Archive for May, 2015

Ideas for Connecting Your Offline and Online Strategies

Online marketing tactics seem to be the main method for most present-day companies. However, using offline tactics as well can be a smart business decision overall. Because internet access is so prevalent, most companies as well as most individuals seem to believe that online strategies are the only way to go. But offline strategies can actually be just as effective if utilized properly.

Perhaps the best way to combine offline and online marketing strategies is by using social media to attract customers to a specific event. Whether you have a booth at a local fair, an exhibit at a local art show, or you are a shop owner who is having a major sale, social media makes it easy for you to reach others with specific dates, times, and locations. It may also be best to include some sort of incentive (i.e., “mention our Facebook page and receive a free item”).

QR codes are becoming an increasingly popular marketing strategy as well. QR codes are two-dimensional barcodes that can be scanned by a mobile phone to show the potential customers a website, a video, or other information about the products. QR codes can also send out text messages to alert cellphone users of specific deals.

For each and every offline marketing material, there should be the company’s specific website/URL so customers can find you offline and follow you online. It is important to remember not to simply include the logos for popular sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Always list your exact URL for easier access.

Offline and online marketing can easily go hand-in-hand if you use these pointers to secure consumer attention. Reaching your target audience with simplicity and organization will benefit companies and individuals in the long run.

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Capitalize on Print-To-Web

Switching your marketing strategy from print advertising to digital platforms, known as print-to-web, is not an easy task. Business owners benefit from cutting mailing expenses and upgrading to modern technology standards. Although a complicated process, transitioning to digital publishing is a step towards success, if executed properly. Here is how to use print-to-web strategies effectively.

Start with PDF Magazines

For new businesses, small companies, or establishments new to digital marketing, PDF magazines are a budget-friendly and simple way to start. This form of digital literature allows publishers to keep the same print format but offer a convenient option for those on the go. PDF magazines are easy to create and cost much less compared to printing physical copies but offer few features.

Ease into Flip-Books

A “flip-book” is similar to PDF magazines but give readers more features. Also known as digital magazines, there are different formats available. These online magazines allow readers to search for content, zoom in and out, and advanced features such as bookmarks. Flip-books keep the traditional book format allowing them to view and turn pages exactly as they would with a real magazine.

Understand the Age of Blogging

When the print presence of a business begins to lower or simply does not exist, blogging is the best solution for most types of publications. Blogs are not only cost-effective but they are far more popular now than decades ago. A successful blogging strategy is more effective than most print methods and is easy to distribute. Blog subscribers receive email updates and commonly follow the company’s RSS feed.

Print-to-web is a vital marketing strategy to succeed in business today. More consumers are looking online for products and services without considering a magazine or catalog. If your company is not capitalizing on these strategies, you should invest some time into learning more about print-to-web strategies that work for every industry by contacting us!

Posted in: Marketing, Printing

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Diversifying your marketing efforts.

Healthy paranoia is good for business. Most companies or individuals who do their marketing have placed too much emphasis on single methods of driving their businesses thereby dropping concerns on diversification. It usually gives a payoff for a short term but eventually the company has to deal with the disasters that accrue from failing to spread its marketing efforts. Small scale or medium scale businesses are widely affected by failure to diversify their marketing efforts appropriately.

Digital marketing provides the perfect platform for diversifying your marketing practices. It is currently the best environment for diversifying your marketing practices as digital marketing has spread its wings to ensure they grab as maximum attention as possible.

Self-Publication and syndication

What would be the sense in creating great content if you can’t get it out there in a streamlined manner? It doesn’t exactly matter how big or small the company is, the most important thing is producing thought provoking useful contents. It is a quick way to establish oneself as a leader and build trust with current and potential customers.

Campaign Microsites

Large brands like Coca-Cola run thousands of campaigns at the same time. They have their bandwidth to create micro sites within their main site where they can track specific digital marketing tactics. Small and medium class brands should also consider separating properties for promotions during events like holidays.

Video

Get yourself a good cinematographer produce high-quality videos. One can part ways with wholesome amounts of money, but it proves worth it when we reap the benefits. We cut humorous GIFs to use in innumerable internal marketing campaigns.

Customer Loyalty and Engagement.

You may be throwing away dollars by failing to incentivize current customers and visitors. It is important to engage with your customers because they get more distracted and even schizophrenic in their buying habits. You should understand “what gets them going.”

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How much should you value direct mail in 2015?

In 2014, direct mail experienced noticeable growth. Many people found that surprising, likely because they assumed companies would all switch to digital options and let direct mail fade away, as an outdated way of trying to reach customers. However, companies know that they can still make money and bring in customers through direct mail, so they keep using it. As long as advertising is cost effective and works for a company, why not use it? With its surprising but continued growth, direct mail should be a valuable part of your advertising strategy in 2015 and beyond.

Your direct mail strategy for the future may need adjustments, though, because consumer mailing preferences continue to evolve. Instead of sending out “maintenance” mailings to existing customers, focus on only sending direct mail to potential customers (prospects). Recent studies have shown that existing customers prefer their vendors to communicate through emails, which is another effective marketing channel. In doing so, your direct mail budget can be spent on true advertising, which is designed to acquire more customers for your business and bring in more revenue from different sources. The more innovative you are with your direct mail campaigns, the better.

The costs of direct mail are stabilizing, which is good for companies that use it or that want to use it. They will generally be able to maintain the level of direct mail they already have when it comes to potential customers, and may even be able to reach out to more people. According to recent journals published by the Business/Marketing Association, it seems highly likely that 2015 will continue to see continued effectiveness in direct mail that companies send out.

Posted in: Direct Mail

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Does Print Have A Seat On The Technology Train?

The short answer to this questions is YES!

Marshall McLuhan described advertising as 20th century’s greatest art form. Technology has tremendously shaped advertising, including the use of tools such as print. The number of print media readers has been on the decline. Does this imply that print as a marketing tool has become obsolete? Print advertising is not dead; it is still useful in marketing and will continue to be for a long time to come. This, however, will be affected by how well print adapts to evolving technology.

Digitization

One of the current trends is that companies that were traditionally digital-only are also producing print publications. This is because print is still an important part of the media mix in marketing. Therefore, even with advancing technology, print still adds value to advertising campaigns.

Consumer Engagement

Print advertising is engaging and well-appreciated. There are people who still pay for magazine subscriptions. Technology allows for subscriptions to be made online. Therefore, ads can be fine-tuned to reach a particular target consumer group based on their online activity and subscriptions. Given that print has longevity since they can be saved and shared, this makes them still relevant in tech-driven environments that put lots of emphases on sharing of information.

Print Is the Foundation

Magazines and newspapers are easily available digitally and on mobile thanks to technology. However, the percentage of strict digital-only readers is below 10%. Most people find offline reading more captivating and engaging. It is worthwhile to note that most people first subscribe to magazines before discovering them online.

All in all, print is still an essential life source for digital and mobile magazines and newspapers. It is, therefore, relevant and an adjuvant to media technology. It will, consequently, have a place in both modern and future technology.

Posted in: Printing

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What Is “Inbound Mail Tracking” and Why Is It Important?

We’ve all seen the news clips of the mail carrier that throws a package over some customer’s fence not caring for a minute what’s in the package, or if it gets to the recipient in one piece. It’s kind of funny on a YouTube clip, but it’s not as funny in real life. What about marketing letters you send out via mail, or email blasts, are you sure they are getting to their recipients? Inbound mail tracking is a way to keep tabs on how many of your customers are actually reading the advertisements, or information you send to them. So how does inbound mail tracking work, and why is it vital to your success?

Most importantly you don’t want the emails you send out to end up in someone’s SPAM file, never to be seen or read. That would be a waste of valuable communication. There are great software programs available that can monitor your email deliverability. You also want your “bounce rate” to be on the low side, which means the number of emails that are getting sent out to undeliverable email addresses. Another good way to check on how well your emails are getting to your customer is to create a set of ten email accounts. Each time you send out a mass email, include those “dummy” accounts to see how many of those ten emails ended up in the SPAM folder. This will clue you in as to re-wording your emails so they pass over people’s SPAM filters to land in their inboxes where they will have a chance to actually read them. There is a common list of words that can cause your email to get bounced to SPAM. Try to avoid those words at all costs.

In business, if you are mailing bulk packages, or actual letters to people you can easily track whether they arrive to your recipient or not. The inbound mail tracking for packages couldn’t be simpler. The package receives a special bar code that is scanned upon leaving it’s origin, then along the way it gets scans to track the progress, and finally you can tell its arrived at the destination, because you’ll get a confirmation message saying that it has.

Whether you are talking about packages, emails, or letters you want to make sure that you can track these things with inbound mail tracking systems. Latka Print can do that for your business to make all your marketing endeavors a great success.

Posted in: Direct Mail

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Top 3 Worst Habits When Using QR’s on Your Print Material

If you are using QR codes and are not getting the response you expected, then perhaps you should rethink the way you use them. The worst habits are the bad ones that are repeated because users don’t realize how quick response codes work. Here are three common bad habits that people seem to have across the board.

Is Your QR A Homebody?

Make sure your code actually leads somewhere. If you link it to a desktop website, then you will defeat the purpose of using the code. It must be attached to a mobile website. The whole idea behind using QR coding is convenience, which means saving time. The site should be concise, but complete with exclusive QR discounts, information, or incentives that would appeal to someone who would use a code in the first place.

Does Your QR Suffer from Motion Sickness?

Mobility is not your friend, in this case. Using a billboard or a moving screen creates an obstacle for your potential customers. Taking a picture of a particular section of a billboard from a moving car isn’t the best of ideas. Neither is trying to chase down a code on a scrolling marquee. Yes, you might want to reconsider bumper stickers as well.

You Wanna Put What Where?

QR codes are so often too small or out of the way. Your code should be no smaller than 1.2 square inches. The standard equation is the distance between the scanning device and the code, divided by 10. Getting the appropriate size is a moot accomplishment if the code is placed in an awkward location. You don’t want potential customers having to stand on the tips of their toes or mooning passersby to click a photo of your code!

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Keys to Effective Praise and Recognition Online

There are far too many people who are looking for what a business is doing wrong – and loudly letting their friends and family know all about it! As a business owner, this is why it is so important to recognize and show appreciation for your customers who shout out your business in a positive way. The fact is that even if a customer is satisfied – and they let everyone know about it – receiving personal recognition and appreciation for this goes quite a long way!

However, figuring out how to do this appropriately can be a bit of a challenge. Use the tips here to let your customers know how much you appreciate their business – even if they have yet to give you a shout out online. In many cases, this personal recognition may be all they need to take that next step and give you some free publicity.

When giving praise to customers online, there are a number of things you can do. This includes:

Retweeting a comment they left with a comment of your own that says “thanks” or “we appreciate your business.”
Personally recognizing a loyal customer on social media.
Asking for customer testimonials or even offering a reward for them.
Customer appreciation is something that many modern businesses are allowing to fall by the wayside. However, in this ever-competitive market, letting your customers know how much you care can be invaluable in growing your business. The more appreciated a customer feels, the more likely they will be to share their experience, which can be extremely beneficial for your business.

The key to praising customers effectively is to really think about what will mean the most. Everyone loves to be appreciated, so let them know how important they are to your business.

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Offset and Digital Printing, What’s the Difference?

When it comes to choosing a printing style people often ask, what’s the difference between offset and digital printing? Both printers have a unique set of advantages. From precise images to beautiful prints, we have gathered together the main differences between the two types of printing.

What is offset printing?
Offset printing creates an image on a plate, which is then attached to a cylinder. Rollers will apply ink to the various cylinders. The cylinders then apply the link to “blankets” or rubber rollers. The rubber rollers will then place the image onto the paper. Unlike other printing methods, where the ink is placed directly from the stone or plate to the paper, offset printing uses a plate to blanket to paper methodology.

Offset printing can be used to create beautiful and vibrant marketing materials, including customized envelopes, letterhead, business cards, invitations, posters, brochures, and a number of other print materials. Offset printers can be found in a variety of makes and models, including a two-color offset press, and four-color process that specializes in CMYK coloring.

What is digital printing?
Digital printing has become increasingly popular over the past few decades. A digital printer doesn’t use plates, which can reduce cost, overall waste, and set-up time. In a toner-based digital press, the powder color pigment is transferred to a blanket or plastic sheet, which will then transfer the image directly to the paper. Heat is generally used to set the toner permanently to the paper.

Digital can be the ideal printing choice for low quantity jobs and variable image items like a customized postcard. Digital printing can be used to create a number of vibrant marketing materials, such as banners, pop-up tradeshow displays, or posters.

The next time that you need to have items printed by a professional printing company, be sure to keep the above differences in mind. Knowing whether to choose offset or digital printing will help you to create beautiful print materials that exceed your expectations and “wow” your viewers.

Posted in: Printing

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