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Low-Cost, High-Return Print Marketing Lessons from the Best Better Measures for a Successful 1:1 Strategy


The Advantage of Foresight: Communicate your needs in advance to reduce costs and maximize ROI

Examples of how you can lower your print budget: Bring us in early Even if you will be designing your project in-house, consult with an Alphagraphics representative before you begin. If you're using an agency or designer, remember that not all graphic designers are well-versed in print. Including the printer in the planning phase of a project is a good way to make sure that timelines and budgets are achievable. We're always happy to offer suggestions about the best ways to produce a printed marketing piece and also about new ways

You can achieve great results with a smaller investment when your print marketing campaign is smart and well-crafted.

to combine print with other marketing channels. Alphagraphics offers design services for most projects and we can recommend good freelance designers if you need more intensive creative services.

Digital or Offset? Before the advent of digital color presses, long static print runs

Take time to communicate with

were commonplace. Because of the volume requirements to produce full color marketing pieces on an offset press, it was typical to print brochures in the thousands

Alphagraphics about the obvious

and to hope that they would all be used before they were obsolete. One cost saving

issues, like your budget and deadlines;

technique is simply to cut the size of the print run.

but also explain the details so we can

Products and programs change rapidly today, and it's less common for most small

discuss any challenges we foresee.

and medium-sized business to print quantities in the tens of thousands. Small offset

Plan ahead. Mistakes happen more

presses can efficiently print runs of 2,000 or more. Even better, today's digital presses can print offset quality color in very small quantities, and they provide the capability

frequently when everything is done at

to print different versions for different audiences and even to personalize a printed

the last moment. If we understand

marketing piece for the individual.

the scope of your campaign from

What about color?

the outset, we can help you make

Spot color and black and white printing is still very cost effective

decisions that will produce the

and can make a great impression when it is creatively designed. It

product you need in the most cost

might not be necessary to use full color on every marketing piece

effective way possible. Trust us to use our expertise to solve any last minute issues. We are committed to delivering well-crafted

you produce. In mail campaigns, especially, it is sometimes wise to include a full color impact piece along with simpler and less costly informational materials.

Try to minimize changes Changes become more expensive the further along you are in

marketing pieces on time and within

the print job and too many changes or proofs increase the chances of error. If you

your budget.

are preparing art or content, we strongly suggest that everyone who needs to approve your files should do so before you submit them for printing. Proofing is best done by one person, not by a committee. If you're prepari preparing digital files, pay attention to the details, especially the resolut resolution of art and photography. Call Alphagraphics if you hav have specific technical questions or if

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we can answer a question aabout how best to create and submit your project.


Lessons from the Best

Want to see the future of print? Take a look at Media magazine’s Creative Media Awards issue. If that doesn’t get your creative juices

ve Media Huggies was another Creative Awards winner recognized for its use of content-driven branding.. The marketer launched its

simmering, nothing will. Here are the “Top

own magazine, Countdown,

Three Lessons” we selected from the Creative

to educate consumers on

Media Awards that you can use to punch up

everything from pregnancy to

your next marketing campaign.

ent labor pain and baby development i b d M di praised i d th while also gently promoting the H Huggies brand. Media the marketer for creating content that is “informative and practical

Marketing Lesson


Multiple touches

boost inten intent to buy. With its Business on Main campaig campaign, Sprint created a branded destination online where small business owners can network, get

rather than relentlessly pitchy.” The results? Eighty-three percent of the 1.5 million moms who received the magazine said they would “definitely or probably” purchase Huggies diapers. Content-driven marketing and branding works.

adv advice from business experts, and promote their co companies—oh yes, and be exposed to Sprint’s marketing message too. In fact, Sprint found that if it could get people to come to the B Business on Main site at least three times, visitors’ “intent to buy” a Sprint product rose 60%.

Marketing Lesson


Tap customer

frustration. We tend to think of targeting as being associated with short-run digital printing and 1:1 personalization, but you can target by selecting a specific demographic and marketing to the needs, frustrations, and perceptions of that demographic too. lades for this This year, Starcom TD Canada won accolades

Marketing Lesson


Use deep content

as a way to reach, educate, and hold customers. How many uses of baking soda can you think of? Arm & Hammer wants its customers to think of a million. A&H joined Media’s Creative Media Award winners by doing something an increasing number of marketers are doing these days—using content as a branding tool. A&H placed vertical educational aads next to related editorial content. The copy wa was brief and offered little-known tricks like using a pinch of A&H to keep cupca cupcakes from cracking. As a result, total pou pounds of A&H baking soda increased by 4.9% within a 52-week period. The campaign also boosted A&H A&H’s share of the coveted 35–4 35–44-year-old demographic.

approach in its Trust First Class Visa Infinite Card “Breaking d into Down the Barriers” campaign, which tapped consumers’ frustration at not always being able to da use their travel rewards. The campaign used nd a newspaper advertisement showing a man and e woman looking out at a beautiful landscape but seemingly separated from the scene by glass. They stood with their hands up as if pressing against the glass and longing to pass through. The image was powerful. In the week following the campaign, sales spiked 29% and were 13% above targets. Overall, sales were 15% over the company’s objectives and beat the prior year’s numbers. What should you take from this? Follow the lessons of these award-winning campaigns: Create solid content. Tap (and then

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provide solutions for) customer frustration. Touch your target audience multiple times with a well-crafted message. Then watch your marketing results soar!


h g u o r h T s s e c c u t S n 1 e : 1 m e r u s a Me

hen we think about success with 1:1 marketing efforts, we often think about data. How much data do we have? How clean is it? How is it used? Rarely do we ask one of the most important questions: How do we measure results?


WHAT SHOULD YOU MEASURE? Start with your costs. This means campaign development, graphic design, list acquisition, data manipulation, production, mailing—measure it all. This is the only way to analyze your true ROI. Otherwise, you’re just guessing. On a 1,000-piece campaign selling high-end housewares, for example, you might get an 18% response rate and an average per-order sale of $125 $125, but by the time you add in the costs to develop the program, buil build and clean up your list and print and mail, you might barely b break even. On the other hand, if you are a Lexus dealer, perhaps all you need to do is sell one vehicle and you’ve knocked it out of the park.

If you don’t measure results, you don’t know to what extent those results are due to the campaign or

Incentives. Not only is measurement necessary to gauge ROI, but it will also give you important intelligence about future campaigns. This intelligence will

to something else. You don’t know

help you design programs and adjust incentives, not based on your gut feeling,

which elements of the campaign

but on real data.

n’t work and which don’t. If you don’t

Say yo you give respondents a chance to win a sweepstakes for

know what is most effective, you

$500 if they log into a Web site and fill out a survey. You know

don’t know how to improve the

t campaign generates a 5% response rate, with 28% that this

er campaign down the road. In other

tho responses converting to sales of $200 each. Now start of those

words, you could just be wasting your money. This is the kind of critical intelligence that will help you refine your programs into maximum effectiveness.

q asking questions. What happens if you increase the incentive to $2,500? Does the response rate go up? If so, does the dollar increa as well? Does it generate a 2:1 return? A 3:1 return? per sale increase, aff Or does it not affect the response rate or value per sale much at all? If t you test and measure these things, you know how much an additional $2,000 investment is worth to you.

Audience. Don’t stop at one or even two tests. Continue to analyze over time. Break each campaign into multiple test groups, if necessary. For example, if you continue to increase the incentive, does the response rate continue to go up? Or does it flatten out? Does the effectiveness of the incentive change based on the audience you are targeting? Does a sweepstakes to win a free mountain bike motivate one audience, while a

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Nintendo Wii motivates another?





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' new MGI DP60 digital press. This quarter's online version is published on and can be read online at or on at

AG Marketing Brief - May 2011  

Marketing publication of AlphaGraphics Macon