Billboards, if you haven’t tried one, are expensive ($3,000-10,000 per month) and created by some of the biggest ad agencies on the planet. This means that hundreds of thousands of dollars are poured into them (just like Super Bowl commercials) to make them effective. As a small business marketer, these are giant marketing lessons just begging to be seen and we need to pay attention!

    There are of course vast differences between billboards and postcard marketing: with postcards, you typically aren’t reading them while driving a car, so there’s no risk of crashing. And unlike billboards, you can get away with some fine-print because people can stop wherever they are to take a second glance. But, because postcards are so flexible, people often get lazy and crowd them with too much text and glaring images.

    Because billboards are forced to be big, visible, bold, and immediately understandable, there’s a lot that we can learn to improve our direct mail marketing!

    Here are 6 things that billboard ads can teach us for postcard marketing:

    1. Less text is more. The rule of thumb for billboard advertisers is 7 words or less. Seem crazy? It’s quite a challenge, and as writers often say, “If I had more time, I would have written a shorter ad,” because it takes a lot of thought and effort to boil everything that people need to know about your company into a single sentence. Try it out and you’ll find that what’s left with is all that really matters.
    2. Use readable fonts. Direct mail marketers often see the dropdown menu for alternative fonts and they presume that they should customize theirs. Don’t. Billboard advertisers stick to Arial, Calibri, Verdana, Tahoma, and Helvetica because they’re simple and can be seen from afar, especially when bolded.
    3. Simple designs are elegant. What do 95% of billboards consist of? A flat background, text, and a small logo. That’s it. And rather than looking drab and empty, in this age of digital information overabundance, it gives them a clean and elegant aesthetic. Just think about Apple’s marketing, with white text on a gray background. Or look at any of these billboards for inspiration. Without the clutter, your message hits home harder.

    example1

     

     

     

     

    1. Repetition is the key to recognition. What do all of Chik Fil-A’s billboards have? Cows. Allstate’s? A guy named Mayhem. McDonalds’? A bright red background. What are they doing? Sticking to the theme! We remember things far better when we’re exposed to them over and over and you should adopt this in your postcard marketing. Find an image or a color that works well and use it repeatedly to drive home your message over multiple postcard sends!
    2. Consider 3-D effects. Some of the most attention-grabbing billboards mess with our sense of reality by incorporating 3-D effects. Can you use these in postcard marketing? Absolutely. One customer of ours who handles pet grooming has her postcards shipped to her and she cuts out a doggie bite from each one. Another one who does shipping puts an extreme-angle image of an eighteen-wheeler that looks like it’s jumping out of the postcard at you. What can you come up with?
    3. Use visual analogies. A picture is truly worth a thousand words and good billboards drive home their message at a single glance. Come up with some creative visual analogies for your business like “rock-solid insurance coverage” or “landscaping will have you in heaven.”

     

    example2

     

    Put it all together and you have some killer tactics for tightening up your postcard marketing. If you can use less text, readable fonts, elegant designs, repeated images, 3-D effects, or visual analogies you’ll drastically increase your response rate and turn that marketing campaign into paying customers.

    So what are you waiting for? Try out one of the visual analogies above by selecting stock photos in our web-to-print platform! If you’re drawing a blank and need inspiration, give one our customer marketing experts a call at 1 (877) 222-6010!

    Need a billboard-sized campaign?

    Opportunity Knocks is a sister company of ProspectsPLUS who can turn your ideas into full-fledged multi-stage marketing campaigns that dominate your market and set you up with serious recurring revenue. Give them a call to see what they can do for you right now at 1 (866) 319-7109!

      There’s never been a better time to buy!

      Get yours now before the sale is over!

      Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!

      Heard it all before? Of course you have. Businesses everywhere are using phrases like these because they’re trying to create what’s known as a compelling event. Put simply, a compelling event is a business pressure or influence that forces an action. It’s something in the moment that makes you think that now is the time to buy, and it’s effective because given the option to think things over, people usually pass. You have to compel them to take action right then and there.

      We’d like to arm you with all of the compelling events in the world but for the sake of brevity, today we’ll share our top 5 favorites.

      Here are 5 compelling events that you can use to drive sales:

      1. Limited time offer: This invokes the scarcity principle in psychology which is a primary motivator of human behavior – if we think we might lose something, we jump on it! By coming up with just such an offer, whether that’s an add-on product, a buy-one-get-one-free, or something new that you’ve cooked up, you’ll compel people to buy now rather than later. A great example of creating scarcity in this fashion was McDonald’s McRib® which was sold on limited time offer and whipped demand up into such a feverish pitch that inspired a rabid following worthy of an entire Simpson’s episode.
      1. Expiring sale: The first rule of having a sale is give it an end date. If it doesn’t expire, what’s stopping people from buying next month? Next week? Next year? Assign a deadline however and you’ll find people flocking to take advantage of it.
      1. Inconsistent Supply: In talking to your potential customer, educate them on how if they don’t purchase right now you can’t guarantee that you’ll be able to locate new stock, get it to them on time, or may be so busy that if they don’t book you now they’ll have to wait a full month! This compels them to act for fear that they won’t get what they want on their terms. Of course, be careful about speaking in finalities and instead of saying “definitely” use “may not” or “might not” so that you leave the door open in case the compelling event does not work.
      1. Fear, uncertainty, or doubt: This is a classic in insurance sales and plays off of our relatively poor understanding of probability. We humans are much more motivated by things we can actually visualize, which is why shark attacks are higher on people’s list of fears than car accidents. It’s the emotional connection that matters. And so it is in sales that you can play upon people’s fears (while being ethical) of things like natural disasters, robbery, and car wrecks.

      To use this, ask your customers about the worst-case scenario if they don’t buy whatever it is you’re selling. If you sell tires or roof repair, talk about the rain storms that are coming. If you sell telecommunications gear, talk about what will happen if their point of sale (POS) system goes down. If you sell pool cleaning, talk about mosquito dangers. If you sell insurance, well, just about everything is fair game!

      1. ‘My boss would kill me’: This is a unique twist on the “limited time offer” event where you play up rapport with your client to then offer them a discount that you assure them you wouldn’t normally be allowed to offer. It need not be entirely true, but it often convinces clients that the offer is certainly one-time-only and worth taking advantage of.

      How do I know when to use which one?

      Experiment to find out. Compelling events are much more of an art than a science and it depends on your customer. If you have the opportunity and chat with them to do a little qualification, you’ll find that you can match up compelling events with their actual needs for the ultimate persuasive sell.

      Well, what are you waiting for? Your offer shouldn’t wait any longer than your customers should! Log in and create a postcard campaign that uses a compelling event today and unleash a flood of highly-compelled buyers!

      Let us ask you, could you use a little advice?

      Nobody should have to market alone, that’s why Opportunity Knocks specializes in custom marketing campaigns that drive astounding results. Call them at 1 (866) 319-7109 today and get yours running!

        Have you ever heard the story about that lonely businessman who accepted a drink at the bar from a pretty woman and then woke up in a bathtub full of ice and his kidney missing? Or what about the kids who found razor blades in their Halloween candy?

        We’ve all been exposed to these stories in some form or another. They’re also entirely made up! There is no truth behind these urban myths, they’re 100% fictional, and yet they are seared into our minds and are utterly unforgettable. That’s how your marketing should be: impossible to forget.

        Today we’re taking some tips from a few of the masters, Chip and Dan Heath. These brothers wrote a book called Made to Stick in which they deconstruct the most viral stories of our age to come up with a simple formula that you can use to write offers that are dangerously compelling.

        Here’s the acronym that they share to help us remember their advice: SUCCES (pretty much success), short for Simple, Unexpected, Concrete, Credentialed, Stories.

        Here are the elements of a dangerously compelling marketing offer:

        1. Simple: Why are simple stories more memorable? Because our brains are lazy and they take less work! Try to make your headlines no more than 7 words long, and make your sales pitches fit within 140 characters (the length of a Twitter post).
        1. Unexpected: Why is this one important? Because our brains are wired to remember things that surprise us. We develop habits and routines and pretty much run on autopilot for most of our day but when something unexpected jolts us out of our trance, it sticks with us. Our brain wants to be able to see it coming the next time. You can use this to your advantage by saying unexpected or controversial things in your marketing that force people to double-take and become intrigued. Using superlatives like “always, never, worst, best” helps, as do emotional words like “ruinous, explosive, and shocking.” One of the most successful email subject lines of all time was “*Don’t open this email!*” by a company called Manicube which is about the last thing you’d expect to get in your inbox, and it compelled a lot of people to open it.
        1. Concrete: A key to any good writing is to write in concrete terms that allow your readers to visualize things. Instead of passive voice that talks in the third-person and uses wishy-washy phrases like “perhaps, would, could, maybe” use concrete terminology like “solid, definitely, guaranteed, fixed.” This is especially helpful when describing your product’s impact, and instead of being vague and saying, “we provide solutions,” be concrete and say “we’ll scour your storm drains.”
        1. Credentialed: This is the principle of social proof that we talk about so much. Your readers are wondering why they should trust you, and you should give them real reasons: do you have expert credentials? Certifications? Been in the business for 20 years? Rated by BBB? Listed on TripAdvisor? Make it known who you are and why you should be trusted!
        1. Stories: We saved the best for last. People remember stories, which are fundamental to how we communicate. I’ll give you a brief example. Try to remember both of these:
        • (7 + 4 + 3) > 12
        • Numbers seven, four, and three ganged up and together, they were bigger than twelve.

        Look away from the screen for a few seconds. Which sticks more clearly in your mind? The second one of course! By imbuing even just a little bit of personification (numbers ganging up on each other) that story was far more memorable. The lesson? Turn everything into stories about how you helped customers and how it made them feel!

        Put all of these things together and what does it make our marketing? Dangerously memorable and compelling!

        For fun, here’s what we came up with going through this ourselves: 

        Jane’s desk phone exploded and was ringing off the hook. Why? She ran her first postcard campaign and it worked well – too well, in fact, and her landscaping business was swamped with new customers. Not a bad problem to have, huh? ProspectsPLUS knows better than anybody about bringing in new business, and we should after 20 years of being market leader. Call us at 1 (877) 222-6010 if you’d like to share Jane’s exploding phone problem!

        Here’s the breakdown: 

        Simple: Jane got new customers

        Unexpected: Exploding phones

        Concrete: New clients will call you

        Credentialed: 20 years in the business

        Stories: Jane sent some postcards and got incredible results

        Ready to run your own dangerously compelling offer? Get a postcard campaign out in 15 minutes!

        Want to make your marketing even more compelling? 

        Opportunity Knocks does more than send postcards – they plan entire campaigns including the graphics, stages, and strategy you need to bring in new business! Give them a call at 1 (866) 319-7109 and ask for some advice!

          The Jobsite Dominator Campaign

          What’s the likelihood that any given person buys from you? We’re talking about just your average person off of the street who you know nothing about. What are the odds that they see your marketing and pick up the phone or walk in and buy?

          For most businesses, it’s pretty low, hovering in the 1-2% range. This is because that any-old-person could simply not have the particular problem that your business solves, whether that’s an issue with landscaping, plumbing, construction, or dentistry. And as long as you’re advertising to all of them, you’ll have to accept pretty low numbers to catch the one or two who do.

          What if you could target just that 1-2% and save yourself a bunch of hassle? Wouldn’t the success rates of your marketing leap up dramatically? The answer is of course it would! And that’s precisely what the Jobsite Dominator Campaign does.

          The Jobsite Dominator Campaign Reaches Lookalike Customers

          Instead of blindly blasting your message out to the masses, the Jobsite Dominator campaign targets people or businesses around your current job sites. This does several things:

          • Ensures that the people that you’re targeting are in the same demographic, socioeconomic, or industry segments
          • Provides the ultimate form of social proof, because their neighbors already trust you
          • The jobsite becomes an exhibition for them to stop by and see your great work!

          All of this together makes it the ultimate targeted marketing campaign! And here’s how to run it.

          How to run a Jobsite Dominator campaign:

          To begin, you’ll need a photo, an idea of what you want to say, and if the site is something that others can view (such as a street-facing home improvement, yard work, window-cleaning, or construction project), the address. You’ll have the most success with an actual picture of the site (perhaps touched up with the free tool www.pixlr.com) but if that photo is grainy or not very appealing, use a stock photo.

          Here’s the 3 stages of the campaign:

          1. Door Hangers: Take a look at our guide to designing door hangers if you need a refresher, but you want to make sure that it’s short, sweet, and to the point. You should ensure that you explain why they’re receiving a door hanger (you completed a job nearby), why they should work with you (their neighbors trusted you and you exceeded their expectations), a call to action (book your appointment or free consultation today), and how they can get in touch with you (phone, email, and website). Once you have these in-hand, it’s time to deliver them. Ideally you’ll snag a group of volunteers who will work for pizza but you can also pay employees to do it or even use a service like TaskRabbit. If you want to be extremely organized about where you’re delivering them, use our guide to hyper-targeted marketing for some extra helpful tips. Once these are delivered, it’s on to the next phase!
          1. Every Door Direct Mail: If door hangers were the equivalent of sending in the ground troops, Every Door Direct Mail is like providing them air-cover. As door hangers are guaranteed to be read, you’ve already made one impression on everyone near your job site, and it’s time for the second one. With this service you can select specific neighborhoods and design a postcard that delivers the same message as before, from why your customers are so satisfied to how they can reach you. Send Every Door Direct Mail.
          1. Radius/Neighborhood Postcards: As you begin to land new customers, using small batch radius postcards where you mail to the closet confirmed homeowners around your jobs is the referral magnet. Amp up the campaign using personalization like, “Jim, we’re making 321 Main Street beautiful again!  Come see our masterpiece”.  The neighbors start looking, watching and most importantly, asking…asking who created that masterpiece.

          Research shows that you have to deliver a message or “touch” your prospective customers 3-7 times to land a sale. You’ll find that after this third touch, responses will start to flood in as people who might have ignored the first two messages may have finally driven past that beautifully manicured lawn or been impressed by the new tile roof to now take action. Because you already have your postcard design from the last time, it won’t take much work to tweak it and send it again!

          Put it all together and what do you have? The Jobsite Dominator Campaign. Have any questions about it? Give us a call at 1 (877) 222-6010 and our marketing experts can help advise.

          Need someone to put it all together for you?

          Some neighborhoods, businesses, and markets are tougher to crack than others. You may want to switch up the order, cadence, or types of materials you’re sending (jumbo postcards, for example) and if you’d like an expert to design it all for you, call Opportunity Knocks today at 1 (866) 319-7109.

            Marketing is showing your customers how you solve their problems

            Sometimes getting good at marketing means getting out of your own way. As expert of your own business, you’ve got more industry knowledge and acronyms than you could shake a stick at, but what does that mean to your customer? Next to nothing!

            Far better to flip things around and talk to them simply about what they’re interested in, which is their own problems. If you’re a landscaper, you should be talking about how you can save them from spending their Sundays mowing the lawn, or can keep those agapanthus alive. If you’re a handyman, you should be focused on fixing those mind-numbing leaks and creaks. For dentists, it’s all about their smile. You get the picture!

            We have a simple formula that you can follow for all of your advertising to make sure that you’re focused on speaking to the customer on their own terms, and it’s called Problem – Cause – Solution – Benefit (PCSB). When small businesses switch from talking about what they want to addressing what their customers want, they increase their marketing response rates dramatically increase.  2x, 4x, 8x.

            Present a solution to your customers’ problems in this order:

            1. Problem: What’s the issue that you solve for the customer? If we take the example of being a roofing contractor, your customers’ rooves have leaks, holes, aging shingles, gaps, or cracked tiles.
            1. Cause: Why are they having that problem? Mostly, its age or weather related. Perhaps a large storm came through and ripped sections of shingles off, or maybe hundreds of pounds of snow led to leakage, or perhaps it’s just grown old and hasn’t been maintained in twenty years. Or, just maybe, the customer doesn’t know if anything is even wrong and needs help finding out!
            1. Solution: What solution are you offering to the problem? You can inspect their roof, determine if there’s damage or danger, and then repair it either by restoring sections or pulling it all off and starting with a new roof.
            1. Benefit: This is how they’ll feel after they buy, and it’s the primary reason that they’re willing to give up money for it. Your customer will have ultimate peace of mind that they don’t have to worry that the next storm will damage their house, which is the biggest investment most people will ever own!

            What does this look like in a postcard when we put it all together?

            roof

             

             

             

             

             

             
             
             
             
             
             
             
             

            Here’s the breakdown:

            Problem: Roof damage

            Cause: July’s storms

            Solution: Jim will inspect and repair it

            Benefit: You have peace of mind!

            And there you have it! Problem-Cause-Solution-Benefit format allows you to logically align the benefits of your products or services with the problems that your customers face!

            What better way to put your knowledge into practice than to apply it right now? With our web-to-print platform (including all the stock photos you’ll need) you can get your postcard campaign out in 15 minutes!

            If you have any trouble with it, give us a ring at 1 (877) 222-6010!

            Wish you could hire someone to run marketing?

            Look no further, Opportunity Knocks is a full-service marketing agency powered by some of the best SMB marketers in the industry, and they cost only a fraction of what it would take to bring on a new employee. Give them a call at 1 (866) 319-7109 and see what they can do for you!

              Have you ever seen a piece of marketing that’s so bad that it makes you cringe? Maybe even makes you feel embarrassed for the business putting that out there? We certainly have!

              We also wonder, as I’m sure you do, at how that could have made it through the review process and seen the light of day. The simple answer is the same as for most challenges in SMB: lack of time. Owners don’t have the resources to send things around for editing or gather a group consensus – they need things done in real-time.

              If you’re among that group of busy business owners, we’ve got something to help out: a quick guide on cringe-worthy marketing that’s your rule of thumb on what not to say and how not to say it!

              The cringe-worthy guide to what not to say and how not to say it:

              1. Leading with the phrase “We’re a ___ company who’s been in the business for 20 years” 

              If any of your marketing materials begin with this phrase, cut it out! The number one rule for marketing is to remember that your customers are all asking themselves “what’s in it for me?” (WIIFM). Starting off this way is like launching into your life story with a stranger on the bus before they have any idea why they should care.

              Instead of talking about yourself, start off talking about them and what they want. Explain the benefits of your product. Will they feel relief, joy, satisfaction, or peace of mind? Say that! Otherwise, you’ve lost their attention before you’ve even begun.

              2. Typos, punctuation, and grammar

              Is it there or their? Your or you’re? Its or it’s? These questions kept us up at night in grade school and they’re back to haunt us in business! When you get it wrong, it can sometimes be pretty funny, but only to your customers. Nobody wants bad press like this!

              Rules of thumb: 

              There is for places, their belongs to someone.

              Your is for ownership, you’re is short for “you are”

              Its is for ownership, it’s is short for “it is”

              Creative Kids Software, Reebok, and Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign know the pain of this firsthand (Tis’ the season!)

               

              billboards

               

              3. Pictures that are grainy or out of focus 

              This one hits close to home for us. We see plenty of direct mail images come rolling through the presses that look like someone trying to capture a shot of Bigfoot and we consider it our duty to help out. Just because an image has the correct subject matter doesn’t mean that it sells well, and when you’re competing with folks out there using wonderfully designed stock photography, it’ll be hard to get noticed. If you’re sending postcards, you can access a library of stock photos through our web-to-print platform or touch-up your own with the free web tool Pixlr.

              4. Humor

              Humor is touchy because it’s usually at someone’s expense. In fact, it’s almost impossible to avoid offending at least one person and it’s usually best not to even try. Unless you’re Jerry Seinfeld who can get laughs without all of the expletives or toilet humor, you’re likely to end up like Bloomingdales who seemed to condone some pretty offensive party behavior. What might have been humorous to a few ad executives sure wasn’t funny in print, huh?

              5. Broken Hyperlinks

              What’s the point of all that work if the links you point people to are broken? Even companies as large as Heinz (of ketchup fame) sometimes overlook double-checking them before sending things out, as they learned last year when they placed a QR code on one of their ketchup bottle designs that forwarded visitors not to one of their landing pages but … an adult website. Oops. Check your links so that you’re not wasting your marketing dollars!

              It’s all fun and games until you’re the one they’re laughing at

              There we go, that’s our list and we’re sticking to it. Can you think of any more cringe-worthy marketing? Share this on social media and tell your story!

              Remember, it’s a short month, so get your postcard campaign out early!

              If you’re ready to up-level your marketing campaigns and you’d like an expert to look them over, Opportunity Knocks can help. They’re experts in driving new business and most importantly, know how to use spellcheck.

                Nothing beats HYPER-local

                Despite all of the talk recently about marketing locally on Google or Facebook, it doesn’t change the fact that consumers are still being bombarded with a purported 5,000+ marketing messages each day! Getting through takes more creativity than a few unique keywords and so instead of just going local, you should be doubling down and going HYPER-local: get out there in person!

                Marketing in the streets amongst your community members leverages an unbreakable local bond. Your families share the places that you live, work, and play and it gives you instant credibility and gets your foot in the door where you might otherwise have been ignored.

                And who better to show you how to market locally than the direct mail folks?

                Here are 5 supercharged hyper-local marketing techniques:

                1. Market in areas where for-sale signs are popping up. It’s time to do like the realtors do. The commonly held knowledge in their industry is that when one “for sale” sign pops up, others are bound to follow. It’s like everybody gets the big idea all at once, and while this is prime prospecting for realtors, it’s also fantastic for you. Homeowners preparing to sell are in need of help with just about everything: painting, landscaping, carpentry, plumbing, home decoration, and more.

                Target these neighborhoods with door hangers, flyers, and brochures. On the back-end of that phenomena, you’ll also have a flood of new homeowners moving in who need to get their head around the local services in their area, like dentistry, schools, sports teams, and lessons for the kids. They spend an average of $7,000 getting set up, so hook them with postcard offers early!

                2. Offer classes: A customer of ours sells spices. To promote his store, he started offering cooking classes. Why? Not because it’s a revenue stream, but because he found that by teaching people about how to cook with those spices and about their medicinal properties (did you know that cardamom clears headaches?), he creates well-educated buyers who buy more and buy more often. It’s the same reason that Home Depot offers classes on home building, and REI offers backpacking lessons.

                What lessons can you offer to educate your buyer?

                Pro-Tip: Charge something for your classes! People value classes more when they cost something, and if they sign up, they show up more often if they’ve already paid.

                3. Get out there and attend some events. What’s happening in your area? Head to the local papers or to Craigslist and come up with places the you can go and be seen, like farmer’s markets, local concerts, festivals, industry conventions, races, and minor league sports games. You’ll have to inquire as to whether those organizations want to regulate you having a booth (sometimes there’s an application and a fee) and if you can, try to provide services for the community like serving snacks or giving out free waters. If nothing else, arm a crew of volunteers in t-shirts to wander around and hand out swag or coupons!

                4. Laser-targeted postcard campaigns: With the incredible simplicity of big data at your fingertips, you can know everything about your neighbors without stepping away from your computer. Using Nielsen’s PRIZM technology, you can select an area as small as a single neighborhood and a profile of person who matches your target customer, and send them a postcard addressing them by first name that says something to the effect of, “Hey Laurie, have you seen how verdant and green the lawns are down on Riverside Drive? That’s our work, and at Jamie’s Hedges, we’re proud to be your local landscaper!” Click here to try it out.

                5. Cross-promote with other local businesses: It’s always a wonder to us that more small businesses aren’t working in cross-promotional networks. How often do people ask you for services that you don’t offer, or where they can find a coffee shop, printer, grocer, or hardware store? Find people to refer them to and have those business owners do the same, and print out flyers for each other’s services that you can pass them out when asked.

                6. Find local influencers: The marketing world is awash these days with talk about “influencer marketing” which is just a fancy word for having people advocate for you. You can get into it too, but much more simply by identifying your top advocates (often, your top buyers) and giving them free product in return for a little social media love. Just have them post pictures of themselves with it on Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest, and tag your business!

                Are you feeling more patriotic about your home-town already?

                What several of our proof-readers here pointed out is that this list isn’t only an effective marketing strategy, but it actually seems fun, and that’s exactly what we think marketing should be! So get out there, gear up your volunteers, and go on a handshake-tour of your local business community and start your hyper-local marketing strategy today!

                Want some HYPER-local advice from a trusted advisor?

                Give Opportunity Knocks a call today at 1-866-319-7109 because they’re full of more ideas, and they’re dying to talk to you. They’ll formulate your local marketing strategy and can put together a full-suite of white-glove marketing campaigns that are sure to bring a flood of neighbors a-knocking!

                  Wait, there’s only one week left in the month? Where did the time to run marketing campaigns go?

                  Probably, it was left languishing under a hefty stack of invoices, customer requests, and newspaper articles talking about the UK (or should we say England now?). We get it, we know exactly how busy you are, but that’s exactly why we’re reminding you to pull it out and brush it off because it’s never too late to catch up!

                  This is the end of the quarter and your last chance to end everything on a high note and set yourself up for a stress-free Q3!

                  Here are 3 extremely simple month end campaigns to finish strong:

                  1. Run a promotion around a social cause: There’s a reason that month-end promotions still exist, and that’s because they’re effective. They create urgency and take control of a calendar cycle that everyone has to abide by. This month however, make your offer more compelling by layering in a social cause. Offer to do a dollar-for-dollar donation match to a local charity for anything that customers buy before the deadline.

                  Done right, month-end promotions light a fire under the buyers who aren’t on any sort of a timeline, and would just as happily buy next month. And, this doubly motivates them. As a corporate responsibility study by CONE Communications found, 90% of customers would be willing to switch to a brand associated with a good cause, which means that you stand a good chance of nabbing business from your competitors as they wrap things up too.

                  Month-end promotions around a social cause both help the world and your cash flow!

                  Pro-Tip: Remember to make that deadline the last business day of the month, not the last day, although this July both are one and the same!

                  1. Simply say thanks: When’s the last time you took a moment to say thanks? We don’t do it often enough, and we’ll start this one off: thanks for being such a great customer of ours! You inspire us daily and make this job fun and interesting!

                  How’d that feel? We’re hoping pretty great, and you can pass the good vibes along to your own customers with a soft-touch campaign that simply says “thanks” and doesn’t have a direct ask. Before you balk, realize that there is still a cunning marketing strategy behind doing this, as it keeps you top of mind and builds a relationship and primes customers for future sales.

                  As the eminent psychologist Robert Cialdini discovered, simply giving without any expectation of a return is the best way to inadvertently get more back. More giving is more getting, and according to his Rule of Reciprocation, people tend to give back more than they get, often buying things in return for “freebies.” This is why grocery stores give out food samples, why companies at conferences give out swag, and why you should send a postcard simply to say “thanks” and build some goodwill!

                  1. Create an online contest (yeah, we’re guilty): Want to create some urgency among your customers? Nothing compels action like a ticking timer. Create an offer and broadcast it on a landing page with a big ticking clock that’s counting down to the end of the month, whereupon your offer expires. You can print out posters to advertise it in your shop, email your list, and send postcards with a tiny URL. Unfamiliar with tiny URL’s? Use Google’s tool to shrink them so they’re easier for prospects to type in on their phones!

                  Types of offers that work well:

                  – Drawings or sweepstakes in return for a gift card

                  – Limited time offer or discount on services

                  – Social media contest which promises gift cards in return for positive reviews

                  And there you have it! These 3 simple end-of-month campaigns that’ll help get your client base un-stuck and making a few purchases before the bell rings and the quarter is effectively over.

                  Need to bring out the big guns?

                  For those of you who need to play serious catch-up and need a full-fledged plan, Opportunity Knocks can help! Shoot them a call at 1-866-319-7109 and they’ll kick-start the flow of customers faster than you can say “marketing!”

                    Door to door results

                    If you had the time to walk the neighborhood, shake everyone’s hand, and pitch your business, would you do it? Probably, but in a world of finite time, we have the next best thing: door hangers. They’re unobtrusive, proven to be highly effective, and because people MUST walk through their door, they are guaranteed to be seen by 100% of the people.

                    If you’ve read our guide to designing the perfect door-hanger, you also know that they’re shockingly simple to create. But the question remains, how does one actually go about targeting them?

                    It’s a good question, and one that we’re here to answer today. As with so many things, the answer is “it depends.” It depends on your business, your customers, and what resources you have available to deliver them. Here’s our guide to targeting the right audiences for you:

                    Targeting for consumers

                    If you sell to consumers, you’ll typically want to target neighborhoods but, in some cases, it can make sense to target businesses. After all, is there truly a real-life distinction between business to business (B2B) commerce and business to consumer (B2C)? At the end of the day, it’s all just people (business to people; B2P perhaps?) and you can effectively market to them in both their professional and private roles. If you’re offering food delivery, expert landscaping, or handyman work, targeting businesses and office parks could be a great way to go because you’ll catch hungry and tired people leaving the office after a long day and in exactly the right mindset to pay someone to handle their errands or cooking for them.

                    Otherwise, you’ll want to go for the most receptive neighborhoods. If you have a targeted list of current customers, or data left over after your last postcard campaign, focus on the hot-spots, which are neighborhoods where customers already exist. Perhaps there’s a reason that people in that area gravitate towards your business, and you can use this criteria to select other compatible neighborhoods. If you offer pool supplies or landscaping, maybe it’s gated communities and neighborhoods with large enough houses to be a fit. If you’re a bakery advertising cakes, focus on suburbs and new developments were young families are likely to have lots of kids. If you’re a dental practice, play up your “local” presence and even use the name of that development in your door hanger ad. Find the neighborhoods with proven success, double-down on them, and then look for other similar neighborhoods.

                    Targeting for businesses

                    If you sell to other businesses, there are rare occasions when you might want to canvass neighborhoods. Again, it’s still just business to people. If you offer IT services, office supplies, security services, or business insurance, you can have great success giving people discount offers for their company that they can bring in and look good for having helped their boss save money.

                    Outside of these scenarios, you’ll want to select your businesses wisely. Make sure you’re delivering door hangers to people who can actually afford or actually need your services by sticking to specific zones:

                    • Main street: best for targeting boutique shops, retail businesses, coffee shops, convenience shops, hardware stores, and restaurants.
                    • Office parks: best for targeting software and technology companies, law firms, architects, construction companies, insurance companies, and larger corporate offices.
                    • Commercial zone: best for targeting transport companies, warehouse operators, outlet stores, and manufacturers.
                    • Co-working spaces: best for targeting small startups, satellite offices, and sole proprietors.

                    Put your targeted areas down on an interactive map:

                    You could circle regions on a paper map, if you prefer. But we recommend you use Google’s My Maps service, which is free and fairly hassle-free to create. You can name your own map, search addresses, drop pins, and draw lines to demarcate where you’d like to canvass. You can then share this map with other contributors who can access it on their smartphone. For android devices, they can download the app here and for iPhone devices, they’ll have to access it via Safari.

                    map_7_21
                     
                     

                    Delivering those door hangers

                    Now, where the rubber meets the road, who’s actually driving the car? Somebody will have to hand these things out! You’ll want to arm them with very clear instructions for which neighborhoods, businesses, or areas to cover, and here are some options for finding the person to do it:

                    • Volunteers. This is by far and wide the best option, as you can reward them with non-monetary benefits, depending on what your business offers, or you can take everyone out to dinner and a few drinks afterwards. It’s practically free, and can be a fun exercise for friends and family.
                    • Pay your employees to do it: There’s a chance that you have a few people you can spare, but it’ll cost you money as they’re on the clock during this. The upside is that they’ll probably do a great job.
                    • Outsource: Welcome to the gig economy! There are countless services where you can pay people for odd-jobs, and many of them are mobile phone apps, making it easy to manage. Try looking at TaskRabbit, Agent Anything, or if you’re in no rush, good old fashioned Craigslist.

                    And with that, your door hangers are on their way! And of course, as with any marketing, a multi-pronged approach is best. Order a postcard campaign to accompany your door-hangers, either preceding or following, with a clear call to action and how they can follow-up!

                    We’d love to hear how your campaign goes, and if you have any questions give us a call today at 1-800-877-6010 and chat with a local marketing expert!

                    Need help fitting this into the rest of your marketing?

                    Opportunity Knocks marketing helps connect you to your best customers, and they have access to data on who you should be marketing to. Shoot them a call at 1-866-319-7109 and put your plan in right away!

                      You wouldn’t go into battle like these guys would you?

                      soldiers

                       

                      Then why the heck would you engage in marketing without knowing all of the tools in your arsenal, or how they even work?

                      Today we’ll discuss the wide range of direct mail and print marketing options, where they’re each most effective, and of course, which way to point them!

                      To make everything easy on you, we broke them down into categories by what challenges you’re looking to solve. Just click below and see what’s available to you:

                      • I need to spread awareness!
                      • I need to get the word out about something 
                      • I need a more professional marketing appearance
                      • I need more leads, fast
                      • I need help with my marketing strategy

                      I need to spread awareness!

                      • Brochures: Trifold brochures pack tons of info into a neat package. These are particularly good where you have lots of facts to share, like open-houses, construction projects, financial products, and insurance policies.
                      • Door Hangers: Catch people in the morning while they’re fresh and receptive with door hangers! These work great for homes, and even better for businesses. Learn more about the art of door hanger marketing
                      • Every door direct mail: Tired of typing up street addresses? This is the “reply all” button of direct marketing. Simply select an entire neighborhood. Great for new business openings, changes of management, landscapers, dental practices, and realtors.
                      • Flyers: These are a great go-to for passing around the community and for arming your local advocates. They’re best for leaving in stacks at other business’ offices around your area.

                      I need to get the word out about something

                      • Announcement Cards: Great for new product launches. Really creative marketers can also announce old products as if they’re something new and noteworthy.
                      • Giftcards: Grab a stack of these in small denominations and use them as “thank you’s” for referrals or repeat business. Get your first $25 one free by simply referring a friend.
                      • Newsletters: Part of a trade association or have a loyal base of repeat customers? Use this to keep in touch and provide tips, advice, and foster a sense of community. Great for retail stores.

                      I need a more professional marketing appearance

                      • Branded marketing packages: Get a uniform, professional look on your stationary by bundling announcement and business cards together into this package.
                      • Business cards: They’re highly versatile and a no-brainer for any businessperson who doesn’t want to miss leads out of working hours.
                      • Kits: These are ideal for agents in real estate, insurance, and property management, and anyone selling large-ticket items who needs to make the best first impression possible.
                      • Luxury marketing brochures: this is your 100lb premium glossy stock with a sturdy feel, and perfect for higher-end flyers, newsletters, booklets, and calendars.
                      • Notecards: These single-fold cards are great for presenting names of guests, event attendees, as well as labeling tables and vendors.
                      • Personalized Presentation Folders: Are you making a proposal? Asking for funding? Look the part with personalized folders that match the rest of your marketing materials.
                      • Return Address Labels: Beyond the obvious time-saving benefits, these make your mailings stand apart from everything else your clients get in the mail.
                      • Stationary: Give your memos and notes some authority and punch with formal letterhead!

                      I need more leads, fast

                      • Mailing Lists: Not sure who to send mail to? No problem. ProspectsPLUS! lets you borrow mailing lists, and we can help you target them.
                      • MapMyMail: This is great for the local business that wants to hit a neighborhood or geographic area – select your mailing recipients by drawing a circle on a Google Map.
                      • Market Dominator: This is the “big guns,” and it’s ideal for realtors. Tell us where you need customers, and this will help you get a 20% market share in your area!
                      • Postcards: This is the backbone of any direct mail marketing system, and it’s ideal for generating leads in any industry.

                      I need help with my marketing strategy

                      Opportunity Knocks Marketing: Is the array of options dizzying? Talk to an expert! Opportunity Knocks can tell you which ones will work best for your business! Learn more or give them a call at 1-866-319-7109

                      And with that, we conclude our tour of the armory. You can go browse everything that PropsectsPLUS offers for yourself!