ClearVerve Marketing, LLC

Promise Marketing Blog

Dedupe, Relax & Repeat

Wednesday, July 23, 2014 — 


Because of what we do (promise marketing), we probably monitor our incoming postal mail more than others. In the past few months I have been added to a promotional mailing list for an internet provider that just so happens to be our current provider.  Obviously this provider is not scrubbing its mailing list on a regular basis to dedupe it with its current customers.  This provider is a big company so I was very surprised it didn’t take this step.  This just shows that even the “big guys” miss important direct marketing steps.

If you are wondering how often to deduplicate your list, keep this rule of thumb in mind: dedupe your list every time you send a mailing. There are many software/sales lead programs you can use to automatically do this. Or go old school and manually go through the list yourself (if the list doesn’t have a million names of course).  Take the time to dedupe. Now I’m going to see if our provider will hook us up with this sweet offer they pitched to us to switch.

Susan Schoultz is Design Director at Clear Verve Marketing and works with clients to create and execute marketing campaigns. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram as @susanschoultz

Be brave – get noticed!


Check out this PSA from the Thai Health Promotion Foundation. Don’t worry, the subtitles will help it make sense in English. Be sure to watch all the way to the end. You’ll learn how this video went viral, lit up social media around the world, and caused a 40% increase in contacts to the agency that sponsored the ad.

What amazing results!

Can you imagine what would have happened if the Health Promotion Foundation had taken the typical safe approach? What if they had thrown up the typical roadblocks? What if they had said…

  • “How can we show children holding cigarettes? It will send the wrong message.”
  • “Wait! Nobody mentioned our mission statement!”
  • “You didn’t quote our president, executive director, or CEO.”
  • “That doesn’t sound like what our competitors do. We can’t do that!”
  • “Thanks for the idea but it’s too expensive to hire a crew to film this. We’ll  just shoot it with our iPhones.”

Luckily, if the Thai Health Promotion Foundation did say those things, some persuasive person talked them into trying something new. So the message is noticeable, differentiating, to the point, and you can hear and see what is happening.

They may have spent a little more money to put this ad together, but because they were brave, they got RESULTS.

Christina Steder is the President of Clear Verve Marketing and works with clients to plan, create and execute marketing campaigns.

Why it’s important to keep your marketing up to date

Thursday, July 3, 2014 — 


In the last few weeks, I’ve helped two people attempt to find businesses that were supposedly tenants in Village Court, where the Clear Verve offices are located. In one case, an elderly gentleman was looking for a physician that he thought was somehow hidden in my office. The poor guy was about 80 years old (literally) and of course did not have a cell phone. I tried to help him by looking up the name of his doctor online, but it still took three phone calls before we found the office of the physician he’d been referred to. In another case, a lady with a cell phone was calling a disconnected number from the courtyard of our complex while trying to find a medical imaging center using the address she had on a brochure that was obviously out of date.

Most businesses don’t like to reprint their marketing materials when they move. I get it. The expense of a brochure reprint can feel like the straw that broke the camel’s back when added on top of all the other moving expenses. Other businesses have out of date websites because they can’t figure out how to make changes or the nephew/niece/neighbor who was only too happy to help them set up the original site is now MIA when it’s time to update the darn thing.

Updating your marketing materials is important though. If your customers can’t find you, it’s tough to conduct business. In addition, I often remind clients that people judge things they can’t understand based upon the things they can understand. When a potential patient can’t find a physician’s office because a brochure or website is out of date, it can lead to a lower level of confidence in the provider’s ability to provide treatment. Of course, the quality of a doctor’s brochure and the quality of medical are not necessarily related. But if it is the only thing you know about the provider, how confident will you be?

Keep your marketing up to date. It’s one of the simplest things you can do to build and maintain trust.

Christina Steder is the President of Clear Verve Marketing and works with clients to plan, create and execute marketing campaigns. Follow her on Twitter as @clearverve.

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Where does your content marketing go?


Last week, I made a presentation at Social Media University Milwaukee, speaking about how to determine the best way to mix online and offline marketing tactics. As part of the presentation, I shared this graphic from our Content Marketing Survey:

What does this graphic show us? First of all, more people post content to their Facebook page than they do to their own websites. I can’t give you a scientific answer that explains why this happens, but anecdotally, I can tell you that many people have websites that are fairly difficult to maintain. If that sounds a lot like you, look for a better solution when you update your website. Be sure to ask every  provider  consider  to show you how the content management system you’ll be using will work. Make sure it is flexible and easy to use.

What else do we see? Email is not dead. Direct mail is not dead. Print newsletters are not dead! Don’t give up on more traditional marketing tactics. Yes, I know it’s a lot of work to publish both a print newsletter and an enewsletter, but it can be done. Many people receive so much email that sending something on paper is actually a very simple way to break through all the clutter. In fact, the Content Marketing Institute reports that many marketers say that live, in person events are still among the most successful content marketing tactics.

Want to see what else we learned? Get the whole ebook here.

Christina Steder is the President of Clear Verve Marketing and works with clients to plan, create and execute marketing campaigns. Follow her on Twitter as @clearverve.

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Case study: Two winning projects

Friday, June 6, 2014 — 


Clear Verve worked quite a few direct mail projects this year. One of our most creative and fun projects both BMA and PRSA awards. We also won two other PRSA awards for our recent work. We’re proud of these projects, so we decided to share them as case studies. We hope they inspire some creative thinking.

The client: Skyline Technologies, a consulting and custom technology development firm with a specialty in Business Intelligence (BI).

The challenge: Skyline’s BI services help companies analyze and use the data they collect to make better business decisions. With the boom in electronic medical records, Skyline has helped health care systems use patient data to improve patient care, generate government-required reports, and predict trends. Skyline wanted to introduce itself to major health care systems across Wisconsin and promote this industry solution. However, the decision makers at major health care systems are notoriously hard to reach.

The solution: Clear Verve developed a two part direct mail program. The first part  of the series was a decoder mailer booklet with decoder glasses. (The kind you played with as a kid.)  The mailer illustrated the common challenge for health care – an abundance of data with no context. Each spread in the booklet featured information about the benefits of Skyline’s BI services on the left side. The right side featured a question that related to a random fact that was obscured by red dots. To read the answer, the recipient had to look through the red lens decoder glasses, which were provided with the booklet. After phone and email follow up, individuals received a custom wrapped book that explained that the reader could learn how to better implement BI by reading the book, or they could simply call Skyline.

Breathing new life into a 50-year-old brand

The client: TEC Midwest, an organization that has been dedicated to increasing the effectiveness and enhancing the lives of CEOs in Wisconsin since 1957.

The challenge: TEC members join groups made up of CEOs in non-competing industries. These groups provide their members with a place to bring their most difficult and confidential problems and get tremendous insight from people with a high level of knowledge who have their best interests at heart. This model has been shown to help businesses greatly increase revenue and grow faster than they ever thought possible. However, the organization was challenged with a reduced level of name recognition and membership.

The solution: Clear Verve conducted a survey to understand why members originally joined TEC and their current perceptions of the organization. This survey revealed a significant disparity between the message TEC thought it was communicating and what prospective members were hearing, leading to the development of a new tagline and ad campaign. In addition, Clear Verve revamped all the organization’s marketing materials to reflect this new theme and deliver a consistent message across all channels.  Results are significant. Membership is at its highest levels in over a decade and meetings are more well-attended.

Jackie Costa is the director of content marketing at Clear Verve. She works with clients to communication more clearly and create smarter, better, channel-appropriate content. Listen for her on Twitter as @JackieMCosta.

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