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What is evergreen content and why is it so important? Today, we have the answer to that and more. So let’s dive in and see how you can start optimizing evergreen content.

Strong calls to action (CTA) contribute to the success of any institution. For a business, they can make the difference between heightened sales and diminished opportunities.

There is a right and a wrong way to practice patriotic marketing. Today, we’re going to talk about patriotic marketing: how to show your pride and your brand this Fourth of July.

Instagram is a great resource for marketing personal or professional brands. If you’re still not sold on the site, we’ve got some reasons why you should be on Instagram.

How Do You Know Your Efforts Are Working?

Creating a personalized print or multichannel marketing campaign takes significant investment in time, energy, and resources. You want to get maximum return on your investment. How do you know what is working and what isn’t? You have to measure the results.

Measuring results goes beyond determining ROI. Sure, it’s important to know what kind of return you are getting, but it’s just as important to ask why you got the results you did. What factors influenced the conversion rate and value per sale? Why was this campaign more or less effective than the one before?

Say you give respondents a chance to win a sweepstakes for $500 if they log into a website and fill out a survey. The campaign generates a 5% response rate with 28% of those responses converting to sales of $200 each. It’s important to calculate the ROI on this campaign, but it’s equally important to test which parts of the campaign were responsible for the results and what happens if you change them.

For example, what if you increase the incentive to $2,500? Does the response rate go up? If so, does the dollar per sale increase, as well? Or does it not have a significant effect on the response rate or value per sale at all?

Don’t stop at one or even two tests. Analyze over time.

• If you increase the incentive even more, does the response rate continue to go up? Or does it flatten out?
• Does the effectiveness change based on the audience you are targeting?
• Does a sweepstakes to win a free mountain bike motivate one audience, while a Nintendo Wii motivates another?

Mix it up, and test, test, test. This is critical intelligence that will help you refine your programs over time and get the maximum results out of your marketing dollars.

Need help? Just ask!

There’s a way to run a meeting that is engaging, productive and gets straight to the point. How can you learn this skill? We’ve got a few pointers to get you started.

How can you get involved in this week’s marketing opportunities? Here are five Father’s Day Marketing ideas to get started on promoting products or services.

Want More Reasons to Add Color? Here It Is!

When we think about adding color to marketing pieces, we often think about photos, charts, and graphs. But color can be added in many other ways, as well. These include highlight text, brightly colored banners, borders, and backgrounds, and symbols such as starbursts and arrows.

Why think about more places to add color? According to Shoshana Burger, director of corporate strategy and customer insights for X-Rite Pantone, there are some powerful reasons:

• People are 78% more likely to remember words and phrases in color.
• Time spent reading a document is 80% higher in color.
• Basic understanding of content is 80% higher in color.
• Color increases brand recognition by 87%.
• 65% of purchasing decisions involve color.
• Color printing is 55% more likely to be read than black-and-white.
• Response time is 30% faster in color.
• When used in promotions, color increases the likelihood of purchase by 80%.

“Eighty percent of our human experience is filtered through visual cues,” noted Burger, speaking in a presentation titled “The Power of Color in Communications,” hosted by Printing Impressions magazine. “Color also creates an emotional connection. Choosing the right color, and how that color conveys to the right user, is important.”

So look for ways to increase the use of color in your next mailing. Add a colored background to a text box. Use highlight color in your text to draw attention to offers or critical product details. Add an extra image, chart, or graph, or enlarge a colorful image that you already have.

Whatever you do, get more color in there!

Today we’re going to talk about the importance of word of mouth marketing (WOMM) for a company, and how business professionals can use it to their advantage.

This day is significant, and should be treated as such. If you’re interested in learning more about marketing on Memorial Day, we’ve compiled a list of dos and don’ts for businesses.

Just like there is a wrong way to write an email signature, there is also a right way. If you want to perfect your email signature, check out these easy tips.

The business card is an important tool that's useful for companies and individuals alike. But just how powerful is the business card? Let's find out.

Your brand has a purpose, and telling that story is a valuable content marketing tactic. How can you use storytelling to grow? Today, we're going to learn how.

If you’re looking to make the most of your small business marketing efforts during the month of May, check out some of these ideas to get started and grow.

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How can a small business use GIFs to promote its brand and draw in customers? Today we're going to take a look at how your marketing can get groovy with GIFs.

Create Sales Literature That Sells

Looking to freshen up your sales literature? Think carefully and create a plan. Sales literature stands in for you when you’re not around, carrying your brand identity and reputation to the marketplace. It plays a critical role in your business and needs to be planned out carefully.

Start by investing in good design. Eye-catching layouts grab attention, and provocative headlines and compelling text convince the reader to hear you out. Keep your production cutting edge and the marketing content fresh. If you cut corners on printing or circulate out-of-date information, your prospects might subconsciously conclude that you produce cheap, outdated products too.

Tie each printed piece to a goal in your overall marketing plan. Is the objective to drive new sales, cross-sell to existing customers, or communicate better with your stakeholders? The appropriate format (postcard, circular, product data sheet, package insert, newsletter) will naturally follow. Combinations of different elements—paper types, colors, repetition—can produce powerful subliminal effects, so it is important that you work with a professional designer.

Consider portability. An oversized piece might gain attention, but what will make someone pick up your piece and take it with them and then pass it along to others?

Communicate directly and succinctly about what you are offering, what is in it for the reader, and what action the reader should take. It’s tempting to overload your documents with every capability and feature you offer, but this can overwhelm and disengage someone who is just learning about you. As they move through the sales funnel, you can introduce more complex printed collateral. At this stage, however, the content should be just intriguing enough and the call to action persuasive enough to inspire the reader to initiate further discussion.

Even the best sales collateral isn’t going to close the sale by itself. What it will do is provide outstanding sales support, reinforce your message, and stay behind as your brand messenger. So pay attention to your sales literature and give it the attention it deserves.

Tips for Maximizing the Cross-Sell

It is a well-known fact that it’s easier and less expensive to sell more products to existing customers than to try to acquire new customers. One of the ways you can do this is to cross-sell. Cross-selling can be highly profitable because it deepens the customer relationship. It also gives you a host of additional products to upsell the customer over time.

Here are some tips for best results.

1. Know your customers.
There is no sense trying to sell your customers products they already have or ancillary products for those they do not. If you track sales history, tap into that. If you don’t, let us help you use data gathering techniques to learn who your customers are, what makes them tick, and what they do and do not already have.

2. Know when they buy.

When are your customers most likely to make a purchase? What time of year? Time of day? Stage of the sales cycle? They will be most receptive during these times.

A study conducted on the airline industry, for example, found that nearly two-thirds of customers were most likely to purchase ancillary products at the time they booked a trip rather than sometime afterwards (such as prior to check-in, during the check-in process, or during their stay). This type of information can be very helpful to travel agents, who can then put the most effort into marketing their ancillary services upfront.

3. Know where they buy.

Where are your customers most likely to make a purchase? From you directly? From a reseller? How about an online retailer? Do your marketing materials reflect their full range of options? How about the way customers purchase? Do they want to purchase in-store? Online? By mobile phone? Customers will be most receptive if you find out their individual channel preferences, then use those preferences to interact with them on their terms.

Cross-selling is an important way that marketers to maximize their marketing budgets and reap the best ROI. Why not let us help you design your next cross-selling campaign?

If you want to grow your business and market through online communication, here are a few reasons why you should implement LinkedIn into your social media strategy.

Best Practices in 1:1 Printing

Personalized printing, in which marketers personalize marketing text, images, and other content based on what marketers know about the recipient, gets better results than static mail. But by itself, just dropping in data-driven content doesn’t guarantee success. Let’s look at three best practices that need to be the foundation of all 1:1 print marketing.

1. Traditional marketing rules apply.
1:1 might be personalized marketing, but it is still good old-fashioned marketing, too. Ultimately, it is all of the elements—the creative, the message, the offer, the segmentation, and the call to action—that come together to determine success.

2. Focus on relevance, not “personalization.”
It doesn’t matter how “personalized” a document is. If it isn’t relevant to the person receiving it, it is worthless. Take the shoe market. You don’t want to market orthopedic shoes to teenagers. Orthopedics aren’t relevant to teens unless they need a birthday present for Grandpa. Clearly, this example is tongue in cheek, but you get the idea. You can personalize a document to the hilt, but if it’s not relevant, it’s a waste of print and postage.

3. Get to know your customers, then market to what you know.
The more you know your customers, the more relevant your message can be. Ask yourself, what don’t you know about your customers right now that might allow you be more relevant later? To find out, do a customer mail or email survey. Conduct a focus group. Set up survey forms on your website. Ask questions and get feedback that will let you reap better results over the long term.

4. Think “Database”
To get personalization right, you need to invest in your marketing database. This takes time, dedicated resources, and manpower, but it is one of the most important investments you can make. Develop a basic database, then refine it, add variables, and keep it clean and updated. Make sure all of the new information you gather goes back in to be used in future marketing programs.

Remember, personalization is a powerful tool, but to get the big pay-off, it cannot work alone.

How can your small business get in on the action of marketing during St. Patrick’s Day? Here are five ideas to get you started and bring in the luck of the Irish.

Facebook offers one field with enormous marketing potential: 360° video and photo. This relatively new feature allows your business to post media that customers can fully engage with, completely drawing them into your world.

How can your small business tap into this time and get noticed by college students? Check out these tips for how to market to college students during spring break.

After watching companies like Apple, Starbucks and Chick-fil-A, the question remains: should your business take a stand on controversial issues? Today we’re going to talk about pros and cons.

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