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REFRESHING IDEAS Market Smarter, Mail Smarter Refresh Your Brand and Revitalize Your Business Rediscover Print –PIAG's New Campaign

Don't waste money . . . Market smarter, Mail smarter. When we think about “marketing smarter,� we often think about spending more money. But what if you could market smarter and save money at the same time? Especially when it comes to direct mail, there are many cost-saving measures that can save you money and boost your results, too.


ou may have heard that the mailing list is 40%

On average, the United States

of a campaign’s success. That’s the old adage,

Postal Service says that 30% of mailing

but it might actually be more. One creative

addresses are out of date.

director tells us the story of a client with more than one

Alphagraphics regularly runs 3 sorts

million inactive addresses in its customer list. The agency determined that only 30,000 of these addresses were

when we prepare a mailing:

• CASS (Change of Address Support System) certification

worth mailing. The client mailed 300,000 instead. The

checks the addresses in your list

results? The 30,000 returned a 1.5% response. The other

to ensure that they are valid addresses in the

270,000 returned a .001% response.

USPS system.

What an incredible waste! Can you imagine printing 270,000 mailers destined straight for the garbage? Mailing more doesn’t necessarily return you better results!

• DPV (Delivery Point Validation) checks to see that the address is specifically listed in the USPS database.

This might sound like an outrageous tale, but it is more

• NCOA checks the addresses against a National

common than you might think. Another marketer—a Fortune 100 company—was told

Change of Address list to ensure that your targets are

that nearly 30% of its addresses would be undeliverable.

not living somewhere else, and if they are, the address is

Did the company immediately strip its mailing list of those

corrected automatically.

useless addresses? Unbelievably, it did not! Even though it

These are very simple steps that are inexpensive and take

could have taken the simple step of running its list through the National Change of Address (NCOA) and Change of

little extra time. Not only can they save you big money on print and postage, but they can return you better results

Address (CASS) verifications, it didn’t bother. It printed and mailed to everyone in its list. More than 35% bounced,

because you start out with a current, viable mailing list. This is a small investment that can reap great returns!

resulting in over $3,000 worth of wasted postage. The agency later found out that this was standard operating procedure for this company. Turns out, it hadn’t

When was the last time you cleaned up your mailing list?

cleaned its mailing lists in five years.

photos ©

Don't throw your money away. Mailing more doesn’t necessarily return you better results. Ask Alphagraphics about smarter ways to mail!


Refresh Your Brand and Revitalize Your Business Your company’s visual brand identity is a shorthand to who you are and the promises you make to your customers and stakeholders. It’s a reflection of what your company stands for and what sets you apart. When your brand has been around for a while, however, you may no longer be getting the results you need. This happens regardless of size or industry and may be brought on by aggressive competition, changes in the industry; or the consumer’s perception that since your brand looks dated your offerings must be dated too.


ne option is to completely

Chiquita, Coca-Cola, and Starbucks,

rebrand the company, but

for example, already had very strong

this has a number of risks.

and recognizable logos that resonated

A dramatic rebrand could erase your

positively with their customers, so why

history in the mind of the consumer as

would they change? First, they evaluated

well as any positive brand equity built

their visual identity and messaging.

up over the years. Plus, it could strain

Then they determined what still had

your budget as you revise not only

value and should be retained and what

your corporate stationery, but also your

should be refreshed to make the brand

storefront, vehicle graphics, signage,

representative of who they are today and

marketing collateral, sales kits, website,

where they are going. The companies

packaging, and other elements of your

maintained the integrity of the existing

public identity. For companies with

logo, making modifications that are

multiple locations and complex sales and

definitely noticeable but not too drastic.

distribution channels, this imposes an

You might notice subtle changes in the

even greater barrier.

width of a font; the sizing, scaling and placement of images; the shade of a

An alternative to a full brand redesign is a brand refresh. With slight revisions to

color; or the tagline. This is also the direction that

your branding elements and positioning,

Alphagraphics has taken, refreshing our

you can . . .

logo and adding a new tagline to reflect

• Preserve your brand’s existing equity • Infuse new energy into your offerings • Ensure your company stands out in a

the extended scope of our products iand

dynamic marketplace

• Expand the company’s reach to new customers and create buzz among existing customers

• • Phase in changes as your budget Reduce the sales cycle allows

services. So how do you know if it’s the right time for your company to refresh? If you’re anticipating a change in management, introducing a new product

Maintain the integrity of your existing brand, making modifications that are noticeable but not too drastic.

or service, celebrating a significant business anniversary, or undergoing a merger with another company, it makes sense to consider a refresh. In the absence of any major event, consider a refresh every 3 to 5 years as part of your

Consider the major companies that have recently undertaken a brand refresh.

strategic planning process. A brand refresh should never be implemented simply because you’re tired of the existing brand. Refreshing a brand is a strategic business

photos ©

decision with explicit business goals.


Rediscover Print PIAG's Campaign makes the case for the marketing and environmental value of print.

Multi-channel marketing is a proven winner and it can't be achieved without the power of print. -- Sheryl McHugh, Printer Print isn't just relevant, it's a crritical part of the marketing mix. We admit it. Most of us in the printing trade yearn for the days when marketing was much simpler. In those days you could number the relevant media choices on one hand and print was effectively the only choice for communicating complex information. Alas, those days are gone. But does that really mean that print has completely lost it's relevance?. And what about the environmental questions? Should we really have to think so carefully before we print an email or buy a book? A new campaign from the Printing and Imaging Association of Georgia (PIAG) provides clear answers and makes the case for the relevance and environmental integrity of print. Focusing on the facts about print and the printing industry, the PIAG campaign utilizes five key themes to explain why print is not only relevant, but many times the smartest, most effective choice for communication. Here are some excerpts:

Rethink Green It may seem counterintuitive, but using print actually supports forest sustainability. It's simple, actually.

Decreasing demand for forest resources leads to reallocation of land that would otherwise be used to grow trees. Instead, it's developed or deforested and used to grow other crops. The paper and forest products industries are net planters of trees and there are actually more forests in the U.S. than there were 50 years ago.

Reach Out Print makes lasting impressions. Studies show that people connect more thouroughly with a message when it's delivered in print vs. on screen. Brand recall from print is demostrably higher and we may read as much as 20% faster from a printed page than online.

Build Bonds The personal nature of print nurtures relationships and builds bonds between businesses and their customers by engaging people on their terms and in their most intimate environments. Print offers a tangible connection — it is portable, tactile, and durable; more permanent and concrete than an ephemeral image on a portable screen.

Inspire Action Because print provides a tangible experience where the mind and senses are engaged, it speaks to your customers like no other medium can. In fact, 67% of online responses are driven by off-line messages. Direct mail continues to be highly

effective, especially when combined with internet campaigns. For non-profits, direct mail brings in 78% of donations. ROI ratios for direct mail still run at 13:1, while the response rate from email marketing has fallen by over 50% since 2004.

Earn Respect Print conveys stability and permanence. Print does require an investment and it's not perceived by consumers as a momentary collection of electrons in the ether. When your business makes a claim in print, it implies that you won't claim to be something else tomorrow. Print is professional and credible. 60% turn to print when they want in-depth analysis, and 59% of business executives trust printed publications over online sources of information.

Need more information? For more information about the Printing and Imaging Association of Georgia and the Rediscover Print campaign, contact PIAG at (800) 288-1894, or by email at The Rediscover Print website at contains more facts, case studies, and articles about the relevance and value of print. Print should be a key part of your marketing mix. If you'd like to explore new ways to make print work for your business or organization, an Alphagraphics representative would be pleased to schedule a meeting with you.





AlphaGraphics Macon 566 Poplar Street Macon, GA 31201

About Us

About This Issue

AlphaGraphics Macon is a locally owned business specializing in print, graphic design, and marketing services for small businesses and organizations. We provide a broad range of products including conventional business printing, banners and displays, and digital and offset color printing. Our services include graphic design, direct mail and mailshop services, selfpublishing services, website design, and implementation of cross channel marketing projects.

AG Marketing Brief is a quarterly publication that features articles about current marketing trends and practices. The focus is on smart ways to combine print with new media applications to create a dialogue with clients, customers and prospects. This issue was printed on 100 lb. Unisource Gloss text using AlphaGraphics' MGI DP60 digital press. This quarter's online version is published on and can be read online at or on

AG Marketing Brief August 2011  

AlphaGraphics' Quarterly Marketing Brief

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