Branding your business is the only way you’re going to grow your customer base. Over the years, marketing focus has shifted toward online marketing, leaving direct marketing in the dust. Yet there are still sales to be made. According to marketingdonut.co.uk, “the most common response rate is between 1% and 3%…” That list will go up with warmer prospects.
Here’s the kicker though: Your existing customers are the hottest leads you will ever have for any marketing campaign you ever do. Yet, they’re possibly the most neglected because your sales team are too busy chasing new leads, without nurturing the relationships you already have.
A multifunctional printer used with just a little out the box creativity can create hypnotic results. To give you the best possible advantage to boost brand awareness, we’ve a few stunning stunts to ensure your MFP can pull off exponential growth for your business.
Feast your eyes on these 5 ideas and give each some serious thought
1) Colour brochures
Outsourcing colour brochures can be downright expensive. Considering that most print companies have minimum order quantities, you would need a sizeable mailing list and a formidable budget to print and reach each person.
Before nodding in disagreement thinking you can save print costs by printing black and white; you’d have better luck advertising in the local press.
People enjoy, crave even, and expect colour because it tugs on their emotions. Red strikes the stimulation nerve with its visual impact, while blue evokes a sense of trust.
For those of you who don’t have graphic designers in-house, here’s aninteresting read about the psychological properties of colour.
Knowing more about colour, you’ll be better prepared for this next one…
2) Compliment slips
The majority of businesses in both B2B and B2C sectors know the importance of compliment slips. (Shame the public sector doesn’t use these) They are the only piece of printed paper that allows you to personalise marketing material and “with compliments” provide your customers with a direct point of contact. The typical size is around 10 x 21 cm, so you can get three compliment slips per A4 sheet.
To get full mileage from them, keep in mind these few things:
- a) Make your logo prominent (in colour too) at the top
- b) Include your business details to the bottom of the slip, contact information and the services, or product range you specialise in
- c) If you plan to (and you should if you can) personalise the slip further with a handwritten note of gratitude, then leave plenty of white space for writing. Besides, you’ll save on ink/toner costs too!
The only thing to be careful of is type fonts. If the font you use to design your material is not installed on the printer, it won’t print what you think it will. The font you use in the design needs to be installed on the print driver. Not all fonts are supported by all colour copiers.
Speaking of fonts, environmentally friendly fonts “could reduce your toner usage by as much as 50%…”
That’s #4 on this list of tips to make your Laser toner last longer.
3) Branded Return Address Labels or Envelopes
Every item you mail out is an opportunity to impress. Chances are you’re underutilising what your printer can do and that’s to customise your envelopes to help your business stand out. For a small business, printing labels or even adding a branded return address label on the reverse of your envelopes can be enough.
For larger businesses though, you’ll find it far too time consuming to have your administration department peel and stick labels to thousands of envelopes. The time investment alone would butcher your operational costs. Just as franking machines save time and cost by printing pre-paid postage to your envelopes, MFPs save time and money by printing directly to the envelope and you can brand it too.
Use the black ink for type text and jazz it up with your colour logo. You can add it to your labels or direct to your envelopes, depending on your mail volume.
You only need a quality printer with a feeder tray supporting envelope sizes, and duplex if you want to print your return address on the reverse as well.
If you are still printing on labels and it’s only due to a lack of know-how to print to envelopes, this guide from Microsoft should walk you through what to do. It is a long one so for others who know how to use mail merge and data entry for mailing lists, but don’t quite grasp customising the envelope with a company logo, chron.com has a distilled version to do that here.
Don’t knock this idea on the basis that you can’t print pens. Stationery covers a host of things, and some you may be paying for when you could have all the tech you need to produce some of your own stationery right onsite.
- Do you order custom letterheads?
There’s no need! You may even find you can invest in a higher-grade paper, better finish, and still look back counting savings. With printer services ranging around the 10p per copy range, the likelihood is that you’re overspending. You don’t even need a top of the line colour copier to produce decent looking letterheads. Considering the advanced technology MFPs have; letterhead printing is stupendously basic in comparison.
- Do you use note pads and/or desk pads?
Have you ever walked into someone’s office and noticed the paper neatly presented on the desk? Large branded desk pads, fully loaded with a the entire year’s calendar down one side, the other with the week’s schedule, and the middle used for scribbling notes down from telephone calls? Or maybe you thought it was professional looking until you noticed they’d been doodling stick men while they were on the phone. The point is that it is branded. It sticks out, and you can’t fail to miss the desk pad. Nor will you fail to notice the branded note pad being used during meetings.
The right printer is all you need to bring these print possibilities in-house. To be more specific about the type of printer feature you need for these types of jobs, it needs to bind the pages together somehow.
How is binding done? Either by long or short edge binding, centre binding, or by saddle-stitching. Check out the finishing solutions of the Kyocera taskalfa 7002i photocopier to get an idea of how powerful binding is for business printing. If you’re in the London area, why not book a demo to see it in action.
- Are you still ordering business and appointment cards?
You can kill two birds with the one stone on this one. Business and appointment cards. No business should ever run out of business cards. It’s like an unspoken rule of business. You just don’t do it because anyone meeting for business purposes expects to be handed a business card.
People attend seminars, live training workshops, networking events etc. and if they aren’t handed a business card they’ll be stumped and left pondering if they said something wrong.
Business cards warm people to you, and appointment cards are (or should be)the follow up. That is unless you’re a dentist or optician, in which case you should be going through a lot more appointment cards than you do business cards. Nevertheless, the one printer can take care of both. Just don’t get them mixed up when you’re networking.
5) Direct Mail Marketing (the smart way)
There’s a lot to be said about direct mail marketing, but many businesses just don’t seem to get it. Do you need to buy cold or warm data? It might even feel like playing the postcode lottery. Blast the lot or what? Not to mention split testing to refine the campaigns for future marketing performance.
Like most forms of advertising, it gets complicated fast because it’s overanalysed. You only have to look to your Facebook analytics, Twitter analytics, or web analytics to find yourself immersed in data overload for hours, or even days.
There is an easier way. Instead of marketing, try using your printer to communicate with people rather than solely computers on the network. Use it to produce monthly newsletters to communicate with your customers. Crazy what these machines can do, eh? Perhaps you already have a mailing list for which you send a weekly email newsletter, maybe even frequent updates via social media or even blogging.
Your existing customers are your hottest prospects and your biggest spenders. They deserve the best from you and that includes giving them space to enjoy some down time, without being hard sold. There is no need to hard sell warm prospects and existing customers. The trust is already established or else they wouldn’t be permitting marketing communications.
Whatever your industry, back your expertise up by providing top of the line information to your customers. It doesn’t have to come directly from your company. There’s this thing called other people’s content, or OCP for short. You know, like what you’re reading here. Think for a minute if someone in your professional network is actively investing in advertising online or offline. Do you think they would say thanks for the share? If they’re spending on any of the areas outlined above, it’s safe to say they’d thank you for letting them know about what may be hidden features their MFP has that could benefit them.
The same goes for your customers. Shift your focus from trying to outsmart your biggest competitors and start competing for your customers’ attention.
Offer them value. Engage with them on social channels. Poll them occasionally to find out how your company is doing. Deliver the survey results in your next newsletter. Update your website regularly and repurpose the content into a monthly printed publication, because not all your emails will be left for reading later. You have a far higher chance your tangible newsletter will. People can read that on the train to work, on their lunch break, stuck in traffic, or nighttime reading.
The newsletter gives your audience the convenience of choosing when they hear from you.
Multifunctional printers can:
- Print colour brochures and bind them
- Print professional quality compliment slips to further personalise your business
- Brand all outgoing envelopes with your company logo, return address, and mailing address. Or for smaller print volumes, brand address labels with your company logo
- Print your office note pads…
- And to peak brand awareness and grow your business – you could print your own monthly newsletter.
If you’re currently paying for any of those services, perhaps it’s time to assess your print requirements, volume, environment, and cost. The savings could be significant if you only put your MFP to better use.
If your current MFP(s) doesn’t have the functionality to perform any of the duties needed in the ideas above, speak to a member of our team, because there’s likely a lot more that you could do to cut print costs asides from what’s listed here.
What ways are you using your MFP to help business growth?