Your Three-Step Plan to Attract, Convert and Retain Customers: Step 1

A high churn rate can be your business’s worst enemy. It’s the percentage of customers that don’t stick around or come back. Considering how much time, effort and cost goes into acquiring customers, you want to keep them.

Man with a Notepad with Text Brand

How well you retain customers can, however, be connected to how you go about acquiring them. Overall, your marketing approach has three interconnected stages that work together to affect your bottom line: attracting customers, converting them and keeping them. In addition to conversion and retention, your marketing strategy can benefit from paying attention to what goes on at the beginning of the sales funnel. This is where brand awareness takes place.

How the Process Gets Started

Lead generation and conversion may attract a greater degree of attention in a marketing campaign, but what comes before shouldn’t be deprived of time and effort. Your potential customers may be getting hit with thousands of product and service awareness messages each day — it’s natural for them to develop an instinct to tune things out.

It’s been estimated that it takes up to five to seven impressions before your company or product name is remembered. That doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll need a huge budget to get your share of awareness, especially if you’re doing business in a local market. The key is to avoid inconsistencies in your branding. This could be challenging if your business has multiple locations, there are frequent staff changes or if your business is still evolving.

The way to prevent this type of market confusion is to place all of your branding efforts under centralized control. If you’re going to launch a multi-channel awareness campaign, it should remain consistent and well-coordinated. Unless your business has all of the internal staffing and resources to design, create and manage each of  the print, signage and digital channels available to you, your best option is to outsource.

There’s much to be gained from entrusting your identity package and multi-channel campaign to a one-stop source with the expertise, experience and know-how to make everything work together effectively.

Watch this space for the next step: lead generation.

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.

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.

Test for Success with Direct Marketing

Test for Success with Direct Mail Marketing

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 about 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 marketers 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 last year’s campaign drew a great response from a free trial offer whereas this year’s effort featuring a percentage discount gained fewer responses, consider repeating or refining the free trial offer in your upcoming campaign.

Need help? Put our direct mail expertise to the test; contact Allegra today.

Sign Up for Allegra’s Great Ideas Webinar with Speaker Carla Johnson

webinar

Wouldn’t it be nice if great ideas could come to mind at the press of the button? While this may be a bit far-fetched, there are people out there who seem to effortlessly come up with great ideas on the spur of the moment.

The good news is, their ability to generate great ideas isn’t out of reach. As it turns out, you can easily learn the principles and apply them to your own brainstorming and idea generation to drive better business results.

Allegra Marketing Print Mail will host, “How to Fast-Track Great Ideas … and Make Them Stick,” a comprehensive live webinar to teach you tips and tricks for generating more ideas faster than ever, and how to draw on past experiences to inspire your next big success. This proven formula will transform any audience from skeptics to hands-down believers.

The free webinar will feature world-renowned storyteller Carla Johnson. Her latest book, Experiences: The 7th Era of Marketing, sets the benchmark for marketing’s evolving role in business. Today, she travels the world teaching people how to cultivate idea-driven teams that breed unstoppable creativity and game-changing innovation.

No matter what role you play or how much experience you have, you can learn powerful ways to come up with great ideas and pitch them to quickly gain buy-in from peers and managers, helping your organization reach its goals.

We hope you’ll join us Thursday, October 25 at 12 p.m. (ET) for the free webinar. For more information or to register, visit www.allegraideas.com. If you’re unable to join us live, we’ll send you a recording so you don’t miss a moment.

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.

3 Reasons to Add Video to Your Marketing Mix

YouTube says it has more than a billion users — almost one-third of all people on the internet — and each day they watch hundreds of millions of hours of video generating billions of views. Many marketers have seized the opportunities the popularity of video presents.

Video MarketingAccording to the State of Video Marketing 2017 report by Wyzowl, 63 percent of businesses are using video as a marketing tool, and out of those, 82 percent feel video is an important part of their marketing strategy.

Not making the most of your visual content? Here are three reasons why you might want to consider video:

  1. Increased reach. Wordstream estimates that videos on social media generate 1,200 percent more shares than text and images combined. Brainstorm ideas for interesting ways to present targeted messaging during four distinct buying stages: awareness, interest, decision and action. For example, at the decision stage, customer testimonials or “about us” videos that show your team’s expertise help to personalizes your brand.
  2. Better retention. According to Invisia, viewers retain 95 percent of a message when they watch it in a video. With smartphones, tablets and quality webcams, nearly everyone in your organization can be a video content creator. And, capturing a variety of perspectives may offer new angles to storytelling that you hadn’t anticipated.
  3. Long-lasting. Video content can also be used as blog articles, slide decks, interactive web experiences and more. All these things could alternately be turned into video.Looking to take the first step to add video to your marketing strategy? Contact your local Allegra Marketing Print Mail today for assistance.

Business-to-business Influencer Marketing 101

Between the increasingly competitive business-to-business (B2B) marketing space and a growing skepticism of traditional advertising, many small business marketers are beginning to turn to influencer marketing as an alternative way to build relationships.

Business-to-business Influencer Marketing 101

Traditionally more of a business-to-consumer (B2C) marketing tactic, influencer marketing has gained appeal as an effective B2B marketing strategy. By targeting the right industry influencers for your products or services, your brand generates word-of-mouth referrals from credible voices that your audience knows and trusts.

Research shows that 91 percent of B2B buyers trust word-of-mouth marketing when making their buying decisions. To incorporate influencers into your current B2B marketing strategy, it takes some planning and a clear understanding of who your audience turns to for information.

Here are a few ways to work with influencers:

  1. Collaborate on content. Collaborate with credible industry voices and outlets when creating your content, such as blogs, white papers, reports and more. Partner with research firms, leverage local business partnerships and seek leading industry experts to co-create and/or cross promote. Be sure to link back-and-forth for SEO juice.
  2. Invite local thought leaders to present on a webinar or at a lunch-and-learn event. You’ll attract a larger audience due to the guest presenter’s cross-promotion efforts, and you’ll also strengthen your business’ authority in the sector.Webinars and events are also perfect avenues for collecting email addresses for lead nurturing. Niche influencers such as local business and policy leaders, industry authors, motivational speakers, area business partners and local nonprofit leaders are great to invite as guests.
  3. Forge connections with influential media personalities. One of the best ways to start forming organic relationships with your key audiences is to amplify your brand’s story through traditional media. Connect with local news personalities to tell your brand’s narrative in way that catches their interest.
  4. Get social. The first step to creating connections with niche social media influencers is to see who your current customers and prospects are already following. Then, start following and engaging with those accounts and social media influencers as well.

Interested in learning more about how to incorporate influencers into your B2B marketing strategy? Contact your local Allegra Marketing Print Mail today.