Archive for the ‘marketing’ Tag

Extend the reach of your print and direct mail   1 comment

We often recommend using a QR code or a mobile call to action on a print ad or direct mail piece to help our clients provide a richer experience to their consumers. Here are some of the benefits:

·        QR codes and text campaigns require little effort on the part of the consumer to use. (Go ahead and give it a try. Text FREEMOBILE to 96362)

·        They offer a great way to connect the physical and digital experiences

·        They are relatively inexpensive to implement for marketers

·        They allow print materials to be tracked

However, it is important to understand that the QR code or text campaign is just a delivery method. It only makes sense if there is a solid strategy behind it.

Most clients easily understand that QR codes or text campaigns provide them a vehicle to track their campaign. They count the number of scans or opt-ins to determine how successful a campaign was. However, if you don’t clearly state what the reader will get when they scan or opt-into a text campaign they may either disregard the call-to-action or be disappointed when the experience doesn’t meet their expectation.

Here are some quick tips to incorporating QR codes into print materials:

  1. Don’t forget that QR codes are being scanned by a mobile phone. The experience MUST be mobile friendly.
  2. Provide a clear, concise call to action. Plainly state what will happen when they scan the code.
  3. Placement matters: Consumers need to be able to get their phone in a position to scan the code and the code can’t be in a location without mobile coverage. Here are some examples of marketers that might want to rethink their placement strategy. And a few more.
  4. Size does too! Anything smaller than one inch square is hard to scan and hard to notice.
  5. Use a URL shortener like bitlyThe more data you try to store in a QR code the smaller the dots become, which in turn means it’s more difficult for smartphones to read them.
  6. Track it: Make sure to use a unique URL for the campaign so you can easily track the response. You can use Google Analytics or bitly’s tracking service.

For text campaigns you have similar guidelines. Just like with QR codes you need to have a clear call to action like “text FREEMOBILE to 96362 for a free trial mobile campaign”. You need to make sure the message isn’t hidden and that it includes some simple legal language about messaging and data rates.

Follow these simple guidelines to help give your customers a richer experience by bridging print with digital and create a more memorable – and measurable – connection.


Posted September 12, 2013 by Amy Blum in E-Marketing/Web, Loyalty Programs, Mobile

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Homegrown Marketing   2 comments

I hope, like me, you have had the chance to get caught up on some good reading this summer. I am finally diving into that pile of parenting books that gnaw and nag at me from my nightstand. As I whittle down the stack, I’ve been stuck by parallels between marketing and parenting and how both strive to make a strong and lasting connection.

 Interestingly, in his new book The Secrets of Happy Families, Bruce Feiler explores how solid business premises from corporate America can be applied to building stronger families. There are similarities in what makes both great and marketing it turns out, plays a key role.

We are a Company Who…:

Do you know your company’s brand? Can you articulate it in a 3 minute elevator speech? With conviction and certainty?  If not, it’s time to reflect on what makes you special and why you do what you do.   What is your purpose and mission? Successful companies, like families, know what they are about.  They know their core values, embrace them, protect them and covet them completely.

For example, we are a family who loves being outdoors and in nature. It’s a strong part of who we are, what we value, how we like to spend our time and where we like to relax.   In essence, it is part of our family brand because it’s so integral to our being.  Your professional brand should be equally integral and clear. It defines who you are and what you say to your customers.

So pause for a minute to finish this sentence:

We are company who…

Hopefully the words came easily. If not, no worries.  Brands are an organic concept that need marinating and maturing before we put them on paper. And then need periodic revisiting and refining.

Eagle’s brand? We are a company who helps clients build lasting customer relationships.

Who is Your Target Market:

Once you’ve locked in on your brand, you need to identify your target market and what they need from you. This can be tricky in both business and parenting (particularly when you have 3 children)!  Kids, like your customers, have certain features in common. They’re all children for example who live in one house. And yet, my 9 year old son has vastly different needs than his 6 year old twin sisters. It would be ineffective to “lump them together” and treat them all the same because they are each, in essence, their own target market. 

To be effective, we motivate our little “customers” best, by tailoring our message customized to their individual needs. For example, my husband and I employ Target Marketing when we transition kids to bed time. The promise of a book does the trick for one while a little song and a snuggle gets another jumping into jammies. 

You may not be singing lullabies to your clients but you do have to know who they are, what makes them tick and what they want and need. 

Try this out:

My target market is…..  And they need ……

Hard to answer?  When it comes to defining target markets, be it brands or parenting, you are never really “done”. This process is on-going, a constant ebb and flow of trial and error, refinements and adjustments.  Remember it’s okay to ask your clients what it is they want and need. It’s better than guessing. 

Rather than be discouraged, think of this process as an exciting challenge to figure out the puzzle just before the pieces get tossed in the air. 

As Albert Einstein once said, “The Three Rules of Work: 1. Out of clutter, find simplicity. 2. From discord, find harmony. 3. In the middle of difficulty, lies opportunity.”

Have you found harmony in your corporate identity? If so, we’d love to know how you got there.

Posted August 7, 2013 by Amy Blum in Uncategorized

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Do Your Envelopes Make the Cut?   2 comments

At Eagle we’re always trying to determine what works best and why. Recently we turned our attention to what kind of direct mail envelopes are most effective in increasing return on investment. Maddie Houts, our ace summer intern, set out to do an informal experiment. Here are the results of Maddie’s investigation:…

Post Office Bin     photos 2

At my local post office there are two huge bins where you can throw away any catalogues, magazines, or letters you pick up from your P.O. Box and no longer want.  I decided to rifle through the bins looking for letters that didn’t “cut through the clutter” and make the ride home.

DFB Front  Dog Food Blacklist Envelope

The first I found was a letter from The Whole Dog Journal.  To me, this letter was enticing because it had key words printed all over the envelope.  It promises a “Free issue and a free gift” and on the backside says “WARNING” in a bold font and color.  The back of the envelope lists foods that are hazardous to dogs’ health, but only names the product on the inside.  You would think that any dog owner would open this up immediately, yet the envelope didn’t make it through.  It could be because, according to a Print in the Mix article, what is printed on the back of an envelope is significantly less important than what is on the front.  A supporting study revealed that around 60% of people would not even look at the back before opening one.  This is a possible explanation for its inability to catch the consumer’s interest, as most of the compelling words are on the back.

Envelope-Capital One

Who else finds this letter unexciting? I know I do! Then why am I showing this to you?  Because of all the envelopes in the bins, I feel that this one most effectively highlighted their window.  Experts state that windows aren’t just for bills anymore.  They are incredibly cost and time-effective, and a great use of space if you have the creative wherewithal.  The only color on this Capital One envelope is a blue band surrounding their two windows, which draws your eye to that space.  However, I personally don’t find their copy particularly enticing, and certainly not persuasive enough to make me consider switching my credit card or bank provider.  Also, there was no blue band on the back of the envelope, which I feel disrupts the visual continuity.  So though I commend their window highlighting, I think I understand why the consumer threw this one in the bin.

Envelope 1 Front and Back

SDZ 1 Front  SDZ 1 Back

Envelope 2 Front and Back

SDZ 2 Front  SDZ 2 Back

The San Diego Zoo does a great job with marketing so I was particularly interested in these envelopes. They were sent to two people with different materials enclosed.  They feature text and 4-color pictures, and quite frankly are the first ones I picked up because I had to get a closer look at those adorable animals.  So then why is it that The San Diego Zoo failed to make it through the clutter not once, but twice?! For the Envelope 1, the answer is clear to me.  Though there is an interesting photo and eye-catching text, there is no promise of what lies beyond.  Why do you miss me?  Are you going to renew my membership?  What is this about?  It is unclear and un-compelling motivation for me personally to spend time reading the contents of this piece. However, I think Envelope 2 does a much better job of creating interest in the materials.  It is decorated on both sides, states exactly what to expect of the contents, and offers a coupon.  Notice though that the words “you” and “we” never appear.  Studies suggest a mailer is more likely to fail if it lacks of personal interest.

My experiment and research both support this bottom Line: Use color.  Use words.  Use windows.  Use anything you can to cut through the clutter of the many direct mail campaigns filling the average mailbox.  Because if you end up in the reject bin, the only people who will see your pieces are curious marketing interns like me.

Read more articles about envelopes here, here, and here.

An Inconvenient Truth* #3: Don’t Make ‘em Work   Leave a comment

I watch yet another car lurk around the parking lot, scoping out the closest space possible to the building’s front door. Despite the fact that just a few rows away are dozens of empty spots, ignored by just about every driver. Round and round she goes, where she’ll stop, nobody knows – except you can be certain it won’t be far away.

And, of course, all this walk-avoidance is happening at the gym.

This hunt-for-the-nearest-parking-spot scenario is played out in parking lots across America day after day, at malls, restaurants, the airport, and yes, even the gym.

So what does this mean for you, dear Marketer? Another inconvenient, but important truth: At heart, most people are lazy. They’ll rally during times of crisis, show extraordinary strength and courage during history’s darkest hours – but just don’t make ‘em walk across the parking lot.

And don’t make ‘em work at trying to figure out your marketing message.

We’re talking too much play on words, “insider” jokes, copy that doesn’t know when to quit…anything that’s confusing, muddled, unclear, or even worse, boring.

Make sure your advertising is simple, to the point, and is conversational in tone. Cut out the cleverness if it gets in the way of the clarity. As a quick test, write your entire message in a ten-second script, being sure to clearly state your brand promise in that time. It’s a great starting point to develop a complete, concise message people can quickly understand.

Give your customers the chance to get close to you – without having to work at it.

*ignore at your own peril

An Inconvenient Truth* #1: Don’t Make ‘em Think.   Leave a comment

The Promobabe has spun many a marketing tale in her time, much of it inside the wild world of television promotion, where we cranked out promo content on a fast-moving, never-ending conveyer belt.

Despite the Pop-Tart like nature of the work (heat, eat, repeat), I learned a critical thing about that applies to every audience in every industry – at least when it comes to marketing and advertising.

Don’t make ‘em think.

Oh, I hear some of you saying, so you think your audience isn’t as smart as a fifth grader?

Au contraire, dear Reader. I say this Inconvenient Truth with the utmost respect – and compassion – for my customers. Because the reality is:

Everyone’s busy.
Duh. Who isn’t? But for us marketing mavens, it means always remembering that no one has the time or the interest to figure out complex or muddled marketing messages.

Nope, I don’t want you to “dumb it down” – by writing stupid, inane, or insufficient copy. Obviously, marketing the latest robotics for brain surgery will be more in-depth than an ad for fiber-enriched Cheetos.

It does mean creating easy-to-comprehend content that’s always consistent with your company’s brand. Bottom line: Give your tired, overwhelmed audience a break by speaking clearly and directly to them. How?

Keep it simple!
The KISS principle is every marketer’s guiding light. As my first boss used to continually remind me: Keep it simple, stupid. She was annoying, but right.

Take out the shop talk. Avoid the acronyms. Weed out the waxing on…and on …about every detail of your product/service. Remember, really good advertising doesn’t provide all the information – it provides the promise of what makes your product/service so cool – and the push to excite your target market about your company.

Quick test: Ask a few people who fit your target audience, but don’t work for your company (or at the very least, for your department) to take a gander at your upcoming marketing, before you give it the final stamp of approval.

After one look, have them tell you what they got out of the ad. Can they basically articulate what’s unique about your product or service? What makes it good? Why they should buy it?

Or did they have to think too much?

Next Inconvenient Truth: Know thyself. Stay tuned.

*ignore at your own marketing peril

Your English Teacher Was Wrong.   2 comments

Hate to break it to you, but Mrs. Marple, your 8th grade English teacher, put you on the road to utter boredom.  At least when it comes to compelling ad copy.

You know all the rules that were drilled into our heads:

  • Use complete sentences!
  • Don’t ever end a sentence with a preposition!
  • Do not use contractions!
  • Write in the third person!
  • Give lots and lots of details!
  • Do NOT break the rules!

OK, here are Promobabe’s Rules for copywriting that works: 

Love the word “you.”  Sprinkle it liberally throughout your copy.

  Talk to one person at a time – not a group.

 Envision the prospect you’re talking to.  You’re having a conversation, not giving a speech.

 Do not use “do not.”  Or “we are.”  Or “I am.”  Stop channeling Mrs. Marple and embrace the fact that when you’re writing ad copy, contractions are your friends.  They make everything so much more friendly and readable.

 Too many exclamation points!!!!!  It’s overwhelming!!!! Unless you’re a 14 year old girl on Facebook!!!!!  Or wanna feel like a 14 year old girl again!!!!

 Sentence fragments are good.  Sometimes very good.  They add flow and rhythm to your copy.

 Ending sentences with a preposition will NOT result in jail time or the removal of your Writing Rights (in most states).

 White space is also your friend.  Be sure to break text up into paragraphs and/or bullet points for readability.  Your bleary-eyed customers will thank you for it.

And remember, now that you have the rules – feel free to break them anytime.  If you have a really good reason – and Mrs. Marple isn’t around. 

Posted August 16, 2010 by promobabe in Copywriting, Creative Services

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