The Idea Center - Blog

Swipe to the left

Stock Photography 101: How to Pick Photos That Don't Look Fake

March 23, 2015

The right photos can transform your direct mail campaign from successful to outstanding. From product photos to photos of your target audience, choosing ones that suit your offer can have a huge impact on your return on investment.

For most marketers, hiring a professional photographer to capture photos is a major expense that’s not always necessary. As a result, most marketers use stock photos to illustrate their direct mail postcards and other marketing materials.

Stock photos offer a huge range of benefits. Since they’re shot using high-end photo equipment, they’re crisp and perfectly focused. With millions of stock photographs available online, it’s also easy to find a high quality photo of almost anything.

Despite these advantages, stock photos have one serious downside: more often than not, they look generic and staged. Here are three tips to help you use stock photos that enhance your offer instead of distracting from it.

Testing Basic Postcard Elements: From Design to Frequency

March 16, 2015

Small modifications to the design, copy and mailing frequency of your direct mail postcards can have a big impact. While a different headline might not seem like a significant change, it can have a huge effect on your campaign’s response rate.

Because minor differences between postcards can produce a huge impact in terms of response rate and profitability, it’s important to test different variations of your postcards to make sure your direct mail campaign is as profitable as possible.

By testing your postcards, you’ll discover the most effective headlines and design elements to use when marketing to your target audience. You’ll also learn which mailing frequency keeps your audience optimally engaged and responsive.

There are many elements of your postcards that can be tested, some of which can have a minor impact on your response rate and profitability, and others of which have a larger effect. Read on to discover four postcard elements you should test.

5 Ways to Boost Your Creativity

March 13, 2015

Familiar Face

Whether you’re writing copy for your business or designing a poster, being creative can often be a challenge. Creative moods can come and go, making it hard to get into a creative space if you’re not feeling up to the challenge at that particular time.

Luckily, it’s easy to inspire the creative sections of your brain into working at their best. In this guide, we’ll share five simple tips to boost your creativity and make it easier to design, write, or complete any creativity-focused task.

When Less is More: 5 Minimalist Design Tips

March 11, 2015

Familiar Face

Look back at the iconic designs of the 20th century and you’ll notice that the majority of products, brands, and advertisements have something in common: they’re all very simple.

From Nike’s iconic logo to Apple’s clean and simple products, many of the world’s best designs aren’t cluttered with visual activity, but light and simple with only the essential design elements included.

In the world of design, less is often more. From advertisements to logos, including the bare minimum in your design often makes it more eye-catching and effective than including more than what you really need.

In this guide, we’ll share five minimalist design tips that you can apply to design simpler and more effective business cards, direct mail postcards, brochures, logos and much more.

15 Design Tips for Non-Designers

March 6, 2015

Are you stuck on a design? Designing postcards, flyers, and other marketing pieces is like writing a book: the first page (in this case, the design element) is almost always the hardest.

If you’re a non-designer that needs some help putting your first postcard, business card, or real estate flyer together, use these 15 simple but effective tips to create an eye-catching, readable, and effective design.

Is It Time to Move On? How to Know When You Should Change Your Campaign

March 2, 2015

Over time, every marketing campaign changes from unique and effective to tired and ineffective, making it important to refresh your campaign frequently.

Since every marketing channel has a different response rate, there’s no “rule” as to when a campaign should be freshened up and changed. You’ll be able to notice that your campaign is losing its edge by observing one key metric.

How to Integrate Direct Mail and Email to Increase Your ROI

February 26, 2015

At first glance, email marketing and direct mail marketing look remarkably similar to each other. They’re both highly targeted, inexpensive, and ideal for informing prospects about the value your business can offer.

Similar doesn’t mean exactly the same, however, and while direct mail marketing and email marketing might share some common elements, they also share a huge range of differences.

Direct mail achieves far higher response rates than email – often 30 times higher with a targeted mailing list. It also offers a far longer shelf life, with emails quickly discarded and direct mail postcards often kept around for several days.

These advantages don’t make direct mail a better all-around choice than email, as both marketing channels excel in different circumstances. In fact, direct mail and email are incredibly powerful when used together in an integrated campaign.

Here are three ways that you can integrate direct mail and email marketing to create a powerful synergy, achieve higher response rates, and keep your business at the front of your target audience’s mind.

How to Use Testimonials to Boost Your Direct Mail Response Rate

February 23, 2015

How does your business establish trust with its audience? From guarantees to great offers, businesses use a variety of marketing techniques to establish credibility with their audience and position their product or service as reliable and risk free. 

These techniques are often incredibly effective, but they share one thing in common –  they’re all messages from your business. Through guarantees, unique benefits, and the offer itself, your business is directly communicating its value to its audience. 

No matter how accurate your claims are, customers will always view guarantees and selling points from a business that’s marketing to them with a degree of uncertainty and skepticism. After all, your business is hardly a disinterested third party.

Testimonials – reviews and recommendations from your business’s customers and clients – are a powerful tool that your business can use in its direct mail campaigns to establish credibility, build trust and massively increase your response rate.

How to Completely Change Your Messaging Using Benefits

February 19, 2015

Economist and Harvard Business School professor Theodore Levitt once famously described effective marketing as “selling the hole, not the drill.”

His message was that it’s far more effective to market a product or service using its benefits than to list its most exciting features in the hopes of attracting your target market’s interest.

Selling benefits instead of features might seem obvious, but it’s something that an incredible amount of marketers fail to do. If your copy is feature-focused, it’s very unlikely that your direct mail campaign is generating the response rate that it could.

In this guide, we’ll look at the basics of selling your offer’s benefits rather than its features. We’ll also explain how changing your direct mail postcard’s copy to focus more on your offer’s benefits can dramatically increase your response rate and ROI.

3 Tips That Will Make Your Direct Mail More Relevant for Recipients

February 16, 2015

Using a segmented mailing list offers more than just the ability to tailor your copy to each audience. From location to purchase history, one of the best ways to make your direct mail campaign more effective is by subtly referencing why people receive it.

From including a map of your nearest retail location to referencing a customer’s last purchase, there are several ways to make your direct mail message more relevant to a prospect, increasing its response rate and return on investment.

This strategy is used extensively online, particularly by retailers like Amazon. Email messages that list a customer’s previous purchases and recommend other products perform to a remarkably higher standard than generic marketing email broadcasts.

In this guide, we’ll share three ways you can make your direct mail campaign more relevant for recipients and more profitable for your business by subtly referencing why they’re receiving the piece.