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Resources

Do You Know These 9 Buyer Types?

Do you know who your buyers are? Are they trailblazers? Status seekers? Do they play it safe? Different messaging appeals to different personality types, so it’s helpful to know which categories your customers fall into. Here is the list of “types” created by marketing strategist Gary Hennerberg. Do you know which categories your customers fit?

#1. Trailblazers/Early Adopters: These are the technology innovators. They yearn to be first. They are the ones standing outside the Apple Store overnight just to grab the latest gadget before anyone else. In your marketing copy, position them as ahead of the curve.

#2. My Brand/My Lifestyle: These buyers associate themselves with specific brands. They are proud of the brands they own and like to brag about them. Flatter them by positioning them as influencers.

#3. Money Matters. This audience is practical and combines cost and value when making a decision. Talk to them as sensible buyers who make smart choices.

#4. Right Thing to Do. These buyers have a strong sense of ethics and feel that if the right causes aren’t supported, the world will suffer. Talk to them as the ones who are doing their part to make a difference.

#5. Social Relationships. These buyers have a deep need to be accepted. If they don’t buy the right products or travel in the right circles, they believe their social ranking will suffer. Position them as achieving the status and acceptance they desire.

#6. Adrenaline seekers. Adrenaline seekers feel that the odds are stacked against them, so they need to take advantage of opportunities when they arise. If they don’t, those opportunities may never come back. Financial investors tend to fall into this category.

#7. Playing it safe: These buyers are cautious and methodical. They want to gather all of the information before making a decision. Help them in the process and provide assurances that their decision is safe.

#8. Feeding my insecurity: These buyers feel that they have something to hide and fear that their flaws will be exposed. Position your products and services as helping to protect their vulnerabilities.

#9. Did I matter? For these buyers, their legacy is important. They want to be remembered for their impact on the lives of others. Position your products as helping them make a difference for future generations.

Which personalities fit your products best? Understanding how your customers fit into these buyer categories will help you craft the right messages to motivate them to buy.

Blogs can do a lot for your business, and we’re here to tell you exactly what benefits they can deliver.

“Customer personas,” or “buyer personas,” have been buzzwords in the marketing sphere recently. We’re here to tell you all about these marketing tools and why you should be using them.

Want to make your marketing campaigns the most effective they can be? Be sure to hit all of the key marketing components. Most marketers know the importance of the list, the message, and the offer, but there are other components, too. Here are nine “must haves” for any marketing campaign. How many do your campaigns have?

1. List: You have a target audience, but is it the right audience? Or the right segment of that audience? Your campaign won’t go far if you are marketing to the wrong people.

2. Segmentation: What does your target audience look like and how do they behave? How well do you understand them? Have you created customer profiles? Personas? Do you know the difference?

3. Design and Layout: How will the design and layout of the print piece or email look? What types of images will you use? Is your look and branding consistent across all channels?

4. Offer: What is the call to action and the incentive to respond? Have you changed it up recently? Or is it the same offer you’ve been using for years?

5. Channel: What is the medium? Print? Email? Social media? Mobile? Remember that multiple channels work better than single channels alone.

6. Mailing format: If you are sending direct mail, what is the delivery method? Postcard? Newsletter? Trifold mailer? Are the mailers personalized or static? If you are mailing a letter inside an envelope, is the envelope personalized? Different formats work best for different campaigns.

7. Cadence: What day of the week will the mailing hit? If you are using digital channels, what time of day will the message be delivered? What is the frequency? You want to stay in front of your customers, but you don’t want to overwhelm or irritate them either.

8. Message: What are you going to say and how are you going to say it? Should it be informational? Entertaining? Should it use humor or play it straight?

9. Performance Metrics: How are you going to measure your results? You aren’t going to measure a branding campaign the same way that you measure a sales promotion.

Are you optimizing all of the components in every campaign? If not, there may be an opportunity to improve your results. Let us help!

We’ve compiled a list of what we feel are the most important questions to ask candidates in a job interview. By using you’ll be sure to get the answers you need to make an informed hiring decision.

3 Tips for Creating a Visual Brand

Top brands have key written marketing strategies, but they have visual strategies too. Think about some of today’s most iconic brands—Nike, McDonald’s, Disney. Just one glance and the entire brand—its core messages and key products—rush into your mind. Do you have a visual brand? If not, how can you create one?

1. Be consistent with brand colors.

There’s a reason top brands place such importance on their brand colors. Think Tide Orange and Coca-Cola Red. Not only are these brand colors used for products and logos, but they infuse every aspect of these companies’ marketing, both digital and print.
Even if you don’t have an official brand color, identify colors that are consistent with your company message and image. Use them consistently throughout your materials. Color can be a consistent presence in all of your marketing materials that triggers visual memory.

2. Tell your story in pictures.

What’s your brand story? How can images of your products tell that story? For example, from a branding perspective, Harley-Davidson doesn’t sell motorcycles. It sells independence and freedom. Visuals of the open road are as important as the motorcycle itself. Likewise, Lexus doesn’t sell cars. It sells prestige. Its advertising shows cars driven by men in expensive suits or by women dripping with luxury.
What feelings do your print materials need to evoke? Are your products designed to give people financial freedom, make them better moms, or boost their social standing? If so, what images will reinforce those messages?

3. Go professional.

Stock imagery works in a pinch, but it tells a general story, not your story. Try hiring a professional photographer and using pictures of your storefront or corporate offices, your employees, and your products in use (rather than just house shots). Build a visual identity based on real people, places, and things associated with your company.

Visual branding is a powerful tool — use it!

We’re breaking down key reasons you’ll want to adopt social media into your next digital marketing plan.

There are plenty of ways to market your business at state and county fairs, and we’re going to tell you how.

If you’re looking for a way to cut through the noise of digital media, consider focusing your efforts on print marketing.

5 Tips for Keeping Customers Coming Back

You want to keep your most profitable customers, right? Right! According to research by Frederick Reichheld of Bain & Company, increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%. You can double your profitability just by keeping the customers you already have. So how do you do that? Here are five tips for keeping your customers coming back.

1. Go holistic. The more you know your customers, the easier it is to know what to do to keep them. Start by tying together all the data you have on each customer to get one holistic view. For example, John W. Smith in your mailing database may also be Johnny Smith Jr. in your email list and J.W. Smith on Facebook. Most customers need help tying these databases together. If so, contact us, and we can help.

2. Make it easy. Reduce barriers to communicating with you. Give people more options, whether it’s via chat box or Facebook Messenger. Make it easier to buy and make repeat purchases. Something as simple as pre-filling response cards and subscription forms can improve the customer experience.

3. Treat them like real people. Customers don’t like feeling like a number. Take what you know about them and personalize text and images, whether in print or email. Invest in expanding your database to include new variables that will increase relevance.

4. Listen. Are you only pushing information out and not listening to feedback? Respond quickly and appropriately to comments sent to you through email, your company blog, and even social media.

5. Take the long view. Forget the gimmicks and quick fixes. Prizes, sweepstakes, and “experiential events” can get results, but they are short lived. As one strategist has put it, “Get to the trenches, examine how your customers live and use your products, and then design a complete meaningful solution for them across all touchpoints.”

There are no quick fixes for customer loyalty. It requires developing a strategy, making a commitment, and investing in an ongoing relationship with your customers that includes listening, as well as talking.

Need help? Give us a call!

In order to attract Gen Z consumers, you need to understand their motivations and strategize your approaches accordingly. We’ve outlined a few characteristics about Gen Zers and how you can use them in your marketing efforts.

Brand voice is the emotion and personality that go into a brand’s communications, from the language it uses to the images in its marketing assets.

How Strong Is Your Direct Mail Foundation?

Designing a new direct mail campaign? Let the creativity flow! However, the basics still need to come first. Before setting your designer loose, take a step back and make sure you’ve covered the fundamentals.

1. Mailing list

Is your mailing list current? Are you mailing to the right people? Are the names up to date? Are there duplicates (or even triplicates) that need to be culled?

2. Segmentation

Whether or not you are doing full personalization, your mailing should still use basic segmentation. If you’re selling homeowners insurance, for example, you’ll speak differently to families with children than you will to retirees.

3. Data accuracy

Especially if you will be personalizing, it’s a good idea to cross-reference your data. You can assume that customers purchasing infant formula have young children, but maybe they are grandparents picking up necessities for their grandchildren, too. If customers subscribe to “New Baby” magazine, however, you can have confidence that they have young children at home.

4. Call to action

Too many mailings suffer from not having a call to action. CTAs are critical to moving people to action, so make the CTA visible. Make it bold, or use brightly colored lettering. Readers can’t respond to a CTA they don’t see.

5. Multiple response mechanisms

Consumers’ lives are cluttered and over-scheduled. The more ways you can give them to respond, the more likely they are to do so. If you are using personalized URLs, include a personalized QR Code in case they want to respond via a mobile device. Give people a general URL, but also a tear-out card and a phone number. Pre-fill as much information as you can.

6. Bullets and white space.

Busy consumers don’t have time to read. When designing for direct mail, think “infographic.” Use bullet points, numbered lists, and graphic elements—anything that makes the information accessible with a quick visual scan.

7. Include a PostScript

Did you know that the P.S. is the most read part of a letter? Use this area to reiterate your key points and CTA. If people don’t read anything else, they’ll read that.

Need help crafting a great direct mail campaign? Let us help!

There are many ways companies can cultivate a positive work culture to keep their employees happy and motivated to leave positive reviews. Here are just a few ideas to get you started.

With the Fourth of July coming up this week, it’s important to consider ways in which you might try to maximize your marketing efforts.

Your GMB Business Profile has a large impact on both your online and offline success. We’ll tell you how it does so.

Keeping the Customer Experience Seamless

In today’s world, customers want easy. Whether it’s shopping, researching products, or hearing about products for the first time, they want everything to be seamless. Yet for many, the process is still fragmented. How can you connect the dots so that your customers receive a consistent, relevant message regardless of the channel? It starts with having complete data.

There are three data types you can draw from:

First-party data: This is the data you own. It includes your mailing list, your email list, data from your CRM system, and anything else, including data gathered from social media interactions with your company.

Second-party data: This is data you rent, purchase, or exchange with another company. This might be from a data house or noncompetitive company with which you have a strategic relationship.

Third-party data: This is data you gather from third parties, including websites and social media.

What does this look like in action? Here are some of the places an airline, for example, might mine data to define its target audience:

• Members of its loyalty program (sourced from CRM)
• Customers who frequently purchase travel online (sourced from its website)
• Consumers in the market for travel credit cards (sourced from a third-party data provider)
• Customers or prospects exhibiting high engagement with its monthly newsletters (sourced from email)
• Consumers posting/tweeting about travel credit cards (sourced from social media)

Gathering and consolidating this data not only helps the airline define a highly targeted audience, but also more closely customize and target its messaging.

Other market verticals can use similar strategies, mining information from their own loyalty programs, website inquiries, and email newsletters, as well as third-party data such as specialty credit card inquiries, magazine subscriptions, andcatalog purchases.

Once this data is gathered, it can be centralized so it’s all in one place. You clean it up, analyze it, and fill in any gaps. Then you can begin incorporating it across marketing channels to provide customers with a seamless, personalized experience.

Need help? Call us. That’s what we do!

Fortunately, there are some foolproof sales tips every business professional should know. Check out these seven sales suggestions for small business.

If you don’t have your perfect marketing scheme in place yet, don’t worry. We’ve put together a few Father’s Day marketing ideas that are worth trying.

You start with a product that you want to sell, but you're not sure who wants to buy it. How do you identify your target audience? We have a few crucial steps.

Do you already have a direct mail provider? Have you been working with the same company for years and think, “Things are going just fine. Why make a change?” If you are happy your current provider, great! But it’s always worth asking the question, “What else could I be getting? Am I leaving opportunities on the table?”

Whether you’ve been in direct mail for years or you’re just getting started, here are five things you should expect from your direct mail provider, even if you’ve been working with them for years.

1. Lowest possible postage. Most direct mail houses help you get discounts on your mail, but not every direct mail house is certified to get the lowest possible postage rates and discounts based on volume, drop-shipping, and mail design. That’s where a “best in class” provider comes in. Best-in-class providers are able to offer all discounts for which you qualify and have the knowledge, technology, and experience to help you capitalize on them. Some companies, like the Goode Company, go even further. We drive trucks daily to the local entry points at no charge, reducing your costs even further. Plus, we have unique international mailing capabilities that get you dramatically lower international postage.

2. Expert mail consultation and design. Saving money also means avoiding unnecessary costs. Best-in-class mail providers look for problems that might delay your mail or result in unexpected surcharges. For example, is the indicia placed correctly? Did you know you could use your own branded indicia if your mailer has USPS “mail anywhere” status? Are the folds placed so that the return address falls into the right place? We can’t count the number of times we’ve helped clients save thousands of dollars by identifying out-of-compliance designs or tweaking details before the piece goes into the mail.

Note: You might be mailing non-compliant pieces and not even know it. Even if you have been mailing non-compliant mail pieces until now, that doesn’t mean that someone at the post office won’t suddenly decide to be a stickler tomorrow!

3. Sophisticated data management. Best-in-class direct mail providers can help you save money by managing your mailing list to remove duplicates, stay up to date with address changes, and fix noncompliance issues. They provide data services including NCOA, merge/purge/de-dupe, CASS certification, presort and ACS updates, return files to eliminate physical returns. They even offer mail tracking so that you know where your mail is in the postal stream and the exact day each piece hits.

4. Expert campaign development. No matter who you work with, you want the best results. Best-in-class mail providers help you identify what your ideal prospect looks like and using demographic searches can expand your database to get to know your customers, and can help you use this information to design highly targeted mailings. This can include sending direct mailers automatically based on triggers that you set. Best-in-class providers also help you collect detailed metrics (so you know your campaigns are working) and do A/B testing to refine your campaigns based on real-life results.

5. Detailed tracking and reporting. The more tracking and reporting data you have, the more you can plan your timing around other aspects of the campaign. For example, once delivery of your mail has been confirmed, your salespeople can start making calls immediately. You can also time follow-up emails and reminders, and if you know that mail takes longer in certain ZIP Codes, you can optimize your mail drops to ensure that you hit your target windows. You can even schedule complementary channels, such as radio advertising and social media campaigns, to begin the desired number of days after your mail is in-home.

Working with a best-in-class direct mail provider is more than making sure your mail is delivered on time. It means working with someone with deep knowledge of the postal regulations and with deep data, mail design, and consultation expertise who can get you the best results.

Does your mail house do all that? If not, let’s talk.

Lots of people can breeze through an application, write a cover letter and even limp along in a phone call, but few know how to nail the elusive in-person interview.

There are tried and true plans that can benefit your social networking. To get you started, check out these strategies for successful social media marketing.

Ensuring your small business website is search engine optimized should be high on the list of marketing to-dos. Keep these tips in mind to optimize your website for search engines.

Can you find your business online? Not only should a company have a website, but with modern demands, that website should be well-functioning and easy to use.

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