Have You Noticed that Print Catalogs Are Still Around?
Have you scrapped the printed catalog and opted for an online version? Have You Noticed that Print Catalogs are still Around? You might want to rethink your strategy. When you check your mail, how often do you see a catalog? I know I see at least 7-10 per week.
If everyone is telling you print is dead, then why are so many catalogs still mailed? The obvious answer is that many people like anything that is printed.
Printing is palpable:
Printed catalogs are easy! No need for an internet search, rather pickup the catalog, mark the items you want, and go back to it at a later date. If you are interested, you can keep the catalog around for weeks, which equates to multiple impressions. Billions of catalogs are mailed in the United States each year. Why is this? You guessed it, they WORK!
Consumers order from catalogs
That sounds ancient right? Well they do, just not the same way they did back in the day. Back then, you had an 800 number, mail, or with a local store with a sales representative. Now, you look through the catalog, decide what you want and order online. Sometime there are QR codes right next to the product, which will take you right to the product you want to purchase. With this technology, your catalog can even be individualized based on the consumer’s buying behavior.
Now, ask us how we can market your business with print catalogs.
According to the American Marketing Association, print is still a top of the funnel medium when it comes to your companies outreach. Print passes the eyes of many potential customers traveling to its destination in a way digital media can’t. With ever developing technology and advancement, how is print still viable?
Variable Data in Print Marketing
VDP (Variable Data Printing) is the most productive and unique way to reach out to potential customers with specific target communications used from your comprehensive database and has seen great increases in the past year alone. VDP allows you to uniquely print text, graphics, and images and changed from one printed piece to the next, without stopping or slowing down the printing process and using information from your database. VDP is a direct outgrowth of digital printing, which harnesses computer data software and digital print devices to create high-quality, full-color documents, with a look and feel comparable to a conventional offset press.
Variable printing is at the heart of direct marketing, an old standby in the marketplace that’s finding new fertile ground with our customers who are watching their bottom line and seeking a better return on their marketing efforts. Savvy business owners realize how important it is to maintain and nurture their customer relationships and keep their ongoing marketing efforts active.
Boost Your E-Commerce
Although they may seem to be on different sides of the spectrum, print and digital marketing go hand in hand. The days of the phone book sized catalog might be over, but that doesn’t mean the catalog it self is dead. With the use of interactive catalogs, specialized postcards, and circulars, business owners have seen increases in their online traffic. The more exposure your brand and logo have the better, and seeing them in physical form can help solidify your marketing strategy and brand appearance.
Printed materials are personal. They are something your customer can hold, touch, and see. They might receive a thousand emails in a day offering services, standing out in a crowd of that size is no easy task. Implementing a good print strategy can help your business be noticed.
- Business Cards – If you spend money on nothing else, you should always invest in business cards. Business cards allow you to share the identity you have created with everyone you meet. You can hand them out to people that visit your business, give them away to contacts you meet on the street, and stick them into every single envelope that leaves your business. They are inexpensive to produce, can start the brand recognition process, and provide the recipient with all the contact information that they need to reach you.
- Postcards – When you are operating on a tight budget you need to squeeze the most out of every dollar, then postcard marketing campaigns are a great way to brand your business to a target audience. With a creative and colorful postcard that features your company logo, slogan, and colors you have a promotional tool that will help brand your business to the people who matter.
- Brochures – Brochures are another marketing tool that is relatively simple to produce and not too expensive to have printed. Your brochure should highlight specific products or services that you offer and include eye-catching pictures. Text should be short, easy to read, and to the point, and the entire brochure should be visually attractive. Brochures can be sent in the mail to interested clients, set out on a counter for customers to pick up, or left behind after you have given a sales pitch.
- Bookmarks – Bookmark printing is a cost-effective way to get your business name to a large audience and improve branding. The ROI is usually very positive when you consider the goodwill customers receive.
- Door Hangers – Door hanger marketing is quick, easy, affordable and highly targeted. Best of all, it’s one of the most effective ways to get your message in the right hands, at the right time.
- Presentation Folders – Custom presentation folder printing is a great way to keep your business image professional when you mail promotional materials, hand out information at meetings, or simply give to customers at trade shows.
Digital Printing vs Offset Printing?
Many people don’t know the difference between digital and offset printing and when they should be used. Here are a few things to consider when choosing your printing method:
These printers resemble the workings of your desktop laser printer, but on an extremely large scale and with color monitoring. They have the capabilities of producing hundreds of printouts in a matter of minutes.
Digital Printing is perfect for shorter runs of a few sheets to 1000 sheets. It provides you with prints that are always the same because you have no balance of ink and water during this process. This can be toner based or liquid ink based. It can be black and white or color. The price for short runs will usually be less using digital compared to offset printing. Very short runs can be much more cost effective using digital equipment. The reason is there is very little or no setup or consumables.
The downside to Digital Printing is a limited paper choice. When it comes to your business and standing out amongst the competition, paper choice means everything. There are 1000 of paper choices but running on a digital printer, your choices drop down significantly because of size, texture, and weight. Lower print quality is another downside to printing Digital. Your colors will not be exact which is especially important to know when you have brand colors.
Digital Printing makes sense when you need less than 500 pieces printed, have a limited budget, are creating something with a short shelf life, lower image quality and when you need a quick turnaround time.
This method is used when using a plate to transfer from a rubber cylinder onto paper. It’s a huge process and most of your cost comes up front through set-up and producing plates. Offset Printing offers high image quality and it allows you to work on a wide range of printing substrates. It also offers the best quality and lowest costs as print runs grow larger in quantity or size.
Offset Printing superior image quality, that is sharp and clean, the ability to print on virtually almost any paper surface and the exact color match using the Pantone system qualities you can’t get with Digital Printing.
The Downside to Offset Printing you will pay more upfront when choosing this method of printing, so when you decide to go for the best quality of printing, make sure you choose a large quantity to get the most out of your money. Offset Printing takes more time, Printers need to review files, set up the press, make plates make sure proofs are approved before they can even get started printing your job.
Offset Printing makes sense when you know you need specific colors (ie…Logo’s, branding colors, etc…), when you are printing items with longevity, and when you want to make a bold statement with different paper stocks and superior image quality.
It really depends on the kind of printing job as to which technology is best suited not only from a cost standpoint but also from a quality standpoint. Both digital printing and offset printing have their advantages and disadvantages.
Digital technology has and is growing rapidly, with no exceptions in the printing industry and printing technology. Digital printing is expected to be around 17% of printing in value terms by 2020, up from 13% in 2005.
Following this trend, Canon has released a new line of digital presses. The Canon imagePRESS C10000/C8000VP Digital Presses boast shorter turn-around times and offset-like quality by using cutting-edge digital printing technologies. In an effort to stay with industry progression, Eveready Printing Inc. has recently added a Canon imagePress C8000VP to its digital printing press inventory.
Printing Technology Highlights
- Versatile inline finishing portfolio for white-paper-in, finished-product-out workflow
- Provides tight registration and stable color on long print runs and mixed media jobs
- Delivers high-quality offset-like output on textured media and supports specialty media including vellum, film, and synthetics
- Includes COLORlynx, the Canon Solutions America exclusive color calibration tool
- Features outstanding productivity with print speeds of up to 100/80 letter-size images per minute
- Wide range of media support from 60 gsm (uncoated) and 70 gsm (coated) up to 350 gsm (coated & uncoated)
- New inline spectrophotometric sensors provide more accurate and automated calibration
- Gloss Optimization technology can match the gloss level of the printed image to the media
Postage Rates Rising In 2017
Our economy is set to grow in our upcoming year of 2017. Thousands of jobs are being created right here in the USA by companies such as Softbank, US Steel, Alibaba, Lockheed. Amazon alone is set to add 100,000 jobs over the next twelve months. According to Bloomberg, optimism in U.S. small business is the highest it has been since 1980.
Along with our economy, postage will also be increasing. The USPS announced a $0.02 increase in First Class postage, the first increase since 2014. There will be an overall increase of 3.9% in shipping services.
Postage Rate Chart
|Select Rates||Current Postage||New Prices 1/22/17|
|First Class Retail||.47¢||49¢|
|Presort First Class card rate||.34¢||.284¢|
|Presort First Class Flat, 1oz. or less||.452¢||.453¢|
|Presort standard Letter up to 3.5oz.||.288¢||29¢|
|Presort non-profit up to 3.5oz||.214¢||.209¢|
|Presort standard Flat||.30¢||.290¢|
|Presort non-profit Flat||.223¢||.209¢|
With all the growth, 2017 is the year to step up your marketing and customer engagement. Eveready Printing is your one-stop-shop for design, print, and direct-mail campaigns. From concept to completion, we are “Eveready” to serve you and move forward together into this strong upcoming year.
From the way we do business to our personal lives, the digital age has fundamentally changed things. The fabric of our information, our memories, and economy all captured in 0 and 1’s. Industries have become more streamlined and efficient, many having to develop and adapt. The printing industry is not immune to digitization and has had to progress alongside other industries. Some have said that print is dead due to these advancements, but this is not the case. In fact the digital printing market is set to grow to $187 billion by 2018, growing at an annual rate of over 7%.
Digital Printing and The Future
Digital printing has ushered in a new era in the the print industry and has started shifting from traditional offset printing to digital inkjet and laser. By offering short and variable runs with quick turn-around, digital printing has proven that it’s the future of the industry. I.T. Strategies, a print industry research firm, has observed a 3.5 increase in commercial print shipping which is the highest rise in 19 years. Textile inkjet printing, personalized direct mailing, and packaging, are major sections the print market set for growth in the coming years.
Offset Printing is Still Viable
Digital offers many advantages, but offset printing is not out of the game yet. Offset printing still delivers high quality prints and is more cost effective when it comes to bigger runs. Offset can offer more variety in stock choices. It can also print on other substances such as wood, plastic , and metal.
Whatever way you look at it, the print medium has been and will be a viable medium. From the first scrolls written on papyrus, some form of print has been our preferred method of relaying information. Traditional print may be shifting towards digital methods, but print in general is here to stay.
Think about a bookstore. A bright mosaic of colors formed by the shelves of books. The distinct woody smell of paper. The soft feel of the pages a book as you flip through it. There’s no denying the deep connection between paper and humans. It’s been around for centuries and has affected every aspect of our civilization. Even with our integration into the digital age, it’s no wonder people are still using the stuff.
It’s About Preference
A survey was conducted with college students from Germany, Japan, and the U.S. It found the an overwhelming 92 percent of them preferred paper books to their digital versions. The study was done by Naomi S. Baron, linguistics professor at American University, for her book “Words Onscreen: The Fate of Reading in a Digital World.” In the book, Baron investigates the scientific reason for this preference.
Paper: It’s Good For Your Health
Beside personal preference, reading from screens can be bad for your health and well being.
Prolonged use of digital screens can cause eyestrain, headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes, as well as neck and shoulder pain. A study from Harvard Medical School also discovered that light- emitting screens before bed interfere with your sleep patterns.
Print vs Digital
It has also been found that readers absorb more information when reading from a paper medium. A study was conducted by Anne Mangen of Norway’s Stavanger University, where they gave 50 people the same short story to read. Half read it on traditional paper, while the other half read it on a tablet. Readers of the tablets scored lower when asked about chronological events in the story or arrangement of plot points.
Though many forms existed beforehand such as parchment and papyrus, China is given credit for the invention of paper around 105 A.D. It is no wonder why we have the connection to it that we do, as it has been a integral part of humanity. From your favorite book to our country’s own Constitution, paper has proven its value.
Building a Successful Retail Print Portal For Your Brand
Our last post, we discussed the products and benefits of your internal web portal. This issue we will discuss important considerations that need to be brainstormed before building your print portal for the retail market. This will allow you to build a successful retail print portal for your brand.
The first question is to determine what products you want to offer. Determine which products are purchased the most frequent and offer them. You can always add more later.
The second question that should be asked is what minimums need to be listed? This is important for a few reasons. You need to confirm that your print supplier / portal host have the same quantities you want to offer. Next, you need to make sure you have a need for small quantities. There is an advantage and a disadvantage of having small quantities. The advantage is you will have fewer competitors offering short runs. The disadvantage is your price per piece will be high because of the setup fees. What do you do?
Well, you need to determine who your clientele is, and decide if they buy from you because of price, or because of your relationship. If it is relationship, then offer short runs, if it is price, you might want to steer clear of short runs.
The third question is how soon can you expect the product? This information needs to be spelled out for each product on the print portal. Postcards might only be a few days, but presentation folders might take up to seven business days. You also need to include transit time, and different methods of shipping. This is important for time sensitive orders.
In conclusion, ask yourself if your organization wants to offer Direct Mail, Shrink Wrapping, Rounded Corners, Variable Data Printing (VDP), specialty papers, etc. that will allow you to offer more to your clients. The finishing can make a big difference in the end results of the printed piece.
Ask us how we can create your very own print portal for your company!
Building a Successful Internal Print Portal For Your Brand
Our last post, we discussed the benefits, products, and devices your business needs before your web portal goes live. This issue we will discuss important considerations that need to be brainstormed before building your internal print portal.
The first question that should be asked is what minimums will be listed? In the print and promotional industry, we all know the more you produce, the more attractive your price per piece. The answer to this will depend on each product and what your organizational needs are. The good news, the product information including quantity can easily be changed.
The second question is will employees be placing orders, or will there be a Order Clerk? Do you trust your employees? This is important, because if your employees print a job, approve the art, but then see’s a mistake, they will just print again which increases the tab. Another option is to have a designated individual within your organization approve the purchase and proof or both. This will help minimize mistakes, but could (depending on company size) increase the burden on this employee. Alternatively, each employee can order their product, and then have a designated employee confirm artwork and submit the order to your provider. This option allows control of your buying.
The third is weather to have the products shipped to one central location, or to separate locations. This is a matter of logistics, and what best suits your organization needs.
The fourth question is how soon can you expect the product? This information needs to be spelled out for each product on the print portal. Business cards might only be a few days, but power banks can take up to 10 business days. You also need to include transit time, and different methods of shipping. This is important for time sensitive orders.
In conclusion, ask yourself if your organization needs variable data printing.
Variable-data printing (VDP) (also known as variable-information printing (VIP) or VI) is a form of digital printing, including on-demand printing, in which elements such as text, graphics and images may be changed from one printed piece to the next, without stopping or slowing down the printing process and using information from a database or external file. For example, a set of personalized letters, each with the same basic layout, can be printed with a different name and address on each letter. Variable data printing is mainly used for direct marketing, customer relationship management, advertising, invoicing and applying addressing on selfmailers, brochures or postcard campaigns.Wikipedia
What are the benefits? VDP can be used to personalize your message. We can use photos, personal names, and specific copy that will zero in on each prospect to help bring in business. VDP personalizes the print experience.
What is a Web Portal? Does Your Company Need One?
Have you considered developing a web portal for print or promotional items? Have you thought about the benefits? Will the portal save money? What products should be included? Who will be placing the orders?
What is a web portal? Techopedia defines it as:
“A Web portal is a specially designed website that often serves as the single point of access for information. It can also be considered a library of personalized and categorized content. A Web portal helps in search navigation, personalization, notification and information integration, and often provides features like task management, collaboration, and business intelligence and application integration.Web portals are also known simply as portals.”
The benefit of a print portal is that you reduce costs for your company. How? Well you can consolidate your marketing down to one source. Consolidation is huge, especially if you own or manage a large company. There are a plethora of print and promotional providers out there, and when employees have free access to order from any source, costs go up. By using one source, you and your employees will not need to spend countless hours researching vendors online. Their time can be better spent on their other responsibilities.
The most important products to have on your company portal are the products that are ordered the most, and brand consistency. Business Cards, direct mail and brochures are common pieces of literature on company portals. Some common promotional materials are pens, paper pads, and retractable vinyl banners. The good news is that the products you choose are unlimited! It is all about the bottom line, and we can help yours go down.
Your web portal can have the same design as your non-profit or company home web page. The portal can have its own separate URL or have a link from the main web page. As a manager you can choose to provide each user with their own permissions. Our print portals perform over multiple platforms including PC’s, Tablets, smart phones, etc. Our portals are easy to navigate, which will provide a significant cost savings and increase yield for many large organizations.
Ask us how we can create your very own web portal for your organization. Our goal is to help our customers succeed.