Tag Archives: direct mail

Which is Better, a Company Trifold Brochure or Sales Sheet?

Company trifold brochure 15$ discount on graphic design Connection Group

Your company website is live, you have business cards in hand, and now your’e ready for some leave behind print marketing materials. Small businesses often start with a standard, every-company-has-to-have-one-trifold, and others use company sales sheets. Whether you are a start-up company or second stage business, when choosing between a company trifold brochure and a sales sheet, first consider how you plan to use your print materials.

Company Tri-Fold-Brochure

Three panel brochures are standard letter size (8.5” x 11”) sheets that are folded twice, horizontally.  The paper is usually creased in equal thirds, resulting in three panels on each side of the sheet totaling six panels for the entire piece. Designed to fit into a standard #10 envelope, trifold brochures are also known as #10 brochures for this reason. Brochures can be a combination of any amount of colors. Trifold brochures can be simple black ink with text only or full color, effects, die cuts and short folds. A trifold brochure template can open horizontally, custom brochures can be designed to also open vertically. You can choose a z-fold brochure or roll fold brochure, depending on the order in which you want the viewer to read each panel.

A custom company trifold brochure or brochure template, is often a gateway introductory tool. Brochures can be many different sizes and shapes, with multiple folds, single or multi-page. Multi-page brochures are, in essence, marketing booklets designed to wow the audience and support the corporate brand. Brochures with sleeves and die cuts can be used as folders that hold inserts. The shape chosen is dependent on how the print marketing piece will be distributed, along with amount of information to be communicated, and the style in which the company brand, product brand and services brands will be presented.

When a company trifold brochure is most beneficial:

  • point of sale (check out)
    retail store
    bank
    pharmacy
    restaurant carry out menu
  • direct mail – fits easily into standard #10 envelopes
  • general company information
  • display in brochure racks
    coffee shops, travel bureaus / Welcome centers, chamber of commerces,
  • event promotion
  • other….

Sales Sheets

Sales sheets are standard letter size (8.5” x 11”) sheets that are not folded. They can be one sided or two sided, full color, one, two, or three color. One sale sheet could cover everything or multiple sheets may be needed to highlight individual products or services, pricing, etc. Sales sheets may also be designed for specific target markets. For instance if your company sells products or services to manufacturing firms and also to end users, your sales literature will need to be adapted to each audience.

A Sales Sheet By Any-other-name….

The term sales sheet is often interchanged with: sell sheets, brag sheets, capability sheets (capability statement sheets), product cut sheet, flyers, inserts, specification sheets (spec sheet), data sheets, and one sheets (often used for Professional Speakers, authors and other creative talent such as models and actors.) There are some differences in the content in each of these items but the purpose typically serves the same end – to promote.

When a sales sheet is most beneficial:

  • leave behind after a sales presentation
  • part of sales kits for use by sales staff or independent sales representatives
  • company manufacturers or offers multiple products or services
  • after sale literature for customer reference

Each marketing item that is designed for printing can also be included in digital format for posting to your website. All print items can be shared electronically in emails, posted to social media, and as downloads from a specified page on your website.

Do you need help with the design or writing of your company trifold brochure, sales sheet or booklet? Are you in need of a promotional kit with sales sheets? Connect with us today. We’ll plan a face to face meeting to discuss your ideas or schedule a phone consultation to clarify goals and outline marketing solutions.

Creating Combined Marketing Campaigns – 2015 Best Marketing Strategies

Combined campaigns example with website landing page and direct mail postcardsWhat market segment or demographic does your largest customer group belong to? Is there a specific industry you have a strong track record with that would benefit from your expertise? Do you want to continue to serve this market and reach other prospects in this segment?

Once you identify your ideal customer the next step is to determine where you can find them.  Are they newspaper or magazine readers? Or are they on Instagram and have never seen a Yellow Page book? Chances are you have a mix of ages, interests or income in your target market groups. This is where creating combined marketing campaigns come in.

Taking the time in the beginning when creating combined marketing campaigns  will provide a multi-channel and cross-platform reach that can catch both the smart phone users and yellow page turners. Encouraging connections through multiple marketing channels builds the relationship between the brand and the consumer.

Creating Combined Marketing Campaigns:

In our effort to reach out to our specific target markets we decided to combine a direct mail campaign with social media and internet marketing to help us reach a larger segment of our specified groups. On our snail mail postcards we provided a custom URL for each market. Prior to mailing we created landing pages on our website associated with each target market. When the postcard recipient typed in the custom URL the landing page offered samples, testimonials and examples of services in their industry that would be helpful to them. Social media posts were created with hashtags and keyword phrases included on our website to help us come up when these prospects make a search inquiry for our services.

Internet advertising campaign created:

  1. To reach the prospects that we did not have mailing addresses for
  2. To get in front of those who received the postcard but did not respond yet

Each ad was similar in design to the postcard that was mailed. The ad linked directly to the custom URL designated for the specific target group. The ads took them to our website landing pages  with the information we wanted to share with them. The landing pages were also similar in design to the postcards and Facebook ad designs that were part of the campaign.

Example of a combined marketing campaign :

One of our target markets is the Michigan construction industry. Connection Group has assisted customers in the Michigan construction industry  with website creation and marketing management for nearly 20 years.  We provide marketing and website design services to builders, remodelers, construction trades and construction product manufacturers. We have the experience, we have the reviews, and we know we can help more  meet their business goals.

Combining Direct Mail and In-Bound Marketing

  • Design an oversized postcard targeting the construction industry
  • Create a unique URL to include on the postcard
  • Create  a construction industry landing page the URL will direct the visitor to
  • Add a call to action

Media Behaviors of this group

  • More likely to be on Facebook than Instagram
  • More apt to be searching Google than watching tv

Conclusion:

  • Prospect mailing list was created
  • Printed postcards – easily viewable by the recipient and inexpensive to produce
  • Unique URL and landing page will help us to track visitors and determine the effectiveness of the direct mail component.
  • Facebook and Google Adwords search would be the best use of our (very limited!) internet advertising dollars.

The above solutions were chosen to fit within our marketing and advertising budget to market to the construction industry. Other marketing segments we provide marketing services for are small to mid-size businesses and professional speakers. Fortunately these groups can be reached on the same media platforms as the construction industry. Pretty strategic marketing right there, right? This approach reduces our need for researching other platforms and keeps our media spend within budget.

If we choose to increase our marketing budget for let’s say the professional speaker market we know media behaviors of this group show they are internet savvy and social. With those traits in mind we could become an affiliate member of the National Speakers Association Michigan or National Speakers Association since we work with Professional Speakers across the country, We could purchase advertisements in their publications, be a vendor at one of their trade shows or sponsor an event. We would not purchase billboards, tv or radio advertising for this group – but we may want to look at YouTube for display or video advertisements .

Long standing businesses who are discovering that traditional advertising and marketing isn’t working anymore will find their sweet spot by creating combined marketing campaigns. Television may still work for some of your customers, combine it with a YouTube video or adwords campaign and see how many new customers result. As in the dawn of the advertising age, knowing your customers interests and needs will help you be where they are and form authentic relationships.

Not sure where to begin? Connect with us today for a consultation and assistance creating combined marketing campaigns that connect with your target market.

Every Door Direct Mail® Lansing Area

RFC Home Improvement Every Door Direct Mail® postcardAre you a business in the mid-Michigan area looking for a cost affective way to reach area residents or businesses? Do you have a specific product, service, event or promotion you want to get out to potential customers?

The United States Postal Service (USPS) has a new campaign with incredible postage rates for flat mail pieces. These mail items can be targeted into specific neighborhoods. There is no need to spend hundreds of dollars purchasing a list. Do you want a direct mail campaign in Lansing, DeWitt, Waverly, or Grand Ledge, or a direct mail campaign just in Whitehills? With this program we can target an entire city, rural area, or hit a specific neighborhood. You can choose to run 500 pieces or 350,000 pieces or more, there is no cap.

The postage fee for the Every Door Direct Mail® pieces are a mere 17¢ each! That is a savings of 28¢ per piece compared to a standard first class mail piece. The postage savings as well as the elimination of the mailing list expense offers an opportunity for small businesses to have a more level playing field against companies with larger marketing and advertising budgets. Lansing restaurants can mail menus, local retailers, local service companies, local builders and beauty salons can mail promotions, coupons and even local political campaigns can enjoy the savings.

Connection Group recently completed an Every Door Direct Mail® campaign for a local home maintenance company, RFC Home Improvement. We chose to primarily target the area where they are located, where they have an existing clientele and have built brand recognition. We also chose a targeted Lansing neighborhood with similar priced homes that were of an age that may require the specific services RFC was promoting in this mailing.

We worked with our client to determine what services are best to promote for the Spring and Summer season. After establishing the focus, our graphic designers created a custom designed postcard displaying before and after photos of the clients work. The promotion was clearly outlined with a call to action included. Mail quantities were determined and the postcards were printed with the correct indicias and mailing information the USPS requires for the Every Door Direct® mail campaign.

Neighborhoods and routes were then counted and the every door direct mail campaign pieces were bundled in packs of 50 with facing slips attached.  For each post office drop off point an Every Door Direct Mail sheet was included with Connection Group unique customer i.d. and the specifics of each route were outlined.

With the large variety of advertising and marketing options available for business – especially with the explosion of social media marketing, internet marketing, SEO and SEM – it can be difficult to know where to commit your marketing budget. Direct mail campaigns can compliment other marketing efforts and continue to expand brand awareness and recognition. Not every marketing component is appropriate for every business, including direct mail. Custom solutions targeted by industry and by market are the best approach.

Connection Group specializes in implementing integrated marketing solutions. This means, we can help you determine if the Every Door direct mail campaign is a good fit for your business.

Although the USPS has attempted to make this an easy experience for small businesses to create these campaigns themselves and theoretically save more money by doing everything in house, experience shows this may not be the best choice. As professionals, with over 20 years experience in direct mail, our crash course with our first Every Door Direct Mail campaign found us going in circles on the USPS website. Once the direct mail pieces were ready to mail we spent time sharing what we learned with some of the postal service employees who were not familiar with the program and were able to keep the project moving forward. Using a professional can keep your costs in line and take away a lot of headaches. Of course a professionally designed layout can present your message in an appealing and professional light that recipients will take seriously.

So if you are ready to increase brand exposure in your area, introduce your new business, attract attendees to an event, get votes, share your new product list, service menu, restaurant menu and more, give us a call. We can get your get your foor in every door.

Call us or email us today – 517-645-4387 or info@connectiongraphics.com

Graphic Designer with Graphic Design Solutions- the ‘Wiz” of Everything

graphic design solutions - graphic designer at computer with pantone chartThis summer I renewed my subscription to Print magazine for the first time in quite a few years. Each year a higher percentage of Connection Graphic’s customer graphic design solutions are digital or web based. Our focus and research is keeping current with electronic solutions and techniques.  A Print Magazine direct mail piece convinced me I deserved to indulge my love of print design.

While luxuriating in the recent issue an article by Rick Poynor resonated with my thoughts on the evolution of graphic design. How has my role as a graphic designer evolved? Even though graphic designers have been creating since the 1930s, I remember a mere decade ago having to explain to people what I did as a graphic designer.

My work designations were visual communication director, publication specialist, marketing director, graphic artist, graphic designer. Under all guises, my tasks in each position were virtually the same – a rose by any other name.

Graphic design solutions  for the masses

Viewers are influenced by strategic and creative graphic design solutions in every media throughout the world. From website design, to packaging, print literature, billboards and video, graphic design is in the heart of all brand development and communications.

In this digital world a graphic designer can’t just excel in logo design. Designers must have a strong grasp of website design and digital graphic design solutions.

A graphic designer has always been a problem solver and visual magician. Artistic expression, interdisciplinary skills and reasoning come together to create graphic design solutions. We are called to be product developers, typesetters, coders, writers and more. The beauty is, we can, we will — we are. Successful graphic designers welcome every challenge. As a result, Graphic designers understand future generations will be even more discerning in their product and service choices. Customers will continue to challenge our ability to balance creative visuals with clear messages. We will continue to deliver graphic design solutions that hit the mark.

A rose by any other name…

Rick Poyner and others may argue that the evolution of the industry may require a new title and graphic design is now an outmoded term. As a seasoned graphic designer I am grateful for the new discerning and savvy clientele. Finally, I appreciate not having to explain what a graphic designer does. I will  answer to whatever name or tasks evolve.  In response, I will continue to deliver creative graphic design solutions that communicate clearly and effectively.

Direct Mail

When it comes to direct mail, everything from your own competition to recipients’ busy schedules can work against you. We’ve gathered great advice on increasing the response to your direct mailer.

Know the specific objectives of your mailing. What measurable results are you seeking?

When scanning a direct mail letter, almost everyone will read a headline placed above the salutation, the first paragraph, the signature, the P.S., and any underlined, bold-faced or otherwise highlighted text. But don’t overdo it, or type effects lose their punch.

Photographs make a greater impact on recipients than drawings or art and increase their recall of your message.

Make sure your main message is on the cover of your brochure or on the outside of your envelope. The majority of recipients never make it past these points and will miss your main message if it’s buried inside.

Always put captions under photos. Captions have significantly higher readership than body copy.

Keep body text no smaller than 10 or 11 point, depending on your typeface and your audience’s vision and reading ability—it will increase readership.

Testimonials are invaluable. They make your offering more believable to new prospects. Solicit testimonials through your direct mail, if possible, for future mailings.

Make the benefits to the recipient very clear. Aside from the benefits of your product or service, perhaps you can offer a money-back guarantee, a toll-free support line, a price break, a free sample or trial, favorable payment terms or a perk for acting now.

Every element of your direct mailer, from envelope to response card, should restate your offer as well as your contact information.

Creating a sense of urgency increases response. Offer a special price or prize for a quick response, or make it clear why it’s important for the recipient to help your cause now. Indicate that only a limited number of offers are available.

A reply card will increase your response, as will an 800 response number.

The best direct mail pieces are all about the recipient, not about you. This is not the place to talk about your organization’s history or brag about your product. You’re trying to elicit a response, not educate.

Experienced direct marketers have a magic cadre of words that increase response. These include: free, you, proven, safe, now, half-price, last chance, limited time only, announcing, easy, discover, guarantee, money, results, power(ful), immediately, exclusive, love, and learn.

Give a deadline, but one that allows for delays in mailing.

Work with a list broker to procure the perfect address list for your mailing. Contact the Direct Marketing Association at 212/768-7277 for a broker in your area. Lists are generally rented in lots of 1,000 names. For consumer lists, the cost is between $50 and $200. Business lists are usually more expensive.

To keep your mailing list clean, run it through the National Change of Address (NCOA) file. Call 800/707-2576 or see www.ncoa-processing.com for more information. You can also contact a non-USPS provider such as clean.list.com (800/454-0223).

What is your competition doing? Get on their mailing lists so that you can monitor their offers.

Schedule your mailings so they don’t get buried in the deluge of mail created by Christmas, Mother’s Day, and other holidays. The summer vacation season can also be a slow response period.

Hand-written notes, stickers, and other “personal touches” encourage action by conveying immediacy.

Run side-by-side tests of different variables—two different price points or two different formats, for instance—to random addresses in your mailing list to discover which pulls better. Only test one variable at a time, though, or you won’t know exactly which variable made a difference. Drop the two tests at the same time, or else timing will be introduced as another variable.

Before any direct mail piece is sent out, be sure you are ready to handle orders, payments, complaints, whatever.

Engage your recipient. Use stickers, scratch-off patches, and other devices that require the reader to complete—and therefore, spend more time with—the mailer.

Keep the math simple. Don’t make the recipient figure out special percentages for shipping, for example.

If you would like to incorporate direct mailers into your marketing package, Connection Group can help you connect with your customers. Please call or e-mail us today to discuss your options and ideas!