The Importance of a Professional Email

One thing that always befuddles me is when I see a professional business with a @gmail.com, @comcast.net, or some other NOT “@yourbusiness.com” email address.
Side view of laptop with e-mail interface on blurry background. Email marketing concept.
Emails
Customers Expect More.

Customers expect your business to have a domain name and website. An email address like name@yourbusiness.com oozes professionalism. Professional email’s are important. Much more so than a generic email.

Free email services, such as Gmail and Yahoo, are great for personal use. However, when you use a free email account for business purposes, people start to doubt your professionalism and credibility.
For example, say that you are in the process of planning to build a home. You are meeting with several builders. One builder has a name@businessname.com and the other builder has a tony129_builder@gmail.com. As a result, tony129_builder…probably doesn’t get the job. Maybe he’s less expensive. Maybe he’s a better quality builder. Doesn’t matter.
For many people, that can be a first clue that something is wrong. That is to say, they would start to question the integrity of the builder. We all know trust goes a long way in business.
Why doesn’t this builder have his own domain email address? Does he have a website? Is this business legitimate or am I going to be taken? These are some of the questions that you might start to have. Would you take a business with a Hotmail.com email address seriously?
We mean no disrespect here. Maybe, there’s a reason for this. On the other hand, we’re not sure why.
Consequently, a domain, logo, and business card are the minimum requirements for any business. Even new ones. Yourname@yourdomain.com looks a lot better than yourname@comcast.net or yourname@gmail.com. In conclusion, we’d love to hear from you on this. Prove us wrong!
77Design Co logo and business cards.
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Client Interview with a Marketing Coordinator

Hi all,

Recently, while on a product photography shoot, we conducted a quick Q&A interview with a recurring customer. Chelsea is a marketing/sales coordinator for a local company we’ve worked with frequently over the last few years. A great company making fantastic one of a kind products. We candidly asked her what she likes about her role and some general marketing questions.

What’s your role in marketing?

Chelsea: “So, I’m the sales and marketing coordinator here. I help coordinate trade shows. I help with photographic shoots, and I also manage a product line with our company. It’s really exciting because we’ve gained some new customers recently. We have a trade show in Pittsburgh and then one in New York in a few weeks too.”

What’s the hardest thing about marketing?

Chelsea: “Umm, so, probably finding out what people will like. Trying to grab their attention. Seeing what gets peoples attention and why they’d want our product. Since we have a new product line, I’m trying to find out what’s going to make them want our products over our competition. Learning about what sets our products apart. There’s other products that are similar, well, more simplified versions, but ours are unique and I have to show that.”

If you had to put a number on it. What percentage about marketing, do you think,  is related to creativity?

Chelsea: “Wow!…Honestly? A LOT! You have to be creative. I would say, wow, 70-80% really.  Even if you are writing a simple email blast you have to have it creative. What’s going to make them NOT want to delete your email? Finding that creative niche, that attention grabbing moment is super important!”

How important are the images, or photography, to your marketing plans?

Chelsea: “Oh my!” Extremely important. So, yes. Crucial! You have to show our products in many ways, even in lifestyle settings. For example, we even found that we had older product photos and once we had new photos taken by you guys, we sold them! I mean we sold many older products that weren’t selling once we had new images of them. They were updated, better focused, and started selling a lot better.”

Image of camera lenses signifying photography.

That’s fantastic!

Chelsea: “Yea! Honestly. We’ve found that really high quality pictures are really really important!”

What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned about marketing in your time here?

Chelsea: “Wow, I’ve learned a LOT. So, I came right out of college and I had no idea hardly what I was doing. College isn’t real world, it’s all like books, studying, book knowledge, and tests. It was hard at first. For instance, you take the concepts that you learn in school and apply it to your work in the real world. Getting a customers attention, like I first said, is probably the biggest thing.”

 

So, in conclusion, if your local business has a need for updated photography, design work, or a new website…drop us a line! 77 Design Co is here to help you grow your business and increase sales the only way we know how… through creative visual marketing!

77 Design Co logo

Analyze. Create. Achieve.

 

 

 

A Brief History of Halloween!

Halloween is here! It’s one of our favorite days of the year!
Why do we dress up? What’s trick or treating all about? Why do we carve pumpkins? Have you ever wondered why Halloween started and what traditions continued through the years, changed or have been phased out? Read further to find out more.
Jack O Lantern Gif
History
So, Halloween technically began as the festival of Samhain. Samhain is a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of the “darker half” or winter as we know it. The festival takes places October 31 – November 1.  Celts believed that on the night before the new year (November 1), the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred or thin. Scary stuff! Most importantly, they would have big parties or feasts and dress in costumes because they believed it would scare away the ghosts and spirits. Do you see the correlation?
Consequently, we then get to America, where we traditionalize everything and make carving pumpkins and trick or treating super popular.  Meanwhile, let’s talk about trick or treating. So, young women believed that on Halloween they could divine the name or appearance of their future husband by doing tricks with yarn, apple parings or mirrors. Subsequently, it then trickled down to young children dressing up and getting candy from neighbors.
Did you know?  One quarter of all the candy sold annually in the U.S. is purchased for Halloween.
So, do you carve pumpkins? Do you go the traditional scary route or do something fun and different? Are you the type of person that will hand out candy to little kids or keep the light off?
Speaking of modifying traditions, there are parents that have a basket of candy for kids, and a basket of beer for the parents that go around with them. In conclusion, that is a modern twist on a tradition that we can get down with!
Costumes?
What’s the coolest costumes you have? Send us photos and we’ll share them on social media!
Rob Hoffman and Halloween costume
77 Design Co owner, Rob Hoffman and his Halloween costume.
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Building a Marketing Base

This blog will feature tips on how to build a marketing base for your business. Even if you haven’t done ANY marketing, here’s a few things to get you started.

Marketing Tiles image with 77 Design Co business card.

Who?

First, you need to know who your customer base is. Who are you marketing to? Where? Age? What’s their interests? For example, try to segment your customers based on who you’ve already sold to. Take notes and come up with an average at the very least. Tough to do with limited info, but necessary. 

If you don’t have these numbers, use a simple chart or even tally marks on a pad to get more specific. Use guesstimates if you need to. This will certainly get you a start.

Where?

Now take those numbers (even if it’s a small average from 10-20 customers) and determine where to put the marketing dollars. Yes, most importantly, you should have SOME marketing dollars set aside.

Are they on Facebook, Instagram, or mostly LinkedIn? Would billboards or signage in certain locations help? How about a direct mail campaign sent directly to businesses or homeowners? How’d your previous customers find you? Through your website, Google, or another online source?

Consequently, this will narrow down your best approach to get moving. As a result, you’ll learn quicker what works and what doesn’t as much.

How?

So, how are you going to implement your plan of action? This is the most difficult part. It will take time, patience, and some serious creative efforts to get the word out about your company.

If you aren’t very creative savvy, look to enlist those you know and trust that are. Get their thoughts about the look and aesthetics of your signage, social media pages and posts, or marketing materials. In addition, it’s very important that whatever strategy you plan to implement looks not just good, but GREAT! Marketing is all about visuals and attracting the eye to your message.

pen, keyboard, and flash drive image in inverted black and white color.

To clarify, we’ve said it before, an attractive image or design is key here. According to multiple eye tracking studies all over the Internet, the eye moves to an attractive image/design around 60,000-80,000 faster than just text.

Once an established base is determined, and where to market, the pieces or posts need to be interesting and visually appealing. How do you do this? Again, the difficult part. Billions of dollars per year are spent on creative marketing and advertising. There’s a good reason for it. It works!

Take the best quality photographs or video possible. Hire out if needed. Design materials, signage, or supporting charts/tables/infographics to make them interesting. Hire out if needed. In addition, if you hire a solid marketing team, or employee with an extensive creative background, they will (should) be able to convey that message visually.

Stay Level Headed.

Often times there may be a difference of opinion on the creative. Don’t get discouraged. For instance, you may have differences on an image or color. This is normal. However, stay true to your brand. Work together to come to a happy middle ground on how the creative side of things should look and feel, and as a result you’ll start to see the fruits of your labor.

So, in conclusion, by following these steps on a large or small scale you’ll begin to build a solid marketing base that will better your business. However, if you need advice we’re here to help.

77 Design Co gray and orange logo

Analyze. Create. Achieve.

 

 

 

What’s the Best Things About Email Marketing?

What’s the best things about email marketing?

by Email Marketing Girl

Email Marketing Girl Image 5

Personalize!
You can personalize content. Send customers emails about what they actually want to see. Let’s give you an example.
You are an 18 year old male vegan. Typically, you shop at a local grocery store every Monday, getting fruits and veggies and some household necessities.
<Insert phone buzz> you get an email from that grocery store with “ON SALE – steaks and baby food” uhhhh – not the content that person wants to see. At least I wouldn’t think so. Therefore, change it up. Create a custom email for specific types of customers who you want to get a specific message to. As a result, you’ll notice an engagement increase and subsequently sales as well.
Instant!
It’s instant. People love last minute deals or coupons. Getting an email for a coupon to a store I always shop at is a great feeling. Yes! I will now order that shirt I have been eyeing up for weeks.
However, without that email, it was out of sight out of mind.
Side view of laptop with e-mail interface on blurry background. Email marketing concept.
Email Marketing can work!
Reach.
Email can help you reach a mass amount of customers. Calling all your customers takes time. Email: one click and it’s out the door to everyone.
This form of marketing is affordable. Traditional marketing like TV ads can be costly. If you are a small business, those ideas are out the door. For instance, if you have a smaller budget set aside, an email marketing plan could be a game changer. So, a small business can thrive with the right email marketing strategy!
On the other hand, email marketing is a numbers game. That is to say, like anything there are always pros and cons. Any form of marketing though, may take a little while to become fruitful. Patience is necessary when applying any marketing strategy.
However, it’s still one of the top forms of communication. All businesses should have an email marketing plan in place, and if you don’t, give us a call.
77 Design Co logo
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What Kinds of Content?

What kinds of content do you use to market your brand?

What is Content?

First, let’s discuss content quickly. Content is typically all that you see. Words, graphics, photos, videos, charts, and other advertisements. Subsequently, this is what attracts or deters customers.

We’ve done exhaustive research in attempts to find the best types of content. As a result, we CONSTANTLY find articles for social media or web design that say, “create great content, create great content, create great content.” Well, duh! So, how do we create great content? What makes “great content?”

Image of scrabble pieces spelling marketing.

Ideas

Here’s a few ways we (as your marketing firm) or even you, the business owner, can “create great content.” Think of it as a way for your company to speak.

  • Be an expert. For example, anything you post or create for your business, make it known you are the expert(s) in that field. As a result, this will build credibility and trust. Don’t get too wrapped up in industry terminology, jargon, or acronyms. The reason for this is because those outside of your field may become confused. Be clear and concise.
  • Be educational. Teach prospective customers something new and exciting about your business. Post a tip. Add a story about a problem that you fixed. Even more, be a help to someone.
  • Answer a frequent question. Every business gets bombed with similar questions. “What’s the price, why is it so much?” or “You mean I need a new one, why?” are examples of pretty standard questions business owners are asked daily. Therefore, take a few frequent questions and share those answers!
  • Positivity and/or humor. Create a funny ad. Write a hilarious story about something that happened to you or your team. A positive quote every now and again can help boost social media interest. As a result, using humor and positivity can increase interest in what you have to say. Above all, be professional.
What Does All This Do?

In conclusion, content is what drives marketing and advertising. If you don’t have great things to say or share, who’s going to care?

A brochure needs to contain information and images that separates you from competition. Social media posts should give your company character. A website must stand out and show customers WHY you are different.

In summary, content fuels how your business is perceived. As a result, this can be the difference between getting the phone to ring…or not. Therefore, go forth and “create great content.”

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Analyze. Create. Achieve.