In the marketing world, the power of compelling words is what drives business. Success comes in the form of new, creative ideas but what are you to do when it seems as though those ideas and words have run out? This is the all too familiar feeling of writer’s block that many professionals grapple with. While at the time it can seem frustrating, overcoming writer’s block may actually prove to lead you down a path of discovering unique and creative ideas you may not have thought of otherwise. Here are a few ways to get your creative mind flowing again.
1.) Freewriting- Set a timer for 5 minutes and simply write, about any and everything. Don’t worry about punctuation and grammar and definitely don’t worry about anything making sense. Whatever you do, don’t stop writing. At the end of the 5 minutes, you will be surprised as to what you come up with.
2.) Mind Mapping- Start with a main topic which you can branch other ideas off of. With the expansion of ideas on top of ideas, your amount of creative information can be endless. Here is more in-depth information on how to create your own Mind Map.
3.) Read- Simple enough, yet knowing what to read is where people often go wrong. If you read what you’ve always read, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten. Expand your horizons to blogs and other company’s websites. Review social media, both your own and others to see what people are talking about. These avenues are less conventional than the norm of newspapers and magazines but they can develop ideas you may have never considered before.
Remember these three simple steps the next time you are struggling to create your next marketing success!
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The U.S. Postal Service is reporting quarterly losses of $3.3 billion; scary news for a service so many of us use on a consistent basis to grow our business. The reality of the impact of this report is detrimental to a wide variety of industries, more specifically direct mail.
Direct mail would not exist without the postal service and the postal service stays afloat with the help of direct mail. If one ceases to exist, the other may inevitably follow suite.
Imagine a world where you no long received the weekly sale paper from your neighborhood grocery store or you didn’t receive the coupon for your oil change to remind you to get that done. Imagine a world without tangible pieces of mail and homes without mailboxes. Worse yet, imagine your business without the help of direct mail marketing. Would you receive the number of donors you need without sending out direct mail pieces?
With the onset of technology and avenues such as email and social media, personalized hand written cards in the mail mean so much more these days because they are so unusual. Doing away with these special touches may mean doing away with personal one on one communication in the very near future.
Now the question is, what are ways in which we can make sure to save the future of the U.S. Postal Service?
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There are 75 million “me’s” (baby boomers like me, Ron Rescigno), in the age range of 50-65 RIGHT NOW. For you, the non-profit fundraiser, we should be considered A-1 candidates for consistent giving. Many, though certainly not me, are at a stage where they no longer have large expenses AND they’re still earning money. They’re ready to give back. This is a large pool to target and now is the time to do it.
The Generation Xers (born in the early 60s-early 80s), however pose a different challenge. First of all, there are far fewer of them so when they hit 50+ there just won’t be as many donors to go around. So get this group involved in your organization as soon as possible. Communicate with them regularly. Doing so will give you a competitive advantage when they take over
What about Gen Y? We advise that you begin cultivating and engaging them now so they become your donors of the future. Remember, the longer a donor has a relationship with an organization, the more likely he or she is to provide major and planned gifts.
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There is inaccurate information being disseminated regarding when a direct mail piece should have 1st class postage (now 45 cents) affixed to it. The answer for those who mail at standard rates — over 500 pieces — is almost never.
If you are being advised by someone you work with, be it a printer, designer or whomever that you’d be better off “Mailing it 1st class,” your immediate response should be “Why?” You see, it’s much simpler for some printers and designers (who broker out the work) to get you to agree to pay 1st class postage rates and here is why: they don’t need to follow any postal rules and no paperwork is required to be presented at the post office.
Consider: to mail your annual appeal of 10,000 pieces at .45 = $4,500 in postage (with an average delivery time of 3-5 days), compared to 10,000 pieces mailed out at .18 cents (approximate) = $1,800 (with an average delivery time of 4-6 days).
Make sense? Before you waste any more of your constituents’ money, STOP! Ask why and listen for the silence when your direct marketing “partner” doesn’t know what to say.
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One of the most basic, beginning steps for any business who is interested in starting a social media marketing campaign is to determine who your targeted market is going to be. Once you identify who they are, you can begin to build your campaign around that group.
Trying to appeal to too many people or the wrong people is a waste of your time and resources. This in turn will save you money, because essentially as we all know, time equals money and no one likes to waste either.
Specifying the audience you want to reach makes everything easier on yourself as well. It makes the content you are posting on your social media sites more specific and more focused. Instead of users sifting through information to find specialized topics, they know everything you post will be of value because you are targeting their specific interests. If your audience is engaged, it will create conversation, which attracts more people to your page making the use of your social media sites successful.
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