high-tech, trustworthy, friendly, playful or serious.
  • Brand recognition: Besides communicating your company’s message, branded color palettes make it easier for people to remember you. Seeing certain colors together instantly evokes your brand and makes people associate it with positive experiences.
  • Effective marketing: Great marketing isn’t just about presenting customers with a long list of benefits and statistics showing why your products are better. To motivate them to buy from you, it’s essential to stimulate emotions as well. If you can get people to imagine themselves using your product and feeling happier, purchasing intent follows automatically.

Build the Best 2019 Marketing Strategy with Living Coral

Living Coral is primed to be the biggest marketing trend in 2019, and for good reason. Modern consumers want more than information; they want a friendly, personalized experience and company interactions that feel like having a conversation with a real human.

You don’t need to have a PhD in psychology and color theory to make the most of color in your 2019 advertising plans. Work with our team of marketing experts at Allegra Marketing Print Mail to have access to all the know-how and state-of-the-art technology needed for unforgettable marketing. Contact us to get started.

 

Sources:

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/10-reasons-to-love-coral_b_5724994

https://www.canva.com/colors/coral/

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/233843

https://neilpatel.com/blog/color-psychology/

Multichannel Marketing Made Easy

 

With so many options, it’s no surprise more than 92 percent of North American consumers shop on more than one marketing channel.

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Considering shoppers need an average of nearly six touch points before making a purchase decision, it’s clear that a multichannel marketing strategy has become a must-have.

 

Multichannel marketing is often achieved online with your website, email marketing, digital ads, social media and more. One powerful offline component that can boost your multichannel efforts is direct mail marketing.

 

According to the Heinz/PFL 2018 Multichannel Marketing Effectiveness Report, B2B marketers that use direct mail report higher overall effectiveness of their marketing versus other non-digital channels, like events, public relations and print advertising.

 

Still, it’s important to establish a presence where your customers are likely to be found – online. Fortunately, there’s a simple bundle of services that will upgrade your direct mail campaigns to automatically bring you the advantages of multi-channel marketing, specifically on Facebook and the Google Display Network. Here’s how it works:

 

You send a mailer to your defined list, driving them online to your website. The mail recipients who visit your website and later log into Facebook will see an online display ad in their newsfeed that matches your direct mail piece for a 30-day period.

 

Through a code added on your website, you can automatically repeat advertising efforts to visitors who have not purchased a product, filled out a form, etc. Plus, for 30 days, ads matching your mail piece will follow these prospects when they visit any of over a million sites on the Google Display Network.

 

Make multichannel marketing easier for your 2019 plan. Download your free copy of Marketing Insider to learn more or ask us about our integrated, multichannel solution.  We can also help with sourcing mailing lists or designing mailers and online ads.

 

Put Your Direct Mail to the Test

Testing can help you put the stamp of success on your next mail campaign.

Following are some of the most common questions from small and mid-sized businesses, organizations and nonprofits in regard to testing mail campaigns.

Why test direct mail?

The short answer is because you can. With other media such as outdoor or radio, you often have to dive right in. But with direct mail, it’s relatively easy – and potentially cost savvy – to dip your toe in the water before fully committing yourself.

What should I test?

Many test their mailing lists to see which one is most effective in gaining responses. Another popular test subject is the offer. Which works best, a dollars-off offer or a percentage discount or a free trial? You also can use testing to evaluate headlines calls-to-action, formats and campaign timing.

How do I test a mail campaign?

Perhaps the easiest way is to create “test cells” to compare key variables of your campaign. You might, for example, divide your mailing list into four parts and send Offer A to 25%, Offer B to 25% and so on. Just be sure the sample size is large enough to provide “statistical significance” – meaning that the results from the test are likely to be replicated when you mail again to the rest of the audience.

When do I test?

If planning a big campaign, it can make sense – and save dollars – to pre-test on a smaller scale prior to the launch.

Another less formal way to benefit from testing is to track your results on a continuous basis, adjusting as you go. If 2017’s campaign drew a great response from a free trial offer whereas 2018’s effort featuring a percentage discount gained fewer responses, consider repeating or refining the free trial offer in your campaign this year.

Need help? We invite you to put our direct mail expertise to the test.

3 Ways to Bond with Millennials Through Print Communications

While predictably receptive to online promotions and communications, research shows tech-savvy millennials have an unexpected affection for more traditional direct marketing.Depositphotos_81736488_m-2015

 

The 2017 Annual State of Marketing Consumer Survey from Keypoint IntelligenceInfoTrends reveals 71 percent of North American millennials say they look at most of the direct mail they receive.

 

“There’s just not as much clutter in traditional media, like print and mail, and it’s engaging to digital natives,” says Kate Dunn, Business Service Director at Keypoint Intelligence – InfoTrends.

 

However, not all mail will capture the hearts of millennial buyers. Here are three ways to win them over and inspire long-term loyalty:

 

  1. Get personal. Most appealing is customized, printed content that reflects a website they’ve visited or products they recently purchased, according to the Consumer Survey.

 

  1. Interactivity is important. Dunn notes that millennials are more likely to use a QR code to access special offers, coupons or video, bringing digital assets into the conversation. Augmented reality is another big hit, creating opportunities to bridge the gap between the physical and digital world.

 

  1. Multi-channel matters. You’ve captured their attention with a direct mail piece – don’t lose their initial engagement with a lackluster website. Ensure your website is well designed, mobile friendly and recognizable based on their first exposure to your brand, Dunn advises.

 

Download your free copy of Marketing Insider today to learn more about inspiring loyalty in your millennial customers.

Miss Out On Our Latest Webinar? Learn How You Can Fast-Track Your Great Ideas

Allegra Marketing Print Mail hosted speaker Carla Johnson, world-renowned storyteller and author of Experiences: The 7th Era of Marketing, for our latest webinar: “How to Fast-Track Great Ideas … and Make Them Stick.”

Second Chance Just Ahead - Green Billboard on the Rising Sun Background.
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While there are people who seem to effortlessly come up with great ideas on the spur of the moment, there’s no special magic trick you’re missing out on. In this webinar, Johnson teaches marketers powerful ways to not only come up with great ideas, but also how to pitch them and receive buy-in from peers and managers.

In three highlighted case studies, see how businesses and nonprofits have launched powerful campaigns by seeking unexpected sources of inspiration.

By generating better ideas faster and learning how to draw on past experiences, you can overcome the barriers holding you back, help your organization reach its goals and inspire your next big success. No matter your role or experience, you can benefit from this proven formula and take your ideas to the next level.

If you were unable to attend the webinar live, click here to download the recording.

With 5 Seconds to Get My Attention, it’s Time to Get Creative

Messy Office Desk with Ideas and Vision

With just five seconds — or less — to catch a prospect’s interest, you must first get them to notice you. One of the best ways to accomplish this is through the use of eye-catching creative design and clear, concise text.
How do you get there? Try following some best practices for good “creative”:

Focus on the benefits.
Stick to customer benefits in your copy rather than your product’s features. For example, the weight and dimensions of a power drill are far less meaningful than saying it fits securely in your hand with a comfortable grip.

Add contrast to add interest.
Headlines, subheads and quotations will add visual emphasis and draw the reader to your most important information. Add visual contrast by leaving white space and varying the size of graphic elements. For example, two photos of dramatically different sizes on a page are more appealing than two photos of equal size. The “weight” difference also communicates which elements are more important.


Project the right image.

Use consistent typefaces and colors to create an easily identifiable “look” that distinguishes you from your competition. For example, you may want your audience to perceive your company as professional, friendly, corporate, dynamic or cost-conscious. The design you create reinforces these qualities and elicits the appropriate emotional response.

Never forget strategy.
Creative is designed to get results. And you can’t get results without strategy. Here’s how to motivate the desired action:
• Use a targeted list for your direct marketing to avoid waste and reach those most apt to buy.
• Create a sense of urgency. (Example: limited-time offer)
• Use incentives, like cash-back or free additional services.
• Include a clear call to action. Your prospects can’t respond if you don’t tell them what you want them to do or how they should do it. (Examples: Download a white paper, register for an event, make a donation, visit our website or contact us today.)
Talk to us about your creative challenges! Allegra can help.

Good Will is Good For Business

Digital Dictionary Give Volunteer Help Concept

Sponsorships, donations, pro bono services, discounts and volunteering. These are just a few of the ways through which small and mid-sized business owners can begin to build a profile as a good neighbor in the community.

Besides the “feel good and do good” nature of philanthropic activities, there are business-boosting ancillary benefits. Community involvement can give you the chance to network with other business leaders and may occur by sitting on the board of a nonprofit, for example. In this setting, you contribute your expertise to a clear need and can gain exposure to heavy hitters who could be potential business partners or customers.

Where to Start

With endless ways to share your time and talents, develop a purpose statement for your giving that defines your interests.
Provide opportunities for your employees to give back, too. Encouraging your staff to support your company’s or their own pet projects has shown to increase morale, teamwork, employee retention and satisfaction.

And, don’t overlook professional affiliations. Chambers of Commerce and other business and professional organizations and consortiums require volunteers to survive. Head a committee or help with an event and build important business (and personal) relationships.

For established events, explore sponsorship opportunities. Or, you may be able to pool your resources with other business people and share event space to create a unique experience.

When you and your organization are woven into the fabric of your community, everyone wins. You gain the reputation as a good place to work, allowing you to attract talent and retain top employees, customer satisfaction is higher, and you grow as a business person. Stronger businesses mean a healthier community.

Interested in formalizing a program and materials for your company to give back to your community? Let us know; Allegra can help!

3 Ways Infographics Can Take Your Content Marketing to the Next Level

infographics content marketing

Infographics are a great content marketing strategy that can serve as a powerful, informative tool for your business. Not only are they an eye-catching way to educate and promote products and services, they can also simplify complex information or processes for customers and internal audiences. Here are three ways that infographics can take your marketing to the next level:

1. They are attractive and digestible.
Given that 90 percent of information transmitted to the brain is visual, infographics help any important numbers, facts and figures you want to share really stick. Using striking colors, interesting font pairings and graphic elements that align well with your brand image help appeal to the visual needs of consumers and those who crave a quick way to digest content.

Infographics serve as a compelling way to deliver information to your audience in the most attractive way possible.

2. They help create a narrative.
Memorable, measurable content marketing comes from good storytelling. Turning information and processes into a narrative, especially ones that are complex and difficult to understand, can help your audience receive the information more easily and retain it.

Say a veterinarian has an infographic in their waiting room telling the story of an owner’s first year with a new puppy. Relying heavily on visual elements to tell the story, it can grab someone’s attention and break down details, such as finding the best food for their puppy or housetraining tips.

3. They can be repurposed on social media.

Infographics are great for printing and hanging around your office for employees and customers or embedding into emails, but they’re also social media-ready. Posting clickable infographics on your social media channels is a perfect way to capture the attention of your followers and drive clicks to your site or collect more leads, depending on your call to action.

Plus, they boost engagement, making them more likely to go viral. Infographics are liked and shared on social media three times more than any other type of content.

Need help creating compelling infographics for your business? Contact your local Allegra to take your content marketing strategy to the next level.

4 Ways e-Commerce Sites Bring Better Brand Control and Consistency

E-commerce

No matter how careful your organization may be, there’s always a chance for brand inconsistencies to creep into your marketing communications over time as your business evolves or your staff changes. In fact, your organization may be especially vulnerable if:

  • You operate several locations
  • Your marketing materials are accessed by multiple people
  • Your printed materials require frequent updates

Even the smallest breaches in brand consistency, such as differing colors or fonts, competing messaging or confusing wording, can do some major damage. According to a survey by Demand Metric Research Plus, 71% of marketers and brand managers said that brand inconsistencies result in market confusion, 56% said they result in harm to your credibility and 30 percent said they make it harder to compete.

So, the question is, how can businesses, organizations and nonprofits protect themselves from harmful brand inconsistencies? Marketers looking for a better way to manage their brand assets might consider a web-to-print solution (W2P) also known as an online order and print fulfillment system.

Here are four ways e-commerce sites can offer a competitive edge and streamline your organization’s marketing dollars:

  1. Centralize control.
    When brand standards are controlled through an e-commerce website, you can greatly increase the consistency and accuracy of your marketing and sales materials by having your most current versions of documents available to all who need access.
  2. Increase impact.
    Cut turnaround time while you empower multiple users to reach your company’s communications goals. Your marketing gets more relevant when you can easily localize your content for powerful, personalized messaging.
  3. Monitor spending.
    With a system in place, you can track both usage and purchases across employees and offices. This information can be used for further marketing and sales efforts as you determine what’s being used and where you can trim expenses.
  4. Improve efficiency. 
    By consolidating your organization’s communications resources, you can leverage your buying power while avoiding the “one off” spending that often occurs in regional offices or with remote employees.

Want better control over the consistency of your brand? Contact your local Allegra Marketing Print Mail to learn more about how a convenient and user-friendly web-to-print solution can better equip you to streamline the ordering and management of your marketing and business materials.