Gez Butterworth, Author at Latcham

A Brief Guide To Direct Marketing Services

Direct marketing is an extremely common and highly effective method of promotional campaigning that directly targets information regarding your company, product or service to a customer that has been previously determined as a suggestible buyer. In this blog, we take a closer look at direct marketing, how it works and why it matters.

What Is Direct Marketing?

A marketing strategy that relies heavily on direct communication without the use of a middleman, direct marketing delivers targeted messages to its audiences to produce results. Below are some common examples of direct marketing:

● Brochures
● Catalogues
● Flyers
● Postcards
● Social Media Ads
● Newsletters
● Coupons
● Emails
● Targeted Ads
● Phone Calls
● Text Messages

Direct marketing is a vast and vital advertising method, but it’s just as important that it’s carried out effectively, in order to produce the best results. Below are just a few examples of important factors to consider for your direct marketing campaign.

Target Customers

Direct marketing, as the name suggests, is designed to target specific audiences with a specific product or service. However, as with any direct marketing campaign, you must narrow this audience to a targeted group of people/consumers who are more likely to purchase your product. This could be based on age, background, gender, or a host of other relevant factors.

Budget

An obvious, yet still vitally important factor is your budget. Direct marketing services, particularly online marketing and social media, are highly beneficial for companies looking to make the most of limited resources, with a far-reaching campaign able to be achieved off a relatively affordable budget.

Call To Action (CTA)

A primary objective of direct marketing is to encourage consumers to act, such as visiting your website as a result of your marketing. This typically reveals itself in the form of commands, such as, “sign up now”, or, “visit us today”. A carefully designed CTA should provide clear instruction and be optimised for conversion and clicks.

Response Tracking

Vital in providing an accurate, almost instant measurement of the success of your digital marketing campaign, response tracking data helps businesses analyse a user’s behaviour to determine if, when and how they have responded to your targeted advertisement.

At Latcham, we understand your exact marketing fulfilment challenges and requirements. Whether it be graphic design or secure printing services, we are here to help you convey the right message to the right people. Get in touch today.

 

The Benefits Of Document Archiving & Retrieval

Having control over your documents is critical to a modern workplace, whether this be physical copies or online versions. But having a lot of files in an office can clutter it immensely, while a lot of online documents can lead to confusion as you try to work out where things are saved. This is where document archiving and retrieval can help you.

Here are some of the benefits of document archive services.

Organisation

The more documents you have, the trickier it is for them to be organised. By archiving your documents, you can organise them however you like for quick retrieval whenever you need them.

One Place

Having all your documents in one location is great practice for a business, as an employee will know exactly where to go to find the documents they need, instead of a lengthy search. This is beneficial if you’re an organisation with multiple locations that need to share documents.

Online Versions

Data archiving can be done online, with all of your documents converted to electronic versions for you. You can then either keep the original documents in storage or destroy them if needed. As your documents are now all online, you can easily access them through a secure portal that will allow you to easily find what you need.

Document Archive Services From Latcham

If you’re looking for a place to store your critical documents, get in touch with Latcham today. We offer secure document archiving and retrieval, with our ISO 27001 accredited facility that will ensure all of your documents are safe. This can include contracts, payroll, policies and any other critical documents you may not be using currently but want to keep safe.

All your documents can then be accessed through a secure online portal where you can search, view and print your documents easily. Call now on 0117 311 8200 to talk through your requirements with one of our team, or visit our website today to find out more about electronic document storage and the range of other solutions we offer.

We’re attending PfH Live 2022

It’s a full team for PfH Live 2022, where our housing expert David Lonie and Specialist Client Directors Gordon MacKinnon and Garry Ford will be exhibiting for the entirety of the event.

PfH Live is The Chartered Institute of Housing’s annual conference and Europe’s leading housing festival, taking place on the 28th -30th of June in Manchester Central. As PfH nominated suppliers, we will be showcasing our services to attendees.

We will also be promoting our best practice webinar that we are running in conjunction with PfH, How Green Are Your housing Communications? This event takes place on the 5th July at 12pm.

We’re looking forward to seeing you there!

 

 

Our green journey and the Festival of Sustainable Business

Gordon Mackinnon

Gordon MacKinnon
Specialist Client Director
Financial Services
07594 511339

Ahead of the Festival of Sustainable Business Exhibition this Thursday, we spoke to our Specialist Client Director Gordon MacKinnon, who will be exhibiting at the festival.

Gordon is our financial services specialist, and has consistently championed our commitment to the environment since joining Latcham a year ago. He has presented our webinar on carbon-neutral member communications and featured on a sustainability panel with the Financial Services Forum.

How did you hear about the Festival of Sustainable Business?

I heard about the festival through our Managing Director, Mike Hughes. Mike did an interview with Action Net Zero a few months ago, who are a sustainability organisation local to us in Bristol. They originally approached us to talk about our experience implementing electric vehicles to replace our transport fleet, but the interview ended up being far more wide-reaching. Mike was able to talk about a lot of the things we’ve done to make our facility as carbon neutral as possible, plus share some expertise on making your communications greener and the relative impact of print versus digital. Action Net Zero were promoting the Festival of Sustainable Business, and it seemed like a natural fit for us to exhibit there.

Sending out customer comms, be it print or digital, does not have to be a dirty business.

Last Thursday, you were at the festival’s gala dinner, where Mike presented the Sustainable Buildings Award – could you tell me about that?

We were honoured to present the Sustainable Buildings Award to Snug Homes. It made sense for us to present this award as we’ve done a lot of work on our own facility in terms of upgrades to windows, heating and insulation to make it energy efficient. Snug are a carbon-positive home builder, and a really worthy winner.

 We really enjoyed the opportunity to talk about our own sustainability journey and our local focus, and the chance to speak to other South West businesses who have sustainability high on their agenda. As Mike said in his intro at the dinner – sending out customer comms, be it print or digital, does not have to be a dirty business. We’ve made a lot of positive changes to our organisation, and it’s great to see we’re not alone. 

Mike with award winners SNUG Homes at the Festival of Sustainable Business Gala Dinner

Could you talk a bit more about these positive changes?

We’ve invested in a lot of upgrades to the equipment we use to print – this has produced massive dividends both in terms of energy reduction and replacing microplastic-based inks. Our new Canon i300s use water-based inks, and are far more energy efficient than the printers they replaced.

As well as this, we use both recycled and FSC/PEFC certified paper, and as I mentioned earlier we’ve upgraded our facility and our vehicles to more environmentally friendly options, and switched to a green energy provider to power our facility. There is a huge drive to recycle at our facility too – we recycle 94% of all our waste products, and single use plastics are banned from our facility.

We discovered during this process of reducing our carbon footprint that you really do have to think of everything – how locally your equipment and supplies are procured, where your servers are hosted, how your staff are travelling in and out of work. It isn’t something you can do with half measures – it takes real commitment.

An email can have a lighter footprint than a letter, or a heavier one – which is why simply switching to digital is not the magic bullet that people think it is.

You said customer communications do not have to be a dirty business – what about switching to digital?

I’ve been running webinars on this topic since January, and people who attend are routinely surprised by some of the things we explore in these sessions. Probably the thing that surprises people the most is that digital is not automatically more environmentally friendly than print, and I have to admit I was surprised when I first found this out.

There has been some research into the carbon cost of sending a standard letter. Our research found an average of 26g CO2 equivalent, most of which comes from the transport network used to send it. What this means is the size of the communication sent by mail matters less, as it costs the same in carbon terms to send a small letter or a large mailpack via conventional post.

 However, for emails, there’s a lot of variance, and it depends far more on the size. A simple, transactional email weighs in at just 4g CO2 equivalent, but add any attachments or images, and it rises to 26-50g. As well as this, people send far more emails than they would letters – OVO highlighted the carbon cost of unnecessary emails in their ‘think before you thank’ campaign. So, you can see why it isn’t that simple. An email can have a lighter footprint than a letter, or a heavier one – which is why simply switching to digital is not the magic bullet that people think it is.

We offer both print and digital communication services to our customers, and we try to make both as green as possible. For us, it’s important to be transparent with clients, who often come to us expecting to undergo a digital transformation journey and for that to automatically make everything greener. It isn’t as simple as that!

Gordon will be at the Festival of Sustainable Business Exhibition at the Paintworks, Bristol on the 23rd of June 2022. It is free to attend, and you can register via their website.

We’re supporting Tree Aid’s Leaves for Livelihoods campaign

It’s been almost a year since we officially partnered with Tree Aid, agreeing to donate a portion of all new business to help grow trees in the drylands of Africa.

Since then, we’ve helped to grow 1500 trees, thanks to our customers.

In addition to our ongoing partnership, we’ve made a one off donation of £150 to Leaves for Livelihoods, Tree Aid’s spring appeal. Leaves for Livelihoods focuses on providing seeds for local communities, so they can grow crop trees that they will be able to use for both sustenance and business.

Tree Aid’s tree growing is successful because they focus on more than putting trees in the ground. By working with local communities and planting crop trees, Tree Aid ensures these trees are beneficial to the people looking after them, ensuring they survive long into the future.

To learn more about Leaves for Livelihoods, and to make a donation, visit Tree Aid’s website.

We’re attending the Scottish Fundraising Conference

On the 9th-10th of June, our fundraising expert David Lonie will be at the Scottish Fundraising Conference at the DoubleTree by Hilton Glasgow Central.

As well as exhibiting our services to delegates, David will be presenting at the opening session on Friday with Big Hearts Community Trust. Join us to learn more about how we helped Big Hearts keep connected some of their most vulnerable community members during lockdown.

We’re looking forward to seeing you there.

Digital Excellence 2022

We’re proud to be supporting Digital Excellence (2022) Conference & Exhibition, at the London Novotel West, 26th May.

Digital Excellence 2022 is The MemberWise Network’s digital transformation conference for membership & association professionals.

Our sector experts Garry Ford and David Lonie will be exhibiting, sharing their knowledge of digital comms and transformation with the delegates.

How To Improve Customer Engagement Within Financial Services

One of the key pillars of business is to make your customer’s experience as great as you possibly can. To do this you need to enhance your customer’s engagement and make it an enjoyable experience for them to be working with you. The key to this is by utilising financial services communications that will help to improve your customers experience and engagement with you.

Here at Latcham, we assist brands and companies with financial services communications to deliver the right messages to your customers at the right time. Read on for more on what we can do to improve customer engagement.

Why Use Latcham?

Operational Resilience is a focus of the new FCA rules and guidance, meaning you need to ensure the rigidity and safety of customer-facing processes, such as the ways in which you handle outbound communications to them. Latcham is able to offer compliant financial services that will handle your customer’s data securely over multiple communication channels.

Finding the right solution for your financial services communication is just as important as any other part of your business or company and it can be tricky to know where to start in this ever-competitive marketplace. Fortunately, at Latcham, we’re proud to have access to a host of solutions that will allow for your company, business or organisation’s financial services communications to be as best as they can be. Our state of the art, secure printing facility offers streamlined document fulfilment for quick printing and distribution, covering any and all documentation types.

We help you to deliver communications that will resonate with your customers and help to improve engagement using a variety of methods. Here are some of the ways we can help.

 

Welcome Letters

First impressions count when it comes to customer engagement, as this is a key time to make a positive impact on your client to keep them coming back to you for more products and services. We can help by creating and distributing personalised welcome letters to customers. A welcome letter will become the foundation of a great relationship with a client/customer that you can then build on.

Hybrid Mail

Hybrid mail is a great choice if you’re looking for a cost-effective and efficient way of outsourcing your post. Working with Latcham will ensure all documents and communications you need to send are printed and sent on time for a great customer experience.

All of Latcham’s mailing is done from our specialist facility in Bristol, able to print, pack and send as much communication as you need. This eliminates your company having to spend time and money on printing equipment when it can easily be outsourced to us instead.

We have no minimum or maximum order, so you can use our hybrid mail as much as you want for the same cost per unit. It is truly one of the most customisable services on the market, scalable for your needs at no extra cost.

It works in five easy steps:

Send us your draft document using our custom software
The document is securely stored in the cloud
We process the document according to your specifications
Download the document for use
Then we print, enclose and send out your completed document

Using hybrid mail we can send out a variety of documents that are essential for improving customer engagement. This includes insurance documents that are time-critical. We can ensure they are created, printed and distributed in time for any upcoming deadlines. Customers will expect accurate documents delivered as promptly as possible, with which Latcham financial services can help.

Other resources we can print and distribute include wealth portfolio documents and policy booklets. Policy booklets are a crucial piece of information for a client, so we can produce both generic or highly personalised booklets that will inform a customer all they need to know about your policy. Annual reports can let clients know their business is in safe hands with you, letting them know how well you’ve done over the last year with an eye-catching report that is easy to read but highly informative at the same time.

Our hybrid mail is truly endless, you can print leaflets, brochures, documents, newsletters, contracts or any other thing you or your customers may need. A great way of building customer engagement is sending out documents to help with retention. This could be letting them know about new services, or offering incentives on new products.

Document Archiving & Retrieval

You can keep customer engagement up by using document archiving and retrieval. This allows you to take control over your entire archive of documentation in a way that makes it quick and easy to access.

This could be either physically or electronically, archiving documents that are no longer in active use but you still require for reference of compliance purposes. We can then provide you with secure access. Your customers will be very pleased with how secure their documentation is being kept, as our facility is ISO 27001 accredited. You can store contracts, policies, payroll and more, knowing that it is being kept securely.

You can then use a secure portal to search, view and print these documents remotely, allowing for instant access to all your documents if a client requests something.

Benefits Of Utilising Our Services

Latcham has constantly been on the leading edge of business, championing innovation and making a commitment to sustainable practices. We utilise the latest technology and a team of experts to keep our customers happy across multiple sectors, using their expertise in the field to achieve the best possible results. Here are some of the benefits of utilising our services.

Time-Saving

Arguably, the most significant advantage of utilising financial services communication from Latcham is the amount of time you will save to get on with other tasks at hand, freeing up time you can instead spend on growing your business.

Improve Branding

One of the most important aspects of creating a successful business is the creation of a consistent, strong and inspiring brand. Latcham allows for easy brand integration across all of your documentation, personalising all of your documents with your specific brand elements and design choices. This means you can effortlessly and intrinsically design all of your documentation to represent your business and brand in the best possible way.

Compliant

Following legal compliance requirements is imperative in almost all forms of documentation, with legal disclosures vital in banking, insurance, legal and government documents. Ensuring your document follows the legal compliance guidelines, and provides the up to date information required is of the highest importance and can easily be carried out by Latcham. We’ll keep your customers’ data safe and secure while producing outstanding communications.

Reduced Errors

Cutting out mistakes and showcasing acute accuracy in your documentation is essential in growing your brand successfully. Errors such as typos, accidental omissions of important dates or details and poor formatting all impact how your business is viewed by the wider public. Our expert team is meticulous when it comes to creating and checking financial service communications, eliminating mistakes, eradicating the need for manual formatting, cutting and pasting, and communicating your message clearly and effectively.

Financial Services From Latcham

Here at Latcham, we’re experts at aiding with financial services communications. Whether we’re installing a hybrid mail system to streamline document fulfilment or adding personalisation to enhance a customer, member or donor campaign, the process will be tailored to our client’s needs every time.

We have a suite of solutions that keep the communications of your organisation flowing smoothly and on time.

We work across multiple sectors, with deep expertise that we leverage to help our clients achieve the best results in print, mail and digital campaigns and communications to help improve customer engagement. With all the latest technology at our fingertips, the right solution comes from knowing which tools to apply to our clients’ projects – when, where and how. Get in touch with our expert team today.

Three reasons you need hybrid mail services

An efficient, cost-effective and environmentally friendly method of outsourcing your post and mail services digitally, hybrid mail services will provide your business with absolute control over your mailings, reducing waste, saving time and cutting costs in the process. Here, we take a closer look at three essential reasons your business or organisation should consider hybrid mail services.

Reduce Costs

When making use of an effective hybrid mail solution, you are immediately providing yourself with a cost-effective answer to your all-important communication needs. Ultimately, hybrid mail services remove the requirement for paper, printing and postage costs to be considered, thus reducing your overall costs significantly. Hybrid mail will sort your post/mail in such a way that maximum efficiency is achieved at all times, saving you money in the long term.

Eco-Friendly

A key advantage of incorporating hybrid mail services into your business or operations is the reduced impact it has on the environment. Through the use of hybrid mail services, you will dramatically reduce the need for transportation of physical mail, thus shrinking your Co2 levels significantly. In equal terms, by cutting your need for physical mail, you’ll reduce your paper wastage considerably, further reducing the environmental impact. In short, hybrid mail services will reduce your carbon footprint, helping to contribute to a much cleaner, healthier planet.

Improve Efficiency

An essential benefit of incorporating a hybrid mail service is the improved efficiency levels. Effectively speeding up both manufacturing and distribution times, combining digital technologies with the all-important reach of physical mail and marketing, hybrid mail services will dramatically improve the efficiency of your company, impacting your visibility and success. On a similar note, through the use of hybrid mail services, you’ll likely be freeing up time otherwise spent on the minutiae of printing, franking and delivering physical mail, instead, freeing up more time to focus on other parts of your business.

At Latcham, our hybrid mail services are one of the most customisable and powerful on the market. Operating from our specialist facility in Bristol, printing, enclosing and sending your mail remotely, we make sure it’s always personally tailored to suit your requirements and guarantee your mailing needs are met. If you’re interested in hybrid mail solutions, get in touch.

All You Need To Know About Direct Marketing

A lot of businesses utilise direct marketing nowadays to help promote their products and services. It is more important than ever to try and cut through the crowd by delivering marketing that will lead to people buying products and services. There are more companies out there than ever before, each trying to grab customers’ attention. So you need to appeal to more people than ever while offering personalised advertisements. Direct marketing is a great way to do this.

But what specifically is direct marketing, and what forms can it take? Read on to find out more with this guide to direct marketing from Latcham.

What Is Direct Marketing?

Direct marketing is a form of marketing that focuses on direct communication to individual people or target groups, rather than a mass media campaign that anybody may be exposed to. It is called direct marketing as it typically consists of a business advertising directly to a customer, cutting out any other third party.

Third-party marketing can work, but will never impact a customer in the same way that direct marketing will. Third-party marketing is an ideal choice for advertisers who don’t have the tools or resources for direct marketing, so rely on selling their ads to websites or companies to then display for them. It’s also a great option if you’re looking to reach a wider audience and not a specific target group, as you do not need to tailor your marketing to any specific group, just advertise your product or service in general.

Direct marketing strategies are normally a lot more focused than general ones, usually focusing towards a specific group of people. This target audience could be existing customers, an age group, a gender or geared towards a specific interest. It can truly be anything but is normally quite specific so the marketing can target it properly.

Direct marketing works at its best when it is sent to only those to whom it is relevant. For example, a male customer has no need for a clothing brand to be emailing him about women’s clothing or a woman will not be interested in advertisements about men’s deodorant.

This is why many businesses that utilise direct marketing will make up lists of buyers that they can then target the work towards. This allows them to create either completely different marketing for these groups, or the ability to tweak their existing messages to reach their target audience.

As it can be a quite specific audience, direct marketing tries to personalise itself as much as possible. This can just be as simple as putting the recipient’s name on the marketing piece. This way a potential customer feels like they matter to a business, instead of just being a nameless source of money to them. This isn’t to say direct marketing is small as it can be used to reach thousands of people. The personalisation is just a method of enticing customers in and can normally be done automatically.

A call to action is an essential part of direct marketing, encouraging a customer to respond to the marketing piece. This could be ‘read more’, ‘buy now’ or anything that tells a customer to do something. The aim of the piece should always be to make the customer engage with the call to action, leading to a prospective conversion.

Call to action buttons are important as they can help analyse the effectiveness of a direct marketing campaign. They are a useful statistic, as a business can track how many people have clicked on them and then purchased a product or service. They can then make adjustments to the marketing strategy if they are not getting enough engagement and click-throughs.

Types Of Direct Marketing Strategies

Direct marketing is quite a broad term, as there are a number of different marketing strategies that can be done which could as direct marketing. One of the most commonly used is email advertising. This way a company can send information about themselves and their services straight to a potential customer’s inbox.

The customer can then read the email and directly respond to it if they choose, making the marketing strategy a success. A person will probably get hundreds of emails of this type every week, advertising new products, sales and any other information that the business would like to promote. It’s important to make your content worthwhile and not too frequent, or else it might be dismissed as junk or spam that may cause a customer to unsubscribe or block you.

Email marketing is great as you can utilise existing data from customers. If a company has a sale happening, they can use the data they already have on the customer to see what products and services they have been looking at, and target the email towards them. This way a customer is more tempted to click through and buy whatever they have already been tempted by.

If you’d like existing customers to find out about new products and services you offer, another method is to utilise a text messaging campaign. Companies will do this if they want to make sure a customer sees the service they’re advertising, or if they have key news they wish to share. They’ll end the text with a link the customer can easily click through to reach the website.

Email and text marketing only works if you already have email addresses and phone numbers, so there are other direct marketing strategies to reach a wider audience and bring you business despite not being existing customers. One example is a social media account. If your company has a Twitter account, you can utilise direct marketing by talking to other users, tweeting about products and answering any questions people have. This way you can still offer personalised service but on a much larger scale.

Another popular strategy is sending out catalogues of your products and services to consumers who have indicated an interest. This form of direct marketing is one of the oldest methods, only paling in popularity due to the rise of the internet where direct marketing can be done more easily.

Ads on websites are another form of direct marketing that is extremely popular. Businesses can pay for their advertising to be on websites, leading potential customers to click through. These ads can still be personalised, using cookies to inform details about a person such as their name or location, which can then be put on the ad.

Benefits Of Direct Marketing

An effective direct marketing campaign can have a whole range of benefits for your business. It can target your ideal customers by delivering tailored messages to them. Taking a personalised approach to your marketing campaigns has the best chance of achieving results.

Direct marketing can also save your business money, as a more focused advertising campaign will generally cost a lot less than a mass campaign designed to target a more general audience. Therefore you’re spending less for a better chance of making money

Direct marketing can also improve customer loyalty, as customers love to shop with brands that they get a more personalised connection from. Direct marketing is great for this, as you can send invites to exclusive sales, birthday discounts or any number of methods to build a relationship.

You can also reach customers who haven’t shopped with you in a while, re-establishing a connection with them. This could be a discount for coming back, or just a message asking if they still want to receive emails. This can normally be enough to entice a customer back to your business, at least for a browse.

You can also use direct marketing to target a specific purpose and create new business. This could be advertising a product that is discontinued so you can get rid of stock, boost sales of new products or follow up on a specific promotion.

Directing Marketing Services From Latcham

If your business is looking to use direct marketing to improve client relationships or bring more business to your organisation, work with Latcham today. We work with you to produce a direct marketing campaign that will engage your target market and lead to real results.

This involves working with you every step of the way, from planning a campaign in conjunction with your vision, then helping deliver the marketing exactly how you want it. We use data-driven targeting, optimised to get the best possible results for you, using resources produced at our state of the art green print facility and online marketing strategies.

So if you’re interested in direct marketing for your business, call now on 0117 311 8200 to talk through your requirements with one of our knowledgeable staff. We offer document fulfilment, print management and consultancy solutions, so visit our website today to find out more.