Promote and Prosper —Morgan
In addition, it’s important that your promotions are well-designed, particularly if you’re selling to advertising agencies and designers who have a natural bias toward communications that are aesthetically appealing. Invest money in good design. Buyers make decisions about your company from more than just reading your words.
• The unsigned letter. I recently received a promotional letter from a printer promoting its digital and variable data capabilities. The letter effectively demonstrated the difference in response rates comparing a typical direct mail campaign to a well-conceived, variable data campaign. This letter was replete with a personal URL address. Unfortunately, the communication’s effectiveness was dampened by the signature. In closing, the letter was signed: “Sincerely, XYZ Printing Marketing Department” (without a person’s name or signature).
That type of closing made the communication very impersonal. Ironic, since what the printer was selling was the benefits of personalization. So, if you are going to take the time to create and send a promotional letter, be sure to make the addresser an individual (not a department), and don’t forget to include a hand-written signature. A scanned signature is acceptable.
• The “we-can-do-it-all” promotion. I was once a printing sales representative, so I know how tough it is to “get your foot in the door” with a prospective customer. It’s tempting to paint your services with the broadest of strokes, hoping that something will resonate with the prospect. Many printers’ marketing communications reflect this type of thinking. The problem is: Buyers overlook these printers because they can’t figure out how to peg them. Or, those printers are never top of mind because print buyers can’t recall what that printer actually produces.
In contrast, I received a marketing kit from a Midwestern printer that really stood out. In five short paragraphs, I knew exactly what the company specialized in. This service provider focused on promoting only four types of products. By saying that they are a trade-only manufacturer, they clarified who they work with and who they don’t. They concisely stated how many presses they have, the stocks they are able to run, the maximum ink units and the “sweet spot” with quantities. They stated their plant location and mailing capabilities.