Five Details to Consider When Choosing a Web-to-Print Provider

10 07 2014

The best web-to-print company is the one that produces work that most closely relates to what you need. All services are different, so you need to make sure that you know what you want before committing to a company. Green Printer defines each of the services below as the most important when choosing the best printing provider for your business.

web-to-print

Turnaround Time
The turnaround time on a web-to-print service is the first place you need to look. The company that works slowly may put out great work, but that work is useless if it never comes in on-time. You should always ask what the expected turnaround time for your specific products will be.

Customer Service
If you have a good relationship with a business, you are more likely to enjoy working with them. When you are not getting quality customer service from a printing firm, you will not care what the final product looks like. If a business is making you wish the job was over so you do not have to work with them, you need to go elsewhere.

Online Design
Any company that offers online design features is one you should look at closely. When you get to complete your own design online without waiting, you can get the jobs done much quicker. Also, online design gives you a perspective you may not have had when you began looking for services to complete your printing.

Samples
It is very difficult to determine what your end product will look like based on online photographs. Ideally, you will be able to see physical samples of what the printing company can create for you. This will allow you to determine if the quality of the products are at par with your expectations or if you should shop elsewhere. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

Bonus: Environmentally-friendly Product Offerings
As discussed in earlier posts, most printing companies do not offer environmentally friendly alternatives. Your business could greatly benefit from providing your customers with eco-friendly marketing collateral. This gives you the competitive advantage of being a responsible corporate.



Five Tips for a Successful Direct Mail Campaign

3 07 2014

Direct mailing campaigns allow you to send marketing campaigns out to a large audience of individuals at one time. However, you don’t want to simply litter the area with mailings; you want to garner responses from the public by boldly and proudly display important information. Green Printer highlights the following five elements as crucial for a successful direct mail campaign.


Company Name and Contact Information

While these details seem obvious, some campaigns obscure this important information. Interested parties should be able to quickly spot the name of your company as well as a phone number, email address and physical address. This information makes it easier for potential customers to come visit your shop or to send you questions as soon as possible.

Promotional Message
You  need to decide what the focus of this particular marketing campaign. Whether you want to let individuals know about a new product that is coming up or promotional item that you’ll be offering at an upcoming sale. Don’t go on and on with this promotional message; make it short and sweet. This will help in  obtaining the desired attention of your target audience members and hold their gaze.

Your Logo
The logo or symbol is an important part of the direct mail campaign because it is how people will identify your company. When they are walking down the street past your store or browsing through another circular, they will connect your logo with the products and goods that you offer and the service they received at your last promotion or sale.

How to Redeem The Promotion
If you do not include information on how to redeem the promotion in a clear spot on the direct mailing campaign, then your customers are not going to take the time to look around for it. Also, do not hide details that the public needs to know. For example, if they need to buy items that equal a certain value to qualify for the promotion, let them know before they come to the store.

Color and Design
The content could be the most wonderful promotional material in the world, but if it gets lost in a box filled with other advertisements, it serves you no purpose. Use bright colors and/or large fonts to announce the sale. You might also include a promotional pen or other small item along with it



The Green Paper Making Process

25 06 2014

Paper has been a part of the human culture for generations since the Chinese invented it in 105 AD. Paper became a highly demanded commodity in 1453 with the invention of the printing press. The materials used to create it included linen and old cotton. These soon fell out of style as there were not enough raw materials to sustain the growing demand. It was not until 1719 that paper was first made out of wood pulp. Then, with the invention of a machine that created sheets of paper in 1806, modern paper-making finally came into existence. Being unsatisfied with the constant need to abuse natural resources, a recycled paper making process was created. The following steps is how Green Printer describes this process.

Step 1: Collect the Paper
Clean paper (free from food and other contaminates) is collected by a recycling company and transported to the local recycling center. Once there, the paper is sorted, wrapped tightly in large bales, and shipped to a paper mill where it can be processed and turned into new paper. When it arrives, the paper is sorted into stacks of the types of things in can make (such as cardboard or newspaper). 

Step 2: Pulp the Paper
When it is time to process the paper, it is loaded onto a conveyor belt that moves it to a machine known as a pulper. This pulper cuts the paper into tiny pieces, mixes it with a combination of water and chemicals, and heats the mixture in order to break down the solid matter into bits known as fiber. This mixture is called pulp. The pulp is filtered through screens to remove tiny bits of contaminants like glue.

Step 3: Wash the Paper
Now that pulp is fully processed, the recycling center washes or deinks the paper. This generally involves spinning the pulp in a cylinder to separate out staples and other debris. The pulp is then rinsed with water to wash out the final pieces of unwanted material.

Step 4: Beat the Paper
Final refinement happens when the pulp undergoes beating to cause the fibers to swell, making them ideal for the final step in making paper. If the paper needs to be white or colored, the bleach or dye is added during this step.

Step 5: Produce the Paper
The now clean pulp mixture is sprayed onto a large screen and moved through machines that press out all water, leaving nothing but new sheets of recycled paper.



10 Benefits of Using Postcards for Branding Events

19 06 2014


Postcards
are the perfect marketing tool. This is especially true when you use high quality and eco-friendly postcards as the ones offered by Green Printer. Using postcards to invite guests to a branding event is better than simply using social media. If you have a well-targeted mailing list you will go far. So, here are ten reasons why postcards are perfect for inviting people to a branding event.

1. If you turn your postcard into a response card you could also get your customers to refer friends. This can potentially double your clientele for the price of one client acquisition.

2. Let’s say your brand event is a charity drive, postcards are able to encourage customers to drop by. You can market your event by giving them a per-donation discount.

3. On your invitation you can include featured products. You can also include coupons which will entice customers to make a purchase at the event.

4. You can send postcards with VIP access to your branding event. This way your clients feel special and more inclined to show up to the event.

5. You can handout these postcards at physical locations that social media could otherwise not reach. Some of these places include grocery stores, book clubs, restaurants, and others.

6. If you mail out postcards, most people will probably stick them on their refrigerators. This creates repetition and serves as a reminder of your brand every time they go to the kitchen.

7. Sending postcards is a way to stand out. As most brands use social media, your brand will create a more personal bond with clients, which will make customers flock to you.

8. Nothing helps you stay in touch better than postcard marketing. In fact, for each event, you can send a postcard to past customers to let them know you’re thinking of them.

9. While you’re inviting prospective clients to your branding event, you can introduce new services or products at the same time. This is one of the reasons the postcard is so versatile.

10. Finally, postcards are the best way to generate leads and target accounts for your business. You’ll find you get more business than you ever did with social media.

Operating a small business is not always the easiest thing to do. However, with the right tools, you’ll do great. Postcards are the one marketing tool that will set you aside from the rest.



Printing Options: Digital vs. Offset

4 06 2014

 

A common topic among Green Printer‘s customers is whether to use the digital or offset printing technology. These are two different printing options that have distinct advantages and disadvantages. The lists below explain the benefits of each option:

Benefits of Digital Printing

  • There is no setup (printing 500 or less copies is less expensive than offset)
  • Turnaround is faster which helps meet strict deadlines
  • Plate Creation is not required

Benefits of Offset Printing

  • Moderately better image quality
  • Wider range of Media Handling that allows printing on various surfaces
  • Larger volume printing offer less expensive printing costs

There are six factors that dictate whether to use a digital or offset printer. These factors are as follows:

Turnaround: Digital printing is better for meeting strict deadlines. This type of printing is considerably faster than offset. Offset printing typically takes more time as a result of set up and plate creation.

Quantity: Small or medium sized runs are better suited for digital printing. Longer runs that require high quantity are best suited for offset printing.

Proofing: Setting up a proof for an offset printing run can be expensive. However, digital printing only requires one sheet that is prepared beforehand. This process is easily duplicated after approval.

Color Matching: Digital and Offset presses generate similar results when using CMYK. However, SPOT colors or Pantone is preferable to offset presses. Offsets uses liquid color ink which provides more accurate matching.

Paper Selection: Digital printing can top out at 350 GSM. Offset printing, on the other hand, can include heavier stock. Offset printing includes more substrates and larger sized sheet selections.



3 Steps to Choosing the Right Font for Your Brand

29 05 2014

 

There are many details involved when building a brand. Surprisingly, choosing the right font is a great opportunity for your brand to differentiate itself from its competitors.

The right font is more than just a typeface. Some styles are easier to read while others capture and engage the audience from the onset. The aim when building a brand is to create a coherent image which is often referred to as a logo. This starts with the font chosen to represent the business. The last thing you want is to lose a potential customer because of a hard-to-read website or a logo that sends a confusing message.

Carefully define your brand identity
Identify the message your brand stands for. If you have a mission statement, consult it when considering the following steps. First, take a look at the services you are providing or the products you offer. Now, consider what you want your particular target audience to feel when they read your website or see your logo. You may be going for a strictly professional image, so the font should be professional, crisp and clear. On the other hand, if you are a child-centered, or otherwise playful brand, the typeface you use should be looser and more fun.

Go over all your options
There are numerous fonts available. You may be surprised to see all the options, but if you are a start-up organization, food centered, or artistic brand, then it is a good idea to go over all the options. Whimsical fonts can be just what you are looking for. Tech companies should look for sleek fonts in general, while a florist can get away with a flourishes.
The traditional typefaces are ideal to use when you are building a brand that revolves around a finances or tax services. These may not be one of the new fonts on the market, but they will give off a feeling that your brand can be trusted.

Double check legibility
Before deciding upon a particular font, check it’s legibility at various sizes. If a font is hard to decipher when printed on a pen, read on a smartphone, or blown up on a billboard, then it is not your best choice. This is a critical step prior to printing your marketing collateral.



EcoCalculator: A Tool to Identify Environmental Impact When Printing Green

21 05 2014

Organizations that adopt eco-friendly business practices are highly valued in today’s society. Many companies enforce different activities to highlight their desire to be green. Although this is a great step forward, most businesses are unaware of the actual impact of their changes. To address this issue, Green Printer uses an EcoCalculator. This tool measures the impact that every green order has on the environment.

The general drive behind green printing is the idea of saving trees. However, there are other essential details that are often overlooked when choosing a printing company. The other positive environmental changes that take place when printing green are denoted below.

Each order’s environmental savings are measured and added to the client’s previous orders by Green Printer through the EcoCalculator. This calculations are done automatically and are readily available for clients to download for their own records.

 



Busted! Three myths about recycled paper and Bank of America hits no. 1

1 08 2008

A www.greenprinteronline.com dispatch.


Myth no. 1: The paper production industry is low on the GHG emitter totem pole.
Not so, actually the paper and pulp industry is the third largest polluter in both Canada and the United States. The Green Press Initiative (GPI) states that one of the biggest benefits of using recycled fiber is that it emits 38 percent less GHGs. Recycled fiber also uses 44 percent less energy to produce, and conserves up to 34 mature trees for every ton replacing virgin fiber.
Read the rest of this entry »



Direct mail companies go green(er)? Say it isn’t so, Green Marketing Coalition!

25 07 2008

A Green Printer dispatch.

This week, greenwash fatigued bloggers (Gawker describes it as improbable a real news item as ‘the hot dog industry going vegetarian’) and non-profit spokespersons turned a skeptical eye on a group of direct marketing companies called the Green Marketing Coalition (GMC). Corporate clients, including Microsoft, Washington Mutual and OptimaHealth, are also in on the initiative.

GMC’s goal? Altruistic enough. According to the New York Times article “Direct marketing goes green. No, really”, these marketers are joining hands and taking small, albeit very conservative, steps to make an inherently unsustainable practice (i.e. sending wads of personal junk mail) at least a little bit greener. We have already written about junk mail solutions and naughty, catalogue-sending companies before and so we were curious about what best practices the industry funded group came up with. Read the rest of this entry »



Paperless society – What if our forests just can’t give us enough paper?

20 07 2008

A Green Printer dispatch.

Mandy Haggith with the ‘paper mountain’ she built to show what a year’s waste looks like. Photo by Angus Bruce, The Independent.

“The paperless-society goal is a very nice and noble one,” said Arpad Horvath, an associate professor at the University of California-Berkeley who has studied the issue of replacing paper with wireless technologies. “Unfortunately, I don’t see any trace of progress toward it.” Read the rest of this entry »