Success Tips
Print and Digital: Complements, but Not Interchangeable
In the marketing world, we regularly hear about print and digital marketing being used together. Digital and print media reinforce one another, so rather than seeing the two as competitors, marketers are encouraged to integrate them. However, integration doesn’t mean that the two channels are interchangeable, as one new survey shows. Consumers still want a choice. 

A survey commissioned by Two Sides North America reveals that U.S. consumers are unhappy with corporate initiatives forcing them into digital-only communication and eliminating paper-based options. Many of the questions related to bills and statements, but the results apply to marketing communications, too. 

Consumers want to be able to choose whether to receive paper bills and statements, and they don’t want to have to pay extra to do it. For example, 79% of respondents want the option to continue receiving printed information, and 77% would be unhappy if they were asked to pay for it. More than three-quarters (79%) felt that paper options were easier to read compared to screens. 

There is also suspicion about the motives of companies forcing their customers to go paperless. Overwhelmingly (85%), consumers agreed that cost savings is the main reason companies use claims such as “Go Paperless—Go Green” or “Go Paperless—Save Trees.” More than half (57%) question the truthfulness of such claims.

So use digital and print-based communications wisely. Use email when you need to touch base quickly, such as sending company news, alerting customers to a flash sale, or offering reminders. Use print where digital communications are not as strong, such as for . . .  
• In-depth communications.
• Contacts that contain highly personal information.
• Mailings that involve brand or personal trust.

Studies also show that information is easier for people to understand and recall in print, so use print for “weightier” topics and messages that require attention to detail. If you want to move customers to digital communication, ask first. Don’t make the decision for them.  
Think Data Mining Is Inaccessible? Think Again!
Powerful personalized print and digital campaigns start with great data. But data, by itself, is just that — data. For it to be useful, data has to be understood, analyzed, and organized in a way that marketers can use to understand, speak to, and motivate their audiences. This process is called data mining. 

Data mining is a scary phrase for many marketers, but it doesn’t need to be. While it as often seen as within the purview of only the largest companies, the basic process is actually well within the grasp of any sized marketer.

There are three steps to data mining:
1. Know what data is available.
2. Ask questions about that data.
3. Look for useful relationships.

The first step is to understand the headings in your database. What data are you capturing? Most databases have basic information, such as name, address and purchase history. Are you also capturing information such as age, gender, and home ownership? If so, this tells you the types of queries you can run.

Running queries is the second. “Running queries” simply means asking questions of the data. If you are a retailer, you might ask, “Which customers purchased hardwood flooring last month?” If you know that these customers are also likely to purchase area rugs and hardwood conditioning products, this gives you a great start.

Third is to run a variety of sorts. Is there a relationship between hardwood flooring and gender? How about income? You might find that data you once thought irrelevant, such as the date of purchase, has more relevance than you think.

Even basic software, such as Microsoft Excel or Microsoft Access, provides data mining capabilities. You can also purchase add-on data mining modules or third-party software or work with a third-party data house that specialize in this process. Costs can be very reasonable.

So get curious. Take a few hours to run a variety of sorts just to see what you can find. That curiosity could pay off big.  
5 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Print Budget
For most marketers, tight budgets are a reality. How do you stretch those dollars to get the most impact? Here are five tips for getting the most out of your next printing project.  

1. Work within the press format size. Different presses have a maximize paper size. Knowing the dimensions of your printer’s press(es) allows you to maximize the cost-effectiveness of your output. On a 13” x 19” digital press, for example, 6” x 9” postcards can be run four up. On a 20” x 29” press, they can be run nine-up. By maximizing the space on the sheet, your cost per piece goes down.  

2. Prep the file carefully. Before printing, files go through a process called preflight. Files are checked to make sure they are formatted properly and contain the proper elements, such as fonts, image files, margins, and bleeds. Files that need to be correct often incur a charge, so prepare your files carefully. 

3. Know the break-even between production processes. Depending on the length of your runs, you can switch between digital production and offset production. For shorter runs, digital will cost you less per piece. For longer runs, offset may be more cost effective. The crossover point at which one process becomes more cost effective than another is called “breakeven.” Knowing that breakpoint can save you money. 

4. Consider different format options. The beauty of printing is that there are so many different formats to choose from, and some formats cost more (or less) than others. You can save money on your direct mail, for example, by using a three-panel self-mailer rather than a printed letter in an envelope. Likewise, a 4 x 6” postcard will cost less than a 6 x 9” one. But consider the impact on response rates before making a switch. 

5. Use our house stock. Designers have wide range of specialty stocks to choose from, and while these stocks offer tremendous creative flexibility, they will often cost more. Our house stock works great for most applications, and it costs a lot less because it is being purchased in bulk. Ask to see samples of our house stock and see whether you can get the same great results at a lower price. 

Great printing doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. A little pre-planning and smart choices can make your budget stretch further than you might expect. 
Make a Stronger Impression with Print
Marketers should be paying attention to today’s trends in education. The same tools that help young readers learn and absorb information help the target audiences for your marketing campaigns learn and retain marketing information, too. 

One of these tools is paper. In a new report, “Third Annual Back to School Annual Report,” the Paper and Packaging Board has gathered a vast number of statistics that show just how vital print remains to learning. 

Take a look at this data: 
  • ​96% of parents think that paper is an essential part of their children achieving their educational goals. This includes 95% of Millennial parents. 
  • ​86% of parents say their children learn better when they write things down on paper. 
  • ​56% of Millennial parents feel “most comfortable” helping their children when they are working with textbooks and worksheets. 
  • 72% of parents overall say they use paper to help their children focus. 
  • ​95% agree they often see their child do well on homework when they complete it on paper. 
In a world dominated by electronic communication, paper continues to show its muscle. Studies consistently show that paper aids the absorption and retention of information, which are the characteristics that help your prospects absorb and retain your marketing message, too. 

Paper remains a mainstay of marketing for a reason!
Can Surveys Help You Raise More Money? You Bet!
When first start planning a fundraising campaign, does a donor survey come to mind? If not, maybe it should. Donor surveys can be tremendously useful in planning a fundraising campaign so it raises the maximum amount for your project. 

Let’s say you are a private high school looking to raise funds to replace grass athletic fields with artificial turf. Before mailing out your fundraiser, you decide to survey alumni and friends of the school who have donated to capital projects in the past. Questions might include: 
  • ​Are you aware that our school is investing in an artificial turf field? 
  • ​What do you think are the most important benefits of this investment? 
  • ​Are you concerned about any health risks associated with artificial turf?
  • ​Do you see any competitive advantages of artificial turf over traditional grass fields?
  • ​Do you know whether any of our school’s direct competitors already have artificial turf? 
Surveys can be sent in print or by email, and the answers can help you plan your next marketing steps. 

For example, if donors are aware of the performance benefits of artificial turf but don’t know about other benefits (such as reduced maintenance costs to the school, lower water usage, and reduced use of agricultural chemicals), this gives you talking points about the value of their donations they may not be aware of. 

Likewise, if donors know the competitive advantages of artificial turf but are unaware of how many of your school’s competitors already have them, this allows you to position their donations as a way to help your school stay competitive. 

Or perhaps donors have misconceptions about the health hazards of artificial turf based on their knowledge of older turf products. This allows you to discuss advances in technology and alleviate potential concerns before misconceptions can derail your fundraising efforts before they get started. 

The issues and questions will be different for every organization. But what stays the same is how a simple survey can provide critical insights that can improve your messaging and get that project funded more quickly! 
Nurtured Prospects Are Higher-Value Prospects
Lead nurturing is the process of drawing prospects into the sales funnel, then “dripping” relevant information to them via print, email, or other channels to keep them moving through the funnel until they make a purchase. 

Lead nurturing is a powerful tool, but it is a process unfamiliar to many marketers. According to Forrester Research, companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost. It’s worth learning!

Let’s look at five types of lead nurturing campaigns and how they can boost your bottom line. 

1. Product-focused campaigns
Once someone “raises their hand” to show an interest in your products, your job has only begun. Now you can begin feeding them content such as case studies, white papers, and data sheets. Give them enough information, and the right information at the right stage of their buyer journeys, to make a purchase decision.

2. Overcoming objections 
Part of a customer’s journey is asking questions, so feed them information that anticipates those questions and answers their objections. This might include technical papers, customer testimonials, or analysis from industry experts. A comparison/contrast with competitive products might be in order. 

3. Lead re-engagement campaigns 
At some point, prospects can become disengaged from the process. Maybe they were wooed away by a competitor. Maybe they handed the project off to someone else. Or maybe they just got busy. Blog posts, case studies, and customer testimonials are great ways to renew their interest.  

4. Promotional/closing campaigns
After a prospect has been exposed to escalating “drips” of relevant content, it is time to close the deal. Send a promotional offer or specific, personalized call to action to get them to pull the trigger. 

5. “Top of mind” campaigns 
Even once someone becomes a customer, don’t stop pursuing them. Keep that relationship going with a welcome letter, postcard, or information kit. Make new customers feel valued and appreciated, then stay top of mind with educational newsletters, tips and tricks postcards, and regular “drip” emails to keep them engaged until they are ready to make another purchase.  

Need help planning a lead nurturing campaign? Give us a call!
Why Invest in Customer Loyalty? 3 Reasons
What’s the value of loyal customers? According to a study by Yotpo, loyal customers offer a brand three key benefits: 
  • ​They tell friends and family about the brand (60%)
  • ​They are willing to join the brand’s loyalty or VIP program (52.3%)
  • ​They spend more on a brand’s product even if there are cheaper options elsewhere (39.4%)
Not only this, but HubSpot has found that existing customers spend 67% more than new customers. 

Keep your customers, make more money. It’s that simple. Optimove, reporting on the Yotpo study, put it this way: “The power of customer loyalty is so vital, its effects could mean the difference between your business either thriving, just about surviving, or breaking down completely.”

Optimove went on to suggest three ways you can show your appreciation and keep those customers around.

1. Let them know that you reward loyalty. 
Regardless how you reward loyalty, it’s critical to let your customers know that you do. Don’t make them wait to find out. Promote your loyalty program in your direct mail pieces. Create a “loyalty” link on your website. In your print and email newsletters, talk about real people who have saved money and earned free stuff. 

2. Create and promote multi-level incentives. 
Tier your rewards so that the most loyal customers get the most benefits. The more loyal they are, the more they save, the more they earn, and the more insider benefits they get. Also consider creating a sense of competition. “Enable your customers to compare their scores, points and/or rankings with other customers,” says Optimove. 

3. Re-engage disconnected customers.
Don’t assume that lost customers are gone forever. There can be many reasons they have stopped buying, many of which may have nothing to do with them falling out of love with your products. Sometimes, all it takes is a nudge and an incentive to get them to come back. 

You’ve worked hard to gain your customers, and they are worth keeping. Make the investment in your customers and they will invest in you. 

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https://postfunnel.com/keep-customers-3-engaging-loyalty-boosters
What Are Customer Journey Maps 
(And Do You Need One)?
Customer journey maps are step-by-step guides to how customers arrive at a purchase decision for your products. Think “road maps” during a vacation. Customer journey maps are graphical representations of the route your customers take as they move through the sales funnel toward the destination (a purchase).

How does this help you? Buyers don’t simply wake up one day and decide to buy a specific product or service, so knowing the route others used helps you move new customers to a purchase, too. In addition, each stage typically uses different types of content delivered through different channels, so understanding how your customers reach each stage helps inform your strategy.

Customer journeys generally include . . . 
• discovery of the product, 
• education about the product,
• trying the product,
• purchasing the product, and
• using and advocating for the product.

Discovery is how customers find out about your product in the first place. Is it social media? Direct mail ads? Web searches? Here is where you’ll use your widest range of channels: direct mail, print ads, web banner ads, and social media marketing. Know where your customers learn about your products, what types of content they use (social media reviews, blogs, in-store signage), and meet them where they are. 

The education stage is how they learn about your product. What information do they need to move them to the next step? This could include drip marketing of product details and tutorials via print and email, QR Codes on packaging, or for more complex products and services, multi-stage mailings of high-quality print collateral. 

Next, you want people to move to the try stage. For this, you might provide product samples or allow prospects to register for a trial period.  

Ultimately, you will move the customers to the purchase stage. That should be multichannel, too. It’s not unusual for customers to make a purchase only after the second, third, or even fourth attempt, so make responding as easy as possible. (Don’t assume that delay means no. Be persistent, but not annoying.) 

Even once your customer makes a purchase, the journey isn’t over. You want them to move to the advocate stage. You want happy customers to encourage their friends and family to try the product, too. Customer-loyalty and customer-retention marketing pick up where lead nurturing left off. 

Want to learn more? Give us a call!
Get Your Timing Right!
How critical is the timing for direct mail campaigns? Hitting the right window can make the difference between recipients saying, “That’s me!” and the piece being rejected out of hand. Nowhere is this better illustrated than in this tale of two campaigns. 

Here are the similarities between Company A and Company B: 
  • Both sell snow-clearing services to businesses, schools, and other professional organizations. 
  •  Both use free ice melt as an incentive to grab attention and encourage responses to their marketing messages. 
  •  Both mailed short-run targeted postcards to facilities directors and operations managers in their local areas. 
  •  Both used a clean list, with updated names and addresses. 
Here is where the campaigns differed: 

Company A sent its direct mailer in November. This mailer landed on recipients’ desks in the start of the snowy season. Company B sent its mailer in July. This mailer dropped in the heat of the summer months before most people even think about the first snowflake beginning to fly. 

Which company got the timing right? Company B—the one that sent its mailer in the summer. Among facilities and operations managers, decisions regarding snow clearing are made in July and August, well in advance of the cold weather. 
To the average person, a direct mailer sporting ice-covered trees and automobiles encapsulated in snow drifts might seem out of place and totally ill-timed in the heat of the summer. But to the target audience, the message was loud and clear: this company knows my business. 

How well do you know your target audience? 
Donations Need a Boost? Try These 3 Things
Looking to increase the engagement of your donors or raise a little extra money? Enhance your efforts by tapping into people’s hearts. Whether you are mailing postcards or blasting an email, here are three tips for getting the most out of your appeals.

1. Don’t be afraid to ask. People want to help, so don’t be scared to put your “ask” front and center. Put the appeal at the
top, center, and bottom of the page. Use brightly colored donation buttons. Even if money is tight, it’s hard for people to say “no” to a request for emergency supplies for earthquake victims or fresh drinking water for villagers in developing countries. Make it easy for them to help.

2. Tell the story of “one.” People identify with people, not causes. Donors are more likely to give when they can identify with a single, identifiable beneficiary. You can talk about hunger affecting 15.3 million children in the United States, but people are more likely to donate if you include a picture of one hungry child staring into the camera. You can sound the alarm that 2.7 million pets are euthanized every year, but recipients are more likely to open their wallets if they see the soft brown eyes of a fox terrier poking its nose through the bars of a metal cage.

3. Peer pressure can be a good thing. Donors give because it makes them feel good, and positive peer pressure can encourage them to dig deeper. If donors had planned on giving $25, if you tell them that their peers are giving an average of $75 each (make sure it’s true), they are likely to rise to the occasion, or at least give more than they otherwise would. Another way to use positive peer pressure is to add checkboxes with predetermined gift levels. When people are presented with pre-set gift options of $25, $50, $100, or some other defined amount, they will often select a more substantial gift than when the request is open-ended. Whether by direct mail or email (or a combination of both),
fundraising taps into the heart. Use pictures, get personal and don’t be afraid to ask.
Do You “Do” Relationships? Your Customers Do!
People like to buy from people, so the more you can develop relationships with your customers, the more effective your marketing will be. This is where relationship marketing comes in. 

Relationship marketing is a broad term that focuses on customer loyalty, retention, and satisfaction rather than primarily on sales. Instead of saying, for example, “Don, we know that you’ll really love our new product,” you relate to your customers as you would to a friend, based on who they are. 

What might this look like in action? Let’s say you own a small shop selling running gear. Any time a customer purchases a product, you ask if they would like to be on your mailing list. If so, you collect their name, address, e-mail address, age, and typical length of run. Based on your sales receipts, you know their shoe size and other buying habits.

Once a month, you send out a customer newsletter incorporating this information. In the base newsletter, you might provide running tips, healthy eating suggestions, and information on local races. In terms of sales, you might weave in appropriate cross-sells and upsells based on the length and type (road, trail) your customer runs. In the winter, you might offer distance runners special “wicking” gear that moves moisture away from the body, keeping them warmer. In the summer, you might offer them sport bottles, electrolyte tablets, and compression socks. 

The intent here is to communicate: “We know you.” Occasionally, you might do a customer survey or ask for feedback, too. This deepens the customer’s feeling of being valued and, if there are problems, you can address them. You can gather ideas, such as suggestions for new products, too. Surveys also give you more information to further personalize future mailings.

When contrasted with traditional push marketing, if you were your company’s customer, which type of marketing would you be more likely to respond to?
Where to Spot Color Trends
Color is critical in marketing. It’s not just about making your products look great. Color helps to tell your story, too. It stirs your customers’ emotions. It reflects your brand. Just like fashion, however, trends in color change, so it’s important to stay current. To stay on top of what’s happening, here are five color “hot spots” to watch: 

1. Runways. When we think of color, we think of fashion. Most recently, models have been strutting their stuff in very bright colors—intense blues, vibrant oranges, and shocking yellows. We also see a secondary trend of softer, more muted tones, such as dusty pink, lilac, and coral. 

2. Home design. Interior design is another harbinger of the shifting trends in color. Trendy new colors show up on appliances, upholstery, walls, and even kitchen gadgets. Paint companies often publish color forecasts and make them available at no charge. 

3. “Car stuff.” The car you drive can be as much a fashion statement as a belt or a scarf. While the dominant colors in the auto market have long been black and gray, the trendier colors are brighter and more vibrant. These include lava orange, lime green, and popping yellow.  
  
4. High-tech gadgets. Just as in the world of fashion, we see strong, bright colors on our technology. Metallic green on iPods, teal on laptop cases, and royal purple on the iTunes icon. These are all colors we’ve seen on the runway, too. 

5. World of entertainment and celebrity. What are the stars wearing on the red carpet? How are they dressed for their appearances on talk shows? What colors are used for their set design? 

Every market has slightly different color influences, so the trends will not be identical from one to the other. However, by staying current in each of these areas, you can develop a keen sense of where to take your design next.
Want Me to Buy? Just Ask!
Want more people to respond to your marketing offers? Sometimes the answer is so obvious that marketers overlook it. Tell your audience what you want them to do, then ask them to do it. Yes, sometimes it’s that straight forward. 

While most people don’t like to be given the “hard sell,” you still need your message to be clear. What are you offering? What action do you want them to take? In too many cases, marketers are overly vague. They may also bury the call to action or forget to include one altogether.

Don’t miss your opportunity. In every direct mailer or direct marketing piece, make sure you to include these three things: 

1. Be clear about the product. Your mailer may look awesome with that beachfront view, but what do you want people to do? Book a rental? Purchase a vacation package? Donate to an ocean cleanup effort? Make your request clear. 

2. Encourage action. Don’t assume people will know what you want them to do. Ask them to request a brochure, call for a free appointment, or make a purchase.   

3. Tell them how to do it. Make it easy to respond. If you want people to send away for more information, prefill the business reply card with their name and address. If you want them to make a phone call, print the phone number in a larger font or a different color so it’s easy to find. If you want them to visit your website, print the URL clearly on the mailer and include a QR Code, as well. 

Assume that your audience is busy and you only have a few minutes of their time. Within just a few seconds of scanning the piece, they should know what you are selling, what action you want them to take, and how to do it. It’s so simple that you’d be surprised how many marketers miss it. 

Looking for marketing support? Give us a call! 
How to Meet Your Deadlines Every Time
There are a lot of moving parts to any marketing campaign. The printing and mailing (or, if you are incorporating digital channels, text or email blasts) is only the last link in the chain. To ensure that the final deadline is met, you have to work backwards to ensure that each individual component is on schedule. 

1. How do you stay on track? At the start of every project, ask yourself the following questions:

2. What is the final deadline you are trying to meet?

3. Who is writing the copy and how long will it take?

4. Are you using stock images or creating the artwork yourself? Who is making those decisions and how long will that take?

5. Who will be doing the design and layout? What is the time budget for that? 

6. How long will it take to print, finish, and mail the piece?

7. How many approvals do you need? How much additional time to you need to add for those? 

The first answer provides your end date. Once you have that, you can work backwards to determine your start date. Pad each time estimate by a factor of 1.5 to 3 times depending on your confidence in the numbers. 

Once the project is complete, look back at how well you stuck to the timeline. Did you stay on schedule? If not, where did you get bogged down? What needs to be adjusted to create a more accurate time estimate next time?

Don’t beat yourself up for making mistakes. Along the way, you learned something, such as when your creative staff says, “It takes us one day to turn around the proof of concept,” they meant two days, or that you forgot to take into account transportation time when you made your project plan. 

Staying on schedule takes practice . . . and smart planning. If you’re new to the process, don’t go it alone. We have tons of experience in project planning. Just ask! 
Your Customer: “Pay Attention to Me!”
Congratulations! You landed a new customer—and they love you. As long as you continue to provide good products, reasonable prices, and great customer service, they’ll stay loyal as long as you don’t mess things up. Right? 

Not necessarily. In today’s competitive world, you cannot take your customers for granted. You’ve worked hard to win them, but just like any relationship, you have to put in effort to make it last. This is one of the areas where sending regular personalized print and email communications pays off. 

Here are five ideas for keeping customers happy and retaining them over the long term.

1. Keep them up to date. Send a monthly print or email newsletter. Tell customer stories. Talk about new products. Provide insight they wouldn’t otherwise get. Speak to them by name and customize the content to be more interesting and relevant to them.

2. Ask their opinion. Ask them how you are doing. It’s a great way to let people know you value their opinion . . . and their business. Use personalized URLs to make this easy and append the data back into your marketing database automatically.

3. Send a card. Do you know your customers’ birthdays? How about the date they first became customers? Send them personalized “thank you’ notes and cards as a way to let them know you appreciate them. 

4. Offer advice. Once in a while, offer some free advice. If you’re a landscaping company, you might suggest the easiest care perennials for the upcoming season. If you’re a real estate office, you might alert them to the latest trends in front porch décor. 

5. Discounts galore! Send a coupon for a discount or a freebie “just because.” It continually re-engages your customers and helps them see the value in their relationship with you. 

Client retention is critical to your bottom-line success. Be a company that does this well, and you’ll reap the benefits of great brand recognition and long-term customer relationships.
5 Stats that Show Print Still Matters (A Lot)
Congratulations! You’ve gotten new customers through the door. But wait—you’re not done. Now you need to retain them. One of the best ways to do this is through personalization. Here are five ideas for engaging customers with personalized communications that will really help you to stand out. 

1. Send a surprise discount. 

Everyone likes to be appreciated. Send a coupon with a discount on your customer’s next purchase “just because.” It will surprise them and foster goodwill. 

2. Help them remember. 

Many companies recognize their customers’ birthdays, but how many help them remember the birthdays of their loved ones? Offer to collect important dates for special occasions for your customers’ friends and family and send gift ideas with unique insight from your area of expertise. 

3. Give them inside access.  

People like to be in the know. Encourage customers to sign up for your newsletter or connect with you on social media, where you can give them sneak peaks of new products or offer them ways to use your products they might not have thought about. 

4. Say “thank you” for loyalty and longevity. 

If you know when your customer first began working with you, why not send a personalized thank you card and gift commensurate with the value of their business? 

5. Ask their opinion. 

Use personalized URLs or online surveys to ask customers’ opinions about your company, your offerings, or bounce new product ideas off them. People like to do business with companies who care about what they think. 
The more you can engage your customers beyond the sale, the more you earn their goodwill and loyalty. So think beyond the initial purchase. Think about building a relationship for life. 
Got Customers? Now Keep Them!
Congratulations! You’ve gotten new customers through the door. But wait—you’re not done. Now you need to retain them. One of the best ways to do this is through personalization. Here are five ideas for engaging customers with personalized communications that will really help you to stand out. 

1. Send a surprise discount. 

Everyone likes to be appreciated. Send a coupon with a discount on your customer’s next purchase “just because.” It will surprise them and foster goodwill. 

2. Help them remember. 

Many companies recognize their customers’ birthdays, but how many help them remember the birthdays of their loved ones? Offer to collect important dates for special occasions for your customers’ friends and family and send gift ideas with unique insight from your area of expertise. 

3. Give them inside access.  

People like to be in the know. Encourage customers to sign up for your newsletter or connect with you on social media, where you can give them sneak peaks of new products or offer them ways to use your products they might not have thought about. 

4. Say “thank you” for loyalty and longevity. 

If you know when your customer first began working with you, why not send a personalized thank you card and gift commensurate with the value of their business? 

5. Ask their opinion. 

Use personalized URLs or online surveys to ask customers’ opinions about your company, your offerings, or bounce new product ideas off them. People like to do business with companies who care about what they think. 
The more you can engage your customers beyond the sale, the more you earn their goodwill and loyalty. So think beyond the initial purchase. Think about building a relationship for life. 
5 Channels = 5 Ways to Help You Grow
Want to grow your business? Here are five marketing ideas to build your business.

1. Mail it! Not only is the power of direct mail stronger than ever, but it gets around many of the downsides of electronic marketing. It doesn't require opt-in. It doesn't get caught by spam filters. It doesn't get automatically directed into folders with other marketing emails where it will never be seen.

2. Offer a webinar. Be the expert in your subject area by offering webinars. Be the one your customers trust. If you don't feel qualified, don't worry. As long as you know more about the subject than your attendees, you have something to offer. Even a 30-second webinar will do the trick.

3. Write a letter. How many people take the time to write letters anymore? Talk to your customers as you would to a friend. No sales talk! Brag about recent success stories. Talk about your company's community and charitable involvement. Offer ideas that are relevant to them. You don't see this often, and it's one reason you should do it.

4. Let the sidewalk do the talking. It's easy to focus on broadening your reach through direct mail and email and forget about the power of reaching people right in front of you. If you have a storefront, use sidewalk displays, window clings, banners, and other forms of advertising to reach the people walking right by your door.

5. Host an event. Like webinars, in-house events set you up as a thought leader. Offer an educational seminar. Give a behind-the-scenes tour. Bring in an expert speaker. Attendees will remember you, and if they like you, so much the better. People want to do business with people they like. 

These are five different channels, each offering something unique to help you build your business. The more ways you can
interact with your target audience, the more engaged your customers will be. So pick a channel and use it - or better yet,
use them all.
5 Stats that Show Print Still Matters (A Lot)
Think print is starting to “lose its cool” in the age of digital marketing? Actually, the opposite is true. With the growth of digital, print has solidified its place as a channel that marketers cannot ignore. Here are five print marketing statistics that every marketer should know.

1. Some customers can only be reached by print. Even in today’s digital age, there are still large groups of consumers who cannot be reached through digital channels. According to the Pew Research Center, 11% of Americans have no Internet access at all, and among certain populations, such as older Americans, rural Americans, and those without high school
diplomas, this number is significantly higher. (Source: Pew Research Center, 2018)

2. Many consumers use print and digital coupons equally. Who doesn’t like a deal? While some consumers prefer digital coupons for their convenience and immediacy, 41% of shoppers use print and digital coupons equally. (Valassis, 2017).

3. Direct mail is the number one driver for online fundraising. According to MobileCause, donors are three times more likely to give online in response to a direct mail appeal than an e-appeal. (MobileCause 2018)

4. Consumers spend more time with direct mail. According to a widely cited study on the neuroscience of print, people spend 118% more time considering direct mail than they do digital mail. (CanadaPost, 2016)

5. Millennials love direct mail. Nearly half (47%) of Millennials look forward to checking their mail every day. In a digital world, even the most digitally embedded crave human connection. (United States Postal Service, 2016)

There is a reason that print remains the bedrock of today’s most successful marketing campaigns. Email, mobile, and social media all have important places in the mix, but print remains the cornerstone of truly successful multichannel marketing for a reason.
Don't Let Print Buying Stress You Out
Does print buying stress you out? There are so many details that can make or break a print job. Then you have finishing, mailing lists, dealing with the USPS. . . . and oh, yes, schedules. Print buying can be a daunting task. Try these common sense strategies to make your experience more predictable and (hopefully) stress-free.

1. Get into our ears. By involving us early in your project, you will get a high quality result while saving time and money. Tell us your concept, then we will suggest colors, papers, layouts, and finishes that can minimize production time at the best cost. 

2. Plan backwards. Given today’s advances in printing technology, buyers often underestimate the time required to deliver a job. Sure, we may be printing on a digital press, but you still have prepress, proofing, special order requirements, and finishing. Providing ample lead time will save money by preventing rush charges.

3. Know your specs. The more explicit your instructions, the more likely you are to be happy with the quality and cost of the end product. One missing piece of information or last-minute change can delay a cost estimate, proof, or final production.

4. Proof everything. We will alert you if we identify errors in your file, but we aren’t experts in your marketing copy—you are. Your print job cannot move into the next stage of production until you sign off on the proof, and that includes your copy.

Even if you do not have a job to submit today, give us a call so we can start preplanning your next project. Together, we can create a stress-free print buying experience that will exceed your expectations for quality, efficiency, and cost.
WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU LEMONS...
4 BUSINESS LESSONS FROM YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS
Lemonade stands are rumored to have originated with New York journalist Edward Bok, who, as a kid growing up in Brooklyn, sold ice water on hot summer days to thirsty passersby. When other
water salespeople tried to move in on Bok’s profit, he got creative by adding lemon juice and eventually sugar to the mix. The result of this innovation? Sales soared. Lemonade stands continue to be a popular summer pastime for burgeoning entrepreneurs, and there are a few things we can learn from these humble business endeavors.

Be adaptable. Warren Buffet has had business on the brain since birth. During his childhood, when he noticed that a friend’s house got more foot traffic than his did, the future tycoon moved his lemonade stand to the prime realty. Buffett obviously benefited from this innovation; the jury is still out on his friend.

Go above and beyond for your customers. When Ann Handley’s daughter and her friend opened up a lemonade stand, they found a way to connect with their demographic. The location of the stand was frequented by many French-speaking Canadian customers, and since the friend was born in Montreal and spoke French, the girls greeted each customer in English and French. More conversation makes more sales.

Ask for referrals. Megan, kid entrepreneur and owner of “Dr. Megan’s Mad Mango Lemonade” in Louisiana, knows a thing or two about the value of word-of-mouth marketing. Megan makes sure customers have an easy time spreading the word about the refreshing lemonade. In her second summer running the stand, Megan says, “I advertised through Facebook and word of mouth. I created my own business page. I shared it with friends, family, and the community. ArkLaTex Horse Rescue advertised my stand, and I posted advertisements to many local Facebook groups as well.”

Build your business around your values. Have you heard of anyone starting a million-dollar lemonade stand? There’s one person who has, and her name is Alex. She was diagnosed with cancer as a young girl, and her determined spirit motivated her to fight back. She started a lemonade stand to raise money for other kids with cancer. The message of the stand with a purpose spread, and Alex raised $2,000 in a single day. Sadly, Alex passed away when she was 8, but her legacy continues to thrive through her family, who turned Alex’s Lemonade Stand into a foundation. It’s raised over $127 million for cancer research.
About Us
Our purpose is to build long-term win-win relationships by fueling your growth through an integrated marketing strategy and execution in the marketplace. Read More...
Our Office
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PO Box 324
New Haven, CT 06513
 (203) 562-5112
 George Platt – gplatt@hartynet.com
 Kevin Platt –    kplatt@hartynet.com
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