6 Ways to Engage Customers with Physical Mail

Even with all the digital marketing these days, when done right, physical mail can not only attract customers, but convert them to buyers of your products and services.

When you’re working on your next physical mail campaign, make sure to use at least a few of these 10 ways to engage your customers.

EXCLUSIVITY

With all the email marketing out there, important messages get lost easily underneath mountains of other emails.

DIMENSIONAL

In making your physical mail unique, make it stand out by changing its shape or shipping it via FedEx or UPS and in a special box. Make it something that won’t be easily thrown away and that your customers will want to open right away.

HANDWRITTEN

Another way to make your physical mail unique is to hand write it. Yes, it takes time, but the meaningful communication to your customers will pay off in the long run. Mass produced physical mail marketing is often overlooked and thrown in the trash.

PERSONAL DELIVERY

Go the extra mile and send a delivery directly to potential clients or partners. On average, your prospects receive hundreds of emails daily. To make an intentional and noticeable connection, deliver a note and a custom care package like flowers, edible flowers, or a treat.

COMBINE DIGITAL AND DIRECT

Up your customer care game by making custom landing pages for your direct mail campaigns. You are surely to improve your return on investment by using personalized URLs.

SEEDED PAPER

A unique trend coming underway that is sure to catch the eye of your customers and potential customers is to use seeded paper. Seeded paper can be planted and grown into something beautiful, making a real impression on your readers.

Stand-out With These Sensory and Visual Print Techniques

Competition is always there, it never waivers. Make sure you stand out from the rest by using some of these fun print techniques.

SENSORY

We’ve all seen sensory print techniques. They’re fun and exciting especially for young kids! Imagine mood rings or pencils that are heat sensitive and change colors with touch. Flocking, and no, we don’t mean your mother’s Christmas tree, but imagine flocking your next ad to create a fuzzy feel. Or, you might even try adding a scent to your ad that is printed in a four-color process. All of these sensory printing techniques are sure to capture the attention of your consumers!

VARNISH, COATINGS, & INK

Along with sensory techniques come unique coatings that can make text, or an image feel coarse, rubbery, bumpy, or smooth. It’s a fun idea to add a textural element when your images illustrate the main point of your message. You might also try mixing coatings like metallic, foils, glossy, and glitter. Along with mixing coatings, try playing with not just a normal color palette, but something fun and bright like fluorescent colors if it meets the needs of your project and audience, of course!

DIMENSIONAL & INTERACTIVE

We’ve all heard of metal die cuts, but what about laser die-cuts? Laser die-cutting is done with a high-speed laser that doesn’t come into contact with the material and makes precise cuts. This enables users to get even more intricate and creative with their die-cutting designs!

Embossing also provides a textural and visual element. Embossing can be raised or depressed into the material. This is a fun way to create images that are subtle yet possibly more meaningful.

These printing techniques are appealing and send messages to your consumers. Giving your consumers something that is tangible, that they can touch and feel, gives them a deeper connection to remembering your marketing materials. Spending the extra time and money toward making unique marketing materials is sure to pay off in the long run.

Pros and Cons of Newspaper and Magazine Print Advertising

If you’re a small business or just starting out with a new small business venture, it’s a good idea to consider print advertising and which forms will be the most beneficial to your business.

With any advertising, there are pros and cons. It’s important to do your homework on which areas of advertising deserve your money. Below are pros and cons of both newspaper and magazine print advertising.

NEWSPAPER ADVERTISING

Newspapers have been around for decades and surprisingly, even in our booming digital world, are still used to advertise. There are small local papers and large national papers. If you’re a small business in your town, chances are advertising in the local paper will go a long way to getting customers coming to your door.

The cost of newspaper print advertising will depend on the readership of that particular newspaper. Large national newspapers will charge much more than going with a community based, local newspaper. To give your business consistent exposure, consider running your ad for a set number of weeks or months which will also most likely bring down the cost of your advertising.

ADVANTAGES

Inexpensive: Placing a newspaper ad is inexpensive! All you need to do is a little research to learn how to create a successful ad!

Easily interchangeable: It’s easy to change your ad from a regular running ad to something more fun and seasonal!

Various sizes and rates: Review a few newspapers you’re interested in and check their ad sizes and prices. Go with a size and price you’re comfortable with that will be effective for your ad.

DISADVANTAGES

Limited readership: With going green and getting news via the digital world, less and less people are reading actual print newspapers.

Poor quality: If your business is artistic or your advertising relies heavily on high quality images, newspapers might not be the way go.

Ad placement: Generally, newspapers can’t and won’t guarantee the best ad placement on any page. This is risky especially when going up against competitors.

MAGAZINE ADVERTISING

If you have a sizable advertising budget, magazines are a better advertising option than newspapers. Magazines help communicate and sustain your brand image which is especially helpful in today’s brand driven world.

ADVANTAGES

Target audience: Magazines will help you better reach your target audience. While many different people subscribe to newspapers, people subscribe to specific magazines that peak their interest.

Money: Your money is better spent in that magazine advertising is relevant for a longer period of time where people throw out their daily newspaper much sooner.

Branding: Images are higher quality which allows for better branding in your advertising.

DISADVANTAGES

Expensive: Magazine advertising costs more.

Scheduling: Magazines are generally once a month and magazine deadlines are generally at least six months prior to when it goes to print. If you’re in a rush to get an ad out, magazines might not be the best option. If magazines are your better option, make sure to plan ahead.

When considering doing any form of print advertising, make sure to list your pros and cons based on your business needs and advertising goals to make sure you choose the best, most successful route for your business.

Why Business Cards are Here to Stay

Business cards will be an everlasting key to networking while meeting someone new. Nothing replaces the first-time meeting someone and handing them your ever so professionally designed and unforgettable business card.

Business networking is done constantly, usually when you’re on the go. Not much is worse than meeting a new prospect and you don’t have anything to give them to refer to your business. Then what? You reach for the closest napkin or peace of scrap paper and quickly scribble your information… This paper will be forgettable and will surely land in the trash. Having a card within quick reach will keep your networking conversations smooth and professional.

Business cards should be thoughtfully designed and printed so that when you hand them out, prospects make sure to hold on to it. The first point of contact with a new lead or client is brief and quick. All the more reason to make the most of that small window of time and have a business card that will make a lasting impression of you and your business. Your business card is an extension of your brand and can make or break those first impressions. Consider your business cards an investment, not an obligation or another task to check off your list.

With the constant use of electronic devices, it is more important now than ever to have those face-to-face interactions with prospective clients and leads. It seems easily forgotten how to have good eye contact and engaging conversations. Even though society is on their phones regularly, it’s still considered unprofessional to be on your phone while networking. Not to mention the awkwardness of grabbing your phone to send your contact information digitally. It’s much more smooth and professional to hand them your tangible, professionally designed business card making it a positive interaction they won’t forget.

The next time your business cards are due for freshening, make sure to take the time and care to make sure they stand out, are professional, and really speak to your brand. Taking the time to do this will pay off in converting those networking conversations into actual paying customers.

Helpful Tips to Keep Your Branding Colors Consistent

Color consistency in your branding will help make a lasting first impression on your customers. An impression that will keep them coming back for more.

Maintain these strategies to make and keep your colors consistent.

Pantone Swatch Books

Computers give us easy, convenient access to do many tasks, but when choosing colors, it’s best to view them on a Pantone swatch book first. This is because colors on computers are much more vibrant because they use RGB (red, green, blue). If you choose colors from your computer first, matching them to a printed equivalent will prove to be a hassle. Pantone swatch books have hundreds of accurate print colors which are based on the Pantone Matching System (PMS).

Printing uses an entirely different scale of four colors which are cyan, magenta, yellow, and key (CMYK).  As you can imagine, this results in variations of colors and what you see on your computer will look different once printed.

To help with this, you can also use a Color Bridge Pantone book. This will show you a side-by-side comparison of Pantone colors versus their CMYK color. This will help you see what your chosen colors will look like when they’re printed. If your RGB and CMYK colors look very different, this will give you an opportunity to choose a Pantones that more closely match the CMYK so your branding is visually consistent whether online or in printed materials.

Test Your Colors

Different paper types, textures, finishes, and print methods can result in color variations as well. Because of this, it will be worthwhile to test your colors before finalizing your project and sending to print. Request a proof from your printer before giving the final okay to print the entire project. This will save you money and time by avoiding printing large batches of mismatched colors.

Color Matching

If your Pantone swatch book doesn’t have CMYK comparisons, it’s a good idea to do some color matching. To do this, print your Pantone in CMYK and see how it compares to your book. Then, create a grid of squares with your original swatch in the middle and then gradually change the ink values around it. This process will help you match your Pantone and you can make this grid as large as you want depending on how many colors you want.

There is no one perfect answer or solution to keeping your colors consistent. It will be time consuming and will require patience. Get your designer and printer involved in your concerns and they will set you up for success in working with your color consistency goals.

5 Ways You Can Be Eco-Friendly with Your Print Marketing

With the widespread desire to be green, let’s not forget that we can be green with our print marketing. Continue reading to learn 5 ways you can be eco-friendly with your print marketing.

RECYCLED PAPER

Some people are weary of using recycled paper for their print marketing. The truth is, it is no different for the printed, end-result and it is easier on the environment. At one-point, recycled paper was more expensive, but prices have dropped dramatically making it a smart, affordable option.

ECO-FRIENDLY COLOR

Most papers are bleached which gives paper its white color. The bleach used during this whitening process can leach into groundwater and release harmful pollutants. In addition, dioxin, a harmful byproduct, is found in products used to bleach paper. When dioxin leaches into the soil, the soil becomes toxic and is therefore toxic to everyone in the environment.

ADHESIVE AND INK

Avoid using adhesives and inks that would prevent your print marketing from being recycled in the future. Soy and vegetable inks are a great alternative to other, potentially harmful options.

PROOF READ

Maybe you proofread your own print marketing once, but is that really enough? Enlist the help of others so you have multiple eyes proofreading and catching any errors before projects are sent to print. Errors not caught prior to printing results in a project that not only needs to be fixed, but needs to be re-printed, using twice the amount of materials.

PRINT SMALL

Smaller paper results in the need of fewer resources which results in a more environmentally friendly print project. This might include smaller scale brochures, flyers, posters, and even business cards. This might not seem like much the first time, but over time, all the saved resources will add up to be a big effort in being eco-friendly.

Choosing to make your print marketing eco-friendly is not only something the environment will love, but your customers will love as well. The next time you’re working on print marketing, ask your printer how they can help you make great strides toward an eco-friendly project.

Designing Customer Calendars to Promote Your Business

Sending calendars to your customers is a great way to promote your business. When designing your next calendar, consider these key points to maximize the return on your investment.

Theme

Consider the core function of your business and your audience and choose a theme that’s fitting. An auto or tire shop might use a car theme, a financial business might use a theme that motivates their audience and provides a financially related quote each month. If you’re designing a one-page calendar on a magnet or poster, carefully choose one strong design since it will only be one image.

Images

Stay away from stock photo images. The goal with the calendar is to relay your brand to your customers so they can feel connected to your brand. If you haven’t done so already, hire a professional to take product photos you can use for the calendar. Highlighting your products will attract customers and bring them to your business. Also make sure you use high resolution photos to get the best quality outcome of your printed, final product.

Layout

As with most things design related, keep it simple. Designs that appear busy can easily turn customers away and distract them from your message. With design and layout, choose no more than two to three fonts that complement each other. You also might include coupons or discounts in your calendar that will get customers coming your way.

Features

Customers will enjoy a calendar that is functional and beneficial to them. Try adding an area on each month that they can write important dates and include important dates for your business on the calendar like any big sales or events you have coming up that you want customers to attend. It’s also a great idea to include holidays and add any special holiday hours so your customers can easily check it for reference.

Send to Print

Choose paper and colors that will best compliment your brand and goals of your project. If you’re unfamiliar with printing requirements such as photo quality and paper type, your professional printer can help you determine the best aspects to get the best quality printing for your calendars.