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Web Site: http://www.velocityprint.com
Bio: I love what I do, and after 20+ years of doing it I think I have knowledge that can help our clients with their business. Yes, we print, but it is more about using new tools and new technologies to help our clients meet their marketing goals and grow their business.
Posts by tjohnston:
I read lots of publications about marketing strategies, personalization and multi-touch cross media campaigns and if you have followed any of my previous posts you know I am a big believer in the cross-media approach. Whenever you can target your audience in a variety of ways with multiple touches, cost efficiently your marketing dollars will yield better results. Where I see the biggest problem is trying to get new initiatives off the ground. I suggest getting new initiatives off the ground using the K.I.S.S method (Keep It Simple S.). There are 3 main components to any initiative and adjustments can be made along the way. Focus on a strong design, a good database and a rock solid offer. If you meet these 3 components you are 95% ready to jump into the world of cross-media and with the right guidance the results will follow.
This morning, like most I got up early to get a little workout in. Same routine as usual for me, but what I noticed when I got to the gym was shocking. All the treadmills were filled, the elipticals full and there was a buzz going on like never before. I call this the, “uh-oh phenomenon” and after a year of bad habits everyone is going to change those habits overnight by joining the gym. I know a month from now everything will calm back down and that statistically over 90% of all New Year’s resolutions fail, but we should focus on the 10% success rate. If you received a 10% response on your last marketing campaign you would jump for joy, not be disappointed that 90% of your recipients did not respond. With direct mail response rates often lucky to reach 1%, and many companies abandoning direct mail now is the time to jump on the opportunity. New cross-media campaigns are achieving staggering results and our latest marketing campaign generated a 9% response rate. Our initial mailing generated a very respectable 2.5% response, but layer in the multi-touch campaign and our results skyrocketed.
The answer is….sometimes. This is a common problem and when designers go to choose colors for a job a swatch book not only gives a pantone color, but also the correct blend of cyan, yellow, magenta and black to “build” that color. The problem is that rarely is this an exact match to the actual print ink. When we print a PMS color offset we order a premixed ink in the exact PMS color specified and it is always spot on and that ink is loaded directly in the press and an accurate color output is achieved. In 4-color process, the match is a blend of colors that will produce the closest possible output, but it rarely is an exact match to the PMS colors. Even with today’s high end digital devices achieving an exact PMS match is virtually impossible. Typically 4-color process builds tend to mute the color or flatten them out and the reality is that the recipe of these builds are not the exact match to the actual PMS recipe. The results of a 4-color build are often ok if you are not trying for an exact PMS color match and often there is a cost savings in not using PMS inks. There is a PMS “Color Bridge” book that will show the spot color and the 4-color build of that PMS side-by-side. This can be very handy in trying to determine which 4-color builds are acceptable and when it is necessary to print using a PMS color.
Want to get someone talking about your company? The answer is actually pretty easy, give them an unpleasant experience. Studies show that a customer that has a bad experience will share that with up to 20 other people…..unfortunately if they have a good experience they are only likely to share it with 2-3 people. Did you ever wonder how a thriving business can go downhill so quickly, but building a successful operation takes so long. Word of mouth travels and obviously goes in different speeds. Mess-up and it spreads quickly, keep your clients happy and the word spreads at a much slower rate. After 25 years of success we continue to work hard and bring value to our clients’ everyday. If you are not focused on understanding your clients needs and adding value to their business then someone else will.
It’s Wednesday and I’m looking for an inspiration for today’s post and voila…I stumble upon our Company video. I click the take a tour and up it pops, with no sound since I have my speakers off. Did you ever notice how different something can be interpreted when you don’t listen? I see my boss’s lips moving and smile because it reminds me of previous meetings I have had. The lips are moving, my mind is wandering so I don’t absorb a word. This is all part of the clutter that makes up our daily lives and the challenge of making a memorable impression. According to a recent study we encounter over 2904 media messages a day and we only remember 4 of those messages. Sure makes you want to run out and advertise when you hear such great statistics. The answer is you have to be one of those 4 messages and to be memorable you have to be relevant. This challenge is not so daunting when you break it down to 3 simple steps…the design, the database and the offer. If you create a functional design that effectively communicates your message, send the message to the right people, and have a dynamite offer you can achieve staggering results.
To start today’s post, I have to admit that I am a bit of a procrastinator. There is a non-profit organization for which I regularly donate and attend fundraising events. This non-profit, like many others send regular mailings looking for donations. Well, I received a request from them in the mail a few weeks back and I must first give some details. The letter was very well written and tugged at my heart as it described the tragic story of one of their members. I read the story and thought, there has to be an answer. At the bottom of the letter, was a message looking for donations followed by a form to be filled out. All in-all this ended up as one 8.5” x 14” sheet of paper that included a tear-off on the bottom for the donation. I set the piece aside and 2-weeks later it continues to sit in my to-do pile. Why did I not act on something that I feel strong about? Well, to pass the blame a little, they did not make it easiest enough for me. First, the donation form was not perfed on the page so I would have to track down some scissors to cut the donor portion off. Second, and most important, the donor part was completely blank. I need to enter my name, address and information requested. As a past donor, I think the form should already be populated and I just need to include a check. Third, there was no return envelope. I wouldn’t expect the postage to be paid, but at least stick an envelope in so I don’t have to write the address on it. If the organization would have went the extra mile and merged my information on the sheet it would have made it much easier for a potential donor to make an impulse decision.
This is another way to use variable data printing. Make the transaction as simple as possible and the results will improve. A great cause can suffer from lackluster results if they do not execute their campaigns efficiently. Variable data campaigns are very simple to execute and the more personal the campain the better the results.
Flip books are a great way to get your catalogs and other materials on-line. Check out our guide and a great special of $199. For more information or a demo check out www.velocityprint.com and click on the demo. You can download the guide at http://www.velocityprint.com/docs/VPS_Flipbook_Price_List.pdf
Early next year first class postage looks like it will be increasing from 44 to 45 cents. Postcards will see even a higher increase from 29 to 32 cents. It will be more important than ever to presort your mailings and one plus is that there will be no charge for a second ounce on presorted first class mailings. Follow the latest information on the proposed postal increase on the stamps.com blog.
How do I do anything cool with variable data when my database has such limited information? This is a common question and it really requires a little creativity to answer. It is no secret that the more personal and relevant a marketing piece is, the better the results. The problem is that few organizations collect “personal and relevant” information such as interests, buying habits, eye color, etc., but don’t give up..the answer is to look at relational information. Working with relational databases can help to create a targeted personalized piece with limited data? The power of working with relational databases is that you can take one small piece of information and link it to an entire database that becomes personal to the individual. Even if you only know an address there is still relational information that could prove to be valuable. The power of personalization is endless with the right creativity and the ability to massage the data. For more about working with relational databases feel free to contact us.
This is one of my favorite websites for information on how to build a good website
or to help you determine whether or not your website is worth its bandwidth. Scan the QR code below with your smart phone to go directly to the website. We are always looking for ways to simplify our website and still communicate our key services….feedback is welcome.