Creating Marketing Copy That Gets Read

In Confessions of an Advertising Man, David Ogilvy, founder of the highly regarded advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather, wrote, “Ninety-nine percent of all advertising doesn’t sell a thing.” You don’t want your products to be in that 99%. How do you make sure you are in the coveted one percent?

You might say “personalization and relevance,” and it’s true. Personalization stops you, and relevance gets you reading further. But even the most personalized, relevant message won’t amount to much if it isn’t paired with good marketing copy.  If the copy is not compelling, if it’s bland and uninformative, even the best personalization cannot carry the load. Your need good, solid marketing copy that is interesting, engaging, and compelling.

To make the most of your marketing efforts, here are some fundamental principles for great copywriting you can follow.

  • Be imaginative. Break out of the mold. Look for different or unconventional ways to say the same thing.
  • Be a salesman. Cute and clever doesn’t get you anywhere if it doesn’t sell anything. Be creative, but also be clear. Sell benefits. Give an overt call to action. Balance creativity and salesmanship.
  • Talk about your customers first. As one marketing communications site puts it, “Self-interest is the best hook.” Talk about customers’ problems, customers’ challenges, and customers’ bottlenecks. Then talk about how your products and services solve them.
  • Be honest. Part of building a brand is maintaining customer loyalty and trust. That starts with honesty about the products and services you sell.
  • Hire a professional editor, even if only on a freelance basis. An employee who is “good at grammar” isn’t good enough. When it comes to marketing, there are rules for punctuation, capitalization, and usage that only professionals know.

Of course, there are other elements to great print marketing, as well. Good layout. Interesting graphics. Compelling offer. But great copy ties it all together.

Talk to us about turning these simple rules into a standout 1:1 print campaign that will motivate your customers to action.

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Monday, April 7th, 2014 Going Postal: News You Need No Comments

Want Attention? Use Surprise!

Every year, we look forward to the Superbowl. For the ads, of course. Superbowl ads are known for their funny twists — the element of surprise.

You can use the same technique in your own marketing. This topic was recently covered by MarketingProfs, which offered techniques marketers can use to hook and engage readers with their blogs, tweets, and marketing copy.  We’ll look at some of their suggestions with our own twist thrown in for good measure.

1. Don’t be afraid to try something new.

By definition, surprise takes us out of the box. Don’t be afraid to be edgy . . . but keep the material appropriate to your target audience.

2. Jump on current events.

Create your own twist on newsworthy events. MarketingProfs used the example of Oreo, which immediately capitalized on the power outage in last year’s Superbowl by tweeting, “You can still dunk in the dark.”

3. Pick up on small things.

Listen to your audience. Know the things they care about. If you see a higher than usual number of comments to a blog post, for example, you know that’s something your customers care about. Find a way to integrate that back into the conversation.

4. Bring in new voices.

Considering adding in some new voices to the discussion. Sometimes being surprising requires a fresh look at the content. Bring in some of the younger members of your staff and ask them to present their ideas. You have a wealth of humor and antics at your disposal. Tap it!

5. Take chances.

Taking calculated risks is part of great marketing. Test something new, take the pulse, and either stay the course or change directions. You won’t know what works until you step out of the box and try it.

Happy surprising!

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Thursday, March 27th, 2014 Going Postal: News You Need No Comments

Content, Optimization Top Priorities for In-House Marketers

What are marketers making their top priorities in 2013? In a recent survey of 700+ marketers covering both offline (print) and online strategies, new research finds that marketers’ top priorities revolve around content marketing, conversion rate optimization, and targeting.

Econsultancy’s eighth annual Digital Intelligence Briefing, “Digital Trends for 2013,” produced in partnership with Adobe, found that content marketing and conversion rate optimization tied for top place in marketers’ priority lists, with 39% of respondents citing these as top priorities for them.

Content marketing is up 10% from one year ago when 29% cited this as a top priority. Content has become the center of the marketing universe in offline channels like direct mail, printed newsletters, and marketing collateral, as well as online channels like email, social media, and mobile. Content is also driving the larger goal of viral marketing (26%), with the goal of providing content so great that people share it with others. How often do we see posters, point-of-sale, or table tents that say, “Like us on Facebook and 10% off next time you come in”?

Conversion rate optimization, which ties content marketing for marketers’ focus and attention, is likewise shaping the way people think about marketing. You can have a 30% response rate to a direct mail campaign, but if you are converting only 5% of respondents, something is amiss. Conversely, you might be getting a 12% response rate, but if you are getting a 30% conversion rate, you’re likely doing something right.

Social media engagement came in a close second (38%), followed by targeting/personalization and content optimization. Nearly one-quarter (24%) also cited joining online and offline data. The more you can target your customers, the better your conversion rates will be. The broader, more comprehensive view (often called 360-degree view) of the customer, the more effective your targeting. It’s not surprising that these scored so high.

Other priorities scored high, as well, including mobile optimization, viral marketing, and social media—all ways of optimizing investment in content in order to distribute it through as many channels and to as many recipients as possible.

How are you optimizing your content to more deeply engage your customers and prospects, increase conversions, and encourage people to share that content with others? Need help? Give us a call.

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Friday, March 14th, 2014 Going Postal: News You Need No Comments

Good QR Code, Bad QR Code

QR Codes have been called the marketing tool that marketers love to hate. Why? Because so many seem to provide absolutely no value.

Perhaps you scan a QR Code and it doesn’t go anywhere at all. Perhaps you get an error or the page to which the code points doesn’t [...] Continue Reading…

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Multi-Channel Leads Marketers’ Strategies

If you like multi-channel marketing, here is some good news. According to a survey conducted by WoodWing Software, you’re about to get more of it.

In a survey of publishers, advertising agencies, and in-house marketing departments, WoodWing found that in terms of their marketing mix, 59% favor a combination of [...] Continue Reading…

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Thursday, February 20th, 2014 Going Postal: News You Need No Comments

Personalized Print Beats Online in 18-34 Demographic

Think you’re being more effective by switching from traditional to digital media? Especially in the 18–34-year-old demographic? Think again! A study from ICOM, a division of Epsilon Targeting, suggests that 1:1 printing may be more effective even among this coveted age group.

A study titled “Finding the Right Channel Combination: [...] Continue Reading…

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Friday, February 14th, 2014 Going Postal: News You Need No Comments

Customer Insight Is Key to Personalization

What’s the secret to 1:1 printing success? It can be summed up in a single word: relevance. You can “personalize” a document with dozens of variables related to a customer’s gender, income, geographic location and more, but in the end, if the document isn’t relevant to the recipient, it [...] Continue Reading…

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Tuesday, January 21st, 2014 Going Postal: News You Need No Comments

Effective Communication Breeds Customer Loyalty

If your company has high levels of customer satisfaction, they are likely to remain loyal, right? Wrong.

In a recent customer satisfaction study of 10 major industries, an average of 72% of respondents indicated that they were highly satisfied with the products or services received. Yet 88% of the customers [...] Continue Reading…

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Friday, January 10th, 2014 Going Postal: News You Need No Comments

QR Code Use Continues to Rise

The use of QR Codes, or those square-shaped mobile barcodes in print and email marketing that provide instantaneous access to online videos, coupons, and other marketing content, continues to grow.

According to Scanbuy, which processes 21 million of the 105 million mobile barcode scans each year, QR Code scanning is [...] Continue Reading…

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Monday, December 23rd, 2013 Going Postal: News You Need No Comments

3 Steps to Data Mining

Data mining. It is the foundation of great personalized marketing, but it strikes fear into the hearts of many marketers. The reality is that this fear is unfounded since data mining is well within the grasp of any sized marketer.

Let’s break it down into three simple steps.

1. Find out [...] Continue Reading…

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Thursday, December 12th, 2013 address set up, direct mail, direct marketing No Comments


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