Marketing tips to launch your new business from home 

According to research by the Small Business Association, about 50 percent of all new small businesses are launched from home these days. The pandemic caused a significant shift towards remote work, and even as many people return to the office a few days a week, the idea of working from home is likely here to stay. In fact, per an Owl Labs study about 16 percent of companies are fully remote already – but some 62 percent of workers aged 22-65 say they work remotely at least occasionally.

If you’ve recently opened up a new business from the comfort of your own home, you may already be enjoying the conveniences that a home office setup brings. But just because you don’t happen to have a commute or a brick-and-mortar location, that doesn’t mean that you should skimp out on your marketing tactics.

Developing a comprehensive marketing plan can help you establish yourself in a busy marketplace and set you up for long-term success. When you’re getting ready to start your new business plan from home, consider the following:

Bulk up on basics: Your office may be located at home, but you’re probably still conducting some business in person. Ensure that you give the kind of strong, professional impression on potential new clients, customers and partners alike with well-designed business basics. Even something as simple as a business card can help you close a deal or keep your business top-of-mind when leads think of you.

Diversify your channels: As reported during the 2021 Content Marketing World conference, 47 percent of consumers are seeking out downtime from the internet due to an increasing sense of digital fatigue. What that means for you as a new business owner is that you need to create powerful, lasting brand associations to better generate leads. To do this, you should be engaging in a multichannel marketing campaign that includes offline platforms, such as direct mail, to forge connections.

Plan your promos: Whether sent as part of a lumpy mailer or given away during in-person meetings with clients, a well-designed promotional item can do a lot of work for your brand. Useful, practical items like tote bags, calendars, magnets, pens and more have a remarkably long shelf life inside a client’s home, working to keep your business at the front of their minds.

Embrace expos: Trade shows can be a great place for you to connect with new clients, generate leads and network with other people in your industry. You can help make an impact for your business with a smart trade show booth setup that includes standing banners, tabletop displays, printed collateral and much more.

Need an extra helping hand to get your new business off on the right foot? Contact Allegra! We can help with everything from logo design and business cards to trade show booths and promotional items. Contact us today to set up a free consultation.

Think flyers are an outdated marketing tool? Think again!

Close Up of a Woman's Torso in a Gray Business Suit Holding a Pink Flyer with White Text on It

With the increase in digital advertising through SEO, PPC, email marketing and social media marketing, flyers may feel like a marketing tool of the past, but they are still as relevant as ever! Flyers continue to be a cost-efficient, tangible and effective means of advertising a wide range of things for your business, from sales and announcements to events and more.

Allegra provides flyer printing services for your business, with benefits that include:

1. Low cost: Flyers allow you to get considerable results at a low cost. Large quantities can be printed without a big expense, and distribution costs can be minimal as well.

2. Easy distribution: Flyers are an easy marketing material to hand to customers or potential customers when they visit your store, stop by your booth at a convention or attend an event that your business is present at. They can also easily be included in direct mail campaigns by being added to letters, pamphlets or business publications such as magazines or newsletters.

3. Effective tracking: By adding a QR code, coupon code, personal URL or other tracking tool to your flyers, you can track who is receiving them and responding to them, allowing you to measure their effectiveness.

4. Complementing digital marketing efforts: Add a QR code to your flyer that links recipients to your social media profiles, website or email address.

5. Encouraging repeat business: Flyers that are inserted into packages for products purchased online or into shopping bags for purchases made in store can include an incentive such as a coupon for future purchases or information about upcoming sales.

With flyer printing services from Allegra, there are a multitude of ways that you can advertise your business, increase brand awareness and boost sales. Our professionals can help you choose the right size and paper stock for your flyers, with options ranging from simple black and white to full-color productions. We can even provide graphic design services if you aren’t sure about your flyer’s design, or don’t have a graphic designer on your company’s staff.

Contact Allegra to discuss all your flyer printing needs, along with any other print marketing needs that you have, including booklets, pamphlets, brochures, business cards and more. Your business can even use our WorkStream™ eCommerce platform to ensure that all your flyers and other printed materials can be accessed across all your locations. Let’s get started on your flyer project!

How to Revolutionize Your Company’s Business Cards

A Group of People Sit at a Table for a Business Meeting, Two of them are Exchanging a Business Card

Of all the printed marketing materials out there, the business card is surely the most ubiquitous one. Nearly everyone carries a business card, whether it is for the business that they own, the company that they are a salesperson for, or even the restaurant that wants to give people a quick and simple way to save their contact information. With so many business cards being passed around for so many different purposes, it is important that your business card stands out, otherwise it will blend in and be forgotten.

Allegra offers several business card printing solutions to help your business revolutionize your business cards. Read on to see how QR codes and double-sided printing can make yours stand out:

QR codes for business cards: A lot of things became touch-free during the COVID-19 pandemic, and QR codes saw a huge uptick in use. By allowing someone to simply pull out their phone, open their camera or QR app and snap a picture that then takes them to the desired web page, service and communication become faster and more convenient.

Business cards should not only contain important and helpful information, but they should also be attractive. Sometimes the amount of information that we want to convey won’t fit on a traditionally sized business card, or if it will, it will make for a very cluttered card that is not appealing to the eye. A QR code removes this problem, allowing large amounts of information to be shared with the simple snap of a smartphone camera.

QR codes remove the need for manually entering a name and phone number into a phone contact log, which could result in mistakes, and they also eliminate the need to type out a URL. This is especially helpful for companies who have a longer URL, or who have a URL that contains unusual spellings of words.

You can even track leads using a QR code by having UTM tracking parameters associated with the code that tell you how many times your company’s site has been visited by way of that specific QR code. Such a small, simple code offers so many benefits and advantages!

Double-sided business cards: Traditional business cards have typically been printed on just one side. This leaves an entire side of unused real estate that can serve a number of purposes. If your restaurant is handing out business cards with your address and contact information on them, the other side can be used for a coupon to entice people to visit, business hours to let people know when to come see you, or specials such as happy hour.

Sales professionals can use the other side of their business card to provide quick tidbits about why customers should work with them while small business owners can showcase one or two product or service images. Rather than trying to fit a lot of information onto one side of the card, it can be spread out when the other side of the business card is utilized.

These are just two of the many ways that Allegra can help your organization revolutionize your business cards. Contact us for all of your business card printing needs, from the initial graphic design to choosing the card materials and shape and then printing them.

Deck the Halls with Your Company’s Holiday Cards

With the holidays coming up, remember to thank your employees for all of their hard work throughout the year. The holidays always bring a sense of warmth and excitement for everyone to finally relax and be with their family. Showing your employees how much you care is vital to them feeling more of a connection with their team and their company as a whole. The simple, signature way you can show your employees that you care is by sending out thoughtful holiday cards. Trust in the high-quality custom label printing and envelope printing solutions from Allegra to get those holiday greetings out.

Torso View of a Man Wearing a Plaid Button-Down Shirt while Smiling and Removing a Card from a Brown Envelope

The end of the year grants everyone at your company a big sigh of relief from the Q4 madness. Sincere holiday cards for your employees will show your appreciation for their contribution to your company. By choosing to work with Allegra for custom label and envelope printing, the materials, design and customization will make all the difference in the impact of your company’s holiday card.

Allegra uses high-end label printing equipment and industry-leading materials and finishes. Choose from simple paper mailing labels to durable white paper label stock. Customize your labels into any shape or size, and ask our team about the matte, gloss and high-gloss coatings available.

We provide the high-quality materials so you can collaborate with our team on custom design ideas and personalized messages to get your team in the holiday spirit. Label requirements may vary depending on the container, the stock, adhesive requirements, graphics, content and application methods.

Additionally, Allegra’s label printing solutions offer:

• Affordable custom label design

• Specialty label printing solutions

• Labels for any occasion

• High-quality label stock papers

• Modern finishing and coating techniques

• Low minimum order quantities

Make sure the mail you send is highly visible and memorable by using envelopes with unique designs. This isn’t limited to just printing a logo on the envelope, but can also include using a unique envelope size, color or design such as including windows or bypassing the traditional flap closure style.

Count on us for a wide selection of colors, sizes, styles and materials. We’re also happy to help with design services to ensure all your corporate identity materials are coordinated and complementary. Call or visit Allegra online for more information about the services we provide and how we can help you provide quality holiday greeting cards for your employees.

6 Ways to Use High-Impact Printing to Stand Out

The tangible nature of printed pieces is one of the most important ways that it stands out from online marketing. In fact, studies show that consumers are more engaged than ever with print marketing, with an influx of brands using direct mail and other forms of print to cut through the digital clutter.

high-impact printing

One of print communications’ most compelling benefits is its ability to engage multiple senses. But have you ever considered the message that the paper itself is sending? Here are six ways to use high-impact printing to enhance your marketing, draw attention to your call-to-action, and stand out from the competition.

    1. Match texture to content. Think about how you want your printed pieces to be perceived. High-quality cardstock communicates something different than lightweight paper. Try to find textures in your content, products or stories that you can emulate through paper. For example, you can choose a texture that mimics a weave of fabric or a raw roughness that may match a more masculine product category.
    2. Add some sparkle. Consider using foil to catch the light and attention of your audience. Or, a variance in ink opacity can achieve an unusual effect depending on the direction from which the paper is held and viewed. These types of treatments are especially nice for special event invitations and new product launches.
    3. Show your shape with die cuts. Unusual shapes in printed materials can create interest and underscore your brand’s specialty. For instance, if you sell window treatments, accentuate a graphic of a window by using a die cut in the shape of your product.
    4. Use a creative fold. A unique fold – letter, accordion, gate, engineering, cross, double-parallel, baronial – can help organize your message and ensure that your piece fits in the correct envelope or folder – plus, it’s just plain fun to open.
    5. Try a pop-out image. Pop-out images that are revealed to the reader when unfolding a piece can add unexpected interest and drama.
    6. Wrap it up. Envelopes are influential to the success of a direct mail campaign. Looking to enhance your response rates? Test! Use your typical envelope as your control and send it to half of your mailing list. The alternate version of your mailing envelope could be different paper, color versus your standard white, or have different placement for the call-to-action. Measure which performs better and continue to tweak over time.

Whether you are creating direct mail campaigns, brochures, publications, event invitations, newsletters or business cards, you can cut through the clutter and increase engagement with high-impact printing techniques, specialty papers and folds. If you need help developing a campaign that can help you stand out against the competition, reach out to us. We look forward to hearing from you.

The Power of Print

power of printIn a game of word association, odds are “printing” rarely – if ever – comes to mind first when someone says, “technology.” Yet the two, while not mentally married, do pair well. The result is better quality, faster production, greater personalization, reduced costs and more powerful marketing and sales pieces.

As a print communications channel, direct mail delivers in new dynamic ways, including connecting with digital strategies to drive purchases, website traffic, business location visits and sign-ups.

According to marketing decision-makers, companies are coordinating their campaigns by:1

  • Driving traffic from direct mail to digital channels (80%)
  • Integrating a unique URL or discount code in direct mail (76%)
  • Timing digital media once direct mail is delivered (61%)
  • Sending personalized direct mail based on online actions (51%)
  • Creating a digital version of direct mail (49%)

 

Following are some key considerations of print and mail that may have you thinking differently about how these traditional strategies can bring better results to your campaigns in 2020 and beyond.

 

PAPER choice matters.p

In a neuroscience study, subjects received one of three versions of a fictitious company brochure: one printed on high-quality coated paper, another using a lesser grade uncoated paper or a third, digital version. The results? Those who read a version on high-quality paper remembered the content best, had the best impressions of the company they had read about and said they were more likely to recommend the brand to friends.

 

oOKAY to be different.

Whether you’re selling landscaping or roofing, cars or cookies, die cutting adds shape or perforated punch-outs to a printed project. Business cards, hang tags, postcards, mailers and folders get an extra shot of pizzazz when they conjure your products or services at first glance. Pop-ups in a variety of shapes are an unexpected and fun way to drive interest and engagement. Even better, they fold flat for easy mailing.

 

wWOW ‘em with texture or shine.

The tactile nature of print is one of its best qualities. Nearly eight out of 10 people say that print on paper is more pleasant to handle and touch when compared to other media, including 73% of 18- to 24-year-olds.2 Smooth and glossy, or rough and muted. Your print provider can help you with paper selection or finishing techniques that inspire interaction because your piece looks and feels special. Most techniques can be done with smaller print quantities, allowing you to customize images or text to be more relevant to your recipients or readers.

 

eEASY to digest is best.

For understanding, retaining and using new information, more than eight out of 10 people believe it’s better when delivered in print compared to electronically.3 Laboratory experiments, polls and consumer reports have shown “that modern screens and e-readers fail to adequately recreate certain tactile experiences of reading on paper that many people miss and, more importantly, prevent people from navigating long texts in an intuitive and satisfying way.”4

 

rRENEWABLE, naturally.

Paper is a product of a natural resource that is renewable. Nine out of 10 consumers agree that when responsibility produced, used and recycled, print and paper can be a sustainable way to communicate.5 Paper with recycled content, vegetable-based inks and a paperless workflow that includes electronic proofs to reduce hard copies are all eco-friendly processes and practices employed by many of today’s print providers to meet customer preferences.

 

To learn about other ways to elevate your print communications download Marketing Insider magazine today.

 

1Direct Mail Conversion Research, USPS
2,5Two Sides North American
3Marketing Sherpa
4Scientific American

Tips to Focus on Existing Customer-Partners During COVID-19

One thing our current situation has done is make the first principle of marketing clearer than ever: focus on your existing customers.

When small businesses think about marketing, they often think of it as a tool to attract new customers. But as we grapple with a pandemic and a turbulent economy, in many ways existing customers are much more valuable.

How can you use marketing to enhance your relationships with your current customers? What else can you offer them as an additional product or service? Can you speed up your processes or sell more with a bulk discount? Can you encourage them to plan ahead and commit to services in the longer term, when wallets might be less tight?

Analyze your current customers

If you haven’t spent time digging into the makeup of your core customer base, your repeat clients and higher spenders, take the time now to gather data.  What do they buy and when? How much do they spend? Are they motivated by discounts? Do they willingly pay full price or a combination of both? Use what you learn to inform your COVID-19 marketing efforts to your existing customers.

Make them feel special

Check in personally with your customers and ask how they are holding up. See if there is anything you can do to support their business, and find a way to show how much you value them. This can include useable tips for other businesses also struggling through the impact of COVID-19, or just an update on what’s been useful for your business and an offer to share any strategies.

Stay top of mind

This can be an electronic or print newsletter, or a short email or call checking in. No need to be too promotional or push hard for a sale; aim to be clear, genuine and concise. Thank them for their continued support. Give an example of strategies you’ve seen working for other businesses. Share what is giving you inspiration during these challenging times. Share anything you or others are doing to support the community or individuals in need.

Connect on social media

Now is the time to use your social media presence to connect with your existing customers. Connect with them on LinkedIn and engage on their social channels. Ask for their opinions and questions on posts. At a time when so many people are cooped up at home, social media is an outlet not only for personal connections, but for businesses to continue to maintain relationships with local partners.

Take this opportunity to put a human face on your business however you can, and that starts with marketing to the people who know your business best – your existing customers. If you’re looking for more ways to reach out to existing customers, count on Allegra for helpful tips and ideas.

 

 

5 Reasons to Add Postcards To Your Marketing Mix

Do you remember the last time you received a postcard in the mail? Nowadays, postcards don’t come around as often as they used to, but when they do, they usually stand out. According to PRINTISBIG.com, 43% of people find print marketing to be less intrusive than online advertisements and tend to appreciate receiving a nice custom postcard in the mail once in a while.Postcard printing services

Many brands find great value in mailing postcards as part of their cross-channel marketing strategy. We’ve put together this list explaining the top reasons your business should consider adding custom postcards to its marketing mix:

  1. Postcards are a great way to build brand recognition. The internet has helped brands easily connect with their customers, which is why most brand interactions happen primarily online. But in this digital era, studies show people enjoy receiving things in the mail they can hold on to. The physical interaction that happens when people receive postcards helps create stronger emotional responses, making their message more memorable, and thus increasing brand awareness and brand recall.
  2. Postcard mailings can be highly targeted. Printing companies can now help your business streamline the postcard printing and delivery process with the help of automated software. Just like online ads, sending out postcards can also be a highly targeted strategy. Curated and personalized mailing lists can help you reach existing customers and prospects based on specific geographic locations, previous order history, and in some cases, even by household income. 
  1. Postcards are very affordable. Out of all the different forms of direct mail, postcards are one of the most affordable ways to reach customers. They are easy to design, print, and mail. The postcard size makes it perfect for sending short and compelling messages. Brands use postcards to highlight special offers, send thank you notes, extend holiday wishes, or to build brand recognition with minimal investment.
  1. Better response rates. A study by InfoTrends shows direct mail still resonates with people in different age groups, particularly with Millennials. According to this article by Prinova, Millennials respond to direct mail calls-to-action quicker than other generations, and they usually follow through and make a purchase from that brand within three months of receiving an offer via mail.
  1. They are a tangible reminder of your brand. Postcards are easy to distribute. They’re lightweight yet sturdy, which makes them ideal to be sent via mail, circulate from person to person, or include with other print marketing materials. They are also easy to keep; most people are likely to hang on to well-designed and colorful postcards. If you are trying to help increase brand awareness, a custom postcard can help you achieve this.  

Are you looking to incorporate postcards into your next marketing campaign? Your local Allegra can help!

Take advantage of the high-response rates of direct mail, and get your business noticed with high-quality postcard printing, design, and mailing. If you’re interested in learning more about our print marketing services, contact Allegra today.

The Importance of Printed Handouts

While the advertising space has grown more diverse with the increase of digital ad platforms, print handouts have not lost their importance. Thanks to digital, the significance and value of print has grown richer. Understanding the common types of print advertising handouts and how to use them is an important part of reaching the right audience with the right message and staying competitive.Flyers

Target Marketing refers to print marketing as an “engagement goldmine” when it’s marketing to Millennials. In fact, Target Marketing reported that 65% of Millennials bought from a catalog, and 63% purchased because of a mail piece. Print is perceived as more trustworthy and the fact that they can pick it up and touch it provides a level of sensory engagement digital ads cannot. Plus, print advertisements stand out from all the digital ads with which users are bombarded while on their phones.

So what are print handouts?

Print handouts are anything that is printed and handed out free of charge for advertising purposes. This includes flyers, brochures, pamphlets, and postcards. Several factors come into play when choosing the right ones to use for your business, such as the type of business you are advertising, the goal of your print campaign, and your budget. Most companies will benefit from using all these popular handouts in the right context!

  • Flyers: These are typically single-sided sheets printed with an advertisement. They are a low-cost option used for reaching many people with your message. This message is usually short and sweet – announcing a sale or a grand opening or simply reminding recipients that you exist to help them. They can be mailed, handed out by a sales team (on a street corner, at a tradeshow event, or canvased across a neighborhood), or pinned up on public bulletin boards.  Flyers are also known as leaflets.
  • Info Sheets: A single sheet containing product specific information. These are usually handed out by employees to individual customers at the shop or made available during trade show events.
  • Postcards: Printed on card stock or heavyweight paper, they are comprised of one flat piece with no folds. Most people picture a rectangle when they think of postcards; however, postcards are not limited to the traditional rectangle but can be designed in all manner of shapes to intrigue and delight your audience. Like flyers, they’re a great way to promote a sale or build brand recognition.  The message is usually pretty simple; your postcard is not the place to unload product specs and details. Instead, postcards are used to encourage the recipient to come engage with your business to redeem an offer or to supply a reminder of what your company does. They are a popular choice for direct mail campaigns because they very flat, lightweight, and sturdy, thus making them perfect for sending in the mail. As one of the simplest pieces to create since no folding or binding is involved, postcards are great for budgets and distributing to a broad audience.
  • Brochures: There are a wide variety of brochure formats readily available at your local Allegra. Brochures can be created from single sheets or multiple sheets folded to form a small booklet. Multi-sheet brochures can be bound or unbound. Unbound brochures are also called pamphlets. Printed brochures are utilized in many ways to effectively increase sales. A few common distribution methods for reaching your desired audience through brochures includes placing them in public display racks, sending them out to a select audience via direct mail, giving them to a client during a consultation, or placing them in brochure holders in your own office or shop for interested parties to pick up.

Do you need to create custom print handouts that are sure to impress? Your local Allegra Marketing Print Mail location is ready to help from start to finish.  They’ll guide you in choosing and designing the right type of print handout for each of your marketing goals as well as handle all the printing, folding, and binding for your marketing print handouts!

How Brochures Can Help You Reach Your Business Goals

There are many creative ways brochures can be used by business owners to promote and education about their business offerings. They attractively present a solution to a problem and the benefits of choosing your company, as well as how to obtain the product or service. Here are a few examples on how businesses use brochures for different purposes. 

  • To Raise Brand Awareness: A perfect example of this are travel brochures. When placed in a hotel’s brochure rack, they inform visitors of local attractions and services. A 2018 study tested the impact brochures placed in a hotel lobby have on travelers. The study revealed that 85% of visitors became aware of an attraction or business as a result of picking up a brochure and 61% of visitors planned to purchase tickets or merchandise, they learned about from a brochure.
  • To Start a Conversation: Dentist offices often have brochures in the waiting or examination room explaining treatments or services such as teeth whitening. An interested patient can grab a brochure and discuss any questions they may have about the service with their dentist.
  • To Close a Sale: Businesses, such as massage clubs, use brochures to provide a visual to potential customers while a staff member walks them through pricing packages and services. Circling the best value option or jotting down a promo code during the conversation can make it personal. If the client is unconvinced and needs more time to think about it, the brochure serves as a reminder of the brand, the product, and the special attention received.
  • As Handouts for Different Occasions: Many companies distribute marketing brochures at trade shows or sends them as a targeted mailing. These methods allow for a larger reach rather than waiting for a customer to select one in-person.

Custom brochures can do more than just promote a business’s full range of products or services. They can help advertise upcoming events, raise awareness for a cause, or serve as map or program guide. A advantage brochures have over other forms of marketing is they don’t have the character limit often found in digital ads or smaller print mediums. The multiple panels in a brochure allow you to break up text into easily digestible pieces. This also allows for you to get as creative as you want, playing around with the use of images, layout, paper stock, and finishing techniques to communicate your message.

Allegra has the experience and expertise to help create a high-quality brochure. To get started, contact your local Allegra Marketing Print Mail location today.