Category Archives: Marketing

Logo Study Header Image

Logos Should Have Big Text

Logos should have big text, text that’s easy to read even when the logo is small. That’s yet one more criteria of logo design.

And as much as possible, logos should have short words from the company or product name.

A few years ago, I designed a logo for my local home brew club, Brandon Bootleggers. It was a practical logo with bold text. It wasn’t the most artistic logo, but the artwork was original, not stolen off the internet. And it was free work, something I did for the new brew club as it was getting started. The club steering committee came up with another logo that violated several rules of good logo design. No big deal. It’s a local club, non-profit.

Sea-of-Logos Example

Today, I saw a post from the Brandon Foundation highlighting the sponsors for an event. It included the Brandon Bootleggers logo. It was hard to read.

Here’s the sea of logos Brandon Foundation published. Look at the second one on the top row, Brandon Bootleggers Home Brew Club.

Logo Study Broken

Here’s the same graphic but with my version of the Bootleggers logo.

Logo Study Fixed

That’s a lot easier to read.

Big Text

In fact, this sea of logos makes for a study in logo design. Some logos are very easy to read and therefore do a good job of branding the company:

  • Bonefish Grill
  • Longhorn Steakhouse
  • Outback Steakhouse
  • Stonewood
  • Livy O’s Catering Co.

Several logos have extra words and some long words, but the designers selectively made some words bigger, so they work in this example:

  • Romano’s Macaroni Grill
  • PRP Wine
  • The Bridges
  • Stonewood

Others are just hard to read:

  • Cater Tampa
  • Nothing Bundt Cake
  • Food (The one word is big, but what’s being branded here?)
  • Bootleggers Home Brew Club

So my version of the Bootleggers logo isn’t high art, but it works when it’s small and displayed in a sea of logos. This illustrates an important rule when designing logos:

  • Logos should be readable when small.

Follow Up

A few months after this post was first published, I saw another sea-of-logos example. Read the post Logos Should Be Readable in a Sea of Logos.

EDDM – Great Value to Reach a Local Market

UPDATE Apr 26, 2016: Current EDDM postage is 17.6¢ each.

A few years ago, the U.S. Postal Service introduced Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM). It’s a great option for businesses trying to reach a local audience.

EDDM postage (17.6¢ each) beats traditional direct mail postage, which cannot be calculated by mere humans. (Okay, that’s not true, but standard postage is egregiously complicated. Let’s say you’re lucky if it’s 21¢ each, but it can run 28¢ and higher, and you never know until we process your mailing list.) Plus traditional direct mail requires a mailing list (starting at $200 if you don’t have one) and processing (starting at $125).

Of course, EDDM has limitations.

  • Size and Weight
    The piece has to meet EDDM size and weight criteria, but that’s fairly easy.
  • Can’t Select Individual Recipients
    You can’t select individual address, and you can’t split routes. You mail to entire routes only (a few homes to thousands of homes each).
  • Daily Limits
    You have to mail at least 200 per mailing and no more than 5000 per day.
  • Take Mailing to Delivering Post Office
    You have to take your mail to the delivering post office or ship it to each post office.
  • Preparation
    The paperwork has to be prepared, and the mail pieces have to be bundled in 50s or 100s.

EDDM is not the perfect solution for all businesses, but it’s a good option for any business trying to reach local homes and apartments.

  • restaurants
  • churches
  • brick-and-mortar retail stores
  • car dealers
  • salons
  • home services
  • medical offices
  • car repair shops

It’s also good for reaching residences anywhere in the US, but that requires shipping your mailing to the delivering post office. Nonetheless, it can be a valuable option in some situations.

Comparing EDDM and Standard Direct Mail

Here’s a quick comparison chart.

EDDMStandard Direct Mail
as of April 2016
It’s complicated. Let’s say 21¢ each and higher.
Mailing List0Starting at $200
Mailing List Processing0Starting at $125
Can select individual homesNoYes
Can select homes based on demographicsWhole postal routes onlyYes – Location, age, income and lots more options
Can select businessesLimited. Most routes include more homes than businesses. Limited number of routes have only business addresses.Yes
Send to Named IndividualsNoYes

Basic Steps

Here are the basic steps.

  1. Create your printed piece to EDDM specs.
  2. At, create an account.
  3. At, create a new mailing, select the neighborhoods/routes you want to reach and print your paperwork.
  4. Bundle your mailing with the paperwork.
  5. Take your mailing to the delivering post office and pay 17.5¢ each or pay online when you place the order.

EDDM has a few important specifications like size, paperwork and bundling. You can find more information at the USPS website.

The Bottom Line

EDDM is a cost-effect way to reach homes, especially for businesses with a local market.

You can find more information at the Postal Service EDDM website.

Of course, Pacesetter Media can print your postcards and take care of your direct mail project from start to finish.

Call (813) 685-9206 for more information.

Define Your Audience – Here’s Why

Defining your audience is standard advice in marketing guides, blogs and textbooks. Many small businesses skip it or barely do it at all. Here’s why you should.

  • better results from promotions

  • better results from your employees and vendors

Audience (singular) and Audiences (plural)
Below I use the words audience and audiences somewhat interchangeably. Most business have multiple audiences. Here I mean one or more audiences or whatever is appropriate for your situation.

Better Promotion Results

One important factor in promotion is the Next Step Rate.

Next Step Rate
For a promotional project, the next step rate (NSR) is the number or percentage of people who take the next step in your sales process.

The NSR is similar to response rate, click rate or conversion rate. It’s my own term that’s more general referring to whatever is the next step in your sale process, which is the goal of any promotion. Sometimes the next step is a click, sometimes an in-bound phone call, sometimes a follow-up appointment, sometimes a sale.

Increased NSR is the goal of defining your audience.

Audience Selection

If your promotion reaches 5000 people, you can get a better NSR if you can select who makes up those 5000 people.

For instance, if you’re selling lawn service, you’ll get a better NSR with home owners than apartment dwellers. And you’ll get a better NSR from affluent home owners than from low-income home owners who can’t afford your service. You’ll get a better NSR from senior citizens than from 25-year-olds because seniors are more likely to have physical impairments than youngsters who can cut their own grass.

You can go on defining people most likely to respond to your promotions. Possible factors include:

  • age
  • gender
  • race
  • occupation
  • income
  • education
  • location
  • priorities
  • likes and dislikes
  • politics
  • religion
  • hot-button issues & buzzwords
  • needs, goals, problems
  • role in purchasing decisions
  • psychological factors

And lots more.

Better Messages

When you define who will most likely respond, you can better tailor your message.

For instance, when selling lawn service to affluent home owners, you could emphasize quality and attention to detail. When selling lawn service to corporate property managers, you could emphasize value and your capacity to service a large corporate property.

At first, this seems obvious, and the example above is. But more subtle distinctions among audiences can lead you to better messaging for those audiences.

Better Methods

You reach different audiences by different methods.

Back to our lawn service example, you can reach home owners with mailing lists, Every Door Direct Mail or door hangers. You can reach corporate customers by direct mail to a filtered mailing list or by exhibiting at appropriate trade shows.

Better Results from Employees and Vendors

If you are the only person involved in your marketing and promotions, you can keep it all in your head.

However, if you have employees and vendors who help, they can better help if they understand the audience you’re trying to reach. Detailed profiles for each of your audiences raise that understanding better and faster.

Everything above (better message, better methods) applies, too. Your staff can better help you at any step in your sales process when they know whom you are trying to reach and who is most likely to respond to your promotions.

Macro Plans to Micro Projects

You can apply this generally to your entire company over a long period, and you can apply this to individual projects targeting segments of your audience.

Start with a general description. If your business is small and simple, maybe that’s all you need. I encourage you to go beyond that and include specifics that are relevant. Sometimes extensive profiling is needed, and other times a few details are enough. Use whatever is appropriate for your business, your product and your audience.

In any case, define your audience.