Communicate Excellence with Vibrant Printed Posters and Signs

travel advertising billboard mockup on city downtown. 3d Rendering.

One glance is truly all it takes, and recent eye-tracking studies demonstrate how quickly first impressions happen.

Dr. Hong Sheng, assistant professor of technology at the Missouri University of Science and Technology, employed eye-tracking software to analyze and scan response patterns as students viewed website screenshots. Subjects averaged merely 180 milliseconds on a particular section before moving on. (For a reference, 185 milliseconds is about the time it takes for a helicopter rotor to make one full rotation).

Sheng also found it took people less than two-tenths of a second to form first impressions that significantly affected outcomes:

“The longer the participants stayed on the page, the more favorable their impressions were,” Sheng said. “First impressions are important and . . . [these impressions] can determine whether that user forms a favorable or unfavorable view of that organization.”

Big Statements Win Business

If a website glance can have such an impact, how much more will a large-scale display? 

Research shows that people are 70% more likely to remember a brand advertised in print as opposed to online, and large-scale posters and signs are a logical, cost-effective way to spark interest. No matter what product or service you are promoting, a perfectly placed sign can stop people in their tracks. Thanks to their size and bold colors, there’s no doubt that your vivid images will meet people where they are and naturally stick in viewers’ minds.

Printed posters and signs demonstrate that you are vibrant and capable. Signs that appear in public places radiate confidence, making your business seem more creative and trustworthy. For example, one Health and Information study showed that posters were among the best ways to increase knowledge, change attitudes, and alter behaviors. A well-designed poster shows you do things with excellence, and people are in good hands with you!

And signs aren’t just static. Large scale displays can be customized to include a coupon or a quick-response (QR) code, leading your prospects to your website, landing page, or even a creative video advertisement. From explaining complicated processes to posing a question that someone absolutely MUST find the answer for, interactive graphics are a great way to engage bystanders or snag curious prospects.

Whether you exhibit one poster or sign or display a whole row, big displays get big results!

A Fast Track to Success

Ready to get started?

Check out our online ordering options! Here you can design online, re-order from your existing products library, or submit a custom design. Plug into creative concepts like these:

–Use big color posters as art reproductions, event features, service menus, or promotional collectibles

–Create patterns of simple posters to build a striking, geometric display

–Add frames, cardboard or foam backing, or swivel display mounting for stability  

–Extend your poster’s lifespan by adding a durable laminate coating

Need a jump start? Contact us today about full-service graphic design. We’ll work hard, so you don’t have to!

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What to Do When You’re Tempted to Give Up on Your Business

“It’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get up.”

– NFL Coach Vince Lombardi

Should I give up?

It’s the question that hits every aspiring leader at some point. It’s a seed of doubt rooted deep in our emotions and our identities as humans.

As an entrepreneur, you will continuously face discouragement that threatens to cheat you out of hope and possibility. When you are tempted to quit on your business, what should you do?

Rest is Best

While there are many things you can do to combat discouragement, one of the best things is also the simplest: REST.

Making decisions when you are fatigued or depressed can have long-lasting consequences. A pessimistic outlook can shape the trajectory of a decision, leading to poor outcomes down the road. And weariness has real effects: one study found that U.S. clinicians were 26% more likely to prescribe unnecessary antibiotics to patients during the fourth hour of work on a typical day.

When you feel beat down or uncertain, get a few good nights of sleep, take a vacation, or focus on a different aspect of a challenging project for a bit. Taking time to replenish your emotional and mental resources is one of the best decisions you can make.

Look for Opportunities

When you only focus on problems, the result is restlessness, anxiety, and ulcers.

Instead, push yourself to look for opportunities. In the COVID-19 season, that’s what many businesses are doing.

Sugarbird Sweets and Tea, a California-based scone specialist, grounded their business in selling sweets and teas wholesale to restaurants and hotels. But once stay-at-home orders were issued, these catering orders dried up and clients disappeared:

“Within three weeks, we were down 95 percent of our revenue,” said Kei Okumura, founder and owner of Los Angeles-based Sugarbird Sweets. “We had to quickly pivot to support and provide our services to consumers, direct.”

Sugarbird made an intentional shift from catering to individual online orders. This meant upgrading their platforms and shipping logistics to better serve current and future customers. Okumera says that, though this has been challenging, she sees the rapid increase in online presence as a push toward growth: 

“I think it’s a good thing—I think it’s a great thing,” Okumura said about going online. “If I could ship this nationwide with hubs across the nation, so I can do two-day shipping to New York or to the Midwest, that would be fantastic.”

While this season is demanding, it can push every entrepreneur to tighten their business plan and drop any distractions.

Reconnect with Your Why

People are most tempted to quit when their business isn’t making money, or it’s just not fun anymore.

A business won’t survive long if enjoyment or profit are the only things driving you. So, when you’re feeling weary, re-examine the greater meaning that motivates you. Get with other trusted friends and talk through questions like these:

  • What do we love to do?
  • What was the difference we set out to make in people’s lives through this business?
  • How does our company or idea bring distinct value, comfort, or joy?
  • Why is our company unique?

The Heart of Every Entrepreneur

While ideas come and go, entrepreneurship is an identity.

To be an entrepreneur is to declare that your mission is to create extraordinary value in the world. Businesses are just vehicles for that value creation, so while the outward form of your business may change, your heart as an entrepreneur will not.

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Target the Right Customers with Your Next Direct Mail Piece

Marketing segmentation, customers care, customer relationship management (CRM) and team building concepts.

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!

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5 Best-Value Print Products to Increase Your Sales

Money growth Saving money. Upper tree coins to shown concept of growing business

Advertising dollars are sometimes in short supply, and it can be hard to know where to invest yours. 

Print marketing is alive and strong, but if your budget is limited, you may need to focus on a few thoughtfully-crafted items. Here are five pieces that can stretch your dollar the farthest.

1. Business Cards

First impressions can make or break your business, and a positive experience can create long-lasting relationships. 

Despite our online connections, business cards continue as a staple of every industry, because of their role in the branding experience. These cards hold more than just contact details: smart strategists view them as a glance into a company’s quality, personality, or services. 

While they are inexpensive to print, their impact is significant! 

2. Targeted Postcards

A physical object in their hands gives your message palpable weight. 

And recent stats bring news of impressive direct mail response rates. In 2018, postcards sent to generic prospect lists generated a 4.9% response rate, while targeted household mailing lists generated 9%. Thanks to technological advancements, today you can send content-tailored mail to people who actually look forward to it, prompting a higher response!

Want to step it up a notch? Today’s printing capabilities allow you to dream and DO almost anything with sizing, shapes, or finishes. Think outside the rectangle with tri-fold layouts, square promo cards, or coupons with detachable referral slips that people can give a friend.

3. Presentation Folders

Want a tasteful way to share your message?

Presentation folders allow you to distribute information in a convenient, memorable package. Offering people a stack of papers is a good way to have your marketing thrown away quickly, while packaging pricing information, brochures, and contracts in a folder is a great way to keep documents safe and front-of-mind. Containing anything from USB flash drives to stepped insert flyers, even smaller folders can offer the business solution you need. Here are two examples:

Use a 3 * 7-inch promo (including a business card, personal introductory flyer, and coupon incentive) to share during informal introductions or social gatherings.

Try a 4 * 9-inch pocketed folder (including a business card cutout slot, stacked product promos, and customized question/answer flyer) to use during client meetings or referral contacts.

4. Retractable Banners

Want to put your message front and center? 

Gain exposure for your brand with classy custom banners! Retractable banners radiate excellence, and can be used for retail spaces, special events, trade shows, and more. Portable and cost-effective, retractable banners are well-suited for changing out banner prints, ensuring your message stands tall in the busiest pedestrian spaces. 

5. Catalogs

Ready to give catalogs or booklets some consideration? 

You should. Studies from the Data & Marketing Association show that the response rate for catalogs is increasing, partially because younger people enjoy catalogs:

“Millennials stand out a bit higher than other generations in terms of engaging with mail,” said Neil O’Keefe, the association’s senior vice president of marketing and content. “Millennials are very engaged by imagery, and the catalog really allows that to stand out. So, the response rate there is very different than what you would experience with a display ad, even an email. The response rate for a printed piece has been on the rise.”

The return rate on catalogs can be especially effective when you reach the right audience at the right time. According to CNBC, catalogs sent to key customers at strategic times yield an average return of $3 for every $1 invested – and up to $9 for every $1 invested when sent to the very best customers.

Look Your Best in Print

Print marketing is an effective way to generate leads, make sales, and solidify customer loyalty. 

Ready to start your next masterpiece? From first-glance flyers to head-turning portfolio pieces, we’ll resource you with compelling pieces that make your reputation shine. Give us a call (309) 820-1392 or head over to our website: https://www.cpg-printing.com and send a request!

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Sell the Story, Not Just the Product

Pricing Strategy sign

When it comes to marketing, one detail people often overlook is how pricing comes in to play.

If you think pricing is an insignificant part of your messaging, you should think again. Pricing is a marketing tool, not simply a way to get money. And while marketing may change your pricing, the opposite is also true – pricing should change your marketing.

Stories That Sell

In any sales transaction, countless stories are being told, including the stories we tell ourselves and the image we convey to those around us.

The exorbitant price of a brand name basketball shoe communicates an obvious story to the people who see you wearing it. And the rock bottom pricing at a clearance closeout tells your internal budget coach a story about what a fool you’d be to overlook this sale!

As a marketer, price determines what your business stands for, who you’re designing for, and the story you tell customers. How might that play out? Here’s a practical example.

Consider a baker who wants to adjust prices and marketing accordingly. This entrepreneur might take one of four approaches.

1. A Free Baking Blog with Helpful Recipes and Webinars

If a business wants to make money, it can’t afford to give away freebies, right?

Wrong.

A free idea is far more likely to spread than an idea that’s tethered to money. When a chef gives away her recipes or leads an online seminar, she’s distributing ideas for free, but building popularity and leverage for her name.

While you can reproduce her baguettes at home, enjoying a pricey, oven-fresh roll in her bistro is even better. This allows her generous compensation while building awareness, trust, and a larger platform to sell her products.

2. Products Priced for a Quick Sale

If the ingredients and overhead associated with a loaf of bread cost our baker $1.95, selling loaves for $2.00 may allow the baker to move a lot of product, and fast.

In this case, the marketing storyline should match the budget-conscious shopper’s mindset, using phrases like “your bargain bakery favorites” or “first-class French bread at no-frills prices!”

3. Mid-Level Markups

Say the baker decides to sell loaves at $3.00 apiece.

Now she makes more than a dollar a loaf, or more than twenty times she made at the previous level. If she kept prices a dollar lower, she would have to sell 21 loaves for every loaf sold at $3.00, which might mean the difference between a few customers an hour versus a line out the door.

To sell her story at the $3.00 level, the savvy baker might invest in a sparkling clean shop, a new sign in the window, and taglines like “artistry in every bite” or “you deserve something delicious.”

4. Majoring on Luxury

Here the baker prices loaves at $6.00 apiece, choosing to sell not just a product, but also a full-scale experience.

Loaves are nestled snugly in custom burlap bags and paired with a small spread of the customer’s choice. Elegant café seating allows customers to enjoy savory soups and decadent desserts onsite. Everything about the bakery screams indulgence, and marketing is based around taglines like this: “Heaven on Earth is here.”

Intentionally Shape Their Experience

As you price your products, craft marketing narratives that correspond to the story people will experience.

And remember, when people are heavily invested in a bigger financial commitment, they need narratives that justify this expense. Work hard to set their conscience at ease, and you will be rewarded with loyalty and sales.

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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!

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How to Establish Trust with Potential Clients

Trust word as symbol in chrome chain

Have you ever received a cold call from someone trying to sell you something?

Which of these actions characterized your response?

  1. You found an excuse to hang up
  2. You used short words or sentences in response to leading questions
  3. You used delay tactics or told the salesperson you’d call them down the road
  4. You were excited about the call and took proactive steps to learn more

If you are like most people, you probably lean toward a quick disconnect. That’s because behaviors 1-3 are basically kneejerk reactions that display a lack of trust.

Easing Past Apprehension

Sales can be scary – for everyone involved.

When you begin by recognizing this, you gain an immediate advantage. If you want to influence how a person thinks or responds, first you must guide them out of the calm sea of apathy and into riskier waters of decision.

And that requires trust.

So how do you get there? Especially if you’re wooing prospects you might never see face-to-face? Here are three helpful options:

1. Become More Transparent

Transparency simply means making something accessible.

There’s been a shift in marketing, especially as content marketing has gained traction, and your clients expect answers at their fingertips, without a middleman or any layers of hidden information.

Want to get things out in the open?

List prices on your website

(rather than hiding them behind a phone call)

Address uncomfortable or controversial questions upfront

(instead of waiting for prospects to ask)

Invite people into your world 

(show prospects the faces and voices of your team: a group of actual humans who have lives and families and who are working hard every day to make your business thrive)

2. Stop Trying to Praise Yourself

Claiming you’re the best or tooting your own horn can make you seem unrelatable.

Instead, do everything you can to provide social proof from previous or current customers, such as

  • Sending surveys with every order
  • Using follow-up calls to get feedback on your service
  • Advertising where and how people can place a review
  • Creating case studies or testimonial examples around frequently-ordered products

And remember, reviews mean nothing unless you use them! Add them to your sell sheets and brochures. Paste them at the bottom of emails or sales letters. Create an arsenal of testimonials for your marketing team to pull from, and categorize them around pain points or specific buyer personas so they can be used at just the right moment.

3. Provide Assurances

Want to tip people toward a decision?

There are several little things you can do to bolster trust. Here are just three areas you can tweak:

Email Sign-Ups

What’s the biggest reason prospects avoid offering their email address?

Fear of spam. Assure your leads with phrases like, “We hate spam and promise not to spam you.” Or let people know up front how often you intend to communicate.

Account Registration

Doubt or uneasiness can creep in when people are asked to create an account on your website.

To alleviate this, provide assurances about how people can cancel or the benefits they will receive by moving forward.

Affirmation

Sometimes people need a little validation to boost their confidence.

You can do this by adding encouragements to your sign-up or order forms, like: “Thanks for choosing Acme Associates. You’re in good hands!” or, “Over ___ subscriptions filled each week!”

Customers Buy from People They Trust

The economy doesn’t run on money – it runs on trust, and so does your business.

When you’re selling, first focus on building trust with buyers. Then you’ll find people will not only listen to your advice, but they’ll be more willing to take it and to move forward with you.

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Overcome Nervousness in Your Video-Conference Meetings

If you were called to stand up and give an impromptu speech, would you flourish or would you flee?

E-learning via virtual application, videocall video conferencing activity, colleagues working together concept. Pc screen view over woman shoulder, listen tutor gain new knowledge noting information

One of the world’s richest men said he used to be so scared of public speaking that he was “terrified of getting up and saying [his] name.” Warren Buffett spent most of his college years avoiding courses with group speaking elements, and even signed up for a public speaking course but dropped out at the last minute.

Beating Back the Butterflies

Glossophobia, or fear of public speaking, is believed to affect at least 75 percent of the population.

From small butterflies to full-on panic, public speaking causes many to tremble. Comedian Jerry Seinfeld once joked that some people report that they fear public speaking more than death, so “if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy!”

With the 2020 pandemic thrusting us into a new world of virtual meetings, this discomfort can be amplified. Professors and teachers around the world report teaching to dark blank squares, as students turn off cameras and “hide” from their cohorts.

In real-life groups, we don’t feel the same pressure to perform socially as we might through online platforms. Experts say that 15 percent of our communication is done verbally, and 85 percent is sent through body language, so the extra effort it takes to engage through socially distant meetups can be especially stressful.

How can you overcome this discomfort? Here are recommendations from the pros:

Adjust Your Camera at Eye Level

Don’t have the webcam pointed up at you, or you’ll offer teammates a revealing glance at your nose hairs or double chin.

Eye to eye is the best, so even if it feels weird, try to look directly at the camera (straight ahead) as you speak. If necessary, stack books under your device until your webcam is eye level.

Look at Others While You Listen

Perhaps you’re distracted by seeing yourself onscreen and feel more self-conscious as a result.

Adjust your lighting and image touch-ups at the start of a meeting, then do your best to look at others, not yourself.

Treat the Meeting Like an Ordinary Group Discussion

Forget the idea that a video meeting can make or break you.

Treat these like ordinary conversations or casual brainstorming sessions. Speak in a relaxed tone, act like yourself, and show engagement by nodding, leaning forward to listen, or tilting your head to “give them your ear.”

Practice an “Others First” Mindset

During public speaking, you feel “all eyes” watching you.

This can be painfully vulnerable, like a caveman exposed in daylight. While you may want to shrink back, calm your anxiety by focusing on your desire to encourage others. Sarah Gershman, President of Green Room Speakers, says this:

“The key to disarming our organic panic button is to turn the focus away from ourselves — away from whether we will mess up or whether the audience will like us — and toward helping the audience. 

“Studies have shown that . . . showing kindness and generosity to others has been shown to activate the vagus nerve, which has the power to calm the fight-or-flight response. When we are kind to others, we feel calmer and less stressed. The same principle applies in public speaking. When we approach speaking with a spirit of generosity, we counteract the sensation of being under attack and start to feel less nervous.”

Before you chime in to share, make small bullet points of what you want to contribute, so you are focused on connection and less critical of your own, awkward voice.

Finally, building confidence takes time. Each time you participate, push yourself to do a bit more.  Unlearning self-conscious thoughts and fears won’t kill you. But it will take practice! So what better time to try?

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How Anxiety Can Bring Out The Best in Your Business

“Anxiety is essential for creativity.” –Soren Kierkegaard

Have you ever been stressed in your sleep?

Angry Hispanic businessman working with laptop computer in office, losing patience. Anxious executive man under stress at work for technology problems and software pc virus.

Perhaps you tossed through a restless night of dreams, finding that, when you were most physically exhausted, you ended up “working hard” all night. Common anxiety dreams include arriving late to the airport (without a passport or luggage), laboring at work with frustrating results, arriving for a huge test and realizing you never did any prior homework or studying, or falling, being chased, or losing something.

Anxiety is an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worry, and physical changes like increased blood pressure. Whether you sense foreboding about the future or you’re responding to the trauma of the past, everyone deals with stress or anxiety sometimes.

And while most of us dread the pangs of anxiety, it can actually be a productive and inspiring muse.

Keys to Harnessing Your Mental Energy

Neuroscientist and author Joseph LeDoux called anxiety, “the price we pay for an ability to imagine the future.”

“That’s what anxiety is,” he told the New York State Writers Institute in 2016, “an imagination of a future that hasn’t happened yet, but that you are concerned with, worried about, dreading, and so on.”

If you find your worries sometimes kick into overdrive, remember that every artist is blessed with an active imagination, and your mental energy is something that can be harnessed for everything from your next poem to your solution for today’s biggest obstacles.

Want to conquer stress before it conquers you?

In his book, “Mastering Creative Anxiety,” creativity coach and psychologist Dr. Eric Maisel lays out 22 different anxiety management tools (enough that everyone can find at least one or two that may work well!).

Here are just three he recommends:

1. The simplest is to remember to breathe; a few deep cleansing breaths can do wonders for reducing anxiety.

2. The most important anxiety management tool is probably cognitive work, where you change the things you say to yourself, turning anxious thoughts into calmer, more productive thoughts.

Want ideas? Here is a free PDF from The Creative Independent on how artists deal with creative anxiety.

3. Creating a lifestyle that supports calmness is also very important: if the way you live your life produces a lot of anxiety, that’s a tremendous extra burden on your nervous system.

A Time for Creativity and Strategic Marketing

Many entrepreneurs believe that mastering professional anxiety involves focus.

While some things are beyond your control, worrying about these can make you crazy. Instead, focus on what is within your influence: like creativity, productivity, and strategic marketing. As you hit reset in your summer or fall season, now is the time to push ahead on new projects, get strategic about networking, or to establish self-care habits that maximize energy while inspiring great ideas.

While you can’t take the anxiety of life, you can see it for the positive aspects it brings. For example, the two characters that make up the Chinese word for crisis, when taken separately, mean “danger” and “opportunity.” We’ve all felt the alarm of the COVID-19 season, but now it’s time to embrace the opportunities and innovation this reset may bring.

Want to see some examples of how other businesses are approaching marketing at this time? Give us a call to chat about strategic print options!

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Direct Mail Postcards: A Proven Winner

Male sending letters and bills in mailbox in front of house, mail delivery

Results. Whether it’s weight loss, test scores, or finances, tangible success is the payoff everyone wants.

With a limited marketing budget, it’s important for your business to make every penny count. And, according to a 2018 DMA Response Rate Report, direct mail consistently outperforms all digital marketing channels. 

Direct mail allows readers to comprehend, process, and remember the material more quickly and easily, with postcards and large envelopes eliciting the best overall response. Think about how quickly you process your own mail – ‘bill, letter, junk, ad . . .’ It takes a split second to accept or discard each piece. Postcards put the message front and center as soon as the printed piece hits their hand.

When it comes to results, 52.5 percent of potential recipients claim they will read a postcard, whereas a letter-sized envelope will be opened only a third of the time. Postcards get a fairly high response rate – 4.25% – followed by dimensional mailers with 4% and letter-sized envelopes at 3.5%. And larger postcards (6-inches by 11-inches) are an ideal choice to ensure your piece stands out in the mail pile.

Success Starts Here

Ready to acquire new customers and increase your profits? Here are some tips for head-turning postcards:

Get to the Point

Postcards should have one obvious call to action. Understanding the audience and key message will drive design, with branding that will reinforce this theme.

Stress Benefits

Highlight the benefits of what you are selling. If you are selling a booklet-folding machine, don’t just say, “stainless steel hopper, 10 inches wide.” Add, “assembles 600 booklets per hour!”

Use Engaging Designs

Even classy postcards can have some sizzle, whether it’s font, bright colors, foil, or creative cardstock and graphic combinations.

Follow Headlines with Delivery

The promise of the headline should be fulfilled in the body copy—immediately. Your first few sentences should explain, elaborate on, and support the promise made in the headline.

Don’t Be Boring

People take in loads of information each week, and postcards have a split second to catch their attention. A sharp layout is great, but be sure to integrate this with a lively message to keep them reading past the headline.

Offer a Next Step

Don’t assume the reader knows what to do with your card. Include instructions and crystal-clear action steps, like, “For a free 2020 landscaping guide, visit http://www.lawnparadise.com, or call Betsy at __________ for a blueprint on a total yard makeover.”

Enhance Readability

More than 30 percent of the population classifies themselves as “scanners,” so aim for improved readability with bullets, generous white space, screened boxes, yellow highlighting, crossed-out text (like $19.95, $9.95), and simulated handwriting in the margin.

Front and Center with Eye-Popping Postcards

Want to make the right offer at the right time?

Postcards are ideal when:

  • You want to generate leads.
  • You’re offering a free or premium item.
  • The primary response is a URL landing page or a phone call.
  • The concept is easy to explain or familiar to the reader.

Finally, the sure advantage in postcards is knowing where to send them.

Savvy marketers know who their audience is, and they realize it’s not just one group. The most successful postcard marketing sends unique messages (and even segmented landing pages) to the groups they most want to reach.

If you can reach out to 500 targeted people (versus 5,000 bulk addresses), your success rates will skyrocket.

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