Creating Marketing Copy That Gets Read

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In Confessions of an Advertising Man, David Ogilvy, founder of the highly regarded advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather, wrote, “Ninety-nine percent of all advertising doesn’t sell a thing.” You don’t want your products to be in that 99%. How do you make sure you are in the coveted one percent?

You might say “personalization and relevance,” and it’s true. Personalization stops you, and relevance gets you reading further. But even the most personalized, relevant message won’t amount to much if it isn’t paired with good marketing copy.  If the copy is not compelling, if it’s bland and uninformative, even the best personalization cannot carry the load. You need good, solid marketing copy that is interesting, engaging, and compelling.

To make the most of your marketing efforts, here are some fundamental principles for great copywriting you can follow.

  • Be imaginative. Break out of the mold. Look for different or unconventional ways to say the same thing.
  • Be a salesman. Cute and clever doesn’t get you anywhere if it doesn’t sell anything. Be creative, but also be clear. Sell benefits. Give an overt call to action. Balance creativity and salesmanship.
  • Talk about your customers first. As one marketing communications site puts it, “Self-interest is the best hook.” Talk about customers’ problems, customers’ challenges, and customers’ bottlenecks. Then talk about how your products and services solve them.
  • Be honest. Part of building a brand is maintaining customer loyalty and trust. That starts with honesty about the products and services you sell.
  • Hire a professional editor, even if only on a freelance basis. An employee who is “good at grammar” isn’t good enough. When it comes to marketing, there are rules for punctuation, capitalization, and usage that only professionals know.

Of course, there are other elements to great print marketing, as well. Good layout. Interesting graphics. Compelling offer. But great copy ties it all together.

Talk to us about turning these simple rules into a standout 1:1 print campaign that will motivate your customers to action.  Putting your ideas in motion since 1955!

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Does Personalization Really Work?

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We are seeing 1:1 printing or “print personalization” more and more places these days.  Direct mail. Follow-up marketing collateral. Information kits. What’s the real deal with these applications? Do they really live up to the hype? Or is personalization just a gimmick to get marketers to buy more print?

Consider the way you are being marketed to. When you shop online, cookies follow your every move so that page views can be customized to your preferences and purchase patterns. At the grocery store, your receipt is printed with coupons based on the items you put into your bag. When you receive mail from your investment broker, it contains information only on those funds you have invested in or that are relevant to you.

Personalization has become so ingrained into our consumer experience that we barely realize it anymore. It’s not a gimmick. It’s what customers expect.

What about cost? Isn’t personalization a high-cost luxury? On the contrary, when handled properly, the opposite is true.

  • 1:1 printing optimizes your marketing investment by not mailing irrelevant information to the wrong people. It makes every record count.
  • Properly tracked, 1:1 printing provides provable ROI, so you can compare its value against other marketing methods and justify your spending based on real numbers.
  • By focusing on specific customer segments and generating higher response rates and per-order values from those customers, you can spend less on print and bring in more revenue.
  • More relevant communications (newsletters, bills and other correspondence) increase customer retention and provide a benefit difficult to quantify yet with real bottom-line benefits.

From this perspective, 1:1 printing seems less like a luxury and more like a business necessity! If you’re thinking of adding personalization to your current strategy, talk to us! We can put your ideas in motion!

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4 Steps To Maximize Your Event

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Have an event coming up? In-house seminar? Booth at a trade show? Whatever your event may be, you want to maximize your investment by ensuring that the people who commit to coming actually show up. There are three steps to making sure you get the highest attendance possible.

  1. Promote your event with early teasers.

People mean well, but even if they have RSVP’d, they can get distracted and end up doing something else. Keep them focused on your event with pre-event teasers, whether by email or mail, to keep them interested and their attendance top of mind.

  1. Drip detailed information by mail.

Build interest with more detailed information. If it’s a seminar, mail out a detailed presentation schedule with speaker bios. If it’s a trade show, send full-color brochures of products on display at the show. Create an interactive and cross-channel experience by sending them to entertaining and informative videos using QR Codes, augmented reality, or even embedded video screens. Customize the brochures to that specific event so everything they see in the brochure is relevant to their upcoming experience.

  1. Reward attendance with in-event gifts.

Have something planned to give away once they attend the event. Let them know what is in store for them and what they will miss if they don’t show up. Maybe it’s a custom-printed t-shirt, a personalized book, or a 3D printed model.  Whatever it is, ensure that it has real value to the recipient and is something they don’t want to miss.

  1. Set one-on-one appointments before the event.

Use an attractive giveaway as the incentive to set up one-on-one meetings, to occur during the event, ahead of time. The target must attend the meeting to receive the incentive. Use a text message to remind them of the appointment an hour beforehand.

Looking for more ideas for making your event its best? Give us a call!

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Turn Complaints Into Loyal Customers

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Everybody gets customer complaints once in awhile. Improperly handled, those complaints can erode customer relationships. Properly handled, they can actually deepen them. How is this possible? Studies have shown that companies’ responses to critical customer feedback can change the way consumers feel about companies, products, and brands. Customers value brands that listen and respond to them, so it is important to develop a company culture of responsiveness and caring.

Here are some tips to help you turn a negative into a positive:

  1. Set up a formal customer feedback program. Create an environment in which it’s easy for customers to make contact with you. Customers are more likely to provide feedback by print or email than they are at the checkout counter.
  2. Ditch the boilerplate. If a customer complains, personalize your responses to each individual and his or her specific issue. Give them a real human being to deal with.
  3. Pre-fill response forms. The easier you make it for customers to return forms, the more likely they are to do so. Pre-fill information such as name and address, make and model of product, and serial number.
  4. Use multiple channels. Surveys show that when brands communicate with customers across multiple channels, customers are happier with their purchases and the brand overall. Create a consistent brand experience regardless of channel the customer uses to communicate with you.
  5. Tap into your customer data. Data-driven communications can really help with customer retention and customer satisfaction. Use triggered messaging to automatically generate a thank you (such as personalized thank-you emails) to let them know you appreciate the feedback, whether positive or not.

Need help setting up a multi-channel customer feedback program? Let us help!

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Maximize Your Marketing

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Did you know that 72% of consumers say they would rather connect with brands and businesses in a multi-channel environment (SailThru)? And that 55% of marketers now use three to four channels to reach their target audiences, up from 44% two years ago (Direct Marketing Association)?

Creating a multi-channel mix doesn’t have to be daunting. Here are six tips for maximizing your efforts:

1. Don’t let data paralysis keep you down.
“Multi” begins with two. Start with a simple one-two punch with email and direct mail. Or direct mail to mobile marketing video via QR Code. Add social media sharing buttons to blog posts and e-newsletters. Then add in other components one at a time.

2. Know the strengths and weaknesses of each channel.
Marketing channels are not interchangeable. Each has strengths and weaknesses, so know the pros and cons of each channel and match them to the right stage in the campaign.

3. Know your customers’ channel preferences.
For some campaigns, you may want to use multiple channels to reach the same customer at different times and in different ways. Other times, you want to communicate primarily or initially through their preferred channel(s). For example, if you offer a customer newsletter, don’t assume everyone wants the print or email version and send every person the same thing. Ask which channel they prefer, then honor their request. You’ll get more responses and improved customer loyalty that way.

4. Remember that social and mobile channels are driven by print.
If you want to grow your email and social media efforts, start with print. That’s because print is one of the key drivers of awareness of email and social media exposure and sign-ups.

5. Break down the silos.
Although multi-channel campaigns don’t have to be integrated, simple reasoning says that they should be. All of these components need to work together, whether through a marketing automation system or being driven by human decision-making. This requires breaking down data silos.

6. Match channels to their place in the sales funnel.
Marketing channels are not interchangeable. They are used at different times and for different purposes. Understand the role each channel plays in your sales funnel and match the channels up appropriately.

Need help understanding the benefits of each channel and putting together an effective mix? Give us a call – Multi-Craft can put your ideas in motion!

 

 

 

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Checklist for Clean Mailing Lists

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When it comes to direct mail, maximum results start, not just with a mailing list, but with a clean mailing list. So what does a “clean” list really mean? Here is a quick checklist that can help.

  1. CASS Certification. CASS Certification is the process we use to check the validity and deliverability of a physical mailing address. Bowman Street isn’t the same as Bowman Avenue, and getting it right can make the difference between the mail getting delivered or not.
  2. Address Element Correction (AEC). When CASS Certified address-matching software cannot match an address, it becomes a candidate for AEC. AEC corrects problems such as misspellings, nonstandard abbreviations, improperly ordered elements, and address lines that contain information other than the actual address. It also fixes missing elements.
  3. National Change of Address (NCOA). According to the USPS, 40 million people move every year, but their old addresses often remain in your database. In fact, estimates are that 8% of mail is undeliverable because of incorrect addresses. Taking the simple step of updating the addresses of new movers can save you thousands of dollars.
  4. Locatable Address Conversion System (LACS) Link. This method allows you to update addresses when a 911 emergency system has been implemented to convert rural-style addresses to city-style addresses or when a street address has been renamed or renumbered.
  5. ZIPMove. Sometimes addresses undergo a ZIP Code realignment, and when this occurs, ZIPMove will update your database to reflect the new ZIP Code.

You’ve taken the time and effort to collect the names and addresses of customers and key prospects. Now let us help you maximize your investment by keeping your list clean and updated so every mail piece hits its target.  When you’re ready to put your ideas in motion, Multi-Craft is ready to help!

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Does 1:1 Printing Really Make A Difference?

More and more, we are hearing about print personalization, or variable data printing, to achieve higher response rates and better ROI. But does personalizing by name, geographic location, or demographic information really make that much difference? Can’t you just achieve higher response rates with a better offer? An over-sized postcard? Or a really great design?

These things do increase response rates, but they aren’t replacements for a personalized approach. Consider these research findings:

  • 56% of consumers are more likely to buy from a retailer that recognizes them by name.  (Accenture)
  • 59% of consumers say that personalization influences their purchase decisions. (Infosys)
  • 84% of consumers say personalization makes them more likely to open a direct mail piece. (InfoTrends)

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Personalization works because it’s, well, personal. From a consumer perspective, it’s less about what’s good for the marketer and more about what’s good for them.

Why does it work? Just think about how you are being marketed to. What motivates you as a consumer? When you shop online, you are asked to register so that the site can greet you by name. Cookies follow your every move so that when you return, the page views are customized to your purchase or viewing patterns. At the grocery store, your receipt is printed with coupons based on the items you just purchased. When you receive mail from your financial advisor, it contains information only on those funds in which you have invested or that are relevant to you based on your past investment history.

Consumers—all of us—are used to being marketed to on a 1:1 basis, even if we don’t think about it this way. Personalization has become so ingrained in our experience that we barely realize it anymore. If you aren’t incorporating personalization into your print marketing (as well as your email and other digital channels), you are out of step with marketing’s cutting edge.

Need help personalizing your next print or multi-channel marketing campaign?  Let Multi-Craft help put your 1:1 ideas in motion!

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