Are most of your marketing campaigns used for direct sales? If so, why not mix it up? Try using your next mailer to offer advice or a helping hand instead. It’s a great way to sell products and deepen customer loyalty at the same time.

Just look at Home Depot. Why do you think it offers free seminars on do-it-yourself projects? Sure, seminars offer great advice, but they also generate additional sales for the home improvement giant. Attendees learn about a new product or technique, then while they are excited and motivated to try something new, they buy materials for completing one of those projects while they are right there in the store.

Target Marketing recently published a terrific article on generating responses with direct mail. It doesn’t point to data-driven personalization, multichannel integration, or psychographic targeting, although all of these are important strategies. The article talks about the basics of effective marketing. We’ll summarize the points here and illustrate them with a TV commercial most of us will recognize: “Not You” from Realtor.com.

Written by Miguel Correa

Gone are the simple days of rolling up prints, wrapping them in craft paper, and delivering them to your client. This is now the age of custom graphics, custom binding options, and custom boxes, thus making everything a custom project. Even in the AEC market, one will find that clients have a strong desire for custom options. Anything from custom binding strips, which can be made out of brushed aluminum or acrylic, to die-cut, double-mounted business cards. There is even a need for boxes to be made in a variety of sizes, routed out or just with logos for small format presentations. The turnaround is truly remarkable for black and white drawing sets being ordered to now having a requirement for custom delivery options.

Written by Pat Gremillion

While at lunch do you ever surf the internet and look up random facts? Facts like: what horse won the 1920 Kentucky Derby? How many miles is it from the moon to the earth earth? I do this in particular, to escape from my daily routine. As I was doing this the other day, I stumbled upon some items I found to be extremely interesting. Items I like to call, “Did You Know Facts”. These were facts I was not fully aware of, but I found to be very interesting and made all too much sense upon reading. I am going to share these facts, but before you read each fact, please recite the phrase “Did you know that” before each bullet point.

One of the marketing surprises of the last few years has been how strongly Millennials—the smartphone and fully wired generation—respond to direct mail. In fact, according to “USPS Mail Moments 2016,” Millennials are more likely than other generations to read, organize, and sort their mail than all other generations. They are also less likely to discard their mail without reading it.

Why do even so-called digital natives still respond so strongly to print? Could it be, in part, how we are wired? The answer is yes. Neuromarketing research shows that our brains react differently to printed material than to digital media.

Written by Rob Lowe

From our earliest civilizations, have been fascinated with color and have gone to great lengths to replicate the colors found in nature. Starting with the Stone Age man scrawling drawings on cave walls, we have continued find new ways to bring color to life. Commercially, businesses can harness a full gamut of colors to draw attention to their products. All of this color can be produced without driving creators or their audience to an early grave. This hasn’t always been the case. In humanity’s attempt to capture color, there have been some deadly consequences. That’s right: color can kill.

Written by Todd Howgard with Q.M Howgard

Writer’s block (rī-tərz blok) noun

  1. The condition of being unable to think of what to write or how to proceed with writing.
  2. A psychological inhibition preventing a writer from producing new work.

The brain is a complex and amazing organ. Two separate lobes being held together with a thick bundle of nerve tissues known as the corpus callosum, which effectively makes a full brain out of two half-brains. But what happens when it doesn’t work? Oftentimes, we are tempted to claim to be utilizing the wrong side of our brain. After all, if you’re a “left-brained” person then you tend to be more analytical and logical. How can you expect to be creative and expressive like your “right-brained” counterparts? It’s not your fault; you can’t help it; you’re just made that way—right? Wrong. It’s a myth!

Looking to freshen up your sales literature? Think carefully and create a plan. Sales literature stands in for you when you’re not around, carrying your brand identity and reputation to the marketplace. It plays a critical role in your business and needs to be planned out carefully.

Start by investing in good design. Eye-catching layouts grab attention, and provocative headlines and compelling text convince the reader to hear you out. Keep your production cutting edge and the marketing content fresh. If you cut corners on printing or circulate out-of-date information, your prospects might subconsciously conclude that you produce cheap, outdated products too.

Written by Darlene Billings

Motivation, as defined in the dictionary, is internal and external factors that stimulate desire and energy in people to be continually interested and committed to a job or subject, or to make an effort to attain a goal. So, what motivates most salespeople? A bonus, satisfaction for a job well done, a great bottle of wine shared with friends at the end of the day, or is there more? Most certainly there is more!

For most people in sales, it is sometimes difficult to stay motivated because they are constantly reminded that they are “only as good as their last year’s performance”. Wow, think about that — the expectation that you must constantly perform better each month, year after year. It can be very difficult to turn what to many see as a negative into something positive that motivates. However, self-motivation, for any salesperson, can be the key to ongoing success.

Coupons

Despite the popularity of mobile coupons and discount apps, consumers are slow to give up their paper coupons.

eMarketer estimates that 52% of adults will use digital coupons in 2017, up from 51% in 2016 and 48% in 2015. Growth is expected to continue through the forecast period (2017-2021), although that growth will gradually slow from 3.8% in 2017 to 2.1% in 2021.

Written by Paula Smart

Despite US changes to the Paris Accord, choices that positively impact the environment are still appealing to many consumers. In the Print World, recycled materials are being requested more frequently and most offices participate in recycling efforts. Those products which highlight their “greenness” have the advantage of giving users a comfort level that they are making a difference. Fortunately, with new product developments, choosing sustainable products does not mean sacrificing quality or expense.

Written by Brianna Long

Social media tips

If you’re trying to market your business, you most certainly need a social media strategy to be effective. In 2016, internet users had an average of 7 social accounts, up from 3 in 2012. See this and other social media statistics.

Using social media can improve your search engine ranking, increase your brand awareness and create a connection with your clients. Being consistent is key. Here are a few tips to consider:

Increase profit

Creating a personalized print or multichannel marketing campaign takes significant investment in time, energy, and resources. You want to get maximum return on your investment. How do you know what is working and what isn’t? You have to measure the results.

Measuring results goes beyond determining ROI. Sure, it’s important to know what kind of return you are getting, but it’s just as important to ask why you got the results you did. What factors influenced the conversion rate and value per sale? Why was this campaign more or less effective than the one before?

Written by Ben Noebels

Technical drawing

For years, there have been certain individuals pushing the envelope by printing technical drawings in color. Most of these individuals did this printing in secret, after hours or over weekends when no one was not around because color printing was too expensive and too slow. Wide format color from your inkjet printer was used only for design meetings and client presentations.

Written by Steve Johns

Direct mail advertising has been a staple of marketers everywhere for many years. Since the advent of the Sears & Roebuck mail order catalog in the early 1900s, direct mail has evolved into an important part of the marketing equation. Even as email and on-line marketing was supposed to be the next big thing; direct mail has remained steady and even shown some growth over the past few years. There are several key reasons this form of advertising has proven so resilient for so long.

Written by Richard Lira

Vitamin D

The humаn bоdу uses many vіtаmіnѕ and minerals tо реrfоrm a vаrіеtу of funсtіоnѕ. Onе оf thе рrіmаrу vіtаmіnѕ thаt thе bоdу uses іѕ Vіtаmіn D. It іѕ іmроrtаnt tо understand whаt Vіtаmіn D is, whеrе іt соmеѕ frоm, and how it affects thе humаn body. Vіtаmіn D, also knоwn as calcitriol, іѕ a fat-soluble vіtаmіn thаt іѕ еѕѕеntіаl fоr the regulation оf calcium іn the bоdу. It'ѕ оftеn knоwn as the "ѕunѕhinе vitаmin," because your bоdу can make vitamin D оn its own аftеr exposure tо ѕunlight. Addіtіоnаllу, fооd іѕ a source оf Vіtаmіn D. Fіѕh іѕ one of thе mоrе common nаturаl sources of Vitamin D. Some examples are salmon, mасkеrеl, sardines, and соd liver оіl. Tо mаkе vitаmin D mоrе аvаilаblе, it iѕ added tо dаirу рrоduсtѕ, juiсеѕ, аnd сеrеаlѕ thаt аrе thеn said to be “fortified with vitamin D.” But most vitamin D — 80% to 90% of what the bоdу gets — iѕ оbtаinеd through еxроѕurе tо ѕunlight. Vitаmin D can аlѕо be made in the lаbоrаtоrу аѕ mеdiсinе.

Written by Kent Long

Printing

The true job of a printer is to provide a total solution to their customer. The solution should meet their needs, last for the period of time desired, and of course in the end make for a satisfied and loyal customer. The printer has many potential solutions in ways that were not previously available. In the past the printer would migrate to a particular type print device that best fits the need of the customer. Today, that process is still done but the advances in the number and types of substrates that printers can print to have made learning about and choosing the proper substrate a very important part of the solution. Educating the customer throughout the sales process about substrates will aid in their decision-making process.

Written by Ira Bowman

Augmented reality

“Print is dead” is a phrase you often hear. Truly, many clients are sending shorter runs to their printers than in years past for traditional pieces such as brochures, business cards and calendars. On the other hand, the number of runs has increased for non-traditional pieces like vehicle wraps, wallpaper, and floor mats. The shorter runs are bad for some traditional methods of printing such as web press, but it’s created opportunities for the technology printers use and the products printers can output to evolve. The net result has not reduced, but rather increased, the overall volume of items being produced. To be clear, print is very much not dead.

Written by Andrew McConnell

  • Old signOne of the distressed-looking antique signs TPW reproduced
  • Printing in reverse before applying to the substrateThe images were printed in reverse and applied to the substrate, aluminum in this case, with a hot laminator.
  • More signsTPW produced about 90 signs that ranged from 8" x 20" to 36" x 86".

Getting clever with the material options is one way to achieve a particular goal. Often in the digital industry, print is achieved by tried and true methods and materials. But sometimes a client has a need that doesn’t neatly fit into the standard production method. It is these times where an experienced sales rep partnered with an experienced production team can pull things together. Not too long ago, Thomas we approached by a large restaurant chain to authentically reproduce about 90 somewhat distressed-looking antique signs.

Written by Jake Markey

Vehicle graphics

In today’s competitive advertising market, companies use a wide variety of adhesive vinyl materials to stick to various substrates for many different uses. Adhesive vinyl can be used to cover walls, cars, boats, tables or most anything else you can think of with advertising or decoration. However, one of the most common problems the consumers of these products run into is picking the correct vinyl to use for their application. Most don’t realize that there is a difference between materials such as cast vinyl and calendared vinyl or permanent vs removable vs static. They each have their benefits and limitations. In this post, I’d like to touch on cast vs calendared.

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