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The middle of the year is an ideal time to ask yourself if you're doing everything you can to keep your business growing and thriving.

We're not in the busy holiday season and the hectic summer season hasn't kicked off yet, so here's a reminder to keep these three marketing ideas in mind.

TAX RETURNS

Most Americans who get tax refunds will get that nice infusion of cash in the next couple of months. That makes this a great time to offer them products and services that they don't always have the budget for. Whether you use print direct mail, email and digital marketing, some combination, including mention of tax refunds in your message can go a long way.

OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES

With the weather warming up, this is the time when a lot of people start new exercise programs, or even just take up old outdoor sports and hobbies. If you're marketing

VACATION

Many Americans plan their family vacations during their childrens' Spring Break or Summer vacation from school. Marketing family-oriented and travel-oriented products and services can be very effective this time of year.

vacation-direct-mail-marketing

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Tech.co has a great article on 5 ways that direct mail marketers will be able to stay innovative and creative in 2016. Here's a short excerpt:

Direct mail is, of course, one of the oldest forms of marketing out there and it is testament to its effectiveness that it remains one of the chief weapons in any marketing department’s armoury. That being said, however, it is clear that you’re going to competing with plenty of other businesses for letter box real estate so being conservative and opting for the norm no longer cuts it any more – it’s very much a case of go big or go home. Direct mail today needs to make you think as this is more likely to compel action and a fantastic example of this is a campaign that was sent out on World Water Day.

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This article from MediaPost says that 2016 is the year of data for marketers.

Here's an excerpt:

Data-driven spending in the email marketing channel has consistently been increased over the past three years, according to the report. On a scale of 1.0 (spending had decreased or is likely to decrease significantly) to 5.0 (spending has increased or is likely to increase significantly), email has consistently hovered around 3.8. Email ranked as 3.78 in 2014 and 2015, but increased in 2016 to 3.81.

Marketers spent more on email marketing data compared with TV, digital out-of-home advertising, direct mail and teleservices and contact centers in 2015, but fell to the digital display advertising, social media management and content, search, Web content and mobile app content channels.

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It's that time of year again, and as always, it will be a big season for direct marketing campaigns.

Recent surveys show that companies, organizations, and political campaigns are getting more and mor bang for their buck through targeted direct mail. And they are increasing their direct marketing budgets to continue that trend.

Here are some tips for making the most of your direct mail campaigns this holiday season:

1. This is a great time of year to make use of special direct mail pieces that bring extra attention. For example branded calendars, catalogs, and post cards are a great way to get the attention of your potential clients and customers.

2. "How-to" books, booklets, pamphlets, and other similar mail pieces go a long way toward establishing your credibility on a particular subject. This is a great time of year to make use of these specialized pieces.

3. Holiday cars: a time-honored tradition, and for good reason.

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Forbes has an interesting article on internet leads, and how most companies don't use them as effectively as they should. Here's a short excerpt:

Our own in-house research shows only 27% of leads ever get contacted. Yet with a combination of awareness, best practices, and technology; companies can contact around 92% of leads. I have seven practices I'll share in a later article that will enable companies to achieve this target.

An increase from 27% to 92% is an increase of 341% lift in results just by responding immediately and persistently to leads.

Do CEOs know that of the massive marketing spend they have approved to generate leads only 27% of the leads actually get spoken to? And worse yet, in the same studies anywhere from 35% to 64% of the leads never got called at all?

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