The envelope. The sports jacket of the direct mail world. Done properly, it can enhance your mailings and increase open rates. Done incorrectly, and it’s a first class ticket to the trash. So this month, our Tip Tuesday is dedicated to giving you some ideas on how to make the most of your direct mail envelope.
If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a million times. Brand your mailings, people. Put a logo in the return address box. Get a stamp with your tagline or motto and stamp the back flap. Put a line of your signature color along the bottom. Anonymous envelopes look like bills and credit card offers. They get thrown in the trash. Let people know who the envelope is from.
In addition to telling people who the envelope is from, you need to tell them why they need to open it. Put a call to action right on that baby. Ask a question. Make a compelling statement. Let them know there’s a free offer inside. Make it short, simple and powerful.
When I was a kid I got quite a bit of personal mail. Birthday cards, postcards from friends, notes from my grandparents. Now, I’m lucky if I get a few Christmas cards. SO, when I see an envelope with a handwritten address, you better believe I open that up. Its usually just a note from my accountant or dentist telling me I need an appointment, but still. Handwritten = open.
Color attracts eyeballs. In a stack of white envelopes, your bright orange one is going to stand out and pique the recipient’s curiosity. While colored envelopes are a little more expensive than white, it is still a very simple and cost effective way to make your mailings unique.
I sit about 50ft away from a group of graphic designers, so you’d think that I had an endless supply of visual content for our blog, newsletter, social media, etc. However, there are these wonderful people called clients that take up most of the designers time. And while I leave big projects to the professionals, there are often times when I need a simple visual for something minor and the designers don’t have time to create it. When that happens, I turn to one of these online content creation tools:
As a writer, I would be perfectly happy spending my days writing articles, white papers and ebooks with only text. However, I know large chunks of text usually don’t get read. Piktochart allows me to convert text based articles into visual infographics that are more interesting and eye catching to the average consumer. There is a small selection of free templates, but you gain access to more templates and features when you purchase a subscription.
I just discovered Canva and I’m hooked. I’ve created a white paper, an infographic and a variety of single images for social media. Unlike other content creation software, Canva isn’t subscription based, which I like. They have images that are free, and others that cost money, so each time you log on you can determine how much money you’ll spend.
I discovered PicMonkey a couple years ago when I was looking for an easy way to do simple photo edits like crop, blur, and resize. PicMonkey does all of that and more. I can also create images from scratch, which is how I create our #TipTuesday visuals. Like Piktochart, there are some free features but paying for a subscription opens up even more features.
If you follow One Step Services on Facebook or Twitter, you’ve probably noticed that every Monday we post an inspirational quote. I use a variety of tools to convert text quotes into images, and one of them is Recite. You simply type in our quote, pick a template, and it spits out an image which you can share directly or download (the image at the top of this blog post was made with Recite). This service is free!
Keep in mind that while these tools are very helpful and cost effective, they operate based on templates and there isn’t a lot of room for customization. When you need something customized, turn to the pros! Our talented team of graphic designers would love to create anything you need, whether it’s a Facebook cover photo, a header for your email newsletter, a postcard, a business card, a listing presentation or anything else you can think of. Just call 949-587-5301 or email email@example.com to place an order.
Marketing costs money. Every time you mail a postcard, update your website or pay to have an email designed, you are spending money that you hope will make you money. One of the best ways to ensure a high ROI (return on investment) for your marketing is to create marketing that is meaningful to your audience. And the only way to do that is to know your audience. And so, this month’s Tip Tuesdays are all about collecting, organizing and using data about your clients, leads and audience.
Keep track of important information such as purchase history, demographic info, birthdays, anniversaries, hobbies, professional interests, testimonials, etc.
The more you know about your clients and leads, the more dynamic and personalized you can make your campaigns to them. The type of information you keep track of will vary based on your business, however, most businesses should collect demographic information (age, gender, location, profession, income, etc). Many businesses may also benefit from keeping track of products and services purchased by each client. Beyond that, the call is yours. Keep track of whatever info you think will help you understand your audience.
Use a CRM to keep all customer data organized and accessible to all in your organization.
Everyone needs a centralized, organized way to keep track of the client information they collect. We use a software called Zoho which has a full suite of products including CRM, accounting and email marketing. Infusionsoft is another great CRM product for small business. For real estate agents, there are several different CRMs created specifically for that industry which make it incredibly easy to input, store and use data.
Collect customer data through conversations, surveys, order tracking, questions asked on social media, testimonials.
Gathering data on your clients and leads is a continuous process. If you have specific information you want to collect, make it part of your new client paperwork or send out a survey. If you are reaching out to a brand new audience, you can use a data service company to gather demographic information on them. But also, keep your ears open for less formal information. If a client mentions an upcoming surgery, make a note of it and send a get well card. If you’re a real estate agent that knocks on doors, make notes about the people that you talk to. Ask a fun question on social media and record the responses. You never know when a tidbit of personal information will help you close a sale.
When ordering direct mail lists, pay attention to demographic and other client information and use that to create relevant campaigns.
We will dive into this in more detail in May’s Tip Tuesdays. But for now, it’s important to understand that when you are marketing, you aren’t communicating to a bunch of blank slates. You are communicating to people with stories, needs, wants, struggles, prejudices, etc. All of these things affect their decision to do business with you. The better you understand the many facets of the people you are working with, the better able you are to craft campaigns that appeal to them and elicit a response.
If you need help collecting data, let us know! We can create mailable surveys, client intake forms or anything else you need. If you already have your data, we’d love to put together a campaign that is relevant to your audience and gives you a high ROI.
Mother’s Day is Sunday May 8th and we have several Mother’s Day postcards you can use to reach out to your farm, social list, clients and leads. Download the Mothers Day Order Form and either email it to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax it to 949-452-0381. Order by April 19th and receive 10% off printing costs.
Mother’s Day 1 & 2
These two postcards can be used for real estate agents or small business owners. They’re sentimental message is perfect for connecting with your audience on a personal level.
New House for Mama
This lighthearted, real estate centered postcard is perfect sending Mother’s Day wishes and generating leads in the form of buyers and sellers.
The holiday of love is coming up, and what better way to show your clients and leads some love than with a special greeting? You can mail these postcards, walk and drop them, or attach them to small gifts. For the first time ever, you also have the option of emailing these postcards to a list you provide. To learn more about email postcards, click here.
Download the Valentines_OrderForm_2016
This postcard is a perfect way to wish your social list a Happy Valentine’s Day, as well as remind them that your available for all their real estate needs.
Start gearing up for the spring selling season now! This Valentine’s postcard is the perfect way to get your recipients thinking about listing their home with you.
It’s important to provide useful information for homeowners even if they aren’t ready to sell. Postcards like this one help you build trust and brand familiarity. Then when they are ready to sell, you’ll be the one they call.
- You have changed the products and services you offer. An IT company went from focusing on niche services to offering a full range of IT services. We updated their brand to communicate that change.
- You are targeting a different audience. When a real estate agent moved her business, her target audience changed. We updated her brand to appeal to the new audience, but kept enough of the original elements so as not to alienate her loyal long time clients.
- Your brand is simply too old. Neon colors were all the rage in the 80s, but now those colors come across as obnoxious and juvenile. If your brand has outdated elements, its time to give it a modern look that will appeal to a modern audience.
Need a new look?
At One Step Services, we specialize in visual branding. Come in today and let us give your brand a facelift so that it better communicates what your business is really all about. To set up an appointment, call 949-587-5301 or email email@example.com
It’s the most beautiful time of the year, and our designing elves have been busy creating Christmas postcards for you to send to your farms and client lists.
All postcards are 8.5 x 5.5, full color and double sided. We have 7 prewritten messages you can choose from, or you can send us your own messaging. As with all our postcards, you can choose to have them returned to you so you can hand them out yourself, or we can mail them for you to a database you provide.
Below are a few of our designs. To see all our designs, as well as prewritten messages, download our order form. You can place an order by faxing us the form, emailing it to us or simply calling us at 949-587-5301.
Brett Marie Bruce and her daughter, Jen Smude, came to us with a brand that was bland and inconsistent. When meeting with our graphic designers, they asked for a brand that would make their mailers visually stand out from all the other mail people were receiving. They wanted something that was classy, feminine and wouldn’t become outdated too quickly.
“One of our clients was so impressed with our marketing pieces, he asked for the name of our marketing company so he could look into the same service for his company.” – Brett Marie Bruce. The peacock feather pattern and bright colors of their new brand are making their target audience take notice. They’ve had several clients call and compliment them on the new brand. Brett Marie and Jen understand the importance of brand consistency and have used their brand on business cards, postcards and their newsletter. Soon, their website will boost the colors of their new brand as well.
Nichole Doughty Group is the perfect example of successful rebranding. Previously, Nichole had a small boutique real estate company with distinct oval signs. Once Nichole and her team moved to a different company and a new location, they needed an updated brand.
“We chose One Step because they were the ones who helped us design the oval sign that we created years ago. That oval has always remained our signature and we wanted it incorporated in the new brand.”- Nichole Doughty. Our designers knew it was important to modernize the brand while still keeping some of the most recognizable elements. The oval shaped logo and watercolor style were kept while the name of the brand was changed, the font was made more contemporary, and the watercolor artwork changed slightly to better represent the new location.
The rebranding of the Nichole Doughty Group has been a success. Recipients in her new farm can identify with the new brand, while those familiar with the old brand recognize the distinct oval design and know that this is the same group they’ve known and trusted in the past.
Have you ever received a piece of mail that is the same as your neighbors, except yours has a different textual message? Or have you ever wondered how stores put unique names and addresses on every single mailing piece? The answer is variable data printing. Variable data printing allows for the customization of mass mailing pieces without slowing down the printing process. It can be as simple as putting different addresses on each piece, or as complicated as creating pieces with different graphics, colors and text. It is an incredibly powerful tool for direct mail marketers.
Why should I use variable data printing?
Depending on your target audience and your message, variable data options can provide a unique opportunity to speak directly to potential clients with interest and enthusiasm. It allows you to create a mass mailing, but tweak it so that each piece speaks specifically to the recipient. Consequently, your mail is more likely to be looked at, your calls to action more likely to be acted upon and your business more likely to grow. Businesses often see a higher return on investment when they use variable data in their direct mail marketing campaigns.
How can I use variable data printing?
The possibilities for variable data printing are endless, but let’s look at one specific scenario. Imagine you manage a clothing retail store and you are able to keep track of customers’ purchases through their use of a rewards card. As the summer approaches, you want to send out a mailing piece featuring specific clothing items and offering coupons. You could send out one mailer where all the pieces feature the same clothes and same coupons. Or you could use variable data to create unique pieces tailored to the buying history of specific customers. In the end, you would end up with hundreds, or maybe thousands, of pieces that generally look the same, but feature different types of clothing and have different coupons to match buyers’ needs.
How can I get my pieces printed with variable data?
By using One Step Services! We work directly with printers that have the ability to print thousands of postcards with different text and/or graphics. Our graphic designers coordinate with printers so you won’t have to worry about it. Just tell us the data you want varied and we’ll take care of the rest.
Is variable data printing more expensive than regular printing?
Not necessarily. In some cases, it can be cheaper. For example, if you wanted 1,000 postcards printed, and you wanted 500 with one graphic and 500 with another, it would be cheaper to use variable data printing rather than running two separate orders of 500 each. If you run into a scenario where variable printing is more expensive than regular printing, remember that the return on investment is likely to be higher, therefore costing you less money in the grand scheme of things.
Ready to get started with variable data printing? Give us a call at 949-587-5301 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have specific ideas for variable data we’ll put those into practice and if you need ideas, we can help you brainstorm.
Picture taken from www.freedigitalphotos.net