We sell a LOT of Patient Sign-in Label Forms. A LOT.
We have the lowest prices in the country.
Make your medical office HIPAA compliant and save money at the same time. Order here.
We welcome the newest member of our staff, Linda Clark.
Linda brings you thirty years experience in the printing business. She is very knowledgeable in everything about printing, but more importantly, she has a great personality, is great at customer service and has very strong integrity.
You can call Linda at 602-482-1116 or email her.
As you may have heard over the past week or two, the North American Paper Mills have announced price increases on all uncoated free sheet (bond) products. This increase was led by Domtar and quickly followed by all of the other major North American paper mills.
We now carry incredibly great looking lenticular products like bookmarks, postcards, keychains, etc. Click here.
There are very reasonably priced and will get a lot of attention.
The 3D lenticular is amazing. I keep one on my desk and look at it over and over.
The Truth About VistaPrint
Is VistaPrint really a deal? Yes, for small quantities. No for larger quantities.
Someone came into our office last week looking for labels to cover up an error on a postcard that they bought online at Vistaprint. They bought 10,000 postcards.
We quickly realized that it would cost more to print the labels, let alone apply the labels, than to have us print a new order of postcards. We were $300 less than Vistaprint for the same postcard, except that we offered a better, heavier stock, much better quality print, a full size card (Vistaprint trimmed down from the full size for bleed - we don't do that).
Moral of the story. Vistaprint is good for small quantities. We're a lot better for quantities of 2,500 or more.
Have a print job larger than 2500 pieces? Contact us.
Making Sure Your Adobe Acrobat Files Work Properly.
When you send us a pdf to print for four color printing and you have Adobe Acrobat Pro, see our artwork pages to learn how to make sure the colors come out correctly.
If you just have Acrobat Reader, send us the files and we'll use Acrobat Pro to make sure that everything is adjusted to print correctly. We'll look for low resolution graphics, RGB graphics, hairlines, overprints and other issues that can cause the final product to not come out to your expectations.
After we fix your file, we'll send it back to you for approval.
Every day I get dozens of emails and several phone calls from SEO companies claiming they can get me to page one on Google and other search engines. And, they imply, if you're not on page one, you may as well close up your business. (OK, I'm exaggerating a little.)
In Physics, there is the law of impenetrability. It states that no two objects can occupy the same space at the same time.
There are hundreds or thousands of companies out there selling SEO services and promising first page rankings to tens of thousands of companies. Yet, there can only be ten companies on the first page of Google. Again, the law of impenetrability. How can these SEO companies make these promises? It's not possible to get tens of thousands of companies into ten slots on page one. It just doesn't work.
It's like watching two sports teams pray before a game. Who wins? The one who prayed the hardest? What do the losers think after the game? They lost because they didn't pray hard enough? Did God punish them for that? Maybe they lost because they were late for church last Sunday :-)
Fact is, there can only be one winner of a game and only 10 companies on page one of Google. Since praying gives you a 50% chance of winning a game, you might be better off praying for a spot on page one of Google than to give a ton of money so one of the "SEO Experts" out there where your chances are slim.
Point is - be careful if you buy SEO services. Don't believe any promises of first page rankings. Nobody can promise that.
There are all kinds of designers. We see the best and the worst every day.
Thanks to Lowdwell.com for this terrific analysis of designers. As you can see, very few become the kind of graphic designer that we work with, and we only work with the best.
Identifying Your Best Sales Leads
In order to come up with the most responsive direct mail list you’ve got to know something about your best customers. How do you do that? Here’s the secret: Simply find people with the same demographic characteristics of your best customers.
To learn how, let’s review the factors that make up a direct mail campaign and see where customer profiling fits in.
If you’re like me, you’re tired of people with a bad attitude who provide bad service. I mean waiters and waitresses, support people, customer service people and on and on.
At Greenway, you’ll find a great attitude. So big deal, right? Right!
Behind the scenes we deal with the bad attitudes to make your life easier. Printing is an industry where getting things done is often difficult (understatement). Promises are not kept, specifications are not met, and very lazy, uncaring people will catch errors but let them slide through.
The secret to our success is that we deal with those bad attitudes FOR YOU.
Computer graphics can be created as either raster or vector images. Raster graphics are bitmaps and a bitmap is a grid of individual pixels that collectively compose an image. Raster graphics render images as a collection of countless tiny squares. Each square or pixel is coded in a specific hue or shade. Individually, these pixels are worthless. Together, they’re worth a thousand words.
Raster graphics are best used for non-line art images; specifically digitized photographs, scanned artwork or detailed graphics. Non-line art images are best represented in raster form because these typically include subtle chromatic gradations, undefined lines and shapes, and complex composition.
However, because raster images are pixel-based, they suffer a malady called “image degradation.” Just like photographic images that get blurry and imprecise when blown up, a raster image gets jagged and rough. Why? Ultimately, when you look close enough, you can begin to see the individual pixels that comprise the image. Hence, your raster-based image of Wayne Newton magnified to 1000 percent becomes bitmapped before you can isolate that ravenous glint in his eye. Although raster images can be scaled down more easily, smaller versions often appear less crisp or “softer” than the original.
Unlike pixel-based raster images, vector graphics are based on mathematical formulas that define geometric primitives such as polygons, lines, curves, circles and rectangles. Because vector graphics are composed of true geometric primitives, they are best used to represent more structured images, like line art graphics with flat, uniform colors. Most created images (as opposed to natural images) meet these specifications, including logos, letterhead, and fonts.
Vector Images and the Scalable Truth
Inherently, vector-based graphics are more malleable than raster images — thus, they are much more versatile, flexible and easy to use. The most obvious advantage of vector images over raster graphics is that vector images are quickly and perfectly scalable. There is no upper or lower limit for sizing vector images. Just as the rules of mathematics apply identically to computations involving two-digit numbers or two-hundred-digit numbers, the formulas that govern the rendering of vector images apply identically to graphics of any size.
Vector Images, Graphics and Raster
Further, unlike vector graphics, vector images are not resolution-dependent. Vector images have no fixed intrinsic resolution, rather they display at the resolution capability of whatever output device (monitor, printer) is rendering them. Also, because vector graphics need not memorize the contents of millions of tiny pixels, these files tend to be considerably smaller than their raster counterparts.
There’s a lot more to printing effective marketing pieces than adding copy that sounds good. If you’ve decided to offer your potential customers a guarantee on the products or services you sell, how do you know whether it’s actually enticing those customers to buy?
There is always some level of financial risk a consumer takes when making a purchase. Of course, low-priced items don’t carry as much weight as higher-priced items, especially in relation to disposable income. But when does offering a guarantee on a purchase work and when does it not?
Your Guarantee Has Strings Attached
Research has shown that guarantees that have some sort of string attached actually decrease consumer confidence. Even lower-priced products that have some conditions attached to the purchase will increase a customers’ perceived financial risk. In general, people aren’t always too receptive to taking unknown risks and they’re smart enough to know a gimmick when they see one.
Stand Behind Your Guarantee
The guarantee you offer should represent your company’s honesty and integrity. This will help you build brand loyalty and referrals. Consider offering a guarantee without the fine print; if you’re customers cannot fully understand what you are offering them, they will eventually amass less trust in you.
Your Guarantee Represents Your Brand
If your goal is to gain valuable customers who are loyal to you over the long haul, then give them all of the reasons why they should continue to come back to you over and over again. The guarantee you offer is another representation of your brand and the perception people have of your products, services and your company overall.
Before the vast use of the internet to reach potential customers, direct mail was king of the marketing world. It’s true a lot of business marketing and advertising strategists are adding more online campaigns to their mix these days, making traditional offline campaigns seem outdated and ineffective. But with the wide use of the internet and it’s low to no cost to enter, is offline marketing and direct mail really dead?
Just the other day as I sat outside, I noticed the majority of my neighbors coming home only to stop by the communal mailbox to grab their snail mail. If what lands in that mailbox is so unimportant, so unexciting to receive and so ineffective as sales pieces, why do we still stop at our mailbox each day to see what’s in there?
Has Direct Mail Been Replaced?
There has been an ongoing debate about whether or not direct mail is dead. The jury is still out despite the “hyper” hype about the internet, email marketing and how much less it costs to send virtual mail. After all, it isn’t so much about the overall cost of a campaign as it is the effectiveness of the piece in relation to the cost. You could send 100 emails to customers with little or not sales or you could send a direct mail piece that yields a high return. Is your goal to get traffic and make sales or is it to flood cyberspace with free campaigns that bring in zero dollars.
Email Versus Direct Mail
Email is supposed to be the preferred way of getting your advertising message out to masses of people on your list. It is supposed to be cheaper to execute, doesn’t irritate the recipient by the ugly “junk” mail that lands in their real mailbox and is more efficient because you can measure ROI metrics within minutes of doing an email blast.
The assumption, however, is that since you sent an email campaign, it must mean that everyone on your list opens it and reads the clever words you’ve used to entice them to buy. Yet, emails can go unopened and they can go unread – possibly much easier than direct mail. At least with direct mail, the recipient has to take the piece inside his house to throw it away.
At least he’s read it.
Direct Mail Still Gets High Marks
One key factor as to why direct mail works better than email is the list. While you can rent a prospect list in the online world, there’s a 20 percent undeliverability rate from these online lists for the internet marketing crowd. Reason is there are more spam filters, corporate firewalls are set even tighter to keep out even legitimate emails and there’s a higher frequency of the recipient to mass delete emails for fear of email overload. Direct mail, on the other hand gets almost a 95 percent deliverability rate because good list managers scrub their lists on a regular basis.
Finally, with email, you only get about two seconds or less to get the attention of the receiver or it gets deleted. Direct mail gives you a good five seconds or more to catch the attention of the receiver. That’s huge!
Your marketing strategies should include a mix of online and offline campaigns in order to reach maximum effectiveness. The fact is direct mail still works and it works well.
An article from Millcraft Paper has a good explanation of why paper prices are increasing.
There are two main factors.
1. Diesel Fuel because it takes an average of 4 trucks to get the paper to the printer.
2. Capacity. Major cutbacks in paper mill output and cutbacks in the distribution of paper.
Combine the two and prices are shooting up.
It’s become a real catch-22. Less paper being printed results in less capacity which results in high prices.
I’m seeing QR codes in more and more places all the time. Menus, shirts, flyers, business cards and more.
However, this has got to be the most innovative QR code application that I’ve seen so far. In fact it’s brilliant.
If you want an innovative QR code campaign, call us. We can do it. We can do anything! Call 602-482-1100.
“I’m glad you called” makes me feel confident.
“I’ll take care of that for you” make me feel confident about a purchase.
“I’ll take full responsibility”, “I apologize for our mistake. Let me make it right” or “I can solve that problem” are rarely heard anymore as fewer people will take responsibility.
“We want your business” shows desire.
“I appreciate your business.” and “Thank you for thinking about us” express appreciation.
“I don’t know, but I’ll find out” is very important. Nothing is worse than making something up that isn’t true. All it can do is hurt you. Be honest and admit that you don’t know the answer.
“I will keep you updated” The vendors I trust the most are those that keep me up to date on an orders.
“It’ll be just what you ordered” It will not be “similar to,” and it will not be “better than” what was ordered. It will be exactly what was ordered.
“Thank you!” It is absolutely amazing how many times I don’t hear those simple words. Not hearing them offends me.
“Yes!” One of the greatest salespeople I know, when about to be asked a question from a customer, says “Yes – now what is the question?” It’s corny, but it's effective.
This has nothing to do with printing but I just wanted to share it with you. Enjoy it.
With all of the attention surrounding social media these days, it’s hard to be swayed away from the online marketing temptation and back into traditional offline marketing while using such items as calendars to sell your products. Sure, you can send out a Tweet promoting a product special or event, but that tweet is out of view for many in mere seconds. Yet, these same “old-fashioned” offline marketing tools are not only essential parts of your marketing mix, but you’ll find you will get a lot more bang for your buck when mix up your strategy cost-effectively.
One of the most overlooked marketing tools is the simple calendar and, yet, it packs a tremendous amount of punch. There are many advantages to using them to sell get in front of your customers for long periods of time.
1. People like freebies: Participate in a Mardi Gras festival and you’ll see teems of people scrounge for free beaded necklaces or pull your shopping cart up to a food sample stand at Costco and you’ll understand the power of freebies. You don’t have to give a high-priced item away in order to promote your business, and calendars are inexpensive tools that have high perceived value.
2. They last 365 days a year: Most consumers need to see an advertisement or message at least seven times before they take notice and if you’re spending your marketing dollars on ads, you’ll know the cost quickly adds up. With calendars, your advertisement, message and contact information is in front of your customer all year long. You could spend thousands of dollars on advertisements in your local newspaper to reach potential customers multiple times or you could spend a few dollars to have multiple advertisements right in front of your customer 365 days a year.
3. Calendars contain many messages and promotions: When you are able to customize your calendars to give to new or existing customers, you can add multiple product messages about features and benefits. Essentially, you have 12 spaces to add content. Add monthly coupons or even have your business card perforated on the calendar so that your contact information can be given away in referrals. Your calendar can be as functional as you make it.
4. Calendars are useful: Calendars actually serve a purpose and despite the latest technology with smart phones, iPads and such, people still find traditional calendars useful. They’re easy to use and you don’t have to plug them in at night to recharge. Have a pen handy and you can mark down appointments, birthdays and events quickly.
5. You have multiple channels to give them away: When giving away calendars or any other promotional product, there are numerous channels by which to reach customers. Of course tradeshows are the most common venue, but your sales personnel can hand them to prospective customers door-to-door. You can include them as part of your direct mail strategy or at the point-of-sale. You can even sell them for a nominal amount and donate the money to charity. (You not only would be showing your customers your commitment to good will, but advertising your products to them annually.) Promotional product distribution has many avenues that traditional advertising and even social media do not offer.
Greenway Print Solutions has a variety of calendars to choose from and at amazingly lower costs than their competition. And they can be customized to precisely fit your business goals.
See Our Calendars Pages
Creating a strong brand for your business takes strategic planning, after all, your goal is to deliver a message that’s clear while connecting to your consumer on some sort of emotional level. While it would be nice to create an effective brand using only one strong medium, you’ll find you get a whole lot of mileage out of cleverly crafting the right marketing mix.
With all the rage in social media and online marketing, offline strategies still hold high importance. Despite the technological age we are in, we’re still social beings who conduct business in brick and mortars and meet face-to-face. Call it old-fashioned, but how many times have you verbally told someone about your business only to be asked for a business card or brochure? The fact is the majority of the population didn’t grow up with a smart phone in their back pockets or even a keyboard on their desk. And that’s something every business owner still needs to take into account.
Branding Your Materials
When it comes to your offline marketing, branding your materials well so that they achieve your goals is crucial. The look, feel and design of your printed material all play a critical role and consistency both online and offline is key.
Your Identity: Your corporate identity should be consistent throughout all of your printed material, from your brochures, letterhead and envelopes to your promotional material and presentations. Your corporate perception and message should be the same on all pieces, right down to the font and color. If your current supply looks somewhat of a mish-mosh, consider taking the piece that represents your identity and streamline what doesn’t fit.
Your Direct Mail Campaign: Direct mail is an intrinsic part of your marketing mix, having the advantage of being able to send your material repetitively to your new prospect. The average consumer needs to see your message seven times before they take some sort of action and direct mail is a cost-effective way of getting in front of them and being top-of-mind when it comes time for them to buy. Direct mail doesn’t necessarily have to be the traditional postcard either – you can send sales letters, catalogs and brochures, too.
Your Contact: It may seem elementary, but all of your material should include all of the ways your customers, new and old, can contact you online and offline. This includes your address and phone number along with your social media and website. To save on space, a QR Code or Microsoft Tag will help direct consumers to your selected online content.
Give it Away: Promotional items, such as pens, calendars and mugs are not only great to receive but they are consumables that stick around for a while. Your next client may lose your business card, but your coffee mug will stay on his desk. Throw in a calendar and your identity and message will be a daily reminder all year long. The life of a promotional item is longer than many other medium in your marketing mix.
Your marketing mix can include a wide variety of items that serve to connect your business and identity to your existing and potential consumers. There’s not one medium that will yield optimal results by itself; rather, it takes different types to stay in front of your market. Streamlining your brand and keeping it consistent will help your consumers remember you when it comes time to buy.
If you’re looking for products to include in your mix, be sure to check out all that Greenway Print Solutions can offer you. If it can be read, scanned or touched, Greenway Print Solutions can get it printed.
If you think direct mail is ineffective, why does Google still use it as part of their marketing strategy?
So much of the time we hear about how online strategies are the tickets to business prosperity and while online marketing is a necessary component of our marketing plan, offline strategies still play a vital role in winning over customers. While we tweet, Facebook, LinkedIn and blog our way through our customers’ monitors, we cannot forgo the importance of relationships that develop offline.
The fact remains that 2/3 of the population didn’t grow up with a mouse in hand. Sure, some of us were tinkering with computers long before others and understand many of the ins and outs of cyberspace, but truth be told, we’re still a population of hand-shakers who enjoy face-to-face time in a brick and mortar.
And that’s part of the reason why we use the internet for so many things and part of the reason why we don’t. For the average person, the majority of his/her day is not spent online, but in a world that’s real and interactive.
Direct mail works because it’s designed to reach potential customers during their time not spent online. It’s a controlled message that’s delivered right into the hands of your targeted market. Best of all, it works because your direct mail piece isn’t fighting or competing with pages of websites links or keywords; just your utility bills or mortgage payment. And who wants to read those?
Ironically, Google, masters of cyberspace, also believes in the power of direct mail. You should too.
Considering a direct mail campaign or just want to know how you can win over more customers with a great ROI? Contact Greenway Print Solutions today.
A customer called yesterday. They had to mail 100,000 letters in two days, by law. The mailing house could get the letters printed (personalized) and stuffed in time but the envelopes they had in stock had my customers first class mail permit. Since these could mail with a presort standard permit, the postage savings would be huge. They asked if we could somehow produce 100,000 envelopes with their presort standard permit so their mailing facility could get the letters out in time.
It’s pretty darn hard to produce 100,000 envelopes in two days, especially when your production schedule is full.
After a few phone calls, we performed our first miracle of the year for this customer and will have the 100,000 envelopes produced and delivered on time, saving them over $10,000 in postage.
That’s what we do.
Businesses are always touting they have great customer service and if we were to put all of those touts in a basket, it would be quite a large basket. Yet, proving that a business truly values its customers is another story indeed.
It’s not often that a business or even a business owner receives a whole lot of recognition from a customer, let alone be presented with an award. But in this case, the “proof is in the pudding.”
Alan Chait, owner of Greenway Print Solutions, has always prided himself on customer service and it was the primary reason he left the printing corporate world as an employee to start his own business. He believed he could offer his customers a lot more, not just with a vast array of affordable, quality products, but with superior customer service. To prove it, the story goes:
” Last week I had an appointment with my largest customer, a $200 million company, to review some business forms we are working on. The meeting was supposed to be in their North conference room, but when I arrived nobody was there. Suddenly one of the managers showed up to tell me they had moved the meeting to a conference room in the back and he took me there. In the room were about 200 people, seated and listening to two of the top executives talk about how to use some of the forms I designed for them. In the back was the CEO who, when he saw me, told me to sit down. I told him I’d just wait outside until they were done, but he insisted that I sit and watch the class.”
“The CEO suddenly got up, stopped the meeting and told everyone that they had decided to award their Vendor Partners who have been responsible for their success. Of the 10 or so vendors, they voted on who should get the first award, which was me. I had to get up in front of all these people and listen to all the wonderful things that I’ve done for them, my dedication and hard work. Being a little bit of an introvert the “ambush” was an overwhelming surprise and I am very proud to get the award. (Ironically, I was working on pricing out acrylic awards for them to give to their employees, or so I thought. It turns out I’ll be printing my own award.)”
The award shows that the foundations that I built Greenway Print Solutions on 30 years ago is alive and well.
When it comes to marketing, knowing exactly who your customers are is one of the most important bits of data you can amass. Without it, your marketing campaign is nothing more than the blind leading the blind.
Marketing Case in Point
Say you own a restaurant. It’s Saturday Night and your restaurant is packed. You’re obviously doing something right but you’re not sure exactly. Is it your friendly staff, the food, the pricing, the service, the ambiance?
You advertise, at a great expense, in local newspapers and magazines. You sometimes offer coupons or a promotion. Once in awhile you send out direct mail.
But still you don’t have information that is critical for successful marketing to a focused audience.
What You Need to Know When Marketing to Your Customers
1. Who are your customers? The restaurant is full and you may know a few of your regulars, but who are the other customers?
2. Even if you knew who they are, how do you contact them to promote slow nights?
3. Why are these people coming to your restaurant in the first place?
4. Where is your money being spent most effectively – newspaper ads, magazines ad, direct mail, other promotions? What is giving you the best Rate of Return?
Marketing to a Focused Audience
Here’s the good news. There is a simple way to gather that information which allows you to tastefully communicate with your customers and keep you top of mind.
One way is to have a table tent that offers a free soda or iced tea (minimum cost) or a free dessert for simply doing one of two things.
1. If the customer has a smart phone, scan a little funny looking bar code or
2. If they don’t have a smart phone, simply text a keyword to a certain phone number. Either way the customer receives the offer. In the process, you ask everyone, with absolutely no obligation, for their email and cell phone number so that you can contact them, once in a great while, with other offers. Most customers will join in.
As you gather that information, you start communicating with them. Send a quick poll to find out why they come to you and what attracts them. You can offer specials on Monday and Tuesday nights. You can have a “kids eat free” night, two for one drinks or whatever to bring the customers through your door.
How will you send those offers to your customers? By either email or text message . Text messaging is more effective because it’s read instantly. If you’re selling pizza, you can text customers about a special at 4:30 pm so they think about ordering one and picking it up on the way home.
You can also send reminders of reservations so that if their plans change, you’ll know that you have a table open to take another reservation.
The methods of marketing to customer’s mobile phones are endless and the cost of focused marketing is much less than, and more effective than the old model of expensive advertising.
I constantly hear about the paperless society (it was supposed to happen many years ago), but we’re providing more printed paper products than ever before.
Here’s are some funny videos from paperbecause.com