Tag Archives: brand

6 Tips Towards Writing Excellent Marketing Material

2 Oct

No one writes perfectly all of the time. Writing well takes skill, but writing great marketing copy requires an even higher level of skill plus knowledge of your audience, brand, and marketing voice. Here are five tips to help you produce great content every time.

1) Audience

The biggest mistake marketing writers make is to write for themselves and not for their marketing copyaudience. To write great copy, you need to convince readers that your products or services meet their needs. As callous as it sound, readers don’t care what something means to you; they are only interested in what it will do for them. The goal of marketing copy is to convince the reader that your products or services will meet their needs.

Different audiences have different needs and respond to different messages. Understand who you are marketing to and what their needs are. The more you understand your audience, the more relevant your copy will be.

2) Brand

To be effective, all of your content needs to have the same “voice.” The message is as much about how you say something as what you say. Be consistent in your choice of words and phrases, and make sure you are writing content that is appropriate for your target audience. Your voice is part of your brand, and should be consistent across all marketing channels.

3) Focus

What is your objective for this marketing piece? Rather than cramming several competing messages into one piece, identify one thing you hope to accomplish and write content towards achieving that goal. A clear, focused message will elicit a better response.

4) Call to Action

You’ve provided your readers with a clear message demonstrating not only what your product or service will do for them, but a feel for your company. Now what do you want them to do with that information? Provide a call to action to make it easy for them to respond to your message. Invite them to call, register, or buy, and make it easy for them to do so! Make sure to provide phone numbers, online forms, shopping carts and other forms of customer engagement.

5) Punctuation, Grammar, Spelling, Sentence Structure

Although this should go without saying, don’t underestimate the importance of the mechanics of writing. Not only will good grammar and spelling help your audience understand your message, but well-constructed pieces will reflect positively on you and your company. Spelling mistakes and poor grammar scream sloppiness and poor quality, and no one wants to work with a company which doesn’t care about quality.

6) Editing

Proofread, proofread, proofread.

Spell-check is a great tool, but it doesn’t catch everything.

I once worked for a state-wide legal printing division. The word “public” was often used in court documents. Although spell-check accepts the word “public” without the “l,” the resulting word, pubic, caused more than one embarrassing misprint.

An old proofreading trick is to read your content out loud. Does the content flow well? Are there extra words which don’t belong? Are you missing words?

Another trick is to have someone else read your copy. He or she will often catch things you miss.

To recap, the value of quality writing for your marketing materials should not be downplayed. Poor writing is expensive both in terms of time and money. If your audience doesn’t understand the message or, worse, is turned off by poor grammar and sentence structure, you won’t see the desired return on your investment. And if something is wrong, you may need to do a costly reprint.

 

 

Four Direct Mail Marketing Strategies

3 Jun

Have you heard the phrase “Work smarter, not harder”? Change the word “Work” to “Mail” and you’ll have the best overall strategy for direct mail marketing.

Here are four ways to make sure you are mailing smarter, not harder

1) Personalize, personalize, personalize

The benefits of personalizing mail pieces have been known for quite some time now. Hopefully, you are gathering pertinent data on your customers and capitalizing on the information you’ve learned. Smart personalization goes beyond name and address; think in terms of age bracket, income level, and Direct Mailinterests. The more you know about your customers, the better you can tailor marketing campaigns to each individual or market segment.

Some people worry that too much personalization is intrusive. It’s hard to argue with statistics, however. According to MarketingCharts.com, 86 percent of consumers polled said that personalization influenced purchases.

Melissa Data, a company that provides address data for companies, says that highly personalized color print campaigns can receive response rates as high as 6.5 percent compared to 2 percent for non-personalized direct mail pieces.

2) Use your brand  to tell a story

Knowing your customers allows you to appeal to them on several levels, especially emotionally. Use stories in your brand  to make you stand out from your competitors and make your advertising memorable.

Buyers are looking for relationships and brand stories foster these connections. A brand story appeals to the humanity in each of us and serves to link people together.

3) Don’t overlook digital marketing

Savvy marketers will integrate digital forms of communication in their print and direct mail efforts rather than trying to replace one form of marketing with another. Always include your website address, and consider using individualized landing pages to monitor interest and track results.

Social media is another great way to spark interaction and keep your customers engaged. Ask your buyers for their stories and you may find great advocates for your brand.

4) Keep female consumers in the forefront

A 2012 study by Epsilon, a marketing company, showed that of the two sexes, women are more likely to trust direct mail—whether addressed or unaddressed—when gathering information.

Statistics also show that women have become the primary decision-makers for most household purchases, from healthcare to groceries to automobiles. In fact, women are responsible for 85 percent of household purchases, yet a staggering 91 percent of women feel that marketers don’t understand them.

To summarize, postage price increases means direct mail marketers need to mail smarter than ever. Using mail techniques targeted specifically to the buyer’s heart, mind, and wallet is the best way to see a return on investment.