Tips to Focus on Existing Customer-Partners During COVID-19

One thing our current situation has done is make the first principle of marketing clearer than ever: focus on your existing customers.

When small businesses think about marketing, they often think of it as a tool to attract new customers. But as we grapple with a pandemic and a turbulent economy, in many ways existing customers are much more valuable.

How can you use marketing to enhance your relationships with your current customers? What else can you offer them as an additional product or service? Can you speed up your processes or sell more with a bulk discount? Can you encourage them to plan ahead and commit to services in the longer term, when wallets might be less tight?

Analyze your current customers

If you haven’t spent time digging into the makeup of your core customer base, your repeat clients and higher spenders, take the time now to gather data.  What do they buy and when? How much do they spend? Are they motivated by discounts? Do they willingly pay full price or a combination of both? Use what you learn to inform your COVID-19 marketing efforts to your existing customers.

Make them feel special

Check in personally with your customers and ask how they are holding up. See if there is anything you can do to support their business, and find a way to show how much you value them. This can include useable tips for other businesses also struggling through the impact of COVID-19, or just an update on what’s been useful for your business and an offer to share any strategies.

Stay top of mind

This can be an electronic or print newsletter, or a short email or call checking in. No need to be too promotional or push hard for a sale; aim to be clear, genuine and concise. Thank them for their continued support. Give an example of strategies you’ve seen working for other businesses. Share what is giving you inspiration during these challenging times. Share anything you or others are doing to support the community or individuals in need.

Connect on social media

Now is the time to use your social media presence to connect with your existing customers. Connect with them on LinkedIn and engage on their social channels. Ask for their opinions and questions on posts. At a time when so many people are cooped up at home, social media is an outlet not only for personal connections, but for businesses to continue to maintain relationships with local partners.

Take this opportunity to put a human face on your business however you can, and that starts with marketing to the people who know your business best – your existing customers. If you’re looking for more ways to reach out to existing customers, count on Allegra for helpful tips and ideas.

 

 

5 Reasons to Add Postcards To Your Marketing Mix

Do you remember the last time you received a postcard in the mail? Nowadays, postcards don’t come around as often as they used to, but when they do, they usually stand out. According to PRINTISBIG.com, 43% of people find print marketing to be less intrusive than online advertisements and tend to appreciate receiving a nice custom postcard in the mail once in a while.Postcard printing services

Many brands find great value in mailing postcards as part of their cross-channel marketing strategy. We’ve put together this list explaining the top reasons your business should consider adding custom postcards to its marketing mix:

  1. Postcards are a great way to build brand recognition. The internet has helped brands easily connect with their customers, which is why most brand interactions happen primarily online. But in this digital era, studies show people enjoy receiving things in the mail they can hold on to. The physical interaction that happens when people receive postcards helps create stronger emotional responses, making their message more memorable, and thus increasing brand awareness and brand recall.
  2. Postcard mailings can be highly targeted. Printing companies can now help your business streamline the postcard printing and delivery process with the help of automated software. Just like online ads, sending out postcards can also be a highly targeted strategy. Curated and personalized mailing lists can help you reach existing customers and prospects based on specific geographic locations, previous order history, and in some cases, even by household income. 
  1. Postcards are very affordable. Out of all the different forms of direct mail, postcards are one of the most affordable ways to reach customers. They are easy to design, print, and mail. The postcard size makes it perfect for sending short and compelling messages. Brands use postcards to highlight special offers, send thank you notes, extend holiday wishes, or to build brand recognition with minimal investment.
  1. Better response rates. A study by InfoTrends shows direct mail still resonates with people in different age groups, particularly with Millennials. According to this article by Prinova, Millennials respond to direct mail calls-to-action quicker than other generations, and they usually follow through and make a purchase from that brand within three months of receiving an offer via mail.
  1. They are a tangible reminder of your brand. Postcards are easy to distribute. They’re lightweight yet sturdy, which makes them ideal to be sent via mail, circulate from person to person, or include with other print marketing materials. They are also easy to keep; most people are likely to hang on to well-designed and colorful postcards. If you are trying to help increase brand awareness, a custom postcard can help you achieve this.  

Are you looking to incorporate postcards into your next marketing campaign? Your local Allegra can help!

Take advantage of the high-response rates of direct mail, and get your business noticed with high-quality postcard printing, design, and mailing. If you’re interested in learning more about our print marketing services, contact Allegra today.

The Importance of Printed Handouts

While the advertising space has grown more diverse with the increase of digital ad platforms, print handouts have not lost their importance. Thanks to digital, the significance and value of print has grown richer. Understanding the common types of print advertising handouts and how to use them is an important part of reaching the right audience with the right message and staying competitive.Flyers

Target Marketing refers to print marketing as an “engagement goldmine” when it’s marketing to Millennials. In fact, Target Marketing reported that 65% of Millennials bought from a catalog, and 63% purchased because of a mail piece. Print is perceived as more trustworthy and the fact that they can pick it up and touch it provides a level of sensory engagement digital ads cannot. Plus, print advertisements stand out from all the digital ads with which users are bombarded while on their phones.

So what are print handouts?

Print handouts are anything that is printed and handed out free of charge for advertising purposes. This includes flyers, brochures, pamphlets, and postcards. Several factors come into play when choosing the right ones to use for your business, such as the type of business you are advertising, the goal of your print campaign, and your budget. Most companies will benefit from using all these popular handouts in the right context!

  • Flyers: These are typically single-sided sheets printed with an advertisement. They are a low-cost option used for reaching many people with your message. This message is usually short and sweet – announcing a sale or a grand opening or simply reminding recipients that you exist to help them. They can be mailed, handed out by a sales team (on a street corner, at a tradeshow event, or canvased across a neighborhood), or pinned up on public bulletin boards.  Flyers are also known as leaflets.
  • Info Sheets: A single sheet containing product specific information. These are usually handed out by employees to individual customers at the shop or made available during trade show events.
  • Postcards: Printed on card stock or heavyweight paper, they are comprised of one flat piece with no folds. Most people picture a rectangle when they think of postcards; however, postcards are not limited to the traditional rectangle but can be designed in all manner of shapes to intrigue and delight your audience. Like flyers, they’re a great way to promote a sale or build brand recognition.  The message is usually pretty simple; your postcard is not the place to unload product specs and details. Instead, postcards are used to encourage the recipient to come engage with your business to redeem an offer or to supply a reminder of what your company does. They are a popular choice for direct mail campaigns because they very flat, lightweight, and sturdy, thus making them perfect for sending in the mail. As one of the simplest pieces to create since no folding or binding is involved, postcards are great for budgets and distributing to a broad audience.
  • Brochures: There are a wide variety of brochure formats readily available at your local Allegra. Brochures can be created from single sheets or multiple sheets folded to form a small booklet. Multi-sheet brochures can be bound or unbound. Unbound brochures are also called pamphlets. Printed brochures are utilized in many ways to effectively increase sales. A few common distribution methods for reaching your desired audience through brochures includes placing them in public display racks, sending them out to a select audience via direct mail, giving them to a client during a consultation, or placing them in brochure holders in your own office or shop for interested parties to pick up.

Do you need to create custom print handouts that are sure to impress? Your local Allegra Marketing Print Mail location is ready to help from start to finish.  They’ll guide you in choosing and designing the right type of print handout for each of your marketing goals as well as handle all the printing, folding, and binding for your marketing print handouts!

How Brochures Can Help You Reach Your Business Goals

There are many creative ways brochures can be used by business owners to promote and education about their business offerings. They attractively present a solution to a problem and the benefits of choosing your company, as well as how to obtain the product or service. Here are a few examples on how businesses use brochures for different purposes. 

  • To Raise Brand Awareness: A perfect example of this are travel brochures. When placed in a hotel’s brochure rack, they inform visitors of local attractions and services. A 2018 study tested the impact brochures placed in a hotel lobby have on travelers. The study revealed that 85% of visitors became aware of an attraction or business as a result of picking up a brochure and 61% of visitors planned to purchase tickets or merchandise, they learned about from a brochure.
  • To Start a Conversation: Dentist offices often have brochures in the waiting or examination room explaining treatments or services such as teeth whitening. An interested patient can grab a brochure and discuss any questions they may have about the service with their dentist.
  • To Close a Sale: Businesses, such as massage clubs, use brochures to provide a visual to potential customers while a staff member walks them through pricing packages and services. Circling the best value option or jotting down a promo code during the conversation can make it personal. If the client is unconvinced and needs more time to think about it, the brochure serves as a reminder of the brand, the product, and the special attention received.
  • As Handouts for Different Occasions: Many companies distribute marketing brochures at trade shows or sends them as a targeted mailing. These methods allow for a larger reach rather than waiting for a customer to select one in-person.

Custom brochures can do more than just promote a business’s full range of products or services. They can help advertise upcoming events, raise awareness for a cause, or serve as map or program guide. A advantage brochures have over other forms of marketing is they don’t have the character limit often found in digital ads or smaller print mediums. The multiple panels in a brochure allow you to break up text into easily digestible pieces. This also allows for you to get as creative as you want, playing around with the use of images, layout, paper stock, and finishing techniques to communicate your message.

Allegra has the experience and expertise to help create a high-quality brochure. To get started, contact your local Allegra Marketing Print Mail location today.

How High-Impact Printing Techniques Can Help You Stand Out

Some people think digital advertising has replaced print marketing, but this is simply not true. Successful business owners know print and digital can go hand in hand. Each type of marketing has its own strengths and weaknesses; together, they make a winning team.

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Businesses are harnessing the power of print more than ever before. According to FedEx, professional printing services have helped four out of five small businesses stand out against their competitors. They also found business owners are handing out more business cards than they did five years ago. Along with brochures and banners, business cards are one of the most effective and affordable print materials available.

Almost 85% of consumers say they are more likely to shop at the business if they receive high-quality custom printed materials. The poll used to gather these statistics was conducted across a broad audience of age groups. It found that even Millennials like to receive something printed and tangible at least once a month.

While there has been significant growth in digital marketing, another survey found tangible direct mail has a 75% recall rate, whereas digital ads usually only have a 44% recall rate. This shows that print media continues to be a valuable resource, and is one of the reasons marketers everywhere are implementing a multi-channel approach that leverages the advantages of printed materials in combination with digital marketing.

No matter what type of marketing budget you have, print services can accommodate your business needs and marketing goals.

Small Budgets: If you are trying to reach your local audience, we recommend using brochures or postcards. This will give your customers reasons to visit your business and mention it to others. Use this strategy every quarter and support it with social media and online efforts to measure its success.

Medium Budgets: You should continue using promotional print materials such as postcards and brochures. You should also consider implementing other high-impact printed alternatives such as flyers, catalogs, multi-piece letter packages, or even lumpy mail. With a medium budget, you will be able to increase the number of your prints, the customization, and additional details. There are different textures, folds, types of paper, and even die cut finishes, you chose to give your print materials to help them stand out.

Larger Budgets: With a larger budget, you can develop a solid multichannel marketing strategy. Find out where your customers are and go to them. Participate in trade show events and other industry gatherings to give your business lots of exposure. Print materials and signs can help you promote, support, and make a significant impact at these events.

Connect all your digital efforts with your print materials. If you are offering seasonal discounts, make sure they are reflected on your website, emails, phone calls, mailings, and signage.

High impact printed materials positively reflect on a business. Consumers agree: Nine out of 10 say the quality of the printed materials they receive has a direct relation with the quality of the goods and services provided by a company.

Allegra Marketing Print Mail offers a variety of business printing services from business cards and brochures to training manuals and personalized printing. Together we can establish marketing strategies that support your business goals. Contact your local Allegra location to discuss the options available to step up your print marketing strategy!

 

Source: https://smallbiztrends.com/2018/05/print-marketing-statistics.html

 

Gain, Improve or Restore Brand Consistency Through eCommerce Web-to-Print Fulfillment

Brand inconsistencies can hamper your marketing efforts, but a quality and tech-savvy eCommerce printing service can provide both a solution and a whole new set of opportunities.

If your business has more than one location, it’s possible to have different managers or purchasing agents contracting a variety of local print or digital services while also making uncoordinated updates and revisions.

CONSISTENCY CONCEPT
CONSISTENCY CONCEPT

You need a better way to manage your company’s brand image across multiple marketing channels and different business locations. Consistency counts and a unified approach to your product or service messaging will improve your lead generation, customer acquisition and retention prospects.

Print Inconsistencies Can Have a Negative Marketing Effect

Your company’s credibility, as seen through the eyes of both existing and potential customers, can be better preserved through effective brand control. There are several ways that noticeable deviations in presentation or messaging content can slip through to your targeted market base. Competing or confusing messages and variations in formatting or color can spell trouble for your branding and marketing efforts, but centralized control over your printed marketing materials can help avoid this type of embarrassment.

Better Than an In-House Printing Department

Web to print, also referred to as W2P, provides a remedy to inconsistency in the form of a centralized online resource and access portal for your entire company’s printed marketing needs. This is a great way to gain control over print matter without your company being required to set up an entire in-house printing department – which would obviously be a very costly capital expenditure. By outsourcing all your company’s print marketing needs to one online W2P resource, consistency can be ensured while you also gain some additional benefits.

Greater convenience translates into increased efficiency and improved staffing utilization; with W2P, all the current revisions and marketing updates can be accessed throughout your company with just a few mouse clicks. Anyone with the proper authorization or password can review the most recent print work, proof a proposed marketing piece, check the status of print job, or share work with others for input and review prior to ordering.

A major part of web-to-print convenience is that it’s available remotely and on a 24/7 basis. It’s also a good way for sales reps to easily access the most up-to-date marketing and pricing materials when they’re on the road.

Reduce Your Print Spending

When your company sets up an online print fulfillment system, you’ll be able to leverage your marketing and print budget. You won’t need to worry about separate locations ordering small print runs and you’ll instead benefit from the economy of scale.

Budget guardians will also be able to keep track of spending across different locations and departments and they’ll be better prepared to set up more realistic estimates for future expenditures. W2P also provides quick and easy automated job pricing; a budget request can be prepared and the actual final product reviewed and approved by the proper parties before a print order is actually placed.

Centralized Sales Material and Document Access

A W2P provider can serve as a convenient and centralized document storage and review service. This can go beyond sales and marketing and enable authorized HR, customer service and training personnel to quickly access and review any changes to policy documents, technical content, employee handbooks or other in-house materials before the printed versions are available and in hand.

Personalized and Cross-Channel Marketing

Personalized direct-mail marketing campaigns are effective because they match customer buying habits and demographics to individualized marketing approaches. A full-service W2P provider can enable recipient database updates to be entered into an approved online print template to create mailing pieces tailored to your company’s most recent data compilations. The addressing and mailing can also be included as part of the outsourced servicing. Your sales team will be able to take advantage of individualized marketing materials that can reach their intended recipients in the shortest possible time.

Speed Up Design Time and Easily Compare Printing Options Online

A W2P service can provide your sales and marketing staff with pre-approved templates that they can brainstorm from. Different approaches, but all within approved template formats, can be tried out online before a final consensus is reached and the print job is launched. A new and proposed marketing piece can be designed online and then saved as a PDF file to be shared with other team members via email prior to placing the final order. Your marketing team can also compare pre-order pricing online for print extras such as UV coatings, special folding, embossing and other print job enhancements.

Concentrate on Your Sales and Marketing Strategies and Leave the Printing to the Experts

Allegra Marketing Print Mail will cover all your W2P servicing and fulfillment needs and more. We’ll set-up a customized web-to-print online portal that will meet your company’s specific needs and enable your marketing plans to go into high gear while you also save time and money. You’ll have access to the in-house technology, production facilities and multi-channel experts that can take your company’s marketing plans to the next level.

We offer a fully integrated approach to all your marketing needs and you’ll be assured of across-the board consistency in both the digital and print worlds. Our logo design services, promotional products, signs and banners can also be included in the high-impact and well-integrated branding treatments that your business or organization can benefit from. Contact us today and find out how our one-source marketing solutions can provide your company with effective brand control and the positive results you’re looking for.

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.

Multi-Channel 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 multi-channel marketing strategy has become a must-have.

 

Multi-channel marketing is often achieved online with your website, email marketing, digital ads, social media and more. One powerful offline component that can boost your multi-channel 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 multi-channel marketing easier for your 2019 plan. Download your free copy of Marketing Insider to learn more or ask us about our integrated, multi-channel solution.  We can also help with sourcing mailing lists or designing mailers and online ads.

 

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.

4 Smart Ways to Save on Print

save on print

Print communications are affordable and effective for today’s small business and nonprofit marketers. To get the most value from your marketing dollars, here are just four of the many ways you can cut the cost of your print communications – without cutting corners:

  1. Plan to stay on schedule. Printers are accustomed to working with tight turnarounds. You can ease the process and save money by avoiding “do-overs.” Always ask for help if you’re unsure how to prepare your art files. Then, leave yourself plenty of time to review proofs and catch errors you may have overlooked early on to prevent re-dos and re-prints that can add up and extend your timeline.
  2. Skip special orders. For many projects, you can save money by using in-stock papers. Ask your print provider to show you samples of what’s on hand. Unless you require a specific look or have budgeted for a higher-end piece, stick to the basics for your day-to-day materials to stretch your dollars.
  3. Target your mailings. Mailing lists are more plentiful and robust than ever before. Many are highly-targeted to help direct marketers easily and affordably reach a very specific audience, preventing unnecessary waste and expense. After all, why spend money mailing to people who will not be receptive to your message or worse, those who may want to hear your message but who have moved and won’t receive your mail?
  4. Print digitally, on demand. Many projects considered too small to be worth the investment in set-up charges on a traditional offset press can be affordably printed digitally. This printing option is ideal for short runs as the per piece price is the same whether you print 10 or 1,000. It also opens the door to variable, customized text and images from sheet-to-sheet for more targeted and effective messaging.

Keep on-demand digital printing in mind to avoid the waste associated with storing and ultimately throwing away materials that are quickly made obsolete when service specifications or product parts numbers, for instance, are frequently updated.

For more money-saving tips, contact your local Allegra when you’re ready to print.