Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Digital Presentation Folders for Your Marketing

First impressions are important, and that is what your printed marketing materials are all about.

Smaller businesses are sometimes at a disadvantage when competing with larger businesses.  Their printed stationery, brochures and marketing materials have to stand comparison with companies who may have a much larger print budget and can benefit from larger order quantities.

So when submitting a tender, some information or a proposal how can they present the information in the best way possible?

You may like to include a brochure, leaflet, specification sheet, quotation and even a business card - so the potential client has all the key information to hand to help the decision-making process.

One thing that people often use to contain all these items in one place is a presentation folder.

A presentation folder may need to contain a large amount of information – so they can come in different sizes and thickness for the enclosures.

This type of folder is also quite popular to use at an exhibition, or on a training course or when a meeting requires the distribution of different types of printed material.

What options are available?

We can always supply you with unprinted standard folders or ring binders in a standard range of colours and styles - but are they likely to impress and will they be discarded after the materials are presented or used for other purposes?

We can even get folders, ring binders and carrier bags with a clear sleeve on the front and the spine – so we can digitally print and insert your own covers.  But these covers can also be removed and so the folders and ring binders can be used again.

On the other hand, printed presentation folders can stand out and do not require you to have any binding equipment to hand.

You simply insert all your business communication into the glued flap.

The truly unique ones are those printed with their own branding and design.

They help draw the eye to the company name and identity and help you keep all the important information to hand at the same time.

And nothing says “organised professional” like coordinated presentation stationery.
If your inserts and business cards all look the same and are printed on high quality materials they cannot fail to impress.

So, as a small business make sure everything carries your corporate identity and it will then have even greater impact.

The Traditional Printed Option

Presentation folders have been traditionally printed on large offset litho commercial printing presses that have been able to accommodate the extra size needed for the flap.

They may then have a seal or gloss or matt laminate finish applied to make the surface feel smooth and provide extra protection.

The folder is then die cut and creased with a cutting tool and then folded and glued so the flap forms the wallet holder.  Some of these cutting tools have a business card sized slots added to allow for inserting the card into the folder.

The main disadvantages are the high unit costs and slower delivery.

The high unit cost associated with these folders relates to the size of flat printed sheet and all the finishing that is usually required.

And this is can be even higher if the folders are given a spot-UV finish or any form of embossing.

Then there is the time factor.  As we all need printing as a matter of urgency you would need to plan well in advance.  Delivery would normally be about ten working days.

So to make the order economically viable you would normally need to order at least 1000 and you would not usually be able to get them if you needed them quickly.

The Digital Alternative

Now digital presses can offer some pretty good alternatives for printed folders without the need to order such large quantities.

And with small format digital printing even the smallest companies can now offer good quality and professional presentation folders if you need only a handful of folders.

At Direct2Print we can print oversized A4 or A5 folders on various types of card and can provide an optional gloss or matt laminate finish.

The minimum online print order quantity is just 20 – although in some situations we have printed just one or two for some really important sales presentations.

We print on a single side or on both sides – depending upon the amount of information you need to communicate.

However, we do not print or supply folders with a glued flap. Instead we simply add a clear self-adhesive plastic pockets at a fraction of the cost.

Plastic pockets are available in various sizes to accommodate different quantities of loose sheets of paper.  They are also available as special sizes for inserting a CD or a business card.

And these solutions are totally flexible.  In some cases the customer purchases the pockets separately and can add them according to the needs of each presentation or meeting.

Some prefer to “mix and match” different sized corner pockets on each of the inner sides of the folder.

You could even staple or clip the information to the inner cover for an even simpler solution.

Remember it’s not only the first impression that makes the difference in these situations.

You also you’re your audience or clients to remember you and what you do after the event.

Whether you’re presenting to a board of directors or giving out free samples – a fully branded and customised folder will work wonders for you.

An impressive folder will be something they don’t want to just throw away – and they will be a slightly smaller size to make them easier to file away and keep in a safe place.

So for those important occasions when you need to present important business information, the digital presentation folders are now within the budget of any business.

Giving people a presentation in high quality, well designed folders improves the image or your company.  So whether you are a self-employed tradesman or a small business – your chances of converting the sale will increase with a professional presentation.

And being able to order small quantities and in a couple of days from Direct2Print now opens up a whole new range of opportunities and possible applications.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Stand out from the crowd with your digitally printed Greetings Cards

Greetings cards are a very effective marketing tool and one of the most popular forms of direct marketing used by businesses of all sizes.

Here are some tips from Direct2Print on how to stand out from your competitors and show you how to show that you offer a personal service.

The High Street card shops seem to have out-lasted the print and copy shops.  They always seem to be busy – so some people still must like buying and sending cards.

And we get many artists, writers and individuals who use our digital printing service for small quantities of cards based upon their own designs or images.

Sending a card remains the most common reason most people go to the post-box.

The market is said to be worth about £1.6bn per annum and employ something in the region of 100,000 people.

However, recent research by Ofcom shows that high postage costs, texting and social media have all contributed to a reduction in the volume of people sending cards.

But with fewer cards this should represent an opportunity for businesses to stand out from their competitors.
Greetings cards offer a way to build a relationship with your clients in order to develop a sense of customer loyalty.

There is something special about receiving a greetings card.
They are tangible and can be printed on many different forms and textures of cards – so they appeal to more senses than most other forms of business communication.

Even if you send them out with a Statement or other correspondence – they can add a nice personal touch.

And with online print the whole order process is relatively simple.

Here are just five possible areas which should be seen as opportunity for a small business:-

The 5 Top Business Applications for printed cards

1. Christmas Cards

Every year we print fewer Christmas Cards, mainly due to lower demand.

But Christmas cards are a very effective form of direct mail.

You can send Christmas Greetings as an e-card for a fraction of the cost of a card – but how memorable are they?

Many recipients fear they carry a computer virus and send them to the “Trash” folder without even opening them!

Yet you know a Christmas card made from a child’s painting would always take pride of place on the mantelpiece of a friend or relative.

In the same way a Christmas card is on a client’s desk for a few weeks of the year – and each year there are fewer others around that compete for the same attention!

Christmas is the one occasion in the year to say “Thank you for the business” and it can do wonders for your PR because no strong sales message is needed.

2. New Year’s Cards

The period after the Christmas break is a tough time for most businesses.

In order to build up some form of sales momentum it is the traditional time for a “Sale” or to move unwanted stocks.

A New Year’s card arriving when your client gets back to work when activity is quiet is sure to be noticed.

Then - when you make that first sales call in the New Year the greeting is sure to be warmer and more genuine!

3. Thank You Cards

We have a large number of customers who send a simple Thank You card after a transaction has been made.

They are even more important for high value transactions.

We have house builders who send a “Welcome to Your New Home” card and exclusive car dealers who send an “Enjoy Your New Vehicle” card as a way of saying thanks.

They are also popular after a funeral or a wedding when the family wish to extend thanks to all the people who have helped with making arrangements or have supported them.

One wedding photographer supplies them free of charge to the bride and groom. They are printed with their own logo, website and contact details on the back. And have been proven to be a good source of obtaining business by recommendation from the guests who attended.

4. Reminder Cards

When you provide a service that requires regular check-ups or visits then a Reminder Card is a perfect way of communication.

Dentists, chiropodists, opticians and medical establishments send cards because appointments have been made some time ago and not everyone has a good diary system.

Just like you, clients get busy and mentally put things off.

Dropping them a card might get them thinking about you again.

Rather than just a bland black and white postcard – why not add a colourful image with a special incentive to encourage your recipient to take action?

Motor dealers who provide vehicle servicing and annual testing could send cards to try and get a repeat sale with photos of some of their stock vehicles in case they fancied a “trade-in”.

One particularly effective application is for a Central Heating contractor who sends out Reminder cards for a boiler service during the summer months when they would normally be quiet – to offer a special incentive to service before the cold weather begins.

With digital printing you can be creative with the possible applications.

5. Special Date Cards

Unlike the other applications for cards there are some opportunities to send a card as a gesture that will be really appreciated.

They can be to commemorate any specific dates like birthdays or anniversaries.  Or they can be dates based upon your own marketing plans – for example, advanced notification of a Flash Sale or a Special Promotion.

With a good database you can even be very creative with variable data and merge text and images so each recipient gets an individually personalised message.

So there are many other possibilities and applications.  Some we do not even understand ourselves – including this regular order below for cards with a horse’s face on the front - sent out by a Racing Tipster with a lime green envelope.

But our online digital printing service can present any business with a real opportunity to stand out from the crowd.

When ordering greeting cards at www.direct2print.co you simply upload your own design and personalise it in the best way possible.

So the next time you consider sending greetings by email – think which you would prefer – a message to your inbox or a card through your post-box!

And if you happen to know the birthday of your main contact at a client’s company, be sure to put it in your diary – it could come in handy one day!