There are all kinds of designers. We see the best and the worst every day.
Thanks to Lowdwell.com for this terrific analysis of designers. As you can see, very few become the kind of graphic designer that we work with, and we only work with the best.
Identifying Your Best Sales Leads
In order to come up with the most responsive direct mail list you’ve got to know something about your best customers. How do you do that? Here’s the secret: Simply find people with the same demographic characteristics of your best customers.
To learn how, let’s review the factors that make up a direct mail campaign and see where customer profiling fits in.
Computer graphics can be created as either raster or vector images. Raster graphics are bitmaps and a bitmap is a grid of individual pixels that collectively compose an image. Raster graphics render images as a collection of countless tiny squares. Each square or pixel is coded in a specific hue or shade. Individually, these pixels are worthless. Together, they’re worth a thousand words.
Raster graphics are best used for non-line art images; specifically digitized photographs, scanned artwork or detailed graphics. Non-line art images are best represented in raster form because these typically include subtle chromatic gradations, undefined lines and shapes, and complex composition.
However, because raster images are pixel-based, they suffer a malady called “image degradation.” Just like photographic images that get blurry and imprecise when blown up, a raster image gets jagged and rough. Why? Ultimately, when you look close enough, you can begin to see the individual pixels that comprise the image. Hence, your raster-based image of Wayne Newton magnified to 1000 percent becomes bitmapped before you can isolate that ravenous glint in his eye. Although raster images can be scaled down more easily, smaller versions often appear less crisp or “softer” than the original.
Unlike pixel-based raster images, vector graphics are based on mathematical formulas that define geometric primitives such as polygons, lines, curves, circles and rectangles. Because vector graphics are composed of true geometric primitives, they are best used to represent more structured images, like line art graphics with flat, uniform colors. Most created images (as opposed to natural images) meet these specifications, including logos, letterhead, and fonts.
Vector Images and the Scalable Truth
Inherently, vector-based graphics are more malleable than raster images — thus, they are much more versatile, flexible and easy to use. The most obvious advantage of vector images over raster graphics is that vector images are quickly and perfectly scalable. There is no upper or lower limit for sizing vector images. Just as the rules of mathematics apply identically to computations involving two-digit numbers or two-hundred-digit numbers, the formulas that govern the rendering of vector images apply identically to graphics of any size.
Vector Images, Graphics and Raster
Further, unlike vector graphics, vector images are not resolution-dependent. Vector images have no fixed intrinsic resolution, rather they display at the resolution capability of whatever output device (monitor, printer) is rendering them. Also, because vector graphics need not memorize the contents of millions of tiny pixels, these files tend to be considerably smaller than their raster counterparts.
Before the vast use of the internet to reach potential customers, direct mail was king of the marketing world. It’s true a lot of business marketing and advertising strategists are adding more online campaigns to their mix these days, making traditional offline campaigns seem outdated and ineffective. But with the wide use of the internet and it’s low to no cost to enter, is offline marketing and direct mail really dead?
Just the other day as I sat outside, I noticed the majority of my neighbors coming home only to stop by the communal mailbox to grab their snail mail. If what lands in that mailbox is so unimportant, so unexciting to receive and so ineffective as sales pieces, why do we still stop at our mailbox each day to see what’s in there?
Has Direct Mail Been Replaced?
There has been an ongoing debate about whether or not direct mail is dead. The jury is still out despite the “hyper” hype about the internet, email marketing and how much less it costs to send virtual mail. After all, it isn’t so much about the overall cost of a campaign as it is the effectiveness of the piece in relation to the cost. You could send 100 emails to customers with little or not sales or you could send a direct mail piece that yields a high return. Is your goal to get traffic and make sales or is it to flood cyberspace with free campaigns that bring in zero dollars.
Email Versus Direct Mail
Email is supposed to be the preferred way of getting your advertising message out to masses of people on your list. It is supposed to be cheaper to execute, doesn’t irritate the recipient by the ugly “junk” mail that lands in their real mailbox and is more efficient because you can measure ROI metrics within minutes of doing an email blast.
The assumption, however, is that since you sent an email campaign, it must mean that everyone on your list opens it and reads the clever words you’ve used to entice them to buy. Yet, emails can go unopened and they can go unread – possibly much easier than direct mail. At least with direct mail, the recipient has to take the piece inside his house to throw it away.
At least he’s read it.
Direct Mail Still Gets High Marks
One key factor as to why direct mail works better than email is the list. While you can rent a prospect list in the online world, there’s a 20 percent undeliverability rate from these online lists for the internet marketing crowd. Reason is there are more spam filters, corporate firewalls are set even tighter to keep out even legitimate emails and there’s a higher frequency of the recipient to mass delete emails for fear of email overload. Direct mail, on the other hand gets almost a 95 percent deliverability rate because good list managers scrub their lists on a regular basis.
Finally, with email, you only get about two seconds or less to get the attention of the receiver or it gets deleted. Direct mail gives you a good five seconds or more to catch the attention of the receiver. That’s huge!
Your marketing strategies should include a mix of online and offline campaigns in order to reach maximum effectiveness. The fact is direct mail still works and it works well.
I’m seeing QR codes in more and more places all the time. Menus, shirts, flyers, business cards and more.
However, this has got to be the most innovative QR code application that I’ve seen so far. In fact it’s brilliant.
If you want an innovative QR code campaign, call us. We can do it. We can do anything! Call 602-482-1100.
“I’m glad you called” makes me feel confident.
“I’ll take care of that for you” make me feel confident about a purchase.
“I’ll take full responsibility”, “I apologize for our mistake. Let me make it right” or “I can solve that problem” are rarely heard anymore as fewer people will take responsibility.
“We want your business” shows desire.
“I appreciate your business.” and “Thank you for thinking about us” express appreciation.
“I don’t know, but I’ll find out” is very important. Nothing is worse than making something up that isn’t true. All it can do is hurt you. Be honest and admit that you don’t know the answer.
“I will keep you updated” The vendors I trust the most are those that keep me up to date on an orders.
“It’ll be just what you ordered” It will not be “similar to,” and it will not be “better than” what was ordered. It will be exactly what was ordered.
“Thank you!” It is absolutely amazing how many times I don’t hear those simple words. Not hearing them offends me.
“Yes!” One of the greatest salespeople I know, when about to be asked a question from a customer, says “Yes – now what is the question?” It’s corny, but it's effective.