Direct mail is one of the most effective ways for nonprofits to solicit donations. However, these efforts work best in concert with other channels.
As the U.S. economy gradually begins to reopen, you may want your marketing strategy to look different than it has in the past. Why? Because the market is in flux, and consumers are re-evaluating existing brand relationships.
3 Tips for Keeping that Project on Time
How the marketing world has changed! Whether you are being asked to produce projects in print, email, mobile, or for your website, schedules are compressed. There are more channels to integrate. Everything is more urgent. How do you keep everything running on time and on a budget? Here is a quick guide from Workfront, a project management platform, for simplifying the project management process. These steps apply whether you use third-party project management software or not.
1. Improve the intake process. Most marketing departments have requests coming in from multiple directions. How do you keep track of how much work is coming in, what the expectations are, and what the priorities should be?
• Create a single funnel for all work requests. Whether it’s one person, a dedicated email address, or a software program, create a single point of contact. No more sticky notes, text message requests, or “desk flybys.”
• Develop a template that gathers the details of each project. What is the scope? What is the timeframe? Collecting all (and we mean all!) of the information upfront in a systematic, standardized way allows you to prioritize and manage projects effectively.
• Set up a response protocol. How many times do people submit a second request because they think the first one fell into a deep, dark hole? Respond to each request within a set time frame.
Step 2: Set up a standardized workflow. Have weekly kickoff meetings with all of the stakeholders. Get agreement on timelines and details. You don’t want anyone coming back later and saying, “I didn’t agree to that.” Or, “That’s not what we discussed.” Ensure that everyone is in alignment with the scopes upfront (no scope creep!).
Also answer questions such as:
• Who will be spearheading each project? Someone must be ultimately accountable for moving the project along.
• What is the schedule for updates? With regular, detailed updates, things stay on task, and people are held accountable.
• Are any of these projects repeatable? Whether it’s direct mail, a landing page, or an email blast, setting up templates for a similar and ongoing project can save you tons of time.
Step 3: Streamline approvals with digital proofing. Establish a clear understanding of who needs to review and approve work. When does that work need to be approved? When possible, collaborate in a digital tool that gives everyone visibility into the process.
It doesn’t take specialized tools to improve the project management workflow. It requires stakeholders working through a centralized point of contact, in a centralized environment, so everyone stays in the loop. Set up protocols, communicate expectations, and stay consistent. Then watch things move along more smoothly.
There Is No “I” in “Personal”
You’ve heard the phrase, “There is no ‘I’ in team.” So it is with print and digital personalization. By itself, data is just that—data. To be truly personal, it takes a collective effort to capture the customer’s attention and create relevant communications that move the needle. Let’s look at some of the most common marketing elements that marketers combine with personalization to maximize response rates.
1. Audience selection.
Great results start with having a highly targeted audience that is more likely than average to respond to your offer. A home improvement contractor might target new movers. A boutique salon might target female residents within a specific ZIP Code. Layering on personalized information, such as name and offers based on household income, are a bonus.
2. Stand-out design.
Personalized messaging is powerful, but only if people read it. You have to draw recipients’ attention in the first place. To do this, marketers often use unusual design elements, such as oversized postcards, clear envelopes, or lumpy mail, to capture recipients’ attention long enough for the personalized message to get seen.
3. Remind them. With even the best offer, people need to be reminded to respond now and then. You can improve response rates by sending follow-up postcards or emails (or both). Remove recipients’ names from the follow-up list once they respond. Something as simple as a reminder card or email can boost response rates significantly.
4. Mix up your channels. Effective campaigns use multiple channels to reinforce the message. Pair postcards with email and social media mentions, then use great in-store signage as the coup de gras.
5. High-value incentive. This technique is common in lead generation or information gathering campaigns. To motivate recipients to respond to an initial call to action, you might offer a gift or monetary incentive, such as a restaurant gift card or entry into a sweepstakes.
Personalization is a powerful tool, but it’s not a magic wand. Like all marketing elements, it works best when it is part of a collective effort.
Getting Content Marketing Right
We hear a lot of about content marketing these days. Why is it so important? Whether it’s in print, email, or mobile, content marketing builds customer trust, engagement, and loyalty, which are the foundations of long-term revenues and growth. Here are five steps to getting it right.
1. Have a brand message.
Boil your brand messaging down into a simple statement that reflects both your product and your value proposition. Some well-known examples are McDonald’s “I’m lovin’ it” and Nike’s “Just do it.” Having an over-arching brand message helps you maintain consistency and focus in your broader print and digital marketing efforts.
2. Use metrics to gauge results.
How you incorporate content marketing into an overall marketing strategy will depend on what you want to achieve. Use metrics to further specific marketing goals, including:
• Sales volume
• Market share
• Number of leads
• Cost per lead
• Length of sales cycle
Put numbers to these goals and time frames to achieve them.
3. Speak your audience’s language.
You will speak differently to moms raising children than you will to twenty-somethings just starting their first job. Have a detailed knowledge of who your audience is and what makes them tick. Craft your images and messaging to each segment.
4. Keep branding consistent.
All of your content should reflect consistent branding. Place someone in charge of managing your content strategy and set up guidelines for elements such as logos, brand colors, images, and fonts, styles, and sizes of text. Remember that all of your brand elements must work across multiple channels, including print, email, and mobile.
5. Target the stage of the sales funnel.
Not only can your customers be segmented into different target groups, but they are also at different stages along their buying journeys. For example, someone who needs your product but isn’t yet aware of your brand isn’t ready to skip right to product selection and pricing. Know where customers are along the journey and craft the right message to hit them at the right time.
Sound complicated? It doesn’t have to be, and you don’t need to go it alone. Give us