Monday, January 16, 2006

Assessment of the Print Market

How does the print market perform? How will it perform in the coming years? These aspects are two of the most important aspects that we aspire to know, right?

Now, we need not wonder and create false notions because an assessment report has been open to the public eye.

I have learned in PINE blog that PIA/GATF had already released an economic report entitled Over the Horizon: The Economy and Print Markets — 2005–2007. Said report assessed the print markets. It delved into last year’s progress and blunders.

Also included in the report are the predictions in the coming years. The predictions include future trends, major threats and opportunities that can affect printing services until 2007.

The report is given for free to all its members. Non-members though can purchase the same in the amount of $250. You can get it at GAIN’s bookstore.

I am hoping for a more productive print market. I hope we all do.

‘Findable’ You

I have been searching for a nice topic to read about when my eyes are caught by a blog entry entitled “Should You Make Your Name and Contact Information Easily Findable on Your Blog?”. In part it says:

“However, I've regularly found myself in situations where people will be talking to me and I'll introduce them to another blogger. I'll notice that they ignore the other blogger until I say that, for example, Matt writes the Nonbillable Hour blog and then they fall all over themselves saying what huge fans they are of Matt's blog, but they didn't associate the name with the blog.

James Robertson at the Column Two blog has a great post called Your Blog, Your Name that spells out some of the best reasons for making this information readily available.

I can't even count the number of times last year I wanted to send a blogger an email about how much I liked what he or she wrote, only to find no way to get in touch.

I also like to give the name of the person who writes a post when I link to a post. There have been many times when it took me more time to find a blogger's name than it did to write my post that linked to them. In several cases, I ended up not writing a post because I could not find out who wrote it.”

The idea is – the easier they can communicate with you, the more marketable your site and business are.

Blogging It!

In the entry “Blogs Are Worth It”, it was revealed thatblog readers are seeking alternative news and information and they can find such insights from industry specialists, employees or influential consumers who keep tabs on what they think is worth sharing with their networks. Just like in any other media, there are those blogs that are better written and produced than others. The writing style, the author's background, the extent of his/her online and offline networks may all affect how far a blogger's opinions will reach and influence. However, these variations do not mean that blogs are not valid platforms for marketing. They just point out that we need to be smarter about choosing the right channels. As Moon noted in her previous entry, blogs can introduce marketers to niche audiences in cost-effective, non-intrusive ways. Even if a brand chooses not to advertise on blogs or have a team member keep a blog, it would be wise to monitor word of mouth percolating on blogs. For, millions of Internet users turn to these subjective sources to seek recommendations on current events, new gadgets and social issues. The chatter from blogs can provide useful content analysis, mapping exactly how information circulates in a networked society.

Blogging is still as influential as ever. Thus, to blog means to have connections and opportunities. Moreover, we have to blog more wisely and effectively.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Newspapers Downfall?!

I happened to come across an interesting news in the Net. It was entitled ‘A Bad Year for Newspaper Stocks, A Worse Year for the Gray Lady’.

In part it said: “Mirror, mirror on the wall, which is the ugliest stock of them all? Not Knight Ridder. Not Tribune. In 2005, we saw substantial declines in the share value of every publicly traded newspaper company except E.W. Scripps. Surprisingly, the slowest horse in a slow field, losing 35 percent of its value, was the august New York Times Company.”

What went wrong with the newspaper industry? I am not expecting the same to happen. In fact, I thought everything’s just fine in the industry but as it seems there are some that made it big and a number that is on the contrary position.

But still I am hoping for the best to come. Printing industry as well as its services deserve their own niche under the commercial interface.

Postcard’s Printing and Mailing

1. Save time and effort. If you can have it in a quick and easy way, why complicate the situation. Plan a series of effective steps without sacrificing the quality of your postcard printing and mailing services. The saved time and perhaps money is a huge contribution already.

2. Take advantage of ready-made templates. Online templates have invaded the Net. By this, designing will not be a trouble. You just have to download the most appropriate templates for your business or personal use.

3. Or opt for a good printer. For those businessmen who want their postcards to have a unique look, a reputable printing company can assist them to come up with a good project.

4. Do your Mailing List. If you are doing it online, upload your mailing list from different file formats. Never forget MS Word and Excel. A copy is also needed when you have chosen a postcard printing company to do the job.

5. Verify the names and addresses. You can do this by poring against post office records. Mailing online can do this automatically. If any of the addresses did not much, notification will be sent to you. The best thing to do is to get rid of these addresses. It will be a waste of money to send postcards to invalid addresses.

6. Mailing formats can also be specialized. Obviously, templates for postcards are the best choice. However, you can take into consideration other mailing pieces like brochures, letters and self-mailer flyers.

7. Send them out. When doing it online, select the date for your mailer to go out. When you are transacting with a commercial printer, stipulate on the dates. Choose a printer that gives a fast and accurate turnaround. 23 cents is the cost for postcards normal postage. On the other hand, if you do online mailing, the cost is 24 cents. Well, that is something to ponder about…

Extracting Postcard’s Potentials

Postcards are still part of our modern system of communicating. That fact we cannot deny.

The ask now is – how do you extract postcard’s potentials?

Well, there are a lot of considerations. I will give you few of the significant ones. Here we go..

1. Make a Mailing List. Be sure that those included in the list are interested in postcards. They may be your loved ones. Or if you are an entrepreneur, they must be interested in your offer – be it a product or a service.

2. Create postcards in a ‘friendly manner. What do I mean by this? The message, design must be friendly so as not to sound ‘puffing’. You can step in your recipients’ shoes or try to ask a third person so as to have an idea whether the tone is already friendly or not.

3. Use of Direct Sales Pitch is rubbish. Postcard services are not primarily used to do direct marketing. Here, it is made indirectly. Simple information like phone numbers, addresses and the likes are given in order to guide recipients in regard to their future queries.

4. Do not beat around the bush. Little space cannot accommodate everything you want to say. Be sure that your message is ‘ready to read’. Therefore, brief and easy to read.

Postcards must appear pleasant top the senses. They are not made to annoy or piss anybody. They are there to comfort, care, advice, or impliedly tap another’s shoulder or whisper words of inspiration. Good luck in your postcard preferences!

Postcard Printing’s Tips N’ Tricks

To give you a hint on how to make postcards customizations, here are some valuable tips and tricks:

1. Plan ahead of time. The key to a successful marketing endeavor is a good planning strategy. Thus, prior to your postcard design, be sure that you have conceptualized and planned on every detail even the minutest of the details.

2. A bang on the design. Your design must have impact to catch everyone’s attention. To boot, you can use Publisher New Publication Wizards to have a stunning design that will surely capture the interest of its readers.

3. Edit to the bone. Postcards can only accommodate few words. Therefore, you must remove unnecessary words for easy reading and for the words to fit the space intended for the texts. Focus on large graphics or pictures instead of texts to catch reader’s attention in a spur of the moment.

4. Be consistent with your primary goal. The message, color, typeface and graphics must reflect the primary goal of your business. All these stuffs must go hand in hand in order to achieve the common end.

5. Be wise in choosing your print and mailing options. There are a lot of printing options. You can use two-color printing if you want a budget-friendly design. You can also opt for full color postcard printing, if you want a more colorful and vibrant postcards. Further, to explore more colors, you can use six-color printing and other printing options available for your printing needs. Mailing is also flexible nowadays. Your postcards can now be delivered at your choice depending on its quantity and printing technique used.

FAQ’s about Postcards

FAQ’s about Postcards

Here are some of the salient facts about postcard printing and mailing:

1. Repeat postcard mailing is not throwing cash. One big shot is not enough. It needs continuous boost, continuous mailings. The reason is – one big launch cannot make your business neither can it change it.

2. The best price may not be the best catch. The old maxim – ‘you get what you pay for’ is not always applicable. The cheapest may not be the best choice and the most expensive may not be the most in quality. Ask around and determine which postcard printing and mailing services are the best. After that you will have a good view of what printing company to choose if ever you need quality results.

3. Postcard is better than those enclosed in an envelope. You may be asking why. Well, this is because the customers can readily see your message. Thus, it can work quickly compared to other marketing materials. And even if the customers throw it away after one reading, the truth remains that the message has circulated. Isn’t it a darn fast way to market products and services?

4. Promote singly. There are a lot of companies that overdue the marketing edge of postcards. They tend to sell different products and offer several services in one postcard design. They seem to juggle them all that the customers will eventually lose focus. I you want quality maketing and worthy retention, market one item or service at a time.

5. Effective postcard printing and mailing can be the be-all and end-all marketing tool. Great amount of bucks is spent on marketing and advertising, but mind you, inexpensive postcards which are product of efficient and well-planned strategy can glow a company. And I mean no other marketing media involve.

Postcard Marketing

There are various ways to effectuate the craft of postcard marketing and here they are…

1. Focus. Create a target market and focus on them. Be sure that these postcards reach them quickly and effectively.

2. Have a friendly tone. The message must be encouraging, positive and may boosts emotional reaction and persuasion. That way, readers are motivated to do the call of action you desire. If you use a friendly tone you get a certain connection - a bond that makes you closer to your target market. They develop confidences that can go a long way.

3. Puffing is no good. Do not use sales pitch in your postcards. It will definitely annoy your readers. Thus, postcard printing must be used to generate sales inquiries. State the benefits that customers are getting then add up other worthy information like phone numbers or address of your business but avoid puffing.

4. Stop beating around the bush. Get right to the point - that is! Postcards have limited space thus, it must convey the entire message in a few delightful words that can capture the attention of the readers instantly. Be brief but substantial.

5. Timing. An author once said, if you want success the thing to master is proper timing. There is time for everything and that time should not be sacrificed or wasted. With regards to postcards delivery make sure they arrive on Tuesday or Wednesday so as not to compete with other mails.

6. Go First Class. First class mail only costs 23 cents in the US if they are at least 3 ½ by 5 inches but not exceeding 4 ¼ by 6 inches.

7. Cut down on designing and printing. Invest in these things when they are related to your services. However, if it is on the contrary, don’t mind having them made expensively – it’s not that rewarding on your part.