Friday, May 13, 2011

Five Burger Footprints.

   This is not a story about the Yeti or the Abominable Snowman.  Instead, this is the tale of your carbon footprint.  Believe it or not, there are people in this world that like to sit around playing with calculators.  Normally I shy away from them, but every once and awhile they come up with an irresistible little tid-bit that causes me to nearly leap off the couch!  Please fasten your seatbelt now.

   A recent study in Europe has found that the carbon footprint of the average persons YEARLY junk mail pile is equal to five...Yes...FIVE cheeseburgers.  Now sit down again and think about that!  Think of how fun it is everyday to sift through the mounds of fabulous deals, and miracle medical whatnots, and pizza coupons.  Think of how many great printers are occupied producing that heap.  Think of all the people affected by this avalanche of news and deals.  That stack of treasure is probably higher than your head.

   Now, think of five cheeseburgers.  Think of heavy hips.  Think of clogged arteries.  Think of hundreds of mice starving to death somewhere with no cheese to eat!  Think of the pleasure of one fine feast!

   Any sane person would admit, junk mail is a terrific deal seen through these glasses.  Since you are thinking already, keep on thinking about how 82% of people like getting catalogs in the mail.  Or how 80% read or at least skim direct mail.  Or, here's another number, 67% of all online "action" is driven by offline messages.  Over 40% of people have tried a new business or service for the first time as the result of direct mail.

   Now, if I can only figure out a way to mail five cheeseburgers!

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Royal Tree.

   Ok, It's Arbor day in good 'ol U.S.A.  This is a day we celebrate the humble tree.  Never mind the Royal wedding going on across the pond, this is important!  

   Some boring scientists like to ramble on about how trees can lift 100 gallons of water a day into the leaves, or how they clean the air we breathe, but I would like to just simply say...lets celebrate their beauty.

   I would have a hard time choosing a favorite type of tree from the more than 23,000 kinds that there are.  Some times one tree just fits a certain scene or place.  There are even some dead trees that are "pretty".
Now I know you are quietly scooting up to the edge of your chair, wondering how this all relates to printing, so grab onto the we go.

  Sometimes all it takes to change a printed piece from "nice" to "wow" is a differant paper.  I can assure you that there are more kinds of paper made than any one person can know.  At our business we have six file cabinets full of swatch books each containing many, many kinds , colors, and textures of paper.  Yes it is true that most fancy papers do cost more and give some printers a headache trying to buy them...but to get the most "Oooohhs and Ahhhhs" for your printed piece, it is worth checking out some out of the ordinary sheets.  As a printer I know getting certain papers can be a royal pain, but it sure can be worth it!

  It would be nice to keep going along this conversation, but I want to get back to the Royal wedding!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Think like a Fish.

   Most customers are like goldfish!  A recent statistic by the B.B.C. says that the attention span of the average person is nine seconds.  NINE SECONDS!  This is roughly the same attention span as the common goldfish. That really surprised me.  Hello?  Are you still there?   Anybody still reading?  Hello?

   Now to make sense of this statistic, let me suggest that most customers are like most people.  Put into business speak, this means you have roughly nine seconds to reach most people with your advertising.  One group that must be hard to reach is bullriders at the rodeo.  Their work is finished in eight seconds or less.  However, I digress.  Printing really shines when you think of how effective it is reaching people, and causing them to splurge a bit and spend a full ten seconds on your ad piece. 

   Now, to reach a persons mind it is necessary to think like a fish.   Having never been a fish makes this a challenge, but give it a try.   My thoughts go something like this...Food,Food,Food,HERON,food,food.  If this thought process is close, here is what we learn.

1.--Give them something they like.
2.--Give them something useful.
3.--Give them something new.
4.--Give them a way to avoid a problem.
5.--Give them something needed.
6.--Give them something to help them grow.

   Notice I stopped at six since most people only pay attention for nine seconds!   Number seven would be 'keep it short', and number eight would be 'keep it simple'.  Now for my last point....I wish I could remember it.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Paper is like people

Have you ever cut out snowflake patterns on paper?  If you are guilty of this very common crafts, what you experienced was enjoying the feel of paper!  All the electronic gadgets and gizmos in this world are unable to match the feel of paper, or the challenge of doing something creative using feeling, your brain, your eyes,hands,and even your feet.
     It is true that you can fold paper with your feet.  At work sometimes I am running the folding machine and encounter a problem.  I then use the old tried and true method of stamping my feet on the ground and muttering under my breath.   Each brand has certain charcteristics that vary quite a bit from one to another.  Some fold like a charm, some don't.  Some hold ink better than others.   Some dry fast without curl, some take forever to dry.  In this way, paper is alot like people.  We are all differant with some good points and some, shall we say, not so good points. 

     Some paper is thicker than others.  There are three primary ways that paper weight, or thickness, is measured.  Due to this silly way of measure, you can buy 110# index paper that is just over half the thickness of 100#cover stock.   Unless you are very bored you really don't need to know about these though.  Let your printer worry about it instead. 

    Quite like paper, some printers are thicker than others.  Don't settle for a bad printer, as there are thousands around.  Keep looking till you find one who matches service with ability.  Printing is a rapidly changing business right now, so watch for a printer who is still learning and growing.  We had three competitors go out of business last week alone.  I feel very sorry for them, and hope to keep improving my skills and to communicate that print is still alive and well.  As Mark Twain said, "the report of my death has been greatly exagerated".  Printing will always be around.  You can read a magazine on the beach, in the tub, or...(send me a comment on where you like to read),  you can comment anonymously!!!

Monday, April 4, 2011

How to wink at cuties!

   Greetings all--long time no post!  Ha-ha, yes I have been busy...Now to the goodies...

  Some great brain once said, (I don't remember if it was Napolean or Confucius, or even someone else), they said..."Not advertising your business is like winking at a cute girl in a dark know what you are doing, but no one else does".  This fired up my brain at once.  According to many new studies, one of the most effective methods of reaching people, even in dark rooms, is to advertise using print. 

  There is something very real about a printed piece as contrasted with an electronic screen.  Alot of our customers have tried publishing newsletters online instead of a mailed piece.  They will find out fairly soon that most people do not read every page online, or even "see it" without reading it.  A printed copy allows a sneaky way of registering in a persons mind whether they actually read it or not.  Wink,wink.

  When you flip through your mail (as said in prevous posts) you record things seen in your mind that may trigger a desire to read more.  Have you ever heard someone say..."oh yeah, I saw something about that!  It is coming up this next week, or on sale or something".  This means that the ad piece was noted but possibly not read.

  It is said that an Elephant never forgets.  I think that the human brain is much the same.  The trick seems to be remembering something at the right time!  Computers have started us all along a path that requires less memory and the ability to fill that space with trivial knowledge.  You may not know your friends phone number, because your phone remembers for you.  But can your phone wink for you?  When you think of advertising, remember this 67% of online action is driven by offline ad pieces.  That my friends is nothing to wink at!