Improving the Response Rate on Direct Mail Campaigns

The nuerosciencemarketing blog among others are very excited about the results of a marketing effort documented in Robert Cialdini’s Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive.  The point of the study was that personalization works. To test their theory, a survey was mailed under the cover of three separate letters:

1) A laser personalized printed letter.
2) A laser personalized printed letter with a handwritten message written in the margin, at top or bottom.
3) A laser persoanlized printed letter with a handwritten message written on a Post-It note that was attached to the letter.

So which configuration would compel you most to complete the survey? I bet you’re not surprised to find that:

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Getting a Job in PR (or anywhere else for that matter)

When I finished grad school at FSU in 1991 the unemployment rate was also somewhere around 7%. Competing against experienced professionals for entry-level positions was extremely difficult. Today I find myself on the receiving end of those inquiries and feel compelled to share a few tips I wish somebody had told me 17+ years ago.

First of all, it’s all about your network. Experienced professionals and repeat job seekers know this but new graduates haven’t figured it out yet. While every person you meet may seem like a potential employer, you will be much better served if you figure out how to add them to your network first. Don’t ask them for a job. Ask them how they like their job. Learn about what they do and how they got there. Find out who they talk to, sell to, buy from, partner with and even hire. And then ask them to refer you to three associates who work in your targeted field. If you have enough of these conversations, you will ultimately network your way into a position.

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The Lost Art of Press Proofs

When I first started buying printing, we'd get a proof with everything we ordered. The customer always hated paying for the proof but it was the only way we had to confirm that the Quark file submitted (usually on an iomega tape at that time) was in order and that the…

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Prospects Opening Fewer Marketing Emails?

A recent study by MailerMailer found that overall consumers are opening fewer marketing emails. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, especially given the quantity of wanted and unwanted email that an individual user receives each day. But the truth is that we’re not going to stop sending it, we’ve just got to get smarter about what we send.

When you figure that an average email gets 5 seconds to catch the attention of the user before they delete it (a handy stat provided by the folks at Strategic Fusion when they are calculating time saved using SPAM filters), it becomes increasingly important to make the message easy to view and compelling to read. Beyond really compelling subject lines (a must have if you want anyone who doesn’t already know you to open your message), the next thing to consider is compelling and easy to view content.

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#3: Be Available

Good PR Clients make themselves available when their agency or the media call directly with a question. If getting quoted in articles is part of your strategy to boost the image and credibility of your organization, you've got make yourself available when these opportunities present themselves. It is OKAY to…

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Great Subject Lines? Priceless!

48 email messages filled my box when I returned from my morning meetings. Guess which one I read first. Not the one from my most favorite client, my spouse or an important vendor. It was the one with the most compelling subject line.

Composing subject lines is an art form that shouldn’t be but often is relegated to an after thought. Over and over clients spend cycles composing compelling and informational email marketing messages only to throw something into the subject line at the last minute. We’re even worse when composing individual messages, not giving enough thought to the reference or motivation necessary in the subject line.

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#2 Good PR Clients are Prompt

By prompt I do not mean arrive on time (although that is often helpful). Instead I’m referring to clients who are prompt with their announcements. Nothing is less interesting to a reporter than old news. Clients who want coverage of a product they released last month are out of luck. Prospects and customers are no longer wowed by the newsworthiness of something they have already seen on someone else’s cover or heard you mention at a conference last quarter.

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Three Characteristics of a Good PR Client

Before I had the chance to read Kanzler’s How to Be a Good PR Client, the headline got me thinking. And as luck would have it, I had a client-inspired afternoon to help fuel my thoughts.

First, on to my short list. Great PR clients  — and by great, I mean that ones whose behavior ultimately contributes to  (instead of limits) their own success are…

1. Transparent
2. Prompt
3. Available

Before you get started with silly questions, by transparent I do not mean see-through. Transparent clients are those who aren’t afraid to pull back the curtains and reveal some depth about their announcement or organization.

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Something for Everyone in Solis’ Conversation Prism

I had the opportunity to speak to attendees of the Georgia Oglethorpe Awards Conference at the Loudermilk Center in downtown Atlanta today. They asked me to share a little about how the changing patterns in media consumption were providing new PR opportunities. This subject matter was quite a change from…

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Press Releases for the Masses

The reason that subscription rates for daily newspapers are dropping is not because people are opting to read them for free online. The reason that subscriptions are dropping on everything from the New York Times to the Atlanta Journal Constitution is that we, as consumers of news, are no longer waiting for the dailies to dictate for us what is newsworthy. Instead we’re out using our own aggregators and media filters to select our own news.

It used to be that AP and UPI decided what was newsworthy, based on what their reporters saw that day and the thousands of press releases that came across their wire. Subsequently they would filter news to the dailies and voila today’s news appeared on your doorstep by 7AM.

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