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5 Principles To Guide Your Outdoor Advertising Efforts

banner printingWhen it comes to print marketing, there are many different options, each with their own purposes. An amazing 27,397,260 business cards are printed every day, for example, and tried-and-true techniques such as direct mail and promotional gifts have still been shown to be effective.

But when it comes to getting a good ROI, it’s hard to beat outdoor print advertising. It costs 80% less than TV ads, 60% less than newspaper ads and 50% less than radio ads. How can you get the best possible return on this affordable advertising method? It’s all about following some important principles. Here are a few, using banner printing — one of the most classic forms of outdoor advertising — as an example.

  1. Keep It Simple but Eye-Catching
    Don’t try to do too much all at once. Outdoor advertisements need to draw in the viewer’s eye quickly (especially if that viewer is simply driving past) and communicate some sort of message without requiring the viewer to read too much. Often, the best way to do this when it comes to banner printing is to have images or words do double duty, functioning as both visual interest and part of the message.
  2. Show Some Restraint in Color Choices
    Let the KISS (that’s keep it simple, stupid) mentality spill over into color choices, too. You want to use colors that have a high contrast level so they’ll be readable, but that doesn’t mean you need to use many colors to get your point across. Banner printing often turns out best when it uses only two or three colors.
  3. Invest In Quality Design and Printing
    Quality is key when it comes to outdoor representations of your brand, and choosing the right banner printing services matters. It may get overwhelming trying to figure out all the technical details associated with banner design and banner printing — vector-based graphics, DPI, file types, large format printing, wide format printing, digital printing, offset printing, etc. — but don’t let all the terms overwhelm you. Learn what you can about banner printing and then hire professionals to do the rest.
  4. Place Your Advertisements Strategically
    Once you’ve gone to the trouble of designing the perfect ad and paying for professional banner printing, there’s no reason to be thoughtless when it comes to placement. If you have your own storefront, of course, then that’s a natural place to use an outdoor banner. But you can also get outdoor advertising space elsewhere at relatively affordable prices.
  5. Understand Your Long-Term Goals
    Outdoor advertising such as banner printing works a bit differently from other types of advertising in that your goal is exposure, not necessarily immediate conversions. That both means that you don’t need to follow all the rules of traditional ads (including a call to action, for example), and that you may not immediately see leads start pouring in once your banner is hung.

Keep in mind that while we’ve used banner printing as an example here, there are lots of other outdoor advertising channels to which these principles apply — one survey found that almost half of those polled (48%) thought vehicle wraps were the most unique advertising medium. Can you think of any other options besides banner printing? Join the discussion in the comments.

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4 Things You Should Know About Direct Mail

printing companies

Some types of traditional outbound marketing can be pretty pricey. Simple outdoor advertising costs 80% less than TV ads, 60% less than newspaper ads and 50% less than radio ads. There’s still one form of traditional advertising that’s worth talking to printing companies about, however: direct mail.

Here’s what you need to know about it:

  • Consumers Like Getting Postal Mail
    People like getting mail, and that gives direct mail an advantage. One survey found that 62% of Americans and 63% of Canadians enjoy checking their mailboxes — that’s a response you’re probably not going to get for email. Moreover, direct mail is less intrusive than other forms of advertising, which may lead consumers to view it in a more positive light. A full 73% of U.S. consumers and 67% of Canadians said they prefer brand communication through direct mail because they can peruse it at their convenience.
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  • Digital Printing Has Made It Affordable
    You’ll need to spend some money on other aspects of your campaign, perhaps, but you should know that actually working with commercial printing companies may not be cost prohibitive. The rise of digital printing companies has made the printing of items with unique properties (such as addresses) much more affordable than it was in the past with offset printing.
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  • The Quality of Your Mailer Matters
    If you want to catch the eye of potential customers, you have to put out more than a plain old flier. If your brand communications look slapdash, then so does your business, and that’s something you definitely don’t want to convey. That’s one reason — aside from the vastly increased customer support — that it’s worth working with professional printing companies.
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  • It May Take More Than One Round
    Direct mail is effective, but it often requires follow-up to actually close leads. When you’re first looking at printing companies and making up your budget, ensure that you factor in a second round of mailings (or plan to follow up another way, such as by phone).

Do you have any tips on vetting printing companies or working with printing companies on direct mailers? Discuss in the comments.

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