3 Key Services You Need for Your Digital Marketing Strategy

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Whether you’re just starting to think about digital or already have an SEO and content strategy, making sure you have certain foundational services can be key to saving you time and improving your results.

To develop your online brand and help customers find you amid all the competition, here is a quick guide on three cost-effective digital tactics you should have in place.

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Google My Business

Google is one of the most-visited sites in the world and everybody with a device uses it multiple times a day to help inform their purchasing decisions. Did you know it also has tools available to help your business grow?

Google My Business is a platform that presents your business on the right side of the search results page and includes photos of your business, reviews, listings, and, best of all, a space to create social posts!

Using Google My Business will allow you to put your best foot forward the moment prospects start searching for your business, impressing both current and prospective customers alike.

 

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Listing/Directory Services

Crafting an attractive website for your business takes plenty of time and effort, but that attractive website isn’t helpful if people don’t know where or how to find it.

Search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo! draw their listings data from different directory services all over the internet. While many of these services provide accurate information, it is important for business owners to set up accounts on as many of these sites as possible so they can ensure the accuracy of their phone numbers, addresses, and website URLs.

 

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Review Management

Reviews are the lifeblood of a business. The very first thing customers do when someone recommends a company is to check out the general consensus of their online reviews and, most importantly, how the company responds to the comments.

Taking the time to respond to your reviews in a polite and friendly manner can show how much you value your customers and that you are also gracious and willing to fix mistakes if you receive negative feedback. It may take 30 minutes out of your day to do, but the positive effect it can have on your online reputation can’t be replicated anywhere else.

If you’re looking for proven ways to stay in your customers’ minds and consistently promote your business, give the staff at RSVP – Upscale Offers for Life & Home a call today at (888) 958-7787 or visit us online to see our customizable solutions.

The Buyer’s Journey: How Your Customers Really Find You

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How Your Customers Really Find You

Marketing today can require a comprehensive strategy that includes both online and traditional direct methods to maximize your chance of qualified prospects finding and choosing your business. In today’s digital world, what is the best way for you to stand-out during each part of the buyer’s decision-making process?

 

Awareness

It all starts with awareness. While methods like radio, newspapers and direct mail are primary sources for stimulating customer interest, they also search online using keywords and/or look at Google listings as part of their initial research.

 

Findability

Findability

The customer is searching, using Google, apps, directories, voice search and more. How easy is it for them to find you? It’s essential for you to know the findability of your own business and identify any inaccurate or missing online listings, which can easily improve your ranking on search engines.

 

Reputation

The customer has found you! Your website is well-designed, simple to navigate, and contains great information on your products and services. Do you have great reviews? A business’ online reputation directly influences whether someone decides to do business with you or not. In fact, 84% trust online reviews as much as word-of-mouth from their friends.

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Conversion

All the pieces are now in place for the customer to choose you. Will they? Conversion refers to the percentage of potential customers who take a specific action, such as calling you or booking an appointment online. Some tools to increase conversion are a website featuring a clear call-to-action, a web form, an online calendar, or the ability to purchase your products via an app. Don’t be one of the 22% of businesses who aren’t satisfied with their conversion rate, when you can use one or all of these tools to make it easy for a customer to connect with you.

 

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Advocacy

The experience your customer had with you and your product or service should result in advocacy. They should want to continue doing business with you. People often share their thoughts through social posts, online reviews, or blogs. This is the best press you could ask for when it comes to promoting your business, so it’s important to know what’s being shared and harness its power effectively.

If you’re looking for proven ways to stay in your customers’ minds and consistently promote your business, give the staff at RSVP – Upscale Offers for Life & Home a call today at (888) 958-7787 or visit us online to see our customizable solutions.

Can Combining Mailers with Digital Marketing Create Greater Success?

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Marketing has been transformed by social media over the last few years and many businesses are now making digital solutions a large part of their strategy. However, digital solutions can only go so far with your potential clients. Thankfully, some traditional marketing tools, like direct mail, can still provide massive exposure.

Here are just a few ways why combining traditional marketing options with your digital strategy can make it more successful.

Print is Better for the Brain

Just because our eyes spend hours looking at a screen every day doesn’t mean it’s the ideal form of communication. Studies show that people require 21% less brainpower to read a page of print than a page of online text and can recall the name of the business 75% better when printed.

When crafting your marketing strategy and combining direct mail and digital marketing, the digital strategy can give you quantity and greater reach, but print offers quality and staying power.

You Have Your Reader’s Full Attention

The problem with digital advertising is that while you are able to reach a wide selection of potential clients with one message, you are only one message in a full inbox. Unless you have an eye-catching subject line, the odds are high that you can get lost in the system.

With real mail advertising, you’ll instantly stand out in the eyes of the recipient in a much smaller pool of daily mail. The best part? You’ll also pop back into your recipient’s minds every time they see your flyer on their coffee table or fridge, giving your marketing strategy greater longevity.

Greater Opportunity for Creativity

Whether it’s the physical presence of the ad or the way we carry it around with us, there’s something tactile about a direct mail flyer that no amount of paid online ads or SMS deals can ever compete with.

One of the best ways you can take advantage of this is to change the gloss or texture of your flyer and customize it to stand out against the rest of the envelopes in a person’s mailbox. You can even include valuable gift cards in your marketing to further entice and attract your clients!

Marketing today requires a complex strategy to merge the real and digital worlds and keep your clients hooked. If you’re looking for proven ways to stay in your clients’ minds and consistently promote your business, give the staff at RSVP Upscale Offers a call today at 888-958-7787 or visit us online to see our wide selection of direct mail marketing options.

Print Advertising: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

In print advertising, artwork is the initial impression that consumers have of your business or product. It’s the first step in gaining the attention of the buyer you are trying to sell to. That visual typically is the difference between if the person decides to pay attention to the pieces of your advertising- the verbiage, the product or service itself, and the offer, or moves along to what captures their attention next.

Almost every day I have conversations with business owners and decision makers who ask about how their artwork should look. It’s an important question and comes up so often because many people just aren’t sure how to go about it. Most people (including me) know what they like when they see it but don’t know how to express that verbally or artistically. That’s ok though, and the reason why my company employs very talented and artistic designers. I trust them implicitly because they’ve proven their professionalism with our clients consistently through the years. And they’re not just artists, they know what works and what consumers like.

With that being said, I have learned from many years of experience the difference between good and bad artwork:

 

Good

– Simple clear message

– Holds interest

– Stong call to action

 

Bad

– Requires the reader to work hard

– Missing attention-getting elements

– Can’t tell what you are really trying to offer

 

Ugly

– Full of clutter

– Low-quality images

– Overuse of color and fonts

(Graphic Designers nightmare)

 

Avoid the temptation to include every product or service line you offer in your ad. Don’t make the prospect have to think about or evaluate everything and the kitchen sink you threw in there. They don’t want to think and they’ll ultimately move past your ad and forget all about you. Tell your prospect we are Acme Company, we make your life better, and do it for 40% off. That’s it.

If you’re worried about leaving out something you think might be important then include your website address. If the prospect wants or needs more information they will gladly take the time to visit your website and learn more about everything you do and why it’s important to them. Your website is your encyclopedia, your print advertisement is not.

 

Contributed by Jeff Vice

Believe in Your Sell!

All throughout college I knew that I would want to be in sales, but a big question kept popping up: What do I want to sell?

I learned about sales through both my coursework and personal experiences as well, which led me to believe that sales can be easy. People are actually selling every day – even those who aren’t working in a typical “sales” position. Remember the time you went to a restaurant & couldn’t make a decision on what to order? Maybe you asked the server for a recommendation, and she gushed about a particular dish they serve, or insisted you try the chef’s special. That’s selling! They are persuading you to purchase a specific dish – and you will most likely try what she recommends because it’s clear that she believes that item is the best on the menu.

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“Aren’t you glad you listened to me? Of course you are. I’m awesome.”

Imagine, on the other hand, your server shrugs & says, “Well, I guess the chef’s special is pretty good,” or gives some other lukewarm non-answer devoid of excitement or fervor. You probably wouldn’t be as inclined to trust her recommendation. She doesn’t seem to think that dish is good – does she like anything the restaurant serves? Maybe you should have gone somewhere else for dinner…

I knew that I didn’t want to be like the 2nd server, who seems unsure of the menu & doesn’t appear to believe in what she is selling. I knew that I wouldn’t be happy in sales unless I could sell something I believe in – something that gets me excited to sell. Studies constantly show that happy employees are more productive employees, and productivity is everything in sales, so this requirement seemed obvious and essential. It would be the best way for me to be productive & happy while successfully serving my clients. Not to mention, confidence is a strong indicator of whether or not someone succeed in sales, and I knew I couldn’t be confident were I to settle for selling something I didn’t believe in. I couldn’t even fathom the idea morally. I wouldn’t want to sell a product or service to clients that I wouldn’t feel comfortable buying myself – they won’t be happy because I’ve ultimately wasted their time and money, not to mention betrayed the trust they placed in me. At the end of the day, I want to feel good about myself and my work.

Although I had no intentions of selling advertising, I am very fortunate to have found RSVP. Even though I am new and still learning new things, I can honestly say that RSVP gets me excited to sell, and I enjoy telling people about our company and what we do to help small businesses. I admittedly even get a little frustrated when a prospect doesn’t want to listen or learn about what RSVP can offer  – but that is just because I know that I can provide him or her with a vehicle to increase revenue and generate solid, qualified business for their company. I sincerely want to help these business owners, and I am certain that the best way for me to do so is through helping them advertise with RSVP. I am confident in our service and excited to continue my journey here – always learning & growing – and I want to pass this excitement on to prospects (and eventually, clients) as I invite them to join RSVP’s publications & take their businesses to the next level!


Contributed by Travis Haren.
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Say What? Part 1

This is a three part series from a designer’s point of view as it relates to artwork questions, processes and overall curiosities. 

They say, “A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words” but is that picture really worth a $3,000 fine?

One of the most common questions I hear in the design world is “Can you use this image I found on Google?” The answer is no. Just because an image is on the internet, it doesn’t mean the image is free to use. You still need the correct license to use it. There is a difference between an stockpicimage being online and an image being public domain.
Copyright infringement can result in lawsuits and costly legal fees.

 New technology now enables copyright owners to easily identify unlicensed imagery and act to protect their rights. One of the safest and best options is to purchase stock photos where you can find a wide variety of photos for your specific needs.

Stock images break down into two types, royalty-free and rights-managed. Royalty-free images, you get nearly unlimited use. Rights-managed images, your right to use the image is typically restricted, with limitations placed on things such as duration of use, geographic region, industry, etc., as established by your license agreement.

Keep an eye out for the next two most common questions in the coming weeks!

Caitlin

More is not better, but too little is worse!

A Lesson from Goldilocks and the Three Bears…

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As I have talked to business owners over the last 14 years who have adopted a do-it-yourself mentality to marketing their business, I have often heard, “My mailing campaign didn’t work!”  What I often find from them is that they have done their own mailing campaign of 100 or 200 mailers of some type, to a list of prospective homeowners that they’ve narrowly targeted, based on the direction of a friend, family member, or “marketing expert” at their networking group.  They’re surprised that they get no response, or one or two lukewarm prospects.

The reality is that zero, one or two responses from a mailing of say 200 homeowners, is not actually bad at all, it’s just not enough.  How does that make any sense?  In fact it’s quite excellent for a cold campaign at 1% response rate.  The problem is expectations.  One or two lead calls for a home improvement company is not enough to keep a sales staff gainfully employed, and cash flow healthy.  10 or 20 leads would be more like it – right?  50 qualified leads even better!

Most direct response fails I believe, because business owners find the least expensive Cost per Thousand Impressions (CPM) advertising vehicles and blast their message out to mailboxes attached to dwellings of all types.  The result is lots of “activity” and a disproportionately low level of sales for the activity expended.

Worse yet, with all the sophisticated demographic, psychographic, and geographic targeting techniques – some businesses take the extreme opposite approach by disqualifying too many good prospects and focusing too narrowly on a list that has no chance of being successful, based on too many assumptions.

Well what if there was a way to target your entire population of qualified and select prospective homeowners (The Mass Affluent) and received full service marketing consulting and design based on years of experience and proven track record… and laser-focus that message into the home for one-tenth the cost of a postage stamp?

What I have found is that if we mail 1000 times the circulation of the earlier example, at one-tenth the cost, but mail that to the Mass Affluent Homeowners, we get the desired result our business owners are looking for.  They get qualified leads, enough to be impressed, that close at a high percentage, and have a strong ticket average.  The result is a strong Return on Investment (ROI) for the advertiser, with laser-focused effort, and a fraction of the sales staff!

More is not better, but too little is worse!

 

Contributed by Anthony R. Sucato,

Retired Engineer

President RSVP Publications of Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio

“Direct Marketing to the Affluent”

Tony

Thoughts from a graphic designer….

WhatTheFont

 

What is a font?

A font is the collection of characters.

 

What is a typeface?

The design for a set of characters.

 

A typeface is not font. A font is not a typeface.

 

Confused yet?

 

The term font is often used as a synonym for typefaces, which is not technically correct. For most people who are not in the design world, they only think of about fonts when choosing one in Microsoft Word. The two terms frequently cause some confusion to those unfamiliar with the difference.

 

Typeface = a type family’s design

Think of a typeface as a set of characters of the same design. A typeface is the ‘design’ of the design of the alphabet, the shape of the letters that make up the typestyle. Typefaces describe the overall look of the characters.

 

Font = one member of a type family

A font, on the other hand, is traditionally defined as a complete character set within a typeface, often of a particular size and style. Fonts are also specific computer files that contain all the characters and glyphs within a typeface.

 

A typeface is like a jukebox while font is the tunes inside.

 

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Contributed by Caitlin Tuohy.
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Goal Setting for Home, Life & Work

What impact can goal setting have on your business and your life this year?

A year ago we tasked our staff with not only setting business goals but also share something at our first staff meeting of the year that they’re shooting for in their personal life.  We followed the SMART formula:  SMARTgoals

The goals were varied – some focused on weight loss, financial success, household projects, getting your first place, and even making and honoring time commitments with family. The experience of sharing weekly updates on progress has been eye-opening.  To speak that goal out loud each week and be accountable to taking one step closer to that goal led many to accomplishing their mission.

For 2014 we introduced our “personal best boards.”  It’s a simple two-sided acrylic picture frame.  On the front are our business benchmarks and stretch goals.  On the back is visual representation of our individual goals – usually a collage of related or motivational pictures.

I’m so proud on the progress of our team!!! Just four months into the year many have accomplished their first goal and had to create a new goal for 2014.  We have a fitter, happier success focused staff.  They encourage and praise one another, and even look for opportunities to help them accomplish their personal goals.

“If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy and inspires your hopes.” –Andrew Carnegie

Experts will tell you to speak your goal out loud like a mantra.  Visualize yourself completing your goal and how you will feel.  Walking a mile begins with putting 1 foot in front of the other…

Reaching the goal is a combination of small but important steps.  Be honest with yourself.  Are your goals written down? Are they just dreams or do they have deadlines? What actions are you taking today to make this your best year yet?

Contributed by Heather Craaybeek.

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What Can We Learn About Advertising From March Madness?

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This time of year much of the programming on television is dedicated to March Madness.  For about six weeks in March and April the content of hundreds of college basketball games fill the schedules of multiple networks.

If you are watching many of these games surely you noticed there are a ton of advertisements.  In a college game there are a minimum of eight television timeouts, in addition to the five timeouts each team has available to them in every game.  Because of all these timeouts it’s no doubt that you could easily name more than five brands that are continuously being promoted during all these breaks.  Obviously there is a lot of value to putting those brands in March Madness to make sure you recognize them.

March Madness is an event.  That event is what brings the viewers, which brings the advertisers.  It’s the event that makes it extraordinarily easy for the advertisers to get the most viewers in the smallest amount of time and space.

Unlike a handful of advertisers, the vast majority of businesses can’t afford the prices charged for advertising during an event such as March Madness.  If your business can’t afford those prices, does that mean you are out of luck, or should you create your own “event” instead?

Actually, neither.

Fortunately, your business can benefit from built-in “events” throughout the year that don’t have outrageous advertising rates attached to them.  One such “event” has to do with the change of seasons throughout the year.

Take advantage of the change of the seasons.  Consumers almost instinctively adjust their buying habits on a seasonal basis.  Consumers are active during seasonal changes and you can make money from this by asking for their business at these specific times.  One of the biggest benefits of the change of seasons “event” is that you don’t have to pay a premium to participate.  There’s no extra fee or producer of the event to charge outrageous advertising fees.  Get active promotionally during these times and adjust your offerings according to the seasons.  Even if you don’t have a seasonal product or service, it doesn’t matter.  You can always adjust pricing or add-ons in order to make your offerings more attractive and valuable to consumers when they might not have otherwise been thinking of you.

Keep this in mind though, if you don’t get proactive about marketing your products and services at key times of the year, someone else will.  Who do you think would earn that business?

Contributed by Jeff Vice.