Three Tips for Effective Direct Mail

Direct Mail Postcard

The folks at MCG BioMarkers recently contacted us, as they were thinking of buying ads for garden trade publications. In reviewing the expense of these ads, Paarlance Creative Writing and Amy Belice Graphic Design recommended direct mail instead. The cost of design, printing and postage may be more overall, but the message goes directly to decision makers, making it a better investment than shotgun-style advertising that may get overlooked.

Here are three ways to make your direct mail message more effective.

  1. Write a strong headline that appeals to your audience. In this case, the target audience includes educators at botanical gardens and nature centers. The main benefit of the product is that it is a more sustainably made plant marker. The two points become one with the chosen headline.
  2. Include a testimonial. A good testimonial from the right source can garner a lot of the right attention for your product or service.
  3. Include an offer. Direct mail is more effective when accompanied by a percentage off or something free with purchase. MCG BioMarkers loves to send out samples of their product, as there is nothing like it on the market. They also offered a percentage off to entice new orders.

We have also written postcards that serve as newsletters on a quarterly or biannual basis. Contact us to learn more about direct mail marketing, and see both sides of the postcard here!

A Bold Brand & Website for Manufacturer

It had been a few years since M’s Machine had updated its marketing materials, and they knew they needed a new website and brochure. We took the extra time to introduce them to Amy Belice Graphic Design to create a new logo that would work in many formats and media, from shirts to print materials to their website. We also recommended high quality photography by John Thomas of fisheye to ensure their brochure and website would accurately reflect services they offer and their current equipment.

Paarlance Creative Writing not only wrote the content, but also managed the project to ease the process for the client. The copy was written from scratch to better represent this manufacturing company, which works with Fortune 500 OEMs, or original equipment manufacturers.

The resulting materials make a bold statement and modernize their marketing to the next level. Click below to check out these samples!

M's Machine website screen shot

 

3 Tips for Avoiding the Copywriting Dead End

dead end signHas your road to content development come to an impasse? Are you stuck, either dreading the copywriting process or simply drawing a blank on what to say? Take a moment to consider these three tips for kicking off your copy!

  1. Take a deep breath. One of the first steps in writing copy is simply thinking it through. Generally, what do you want to say? Outline your thoughts mentally. Sometimes, a short, mindful walk will shake some new thoughts loose. Then, return to your desk and document the thoughts in a simple bullet list.
  2. Do your research. It’s possible that lack of information is holding you back from collecting your thoughts into a cohesive form. Search your files for information about your content expertise — study it and see where it leads. Who is the ultimate guru in your company on this topic? Have coffee with him or her and talk about the topic at hand. You might be surprised how inspiring even the dullest topic becomes when the most passionate employee starts talking about it!
  3. Put the topic down and step away. Sometimes the reason you have difficulty with the topic is because you’re too close to it. This is common and often one of the greatest challenges to overcome. Of course you know your stuff, but organizing it into a cohesive marketing package isn’t your expertise! Consider hiring a copywriter who will listen to your needs, seek out the details and put them all together in an engaging, audience-focused package.

Time and time again, we help entrepreneurs, corporations and nonprofits write the copy they need. Don’t like to write? We love it and can extract the info we need from you and your staff. Don’t have time? It’s our full-time expertise, and we can quickly complete news releases, website copy, blog posts, brochures and more when time is of the essence. Please contact us today for an affordable solution to your copywriting dead ends!

The Audience Drives Website Copywriting & Editing

One of the things I live for is writing and editing for the web. I was in the industry when this medium started to lead the marketing pack. At that time, I was somewhat reluctant to write web content, as I knew I had a lot to learn. I proceeded to bone up on what it meant to write quality web copy. Today, I am still learning, mostly due to the steady changes to Google’s search engine as well as social media such as Facebook.

Today, as we approach Google’s 16th birthday, I still don’t call myself a web writing expert. “Expert” is a mighty strong word. “Web writing specialist” seems more on point. Take a look at some of the web writing and editing projects I’ve had the opportunity to work on:

These writing and editing samples demonstrate how web copy can be tailored to the entrepreneur or corporate voice while always keeping the audience in mind.

New Website Samples

For your viewing and reading pleasure, I just posted a couple of recent website samples on my website. I’m so grateful to work with design firms like Windmill Design, WDG Communications and others on websites, brochures and other materials! The latest samples highlight a refined b2b corporate website and a dramatic overhaul of a small municipality’s website.

Here’s the before and after of the City of Robins site, which was done in collaboration with WDG Communications in Cedar Rapids. As you can probably tell, it was time to reorganize the content to make it more user friendly. The designer made it look great and we worked together to improve the functionality.

Robins website before City of Robins new website

Recognition for HawkeyeHotels.com

HawkeyeHotels.com awardAs one of the strongest examples of local websites completed in 2013, Paarlance Creative Writing entered  HawkeyeHotels.com in the American Advertising Awards competition. The website received a Silver award from American Advertising Federation: Cedar Rapids-Iowa City on February 22, 2014.

We are proud of the work and appreciate being brought in by designer/developer Harrison Wheeler to do the work. We also appreciate the client for being so great to work with on this corporate site. Congrats to Hawkeye Hotels for their award-winning website!

You’re Invited: A Print Morsel

Paarlance Creative Writing has worked for several years with Business & Talent Made Better, including working on the website, www.bizsavvyleaders.com. Recently, the client reimagined their coaching offerings into one unique option called 99Biz. The idea is that 99 businesses can grow by at least one employee in 2014 through affordable monthly business coaching. This invitation is one of the pieces we refined through editing and copywriting. Excellent branding design was provided by one of our key design partners, Amy Belice Graphic Design.

99Biz invitation 99Biz Invite p2

Enhance Your Marketing Knowledge

Remember this website? Well, if you’re in the market to increase your knowledge of marketing, you’re welcome to head on over to BizSAVVY Leaders website to register for free seminars about marketing in June, July and August. The topics of this client’s seminars are based on the principles of Duct Tape Marketing, which is in my reading queue right now. My client, Theresa Bornbach, has also added a low-cost session called “Leveraging LinkedIn” — two hours for only $25.

What are you waiting for? Check out the BizSAVVY Leaders blog and registration page today.

Collaboration: HawkeyeHotels.com

Great collaborations never get old. New collaborations are always exciting. Here’s a renewed website for a new client and developer partner, Harrison Wheeler, and his client, Hawkeye Hotels.

Hawkeye Hotels About Page

The About page for Hawkeye Hotels includes a rewritten and refreshed story about the company.

A little bit of conversation with the client and developer made it possible to rewrite the story about the company and its strategic benefits with little trouble. Because of the open communication with the developer and client, the copy for this site was completed in a fairly short time frame. We worked on making sure SEO terms were available for this corporate site targeted primarily at investors.

We hope you’ll check it out when you have a chance. It’s a great example of what Paarlance Creative Writing can do for web designers and developers and their clients.

Website Done Right

Theresa Bornbach has been a great client over the years. She has owned several businesses, which have all evolved over time. These evolutions have resulted in changes to her websites. Our latest creation promotes Theresa’s business coaching services and demonstrates a solid B2B brand on a WordPress platform.

www.BizSAVVYleaders.com

BizSAVVYleaders.com

Check out a recent website writing sample at www.BizSAVVYleaders.com

While a few details remain to be completed, I welcome you to check out this site, which reflects a collaboration between Paarlance Creative Writing, Amy Belice Graphic Design and Edilson Web Design. I wrote the tagline, edited the copy for SEO and marketing effectiveness and provided project management services. We took the time to do it right, and the effort paid off — we even launched ahead of schedule!

Together with the client, we have put together a quality website that offers an in-depth view of her services, provides opportunities for blogging, and makes it easy to update as changes occur.