With data showing that transactional documents are increasingly being used as promotional tools, it’s a good time to revisit some basic marketing practices. Here are some insights straight from the OSG Creative Studio.
- Make your message strategic.
We’ve mentioned before how important it is to use data to create dynamic messages. When you have real insight into your customers’ needs and patterns, the endless marketing options become more tailored and, ultimately, more effective. Use a paper bill to push the switch to e-bill. Up-sell or cross-sell one of your services. Offer an enticing promotion. Just make it count.
- Then make it pop.
Size the message properly, incorporate color, and avoid information overload. Less is more.
- Don’t disrupt the flow.
No marketing should disrupt the clarity of the bill or invoice’s key elements. Make sure the framework is there, so the message doesn’t add confusion. You might even consider upgrading your entire invoice package with envelope messaging or an additional messaging page.
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.
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.
Brrr! It’s getting colder outside and though the snow hasn’t fallen just yet, a steaming cup of hot cocoa would definitely hit the spot. Without a snowstorm to enhance the hot cocoa though, we’ll have to think of something else to keep warm – a dynamic workout perhaps? But who has the time (or motivation) for that? Why not just take advantage of Dynamic Messaging instead?
Just like a dynamic workout changes a regular workout from boring to exciting, with OSG Dynamic Messaging you can transform your ordinary invoice or statement into a highly-customized customer touchpoint using full-color technology. And unlike with the chilly weather, you have total control over how you want your message to look! Not only that, if you find yourself running out of room on the invoice, have no fear because with Envelope Messaging and Additional Messaging Page Inserts, you have additional opportunities to effectively communicate whatever message you want to your customers in an exciting and vibrant way.
So hurry up and use Dynamic Messaging before it’s time to curl up by the fireplace with your mug of hot chocolate.
This past weekend we changed our clocks. Not only did we gain an extra hour of sleep on Sunday, we also gave ourselves more daylight in the mornings and earlier sunsets in the evenings.
As long as we’re changing all the different clocks in our lives and checking our smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, what else needs checking and perhaps changing?
When’s the last time you did a full marketing materials review? Lifecycle marketing campaign review? Are all of your collateral pieces up to date? Do you have any outdated information on your website? Are your graphic standards and writing guides current?
If you can’t remember the last time you updated or reviewed any of these, this is a great time to do so. You don’t have to check all of them at once, but how about making an end-of-year resolution to try to review most of them before the end of the year? And if December 31 comes around and you haven’t managed to get to all of them, add them to your New Year’s Resolutions for 2017.
Going through a marketing review once or twice a year is a great exercise for you and your team. You may find some things that need to be retired, updated or redesigned. But when you’re done, you’ll have a more cohesive look and feel representing your company.