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The Eye/Comm Blog

Mobile Marketing: Are You Over Thinking It?

Posted by Summer Gould on Tue, May 26, 2015 @ 09:51 AM

Expressions-13

Sometimes marketers focus on the most difficult aspects of a channel, rather than breaking it down and trying a little bit at a time. Mobile marketing falls into this category for many people. Getting overwhelmed by all the complicated options can stall your campaign or worse cause you to give up on it. What if we break down mobile marketing into smaller less intimidating steps. You will be able to implement some of these ideas into your campaign right away and continue to grow your mobile marketing efforts more over time. Look at what you are currently doing now, by doing so, you can identify where it is easiest to add mobile.

Mobile Marketing Breakdown:

  1. Website: Usually this is the easiest place to start as well as the best. The numbers of people doing research on companies with mobile devices is staggering. Best practices call for a responsive design so what your website looks good no matter what device is accessing it.

  2. Email: When you send out your emails, design them so that they look good on mobile devises. Easy to read text, easy to click buttons and minimal pictures.

  3. Landing pages: Since your marketing campaigns drive people to landing pages, you need to make sure that you are using responsive design on these too. Make the users experience a seamless and easy one.

  4. Direct Mail: Your direct mail can drive people online through QR codes, augmented reality, PURLS, NFC and more. Don’t silo your direct mail, integrate it with your other channels and get recipients to use their mobile devices to access your content.

  5. Digital: All your digital ads should be mobile ready all the way through the experience. From initial click to check out, can your current responders do it all on mobile devices?

  6. Text campaigns: This may be something that is far off in the future or you may be considering it now. The best part about text campaigns is the immediate access. You can have a flash sale, extra coupon or anything you can think of that your audience will want. The key here is to get people to opt into your messaging and to not overdo it.

Your customers and prospects are looking for a good experience. Creating a smooth easy process for them to use on whatever devise they choose is the best way to boost your responses. This means as you design each item in your campaigns that you are constantly viewing them from your customer’s point of view. What is in it for them? If you can, ask a customer to test your designs or if that is not an option get someone outside of your organization to test everything on multiple devices. This will give you a perspective that someone inside the organization will not have. Mobile marketing can be really easy if you make some adjustments to what you already do.

How To Effectively Use QR Codes

If you have any questions call us in San Diego at 619-448-6111 or email info@eyecomm.org. We are glad to help!

Topics: Mobile Marketing

Direct Mail: Emerging & Advanced Technology Promotion Save 2% On Postage

Posted by Summer Gould on Mon, May 18, 2015 @ 08:50 AM

San Diego Direct Mail

The USPS is offering a 2% postage savings for the following promotion. Learn how you can take advantage of this program and save money on your next direct mail marketing campaign.

2015 Emerging & Advanced Technology Promotion: Promotion runs June 1 through November 30, 2015. This promotion encourages customers to explore opportunities to incorporate technologies such as Near Field Communication (NFC), Augmented Reality, and other technologies in print, ink, and paper to enhance how recipients interact and engage with direct mail. To participate in the promotion, the mail piece must incorporate the use of NFC technology, inks, paper, interactive technologies or an augmented reality experience that allows the recipient to interact with the mail piece and technologies.

NOTE: The mail piece must use at least one form of the approved emerging or advanced technologies to receive the promotion discount.

Mail piece Content Requirements

  • Near Field Communication (NFC) Requirements: Near field communication (NFC) is a form of communication between devices such as smartphones, tablets or items embedded with NFC chips, tags or similar technology.

  • Augmented Reality Requirements: A general definition of Augmented Reality (AR) is a live view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data, etc.

When using either of the two options above you must meet the following 2 requirements:

1. Directional Copy Requirement: The mail piece must contain text near the barcode or image with instructions on how to scan the barcode or image and information about the landing page. Examples include:

    • Scan here to play an interactive game

    • Scan the barcode for an interactive experience

    • Download our app and scan this page to see your mail piece come alive

    • Download our app for an interactive experience

    • Tap here with your NFC enabled phone

    • Wave your NFC enabled phone here

2. Destination Requirements: The landing page must contain information relevant to the content of the mail piece. It must also be mobile optimized. Participants must use the following or similar techniques to qualify for the promotion.

    • Screen Size and resolution is adjusted so that users do not have to scroll horizontally

    • Page sizes are compressed to enable faster downloading

    • Outbound links take users only to mobile optimized pages

    • Contrast and color scheme is adjusted for viewing on smaller screens and outdoor viewing.

    • Device detection directs mobile users to appropriately formatted content

    • Use menu options as opposed to free-text entry whenever possible

*Links to a traditional desktop site do not meet the requirements for this promotion.

This year there are exciting new categories to try. The promotion is not limited to devices. The requirements this year are expanding to include innovative advances in inks and paper. In this section, only pieces that significantly enhance the mail piece and the customer experience will be considered for eligibility for the promotion discount. All mail pieces attempting to meet the criteria for these applications must have samples submitted to the Program Office at mailingpromotions@usps.gov for preapproval prior to submitting any mailings for the promotional discount.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Inks: The inks must enhance recipient engagement and value of the mail piece.

  1. Conductive inks: become part of a circuit and activate a device, and are printed onto paper like any other ink. Users press a “button” to close the circuit, and can activate other devices, such as lights, sound chips, or other electronic sensors and components.

  2. Leuco Dyes: change color with variations in temperature

  3. Thermochromatic: heat sensitive dyes

  4. Photochromics: change color with UV light exposure

  5. Optically Variable Ink: contains metallic materials that change appearance when viewed from different angles

  6. Piezochromic: change appearance under pressure

  • Papers: The paper must have one or more of the features below. The paper characteristics must be integrated or supportive of the marketing message and enhance the customer engagement experience.

  1. Scented: paper infused with scent (ex: catnip, fresh bread), microencapsulated scents

  2. Sound: paper that incorporates sound chip/speakers (ex: motorcycle)

  3. Visual: special effects with filters, holographic, lenticular

  4. Textural: paper that incorporates textures that engage in a physical change based on touch, that provides a sensory related experience; paper surfaces may be coated, laminated, or made of unique materials (ex: “turf” paper, sandpaper, soft/velvet finish, etc)

  • Interactive mail pieces: The interactive mail pieces must include an experience that engages the customer and adds dynamic effects in the use of folds and other dimensional enhancements. The concept must add value to the overall marketing message. To qualify, construction of the folds must include more than the normal 180 degree folds. The folds must be dynamic and can incorporate dimensional effects.

  1. 3-Dimensional

  2. Pop-ups

  3. Infinite folding

All designs and technologies other than Near Field Communication (NFC) and “enhanced” augmented reality (AR) must be presented to the Program Office for preapproval prior to any mailings being presented for the promotional discount.

5 Direct Mail  Design Tips

The use of tactile technologies in direct mail is a great way to enhance a user’s experience and is very affordable. Using scent, thermal ink and textured coatings to bring the mail piece experience to a higher level. These experiences cannot be done with digital. Drawing attention to the benefits of direct mail and the power of the senses in decision making is powerful.  

 

Topics: Direct Mail, Direct Marketing

Direct Mail: Save 2% On Postage With The USPS Mobile Promotion

Posted by Summer Gould on Tue, May 12, 2015 @ 11:46 AM

San Diego Direct Mail

The post office is yet again offering discount programs to mailers who qualify, with 4 promotions throughout 2015. The goal of the USPS is to encourage customers to see how linking direct mail to digital can increase response rates and provide more interactions with customers/prospects. Let’s take a look at one of the promotions.

2015 Mail Drives Mobile Engagement Promotion: Promotion Period: July 1 – December 31, 2015. As mobile technology continues to grow, direct mail has the potential to offer an even greater value to marketers. The post office wants to show that direct mail is a relevant part of the marketing mix. The USPS is encouraging customers to use technologies that enhance the way that consumers interact and engage with direct mail. This promotion encourages customers to integrate mobile technology with direct mail to create an easy way for recipients to shop. This promotion provides business mailers with a 2% postage discount on standard mail letters and flats.

Mail piece Content Requirements:

1. Mobile Barcode Requirement: All qualifying mail must contain a mobile barcode or other equivalent print/mobile technology that when scanned by a mobile device leads to a mobile optimized website. Qualifying technologies include open-sourced barcodes, such as a QR Code, a proprietary barcode or tag, such as SnapTags, an image embedded with a digital watermark, and intelligent print image recognition, including an augmented reality.

2. Directional Copy Requirement: The mail piece must contain text near the barcode or image providing instructions for the recipient to scan the barcode or image and information about the landing page. The text must be prominently displayed to ensure a customer sees it. The directional text and the cues from the landing page should clearly inform the recipient that the intent of the barcode is to facilitate a purchase. Examples include but are not limited to: Scan here to shop our mobile website, Scan here to see our products, Scan here to purchase

3. Website Requirements – Mobile Optimization: The landing pages must reside on a website platform that contains or is deeply integrated with a check out option. This will allow the customer to complete the purchase of the product or service referenced in the mail piece through a complete mobile optimized experience. There must be a guest check out option available if the consumer does not have an account.

4. Website Requirements – Purchase of Product: The mobile barcode must lead the recipient to a mobile optimized website where an advertised product/service can be conveniently purchased through a mobile optimized shopping experience on a mobile device.

Purchase Requirements: For purposes of this promotion, the recipient must be able to complete the purchase in one of the following ways:

  • an electronic payment method (such as a credit, debit or prepaid card) made through the internet on the mobile device

  • a person-to-person payment method (ex. PayPal) made through the internet on the mobile device.

Product Requirements: For the purposes of this promotion, a product is defined as a tangible and physical item that needs to be distributed or manufactured and can be shipped via a mailing or shipping product offered by the Postal Service (delivery by the Postal Service is not required). Products that can only be fulfilled via private carrier example: local pizza delivery would not meet the requirements.

Sale of Services and Charitable Donations: In some instances the sale of services and charitable donations may qualify for the promotion discount provided a financial transaction can occur at some point during the scanning of the mail piece or a purchase is able to be completed. Either one of these options must be done to qualify for the promotional discount. Also these mailings will qualify if all other promotion requirements are met and:

  • a tangible item such as a hard copy certificate, thank you note or voucher is mailed to the recipient upon purchase via the US Postal service (does not include invoices, billing statements or receipts), or the mail pieces contain a Business Reply Mail (BRM) or Courtesy Reply Mail (CRM) enclosure.

Examples of Ineligible Mobile Barcode Uses (include but are not limited to)

  • Pay a bill (Bill me Later, etc)

  • Make payment online for prior purchases or recurring services

  • Sign up for email list, text messages or mailing list

  • Sign up for online billing or paperless statement services

  • Download a deal or coupon (and no hard copy certificate or voucher is mailed)

  • Enter a contest or sweepstakes

  • Sign up for a newsletter (electronic or hard copy)

  • Proxy stock vote

  • Take a survey

  • Confirm a reservation (like a doctor or haircut appointment)

  • Any link to a non-mobile optimized website

  • Download and/or receive text information such as directions/contact information

  • Link to sign-in page for online account

  • Link to webpage with information

  • “Like” or “share” on social network site

  • View a video

  • Link to phone number or make a phone call

  • Product for in-store pick-up

  • Credit Card Application

  • Insurance Quotes

Registration Requirements

Participants and/or Mail Service Providers must register on the Business Customer Gateway via the Incentive Program Service. Promotion participants must complete their registration (including agreeing to the promotion terms) at least 2 hours prior to presenting the first qualifying mailing and specify which permits and CRIDs will be participating in the promotion. It is recommended that mailers register several days in advance of the first qualifying mailing.

***As part of the terms of participation, all participants must complete a survey about their participation in the promotion at the end of the promotion period.

A user guide for enrollment is available on our RIBBS pages at: https://ribbs.usps.gov/mailingpromotions/documents/tech_guides/IncentiveProgramsEnrollmentGuide.pdf

How To Effectively Use QR Codes

If you have any questions about this promotion call us in San Diego at 619-448-6111 or email info@eyecomm.org. We are glad to help!

Topics: Direct Mail, Direct Marketing

UPDATED USPS Postage Rates, Effective May 31, 2015

Posted by Summer Gould on Mon, May 04, 2015 @ 12:11 PM

San Diego Direct Mail

The postal service has announced that they plan to raise postage rates on May 31, 2015 as long as the PRC approves the newest proposed rates. It has been a bumpy ride for all of us as we wait through 3 sets of proposed rates. Hopefully this is the final draft of the rates. The original date that rates were to increase was April 26, 2015. That was not able to happen based on the PRC sending the rates back to the post office to change. Direct mail marketing budgets are tight and any increase in postage can require companies to make changes to their plans. We have created a postage rate chart so that you know what the proposed postage rates are for May 31, 2015.

Updated 2015  Postage Rate Chart

If you have any questions call us in San Diego at 619-448-61111 or email info@eyecomm.org. We are glad to help!

Topics: Direct Mail, Direct Marketing

Email Marketing: Subject Lines Make Or Break

Posted by Summer Gould on Mon, Apr 27, 2015 @ 10:26 AM

San Diego Email Marketing

Email marketing requires more fineness now than when it was new and fresh all those years ago. SPAM filtering is a hurdle we all face, but even when you get past that, you need your subject line to get the reader to open your email. Alchemy Worx did a study on the best and worst words to use in the subject line. Let’s take a look at their findings:

Best words to use in a subject line:

  1. Upgrade

  2. Just

  3. Content

  4. Go

  5. Wonderful

Worst words to use in a subject line:

  1. Miss

  2. Deals

  3. Groovy

  4. Conditions

  5. Friday

You may not always be able to capitalize on five best words, but make sure to avoid using the worst ones. Sometimes knowing what not to say is better than knowing what to say. The message you convey with the words you use needs to match with your brand. When you have conflicting messaging you end up with poorly performing marketing. Make sure that the words you choose get your point across and stay true to your branding messages.

Learn 15 Tips for better Email Marketing!

Your content and layout still matter, but you have to get people to open the email first. Your layout should be simple. Your content should be clear and concise. Tell the reader what you want them to do and include your call to action. Use buttons instead of words to hyperlink as they are easy to see and click on. As always, create your emails so that they can easily be read on any device from phone to desktop and everything in between. Email marketing is not the be-all end-all, it is important to use multiple channels to reach prospects/customers. Email, when done correctly can be a great channel.

If you have any questions call us in San Diego at 619-448-6111 or email info@eyecomm.org. We are glad to help!

Topics: Email, Email Marketing

Social Media: When To Use Hash Tags

Posted by Summer Gould on Thu, Apr 23, 2015 @ 09:05 AM

San Diego Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing can be a real challenge. Many of us are on the lookout for tips and tricks that can help us drive engagement and lead to sales.This article on hash tags is a great one that we wanted to share:

Hashing Out the Almighty #Hashtag

Businesses and individuals using hashtags on social media have seen a 50-100% increase in engagement. The almighty hashtag can be a great way to organize content, create discussion and follow events.

Yet many are not exactly sure how to use hashtags, and some don’t even know what they are.

Luckily, our handy infographic below will break down the purpose of hashtags, how to use them and what they can do for you on key social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Click here to read more.

How are you using hash tags? Do you need help with your social media? Give us a call in San Diego at 619-448-6111 or email info@eyecomm.org. We are glad to help!

Learn 5 Tips for better Social Media Marketing!

 

Topics: Social Media, Social Media Marketing

Direct Mail in a Personalized World

Posted by Summer Gould on Mon, Apr 20, 2015 @ 11:23 AM

San Diego Direct Mail

Personalized direct mail is not new. Roughly half the mail I receive is personalized. However, there are different levels of personalization. Just putting my name on there is not really helping your cause. Personalization can be very powerful when used correctly.

7 Tips for better personalized direct mail:

  1. Gender: How can you use gender to speak better to me? As a female, you can target me with products and services that help out women.

  2. Geographic: Where I live matters. How can you speak to that? Are you helping others that live near me? Can you give me a map to your location from my home?

  3. History: If I have purchased from you before, what can you recommend based on that? If my supply is low, suggest I buy more.

  4. Similar interests: You can partner with companies that have compatible or similar products or services and do a list swap. Create offers for their customers based on what they have bought and how yours can help them even more.

  5. Demographic: Use other information that you have gathered on people’s demographics to create offers they are most interested in.

  6. Profile: Look at your list and profile who your best customers are. Gather all the information you know about them and then purchase a list of similar people. Send offers to them based on what your best customers bought.

  7. Enhance your data: There are many append services available to help you gather more information about your customers and prospects. They can take your list and add information to it to help you better target your marketing.

The more you know about me, the better you can target what I want. When I get and offer in the mail for products or services I use or would like to try, I respond to it. Sending me coupons for baby diapers is not going to work. I have a teen not a baby. The more targeted the offer the better your response rate is going to be. It also helps to keep you out of the trash with future offers. If you sent me something useful in the past, I am more likely to pay attention to what you are sending me now.

How To Effectively Use QR Codes

Track your efforts, not just for results but to add more information into your data. Continually building up your data is the best way to keep your offers current. If you have any questions call us in San Diego at 619-448-6111 or email info@eyecomm.org. We are glad to help.

Topics: Direct Mail, Direct Marketing

Social Media Marketing: Who Should Do It

Posted by Summer Gould on Mon, Apr 13, 2015 @ 01:22 PM

San Diego Social Media Marketing

These days many companies restrict social media for their employees at work. They feel that employees should be working not “playing”. Well, what if we can show you that a more open social media policy can benefit your company? Remember we said more open, not a nonexistent policy. Let’s take a look at the benefits and pitfalls of allowing employees to use social media.

Benefits:

  1. Promotion: The more people that can spread your content and promote your ideas, the farther it will go. This creates larger promotions for the company.

  2. Personal: Employees will get to know customers and prospects better and vice versa. This will help create a stronger bond with your company. People do business with people.

  3. Exposure: You will have a wide variety of people who will reach others that your main account may not reach. This can be other social networks or just other groups of people.

Drawbacks:

  1. Employees: Some may not want to promote the company on their personal sites. They may not agree with a specific promotion or are just leery about personal exposure.

  2. Productivity: This can be affected if too much time is spent on social media. There needs to be rules in place to keep this in check.

  3. Morale: Some may not use social media and therefore do not want to participate or they are upset that the company is making them post information.

The benefits far outweigh the drawbacks however; this does not mean that you can just ignore the drawbacks. The drawbacks can be addressed with good planning and policies. If there are specific problems with one or more individuals you can address them directly with each person and tailor your plan to fit them. Before you release the employees on a social media marketing mission, sit down and plan out your strategy. What promotions are you doing, how do you want the messages structured, how often will there be comments, are employees free to make up their own comments or do you have canned comments? Creating a plan will not only give your employees a direction, it will give you a starting and ending point to measure what is working and what needs changing.

Learn 5 Tips for better Social Media Marketing!

When creating your plan allow for some fun as well. Employees can post pictures and talk about fun events that are going on in the office. Remember the more human your company is the better results you will see with social media marketing.

If you have any questions call us in San Diego at 619-448-6111 or email info@eyecomm.org. We are glad to help!

Topics: Social Media, Social Media Marketing

The Best Email Marketing Strategy

Posted by Summer Gould on Mon, Apr 06, 2015 @ 11:10 AM

San Diego Email Marketing

Email Marketing is effective when you have a good plan. Planning your strategy before execution is a must or else you are throwing money away. Granted that email marketing does not cost a lot of money, however, if you are angering customers and prospects you are also losing business. Many marketers do not take the time to really plan. Here are some helpful tips to get you started. There are a total of 3 steps, let’s take a look at each one.

Step 1: This is about your company:

  1. What customers/prospects are you trying to serve? Knowing your target audience is extremely important.

  2. How will you convey value to them? This can be difficult, but very beneficial when you get it right.

  3. What is your differentiation? How do you stand out and provide better for the customer? When you have this well-defined it is easy to state and prove.

  4. What can you do/sell for them? Do not try to be the be-all end-all for everyone. This is your chance to focus.

Step 2: This is about your customers:

  1. Who is your best customer? Do not just focus on profit, but also on how easy they are to work with. Sometimes the ones we think provide the most profit are actually sucking up so much of our time that they are less valuable than the ones that are easier to work with.

  2. What is most important to them? If you don’t know, ask. Do not assume because if you get it wrong you are wasting money.

  3. What can you do to help them with their most important problem? Evaluate what you learned in the previous question and figure out how best to apply that to your knowledge set.

  4. Where can you find prospects most like your best customers? This can be trade groups, associations or events that similar companies gather at.

Now you know about yourself and your customer, you are ready to move on to step 3 where the specific email marketing campaign planning starts. Many companies just begin a step 3 and never consider step 1 and 2. In order to create the best email marketing campaigns you really need to go through step 1 and 2 before moving onto step 3.

Step 3: Email questions:

  1. Who are you sending to? Target your audience in order to drive response.

  2. What is your message? This needs to be clear and concise.

  3. What is your call to action? What do you want them to do? Plan this action step by step all the way through the process. Tell them exactly what you want them to do.

  4. What design will work best for these people and the message/call to action? Remember that you are planning for mobile and PC use, test your designs on all types of devices from tablets to phones as well as desktops and laptops.

Learn 15 Tips for better Email Marketing!

The best email marketing is targeted to the correct people with an offer they cannot refuse and gives you a way to track it. Really take the time to think from the point of view of your customer/prospects. In many cases it helps to have a person outside your organization look at it to provide feedback. Also, do not be afraid to consult with your best customers. The more you learn the better you are able to offer real value. Many times within the organization we make assumptions that our customers/prospects would not, make sure you are not doing that. When email marketing is done correctly you can increase your ROI.

If you need any help call us in San Diego at 619-448-6111 or email info@eyecomm.org. We are glad to help!

Topics: Marketing, Email, Email Marketing

The Best Mobile Marketing Strategy

Posted by Summer Gould on Tue, Mar 31, 2015 @ 11:10 AM

San Diego Mobile Marketing

Mobile Marketing does not have to be a big investment, but in order to be effective you need a good plan. Planning your strategy before execution is a must or else you are throwing money away. Many marketers are not sure where to start with the plan. So we have come up with some helpful tips to get you started. There are a total of 3 steps, let’s take a look at each one.

Step 1: This is about your company:

  1. What customers/prospects are you trying to serve? Knowing your target audience is extremely important.

  2. How will you convey value to them? This can be difficult, but very beneficial when you get it right.

  3. What is your differentiation? How do you stand out and provide better for the customer? When you have this well-defined it is easy to state and prove.

  4. What can you do/sell for them? Do not try to be the be-all end-all for everyone. This is your chance to focus.

Step 2: This is about your customers:

  1. Who is your best customer? Do not just focus on profit, but also on how easy they are to work with. Sometimes the ones we think provide the most profit are actually sucking up so much of our time that they are less valuable than the ones that are easier to work with.

  2. What is most important to them? If you don’t know, ask. Do not assume because if you get it wrong you are wasting money.

  3. What can you do to help them with their most important problem? Evaluate what you learned in the previous question and figure out how best to apply that to your knowledge set.

  4. Where can you find prospects most like your best customers? This can be trade groups, associations or events that similar companies gather at.

Now you know about yourself and your customer, you are ready to move on to step 3 where the mobile marketing campaign planning starts. Many companies just begin a step 3 and never consider step 1 and 2. In order to create the best mobile marketing campaigns you really need to go through step 1 and 2 before moving onto step 3.

Step 3: Mobile questions:

  1. Who are you sending to and how will you send it? MMS/SMS are options, are you ready for that or do you want to start with your website and landing pages?

  2. What is your message? This needs to be clear and concise.

  3. What is your call to action? What do you want them to do? Plan this action step by step all the way through the process.

  4. What design will work best for these people and the message/call to action? Remember that you are planning for mobile use, test your designs on all types of mobile devices from tablets to phones as well as different models.

Learn how Mobile Marketing can make your Direct Mail better!

The best mobile marketing is targeted to the correct people with an offer they cannot refuse and give you a way to track it.. Really take the time to think from the point of view of your customer/prospects. In many cases it helps to have a person outside your organization look at it to provide feedback. Also, do not be afraid to consult with your best customers. The more you learn the better you are able to offer real value. Many times within the organization we make assumptions that our customers/prospects would not, make sure you are not doing that. You do not need to jump right into MMS/SMS, you can start with printed pieces and use QR codes to drive people online. Create responsive design landing pages as well as your website as a starting point, then use the plan above to see where your customers need you to expand.

If you need any help call us in San Diego at 619-448-6111 or email info@eyecomm.org. We are glad to help!

Topics: Marketing, Mobile, Mobile Marketing