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The Eye/Comm Blog

Create The Best Direct Mail Marketing With Planning

Posted by Summer Gould on Tue, Mar 24, 2015 @ 10:52 AM

San Diego Direct Mail

Direct mail marketing is a big investment. Planning before execution is a must. Many customers are not sure where to start with the plan. So we have come up with some helpful tips to get you started on creating great direct mail marketing. There are a total of 3 steps.

Step 1: Start with these 4 questions about you:

  1. What customers/prospects are you trying to serve?

  2. How will you convey value to them?

  3. What is your differentiation? How do you stand out and provide better for the customer?

  4. What can you do/sell for them?

Step 2: Once you have answered these 4 questions you are ready for the next step which is questions about your customers:

  1. Who is your best customer?

  2. What is most important to them?

  3. What can you do to help them with their most important problem?

  4. Where can you find prospects most like your best customers?

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

Step 3: Direct Mail questions:

  1. Who are you sending to?

  2. What is your message?

  3. What is your call to action?

  4. What design will work best for these people and the message/call to action?

The best direct mail is targeted to the correct people with an offer they cannot refuse. As you are answering the above questions, really think about the message and design from the customer/prospects perspective. In many cases it helps to have a person outside your organization look at it to provide feedback. Many times within the organization we make assumptions that our customers/prospects would not. Direct mail should address “what’s in it for them”. Why should they respond to you?

Learn 20 Ways To Reduce  Postage Costs

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, Direct Mail, Direct Marketing

7 Social Media Marketing Tips

Posted by Summer Gould on Tue, Mar 17, 2015 @ 12:59 PM

San Diego Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing has grown by leaps and bounds over the last couple of years, however, just because more companies are doing it that does not mean that they are doing it well. Social media marketing can help to transform your marketing when it is done well and in conjunction with other channels.

Check out these 7 tips to get your social media marketing on the right track:

  1. Focus: Your attention should be focused on your social media culture. In other words do not put too much emphasis on content when in reality you should be cultivating an environment that invites conversation, sharing and listening. Social media can be a marketers dream when done well.

  2. ROI: Social media ROI should not be seen as a short term goal. It is a long term channel that builds upon itself as time goes on. Yes you can look at ROI based on campaigns, but the real measure needs to look farther out. Don’t limit yourself by looking only to each campaign, broaden your lens to encompass a year, then 2 years and so on.

  3. Responsiveness: In many cases the most vocal social media posts are complaints. It is important to address them in an open and honest way so that your company’s reputation can grow correctly. One thing that many companies forget is to make sure to respond to the positive posts as well. When someone has something good to say about you broadcast that as much as possible and make them feel special.

  4. Connected: Social media should connect all your marketing channel efforts. Get discussions going about each campaign you are doing and drive people to share as well as comment. Drive awareness, curiosity and engagement. When you use social media as a connector all your marketing efforts can see benefits.

  5. Problems: Look we all know we are not perfect as human beings and the same goes for companies as they are comprised of humans. Sometimes in marketing we make mistakes. It is important in the age of social media to admit when you are wrong. Gain the respect of your followers but owning up to the problem, fixing it and moving on. No one wants to do business with a lair or a company that lies to cover up their mistakes.

  6. SEO: Social media can play a critical role in SEO. Look at social media as a way to drive traffic based on key words to your content on your website. The more traffic the better your SEO ranking gets. Social media is a great way to build your SEO as long as you are following best practices and providing real relevant content.

  7. Differentiation: Use social media as a way to differentiate your company from your competition. Be a thought leader in discussions and provide real relevant tips and tricks that followers can use to improve themselves or their business. Remain true to the company’s core strength and the brand. Do not confuse people with mixed messages.

Social media can be a real boost to your marketing efforts. Do not be afraid to challenge yourself and get out of your comfort zone. Have some fun in social media and build a strong honest foundation for people to connect with.

How Print Fits Into A Digital World

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

Create Direct Mail To Enhance Your Marketing

Posted by Summer Gould on Tue, Mar 10, 2015 @ 09:59 AM

San Diego Direct Mail

The direct mail marketing channel can help you reach out to your customers and prospects in more targeted ways. By segmenting your messages, creating variable data design and a personalized response experience for recipients, direct mail becomes a powerful way to drive response. Having that tangible piece to set aside and go back to or show friends is one of the best things about direct mail. Here are 5 ways that direct mail can help you:

  1. Connect Online: Your direct mail campaign should link to your online campaigns with QR Codes, NFC (Near Field Communication), AR (Augmented Reality), mobile text codes and PURLs. Integrated campaigns have the best ROI. Make sure your landing pages are formatted with responsive design so that they are functional for both mobile and PC viewing depending on what device they use to connect with you.
  2. Reconnect: Lapsed customers can be a goldmine. Direct mail is a great way to reach out to them. Send out a discount offer for products or services based on their history, include an expiration date to encourage a quick buy. Use as many contact options as you have for easy response such as phone number, web address, QR codes, text code for mobile purchasing and store location information if they wish to do so in person.
  3. Bad Email Address: Contact customers when their email address is no longer working. You know their history, use that to tailor your offer to them. You will be surprised at the response you get.
  4. Follow up: Direct Mail is a good way to continue to build relationships with your customers after an email campaign. You can use follow-up or reminder postcards to keep you at the forefront of their thoughts.
  5. Build Trust: Direct mail is considered to be the most trusted form of communication. Build trust with your customers as you drive them to online offers.

It has been proven that the more ways you touch someone with your marketing offer, the more likely they are to respond to it. Diversifying your options will help you get in front of people where they are and increase your response. Make sure that as you create multiple marketing messages you are designing them with the channel in mind. Phrasing, colors and calls to action should be specific for each channel.

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: Marketing, Direct Mail, Direct Marketing

Tips For Mobile Email Marketing

Posted by Summer Gould on Tue, Feb 24, 2015 @ 09:00 AM

San Diego Email Marketing

Are you designing your email campaigns for mobile? You should be. Email open rates on mobile devices are upwards of 50%. What does this mean for you? If you are not designing your email campaigns for mobile devises, you are missing out on an entire growing group of people. Your focus should be on mobile. The best way to drive more response is by reaching people where they are, which is on their mobile devices.

5 Mobile Email Design Tips:

  1. Create a single column design: This will make scaling to smaller screens easier. You do not want a choppy disorganized look when viewed on mobile devices.

  2. Plain text: Make sure to have a plain text version available. Get your message across even when images are not viewable.

  3. Summary: Include a summary at the top of your email for the recipient to easily see what the email is about. You can even create links there to quickly get them to the content they are most interested in.

  4. Alt text: Write alternate text for all your images so that if they do not display correctly the recipient will still get the information.

  5. Landing pages: Include links to landing pages that are mobile friendly. Use responsive design so that they look good no matter what device is viewing them.

Learn 15 Tips for better Email Marketing!

By making these design changes you will not be damaging the email when viewed on computers, but you will vastly improve the email readability on mobile devices. This should increase your responses. Stay colorful and creative, that still matters with email marketing. Make sure you are tracking your results and test different subject lines. The best way to get an email opened is a compelling subject line. You may be surprised at which subject lines get the most response.

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: Marketing, Email, Email Marketing

Mobile Marketing Best Tactics

Posted by Summer Gould on Tue, Feb 17, 2015 @ 10:00 AM

San Diego Mobile Marketing

Now that people have new appendages called mobile devices, it is easier for marketers to reach people instantly. But, that does not matter if we are not giving people what they need. Mobile marketing can create better relationships with your customers and prospects by providing them with relevant information, savings or other useful things. By doing this, you become more important to them and they will continue to interact with you as well as recommend you to others.

Here are some of the best mobile marketing tactics:

  1. Mobile applications: These allow you to get in front of your customers are prospects as frequently as they use the app. Make sure when you are coming up with your app idea that you are addressing a need in your prospects and customers. How is this app going to help them? In many cases an app is not right for your company. If so, try something else on this list.

  2. Coupons: This is a great way to get coupons to customers quickly. If you have a quick 1 or 2 hour special sale you can get that information delivered instantly. With NFC you can create coupons that will be sent to the phones of anyone interested near your print advertising, such as posters, flyers, postcards and more.

  3. Contests:  Creating contests where people can respond via mobile is a great way to grow your mobile marketing contact list. Another benefit is that in most cases it gives you a boost in the number of responses since it is so easy to respond.

  4. Updates or urgent alerts: Mobile is a great way to provide information to your prospects and customers. Many municipalities have residents sign up for their notification services so that they can quickly provide information to a large group of people. How could you leverage something like this with your customers and prospects?

  5. Donations: Using mobile text donations can really boost your acquisition dollars. Getting someone to donate right when they are feeling very emotional about your organization will increase the donation amount.

How To Effectively Use QR Codes

There are many ways you can reach prospects and customers with mobile marketing. Make sure to lay out a plan before you execute. The first thing you need to consider is what you are trying to accomplish. By taking the time to create a real mobile marketing plan with goals and objectives as well as a way to measure how it is working, you are laying the foundation for success.

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

Topics: Marketing, Mobile, Mobile Marketing

Top 10 Direct Mail Marketing Mistakes

Posted by Summer Gould on Tue, Feb 10, 2015 @ 12:25 PM

San Diego Direct Mail

Direct mail has so many rules and regulations that you are bound to have some mistakes that cost you money. We have put together a list for you of the top 10 mistakes we see on a regular basis that will cost you more money in postage.

  1. Not enough room for the address and barcode: When there is not enough room in the addressing area for the address and the barcode, you will have to pay the non-auto postage rate.

  2. Folding: The post office requires that the final fold on a self-mailer be either to the right of the mail panel or below the mail panel. If your folding is wrong you will have to put them in envelopes or pay the non-machinable postage rate.

  3. Address panel in the wrong spot: Both letter size and flat size mail, have requirements on where the address panel can go. If your address panel is in the wrong spot you will have to put the mailer into an envelope.

  4. Return address too low: When your return address is in the OCR (optical character reader) area your mail will deliver to the return address instead of the addressee. All the money you spent on print and mailing will have been wasted.

  5. Coating on the address block: When you coat the postcard or mailer to give it that glossy finish, make sure to mask out the address block. In many cases the coating causes the ink of the address and barcode to not soak into the paper and not dry. When this happens you will spend more money to have labels affixed instead of inkjet on the mailer.

  6. Different paper stocks: Many times printers run short on a stock in the middle of a print run. They then switch to another similar stock that they have in house. This is a real problem for the post office since they weight verify all mail. Weights are different from stock to stock. When a mailing weighs differently it may be rejected or you may have to pay more postage.

  7. Dark address panel:  When you use a dark color in the address panel, the OCR machines cannot read the address. You will need to use a label or put them in an envelope. Keep in mind that even red is a problem.

  8. Print count matches mail count: When you print the exact number of mailers that you need to mail your mailing will end up short. You will have to go back on press to print more and a short run will cost you. 10% overs is a common standard for machine spoilage. That can be adjusted up or down depending on the total quantity.

  9. Incorrect indicia/permit printed on piece: Make sure that when you a checking your printer proofs you are looking at the indicia as well. The wrong permit number or wording will require a stamp or label to cover the incorrect information.

  10. Nonprofit Authorization:  In order to mail at nonprofit rates, you need the USPS to authorize you. The IRS tax filing is not the same as a USPS authorization. You will pay more in postage when you can’t mail at nonprofit rates.

The 10 items listed above are the most common mistakes we see, that is not to say they are the only ones we see. If you are planning a mailing, send us a PDF to look over and we can help you spot potential problems before you print.

2015 Postage Rate Chart

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: Marketing, Direct Mail, Direct Marketing

Marketing: Developing Brand Recognition on the Web

Posted by Devon O'Donnell on Wed, Feb 04, 2015 @ 12:25 PM

San Diego Marketing

If someone asks you whether you want a Coke or Pepsi, you immediately know you're being asked about certain carbonated beverages. Both these major cola bottlers spend millions of dollars trying to coerce you into having a definite opinion about which one you prefer. With that in mind, you must be asking, how do you accomplish this same brand recognition on the web?  What you’ll need to do is build a site that highlights your organization's uniqueness. Create a design that draws customers …and keeps them there.

Here are 6 tips: 

  • Great design: A professional-looking design is a must. Carefully plan the layout, including graphics, and keep a consistent look across the site. Your site should reflect your traditional corporate image such as logos, colors, and so forth.

  • Accessibility: Create easy access to all areas of your website. The customer should be able to get to what they want in four clicks or less. Use menus, site maps, call to action buttons and shortcuts to help achieve this.

  • Recognizable: Using consistent colors and logos for all advertising will build the brand. Make sure to carry the look across all marketing channels.

  • Incentives for customers to stick around: The main page of your site should highlight special promotions and you should change them frequently.

  • Current information: This is not only a good idea from a viewer’s perspective, but it will also help you rank higher in search engines. Publish blogs that mean something to your viewers, such as how your products and services make their lives easier along with tips and tricks they can use. Case studies and examples of how to use products give existing customers reason to return and potential customer’s reasons to be interested in your site.

  • Up-to-date appearance: Use special graphics for holiday seasons, events, and so forth. This will keep the site's appearance fresh and up-to-date.

How Print Fits Into A Digital World

These are the features of an impressive website that customers believe is successful and worthy of their business. Remember, you can't substitute image for substance. Flashy graphics and a slick appearance may get you started, but it won't keep you going. Delivering quality timely information easily, will make your customers love you and they'll tell their friends about how great you are. Don’t forget to include sharing buttons so that your great information can easily be sent to others.

Topics: Marketing

USPS Plans to Raise Postage Rates April 26, 2015

Posted by Summer Gould on Thu, Jan 29, 2015 @ 04:22 PM

San Diego Direct Mail

UPDATE:USPS is Delaying Postage Rate Increase!

As soon as we have updated rates we will provide a new postage chart.

 

The postal service has announced that they plan to raise postage rates on April 26, 2015 as long as the PRC approves the rates. Last fall the USPS announced that there would be no rate change in January 2015, so most of us thought that we would not see rates change until the summer or fall of 2015 when the post office has to roll back the pricing for the temporary exigent increase. That is now not the case. 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 April 2015.

New Chart Pending USPS Changes.

 

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

Topics: Marketing, Direct Mail, Direct Marketing

3 Important Tips For Email Marketing

Posted by Summer Gould on Wed, Jan 28, 2015 @ 10:00 AM

email-marketing2

Email marketing helps to strengthen your relationships with your customers, build your brand awareness and give you another touch point. Email marketing CAN work for you. Here are a few important tips to make your email marketing successful. As long as you are paying attention to these tips and following your analytics you should have great results.

 

  1. List: Your list is very important. First of all make sure that the people in your list have given you permission to email them and always include a way for them to opt out when you send them email. Do not purchase a list of email addresses. Your response rate will be low and you can be labeled a spammer.

  2. Design: Keep your email design simple. One or two images are ok, but do not use flash. Save the special design elements for the landing pages after they click on the emails. You want to have a clean fresh email that displays well in the top email programs. Be sure to test on each of them to spot potential problems. Remember to design with mobile in mind. The majority of emails these days are read on mobile devices.

  3. Message: Personalize you message as much as you can by including the name and any other information that is important. Send only relevant emails to each recipient. You can segment your messaging so that not everyone gets the same message. The better you can tailor your message to the recipient the better your results are going to be. One thing that is often overlooked in messaging is the subject line. The subject line is the most important part; you have just a few seconds to get someone to open your email.

Email marketing can be very successful when done correctly. In addition to the 3 tips above, make sure to use a sender name that is recognized. If you do so your open rates will improve. It is always a good idea to provide ways for recipients to share your information including social media sharing buttons, not just forwarding the email. Most important is to analyze your results. You can decide what is working and what needs fixing pretty quickly.

Learn 15 Tips for better Email Marketing!

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

Topics: Marketing, Email, Email Marketing

Build Trust In Direct Mail Marketing With The 5 C’s

Posted by Summer Gould on Fri, Jan 23, 2015 @ 09:00 AM

Direct Mail San Diego

The most important thing that your marketing needs to do is to create in order to get a response is trust in your brand as well as your company. If you cannot create trust, you will not get the results you are looking for.  The power of direct mail marketing is that it is viewed by recipients as trustworthy, much more so than email and online. Making sure to include direct mail in your marketing mix will make it easier for your marketing to convey trust.

How can you convey trust in your direct mail? Here are the 5 C’s:

  1. Clear: State your message in a clear and concise way. The more muddled your message the less people will trust it, let alone understand it.
  2. Character: Show what your company’s character is by design as well as messaging. What are your company values? Include the top two so that it is understood what your company stands for. This does not need to be done with words you can convey this with images and color.
  3. Competence: Provide examples or testimonials to show that your company knows what they are doing and can help your prospects/customers.
  4. Commitment: You can do this by stating how long you have been in business or how you have solved complicated problems for your customers. You can also use images and color to create this as well as character.
  5. Consistent: Make sure that you are providing information in a way that is not only consistent with your brand but also with your messaging.

Remember that the structure of your messaging is going to be all about the recipient. What their pain points are and ways that they can be helped by you. There should be no “I, me, we” wording. It should all be “you” statements. Creating a design and messaging that reflect the 5 elements above and are “you” statements can be difficult, but you will get a better response when you are able to do that. Make sure to involve people who are outside of your organization to review your design and wording. They can provide real feedback without the influence of company norms or culture. One final note, remember to have your design reviewed for postal regulations before you print.

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: Marketing, Direct Mail, Direct Marketing