How Anxiety Can Bring Out The Best in Your Business

“Anxiety is essential for creativity.” –Soren Kierkegaard

Have you ever been stressed in your sleep?

Perhaps you tossed through a restless night of dreams, finding that, when you were most physically exhausted, you ended up “working hard” all night. Common anxiety dreams include arriving late to the airport (without a passport or luggage), laboring at work with frustrating results, arriving for a huge test and realizing you never did any prior homework or studying, or falling, being chased, or losing something.

Anxiety is an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worry, and physical changes like increased blood pressure. Whether you sense foreboding about the future or you’re responding to the trauma of the past, everyone deals with stress or anxiety sometimes.

And while most of us dread the pangs of anxiety, it can actually be a productive and inspiring muse.

Keys to Harnessing Your Mental Energy

Neuroscientist and author Joseph LeDoux called anxiety, “the price we pay for an ability to imagine the future.”

“That’s what anxiety is,” he told the New York State Writers Institute in 2016, “an imagination of a future that hasn’t happened yet, but that you are concerned with, worried about, dreading, and so on.”

If you find your worries sometimes kick into overdrive, remember that every artist is blessed with an active imagination, and your mental energy is something that can be harnessed for everything from your next poem to your solution for today’s biggest obstacles.

Want to conquer stress before it conquers you?

In his book, “Mastering Creative Anxiety,” creativity coach and psychologist Dr. Eric Maisel lays out 22 different anxiety management tools (enough that everyone can find at least one or two that may work well!).

Here are just three he recommends:

1. The simplest is to remember to breathe; a few deep cleansing breaths can do wonders for reducing anxiety.

2. The most important anxiety management tool is probably cognitive work, where you change the things you say to yourself, turning anxious thoughts into calmer, more productive thoughts.

Want ideas? Here is a free PDF from The Creative Independent on how artists deal with creative anxiety.

3. Creating a lifestyle that supports calmness is also very important: if the way you live your life produces a lot of anxiety, that’s a tremendous extra burden on your nervous system.

A Time for Creativity and Strategic Marketing

Many entrepreneurs believe that mastering professional anxiety involves focus.

While some things are beyond your control, worrying about these can make you crazy. Instead, focus on what is within your influence: like creativity, productivity, and strategic marketing. As you hit reset in your summer or fall season, now is the time to push ahead on new projects, get strategic about networking, or to establish self-care habits that maximize energy while inspiring great ideas.

While you can’t take the anxiety of life, you can see it for the positive aspects it brings. For example, the two characters that make up the Chinese word for crisis, when taken separately, mean “danger” and “opportunity.” We’ve all felt the alarm of the COVID-19 season, but now it’s time to embrace the opportunities and innovation this reset may bring.

Want to see some examples of how other businesses are approaching marketing at this time? Give us a call to chat about strategic print options!

Direct Mail Postcards: A Proven Winner

Results. Whether it’s weight loss, test scores, or finances, tangible success is the payoff everyone wants.

With a limited marketing budget, it’s important for your business to make every penny count. And, according to a 2018 DMA Response Rate Report, direct mail consistently outperforms all digital marketing channels. 

Direct mail allows readers to comprehend, process, and remember the material more quickly and easily, with postcards and large envelopes eliciting the best overall response. Think about how quickly you process your own mail – ‘bill, letter, junk, ad . . .’ It takes a split second to accept or discard each piece. Postcards put the message front and center as soon as the printed piece hits their hand.

When it comes to results, 52.5 percent of potential recipients claim they will read a postcard, whereas a letter-sized envelope will be opened only a third of the time. Postcards get a fairly high response rate – 4.25% – followed by dimensional mailers with 4% and letter-sized envelopes at 3.5%. And larger postcards (6-inches by 11-inches) are an ideal choice to ensure your piece stands out in the mail pile.

Success Starts Here

Ready to acquire new customers and increase your profits? Here are some tips for head-turning postcards:

Get to the Point

Postcards should have one obvious call to action. Understanding the audience and key message will drive design, with branding that will reinforce this theme.

Stress Benefits

Highlight the benefits of what you are selling. If you are selling a booklet-folding machine, don’t just say, “stainless steel hopper, 10 inches wide.” Add, “assembles 600 booklets per hour!”

Use Engaging Designs

Even classy postcards can have some sizzle, whether it’s font, bright colors, foil, or creative cardstock and graphic combinations.

Follow Headlines with Delivery

The promise of the headline should be fulfilled in the body copy—immediately. Your first few sentences should explain, elaborate on, and support the promise made in the headline.

Don’t Be Boring

People take in loads of information each week, and postcards have a split second to catch their attention. A sharp layout is great, but be sure to integrate this with a lively message to keep them reading past the headline.

Offer a Next Step

Don’t assume the reader knows what to do with your card. Include instructions and crystal-clear action steps, like, “For a free 2020 landscaping guide, visit http://www.lawnparadise.com, or call Betsy at __________ for a blueprint on a total yard makeover.”

Enhance Readability

More than 30 percent of the population classifies themselves as “scanners,” so aim for improved readability with bullets, generous white space, screened boxes, yellow highlighting, crossed-out text (like $19.95, $9.95), and simulated handwriting in the margin.

Front and Center with Eye-Popping Postcards

Want to make the right offer at the right time?

Postcards are ideal when:

  • You want to generate leads.
  • You’re offering a free or premium item.
  • The primary response is a URL landing page or a phone call.
  • The concept is easy to explain or familiar to the reader.

Finally, the sure advantage in postcards is knowing where to send them.

Savvy marketers know who their audience is, and they realize it’s not just one group. The most successful postcard marketing sends unique messages (and even segmented landing pages) to the groups they most want to reach.

If you can reach out to 500 targeted people (versus 5,000 bulk addresses), your success rates will skyrocket.

Adapting to the Changing Needs of Your Audience

Everyone knows Fender.

Fender makes amazing guitars, amplifiers, and more. They also have a popular digital learning program called Fender Play. In March of 2020, Fender started giving away free 3-month subscriptions to this tutorial service.

The response was overwhelming.

Statistics show that most new learners quit playing guitar after six months. Fender realized if it could reduce that abandonment rate by 10%, it could double its market. As people began to watch videos and play along, they grew in confidence and in the joy of playing. By May of 2020, one MILLION people were strumming along with Fender from home.

How did Fender decide to release a 3-month tutorial? Here’s what general manager Ethan Kaplan said:

“Right after folks went into lockdown, we started talking about how we could help people get through . . . it was clear [part of the answer was] the power of music. A free three-month offer felt like a good idea. So, we started by offering it to 100,000 people. And we blew through that number in around 36 hours. Then we opened it up to 500,000, and we closed it at a million.

In addition to making elite equipment, Fender became a streaming tutorial service overnight. Kaplan says Fender Play shoots for an engaging and rewarding user experience:

“. . . we’re kind of like a streaming video service with a lot of extra furniture around it. We have 3,000 pieces of video content, but those lessons also include scrolling tabs, chord settings, backing tracks. So we’re a video platform with all these extra dimensions.

Tools to Keep You on Track

Whether your customers are experiencing a pandemic or a culture shift, keeping in touch with their needs is vital. By understanding key clients, you can tailor content to their needs, provide tailor-made services, and ensure your business addresses their current challenges.

There are several ways to take the pulse of your target customers. Here are just a few:

Review current data and analytics

When studying key clients, begin by reviewing data you’ve recently collected. This includes relevant purchaser info, website or focus group feedback, or stats on the latest industry trends.

Connect with your rock star customers

If you have clients who keep coming back, you must be doing something right! Find out what’s working for your VIPs in terms of products, services, customer support, or marketing.

Eyeball competitors

Want to save time and keep creativity flowing? Keep a watchful eye on your competitors! Here you’ll gain easy insight into design features, customer personas, pricing strategies, and more.

Conduct surveys or polls

Directly engaging your prospects or customers is a helpful way to get specifics about your product marketing, customer support, and more. Because surveys can be both targeted AND anonymous, they offer a unique way to get raw answers and data that really matters.

Monitoring audience feedback through your blogs, live chats, or community web forums is also an easy way to resolve pain points or identify the features people love.

Experiment

Don’t be afraid to experiment with content or service packages to understand your audience better. As Fender found, testing new ideas is a great way to determine whether your business is evolving with changing client needs. You can always start small and make course corrections as you go!

Keeping Customer Needs at the Forefront

In terms of inspiration, Kaplan says the pandemic has highlighted the importance of connecting with customers in ways that makes their lives easier:

“I think what we’re all discovering is that the strength of a service or a product is how well it enables people to make their day-to-day lives easier . . . you’ve seen that with Zoom, you’ve seen that with Slack, [and] certainly with Apple, Spotify, Netflix, Disney+, etc. These companies are not being opportunistic because of the circumstance, but being empathetic . . . because of what the circumstances have now afforded.”

5 Thoughtful Strategies for Advertising During the Pandemic

If you’re like many people, you’ve probably been more conservative in your spending lately.

Recent research shows that, during the pandemic, many people were rationing food to save on expenses and grocery runs, and 23% of people were eating more plant-based meals. Discretionary spending has decreased, and consumers are shifting to digital solutions and reduced-contact channels to receive services.

On a larger scale, consumers worldwide say they expect the pandemic to affect their routines or spending for at least two to four months.

A Shift in Content and Scope

In recent months, many companies have shifted the scope and content of their marketing efforts as well.

Instead of pushing products and promotions, proactive businesses have focused on building relationships and adding humanness to their brand, including inspirational direct mail newsletters, heartfelt emails, and down-to-earth videos.

In one example, eBay championed small businesses that power the nation with its “Stronger as One” ad. Other companies highlighted safety changes and customer convenience options, like this “Call In / Pull In / Pick Up” curbside delivery ad:

“During these challenging times, we are here for you. We are making changes moment by moment to ensure the safety of our customers and employees. And what matters most is doing this together, for the community that we all call home.”

A Vision for Marketing Beyond COVID-19

Beyond connecting and empathizing, what is next for marketing beyond coronavirus?

For starters, you’ll need a commitment to move forward. Research shows that 92% of consumers believe brands need to keep advertising. Ads offer people a glimpse at a prosperous future or something hopeful to look forward, and your marketing gives people a welcome taste of distraction, entertainment, and normalcy.

Also, if the firms competing against you have lowered their ad output, now is a great time for you to invest more. As others scale back, your ads are more visible, allowing you to gather leads with a lower cost-per-acquisition.

And even if the economy seems shaky, pulling back now may actually lengthen the time it takes you to recover. If you need to tighten expenses, don’t turn off your marketing. Instead, look at ways you can rethink intake, client services, or business expenses in general.

Need some concrete marketing ideas? Here are five types of ads to consider:

1. A Product Focus

Showcase how your product is safe, accessible, or helps people strengthen their health or physical well-being.

2. A People Focus

Show prospects you care about them and that your business is standing with them during this time. This Fitbit ad offers its premium package for 90 days to help people work out at home, manage stress, and eat and sleep better during COVID-19: “Thank you for doing what you can. We’re all in this together.”

3. A Values Focus

Here you might feature positive company values or champion the solidarity and togetherness of your community.

4. A Nostalgia Focus

When things feel uncertain, old songs or vintage photos can bypass the brain and connect straight to the heart.

5. A Humor Focus

While being sensitive to people’s pain, you can still connect with your audience through humor during challenging seasons. Encourage people to laugh at their weaknesses or make the most of this strange season, like this Ben & Jerry’s “Netflix and Chill’d” campaign.

Though it may seem counterintuitive to up your print output today, now is the time to invest in a strong comeback after COVID-19.

With today’s carefully crafted message, you can ahead of shifting customer needs and shape people’s long-term expectations. As your partner in print, we are open, and we are ready to help! Contact us today to visit more.

6 Proactive Responses to Negative Reviews

2018 was a strong year for tourism in Vienna.

International arrivals totaled around 7.5 million, hotel revenues rose 12 percent in 11 months, and 94 percent of Viennese reported a positive attitude toward visitors.

But in this season, the Vienna Tourist Board tackled a new difficulty: negative reviews. While many firms are split on whether to confront or ignore public complaints, Vienna chose a lighthearted tactic, turning so-called “flaws” into strengths by highlighting them in gorgeous photo-based advertising campaigns.

In a series of ads mounted in the London underground and in digital bus stops, the Vienna Tourist Board portrayed five fun and beautiful Viennese moments overlaid with mean comments and poor ratings. In one ad, a romantic picture of a couple cuddled in a boat on the serene Danube was captioned “Boooring!” and given zero stars.

To highlight how polarizing comments can drag an experience down, the “See Vienna, not #Vienna” ads challenged readers: “Who decides what you like? Discover your own Vienna.”

Simple Strategies for Responding to Your Critics

Responding to negative reviews is difficult.

Bad reviews hurt, and sometimes they are dishonest and downright cruel. But Vienna was right to address them. Stats show that 95% percent of holidaymakers read at least seven reviews before booking a trip. And consumers share perspective. Ninety-four percent say that a bad review has convinced them to avoid a business, and 88% of people read reviews to determine the quality of a business.

Want to turn the tide of negativity? Here are a few simple strategies:

1. Personalize the Response

Reviews come from real people, so whenever possible, use the name of the individual you’re addressing.

2. Say Thanks

Critics occasionally bring to light something you’ve missed.

Even if you disagree with their opinion, show positivity, like “I appreciate you bringing this to our attention,” or “Thank you for taking the time to let us know.”

3. Sympathize

Apologizing may not right a wrong, but it is a powerful demonstration of your humility and care for customers.

Express regret that your service did not satisfy, that an experience did not match expectations, or for rude behavior or botched communication.

4. Take Responsibility or Offer Alternatives

Whenever possible, own your mistakes and avoid excuses.

Phrases like “we are so sorry for missing the mark,” “that’s on us,” “that never should have happened,” or “this is certainly not the standard our clients deserve” can go a long way toward defusing resentment.

If you’re able to offer compensation, go the extra mile to satisfy a disgruntled customer. If not, publicly pledge to do better next time.

5. Embrace Your Critics

Like the Vienna Tourist Board, you may choose to make light of bad reviews or welcome them in some way.

This may be as simple as letting them exist alongside other (positive or average) reviews, which exemplifies transparency and demonstrates a spectrum of customer experiences.

And some reviews can be leveraged with humor or irony, like the Snowbird Ski Resort, which highlighted negative skier reviews to boost its elite, high-caliber appeal (“What’s ‘Too Advanced’ for Greg might be just right for you”). With humor, you can harness the empathy and understanding of customers who roll their eyes at the more absurd comments.

6. Make Peace with Criticism

Fault-finders come and go, but they don’t have to be the downfall of your reputation.

Reviews are a great way to build personal connections, to engage the general public, or to learn from blind spots.

By embracing negative reviews, your company can even benefit from the empathy of others, boosting a positive response from readers at large.

Generate Leads with a Winning Sales Letter

Are you looking to entice a new lead or land a big client?

Today’s marketers know direct mail is an especially persuasive medium. According to 2018 direct mail response statistics, direct mail offered a 9% response rate to house lists and a 4.9% response to prospect lists. And one of the most potent tools of the trade is the good old-fashioned sales letter.

Want to grab attention with a persuasive, relevant, engaging letter? Here are a few tips:

Start with a powerful hook

If you want readers to make it past the first sentence, your first paragraph must arouse curiosity, evoke emotion, or resonate with a problem or pain point of a specific individual.

People can’t finish what they don’t start, so the opening sentences must be rock solid.

Make your sales letter look like a regular letter

The most relatable letters are those that feel personal.

For a more casual effect, use script font or type-writer styles like New Courier or Prestige Elite.

Write with a conversational tone

Use personal pronouns and write for one: I, the letter writer, am talking directly to you, the reader.

Avoid the pompous business-memo style or fluffy ad-speak. Be friendly, natural, and specific.

Use skim layers for easy reading

Underline phrases and indent paragraphs for emphasis, or use asterisks, bullets, dashes, or arrows to make reading more efficient.

People are turned off by long blocks of text, so keep your page design lively and your language succinct.

Use benefit loaded subheadings

Improve reader response by including precise user benefits that match your target audience.

Hikers have little interest in buying boots. What they want is dry, blister-free feet. Remember, people don’t buy products, they buy better versions of themselves.

Make it about them

Focus on readers and their needs rather than your product and its features.

For example, instead of highlighting “our high-caliber bookkeeping software,” try something like this: “Account for EVERY CENT with smart, secure book-keeping.”

Add colors or borders

The most important information in your letter should leap off the page.

Can you highlight a paragraph in yellow? Add blue “handwriting” font in the margin? Put a box around copy that absolutely cannot be missed?

Use a specific call to action

Explain what you’re selling, what it can do, and how they can get in on it.

Add discount offers, expiration dates, or “magic” marketing words like irresistible, no-obligation, flash sale, hassle-free, guaranteed results, buy one get one, free trial, or last chance offer.

Tell and Sell with This Winning Combination

There is an old saying in direct mail: the letter sells, and the brochure tells.

In any direct-mail package, combining a letter and brochure can be an especially powerful combination.

Ready to get started? Save time and trouble by partnering with our experienced team! When you’re ready to move ahead, we’ll help you create stunning pieces that make your message shine. From initial formatting to direct mail packaging and delivery, we’ll do the heavy lifting and streamline the entire process.

Visit us online or give us a call today to talk options!

Coordinate Every Brand Touchpoint to Optimize Customer Journeys

What turns you away from a website, advertisement, or a company?

Perhaps it’s the message itself or the way a brand is presented. Sometimes the information is just too scattered, time-consuming, or confusing! Today’s consumers face a barrage of competing messages, so each intersection between a customer and your business is critical.

These points of contact, or touchpoints, represent points of interaction with a customer or a prospect at any stage of their customer journey. Touchpoints provide you critical opportunities to engage leads, build brand awareness, address concerns, market products or services, or to tell your story.

Building an End-to-End Customer Experience

Grouping touchpoints chronologically can be helpful as it allows you to see things from an outside perspective.

Here are just a handful of touchpoints:

  • Social Media Campaigns
  • Print Advertisements
  • Company Events
  • Product Catalogs
  • Conversations with Company Representatives
  • Landing Pages
  • Professional Website
  • Point of Sale Displays
  • Cross-Sales Promotions
  • Thank You Letters or Post-Purchase Surveys
  • Customer Support Services
  • Newsletter Subscriptions
  • Loyalty Programs

Are you looking for creative options for your customer touchpoints? This is where things can get really fun! Here are a few ideas to get you thinking:

  • One bicycle shop printed metal business cards that doubled as a pedal wrench.
  • One cosmetics company found that engaging online shoppers with a chat box boosted sales by 20 percent.
  • One home builder sent direct-mail testimonials from satisfied clients to leads who had inquired through digital channels.
  • For one promotion, Nike packaged its Nike Air Max shoes in clear plastic wrapping that made it appear as if the shoes were floating inside a bubble.
  • To highlight the space-saving benefits of home organization, one Ikea store painted its main staircase as a chest of drawers, with objects inside each “step” perfectly organized.

Evaluating and Improving Your Touchpoints

Many businesses overlook the power of coordinated touchpoints.

But put yourself in a client’s shoes. When you are engaging with a business, you enter each interaction with the assumption you can ask questions, receive support, or weigh costs and benefits for a potential purchase. As you take progressive steps, you are met with intentional, friendly, and helpful responses. Does this increase your chance of making a commitment? Absolutely!

Simply having a touchpoint in place is no longer an option. Rather, each touchpoint must perfectly represent your brand, offering a cohesive, captivating message. How can you be sure each point optimizes, satisfies, or invites? Here are three steps to consider:

1. LIST

List all your current touchpoints, including websites, e-mails, customer service, direct mail, etc.

2. EVALUATE

Use objective observers to give an unbiased review of each touchpoint.

This process of discovery enables you to find “weak links” and make necessary corrections.

3. TAKE ACTION

Overcome deficits by viewing weak touchpoints as opportunities for growth.

After listing and evaluating touchpoints, now take a customer-centered understanding of what’s working and what’s not. Excellent touchpoints should be relevant to customer needs, endearing in a way that builds emotional connection or increases interest, and appropriate to the greater context of the interaction.

Evaluating and enhancing your touchpoints will sharpen communication and help move people seamlessly toward a point of purchase. Build an end-to-end customer experience that unifies your brand message and optimizes every customer experience!

Cut Through the Clutter with Beautiful Print Promotions

With the glut of digital marketing, average media consumers are staggering under the weight of spam e-mail and annoying pop-up ads.

The “digital deluge” has also prompted a volume decrease in snail mail, allowing direct mail and print promotions to take center stage. Print pleases the eye and demands an emotional response, and people today are craving something real!

Today is a perfect time to feature beautiful print promotions. Need inspiration? There are several proven winners.

Rules of the Road

Your print promotion doesn’t need to be complicated to be effective.

Consider the McDonald’s “loving it” brand promotion. In a recent “Wi-Fries” ad, the fast-food giant hoped to entice customers to come, eat, and to stick around a bit. Using the McDonald’s signature “clown red” hue as a backdrop, the ad positioned curved, freshly cooked French fries in the shape of the wireless internet symbol as the focal point. The fries said it all, but a set of small McDonald’s arches in the bottom corner accompanied three words that solidified the hook: “love free wi-fi.”

Stand-alone print pieces are powerful, but repetition is even better. McDonald’s uses several ads in their “loving it” promotions – breakfast sandwiches touted as “deliciousness by the handful,” or Big Mac alternatives, like an “I’m veggin’ it,” ad, for example. McDonald’s combines a series of staggered, targeted pieces for extra impact, featuring precise promotions and clear next steps.

6 Ways You Can Toot Your Own Horn

Want to elevate your image with a cohesive set of print promotions? Here are six common strategies to consider:

1. Self-Promotion

Detail exclusive offerings or illuminate company strengths. Everybody loves a good deal, so the easiest self-promotion technique is to offer irresistible sales or momentum-generating seasonal specials.

2. Brag Promotion

Let the audience know about an impressive award, ranking, or community contribution. One florist used direct mail postcards to remind prospects that it had been voted “Bay Area’s Best” for three straight years.

3. Capabilities Promotions

Remind clients of the breadth, depth, or proficiency of your services. Do you have a subscription service with double the value of your competitors? Make your unique advantage known!

4. Invitations

Highlight an open house, business gala, or a community fundraiser. Or consider a bonus offer to go with your invitations. One deli offered the first 100 people to visit its new location free flatbread wraps for a year.

5. Cause-Related Promotions

Everyone has a niche, and yours will sometimes align with the values of your customers. Think fair-trade products, charitable or matching contributions made for every product sale, or simple labeling like, “Made in the USA.” People enjoy businesses whose values align with their own, so if something is important to you, don’t be afraid to share it with customers.

6. “Just Because” Pieces

There is never a bad time to say “thanks” or celebrate a special occasion. Company milestones or community celebration days are a wonderful chance to spread some love.

Print, Promote, and Persuade

Ready to toot your own horn?

Inspire your customers with tactile, memorable campaigns. From timebound sales to feel-good joy marketing, your print promotions can have a profound effect on the way people view your brand.  

Increase Your Odds for Success by Finding a Business Mentor

Bill Gates first met his mentor at a dinner organized by his mom.

When his mother suggested the connection, Gates thought he would have nothing in common with him, because this contact was just a “guy who picks stocks.” It turned out that they had more in common than he realized, and over the years, Gates came to view him as a key mentor and advisor.

That man? Billionaire investor Warren Buffett.

Today, Gates has created software that runs in most of the computers on the planet. He is a billionaire philanthropist who has given away more than $28 billion while working to eradicate polio. And Gates says that one of the most important things Buffet taught him is that success is not found through net worth but by “having people you care about loving you back.”

4 Keys for Developing a Powerful Professional Mentorship

Do you have a professional mentor?

If you don’t, this is a great time to get matched with one. The Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) is a non-profit organization with members who provide free consultation services and advice to entrepreneurs. SCORE oversees the nation’s largest network of volunteer, expert business mentors. This organization helps thousands of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses, to give back to communities, and to allow people to pass on their knowledge to the next generation of leaders.

Whether you connect with an organization like SCORE or pursue a mentorship opportunity of your own, here are four things you might look for in a mentor.

1. Compatibility

Your mentor is someone who you will be working closely with, so it’s important that you have a sense of compatibility with this person, so the relationship doesn’t feel awkward or forced.

If you sense cues that could indicate long term tension, it’s ok to voice your concerns or end the relationship. Assigning the initial stage of the relationship as a short-term trial period might make a potential termination seem more natural.

2. Contrast

A mentor helps you stretch yourself, so it’s good if your mentor seems a bit outside of your comfort zone.

Don’t pick a carbon copy of yourself or look for a best buddy in a mentor. Diversity helps you get a better perspective on things, and it may be good if your mentor is from a different industry, age group, or geographical area.

3. Expertise

Mentorship isn’t about following someone with the most experience or the biggest title; it’s about finding someone with the knowledge to help you on your journey.

Look for a mentor who has unique expertise or one who has worked through similar challenges as you face rather than focusing on someone with a long career or a resume that matches yours.

4. Trust

Because you will share intimate business details with your mentor, trust is of utmost importance.

And this trust should go both ways. When trust is mutual, both parties can confide in each other in specific, vulnerable ways. Build trust by learning each other’s communication styles, setting expectations up front, and asking deeper questions as you grow. Once a solid level of trust is established, you’ll be able to glean the best insights from this relationship.

Bouncing Back After COVID-19

This unique time of economic recovery is probably unlike any crisis your business has faced.

But entrepreneurs are nothing if not resilient, and you can get through this. The key is to take quick action and to lean on the wisdom of others. Why not pursue a mentoring relationship today?

Why Direct Mail Marketing is a Brilliant Investment

When email marketing began around 1978, its low cost, speedy delivery, and great response rates made marketers wonder if direct mail would disappear forever.

Today, that couldn’t be further from the truth. An overload of digital messages has caused open and click-through rates to decline substantially, and many spam filters and firewalls block emails altogether.

At the same time, a volume decrease in traditional mail has allowed direct mail marketing to rise to the top of the mailbox, being noticed, read, and responded to more frequently.

Need proof? Here are some stats to consider:

  • According to the Direct Marketing Association’s 2017 Response Rate Report, direct mail offered a 5.1 percent response to house lists and a 2.9 percent response to rented lists across all direct mail formats. (In comparison, the 2017 response rate for all digital channels combined was 2 percent.)
  • Eighty-five percent of consumers will open a piece of mail that catches their attention, and more than 40 percent of recipients read the entire piece.
  • Ninety-two percent of Millennials are persuaded to make a purchase decision based on direct mail as opposed to 78 percent who are influenced to purchase through email marketing. Sixty-three percent of these direct mail responders said they had made a purchase in the last three months.
  • Consumers of all ages are 22 percent more likely to purchase products promoted through direct mail than they are products advertised through email.
  • Eighty-two percent of Millennials say they read direct mail they get from retail brands, and 54 percent said they enjoy looking through print catalogs they receive in the mail.
  • Forty-nine percent of Millennials use print coupons at retail stores, with three out of four making use of grocery inserts found in direct mail or the newspaper.
  • Branded products, on average, get a 1,300 percent ROI from direct mail.
  • Direct-mail packages generate 78 percent of all donations made to nonprofits.

Direct Mail’s Superior Advantage 

If digital marketing is easy and inexpensive, why does print marketing continue to dominate?

Studies show that the physicality of print creates a “deeper footprint” in the brain: an enduring emotional connection for those who connect with it. In fact, MRI imaging showed a higher rate of brain stimulation for those reading content on paper, which shows our minds automatically perceive physical materials to be more genuine. One advertising study found that consumers recalled print ads better than digital ads and had more emotional responses to print as well. Heightened emotion leads to higher perceived values, increased product desirability, and greater follow through when it comes to inquiries and purchases.

Are you ready to craft the right message, for the right people, at just the right time? When you want to make strong connections with your prospects, an ink-on-paper sales letter or direct-mail package will help you spark interest, generate leads, and boost response rates.

Streamline the Process

Maybe you want to try direct mail but you’re not sure where to start. When you’re ready to move ahead, we’ll help you create stunning pieces that make your message shine. From initial formatting and to final ordering and delivery, we’ll do the heavy lifting and streamline the entire process.

Overcome barriers today with memorable, actionable mailings!