Build Enthusiasm with Gorgeous Print Catalogs

Do you have a favorite catalog?

In days past, the Sears Christmas edition or the Lana Lobell fashion catalogs were the birthplace of many shopping addictions.

But though these nostalgic beauties hold a special place in many hearts, catalogs certainly haven’t disappeared from today’s marketing landscape. Companies like L.L. Bean, Ikea, J. Crew, and Athleta continue to dominate sales through the distribution of printed catalogs.

And people enjoy reading them. According to USPS, 47% of people set aside catalogs to read later, and 84% of consumers said they genuinely enjoyed receiving unexpected catalogs from places they had previously shopped. Enthusiasm has soared – response rates from catalogs has increased 170% from 2004 to 2018!

Using Hard Copy Catalogs in Your Omnichannel Marketing

With a decrease in printed mail, today’s paper catalog is primarily a marketing tool – one of maximum potential during the holiday season.

The most sophisticated retailers are continuously working to build a seamless omnichannel operation, and companies that integrate catalogs, websites, and physical stores can simplify the shopping experience while closing more sales.

Print advertising is a great compliment to your online sales platforms, because print marketing often prompts greater follow-through. BRAND United reports that 86% of shoppers bought an item online after seeing it in a printed catalog.

Want to weave together catalogs and online purchasing? Here’s one inspiring example of a killer omnichannel strategy.

Quadratic: Selling the Adventure

For 30 years, Quadratic has prided itself on providing Jeep enthusiasts with the best parts and accessories for their customers.

From Antenna kits to light bars, Quadratic is committed to providing parts and accessories for daily on- and off-road needs.

Today millions of people receive Quadratec’s printed catalog in the mail. Even though there are more products on the company’s website than in their catalog, Quadratec uses printed catalogs to demonstrate it is an authoritative brand leader. Jeep enthusiasts love “jeeping,” and there’s just something about a giant catalog that gets that adventurer’s heart pumping!

In combination with its print success, Quadratec has elevated digital marketing efforts. By creating a corresponding mobile app, Quadratec allows customers to scan each product in the catalog with a mobile device. Scanned items bring customers to that item’s specific page on the website, so customers can easily tag it for a wish list, add it to their shopping cart, or purchase it from their phone.

Is this effective? Absolutely. Since launching its first AR-enabled catalog, Quadratec has experienced a three percent sales boost, and its mobile app is used an average of 200,000 times each month.

A One-Two Punch

Direct mail meets customers where they live, and catalogs are a long-standing customer favorite.

Data shows 44 percent of customers visit a brand’s website after receiving direct mail marketing, which is 10 percent more than people who visit landing pages after receiving an email. And because catalogs are extremely engaging, people feel more confident about purchasing when they receive one.

David Naumann, vice president of marketing for BRP, noted studies that have shown people can spend upward of 20 minutes looking at catalogs compared to the seconds they might spend looking at product images displayed online:

“When you have that physical catalog, customers might ponder it longer, even write notes on it,” he said. “It’s something you really can’t replicate in other media.”

Want to explore catalog marketing options for your business? Visit us online today for a free quote!

Unique Fold Options for Your Marketing Masterpiece

Looking to add some finishing flair to your next marketing piece?

Unique, eye-catching folds offer so much room to flex your creativity! When creating your next masterpiece, here are some fun print folds to consider:

Sliding Message Sleeve Mailers

To fuel engagement with your prospects, try a die-cut envelope that peaks through to a sleeve mailer inside.

Upon first glance, readers see one message or image. But when they slip the inner card out of the envelope, a brilliant reveal appears from the back panel.

Accordion Folds

Accordion folds are great because they fold down small but hold a great deal of information.

Accordion folds resemble the letter “Z” and zig-zag back and forth, dividing a page into thirds (or even sixths!). Use them for brochures, mini-booklets, or sticker-sealed mailers. The average accordion-folded sheet includes two folds and six panels of design space (front and back). Make the most of your real estate with this flexible, engaging design.

Poster Folds with a Zip Strip

Looking to send something large in a pocket-sized package?

Try a zip strip opener with an inner package that unfolds to a unique shape or size. Whether the folded section is wide and narrow or opens as an iron-cross brochure, this small package blooms bright for a big, memorable impact.

Roll Folds

Rolls folds consist of four or more panels that roll into each other.

Also known as a barrel fold, this option is perfect when you have a considerable amount of content but you need to keep the finished product as compact as possible. Roll folds also spark curiosity and depth as you reveal a new message or theme with each opening panel.

Exotic Folds

Like intricate origami, exotic folds are non-standard, completely unique folds created to a designer’s specifications.

Though they can be expensive, exotic folds allow you to stretch the limits in unforgettable ways. From a flower-petaled postcard to a custom-printed folding box, these highly tailored pieces will give your media a fancy, luxurious edge.

Pop-up Folds

When you want to add extra dimension to your booklet or brochure, go 3D with a die-cut and fold technique that creates a pop-up feature from within.

Pop-up pieces should instantly pique customer interest with a direct focus on the product or service you are promoting. Examples might include:

  • A performing arts invitation that reveals a pop-out “stage” once the card is unfolded
  • A fold-over mailer or brochure designed to look like a briefcase, which springs open to deliver your unforgettable offer
  • An architect’s brochure that brings to life a 3D city skyline, with revitalized storefronts in the center

A Shape That Tells Your Story

No matter what fold or design you choose, remember your story should play the starring role.

Choose a focused narrative and weave it through your imagery, tabs, pullouts, pop-up text, or brochure copy. From fun folds to creative exterior packaging, great designs will blend all these elements to share your clever, cohesive story.

Want to go a cut above the competition? Leverage your printed piece’s shape to add character or dimension people just won’t forget!

Share Your Brand Story to Create Distinct, Authentic Connections

In a noisy marketplace, businesses must work smarter to grab prospects and lock in loyalty.

But the desire for relationship is mutual. According to Cheetah Mobile marketing director Josh Ong, customers don’t just want to buy, they want to buy into something:

“Millennials are more likely than any other demographic to be brand loyal. But millennials don’t choose which brand to be loyal to at random, instead, they are highly attuned to the story that a brand tells, as well as the values that brand exhibits.”

No one can resist a good story! Need proof? Here’s a fun brand story from eyewear retailer Warby Parker:

Warby was founded as a rebellious upstart to tackle the problem of expensive eyewear because of a frustrating personal experience. During a backpacking trip, one of Warby’s founders lost his glasses. Since he was a broke grad student, he couldn’t afford to replace them, and he spent the rest of the semester squinting.

By circumventing traditional channels, designing glasses in-house, and engaging with customers directly, Warby now provides higher-quality, better-looking prescription eyewear at a fraction of the going price. The company believes buying glasses should be easy, fun, and should leave money in your pocket. Warby also believes everyone has a right to see, and they partner with nonprofits like VisionSpring to ensure that for every pair of glasses sold, a pair is distributed to someone in need.

Warby sums up its brand story in this simple phrase: good eyewear, good outcome.

4 Traits of Captivating Brand Stories

A brand story is a valuable marketing asset.

It sharpens your values, shapes your message, and guides your sales. Here are common traits of brands with especially effective stories:

1. Start with Problems

From the beginning, successful brands have identified market needs or specific injustices.

Sharing their journey in confronting or solving these issues builds a very compelling narrative. The founder often retains an active role and holds a starring role in the company’s ever-evolving story.

2. Embrace Underdog Status

Everyone loves an underdog.

Brands that are (or were) on the outsider are considered disruptors. Their adventures in confronting the establishment make them easy to love and fun to listen to.

3. Foster Niche Lifestyle Communities

Brands that have a clear identity and purpose can to form more meaningful connections that result in truly devoted fans.

Make your brand integral to the lifestyle your prospects covet. When emotional attachments to brands are built, this connection often starts with a shared conviction or a particular life vision.

4. Stand for Something Specific

Most people aren’t particularly loyal to a company; instead, they are loyal to what that company stands for.

A recent study published by the Harvard Business Review showed that, of those consumers that had a strong relationship with a brand or business, 64 percent cited “shared values” as the primary reason. Companies that stand for more than just dollar signs will forge emotional connections with their customers.

Whether its fostering sustainability or giving back to specific communities, a commitment to social good can make your brand story more authentic and memorable.

Share Your Story Today

What is your brand story?

You may believe you don’t have a story to tell, but that’s just not true! Every firm can share a portrait of who they are and why they exist. This may include your mission, inspiration, or goals and it can be shared through direct mail, photography, banners, blogs, and any medium that authentically touches people.

Stories create something your clients want to be part of, building confidence and receptivity. People buy into what they trust, so find your story and share it today!

Snag Younger Customers: How to Build Connections with Generation Z

With the oldest of Generation Z graduating and entering the workforce, it’s time to set your sights on this powerful consumer demographic.

Who are these Gen Z individuals, and what is the most effective way to reach them? While many media companies have written them off as “screen addicts,” Gen Z is actually very nimble, engaged, and unique.

Here are a few facts to consider:

  • As of 2020, Gen Z makes up more than 40% of U.S. consumers.
  • Born after 1996, most members of this generation are not yet old enough to vote.
  • Generation Z represents the leading edge of the country’s changing racial and ethnic makeup. 52% are non-Hispanic white, 25% are Hispanic, 14% are black, 6% are Asian.
  • Gen Z logs on to social media for roughly two hours and 55 minutes each day. This is almost an hour longer than the average millennial.

Want to engage younger prospects? Here are five tips to consider:

1. Diverse images are extremely impactful

Gen Z has a natural awareness of how diversity is depicted (or overlooked) in your media.

Whether it’s custom photography or variety in your testimonials, it will seem strange (or even offensive) if your media is too homogenized.

2. Gen Z loves a good deal

Estimated at having $4 billion in discretionary spending, the buying power of Gen Z is significant.

But having grown up during the 2008 recession, Gen Z has an innate appreciation for a bargain. Gen Z will hunt for value in two ways: buying from inexpensive brands or purchasing expensive items with durability guarantees. Generous warranties and engaging in-store experiences are also a way to offer them more bang for their buck.

3. Gen Z was born social

Over 91% of Gen Z kids have a digital footprint, and Gen Z spends more time on mobile devices than Millennials.

Gen’s Z’s favorite sites are YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat. Because they are so visual, whenever possible you should “show,” not just “tell.” Image-based advertising and short-videos are especially effective!

4. Real is best

Gen Z people seek uniqueness in all walks of life, and particularly through the brands they buy from.

Gen Z-ers prefer brands that are authentic: 82% said they trust a company more if it uses images of real customers in its advertising, and 72% said they’re more likely to buy from a company that contributes to social causes. Product quality, positive reviews, and customer service are the top three characteristics that fortify their trust in a brand.

5. Give them a voice or a role

Given how socially aware this generation is, remember Gen Z-ers love opportunities to contribute, create, lead, and learn.

Whether you allow them to personalize your product or you prioritize ethical marketing (like partnering with nonprofits or standing for a cause), Gen Z appreciates buying from brands that give them a role in the journey.

Help Them Live in Person

Finally, remember that Gen Z longs to engage, and this doesn’t have to be online.

A new A.T. Kearney study reports that 81% of Gen Z respondents prefer to purchase in stores, 73% like to discover new products in stores, and 58% browse in-store selections to disconnect from social media and live in the moment.

From gorgeous window banners to sharp point-of-purchase displays, sensory impact plays a principal role in creating the right mood for an impulse purchase.

Envelopes: The Humble Hero of Direct Mail

Who doesn’t love a good party?

As we move toward year-end holiday gatherings, many of us look forward to gathering with friends and family. However, a party is only successful if people actually COME, and most people attend for one primary reason — they were invited!

Attractive Envelopes Invite People to “Come on In”

The same principle is true in business.

A mailing is only as effective as its response rate, and an envelope serves as a great invitation to dig deeper. Custom envelopes are a simple tool that dramatically increases reader response. In a world of distraction, envelopes serve as a soft introduction, inviting people to “come on in” and experience more of what you have to offer. Thoughtful, creative envelopes will entice people to dial into (and not discard!) the message you have carefully crafted.

Do you want to expand your business by reaching new prospects? Current direct mail statistics are exciting! The 2018 Direct Mail Association Response Rate Report revealed household list response rates are around nine percent, significantly up from 2017, when it was 5.1%. The prospect list response rate was 4.9%, also showing a significant increase compared to the 2.9% the previous year.

What’s contributing to this spike? Technology. Thanks to technological advancements, mail marketers are gathering more data about consumer behavior. On average, response rates increase by 30% when direct mail is paired with digital targeting.

When you send mail to people who actually look forward to it, you’ll prompt much greater interest!

4 Keys to Getting Your Envelopes Opened

When you’re ready to create your custom envelope, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Oversized envelopes have the highest response rate

Larger envelopes prompt a reader response rate of around five percent, the highest of any direct mail format.

When you break from the norm, people will notice. Experiment with a wide variety of shapes and sizes, colors, and textures (linen, cockle, matte, coated, glossy, or metallic). Make your envelope stand out from the other envelopes people receive every day!

Follow the three-second rule

When designing your mailing, remember the envelope has about three seconds to engage readers.

Grab attention with enticing product photos or short teaser prompts (like, “your free gift is here!”). You pay for the whole envelope, so why not use it? Use every inch for impact by including your logo, taglines, or back-flap branding.

Experiment with the “extras”

There are so many ways to build curiosity with your envelope.

Have fun with options like these:

  • Try a peek-through window featuring a color photograph of your product, a membership card, or contest entry form.
  • Embellish your envelopes with foil stamping or embossing to feature an anniversary or warranty seal.
  • Drive engagement by using a zip-strip opener, a peel-off sticker, or a pull-off repositionable note to encourage reader retention and reaction. The longer your prospects engage with your envelope, the more likely they will be to open it.

Put the reader First

When crafting a sales pitch, many marketers focus more on the product than its audience.

But readers are not primarily concerned with how slick your idea is, they are concerned with how great it will make their lives. Envelope taglines or images should concisely present a key benefit your product brings to consumers.

Packaging Matters

Great packaging can increase response rates and enhance emotional connections with your clients.

Are your envelopes offering people your best? In a world of visual clutter, excellent envelopes are a vital component of every marketing mix. Be sure your envelopes carry a message that’s classy and confident, just like you.

Generate Innovative Solutions with Strategic Design Thinking

Several years ago, a truck driver tried to pass under a low bridge.

Underestimating the truck height, the driver became firmly lodged under the bridge, unable to move his vehicle forward or backward. Emergency workers and city engineers gathered onsite, debating whether they should dismantle the truck or chip away parts of the bridge. Each proposed a solution most aligned with their area of expertise.

Just then, a boy walked by, observed the intense debate, and made a casual comment. “Why not just let the air out of the tires?”

When the solution was tested, the truck squeezed forward with ease, suffering only slight damage to his cab. The specialists were amazed at the solution and also by the fact that they were initially blind to an answer a child could easily recognize.

A Human-Centric Way of Thinking

This story symbolizes the struggles we face when the most obvious solutions are hard to recognize.

That’s just one reason strategic design thinking has become so prevalent in business. Design thinking is a solution-based, human-centric approach to solving problems, one that embodies both a particular way of thinking and a collection of hands-on methods. In business, design thinking allows you to look at things through your customers’ eyes while devising meaningful, profitable solutions.

Design thinking can be helpful because it pushes you to challenge existing assumptions, redefine problems, and uncover options. It is especially useful for creatively devising alternatives and prototypes with a team. While there can be three to seven phases in this process, many people find five modes to be particularly helpful. These stages do not have to follow any specific order and can occur in parallel or repeat iteratively.

5 Stages to Shaping Nimble, Profitable Ideas

Here’s how to implement the five-stage process of design thinking with your team.

1. Observe with Empathy

The first step in design thinking is to empathize with your clients and partners, investing in conversations, and identifying hidden needs by living the customer experience.

During the 2020 pandemic, one design-build storage company noticed a significant uptick in interest for luxury storage sheds (can you say “man cave?”). Before pumping out products, team leaders spent considerable time with prospects, architects, and manufacturers. By looking at things from the customers’ perspective, the storage specialists became intimately acquainted with changing markets and how demand should drive innovation.

2. Define the Problem

Once you genuinely live and understand your customers’ needs, you can redefine the problem and approach it from different angles.

Through conversations with many families, designers from the storage company realized that a post-pandemic need was not for increased storage but for alternate living spaces that were affordable, durable, and even portable.

3. Ideate with Your Team

The next step is to develop solutions by involving all internal and external team members.

The wider your base, the more imaginative you can be. Creative sessions led our Midwest storage specialists to develop prefabricated backyard offices, “granny” pods, and even elegant miniature lake cabins that could be delivered and assembled on site.

4. Prototype Rapidly

After quickly building and releasing designs, it is important to make your ideas as nimble and customizable as possible.

Whether you add a “Most Popular Items” section to your website or you give customers access to “build it yourself” 3D configurator software, speed and wide-ranging accessibility are key.

5. Test and Validate

Design thinking is an adaptable process.

Results from prototype tests may show that you’ve misinterpreted customer behaviors and needs in steps one and two. That’s ok! From here, you can return to previous steps and tweak solutions so they are best tailored for current needs. View every blueprint as a living document, and keep working to capture the right opportunities in the right way.

As you test solutions with your team, you will unleash people’s full creative energies, win their commitment, and radically improve the end product.

Why Carbonless Forms Make a Great Tech-Free Solution

When you “cc” someone on an email, do you ever think about what this abbreviation actually means?

In 1801, Pellegrino Turri invented carbon paper to provide ink for his mechanical typing machine, which was one of the first typewriters. Five years later, carbon paper was patented and released to the general public. Carbon paper soon became a primary method for rapidly reproducing documents or booklets, and today its legacy has remained in the header of emails. The “cc” abbreviation stands for “carbon copies,” or copies intended for recipients other than the principal addressee.

Since Turri’s day, carbonless forms have largely replaced their early ancestor. Carbonless copy paper has micro-encapsulated dye or ink on the back side of the top sheet, and a clay coating on the front side of the bottom sheet. When pressure is applied (from writing or impact printing), the dye capsules rupture and react with the clay to form a permanent mark duplicating the markings made to the top sheet. In the span of seconds, intermediary layers act as multipart stationery, adding flexibility and convenience to any business exchange.

Simplify and Save

In many industries, carbonless forms work better than electronic documents, and they may be a perfect fit for your business.

Carbonless forms offer a speedy solution that is ideal for capturing handwritten signatures or personal notes taken during an order or appointment. Want to ditch the unnecessary equipment or the headaches of expensive tech repairs? These forms are especially handy for team members who are frequently in the field, when you’re working face-to-face with clients, or when time and accuracy are essential.

Where can you put carbonless forms to work? The possibilities abound! Try these sensible custom pads for:

  • Invoices or inventory tracking
  • Design drafts or sales estimates
  • Onsite service calls
  • Patient intake forms
  • Inspections, permits, or delivery confirmations
  • As a customizable receipt for your small business

Carbonless forms are used in a wide range of industries, including mechanical, agriculture, funeral services, transportation, home improvement, auctions, and more. They are great for any situation where you want a simple business solution or a quick reproduction of up to four simultaneous copies.

And just because these forms are practical doesn’t mean they have to be boring! Experiment with bold graphics, two colors of ink, custom finishes, or three-hole drilling to allow for archiving in binders or booklets. Sequential numbering will enable you to easily track your transactions, or you can also send varying designs to print multiple for types in the same size and finish.

Get Your Forms ASAP

Ready to get started? Go carbonless with this convenient, budget-friendly option. Craft smart, rapid-return designs that will hold up for years.

Send an inquiry today for your free estimate!

Use Content Marketing to Bring Fresh Life to Your Marketing Mix

Armstrong Garden Supply was eager to grow name recognition and pump up spring specials.

Hoping to grow their reputation as a year-round “solutions specialist” for lawn and landscape, they generated a list of common customer questions and set out to proactively answer them. Typically, clients were uncertain about things like when to water, types of fertilizer, pot sizing, and best planting practices.

Armed with this information, Armstrong’s generated an oversized postcard featuring spring specials on one side and a plant care infographic on the other. This brought relevant advice to attract a very engaged target market: customers who were curious!

It’s All About THEM

Content marketing can bring fresh life to your business!

This “you-centered” form of communication shifts your marketing from a message focus to a people focus, building trust and driving profitable consumer action. While social media and videos are popular forms of content marketing, often businesses overlook the opportunity to bring valuable content through print. Want to get started? Consider clever infographics, how-to postcards, or a printed snippet of your blog to lead them online as regular subscribers.

Or to expand your options, here are five other possibilities:

1. Printed Checklists or Magnets

Checklists are a simple way to tailor content for specific customer groups.

For example, one HVAC specialist provided area homeowners with an efficient tool for making smart decisions about airflow service issues. This seasonal checklist, divided into quarterly task charts, served as a worksheet for customers to stay current on changing filters, cleaning coils, and scheduling maintenance.

Checklists like these can serve as a handy magnet, a tearaway calendar, or a sales folder supplement.

2. Point-of-Purchase Bookmarks or Inserts

Grab-and-go options like bookmarks are easy to include in any envelope, package, or display.

When content is tailored to customer needs, it immediately sparks curiosity, so highlight benefits like savings (of time, money, or hassle) or increases (in health, comfort, or convenience). Customized solutions give people the confidence to try out your business!

3. Magazines

People are naturally image-oriented, and sleek full-color magazines are hard to resist.

If your content is specific enough, you can build a passionate subscription base. Even if you have a core of 200 people, if they are enthusiastic and loyal, they are definitely worth the investment.

4. Booklets

Not ready for an entire magazine?

A booklet is a flexible alternative. People are attracted to content that educates or equips them with a skill, and booklets are a simple way to extend value and practical help. Whether it’s financial counseling, vacation planning, home improvement tutorials, or product-focused cookbooks, a booklet might be just the ticket for engaging your audience.

5. Newsletters

When you want to grow your prospect list or stay connected to your clients, nothing will “glue” customers to your company like a dynamic, consistently mailed newsletter.

Newsletters are fun to read and naturally customer-focused. From a “Did You Know?” educational element to a coupon that offers a legitimate incentive, newsletters build credibility and rapport that will never get lost in their inbox.

Pro-Tip: No matter what kind of print content you use, include a visible invitation that calls them to act as they finish reading. Try phrases like “Activate ____ Today,” “Claim Your Discount,” or “Call for a Free Estimate!”

Print Builds Long-Lasting Partnerships

Ready to spring ahead with your marketing mix?

Show customers that their relationship with your business is not merely transactional, but exists as a partnership that extends beyond the sale. Serve them with great content, and they will return the favor with their wallet and their loyalty!

Target the Right Customers with Your Next Direct Mail Piece

You wouldn’t spend $100 million on a new national advertising campaign without carefully set goals and objectives.

But when it comes to direct mail, marketers often spray out postcards or fliers without a great deal of thought. In direct mail marketing, careful planning is vital to your success. While the average direct mail response rate is around five percent, strategic targeting can drive that number to nine percent for house lists and as high as 16 percent for personalized mail.

To simplify your targeting, start with these questions:

  • Who is the audience?
  • Who is the prospective buyer?
  • Who will receive, read, and hopefully respond to this mailing?

The beauty of direct mail is that you can use it to reach only those people who are potential buyers for your product or service.

This is called target marketing, and it means that during the development stage, you can use multiple criteria for selecting recipients.

Demographics may include age, income, gender, geography, home value, marital status, vehicle driven, occupation, hobbies, and more. Selections for B2B mailing lists can also vary, including the company’s industry, type of product, annual sales, number of employees, locations, etc.

Helpful Hints for Compiling a Mailing List

If targeted mail is so crucial, how do you find a list filled with these “perfect” customers?

If you haven’t compiled your own mailing list (of current customers, qualified leads, or streamlined prospects), there are two basic types of mailing lists: compiled lists and response lists.

Compiled lists are those assembled from a variety of sources (think association members, graduates of specialty programs, qualified purchasers, etc.). For example, a list might include dentists from Boston or Lutheran youth pastors. Compiled lists are more complete and can work well for driving people to a specific online landing page you’ve designed specifically for your direct mail campaign. You can usually get a compiled mailing list in one business day.

Purchasing a compiled list might work best when you:

–Have a limited marketing geography
–Want to reach all households or businesses in an area
–Want to reach all homes or businesses that fit specific demographic criteria
–Are on a limited budget
–Want to mail fewer than 5,000 pieces
–Want to make telemarketing follow-up calls before or after your mailing

Response lists consist of prospects who have inquired about or responded to other marketers’ offers, like purchasing a swimsuit through a catalog or by participating in a nonprofit fundraiser. Typical response list sources are magazines, membership clubs, catalogs, warranty cards, etc. Response lists are more expensive than compiled lists because they are more targeted, and you have more assurances about the buyers’ behaviors. You can usually get a response mailing list in 3-5 business days.

Response lists might be best if your product has a high price point or your target customer is very narrowly defined. The list cost will be higher, but your ROI will increase as well. Response lists are also not always current, so make sure you ask when the list was last updated before purchasing.

We’re Here to Help

Feel overwhelming? It doesn’t have to be.

For a simpler option, Every Day Direct Mail lists can be compiled using the EDDM Online Tool available through the United States Postal Service. Here you can target customers by demographics like age, household size, income, zip code, etc. Not sure where to start? We can help! Give us a call.

Most experts agree that selecting the right mailing list is the most important factor in your mailing’s success. The more information you can collect and refine, the better your response rate will be!

Simple Strategies for Mobilizing Powerful Testimonials and Reviews

How do you grab a lifeline on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?”

Ask the audience! While “experts” tend to get a trivia question right two-thirds of the time, the audience gets that answer right 91 percent of the time.

Why? Because individually we are limited, but collectively we are genius.

In today’s global economy, buyers understand the importance of collective intelligence. People rely on others to help them decide what movies to see, which vet to patronize, or the best software to buy. More than half of adults under age 50 consult online reviews before making a purchase decision, and 88% read reviews to determine the quality of a local business.

Meet One of the Millions

AutoTrader.com put testimonials to work in a recent print ad for their company.

To recruit new dealers for their association, AutoTrader.com used a pocket folder with sell sheet inserts featuring recent, happy buyers. These 5×7 flyers introduced customers with the headline, “Meet One of the Millions,” and displayed photos of real clients next to their most recent car purchase.

A family of four who purchased from Shults Ford in Pittsburgh had this to say about their car search:

“When we couldn’t find the exact vehicle we wanted in our area and saw your commercial, we logged onto your website and found it instantly! Who knew the perfect Volvo V70 was sitting at Shults Ford, just 50 miles away.”

Autotrader.com produced a variety of sell sheet flyers with a common theme: real customers, standing next to real vehicles, listed in real geographical locations, with upbeat reviews about their experience.

While testimonials varied, the tagline stayed the same: “Your next customer is here.”

How to Build Social Proof

People depend on reviews, and companies that publish testimonials dramatically increase the quality and quantity of their marketing leads.

This means your company’s best marketers aren’t your employees – they’re your existing customers. In many industries, there is nothing more powerful than social proof, and this is something that can be mobilized in your favor.

What is the best way to gather testimonials?

By asking! Ask clients directly, especially when your customer has just complimented you, tagged your brand on social media, re-ordered your product, or referred a friend. Ask people face-to-face, by incentivizing employees to collect feedback, or by using the “tip” trick.

The tip trick is effective when you’ve spent a significant amount of time with a client or a project. After your commitment is complete, ask for a review with this prompt: “if you had a good experience and include my name in this review, our company will give me a $__ tip.” In this scenario, happy clients are more likely to offer testimonials because it offers a free way to tip someone they appreciate – a win for everyone!

When asking for testimonials, you can help people find the right words, with questions like:

  • What was it like before you had our product/service?
  • What problems were you trying to solve with our product/service?
  • What made our company stand out from other options you considered?
  • What has exceeded your expectations since working with our company?
  • How much time/money does our product save you each day/week/month?
  • What have you been able to achieve since making this decision?
  • What would you tell someone who is considering this purchase?

Get the Good Gossip Flowing

Telling people your business is the best in the industry won’t prompt people to reach for their wallets.

But hearing this message from others might convince them to do so. Great reviews can make or break your brand and serve as a lead generating engine for your sales team.

What are you waiting for? Start collecting and featuring customer stories today!