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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How to Get Customer and Audience Feedback…

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
How to Get Customer and Audience Feedback…

Direct marketing has hundreds of tactics to reach your customers…

Direct Marketing Has Hundreds of Tactics to Reach Your Customers

More and more companies, big and small, are searching for direct marketing ideas. *

 

The efficiencies of direct marketing led to a long success for many small business marketing firms and importantly, how to make them work for your small business today. Today I read a report that larger companies are eyeing ways to use it as well.

In small businesses today, B2B, healthcare practitioners, start-up companies, and retailers, advertising to the masses is possible but not likely effective. In fact, small business advertising was and still is harder for a small business to function properly and to sustain growth, but even worse in the pandemic.

There is a lot of noise created by the thousands of mid to large companies trying to get the attention of any person and convince them to buy their products. There is no room for a small business to even think of trying.

Did you ever travel with your favorite sports team to an away game? I bet the noise was deafening whenever the home team had the ball, were at bat or handling the puck.

That is a metaphor for the present state of small business advertising today. For your message read or heard by a customer or prospect, you must shout louder than the home team. Here, a small business can never match the advertising dollars of the much larger companies or worse yet, maybe their competition.

Direct marketing techniques are more than a single communication channel.

Direct Marketing is a good defense communication channel when using direct mail. Direct Mail is an important channel of direct marketing, and many of the small businesses that use it will agree. Even the postal service offers programs, such as Informed Delivery and Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) is affordable for the many small business’s market.

“Direct marketing means delivering an opportunity to buy directly to a single customer through any channel that the customer may use or prefer.”

Or what we call, direct 2 customers.

No mid to large corporation would ever use direct marketing in their advertising based on the definition above. But there are looking. Yet, a small business can and should use direct marketing in all their advertising to customers.

Specifically, direct marketing has a variety of tactics to reach customers. A marketing message can gather the reader’s attention with captivating copy, an impactful design, and crafting an offer that is hard for anyone to refuse. Using a website landing page will keep the communication moving to a sale.

If you like that idea, let us look at another strategy when combined with direct marketing to speed up company growth.

Today's small business marketing environment is ideal for using direct marketing.

First, advertising is a tactic of marketing. Everything marketing starts and ends with your customers. You need to listen to them and respond to them. Customers will share their thoughts about your products.

If you believe that this is the “age of the customer,” then it is the perfect time for you to behave like a customer you would love to have as a customer. Ask your customers daily.

As a marketer, the purest, most simple goal you should have is to get a potential customer to receive your marketing message, read the message and make a purchase. Direct marketing’s developed PROVEN strategies and tactical tools for helping customers to respond to your message. Check out the graphic on our web page today.

In summary,

Knowing what type of marketing works well today is not a guarantee for tomorrow. However, when you stay true to your commitment on gaining a better understanding of your customer’s needs and wants, you will always know when a change is in the wind and figure out how to react to it.

*Direct Marketing Solutions Market 2020 Size, Share, Forecast to 2026: MRM//McCann, Acxiom, Leo Burnett, Epsilon, SourceLink, Merkle, Harte-Hanks Direct, Rapp, Wunderman

The market study also includes the detailed data regarding the performance of all the market leaders. For more information, https://www.orbismarketreports.com/sample-request/163321?utm_source=Maia

 

 

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Here is a Short Story About Buying into a Long Tail

Here is a Short Story About Buying into a Long Tail

How is your customer acquisition program performing these days?

Now, you will not tell me you do not have one in place. Good if you do, but shame on you if you do not. Here are a few ideas if you do not or if you do here are a few new ideas that will help.

Locating and recruiting new customers is an essential activity for every business. So, you spend much of your time attempting to attract the attention of viable prospects and make an initial sale.

Sometimes, however, there is a tendency to concentrate so heavily on seeking new customers that we often overlook the ones we already have. 

That is why it is so vitally important to make sure you divide your direct marketing and mail dollars appropriately between the two activities. 

Go for a tail. 

Go for the “long tail in direct marketing and mail” with as much energy as you go for the initial sale. Go for developing strategies to build repeat business over the long haul with the same energy.

  • What type of tactics were used to capture the first wave of repeat business?
  • Can these businesses become aligned with existing business to see if there are any similarities?

For example, by providing a greater variety of inventory (extending the long tail), businesses hope to reach more customers and generate more total sales. If your customer is a printer, you have an inventory in place of paper, toner, color cartridges, service contracts, and so on. 

You may not think your company does not have a tail but check it out.

  • Could you build in and offer a service or maintenance contract?
  • Could you devise annual reviews or client updates?
  • Could you create innovations in your products or services that encourage customers to repurchase more frequently?
  • Longer life of cartridges? Toner?

Many businesses have tails they do not even know they have. By looking closer at your existing customers, are there different ways consumers use your product? 

If you have weak or non-existent customer profiles in your company database, now is a good time to build them. Just make sure you keep “going for the tail” as the end goal that brings in another revenue stream from existing customers.

No, you will not find a whale in a stream. But you may find a whale of a tale from a new customer!  

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
How to Get Customer and Audience Feedback…

The Art of Copywriting

The Art of Copywriting

When you write marketing copy, do you get tense?

The Skill of Copy

In the game of baseball, I asked a newcomer, “How fast can you make it from first to third on a single?”

If you write the marketing copy in the present tense, then you are likely to get a better response. By that I mean your direct-marketing copy will fall short of the mark you aimed at by making far off, distant promises.

For example –

  • Our product will make your cookies taste sweeter.
  • Our concept will make you sell more.
  • Our program will make you move up the corporate ladder.

When you use the present tense, you keep the promise and the payoff close to the reader – right here, right now, and get it today!

My colleagues in direct marketing always look for words that work for dollars. The present tense offers the reader immediate satisfaction now and not in the future.

Look at the simple corrections made to the three previous sentences.

  • Our product makes your cookies sweeter.
  • Our concept makes you richer.
  • Our program makes you reach that promotion.

Tomorrow always seems to be here before you know it. The present tense has the most direct marketing potential for record-breaking sales because it is here today, ready to sell and to deliver on every promise.

Remember, direct marketing copy pulls the reader in and makes an offer to get the sale now.

Getting Close to Home

I hope you made sense out of my little play upon the word tense. Because the alternative might be a double play! That is the skill of attraction.

I know some marketers say having many people on the fence waiting to buy would call that a success. That is not the right way of using direct marketing. Why wait when you can have the present tense working for you every day?

Another change of writing helps if you know how to go from first to third.

If you like posting testimonials supporting your product, go from the first person to the third person.

Writing in the first-person narrative means copy from the “I” point of view. For example, “I use product X every day and never miss another appointment.”

Writing in the first person is more personal sounding, but if nobody knows the person making that statement, it is boring.

Let us look at writing as the third person. This form of writing stems from the well-informed point of view.

For example,

“My name is John Smith, President of XYZ Company, and 99.5% who have purchased Product X, make more in sales than all the other products combined.”

The third person is more authoritative by mentioning the person by name, his or her position and further, by building a clearer brand image for company X.

When writing marketing copy, such as a testimonial, test it on other people, some you know, to see if the copy meets your objectives.

It is always helpful to remember. Direct to customers!

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