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Brand voice is the emotion and personality that go into a brand’s communications, from the language it uses to the images in its marketing assets.

Think Great Color Is Easy? Think Again

Think great color is something everyone can do? Think again. Getting accurate, high-quality color takes effort. Here is a peek behind the curtain at what it takes to give you the best color day after day, and job after job, even when projects are months apart.

1. Define independent color space.

Your computer monitors operate in the RGB color space. Our presses operate in CMYK. The two spaces work very differently, and there is a delicate and complex conversion process that must take place between them. Adding to the challenge is that RGB and CMYK are device-dependent. This means that the same colors look different on different devices.

How do we get the two in sync? First we define color by metrics unrelated to the devices themselves — how color looks to the eye. Take the color of a red apple. On your computer monitor, “apple red” is defined by a set of numbers called CIE L*a*b, which is an objective, device-independent measurement what the eye sees. That CIE L*a*b value corresponds to an ICC color profile, which is an objective measurement of how that monitor “sees” and outputs color.

2. Translate to “press language.”

Now that we have an ICC profile that translates color accurately from the eye to the monitor, we need to be able to reproduce that color on press. Every press is unique, so the ICC color profile for the RGB monitor is translated into an ICC profile for the CYMK press.

3. Workflow steps to make it happen.

Next is to get that color onto paper. This starts with making choices at the RIP (the equipment that processes the job before it is sent to the press) to ensure that the settings match the ones in the software used by your designer. It also requires regular calibration of our presses to make sure that the color is not only accurate but repeatable.

Getting great color is not a magic trick. It requires a lot of craft, science, and hard work. That’s why you don't want to trust your color to just anyone. We hope you continue to trust us with your most color-critical jobs.

Adapted from EFI’s webinar: “World of Fiery: 3 Key Steps to Get the Right Color the First Try.” You can view a video presentation on this topic at http://tinyurl.com/pfw76bu.

There are many ways companies can cultivate a positive work culture to keep their employees happy and motivated to leave positive reviews. Here are just a few ideas to get you started.

With the Fourth of July coming up this week, it’s important to consider ways in which you might try to maximize your marketing efforts.

Your GMB Business Profile has a large impact on both your online and offline success. We’ll tell you how it does so.

Why Invest in Customer Loyalty? 3 Reasons

What’s the value of loyal customers? According to a study by Yotpo, loyal customers offer a brand three key benefits:

• They tell friends and family about the brand (60%)
• They are willing to join the brand’s loyalty or VIP program (52.3%)
• They spend more on a brand’s product even if there are cheaper options elsewhere (39.4%)

Not only this, but HubSpot has found that existing customers spend 67% more than new customers.

Keep your customers, make more money. It’s that simple. Optimove, reporting on the Yotpo study, put it this way: “The power of customer loyalty is so vital, its effects could mean the difference between your business either thriving, just about surviving, or breaking down completely.”

Optimove went on to suggest three ways you can show your appreciation and keep those customers around.

1. Let them know that you reward loyalty.

Regardless how you reward loyalty, it’s critical to let your customers know that you do. Don’t make them wait to find out. Promote your loyalty program in your direct mail pieces. Create a “loyalty” link on your website. In your print and email newsletters, talk about real people who have saved money and earned free stuff.

2. Create and promote multi-level incentives.

Tier your rewards so that the most loyal customers get the most benefits. The more loyal they are, the more they save, the more they earn, and the more insider benefits they get. Also consider creating a sense of competition. “Enable your customers to compare their scores, points and/or rankings with other customers,” says Optimove.

3. Re-engage disconnected customers.

Don’t assume that lost customers are gone forever. There can be many reasons they have stopped buying, many of which may have nothing to do with them falling out of love with your products. Sometimes, all it takes is a nudge and an incentive to get them to come back.

You’ve worked hard to gain your customers, and they are worth keeping. Make the investment in your customers and they will invest in you.

Fortunately, there are some foolproof sales tips every business professional should know. Check out these seven sales suggestions for small business.

If you don’t have your perfect marketing scheme in place yet, don’t worry. We’ve put together a few Father’s Day marketing ideas that are worth trying.

You start with a product that you want to sell, but you're not sure who wants to buy it. How do you identify your target audience? We have a few crucial steps.

How do you decide which person to bring on the team? Fortunately, there are a few tips to keep in mind. Here’s how to find the right candidate for a job.

There are tried and true plans that can benefit your social networking. To get you started, check out these strategies for successful social media marketing.

Ensuring your small business website is search engine optimized should be high on the list of marketing to-dos. Keep these tips in mind to optimize your website for search engines.

Can you find your business online? Not only should a company have a website, but with modern demands, that website should be well-functioning and easy to use.

Generation Z grew up in the technological world, which means marketing to them must be more targeted than ever. Here are seven strategies for marketing to Gen Z.

How can a small business use LinkedIn to grow its marketing efforts? We can think of a few ways. Here's how to use LinkedIn to your advantage.

Fortunately, there is a plethora of ways to boost the success of your email marketing campaigns. Identify areas where emails fall short, then correct them.

With a more positive, fun environment, companies can save money with happier employees. Celebrate International Fun at Work Day and put these ideas into action.

If your business wants to have a strong marketing strategy, it should include YouTube. Here are five tips for using YouTube to market your business.

Every brand has a story, including yours. The key is to dig in and figure out how to share it. Take a look at how to successfully tell your brand’s story.

The podcast audience is growing, so businesses are jumping on board with their marketing. We've put together a list of big benefits of launching a business podcast.

Whether you're a small business owner, marketer or workplace professional, there are lots of ways for you to jump on board the March mayhem of marketing.

Whether you're a CEO, manager or low-level business professional, employee retention matters. Here are five ways you can appreciate employees better.

There’s no doubt about it: Webinars can increase your bottom line. Here’s why.

How do you plan on using Valentine’s Day in your marketing strategy? If you’re not sure yet, here are some ideas for how to show marketing love this Valentine’s Day.

Fortunately, there are ways to keep your current clients happy, satisfied and coming back for more. Here are six tips for better customer retention.

There is a way to make copywriting a priority and save money at the same time—boost your own expertise. Here are sure-fire ways to improve your copywriting skills.

3 Secret Benefits to Print Over Digital

In a world infatuated with digital, print marketers have a secret in their pockets—print. Here are three reasons why print still packs a wallop, even in a digital world.

1. Digital channels aren’t as inexpensive as you’d think.

Just because there isn’t a print and mail cost doesn’t mean that digital channels are less expensive than print. Digital channels have constant churn in addresses and profiles, for example, so lists require constant management and updating. Email also has significant costs associated with opt-in, opt-out, and other list management that print doesn’t.

2. Print gets read when email doesn’t.

Your highly targeted, perfectly timed email can get buried under dozens or hundred of others before the recipient even knows it’s there. By contrast, people retrieve and sort their mail every day.

3. Print drives online behavior.

One of the primary reasons people visit your website is because of something they’ve seen or received in print. Study after study shows that print and online channels work in a symbiotic relationship.

Convinced? Great! Here are three tips for getting most out of your efforts:

• Create target segments. Break your customers down into categories that allow you to segment and target your message. You may segment by age, geographic region, product category, or whatever works for you.

• Personalize the discussion. People buy from people, not from companies. Take the time to address each recipient by name. If possible, use data that allows you to speak to their individual needs.

• Use multiple channels. Instead of focusing on one channel or another, develop integrated, multichannel campaigns in which direct mail, email, and mobile marketing work together. Let each channel reinforce what’s best in the others.

Now you have the secret. Let’s put it to work together!

Since people trust other people more than they do other businesses, if you want to gain customers, you must humanize and personalize your brand. Here's how.

5 Tips for Waking up Tired Mail

Is your marketing getting tired? Is your target audience tuning out your mailings because you’re sending the same campaign over and over? Maybe it’s time to mix things up. Here are five ideas to get people noticing your direct mailings again.

1. Get creative with envelopes.

Envelopes can be a lot of fun. They come in a variety of sizes, colors, shapes, and formats. Instead of sending the same old white envelope, consider using one in a bright, fun color.

2. Add a teaser.

Did you know we can print personalized messages on the outside of your envelopes, too? These are called teasers. “Special Offer Just for Bob Johnson!” or “Suzie, you won’t believe what’s inside!”

3. Think beyond the envelope.

Think beyond the traditional envelope. Try self-mailers, postcards, or faux Express Mail or Air Mail designs on occasion.

4. Change your offer.

Your offers can get tired, too. So mix it up. If you’ve been offering a discount, try a free trial instead. If you’ve been doing the hard sell, try a softer approach, such as allowing people to ask for more information first.

5. Add a time limit.

Time limits are powerful motivators. Use a personalized message on the outside of the envelope (“Ben, offer expires in 5 days!”) or create a piece of art that looks like a rubber-stamped time limit across the top. Time limits also give you an excuse to send a follow-up. “Robert, your offer is set to expire. Respond now!”

Every direct mail campaign needs a refresh now and then. Maybe it’s time to try something new.

Need ideas? Let’s brainstorm together!

There are a few things you can do this year to make sure your business resolutions last throughout 2019! Here are seven steps to make (and keep) New Year's resolutions.

Though we can never know what will come in the year ahead, there are ways to prepare for 2019. Here’s how to set your business up for success in the new year.

Objective studies have shown the positive effect time off can have on a person’s work. To explain, we developed six benefits of time off for the holidays.

To help you pick out the perfect presents for clients, we created a quick list of holiday gift ideas you can give every type of customer this season.

If you want your business card to turn into sales, then you must pay careful attention to how it's created. Here are five tips for designing an effective business card.

Of course, holiday income doesn't generate itself. If you really want to rake in the sales this holiday season, you have to prepare for it... through marketing.

Survey: Marketing Budgets Soar!

Every year, Target Marketing surveys its readership to identify trends for the upcoming marketing year. This year, its “2019 Marketing Budget Survey” found that a whopping 10x more marketing budgets are increasing for 2019 than decreasing.  Great news! That’s the kind of commitment that gets results. 

Here’s how the data on respondents’ budgets broke out: 

•    60% increasing
•    31% staying the same
•    6% decreasing
•    3% not sure

As part of its survey, Target Marketing also identified three top marketing trends that all marketers, whether digital or traditional (or both), need to know. 

1. More money is going to tech and data.
 
Marketers’ highest spend is going for media and other outreach (28%) and personnel (20%). That’s to be expected, but this year, they take up less than half of marketers’ budgets overall. Technology, consumer data/data management, and metrics/performance measurement combined to account for 42% of spending overall. Data is the foundation of good marketing, and marketers’ budgets are reflecting that. 

2. Marketing is moving from push to pull. 

Channels that use pull marketing (social media, online video, content marketing) are growing faster than those that push (email). Social media advertising (59%), online video (54%), and content marketing (53%) are the fastest growing media channels. As you integrate digital media into your marketing efforts, make sure you are incorporating channels that pull, as well as push. 

3. Marketers still demand conversions.  

When it comes to grading performance, conversion metrics win the most favor for budgeting. As you justify your 2019 marketing budget to the higher-ups, focus on metrics that reflect conversions. Select metrics such as sales, lead generation, and sign-ups that prove that you are getting those conversions, however you define them. 

Next year is going to be an exciting year for marketers, full of change and opportunity. How are you allocating your budget?
 

Why Some Personalized Mailings Just Work Better

When it comes to increasing response and conversion rates, personalized communications are a powerful tool. However, don’t think that all personalization is equal. It isn’t. To get great results, you must use the right variables with the right audience in the right way.

Response rates for personalized mailings can vary widely. One study found response rates ranging from 6% to 75%, with an average of 21%. These are some eye-catching numbers, but why is the range so wide? To understand the variation and set realistic expectations for your own campaigns, it’s helpful to ask specific questions.

• What type of campaign was it? Customer acquisition? Customer retention?
• What kind of list did you use? Highly targeted, moderately targeted, or undifferentiated lists will yield different results.
• Did recipients have a previous relationship with your company? Or are you using a prospect list?
• What is the value of the product? Are you marketing a webinar or selling a Tesla?
• Did per-order value go up with personalization, and if so, by how much? A “low” response rate combined with a high per-order value will often net you better ROI than a high response rate with low per-order value.
• How are you measuring success? Response rates? Conversion rates? Cost per lead? Average sale? Each measurement tells a different story.

The answers to such questions can have a dramatic impact on understanding ROI. So before setting your expectations for your next personalized mailing, talk to us about your goals, expectations, and the data you are working with. Setting realistic expectations is a critical component to making your 1:1 print program a success.

If you’re not sure where to begin your marketing efforts this week, here are seven big ideas for you to take advantage of with Thanksgiving marketing.

Guest bloggers are a great way to incorporate new content into a business blog, without worrying about generating new ideas or writing the content yourself.

With election day right around the corner, there are a few ways your business can get on board the political bandwagon and market through the red, white and blue.

With Halloween just around the corner this week, how can your business join in the festivities? Here are a few spooky good marketing tricks to consider for Halloween.

Fortunately, there are a few tips every business professional can keep in mind when it comes to creating a logo. Here's how to design an appealing logo for your business.

Reading offers a variety of benefits to business professionals, particularly in strengthening leadership skills. Check out these five reasons reading makes you a better leader.

Fortunately, there are some tips out there to help you write a powerful newsletter in order to connect with customers, promote the brand and grow the business.

Securing Your Customers’ Loyalty

Your customers are a hot commodity. Everybody wants them. So how do you keep them loyal to you? Make your relationship so great that they don’t want to go anywhere else.

1. Market in the age of “me.”

Know your customers well enough to give them a personalized experience. This goes beyond targeting with basic demographics like gender, age, and household income. Look at the channels your customers respond to, when they make purchases, and what they buy. Acting on this data helps your customers see that you know and care about them. It helps with cross-sells and upsells, too!

2. Coupons galore!

Consumers have a love affair with coupons, including mobile. According to Juniper Research, mobile coupons are 10x more likely to be used than printed coupons.

3. Don’t be channel agnostic.

Know which channels your customers are most likely to respond to, then use them. If a customer requires two emails to respond but responds the first time to direct mail, get them on the “mail first” list. If someone else is more likely to respond to an email than a printed newsletter, get them on the “email first” list. Keep your branding, message, and imaging consistent regardless of channel.

4. Ask their opinion.

Use response cards, personalized URLs, and other survey mechanisms to get your customers’ opinion on products, services, and potential business changes. When one specialty retailer wanted to give its location a facelift, it used a targeted direct mail piece with personalized URLs to ask its customers about products and services they wanted but the company didn’t offer. It got an earful! The retailer incorporated the most popular suggestions, and its sales soared.

5. Remember to say “thank you.”

Everyone likes to be appreciated. Send a personalized “thank you” letter, postcard, or other mailer once in a while. Attach a no-strings coupon or discount just to engender their goodwill . . . and you will.

Gaining customer loyalty doesn’t have to be rocket science. You just have to put in the effort.

By developing your networking skills, you can continue to expand your business circle, which provides more resources and opportunities. Here’s how to grow your circle.

While natural leaders do exist, it is also possible to learn leadership skills, put them into practice and grow your leadership capabilities.

So, how can you kick off your September marketing? Here are seven super September marketing ideas for you to jump start your marketing this month and head into the season.

Ask any small business owner and they’ll say that Labor Day sales are only as good as Labor Day marketing. But if you haven’t started yet, it’s still not too late!

When businesses fail to market to existing customers—and only focus on bringing in new ones—they leave money on the table, and can end up losing loyal customers.

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    LM
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