Make Print Work for You!

Image courtesy of FixtheFocus' photostream

Image courtesy of FixtheFocus’ photostream

There are hidden marketing opportunities everywhere – even in your everyday print pieces. Dean Manzetti, Proforma’s Director of Business Development Training and a 30-year industry veteran, has built his career on identifying ways to improve the performance of print material and helping businesses get the most out of every product they order.

“A lot of companies have products they order all the time, and they don’t see they’re missing out on open advertising space,” said Manzetti. “There’s usually no or just a little extra cost to add a logo or a message, so you can increase brand awareness for free.”

Think about some of the products you use for your business day after day. You have to buy them no matter what, so why not make sure you’re capitalizing on those purchases?

•    We’re all familiar with those little white envelopes at banks and credit unions and, no matter where you bank, they’re almost universally just that – little, white envelopes.

“I would always encourage banks to use that white space to promote something – a special, a campaign – and change it out at least every quarter,” said Manzetti. “Some banks will put their logo and hours of operation on there, but if you’re a customer you probably already know when they’re open. Instead, promote your new special on car loans or an offer of 90 days interest free if you open a Visa credit card by June 1. It’s not going to cost you anything extra, and now you’re using that space to change it up and promote your business.”

•    Banks aren’t the only businesses underestimating envelopes. Every letter or mailing you send in a standard envelope carries the potential to make an impact above and beyond the content inside.

“What’s the first thing you do when you get a letter,” asks Manzetti. “You turn it over and open the flap. There’s usually no extra cost to print something on that flap if you do it in the same color and that’s the first thing everyone looks at.”

•    How many times have you received a shipment in a box with no branding? It’s nothing but a label with a bar code and wide open cardboard – aka a wasted opportunity to make an impact.

•    Speaking of shipments, many businesses have been doing free advertising for FedEx and UPS for years. Why not personalize those mailers and boxes with your own artwork? Recipients will know right away the package is from you, and become ever more familiar with your brand.

•    With summer approaching, many restaurants and bars are competing with backyard barbecues for patrons. Most local watering holes have various print pieces on tables, promoting specials or new menu items. But those who really want to bring customers back know to tempt them with incentives.

“There has to be a call to action and a sense of urgency,” said Manzetti. “For example, bring this card back by this date and get five free wings with the purchase of a drink. A great way to make it fun is by using scratch-offs. And then you can track how many are redeemed to make sure your call to action is working.”

These are just a few ideas for getting more value out of your print pieces, or helping your clients do the same. Take a minute to think about the products that are so commonplace you barely notice them, and chances are you’ll find a marketing opportunity waiting to happen.

And if you’re really looking to bust out of the box, you might find inspiration in these unique business cards. Who said stationery has to be boring?

AboutMichelle McCafferty

Michelle joined the Proforma team in 2008. As the Manager of Business Development for Major Accounts, she helps Proforma Owners win new and grow existing programs through proposal and presentation development, as well as periodic Relationship Reviews. Before joining Proforma, Michelle attended Cleveland State University where she earned a degree in Journalism and Promotional Communication.

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