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/

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.

3 Ways to Inspire Your Team

Business owners and managers who set lofty goals know it takes many contributions – large and small – across all areas of the company to reach them. And that takes cultivating an environment where your team members are motivated and engaged.

Inspire your team

As much as you may understand your business and what it stands for, communicating that effectively to those around you can be tricky, especially when you’re juggling multiple demands on your time. Here are some areas where you can make a difference right away:

  1. Live your mission.
    A mission statement or value proposition describes what you do and how it differentiates you from your competitors. Your values define who you are. They don’t change even as the business evolves.
    Everyone on your team should be regularly exposed to your organizational values through visual reminders and storytelling of values in action. From small posters or handouts for individual workspaces, to large wall and window graphics, keep your core messages front and center by incorporating them in your office décor.
  2. Get off to a great start. 
    Consider this: According to the Work Institute’s 2017 Retention Report, first-year employees are at the highest risk for turnover, and it takes up to six months for their value to offset the costs related to hiring, onboarding, compensation and benefits. Get everyone off to a great start with a “feel-good” welcome kit, including items like a logoed shirt, business cards, a personalized coffee mug and more. Distribute an employee handbook as a tangible source to seek out company policies; they’ll appreciate having a printed version for quick reference. Additionally, how your organization is perceived internally and externally is influenced by the consistency of your communications and delivery of your brand message, so be sure to maintain a unified image. You’ll want to keep it consistent across print, digital and in-house signage.
  3. Show appreciation.
    According to a survey by Reward Gateway, nearly six out of 10 respondents say they would prefer to work for a company with a culture where they receive recognition over a higher-paying job where they didn’t receive any. While acknowledging an employee of the month is good, better yet is rewarding your team members in the moment. Drawstring backpacks, headphones or travel blankets with your company imprint are great ways to show appreciation for a job well done. And enable your employees to acknowledge one another for being a team player with whimsical “high five” trophies or tokens redeemable for office perks.

Inspired to bring your team together? Contact  your local Allegra Marketing Print Mail today for office materials, logoed products and gifts, and more.

What to Print for Your Next Event

Event marketing can prove to be an effective strategy for lead generation and customer retention. Yet common missteps that can thwart your best intentions can happen before (lack of preparation), during (poor displays) and after (failure to follow up with leads). All can be easily avoided!

Printed Materials for Event Marketing

Many of your promotional tactics will be print-related. To ensure a greater return on your investment at your next trade show, expo or community event, here’s a rundown of what most marketers have in their event arsenal:

Banners, Posters and Signage
Whether your event is inside or outdoors, you’re competing with a lot of visual noise. Professionally produced banners, flags, pennants, posters and directional signage can drive foot traffic to your space, creating more opportunity for engagement. According to the 2016 Experiential Marketing Content Benchmarking Report, 74% of consumers said meeting with exhibitors made them more likely to buy the products being promoted or demonstrated.

Brochures and Flyers
Take along a mix of marketing materials. Inexpensive handouts are just right for anyone stopping by your booth, serving as a handy refresher once the show is over and everyone heads home. Keep a stash of more robust, high-quality sales brochures available for anyone who expresses a genuine interest.

Business Cards
Business cards are necessary for events and trade shows, so you’ll want to ensure that your team has plenty to hand out. Are they up-to-date? Visually appealing? Readable? Think about sprucing up your business cards with textured paper, vibrant palettes and graphics and unique type fonts that align with your brand identity.

Direct Mail
Use the mail to be first in line in the minds of your customers, as it can take multiple contacts with your target audience to drive action. For an event, plan on delivering a save-the-date card a few weeks ahead of your invitation mailing. Based on responses, you may need a third reminder. An inexpensive postcard will do as a last push for RSVPs.

Programs
Event apps are growing in popularity for those who always have a phone in hand. Be aware that not all venues are enabled with Wi-Fi or it can be an additional cost if you’re the event host. Cover your bases with a printed program for handy reference and note taking. Your attendees will thank you.

There are plenty of extra print materials that can boost the success of your event. Place cards or nametags for special dinners, meet-and-greets and other similar events are a great way to organize your attendees and break the ice. Raffle tickets and contest forms featuring your brand logo create a fun and interactive experience for everyone, keeping you top of mind.

Want to check off these printed materials from your list? Your local Allegra Marketing Print Mail can help you!

Rethinking Signage: 3 Ways to Go Beyond the Banner

Large signs and graphics make a lasting impression on your audience. Whether indoors or out, there are plenty of trendy options to spice up your signage. Here are a few of our favorite ways to say hello to a new, fresh look that will capture your audience’s attention.

  1. Walk it out
    Make the most of every square foot of informational, promotional or decorative space in your facility. The latest solutions in graphics prove that you’re no longer limited to walls, windows and doors; you can now take advantage of graphics for floor surfaces and even printed ceiling tiles.
    Allegra Signage
  2. Look outside
    Perforated window graphics are a creative way to share your message. A creative twist on an old favorite, perforated graphics present a promotional message when viewed from one side (such as the outside of a door or window) and a clear view when seen from the other (often the inside of a vehicle or building). One-way vinyl graphics replicating frosted glass or displaying a design or scene also add an attractive element of privacy to office or conference room windows.
  3. Get mobile
    Whether they’re on a car, van or trailer, vehicle graphics and decals are some of the most economical ways to deliver promotional messages. Simply parking your vehicle is a marketing tactic! Smaller businesses or organizations without a permanent vehicle or fleet for deliveries or service calls can benefit from repositionable graphics. These are an ideal way to put your marketing in motion and are easily removed and replaced.

From custom design to installation, talk to the signage professionals at your local Allegra Marketing Print Mail about how to make a greater impact with creative sign solutions.

3 Creative Ways to Add Value to Your Signage

Thanks to advancements in large format printing, creative signage solutions are more affordable than ever. Here are three trendy ways you can spice up your company’s space with eye-catching signs and large graphics:

Valuable Signage

  1. Go Green
    In many sectors, industry standards dictate certain environmental regulations about waste and materials. Environmentally friendly inks and materials can help you meet your standards and reduce your overall waste. Also, according to Nielsen, two out of three consumers are willing to pay more for products and services that come from companies committed to making a positive social environmental impact. Win-win!
  2. Explore New Surfaces
    Digital printing technology makes it possible to print on – or affix to – nearly any surface for a custom look that fits your brand’s standards in look and feel. Consider a mural for your lobby, floor graphics or even wraps around pillars and posts. A simple change can transform your work space from average to inspiring.
  3. Add Texture
    When it comes to signage that travels with you to trade shows or events, textured backdrops and graphical drapes are two sure bets that can draw foot traffic to your booth. They can even help define a space for your product demos on a busy trade show floor.

Talk to the sign pros at your local Allegra Marketing Print Mail to learn more about your signage options and how they can fit into your budget.

Tips for Conducting an Informative Brand Audit

Performing a brand audit enables you to evaluate what your current marketing and communications strategies are (or are not) saying about your brand and provides a qualitative assessment of your brand identity’s overall strength and consistency.

Tips for Conducting an Informative Brand Audit

Marketers surveyed by Demand Metric Research Plus said branding inconsistencies result in market confusion (71 percent), damage credibility (56 percent) and make it harder to compete (30 percent).

Brand audits provide the proper intel needed to set a blueprint for the future. Here are some tips for conducting a brand audit that is both informative and focused:

Know your standards. A well-defined set of brand guidelines is crucial for maintaining a cohesive brand identity. When reviewing print and online branding materials, keep a checklist to evaluate proper logo usage, preferred fonts and other stylistic requirements.

Read for tone and messaging. Make sure the verbiage used in your brand communications is up to date and properly reflects the overall direction of the brand.

Prioritize your revisions. As you conduct the audit, be sure to note any branding inconsistencies. Prioritize corrections before creating new pieces.

Embrace technology. Centralizing control with an online ordering system prevents satellite offices from going “rogue” with unapproved materials, ensures proper branding, and saves time and money. For businesses or organizations with multiple locations, a web-to-print or online ordering system is an easy way to oversee adherence to brand standards.

Keep it seamless across all channels. Integrated, multi-channel marketing campaigns are most successful when a brand’s print and digital identity are consistent with one another. Websites, email templates and social properties should always reflect your offline branding, and vice versa with printed brand materials.

Need help conducting your branding audit to ensure your marketing materials are aligned with your brand standards? Contact your local Allegra Marketing Print Mail today.

5 Marketing Books to Add to Your Reading List

Whether you’re looking to establish a new content strategy, spice up your branding, earn new customers or simply find some inspiration, there’s no shortage of expertise on the shelf. Here are five of our favorite books:
Five Books for Your Reading List

The One Hour Content Plan: The Solopreneur’s Guide to a Year’s Worth of Blog Post Ideas in 60 Minutes and Creating Content That Hooks and Sells: Looking to populate your blog or website with original content that stands out? This is a must-read to create a solid content foundation that highlights the products or services your brand offers.

Designing Brand Identity: An Essential Guide for the Whole Branding Team: If you’ve ever felt like your brand could use a refresh but you’re not sure where to begin, pick up this book. You’ll glean leadership lessons for your whole team with takeaways that will enhance your brand for years to come.

Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing and Advertising: Ryan Holiday takes lessons from Facebook, Dropbox, Airbnb and Twitter for his guide to replacing stale marketing lessons with tools that are testable, trackable and scalable.

The 1-Page Marketing Plan: Get New Customers, Make More Money and Stand Out from the Crowd: More than 500 readers have given this book a five-star review for its strategies to start following a reliable, brief plan for rapid business growth. It’s easy to see why.

Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade: Social psychologist Robert Cialdini digs deep into effective persuasion. This is a great tool for communicators looking to bring an edge to their strategies and grab attention in powerful ways.

Contact your local Allegra Marketing Print Mail today for help in planning, designing, executing your marketing campaigns so you get the best return on your investment.

How to Make Your Business Card a Real Keeper

Though advances in technology are constantly redefining the ways in which we do business, one conventional business practice has stood the test of time: the business card.

Allegra Business Card

Printed business cards provide a tangible, personalized element to relationship-building that digital alternatives cannot. And, when tailored to reflect your brand’s image, business cards serve as important marketing collateral for creating a positive, long-lasting first impression.

According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute, 72 percent of professionals say they judge companies based upon the quality of their employees’ business card. The driving force ensuring your business card reflects both you and your organization well? A strong design.

Here are some tips for creating a brand-building business card that is sure to leave a good impression:

Make it colorful.
In the same survey, 78 percent of respondents said a color business card is more memorable than a standard, white card. Align your color palette and graphics with your brand standards to help ensure a seamless brand experience at every touchpoint.

Choose an unusual material.
Although card stock is both cost-effective and practical, virtually any paper and a wide variety of finishes can be used for business cards – textured or smooth, glossy or matte. However, if you’re truly set on setting your brand apart, choose a lightweight wood or plastic sheath.

Investing a little more should pay off: Nearly four out of 10 survey takers said they would choose not to do business with someone if they have a “cheap looking” business card.

Keep it consistent.
The look and feel of your brand and all your promotional materials are likely to evolve over time. Have a plan to do a brand audit annually to weed out the materials that are outdated in information and appearance. Your schedule of design revisions just might start with your business cards.

Looking for a bolder business card design that speaks volumes about your brand? Allegra’s team of business branding experts can help create the perfect design. Contact your local Allegra Marketing Print Mail today.