Alphagraphics blog

Category: Mobile Marketing

Leading by Example: AlphaGraphics Optimized New Website

The old saying is, “practice what you preach.” It’s a good reminder to take your own advice and be mindful of the wisdom you’re dispensing to others. For all of us here at AlphaGraphics, it means paying attention to the marketing advice we give our customers—to make sure we’re helping them achieve new levels of success. In the ultimate gesture of taking our own advice, AlphaGraphics is pleased to announce our brand-new website! We’ve taken all of the advice, counsel, wisdom and disclaimers we’ve dispensed over the years to heart, building our brand-new web presence around the best practices we use to help our very own customers succeed. We invite you to take a look at https://www.alphagraphics.com/! What’s new? You might be wondering what we’ve done to our website to fully transform it into what you see today. The answer is, frankly, a lot! The AlphaGraphics team has gone right to the core, to give our website a complete makeover from the ground up. Here are a few of the highlights:
  • We’re fully SEO-optimized! Now, customers searching for a wide range of print, marketing and signage services will be directed to our new website, where they can easily explore our capabilities.
  • Our website now features responsive design, which enables customers to browse on any device with optimal results. From desktops to smartphones, tablets and beyond, we welcome customers across all modes of tech!
  • We’ve opened the lines of communication! Customers can now contact us directly through our website to get quotes and information about their unique print and marketing projects.
  • agOnline is now live through our website, which enables recurring customers to order materials and manage their print products remotely, from any location at any time. We’ve made collaborating with your local AlphaGraphics even easier!
These big changes are just the tip of the iceberg, too! Our revamped website also doubles down on visually-engaging graphics, seamless navigation, multimedia communication and more, to ensure our customers get the best experience when they visit us online. Practicing what we preach Above all, the new AlphaGraphics website plays a very important role when it comes to showcasing our brand’s confidence. Because we’ve put all of our own advice into action and built a new platform on the same advice we give our customers, we’re leading by example. When new and existing clients come to us seeking success, we can show them our website as a model for what we can do to assist them. We’ve taken brand confidence to a whole new level! If you’re already an AlphaGraphics customer, our website should come as no surprise to you—it’s the culmination of the marketing advice we’ve been doling out for years! If you’re new to AlphaGraphics or are looking for a print and marketing partner who can help you achieve success, look no further than our newly redesigned web presence. Explore https://www.alphagraphics.com/ today to see our complete website redesign for yourself and to experience the level of online sophistication and excellence we’re ready to offer you and your brand. Read article →

Five Tips for Crafting Relevant, Engaging Marketing Messages

Any advertising professional will tell you that crafting an optimal message is about more than just stringing together some words or pictures and kicking a product out to the masses. More often than not even the best marketing messages fall flat, sometimes for the smallest of reasons, leaving entire marketing teams to head back to the drawing board.   If you’re a small business, creating relevant, engaging marketing messages might sound impossible as you don’t have an entire marketing department to fulfill your needs; it’s just you and your knowledge doing all of the work. But, while it might seem like an uphill battle, understand that being a small business doesn’t put you at any less of an advantage when it comes to understanding what goes into creating a good message.   Take a look at five things you can always fall back on when you’re brainstorming your next advertising campaign and why taking into account these five tips can pay off:   1 - Emphasize seasonal messages: You may or may not realize it, but the seasons have significant sway over the world of marketing and advertising. Certain products become available or emphasized during certain seasons; different tones and feelings are characterized by the time of year; and, most importantly, consumer mindsets shift with the seasons. Understanding and wielding seasonal power for the benefit of your marketing message is absolutely going to turn favor and give you a better chance at landing a message that’s effective.   2 - Evoke emotion: There’s nothing more ineffective than an advertising message that makes a person feel nothing! If someone feels nothing when they intake your message, they’ll have no motivation to act, meaning you’ve lost them right from the get-go. Instead, make sure your messages evoke some kind of emotion! Make a person laugh, pluck at their heartstrings or even make them angry—whatever it takes to provoke emotion and inspire action!   3 - Be transparent: We’ve all seen those advertisements that are too good to be true, that usually end up being a scam in the end, right? They’re not just annoying—they’re a great way to lose customers. People don’t like being tricked or taken advantage of: they prefer to be spoken to with a straightforward message and honestly. With this in mind, tailor your messages to be honest in their appeal—no asterisks with hidden messages or sneakily-worded jargon that tricks people. Your audience will appreciate transparency and know you for being honest, which will lead them to pay attention to what you have to say now and in the future. On the flip side of this, remember that it’s okay to talk things up and embellish a little—so long as the message is clearly understood and everyone has the same expectations!   4 - Showcase value: Benefits-driven content is the key here and it’s truly the cornerstone of any successful marketing message. People want to know what they’re getting and they need to fully appreciate the value of what you have to offer them. Whether you’re selling a product, advertising a service, offering a membership or creating awareness, the chief takeaway from your message for every customer should be the value.   5 - Talk the talk: Know how to talk to your customers! This can never be overstated. Knowing how to talk to your customers means knowing how to relate to them, which ultimately leads to better communication and a more engaged audience. This means using the right vocabulary, embracing the right values, speaking to the right “person,” showing the right images and communicating the right benefits. It may seem like a tall order, but if you know your audience and what it has to offer people, bridging the gap to create effective marketing messages becomes a whole lot easier than you might think.   Keep these five tips in mind the next time you’re sitting at a blank computer screen trying to come up with the next feel good marketing hit of the summer! Embracing as many of these tips as you can means raising the bar for your success when it comes to pushing out messaging that’s truly effective. Read article →

Help for Realtors: Using Marketing Tools to Generate More Offers

The real estate market, like any market, is governed by supply and demand. For a seller bringing their home to market, it’s all about creating demand for that unique home; for prospective homebuyers, it’s about having enough homes and enough variety to choose from. It’s simple economics.   What’s not so simple, however, is creating demand for singular components of the market: or, in layman’s terms, generating interest in a home as it relates to others on the market. If a home you’re trying to sell is put side by side with other, similar homes on the market, what’s going to make people choose it over another that might be just like it with a more flexible price point? It’s something that every realtor has to think about and overcome if they’re going to help their clients succeed.   Distinguishing a home starts with understanding the power of vertical marketing within the real estate niche and utilizing the right advertising mediums to generate better bids for potential buyers.   Multi-channel advertising to bolster your home’s image   How do people search for homes in today’s day and age? Most people head online to their favorite real estate hub. Some people still buy the paper for the classifieds section. Some people visit a real state office. No matter where they go to get information about available real estate one thing remains certain: if the information about a home isn’t accessible through the channel they’re visiting, they’re likely not going to know about that home.   This is what makes multi-channel real estate marketing so valuable to you as a realtor. By utilizing every vertical channel within the real estate market to leverage a home, you can target a wider audience, cast a wider net and reel in a buyer that’s going to pay the right price for the home you’re helping to sell.   But multi-channel marketing isn’t always easy and it takes the right tools and materials to not only reach everyone, but to entice people that you do reach. In short, the home you’re pitching needs to be appealing, accessible and worthwhile for anyone who might be interested.   Utilizing the right materials   Generating interest in a home in every available marketing channel comes down to having the right materials at your disposal and a message that prompts people to act. Take a look at a few of the modern marketing methods good realtors use to help boost the value of their clients’ properties:
  • Online advertisements: By utilizing geo-tagged keywords, buzzwords and appealing imagery, realtors can create targeted online ads that funnel online users to your home’s web listing.
  • Postcards: Postcards are by no means an antiquated form of advertising and are actually making a resurgence in the real estate marketing niche of all places! By coupling intriguing postcards and appealing messaging with targeted lists and every door direct mail (EDDM) campaigns, realtors are able to get the word out about your home to people who are actively looking to pull up roots and set them down elsewhere.
  • Email templates: A good email goes a long way when it comes to generating interest in your home, simply because an enticing email can open the door to all forms of interaction with your home’s online listing. Link it to the listing, hyperlink your phone number, enable email responders, etc.—these options and more will get people interacting with your listing so that you can field offers in real time.
The above materials and more are just basic examples of how a realtor who understands the marketing verticals of the real estate market can generate more interest and more offers in a home. And, the best part is that with each new, interested prospector you reach, you’ll be able to leverage another offer into the value of a home, driving the market price up, rather than settling as it goes down.   Generating better offers   It’s not enough to just get people interested in a home—you need to truly sell the value of that home if you’re going to hook a potential buyer at the right price. To this end, it’s important to understand the tools and materials can be utilized in the latter half of the selling process: when people are actively considering the home you’re selling versus other options on the market. Take a look at just a few simple ways to distinguish a home with the right materials:
  • Video tours: With a video tour in your repertoire of marketing materials, potential buyers won’t even have to leave their seats to see what a home has to offer. These tours can give people a basic glimpse into a home and generate excitement before a showing, to up the “wow” factor of the real thing when they finally come for an open house or walkthrough. It’s a nice primer that often lends to the value of the home, driving up the perceived and actual value.
  • Slideshows: The more you can show someone about a home before they visit, the more reasons they have to visit. Slideshows, like video tours, are a great way to give people a glimpse of the home before they visit. Giving people pictures of the interior and exterior can get them thinking and envisioning themselves in those areas and slowly, people get attached to these homes. All of this leads to concreteness when it comes to maintaining the home’s market price!
  • Restoration photos: If you’re pitching a home that has had work done, showing before and after pictures really ramps up the value. People like to see what they’re getting for their money and what better way to show them than what could have been! Whether it’s new moldings, restored floors, a finished basement or something else, giving people a true peek into the upgrades that have been made to a home can really cement the asking price at a higher level.
If you’re a realtor carving out a place in the marketplace, make sure you understand multi-channel marketing and the materials to execute it properly. Speak with an AlphaGraphics professional today about getting the superior, high quality materials you need to succeed at vertical real estate marketing! Read article →

Physician Marketing: Using the Right Messaging and Medium

Being a private practice physician means having a steady stream of new clients coming through your door to make sure you stay in business … however this can be hard when your business is healing your clientele so that they don’t need your services on a regular basis! And while there will always be illnesses driving your patients back to you at some point or another, having the ability to self-market means not having to wait for the next flu outbreak to see people in your waiting room.   But how exactly does a physician advertise themselves to new patients? Or, better yet, how does a doctor advertise to someone who isn’t sick? It all comes down to smart marketing: having the right message and the right medium.   The right message   Whether they realize it or not, people need healthcare at times—not just when they’re sick. Physicians understand this better than anyone, which makes it an important message to communicate. Marketing with this aspect in mind, it becomes easier to target new and returning patients with calls to action that will prompt them to pick up the phone and schedule a visit.   As any marketing professional will tell you, communicating with the customers you have is far easier than getting the attention of those you don’t—this is an idea that’s also true when it comes to marketing to your existing patient database. Take a look at a few calls to action that can prompt your existing patients to step on into your office:   1 - It may be summer now, but the new school year is right around the corner—meaning immunizations and checkups are a priority for kids during the summer months. Scheduling an appointment today means not having to wait in a crowded waiting room come fall. 2 - Summer sports season is upon us, which means physicals are in order for most participants. Having your child come in today for a physical will ensure they’re in tip-top shape to hit the field running at every big game. 3 - Allergy season can be a huge pain—especially if you don’t have the right medication to deal with major allergy attacks. Scheduling an appointment with a physician means accessible relief during peak allergy season.   The list goes on and on with seasonal and topical reasons to visit the doctor. Tapping into any of these reasons to bring your existing patients through the door starts with smart marketing and the right message.   But what about new patients? How can you reach out to new people to make your office the destination for doctor visits, as opposed to another private practice? Take a look at a few trends that make for great messaging when targeting new clientele:   1 - “Having trouble getting an appointment at your usual doctor’s office? Come to XYZ clinic where we always have time to focus on your health!” 2 - “Looking for a whole new level of patient care, from physicians who are comforting and personable? Come to XYZ clinic!” 3 - “Feeling a little under the weather? XYZ clinic is here to help you get back to feeling bright and sunny!”   As you can see, being able to leverage a better quality of care, more personable atmosphere and a penchant for delivering results can be enough to sway prospective clients away from other practices… but only if you’re diligent in reaching out to these people through the right marketing means!   The right medium   The right marketing message is nothing without the right medium and when it comes to physician marketing, tapping into the verticals is absolutely the way to get your message out there. What verticals? Take a look at these basic few outlets that should always be considered:   1 - Direct mail: Postcards and pamphlets are critical pieces of a physician advertising campaign because they’re tangible pieces of information that a person can keep to remind themselves of their need for a doctor visit. Whether it’s a call to action that brings them through the door today or a passive sell that sticks in their mind the next time they encounter a situation, having that tangible reminder is going to ensure a conversion. 2 - Email: With most people operating online today, email is the quickest and by far the most interactive way to reach your audience. From linking them to appointment scheduling pages online, to enabling smartphone call links, to pushing traffic to splash pages on your website for certain procedures, all it takes is a single email to get people engaged with their physician’s offices. 3 - Business cards: Business cards represent a bridge marketing material that can be paired with just about any other to facilitate a sense of professionalism. Having a business card from their physician helps people to feel more connected and in the case of an emergency or any other medical situation, that business card could be the tool that separates a visit to your office from a visit to some other physician.   These basic examples, when paired with the right messaging, can have a profound effect on the flow of your patients. From encouraging more frequent visits to creating demand for medical care through topical subjects, the right marketing message in the right medium is what many physicians need to keep the pace of their waiting rooms steady throughout the year.   If you’re looking to increase exposure and connect more with those patients you’re not seeing as often as you should be, take the next step to marketing yourself and let AlphaGraphics help. We’ll worry about your marketing while you worry about the health of every new and returning person who steps through your door. Read article →

The Importance of Having a Website in the Digital Age of Commerce

It wasn’t too long ago that business websites were reserved for those companies who had bottomless budgets, entire creative teams and immeasurable customers coming through their doors—websites were considered a luxury and everyday mom and pop businesses didn’t even dream of hosting their own online site. Today, however, just about anyone and everyone can build themselves a website and its become an essential piece of commerce, regardless of your business’ size or locale.   In fact, we’ll take it another step further and say that in today’s modern age of digital technology, not having a business website can be detrimental to your business itself and put you well behind your competition. Still, there are those few local businesses or longstanding brick and mortar shops that don’t buy into the need for a business website for one reason or another. Take a look at a few key reasons that might convince you to change your views on business websites if you’re still holding out:   a. About 52 percent of small businesses don’t have a website and of those 48 percent who do, only about 56 percent measure traffic and interactions for their website. If you invest in a website for your small business, you’re putting yourself ahead of 52 percent of other small businesses (including your competition) automatically—and, measuring your online traffic puts you ahead of roughly half of all other business owners who also have a website. (via http://www.forbes.com/)   b. 85 percent of consumers are searching for local businesses online before they’re actually going out and spending money. What this means is that if you’re not listed online or don’t have a business website that people can find, you could potentially be missing out on a massive amount of commerce that originates online. (via http://localsplash.com/)   c. Seven out of ten online users surveyed have clearly stated that they will look at products, reviews, company information and competing companies online before they make a purchase or choose a business. If your business doesn’t have a website, you’re automatically being left out of the conversation. (via http://www.reachlocal.com/)   Now, the above are just a few quantified reasons to invest in a website for your small business—there are thousands of other stats and figures that support the cause for creating a website. But, even more persuasive than all of these facts and figures are the qualitative benefits that come with a website, including:   a. Your website works while you sleep, creating leads, converting prospects into sales, spreading your brand message and giving you a voice even when you don’t have the opportunity to communicate face to face.   b. With so many people using computers and mobile devices before they act, having a website is going to ensure that you’re noticed among the crowd and at least given consideration when it comes down to decision making.   c. A website is the foundation for your entire online marketing campaign—everything can be routed back to a quality website! Whether you’re interested in PPC advertising or you’re doing cross-level marketing with physical materials, being able to use your website as a landing space is invaluable.   d. A small business website is far more than just another space for your business to advertise—it’s a resource for customers to learn everything they need to know about you. From your business hours to your location, services and products offered to your practices and standards, your website is going to be a repository for answers to any questions your potential customers may have.   Again, the list of benefits goes on and on to encompass numerous solutions that will lend themselves to your business. A website can be nearly anything you make it and depending on your business and how you choose to market yourself, your website can be as easy or complicated as it needs to be to get the job done! And, thankfully, in today’s modern age of a necessary Internet presence, it’s easier and more affordable than ever to make sure your business has a reserved spot online. Read article →
May 19 / 2015

Multi- & Cross-channel Marketing: A Love Story

"Jill, will you marry me?”  That’s what the billboard said.

I couldn't believe it.  My roommate had pulled it off.  Of course, he was only able to negotiate the rep down to a one-month lease, rather than the standard three-month.  So the actual proposal happened a couple weeks ago.  Since then, someone had the (genius) idea to spray-paint the reply “No, leave me alone!!” in big, red letters across the bottom.  Made me laugh every time I saw it. (more…)

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The Continual Rise of the QR Code

Think for a moment if you will, when was the last time you walked down the street, and didn’t have your cell phone with you? If you are anything like me, there a couple of things that I always make sure I have prior to heading out, whether heading into the office, to meetings, or simply out and about in my free-time.

Wallet?             Check. Keys?               Check. Cell Phone?      Check.

As cellular phones have evolved over the years, whether in size, morphing from large brick like objects, to what is essentially a miniature computer that fits into your pocket, so too have they opened up the almost endless possibilities as to what they can actually do, (more…)

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Personalized Marketing with PURLs

AlphaGraphics personalURL

Addressing someone by his or her first names is pretty impressive, but envision the ability to utilize all sorts of variable information in your marketing campaigns. PURLs, when spoken out loud, tend to conjure up a very different picture than the marketing tools they actually are. When I first became aware of PURLs I initially thought of the fantastically rare and valuable gems sought after the world over. Yet this is perhaps an interesting metaphor for what is otherwise referred to in its long form, as a Personalized URL, which, if used correctly, can be a valuable addition to any sized business’ marketing strategy. (more…) Read article →
November 07 / 2011