with Words that “Hook”
and Graphics that “Kick!
By Karen Saunders
Do the marketing pieces
you send out lack pizzazz and personality? Are they capturing the
clients you want to work with?
As your company's
in-house graphics person--perhaps more by default than by
intention--you're pressed to be a jack/jill-of-all-trades. You want
to do a great job of producing promotional pieces, but you have
little time to learn advanced design and marketing skills. Your
ongoing challenge is learning to do a little more to get a lot
better results--quickly and painlessly. How can you improve them?
What Techniques Can You
Take these 5 design/marketing tips to heart. Using them consistently
will save you time in the long run and attract more customers.
1) Develop a brand
identity and stick with it:
Branding is an
all-encompassing concept that brings together your business's
product mix, pricing, ambience, promotions, identity, and much more.
From a graphics point of view, it's your logo, stationery, business
card, website, and flyers that create a graphic personality. Your
descriptive tag line bonds these pieces with added pizzazz. Think
about familiar brands like Nike's. You know what it offers instantly
when you see the logo (the Nike swoosh) and tag line (Just Do It!).
You want that kind of instant recognition for your company.
The results? Your
messages get noticed because you've built credibility and
recognition into your brand through consistent use of graphic
2) "Hook" customers with
persuasive writing and a "call to action":
Make a habit of doing
these two things: Use persuasive words that "hook" their interest,
and include a well-defined call to action in every piece. When
writing marketing pieces, what can you do to make them more
effective? Apply these basics:
Know who you are
writing for and keep their preferences in mind as you write each
Put your message in
terms of "you" rather than "I" or "we." People don't care about
what "we" offer; they care about how your product or service can
make their lives better.
Make it clear what
your readers should do, think, or believe as a result of reading
the information you present.
State your intention
as a command--known as a "call to action." It can be as simple
as "Call Today" or "Order It Now."
The results? The whole
point is to encourage your prospects to take action! Whether it's to
send an email or pick up the phone and call you, using precision
wordsmithing persuades your prospects to take action...now!
3) Use digital
photography and illustrations to add "kick" to your marketing
ho-hum marketing piece generates few calls. What a waste! Learn the
ins and outs of working with digital photography and
illustrations--so much easier with Internet resources galore to
choose from. A few quick tips:
Place your strongest
image in the top half of the page where it will get the best
Using one large
picture makes a stronger impression than several smaller ones.
Group several small
pictures so they collectively form a single element.
Juxtapose a small
picture with a larger one for contrast.
The results? Photos and
illustrations help you add the "eye" appeal that translates into
4) Jazz up your layouts
so your most important points stand out:
Break up monotonous lines
of text with attractive "pull quotes" or "call-outs," which make
critical information stand out on the page. To create a pull quote,
just copy a provocative or challenging statement from your text and
paste it into a different position on the page using large,
contrasting type. Add decorative quotation marks, border it with
lines, or place it inside a box to jazz it up.
The results? The points
of interest you've added draw the reader's eye to the exact point
you want them to remember.
5) Ensure professional
results by using the right file formats:
You've just created a
flyer that will be printed and mailed to your clients. To finish it
off, you import a needed graphic from a website and send your file
to the printers. Ouch! The resulting graphics looks blotchy and
amateur in print. What went wrong? Graphic file formats for the
Internet (72 dpi, low-resolution JPG and GIF) and file formats for
offset printing (300 dpi, high-resolution TIF and EPS) are totally
different animals. In this case, you've used the wrong file format
and resolution for your purpose.
The results? Choosing the
right file formats gives you a professional-looking document with
clear images and the quality you want.
Start using these five
easy techniques to add pizzazz and personality to your marketing
pieces now, and you will "hook" new clients immediately.
Read other articles and learn more
about Karen Saunders.
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