Monday, January 28, 2013

I Want to Use Variable Data Printing... Now What?

In a previous blog post, we talked about the many benefits of using variable data printing, or VDP, for your next marketing campaign. Once you’ve chosen the perfect printer, ­ there’s a lot of design work that goes into creating the perfect VDP piece. Here are some helpful hints we’ve come across over the years:
Know what you want. Just like with any other advertising campaign, you need a clearly defined goal in order to get the most out of your VDP. VDP is typically more narrowly targeted, so you should be able to measure whether your call to action is successful.  
Remember… Niche is good. There’s little point in personalizing marketing pieces for customers who do not necessarily need your product… it’ll likely just end up in the recycling bin. Take the time to find contact info for prospective buyers that will find your company relevant at this time. “Selling ice to an Eskimo” in many cases will just leave you in the cold… and waste your advertising funds.
Offer something they care about. Remember that you can personalize more than just your customer’s name… consider varying offers that you send to a specific region. For example, a fitness center could offer discounted in-house childcare on postcards being sent to young suburban neighborhoods, and discounted group exercise sessions to a college campus.
Collect data for later. VDP offers the option of tracking and monitoring response rates. Companies can now analyze this info and send subsequent pieces that are even more relevant to their customers. A great example is catalog retailer, Fingerhut, who logs information about what products an individual customer purchases. The then take this data, analyze buying habits, and send that customer one of 25 different catalogs the next month, depending on her taste. 

Friday, January 4, 2013

Sharing is Still Caring!

There are a few fundamental lessons that we all remember being taught as toddlers. Sometime between learning that forks don’t belong in outlets, and that no matter how good it smells, play-doh is indeed not edible, we learn that Sharing is Caring.

Fast forward to today, and it’s easier than ever to take care of that last lesson. Email allows you to quickly share messages. Facebook encourages you to share (and overshare) every waking moment of your day. Blogs like this one allow you to share ideas and thoughts about what’s happening in the world.

It was actually on a blog that I came across the most simple, grass-roots way to share. They’re called Little Free Libraries, and they’re popping up across the United States, Latin America, and Africa.

What is a Little Free Library? It’s just what it sounds like! Someone builds what looks like an over-sized birdhouse, fills it with books that they’re willing to share, and the community is encouraged, to “take a book, leave a book,” for free. These libraries live at the end of driveways, in front of the local coffee shop, or in the middle of the community park, and are maintained by volunteers.

Little Free Libraries foster a sense of community and encourage a love of reading. They also make it easy to remember that sharing is caring. (Now you just have to keep away from the play-doh).

Do you have plans to build a Little Free Library, or already have one? Share your story, below!

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