Archive | printed pieces

SWAG

Gadget Grips® DOT™



A simple Google search will tell us that swag is “An ornamental festoon of flowers, fruit, and greenery.” For those of us in the industry, we’ve heard SWAG to stand for a few different things:

“Stuff We All Get”

“Souvenirs, Wearables, Awards and Gifts”

“Stuff We Acquired Gratis”

No matter what variation of words you use to define it, SWAG does wonders for promoting business. A small, free promotional item can draw potential customers to your booth at a trade show, serve as a “thank you” to a valuable client, or make your company top-of-mind when a business considers securing a new vendor.

Ultimately, promotional products can help differentiate your company, generate demand, and raise awareness of what your company can offer… but does it work?

“The Surprising Power of Promotional Products,” a New York Times article by MP Mueller, suggests that it does.

“American businesses spend $20 billion a year giving away stuff with logos,” Mueller cites. He even suggests there is deep psychological connection involved in promotional products… humans are hardwired to believe that if you give, you should receive, and vice versa.

——

So, you’ve decided to use the power of promo products, but which products? Lanyards and imprinted cups are tried and true. But if you want to think outside the box-set of pens, we have some ideas that will leave a lasting impression.

  1. i-Accessories. Reach into your pocket or your purse, and you’ll likely find your cell phone, if it’s not already in your hand. Nearly everyone carries a phone or a tablet around on their daily activities, which offers ample opportunity for your company logo to be just as visible and accessible. There are a range of products available, from tablet cases and stands to chargers and stylus pens. One of the newest and most attention-grabbing products is called “Gadget Grips® DOT™,” which is a logo that adheres to the home button of a smart phone or tablet. It’s great for universities, alumni organizations, and restaurants, as you can offer incentives, like a discount for customers having a DOT™ on their device.

  2. Customizable sports schedules. If you work at a local business that concentrates on nearby customers, consider printing a magnet or calendar that highlights upcoming local sports teams’ games and features your logo. It’ll start conversation when you give them out, and people can keep to refer to throughout the season.

  3. Golf equipment. Since many decisions are made between shots on the golf course, your company’s name should be where the action takes place. Items such as poker chip ball markers, golf umbrellas or divot tools can all be customized to fit your needs.

  4. It’s all in a name. Consider creating smaller quantities of promo items with your customers name on it. This may not be a practical route for a trade show environment, but is a viable and unique choice for other situations in which SWAG arises.


The SWAG we’re talking about today isn’t the type of “flowers and fruit,” that Google defines, but it certainly could bring your business some more green.

I Want to Use Variable Data Printing… Now What?

Variable Data Printing

Variable Data Printing



In a previous blog post, we talked about the many benefits of using variable data printing, or VDP, for your next marketing campaign. Once you’ve chosen the perfect printer, ­ there’s a lot of design work that goes into creating the perfect VDP piece. Here are some helpful hints we’ve come across over the years:

Know what you want. Just like with any other advertising campaign, you need a clearly defined goal in order to get the most out of your VDP. VDP is typically more narrowly targeted, so you should be able to measure whether your call to action is successful.

Remember… Niche is good. There’s little point in personalizing marketing pieces for customers who do not necessarily need your product… it’ll likely just end up in the recycling bin. Take the time to find contact info for prospective buyers that will find your company relevant at this time. “Selling ice to an Eskimo” in many cases will just leave you in the cold… and waste your advertising funds.

Offer something they care about. Remember that you can personalize more than just your customer’s name… consider varying offers that you send to a specific region. For example, a fitness center could offer discounted in-house childcare on postcards being sent to young suburban neighborhoods, and discounted group exercise sessions to a college campus.

Collect data for later. VDP offers the option of tracking and monitoring response rates. Companies can now analyze this info and send subsequent pieces that are even more relevant to their customers. A great example is catalog retailer, Fingerhut, who logs information about what products an individual customer purchases. The then take this data, analyze buying habits, and send that customer one of 25 different catalogs the next month, depending on her taste.

United States Postal Service’s Every Door Direct Mail® Program Makes it Easy to Reach Local Customers

Every Door Direct Mail®

Every Door Direct Mail®



Direct mail is proven to be effective. It cuts through the white noise of online or email advertisements, and a tangible piece creates a more personal, emotional connection to your audience. The United States Postal Service has introduced a new program that is making it easier to reach more potential customers in your area! It’s called Every Door Direct Mail®, or EDDM, and boasts all the great aspects of direct mail and more…


Features:


*Reduced postage costs – EDDM is as low as 14.5 cents per postcard, which is nearly half of regular postage costs

*You’ll reach every household and business within your exact specifications

*You don’t have to buy mailing lists or postage permits


How Every Door Direct Mail® works for you:


  1. Tell us where you want your postcards delivered… you can choose to reach an audience within a certain radius of your business or in specific zip codes. Select residential or business locations… or both!

  2. Our graphic design team will work with you to create the perfect postcard for your promotion

  3. We will print and package your postcards according to USPS specifications

  4. We will drop your postcards off at the correct Post Office, and they’ll be on their way

Personalize Messaging with Variable Print

Hey, you! When’s the last time a generic greeting caught your attention more than hearing your own name? We can’t think of one either. Whether you’re walking down the street or planning a marketing campaign – people like personalization.

Why not tailor your communication techniques so they’re unique for each of your customers? Variable printing is more effective at prompting your reader to take action and can be printed on coupons, brochures, direct mail and more! Instead of sending out 1,000 identical mailings to your customer contact list, (we’ve heard it called “spraying and praying,”) send one mailing inviting James or Jennifer by name to check out your new inventory, or ask a customer if they need your services in their home at 14 Front Street.

You can customize prints with a variety of different things, but the most common ones businesses request are customers’ names, purchase history, demographics, and geography. You could even include a customized map that shows your customer exactly how to get to your business from their home – these direct mail pieces have been shown to generate a 40% higher response. Here are some examples of variable printing pieces:

Variable Print Examples


Another way to create a customized experience for your customer is to include a pURL, or a personalized page that’s a part of your website. pURLS have some of the same fun, interactive elementthat we talked about with QR Codes in an earlier blog post. Directing a respondent to a pURL makes it possible to track responses, giving you a way to measure the response rate and success of a mailing.


There are many ways variable printing and/or a personalized URL can be integrated into your next marketing campaign. Contact us today for ideas on how to take your campaign to the next level.

Tips for your Printed Pieces

We’ve been in the business for over 25 years, so we’ve been able to see what works and what doesn’t work when it comes to graphic design. Here are some tips to make it easier for you to end up with a printed piece you love:

1. Pay attention to resolution.

If you’re a graphic designer, you know that PPI means image resolution that you see on a computer monitor, and DPI is resolution that shows up when you print something. So what does it mean for the rest of us?

Make sure any images you use in printed pieces are at least 300 DPI (if you pull an image off of Google, for example, it could have a DPI as low as 72… which won’t show up looking sharp).

You can check the DPI of an image by right-clicking on an online image file > select “Properties” > click the “Summary” tab > click “Advanced Properties” > check out the “Horizontal Resolution” and “Vertical Resolution,” which will tell you the DPI.



A low resolution can make even a great picture seem dull.

A low resolution can make even a great picture seem dull.



2. Optimize your file format.

If you want to scan an image, save it as a TIF (.tif) or EPS (.eps). File formats like GIF or JPG can make your image look blurry and off-color.

3. Convert to CMYK.

Computer monitors use RGB (Red, Green, Blue), while printers use CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black). So, your piece will look a little different printed than it did on the screen. Make sure to order a hard copy proof if matching colors is absolutely critical.



Always convert images to CMYK using programs like PhotoShop or Corel PhotoPaint for printing

Always convert images to CMYK using programs like PhotoShop or Corel PhotoPaint for printing



4. Work with a Graphic Designer.

To make sure you’re getting the highest quality and best price, bring your work to a graphic designer, who can produce creative work that meets all the requirements we described above.

Super Bowl Commercial Success

This past Sunday, Go Daddy, the domain registrar company known just as well for its suggestive celebrity spokeswomen as its innovative services, went down in history as the first to use a QR code in a Super Bowl commercial. In our last blog post, we talked about the many opportunities made possible by using QR codes to reach the 111.3 million captive viewers that tuned into the big game… so, did this “mobile marketing experiment” live up to the hype?

On one hand, yes. Go Daddy’s campaign saw tremendous success… on-screen QR codes led to videos featuring their spokesmodels and coupons for one of their services, created a buzz about the company, and set an all-time sales record for the mobile site during the game. See the whole video here.

On the other hand, some QR codes used by advertisers in the Super Bowl’s official game program left consumers unimpressed. While users did scan the codes, many complained that they were led to boring and impersonalized online content that wasn’t optimized for viewing on a mobile phone.

The take-away from this “experiment” is that misusing a QR code is like spending all of your time creating fancy invitations for an exclusive party, but forgetting to book a venue for the big day. When your customers show up to something you invited them to, shouldn’t you make their stay worthwhile?

To capture the power of QR codes like Go Daddy did, focus on how you can personalize content or collect results about the customers’ preference to tailor your material to them next time. pURLS and customer surveys give your customer another reason to care what’s on the other end of the QR code.