Category Archives: Design

Nicola Peaty

How to create effective email designs.

By Nicola Peaty

Emails are still one of the many tools in the vast array found within the marketing toolbox. However, like all other marketing channels, emails must be carefully planned and thought-through to stand out among the competing messages and images sent to our inboxes. Recipients have a split second to decide whether to delete, view, click or share. So, you have to know your market, know your brand and be clear on your message in order to get the desired response from your email marketing. Here are some useful tips on what to consider when planning your email design and message together with some illustrative examples. Give Blood: We start with a great example of a striking design that you cannot ignore once you’ve opened this email. Perfectly laid out, your eye is drawn to the focal image and immediately to the call to action to make an appointment. Should you require additional information, there are three neat boxes at the bottom to supplement your needs and give you supportive facts and details. give blood email Apple: Due to the well known brand, Apple can afford to tease with simplicity, minimal branding and yet still attain the objective of a new store opening. All the details you need, albeit few, are present and correct. Clean and effective. apple email ASOS: Now that over half of us our opening emails on mobile devices, it would be madness to avoid tailoring email designs to suit mobile compatibility. See ASOS who have streamlined the images accordingly. Asos_Mobile2 New Look: Calls to actions play a major part in generating a response to emails. If you elect for a link or button, ensure they stand out among the background images. New Look have achieved this so well with two clear buttons for their two audiences. The message is also short but to the point, with the images giving examples of their World Cup clothing. It just shows that you don’t have to include reams of copy to communicate your message. new_look_good-blog-full Stitcher: Inviting interaction is always a clever way of drawing in your email recipient. The Stitcher email has plenty to click on to either listen, watch or even share. Plus they’ve been extra clever by tailoring the content for each recipient so that they feel Stitcher has taken time to select and personalise the email especially for them. Personalisation is key to emails so that recipients don’t feel spammed, so make sure if you include their name, the content must be relevant, otherwise you will lose their trust and interest. stitcher-email-example Cooksmart: This email demonstrates how to present a lot of images and information without cluttering and confusing the recipient. The list of daily recipes is complimented by the supporting images below and invites us to click on one of them to see the details. It also includes extra little links which draw us in to watch a video, download a menu or find out more about a particular ingredient. Plus, the additional calls to action ask us to post on facebook or forward to a friend. The overall design works well together and the clever marketing hooks are all there to entice the viewer. cooksmart-email-example Ballard: This design had to be beautiful in order to reflect well on the brand. Your eye is cleverly drawn down to the final and important call to action with a 10% discount. Simple and yet still effective. ballard email H&M: If you simply have a promotion to push, then H&M shows the bold and direct way to go about a less beautiful, but nonetheless effective, type of design. Two colours, minimal branding, clear message and call to action. Tick, tick, tick and tick! h_m_good-blog-full



How to grow your business with social media



Nicola Peaty

How to create a successful landing page.

By Nicola Peaty

Landing pages have become a great tool for marketers, created for specific marketing objectives. The two main purposes for landing pages are 1. a funnel path to convert leads and 2. data collection within a lead generation campaign. Both require simple but effective pages in order to achieve the desired results. Below are some tips and examples of how to create successful landing pages:

* Eye-catching headine. As with all things online, you don’t have much time to grab visitors’ attention, so make sure your headline communicates exactly what you are offering. Whether it be a promotion for a new product line or the heading for a particular article, be bold and be clear.

GROUPON is simplicity at its best. They’ve used a striking block colour, with a bright contrasting image. The data capture shows how simple it has to be in order to collect basic details.

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MAILCHIMP is a great example of a clear heading, catchy image and an obvious call to action.

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*Keep the message clear. Visitors landing on the page should be able to quickly determine the value of your proposition. The main point is to give them compelling and succinct information which encourages them to click through or give their details. Use bullet points to list the main benefits so that it’s quick and easy for a visitor to scan and deduce why they should move closer to a consumer decision.

NETFLIX landing page shows how to communicate a lot of information is a neat and easy format. The visitor can see exactly how the process works with the short one word headings across the bottom together with brief copy with an exemplary image. The family photo, FREE TRIAL circle and simple data capture form pulls it altogether nicely, encouraging visitors to sign up.

netflix-landing
GIFTCARD is a beautifully branded and effective page. Four bullet points is all it takes to explain how it works and with an obvious, but not in your face, button to send a gift card.

gift card examples-of-great-landing-pages

 

* Funnel where you want them to go. This means avoiding too many links on one landing page, with different messages which could confuse and lose visitors. If you keep it simple then one or two effective ‘sign ups’ or ‘click heres’ should work and funnel the visitors exactly where you want them.

UK Digital Cameras landing page has quite a lot of content and yet it is still easy to understand there are two options which would funnel visitors according to their specific needs. You can either get a quote for an old camera or buy a new camera with an offer on a particular model.

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* Incentivise well. Competitions and prizes are great for landing pages. Make sure the offer is simple, clear and enticing. Know your market and create the design and impact accordingly. Using Facebook as your funnel through page can also build your social media audience.

The International Make-up Academy landing page is perfectly designed and branded for its target market with one striking image. ‘Enter’ and ‘Like’ are the two calls to action and the 500 voucher is stated clearly in the succinct copy.

FB comp-landing-pages-tima

 

* Be creative. This is your chance to hit your market with something compelling that engages them and convinces them to take the next step along their visitor journey. Knowing your audience will allow you to decide the appropriate tone and impact of your design and message.

Coca Cola created a page to attract youth apprentices. They added the bonus of a $5000 incentive for nominations. But they didn’t stop there. Possibly as this was targeted at a young market, they included a video of the ‘most outrageous way to share a coke’. I doubt many visitors resisted the urge to click and view and just have a bit of fun.

Cola landing pageimage

In summary, landing pages can be effective, without being complicated. Keep the message and design clear and simple and you will enhance the chances of achieving your required results. Know exactly what your objective is, your target market and match your proposition with creativity and purpose. Not forgetting to capture and funnel leads by simple calls to action.



How to grow your business with social media



Nicola Peaty

Top Tips for Successful Direct Mail

By Nicola Peaty

Think direct mail is dead? Well, think again. Yes, we have swung right over to digital marketing, but do not be misled in thinking that the DM channel no longer exists. Time for an Infographic to prove some results:

Direct-Mail-Statistics-2014-Ver2-WEB
Note the quotes at the bottom showing the benefits of direct mail: people are more likely to remember a message, direct mail is easier to take in than email and that it is a channel that shows value to customers.

So here are some tips to consider when planning and executing your direct mail to make it an effective channel in your marketing mix.

Quality data: No junk mail please! Just sending out a ton of leaflets to all and sundry and hoping that someone will respond, will not produce the best ROI. Using a carefully selected list of contacts to receive your proposed mail piece will give you the best chance of response. The best data is your own built up list from respondents who have previously interacted with your company together with intelligence details which allow precision targeting. If you have to purchase your list, it is worth being as ‘picky’ as you possibly can, to choose the criteria to meet your requirements.

Personalisation: As with most marketing now, customers want to feel like you are talking directly and specifically to them. So take the opportunity to include their name and tailor the message to meet their details. We all recognise blanket letters that have generic content which mostly end up in the bin. Be different and make yours stand out, it will always be worth the effort to get the respondent to engage with your message.

Creative: This leads nicely on to ensuring that the creativity also gives the right impact. The chosen font and colours should reflect the brand and tone of the message, but also be relevant to your target audience. That means considering the demographics (eg old or young, female or male) and whether it is consumer or B2B (eg beauty salons or financial services). The execution can be in many formats, be they brochures, letters or postcards. Just take time thinking through what will catch their attention and resonate most. Also, consider what the competition are doing and try to be original, but still relevant, to get the best response.

CTA: So you’ve reached the right customers, tailored the message and creative so that they’ve opened and read your mail piece. Now what do you want them to do? By including a call to action you will hopefully generate a response that you can monitor and drive the customer to the next stage of the purchasing funnel. Incentives like registering online to enter a competition or using a promotional code for a discount will allow you to track response but also give you the opportunity to engage with that customer.

Follow up: And engaging with your customer is what it’s all about. So once they have responded don’t leave them hanging. Follow up with your next point of marketing contact, whether that be by email, telephone or another direct mail piece. Keep the conversation going, move the customer relationship forward and build on what you have started. Just ensure to collate all customer details and actions on your database to build a useful profile.

Integration: One marketing channel is good, but it’s always more effective if a message is supported as part of a bigger campaign. So consider targeting the same audience with the same message via other means such as advertising, social media and email. It is vital to track each channel, and remember to use different channel promotional codes, to assess the overall campaign. Advertising could build awareness, while email notifies the customer to look out for the direct mail and social media could encourage discussion or get customers to post as part of the call to action.

Check, check, check: Never let any marketing go out before it has been through thorough checking, but especially a mail piece. With all the time and effort that has been spent on planning and execution, it would be a complete waste if there was a typo or the wrong details. Customers would lose respect and may disregard the message as a result. So ensure all branding, content and customer details have been verified and approved before anything is sent out.

For further tips and advice on direct mail marketing go to: http://www.dma.org.uk/

 

Nicola Peaty

Infographics explained…with a little help from some infographics!

By Nicola Peaty

What is an infographic?
With so much data and detail to communicate and explain these days, an infographic is brilliant way to use an image or design which visually digests a particular topic or piece of information.

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The facts….
According to facts by the Visual Teaching Alliance, our brains process visual information 60,000 faster than text and 90% of information that comes to the brain is visual.

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Why use an infographic?
If done well, an engaging infographic can capture the attention of an audience with a view to inform and be shared by many. Marketers are using clever designers to use this simple and effective way to communicate content marketing online. Infographics can be used to:
* Explain complicated subject matters.
* Raise awareness and profile.
* Target key audiences.
* Drive traffic.
* Push viral campaigns.
* Build SEO.
* Show you as an expert in a particular topic.

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How to use an infographic.
Once you have chosen your subject matter, designed the visually impactful infographic, ensure you include your logo/website so that when it gets passed on, you take full credit and build your profile. Then it’s time to post it in all social media channels especially your blogs and visual media such as Pinterest. Encourage viewers to recommend, post it on their own sites/blogs and share as much as possible.

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Some varied examples to inspire:

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Mel Rees

Top Tips…How To Brief a Designer To Achieve Great Results

By Mel Rees

We asked creative director, Mel Rees, to have a think about what clients can do to help their designers meet their creative objectives and make the whole process as smooth as possible. We think they’re pretty straight-forward, but not thinking them through at the outset can make the whole experience slightly more stressful – for both parties! Graphic design

1. Make sure you know what you want: It may sound obvious, but many people without marketing experience (and some people with it!) begin the design briefing process without having a clear idea of what they want to achieve. Write down your objectives for any campaign so you are able to explain them clearly and succinctly to yourself before trying them out on anyone else.

2. Make yourself easy to understand: Your business and brand is obviously clear in your mind, but it may not be clear to anyone else. Don’t expect your designer to be a mind-reader. Tell them all about your business – even if you think it’s irrelevant. Many descriptive words and expressions are subjective. What is ‘funky’ to one person may be ‘traditional’ to another. If you have specific design preferences, be clear or better still, use visual examples.

3. Let your designer be the designer: Don’t commission a designer and then immediately start designing the project yourself. When writing your brief, concentrate on your marketing objectives and allow your designer to interpret them. By all means be a part of the creative process and never let your designer bully you – but make sure your roles are properly defined.

4. Write it down: Have you ever phoned your designer, given them a 10-20 minute spiel and then expected them to deliver an award-winning campaign? And have you ever received totally unexpected results following this conversation? It simply doesn’t work. A written brief gives you both a point of reference when evaluating creative work. And it encourages you to explain your requirements in depth.

5. Plan ahead and understand your budget: To achieve value for money and the right results you need to understand how much bang you’ll get for your buck. Agree exact costs for each design element up front. Give your designer a really accurate project plan and check each element off, making sure you both understand where you are in the project at every stage.

Check out our creative briefing template here.

Mel Rees – Creative Director, VG&A

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