It’s that time of year again! The Big Day of Giving is an event to raise money for non-profits and to raise awareness of their causes. It’s a time to learn about your local organizations and how much good they are doing in your community. With 587 causes listed on the Big Day of Giving website, you are sure to find something that you feel strongly about.
As you may know customers can get to your website many different ways. This blog is about SEO (search engine optimization) and PPC (pay-per-click). Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines are how your customers find stuff on the web. They pull out relevant information gathered from what you put in your search. Google alone accounts for 3,500,000,000 (3.5 Billion per day) that’s a lot of people looking for answers, products and services every hour of every day. So how do you find which is the best way for you and your company to the first page on search engines? Both SEO and PPC work, but do you need both? To understand the difference between SEO and PPC, let’s take a look at them and see their strengths and weaknesses.
PPC (Pay Per Click) Instead of organically and gradually ranking your way toward the top of search results, you pay the search engine to place your website on the top of page instantly. Every time a user clicks on your ad or website, the search engine charges a small fee. One thing to take note, it’s more than money that gets you to the top. It’s also “quality score”, location, relevance, and site functionality. But PPC search words are sold on the open marketing, meaning anyone can come along a take your spot if they want to pay more. Here are some of the top keyword costs per click: Continue reading Do you SEO, PPC, or go both ways?
In grade school, we learned how to mix primary colors (yellow, blue, and red), that yellow + blue = green, blue + red = purple, red + yellow = orange. Guess what? That was your first lesson in color theory. It’s not that simple when you are trying to color match your prints, though. It gets complicated in offset and digital printing vs. what you see on your monitor and smart phone.
Establishing your BRAND color is a great place to start, but it won’t cut it to simply say “We use dark green”. In fact, just knowing your company’s Pantone color values isn’t enough, since those values are generally used for specific printing processes. What about spot colors vs. CMYK vs. RGB?
If the healthcare market is a patient, then the numbers say it’s noticeably sick. ASI data found that in the last four years, healthcare’s share of the total market for promotional products has steadily declined, from 13.8% in 2012 to 10% in 2016. And if the distributors are the doctors in this metaphor, then they’ve made a diagnosis based on symptoms of fear and uncertainty stemming from the ongoing partisan debate over healthcare policy, as well as exaggerated scrutiny on spending.
NOW IS THE TIME If you have a small dental practice this could be the time to take advantage of the large health care industry pause in their marketing. Take a look at this article from the Advertising Specialty Institute.
So why do we care about this day and why should you care as a company?
If just being around plants can improve your mood and concentration, why wouldn’t we want out employees to enjoy these benefits? Engaged employees increase productivity. This year for International Day of Forests, we will be giving each employee their very own office plant and we will have our lunch outdoors!
People don’t buy products, they buy a better version of themselves.
A better parent, a better friend, a better marketer, a better business owner…Think about it; you might buy a seat for a webinar, on how to increase your profits using social media, because you want to be a business owner or marketer with a more profitable business.
It’s so obvious that it can sometimes be hard to figure out the next step in your marketing plan to reach the people that want or need what you are selling in order for them to feel fulfilled. Sometimes you just have to talk to somebody who has been there before. That’s what we sent our designer/marketer-in-the-making out to do. She found a great resource in Talia Wolf’s messages about reaching people where they are in the stages of awareness. The whole time she was reading or listening to the webinars, she realized that she was also in a sales funnel—Talia’s sales funnel. And she was OK with that because what she was getting out of the experience made her want to go all the way to the end. She recommends that you, the reader, check this person out here: https://getuplift.co/ and you will not be disappointed.
Before we go further, let’s examine the difference between marketing and sales.
They go hand in hand and cannot survive without each other. What makes them different is the order in which they are used, and how they are used. The marketing department’s job is to do the research, plan product launches and campaigns, and provide collateral for the sales people. The sales department needs to get educated by the marketing department on what they are selling, get familiar with it, and then go out and well…solve problems! Both departments have a role in the typical sales process.
There are 5 stages of client awareness during the sales process and it is up to marketers and their sales people to nudge potential clients through the stages. The end goal is to solve the person or company’s pain. Don’t sell to them, solve their pain.
5 stages of awareness:
Unaware. These people don’t know they have a pain that needs solving quite yet, but they ARE going through the pain. They need to be shown that there is pain and that they have it.
Pain Aware. These people know they have a pain. Let them see that you know and understand their pain. This is where you can show them some DIY solutions and push them to Solution Aware. Don’t show your products yet; you are still letting them get to know you.
Solution Aware. They know there are solutions, services, platforms that can solve their pain but don’t know what is right for their particular circumstances. Talk about different solutions and how your solution solves their pain. Do NOT talk about features of your product yet. Focus on solving pain first. Pushes them into the product aware phase.
Product Aware. They know you, your competitors, etc., and are just not convinced you are the right one. Now you can talk feature, services, prices, etc. You’ve already shown them that they have a pain, you understand their pain, there are solutions and yours is one, now show them how yours is better than the other solutions. It’s important that you wait until this stage to do this. Skipping the other steps is a good way to lose people. You have go to hold their hand a little so they know that you care about solving their pain.
Most aware. People decide to convert but they need a buy button, a call to action. If you did a good job on the other 4 steps, you get the opportunity to make a difference in their professional or personal lives. If you have failed to make your case in the other 4 steps, you will lose them here.
In 2017, almost 3 million pieces of direct mail passed through our building. That’s a lot of mail! Among them were catalogs, oversized postcards, standard mail, letter sets, etc. That’s three million chances for businesses to get their potential clients to take action. How well will it work? Let’s take a look.
As a business owner, you may have heard that direct mail made a comeback after the recession slump. Well, it never really left as a viable option; the recession just reduced the competition!
Direct mail is doing well today with or without recovery. Check out these stats from the Data and Marketing Association Response Report that we gleaned from Compu-Mail:
Direct mail household response rate is 5.1% (compared to .6% email, .6% paid search, .2 online display, .4% social media). This is the highest response rate the DMA has ever reported, since coming out with the Response Rate Report in 2003.
At 6.6%, oversized envelopes have the greatest household response rates over other mediums (followed by postcards at 5.7% and letter-sized envelopes at 4.3%).
At 37%, oversized envelopes have the greatest household return on investment over other mediums (followed by postcards and letter-sized envelopes at 29%).
The response rate for direct mail among people aged 18-21 years old is 12.4%. The top response rate tracking methods are online tracking such as PURLs (61%), call center or telephone (53%), and code or coupon (42%).
So, what if you aren’t getting the responses for your direct mail that you see in these stats?
We have been getting a few clients asking us about enabling Flash on their browser. Why do you need to do this just to see what you want to see? Flash is going away. It is dying a slow death, and as with many tech deaths, it is taking people by surprise.
What is Flash?
I had to get a simple breakdown from our tech guy and well, here is my attempt to put it into un-techy language: Flash is a kind of “computery” language that enables computers and browsers to play back videos, animations, interactive media, advertisements, etc.
Why is it going away?
It’s not very secure More than a few Zero Days have occurred last year in which hackers could target your computer. According to Norton Antivirus, “The term ‘zero-day’ refers to a software vulnerability that the developer is newly aware of, and thus an official patch or update to fix the issue has not been released. Essentially, ‘zero-day’ refers to the fact that the developers have “zero days” to fix the problem that has just been exposed—and perhaps already exploited by hackers.” This has led many users and many browsers to disable Flash automatically.
It’s being dumped All major browsers block Flash by default. Firefox began blocking Flash in 2015 followed soon by Safari, Chrome, and Microsoft Edge. Internet Explorer is the only Flash enabled browser right now. That will soon be gone too, as IE is planning to disable Flash by 2019.
…But there will be stragglers Just like obsolete font types are still being used, nobody can stop developers from using Flash. But it won’t be supported by browsers anymore, just like old fonts are not supported by new operating systems. It’s ability to work will be patchy without support.
What this means for your business
Your websites will need to be updated to avoid using Flash by the drop dead year of 2020, though support in browsers will end before then.
Your animations using Flash can only be used on a computer with a compatible operating system that has Flash installed.
If you have interactive learning sites or proofing tools, you will need to make sure they have an HTML version.
What we are doing about it
We have already updated our website to not include Flash.
We are still going to use ProofHQ as our client proofing tool because they are developing an HTML version of the website that goes live in the next couple weeks. Currently, they have a beta version available. If you want to test out this platform right now, click this text in the bottom left hand side of your proof. It looks different but proofs still show accurately, and that is the important part to us and our clients. Of course, because it is in beta right now, you must have Flash enabled to access the button (go figure, right?).
Google offers Google My Business, a free listing for your dental practice. Optimizing your Google My business can promote your listing inside the search engine, showing up in search consequences ranking higher on search for your practice on Google. Your Google My Business additionally allows you to post updates, add photos, reply to reviews, and highlight what’s one of a kind about your practice.
Your practice must take ownership of what patients see when they do a search for your practice. We have crafted a list of Google My Business “DOs” and “DON’Ts” to set your practice’s Google listing off on the right foot.
DO: Do- Claim your listing. Do- Fill it out as totally as possible. Do- Remember what account you use to get entry to the listing. Do- Check on your listing often to make sure it wasn’t updated when you weren’t looking. Do- Gather and respond to evaluations appropriately.
DON’T: Don’t add Keywords to your practice name. Don’t add Categories that don’t mirror your practice. Don’t use a tracked phone number. Don’t add any customers to your checklist unless you recognize precisely what they will be doing on it. Don’t pay for reviews or use artificial reviews (Google will know).
Though Google My Business is a practical tool for setting up your search engine optimization success, your Google checklist should work hand in hand with your other SEO marketing efforts. For extra details on Google My Business and how to effectively market your practice online, discover our web optimization services. API-Marketing takes the guesswork out of marketing for dentists, discover what our search engine optimization can do for you. Call us at 888-282-8764
The U.S. Postal Service once again raising rates. Here are some details of the 2018 postage rate increase. This increase takes effect on Sunday January 21st.
First-Class Mail Letter rates are slated to increase from their current 49 cent rate to 50 cents. Now is a good time to buy Forever stamps, before the price goes up! The postcard rate, which applies to individually mailed postcards measuring 4.25 x 6 or smaller, increases from 34 to 35 cents. The additional ounces charge for first class letters will remain at 21 cents, and international letters also hold steady at $1.15.
If you use metered postage in your office the rate also increases by one cent, from 46 cents to 47 cents.
Marketing mail (also known as standard mail) rates are slated to increase by an average of 1.94 percent. Included in this category are presort standard as well as the nonprofit rate. Presort Standard automated letters increase slightly less than the rest at only 1%, which is less than 1 cent increase. First Class Presort automated letters also see an estimated 1 cent per piece increase, from 40 to 41. Nonprofit automated letters hold at approximately 17 cents per piece. The largest postage increases in this category target Flats, going up about 1.5% across the board.
Every Door Direct Mail
The USPS’s very successful Every Door Direct Mail program is also scheduled for a small increase from 15.6 cents to 15.7 cents on DDU shipments. The other categories also went up 1/10 cent each.
As in previous years, the main focus of the rate increase is on Shipping Services, which sees an average increase for Priority Mail of 3.9 percent, including a 5 cent increase on most Flat Rate shipping charges.
If you have any question or want to have your next mailing project quoted in advance please contact one our mail design experts.