The Role of “Lumpy Mail” in B2B Digital Direct Marketing

February 27, 2014

How a Direct Mail technique can get a digital response

Lumpy-Mail

Every successful Direct Mail Marketer knows that “lumpy mail” doubles the response of “flat mail”. Lumpy mail is anything with more volume, larger dimensions, weight, texture or bumps than normal mail. It might even make noise when shaken.

Successful B2B Direct Mail Campaign for WYANDOT Inc.

Lumpy mail gets better results because it peaks curiosity. What could be inside? Is it a gift? Most recipients will open lumpy mail, because they just have to know.

I would argue that this technique could be just as useful in the digital arena. To me there is no difference between offering a small gift or surprise in an envelope or offering it by Email. The trick is to be creative about how you package and deliver your content.

Here are the 3 things you should do to get results from Lumpy Emails:

Offer a Surprise

In Digital Direct Marketing, Email is the closest thing to mailing a letter to someone’s house, and your subject line is the envelope. Don’t waste those few precious words telling the reader about your brand. Instead, entice your customers with the promise of a gift or the ability to do something fun. Remember the “Elf Yourself” campaign OfficeMax launched in 2006? Imagine emailing a customer to invite them to elf themselves. That’s pretty lumpy Email, if you ask me. Try to think of something similar that reflects your brand or current campaign.

Keep it Light

You’ve gotten your customer to open your lumpy Email. Now what? You don’t want to lose them by switching into sales mode. Keep it light and give them what you promised. Whether it’s a silly online game, the ability to create an avatar or a link to a funny YouTube video, make sure what’s inside is as funny or interesting as they expect. Ideally, tie it back into your brand. The idea is to sponsor a little bit of fun in exchange for their attention. Once you’ve delivered that fun, they will be more open to your call to action.

Ask for What You Want

Like any marketing campaign, decide what you want the customer to do and deliver that message last. If you want them to call your office, take your call, visit a website, or provide personal information, make it crystal clear. You gave them something, so they will be more likely to return the favor.

Have you ever sent something you considered to be Lumpy Email? Was it successful? Share your comments and stories with me by emailing frank@claycreativeresults.com. I’ll share your responses in a future post.


Use Video for Integrating Your Digital Advertising and Marketing Communications

January 31, 2013

HOW TO MARKET YOUR BRAND WITH ONLINE VIDEOS

Remember story time? The late night bed time reading that kept you alert before sleep or the engaging class room story with picture books and sound effects made by your teacher. The years have faded away since then but the stories live on. That’s our goal at Clay Creative…to tell the story of your brand to make an ever lasting impression on your audience.

film_countdown_postcard-p239939635109173100envli_400The great part of this business is that story time never ends and it’s our job to keep your audience turning the pages inside the book we call your brand.

Chapter 1: Why use video to tell the story of your brand?

Integrating video into your online marketing efforts is vital for your growing business. Todays generation is driven by an urge to express their interests, hobbies and point of view and social media is the vehicle for most of this expression. Words are the ultimate force behind conversation but photos and videos are taking their place and are becoming much more search engine friendly.

  • Video helps your customers relate to you on a more personal level
  • Video connects with people on a deeper level: The audio and visual representation of your products and services will make stronger connections than wordy descriptions or pictures.
  • It is more common for search engines to pick up on key words in your video and this results in higher SEO rankings.

Chapter 2: Tell stories with videos to make life easier for your audience.

Prospective customers tend to know very little about you and have come to your site to learn how you can help them. They are strapped for time so you must make their navigation experience as easy as possible. Videos can accomplish what paragraphs of text can in 2 minutes or less.

  • Your video must provide value to the viewer and the best way to do this is to teach them something new. 
  • Create FAQ videos to answer the most commonly asked question about your products and services. For example, if you are a bakery, you may record an answer on “The best cakes to bake for catering to large parties or events”.
  • Record a video on how to best use your product or service or to highlight product benefits. Apple consistently uses video to tell the story for every new product release and it works by engaging the viewer and alluring them to the bells and whistles of their latest technology.
  • Pick a focus for your video and do not try to explain 15 things in 60 seconds.

Chapter 3: How to differentiate content for B2B and B2C

The content and strategy of your video must be tailored to your audience and this depends on whether you’re targeting businesses or consumers. The key point to acknowledge is that businesses are people too. Remember businesses that market to other businesses are relationship driver and businesses that market to consumers are product driven. Here is a list to understand the video content you should use depending on your audience.

  • B2B videos should outline your company objectives, mission statement and history.
  • Focus on product attributes and services for your B2C videos.
  • B2C marketing is usually more products driven so focus on appealing to the emotional side of the consumer.
  • B2B sales are usually longer cycle sales so it’s important to be in-depth in describing your company’s core attributes and success stories.

Use video to tell the story of your brand and highlight your products and services but remember to use the visual medium with a mixture of all types of media. Pictures and shared content can be used to support your video. Our brains are hardwired to make a story out of all of the information we consume so give your audience a reason to connect with you on an emotional level. With content sharing at its highest peak companies must embrace visual story telling through media. Recent research from ROI shows that 44% percent of respondents are more likely to engage with brands if they post pictures and videos.

Please take our short poll:


3 Tips On How To Grow Your Business With LinkedIn

January 3, 2013

USING LinkedIn TO EXPAND YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA CONTENT ON A PROFESSIONAL PLATFORM

The rapid emergence of social media networks and tools in the last five years signifies the need to enhance the sharing of information for both personal use and branding. There have been many social apps that have failed to impact the social media world and we can argue that it’s a result of not carving out a major niche.

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Look no further than Instagram for quick mobile photo editing and sharing (aka combining the digital camera with the smart phone to bring out the professional photographer in all of us), Twitter for allowing us to communicate with short phrases during an era of information overload and Facebook for becoming our online social diaries and connecting us to our friends and family.

The major theme carried throughout every social media tool is ‘sharing’ but each tool/network emphasizes a particular niche to separate itself from the rest. Before LinkedIn, an online social network for professional use did not exist. Founded a year before Facebook in 2003, LinkedIn has become the most popular social media distribution channel and more marketers are using this media channel for content distribution, according to recent findings from the Social Media Examiner.

Here are 3 ways your business can use LinkedIn to turn connections into leads:

1. Create a clean, concise and easy to navigate profile

Your LinkedIn URL should be customized to strengthen branding and make more searchable. With your name in the URL, it is more likely for your profile to rank for searches for your name because search engines look for relevant keywords in the URL. To convert your random digitized URL into a personal link of your company name:

  • Go to the “Settings” link at the very top right of your LinkedIn homepage and select the “Public Profile” link under the “Profile Settings” heading. Once selected you can now enter your new custom link.

Before developing your network and creating connections, be sure to optimize your profile to 100% completeness and link your business website to your LinkedIn profile and blog. Encourage every employee of your company to include a link on his/her LinkedIn profile to your business website.

Include your company’s most popular keyword phrases in your company’s personal profile. For example, if you are doing an online ad campaign, match the phrase of your ads to your company description profile to present a consistent image to any potential customers.

2. It’s All About The Groups: Join Them, Create Them and Promote Them

  1. Join groups comprising of likely suspects who can later be turned into prospects. Some groups may be closed off to the public; most will be open to all LinkedIn users.
  2. Create a group for your industry, not your company. People are more likely to join a group when it’s not simply for fans of your company. A group is no good without members so use these tips to promote your group within your LinkedIn network:
  • Invite coworkers, past colleagues, and customers to join and start discussions.
    Use your existing network to get your group started.
  • Promote your group on Facebook, Twitter and your company blog.
  • Include LinkedIn and your personal URL in all of your marketing efforts. The next time your company attends a conference, a good idea is to display a QR code to send spectators directly to your LinkedIn group page.

3. How To Make All Of Your Connections Count!

When your profile is complete and your connections are fastened its time to share your areas of expertise to generate queries from prospective clients. LinkedIn has become a major player among the content sharing social sites and you must use the share feature to educate and inform your connections. Share links to interesting articles, best practices and case studies that demonstrate your company expertise.

LinkedIn has increased the amount of channels to share information through and connect with thought leaders. The content shared on LinkedIn is more valuable than a “status update” and members are encouraged to keep content more professionally focused.

As a group leader for your company, take advantage of LinkedIn’s questions and answers. Ask good questions, ask for the opinions of others, provide your unique insight and feedback on as many discussions as you can and contribute content that creates conversations.

Forming connections on LinkedIn and expanding your professional network will help you navigate through job related roadblocks throughout your career and is the major benefit of Linked in for individual use but businesses are starting to see the value it provides for increasing brand awareness and generating new leads.


WordPress Data Report On Clay Creative Results For 2012

December 30, 2012

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for our blog. It is exciting to see our blog grow over the years and we are thankful for another successful year in providing creative insight and marketing tips.

Were releasing our yearly report as a way to say thanks for being part of the Clay Creative online network.

Follow us into 2013 and have a Happy New Year!

 

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 3,900 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 7 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.


Enhance Your Direct Mail Campaign With Digital And Social Media Tools

December 5, 2012

THREE WAYS TO SOCIALIZE YOUR DIRECT MAIL CAMPAIGN TO ENGAGE YOUR RECIPIENT

social_media__mailbox

Digital applications, smart phones and social media are hot off the press channels these days for delivering your brands message to a precisely targeted and massive audience but they do not gain the trust and loyalty of consumers like traditional direct mail. You must first earn the trust of your audience in order to build relationships to increase your ROI and recent findings show direct mail is the best place to start.

Marketers must look beyond the reputation of direct mail as “Old school, outdated and expensive” because U.S consumers rank it as the top choice to receive brand communication materials in various categories ranging from health to household products, to household services, insurance and financial services, including credit card offers.

The magic happens when you pair the trusted channel of direct mail with the high reach of digital marketing. Together they create a ripple effect and engage your audience on many platforms. Imagine direct mail as the tiny pebble that makes a splash and social media outlets as the ripples that keep your message flowing.

Here are 3 ways to blend your next direct mail campaign and social media strategy together to expand your reach and earn the trust and attention of your audience.

1. Highlight your social media outlets in your direct mailer

You’ve spent plenty time managing your social media channels like Facebook and Twitter so show them off and include your social media icons on your direct mail pieces. These social media badges let your audience know you’ve established an online presence and social media is a transparent tool to instill trust in your brand.

2. Give more to your audience on your thank you page

The benefit of direct mail is the high amount of contact points you can integrate into a direct mail campaign. What happens after someone responds to your call to action? You have caught the interest of the person at this point so give them the option to learn more about your company. Embed a company video about your products and services on the thank you page and lead your audience to your company website.

3. Increase response rates with QR codes and personalized URL’S

Be sure your direct mail piece includes a call to action involving smart phone technology. If your objective is to drive traffic to a special offer, then include a QR code for the message recipient to easily obtain the offer. Make an offer too good to resist and people will share it on their social networks. Although it’s intuitive to think people will keep the offer for themselves, market trends show that consumers are likely to share deals and offers to cut costs and save some cash. Based on a survey of more than 9,100 respondents 75 percent of respondents would sign up for direct mail letters from a retailer if it would yield savings of 25 percent or more. An additional 67 percent would “like” a Facebook page and 17 percent would Tweet a deal. Those who socially share these deals seem to experience the largest savings.

Personalized URLs are a great way of getting the most out of your mailing list and allow you to include the recipients name in the URL. These create an engaging experience and create a personalized connection.

Consumers are personally connected to their digital devices and post, share and tweet without boundaries, making the digital space a war zone of information. The information is personal but consumers are becoming more dubious towards digital advertising. On the contrary, direct mail remains the trustworthy channel that you should use to kick-start your next campaign so follow these tips to maximize the reach of your offer.


How The Presidential Candidates Took Social Media Advertising To New Heights

November 7, 2012

SOCIETY EMBRACES SOCIAL MEDIA FOR POLITICAL KNOWLEDGE

The surge of social media has shifted the way information is delivered to the masses and this year’s presidential election represents the evolving phenomenon at its best.

Politicians got their start with social media in 2008 when Barack Obama joined Facebook and created an extensive amount of Twitter followers to announce his campaign. 2/3 of the Obama campaign donations were raised online while Twitter reported more than 20 million tweets on Election Day, making this years election the most tweeted about event in U.S history. Yes, even the president and Mitt Romney have Facebook accounts and there is no denying the momentum of social media. It’s a good idea when 88% of adult social media users are registered voters.

This year both candidates dove head first into social media and proved how this channel can reach a widespread audience. The social media interaction of Obamas campaign surpassed Romney’s and provided nearly four times as much content as the Romney campaign. Was this a result of social medias popularity among the tech savvy generation Y? Check out the new study.

Advertisers can learn from this years giant political campaigns that focused on 2 key factors of social media strategy: integration and personalized content.

Integrate your marketing message into each social media channel

-The key messages of Romney’s campaign were “A New Beginning” and “Commit to Mitt”. This message unified the voice of his supporters. A commit to Mitt Facebook app was developed and cleverly spread his message. The app showed you who of your friends lived in swing states then urged you to reach out and share your support with them.

-The videos of Obama were strategically organized over the course of the campaign. At first, Obamas website linked to his youtube channel but his videos were embedded into his site closer to the election. This was to filter the content and share only the videos Obama endorsed. The Obama campaign linked to 9 social media platforms, which may seem overwhelming to integrate into your social media strategy. They were Facebook, google+, Tumbler, Flickr, youtube, Pinterest, Spotify, Twitter and Instagram. Remember the presidents target audience is roughly 300 million people.

mi.tt is about the tiniest URL you can get for a website. When you type it in your web browser, you are re-directed to his main campaign webpage. Why such a tiny URL? mi.tt is a twitter tiny url. This url was brilliantly thought of to be used for the twitter campaign strategy. Twitter squashes down long URLs and provides a bunch of random characters too long for tweets, but mi.tt easily fits into the 140 character limit.  Each time you saw a tweet with mi.tt, you knew it pertained to the Romney campaign which is great for top of mind awareness.

Develop a company blog and content platform to share the story and core values of your business 

-The Obama website has a section of groups made up of supporters organizing the issues they care about. Each group contains videos and information related to Obamas support. The group titles are parents, catholics, sportsmen, small business owners, young Americans, women etc.. Categorizing support groups allowed people to relate to causes they care about and connect with citizens on a personal level.

-Blogs are a great way to express the core values of your company and they create relationships with your audience. Write on topics related to your industry to attract your target demographic. Consumers demand more information in this digital age to help them through their buying decisions or in this case (voting process). The Obama news blog kept all of his supporters informed at every step of the campaign by providing updates on his future agenda and political beliefs. When your brand promotes its’ products and services be sure to expand your reach and stand behind every claim, update your followers on a daily basis with engaging content and integrate your social media platforms.

Aside from your political stance, each campaign employed social media strategies that pushed the envelope of multi channel advertising far beyond the ordinary. Social media engagement is a critical component to influence consumers in the digital revolution.


Connecting The Gap Between Advertising History and Modern Execution

September 21, 2012

2 Ways To Rejuvenate and Energize Your Brand

We invite you to check out our agency website where you will find a home page full of iconic history memorabilia. What inspired the decision to infuse our company culture in such a way and where do president Eisenhower and Rosie the Riveter find their place at Clay Creative? Even marketers learn from history and we stick to the roots of advertising and adapt your brand to modern day society to enhance every impression you make with your audience.

20th century advertising changed the way brands and products reached the consumer and it brought us break through ideas to connect with them. Take for example the brilliant print execution for the gasoline company Esso. This is when research met consumer insight and an emotional connection with car drivers was created.

A tiger represents playfulness and power and driver’s behind the wheel enjoy just that so Esso used a tiger mascot to portray the brand insight…Voila.

There weren’t smart phones, digital applications and social media when we started. The basic principles that we’ve learned from past advertising must be applied to todays new media. For over 25 years we’ve been creating strong brands for our clients. Cultural norms shift every year and the technology we have today that didn’t exist in the 50’s allows us to connect your brand to your audience through hundreds of advertising channels.

The famous brands we’ve grown up with and have used our entire lives did not evolve over night. It takes strategy, research and brand development to keep your brand alive in the 21st century. Here are 2 ways for your brand to reach its’ maximum potential.

1. Adapt to new cultural norms: Our society has evolved into a multi-tasking time constrained world where consumers are connecting to your brand in more ways than one and your brand must adapt to the change.

  • Does your audience read the newspaper or browse the web with a smart phone. Keep in mind your demographics when targeting your audience.
  • How does your audience benefit from using your product?
  • There is a big difference between focusing on product attributes and product experience. Since product attributes portray your product as easy to use or physically appealing, focus on these for clothing and home entertainment products.
  • How do people use your product and where are they using it?

2. Execute product re-launches and brand extension: Just because you have a top selling product or service doesn’t mean you don’t have to create something new.

  • Consumers are interested in what is new and newsworthy. Think about it, it’s why we pick up newspapers and magazines.
  • Release relevant information about your products through social media.
  • Expand your brand through releasing newly updated versions of a product. Apple is a master at this. iPhone users scoot to the edge of their seat every year and anticipate a new phone with different software and new capabilities.
  • Learn how your customers use your products.
  • Always remember there are ways to expand your brand no matter how simple your products are.