With magazines, books or catalogs as well as any other business printing or messaging, your first impression counts mightily. The first cold call, interview or brochure you send out is meant to tell people who you are and convey your message in its most positive light. How do you know it is working and that your message is getting through? Unless you are on the web and using sophisticated analytics and with ROI charts, that may be your only way to know is that the door either opened or slammed in your face. You either successfully made your opening gambit, add the subscriber to your magazine, sold your book, got the deal, the listing, the sale or you did not. With “direct mail”, or any other direct form of advertising, the rule of thumb is that you should expect a two percent return at a minimum. If not your message needs an adjustment.
You may not be able to control every factor at hand in acquiring new business and closing the deal, but one you can control is how you first present yourself. You would not go to a job interview in jeans and a tee shirt (OK, maybe for Apple or Zynga) so why would you do the same with your cold call, direct mail piece or any printed brochure, postcard, catalog, or media presentation. You would don your best “business attire” and smack the best business look on your face and be ready to meet the world. It should be the same with your printed message.
OK, the above said, you may ask: “what can I do to improve my chances of opening the door, add that subscriber or sell a book so I may entice the prospect and give myself the best shot at closing the deal”?
- Utilize quality design for your presentation. Make sure that the images are well chosen and that the layout is “user friendly” and conveying your message as you would write a story, with a beginning, middle and end.
- Utilize quality images. No matter what you are portraying from a book or magazine cover, you should only use images that are showing your product to be used in a brochure or other form of advertisement that show it in the best light. Use shots either by a professional or that are professional looking. Do what top model photographers do: Shoot many, many shots, one is bound to come out the way you want and have it well lit from all sides, including back lighting.
- Make sure the images you choose are of high resolution and CMYK, which differs from the RGB system of your monitor. They should be cropped and color corrected to their best advantage.
- Most importantly, your copy should be compelling. You should be using the USP (Unique Selling Proposition), today’s language of sales. You never want to be “offering” from your perspective, but explaining the “benefits” of doing business with you or purchasing your book, subscribing to your magazine or buying your product. Pose relevant questions that you can answer. Offer guarantees, which you may even do so by law or otherwise, but can be highlighted in your printed brochure or advertisement.
- If your piece is going in the mail and you are mailing to more than just your own followers, use targeted lists that are easily obtained and that are based on the exact demographics of your ideal buyer. Direct mail done right is a winner. You can purchase lists of non competing businesses or other magazines in order to mail to.
- Utilize the best and most cost effective procedures if producing a magazine, brochure or post card by understanding how one size may offer you a better postage rate than another. Understand how your cost per page for a magazine, book or brochure can be affected by your final page count to be printed. Learn how you can increase your quantity by lowering your paper weights and print more for less.
I hope that some or all of these suggestions are of use to you and if you have any questions about these points you are welcome to contact us directly or post them in the comments section of this blog. A reply will be promptly forthcoming.
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