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How To Choose the Best Online Printing Company To Print Your Brochures, Booklets & Other Marketing Materials

You can buy almost anything online today. You can also buy the printing of your business’s marketing materials, such as full color brochures, flyers and booklets. When the economy tanked a few years ago online printing companies gained momentum due to promoting cheap printing prices and convenience for small businesses.

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You can buy a full range of printed products online from cheap business cards to full color flyers, brochures and booklets. When you from a cheap online printing company, you will give up some things in exchange for a cheap price on printing. When buying printing online you give up personal service and having someone who cares that your job is done right.

The pricing for an online printing company is often very cheap, but beware of the a la carte add on. These online printing companies will lure you in with cheap prices, but you will be charged any service that requires them handle your job more such as for proofing. Shipping is also charged at an inflated price.

These cheap online printing companies want you to pay via credit card, upload your file or use one of their templates. They do not want to handle your job anymore than possible and they definitely would prefer not talking to you. You usually have no guarantee of quality and turn around time can be a bit up-in-the-air depending on which online printing company you choose.

We cross paths with customers everyday who have boxes of old printed promotional materials on shelf they bought online and now can’t use because the quality was off, or their was something wrong with the printed piece such as a typo. They went to Vista Print or one of the other online printing companies that promotes cheap printing for businesses and ended up paying way more because they were unaware of the a la carte additions. When they received their materials there was a typo they missed and since the client had used one of Vista Print’s online template, Vista Print and other cheap online printers usually will assume no responsibility for reprinting due to the mistake.

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If these businesses had looked beyond a cheap price, they would have found a full service local commercial printing company who would have proofed the file and caught the error before printing and would have not charged them for proofing. Many local printing companies have in house graphic designers who could have done a more professional job designing than the business owner using an online template.

If you need better service, choose a company that is local to you. Buying local today is a relative term and it can mean in your city or area or statewide. You may pay a little more for those full color brochures, but it will be done right and done when you need it. You are not just a job number at your local commercial printer, they have an interest in your business doing well and will work hard for you. Your local printer, being part of your community, will stand behind their work and make sure it is right the first time around. Many local printers are online—so we are easy to find.

The last five or six years the economy has been tough on local printing companies. The commercial printers who provided poor service went out of business—only the strong are left standing. The printing companies who are left standing are still in business because they provided good service, a good quality product for a fair price and stood behind their work

When you buy from a local, full service printing company you are supporting your local economy, and in return there may be an opportunity for your local printer to buy something from your business.

So it would seem to be good business for you not to buy your printed materials from a cheap online company, but look to someone who has an interest in your company’s success.

©2005-2015 Mark Hale, All Rights Reserved.

10 Tips to Avoid Wasting Your Advertising Money

1. The desire for instant gratification. You have heard the old saying, “Rome was not built in a day.” It is true with marketing. The odds are that you are not going to boom your business with one ad or one direct mailer. A business will run one ad expecting hundreds of sales and will only get two or three sales and feel like the ad was a failure and completely gives up. Even though the money made from those 2 or 3 sales generated paid for the companies advertising for the next six months. Knowing what a customer is worth to your business will help you set realistic expectations.

2. Trying to reach more people than your budget will allow. You have so many advertising choices available to you today, choose the medium that you can afford to advertise with and stick with it. You are better off being a big fish in a little pond than a small fish in a big pond. Your best results will come from the simple formula:

Advertising Formula

That is the only formula for getting results, if you can only afford to send out one ad a couple times a year, scale it down and reach a smaller group more often. You will make more sales reaching 1000 people ten times, as opposed to reaching 10,000 people only one time.

3. Assuming you know best. The only opinion that matters is your customers and prospects. What do they need? What do they find valuable? What do they find irresistible? Ask them what they need and want and promote that instead. You need to know about your current customers before you can market to get more similar customers.

4. Unsubstantiated claims. If you make claims about your product or service, ALWAYS validate your claims, even if it is with testimonials.

5. Creating ads instead of campaigns. This one ties directly into 2 above. When a business is trying to reach more people than they can afford to do on a regular basis, they end up running ads and not creating campaigns. Campaigns move the market and create response. Just running ads is very much a hit-or-miss proposition.

6. Event-driven marketing. Having a special event to promote is good, but when every ad you run is event-driven, you condition the market to only buy when you have a sale.

7. Great graphics without great copy. Good graphics that tie into and support the message is vital, but the content or copy is what closes the deal. Look at it like if you are fishing—great graphics is like bait that gets the attention of the fish and your copy is the hook that catches the fish. If you just throw bait in the water you might attract a lot of fish, but will not catch anything. The same thing is true if you throw a hook that is not baited in the water, the fish will ignore the hook because there is no bait on it. The bait (graphics) and the hook (your copy) work together to catch the fish (your prospects).

8. Confusing response with results. This one is a common theme with many advertisers. The bottom line is you want sales, not people calling you randomly who are not prospects for what you sell or who do not have money to buy what you sell. The more targeted your advertising message is to the target market, the fewer unqualified responses you will get and the more sales you generate. Very few products sold today are true mass appeal products. Most businesses have a target prospect that they market to.

9. Ad is too general. Most ads that fail have one or more of the following missing: no call to action; no reason to buy now; no benefits displayed to the recipient; and generic, rambling and non- effective content. You want to be specific in what you offer, how it benefits the consumer and why they should call you now as opposed to later.

10. You do not understand why people do not buy from you. There are several reasons for this, but basically they all fall into the following:

  • The prospect is not familiar with you company – no trust has been built yet.
  • The prospect does not need the product or service you are promoting right then.
  • The prospect has a better offer from your competition.

If you have done your homework you will be promoting something your prospects need and want and find irresistible.

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©2005-2015 Mark Hale, All Rights Reserved.

What Is The Best Way To Reach New Patients For My Dental Practice?

What is a fast, easy and effective way to affordably grow your dental practice?

The growth and expansion of your dental practice depends to no small degree on creating a steady stream of new patient traffic into your dental practice.

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If you have too few new patients coming in the front door, you will experience steep down turns in your patient visits along with your cash flow. It is in your power to stop slow periods in your cash flow and put your dental practice on a steep upward trajectory. You can stabilize your dental practice’s income and create a constant, manageable and steady growth in your practice. This can only happen if you have a plan to do so!

The facts are:

  1. Located within a five-mile radius of your practice are thousands of potential new patients.
  2. Direct mail offers an effective means to reach the most qualified new patients living and working around your practice, directly with little waste.
  3. The USPS delivers dependably and reliably mail to these potential new patients everyday and people DO get their mail regularly.
  4. There are no spam filters or delete keys on a mailbox, making direct mail your most reliable way to reach qualified new patients.
  5. Direct mail offers easy tracking.
  6. There is a high return on your investment compared to your cash outlay.

When it comes to direct mail for your dental practice you can go it alone, buy some postcards and send it out and see what happens, OR you can work with a company who works with dental offices across the United States, like Wilson Printing USA, and put together an effective new patient campaign. You are a dentist and are an expert in helping people keep their teeth in great condition. Your practice manager is an expert in running the day-to-day operation of your practice so you have time to treat patients. More than likely, neither you nor your practice managers are experts in marketing. So it would make sense to hire a company to handle the marketing for your dental practice.

Our automated New Patient Direct Mail Program is custom to your practice and is turnkey so you can do what you do best—treat patients.

Would you like to get your practice off the cash flow roller coaster?

Click Here For More Info On Our Dental Practice Cash Flow Booster

 

©2005-2015 Mark Hale, All Rights Reserved.

How to Out Sell Cut-Rate Competition

Are you running into competition that under cuts you? Are you finding your margins shrinking and the demands for better service increasing? Do you have a way to stop your cut-rate competitors in their tracks and sell more quality business?

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Most businesses today have more than enough competition. If you are like me, you have many competitors who think the only thing they have to do to get more business is sell it for cheaper. This formula works in theory, but eventually you run out of bottom to sell at. Selling price and item only is like being a gun fighter in the old west—no matter how cheap you sell it for there is always someone else who will sell it for even cheaper.

What is the best way to market against bargain basement competition and still show value? Buyers today want a great price but according to a recent survey, price was ranked number five on a list of the reasons people use when they make their buying decision:

  1. Solution – People are buying a solution to a problem they have. How nice the solution is depends on many factors, but it basically boils down to prestige and image the buyer wants to achieve. With some products, people will pay 5x the price for the same product just because of brand and image but that is a discussion for a later article.
  2. Creditability – People want to buy from a company who is reputable and will be there for service if they need it.
  3. Value – Buyers want to feel what they are buying is worth what you are asking. How are you demonstrating your value?
  4. Convenience – Can you demonstrate how you make it easier for the customer to buy and use your product?
  5. Price – People do not want to over pay, but will pay more if you can demonstrate the above four points to them.

The easiest way to accomplish the above five points and to out sell your cut-rate competition is with a targeted point-of-sale promotional materials and literature. Two points to mention about your sales literature:

  • What is printed is true. People will believe what you have to say if it is written. If you lie or stretch the truth in your printed materials, your lie is in print.
  • Form, format and purpose are vital to designing effective sales literature.

What To Do First – Fill the Void – Printed Sales Brochures

Point-of-sale brochures should present the problem and demonstrate how your product or service solves the problem. Show the benefits of what you do. Use colorful photos and verbiage that is easily understood. A professionally designed brochure helps build your company brand and with it your creditability.

Validation Brochure

This is a special type of brochure that educates your buyer. The validation brochure is the tool you use to discredit your cut-rate competitors by building questions in the mind of the buyer about potential quality and delivery problems from buying a cut-rate price product from your competitor. For example, if you have a HVAC company, your brochure might be: “17 Things You Must Know Before You Buy a New AC Unit.”

Try to use an odd, attention getting number. Avoid “Top Ten” lists. Keep in mind that the 17 things must be benefits that separate you from your competitors. One of the 17 points in your brochure might say, “A good AC unit is only as good as the coils and condenser. Less expensive AC units cut cost by using cheaper coils and condensing units. You can’t see this now, but five years down the road when you are replacing your unit you will wish you would have paid a little more on the front end.”  You build value and educate the customer with out knocking a competitor directly.

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Positioning Brochure

This brochure is used to position your company better than the other choice they have available to them. Positioning brochures allow you to build value and justify your pricing. Positioning brochures also help the buyer to validate why they are choosing your company.

Brochures allow you to educate your customer and separate yourself from your competition. The money you spend on hiring a professional marketing company to help you create the perfect sales tools will pay off 10 fold as you watch your profit margins grow.

Click Here To Get Started on a Brochure For Your Business

 

©2005-2015 Mark Hale, All Rights Reserved.

 

How Do Printed Materials Help A Business’s Niche Market?

Marketing is to a large degree about perceptions. Creating perceptions, countering perceptions and molding perceptions in the mind of the customer is a vital action for you take if you want to build a vital brand. All to often, a business wants to create a niche market but has trouble because they get pigeonholed by the consumer.

The pigeonhole effect is often created because of what the customer sees and hears about a business does not match the niche market the business is trying to occupy. Does your customer’s perception of your business match the niche you are trying to occupy in the market place? Nothing can help you shape perceptions of your customers better than professionally designed and printed marketing materials, such as full color brochures or custom booklets for a business.

Let’s take a shoe store for example, if I were to ask 10 different women where to find the lowest price shoes, the best quality shoes or the store with the best selection of women’s shoes, I would get 10 different answers from each person.

Now each woman I asked might have a different perception of what the low price or highest quality means to her, but each woman will usually only have one answer per niche market (see niche markets descriptions below). Each woman asked would also have a perception of each store on the list that would be based on her experience with each store, including the printed advertising and printed promotional materials she has seen from each shoe store.

So what does this mean to your business? Basically, it means that in order to occupy a specific niche market, it takes a lot of work and planning. Your printed promotional items need to match and support the niche you are trying to occupy.

Some common niche markets are as follows:

1. The low price provider: If the niche you want to occupy is low price you can talk quality all you want, but you are going to have a hard time convincing the customer your quality is as good as brand X. The low price provider business model usually works best on a high volume model. You would not necessarily want to have really posh printed materials on fancy linen paper, as it would not match the low cost-no frills provider image.

2. The high quality/high priced provider: Mercedes, BMW, Rolls Royce, Rolex. Top of the line products not only have a perception of high quality but are also perceived to be prestigious. Depending on the product the high priced niche market can carry the perception that the product is overpriced. You should work to build the perception of quality, dependability and service. With this one, having cheap full color brochure would not match the niche. You would want the high quality full color brochures and booklet printed on nice paper.

3. Large selection provider: Big department stores have battled to occupy this niche market. Do your customers demand selection? If so, how does your selection compare to your competition? Keep in mind selection doesn’t mean inventory. By selection, I mean choices – does your business provide many different products that give your customers a choice when they do business with you. With the large selection provider, the quality of printed materials needs to support the image. You might have a nice full color product catalog showing the selection. By the way, with the advent of digital color printing the cost of catalog printing has come way down.

4. The best service—among the big retail chains—who is best known for customer service: Chances are you said Nordstrom’s or Macy’s. The best service provider niche is probably one of the most difficult perceptions to mold because it is a constant endeavor. One customer who has a bad experience or a customer who was not handled properly will tell about 20 people how bad you and your company is, thus making it difficult to keep this perception among customers and potential customers.

5. Convenient niche market: Today we want what we want, when we want it, and we usually want it now. Customers will seldom go out of their way to go to a specific business if another is more convenient.

There was a wise man that once said that there are three things a buyer wants: price, quality and service. You can have any of the two, but not all three.

When molding perception, nothing helps you do that better than with your printed materials. Your printed marketing materials and literature will go a long way to building your brand and how the public perceives your company. What your customers see and hold regarding your business goes a long way to support your niche market by helping to create a perception about your business, which will influence their decision to either do business with you or go to your competition.

If you are trying to position your company as a low cost provider and your printed materials is printed on high quality, UV coated paper that looks super slick and nice, that printed material may not contribute to the low price perception you are going for. Or on the flip side, you want to be seen as the high quality-high priced-high prestige product and you are printing your brochure off on you office printer, what does that say to your customers about your business?

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We can help you build your corporate identity with materials that are designed and printed to match the niche market you are trying to occupy.

©2005-2015 Mark Hale, All Rights Reserved.

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