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How to use social distancing in marketing

How to use social distancing in marketing

Anyone who’s watched a recently recorded TV show or sports event will see social distancing in place.  From screens showing people watching online and canned laughter to widely spaced out quiz contestants and presenters spread out around the CBeebies house, entertainment is having to adapt.  This now needs to be the case in your marketing, to show you’re adapting to the changing world of masks and 2 metre high fives.  Here’s some great examples of brands staying current in a pandemic world with social distancing in marketing.

COVID-19 marketing with Amazon

Amazon don’t always have the warm fuzzy feeling in their marketing, choosing to focus on speed and convenience.  Outbreaks in factories and warehouses make headlines, so Amazon are quick to show their team being taken care of.  Employees in masks, temperature checks and masks being transported around the world, to make sure they can keep going, shows the public they can order using Amazon safe in the knowledge that the people behind the delivery aren’t being put at risk.

Keep it real about social distancing marketing with Heineken

One of my personal favourites.  Let’s face it, communicating digitally doesn’t always go to plan.  Tech break downs, barking dogs, wifi connection issues, propping up your phone and embarrassing home life events in the background are all here, along with everyone’s favourite “you’re on mute, I can’t hear you” – they’re all here.  Heineken gives a nod to everyone staying safe at the expense of convenience in a humourous way, and it really works as a way of putting social distancing in marketing.

Masks in marketing with Vistaprint

There is information to show that people feel more positive about adverts with masks in, perhaps because it better reflects real life right now.  Vistaprint have made masks the key focal point of their advert, promoting masks as not something to hide behind, but a show of solidarity and resilience.  Print isn’t even mentioned here, but personally I remembered their name the next time I put my mask on.

Stay home with Dominos Pizza (it’s not all bad)

Launched at the start of the pandemic, this Dominos advert showed that while staying home can feel isolating, it’s also a chance to, well, dance around in your pants before a pizza arrives.  It’s not perfect as you see the pizza being handed over and no masks, but then this is perhaps before all of the processes kicked in.  And it’s still a fun way to look at staying home.

Social distancing in marketing for SMEs

For those that aren’t big enough to be doing massive TV adverts, these ideas can still be transferred to your marketing.  This is actually an opportunity to embrace video as more people are used to more raw video footage.  COVID-19 marketing for SMEs can be as simple as a screenshot of the online team talk as part of a social media marketing campaign, an altered strapline or logo to incorporate social distance or the use of masks, or a reassuring chain of email marketing to show how a business is not just surviving the pandemic, but working to be resilient and thrive.


(image from Subway)

Get in touch for more information on marketing through a pandemic with social distancing in marketing

Using reverse IP tracking to identify your website visitors

Your website is the lynch pin of your online marketing, but websites are now more than an online brochure or a way for people to read about your business.  The aim of all websites should be to convert visitors to active leads or even prompt people to buy.  It’s a sad fact that the average landing page conversion rate is only 2.35%.  Whatever counts as a ‘conversion’ to your business, do you let the rest of that traffic die?  For B2B businesses, if you can identify your website visitors, then you can follow up this traffic by targeting those businesses.

This is possible with reverse IP tracking. Reverse IP tracking can be a B2B marketer’s secret weapon but it is consistently underused.  It’s a technical process needing specialist tech and skills but basically, you can look up the owners of the IP addresses of your website visitors and from there you can often tell from which business the website visitor is from.

The implications for B2B marketing is immediately obvious.  If you have a target marketing, and a list of all the businesses that have recently visited your website, you can cross reference them and find potential leads that haven’t converted online.  You can then proactively target this lead yourself.

This might all sound a bit ‘big brother’ but it is totally legal to identify your website visitors in this way, and it’s an invaluable way to mop up the 97.65% of your website visitors that aren’t converting.  You might even spot your competitors sneaking a peek at what you’re up to!

This isn’t completely lost on B2C businesses either.  Getting an idea of the kind of companies that website visitors are coming from could give you an idea of the kinds of people/professionals you’re attracting to your website.

You can’t track every single IP address unfortunately.  There are those with settings on their IP address which means you can’t identify them, but even a high percentage of identification creates leads you otherwise would never have known you even had.

Get in touch for more information on using reverse IP tracking to maximise the success of your website moving forward.

5 reasons brochure design is still relevant in a digital world

It feels as though the key marketing tools these days are all online, as people find products, services and businesses online through search engines and targeted ads.  This in no way means that print is dead nor should it be. $24.66 billion was spent on print marketing in the US alone in 2018 and many businesses still have a brochure as a key piece of marketing collateral.  Here are 5 reasons that brochure design is still relevant in a digital world.

1. Size matters

Websites are good to showcase and raise awareness, but if you have a product or service that has more to explain, contains a lot of technical information or involve large drawings where you need to be able to see it all at one time, then you’re going to get more space and flexibility with a A4 brochure design.

2. Keep their attention

Research on how people read websites has shown that 79% of website users always scanned any new page they came across, as opposed to actually reading it.  If you’re happy with that level of interest that’s fine, but if the text itself is what’s important then a print item might be much more appropriate for your needs.

3. How mobile is mobile?

“We don’t need a brochure because now everyone has a mobile people can just look us up there and then.”  Is there always signal? Do they always have battery? Is their screen playing up?  Is their kid using their phone at the time to play CBeebies?  And if all of this backfires on you, are they going to remember you, your name and your business or event when they get their mobile back online?  If you have a brochure to give them, that’s the most mobile kind of marketing there is.  And assuming the brochure design isn’t too heavy to carry you can have some on hand at all times.

dog show design 2

4. Local visibility

If you’re running local events in particular, it’s easier to get people using brochures and flyers, as you can get your message to people in the relevant area only.  It also means that people don’t actively have to be looking for your online and you don’t have to have the technical expertise needed to run localised social media campaigns.

5. Not everyone is online

Alien concept I know, but more than five million people have never used the internet in the UK, and in 2018, of all households in Great Britain there were 10% who still didn’t have internet access. Reasons for this might vary but the fact is that there is a decent size audience that will never see you without an offline presence.

Get in touch for more information about our print and brochure design services.


Putting a real human face to your branding

It’s not breaking news that in order to engage your prospective customers, you need to connect with them on a personal level.  Businesses often create and tailor their branding with that sole aim, whether that’s brand imagery and content that resonates with an age, an outlook, a demographic or a lifestyle.

Putting a ‘real life’ face (as opposed to a model or celebrity) to branding is a growing trend in for businesses of all sizes, with that face needing to be someone a prospect relates to, likes and wants to give their money to.

A classic example of a company using a real person for a big brand in the past might be Richard Branson for Virgin, but there are few people that could relate to a billionaire businessman that lives on his own island.  People might fly Virgin but it might not be the case that Richard Branson was the draw.  Another ‘big brand name’ James Dyson, by comparison, might also be a billionaire but he pitches himself as an inventor and engineer looking to solve problems rather than someone creating a business empire.

Using a business founder’s face as part of their branding sometimes happens organically.  The rise of reality TV like Dragon’s Den means that business founders including Levi Roots of Reggae Reggae Sauce singing fame, university friends Will Hodson and Henry De Zoete of Look After My Bills and Trunki Dad Rob Law have been thrust forward.  This platform gave them the opportunity to demonstrate how their product came about and why people should use it.  They often didn’t even need to win investment to get their business off the ground (they passed on Trunki!)

Other people ‘step up’ as the person who saw a need and filled it for personal reasons.  Organic, honest videos of founders, small business owners and entrepreneurs showing their passion for their product can inspire and motivate.

Other times it’s the members of staff that are put in the limelight.  Supermarket workers, factory workers and builders have all played a part in branding, and who can forget customer service adviser Howard of Halifax singing fame and unlikely sex symbol?!

Brand promotion is about more than just logos, colours, photos and animations.  The people behind the business are a part of the brand.  If you have the passion and the people, get in touch to see how we might help you use the best asset you’ll ever have.


More targeting, not more emails

A new study by Campaign Monitor has shown that the average email open rate in the UK is 18%, with the click rate being only 0.9%.  It also showed that the average unsubscribe rate for emails is nearly three times the click through rate.  In a busy marketplace and a fast filling inbox, you have to shout pretty loud to get your email marketing heard.

If your 1000 emails are only getting you 9 clicks, then surely the answer is to send more emails right?  Send 5000 emails and that’s five times the number of clicks?

Or is it better, perhaps, to increase the amount of relevance and interest, and therefore the number of opens and clicks?

The fact is the more emails you send, the more you spend.  The marketing agency you use will charge you for the number of emails sent as that’s how they will be billed by the software they use, not because of the amount of work needed.  It is better for the marketing team to be putting the same amount of work in on design but spend more time making it as relevant to the audience as possible and sending less of them, than it is to send them to five times as many people.  They will most likely get better results as well.

How can you make email marketing more targeted?


Emails with personalised subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened and marketers have found a 760% increase in email revenue from segmented campaigns.  Using something as simple as someone’s name ensures they know it’s an email that was meant to come to them specifically, and not the first 5000 people on a list.  Whilst consumers are wising up to the fact that this is done automatically and that emails aren’t being written manually, the personal touch still has an effect.


Over half of all emails are read on a mobile device.  If you’re only targeting those in front of a laptop and your design reflects that, you risk putting off over half of your audience.  If something is harder to find a way to click through then people aren’t likely to do your work for you.

Level of interest

If you have a business with several products and services, is it best to send all emails to all prospects and customers to get more clicks?  For example should a veterinary surgery send it’s special offer on dog shampoos to all pet owners, or just the dog owners?  Would a toiletries company benefit from promoting new leg waxing strips to a male customer in his 7os?

Businesses collect a large amount of information on their customers based on loyalty cards, service records and email sign ups.  By using that data you can send 500 emails to people that are definitely your target audience for a product or service rather than 5000, only 500 of which would possibly be interested.

By adopting a more sophisticated and data based approach to your email marketing, you reduce the risk of reducing your click through rate and more importantly, increasing your opt out rate.  Get in touch to look into a more intelligent way to market using emails.

Marketing campaigns – changing the world

It’s possibly an exaggeration to say that any marketing campaign could change the whole world.  But that’s not to say that marketers only sell things, the campaigns they make can make a huge difference in perceptions across society (as well as sell things)!

This month has shown a strong example as Cadbury’s join forces with Age UK to help fight loneliness in elderly people across the country.  To help understand what that kind of extreme loneliness feels like, TV presenter Sue Perkins spent 30 hours in total isolation, then having explored the impact of loneliness, Cadbury’s packaging of the Dairy Milk bar stated it’s donating 30p from every pack sold to Age UK.  Awareness of the Cadbury’s adverts increased by 11% in the over 65’s.

Superhuman marketing campaigns

This isn’t the first marketing campaign trying to make a difference.  An amazing campaign in 2012 was Channel 4’s ‘Meet the superhumans’, set out to redefine what it is to be an athlete and what strength really is.  Featuring footage of a variety of athletes with disabilities carrying out sports able bodied people might find challenging and an epic soundtrack, this campaign demonstrated these 2012 athletes as role models and celebrities in their own right, and catapulted the Paralympics forward as a top event to watch, equal to the Olympics themselves.

Campaign like a girl

Another groundbreaker – not least because it was a strong female statement to make at an overly masculine event; the Superbowl.  Feminine hygiene company Always‘ advertising spot was where they tried to redefine what it means to do something ‘like a girl’, but showing that before society gets to them, ‘like a girl’ to young girls means ‘do it as fast/hard/well as you can’.  #LikeAGirl is a hashtag that still stands today and continues to make a strong and relevant statement.

The fact is marketing campaigns don’t need to be that extreme in that they change the way a whole stadium thinks about something.  But a campaign that generates a smile, a laugh or even a ‘huh, I hadn’t thought about it like that’, is time well spent and money well invested.  It’s campaigns like this that will make a business not just stand out but also build credibility and trust.

Success in email marketing can be viewed as CTR – Click Through Rates. Lead generation is the lifeblood of most businesses and email marketing is a tool that can be effective when done properly! Rumours of it’s death are slightly premature.

Best practices – subject line

Be personal and specific

“Is your dog nutritionally healthy?” is a better subject line than “Dog-owners! Provide your with dog a better diet”.  “Matt, Is your dog nutritionally healthy? is even better.

Create a sense of urgency

“Two Days Only—Here’s a gift, on us!” . “Dog Training—Last few seats remaining”. #3. Stimulate emotions

Use emotion

Fear, astonishment, curiosity, love, and hate are some of the feelings that you can play with in order to get your email opened.  “Why your dog hates you”.

Don’t sell

Unless you have a special offer or giveaway, try not to pitch products in your subject line. A salesy subject line can lower your open rates. If you insist on using the subject line to sell then sell the benefits and not the product.

Offer an incentive

A free download is often a great conversion tool. Coupons, discounts, badges, and physical gifts are some of the other things that you can use. “Last Day: Claim your free T-Shirt”.

Avoid spammy words

Email spam filters are now fairly intelligent. Pay attention to what words you use. Use a spam checker before sending.

Best practices – design


Mind the widthWhen designing your email template, make sure that its maximum width doesn’t exceed 650 pixels. Best is 600.

Avoid too many images

A picture is worth 1000 words. But try to restrict images to no more than 25-30% of your email to ensure good deliverability.


Do not overload them with complex multi-column layouts – 1 or 2 columns is fine.

Tag your images

Ensure you add Alt and Title text to your images. In case images don’t auto load, turn your Alt text into an alternative call-to-action and link the image to your landing page.

Design your call to action

Your readers should be able to find out instantly where they need to click. Your CTA needs to stand out.

Use a light background

Use dark text on a light background. It converts so much better than using coloured or dark backgrounds. Cleaner, more appealing, easy on the eye.

Format text and links

Formatting improves the readability of your email. Highlight key points by making them bold. Use one font though!

Integrate social media

Try to include social sharing options in your emails. Make use of them to expand the reach of your email.

Best practices – content


Include multiple links

Give people options to interact!

Keep it short and sweet

The longer your email, the less likely your readers will read it all the way.

Improve targeting

Segment your mailing list by using relevant attributes, such as buying history, average spend, gender, geographic location, age, etc. Write and use images appropriately.

Clear contacts

Legally you must provide your address and phone numbers in your email. Also include a helpline or email address to answer customer queries and resolve complaints.

Match your email and landing page

Your email should work in harmony with your landing page in terms of the content, headline, look, and feel. Your readers should be able to instantly make the connection between the email they click and the page that opens.

Monitor and learn

Track your conversions. See which emails convert better than others and try to figure out why. Learn from your experience. Experiment.

Think mobile

Mobile phones and tablets are now the dominant choice of device to open emails. Use a responsive system/design and test your drafts on all the devices you can get your hands on.

Be legal!

Include an unsubscribe. Use double opt ins. Comply with the best practices recommended by law.

D3 Marketing – Portsmouth marketing; Portsmouth design; Portsmouth website.