The Six Secrets of No-Surprise Printing

The Six Secrets of No-Surprise Printing

Even When Using Digital Printing… it pays to plan.

Methods

Successful print jobs are all about planning and communication. If you plan carefully and communicate exactly what you want, it is unlikely that you will need an expensive do over by a problem or disappointment later.

Number One.

The first step is to have a rational idea of the physical piece you want to create. That means determining the size, shape, folds, and other characteristics. For anything more complicated than a flat sheet, it is wise to create a dummy or mock-up to make sure that pages and folds are where you want them to be.

Number Two.

If you are printing for a mailing, a mock-up helps to ensure that the individual pieces will fit in the envelope properly. It can also help determine the type of printing equipment, such as die cutting or masking that will be a much-needed impact. Simple steps now could lead to savings to make the printing process more efficient. Changing the dimensions, for example, could allow a piece to be printed on a smaller press to save money. Check with the post office or your direct mailer. Non-Traditional size and shape mailers may require a special rate.

Number Three.

Proofing is also important. It is often tempting to rush when you are working under a deadline, but it is always better (and much cheaper) to correct a mistake before printing begins. Show your last design to several people, include those who have not worked on the project. Their input will be fresh and objective. Look for the usual spelling errors and grammatical mistakes. Carefully check the headline and subheads. Most important, be sure that all vital information is correct, including phone number, return address, postal indicia, and bar codes. 

Number Four.

One common mistake is to include photos that look good on a computer screen, but which do not print well on a press. For most, you will need photos or graphics with 300 dpi resolution. Always use stock or vector images from a reputable company. If the budget permits, hire a photographer, designer, or direct marketing mail copyrighter. Make sure they sign off the rights of their property to your firm.

Number Five.

When submitting your design file for printing, you must include not only the file but all the attached files, including fonts, photos, graphics, and logos. Check early on with your printer what they need to get what you want to achieve. Just because it is digital, printers need to follow a protocol to get the best-looking printed material.

Number Six.

Finally, it is important to keep in mind that printing involves putting ink onto paper. The ink and paper you use will affect the last look. You cannot rely on how a design appears on a computer screen. Paper can come in various colors, thicknesses, and textures which affect the last appearance of printing. When in doubt, ask for samples before you begin the design and writing process.

Please share with others–except your competition!

Direct marketing copy is like a puzzle.

Sharing my time with you is not over at the end of a post. There are many ideas I experienced in owning a small business. My ideas about using and writing direct marketing and customer-centric copy are intertwined in the marketing, advertising, and selling content, articles, reports based on my philosophy of people learn by reading, then learn by doing.

Please join our Direct2Customers Marketing Community today!

Learning by reading and doing, marketing, and selling ideas, is what you will find in your Direct2Customer Community. Join us today by clicking on the button.

This is what I do and what I love to do.

Thanks again for reading. Questions?

Mdoc@direct2customers.com or 800-251-3608

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Are Today’s Customers Harder to Reach?

Are Today’s Customers Harder to Reach?

The competition today is humongous!

In our history as a nation, for example in the 1800s, all selling was face-to-face. Store owners studied customer purchases to determine their likes and not so likes of goods and services. Sounds simple, because it was, then.

Now fast forward to the present. It is difficult to get a grasp on why and what a potential customer would buy. There is a loss of useful, outmoded communication channels seceded by the internet and all things technology.

Further, the competition today is humongous. Customers shopping at stores is low, B2B company industry shows are trying to make a comeback, trade publications are disappearing or bought out, and a small business is erratic with selling goods or closed for good.

The timing is right getting back to the basics.

When I put my thoughts together for this post, I realized how much has changed since the pandemic reached our shores in the first quarter of 2020. Companies, big and small, had a very difficult time on how to communicate with prospects and customers. Try this, do that, or even maybe this will work.

Hopefully, the time is right for a change. The pandemic may wind down as we approach the summer of 2021. Fresh cases of Covid-19 are at their low and in single digits of deaths in Illinois. People vaccinated twice are slightly over 50%.

Selling to people in the 1800s.

The biggest takeaway from the 19th Century was face-to-face selling. In the B2B industry, a person may sell a high-cost product or service. The salesperson usually receives a lot of objections. A good salesperson studies his customers and their company. He must know how to react to the objections.

With negotiations, both people must know as much as possible about each other. Each person wants to walk away as a winner.

So, what is different today? We have the technology to meet face-to-face. For example, any good salesperson would say, “I need to set the table on why my product or service is better.” A small ticket price salesperson must also set a table to get a sale. It is not what you know or who you know, it is what you know about the person you are selling to. What does he know about you?

Look at what other companies are doing.

To become a useful tool, you must transform data into information that can help drive strategic direct marketing and selling programs, financial decisions, and product development. To minimize manual data collection and conserve resources, a company should focus on metrics for readily available data.

In today’s direct and digital marketing, data will capture information needed to drive decisions. The idea of having a good marketing automation tool to capture more data at a reasonable price is a worthwhile investment. The Pareto Principal comes into play when you collect data. Twenty percent of your customers usually provide eighty percent of your revenue. Buy a CRM or database and build one today.

Adding value-oriented work habits.

When you summarize feedback in charts, graphs, or simple to understand language, you’ll always know the score. You know if you’re winning or losing–and to what degree. 

Go get’em slugger!

Useful methods of setting a table for a sale.

  1. Printed Materials. If you have not printed marketing materials in sometime, there are many knowledgeable printers to help you with paper ideas, paper types, color, black and white, sizes, postal requirement and so forth. Look up a direct mail company who process mail for delivery is a logical choice.
  2. Contact List. Every business needs a customer and prospect list. The average list may lose 20% of contacts each year. You can count on over 20% based on the present pandemic. Before you do any mailing, search your current customers from accounting. Compare each list and update your mailing customer list. That is just a start. See #5.
  3. Direct Marketing Mail. Whether a large or small business direct mail can deliver. For example, get creative with printed materials. Get creative with the envelope or other size package, so when it reaches the person’s hand and eyes, they have creative printed material, such as a call-to-action.
  4. Communication Channels. Besides mail you should add additional communication channels such as email, landing pages, your website, telephone, zoom, video such as You Tube and other digital marketing techniques. Your choices are many, but it all depends on what your contacts prefer.
  5. Data Management. Personalization assumes that you know something about the people to whom you are mailing, emailing, or sending to a landing page and so on. It is an effective way to keep customers spending their money on your products and services.

Summary

Yes, there are more. However, without having a good contact list, your results are not always what they could be. The key point in any of the communication channels is personalization. You need to collect customer data, such as what channel (email, mail, etc) is the best revenue channel.

A database, such as a CRM, will disclose more about your customers and prospects. Think about using segments in your CRM. Start simple. For example, what buyers are in the top 20% of revenue. They may have different copy than the other 80%.

Here is a collection of articles and posts for each of the five tactical tools from the list above.

mdoc@direct2customers.com

Please share with others–except your competition!

Direct marketing copy is like a puzzle.

Sharing my time with you is not over at the end of a post. There are many ideas I experienced in owning a small business. My ideas about using and writing direct marketing and customer-centric copy are intertwined in the marketing, advertising, and selling content, articles, reports based on my philosophy of people learn by reading, then learn by doing.

Please join our Direct2Customers Marketing Community today!

Learning by reading and doing, marketing, and selling ideas, is what you will find in your Direct2Customer Community. Join us today by clicking on the button.

This is what I do and what I love to do.

Thanks again for reading. Questions?

Mdoc@direct2customers.com or 800-251-3608

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2021 J. Mike Deuerling
Why do I Share Content?

Why do I Share Content?

Why Not?

In larger companies, such as ACE Hardware or State Farm Insurance, you will most likely find a human resources title, such as marketing manager, to accomplish the marketing planning goals set by upper management.

In small business, maybe 2, 15, 50 or 500 employees or an owner of one, another person anointed with organization leadership, is the marketing manager. This person knows his customers at a higher level than anyone with the title of marketing manager in big business. HE or SHE knows a happy customer is a great customer. The more they know about their customers is critical for success.

We all need feedback.

Owning a small business, I always needed to receive feedback from my marketing tips. Such as in my blog, website, newsletters, email, or discussions with customers and prospects. I have three principles of marketing/sales that always work.

  1. Learn by reading.
  2. Learn by doing.
  3. Find a solution for a problem.

The Marketing Doc name was a label from an eye doctor while I was gathering information from him to build a marketing and advertising program for his small practice, in 1994. “I can’t treat a patient until I find the problem. Your questions helped me think about the future of my practice. You must be a Marketing Doctor.”

In the beginning of my business in 1984, I created a series of questions and started building my first small business manual marketing workbook, CustomMark. These were exploring questions to learn more about prospects looking for marketing and selling help. I changed the name and added new content two other times since the early nineties, but the latest, Custom-Made Marketing, is the sixth edition.

The answers to questions tell me a story of their usage of marketing, advertising, and sales. I look at marketing as everything you do to get more customers strategically. For example, getting a database or CRM to build a customer-centric strategy. Segment your customers and prospects, develop customer profiles, and consider training your employees who sell using tactics of solution selling.

Learn by reading, learn by doing, and learn how to become a solution provider for your prospect and customers.

I see smaller traffic to my new blog, on Direct2customers.com, Blog-MarketingDoc. I had over 10.000 readers on marketingdoc.net blog, but still trying to surpass it on this blog. So, I’ll share two blog posts on October 2020. Just click on the Two Blog Posts button under this content.

I hope you find them interesting and meaningful to your business. If not, please let me know. If you have a question or an idea to discuss, you can reach me via email, Mdoc@direct2customers.com or 800.251. 3608.

When you join our marketing community, you’ll have a variety of content to read, plus it is free to join.

“I always write content that helps people work better and reach their goals.”

 MarketingDoc

Please share with others–except your competition!

Direct marketing copy is like a puzzle.

Sharing my time with you is not over at the end of a post. There are many ideas I experienced in owning a small business. My ideas about using and writing direct marketing and customer-centric copy are intertwined in the marketing, advertising, and selling content, articles, reports based on my philosophy of people learn by reading, then learn by doing.

Please join our Direct2Customers Marketing Community today!

Learning and doing, marketing, and selling ideas, is what you will find in your Direct2Customer Community. Join us today by clicking on the button.

This is what I do and what I love to do.

Thanks again for reading. Questions?

Mdoc@direct2customers.com or 800-251-3608

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2021 J. Mike Deuerling
Seven Fundraiser Tips to Reach Supporters…

Seven Fundraiser Tips to Reach Supporters…

and learn how a few tactics will win over your customers.

 

Let me explain.

Let me explain.

Direct Marketing+Mail comprises many distinct elements to help your customers buy your products. When you add them up in your head, you can easily lose track because there are so many.

Never stop at one.

Let us talk about customers. The human mind is very baffling, and depending how their day is going, it can change in a heartbeat. For example, an automobile manufacturer does not just sell cars. They are selling economical transportation to get you to and from work every day. What else are they selling? It depends upon the person. 

A mom with children needing a new car wants lots of space. Safety features also come to mind. What about Kevlar seat covers to keep the interior looking half respectable?  

Dad will want either good mileage, performance, or both. But buying a sedan does not cope well hauling children to sporting events plus equipment. Once the last child is over eighteen, dad may finally get the sedan of his dreams.

As one can see, there are a lot of hot buttons to push to get someone to buy. Whatever product a company sells, there are many variables to consider. In these cases, a person should start thinking like enthusiasts. Focus on the payoff or reward more than on the product. Take a cue from fundraisers. That’s a good moon arising! 

 

There are a lot of hot buttons to push to get someone to buy.

Take a cue from fundraisers.
  • Whatever product a company sells, there are many variables to consider. In these cases, a person should start thinking like enthusiasts. Focus on the payoff or reward more than on the product. Take a cue from fundraisers.
  • How do professional nonprofit fundraisers raise millions of dollars for their non-profits every year? What are their secrets to fundraising? The answer is trust and establishing confidence in the direct communication copy.

As promised, here are seven enthusiastic ideas to make more money.

  1. Put yourself in an enthusiastic mind frame as you review your copy. Ask why. It is important to clarify “the why” you are asking for a donation or a sale.

A fundraiser does not want money but an agreement for their cause. The goal is to get people to support and invest in an organization. Or with a profit company, get the buyer to tell others about their product and experience.

  1. A fundraiser copywriter puts the facts about the organization in small type but emphasizes the benefits, payoff, and rewards. The idea behind this brings the reader onto a center stage in the copy using big, bold letters.

Any for profit company can send their customers to a website landing page with a similar look of the mailer and continue the reward and pay off in the copy. Once your customer reaches the web, accentuating your product with actual photography or a video is like the icing on a cake.

  1. Typically, an enthusiast for a cause wants to see more information in writing and on paper. Your customers probably do as well. 

There is no faster way to lose an enthusiast or a customer than to stop at one communication. Follow with another direct-mail piece that has continuity with the first communication. The piece should contain crafted stories, including pictures of other customers in action using your product. Do not forget email or other channels of communication they use.  

  1. A good idea is to reference the first mailing to build on the enthusiasm and the donors’ or customers’ emotions. That is another reason message frequency is so important.
  1. A single piece of direct mail can easily develop into many communications and using other channels of communication preferred by the readers.

Fund raisers take some time to learn more about their donors. This is a vital strategy in the non-profit industry and like a customer-centric marketing strategy for a company.

  1. Do not worry about redundancy. Remember, they bombarded people with thousands of messages per day. That is another good reason to keep continuity going from the first moment during the campaign to whenever the campaign ends.
  1. The image you project about your product or service or your charity and the value it brings to your customers or donors can be more important than the product or the service. To a charity donor, we consider it as an investment into the charitable organization.

Here is a takeaway from fundraisers for your profit business:

Learning a buying reason for a group of customers on how they use your product can lead your company to better marketing results. You can write more relevant copy, which can induce people to respond more often. Excellent results will lead to more customers.

I trust that was what you were looking for!

Please share with others–except your competition!

Direct marketing copy is like a puzzle.

Sharing my time with you is not over at the end of a post. There are many ideas I experienced in owning a small business. My ideas about using and writing direct marketing and customer-centric copy are intertwined in the marketing, advertising, and selling content, articles, reports based on my philosophy of people learn by reading, then learn by doing.

Please join our Direct2Customers Marketing Community today!

Learning by reading and doing, marketing, and selling ideas, is what you will find in your Direct2Customer Community. Join us today by clicking on the button.

This is what I do and what I love to do.

Thanks again for reading. Questions?

Mdoc@direct2customers.com or 800-251-3608

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2021 J. Mike Deuerling
Why do I Share Content?

How to Get Customer and Audience Feedback…

You need to create the right attention

For many, feedback is detrimental-a negative, unplanned disturbance. It’s that dreadful, high-pitched squeal from the public-address system that sometime occurs when the speaker at the podium first opens his or her mouth to say, “Good morning.” Good, no more.

Make some good moves with the music

In business, there’s another form of feedback. This is the response you get from customers and prospects from a campaign, a press release, a post or how customers use your product or service. The answers tell you how well your company is doing or where improvements you can make.

  1. Naturally, the very best feedback you can get is a sale–cash in your bank account. Then ask yourself what precipitated a purchase.
  2. The next best feedback is to have a customer or prospect–really talk to you and tell you what they feel good or bad.
  3. In the world of the most preeminent companies, those that invite feedback–and use it to improve–continue to outperform those who do the same thing over and over.

 

So, get creative, get bold.

Not only do these companies seek honest evaluations about their performances, but they also present the data to the sales and marketing teams, customer service, and the product development team. The more a person knows then uses the information to make future campaigns successful.

Before you think of mailing a survey, there probably are many questionnaires and surveys floating around that responses can be slim. So, get creative, get bold. Start with the number one tool to get your customer information.

Pick up the phone, or get in your car, motorcycle, truck, or what gets you from point A to point B and lead your team, to talk to customers, one to one, and listen, listen, listen, and then you can react to the feedback! 

Canned questions are fine, but use them as thought starters. Let customers talk to you and tell you, in their own words, what they see, hear about your company and their impression.

Look at what other companies are doing.

To become a useful tool, you must transform data into information that can help drive strategic direct marketing and selling programs, financial decisions, and product development. To minimize manual data collection and conserve resources, a company should focus on metrics for readily available data.

In today’s direct and digital marketing, data will capture information needed to drive decisions. The idea of having a good marketing automation tool to capture more data at a reasonable price is a worthwhile investment. The Pareto Principal comes into play when you collect data. Twenty percent of your customers usually provide eighty percent of your revenue. Buy a CRM or database and build one today.

Adding value-oriented work habits.

When you summarize feedback as charts, graphs, or simple to understand language, you’ll always know the score. You know if you’re winning or losing–and to what degree. 

Go get’em slugger!

Please share with others–except your competition!

Direct marketing copy is like a puzzle.

Sharing my time with you is not over at the end of a post. There are many ideas I experienced in owning a small business. My ideas about using and writing direct marketing and customer-centric copy are intertwined in the marketing, advertising, and selling content, articles, reports based on my philosophy of people learn by reading, then learn by doing.

Please join our Direct2Customers Marketing Community today!

Learning by reading and doing, marketing, and selling ideas, is what you will find in your Direct2Customer Community. Join us today by clicking on the button.

This is what I do and what I love to do.

Thanks again for reading. Questions?

Mdoc@direct2customers.com or 800-251-3608

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2021 J. Mike Deuerling