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Quarter 2, 2012


Make the Most of Your Marketing Dollars with Direct Mail Postcrds

Postcards are one of the most affordable and highly effective direct mail marketing strategies available. They are an economical way to drive response and earn an above-average return on investment. And, they actually work! In fact, even the largest companies have realized it’s important to continue their postcard marketing when their marketing budgets get tightened. Postcards attract new customers and bring long-time customers back through the door.

Postcards work for every industry, whether it be business to business or business to consumer. A postcard is a quick and easy way to keep your company name and brand in the public eye. Use them to share important information or as a simple way to thank customers, build customer loyalty and make customers feel valued.

Postcards are popular because they're simple to create, inexpensive to print, and less expensive to mail than an envelope. Working with an experienced printer/mailer can reduce postage costs to under $0.30 per piece. And, studies show that of all forms of direct mail, almost all postcards are read. The reason is simple: Unlike mail that's sent in envelopes, nothing has to be opened for the recipient to read the message. With traditional direct mail, people often look at just the envelope and decide they’re not interested. The instant that happens, you've lost the opportunity to connect with that person. A postcard is already opened and ready to read. At the very least, the message will be seen by the recipient. That offers you at least 15 seconds to capture someone's attention.

So how do you capture someone’s attention? The best postcards share some key traits, each of which is important in the motivational process:

Attention-grabbing headline – As marketing materials go, postcards are relatively small but make a big impression — especially when you lead off with a strong headline. In most cases, postcard headlines should be big so they're easy to read and will be noticed as soon as they're pulled from the mailbox. You also should consider printing a headline or headline/offer combination on the back of your postcard. Remember that most postal workers sort (and therefore, most likely deliver) mail address side up, so starting your pitch here can increase your response rate.

Features and benefits – Great postcards detail the features and benefits of a product or service. Since space is limited, list features and benefits as bullet points. Or, alternatively, focus on one key feature and benefit combination and relay it in a single sentence.

Amazing offer and call to action – No matter what your product or service, if you can put an amazing offer in front of your target audience, you'll make money. Your postcard design should put your offer front and center. It can even be part of your headline. Limited-time offers and a powerful call to action motivate instant response, so customers don't have time to forget about your postcard.

Quality postcard design and printing – Postcards are picked up, held, bent ... they're fodder for the hands. Professionally printed postcards not only look great, but they feel great, too. Plus, they give the impression of prestige, stability and credibility. Have your postcards professionally designed and printed in full-color on high-gloss cover stock.

Well-defined mailing list – The mailing list might not be a physical part of your postcard, but if you don't have one, your postcard will go nowhere. Try to develop a highly targeted mailing list so you're mailing only to the desired demographic audience. If you're not sure who that is, identify traits shared by your top five customers as a start.

The 40/40/20 rule of direct mail postcard marketing states that 40 percent of your success is in your mailing list, 40 percent is in your offer, and the remaining 20 percent is everything else. Once you have compiled your mailing list, be sure to deliver a postcard with an offer that meets the needs of your targeted audience. The remaining 20 percent of the success equation is what separates you from the competition. While it is a good thing to emulate the efforts of other successful businesses, you also should work to differentiate yourself through benefits only you can offer.

Direct mail is a cost-conscious and effective investment that can increase your response rate from customers. An informative and well-produced postcard, coupled with the right mailing list, is a sure way to keep existing customers, obtain new customers and generate more profit for your company.

For more information on how to create a direct mail postcard marketing campaign, contact your personal consultant today or, to locate a Safeguard Consultant in your area, call 800-616-9492 or visit http://www.gosafeguard.com/print-services/index.asp .


Protect Your Smartphone with These 7 Simple Tips

If you use your smartphone for business, you could be giving thieves a key to unlock your wealth and hijack your company’s sensitive data. In addition to contact information, business people tend to store user names and passwords, account details, customer records and competitive data on devices that are as easy to misplace as our keys. By following some simple privacy tips, you can protect your smartphone against identity thieves, hackers and competitive espionage.

1. Lock it up
Whenever possible, keep your phone on your person. When you must be separated from your phone, either keep it locked up (when not in use) or keep your eye on it at all times. Phones are stolen daily from restaurant tables, shopping carts, airport security bins, and car cup holders when left unattended. Also, be cautious when loaning your phone to someone else. In just a short amount of time, an untrustworthy person can install a malicious application that provides them with remote access to your phone.

2. Turn on password protection and the auto-lock feature
Turn on the password protection features to keep unwanted users out. Don’t make the passcode easy to guess, and stay away from obvious codes like birth dates and addresses. Make sure you set the auto-lock feature (the amount of inactive time before you need to enter your passcode) to no more than two or three minutes.

3. Enable remote tracking and wiping capabilities
If your phone disappears, you can log on to remote tracking software from your computer and locate the phone as long as the GPS function is turned on and the phone is not powered down. Remote tracking has been used to catch criminals in action.

Remote wiping takes protection one step further. If your phone goes missing, you can remotely clear your data from its memory. If your auto-lock passcode is strong, you should have at least an hour to log in to your remote software and wipe clean the contents of the phone. If your smartphone didn’t come with these features, you can purchase a mobile app that provides this extended security.

4. Use password-protection software
Admit it, you use the same easy-to-remember password for multiple websites, and you also probably store them in an unencrypted file (address book or spreadsheet). Once a thief has one of your passwords, they can enter it into a software program that tests it against every financial website.

You can download a password-protection app that allows you to securely manage and protect sensitive passwords, financial data, credit card numbers, etc., behind a single, secure password. Password-protection software helps you lengthen, strengthen, vary, change and encrypt the keys to your net worth.

5. Minimize unnecessary application spying
Did you know that some of the most popular apps are spying on you, collecting, aggregating and selling your information? Companies purchase this data to market to you in a more targeted way. To minimize your chances of installing applications that share or steal your information, do this:

  • Never open email, social networking messages, attachments or shortened links unless they are from a trusted source.
  • Don’t install the latest fad. Research and download only those apps that have been reviewed by reputable sources.
  • Read the application’s privacy policy to understand the extent to which your information will be shared.
  • Don’t grant permission to share your data. Opt out if you can.
  • Paid apps tend to transmit less personal data than free apps.
  • If you no longer use an app, remove it from your phone.

6. Hold off on mobile banking and investing
Mobile phone security is in its infancy, and just one rogue app used to funnel your brokerage login credentials to an outside source could eliminate your net worth. Contain your online banking and brokering to a home- or business-based computer with the proper security precautions (strong passwords, anti-virus and anti-spyware software, firewall protection, etc.).

7. Customize your geo-tag and GPS settings
Geo-tagging allows others to track your location. When users upload a picture to a social media page, they are probably transmitting location data that can be read by others. Your real-time location makes it easy to determine your address, places you visit and your daily schedule. Checking in to social location websites makes it simple for friends, relatives, enemies, stalkers, and thieves to know where you are. Most smartphones allow you to control GPS features by application. Spending a few minutes examining these settings can help you increase your privacy and safety.

A smartphone can be a highly efficient tool for personal and corporate users. But, like any piece of equipment, you must take the time to protect it. The more you think of your smartphone as a computer, the more secure you will be. Take steps now to protect this asset.

For more information on how to protect your business from identity theft, contact your personal consultant, call 800.616.9492 or visit http://www.gosafeguard.com/checks-forms/safeguardsecure/index.asp