Thursday, June 02, 2011

Is your company memorable?

What do Dominos Pizza, Subway and Federal Express have in common?
Memorable unique selling propositions.

How do you create a USP?

Some experts recommend asking your clients…but that may not lead to any insights. Instead, think about what you want to achieve for your customers or clients. Ask yourself, what’s my dream for my customers?

Here’s an example…

Flash back to the 1970’s when pizza delivery took FOREVER. Tom Monaghan, founder of Domino’s Pizza envisioned his customers enjoying a fresh, piping hot pizza in 30 minutes. There was nothing unique about Domino’s Pizza, so Tom created a point of difference. Made sure he could deliver on this promise. Then he came up with Domino’s memorable slogan: Domino’s Pizza – 30 Minutes or It's Free!

You can create a unique selling proposition for your business as well. Think about what you can promise your customers…invent something you can do differently…and make it happen.

Call PromoWriting at 203 371-0654 to find out how Shira Linden can help you establish your USP and create a memorable tag line. And ask for a FREE review of your current marketing materials. Visit Or email


But first, survey the competition. Make sure they’re not making the same promise and announcing it to the world. If you can establish that they are not making the same promise, nor announcing it to the world, then go ahead and announce your new USP to your customers. As long as you’re the first one to announce it, you own it!

Then, don’t keep it a secret! Broadcast your uniqueness at every opportunity – on your web site, in all your marketing materials such as your direct mail, email marketing messages, radio spots and every time you touch your customers.

Examples of Unique Selling Propositions to get you started:

a) Subway - Subs with under 6 grams of fat.
b) Federal Express - When it Absolutely, Positively Has To Be There Overnight®
c) Domino’s Pizza - 30 Minutes or it's FREE!

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Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Are your Communications Plain Vanilla?

Recently, I attended a fabulous conference (NEMOA) where marketers convened and exchanged ideas. One seminar leader posed the question “Are your communications plain vanilla?”

Take a look at all your messaging. Could your customer communications be from Anycompany USA? This could spell death for a business.

Instead you want to build a “wow” experience at every touch point. Don’t be afraid of developing a company personality – and letting that personality shine through. Here are a few examples to get you started:

New Pig stands out with a weird and memorable company name
In fact, they play it up. Here’s what they say:
“We're a company with a really odd name... whose employees call each other "Piggers" or "Partners in Grime®." We create award-winning products to make your job easier... and we're absolutely, positively dedicated to helping our customers keep their facilities clean and safe. We know from experience that a clean, safe workplace is more productive.”
Their first product was the Original PIG® Absorbent Sock. Their catalog is called a Pigalog®. You can call them at 1-800-HOT-HOGS® (468-4647) and write them at One Pork Avenue. Now there’s a company that produces serious safety and industrial products that doesn’t take themselves too seriously. Wouldn’t you remember them if you had an industrial spill?

Ben & Jerry’s has a folksy spin
If New Pig is too way out for you, there are plenty of other ways to get noticed. Take Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream, a company that’s extra inventive about how they talk about their products and communicate with customers.
Their site includes a Scrapbook of the company history which mentions such events as building the world’s largest ice cream sundae…launching a cowmobile to criss-cross the country giving away free scoops…and details their environmentally-friendly activities such as introducing unbleached paper products.

You’ll also notice how funky and original the names of their products are – like Kaberry KaBOOM, for example. Here’s the description: full of cracklin’ candy to tingle your tastebuds. Doesn’t that make you want to run out and get a cone? To top it off, some of the proceeds of Kaberry KaBOOM sales went towards building safe playgrounds. You’ve got to love it! And their characteristic cows and clouds branding adds to the Vermont folksy appeal.

B2B or B2C – there a way to grab attention

Whether your products are technical or delicious, there’s a way to talk about your company that will help you stand out in the marketplace. And if you’re uncertain how to begin, that’s something PromoWriting can help you with.

Call PromoWriting at 203 371-0654 to find out how Shira Linden could help you better connect with your target audience. Visit Or email

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Friday, April 01, 2011

New for 2011

Six months in the making, PromoWriting now has a new logo and a new, state-of-the-art web site showcasing our work in an online Portfolio with three sections:

• Interactive Marketing
• Print and Digital
• Direct Marketing

You’ll also find a Press section which includes PromoWriting’s many published articles, a panel discussion from DM Days NY as well as media where we’re quoted. To take a look, visit

To find out about new, out-of-the-box interactive marketing solutions that will put you light years ahead of the competition, contact Shira at 203 371-0654 or via email at
In other news, I attended NEMOA at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront hotel this month, a fabulous conference where marketers convene and exchange ideas, hence the tagline Direct Exchange.

One seminar leader posed the question “Is your communication vanilla?” Take a look at all your messaging. Could your customer communications be from Anycompany USA? This could spell death for a business.

Instead you want to build a “wow” experience at every touch point. Don’t be afraid of developing a company personality – and letting that personality shine through. And if you’re uncertain how to begin, that’s something PromoWriting can help you with.

Call PromoWriting at 203 371-0654 to find out how Shira could help you better connect with your target audience.

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Tuesday, November 02, 2010

PromoWriting Lands New Control

Anatomy of a control

In case you’re not schooled in direct marketing lingo, a control is a mailer’s top performing promotion. Mailers concurrently test several promotions to discover the one that pulls the most responses, which becomes the control. Testing continues in an effort to topple that control with a new control that pulls even more responses and increases pay-up.

Recently, I found out a promotion I created became the new control, lifting response 29% while at the same time increasing pay up 20%. This is truly something to shout about!

How did PromoWriting create this new control? I teamed up with Patrick Fultz, DM Creative Group. We leveraged our 25+ years of experience as seasoned idea generators and direct marketers developing sizzling concepts and winning solutions.

Speaking of sizzling concepts, we presented 3 extraordinary concepts that were a departure from everything the company had mailed previously. The client chose the “official” approach, a 6” x 11” package with a mock shipping label and bar code. A perforated pull tab enticed recipients to open the envelope. Color palette was red, black and grey on white stock.

Inside was a 2-page official-looking memo, plus brochure and order form with a numbered sticker, an involvement device designed to encourage recipients to interact with the promotion.

“Respond Within 12 Days” was rubber stamped on the order form to increase urgency. An explanation on the back of the order form detailed the rationale for the deadline and described the 100% satisfaction guarantee.

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Copy is key, survey shows

PromoWriting _________________________
SHIRA LINDEN • 203 371-0654 •

I was reading an article in the June, 2010 issue of Target Marketing. According to copywriting guru Bob Bly, Target Marketing did a survey of their readership to discover the best practices in b2b marketing. Here’s the background:

95% of respondents are involved in b2b marketing
53% do b2b only
41% do b2b and b2c.

Now the findings:

Content is key
* 65% of respondents agreed that it was important to “create value-added content to establish us as thought leaders in our market.”
* 71% said content marketing complements and works in tandem with traditional marketing communications.
* 12% said content is replacing traditional marketing as the primary selling tool.
* Only 15% of those surveyed said that they don’t really do content marketing.
* Not one respondent agreed with the statement, “Content is a waste of time.”

Print is NOT dead
* 9 out of 10 Target Marketing readers who responded use brochures
* 73% use traditional printed brochures
* 11% use white papers rather than brochures
* 6% have brochures available for download only
* Only 1 in 10 respondents agreed with the statement “Brochures are old hat…”

Blogs are NOT all the rage
* Most b2b marketers don’t have a company blog, monitor other people’s blogs to see if they’re mentioned or target blogs with PR pushes

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Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Keep talking

PromoWriting _________________________
SHIRA LINDEN • 203 371-0654 •

Keep talking

By talking, I don’t mean chatting. I mean keep communicating with your target market.

Cynus Applied Research conducted a national study as to why donors stopped giving to a charity they donated to previously. Their findings: almost one half of respondents discontinued their gifts because they did not receive adequate information as to what happened following their donation.


For a complimentary copy checkup contact Shira at 203 371-0654, via email at, or her website or


So, make sure you keep your audience abreast of how their donations are making someone’s life better using copy that connects your donors to your organization and draws them in. Spread the word of your successes, contacting donors via a mix of direct mail and Email marketing efforts.

You can lead off with Email marketing and follow up with direct mail, a blend which will maximize the advantages of both media. While Email is extremely cost effective an instantaneous, direct mail is the standard bearer. Data show donors found or maintained via direct mail are more loyal and easier to contact for subsequent campaigns versus electronic media. Direct mail can be used for fundraising efforts or to drive donors online to a sweepstakes or PURL (personalized URL) for example. Or integrate the two with triggered Emails (see prior post).

How often to keep in touch? Five times per year is the magic number. Keep changing the channel for optimum results.

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Wisdom that applies to any arena

PromoWriting _________________________
SHIRA LINDEN • 203 371-0654 •

I heard Jerry F. Smith, President and CEO of the JF Smith Group share what he learned in 10,000 days of fund-raising. If you’re marketing a product, idea or organization, his wisdom applies:

• There’s money out there. The number of people worldwide with $1+ million in assets passed 10 million for the first time

• Touch your donors (or audience) 5 times a year mixing calls, letters, hand-written notes and cards

• The word need is out. (I was told by a mentor decades ago that need or needs as a noun is an empty word – this applies across the board.) People give or respond to opportunities not needs. Opportunities signify that a donor can make great things happen with their gift. Talk to your prospective donors about investing in the future of your organization.

• 2% of the giving by individuals is online giving. The average gift was $116 in 2007 according to Giving USA. Online giving will grow and you must be ready for this growth

• Make sure to include a handwritten P.S. In your letter. It’s the first thing people read. Tell your donors (customers) thank you, and that they are appreciated.

• Continue to acquire new donors no matter what

• Giving by individuals accounts for ¾ of contributions versus ¼ from corporations, foundations and charitable bequests combined

• The number one reason people give is because they believe in the mission of an organization

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