Archive for the ‘Direct Marketing’ Category

Don’t be a Monkey!! – Personalise your Email Marketing

December 3, 2017

Monkey 2

I just received an email with an attachment from a firm of Accountants – instead of having their desired reaction and me reading it, I felt compelled to use the same amount of time and actually write a blog post that someone might feel is useful.

The body of the email read:

Dear All,

Attached please find our Newsletter which we trust will be of interest to you.

Should you have any queries regarding the attached, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Yours sincerely,

(Not signed by anyone)

Ok…some email marketing tips if want to have any chance of success.

Dear All

This is insulting and pointless. You have my email address and you more than likely have my name. There is a much bigger chance of me reading it if you personalise it.

Attached please find our Newsletter which we trust will be of interest to you

Jesus, make some attempt at talking to me instead of opening with “attached”.

By the way, the trust part is just silly..

Should you have any queries regarding the attached, please do not hesitate to contact us.

The only query I have is why you are sending out such a pointless newsletter that is just making you look bad instead of the opposite.

Yours sincerely,

How can it be sincere when you haven’t used my name and you haven’t used yours. It’s lazy, not sincere.

Use E-Marketing Software

The big tip is to use simple, low cost, easy to use, easy to customise Email Marketing software that makes all of the above really easy to do.

  1. You can design really nice looking e-newsletters without too much trouble
  2. You can easily personalise the emails to each individual
  3. There are no attachments so it won’t get blocked by some servers
  4. It will tell you how many people opened it and who they are
  5. It will tell you how many clicked the links to your website and who
  6. It lets people unsubscribe easily by just clicking a button

We use a really great service called Mailchimp for our client campaigns – It’s easy to use and quite economical.

Think!!

My last tip, and probably the biggest one of all is to take just 30 seconds and think about the person you are sending it to – how would they feel if they got a generic, cold, patronising email?

There is no doubt that they would have put a lot of time and effort into this newsletter, but instead of it doing a positive job for them, it actually does the opposite.

What’s worse is that most of the recipients will either be clients, prospects or business connections.

Something we always say to clients is…Never write a cheque to make yourself look bad!

Rant over..

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications, a full-service agency that offers Marketing, PR and Branding  services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

BIG IDEAS . . . and how to hatch them by Jane Maas

August 11, 2014

We asked our special friend and legendary ad woman Jane Maas from New York for some inspiration about finding inspiration!

This never stop dynamo didn’t disappoint .. 

Three tried-and-true thought starters

Jane Maas, Mad WomenIt happens to everyone. You need a BIG IDEA, but your mind is a blank. So where do ideas come from? And how can you help make them happen?

Novelist Joyce Carol Oates says she gets inspiration for her books while she runs for miles. Legendary ad man and my boss of many moons ago David Ogilvy wrote: “First, I immerse myself in the research. Then I immerse myself in a bottle of wine.” As an advertising copywriter, I have depended on three ways to generate ideas. They always seem to work for me; I hope they’ll do the same for you.

1. Take a Boring or Bad Idea and Turn it Upside Down

What could be more boring than offering a coupon for a fast-food item? The chains have been doing it for years. “Here’s a coupon for a free appetizer when you buy a main course.” YAWN.

Burger King took a boring idea and turned it upside down when they offered a coupon on Facebook that was good for a free Whopper. But to get it, you had to unfriend ten Facebook friends and tell them they were worth only one-tenth of a Whopper to you. So people raced to unfriend ten friends before their friends could unfriend them.

Over 20,000 Whopper coupons were sent out in week – – which means that 200,000 Facebook friends were defriended. Lots of buzz, lots of media coverage. Facebook, concerned about its own reputation, ordered the campaign to be disabled. Of course, that fanned the fire, and the whole idea went viral.

2. Search the world and steal the best

McDonald’s developed the idea for their Happy Meal by observing the first principle of toy marketing – – make the product fun.

Maxwell House studied the beer business and noted the high success of new, imported brands; then they developed Maxwell House French Roast.

Step outside your own area and see what is happening in other categories. If you are marketing a financial product, for instance, look at what’s happening in cosmetics and fashion, automotive and packaged goods. This practice is also helpful for you, personally. If you spend most of your free time going to the opera, spend an afternoon at a soccer game. And vice versa.

3. Have the Guts to Take on a Negative

American Express Travel found out years ago that they gained amazing extra credibility by warning tourists that a certain museum tour actually required walking more than four miles.

Drano drainpipe opener saw their sales shoot up suddenly when they ran an ad saying the product didn’t work very well on bathtub drains clogged with soap, but was unbeatable on grease clogs in kitchen drains.

Domino’s Pizza made a gutsy move by running advertising admitting that their pizzas tasted terrible! They promised they were going to change to a whole new recipe. And then they conducted nationwide taste tests versus competitive pizza chains, and won hands down.

This campaign helped Domino’s achieve an overall same-store-sales gain of 117 percent – – the highest ever in the fast-food industry.

Next time you’re stuck for a BIG IDEA, try one of these. And happy hatching.

Mad Women - Jane MaasLegendary ad woman Jane Maas was a copywriter at New York’s Ogilvy & Mather and Wells Rich Greene.

She is best known for heading the “I Love New York” campaign.

Ms Maas is also the author of Mad Women, the tell-all account of what it was like to be a woman in advertising in the sexy, sexist Era of television’s Mad Men.

Mad Women is a really terrific read and not just for the gals out there – check it out.

Amazon – Lessons in knowing your customer

September 18, 2013

Music Store

It’s Friday afternoon, I’m  up the walls after a really busy but great week.

Before the afternoon closes out I’m determined to clear down my emails..

There is an email from Amazon in the middle of all my other emails …before I hit “delete” the nice image catches my attention and I give the contents of the email a quick glance:

Reprave: Volcano Choir – BON IVER, new 2013 album from his collaborative side-project with fellow Wisconsin crew..

hmmm… I love Bon Iver, which of course Amazon will know from my previous transactions.

Click …it’s a new album

Click …the reviews are good

Click …buy (they have my credit card and delivery address already)

Bought in under 30 seconds!

AmazonI’ll avoid clicking or looking any more because they have recommendations for me, which are always so spot on that I end up buying more. They also show me some of the other music people have purchased who also bought this album – even more temptation.

Amazon must have the best, most intelligent database management system for e-commerce ever – ask my credit card!

Know your customer, understand what they like, write to them and remind them you exist, make recommendations,  make it easy for them to buy, update your database and start the cycle all over again.

Where was I?… Back to my emails

Note in diary: Send out an email to my database on Monday

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design firm in Ireland with offices in Cork and Dublin

Go on – Personalise

August 6, 2013

I Love GregHi there!

Wouldn’t it be a lot better if “Hi Greg” had appeared on the email instead of the words “Hi there”?

Dear Customer,

Wouldn’t it be a lot better if “Dear Greg” appeared on the invitation to attend the launch event instead of “Dear Customer”?

The Manager

Wouldn’t it be a lot better if “Greg Canty” had appeared on the envelope and letter that accompanied the brochure instead of “The Manager”?

Price List

Wouldn’t it be a lot better if  “Fuzion price list” had appeared on the quote instead of a generic price list?

Reserved

Wouldn’t it be a lot better to see “Reserved for Fuzion” on the restaurant table instead of a plain “reserved” sign.

It does take time to customise and personalise, it does take a little extra effort but your communication will resonate so much more when you can avoid being generic. (Personalising has never been so easy with the tools that are now available).

Often being generic can even have a negative effect and can have your customer feeling very “not so special“.

  1. If you can’t personalise think twice about communicating
  2. If you can personalise get it right – double check the spelling of people and company names
  3. Where personalising isn’t expected …personalise!

I received a CD in the post from an Amazon affiliate supplier and the docket had “thanks Greg” marked across it in marker – Wow!

Sometimes it’s really easy to stand out by doing just a little thing.

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Firm in Ireland with offices in Cork and Dublin

Those Days are well and truly gone?

January 17, 2013
Apple Umbrellas

Handy brand ?

Those days are well and truly gone” she said with a nod that demonstrated clarity and conviction around the topic. Around the table everyone nodded their heads agreeing with the wise statement and more importantly the sentiment.

We were working on an event with some very high profile, weighty organisations. This was a planning meeting and the marketing representatives from each organisation were in attendance. The event was very progressive and was targeting attendees that were perfect for each of the participating organisations.

It sounded like a blast from the past when someone around the table suggested a “goodie bag” for the attendees. I hate that description – I immediately think of a branded plastic bag with some literature and a few bits. However I always saw the absolute sense in the “right” branded item that helps make your brand connect with the attendees.

If it is the right item and is useful and durable your brand could appear in all sorts of places being used over and over by your target audience – how bad?

The big danger is that we sit and discuss and because of the “economic climate” we too easily reject things that could make total sense without thinking properly about our objectives.

Why did we do this “stuff” before – was it because we had loads of money and we wanted to chuck it away or was it because it was simply a great idea ?

It”s pouring outside and I grab my really decent umbrella with that “logo” on it ….that brand has done a lot of travelling since the event I got it at!

A lot of what we did before made sense – those days may not be gone after all!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing & PR firm with offices in Dublin and Cork

Undoing the good ….the over sell

October 31, 2012
Pushy salesman

How about it?

Another phone call ..

Last week I attended a really good seminar that was hosted by a company from Dublin that we had never had dealings with before – I’m not really sure how I ended up on their invitation list but somehow I did. They were obviously touting for business in the Cork area and looking for new leads.

The seminar was “free” for all attendees and I must admit that it was very useful and it was run in a very professional manner. It was well attended and judging by the level of interaction during the session the topic was of huge interest.

The two speakers on the day represented the company well and went a long way to convincing the attendees that they had considerable expertise on the subject matter – it turned out to be a really strong “showcase” for their talents and sitting there I reckoned they would definitely pick up business as a result.

I left the enjoyable session with some promotional literature and a really strong impression of the company who presented.

When people registered for the event we were asked for various contact details, which I guess is fair enough if they want to send out further literature or even add me to a newsletter. I was interested in the topic after all.

Since the event I have received a few emails and a few phone calls from the company. The calls have come directly to my mobile and also through to the office phone. After one of the calls I received an email and I politely responded thanking them for the useful session and explaining clearly that if we needed their services I would definitely consider them.

A few days later I am still getting calls and emails ….enough!

Do the seminar, showcase your talents, PR the seminar, leave me with an information pack and maybe a polite follow up call/email a week later.

Instead you’ve turned me off and now all I want to do is avoid you!!

We all need to be careful not to undo the good by pushing too hard for the sale ..

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Twitter and the New Car!

January 16, 2012
Car Salesman
At least this guy was making an effort!

My meeting had gone well, I was in a really positive frame of mind so I decided I would take the first step towards possibly ordering a new car for the start of 2012.

On the way back from my meeting I popped into a car showroom just to get a feel for the prices of the new cars, the second hand cars and of course what I would manage to get as a trade in for the Santa Fe that had served us well since the beginning of 2007 despite the high mileage.

I first spent some time looking at the “premium collection” parked outside, the collection of two and three year old cars all in great condition. Hmmm … not bad at all!

I then dared to venture into the showroom to look at the new models and I must admit feeling excited about the thought of being able to drive one of these beauties at the start of 2012. I was waiting for the approach from the salesman to start a possible conversation that could have resulted in a sale – a few of them were busy at their desks, a few walked past me with folders and a few were chatting to other possible customers.

I looked, I waited, I looked again and I must admit after a while that I was feeling a little deflated as car salesman after car salesman seemed to decide that I was an unworthy customer – did I look broke, did I look like a “tyre kicker”, did I look like another casual browser who was just going to waste their time? In any event I ended up leaving after about 20 minutes having spoken to no one.

Those who know me quite well will not be surprised that how I was feeling at that moment was shared on Twitter … “I must look like I am broke, the car salesmen didn’t come near me” I tweeted.

Jaguar XF
I know …. isn’t it a beauty!

About 10 minutes later I received a call from a friend of mine who is in the motor trade who had spotted my tweet – he was initially concerned that this could have been his car showroom and that there was some issue with his customer service. I assured him that it wasn’t and that if my route back from my meeting passed his place I would have definitely have called in. Needless to say the conversation came around to me possibly being in the market for a new car..

I collected it beauty on the 5th January, it’s a beauty..

Who said twitter was a waste of time for business ..?

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Porridge and what I learnt about samples

November 1, 2011
Flahavans Porridge

Hard habit to break?

I don’t like porridge, at least that’s what I always thought!

In truth I had never tasted it and at 46 what were the chances of me developing a taste for a new cereal? In particular one that was sticky, stodgy and a little messy to make.

I came down the stairs and as usual a really busy week at work meant that the shopping had been neglected and the cupboards were bare, except for this box of Flahavans porridge that had been given to each of the attendees at the Cork Chamber annual conference.

Ok, desperate times calls for desperate measures so let’s try it – how bad can it be? I crack open the carton and see 10 sachets inside with a handy little measuring cup. I quickly read the instructions, empty the sachet, two measures of milk, 2 minutes in the microwave and stir.

Hmmm ..not as bad as I was expecting but maybe it could have been a little sweeter?

Next morning and due to another hectic day at work and the small matter of final accounts being needed for the tax deadline the shopping had still been neglected – ok, let’s try the porridge again but this time lets add a small dash of maple syrup that I found at the back of the cupboard.

Hmmm..this was quite nice after all, it was easy to make and very warming on a cold and miserable morning.

Next morning – I’m looking forward to my porridge. A new habit was born!

It’s never too late to convert a customer but if you are doing it with samples don’t just give them a taste, give them enough so they can form a new habit.

Flahavans – well done to you!

I’m sure at some point that someone internally put their neck on the line and insisted that full boxes of product be given to participants at conferences instead of single sachets because they understood that’s what is needed to change habits.

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Writers Block!

April 12, 2011

All sorts of direct mail comes through our letter box everyday of the week ranging from free newspapers, special offers from pizza and Chinese restaurants and local hardware stores.

At work the direct mail tends to be a little bit different, we do get the free newspapers but we also tend to get some special offers from gyms and some notifications about lunch time specials in local restaurants. The odd time you will get someone offering some type of business to service such as IT support. Mostly this material goes direct to the bin after a quick glance.

The very odd time something very special comes through the letter box and this happened yesterday in the office. This very special piece of direct marketing immediately brought the gift of laughter and joy to everyone – in fact it was so good that the effects of it lasted the whole day.

It brought smiles – sorry that it a huge understatement – it brought uncontrollable laughter from the minute it was discovered. During the day this unique piece of direct marketing was spontaneously grabbed by whoever was passing – it was picked up and even though everyone knew the joke already it did not matter – the roars of laughter just kicked off again.

I don’t think anyone in the office will take up what was being offered any time soon but to those who delivered this unique gift through our letterbox we cannot thank you enough. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Direct Marketing that makes you laugh!

How is your writing?

Writers block?

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion


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