Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Is Social Media Print’s New Best Friend?


While print and social media may compete for your marketing dollars, they don’t have to compete for your customers. In fact, using them together can make your marketing more effective.  Let’s look at five ways print and social media can work together.
1. Print drives traffic to social media.  
How do you drive traffic to your social media sites? Often, it’s with print. Whether it is through direct mail, store signage, or company invoices, print is often your customer’s first exposure to your social media presence.
2. More channels help you reach more people.
Even in today’s tech-driven world, not everyone uses social media or uses it on a regular basis. Use print to ensure that you are reaching the largest swath of your audience as possible. As the old adage goes, “Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.”
3. Say it again . . . and again.  
Consistently, studies show that reinforcing your message through multiple channels increases brand awareness, heightens engagement, and boosts response rates. The combination of print and social media, along with other traditional and digital media, is more effective than any single channel alone.
4. Boost credibility.
Survey after survey shows that consumers still trust print more than they trust online media. A survey conducted by Ball State University’s Center for Media Design in coordination with ExactTarget found that even Millennials are more likely to be influenced to make purchase decisions based on communications they receive by email and direct mail rather than through social media advertising.
5. Print has staying power.
Your message on social media might stay for a few hours, then gets buried under the avalanche of other messaging. Print has staying power. Your direct mail piece might live on someone’s desk or bulletin board for weeks or months.

Using print and social media isn’t an “either or” proposition. Understanding when and where to use each channel is the key to getting the best results.


Please give us a call at 440-946-0606
Or visit our website here for more information.


Share on LinkedIn

Got Customers? Now Keep Them!


Congratulations! You’ve gotten new customers through the door. But wait—you’re not done. Now you need to retain them. One of the best ways to do this is through personalization. Here are five ideas for engaging customers with personalized communications that will really help you to stand out.
1. Send a surprise discount.
Everyone likes to be appreciated. Send a coupon with a discount on your customer’s next purchase “just because.” It will surprise them and foster goodwill.
2. Help them remember.
Many companies recognize their customers’ birthdays, but how many help them remember the birthdays of their loved ones? Offer to collect important dates for special occasions for your customers’ friends and family and send gift ideas with unique insight from your area of expertise.
3. Give them inside access.  
People like to be in the know. Encourage customers to sign up for your newsletter or connect with you on social media, where you can give them sneak peaks of new products or offer them ways to use your products they might not have thought about.
4. Say “thank you” for loyalty and longevity.
If you know when your customer first began working with you, why not send a personalized thank you card and gift commensurate with the value of their business?
5. Ask their opinion.
Use personalized URLs or online surveys to ask customers’ opinions about your company, your offerings, or bounce new product ideas off them. People like to do business with companies who care about what they think.
The more you can engage your customers beyond the sale, the more you earn their goodwill and loyalty. So think beyond the initial purchase. Think about building a relationship for life.


Please give us a call at 440-946-0606
Or visit our website here for more information.


Share on LinkedIn

5 Channels = 5 Ways to Help You Grow


Want to grow your business? Here are five marketing ideas to build your business.
1. Mail it!  Not only is the power of direct mail stronger than ever, but it gets around many of the downsides of electronic marketing. It doesn't require opt-in. It doesn't get caught by spam filters. It doesn't get automatically directed into folders with other marketing emails where it will never be seen.
2. Offer a webinar. Be the expert in your subject area by offering webinars. Be the one your customers trust. If you don't feel qualified, don't worry. As long as you know more about the subject than your attendees, you have something to offer. Even a 30-second webinar will do the trick. 
3. Write a letter.  How many people take the time to write letters anymore? Talk to your customers as you would to a friend. No sales talk! Brag about recent success stories. Talk about your company's community and charitable involvement. Offer ideas that are relevant to them. You don't see this often, and it's one reason you should do it.
4.  Let the sidewalk do the talking. It's easy to focus on broadening your reach through direct mail and email and forget about the power of reaching people right in front of you. If you have a storefront, use sidewalk displays, window clings, banners, and other forms of advertising to reach the people walking right by your door.
5. Host an event. Like webinars, in-house events set you up as a thought leader. Offer an educational seminar. Give a behind-the-scenes tour. Bring in an expert speaker. Attendees will remember you, and if they like you, so much the better. People want to do business with people they like.
These are five different channels, each offering something unique to help you build your business. The more ways you can interact with your target audience, the more engaged your customers will be. So pick a channel and use it - or better yet, use them all.

Please give us a call at 440-946-0606
Or visit our website here for more information.


Share on LinkedIn

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Paper 101: What Different Terms Actually Mean


When asked about the details of the paper stock you are choosing for a print project, do your eyes glaze over? Do terms like basis weight, points, and color cast sound like Greek to you? If so, here is a quick list of basic terms to help you better understand the process. 
Basis weight is the weight in pounds of a ream (500 sheets) of a paper at its basic size, or the size of the uncut sheet supplied to the printer. For example, the basic size of book paper is 25 x 38 inches, so a ream weighing 70 pounds would be 70-lb. paper. Sometimes metric is used: 70-lb. book paper is equivalent to 104 g/m2.
Cover, card, and other thick stocks are often specified in points, which refers to the thickness of the paper.  This is often abbreviated “pt.”— for example, “8-pt. cover.” One point is 1/1000th of an inch, so an 8-pt. stock is 0.008 inches thick.
Paper grade refers to the end use of the paper. Bond is used for letters and documents, book paper is used for books, offset is used for offset printing, and so on. Digital presses generally have their own grades. Thicker grades include cover, bristol, tag, and index.
C1S and C2S refer to coatings. Paper is often coated during manufacture, which improves the reproduction of fine halftone screens and color fidelity. C1S  means “coated one-side,” which is useful for labels, packaging, and other materials destined for single-sided printing. C2S means “coated two-sides” and is preferred for two-sided commercial printing.
Brightness refers to the percentage of light reflected from the sheet’s surface. Basic white copy paper has a 92 brightness. Brightness by component wavelength (red, green, or blue) is also determined, as paper can reflect different amounts of certain colors, imparting a color cast to a printed piece if you’re not careful.
Paper can bring life, texture, and beauty to your projects. Want to learn more about how different choices complement different projects? Let’s talk!

Please give us a call at 440-946-0606
Or visit our website here for more information.


Share on LinkedIn

Can “I’m Sorry” Win More Business?


Everyone messes up once in awhile. Even the best, most responsible marketers get it wrong on occasion. When that happens, you have an excellent opportunity to boost sales and cement customer relationships. How? With a simple, personalized letter of apology.
Apologies are powerful. One Forbes contributor described how one company used a direct mail letter to apologize to hundreds of thousands of customers so well, so sincerely, that it ended up selling more merchandise than it would have otherwise. Talk about turning a negative into a positive!
Why do apology letters work?
1. They are relatable.
We are all human. We all make mistakes. By apologizing, you humanize your company and create empathy. When done well, addressing the person by name and including personal, relevant details to them, a sincere apology letter can improve the customer relationship.
2. They give you credibility. 
Nobody likes to apologize. When a company apologizes, it gets a customer's attention. This can give you tremendous credibility that builds trust.  
2. It gives you an opportunity to make right.
Everybody likes when a wrong is made right. Once you have a customer's attention, an apology letter can create positive feelings about your company and further cement customer loyalty.
It is not necessary to send formal apologies for every misstep, but when it merits, don't be afraid to do so. Keep it simple. Be sincere. Do it well, and you might find that instead of losing customers, you gain more loyal customers instead.


Please give us a call at 440-946-0606
Or visit our website here for more information.


Share on LinkedIn

Want More Donations? Choose Print!


For nonprofits, every dollar they spend on overhead, administration, and marketing is a dollar not spent on their mission. Not surprisingly, there is an intense focus on which marketing channels are most effective. So which channel works best for nonprofits? A study by YouGov provides the answer: direct mail. In a survey of more than 1,150 U.S adults, YouGov found the following:
  • One-fifth (21%) of respondents said that a direct mail solicitation prompted them to make their most recent donation. This is higher than for any other channel.
  • Older donors (55+) are most likely to respond to direct mail. One-quarter made their last gift in response to a mailing. Among 18-34-year-olds, this drops to 14%.
  • Lower income households are among the most motivated by direct mail. Nearly one-third of those earning $40,000 per year or less responded to direct mail for their last donation. Among those earning $80,000+ per year, this drops to 18%.
  • Only 12% of donors report being prompted to make their last gift by something they heard about on the radio, on TV, or in print. 
  • Even fewer (10%) were prompted by email.
  • Very few donors (6%) were prompted by social media, such as Facebook or Twitter, although this is stronger among 18-34-year-olds (11%).
When it comes to fundraising, direct mail is the clear winner for nonprofits. So once you have decided to launch a direct mail campaign, what is the next step? Make it the best it can be. Why not give us a call?


Please give us a call at 440-946-0606
Or visit our website here for more information.


Share on LinkedIn

Friday, March 9, 2018

Make a Stronger Impression with Print


Marketers should be paying attention to today’s trends in education. The same tools that help young readers learn and absorb information help the target audiences for your marketing campaigns learn and retain marketing information, too. One of these tools is paper.  In a new report, “Third Annual Back to School Annual Report,” the Paper and Packaging Board has gathered a vast number of statistics that show just how vital print remains to learning.
Take a look at this data:
      96% of parents think that paper is an essential part of their children achieving their educational goals.  This includes 95% of Millennial parents.
      86% of parents say their children learn better when they write things down on paper.
      56% of Millennial parents feel “most comfortable” helping their children when they are working with textbooks and worksheets.
      72% of parents overall say they use paper to help their children focus.
      95% agree they often see their child do well on homework when they complete it on paper.
In a world dominated by electronic communication, paper continues to show its muscle. Studies consistently show that paper aids the absorption and retention of information, which are the characteristics that help your prospects absorb and retain your marketing message, too.
Paper remains a mainstay of marketing for a reason!

Please give us a call at 440-946-0606
Or visit our website here for more information.



Share on LinkedIn