Monthly Archives: May 2014

School’s Out For Summer: Have a Blast with Your Direct Mail Campaigns7:00 am

By Kristen Dabrio

School’s Out For Summer:  Have a Blast with Your Direct Mail CampaignsMost schools across the country are getting ready to close their doors for the summer, if they haven’t already. As marketers, many of us connect summer with slower sales—but it doesn’t have to be that way! Use this 3-4 month period to reach your customers through a direct mail campaign and offer your customers unique deals for the summer. If you want to increase sales and draw in new customers during this challenging marketing season, consider these ideas for running a summer direct mail campaign.

Throw a BBQ

If your company has a physical location, it’s always a great idea to become more involved in your local community. Purchase a mailing list that targets households in your town and invite them to an event sponsored by your company. If you’re not interested in running your own event, consider getting involved with another local event. Getting involved in your community will help people remember you and see your company in a positive light. It will also help you connect and engage with potential customers.

Send Your Recipients on Vacation

Summer is the time when most families go on vacation, so now is when you should help them plan and prepare for their trip. Design a direct mail campaign that focuses on vacations and lets your recipients know you want to help them save money. Give customers a discount on vacation-related items, like clothing, personal items, rentals, etc. If you don’t sell anything vacation-related, you can always swing it to fit your company. For example, use summer or vacation imagery in your direct mail campaign and offer them a discount on your products to help them save money.

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The Importance of Retaining Your Existing Customers7:00 am

By Kristen Dabrio

The Importance of Retaining Your Existing CustomersWhen we talk about sales and marketing campaigns, we are often focused on how we can bring in new customers and grow our companies. Obviously, we all want our businesses to expand, but it’s vital that we don’t forget about our existing customers. One of the most important things that businesses need to focus on is keeping their existing customers happy. If you want to have a loyal customer base, you need to focus on your existing customers and figure out what will motivate them to purchase from you over and over again. Here are a few reasons why it’s so important you keep your existing customers in mind.

It costs more to gain a new customer.

Constantly running marketing campaigns to draw in new business, instead of paying attention to your existing customers, will end up costing you a lot of money. While direct marketing campaigns are great at bringing in new business, don’t forget about the customers you’ve already gained through those campaigns. In order to keep the same amount of customers you had, increasing marketing costs becomes necessary, so it will save your company money if you tap into the customers you have already fought to gain instead of spending more money trying to fill the gaps. It also helps to keep in mind that according to Bain and Co., a 5% increase in customer retention can increase a company’s profitability by 75%. If you want to see your company become more profitable, it seems that focusing on current customers is the way to go.

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3 Great Customer Loyalty Program Ideas for Your Business7:00 am

By Kristen Dabrio

3 Great Customer Loyalty Program Ideas for Your BusinessHas your business been rewarding your customers? Offering a customer loyalty program as part of your marketing efforts is a great way to draw in new customers, while also making sure you keep the ones you have. Winning over a customer’s long-term loyalty can really pay off for you and your business, so it’s important that you build a customer loyalty program that draws people in and keeps them coming back. Here are 3 great ideas to get you started.

Start a points system + add starter points

Allowing frequent customers to earn points on all their purchases is one of the best ways to build a successful customer loyalty program. Many retail stores offer a certain percentage off purchases once a customer reaches a specific number of points. You can also use these points to create a tier system, where customers can move up the loyalty ladder and achieve better rewards. A lot of airlines use this type of customer loyalty program because it keeps their customers flying with them in order to gain more points.

Another really good tip is to give customers immediate starter points just for signing up. According to Help Scout, “even artificial progress has an impact on consumer motivation because it gives customers the feeling that they have already surpassed the most challenging aspect—getting started.”
 People are much more likely to participate in a loyalty program that awards them immediately because they’ve already seen results just from signing up.

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Tips on Creating Great Email Newsletter Content7:00 am

By Kristen Dabrio

Tips on Creating Great Email Newsletter ContentDoes your company send out email newsletters on a regular basis? If you haven’t been seeing the engagement you’ve been hoping for from your email newsletters, it might have something to do with your content.  Deciding what and how much to write is a challenge that many email marketers struggle with, and finding the right balance might take some planning. The good news is that it’s easy to make adjustments to your email newsletters in order to drastically improve your content. Here are a few simple tips that should help you come up with great email newsletter content.

Be Concise

If you want your email content to stand out from the rest, keep it simple. If you make your email newsletters too lengthy or wordy, people just won’t take the time to read the whole thing. You want important information to stand out if you want people to get the point of your email. According to Vertical Response, “You only have 51 seconds (the average amount of time someone spends on an email newsletter) to grab a reader’s attention. If a reader doesn’t know immediately what’s in store for them, he/she won’t be bothered to scroll past the top fold.” This means that you only have a short amount of time before someone will lose interest or get bored with your email and move on. Before you begin crafting your email content, make sure you have an objective. Know what you want to talk about, what you want your recipients to do with that information, and what your goals are. This will help you keep it short and sweet!

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Why Direct Mail is Here to Stay7:00 am

By Kristen Dabrio

Why Direct Mail is Here to StayIn today’s digital world, some people find it hard to believe that direct mail is still a practical option for companies looking to run a marketing campaign. If you’ve been considering using direct mail for a campaign, you might be asking a bunch of important questions. Isn’t email faster and cheaper? Aren’t people always on their computers and phones? Do people read mail anymore? These are logical concerns, but direct mail still works just as well, if not better, than it once did. Here are a few good reasons why direct mail isn’t going anywhere any time soon, and why you should still run a mail campaign.

In order to understand digital overload, think about how much email you receive in a single day. There’s so much competition when it comes to email marketing, how can you be sure your emails will even be opened? I’m not saying you should give up email marketing all together, but currently direct mail offers specific advantages that could add to your overall marketing strategy. A particularly useful advantage that direct mail offers is that it allows you to bypass the digital overload that we’re currently experiencing and approach your target audience in a refreshing way. If you’re anything like me, direct mail catches my attention more than most of the emails I receive on a daily basis.

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Branding Lessons: How to Be a Good Storyteller7:00 am

By Kristen Dabrio

Branding Lessons: How to Be a Good StorytellerAre you trying to build a brand and draw in new customers? Focusing on storytelling in order to sell a product isn’t a new concept, but with the rise of content marketing through business blogging and social media marketing, it definitely helps to become a stronger storyteller. If you want to create great content that will help your branding efforts, you need to learn how to tell an enticing story and draw in your audience. Here are a few tips to get you started.

Focus on why you’re here

If you’ve started a company, I think it’s safe to say you’re passionate and knowledgeable about the products and services you provide. It’s important that you share the passion and knowledge you have with your potential customers if you want to focus on branding. Through storytelling, you can focus on why you started your company and what you wish to provide to your customers. What is your purpose? Why is it important? How is your product different from everything else that’s out there? When you focus on your beginnings, you help your consumers get a better understanding of what type of company you are.

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Join us in Donating to The Soldiers Project1:21 pm

By Kristen Dabrio

Join us in Donating to The Soldiers ProjectPlease join us in thanking our Veterans for their service this month. In honor of Memorial Day, US Data Corporation has pledged to donate 1% of all retail sales for the month of May to The Soldiers Project.

The Soldiers Project is a non-profit organization that provides free psychological counseling to Veterans who risked their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan post 9/11, along with their loved ones. Many soldiers who return home are at risk for PTSD and other effects of combat stress and trauma. The mental and emotional consequences of war are far-reaching, and many soldiers struggle with psychological trauma when coming home, often in combination with physical injuries. The Soldiers Project exists to help ease their transition and provide soldiers and their families with much-needed support along the way.

All US Data Corporation purchases made during the month of May will be helping our Veterans struggling with PTSD. We believe that The Soldiers Project is doing important work, and we hope that you will join us in supporting them.

Happy Memorial Day from US Data Corporation.

Why You Should Optimize your Email Design for Both Plain Text and HTML7:00 am

By Kristen Dabrio

Why You Should Optimize your Email Design for Both Plain Text and HTMLAre you having trouble deciding between sending HTML or plain text emails when setting up your email marketing campaigns? Doing a simple search on the internet will bring up several lists arguing the pros and cons of using one over the other, but the truth is you’ll be able to better optimize your email design and deliverability if you focus on both. Here are a few important reasons why you should keep both options available to your email campaign recipients.

Increased Accessibility

Any device and email service provider will display plain text, so including both means there’s a better chance that your email recipients will be able to access your email. If you include plain text as well as HTML, your emails will reach the inboxes of people who choose to block HTML emails. Web Marketing Today makes a good point stating, “With so many different smartphones and tablets, it’s important to be able to display your company’s emails in the way that the mobile browser is best suited.” Even though many people have email service providers that display HTML, there are also many applications that provide their users with an option to disable HTML. If you want to increase accessibility, providing an option for both HTML and plain text will help you do so.

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Reasons Why You Should Use Tumblr for Marketing7:00 am

By Kristen Dabrio

Reasons Why You Should Use Tumblr for MarketingHas your company found success on Tumblr? Many businesses are now using the social site as part of their social media marketing platform, so it’s definitely a site marketers should keep an eye on if they’re looking to expand their efforts. Tumblr allows users to post several different kinds of content, such as blog posts, images, gifs, videos, links, and audio files, so it’s the perfect combination of other popular social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram. In addition to being a great blogging site, there are many more great reasons you should use Tumblr for marketing your products and services.

It helps build your brand

Since people will associate your company with your logo and images, visual content is extremely important. Tumblr is primarily focused around the use of images and gifs, so this works well for people wishing to build their brand by promoting the look and feel of their company. According to a Social Media Examiner article, “We connect emotionally to images more than video, audio or text. People make decisions and take action quicker when prompted by images, rather than by reading a lot of text.” If you want people to connect to your brand, consider using images instead of relying on text. This is the unique flexibility Tumblr offers its users.

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Choosing the Right Colors for Your Direct Mail Design7:00 am

By Kristen Dabrio

Choosing the Right Colors for Your Direct Mail DesignWhen marketers start to think about the overall design and layout of their direct mail campaign, they should also spend time focusing on color. Choosing the right colors for your direct mail design can make all the difference in how your recipients interact with your campaign. According to an article by Help Scout, “People make up their minds within 90 seconds of their initial interactions with either people or products. About 62-90 percent of the assessment is based on colors alone.” This means that your direct mail recipients will pay attention to colors and their marketing decisions will be affected by your color choices.

Here are a few ways colors can be used to improve your direct mail campaign:

To Bring Attention to Your Call-to-Action

In order to make your call-to-action easy to find, it’s a great idea to use bright colors in order to draw attention to it.  Action orientated colors include reds, oranges, and yellows. These colors will highlight your call-to-action and draw your recipients’ eyes to it, so there’s no way they can overlook it.  Here’s a good example:

Choosing the Right Colors for Your Direct Mail Design(1)

The offer is highlighted by the bright yellow color and recipients are immediately aware of the deal. The postcard also uses the bright pink color to let recipients know that the offer is for their jeans because the brightness draws the recipient to exactly what the offer is, and helps keep the design playful. The bright colors also fit in with a clothing brand that caters to teens. If a more muted color had been used, like brown, the copy wouldn’t have been as exciting.

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