Tag Archives: marketing

Six ways to make direct mail work for your business

Back in the day, the only way to get your marketing material in front of potential customers was directly through their mailbox.

Fast forward to the era of email, websites and mobile apps and you now see less direct mail than you used to. Translation? It’s an opportunity to be one of the few in your market who uses direct mail to get in front of potential customers!

How can you leverage snail mail to build your customer base and make the process pay for itself and then some? Here are six ways to make direct mail work for your business:

Personalize

An important rule of direct mail is to make it as personalized as possible for the recipient. That means having their name on the address rather than “Resident” or “Homeowner.” If you have access to a direct mail service that hand-writes short notes then this can be an effective way to drive up open rates and prospect engagement; it’s a more expensive option and best used on occasion to keep the homeowner intrigued. Nobody can pass up a handwritten letter!

Relevant

In every aspect of marketing your brand it is important to know your audience — and direct mail marketing is no different. Make sure you’ve done your research and are targeting the right communities when sending out your mailers. You want the people receiving the mail to think of your promotional material as useful or relevant to their lifestyle or general needs to decrease the chances of it getting tossed into the trash.

Commitment

A general rule of thumb in marketing is that it takes 5-7 touch points with a prospect to be remembered. When launching a direct mail campaign, you should plan on running it for the entire year to get the best results.

Patience

It takes time to see a return on your investment in any marketing or advertising initiative. At any given time direct mail will yield less than a 1% response rate, and of that you may close 25% of those leads. Prepare yourself for the long haul. It will pay off over time!

Budget

Make sure you know what you can afford to do in order to keep your marketing campaign sustainable. If you send out 1,000 postcards and blow your budget then you’ll be dead in the water. Better to start small and build your empire over time.

Call-to-action

Perhaps most important of all, you need to give your audience a reason to contact you by providing a call-to-action (CTA). For instance, you can offer a special deal if they like your page on Facebook or follow you on Instagram – building your social media following while also providing a CTA! Change up your CTA to see which ones work better than others. Regardless of your offer, make sure you provide your phone number, website and email to make it easy for them to reach you.

About Sam Lauron: Sam Lauron is a Communications Associate at Manzer Communications. She supports clients with digital marketing, social media, blogging and tech PR activities. Manzer Communications provides digital PR and marketing services in Austin, Denver and Houston and for any national brands seeking rapid, sustained growth. Some of the services provided include content marketing, social media strategy and ad buys, email marketing, and media relations.

 

 

Should your business be on Snapchat?

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Marketing a business requires the ability to adapt and stay up to date on a wide variety of marketing tools to keep in touch with current customers and find new prospects. Snapchat is rapidly becoming a new social media advertising tool that marketers have to pay attention to if they want to reach millennials.

According to a recent article by Bloomberg, Snapchat has 150 million daily users, which is even more than Twitter! Nearly one in five Americans will use Snapchat this year alone, and eMarketer states that the mobile app is anticipated to grow by 27 percent. Around 44 percent of Snapchat users are between the ages of 13 and 24, according to a survey by Variety.

Needless to say, the audience potential for Snapchat is huge!

However, before investing your time, energy and even budget into Snapchat, you should learn more about the app’s marketing potential and whether it’s a good fit for your brand. Here are a few things to know about Snapchat advertising and how you can use it to grow your audience:

Promote your business

B2C businesses could benefit by using geofilters to promote themselves to people in a local community. By using an inexpensive, on-demand geofilter to promote an event, like a President’s Day sale, you’d raise awareness from all sorts of people in the surrounding areas of your store. People snapchatting in the area will see and possibly use the filter, which their friends would in turn see, thus spreading the word about your sale to a potentially larger audience. A key to your success is to market the right product or service to your target millennial audience; no sense in running a special on retirement centers to twentysomethings!  

The option to create a sponsored national geofilter is also available, but you’ll have to be prepared for a big hit to your budget. Sponsored geofilters can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars; according to Snapchat, however, national geofilters typically reach 40 to 60 percent of the daily Snapchat users, which explains the higher price point. This is a great way for large businesses to advertise, but it’s not a practical option for smaller businesses.

Unique content

Thanks to Snapchat’s features that allow you to use filters, unique drawings and text to enhance a photo or video, you have the ability to create unique and engaging content. To stay top-of-mind with your followers, you should add these photos and videos to your “story,” which allows those who are following you to see your “snaps” for 24 hours. Doing so is completely free, so any small or medium businesses (SMB) are able to afford keeping their prospects interested and engaged at a fairly low cost — just the time you spend coming up with entertaining content!

To appeal to the younger audience that uses the platform the most, businesses need to create a steady stream of fun pictures and videos. Fresh, unique and funny content is more much shearable than outright sales overtures. Create a nice video of the inside of your store, or take funny pictures of staff to humanize and personalize your brand; that may in turn make prospects more likely to do business with your company!

Engage directly

One of the best things about using Snapchat for business is personally getting to send messages to those who reach out to you. If a follower sends your business a “snap” responding to a story or of them at your store, you have the ability to respond to them individually with something fun and personalized. In any social media platform, it’s important that companies converse with their audience, and Snapchat makes that engagement simple and entertaining like no other social media platform can.

Personalize your brand

Your audience needs to understand that there’s more to your company than a logo and a transaction. There’s so much more that goes into your company’s culture and history, but sometimes it can be hard to show that side of your business to customers. Snapchat is one of the best ways to connect more personally with prospects and humanize your brand. Show your unique company culture, traditions and products that make your brand special in a fun way and you’ll be rocking the Snapchat game in no time!

Get started!

Want to be ahead of the game and appeal to millennial consumers? Consider setting up a Snapchat account for your business and then put the account info on your business card. Who knows how many more young people you can reach if you just make the jump? Again, make sure your brand is in alignment with the buyer personas typically found on Snapchat or you will surely end up firing blanks. Knowing they can can ‘snap’ you with you on any pre or post-sale questions could give you a truly unique advantage over the competition.
About Kris Bushong: Kris is a student at Texas State University in San Marcos and a marketing communications intern at Manzer Communications. She supports clients with digital marketing, social media, blogging and tech PR activities. Manzer Communications provides digital PR and marketing services in Austin, Denver and Houston and for any national brands seeking rapid, sustained growth. Some of the services provided include content marketing, social media strategy and ad buys, email marketing, and media relations.

5 Surprising Marketing Uses of Press Releases

imgresRemember the famous Florida orange juice commercials that said, “Orange Juice, it’s not just for breakfast anymore?”

Well, we can now say this about the staid, good-old press release: “Press releases, they’re not just for the media anymore!”

True, press releases still help you communicate news announcements to the media in hopes of getting news coverage. But today any small business, whether a tech startup in Austin or a boutique fitness gym Chicago, can use a press release to spread “news” directly to customers and prospects in hopes of getting more business.

Here are five practical marketing uses for press releases that you may not have thought of before:

1. Inform customers of new offerings: It’s always easier to grow revenue from existing customers. Press releases can inform them of how your products and services are helping others. Customers will always want to know more, so why not help them learn more about your products and services by informing them of your new offerings, customer successes and new accomplishments?

2. SEO: Improve search engine rankings through by optimizing your press releases for key words that relate back to your website. In fact, thanks to PRWeb.com, press releases have taken on a brand new life as content marketing tools that deliver highly relevant content while at the same time increasing search engine rankings with back-links to your website.

3. Communicate a call-to-action: A call-to-action can immediately elicit a response to a promotion. Many consumers who may be turned off by advertising may react differently if the same promotion is part of a “news announcement” that describes the offer in less “salesy” terminology.

4. Win new business: Got some new prospects you want to close? Consider sending press releases to them to inform them of your latest news as part of an overall drip marketing campaign. People are naturally nosy, so sending “breaking news” is a side-door way to pique their interest in what you are doing. In other words, you’re selling to them without actually looking like you’re trying to sell to them.

5. Social Media content: Add share buttons to press releases so they can be shared to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and more. Social media is now an indispensable part of the marketing function, so utilize it in all possible ways. Allowing your press release to be shared on these platforms will help you gain a larger following and more views, ultimately resulting in more website traffic and new business.

Have a question or other tips you want to share? Leave them on our Facebook page or in the comment section below.

About Dave Manzer: Dave Manzer founded an Austin PR agency for startups and emerging-growth businesses in 2009 as one of the only PR agencies in the country to provide performance-based PR pricing. In 2010, Dave launched PR over Coffee to provide small business PR advice so that entrepreneurs and startups could practice “DIY” PR and promote themselves directly to media outlets. For more information about Dave or PR over Coffee, email info(@)PRoverCoffee.com.

 

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