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Proof That Personalized Content Marketing Works

While push marketing remains an important component of any customer acquisition or retention program, pull marketing has become even more so. Often times, consumers have already done much, if not the majority, of their research before reaching out to a salesperson. This is why content marketing has become such a critical part of any marketing program.

One of the most common forms of content marketing is the customer newsletter. It educates, creates thought leadership, and presents the company as a valued resource. Adding personalization makes this content even more compelling. One community-based healthcare system found out just how much.

After sending a traditional newsletter for years, the organization began matching the content to what it knew of patients’ health conditions. After about a year, it conducted a readership survey to find out how the new approach was being received.

The results?

• 93% of respondents felt the articles were relevant and of interest.
• 73% read the entire newsletter every time it came in the mail.
• 77% said it was easier and quicker to read.
• 95% said they became aware of services that were previously unknown.

Not only did the healthcare system solidify its relationship with existing patients, but nearly every one of these patients learned about some of the provider’s services they didn’t know about before. That’s great cross-marketing!

Because the organization tracked which articles patients received as well as patients’ usage of services, it was also able to calculate ROI on its efforts. ROI on individual articles ranged from $50 to $444 per dollar spent.

Would you like to add personalized content into your company newsletters? Talk to us about how!

3 Tips for QR Code Success

You see QR Codes everywhere these days. These black-and-white boxes can be scanned with any mobile phone using QR Code scanning software or with Apple's iOS 10. Scanning the code takes you instantly to a landing page or some other online destination, such as a video or map.

QR Codes can be great tools, but marketers sometimes make rookie mistakes that render them ineffective. When adding QR Codes to marketing materials, here are three errors you want to avoid:

1. Don't use QR Codes in an email.
While QR Codes can be embedded in digital media, 55% of email is now opened on mobile phones. If someone opens an email on their phone, they won't be able to scan a QR Code embedded in it. This sounds obvious, but we still see QR Codes used in digital channels.

2. Don't use QR Codes to send people to your homepage.
QR Codes are most successful when they lead directly to a page related to the campaign. If you are selling a product, this might be a video tutorial on how to use the product. If you are promoting a seminar, it might be a sign-up page. Don't send people to your homepage. There is little to no value to the user, and doing so generally leads to disappointment and frustration.

3. Don't forget the scanning instructions.
Although QR Codes are becoming more widely used, not everyone knows what to do with them or the benefit of scanning them. It's still important to include short, concise instructions and the value to the user. For example, "Scan this code with your mobile phone to see customer testimonials!"

QR Codes are great tools for connecting printed materials to the mobile world, but you must be smart about how you use them. Stay away from these rookie mistakes, and you're well on your way to success.

What Is Really Motivating Your Customers?

When we think about motivating consumers to make a purchase, we think about using the right mailing list, creating the right offer, and having a compelling call to action. Whether creating a direct mail piece, a sales letter, or a magazine advertisement, those elements are critical. But the reasons people buy can also be more complex.

Particularly in the B2C environment, emotional factors are often at play. For example, if you are selling exotic vacations, you aren’t just selling a cost-effective hotel with great food and a seafront view.

• You are selling relaxation.
• You are tapping into the desire to escape from the daily grind of meetings, presentations, and child rearing.
• You are selling the desire to be catered to.

Tapping into these deep emotional wells can help you sell more. Instead of mailing a postcard with the headline, “Get 25% off plane tickets today!” Try, “Don’t you wish the office were a Thousand Miles Away?” Or, “Isn’t It Time that Someone Pampered YOU?”

Think about a parent dreaming of excitement beyond the children’s homework, playing shuttle for soccer practice, and meetings for the PTA. A trip offering whitewater rafting, bungee jumping, and skydiving might tap deep emotional needs for adventure. Try a postcard with an image of the face of a skydiver, wide-eyed and exhilarated—cheeks flapping in the wind—that says, “You, too, can FLY!”

Whether you are developing direct mailers, sales letters, or magazine ads . . .

• Think about unmet frustrations and deeper emotions that might drive recipients to make a change.
• List the potential motivators. To be recognized at work? Get a promotion? Be challenged? Break out of the mold? Feel empowered, youthful, and sexy?
• Show — don’t tell. Use the power of graphics to tell a story.

Emotions are powerful marketing tools. Emotionally driven purchases tend to be less price-sensitive and more spontaneous. The medium of print has the ability to tap into those emotions and motivate behavior in a way that no other medium can do. Take advantage of it!

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