Sunday, 1 July 2018

Prove Your Professionalism and Be Remembered

Show your clients you mean business, whatever your line of work with an impressive sales toolkit, which showcases your products and services.

With 70% of us believing that mail gives a better impression of a company than email, it’s time to trust traditional methods of communication.

Whatever you’re selling, sell it well. Whether you’re an SME whipping up gluten-free cakes for local villagers or a multi-national serving financial clients, demonstrate your products and services professionally and you’ll win more clients.

Often, customers aren’t turned off by your products, but the tired, predictable ways you present them. So give it to them straight. Highlight the real value of your offering with a sales toolkit that showcases exactly what you do including all of your USPs and all of your contact details.

Boom. Then it’s right there on your customer’s desk with no excuse not to get in touch. 

Consider every element of your business, and tailor packages towards your target market, focusing on what will be relevant to them. 

Ensure you include:
  • Business Card
  • Covering Letter
  • Brochure with overview of company
  • Product and sales/data sheet
  • Call to action – what do they need to do next

Also think about how is it going to be delivered, personally – great; post – consider size weight costs!

We’re open to requests if you need to WOW with off-the-wall impact chat to us! At The New Fat, we can help create sharp, professional sales toolkits for businesses of all sizes across all industries.  

The benefits of a polished sales toolkit
Ensures your branding is communicated consistently throughout, building your brand and giving your sales team a focus with clear messaging.

You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression but it’s not all about you. Even in the finest suit, if how you’re presenting your business is not up-to-scratch, how you present yourself is meaningless. Equip yourself with a sales toolkit from The New Fat and we’ll ensure your brand is represented in the most authentic, powerful way. 

Print isn’t dead - Embrace RIP (Really Interesting Print).
How many times have you ignored emails, simply because they sound like spam or didn’t suit your workload or even your mood on that day? Print isn’t dead; it just needs to be dynamic enough to stand out in a crowded space. It’s where The New Fat excel.

Leave your mark with something to be remembered by. With a tangible take-away, you can engage and generate response by:
  • Creating brand unity and a unique brand story bespoke to your own business.
  • Establish a connection by leaving your contact details. When someone’s telephone number or email address is right in front of you every day, there’s far more chance of getting in touch.
  • Ensure longevity by giving them something real – in the digital age, a premium set of printed materials mean more than empty cyberspace comms. 
Read this months Case Study and find out about a Sales Toolkit we designed for Tilsatec.

Don’t just take our word for it – here’s what a few of our impressed clients have to say about our work.

‘I know I can rely on swift service and honest and useful advice - Impact 108

‘Love your CAN DO attitude’ - The Rainforest Foundation UK

Save money on this months stationery offer, find out more here. Read this months Case Study and find out about a Sales Toolkit we designed for Tilsatec.

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Affordable Effective Marketing

Short title, right? You may well be reading this item along with the circa-35% of recipients who open e-mail based on the subject line. Also, there’s roughly a 54% chance you’re reading this on a mobile device too. If that’s the case, then bear in mind that an ideal subject line should be around just three words, based on the fact that an average mobile device can fit just 4 to 7 words across the screen. Phew!

So, email marketing: It’s effective and it’s affordable when compared to other forms of marketing. However, there are a number of important considerations to bear in mind if you want to succeed. In fact, you may well be asking yourself “How do I get e-mail marketing right?”

In our short guide to direct e-mail, we clarify the ambiguous and we present e-mail marketing as easy as 1, 2, 3 - 1: Design; 2: Copy; and 3: The Law. 

Let’s go…

1: Design
Your e-shot needs to be visually appealing, but it also needs to actually work i.e. display consistently across all web-based email platforms, from Outlook to Gmail. It needs to be as striking on a Mac as it is on a PC and just as effective on an Android smartphone as it is on an iPhone or iPad. 

Bearing the above in mind and that mobile e-mail is increasingly important, images and design need to be responsive (i.e. resize and reformat accordingly). Outlook and Mac Mail programs feature preview windows, smartphones are small, and Outlook and Gmail have narrow display panels. Therefore, a starting point for e-mail design should be within a 600 pixel-wide space. 

A lot of experienced e-marketers use something known as the “pyramid” when designing their emails. In essence, this is a framework for structuring overall design, starting with the header, imagery, buttons and so forth. Following this hierarchy of messaging ensures that the key elements of the e-mail attract and draw-in the reader, ultimately instilling a desire to click-through to the website.

With the various platforms and recipient device-types, the most important stage of your design is the testing stage! Test your e-mails thoroughly. Do this by sending test e-mails to all platforms and to all devices. You’d be surprised how differently the various platforms all read style information, or as mentioned, simply strip it out and ignore it. Make the necessary changes and then, test again!

2: Copy
We’ve touched on the subject line, so if you will, consider the sheer volume of non-relevant e-mails that we all receive on a day-to-day basis. Bearing in mind the character and space limitations, our titles need to be succinct and they need to connect effectively with target groups in order to leverage opens. In other words, they need to stand-out from the crowd! So that said, consider that, before we buy anything, many marketers believe that the buyer has recognised a ‘problem’ and that they are searching for products and services as a solution to that problem. If we can communicate an understanding of these problems and suggest that we can provide the key to the solution within these short e-mail titles, then we’re half-way there. However, a word of caution: You must avoid what are referred to as ‘spammy’ words in your title and indeed, in your body text to a (slightly) lesser extent.

Something worth exploring is using symbols in your titles. A recent Experian report showed an increase in open rates compared to plain text titles. But please, send those test emails prior to broadcast to ensure consistent reproduction across all platforms.

If your titles, headings and copy contain ‘spammy’ words, especially ‘monetary’, ‘sales’ and ‘offers’ related terms, the chances are that e-mail servers and platforms that subscribe to blacklists will identify your message as spam and block you at best. At worst, they’ll blacklist you. If you end up on a blacklist, something easily achieved, it’s time-consuming and often a confusing process to delist, and until you have done so successfully, your day-to-day business e-mails may well be blocked, thus compromising your business operations.

Of course, like all marketing communications, your e-mail copy needs to be in the register, tone and language of your target group. Keep email copy minimal and to the point, and ask yourself “Is my copy relevant and is it useful?”. If you can answer this with an honest ‘Yes, of course it is”, then try and write your e-mail in excerpts rather than full posts. After all, the primary objective of your e-mail is surely to push people towards your website to find more information, to hopefully buy something, or to click the ‘contact us’ button. 

If your messaging is less formal, how about utilising emojis? A picture speaks a thousand words, they say. However, consider that Google’s emojis are slightly different from say Android’s emojis and may well look a little different when they arrive in the inbox. But then, you’ll be testing your e-mails of course.

A hugely attractive feature of e-mail marketing is how we can personalise our messages. We can include the recipient’s name in the salutation, the body text and even the title by using simple short-codes that link to your data (pulling in first and surnames when required). With personalised emails being 26% more likely to be opened, this is undoubtedly a technique not be be ignored. But, overuse personalisation and it might well work against you and repel readers. Once they’ve opted-out of your emails, you can’t legally e-mail them again!

We all know that e-mails are rather ‘viral’ by nature, meaning that recipients can easily share the content by forwarding them to friends and colleagues who they feel might also find the content of use and interest. We can easily add social media ‘like’ and ‘share’ buttons to our messages, forward-to-a-friend hyperlinks, as well as subscribe buttons for those who may have come across the message indirectly, or were forwarded the e-mail.

3: The Law
Sounds like the stuffy part, right? Wrong! Well, right, but ‘Ahhh GDPR is here!’ - E-mail marketing works very well as a ‘relationship marketing’ tool; It’s ideal for keeping in touch with existing clients and contacts. It’s cheap to produce with no postage costs and advert placement costs. Conversely though, it’s not ideal as a first-point-of-contact medium and unless you bear in mind a few established guidelines and legalities, you may well land yourself in hot water at worst and with annoyed customers at best.

Firstly, your e-mail must state your company name, its legal status and registered address, usually in the footer. It must feature an opt-out feature and you cannot by law send e-mails to contacts again unless they specifically double opt-(back)in to your list. Double opt-in means that targets click to join your list, are sent a confirmation e-mail and are required to respond to this to confirm legitimacy.

With the European-wide GDPR data protection laws coming into force this May, organisations face fines for sending to lists and individuals who have not expressly given their permission to be sent information. This has been consumer law for some time now, but GDPR is going to make it very enforceable and very real!

… and finally
With 92% of online adults utilising e-mail and 61% of these using it on an average day, we hope you don’t need any more convincing that, when executed correctly, e-mail marketing is highly advantageous. 

E-mail is a superb way of communicating regularly with your customers and target groups and unlike other forms of marketing, you can track e-mail marketing through the broadcast software, as well as through your own website analytics. Stay on the right side of data protection law, e-mail servers and e-mail blacklists and you could well see a significant return on a comparatively minimal investment in no time.

So, follow our ‘easy as 1, 2, 3’ steps and as we’ve mentioned, TEST your email! Once you’ve sent it, you’ve sent it. Test it on all e-mail platforms, on all desktop and mobile devices. Ask your colleagues and favourite clients to read it. Test it on your grandma. Test it on your pets. Just…  

OK, to learn more about sending effective e-mails for business, click here to speak to a member of The New Fat team nowhave a look at our portfolio or check out our latest offer!

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Why You Should Consider Using Direct Mail in Your Marketing Mix

In this ever-increasing online world - how does printed marketing / mail correspondence fit in with your marketing strategy?
We have reviewed some statistics that give us an insight into how the public perceives mailed communications compared to email or other forms of brand marketing.

Positive scores for mail are on the increase, indicating that mail can work alongside traditional broadcast channels and digital media to deliver stronger business outcomes.

Trust is a big issue - in a climate of doubt and distrust, traditional mail is valued and seen as secure. Becoming a trusted source of information or quality products is invaluable when raising your profile.

People seem to feel that mail and other printed communications are intrinsically more trustworthy, perhaps because they are phyisically more tangible. In fact, we seem ‘hard-wired’ to believe in what we see printed, but have a lack of faith when it comes to pixels on a screen.  

So, what is giving mailed communications such a boost?
Possible reasons are the ever improving quality of the mail itself, better use of data or the comparative rarity of posted marketing in relation to email.

Reading an item of mail is an active process that demands the dedicated attention of the viewer. In recent research, 65% of respondents said they gave mail their full attention, compared with only 35% who said the same for email.

72% of people said they often read and review some of their mail at a time when they can give it their full attention.

Although the cost of print mail is higher - the return on investment (ROI) is worthwhile. 

Seemingly print will always be an avenue that should be considered for any marketing strategy. Depending on your industry and client base, mail correspondence could play a vital role in your brand recognition and success.

This month we are offering £100 off the design and print of A5 leaflets. Find out more on The New Fat website or read our latest case study

Read the full report and source of this data at: - The Value of Mail in Uncertain Times

Friday, 1 December 2017

Design Trends of 2018

Graphic design is constantly evolving and as each year comes and goes, so do trends. As the new year fast approaches, now seems a great time to look at the hotly anticipated design trends for 2018.

Modern Day Vintage and Popping Colours

Colour - Modern Day Vintage and Popping Colours
With brands like Instagram utilising strong and vibrant colour transitions to boost bold and simple designs, it comes as no surprise that other brands are taking on similar styles. 2018 is likely to see the continued resurrection of gradients and the era of flat design enhanced.

Duo-tones have also seen an exponential rise since Spotify created a colourful campaign for their playlist images. Combining contrasting colours with the texture of halftone creating a two-toned image full of energy.

Pairing bold colour transitions or duo-tone images with retro colour pallets from the 80s and 90s is on trend. It seems like a contradiction but modern day vintage is in! Combinations of punchy and pastel pinks with electric hues of blue and purple with pattern bursts continue to enhance flat designs.

Subtle Depth and Juxtaposing Elements

Layout - Subtle Depth and Juxtaposing Elements
As we move away from ultra-flat design we see the evolution of asymmetric and split page design. Using neutral space in a creative way and juxtaposing contrasting elements. Long, soft shadows lift ultra-flat towards the 2018 trend of semi-flat designs, adding a subtle depth. 

Retro and geometric pattern backgrounds are back in the mainstream as kids of the 80s and 90s gain more influence, not only in the world of design and marketing but as consumers. 

Authentic images add a personal touch, revealing real-life moments as they happen, exposing a human side to brands. A welcome and refreshing shift away from dry, staged and uninspired stock photography, which will always be prevalent. 

Integrated and Creative Typography

Typography - Integrated and Creative
Leading the way for the developing trends of 2018 is the use of creative typography. Imagination is forging the path of cropped, chaotic and intersecting typography. Removing elements of letterforms and intertwining type with imagery and graphic elements makes for a beautifully modern, but unconventional twist on design. Moving away from the norm, breaking up words and playing with unusual alignments. Bold fonts are at the forefront, adding impact and order to chaotic but eye-pleasing designs. 

This new style of interactive typography may not suit all design projects but creativity, form and function can still prevail. Composition is key. Typography combined with a strong colour palette and great layout is the perfect recipe for engaging design.

Mobile First Design

Web design - Mobile First
As static websites become a thing of the past, the way we design a responsive site is changing. Increasingly, smartphones and tablets are the primary choice for first stage browsing and for websites with a mobile majority we must rethink the key aspects of the user experience. Mobile first design is set to be a new way of thinking in 2018. Stripping back design, bringing in form and function and building up to desktop where creativity can come into play. 

As 2018 beckons, refreshing trends are revitalizing the world of graphic design and shifting focus to originality. Moving away from ultra-flat design and welcoming creative typography, eye popping colours, beautiful patterns and a new way of thinking in website design.

Get in touch and lets make 2018 the year of creativity.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Six Reasons Why Good Design is Essential for Small Companies

Resources can be limited when you’re starting in business. Making good decisions about your marketing material is key and in the long run it always pays to use talented design professionals.

In fact, there are six great reasons why good design is absolutely essential in helping your small business grow:

1. It creates a great first impression

You know what they say: you don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression. Whether it’s your logo, an email signature, your business card or website, potential customers will judge your company in just a few seconds based on visual appeal alone.

Designers are great at putting themselves in the potential clients shoes, this can be hard to do when it’s your own business! Let them give you feedback on how they think your brand should look and feel.

2. It builds confidence

As you grow your company it’s important to inspire confidence in your customers and prospects. Who are they going to give their money to? Probably the company that looks experienced, professional, trustworthy and established.

Designers ensure you communicate your brand’s culture, character and personality with your marketing. This will inspire trust in both your consumers and employees, creating solid long term foundations for your company to thrive.

3. It makes you stand out

Small businesses all have one thing in common. They face stiff competition. They thrive or they die. To make themselves stand out and have a better chance of success, they can use high quality, good pricing, excellent customer service, rapid response, or something else entirely.

They can use creativity. In fact, your company image can go a long way towards making your business unique. The problem is, many business owners seem to shy away from the bold design that will set them apart from their competition. They don’t want anything out of the ordinary. So they go for the safe option and their business just gets lost in the crowd.

Anything you can do to make your company more memorable is crucial. So hire a professional design agency to develop a unique image for your business. They will use colours, typefaces and imagery to create a unique mood for your business. Then, your customers will have the same experience reading your brochure as they do browsing your website. It will help you become recognisable and memorable.

In short, give your customers or visitors something to remember and talk about. Then they will not only buy from you and keep coming back, they will recommend your brand to other people.

4. It helps you sell without selling

Good design and consistent branding also makes referrals easier. New customers are like gold dust for any small company and the better you are at catching their eye and bringing them in, the more your business will grow. In fact, professional design makes your company and its image memorable without you having to use any hard sell.

What’s more, high quality design helps you to turn first time shoppers into loyal customers. An eyecatching, memorable logo, well-designed website, emails, ads and brochures all with a consistent look can be the difference between someone coming back to you or choosing a competitor. You need to make the act of looking at any of your marketing materials a pleasant and consistent visual experience.

5. It saves you time and money in the long run

You can almost guarantee that when a company doesn’t commission proper graphic design in the beginning, they will definitely have to do it properly at some point down the line.

The irony is, good design has longevity and it can often work out cheaper to pay for great graphic design once rather than paying for inferior design many times over. As the old saying goes, ‘Buy cheap, buy twice.’ Worse still, redesigning a company’s image over and over again wastes time and money and can disrupt and disjoint your brand image.

6. It can become a valuable financial asset

So with good design at the heart of everything you do, you can really build a successful brand. How successful?

Well, here are a few statistics that will give you some food for thought. According to Forbes’ annual ‘The World’s Most Valuable Brand’ list, Apple’s brand is worth $154.1 billion alone, while Google comes in at $82.5 billion, and Microsoft rounds out the top 3 at $75.2 billion.

As you can see, your brand can be a valuable asset in a number of ways, not only building up your brand awareness but instilling confidence and professionalism for both existing and potential clients. Building a business doesn’t happen over night but developing your own brand with its unique design style and aesthetic is a great step in the right direction. All it takes is a call to a good design agency.

For some design inspiration head over to our website or to see this months special offer.

Friday, 1 September 2017

Your Surprisingly Popular Sales Tool – Folded Leaflets

In our fast-paced, switched-on, ultra-connected online world where brands are engaging with people, having a dialogue with prospective customers and encouraging sales 24/7, you might be surprised to discover what is actually one of the most enduring and proven sales tools.

It’s the humble folded leaflet. Surely not? What with so many innovative, fun and popular online platforms and apps around that brands can use to communicate with people and build relationships.

In fact, the simple folded leaflet has been around for many, many years and it’s still going strong. Through constantly changing trends in print and marketing, folded leaflets have remained hugely popular promotional items. Even in today’s online world, 
they are more popular than ever with marketers and businesses of all sizes. 
But why?

Choose from a range of sizes
One of the biggest advantages of folded leaflets is that they can be printed digitally for small to medium-sized print runs. This means that they can be printed very quickly to a high quality similar to litho print, with the option of personalisation if you want it. All at a very competitive price.

What’s more, with digital print, there’s no minimum quantity, so you don’t have to have more leaflets printed than you need. That reduces waste, which not only saves you money but helps the environment.

There is a whole range of sizes, finishes and papers for printing, which we can discuss at the brief stage. One of the most popular size is DL which is A4 folded to 1/3 A4. This fits neatly into standard envelopes and pockets - making it perfect for any number of uses.

Enjoy unbeatable flexibility

The range of sizes available for your folded leaflets means they can be used anywhere and in a huge variety of ways including:

  • Direct mail campaigns - choose a size like DL which fits easily into envelopes and letter boxes

  • Hand-outs - A5 and DL size leaflets are ideal for handing to prospective customers as they fit easily into pockets and bags

  • On tables and counter - you often see folded leaflets in shops, bars, restaurants and in business premises showing offers, products, services and events

  • Inserts in other publications - folded leaflets can be nested into magazines, brochures, newspapers and catalogues

In short, you can use folded leaflets to advertise your products and services, promote special offers or events, or simply to boost awareness of your business, shop or store. You can include coupons with offers or add QR codes to drive online traffic to your website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest page.

Don’t forget, with digital print your leaflets can be personally addressed to each one of your customers too – a proven way to build and strengthen relationships, and boost response.

Choose from a range of formats

You can have your leaflet folded in a whole range of ways with these four being the most popular and economical:

  • Half fold leaflets are folded in half along the centre like a greetings card
, see this months case study - great leaflet for Bedford Insurance
  • Roll fold leaflets are divided into three sections, with the outer two sections folding over one another

  • Z fold leaflets have panels that do not overlap. They fold like an accordion or Z-shape, so that you can see three panels of artwork on each side, which are viewed in sequence

  • Gatefold leaflets have their outer flaps folded in to meet in the middle

Choose from a selection of papers and finishes
Silk coated paper has a smooth feel with a discreet surface sheen. It offers excellent ink to paper contrast, and the printed colours look sharp and clear. Recycled options are usually available too.

Gloss coated paper has a shiny surface and very smooth finish. The colour is distinct and stands out well. The ink dries quickly and there is less need for lamination.

Uncoated paper is absorbent and easy to write on, making it a great choice for leaflets that need to be written on. The print appears flatter due to this absorbent quality and the paper has a soft finish which is pleasant to the touch. Recycled uncoated paper is also available if you’re looking for an environmentally friendly option.

Once you’ve chosen your paper you can add the finishing touch. Matt lamination gives a soft, modern, high quality effect, while gloss lamination gives a higher quality shine finish than gloss card. Lamination is great to enhance the vibrancy of solid colours or images, or where you want to protect your printed documents. Recently, soft touch laminate has become very popular as it gives a lovely soft, smooth feel to the leaflet.

All in all, folded leaflets have a more tactile, physical quality than emails or social media posts, and they don’t disappear after a few hours. They can be kept on a mantelpiece, stuck to the fridge or in a drawer and referred to later on, and they can be used to drive business to a shop or store in an endless variety of ways – the only limit is your imagination.

Unlike social media too, they can be targeted extremely accurately – to a town or city, an area, a few streets, one road or even one house! So, are you making the most of folded leaflets?

Throughout September we are offering over £100 off the design and production of a leaflet. Want to find out more? Go to our offer page or for ideas have a look at our leaflet portfolio.