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Getting Your Printed Marketing Materials to Work for You

These days, customers are getting harder and harder to reach. They are bombarded with brand messages on all platforms and through every conceivable media outlet they engage with. So then how do you compel customers to do anything? Simply telling them to visit your website, or to look for your products online obviously won’t cut it. So what do you do?

Well, first of all, congratulations on including printed materials in your marketing campaign in the first place. Print, with its tactile quality, is a unique medium for engaging with customers. Read on for six proven strategies to craft compelling calls to action, so you can get the most out of your printed marketing materials today.

1. Understand Your Audience’s Needs

Long before you release your printed materials into the world, you need to have a basic understanding of what you’re offering your potential customers. You also need to understand how what you’re offering answers a need that they have.

You must be able to identify a problem, or need, that your target demographic has or can relate to. Once you understand their need, you must present your product or service as a solution to that problem.

A compelling call to action may simply be compelling them to take you up on your offer of a solution. Regardless, by understanding their needs first, you position your marketing materials as a compelling solution to their problems.

listening to clients needs

2. Utilize Action Words and Phrases

Not all verbs are created equal, and some are more passive than others. These passive verbs describe actions that cannot be performed in a literal, physical sense. Other verbs are more active, in that they are associated with a physical action that could be carried out by a customer in a literal manner.

Every working call to action has to contain some sort of strong verb. After all, action words or phrases evoke action, and spur a reaction in your customers.

3. Be Clear in Your Call to Action

No one likes to be given vague instructions. If you’re going to take the time to tell your customers what you want them to do, then make sure that you are clear.

Clarity, in this sense, requires simplicity and the call to do something specific that is within the potential customer’s ability to do. Remember: your call to action will only be as effective as it is clear.

You need to spell out what exactly the potential customer needs to do and how it will benefit them (see number one above). Because clarity is king, make sure that you don’t use technical jargon or any words that might require a dictionary in your call to action. For example, if you’re sending out a printed postcard mailing, then your call to action might be: Visit us before Friday and take an extra 25% off your total bill!

4. Keep It Simple and Make It Easy

The more complicated or difficult to perform your call to action sounds, the less likely it is to be acted upon. This seems like a no-brainer, but, you’d be surprised how many marketers fall afoul of this simple rule.

Also, you need to make sure that your target customer already possesses everything they need to complete the call to action. If you want your potential customers to call you, then you need to provide them with your number – and even better, get them one that’s a toll-free or local number.

If you want them to visit your company website, then you need to provide them with the URL. If you want them to visit a physical location, then you need to give them a physical address, at the least. Consider including directions, major nearby intersections or landmarks, or an abbreviated map.

Alternatively, you can provide a great deal of information by including a QR code in your printed marketing materials.

5. Foster a Sense of Urgency in Your Audience

sense of urgencyRegardless of whether you are making a limited-time offer, or a while-supplies-last pitch, you must compel your audience to action by fostering some sense of urgency in them.

If you really have a limited supply of your products, or are running a limited-time deal, then make sure to mention it in your call to action.

And if you aren’t, then find a way to include a limited piece of swag, or other incentive to get your customers to take you up on your offer.

6. Make Them an Offer They Can’t (or at least Shouldn’t) Refuse

There are times when a special offer really can get customers on the fence to jump. The key is offering something of real value to your potential customers in your printed marketing materials, whether it’s a printed newsletter or a piece of direct mail.

These days, with the Internet accessible from wherever they are, your customers aren’t ignorant of their options. If you provide them with an offer of real or perceived value, then you’re far more likely to compel them to action.

It make take several attempts to craft the perfect call to action for your potential customer base. But the effort that goes into trying different approaches and measuring their outcomes will pay off in new customers, and a lower relative cost to produce and distribute your printed marketing materials.

[Photos Via: Prestashop; WWEX; Aws]

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