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Insights and inputs from our team and around the web.

Mid-year is always a good time to re-evaluate your marketing strategy, especially when there has been a period of downtime. Whether you are using direct mail, email, mobile, or social media, here is a quick checklist to make sure that, as you look forward to the rest of the year, you are hitting all of the basics.

There are many ways to engage your audience, raise your company's visibility, and define your brand in the marketplace. From drip marketing to event planning to strategic direct mail campaigns, you have many tools at your disposal. Regardless of which tools (or combination of tools), you use, here are five tips to keep in mind.

When it comes to marketing, no channel reigns supreme. Every channel has its strengths and weaknesses, and part of creating relevance is capitalizing on the strengths of each one. For example, email is powerful for flash sales and quick updates, while print has a beauty, longevity, and stopping power that digital channels can’t replicate. Here are some ways to capitalize on the strengths that are unique to print.

As marketers, we love personalized printing. It offers a lower cost per lead. It also results in higher per order values and increased ROI. But there is another (often overlooked) benefit of personalization, too. It improves sustainability.

Is personalized marketing more sustainable? Yes! Here’s why.

When it comes to marketing, one channel doesn’t reign supreme. All channels work together, and the foundation beneath them is data. Data helps you create relevance, whether you are sending print or email, and is what ties the two channels together. Gather as much data about your audience as possible, regardless of channel, and this data will help make your message richer and more effective.

Are you measuring the success of your marketing campaigns? No matter how beautiful the design or snappy the copy, what is most important is that it gets results. But what does success even look like? “Success” can be defined in many ways. Let’s look at five of the most common ways to determine whether your efforts are working.

What makes a great customer? Is it the one who places a huge order once, but never again? Or the one who places small orders but orders from you consistently year after year? We need to measure Lifetime Customer Value (LCV) to answer this question.

Want to create awesome direct mail? You must always carefully consider the list, the message, and the call to action, but other factors make a highly effective mail piece, too. These include things like the trim size, shape, and texture of the piece. Let's look at five considerations for creating standout mail pieces.

Did you know that people don’t read their direct mail randomly? There is a flow to where their eyes naturally go, and their eyes land on specific areas of the envelope or letter before others. These places are called “hot spots.” Once you know them, you can reap huge benefits by using that knowledge to maximize those spaces.

Let’s be honest. Nobody likes spending money on their mailing database. But these days, it’s essential to improve profitability any way you can. One of these ways is by eliminating any duplicates your mailing list may contain, especially since these duplicates may be costing you more than you might think.

Think you don’t have enough duplicates to worry about it? You might be surprised. Creating duplicates is easy. A customer must contact or order from you more than once. Now, enter the human element. A CSR (or even customers themselves if they are ordering online) might enter things a little differently from the first time during order entry. They might miss a period, use an alternate spelling, or abbreviate a street name rather than spelling it out. Now you have a new record. What are the consequences?

At first, you might see labels as a simple product. They need to stick to your folding cartons, your envelopes, and your corrugated containers. They need to look nice, give the buyer information, and reflect your brand.

Did you know that the United States Postal Service is giving you free multichannel exposure every day? You don’t need to do anything extra to receive this benefit, although there are some tricks you can use to make the most of it.

When designing any printed piece, it’s essential to think about the aesthetics of color. But did you know that color can have very practical benefits, too? Here are some crucial ways that color can boost your bottom line.

1. Helps people remember. Not only do you want recipients to pay attention to your messaging, but you want them to remember it too. Study after study shows that when messages and images are in color, it increases recall dramatically.

2. Helps readers find information more easily. This is an excellent benefit for insurance policies, contracts, and other lengthy documents. The ability to find information quickly translates into fewer calls to your customer service line. Every one of those calls has a cost associated with it. When you can give recipients greater clarity when reading medical, legal, and other transactional documents, this translates into real money.

3. Reduces errors. When people can find information more quickly, they make fewer mistakes. Highlighting instructions or account information helps people get it right the first time.

4. Slashes payment time. When people pay faster, you make more money. Use color to highlight the amount owed and the due date, and watch your invoices get paid faster.

5. Increases the ability of readers to understand and retain information. This is great for all types of marketing and sales.

When you want to draw your readers’ attention to something, consider printing it in color. Make phone numbers or payment information stand out in a letter. Highlight discounts in a brightly colored starburst. Use arrows or colored bullets to focus attention on critical points in a brochure.

The takeaway? Color matters — not just in your graphics but in your messaging, too. Let us help you use color to make you money and save you money!

There are many channels that allow you to communicate with your customers. From direct mail to email and social media, the options have exploded. But not every customer prefers the same channels, and depending on the type of communication, customers might prefer different channels for each. Get the channel right, and you make it easy for customers to communicate and buy. Get it wrong, and customers can tune you out, even if yours is a product they want or need.

Two years in the making and the Women in Architecture Network of AIA San Antonio has been able to successfully bring the revolutionary Say it Loud Exhibition* to our city. A feat that simply could not have been done without the early and steadfast support of Thomas Printworks. From the beginning, when we approached Christi Dockery to share our vision for the exhibit, we were fortunate to receive her full support. We shared our desire to give the exhibit the statewide stage of the TxA Conference and also to build an exhibit that would have the integrity to travel, so that multiple metropolitan areas and universities across Texas would have the opportunity to see and experience this ground-breaking exhibition.

Sometimes you want a little extra in your direct marketing projects. What you are doing may be great, but there are times when you need a little something more. When that happens, you can look to specialty techniques and processes. Here are five design techniques for when you need something to knock your audience’s socks off.

Brand image matters. It’s how consumers see your brand, whether it’s positive or negative, and whether it’s a brand they want to be associated with. What’s your brand image? Hip? Edgy? Socially conscious? Are you the “go-to” destination for people who love adventure?

Let’s face it. Marketing isn’t easy. There are so many things to think about — creative, offer, list, personalization, and more. Are those extra hours of investment worth it? To find the answer, let’s look at the results of a classic study from The Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT).

Conducted in conjunction with Dr. Frank Romano, professor emeritus of RIT, and one of his students, David Broudy, the study took a deep dive into the impact of varying elements of a campaign on response rates. Elements included name, geographic imagery, and marketing message. This is an older study, but because of its depth and controlled research, it offers rare insights that every marketer should be aware of.

When you see the logo of well-known brands like Starbucks, Target, and UPS, you instantly recognize the company and what that company is all about. That’s the power of a great logo. But no matter how well designed, logos need an update now and then. Color trends change. Design styles evolve, and businesses evolve, too. As a result, logos become outdated. If that’s you, maybe it’s time to consider a redesign.

Here are a few questions that you should answer before asking any designer to get started.

Want to delight and engage your shoppers? Bright, colorful floor graphics offer various marketing benefits, including navigation, branding, and messaging. Floor graphics are durable and lightweight, and because they are designed to be removable, you can switch them out regularly. Here are five ideas for using floor graphics in your marketing:

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