A Guide to Using the Correct Social Media Logos

SocialMediaBrandingToday it’s standard practice for businesses to list their social networks (facebook, twitter, instagram, etc.) on their marketing materials. Did you know that each social network has guidelines for its logo? These guidelines include what logo version you should and should not be using, and the proper way to display it. This is called a Branding Guideline and almost every business has one. For example, Twitter is commonly misrepresented with the small ‘t’ square logo. The small ‘t’ logo is not the official Twitter logo and according to Twitter’s Branding Guidelines, it should not be used. Twitter is very specific (as all Branding Guidelines are).  Only the Twitter bird icon should be used when representing Twitter. It’s important to research the Branding Guidelines for logos included in your marketing material to make sure you are using them correctly. The proper use of logos is a contributor to making your marketing materials look current and up-to-date. Here is a list of links to the most commonly used social networks, and their Branding Guidelines:

facebook: https://www.facebookbrand.com/guidelines?asset=2&media=1,2,3
twitter: https://about.twitter.com/company/brand-assets
instagram: https://www.instagram-brand.com/
pinterest: https://business.pinterest.com/en-gb/brand-guidelines

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Why We Like Coupons

In an earlier post, we wrote about the difference between advertising and promotion. Advertising tells people what you hope they will buy from you. The role of promotion is to give them an incentive to buy now. It’s been proven over and over again in the marketplace that buyers love a deal, and coupons can be a very effective way to communicate that deal.

Beyond that, they can be a very effective way for you to keep track of who’s taking you up on your deal. The coupon becomes a record of the response, and simply counting coupons can give you an idea of whether a campaign is working.

Coupons can do even more than that, though. You can use them to capture information that goes beyond what you currently have in your mailing list or marketing database. For example, if you’d like to collect e-mail addresses, you can use coupons to do that. If you’d like to explore other areas of a customer’s interest you can use coupons to do that too. Think of a coupon as a blank canvas. You can send information out, using text and graphics. You can also bring information in, using words and graphics along with fields and check boxes.

We like coupons a lot!

Don’t let your marketing get stale: Freshen the message

In an earlier post, we wrote about the importance of not letting your marketing message get stale. A common example is mailing the same request or offer to the same list, month after month after month. Direct mail response tracks along a bell curve, whether you’re using it for sales purposes, fundraising or member development. Even the best of programs reaches a saturation point, where everyone who is likely to respond has already done so, and at that point, you are throwing bad money after good!

Freshening the message can be as simple as changing the graphics. Picture

Adding some vitality to your marketing campaign can be done by freshening up the graphics.
Adding some vitality to your marketing campaign can be done by freshening up the graphics.

yourself going through your own stack of mail. You see things that you’ve seen before, and experience has shown that if you’ve seen something once or twice, you might actually look closely at it the third time and make a decision about whether to respond. But let’s say you do that, and you choose not to respond, and then you see the same mailer over and over again. Do you take even a second before tossing the mailer in the trash pile? Or let’s say that you look closely and you do respond. Does seeing the same mailer again and again encourage you to do it again?

Experts like to say that direct mail works until it stops working. They also say that the best strategy is to freshen the message — or change the offer or change the list — before you get too far past the point of diminishing returns. That’s how you keep it working!

What PURLs can do for your business or organization

purl.jpgYou’ve heard of them. You’ve seen them. But do you actually understand what PURLs can do for your business or organization?

PURL stands for “Personalized Unique Resource Locator.” They can be as simple as an extension of your existing web address, e.g., customersname.yourcompanyname.com. Or, they can be as sophisticated as your program name or campaign title, e.g., customersname.promotionname.com. It’s up to you.

In simple terms, a PURL is a personalized website (URL) address linked to a landing page that is customized visually as well as textually for the person visiting the page. This customization can include items that may be of particular interest to the person, variable value coupons based on the person’s previous purchases, or even location specific items that may be of interest to them.

PURLs are usually used along with direct mail pieces to further increase results of campaigns as well as direct visitors to specific website pages that are personalized based on the person’s information in your database — presumably collected with their knowledge and/or permission — including contact information as well as their buying and/or visiting habits. PURLs can also be used as hyperlinks in email campaigns and as web addresses linked to personalized QR Codes. When the direct mail recipient logs onto/connects to the PURL, the information from your database is used to tailor the web page to that person. This can include populating the billing and shipping information of the visitor, filling line entries on an order form based on a customer’s previous purchasing habits, personalizing a presentation to a person based on their previously noted preferences which can include everything from product preferences to cultural, educational and/or departmental information.

The beauty of it is that once the individual logs in, the website can track the respondent’s activity and continue to tailor the information being presented based on their behavior as well as collect information that can be used to custom craft future print and internet communications. What’s more, PURLs can track and capture information that can be used to help you understand your clients as well as determine the value of your marketing money being spent and what is being effective or ineffective in providing results.

By combining both media — direct mail and the internet — marketers can take advantage of the personalization, comfort, tangible appeal, and quality of commercial Variable Data Printing (VDP), and the immediacy, tracking, analytics, and instant response of the Internet. All the while, simplifying the contact process for your potential customers. That’s what makes a PURL so powerful. It’s just so simple, and simple works. As we all know, the simpler the process — be it through personal or professional experience — the higher the response and rate of return.

A PURL is the ultimate targeted marketing tool — a web page about you or your business, designed to cater to each individual visitor’s interests, preferences and/or buying patterns.

For more information on PURLs and how Mitchell Graphics can help you use them in your future marketing campaigns, contact your Account Representative, or call us at: 800.583.9401.

12 Tips for Great Graphic Design

For a raster image to look good on the web, the resolution must be 72 dpi. For that same image to look good on paper, the resolution must increase to over four times the resolution for web. Vector images, however do not require a change in resolution to keep the quality between changes from web to print.
For a raster image to look good on the web, the resolution must be 72 dpi. For that same image to look good on paper, the resolution must increase to over four times the resolution for web. Vector images, however do not require a change in resolution to keep the quality between changes from web to print.

Whether you’re an experienced graphic designer or an amateur who wants a couple solid hints on how to create an eye-catching piece, here are 12 tips for great graphic design.

1. Work backwards. Put all your info into the layout before you begin designing. This way, you can know how much space you have to work with, where you will make folds, etc.

2. Choose your fonts wisely. Less is more, in this case. It might be a good idea to have a couple of contrasting fonts that compliment each other. Make it a rule of thumb to have 2-3 font styles max in your design.

3. Choose a focal point. Use a big bold font, color, or picture to create a sense of hierarchy. Your design should flow so the viewer’s eye travels smoothly across the piece.

4. Be careful of placement. You may have 20 pictures that you just have to use but resist the urge. This goes back to the previous tip. You want to have flow in your piece and slapping on pictures in random places will make the design look awkward and uncomfortable. It is, however, a good idea to group a couple of pictures together. Grouping is a good technique for catching a viewer’s eye.

5. Keep it consistent. This goes for your entire draft, in general. Keep the spacing equal and the font sizes consistent in that you are not using five different font sizes within the same piece.

6. White space can be good. You don’t have to fill every inch of the page. Sometimes it is good to have some negative space to compliment or balance the positive. Utilize it.

7. Use the right software. Consider the capabilities of your software and make sure it fits your needs before starting on the design. Use your program based on the purpose for which it is intended. I.e. Adobe InDesign does not have the same use as Adobe Dreamweaver.

8. Be careful of font and graphic resolutions. Just because it looks good on the screen doesn’t mean it will look as good on paper. Resolution needs to be almost 4 times higher for print compared to the web.

9. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Mess around a little, try new things. Test out an unfamiliar tool, or a design you saw in a magazine. Though your design usually does need to abide by a certain template, you can sometimes get away with straying from it.

10. Consider using vector images. These are especially good for logos. A vector image is an image comprised of shapes, points, lines, and curves. They look good on the screen and in print without any major modifications, unlike pixelated images (known as raster images) which lose quality when zoomed. Another benefit of a vector image is it saves as a small file, unlike raster images.

11. Choose your colors wisely. Avoid using cliché color schemes, such as rainbow or black and white. Sometimes it is good to have a lot of color (or none), but generally, it’s good to stick with complimentary colors. And don’t feel limited to the color swatches that your program provides. Kuler is a useful website that lets you create your own color schemes with the color wheel.

12. Don’t flatten your artwork. Leave the type layers unrasterized and the different art layers as they are so that you can go back and make changes or manipulate separate items later.

Graphic design is an art that requires special training, but you can still create a fantastic piece without a degree by keeping a few tips in mind.  Using these tips as a guideline in creating a finished piece will allow your company or concept to stand out in the best light possible.