6 November 2018
Someone recently contacted us asking “do you do Christmas cards? I need to send some branded cards to my clients and contacts this year”.
And that started us thinking…
Yes, it makes sense to send a Christmas card to clients and contacts, everyone loves to receive season’s greetings, but what about the rest of the year? What should our caller have been doing to make sure their organisation and services remained noticeable all year round?
In the spirit of the forthcoming season of goodwill, here’s our top 12 tips to ensure that whatever your sector, your communications are always building relationships and creating connections.
#1: Place your trust in a printed brochure
With so much digital marketing around, it’s easy to think that there is no longer a place for printed items such as mailers, brochures, catalogues and sales packs. But research shows that people believe these items are still essential to the way they think about organisations. Printed material can create a positive emotional response, held in the hand it helps cement trust, reinforces your brand values and its impact lasts longer than a digital equivalent.
#2: Ensure your website is mobile friendly
Across all age groups smartphones are now the most popular device used to access the internet. So, if your website doesn’t function properly on a smartphone then you are going to frustrate users and pretty much ensure that they will go elsewhere – probably straight to a competitor. What’s more, an unresponsive website can badly affect your search results and ultimately be very costly for your organisation. Create a positive user experience by ensuring your site is responsive, allowing the audience to access it easily and quickly whatever device they are using.
#3: Make sure your brand is consistent
Your brand is your promise, and ensuring it is consistently delivered is essential when you engage with clients and potential customers. Your brand is not just your logo, it’s so much more. It encapsulates everything about your business – it’s your mission, vision and values. Ensuring a strong consistency throughout your communications, which is well designed and considered, whether it’s your logo, website, brochure, or advertising campaign builds both brand recognition and trust in your organisation – it’s what makes customer choose you.
#4: Make an exhibition of yourself
Exhibitions and events are a great way to get yourself, your organisation and message in front of a captive audience. Whether you have a simple roll-up stand or a large bespoke unit, keep your messages eye-catching and relevant to your customer – and always include a call to action. Everyone enjoys getting something for nothing, so don’t forget your promotional “swag”! Just make sure your product name and contact info is printed on everything you hand out.
#5: Get maximum return from your reports
If you need to produce reports, then this can also be a great opportunity to ensure your message and values reach the audience in a consistent professional way. Whether it’s funding applications, project reporting or an annual report, each has its ‘must haves’, but a well-considered and professionally designed piece can also provide an opportunity to showcase your strengths and build confidence in your brand.
#6: Don’t forget your Colleagues
Equally important as talking to customers in a clear, professional way are your internal communications. Effective communication is an essential tool, it can inform, educate and inspire. Email blasts, a printed staff newsletter or the latest safety procedures can all convey important information as well as reinforce the brand, achieving productivity and maintaining strong working relationships at all levels of an organisation.
#7: Always leave a reminder
It’s essential to leave something tangible behind after a presentation or meeting – it’s a reminder of that great impression you have worked hard to create and want to maintain. A professionally-produced brochure, catalogue or marketing pack means that potential clients can return to it a number of times allowing your message to stay in the minds of those you want to reach. And the better the quality, the more likely it is to be kept.
#8: Don’t forget your existing customers
Customer retention is important. Don’t focus all of your communications on getting new customers at the expense of your existing ones. It’s far easier to sell to existing customers than to those you don’t yet have a relationship with. Stay engaged with your customers on a regular basis with email, social media and printed communications and you will maintain customer loyalty and remind them why they should stay connected with you.
#9: Everyone loves a freebie
Doing a presentation, attending a trade show or just have a lot of people through your premises? Even in this technological age, there’s no denying the power of promotional items, which provide low cost, effective marketing. From a branded pen through to mugs, calendars, USB sticks or something more unique, promotional items can keep your name in people’s minds – and on their desks – all year long.
#10: Deliver a successful message
Email may make it easy to stay in touch, but these days printed direct mail really makes you stand out from the crowd. Engagement with direct mail is actually growing as people become less trusting of digital media, and you can take advantage of this. People value things they can touch and when you send magazines or catalogues, they are often kept for future reference and the more unique your item, the more you can create a lasting impression.
#11: Simplify things – use infographics
Apparently, our decreasing attention spans are now officially shorter than a goldfish! If you are concerned that people will only skim your piece of communication, why not engage readers by using infographics. Smart infographics help to simplify complex and large amounts of information, emphasising key facts and making reports quick and easy to read. Visual imagery can command attention much more successfully than text alone, creating impact and increasing client retention.
#12: Don’t forget that christmas card
If you’ve been keeping in touch with clients all year, then now’s the time to send that Christmas card. It can reinforce the messages you have been communicating throughout the year and remind existing customers that you value their business. It can also help to build new relationships. As digital messages are increasingly used to send season’s greetings, so the promotional power of your own posted card has increased enormously – make sure you take advantage of it.
If you would like to find out more about staying in front of existing and potential clients all year long,
get in touch, we’d be delighted to have a chat.
#1: Royal Mail MarketReach
#10: DMIS Response Rates Survey
#12: dma.org.uk / Glasgow University