Gain, Improve or Restore Brand Consistency Through eCommerce Web-to-Print Fulfillment

Brand inconsistencies can hamper your marketing efforts, but a quality and tech-savvy eCommerce printing service can provide both a solution and a whole new set of opportunities.

If your business has more than one location, it’s possible to have different managers or purchasing agents contracting a variety of local print or digital services while also making uncoordinated updates and revisions.

CONSISTENCY CONCEPT
CONSISTENCY CONCEPT

You need a better way to manage your company’s brand image across multiple marketing channels and different business locations. Consistency counts and a unified approach to your product or service messaging will improve your lead generation, customer acquisition and retention prospects.

Print Inconsistencies Can Have a Negative Marketing Effect

Your company’s credibility, as seen through the eyes of both existing and potential customers, can be better preserved through effective brand control. There are several ways that noticeable deviations in presentation or messaging content can slip through to your targeted market base. Competing or confusing messages and variations in formatting or color can spell trouble for your branding and marketing efforts, but centralized control over your printed marketing materials can help avoid this type of embarrassment.

Better Than an In-House Printing Department

Web to print, also referred to as W2P, provides a remedy to inconsistency in the form of a centralized online resource and access portal for your entire company’s printed marketing needs. This is a great way to gain control over print matter without your company being required to set up an entire in-house printing department – which would obviously be a very costly capital expenditure. By outsourcing all your company’s print marketing needs to one online W2P resource, consistency can be ensured while you also gain some additional benefits.

Greater convenience translates into increased efficiency and improved staffing utilization; with W2P, all the current revisions and marketing updates can be accessed throughout your company with just a few mouse clicks. Anyone with the proper authorization or password can review the most recent print work, proof a proposed marketing piece, check the status of print job, or share work with others for input and review prior to ordering.

A major part of web-to-print convenience is that it’s available remotely and on a 24/7 basis. It’s also a good way for sales reps to easily access the most up-to-date marketing and pricing materials when they’re on the road.

Reduce Your Print Spending

When your company sets up an online print fulfillment system, you’ll be able to leverage your marketing and print budget. You won’t need to worry about separate locations ordering small print runs and you’ll instead benefit from the economy of scale.

Budget guardians will also be able to keep track of spending across different locations and departments and they’ll be better prepared to set up more realistic estimates for future expenditures. W2P also provides quick and easy automated job pricing; a budget request can be prepared and the actual final product reviewed and approved by the proper parties before a print order is actually placed.

Centralized Sales Material and Document Access

A W2P provider can serve as a convenient and centralized document storage and review service. This can go beyond sales and marketing and enable authorized HR, customer service and training personnel to quickly access and review any changes to policy documents, technical content, employee handbooks or other in-house materials before the printed versions are available and in hand.

Personalized and Cross-Channel Marketing

Personalized direct-mail marketing campaigns are effective because they match customer buying habits and demographics to individualized marketing approaches. A full-service W2P provider can enable recipient database updates to be entered into an approved online print template to create mailing pieces tailored to your company’s most recent data compilations. The addressing and mailing can also be included as part of the outsourced servicing. Your sales team will be able to take advantage of individualized marketing materials that can reach their intended recipients in the shortest possible time.

Speed Up Design Time and Easily Compare Printing Options Online

A W2P service can provide your sales and marketing staff with pre-approved templates that they can brainstorm from. Different approaches, but all within approved template formats, can be tried out online before a final consensus is reached and the print job is launched. A new and proposed marketing piece can be designed online and then saved as a PDF file to be shared with other team members via email prior to placing the final order. Your marketing team can also compare pre-order pricing online for print extras such as UV coatings, special folding, embossing and other print job enhancements.

Concentrate on Your Sales and Marketing Strategies and Leave the Printing to the Experts

Allegra Marketing Print Mail will cover all your W2P servicing and fulfillment needs and more. We’ll set-up a customized web-to-print online portal that will meet your company’s specific needs and enable your marketing plans to go into high gear while you also save time and money. You’ll have access to the in-house technology, production facilities and multi-channel experts that can take your company’s marketing plans to the next level.

We offer a fully integrated approach to all your marketing needs and you’ll be assured of across-the board consistency in both the digital and print worlds. Our logo design services, promotional products, signs and banners can also be included in the high-impact and well-integrated branding treatments that your business or organization can benefit from. Contact us today and find out how our one-source marketing solutions can provide your company with effective brand control and the positive results you’re looking for.

The Right Way to do a Multi-Channel Direct Mail Campaign

Studies show that companies can build more trust with current and potential customers by opening more lines of communication. Armed with this information, many companies have been doing just that. Their methods of communication now include mailing services, text, phone calls, chat boxes, social media and email. Many have also been using indirect forms of communication, such as web ads, guest articles, and magazines, to reach more customers and increase their market share

3d illustration of notepad with check list, all tasks is done

While it’s great to have a wealth of options from which to choose, too many options can hurt a marketing strategy. This is especially true for smaller brands that don’t always have the money to splurge on every avenue that’s open to them. In fact, even larger companies want to save a buck or two on marketing, so they can invest in other areas of the company, such as research and development. So, to help you fine-tune your marketing strategy, let’s discuss the right way to run a multi-channel direct mail campaign.

 

Create a Goal

Every business strategy needs to begin with a goal that can be measured and quantified. This helps marketers track progress during the campaigns they produce. It also helps to track the effectiveness of these campaigns once their run-time is complete. Without a clear-cut goal, companies would just spend blindly, never knowing what worked and what did not.

When creating a goal, keep it realistic. Look at where the brand currently is, where you want it to go, and the short-term milestones that will get you there. Remember – each campaign is just another milestone on that journey.

 

Create Metrics

Now that you have a goal, you will need to figure out how you will measure success. When it comes to digital forms of marketing, this is relatively easy. There are many apps available that require little more than signing in to track audience reach, levels of engagement and conversion rates.

Direct mail is another measurable channel. Many companies track delivery of their mail and include special offers and promotion codes for easy tracking. When these are redeemed, the promotion code used allows marketers to attribute the sale to the direct mail campaign.

 

Assess Your Audience

No matter what kind of marketing campaign you are planning, it’s important to know your audience. Gauge their preferences about your product and service, how they use it, and what aspects are most attractive to each demographic you serve.

 

 

Select Your Channels

Your audience uses multiple forms of communication, but based on the demographics of that audience, communication will vary. For instance, running a late-night ad on Instagram is unlikely to reach your audience if your target demographic is primarily made up of the elderly. The good news is that there is one channel that almost everyone has access to: the mail.

 

Direct mail campaigns are the cornerstone of many successful campaigns. When you use the coupons mailed to you by your favorite coffee shop or find yourself purchasing your car insurance specifically from the company that congratulated you by mail on your new car, those are instances of success for a direct mail campaign.

 

Build Your Persona

When you understand your audience and the channels they use, you are better able to create the persona behind these different forms of communication. Start from personal preferences, especially if you line up well with your target audience. How do the traits you display change as you move from one form of communication to the next?

 

For example, your professional persona may come out in a business letter, your witty side in a tweet and your silly selfies on Instagram. How will your brand translate its business persona across multiple platforms that require different sides of the same “self”? This is an important question you will need to answer.

 

Craft Your Message

It becomes easier to craft messages for your brand when you understand its tone and voice. This may take time and may even evolve over a period of months or years, but the important thing is to do your research, start from an informed position, and make necessary changes along the way.

 

 

Maintain Brand Consistency

When looking at consistency in branding, it’s important to begin with the visuals. When customers receive direct mail, they should instantly be able to tie the look of the material to your website and social media. Don’t be afraid to use printed marketing material to invite your customers to join you online, especially if you can offer them an incentive to do so.

 

For online brand consistency, using the same profile picture across all platforms is a wise choice, but do not duplicate content. You do want customers to visit as many channels as possible and if they are all pushing out the same content, it gets repetitive. Instead, focus on sharing tone and topics across platforms. Even if you share the same links and photos, switch up the captions and timing.

 

Managing multiple channels of marketing, including direct mail, can be quite the challenge to undertake on your own. Luckily, there are companies like Allegra Marketing Print Mail who can help you to assess your marketing needs and meet (or exceed!) your objectives. Contact us today to get expert advice for your next campaign.

Multichannel Marketing Made Easy

 

With so many options, it’s no surprise more than 92 percent of North American consumers shop on more than one marketing channel.

i channel

Considering shoppers need an average of nearly six touch points before making a purchase decision, it’s clear that a multichannel marketing strategy has become a must-have.

 

Multichannel marketing is often achieved online with your website, email marketing, digital ads, social media and more. One powerful offline component that can boost your multichannel efforts is direct mail marketing.

 

According to the Heinz/PFL 2018 Multichannel Marketing Effectiveness Report, B2B marketers that use direct mail report higher overall effectiveness of their marketing versus other non-digital channels, like events, public relations and print advertising.

 

Still, it’s important to establish a presence where your customers are likely to be found – online. Fortunately, there’s a simple bundle of services that will upgrade your direct mail campaigns to automatically bring you the advantages of multi-channel marketing, specifically on Facebook and the Google Display Network. Here’s how it works:

 

You send a mailer to your defined list, driving them online to your website. The mail recipients who visit your website and later log into Facebook will see an online display ad in their newsfeed that matches your direct mail piece for a 30-day period.

 

Through a code added on your website, you can automatically repeat advertising efforts to visitors who have not purchased a product, filled out a form, etc. Plus, for 30 days, ads matching your mail piece will follow these prospects when they visit any of over a million sites on the Google Display Network.

 

Make multichannel marketing easier for your 2019 plan. Download your free copy of Marketing Insider to learn more or ask us about our integrated, multichannel solution.  We can also help with sourcing mailing lists or designing mailers and online ads.

 

3 Ways to Bond with Millennials Through Print Communications

While predictably receptive to online promotions and communications, research shows tech-savvy millennials have an unexpected affection for more traditional direct marketing.Depositphotos_81736488_m-2015

 

The 2017 Annual State of Marketing Consumer Survey from Keypoint IntelligenceInfoTrends reveals 71 percent of North American millennials say they look at most of the direct mail they receive.

 

“There’s just not as much clutter in traditional media, like print and mail, and it’s engaging to digital natives,” says Kate Dunn, Business Service Director at Keypoint Intelligence – InfoTrends.

 

However, not all mail will capture the hearts of millennial buyers. Here are three ways to win them over and inspire long-term loyalty:

 

  1. Get personal. Most appealing is customized, printed content that reflects a website they’ve visited or products they recently purchased, according to the Consumer Survey.

 

  1. Interactivity is important. Dunn notes that millennials are more likely to use a QR code to access special offers, coupons or video, bringing digital assets into the conversation. Augmented reality is another big hit, creating opportunities to bridge the gap between the physical and digital world.

 

  1. Multi-channel matters. You’ve captured their attention with a direct mail piece – don’t lose their initial engagement with a lackluster website. Ensure your website is well designed, mobile friendly and recognizable based on their first exposure to your brand, Dunn advises.

 

Download your free copy of Marketing Insider today to learn more about inspiring loyalty in your millennial customers.

4 Smart Ways to Save on Print

save on print

Print communications are affordable and effective for today’s small business and nonprofit marketers. To get the most value from your marketing dollars, here are just four of the many ways you can cut the cost of your print communications – without cutting corners:

  1. Plan to stay on schedule. Printers are accustomed to working with tight turnarounds. You can ease the process and save money by avoiding “do-overs.” Always ask for help if you’re unsure how to prepare your art files. Then, leave yourself plenty of time to review proofs and catch errors you may have overlooked early on to prevent re-dos and re-prints that can add up and extend your timeline.
  2. Skip special orders. For many projects, you can save money by using in-stock papers. Ask your print provider to show you samples of what’s on hand. Unless you require a specific look or have budgeted for a higher-end piece, stick to the basics for your day-to-day materials to stretch your dollars.
  3. Target your mailings. Mailing lists are more plentiful and robust than ever before. Many are highly-targeted to help direct marketers easily and affordably reach a very specific audience, preventing unnecessary waste and expense. After all, why spend money mailing to people who will not be receptive to your message or worse, those who may want to hear your message but who have moved and won’t receive your mail?
  4. Print digitally, on demand. Many projects considered too small to be worth the investment in set-up charges on a traditional offset press can be affordably printed digitally. This printing option is ideal for short runs as the per piece price is the same whether you print 10 or 1,000. It also opens the door to variable, customized text and images from sheet-to-sheet for more targeted and effective messaging.

Keep on-demand digital printing in mind to avoid the waste associated with storing and ultimately throwing away materials that are quickly made obsolete when service specifications or product parts numbers, for instance, are frequently updated.

For more money-saving tips, contact your local Allegra when you’re ready to print.

What to Print for Your Next Event

Event marketing can prove to be an effective strategy for lead generation and customer retention. Yet common missteps that can thwart your best intentions can happen before (lack of preparation), during (poor displays) and after (failure to follow up with leads). All can be easily avoided!

Printed Materials for Event Marketing

Many of your promotional tactics will be print-related. To ensure a greater return on your investment at your next trade show, expo or community event, here’s a rundown of what most marketers have in their event arsenal:

Banners, Posters and Signage
Whether your event is inside or outdoors, you’re competing with a lot of visual noise. Professionally produced banners, flags, pennants, posters and directional signage can drive foot traffic to your space, creating more opportunity for engagement. According to the 2016 Experiential Marketing Content Benchmarking Report, 74% of consumers said meeting with exhibitors made them more likely to buy the products being promoted or demonstrated.

Brochures and Flyers
Take along a mix of marketing materials. Inexpensive handouts are just right for anyone stopping by your booth, serving as a handy refresher once the show is over and everyone heads home. Keep a stash of more robust, high-quality sales brochures available for anyone who expresses a genuine interest.

Business Cards
Business cards are necessary for events and trade shows, so you’ll want to ensure that your team has plenty to hand out. Are they up-to-date? Visually appealing? Readable? Think about sprucing up your business cards with textured paper, vibrant palettes and graphics and unique type fonts that align with your brand identity.

Direct Mail
Use the mail to be first in line in the minds of your customers, as it can take multiple contacts with your target audience to drive action. For an event, plan on delivering a save-the-date card a few weeks ahead of your invitation mailing. Based on responses, you may need a third reminder. An inexpensive postcard will do as a last push for RSVPs.

Programs
Event apps are growing in popularity for those who always have a phone in hand. Be aware that not all venues are enabled with Wi-Fi or it can be an additional cost if you’re the event host. Cover your bases with a printed program for handy reference and note taking. Your attendees will thank you.

There are plenty of extra print materials that can boost the success of your event. Place cards or nametags for special dinners, meet-and-greets and other similar events are a great way to organize your attendees and break the ice. Raffle tickets and contest forms featuring your brand logo create a fun and interactive experience for everyone, keeping you top of mind.

Want to check off these printed materials from your list? Your local Allegra Marketing Print Mail can help you!

Rethinking Signage: 3 Ways to Go Beyond the Banner

Large signs and graphics make a lasting impression on your audience. Whether indoors or out, there are plenty of trendy options to spice up your signage. Here are a few of our favorite ways to say hello to a new, fresh look that will capture your audience’s attention.

  1. Walk it out
    Make the most of every square foot of informational, promotional or decorative space in your facility. The latest solutions in graphics prove that you’re no longer limited to walls, windows and doors; you can now take advantage of graphics for floor surfaces and even printed ceiling tiles.
    Allegra Signage
  2. Look outside
    Perforated window graphics are a creative way to share your message. A creative twist on an old favorite, perforated graphics present a promotional message when viewed from one side (such as the outside of a door or window) and a clear view when seen from the other (often the inside of a vehicle or building). One-way vinyl graphics replicating frosted glass or displaying a design or scene also add an attractive element of privacy to office or conference room windows.
  3. Get mobile
    Whether they’re on a car, van or trailer, vehicle graphics and decals are some of the most economical ways to deliver promotional messages. Simply parking your vehicle is a marketing tactic! Smaller businesses or organizations without a permanent vehicle or fleet for deliveries or service calls can benefit from repositionable graphics. These are an ideal way to put your marketing in motion and are easily removed and replaced.

From custom design to installation, talk to the signage professionals at your local Allegra Marketing Print Mail about how to make a greater impact with creative sign solutions.

3 Creative Ways to Add Value to Your Signage

Thanks to advancements in large format printing, creative signage solutions are more affordable than ever. Here are three trendy ways you can spice up your company’s space with eye-catching signs and large graphics:

Valuable Signage

  1. Go Green
    In many sectors, industry standards dictate certain environmental regulations about waste and materials. Environmentally friendly inks and materials can help you meet your standards and reduce your overall waste. Also, according to Nielsen, two out of three consumers are willing to pay more for products and services that come from companies committed to making a positive social environmental impact. Win-win!
  2. Explore New Surfaces
    Digital printing technology makes it possible to print on – or affix to – nearly any surface for a custom look that fits your brand’s standards in look and feel. Consider a mural for your lobby, floor graphics or even wraps around pillars and posts. A simple change can transform your work space from average to inspiring.
  3. Add Texture
    When it comes to signage that travels with you to trade shows or events, textured backdrops and graphical drapes are two sure bets that can draw foot traffic to your booth. They can even help define a space for your product demos on a busy trade show floor.

Talk to the sign pros at your local Allegra Marketing Print Mail to learn more about your signage options and how they can fit into your budget.

How to Make Your Business Card a Real Keeper

Though advances in technology are constantly redefining the ways in which we do business, one conventional business practice has stood the test of time: the business card.

Allegra Business Card

Printed business cards provide a tangible, personalized element to relationship-building that digital alternatives cannot. And, when tailored to reflect your brand’s image, business cards serve as important marketing collateral for creating a positive, long-lasting first impression.

According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute, 72 percent of professionals say they judge companies based upon the quality of their employees’ business card. The driving force ensuring your business card reflects both you and your organization well? A strong design.

Here are some tips for creating a brand-building business card that is sure to leave a good impression:

Make it colorful.
In the same survey, 78 percent of respondents said a color business card is more memorable than a standard, white card. Align your color palette and graphics with your brand standards to help ensure a seamless brand experience at every touchpoint.

Choose an unusual material.
Although card stock is both cost-effective and practical, virtually any paper and a wide variety of finishes can be used for business cards – textured or smooth, glossy or matte. However, if you’re truly set on setting your brand apart, choose a lightweight wood or plastic sheath.

Investing a little more should pay off: Nearly four out of 10 survey takers said they would choose not to do business with someone if they have a “cheap looking” business card.

Keep it consistent.
The look and feel of your brand and all your promotional materials are likely to evolve over time. Have a plan to do a brand audit annually to weed out the materials that are outdated in information and appearance. Your schedule of design revisions just might start with your business cards.

Looking for a bolder business card design that speaks volumes about your brand? Allegra’s team of business branding experts can help create the perfect design. Contact your local Allegra Marketing Print Mail today.

Three Ways Promotional Products Can Elevate Your Direct Mail Campaigns

Direct mail is an effective way to stand out from the digital noise and reach your key audiences. One tactic to increase your direct mail response rate is to make your mail more appealing by giving it shape, compared to a typical flat mail that people receive every day.

Three Ways Promotional Products Can Elevate Your Direct Mail Campaigns

According to a 2017 Data & Marketing Association report, a dimensional mailer can outperform a flat mailing by up to 300 percent, and at 5.49 percent, has the highest response rate of any direct response medium. Already a strong performer, your direct mail can benefit from an added lift with the inclusion of promotional products.

Here are three key considerations when integrating promotional products into your direct mail campaign:

  1. Keep it useful. Pick a product that is useful, making it more likely the recipient will hold on to it. A Global Impressions study from Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI) shows that eight out of 10 consumers rank usefulness as the most important attribute of an advertising specialty.
  2. Make it memorable. ASI reports that 85 percent of consumers remember the advertiser giving them a promotional product. Include your logo on the product and brief contact information, like a website or phone number.
  3. Save your budget. Promo products have a lower cost-per-impression (less than a cent) than TV advertising, national magazine advertising and newspaper ads, and are comparable to radio and internet advertising, says ASI.

The message is clear: For your next targeted direct mail campaign, say “not this time” to plain envelopes, and try a box or tube. They can be customized and printed with a key message or theme.

Looking for ways to lift your direct mail marketing and drive greater interest and response? Contact your local Allegra Marketing Print Mail for assistance.