We haven't figured out all of them yet but we heard that there are 293 ways to make change for a dollar.
Sorting through all of the changes in how we market to our customers can be difficult to figure out too. The World Wide Web turned 25 years old this month and we've spent time staring at our monitors and mobile devices looking for new ways to engage with our customers effectively.
Some of the rules of engagement have changed but don't disregard everything you know abut marketing because many rules still apply.
Our engaging articles this month include:
Who Shot the Serif?
15 minutes of Fame
The Power of Branding
Have you Tried Anything New Lately?
Serif vs. Sans Serif
You may never hear anyone say, "words are worth a thousand words" but enough books have been written about Serif and Sans Serif Fonts to fill a library if you're interested. Our intention here, however, is to simplify the discussion about Serif vs. Sans Serif fonts.
Simply put, Serifs are small lines at the beginnings and ends of characters in a font family. Sans Serif fonts do not have those lines (Sans meaning 'without' in French).
Here are some recognizable examples of each -
Times New Roman
Sans Serif Fonts
For years, the standard rules of when to apply Serif vs. Sans Serif fonts have remained the same.
Sans Serif fonts should be used for Titles and Headers
Serif fonts should be used for Text
These rules still apply when designing for PRINT. The Serif leads your eyes to the next letter more naturally and visually allows the reader to read faster and comprehend more of what is written. The Sans Serif, without the lead in to the next letter, slows down the speed that the header is read to make more of a statement.
Computers, on the other hand, have changed those rules. WEBSITE design takes into consideration that your monitor only shows images at about 72ppi so some of the details of a Serif font may be lost. Sans Serif fonts are the preferred choice in website design.
One last consideration when choosing Serif vs. Sans Serif fonts is NEVER use a Serifed font when using white type on a dark background. You'll have to trust us on this. That's a whole other article.
OK. This is NOT an early April Fool's Day prank. This is for real and you are probably seeing it here for the very first time.
A Video Screen built in to your printed brochure.
Anyone can email a link to an online video and hope that your prospect is interested enough in your company to watch it. But if you really want to make an impact and get the video viewed every time. Send or leave behind your brochure with a 15 minute video, sound and all, on a 4.3" screen.
Print and Video combined to create a unique experience that will be shared all around the office by your prospect. Your brochure will be viewed so often that it comes with a rechargeable battery. They've never seen anything like it before and will be the proud owner of your brochure.
Create powerful brand awareness and cut through the clutter. This brochure will never find itself in a recycle bin.
Keeping our technology powered up during the day has become a challenge as our lives become more mobile and disconnected from the nearest outlet. Our biggest surge in sales last year was in ACCESSORIES to our technology that allows us our connected, productive days at work or home.
We tax our devices with our demand on them for remote power and connectivity access. Even at our not-so-mobile desk devices we wish we had just one more USB port to plug into.
Customers are grateful for the gift of power and connectivity, and marking these useful products with your brand will energize your image and create a buzz around their office.
Simple items like USB AC Adapters can save the day in a pinch while Solar Chargers add an extra sense of comfort knowing that power is available when no outlets are near.
Even at the office where power is abundant, you can leave your mark on a USB HUB that will be permanently attached to the laptop your customer stares at all day long.
These powerful accessories can be colorful as well as useful, supporting your brand as a helpful partner in their day.
With 98% of us picking up our mail daily, it's no secret why Direct Mail remains a robust and viable marketing tool.
It takes more time for the recipient to physically toss mail in the recycling than it does to hit the delete button in your inbox. This alone provides for a much higher response rate from mail over email.
Viewing email for the last 20 years has changed some of the hard fast rules of Direct Mail. Understand these changes in how people respond to your Direct Mail marketing and tweaking it just a little to support your digital efforts is a winning combination.
Keep these thoughts in mind the next time you embark on a Direct Mail Campaign:
Get to your point...QUICKLY! Like the subject line of an email, make your headings compelling enough to make me want more information. You have about 2 seconds to stop me from setting your piece aside for recycling. Photos and headings are your best bet in stopping me.
OLD RULE: Give them something to do. Make them open an envelope so they are engaged and committed.
WHAT'S DIFFERENT NOW: I don't have time. Unless I am currently doing business with you, I will not open an envelope from you. Postcards allow for a fast assessment of your message by showing a picture without any commitment of my time.
What do you want? Be clear in what you want them to do and make it easy for them to ACT NOW! One of our favorite Markit-in-a-Minute messages is "Don't pretend you're not trying to sell them something, they just might believe you." Of course you want them to buy something: You know it and they know it. Acting otherwise is what gives selling a bad reputation and turns people off on your offer.
OLD RULE: Ask them to fill out a Response Card and mail it back for more information.
WHAT'S DIFFERENT NOW: The biggest change in Direct Mail is all of the multi-channel response options. You can ask now drive them to your website for more information or make that purchase directly from your ecommerce store. You can ask them to engage on your Social pages for a special discount- or Live Chat, Email, Call. Just let them know which way you want them to respond.
How do they want it? You can add a lot of depth of content to your recipients by adding a QR code that will point them to whatever online destination you set up for them. Maybe it's a special for a specific product on your eCommerce site or a registration page developed for an event you want them to attend.
OLD RULE: A Response Card or a Phone call used to be the only options.
WHAT'S DIFFERENT NOW: The QR code can take them directly to your Facebook page or a video tour of the house for sale down the street. A very wise man once told us that "You don't need to have all of the answers, just a good source for them" The QR Code can provide that source with all of the answers without having to find space on your mailer to print them.
Email hasn't taken the punch out of Direct Mail, it's added to the options to create a really effective Direct Mail Campaign.
Email allows for a brief subject line to grab their attention before it's deleted, Direct Mail offers the use of colorful images, compelling headers and the sense of touch to interest your prospect.
Direct Mail is 3 times more likely to result in a sale than a targeted email.
We've experienced a surge in Direct Mail projects from our customers who understand that when they are used with the new rules in mind, they can be a very effective piece in your marketing arsenal.