February is a good month to remind ourselves that our customers buy from us because they feel something about our company, our message or our products.
What do you feel when you think of the brands Nike or Apple? How about Walmart?
Now, do you know how your customer's feel about your brand?
Add sensory marketing techniques to create emotion and encourage loyalty.
Give them something to Care about
Add that Extra Touch
The Game of Hearts
What, Where, Why
Have you Tried Anything New Lately?
Design From the Heart
Why do your customers buy from you? Is it because your company provides the Best Price, Quality & Service? Blah, blah, blah...snooze.
Every amateur marketer or salesperson relies on these points to sell their services, but that's not what we buy. We buy the intangibles.
We don't buy the sweater. We buy the feeling of the fit, the energy of the color, and the experience of the texture. We invest in who we feel we become in the sweater.
We purchase pride and prestige. Having the best shows we deserve the best.
We pay for the feeling of belonging to something bigger, something popular, current or trendy. Bang wagon Superbowl fans understand this. Not unlike last minute Valentine's Day cards, team gear flies off the shelves the days leading up to the Superbowl - Not to mention all the Skittles in Seattle. We don't want to feel left behind. Wanting to be a part of the fun.
Think beyond Price, Quality and Service. Aren't those expected anyway?
Have you ever seen an ad for a dental office touting they are the cheapest dentists in town, using the highest quality fillings while they drill into your tooth faster than any other dentist within 100 miles? Of course not, that would be ridiculous. And a little frightening.
Here's how to Design From the Heart, appealing to emotions.
Choose your words carefully and get to the point with your copy. Period. Just because you write it, doesn't mean they'll read it.
Use authentic adjectives to describe the products you're selling (Luxurious Ride, Painless Fillings, Current Styles, etc.).
Don't go overboard with the over-promising adjectives or you'll sound like an infomercial (Amazing Offer, Spectacular Savings, Unbelievable Quality, etc.).
Use pictures to provoke a thought or evoke a feeling. Prospects are more likely to remember your story if they figure it out themselves and Photos are a great tool to create a perception of your company in their minds.
Focus on the feeling and speak to the senses. You've heard it before "Sell the Sizzle, NOT the Steak".
Details about Price, Quality & Service are important in preventing buyer's remorse so be sure to reinforce these attributes on printed materials they leave with after the sale. This reinforces their excellent decision and creates confidence. Stay in touch and you'll likely land a repeat customer.
Creative copy and stunning photography utilized to tell your story leaves a (hopefully) lasting perception of your company. The words and images convey throughout both digital and printed communications the same as when they are viewed by your audience.
Sight, however, is only one of our 5 senses, leaving us with other opportunities to convey our brand.
The FINISHES on a Direct Mailer, Brochure or Invitation can send a message to the end user in a more subtle, lasting way.
We're programmed to block out advertising images and words because of the constant bombardment we experience daily. But if you add a soft coating or interesting shape to your message will get in through the sense of 'touch'. And aren't we trying to get our customers to feel something about us in our marketing efforts?
Here are some simple finishes that will add a tactile experience:
Some of the most common coatings used to stimulate the reader's senses are Aqueous, Varnish and UV.
Aqueous Coatings are applied in-line on some printing presses, so it's a reasonably priced and very effective option. These finishes can add a gloss, satin or soft touch experience to your print. It is only available in an overall coat.
Varnishes are applied on the press as well, but printed with a plate like laying down an additional color of ink. These finishes are available in gloss or matte. Varnishes are the least obvious coatings and not recommended for a high sheen.
UV Coating is applied off press as a secondary process. It can be applied as an overall finish or as a spot finish highlighting only chosen parts of the brochure. This process provides the highest contrast of coating and will make the coated images pop off the sheet.
Die Cutting is used to create a shape. A die for the shape is made and each sheet is cut one piece at a time on a separate press after it's printed.
Round Corners, Business Card Slits and Index Tabs are the most common examples of die cutting but you can let your imagination run wild with this one and cut any shape you can think up.
Careful with the mailing pieces though, the post office has very strict rules about die cut mailings.
Folding creates anticipation. The process of unfolding a creatively designed piece is stimulating because the reader anticipates the next step. They are lead to read the next page as it's revealed to them.
Your customer can hear and feel the quality of the paper as they unfold your message. Here are some creative, cool folds that you don't see every day.
Packaging generates excitement. Ever since we were kids, receiving a gift has always been exciting. And opening that package has been a big part of that titillating experience. Presentation is everything.
A catalog sent in a FedEx Mailer is way more fun to receive than someone handing it to you in person. That "ZIP" when the package is opened creates just a little more emotion that adds to the message.
Package your message to create some feeling before they begin reading the message inside.
Envelopes are the most common form of packaging so don't forget their importance. Increase your open rate by adding a message to the outside. Consider paying full first class postage- use a live stamp and hand-write the address. Your Grandma does and you never throw her stuff away.
Chipboard Mailers, like the FedEx Letter mailer mentioned above, can be customized with your message. We guarantee that it will be opened and involves a recognizable sound when it's unzipped.
Boxes of all shapes and sizes can be sent to hold dimensional or heavy pieces like samples, catalogs or promotional products that enhance your message. Boxes offer the most secure delivery of your message without damage.
The next time you put together a marketing campaign, consider the other 4 senses that are available to tell your story. And yes, you can add candy hearts to your box with your logo on them to involve taste too.
This month's Hallmark Holiday promotes an icon that we see throughout the year. Hospitals, Wellness Programs and Organizations who Care use this most recognizable symbol to promote their cause.
The first thought in promoting these organizations is to look for Heart-Shaped Products that can be imprinted with their logo, and we have plenty of said products to choose from in our catalog. At last count there were 1820 Heart-Shaped products to be exact.
Heart Shaped Products are probably the most requested shape that we get throughout the year because it's so very effective. A Heart-Shaped anything with your logo on it says a lot without adding a lot of copy to read.
To quote our own December 2013 article 'Tips to Writing Direct mail Copy' we said, "If you pretend you're not trying to sell them something, they might believe you".
An immeasurable amount of marketing dollars are wasted because the next step is not clear to the recipient of the direct mail piece. You got them to stop and read it with the captivating images and clever copy but now what?
The purpose of a piece can be lost in the design, so embrace your request and offer clarity.
You want them as customer, so tell them what to do to make that happen.
Come to Your Store
Show them clearly where you store is with a map, a readable address and when they can come (store hours). If they don't understand the WHERE and WHEN, then the WHY doesn't matter.
Visit Your Website
Of course you're going to print a URL on your direct mail piece if you're attempting to drive traffic to your site, but remember, your postcard is NOT "clickable" so you must make the URL as short as possible so it's easy to enter.
In electronic copy, it takes only one click to check out our archive of 168 articles about Design, Print, Promo and Mail. But printed on a postcard, this URL will never be visited because it would require too much effort to key in. Make it easy, shorten your links.
Interact with You on Your Social Sites
Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter appreciate your promotion of their brand, but unless you have a vanity URL (facebook.com/MarkitMotion) for these social sites your customer will not find you by clicking on these logos on your postcard.
Strategic integration of your digital and printed marketing is powerful, but think it through to simplify the user experience.
Everyone embraces clarity but the smallest detail can muddy up your message. First, ask yourself, "what exactly do I want them to do?". Then design your message, including all of the components to make it easy for them to do it.