Monday, April 14, 2014

Use Variable Data Printing Case Studies to Help Close Sales

Most digital printers in the Twin Cities use variable data printing to create direct mail and other marketing pieces personalized to each recipient. However, it can be difficult to show prospects why variable data printing is a good return on investment.

A Look at Variable Data Printing Case Studies

One way to make the decision to invest in variable data printing easier is to provide prospects with real-life examples of successful projects. A case study may highlight one of your former clients and how variable data printing helped increase their response rates. Case studies help prospects see how variable data printing has benefited other businesses and make it easier for them to buy into a similar project.

Case studies typically use statistics to help hook clients into the idea that variable data printing can improve their marketing efforts, then present a problem—for example, low response rates—and show how variable data printing offers a solution to that problem. When prospects see a real-world example of how variable data printing is beneficial, it makes it easier for them to become clients.

What Is Variable Data Printing?

With variable data printing, companies customize their direct mail messages to each individual recipient rather than create one boilerplate message that is mass-produced and sent to thousands of recipients. Companies may change the text and graphics for each recipient depending on their age, gender and other demographic data. Variable data printing creates a stronger relationship between company and their target market, increasing the chance that recipients will convert to customers.

Variable data printing can be used for a variety of projects, direct mail, newsletters, bills and invoices, and purchase orders. Companies often see a good return on investment on variable data printing marketing projects because personalized marketing can increase sales while reducing the cost of the printing compared to traditional printing techniques.

Before your next meeting with a prospect, come up with a few real-world examples of how variable data printing helped some of your past clients. To learn more, call Matreks Printing today at 952-746-4010.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

How to Choose a Digital Printer for Your Business

There are many printing companies in the Twin Cities for businesses to choose from. How do you know that you’re working with one that meets the needs of your company? Use these three simple tips to make choosing your next digital printer easy.

Scrutinize the Printer’s Samples

The best way to gauge a print shop’s expertise is to take a look at a range of examples of their work. Ask yourself if the print quality is consistent. See how the quality holds up over a variety of paper types.

If you’re happy with the quality of the samples, ask the printer for a couple of references. Current and past clients may be able to tell you what it’s like working with the printer in question.

Ask About In-House Capabilities

Some printers are able to print nearly any project in-house, from brochures to banners. Other shops outsource some of the larger projects, like signs and banners, to other companies. Ask the print company you’re considering if they are capable of handling all projects in-house or if they partner with other companies. While print companies are able to deliver high-quality products in either situation, outsourcing some projects may increase the time it takes to complete the order.

Some print shops also offer in-house graphic design, which can be a real time-saver for clients. Many printers also offer mailing services in addition to print services. This means printers will not only print your next direct marketing project, they can also stamp it and mail it for you, too.

Check Out Customer Service

After reviewing print samples and understanding what a print company can offer in-house, you may still have a few printers on your short list. The next consideration should be customer service. Customer service is usually what sets excellent digital printers apart from their competition.

Many online digital printers can offer a variety of services at cutthroat rates. This may be fine until you run into a problem that their customer service representatives are unable (or unwilling) to solve.

Smaller, local digital printers are often able to offer some of the conveniences of online printers, such as online electronic file uploading for print projects, with the customer service of a small firm. Customer service representatives answer the phone and return calls, solve client problems, and even offer suggestions to improve your final product, such as paper choice and packing and shipping options.

Choosing a printer that best meets your needs doesn’t have to be difficult. Use these simple tips to make your decision easier. To learn more, contact Matreks Printing today at 952-746-4010.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Use Digital Printing to Go Green This Spring

Now that Minnesotans are finally starting to put the frigid winter temperatures behind them, many eyes are set on the spring green-up. However, trees and lawns should not be the only things turning green. Minneapolis business owners can green up their marketing materials with digital printing.

Many businesses welcome the change of seasons by freshening up their marketing materials or offering a spring promotion. Honor the season by choosing to print these materials in an Earth-friendly way with digital printing. 

Digital Printing is Green Printing

Digital printing is a green, economical option. Unlike offset printing, digital printing works off of an electronic file rather than a physical master copy. This means less printing and less trips to the printer’s to proof master copies.

Because there is no master copy, every copy in a digital printing project is an original. It is as economical to print a short-run project as it is a long-run one. This means companies are able to print the copies they need and do not need to over-order to make the project cost-effective. This saves copies from heading straight into the trashcan or recycling bin.

Companies may also choose to use recycled paper for their projects, making the digital printing process even greener.

Green on the Inside, Too

Paper choice and using electronic files are not the only things that make digital printing green. The materials used to print digitally are also green. Digital printing presses use dry powder toner rather than liquid ink to print. The process used to make the toner is 97 percent efficient. That means there is very little waste during the manufacturing process. The toner product is derived from materials created in a lab rather than taken from the Earth.

The byproducts from the toner manufacturing process can be used in other industries, reducing waste even further. For example, the iron oxide that enables the toner to transfer to paper creates sodium hydroxide, a substance that can be used in other industries.

This spring, green up your marketing materials with digital printing. To learn more or get started, contact Matreks Printing today at 952-746-4010.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Diversify Your Print Marketing Efforts in 2014

There are many print marketing options Minneapolis businesses can take advantage of. Sometimes, it can be difficult for business owners to choose what print marketing materials would be right for their companies. In 2014, why not try out a few different print marketing materials?

Using a variety of print advertising allows companies to reach a diverse audience and stay top-of-mind with recipients without making them feel as though they are being inundated with advertising. It also helps companies track and analyze what print advertising works best for each type of recipient, helping them create more effective print campaigns in the future.

Different Types of Print Advertising

Companies’ options for print advertising are boundless. Direct mail marketing pieces include postcards, mailers, flyers, greeting cards, and catalogs. Postcards are an especially effective choice because they are economical to produce and easy for recipients to interact with. They are visually engaging and do not require recipients to open an envelope to receive your message. People tend to hang onto postcards, especially if they include a coupon or other special offer.

Other types of print advertising include brochures, calendars, notepads, and branded stationery and business cards. Like postcards, recipients often hold onto these types of advertising and they are a good way to keep your company’s logo and name top-of-mind with current and potential clients.

Simple Tips to Make Print Advertising More Effective

Before you design your next print advertising piece, use these simple tips. Be sure your branding is consistent. Your logo, the color and style of the graphics, and tone of the messaging should be consistent whatever print advertising medium you use. When creating a direct mail campaign, keep your message brief and bold and the graphics eye-catching and engaging.

Print advertising can also help support a company’s online marketing efforts. Add a QR code that recipients can scan with their smartphones and leads them to a page on your website. Or, create a unique URL that you only use on your print advertising. Then, track the number of hits that URL gets. That way, you’ll get an idea of how effective your print campaign was.

Try diversifying your print advertising efforts this year. To learn more or get started, contact Matreks Printing today at 952-746-4010.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Tips for Creating an Effective Brochure

Brochures are common marketing tools. Nearly every business uses one in one way or another. Because
they are so popular, it’s easy to think that creating an effective brochure is simple. But not all brochures are created equally. Some have way too much text, while others skimp on information and invest too much in flashy graphics. Here are a few tips to make your next brochure informative, engaging, and eye-catching.

Why Use Brochures?

Brochures are popular marketing tools because of they are so flexible. Minneapolis companies can use them to highlight a product or service. Brochures can be handed out at client meetings, offered in your company’s reception area, or mailed out to potential clients. Because they can provide a lot of information, brochures often help clients make a purchasing decision. Sometimes, reading through a brochure gives potential clients a boost of confidence in your company, resulting in more closed business.

Brochures are important marketing tools for existing customers, too. Sending clients a brochure highlighting a new or updated product or service helps keep your company top of mind. People tend to hang onto brochures and often store them in places where they will consistently see your logo and message, such as refrigerator doors.

Tips for an Effective Brochure

Effective brochures have clear target audiences, focused messages, and deliberate call-to-actions. As you start thinking about your next brochure project, consider these three questions:

· Who is my target audience and what do I want from them?

· What do I want this audience to know?

· What are the benefits I’m offering to my customers?

Once you have the answers to these questions, it is time to craft a message and design a brochure that reflects them. Keep the messaging positive. Be sure to proofread and run a spell-check before sending anything to print. It is also important to have a good balance between text, graphics, and white space (the space in the brochure without text or graphics). Hiring a graphic designer can help you find the right balance between text, graphics, and white space.

After you’ve crafted your message and designed your brochure, it’s time to print. Digital printing is a good choice for brochures because it is more economical than offset printing for short runs. Digital printing offers a full range of colors and requires only a digital file to create a finished product.

To learn more about brochures and how digital printing can make your next brochure project more cost-effective, contact Matreks Printing today at 952-746-4010

Monday, February 3, 2014

Show Your Customers Some Love This Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is only two weeks away. That means Minneapolis business owners have just enough time to come up with a heartfelt show of appreciation for their customers. Whether you opt for a card or a simple gift, Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to build stronger relationships with your customers.

Showing Your Appreciation

Companies need to take the lead in fostering their relationships with clients. Businesses in many industries, especially the print industry, are considered commodities by their clients. Building a stronger customer relationship helps turn your company into a resource that clients will use again and again. A heartfelt note or small gift helps show your clients that they are valued, building trust and goodwill for your company.

Ways to Show Your Customers Love

There are all sorts of ways you can show your customers some love this Valentine’s Day. Keep in mind that it is the gesture that counts. Consider sending your clients a personalized note, made easy with variable data digital printing. Tell your customers thank you for their business and how much you appreciate their patronage.

Some companies choose to brand their Valentine’s Day cards, while others send cards that are more in the spirit of the holiday. Mail your cards or surprise your customers who come in the week of Valentine’s Day by handing them their card.

If business owners want to go the extra mile with showing their appreciation, they may consider sending their customers a small, thoughtful gift with their cards. Or, companies may opt to include a little token of appreciation in a customer’s next invoice. Edible gifts are always popular, including candy, cookies, and popcorn. You could also consider a small flower arrangement or a book.

Take advantage of the upcoming holiday to show your clients how much you appreciate their business. To get started on your Valentine’s Day card, contact Matreks Printing today at 952-746-4010.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Is Direct Mail Marketing Viable in the Face of Rising Postage Costs?

Late last year, the United States Postal Service (USPS) announced that it will raise the price of postage on January 26, 2014. Minneapolis companies will need to consider the rate hike when planning their direct mail campaigns.

Postage Rates to Go Up

The USPS is calling the $.03 rate hike a surcharge and asserts that it is only temporary and set to expire in two years or less. Many services are affected by the surcharge, including First Class Mail, Standard Mail, Periodicals, Special Services, and Package Services. This means that sending 5,000 direct mail pieces will cost companies about $150 more in 2014 than in 2013.

The USPS hopes the rate hike will help the Postal Service continue to recover from the recession in 2008. With the announced surcharge, the USPS expects to recoup the funds it lost within 24 months, which is why the increase is only temporary.

Direct Mail Marketing and Rising Postage Costs

With yet another rate hike starting at the end of the month, some companies may wonder if direct mail marketing will continue to be cost-effective in years to come. Before you throw in the towel on direct mail, however, consider the benefits direct mail continues to offer.

One of the greatest advantages direct mail has over other marketing mediums is measurability. Companies can track gross response rates, cost per lead, and conversion rates through direct mail, especially if they maintain good contact lists and use a contact relationship management system.

The Internet has made it easier than ever to track the effectiveness of direct mail campaigns. Companies can incorporate a few digital tools into their direct mail pieces to track response rates, including:

· QR codes printed on a postcard or flyer that direct recipients to your website

· unique URLs set up for each print marketing piece that let you know instantly if web traffic originated from a direct mail piece

· unique online offer codes that are only available through direct mail advertising

Though postage rates continue to climb, direct mail continues to be a viable, cost-effective way to advertise your business. To learn more about direct mail marketing and how the postage hike may affect your bottom line, contact Matreks Printing today at 952-746-4010.