Creating Customer Loyalty

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What does it take to create customer loyalty, the kind of loyalty that makes customers stick with you, even when their favorite sales representative, hair stylist or financial advisor moves on?  

Here are some tips from the experts. 

1. Know your customer base. Customer bases are not homogeneous. They are made up of different demographics, with different needs and with different motivators for shopping with you. Profiling your customers can tell you a lot about how to keep them. When was the last time you did a customer survey or conducted a focus group? 

The more you get to know the unique makeup of your customer base, the more you are able to adjust products and services to respond to their unique needs and the more likely you are to hang onto their loyalty. 

2. Make it personal. Shift from mass mailings and generic communications to personalized print communications as much as possible. This should go beyond “Dear <<name>>” and include content driven by demographics, demonstrated preferences or past purchase history. The goal here is not just to let your customers know that you know their names, but to increase the relevance of your communications to their lives.  

3. Spread the communication around. Some companies assign each customer a specific customer service representative or sales consultant. This creates a special relationship between customer and sales rep that can be invaluable. The downside is that this relationship can become so valuable that, should the sales rep leave the company, your customer might be willing to leave with them. For this reason, encourage your customers to have multiple contact points within your company.  

4. Increase the frequency. Stay in communication with your customers on a regular basis, not just when there is a special promotion or event. This is the idea behind most drip marketing campaigns. They help develop a relationship that creates a value beyond price and convenience and keeps your company top of mind. 

5. Reinforce and reward loyalty. When customers are loyal, let them know that you appreciate it. Then reward them for that loyalty. Send them special “loyal customer” discounts, personalized to their unique habits and preferences whenever possible. 

Retaining customers takes effort. It requires a customer retention plan and an intentional, focused effort to keep those customers you’ve worked so hard to have. What’s your plan? 

Why Digital Print-on-Demand Services are the Sustainable Choice for Colleges and Universities

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Digital print-on-demand services have become increasingly popular in recent years, and for good reason. These services offer a sustainable and cost-effective solution for colleges and universities looking to print materials such as course materials, communication pieces, and marketing collateral materials.

One of the biggest advantages of print-on-demand is that it eliminates the need for large print runs and inventory storage. Traditional printing methods often require printing massive quantities of materials, which can result in a significant amount of waste if the materials become outdated. With print-on-demand, materials can be printed as needed, reducing the number of excess materials.

A key benefit of print-on-demand is that it allows for greater flexibility and customization. Materials can be easily updated and customized to meet the specific needs of a program. This is particularly useful for universities and colleges, where curriculums and course offerings are constantly changing.

Digital printing by nature has minimal makeready and waste of paper involved, as the settings can be easily adjusted and fine-tuned digitally. Additionally, the digital printing process is much faster than traditional methods, which means less time and resources are used in the printing process. This not only saves money for the institution but also reduces the environmental impact.

In recent years, there has been a growing focus on sustainability in the printing industry, and this is reflected in the availability of more environmentally friendly paper options. Today, many digital print-on-demand services offer a wide range of paper options that are made from sustainable and/or recycled materials. For example, many providers now offer paper that is made from post-consumer recycled content, which means it is made from paper that has already been used and then recycled.

In addition to being more sustainable, digital print-on-demand is more cost-effective than traditional printing methods. Because materials are printed on demand, there is no need to pay for large print runs or storage of excess materials. The result can be a significant cost saving for universities and colleges.

ImageMark Business Services, Inc. offers a wide range of digital print-on-demand services for colleges and universities. We have invested in state-of-the-art digital presses which allow us to produce high-quality materials quickly and efficiently. Our quick turnaround time means that materials can be printed and delivered in a matter of days, rather than weeks or months.

In addition to our digital printing capabilities, we also offer a unique software platform called ResourceONE®. This platform allows colleges and universities to store their digital files, making it easy to reorder materials or make updates as needed. This is particularly useful for universities and colleges, where curriculums and course offerings are constantly changing. ResourceONE® also allows for easy ordering across multiple departments within a college or university, streamlining the process and saving time while maintaining brand standards across campus.

Is your college or university looking for a sustainable and cost-effective solution for printing materials? If so, we invite you to contact us to learn more about our services and how we can help you achieve your printing needs.

6 Principles of Marketing Persuasion

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Understanding buyer psychology is key to grabbing consumers’ attention and getting people to buy. The 6 Principles of Marketing Persuasion by Dr. Robert Cialdini is one of the most influential models in this approach. Cialdini’s six principles—scarcity, reciprocity, authority, social proof, liking, and consistency—can help boost results and get customers to act quickly.

Let’s take a quick look at each one:

1. Scarcity. People want it more when something is in short supply and are more likely to act quickly. This is why marketers use messaging such as “Offer by invitation only!” or “Only for a limited time!” Offering free shipping if shoppers order within the next 20 minutes can increase checkouts by up to 300%.

2. Reciprocity. The principle of reciprocity is when marketers offer something of value, such as a gift or sample, to customers right out of the gate. This triggers the natural desire of customers to give back in kind (reciprocity). It’s why nonprofits put personalized notepads and address labels in fundraising envelopes — because it works.

3. Authority. Authority uses the demonstration of expertise to inspire trust in customers. Authority can be established through external sources such as press coverage or third-party endorsements. It can also be established through internal content like blogs, whitepapers, case studies, or interviews. By building authority, businesses can create credibility and increase the likelihood of customers responding to offers.

4. Social proof. Social proof relies on peer influence to increase credibility and trust among potential customers. This could include customer testimonials, displaying reviews or ratings, showing celebrity endorsements, or featuring influencer posts.

5. Liking. The principle of “liking” states that people are more likely to comply with the requests of someone they like or identify with. For example, popular influencers sharing their experiences and stories about using a company’s products is more likely to resonate with customers than regular advertisements.

6. Consistency. People want their beliefs to be consistent with their values. If buyers see themselves as good parents, for example, they are more likely to respond to messaging that positions them this way. “As a great mom, you know how important it is to…”

These are essential principles, but it may take some testing until you get the messaging right. Subtle changes can make a big difference, so be patient. Keep testing until you get a winner.

How Much Should Direct Mail Marketing Cost?

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Direct mail services physically deliver your message to a targeted audience’s residence or business to boost awareness and generate leads. We will explore the cost of fulfilling a direct mail marketing campaign with the United States Postal Service (USPS), compare targeted and saturation lists, discuss material and postage expenses, and explain how delays can affect your campaign.

When correctly implemented, direct mail marketing helps websites increase their traffic and convert traffic into subscribers or buyers. It can expose potential buyers to a brand or service to raise awareness. Direct mail marketing can improve an overall marketing strategy by targeting the right audience and can provide exceptional benefits by placing the message in front of individuals in need of the product or service you are promoting.

While more general advertising, such as billboards and television advertisements, convey a brand’s message to a broad audience hoping that the message will reach buyers, direct mail services convey a targeted message to a select audience. If the audience is properly selected, the promotion can be highly efficient. Successful direct mail campaigns contain the following elements:

  • An identifying mark, such as a logo
  • A call to action
  • Company contact information

Target Lists Vs. Saturation Lists

A saturation list reaches every household in a geographic location. Sometimes called an occupant list, it allows marketers to advertise to a broad audience. Postage rates are reduced because the USPS carrier delivers one advertisement to every household on their route, minimizing the work involved on their end. Saturation lists may exclude some households with no name on file with the USPS.

When using a saturation list, advertisers can select a list from one or more of the following:

  • Carrier route, Radius, County, ZIP or ZIP+4, or Custom Map
  • Dwelling Type
  • Route Type
  • P.O. Boxes

The USPS allows advertisers to use a targeted mailing list of 200 or more recipients in compliance with USPS standards. Marketers can choose the exact households that will receive the advertisement to ensure only the demographics they select are a part of the campaign. Targeted lists yield increasingly higher response rates as the targeting becomes more refined. While targeted list postage costs more than saturation list postage, the price is significantly lower than first-class postage. It provides higher response rates worth the price difference. Targeted mailing lists allow advertisers to reach their target market with the utmost success. 

Material Costs

Direct mail services can begin at $.30 each and above, depending on the design, material cost and quantity mailing. The total price can also be affected by paper stock and finishes. Heavy paper stocks and coatings can come at a premium and may increase the postage cost. The USPS determines postage on several factors including size and weight so thicker pieces could increase postage cost.

Postage Costs

The USPS gives priority delivery to First-Class Mail®, delivering it faster and at higher prices. Their rates range in cost from 40% higher on average for direct mail, depending on the size of the piece.

The USPS offers Standard Mail at a bulk discount called Marketing Mail® for direct marketers as a cost-saving option. Standard Mail delivery can take longer than First-Class Mail, with an estimated delivery time of 3 to 21 days for Standard Mail, compared to the significantly lower 1 to 5 days of First-Class Mail.

Direct mail marketers can also choose Every Door Direct Mail® (EDDM), a lower-cost option than Standard Mail for use within a limited demographic compared to other options. The advertiser selects mailing routes within a ZIP code, and every household within that area will receive its advertisements.

Turnaround Costs and Cost of Delays From the Wrong Partner

Direct mailing service costs can increase if an advertiser requires a quick turnaround. Planning a campaign in advance is vital to getting a lower price on direct mail printing services. For example, an advertiser ordering 1,000 catalogs can save on cost if they are willing to wait seven days rather than four days. Advertisers can save a considerable amount if they can plan their direct mailing campaign with enough time for the printer to work their print job in with other similar jobs to reduce the cost of paper and printing.

Direct Mail Services From ImageMark

Direct mail marketing can increase traffic and conversion rates with targeted advertising to an audience most likely to buy your product or service. It is vital to consider your budget for materials and postage and whether you need targeted or saturation lists when creating your direct mail campaign and plan in advance to benefit from lower-cost direct mail printing services.

ImageMark can optimize your direct mail marketing campaign with direct mail fulfillment services tailored to acquiring valuable customers for your brand. Contact us to learn how we can help you reach and retain new customers.


How to Keep Remote Employees Connected with your Brand

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In today’s remote work landscape, it is more important than ever to keep your brand top of mind for your employees. One way to do this is by providing custom promotional products that they can use and interact with daily.

Kitting, also known as assembly, involves gathering various items together to create a custom package. For example, you could create a kit that includes a custom-branded t-shirt, a tote bag, and a laptop sticker. This allows you to create a cohesive, branded look for your products and ensures that your employees have everything they need to represent your brand.

Fulfillment services take care of the logistics of getting your custom promotional products to your remote employees. This includes warehousing, inventory management, packaging, and shipping. This allows you to focus on creating and branding your products, while ImageMark takes care of the rest.

One example of how you can use these services to promote your brand among remote employees is by creating custom swag bags for new hires. These bags could include a branded t-shirt, a notebook, a pen, and a mug, all packaged together in a custom-branded tote bag. This not only promotes your brand but also makes your new hires feel welcomed and valued as part of the team.

Another example is creating a custom branded work-from-home “kit” that includes branded items like a mousepad, a notebook, and a pen to help remote employees feel connected to the brand even when they are working remotely.

With ImageMark’s kitting and fulfillment services, you can easily create custom promotional products for your remote employees that will keep your brand top of mind. These services take the hassle out of logistics and allow you to focus on creating a cohesive, branded experience for your remote workforce.

In conclusion, custom promotional products are a great way to keep your brand top of mind for your remote employees. ImageMark Business Services, Inc. offers custom branded products, kitting and fulfillment services to help you create and distribute these products to your remote workforce with ease. Whether you’re looking to create a custom swag bag for new hires or a branded work-from-home kit, ImageMark can help make it happen. Don’t let the challenges of remote work take away from the visibility of your brand, take action now and contact ImageMark today to discuss how their kitting and fulfillment services can help promote your brand among your remote employees.

By Wes Pollock