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- @discoveralbany Halfmoon on hudson river 2012-09-27
- Velocity is a finalist in the AMA Mark of Excellence Awards. We are also looking to win the Peoples Choice Award and n…http://t.co/EFlRZqaw 2012-09-27
- Positions available. Check out our web page. http://t.co/50EpVjtg 2012-09-27
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Web Site: http://www.velocityprint.com
Posts by Elaine Neiss:
- Act quickly, with complete openness about what happened.
- Take steps to ensure that measures are taken which would prevent a recurrence of the problem.
- Be prepared to absorb the cost of fixing the problem to reestablish a basis for trust with the customer.
- Uses spring flowers for females and a golf course for males
- Uses a shore line reference in text for zip codes on the southern half of the state and hiking reference in the northern half of the state.
- If family income is over X amount the text pushes investment options and lower income families get text offering a free beach bag when a new account is opened.
Albany, NY –
Velocity Print Solutions a Northeast Regional provider of print related communication services, headquartered in Scotia, NY has announced plans to centralize their production facilities. Velocity will be moving its smaller lithographic printing operation located in Middlebury, CT to their larger Albany, NY (Scotia) production facility. Velocity will be retaining a sales office in CT to house customer service and sales personnel. A six color large format 40″ lithographic press with automation and coating capability will be moved to the NY facility and will complement the existing offset and digital printing offerings.
Customers asking for higher volume print quantities more suited for lithographic than digital will be pleased to learn we can now offer all this in one location. Project management will be streamlined with the variety of presses all in one location as well as fulfillment, mailing and shipping services. In addition, the corporate office in Scotia will be adding positions for press operators, production and sales staff.
Jim Stiles, CEO states that: “This consolidation will put Velocity in a much stronger position to compete in the marketplace. Our wide variety of print related services that we currently offer will be complemented by the new services we intend to add in the near future.”
Here is a short story of how we helped one of our customers prepare for a Symposium in Las Vegas.
Kevin, our Central NY Account Executive, was contacted by the ESD Association (Electrostatic Discharge Association), headquartered in Rome, NY, to assist them in sourcing products for their upcoming symposium which was being held in Las Vegas. They were looking for buttons, a tote bag and most important, a flash drive that they could load with all the technical sheets pertaining to the symposium. All items would need to be imprinted with their logo or other message and these would be distributed to all attendees at the event.
Kevin, with the assistance of our crackerjack promo team, sourced a very slick looking 1GB Jaguar Flash Drive (pictured)
that would be perfect for their needs. It was imprinted on both the cap and the sides of the drive and then all the data was uploaded for them. When complete all the products were shipped directly to our customer for a successful event!
The moral of our story? Don’t just think of us as just your printer. Yes, of course that is our core business but we are very much solution oriented and love to partner with our clients on all their marketing needs. We can simplify any event you may have. From printing registration packets, conference binders, training manuals, name tags, lanyards, posters, banners, gift bags, giveaway items, etc… You name it and we’ll find it for you. Our production team can package everything for you and our shipping crew can ship directly to your event location to save you the hassle of transporting yourself.
Written by Stef King, Prepress Manager CT
Hidden features or Easter Eggs exist in many of the applications we use from day to day. This is a way for developers to leave you a special message or just let you know they were there.
In QuarkXpress there has been a Martian hidden in their application for years. To bring out the Martian you need to select an object and hit command (or Control) shift + delete and he will come out and destroy your selected object. If you do this 10 times in a row a giant monster will come out and blow up the object. Of the hidden features you can find this is my favorite.
In InDesign if you go to the about InDesign menu and type the word butterfly you will be treated to a nice display of fluttering butterflies.
In Illustrator you can display fun facts or even eyes that follow your every move within the application. To do this open a new page at the bottom left of the illustrator window command + option click (Control+alt click) on the box next to the page number. You should be able to choose from quite a few fun facts & eyes that follow your mouse.
In most versions of Photoshop if you hold the command + option (Control+alt) and click about Photoshop you will see a different splash screen with credits or even a special hidden message. This splash screen will also tell you the code name for that version of Photoshop (CS6 code name is Superstation / CS5 code name is White Rabbit). In Photoshop 4 if you hold command+option (Control+alt) and click on the layer options Merlin the wizard will pop out for a visit.
Best way to find theses easter eggs is to explore your applications, most times holding the command + option (Control+alt). Happy hunting!
Oops, we messed up – now what do we do? 3 Key Steps to Keeping Your Customer
Yes, occasionally mistakes do happen no matter how many T’s are crossed and I’s are dotted. It happens. We’re human and sometimes things slip through the proverbial crack. The real test of superior and Above and Beyond customer service is how the mistake is handled and rectified. Do you attempt to cover up with a thinly veiled excuse that even a 1st grader could tell was bogus or do you take it on the chin, call the customer and explain what happened and work together to find a solution that will solve the immediate problem and get back on track. Obviously the correct response should be honesty is the best policy as we were all taught in Kindergarten. To attempt to conceal or downplay the problem will only serve to diminish your image and tarnish your reputation in the eyes of the customer. Confront the problem, find a solution and then make it right. This is where a solid quality management system can be a benefit. Review your process procedures and find the root cause and fix it.
A well handled “disaster” can be recovered from and actually increase the loyalty of the customer. Remember the Tylenol crisis of 1982? The company won praise for its quick and appropriate action. Having sidestepped the position others have found themselves in – of having been slow to act in the face of consumer concern – they achieved the status of consumer champion. Within five months of the disaster, the company had recovered 70% of its market share for the drug – and the fact this went on to improve over time showed that the company had succeeded in preserving the long term value of the brand.
In fact, there was some evidence that it was rewarded by consumers who were so reassured by the steps taken that they switched from other painkillers to Tylenol.
The 3 key steps to follow:
Written by Jim Stiles
I just received a couple of direct mail pieces in the mail that were personalized or at least looked that way. They both had my name “JIM” in big letters on the front and some catchy line following to get my attention. Both companies used the same technique and surely expected to get some lift in response because of the use of the personalized attention getter. There is no doubt that personalization can lift response rates, but I wonder if the vendor that sold these companies on the use of personalization did them justice. There are many proven studies that show even the most basic personalization can lift response rates, however the same studies show that in-depth personalization makes a much larger impact.
Simply putting a name on a post card has become almost common place and the audience is now less and less impressed by these tricks of the trade. They realize that some software is simply merging a name and when thrown into all the other wonders of technology that we are all experiencing in our lives today can almost go unnoticed or look gimmicky. True in-depth personalization should be much more than a name.
When considering the use of personalization we encourage our clients to think past the parlor tricks and to take advantage of the variable content available today in our more sophisticated data lists. Let’s think for a moment what is included in a basic data list. There is the sex of the individual, the location, job title, company size, etc. Even with this basic information a personalized campaign can be built to get the individuals attention without them even realizing it. The most basic form would be to use one set of graphic images and background colors more suited for females and one for males. Now add in the location and make the images specific to that location. The result is a campaign that is personalized to the individual’s sex and location that will capture their attention without them even realizing it.
Many of us now utilize CRM systems and our leads and prospects are manually researched and entered. Why not increase the depth of the knowledge base you are creating and include some personal information, business duties, hobbies, future business needs, product offerings, etc. etc. Now, picture a campaign designed to not only address sex and location but perhaps a third more personal interest or need.
For example, this campaign for a state wide bank chain in the state of CT uses:
Nowhere in this campaign is their name or obvious personal information. The campaign is simply personalized to the point of relating to the client without them realizing it. This simple bank campaign can run easily on a digital press using one data base, 4 different images and a couple of variable text blocks.
So let’s get past the parlor tricks and start to take advantage of real in-depth variable printing.
Thought I would share a story of how we helped one of our clients achieve their annual appeal goal. In past years, this client simply mailed a plain letter on their letterhead asking for a donation. Nothing fancy, no return envelope, no reply card, no color – just plain vanilla. Results were less than they hoped for and they did not achieve their goals.
We approached them and offered to sit down and discuss some other possible alternatives that could help them increase their donations. As a non-profit with a limited budget and staff we needed to maximize their efforts and show them how by investing a little more they could achieve their goal and increase the size of the donations.
First, we discussed the “List”. We talked about the importance of the list and how it could be improved. Who was on their mailing list, how accurate did they think it was and could it be scrubbed? They agreed to take some time and work on improving the list. Second, we showed them various samples of other non-profit appeal letters and discussed what might work for them. We decided to keep the letter format but add personalization and use both sides, we added some color to make it appealing, and put a perfed reply card at the bottom for them to use when replying. Levels of donations were included, as well as options to mail or donate online and most importantly an envelope to reply back. The reply envelope included text thanking them for their support and the outside window envelope included a message indicating that this was the Annual Appeal. Third, we mailed it presorted first class so the receipt would be timely and any bad addresses would be returned so the list could be updated for future use.
The results were vastly improved and they met their goal! We work with many non-profits but the same techniques and solutions can be used in other markets and campaigns.
Just received an email this week from Michael Makin, the President and CEO of the Printing Industries of America, where he informs us that yet another major corporation- Google- is bashing the print industry. Now, I personally love Google – it is my search engine of choice but come’on guys let’s play fair.
Here are some excerpts from Mr. Makin’s letter:
“Once again our industry is under attack, and this time it is from Google, which has launched an initiative titled “Go Paperless in 2013.” It is joined in this effort by a number of digital companies which clearly have a vested interest in a non-paper communications stream.
Needless to say we find such a proposal ridiculous and an insult to the almost one million Americans who owe their livelihood to our industry.
The primary raw material for printing is paper, which comes from trees, which are a renewable resource—so renewable that today our country has 20 percent more trees than it did on the first Earth Day, which was held more than 40 years ago.
Printing is the only medium with a one-time carbon footprint—all other media require energy every time they are viewed. Electronic devices, which Google produces, for example, require the mining and refining of dozens of minerals and metals, as well as the use of plastics, hydrocarbon solvents, and other non-renewable resources.”
Visit our Linkedin or Facebook page to read more on the Value of Print.
written by Jim Stiles, CEO
It is not uncommon for a school, with a well known image and look, to want to stay with the images and message they have used in the past. If the picture of the clock tower on campus has become the mainstay image then why change it up. If the past dozen mailings used the clock tower image then why can’t the new cross media campaign just repeat it as well? Have you ever heard the saying “What is the definition of insanity, doing the same thing and expecting a different result”. Unfortunately, I find that schools frequently fall into this trap. In today’s advertising world our readers are getting barraged with information and marketers must capture the reader’s attention in less than 6 seconds with a printed piece and 2 -3 seconds with a web landing page. So, is it possible that the old clock tower could be failing at the job?
Most marketing managers faced with this dilemma need to focus on what the goal of the campaign is. If the goal is simply wider brand recognition then the clock tower may be just the thing. If the goal is to get attention and solicit response from the reader then the clock tower needs to be replaced with a great “Call to Action” and some very eye catching quick bullet point messaging. My point is, if you are going to experiment and test new marketing tools like a cross media campaign then you may want to think about dumping the old tag line and image for a new look with powerful content.
This is especially true when you integrate variable content and imagery into a campaign. Now the message and imagery can be tailored to the recipient’s personal interests. How powerful is that? So, next time let’s try to lose the clock tower and stay away from the school logo or crest centered on a direct mailer. Be creative! Be diverse!
What table are we talking about? The marketing table. Many printers no longer just print. Many, like us, are well versed in marketing strategy and can bring valuable expertise to the table during the conception and design stage. Utilize their expertise, pick their brains and bounce ideas off of them. We’ve seen thousands of marketing pieces and know the ins and out. We can provide valuable input and offer suggestions that can result in better responses and more return for your marketing dollars. We know the mail standards, the best practices to get your piece noticed and of course know the pitfalls of a well intentioned but poorly designed piece that adds expense to your production costs. Our investment in integrated cross-media technology can enhance your marketing campaigns and provide increased marketing ROI. That’s what our partnership is all about–bringing success to YOU our clients.
Now that I’ve got your attention, let’s talk about the Rainforest Alliance, the green frog and sustainability. September 19 to 23, 2011 is Rainforest Alliance week and Velocity is helping to support a brighter future for people and the planet. You can too.
Do you currently use FSC certified paper in your print projects? Did you know that if you’re working with a FSC Certified Chain of Custody printer you have the option to use both the FSC logo and the Rainforest Alliance (frog) logo?
It’s been our experience that customers don’t request using the logos because it seems complicated and mysterious. In fact, it’s really very simple and it typically costs you nothing. The printer bears the cost of certification, report maintenance and annual audits. The benefit to you is in promoting your brand. It lets everyone know that you support the highest social and environmental standards in the market. When you request FSC certified paper you contribute to conservation, responsible forest management and the community of people that live near the forests that provide the paper.
How do you do it? Simple. When you spec a print project with your printer you request FSC paper at the time when the Account Rep is preparing the quote. You decide where on the piece the logos will be placed according to FSC guidelines and have your designer leave space for the logos to be placed. The printers’ graphics dept. then places the appropriate logo, obtains approval from the certifying body and sends you a proof for sign off. FSC certified paper is widely available and the choices are numerous to fit almost any print project.
Velocity uses the FSC and the RAC green frog logos on almost all of our marketing collateral which promotes that the paper used was produced in harmony with nature and forest communities. We encourage you to make the commitment to print responsibly and promote proper forest management. After all, paper is a renewable resource, made from a natural renewable resource, wood, which has the capacity to be produced in an endless cycle. To safeguard this cycle, our forests have to be managed and harvested in a sustainable manner
So, come on, join us and follow the Frog! We’ll be tweeting and posting on our Facebook page during Rainforest Alliance Week so connect with us to learn more. Visit www.rainforest-alliance.org and our website at www.velocityprint.com to learn more.
Download our complimentary Guide to Environmental Logos from our website which can be found on our environmental page.