Do the marketing pieces you send out lack pizzazz and personality? Are they capturing the clients you want to work with?
As your company's in-house graphics person-perhaps more by default than by intention-you're pressed to be a jack/jill-of-all-trades. You want to do a great job of producing promotional pieces, but you have little time to learn advanced design and marketing skills.
Your ongoing challenge is learning to do a little more to get a lot better results-quickly and painlessly.
How can you improve them? What Techniques Can You Apply NOW?
Take these 5 design/marketing tips to heart. Using them consistently will save you time in the long run and attract more customers.
#1 Develop a brand identity and stick with it
Branding is an all-encompassing concept that brings together your business's product mix, pricing, ambience, promotions, identity, and much more. From a graphics point of view, it's your logo, stationery, business card, website, and flyers that create a graphic personality. Your descriptive tag line bonds these pieces with added pizzazz. Think about familiar brands like Nike's. You know what it offers instantly when you see the logo (the Nike swoosh) and tag line (Just Do It!). You want that kind of instant recognition for your company.
The results? Your messages get noticed because you've built credibility and recognition into your brand through consistent use of graphic identity techniques.
#2 “Hook" customers with persuasive writing and a “call to action"
Make a habit of doing these two things: Use persuasive words that “hook" their interest, and include a well-defined call to action in every piece. When writing marketing pieces, what can you do to make them more effective? Apply these basics:
- Know who you are writing for and keep their preferences in mind as you write each word.
- Put your message in terms of “you" rather than “I" or “we. " People don't care about what “we" offer; they care about how your product or service can make their lives better.
- Make it clear what your readers should do, think, or believe as a result of reading the information you present.
- State your intention as a command-known as a “call to action. " It can be as simple as “Call Today" or “Order It Now. "
The results? The whole point is to encourage your prospects to take action! Whether it's to send an email or pick up the phone and call you, using precision wordsmithing persuades your prospects to take action. . . now!
#3 Use digital photography and illustrations to add “kick" to your marketing pieces
A ho-hum marketing piece generates few calls. What a waste! Learn the ins and outs of working with digital photography and illustrations - so much easier with Internet resources galore to choose from.
A few quick tips:
- Place your strongest image in the top half of the page where it will get the best visibility.
- Using one large picture makes a stronger impression than several smaller ones.
- Group several small pictures so they collectively form a single element.
- Juxtapose a small picture with a larger one for contrast.
The results? Photos and illustrations help you add the “eye" appeal that translates into “buy" appeal.
#4 Jazz up your layouts so your most important points stand out
Break up monotonous lines of text with attractive “pull quotes" or “call-outs, " which make critical information stand out on the page. To create a pull quote, just copy a provocative or challenging statement from your text and paste it into a different position on the page using large, contrasting type. Add decorative quotation marks, border it with lines, or place it inside a box to jazz it up.
The results? The points of interest you've added draw the reader's eye to the exact point you want them to remember.
#5 Ensure professional results by using the right file formats
You've just created a flyer that will be printed and mailed to your clients. To finish it off, you import a needed graphic from a website and send your file to the printers. Ouch! The resulting graphics looks blotchy and amateur in print. What went wrong? Graphic file formats for the Internet (72 dpi, low-resolution JPG and GIF) and file formats for offset printing (300 dpi, high-resolution TIF and EPS) are totally different animals. In this case, you've used the wrong file format and resolution for your purpose.
The results? Choosing the right file formats gives you a professional-looking document with clear images and the quality you want.
Start using these five easy techniques to add pizzazz and personality to your marketing pieces now, and you will “hook" new clients immediately.
© Karen Saunders 2005
Karen Saunders-is the author of the ebook, “Turn Eye Appeal into Buy Appeal: How to easily transform your marketing pieces into dazzling, persuasive sales tools!, " available at http://www.BuyAppealMarketing.com Since founding MacGraphics Services in 1990, Karen has produced thousands of successful marketing projects that have helped small businesses increase sales. Karen has also designed the covers of 18 books that have become best-sellers or won awards, including a Writer's Digest Grand Prize winner for the best self-published book in America.
Karen Saunders, MacGraphics Services
“Where your ideas become distinctive designs"
Toll-Free Phone: 888-796-7300
You're welcome to “reprint" this article online as long as it remains complete and unaltered (including “About The Author"). When you send it out, please include a mailing to Karen@macgraphics.net