By Guest Author, Ashley Sherrow, OSG Manager of Production Graphics
Did you know that a dynamic message on an invoice or statement is a designated area that allows you connect directly with your audience? It’s your monthly opportunity to relay a specific message to your customer. And since research tells us that invoices are opened 97 percent of the time, you are virtually guaranteed of having your message read.
Using a little bit of creativity you can create a message that is eye-catching, colorful and informative. The OSG data-driven application, Campaign Composer, gives you full transpromotional marketing capabilities that compliment your statement or invoice package.
So what do you need to do?
First you’ll want to compose your message.
- You can do this using design programs such as InDesign or Illustrator. Designing your message in one of these programs makes the design process easy. Also, since these are the same programs we use in the OSG Creative Studio, should you need help, we can guide you through either of these programs to help you get the message you need created.
- Tip: If you are designing multiple messages within an area, it is a good idea to separate the messages with a thin line between each message, or a border around each message.
- This space provides a great opportunity to cross-sell and up-sell your services or even your customer’s services. Not sure what to feature? Think about deals, sales, promotions or even important messages you want to share with your customers.
Next, as long as you’re designing a bill or invoice, why not create a whole invoice package? You can coordinate by utilizing other OSG communications tools such as Envelope Messaging, Additional Message Page and OSG Inserts.
You’ll want to be sure you’re designing your message to its full potential. To ensure this, here are some things to pay attention to:
- Is the message sized correctly so that it will fit into the message space on the bill?
- How will your message look on the invoice/statement? Make sure your messages blend in with the colors and style of your invoice/statement.
- Have you used imagery and colors to your advantage?
- Choose bright colored images and text that will stand out and grab your audience’s attention.
- Remember, less is more – you don’t need to plaster the message area with tons information. Short and sweet. Then direct the customer to a website for them to gather more information.
This weekend is Selection Sunday. You know what that means! Tourney Time is upon us. What that also means is that employers can expect to see a slight dip in productivity this month. According to a study by employment consulting firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas, nearly 2.5 million people devote over an hour of each workday to following the NCAA Tournament. So that’s an hour you’re not actually spending on work. To help your productivity we’ve pulled together three easy ways for you to maximize the effectiveness of your invoice or statement package.
- Add an insert to your next invoice or statement package mailing. They fit easily into your mailing and provide cost-effective one-to-one marketing to your customer base. Don’t have one? Not to worry, the OSG Creative Studio can design one for you.
- Add a Full Color Dynamic Message to your invoice or statement. Your readers are already looking at your invoice statement. Why not add a message unique to them on the invoice as well? A recent Pitney Bowes study found that color increases reader’s attention by 82 percent.
- The invoice isn’t the only colorful part of your invoice or statement package. Are you taking advantage of Full Color Envelope Messaging? That same Pitney Bowes study found that 69 percent of the study participants were more likely to open an envelope with color or graphics on the front than those without. Take a look at your envelopes and see if they could use a splash of color.
By implementing some or all of these ideas you can end up being the winning team and enjoy a championship season.
Do you have a referral program in place for your current customers to refer friends and colleagues to your business? Studies have shown that referrals are extremely important to the success of a business. Take a look at these statistics and then see if maybe you want to set aside some time to create one or revitalize the one you have in place.
- According to The New York Times, 65% of new business comes from referrals.
- Nielsen reports that people are four times more likely to buy when referred by a friend and that 92 percent of people trust a referral from a friend.
- A customer who is referred by another customer has a 16% higher lifetime value, according to a study by the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business.
If you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Satisfied customers make the best advocates for your company. And since they know both your company and their friends/colleagues, they can actually target the right people for the right product/service. So not only can they act as your brand ambassadors, they can do the initial audience segmenting for you too. They’ve had a good experience with your company and products. Now encourage them to tell their friends, family and colleagues about your company and the great service you provide. Not only will they bring in new customers, increasing your revenue stream, you will also make your current customers happy when you reward them for their efforts. That’s important too. They’re helping you out so you should do something for them. It doesn’t have to be cash back but consider a discount or credit to an invoice or statement.
Think you’re too small a company to be able to implement such a plan? The OSG Creative Studio is available to help you every step of the way. Contact them directly or talk to your Account Manager.
Think about implementing a Referral Program. You and your customers will be glad you did.
As hard as it may be to believe, New Year’s is but a memory and holiday-laden February is just ahead. Are you using the calendar to inspire your Lifecycle Marketing Campaign? In February alone we will celebrate Groundhog Day, Lincoln’s Birthday, Washington’s Birthday, Presidents’ Day, Valentine’s Day, Black History Month and American Heart Month. Each of these holidays and observances lends itself to some type of communication from you and even if you don’t have anything specific to share, each is a great excuse to be in touch with your customers.
Here are three reasons it’s important to maintain a Lifecycle Marketing Campaign (or launch one if you don’t already have one in place).
- Every time you send an invoice or bill to your customer, you’ve opened the door to a one-on-one conversation. Take advantage of it. Transactional documents are open and read 97% of the time according to InfoTrends. That makes your monthly invoice or statement the perfect place to include a targeted message because it’s almost guaranteed to be read.
- It’s easy. Simply put it’s delivering the right message, at the right time, through the right channel, to the right customer. But you think you’re too small a company to implement or maintain a Lifecycle Marketing Campaign? No you’re not. All it takes is some time and effort and you’ll be amazed at what you’ll get in return.
- You already have these customers on board. You want to keep them, right? Use the calendar as a way to stay in touch with them throughout the year. Pick any of the upcoming holidays and give your customers a reason to celebrate. Don’t feel like using the calendar. How about sending out a survey to get customer input? Since part of the reason you’re staying in touch is to keep them, it’s good to know how they feel about your company and if you’re meeting their expectations.
From welcome postcards to calendar inserts to win-back programs, lifecycle marketing can help you grow and nurture long-term relationships with your customers.
Sometimes, for any number of reasons, a customer stops being active and may even go elsewhere. Here’s some encouraging news, the odds of bringing that customer back are quite good. In fact, the chances of converting a lost customer are usually much better than your chances of converting a new one. According to Marketing Metrics, the probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20 percent while the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70 percent. And according to the White House of Consumer Affairs, it is six to seven times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep a current one.
That’s why a WinBack Program is a critical tool to ongoing success. Through a series of strategically positioned campaigns that include letters, postcards and eblasts, you can get in front of prior customers, get their attention and strategically pique their interest.
Not sure how to begin? The OSG Creative Studio has a team of marketing experts with extensive experience in implementing successful WinBack Programs. Speak with your Account Manager about how to launch one. It’s never too late for customers to come back.
It’s that time of year again – when we’re all in optimistic moods and positive cheer in the midst of the holiday season – to plan our resolutions for the upcoming year. Not only do we want to make ourselves into better people, but also into better workers and co-workers. So let’s make a list of achievable goals that can help with our job satisfaction and the satisfaction of those working around us:
Clean out your email inbox.
Email is great, but the inbox needs some maintaining or the emails just pile up and overload your mind. Start off the new year by organizing and cleaning out junk emails. Make folders for the “must respond by tomorrow” emails and emails that you only need to read when you have time. An organized inbox reflects an organized you.
Commit to personal development and learning.
Let’s admit it; even the best professionals have room for improvement in their field. Today’s business world moves fast. Keep up with the latest technology and most relevant topics in your field by taking an online course or going to your local community college. Even reading blogs, books and visiting websites on a regular basis about your industry can be beneficial.
Realize you’re only human.
We all make mistakes. Even the best of us. So if you do make a mistake at work, acknowledge it, do what you can to rectify the situation and then, to quote “Frozen,” let it go. If we were perfect, we wouldn’t have the need for a resolutions list…
Say “thank you” more often.
Whether it’s your customers or co-workers make a commitment to thank people for all they do. Has someone at work made your life easier, been pleasant to deal with or has a customer or vendor gone out of their way to help you? Remember to say thank you. Emails, a personal note or doing something special not only shows people you appreciate them but also makes you feel good too.
Happy New Year from your friends at OSG!
We find ourselves in the season of spreading good will amongst people and kindness to mankind. That makes it the perfect time to start thinking about finding a way that you can get involved and give back to the community you work and possibly live in.
Check with Human Resources and see if they’re already working on a “giving back to the community” activity. If they aren’t, offer to work with them on selecting a cause. See if you can find something that has particular meaning to your staff. For instance, if you have a breast cancer survivor on your staff or the wife of one of your employees is battling the disease, something breast cancer related would be particularly meaningful. Or maybe your office is in an unusually cold part of the country. How about organizing or participating in a coat drive? Who doesn’t have an old coat hanging in the back of the front hall closet that they’ve been meaning to donate but just haven’t found the time to give away? Don’t want to limit yourselves to coats? Open it up to all types of clothing. Or maybe organize a blood drive. And of course, how about a toy drive for underprivileged kids? That’s actually something that we do here at OSG in conjunction with the local fire department.
Not convinced yet that this is something worthwhile? According to Fortune’s study of the “100 Best Companies to Work for,” in 2016 being able to make a social or environmental impact while on the job lets employees feel more satisfied with their jobs. Fifty-five out of the 100 Top Companies to work at promote giving back to the community programs amongst their employees. The study shows that this promotes employee job satisfaction and loyalty to the company. Employees at these companies are four times more likely to stay with the company long term and put in a little extra work when a job needs to get done. Not only does volunteer and charity work promote good will towards your company from the community, it actually boosts morale internally as well.
No matter what you choose, make sure that everyone in the company knows what you’re doing and when and also be sure to let your community know as well. Employees like seeing that their company has a heart. And the community will feel good about having you in their midst and benefitting from your generosity.
What are you waiting for? Go get started.