Author Archives: Nat B

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Is Bleed Right For Your Print Project?

Category:MPB Blog

The way you set up your print project can make all the difference in the final look and feel of your marketing piece. One of the most effective, yet simplest ways to change things up is by using a bleed in your design.

If you’re unsure what exactly a bleed is, how and when you should use it, and the potential challenges with adding a bleed to your project, keep reading. We’ll dig into the bleed concept and provide some best practices to make your print project look amazing every time.

What is a Bleed in Print?

A bleed is a printing technique where your design is printed bigger than the final product’s finished size and then cut down to size. It eliminates any unwanted white space or borders around the edge of your design.

Bleed, No Bleed

To put it another way, have you ever seen a printed marketing piece where what’s printed runs all the way to the edges, while other printed pieces may have a white border where the printing stops? That’s a bleed.

The Pros and Cons of Bleeds in Print

Now that you understand what a bleed is, there are times that you may or may not want to go in this direction.

Magazine on counter

Here are some things to keep in mind when considering a bleed:

  • Bleeds work well if your design has a full-colored background.
  • If you have letters or images that you want to run right to the edge of your piece without the risk of being cut off, a bleed allows for that freedom.
  • A bleed can be slightly more expensive depending on the sheet size. (Remember, the image is printed larger and cut down to your desired finished size.)
  • If you’re printing a booklet or something that is going to be folded, you almost certainly want bleeds along interior borders, so it doesn’t look as though the project is unfinished. You want it to flow cleanly from one page to the next, and having the colors “meet in the middle” of the folded area is the best way to do that.
  • Bleeds are also great if you’re going to cut your project down to a smaller size, while you may want to skip the bleed if you’re creating a project with an exact border.

Understanding the Bleed Marks on Your Proof

 

Marks on Magazine

Once you’ve decided to use bleeds in your print job, you’ll want to understand the markings on your proof when you receive it. The trim marks are generally seen as corner line markings just inside the printed content and ensure that when your pages are trimmed, you will see the full image on the page with no white border. Fold marks are generally dashed lines indicating where you fold an 11″ x 17″ sheet in half, for instance.

Fortunately, using the default values within your graphic design software often provides the best option. It is still helpful to understand how bleeds, trims, and folds work to create the most professional print project possible.

MPB video tutorial, Bleed, and why you need it.

 


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Picking the Perfect Paper

Category:MPB Blog

You’ve created the perfect design for that brochure, newsletter, postcard. Great. Now, it’s time to select the right paper to complete the package. Paper selection is a very important element in printed projects; it affects both the cost and visual appeal of the piece you’re creating.

In addition to choosing a specific weight, opacity, and brightness, the finish of your paper plays a big role in the overall appearance and feel of your printed product. Here’s a quick rundown of common finishes and how each effect is achieved:

  • A smooth finish results from paper passing through sets of rollers during the papermaking process.
  • Bond paper is a relatively high-grade paper stock with a rag content ranging from 25 percent to 100 percent.
  • Vellum has a subtle roughness.
  • An embossed finish provides a molded appearance on the paper’s surface.
  • A linen finish resembles linen cloth. (Imagine that.)
  • Cockle is a texture similar to homemade paper.
  • Metallic paper is coated with a thin film containing metal or plastic whose color and gloss simulate metal.
  • Coated paper has a coating applied to give the sheet a better appearance.
  • Cast coated results in an exceptionally glossy coated finish, usually only on one side.

Now that you know a bit about finishes, let’s use that knowledge to help you pick the perfect paper for your project. (Try saying that five times fast.) These selections are sure to please, no matter how divine or ordinary your mission may be.

Paper Type Characteristics Finish Type of Project
Bond Comes in a range of pastels, neutrals, matching envelopes, and matching cover weights Smooth, cockle Fliers (like that mission-critical announcement), forms, copies
Writing paper Comes in a range of colors and flocking options that match envelopes, plus cover and text weights Smooth, linen, vellum, cockle, etc. Stationery
Uncoated book Comes in a range of colors and is thicker and more opaque than bond or writing papers Smooth Direct mail, newsletters, catalogs
Text Comes in a range of colors and flocking options that match envelopes, plus cover and text weights Smooth, linen, vellum, cockle, etc. Letterhead, annual reports, brochures
Coated book Matching cover weights limited to cream and white, although specialty lines exist in a range of colors Dull, gloss, matte, cast-coated Magazines, catalogs, direct mail
Cover Heavier and more durable counter-part to coordinate with text, book, and writing papers Smooth, linen, vellum, gloss, matte Business cards, report covers, brochures, tickets, postcards, pocket folders, greeting cards
Index/Bristol Comes in a range of colors and finishes Coated, vellum, smooth Postcards, file folders, tickets
Translucent vellum Semitransparent stock comes in a range of colors and weights plus matching envelopes Smooth, grooved See-through envelopes and overlays
Newsprint Inexpensive, light-weight, white/manila only Vellum Newspapers, tabloids
Label Comes in gummed, pressure-sensitive, and self-adhesive backing and in a range of colors Smooth (uncoated), matte, glossy, cast coated Labels, stickers

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Improve Your Next Direct Mail Campaign

Category:Uncategorized

6 Rock-Solid Strategies to Improve Your Next Direct Mail Campaign

425-mailbox.jpg

There are loads of good reasons to add direct mail as an arrow in your marketing quiver. But in this digital era, many marketing professionals have no idea how to conduct a successful direct mail marketing campaign.

Want to get back in the game and increase your success? The more you embrace a “direct-mail” mindset, the better your response rates will be.

6 Fundamental Principles to Include in Every Message You Send

1. Write in a direct-mail style.

Direct-response copy is usually significantly longer than branding copy. Instead of emphasizing pretty design and clever copy, it depends on salient sales arguments backed by extensive proof and facts.

2. Seek responses first.

The primary objective is not to build your brand or entertain, but to get more inquiries, leads, and sales. Look to add a compelling hook or a clear next step in everything you print. Place at least two calls to action somewhere in the design.

3. Put the offer front and center.

The pitch you make should never be an afterthought, but something carefully worded and prominently featured on the page.

4. Include freebies, special discount offers, or guarantees.

Without these components, direct-mail response rates are usually lower.

5. Have a back end.

The real money in direct response is made through the sales of additional products to customers who made an initial purchase. Without a back end in place, you are leaving money on the table.

6. Test everything.

Brand advertisers who roll out massive campaigns without meaningful, real-world testing risk failing big and losing a lot of money. Beyond polling focus groups or launching an A/B poll, you can also “test small” with live promotions where people vote with their credit cards (instead of with their opinions!). This is a more accurate indicator of whether your offer will work.

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The Numbers Don’t Lie

On average, U.S. advertisers that spend $167 per customer on direct mail annually sell $2,095 worth of goods per buyer. And the margins increase when you target people who have already demonstrated they will buy a product online or from a previous coupon you’ve printed.

Ready to get started with your next direct mail campaign? We’ve got answers to all your questions. Reach out to us today!

Source: Design Rudiment

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14 Reasons Your Business Needs MPB Direct Mail Services

Category:MPB Blog

Direct mail advertising is one of the best-kept marketing secrets to boost the sales of most businesses.

Don’t overlook the potential direct mail has for your business. Think about this:

  • You use direct mail marketing to gain more leads (WIN!)
  • Your new leads use direct mail marketing to gain more leads for their business (WIN!)
  • All this direct mail marketing leads to a ripple effect of increased sales for your print business! (BIG WIN!)

A WEALTH OF DIRECT MAIL BENEFITS

If you’re wondering if direct mail is right for your business, the answer is yes! Here’s why:

1. DIRECT MAIL ELIMINATES INVISIBILITY.

Direct mail advertising creates front-of-mind awareness about your business to hundreds, maybe even thousands of print buyers who don’t know you exist.

2. DIRECT MAIL IS COST-EFFECTIVE.

Direct mail is low-cost advertising by allowing you to target the audience you want to reach. You don’t have to pay to advertise to people who aren’t even prospects. Plus, you can save time, money, and be freed up to focus on selling more printing by outsourcing your direct mail writing and design.

3. DIRECT MAIL IS HIGHLY-TARGETED.

Direct mail allows you to pick who you want to send to without worrying about international spammers or compromised data.

4. DIRECT MAIL OVERCOMES SALES RESISTANCE.

Monthly direct mail creates name recognition and builds trust and familiarity which helps many customers feel comfortable buying from you.

5. DIRECT MAIL IS AVAILABLE IN MULTIPLE FORMATS.

From newsletters to flyers to postcards, you can choose a direct mail format that fits your business, your target audience, and your budget.

6. DIRECT MAIL IS EASILY PERSONALIZED.

Everyone loves seeing their name in print. With direct mail, you can add variable data in tons of unique ways or target specific neighborhoods and demographics with Every Door Direct Mail.

7. DIRECT MAIL CREATES CUSTOMER LOYALTY.

By keeping in touch with your print buyers on a regular basis, you’ll see customers’ loyalty deepen and watch their sales volume increase.

8. DIRECT MAIL FEATURES FAMILIAR FORMATS.

Direct mail practices have stood the test of time. For consumers to see your name and branding on a direct mail piece, it requires no technical expertise and no electricity.

9. DIRECT MAIL IS TANGIBLE.

Remember, this generation gets junk mail in their inbox, not their mailbox. Keep your sales cycle moving by reaching your audience where they’re at.

10. DIRECT MAIL GIVES YOU A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE.

Most businesses understand the benefits of direct mail, yet only one in 80 use it. You’ll enjoy a tremendous competitive advantage when using direct mail.

11. DIRECT MAIL REQUIRES THE READER’S FULL ATTENTION.

Unlike annoying digital pop-up interruptions that are quickly clicked away, direct mail gets your customer or prospect’s full attention for much longer staying power.

12. DIRECT MAIL SUPPORTS YOUR SALES STAFF.

Direct mail “paves the way” before outside prospects are contacted and “follows up” after the prospected is contacted.

13. DIRECT MAIL SUPPORTS YOUR OTHER MARKETING EFFORTS.

You can easily pair your direct mail with promotions on your website or mention your latest newsletter on your social media channels. Just as you want your customers to buy printing because it works to help them sell more, the same applies to you as well.

14. DIRECT MAIL HAS A PROVEN TRACK RECORD.

Direct mail has a proven track record of success. Remember, businesses wouldn’t continue to use direct mail marketing if it didn’t work. Be an example for your print buyers and show them how it’s done.

Why Not Get A Quote Today?
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marketingideasforprinters.com

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10 Things You Didn’t Know About the American Flag

Category:MPB Blog

10 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Our Flag.

USA-Flags throughout the years.

USA-Flags throughout the years.

The Fourth of July is just around the corner! Let’s get in the spirit and explore some widely unknown facts about our beloved American flag.

1: A Set of Rules

The 27th President of The United States, William Howard Taft, introduced delimited proportions and standardization guidelines. One specific rule stated that every single one of the stars had to be arranged with one point facing up.

2: The Real Designer

To this day many people believe that Betsy Ross designed the very first American flag, but they just might be wrong. Many historians believe that Francis Hopkinson truly deserves the credit on the flag’s design. They believe this due to entries from early journals from the Continental Congress that plainly name Hopkinson as the designer of the flag.

3: Current Flag Design

The flag that you see everywhere nowadays was actually designed by a teenager! Robert G. Heft, a 17-year-old student submitted his design as part of his history project in school. He later submitted it to Congress to be considered. President Eisenhower ended up choosing his design over 1,500 other submissions and even called Robert with the great news himself.

4: Flags on the Moon

Even though the moon has extremely harsh temperatures and atmosphere, five of the six flags that were planted during the Apollo missions are still thought to be standing today. Buzz Aldrin claims that the one flag that fell was actually blown down by the exhaust from Apollo 11 during liftoff from the surface of the moon.

5: Official Color Names

According to the U.S. Department of State, the flags three colors have official names. The colors are known as “old glory red”, “white”, and “old glory blue.” They can even be seen on the Department of State’s style guide online.

6: Color Meanings

The good ol’ red, white, and blue all have very important and specific meanings. Red symbolizes hardiness and valor, white symbolizes purity and innocence, and blue symbolizes vigilance, perseverance, and justice.

7: Old Glory Origins

Old Glory was actually the nickname given to a specific American flag that was owned by a sea captain named William Driver. The flag was given to him by the women from his hometown in Salem, Massachusetts. However, Driver didn’t even name it Old Glory until he saw it flying on his ship’s mast back in 1831.

8: Many Designs

Throughout all the years there have been 27 different designs of the flag that have been flown. The latest design is, in fact, the longest to stay of them all, lasting for over fifty years now with the same look.

9: The Flag at Night

If someone wants to fly the American flag at night, according to the Flag Code they must get proper lighting to ensure that the flag will be lit up at night. If not, it is only supposed to be flown from sunrise to sunset.

10: What if it Touches the Ground?

The Flag Code states that the flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground. This is stated to emphasize the importance the flag holds and the care it demands. However, many believe that you have to destroy the flag when it touches the ground, but this isn’t true. If the flag is clean enough and suitable to be flown you don’t have to destroy it. You can even throw it in the washer if you need to!

Best Flag

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When Is It Time For A Rebrand?

Category:MPB Blog

Many entrepreneurs and business owners believe that a company’s “brand” is simply the company’s name and logo. That’s not true.  A brand is more than a company’s name and logo.

It is true that the name and business logo are very important for a brand, so it’s important that both be strong. A good brand communicates what your company does and how well you do it. It also establishes trust and credibility with your customers, present and future. And because a brand evolves over time, many companies, including some of the most successful ones, rebrand.

MPB recently rolled out a rebrand.

Over the last 120 years or so MPB has only made a few brand changes. The 2019 rebrand campaign takes a bold step in a new direction. With the logo and tagline change, MPB Print & Sign Superstore is happy to reveal the new brand.

Stand out from the competition.

If your company name and or logo is generic and similar to that of other businesses, you’re hurting your brand.  A related problem occurs when you use stock art in your branding or marketing materials: You may be hurting your brand because everyone recognizes stock art when they see it, and those photos may turn up being used by your competitors.

This is where rebranding can showcase the things that make your company different and better.

Even the best companies change their brand identity. For example, did you know that Google started with the name “Backrub”?  Check out the many faces of the Apple logo.

Bring new life to outdated branding.

It’s possible that your Comic Sans or Brush Script font, flash-based website or 1990s color palette is dragging your brand down and making your business look outdated. What are you going to do? The answer is a rebrand.

Smart companies rebrand because they know that good design can make or break a business because they know they’ve outgrown their original mission. This is a common problem, so make sure your business name is not too narrow or literal.

Outgrow your poor reputation.

If your business is struggling to overcome a negative reputation, a rebrand can help consumers see you in a fresh new light.

Rebrand when your business evolves.

Sometimes, a business gets the opportunity to expand or target a new market. When that happens, it’s important to ensure that your new customers and prospects can connect with your brand.

6 things you should know to rebrand successfully

1. Understand your mission and values. Before you rebrand, it’s crucial that you clearly understand your company’s mission and values. Consider and assess what makes your company special. Why does your company exist, and what values does it have that are essential?

2. Develop a rebranding strategy that works with your existing branding. Many companies don’t have the luxury of starting from a clean slate. If you’re doing a partial rebrand, make sure to take the existing brand assets into account. A consistent brand helps increase the overall value of your company by reinforcing your position in the marketplace, attracting better quality customers with higher retention rates and raising the perceived value of your products or services …. In contrast, erratic, inconsistent behavior quickly leads to confusion and mistrust.

3. Consider the market and your competition. Before you rebrand, it is best to research what your competition does. Determine how you stand apart from your competitors. It’s vital that your new brand be fresh and relevant.

4. Collaborate with your team. Your brand may be one of your most important company assets, but just as valuable are the people that help grow your business every day.  Some of the best ideas and most valuable feedback come from departments you might not expect.

5. Manage the rebrand carefully. A rebrand is often a complex and lengthy endeavor. Without a careful plan of attack and a well-managed process, the rebrand can quickly go off the rails. Set deadlines and mitigate going down those pesky rabbit holes with a well thought-out project plan.

6. Launch your rebrand and tell the world. Even the most incredible rebrand is wasted if you never actually launch it. Make sure you plan your rebrand launch and be prepared to explain why you rebranded. Minimize the risk of customer confusion through a carefully planned launch that showcases the story behind the rebrand.

A rebrand is a declaration of your company’s commitment to upward growth. Change is never easy, but sometimes, as the song goes, a change will do you good. MPB Print & Sign Superstore is here to help you through your rebranding endeavor, Call us Today!


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5 Reasons Promotional Items are a Must for Every Business

Category:MPB Blog

Businesses need promotional products as a cost-effective means of reaching out to more potential customers. This is an inexpensive marketing method to gain customers. Companies large and small rely on promotional material to generate sales and get people’s attention.

  • In the U.S, 8 out of 10 consumers have one to 10 promotional products.
  • Six out of 10 such consumers keep promotional products with them for up to two years.
  • 85% of people do business with the advertiser after receiving a promotional item.
  • 31% of the U.S consumers own a promotional bag.
  • 89% of consumers can recall the advertiser even two years after receiving a promotional product.
  • 63% of consumers give away their promotional products when not needed.

You can see from these stats how important promotional material can be for any business. According to a study by PPAI, 94% of people remember where they received a promotional product gift and 85% of them do business with the advertiser. Also, 58% of the surveyed consumers said they keep the gift items from one to four years. One more important stat is that 89% of the consumers said they could recall the advertiser’s name or company name for 24 months after getting the items. Furthermore, promotional products draw a whopping 500% more referrals from customers who are satisfied with the gift items.

You can’t dispute the importance of promotional products. The gift items with high-quality product packaging entice the recipients and draw their attention to your business. The whole idea behind giving away promotional merchandise is to gain customers’ interest in the business. Most product campaigns are to give away items of daily use like pens, calendars, mouse pads, umbrellas, water bottles, lip balms and so on.

Here are the 5 Reasons Promotional Items are a Must for Every Business

01. Low-Cost Effective Marketing
Most of the manufacturers of promotional products keep the prices very low for mass distribution. Prices of the gift items are low but the impact is high on the recipients. Mugs, in particular, are effective advertising as 57% of people were able to recall the advertiser on a mug. The products thus deliver great value for your investment.

02. Instant Brand Recognition
Brand recognition implies that the consumers can identify your company and its products or services immediately when they spot your logo. Your gift of promotional items to the customers helps them in remembering and recognizing your business. This is one of the key reasons to distribute promotional items. The gift remains in their homes and offices or cars etc. for a long time, reminding them of your business and company. In fact, consumers hang on to promotional products for an average of 6.6 months. Next time, when they see your logo they instantly remember the gift and your business. The customers will remember your business even more if you gift them a branded item. They will reward your business by recognizing your products when they go shopping.

03. Greater Exposure of Your Business
An advertisement on TV or billboard passes through your eyes immediately in a few seconds. But, gift items are in use for most of the time and are in front of the eyes. For example, the consumers will wear your gift of a trendy t-shirt design for many days. Or, they will sip from your tea or coffee mug more often. Such freebies are an excellent way of increasing your business exposure on a daily basis.

04. Works as Your Business Card
Business cards introduce your company and its products to consumers. Your promotional products also function in the same way but with better results. When distributing your gift items related to your business and industry, you are actually introducing your business to the potential consumers.

(Remember the promotional giveaways also have your contact information just as business cards have.) The gift items have your company logo, images and a slogan depicting your business message. The tangible branded product thus works as a useful business card that the consumers can use daily.

05. Customer Loyalty
Your customers should be purchasing your company’s products frequently when needed. Marketers spend more additional resources to build a solid base of loyal customers. Make sure that your promotional merchandise is of high-quality standards and preferably branded. People will associate the premium quality of the gift items with your quality of business. This will help a lot in keeping the first time buyers of your products forever.

So, find out your own way to use promotional products to drive customers. Make sure that the gift items are innovative and well planned. A cleverly chalked out promotional campaign using the giveaway items will complement other forms of marketing such as your TV and newspaper ads. This way, your marketing campaign will create a greater impact on the target audience and will help raise your brand’s profile.


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Why You Should Choose Direct Mail Over Email

Category:MPB Blog

Direct mail services are a great way to “Spring” into action. Why?

Direct Mail WorksPeople are more likely to read your direct mail piece before they’ll read your email blast.  Sure, people call direct mail “junk mail.” But they use the term with a lot less anger than they do when they speak of “spam.” When you read through your email, you’re sitting at a desk staring at a monitor and you’re busy. Chances are you’re going to do a quick delete if you don’t recognize the senders’ address.  When you sort through your postal mail, you’re much more relaxed and less likely to toss the piece in the trash before you look at it.

Direct mail gives you the opportunity to tell the whole story. If you write a compelling letter, readers will stay with you. They will NOT stick with you in an email. How fast do YOU delete “spam” emails? In direct mail, you can use emotion. In your letter or flyer, you can inspire, frighten, convince, or motivate. People just don’t want that in an email.

Direct mail includes tangible pieces you can hold in your hand. For example, a colorful flyer, a testimonial sheet filled with raves, objective product reviews, you name it. You never know what’s going to capture a reader’s interest or attention. With an email, you get pixels on the screen and nothing more. There’s nothing to hold in your hand so the connection is not made.

At MPB, we can design and personalize your direct mail campaign to meet your needs. If you’ve never tried direct mail, now might be a perfect time. Spring into the new season with a colorful and impactful direct mail piece and get some fresh eyes on your business. Contact us today and get your campaign started.