Want to create an html footer in Mac Mail? There’s a great tutorial here, if you can manage the html on your own. I just tried it and it worked like a charm. Thanks Melvin Rivera!
Archive for January, 2010
I’m the first to admit that this is a super picky typography issue, but I’d be negligent if I didn’t point it out. I saw the following photo on the cover of the Business section of today Star and Tribune. Can you spot the typography error?
If you said, “huh?” you wouldn’t be alone. Look at the apostrophe: see how it goes straight up and down instead of angling in toward the letters? That’s because it’s a prime symbol.
Still saying “huh”? Let me explain it this way: a prime symbol is the one that’s used to abbreviate foot. There’s a separate typographic symbol for an apostrophe, this one curves toward the previous letter. Here’s an example:
In print, the correct symbol can be inserted using a glyphs palette or key command. Many design programs also have a feature called “Smart Quotes,” that converts the default prime and double prime symbols to apostrophes and quotes.
For the web, typographic manipulation is less accessible. That’s why this very blog entry is polluted with incorrect examples. Please excuse me.
So why should we care? Well, think of correct punctuation as proper grammar. Sure, you can speak poorly and still get your point across just fine, but you won’t sound very smart or refined. Same goes for typography. If you spend the time to make sure your typography is correct, your layout will feel more elegant and refined, though most people would be hard-pressed to tell you why.
Plus, in the case of Delta, they paid a good chunk of change to have this sign printed. And then a newspaper photographer came and took a photo of it. Wouldn’t they have desired to have the right message come from it?
Thank you to everyone who attended the Market Like You Mean It breakout session at the Destined to Win in 2010 conference. We had so much fun presenting and loved the energy in the room!
As you know, I ran out of time during my Branding/Target Audiences portion of the talk. As devastating as it was to me to lose out on sharing yet another birdfeeder analogy, all is not lost! Here’s a synopsis of my portion of the talk:
BRANDING: IT’S NOT JUST YOUR LOGO
Elements of your brand include much more than your gorgeous, creative logo! Make sure you keep a record of ALL your brand elements and present them consistently to your audiences. Brand elements to consider:
- Logo and its usage: horizontal format, vertical format, text-only or icon-only format, all-black version, white version)
- Brand color palette
- Brand fonts both print fonts—those fancy, designer fonts—and web/email/Microsoft Word fonts—helvetica, arial, georgia, times, trebuchet, verdana, etc
Brand Description: a statement about your company that summarizes what you’re there to accomplish. Can include your brand’s mission and vision statements.
Brand Story: This is how your brand came to be, it’s the passion behind the company
Brand Services: A clear statement about what your company offers, including the features and benefits.
Brand Voice: This is the tone you use to talk about your company (eg. helpful, wacky, fun, energetic, wise, etc…)
A BRAND IS NOTHING WITHOUT AN UNDERSTANDING OF YOUR TARGET MARKET
To illustrate the above, consider a gorgeous, sophisticated brand for a company marketing to preschoolers. Message lost!
Your target audience has both demographics and psychographics to consider. We’re more accustomed to thinking about the former; it’s information we can get in a number of places (direct mail companies, the James J. Hill library, for example). These are factors such as age, education level, socioeconomic level, gender, race, geographical location, and more. Psychographics are more complex. You need to consider:
- Who’s buying? Why? How? Where? How often?
- Influences: What are their peers buying? What’s mom say? Business associates?
- Media: What are they watching on television? What radio or podcast stations do they listen to? What billboards do they see on the way to work? What newspapers do they read (do they get a paper newspaper or read online?). Even if you never advertise in these mediums, your competitors may. It’s good to know what they’re seeing to be able to differentiate your own business.
TIP 1: SELECT THE AUDIENCES CAREFULLY
- Do they have money?
- Are they someone you want to work with? Do they match your aesthetic/philosophy/company mission?
- Will they withstand fluctuations in the economy? Consider having 3-5 industry focuses.
TIP 2: MARKET TO YOUR CURRENT CUSTOMERS
The best way to get started: survey your customers to find out how you’re doing, what they’d like to see, how you can improve, and more. It’s tough love that will pay off if you make the effort! Here are some ways to get customer feedback:
- Ask your clients. Sounds simple, but when is the last time you did it?
- Comment Cards
- Study shopping patterns. Review your invoices/register data: what’s your most popular suite of products/services? What needs to be dropped or marketed better?
- Ask sales staff. They’re likely to have a lot of good anecdotal information about your clients/customers.
- Solicit blog comments. Offer a discount or special to people who leave feedback.
- Check online reviews. There are a number of online sites dedicated to providing product and service reviews. Make sure you know and check the sites where your customers may leave feedback.
- Polls. You can post a poll to your blog or send out an email poll via a service like Constant Contact.
- Ask in your email footer. With every message you send out, pose a question to your clients in your email footer. Any response is a valuable response!
TIP 3: BUILD YOUR PERMISSION-BASED MARKET
These are people who admittedly want to stay in touch with your business…many of whom will later convert to customers. Therefore, getting their info is critical to your marketing efforts! Here are some ways to build your permission-based list:
- Offer something of value for their email address. They’re giving up their private data, so make it something worth while: an insider’s guide, a book, a gift certificate, a free webinar, or one of your products.
- Make sure your email sign-up link is everywhere: every page of your website, on your blog, your Linkedin site, Facebook page, email footer, etc.
- Comment on other’s social media pages. Especially people who are complementary services to your company. Your comments will include a link back to your website/blog and will build followers online.
- Host a webinar or seminar. They’re a great opportunity to see who’s interested in your services, and to request emails.
- Business card drops. Follow up with people who drop a business card and ask if you can add them to your email list.
- In store sign-ups. One client of mine asks each customer at the time of check-out if she can add them to their email list.
- Email footer. This is unused space, folks! Take advantage of this spot that already has your clients’ undivided attention to provide a link to sign up for your e-newsletter.
TIP 4: CREATE A MARKET FOR YOUR PRODUCT
Educate audiences about your product. Network, host events, give demonstrations, and even offer classes related to your products and services. See more ideas in my previous post, Tips for Surviving the Economy.
TIP 5: MARKET TO A NICHE AUDIENCE
Gone are the days when everyone watched the same programs (and commercials) on television. Today’s audiences are incredibly segmented, getting their information and influences from incredibly diverse sources. Trying to reach, well, everyone, therefore, is a nearly impossible task that requires a herculean budget. It’s smarter, more efficient, and lucrative to go after a small chunk of the market. The trick is to go at it full-on, don’t be timid! Communicate your niche to everyone you know!
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
When you understand your target audiences and present your brand consistently and thoughtfully, you’re on your way to Marketing Like You Mean it!
Thank you to my co-presenters Renee Godbout (May Advertising and Design, Inc) who presented Creating and Stretching Your Budget, and Stephanie Hansen from Printz.com and FM 107 for presenting Marketing Tactics.
Please join us at the the Destined to Win Conference tomorrow! Among the many breakout sessions during the day, Mix Creative will present as part of a panel for Market Like You Mean It. The session will present innovative tips to shake up your marketing in the year 2010.
Time: Thursday, January 28, 2010 from 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM (CT)
Zuhrah Shrine Center
2540 Park Avenue South
Here’s a full list of breakout sessions:
“Make it Happen” breakout sessions include:
How to be a Media Magnet
Presenter: Stephanie Hansen, FM107 radio personality
Manage Your Stress Resistance: The Cortisol Crisis™
Presenter: Jenny C. Evans, B.S., C.P.T., C.F.T., PowerHouse Hit the Deck
Small Changes = Big Profits: 5 Ways to Bigger Profits
Presenter: Barbara Zuleger, certified business coach with ActionCOACH MetroNorth
Put It On Paper: Goal Setting for 2010
Presenter: Cathy Paper Bottern, MA, RockPaperStar
The Nitty Gritty of Effective Networking
Presenter: Gretchen Shoup, image, etiquette and networking consultant and speaker
Trapped or Tapped: The 5 Things Every Woman
Needs to Know to Succeed
Presenter: Sher Foerster, owner of Leader’s Theater
How to Stand Out from the Crowd: Step Out of the Shadow and Into the Spotlight
Presenter: Lauren Johnson, Image Consultant/Coach, Empire WithinKick Butt Sales
Presenter: Pat Schuler, founder of The Gemini Resources Group, LLC, home of the Kick Butt Sales Training™ program
Our monthly e-newsletter, >the mixer, went out today! Take a peek: http://www.themixcreative.com/Jan2010themixer.html.
You can read all of our old e-newsletters by clicking on >the mixer archives under “Pages” to the right of this post.
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