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Monday, September 16, 2013

What are you really selling?


Behind the scenes of your business, you make products or deliver services. But on the front lines, where interactions with customers occur, you have to deliver more than that in order to have a dynamically growing company. You must deliver a promise and hope.

The promise revolves around the benefits your actual products and services deliver. The hope is what can set your business apart from all the other companies that promise to deliver the same things you do.

People want to believe in your company and what you can deliver, but many have become jaded due to the culture of over-promising and under-delivering that is all too common in the marketplace. To get past this wall of skepticism, you have to deliver more.

Companies like Coca-Cola, Apple, Starbucks, and Disney World took off when they figured out they were selling much more than a soft drink, computer, coffee, and theme park rides. These businesses understood that in order to stand apart from their competitors, they had to tell their brand stories in a way that resonates with customers.

Coca-Cola sells refreshment, happiness, and harmony. Apple sells a delightful user experience to consumers in a hip, cool way. Starbucks sells the "third place experience" -- a place to get away outside our home and business. Disney World sells memories that last a lifetime.

The common theme among the great brands of the world is that they have found a way to transcend beyond their products by asking this simple, yet powerful five-word question:

What are we really selling?

People aren't really interested in what you sell, but they may be very interested in the benefits you can deliver. These benefits in turn must be told in a way that attracts and connects with your target audience.

How You Can Apply This in Your Business?

You're probably thinking to yourself that this may do wonders for big brands, but how does it apply to my small business?
  • Take a step back from the day-to-day operations of the business, and think about what you're really selling. Railroad companies thought they were in the rail business, when they were really in the transportation business. Think about the larger implications around the results you deliver to your customers.


  • Next think about this question: What do my customers really want from our products and services? Ask your best customers why they really do business with you. Look for common themes in the answers.


  • The final step is to take the concepts you've arrived at and focus on what would move your best prospects to buy what you sell. Put yourself in their shoes. Ask some friends and associates if your idea would move them to act. Then test your ideas by presenting them in your ad copy in print, on the web, and in all your other marketing channels. Test until you find the winners. The sales result will show which one is the winner.
Take these five words: "What are we really selling?" Print them out and put them in a prominent place you can see every day. Your answer to the question will form the core around which your business and your marketing should revolve. Answer this five-word question in a way that exceeds the experiences your target market is seeking, and you'll see your business grow like magic.

Once you know what you're selling, you can confidently implement an awesome marketing plan. Direct mail postcards, print and email newsletters, signage, and social media posts are just a few ways you can communicate to your prospects.

Write us a note or give us a call at 847.882.4020 for a little extra help to boost your sales. We've got more tricks up our sleeves, so subscribe to our blog and sign up for Plum Grove's newsletters for even more (free) goodies.

Until next time,

Peter "The Printer" Lineal
Founder/CEO
Plum Grove
2160 Stonington Avenue
Hoffman Estates, IL 60169
Ph: 847.882.4020 Ext: 133
www.PlumGrovePrinters.com
www.MailMadeSimple.com
www.PlumGroveAdSpecialties.com

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Printing, Marketing & Promotional Products with Powerful Execution.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Boost Your Advertising With Postcards


You probably get at least a few postcards in your mail every day. Have you noticed that you always look at the address side first and if the message is of interest, you will flip them over, too? Postcards put the message in your hands with the immediacy of the mail -- and no envelope to get in the way of the call-to-action offer.

Postcards are experiencing a revival as business owners and marketers are rediscovering the powerful impact postcards can deliver. What's so great about postcards? Postcards have several advantages over many other marketing channels.
  • Postcards are less expensive to print.

  • They don't require envelopes or other inserts.

  • Postcards provide an instant visual connection with the recipient.

  • The limited space for copy and graphics forces you to get to the point quickly.

  • Recipients don't set them aside to read later, leading to instant reaction.

  • Postcards are great for personalization (with variable data printing - VDP).

  • Postcards work very well in driving website traffic.

  • Postcards are fantastic to use in a series sent over time to educate, engage, and drive sales.

  • Graphics and copy are easier to create.

  • Postcards work well for both short-run and larger-volume orders.

  • Postcards make great appointment reminders, thank you notes, and follow-up cards.
Of course, postcards do have some limitations. They're obviously not great for any type of promotion or campaign that needs lots of space for copy due to the size limitation. It's also not easy to generate direct sales with a postcard campaign. However, postcards are fantastic for creating awareness and generating sales leads. In fact, it's hard to beat postcards for economical lead generation campaigns.

Postcard Creativity
Postcards can be created in traditional sizes, as well larger sizes. Postage doesn't change with size so if you sell a visually attractive product then print on a bigger card. That big "billboard" style card -- 6 inches by 11 inches -- that is about the largest size you can mail and still pay the same for addressing and postage.

Using Postcards
Direct mail is only one way to use this powerful advertising tool. All you need is your targeted mailing list. You can also include postcards as part of a media or brand identity kit; as a promotional handout at trade shows and networking events; and as part of a sales letter insert.

Marketing Takeaway
The humble postcard is a powerful counter-measure to digital marketing. As more people are turned off by spam emails and other digital waste, they're paying more attention to postcards. Postcards have a higher read-rate than many other advertising media because they are easier to digest quickly.

Postcards may have a place in your direct mail campaigns. If you use eye-catching, powerful design in addition to strong, to-the-point copy, combined with a call to action, there's a great chance your target audience will respond the way you'd like when you use postcard marketing.

For more info on how we can help increase your sales through postcard printing and direct mail marketing, just click here or give us a call at 847.882.4020.

Make it a great day,

Peter "The Printer" Lineal
Founder/CEO
Plum Grove
2160 Stonington Avenue
Hoffman Estates, IL 60169
Ph: 847.882.4020 Ext: 133
www.PlumGrovePrinters.com
www.MailMadeSimple.com
www.PlumGroveAdSpecialties.com

Like Plum Grove Printers Facebook PageFollow Plum Grove Printers TwitterConnect with Plum Grove Printers LinkedInConnect with Plum Grove Printers Google+
Printing, Marketing & Promotional Products with Powerful Execution.