Employee Engagement: One of the Best Ways to Help Ensure Success

TrustSmart companies put a great deal of effort into fostering a culture of employee engagement. There’s a simple yet compelling reason for this. Salaries alone do not guarantee that a company will be able to recruit and retain the best people. Engaged employees are less likely to consider changing jobs if a new opportunity presents itself.

The evidence points to a direct link between engagement and performance. We put together this list with the most important factors that contribute to employee engagement.

Trust in Leadership

According to the Society of Human Resource Management, trust in organizational leadership is the greatest contributor to workforce engagement. When employees trust their managers ability to set the right course and commit to making the company a great place to work, they’re enthusiastic about their jobs and organizational goals.

Building Engagement Through Recognition

Research conducted for the Harvard Review of Business concerning the American airline JetBlue revealed a direct correlation between recognition and engagement. Recognition does not need to be shown through raises or extravagant gestures. Company-branded gifts, such as mugs, pens, apparel, calculators or computer accessories can effectively demonstrate appreciation without straining the company budget.

Personalized recognition awards, such as plaques, trophies or desk organizers, carry even greater weight and their visibility can also help motivate others to perform at a higher level.

Printed Internal Communications

A professionally printed internal communication piece that shows up on everyone’s desk or work station regularly demonstrates management’s recognition of the workforce’s efforts.

Organizational transparency is another big contributor for employee engagement, newsletters and other forms of printed internal communication pieces can assure employees that company leadership has nothing to hide.

Workplace Signage

Eye-catching and informative workplace signage that’s updated regularly helps to develop greater engagement among work teams. The topics can be current and cover issues that address employees’ interests or concerns. They can also help to develop a workforce culture that fosters highly desirable employee traits such as a commitment to customer satisfaction, consistently following through and a strong work ethic.

Build Engagement Through the Right Communication Materials and Recognition Items

Allegra Marketing Print Mail can help provide your workforce with the internal print communications, company-branded recognition gifts and signage that will make it clear to your team that you are committed to keeping them engaged.

Expressing appreciation through the materials we design and produce for you is an effective way to demonstrate good will toward your employees. Whimsical, heartfelt or informative, our signage and print work will convince your team that their efforts are noticed and appreciated. You’ll be surprised at the unexpected improvements your company will notice. Contact your local Allegra and take your employee engagement plan to the next level.

Getting the Most Out of Your Live Event or Trade Show Presentation

Trade shows and live events are a great way to kick-off or ramp-up your brand if you do it right. According to a Harvard Business Review survey, 93 percent of business leaders say they place a high priority on live events. When you present or promote your product or service through live marketing, you’re are generating sales leads and grooming future purchasers.

In consumer surveys, most respondents said they were more inclined to make a purchase following their attendance to an event. Bonus: At trade shows and live events, attendees like to take pictures and then share them through their social media accounts. This user generated content counts as free advertising, and it’s great for brand awareness. At your next event, be sure to set up effective and eye-catching displays to attract many attendees.

How can you ensure that your event creates a memorable experience that works best for you? The key is in the event or trade show planning. Here are some of the things you should keep in mind.

Get the Word Out and Give Your Attendees a Good Reason to Show Up

Define your target market and then learn all you can about it. What are the likes, needs and goals? Be sure your live presentation covers those areas that will effectively generate interest within your market. After you’ve come up with some good reasons for people to show up, spell out the benefits of attending in your pre-event outreach. Your attendees should know that they’ll come away with some information or insight that will make their lives better or more satisfying. If your purchasers are other businesses, let them know how you can help them increase their sales, lower their overhead or beat out the competition.

Be Mindful of Other Events That Could Conflict With Yours

Bad timing can take the wind out of your sails, if your event is scheduled to take place when there is a competitor’s event or another big attraction also taking place. Check out what other business events or entertainment attractions are going to be running at the same time as your event.

Take Heed of the Iron Triangle: Time, Budget and Scope

The interconnected factors of time, money and scope can work against you if you don’t plan carefully. Set a budget and stick to it. Make sure your budget matches the scope of your presentation and fits within the available time. You won’t appreciate financial or timing surprises the day before the event and force last-minute changes to your intended program. A project-management approach that begins months ahead of the actual event date can help ensure there’s no surprises ahead.

 

Throw in Some Branded Promotional Products and Hand Out Informative and Compelling Literature

Takeaways can help to develop a brand awareness that lasts. Your hand-out printed pieces should more than adequately reflect your branding and your message. The swag counts too: mugs, t-shirts, pens or whatever else you give your attendees to take home with them should all be well integrated, so your brand identity and messaging lingers on long after the event.

Leverage Your Event Marketing Collateral

The literature, signage, promotional items and business cards that play a part in your live event or trade show presentation will determine how well your audience and visitors remember you. There’s much to be gained from keeping the development and production of all your brand-identity items under one roof. That’s our specialty. We’ve mastered the art of building brand awareness for our clients through expertly designed and fully integrated marketing collateral. Head off to your live event or trade show well prepared and make a lasting impression. Contact your local Allegra Marketing Print Mail and find out how we can help you plan for and create a stand-out and memorable live event.

 

After You Land Your Customers, Hang on to Them: Step 3

Adding some well-crafted personal touches to your new customer welcoming routine can help make a lasting and positive impression. If you want them to stick around or keep coming back, continue to let them know how much you value them. This is another way multi-channel messaging can be put to good use.

Retention Secrets word stamped in grunge red ink style on a yellow envelope to give you tips and advice on retaining customers or employees
Retention Secrets word stamped in grunge red ink style on a yellow envelope to give you tips and advice on retaining customers or employees

You can increase your customer retention rate by showing your appreciation for continued patronage in various and frequent ways. Communicate loyalty discounts, special offers or simple but sincere thank you messages through email, online responses, direct-mail offers and, of course, one-on-one contacts. Keep them coming back to your website through engaging and interesting blogs, special-offer invites and discount or enhanced services coupons.

Variety can be a key component in effective retention messaging. Mix things up and don’t rely upon only one or two communication channels. Postcard mailings, newsletters and print ads can all add to your digital messaging and create an enhanced and memorable customer experience.

By keeping track of your customers’ buying habits, preferences and demographics, you can customize your messaging to match their individual needs and wants. This also enables you to measure and compare the effectiveness of the various channel and demographic interactions you’re relying upon. More big-time data sifting? Sure, but you don’t need to perform the collection and analysis on your own. The results of your retention efforts can be compiled and presented in a meaningful and useful format through the services of the right marketing provider. This is the type of data compilation that can be the determining factor in how well your business’s upselling, cross-selling and renewal opportunities play out

Learn More About the Ways Awareness, Conversion and Retention Work Together

You won’t need to sign up for any expensive courses to learn how awareness, lead generation and retention combine and interact to build up your bottom line. Join us for one of our free and fast-paced one hour webinars and discover how some of the most well-known companies and product brands have combined these three elements to create both loyal customer followings and highly-engaged prospects.

Our upcoming marketing webinar series will cover topics such as impact branding, transforming leads into loyal customers and ways you can wow your market base. You’ll have an opportunity to ask questions and share your own experiences with our webinar host, Carla Johnson. For two decades, Carla has helped business executives, innovators and Fortune 500 companies to create value through content and digital marketing.

Allegra Marketing Print Mail is a one-stop source for customized print and digital marketing materials and systems that can effectively build brand awareness, generate leads and grow a loyal customer base. We have what’s needed to accomplish your business goals: in-house resources and technologies, production knowledge, and the right kind of creative talent. Don’t be overwhelmed by all of the many and challenging ways of promoting your business. You can count on our marketing skills and expertise to match your needs with the best possible services. Interested in converting and retaining your customers? Let us know; Allegra can help!

With Awareness, Generating Leads and Making Conversions Can Come Easier: Step 2

Generating effective leads follows awareness. When you present the right messages to the right potential customers at the right times, it’s easier to get the responses you’re looking for. You’ll enjoy an added advantage if your target market has already been made aware of your business. This is when you have a greater opportunity to convert potential customers into purchasers and when they’re more likely to react positively to your message or offer.

For the best conversion results, define your market, make repeated approaches and measure your success. Comparing your response and conversion rates across varying demographics and marketing channels can provide you with valuable data and demonstrate how to tailor your efforts for improved results.

Horseshoe magnet attracting new leads over black background, 3d conceptual image for illustration of lead acquisition strategy and online strategic marketing

If this sounds like a huge amount of data sifting, it can be! It could become quite an enterprise if you’re running a large and far-reaching campaign; enlisting the aid of a skilled and highly qualified multi-channel marketing provider will leave your business with more time and resources to focus on keeping your customers happy.

Watch this space for step 3: customer retention.

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.