Although digital printing jobs can be costly and seemingly outdated compared to Internet communication, there are some distinct advantages to using direct mail as a form of communication, advertising and marketing. The numbers don’t lie — in 2014, American companies spent over $44 billion on direct mail marketing.
Indeed, this method is in fact preferred over digital by many people. 73% of American consumers and 67% of Canadian consumers report that they like direct mail for brand communications more than other methods, because it allows them to process the information at their convenience. Slightly lower numbers of each of those demographics reported enjoying checking the mailbox for postal mail.
How is this direct mail marketing disseminated? The methods are widely varied. Printing jobs for this sort of work might include conventional mail items like flyers, envelopes and so on, but could also include promotional calendars, gifts or directly mailed business cards. Digital printing services can print your company’s logo in any number of ways on a promotional mailing, which will lead to 84% of Americans retaining your company’s name when they receive those gifts.
Although it may be tempting to order up a few dozen printing jobs of one kind or another and call it a direct mail marketing campaign, there are a few things that should be well-understood first. Understanding your ideal customer and targeting them is at least half the battle in mounting a successful direct mail marketing initiative. Picking a mailing list type, which range in category and cost, will help you maintain the connection between your brand and your consumers that you want. Finally, developing the content that you mail out is the last step.
Any of these tasks can be outsourced to marketing companies, or in some cases the print company itself, which will save you the trouble of having to become a master of mail marketing. Contact some printing companies today to find out what they can do for you.
When 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Even in this digital era, print marketing is an important part of branding and marketing a company; in fact, more than three-fourths of small businesses say they’d like to include both print and digital campaigns in their overall marketing strategy. And when it comes to outdoor advertising signs, large format banner printing is one of the easiest and most effective ways to catch the eyes of passers-by, whether they’re drivers or pedestrians.
Vinyl banners are highly customizable, allowing businesses to pick nearly any designs, colors or dimensions they like, and are lightweight and easy to hang in or outside. But how can you create advertising banners and signs that will actually make prospective customers want to stop in or try your product? Here are some tips to get you started:
- Don’t Crowd Your Space
The point of large format banner printing is to be more eye-catching, not to give you space for more elements. No elements should come too close to the edge of the banner, there should be plenty of space in between elements or lines of type, and it’s recommended that you leave quite a bit of white space.
- Prioritize Readability
When you’re choosing fonts or sizes for your banner, readability should be your first priority. This means no overly fancy fonts. It also means you’ll want to size type based on how far away your target audience will be from the banner. In general, each inch of height added to a letter sets its optimum viewing distance about 10 feet farther away. So a 1-inch letter would be best read 10 feet away; a 5-inch letter, 50 feet.
- Choose Colors Purposefully
If you’re hanging your banner outside, you’ll probably want to choose high-contrast colors. Start picking your colors by looking at a color wheel. The colors directly opposite each other (called “complementary colors”) have the highest contrast. You can find color “chords” by drawing an imaginary equilateral triangle on the color wheel. The colors touched by the triangle’s vertices are likely to go well together. Choosing three colors that are next to or close by one another will create a more soothing feeling, which generally isn’t the goal of outdoor advertising.
- Use Photos Carefully
Custom vinyl banners can look great when printed with photos, but you need to be careful (and a tiny bit tech-savvy) when working with large format banner printing. You’ll need to check with your printing company to see what resolution the digital photo file should have in order to print clearly — it will probably be measured in DPI, or dots per inch.
- Get Creative With Typography
If your photos aren’t high enough in quality for large format printing, you can create visual interest with creative typography, which is a very popular contemporary trend that turns the writing itself into the artwork. Just make sure you don’t forget the second rule listed above.
Do you have any other tips to share on designing a large format banner? Join the discussion in the comments.
Digital printing has made custom printing services increasingly affordable for individuals and businesses, allowing for a high degree of personalization and lower minimum quantities than traditional offset printing. Digital printing also allows for the use of nontraditional mediums. If you’ve done all you can with posters, fliers and other print ads, you may want to consider vinyl decals instead. Here are some ideas for how to utilize custom printing services to create a contemporary look on nearly any surface in your business space.
Using vinyl decals in your storefront’s windows allows you to brand them without blocking the view into your business. And since vinyl widow graphics are removable, you can use them to advertise temporary sales or to decorate for the seasons. Essentially, custom window graphics give you all the flexibility of window paint, but with far less hassle and a sleeker, more professional result.
Vinyl wall graphics are also rapidly growing in popularity. These are easily installed without specialty equipment, and can be removed without damaging the wall underneath. Easily recognizable silhouette patterns such as branches and leaves are common choices, but custom printing services allow you to use your logo, personalized artwork or even quotes to dress up your space. Since prefabricated vinyl wall graphics can be easily bought from a number of venues, you might as well take advantage of the opportunity you have working with a printer by choosing something unique, instead of a generic pattern.
When you’re assessing potential advertising surfaces, don’t forget the floor! A classic use for custom floor graphics is a logo on a gym floor, but the possibilities are practically endless. Consider arrows or instructions that can guide your customers through the store, or use floor images to add visual interest without the maintenance hassles caused by carpet.
If you don’t have a storefront to decorate, vinyl decals also make excellent promotional gifts. Research shows that if given an item with a company’s name or logo on it, 84% of Americans will remember that company’s name. And since decals might be affixed on a variety of surfaces, your customers will essentially be spreading advertising materials for you, free of charge.
Have you used vinyl decals as part of your business advertising strategy? What was your experience? Share in the comments.
You may have already thought of hanging advertising banners to promote your business, and that’s an important step when it comes to branding. But did you know that 84% of Americans who receive a promotional gift branded with a company’s name or logo will retain that company’s information? Giving your clients or customers something to take home with them can be an incredibly effective marketing strategy that encourages them to come back — and markets to those around them in the meantime.
Digital printing allows for many options, including printing on unusual surfaces and sizes of objects. And custom printing services can be surprisingly affordable, even for small businesses, since digital printing allows for smaller minimum runs than traditional offset methods. Here are three fresh ideas for promotional materials to get you started:
Bookmarks are an ideal gift for two reasons. First, they can be customized with nearly endless options. Sizes, paper weights, colors, fonts, foiling and embossing mean you can be as simple or as elaborate as you like with a design to promote your company. Second, they’re something that your customers can use every day, and yet may not have a strong preference for and may not buy for themselves (as opposed to something like canvas bags).If you prefer a sleeker look, you can go with simple, clean-cut edges. But if you want a more classic feel or more opportunity to customize, a hole for a ribbon or tassel can be added.
There’s a long tradition of giving calendars as business gifts — so much so, in fact, that some people rely on them, never actually buying calendars themselves. Calendars offer your company the choice of how much you’d like to promote your brand on each and every page.The advantage a digital printing company can offer when it comes to custom calendar printing is a much faster turnaround, so there’s no need to panic if you realize you’re coming up to the holidays and don’t yet have gifts for your clients. And since digital printing also allows for smaller quantities of each product, you can make a few different designs if necessary.
- Labels and Stickers:
Custom label printing can be a multi-purpose branding strategy. On the one hand, using branded labels or stickers on your products allows you to save on costly custom packaging without making your product feel generic. But stickers can also make great giveaways, particularly if your business targets younger people who still have school binders or dorm rooms to decorate. Custom printing services allow for designing something that is both eye-catching enough that your customers will want to use your stickers, and still incorporates all your company information.
How do you take advantage of the options offered by custom printing services? What has been most successful for your business? Share in the comments.