Alphagraphics blog

New Website

Welcome to the new website — let me know what you think.  This is actually a “reskin” for our website to help us better with search engine optimization (SEO).  Because we are a franchise, Google actually does not like when similar content is on multiple sites — you are no longer an authority and it will start ignoring your duplicate material.  Also, just because we do a lot of mailing services and signs and banners in Deerfield, another AlphaGraphics on the NorthShore might do more offset printing or pocket folders.  This new website allows each AlphaGraphics to customize the site exactly to what they do and what their strengths are.  So, take a look at the new site and let me know what you think!

August 15 / 2013
Author AlphaGraphics US333
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EDDM Mailings — What’s with all the buzz?

The post office is spending all of this money advertising EDDM (Every Door Direct Mail) mailings — what are they and what’s the big deal?

For most people doing mailings, postage continues to be the most expensive part of a mailing and something you can’t negotiate or change.  The post office wants local retailers to be able to do cost effective mailings and have come up with the EDDM program to help.  Typically, a retailer needed to buy a list of local households, and then either pay a lot of money in postage, or print a very small (4 x 6) postcard and still pay a lot of money for postage, plus the printing, addressing, and mailing costs.

With EDDM mailings, here is the good news:
– It HAS to be an oversized postcard (typically 6×9 or larger) that would normally mail as a flat (and can be 8.5 x 11)
– It does not need to be tabbed
– You do not need to purchase a list — it goes by carrier route within a zipcode and you can mail to commercial and residential, just residential, delete PO Boxes, etc.
– Every piece is $.145

A couple of other things to note.  You do not need a permit to do EDDM mailings and can walk up to the counter and pay as long as your mail is properly sorted for the mailing.  However, you do have a limit of 5,000 pieces per zip code per day if you do it retail (if you hold a permit, you can mail it through Bulk Mail without a limit). If you do not have a permit and want to mail more than 5,000 pieces per day, you can always use a mail house to provide that service as well as help work though how to do an EDDM mailing.  We have helped many customers who have found EDDM mailings a successful part of their marketing campaigns.

September 04 / 2012
Author AlphaGraphics US333
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Daily Deals — Do They Work for Merchants?

I have been talking a lot with merchants about the pros and cons of Daily Deal sites.  I would be interested in hearing more from merchants who use them about what type of repeat business you are getting from customers that use a daily deal.  In a recent study, 82% of merchants were unsatisfied by the repeat business they received.  I am not here to debate the pros and cons of these sites, but I am here to ask if you are a merchant that is using these sites, what other types of marketing are you doing to these customers to get them to come back?  How are you tracking that information?  Any good marketing campaign is only as good as the tracking you do to measure the success.  Please comment below to let me know if you are a merchant using daily deals and what you think.

November 01 / 2011
Author AlphaGraphics US333
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Mailing and the cost of postage

As you have probably already heard, the post office has announced as expected an increase in postage costs for 2012.  What does that mean for you and your marketing budgets if the increase goes through as expected?

If you are mailing first class with a stamp, a regular letter or oversized postcard will cost you an additional penny-per-piece to $.45.  A postcard with a stamp will cost an additional $.03 to $.32/piece.  Standard mail and first class presort should go up 2.1% as well.  Depending on the size of the mailing, this would mean that postcards, which if you mail presort automatically go as first class, will be an even better deal as a cost savings in relationship to regular first class mail.

Since postage most of the time is the most expensive part of any mailing versus the cost of printing and additional mailing services, it is important as you to 2012 planning to think about the cost of postage and factor that into the additional marketing expenses for next year.

October 19 / 2011
Author AlphaGraphics US333
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New website and blog

We have officially launched our new website and blog. I am really happy with the new branding and identity and we spent a lot of time working on all of it as well as making it mobile and social media friendly. I’ll be talking more about the importance of social media and mobile sites in the future, but in the meantime, let me know what you think about the new site and blog.

October 14 / 2011
Author AlphaGraphics US333
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