Digital Marketing Live – The Cost of Free Design

the cost of free design

As a part of our Digital Marketing Tuesday series, Pete and David recently went live and discussed The Cost of Free Design. If you couldn’t tune in live on Tuesday don’t worry, here’s a rundown of everything you missed.


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“If it’s free design it means you’ll probably like it because it’s just what you thought you wanted, but it might not be what’s needed. It’s worth a little investment sometimes figuring out that message first and then designing effectively across any touchpoint.”

 

(DAVID) Good afternoon everybody, David from The Marketing People here, and you probably already know Pete our Digital Marketing Manager too. We’re not going to take too much of your time because it’s the run-up to Christmas and everyone’s pretty busy, so we’re just jumping on the live stream quickly to discuss the cost of free design.

 

(PETE) It’s a topic that can take us a day and a half full of presentations to discuss, but really, we wanted to give people food for thought, that’s why I’ve invited you [David] on today to give a deeper depth of the conversation. We talk to businesses all day every day and they’re all saying, “can you do us a free design?”. Now in my past life, I ran a leaflet distribution company, and we used to get this all the time. I wanted to invite you on today David to really talk about what is the true cost of free design?

 

(DAVID) Before we start, I must mention the shirt I’m wearing. Apparently, we got a lot of feedback and comments about the shirts I wear, and after you all choosing which one I should wear for the next live video, the pug one won! This is a pretty good choice, and it’s a pretty good design I hasten to add. Thank you to those that got in touch and requested and voted for the different shirts, this is the shirt that won.

But onto free design, it’s not just concerning print. Most people think free design comes with just print but over the years and more prominently now, it is actually across all touchpoints. The cost of free design? Monetary… zero. On outlay… zero. Let’s say you’re having leaflets produced, which can get distributed, handed out, put in invoice letters, or whatever you’re going to do. For the message that’s going to go on there, you’ll sit down taking your time to figure out what it is you need to say and focus on with this leaflet. You’ll think about all the important points and advertise what you’re really good at, and take all this information to the printers. The print designers will collate all your content and logo, and stick it all on the leaflet, as best they can.pete and david discussing the true cost of free design

Once printed, you’ll look at it and think “yes, that’s exactly what I asked for and they’ve put all the things that I wanted on there.” You may end up not getting the results you wanted from the leaflet and the time you spent giving that information to the printer and the ‘free time’ they took to put it on that paper actually could do more harm than good. The message might not be the right message, sometimes if you’re not careful you turn people off that were already working with you, because they’ll realise what you’re saying on this leaflet isn’t really what they previously thought of your business.

We’ve seen this happen before, and recently we have just worked with a UK national Association as they sent an advertisement brief to a large publication company and it came back, and it was nothing like the message or the structure they wanted to put across. They then asked us to design the advertisement and send it off to the publication using their specifications.

As Pete said, across anything, whether it’s a digital ad, a printed leaflet, an advert in a publication, or an advert online, even down to your website. The cost of free design is actually more cost-effective if you have it designed with the correct messaging.

I’m not going to sell our services, that’s not what these things are about, it’s to bring to you and highlight that thought process. People have had free design done, and then realised what you can have designed for you at a small cost have realised it’s worthwhile the small investment to get the right message, to get the right visual aspect across. Sometimes less is more as it is on digital ads, isn’t that right Pete? If you try and cram too much in what happens?

 

(PETE) Absolutely, you can say too much, and this is a journey. The leaflet that your potential or current customers have seen- that’s one touchpoint, that’s one of many that you can have out there and if you’re going down the free route all the time and being persuaded by free design it can be damaging for your brand messaging.

I’ve got case studies from years ago, a roofing company that we ran the leaflet drop for down in Solihull. Their leaflet was just put together on the back of a coaster by a big national company and it ended up costing them a couple of thousand pounds because they lost customers.

 

(DAVID) Also, you can give a mixed message, sometimes you’ll find that on some of these elements you’re trying to ask too many things in one go. Be specific when you’re doing digital ads, you need to have one specific thing that you’re targeting, not an overall because people want to know what it is that you’re offering, and they can get in touch. Then they get back to your website or give you a call depending on what the call to action is, then you can cross-sell and upsell. Targeting the right message for the right type of person, knowing who your market is, knowing what you want them to do, but of course, you’re going to make sure you get that message right and that takes some clever design. It’s got to be engaging and appealing, it’s got to attract them and engage them to do what you want and make them think it was their idea.

We’ve seen and spoken about examples where free design can give the wrong impression if the design company doesn’t understand your particular business.

 

(PETE) I was going to ask, David, you could go to a web design company, printing company, or signage company and they will happily design something for you, but from our perspective, how would we approach something like that?

 

the marketing people discuss the true cos of free design(DAVID) Well, we approach our work from a marketing perspective, and the design has to achieve something rather than simply selling a client 5,000 leaflets. Print might not be the best method for everyone, however print does work and we use print, we try and be as eco-friendly as possible but print does work it stands out at the moment. We design for the job the advertisement has got to achieve, not for just what the MD wants (no offence MDs). You know what you’re like MD’s you’ll want to get as much across as possible and you’re really proud of your business, and that’s great! But there’s a time and place for those messages, there can be too many elements in one part, and customers might not be sure what to look at. It can be the same for leaflets, too much going on. Stripping it back, looking at what the target audience needs to know to do that next step, then you can convert them and sell them at the next step.

So, horses for courses whatever it is Pete, if it’s free design it means you’ll probably like it because it’s just what you thought you wanted but it might not be what’s needed. It’s just worth a little investment sometimes figuring out that message first and then designing effectively across any touchpoint.

 

(PETE) I would like to add if you get something for free there’s quite possibly a copyright issue there. The person who designed it will own the copyright, they’ll never usually give you that copyright to re-reproduce artwork or whatever you want to do with those elements. They’ll often retain or watermark the design, so just be careful of this regarding free design.

 

(DAVID) On that point, we have done web projects in the past and have had to ask clients “where are your images from?” and they’ve often responded, “it was in the public space, it’s fine, it’s from Google”. You should be very careful doing this, just because images are o Google does not mean they’re free to use, you can get a lot of trouble using images that aren’t owned by you. There are better ways of sourcing your own images.

Overall, if you’re looking at designing something you don’t have to come to us, it’s fine. Just sit down and think about the free design, is that person going to help you with the marketing messages? Is that person going to be able to design effectively for what it is you’re trying to achieve, or are you just getting someone to bash it together? That may sound harsh, but graphic design is three, four years at university- the same as marketing it’s a university degree. Free design designers may not have the knowledge and experience to create effective messaging. This is an investment in a message to get you more business and growth, which is worth a bit of time and investment, isn’t it?

On that note, thank you very much for inviting me on today, Pete.

 

(PETE) If you’ve got any comments about this topic please leave them below. Remember it can cost you a pretty penny or two in the long term and short term as well because this is free design and you may not have full control over the messaging portrayed.

We approach design from a marketing perspective and understanding exactly what marketing is, and that’s a whole other conversation!

 

(DAVID) We know cheapest isn’t always best and ask yourself, “is it really good value by having something designed for free?”

 

(PETE) Well, I can’t sign off any better than that guys, so if we don’t speak to you before next week, Merry Christmas, have a great one, have a safe one, take care.

the marketing people advise the true cost of free designing

Roller Banners – D&A Education

d&a roller banner design

D & A Education wanted to take advantage of our full expertise. They asked The Marketing People to design and produce two roller banners for them, so they could showcase their business in a professional manner at exhibitions and at their training events.

As a full in-house marketing agency, we can manage the whole strategy, design, print and fulfilment process of any of our projects, taking the hassle out of marketing for all our clients.

The benefits of roller banners

Do you have a roller banner for your business? If you haven’t, why not?

Pop-up banners are effective in promoting your brand, whatever the occasion. They are large enough to be noticeable from quite a distance and a high resolution, quality design attracts attention. Their size enables you to deliver most, if not all, your key messages in one place, providing enough information that customers need to make a decision about your product or service. Assembly is quick and simple, plus it doesn’t require much storage space, making it easy to transport to any event.

How to create an effective roller banner

 Now you realise the benefits of having a roller banner or two and have decided to invest, you need to ensure that the copy and design of the banner work hand-in-hand to bring benefit to your business.

Plenty of companies can offer you cheap graphic design, but pretty pictures alone won’t generate leads and sales. You want a return on your investment, so you need to consider your brand position before anything else and decide what message it is that you need to get across, and to what type of people.

And so the project begins…

Concept

Firstly, we scoped and developed D & A Education’s brand position. Thinking about who, why and when people would use D & A, we pinpointed their unique selling proposition: they are experienced at managerial level in related industries, compliant with UK legislation and CQC standards, plus they deliver hands-on, engaging and memorable training.

Messaging

Next up, we created suitable messaging in line with the brand ID, considering how their unique selling proposition would benefit potential customers i.e. empowering caring and responsible employers, delivering bespoke training programmes, satisfaction to have staff with great knowledge and skills to help their company and clients, and working together with management to be cost-effective.

Copy

Once we knew what was required to present D & A Education effectively, we could begin the creative process to deliver against the objectives.

We wrote relevant copy to highlight the expertise and experience that they have to offer, and targeted the content towards the people who need to engage with their services. We split the information into two to enhance readability: what D & A do, and why you should choose D & A.

Design         

Now it was time to create the visuals.

We have worked with D & A Education from the very beginning, so we had previously developed their brand ID including logo and strapline. We wanted the roller banners to complement the existing stationery and website that we had already designed and produced, so their brand is consistent across all collateral.

The artwork was professional in layout and design to present the business successfully, and clear, concise and eye-catching to demand attention at exhibitions or training events.

Production

Our thorough knowledge of the printing process, stock and material means that we can save our clients time, money and the hassle of having to manage it themselves.

The roller banners were produced in vinyl for its tough and durable quality. This material also makes it easy to pop them up and down, meaning they require very little space to store.

Delivery

After a fast print turnaround, we delivered the roller banners to D & A Education and they were extremely happy with the finished products. They now proudly display them at all exhibitions and when delivering training sessions, further instilling their professionalism and expertise to attendees.

Get your roller banner now

Is your stationery promoting you effectively?

Whether you want to gain more customers, increase revenue, generate more leads and sales, or increase brand awareness to stand out in your sector, your stationery can help with this, as long as it is executed correctly.

To ensure your pop-up banner is a success, pop in to see us for an informal chat and a cup of tea. Call us on 01543 495752 to arrange a day that is convenient for you.

Our Essential Marketing Package

Essential Marketing Package from The Marketing People

Essential Marketing PackageCost Effective Marketing 

Our cost effective essential marketing package is here & you won’t believe how much is in it!

We provide real, tangible, effective marketing forethought to everything we do, even for this, our more economical marketing package in ‘the essentials range’.

Our essentials range is a selection of marketing services including loads of great stuff for business growth. Our years of knowledge and experience are condensed into effective but affordable add on product packages.

This marketing package is suitable for new start-up businesses or those who need to take an established business to the next level of professional credibility.

One of these projects, ‘Vertu Chauffeurs’, was a superb essential marketing package to work on. It included everything from our entry level service. Just have a quick look below at the full list of what we do!

Of course, you can add things to this if you want to, but just see what you can achieve from this basic proposition. I think you will agree, the results can be fabulous.

The Essential Marketing Package – Amazing Marketing, Amazing Price!!!

  • consultation
  • market positioning
  • quick competition analysis
  • quick target audience profiling
  • logo development, professional graphic design
  • 500 business cards professionally designed and printed for you
  • 500 business flyers professionally designed and printed for you
  • advice on written copy and images (add ons available)
  • digital stationary
  • 4-page website
  • fully responsive website to market your business on all screen sizes from desktops to tablet, to mobile phones, your customers can understand your proposition quickly and easily, wherever they are
  • GDPR data compliance and cookie law pages on top of this
  • a BLOG also attached over and above your website, for you to create endless pages of content, SEO development, news, stories, products, pictures, videos and much, much more
  • full administrational access to your website and blog, so you don’t need to keep calling us if you need to change small aspects of your site.
  • support in your hosting for as long as you stay with us
  • SSL certified, improves SEO, shows the world your website is secure, google friendly
  • Professional business email, to match your website URL
  • 12 months hosting free then £9.99 per month thereafter
  • Full site ownership once completed, so you don’t pay a retainer and you are not in a contract, you can move the hosting if you need to!

All the essential marketing package above for only £1,180+vat and realistically if all the written copy and images are ready to go, we can have this done for you easily within 3 working days! We recommend you take your time writing your copy and finding the right images, but we can get you up and running with your new look and effectively marketed business quickly.

And we can do much, much more – Essential Plus

Essentials Plus Can include all or any of the options below and more, just add them on.

  • options for us to write your copy
  • take your photos
  • be on hand to provide more services
  • social media graphics
  • account set up & automation
  • social media training
  • social media campaigns
  • marketing workshops for you business colleagues or group
  • blog training/access, administration, even tagging and SEO optimisation of your blogs
  • IFTT set up/exchange email accounts
  • pop up banners
  • exhibition stands
  • exhibition marketing
  • catalogues/brochures/introducers
  • larger websites
  • e-commerce sites
  • full business rebrands
  • business repositioning exercises
  • ad campaigns, online and offline
  • bespoke marketing consultation for theory direction and business strategy
  • quick and easy business card and flyer top-up packages
  • retainer marketing packages available, bespoke to objectives, campaign and strategy for tactical output
  • in fact, if you can think of it and you allow us to validate this against your business objectives, we can create just about anything!

Just ask us how we can do this for you now on 01283 249 579 or for more details email contact@themarketingpeople.com

Small Business Marketing Package – Vertu Chauffeurs

Small Business Package - Vertu Chauffers website design from The Marketing People

Small Business Marketing PackageSmall Business Marketing Package

A great small business marketing package is all about looking amazing isn’t it? All creative and colourful right? That’s only a small proportion of what real marketing is about. Let me show you how we approached the marketing for this superb private chauffeur service.

Kam @ Vertu Chauffeurs came to us without having the best experience so far from other marketing outlets. Like many others, he came with the notion that SEO would solve everything.

The business had been ‘sold’ some so called ‘SEO keyword’ services from a well-known business directory. Sadly, this was doing nothing for Vertu. Indeed, if it had done anything for him, the marketing in his old website was quite limited, not nearly effective enough to convert any potential website visitors into a lead. Any real SEO development could have been wasted.

We sat down and had a chat about his target audience, his business, his competition and his value proposition, plus effective key messaging for his business. Together, we talked about positioning this properly to attract the right kind of customers, looking for his exact type of service. We wanted to make use of the opportunities he already has to market his business. These opportunities included word of mouth, face to face networking and targeted literature drops.

‘Private, Punctual & Professional – For Business, Transfers & Events’

We wanted to discover the brief with Kam, not just take one from him. We needed to challenge his approach. By adding our experience and industry knowledge, it allows us to take in the information, validate it then translate this to a marketing brief.

This brief would dictate the look, feel, messaging, control and consistency for all of Vertu’s business marketing going forward. With his budget in mind we were able to determine how much time we could spend on each element, we could literally compress our expertise for this small business marketing package. We decided to trigger our essentials marketing package.

Kam uses word of mouth, face to face business networking, direct leaflet drops and traditional business correspondence, so we could see our essentials marketing package would be perfect. It provided, business cards, flyers and a website his potential customers could refer to after receiving his printed media. Find out more about this package here. ESSENTIALSMarketing Collateral

He didn’t need any SEO yet because this could potentially strip his budget and we were in agreement he needed a solid base to work from first. He could develop SEO later, once the business had grown some more. We would ensure however, the new site was optimized for future development. http://vertuchauffeurs.com/

So how would he use the package

Anyone from Vertu can now network with other businesses and hand them a business card or a brochure to introduce the service. Potential clients can also visit his website, which portrays the business’ brand values, service and solutions. Above all these potential clients can see consistent messaging, through these communication touch-points. It now looks professional, credible and his service is provided precisely for them, his very own chosen target audience. It is now an effective marketing base to work from.

Vertu Chauffeurs Website

The dots are now all joined up, they lead directly to his potential customers. These potential customers now have the perfect reason to lead themselves directly back to the Vertu Chauffeurs service.

All of these marketing outputs were designed to fit his business objectives. Designed in a manner that he is able to control, on his budget, efficiently, consistently and effectively.

This is real, effective, joined up marketing, oh yes and it looks great too!

If you are interested in finding out how we can transform your business with our small business marketing package, call our studio now on 01283 249 579 or email contact@themarketingpeople.com now for a chat about your business objectives.

Burntwood Rugby Club Summer Ball 2018 – We are ready to Go!

Burntwood RUFC Summer Ball 2018

Burntwood rugby club summer ball 2018

Burntwood Rugby Club Summer Ball 2018

Tomorrow, 7th July 2018 is the Burntwood Rugby Club Summer Ball, we cant wait for kick off @ 7PM and were not talking about the football World Cup Finals!!

Of course the evening follows England’s football match against Sweden, so we cannot go on without wishing our boys the best of luck in Russia although its the wrong shaped ball… at least that’s what they keep telling us!

So whats happening?

  • black tie event
  • drinks reception
  • three course dinner from the clubs new catering partner Perry’s Fine Foods
  • live music from ‘Groove 45’ & DJ ‘Rainbow Sounds’
  • a superb gin bar!
  • selected wines, beers, lagers, ciders, spirits & soft drinks available with waitress service prior to and during dinner.
  • in addition to the drinks there is a fantastic wine list + gin and mixer menu
  • a raffle with some great prizes

Its going to be amazing!

follow the link below for more information on Burntwood RUFC teams plus future fixtures and events.

http://www.burntwoodrugbyclub.co.uk/ 

The Marketing People are honoured to be a Burntwood Rugby Club kit sponsor, so we have duly reserved a table at Burntwood’s premier black tie event.

Mustn’t forget however, we also consulted on, designed and printed the following items which you can also see in the picture! Looks like the ‘Gin Bar’ is going to be prominent!

  • the tickets!
  • wine and food menu
  • gin and mixer menu
  • the event poster
  • the gin bar signage
  • last but not least, the giant welcome sign and table plan!

Cant wait to see everyone there.

Need help with items & promotional marketing for your event? Contact The Marketing People.

01543 495752 – contact@themarketingpeople.com and ask for David, Amanda, Laurie, Ash, Richard, Chopsy, Sammy or George.

6 traditional marketing methods you should still be considering.

6 traditional marketing methods you should still be considering.

6 traditional marketing methods you should still be considering.

In an age of digital marketing, it can be really hard to see the purpose of print, or more traditional marketing methods. And yes, we will agree that you certainly should be looking to push your efforts on your website, social media and through online advertising. However, this isn’t to say that you should drop traditional methods altogether, and you’ll probably get a better result by combining the two …

We’re going to look through 6 ways you can use traditional and printed marketing methods to improve your next campaign, and why you shouldn’t give up on print just yet.

 

Business Cards

Business cards are a much overlooked source of marketing. Yes, everyone has them as priority, and goes and gets them printed as soon as possible. However most of the time they are not made to their true potential.

As you can see in this infographic, the top mistake made on business cards are not having a creative or clean design. Leaving your contact information unclear. Using poor quality printing or paper, and using an oversized card.

The lure to get business cards printed quickly and cost effectively can mean rushing to a printers with no design. Or sending off a good design to be printed for free on thin card, which may actually leave you worse off than before. The rush can also mean important information is left off your card, leaving them worthless. Check our blog on what information needs to be on your business card. To make sure you have included all the relevant info.

Taking the time to look at the design, double checking the information and having your cards printed on quality stock will leave your prospective clients with a far better impression of your company. Rather than handing over something that looks like it has been printed off at home.

 

Direct Mail Campaign

We’ve blogged previously about the case for direct mail, and reasons you should be sending letter campaigns. So it should be no surprise that direct mail is on the list.

Direct Mail is a great way to reach customers a little more personally in a digital age. With spam more likely to reach your customers through emails than on their doormat now, the letter has become a more personal touch as it once was.

As this blog points out, emails are very easily ignored and binned. Whereas most people will actually open envelopes, with 70% – 80% of consumers opening most of their mail. Compare that to an average open rate of around 30% for email campaigns.

People are also far more likely to keep a letter too. Whether that’s with intention to buy or contact you immediately. Or whether it’s because it’s sat on the pile of papers and letters to be sorted, shredded, or burned on the log fire. The fact is that it is still there, in front of your potential customer for a significantly longer period than an email.

 

Leaflets

As with Direct Mail, we have blogged about this previously on how you can use leaflets effectively. Leaflets are a really cost effective way of getting your brand out there, and for getting “quick win” business back.

And as with direct mail, leaflets can actually be well received by recipients. With nearly 50% of households storing leaflets, and 93% of people enjoying that they get door drop product samples or vouchers and offers. Perhaps the leaflet isn’t as done as you thought.

 

Exhibition stand set up

At The Marketing People, we do love exhibitions. As though they are a lot of work, they are such a bundle of energy and adrenaline all condensed into a day or two.

Exhibitions set ups can seem a huge expense with no guaranteed results. But the truth is once you have your set up, you have a great toolkit. One that you can use again and again when it comes to your marketing. Not to mention the huge benefits you gain from the exhibition itself by having the right kit.

With over 13 million people attending exhibitions a year, and spending around £2.6 billion on the goods or services demonstrated. It just seems good to make the most of that opportunity. That means having a creatively designed stand that sends the right messages.

A good, well designed stand can last for a few exhibitions. And if you include pop up banners as part of that set up, you can use them multiple times for other events. Such as networking meetings, or even in the foyer of your offices.

 

Internal and external signage

We’ve all tried to find a business before, but had real trouble because there hasn’t been adequate signage. Which though a bit annoying, isn’t the end of the world. As you no doubt give them a call, or persist until you find them. But what about attracting new customers? If your business can’t be found by those who know about you and want to buy from or work with you, then what hope do new customers have?

In this useful infographic, it states that research indicates that 85% of your customers live or work with a 5 mile radius of your business. Meaning they could potentially see your sign up 60 times a month. But does it work? Apparently signs can attract up to half of a start ups new customers. And 35% of passers-by wouldn’t even know there was a business there without a sign.

 

Vehicle livery

A lot of marketing these days is making sure you advertise to the right people at the right time to ensure more sales. Or better qualified leads at the very least. But there will always be people who you could advertise to, but can’t reach. Those who don’t use social media for example, but that is where a combined approach comes in, and vehicle livery is a prime example of this.

As can be seen in this blog, the average vehicle that is driven 15,000 miles a year will pass in front of 9 million vehicles. Which means your vehicle graphics reach more potential customers at a lower cost than all other forms of outdoor advertising.

So that’s 9 million extra people seeing your business. Even more if you account for more than one person in each car who may require your services.

Not to mention it also builds up your credibility as a business if you are seen in a branded vehicle. Not only have you built up your brand recognition so people are more likely to feel familiar with your services when they see you. But it builds trust that you are who you say who you are. You will fulfil the promises you make, as you are bringing your brand name with you.

 

Summary

As with most things, a balance is certainly needed. You can’t dump 5000 leaflets in an area. Or put up a 10 foot sign outside your business, and expect business to pour in and keep pouring in. You need to sure a little of each of these methods in conjunction with each other. As well as with digital marketing methods. To maintain a consistent campaign and the best chance of bringing customers in repeatedly.

 

If you’re struggled to lay out a combined marketing strategy, why not give us a call and see if we can help? With a huge amount of experience, and a friendly team, a little trip to our offices in Burntwood may be the best decision you make when it comes to your marketing. Or if you want to read more about print, why not check out our other blogs?

Making Snail Mail campaigns effective for your business.

Making Snail Mail campaigns effective

Making Snail Mail campaigns effective

As you will have seen in our last blog, we are looking at print, and more traditional marketing methods this month. Today we’ll be focusing on direct mail campaigns or “snail mail” as it’s sometimes known.

At a time when it is exceptionally easy to click send on an email, a direct mail campaign can seem a huge task to take on, and probably not worth the effort. Put when done properly, this just easy the case.

So why would you send a direct mail campaign? In one of our previous blogs we looked at 4 reasons to send letter campaigns. Which included saying thank you, driving home your pain point, reaching generations who are happy to receive mail, and getting people back to your website.

You could also add to that list that you can reach decision makers who have spam filters built like a prison. You can reach new customers (39% of customers try a business for the first time because of direct mail advertising) and it can be a lot easier to track than you think.

Overall a direct mailing campaign that is supported by your digital efforts on your website, and perhaps an accompanying email campaign can reach those customers you haven’t been able to reach before. But this has to be carefully planned so as to not waste money, lose customers and lose hope in your marketing.

 

Before Send

Before you lick any stamps or shuffle any prints of letters, you need to organise a number of things. To make sure that when your letter hits the door mat or letter box (or dog’s mouth) it has the best possible chance of being opened, read and taken in.

 

Objective

Why are you sending this campaign? Nail down your objective, and try and be as specific as possible so you can track your results easier. Perhaps it’s to gain 10 new customers. Perhaps it’s to attract 20% of your lapsed customers back. To sell a certain amount of stock. To make a certain amount of appointments. To get x amount of hits to your website etc. No matter what you are looking to achieve, just make sure you know what the end goal is. This will keep you focused through your copy writing and your tracking.

 

Mailing list

I cannot stress enough how important your mailing list is. A send to as many people as you possibly can just to get word out is definitely not a path you can take these days. Data needs to be up to date, and segmented where possible. Though you might dig up the last data list you had a few years ago. Take the time to go through this, as data lists deteriorate really quickly. Look at segmenting for age groups, location, customers and non-customers, or even by the services or products you provide. The more precise you are in your segmentation, the more likely you are to have people respond.

 

Copy and Call To Action

Once you know who you are writing to and what about, you can start to think of copy. And what’s actually going to compel people to carry out the action you hope they will. Copy writing is a hard business, so if you’re not sure your copy will cut it, hire a professional for this bit. A good point to start is to look through your own mail that you have kept, and why. Always keep in mind cliché spam lines and avoid them at all costs. There is a reason emails with lots of exclamation marks, all caps and ridiculous claims are automatically assigned to the spam folder.

People don’t like to be hoodwinked. They like to make an informed decision. So make sure your letter not only states your product or service, but is educational about why that person may need it. And always end with a clear and concise call to action. What do you want people to do when they receive this mail? How easy is it for them to carry out that action? And what will happen when they perform this action.

Example: Use this coupon on your next shop to receive 10% off.

Always remember that the reward must outweigh the action. So presenting a coupon when your shopping to receive a small discount is not much effort. But having to send off a questionnaire, or having to attend the shop at odd times may require a higher discount rate to make it worth the person’s time.

 

Combining the digital side

As we said, the best marketing plans have a combined approach, using both traditional and digital methods. As if you are sending out mail, it is almost instinct now for people receiving your letter to look you up online. Which is why you need to assess your online presence before you send anything out. Making sure your website is up to date with your services, products and offers. Not to mention any testimonials of your service and related blogs to the mail campaign is a must. To ensure no matter which route the customer takes to converting with you, they have the easiest journey possible.

 

Tracking Plan

Though you won’t be tracking until after the send, you need to make sure you have some things in place ready. If you have coupons or discounts to be redeemed, do you have the capability on your tills or on your website? Do you have google analytics? Or any form of website tracking on your website or landing page? Do you have a CRM system in place to take note of any call backs or responses? Having these things in place before the send not only guarantees all of the data is captured, it also make analysing all this data a lot easier.

 

After Send

Keeping on top of tracking

If you have set everything up correctly before the send, it should be a really easy process to track the return of your campaign. To spot any trends, especially online, and be able to make the most of the opportunity you have. Seeing what worked well is great data for the next campaign you run. Even if things don’t go as you planned, you know what to avoid in the future.

 

Follow ups

If you are intending to have follow up calls, set a time limit. It’s not a huge surprise that the longer you leave a lead, the colder it gets. But leave it too long and it could cause more harm than good. Calling weeks after your letter was sent, when the recipient cannot remember the letter and has no idea who you are, will most likely leave you being listed as a spam number. If you don’t get chance to follow up within your estimated time limit, you may be better remarketing to those individuals, rather than following up with a call.

 

Hopefully you’re on your way now to creating an effective snail mail campaigns for your business, just remember:

  • Know why you are sending a letter
  • Send to clean, up to date, data that has been segmented to match your objective
  • Avoid cheesy spam like copy
  • Have a clear call to action that’s easy to follow through on
  • Spend time preparing your online presence
  • Set up a tracking plan
  • Use that tracking plan
  • Follow up in a timely fashion

If you need any help with your direct marketing campaign, we offer consultancy, copywriting, design, print, fulfilment and data tracking in house at our offices in Burntwood, Staffordshire. Call us today on 01543 495752 to see how we may be able to work together. Or you can read more about print marketing in our blogs. 

5 top tips for making the most of your print marketing materials

5 top tips for making the most of your print marketing materials

5 top tips for making the most of your print marketing materials

It can be hard to believe in printed marketing materials. In an age where our phone pings every few seconds with a new email, or notification of the latest deals from our favourite brands. But having a combined marketing strategy that looks at both digital marketing and printed materials is the best way to reach as many of your customers as possible. Which is why we’re focusing this month on print. Traditional marketing methods, ‘offline marketing’, and how you can be making the most of your print marketing materials.

In this blog we’ll be looking at tops tips of making the most of your printed marketing materials. As it can be easy to overlook the differences of advertising to someone through digital methods than it is to someone through a brochure or letter.

 

Professional design

Though it may seem a sales pitch coming from a marketing company. Approaching a professional designer is possibly one of the best choices you can make when it comes to printed materials.

As we have spoken about in previous blogs, your brand’s credibility is made up in several ways. With one of them being what you give or send out to the general public. If it looks professional and polished, it is much more likely to attract customer’s attention for the right reasons. Rather than something that looks like you haven’t put in much effort.

Not to mention designer’s do this for a living, they’re good at it! Just as with your own services, that you know going for a professional is more cost effective in the long run. Than trying to attempt it in your own, and the same applies to the creative process. Invest in a good designer who understands what you are trying to achieve for your company. This will serve you a lot better in the long run, than rush designing some leaflets yourself.

 

Understanding print jargon

As with anything, it can be hard to know if you’re getting what you are asking for. Knowing if it is the best possible product if you don’t know the jargon. Now, any reputable designer will talk you through any terms you don’t understand, but that’s only if you ask.

It can be very easy to nod along to a designer who is telling you a certain stock is better. Or you should definitely choose a silk varnish because you don’t want to look silly for not knowing what it is.

If you don’t understand what your designer or printer is talking about, always ask. As it’s your finished product they are working on! However if you would like to build your own knowledge, there are plenty of jargon busters such as this one. Which will give you an idea of all the basic terms. So you can have some idea of what you are working with, and if that choice is what you want.

 

Your audience

This may seem an obvious point, but one that can be forgotten when it comes to offline marketing. Knowing your customer personas means you will be able to better advertise to them.

This can come down to simple observations. Like knowing that your main audience are of an older age group, and would respond really well to a personalised letter. Or that you do a lot of exhibitions where everyone is after a free pen.

Or it could be more focused on your product and how it may benefit a certain group of people. We mentioned in one of our 12 days of Christmas blogs, about ADT’s box campaign. Where they looked particularly at apartment blocks and buildings. With most people considering apartment blocks to be reasonably safe. With a number of locked doors to get through to eventually get to your apartment. They may not have been ADT’s normal customer base. However, using a clever spring-loaded box, they were able to approach a whole new demographic of people.

ADT used their spring loaded boxes (which could be folded flat) and pushed them under the apartment doors. Once pushed through the door, the box sprung to shape. With the message “breaking into your apartment is easier than you think” along with the company branding printed on the box. Giving the impression someone had been in the apartment to pop down the parcel, and no doubt scaring people into thinking about their security systems.

Printed materials can focus on customers ‘pain’ points just as much as digital marketing. You just need to have enough knowledge as to what your customers react to.

 

Time dependent offers

Unlike digital marketing, where you can set up email automation, or notification & reminders, or even place a pop up for when people are about to leave the page, you really need to get people to react quickly to your printed material.

Though your materials may stay pinned to their notice board, or on the paper pile, and may possibly be picked up at a later date. To be able to track your efforts effectively with printed materials means getting a quick turnaround.

This can be done through time dependent offers. So your potential customers have to react within a certain time period to gain the discount or offer. By the amount of people you have taking advantage of the offer within this time limit makes it a lot easier to assess how well people have reacted to an offer, and if you should have similar offers in the future.

 

Combining your efforts

As we said in our introduction, it is no longer a case of picking printed materials or just using digital methods to market your business any more. You have to allow fluid motions between the both. Which means making it easy from your printed campaigns to reach you online, and letting people know online they can gain printed materials if they wish.

If you are advertising a certain campaign through letters or leaflets, sending people back to a landing page not only allows you to feed those people through the sales funnel for that particular product or service, but also allows you to track your efforts, as you can see who has taken action from your material.

 

If you’re looking for help with your printed materials, or want to begin a combined marketing campaign but would like it all managed in one place, then why not give us a call? Based in Burntwood, Staffordshire, we can take care of all of your marketing needs in-house, meaning less running around for you. Contact us today for a friendly chat on how we may be able to work together. Or if you wish to read more about Print then why not check out our other blogs. 

What information needs to be on a business card?

What information needs to be on a business card

What information needs to be on a business card

Your business card may be the first impression someone gets of your business, so it’s important to make sure your business card contains the right information.

It’s amazing how many people have business cards that don’t do them, or their business, justice. You go to an event or a networking meeting, and the amount of people who have ‘forgotten’ or ‘run out of’ business cards is tremendous. This is the memory of your chance encounter that your prospects will keep, so why are you not making the most of the opportunity?

Here are 5 tips to help you make the most out of your business card, and ensure prospects remember you.

 

Make sure it contains your key information

First of all, do you have a business card? If you do, does it include the vital and necessary information for someone to contact you?

  • Who are you?
  • What is the best number to contact you on?
  • What is your email address?
  • Have you placed your address so that prospect you are setting up a meeting with knows how to find you?

You also need to take care to spell check your information. If you have misspelt your information, not only does it mean the prospect is less likely to be able to contact you, but they’ll be less likely to want to if you haven’t taken the time to spell check a small amount of information.

 

Consider how your audience want to contact you

You need to consider how people may want to contact you. Understand that shy people would rather email and have a response before they pick up the phone. Others want to pick up the phone and talk to someone directly and have an instant answer on their query.

If you only provide certain contact information on your business card, you limit who will make the first contact with you, so ensure you leave a good selection. However, be warned, you can include too much information.

If you are adding your Facebook address, Twitter handles, LinkedIn profile, Pinterest account and where to find you on Google+, you may want to scale back a little. Include your key contact information, and leave the social accounts for when people head to your website.

 

Encourage people to contact you using your preferred contact method

Though people do have preferred methods of contact, you can try and suggest which way is the best way to contact you.

With a business card, it can be as simple as explaining to someone, it is easier to reach you by phone, as you are on the road all day. Prospects will appreciate knowing the best time and method to get in touch, and it will help build a bond, knowing you are making it easy to be contacted.

 

Make it memorable

Your business card is the part of your company that others get to keep. Do you really want that represented by a flimsy piece of card with the bare minimum printed on? What would you think if you received your business card? Is your brand instantly recognisable?

Ensure your card is not only informative but eye catching. Not only does this give you a better chance of your business card being kept in a safe place, but if it does get thrown on the pile of paper at the office, it will definitely be spotted again.

 

Use both sides!

When you receive a business card, what is the first thing you do? You read the information on one side, and then you turn it over to look at the information on the back. You have two sides to a card, why are you wasting one?

If all of your info fits neatly on to one side, then why are you not using the other side to promote your business, represent your brand or as an opportunity to sell? Printing one sided business cards is a wasted opportunity.

 

Not sure what to do with that spare side of your card? Why not have a look at this case study to give you some inspiration? 

Looking to update your business cards? Why not give us a call and speak to one of our friendly team, you can even pop in if you like. Or if you’re looking to read more about print, why not check out our other blogs. 

Chops: Pug Of Many Talents

chops pug of many talents

chops pug of many talents

Hi everyone,
As you can see I’m absolutely shattered, it’s really not easy being a Marketing Dog. Today I’ve been doing two dog’s jobs and filling in for a human!

First of all, George went in for his operation this morning and one of the graphic designers was off, so I had to fill in for both of them.

I spent the morning rushed off my paws trying to put the final touches to a brochure before it went to print.
I then spent the afternoon picking up George’s slack, creating some landing pages. I think I did a good job, better than George I reckon, but don’t tell him that.

We’ve just heard from the vets; George’s operation went well and apparently his barks going to be even louder now, great.
I do miss him, I can’t wait until he gets back and we can get back to chasing each other around the office.

If you’re thinking about updating your brochure or creating some landing pages, please, call the humans, I’m absolutely shattered.
You can contact them on 01283 249 579 or send them an email on contact@themarketingpeople.com. (Tell them I sent you, I might get treats!)

Love and licks,
Chops.

 

George the French bulldog and Chops the pug are our resident Marketing Dogs. They are full of fun, cuteness and even sometimes some useful pointers too. You can follow their adventures through their blog, or see their latest updates on twitter.