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It’s Time to Start your Easter Marketing Campaign!

It's time to start your Easter marketing campaign!

Easter is just over two weeks away at time of writing. So, if you’re responsible for your organisation’s marketing, now is the time to get cracking with your Easter marketing campaigns — while there’s still time! Printing and distribution will take a little while even with fast digital printing like we have at Firstpoint Print. So, if you haven’t already started working on design, images and copy for your Easter promotions, time is now of the essence — the message is make a start now!

Good Friday falls on the 14th of April this year, with Easter Sunday on the 16th and Easter Monday on the 17th

Easter is a great time to send customers news about your company, organisation, services and products. After all, spring is now in its full glory, the days are suddenly lighter and longer and generally there’s a lot to look forward to as the sun makes his appearance more regularly. With all of that, spirits are lifted and people will be out shopping – and shopping online – more and more. The sunny weather and pleasant outlook puts people in spending mood, so make the most of it!

Easter Imagery

The flowers are firmly out, the birds are singing away in the trees and out in the countryside we’ll soon start seeing the newborn lambs and bunnies hopping and jumping around in all their cuteness. It’s all classic Easter imagery and so flowers, rabbits, little yellow chicks and, of course, eggs will all be perfectly placed in your Easter marketing campaigns. You can commission illustrations, but we’re all lucky today to have many online image libraries available to us. These will allow us to search instantly for suitable marketing images for Easter, without breaking the bank and without slowing us down. So — we can have our Easter imagery ‘same day’ and hit the ground running with our Easter marketing campaigns.

Design & Artwork

Let us know, of course, if you need help with design and artwork for your promotional pieces — we have in-house graphic designers who are available whenever you need them. They can make your Easter promotional literature and graphics look eye-catching, enticing and turn them into great sales pieces to boost your bottom line.

“Easter is an *eggciting* marketing opportunity. Don’t miss it!”
(Sorry; we just couldn’t help it!).

Printing your Easter Sales & Marketing Pieces

It goes without saying that, at Firstpoint Print, we’d be delighted to supply free quotations for printing and production of your Easter sales and marketing literature. We’re litho printers, digital printers and large format printers with facilities all in-house within the group, so we’re in the perfect position to offer the keenest pricing, highest quality and fastest turnaround times in the business. So, you can be sure that you’re getting good value as well as high quality printing and an all-round eggcellent service. (Apologies again; we just can’t help ourselves!).

Marketing with Easter ‘Cards’

Printed & personalised Easter greetings cards are great for marketing purposesHow about sending out Easter cards to your customers and prospects? Timed to coincide with Easter, people will be expecting them to arrive so they’re sure to be opened (unlike some other types of mailer). A perhaps sneaky, but effective, marketing approach which is rather akin to a Trojan horse. The Easter card can perhaps consist of a general Easter greeting along with a special offer or sale of some kind, voucher code or news about some new product or service that you’re rolling out for Easter.

Personalised Printing

If you have a good database we can even organise a mail-out for you and use our personalised printing service to personalise each card so that it arrives addressed to the individual recipient by name. It makes for a more successful mailing campaign with a much better open-rate, for sure.

It’s the same for other mailed pieces, whether they’re printed brochures, mini catalogues, leaflets, flyers or simply letters sent in branded envelopes. We can print them all — and personalise any of them if you supply the database (contact us for the simple technical guidelines). Here’s a more comprehensive list of the types of printing we can supply.

Venues: How to Maximise your Easter Bank Holiday Bookings

If you offer sit-down meals and drinks to the general public then you’ll want to Read more

Printed newsletters - the great communicator

Newsletters – the Great Communicator

Printed newsletters - the great communicator

Printed newsletters are a great way to keep both clients and employees up to date with news about your products, services and organisation as a whole. While electronic newsletters like PDFs and e-newsletters try their hardest, they’re too easy to skip past and potentially overlook completely. In contrast, physical, printed newsletters can grab the eye and engage your audience right from the word go and they are far more natural and enjoyable to browse through anyway, with no zooming required. When their content is designed well and your headlines are well crafted, printed newsletters have definite read me appeal; they catch attention and virtually invite people to pick them up, take a look and flick through. Subsequently, they can also be passed around and shared. For businesses, they can be left in strategic locations such as coffee tables, waiting rooms and receptions as well as being distributed through direct mail for a far ‘softer’ sell than flyers, adverts and suchlike.

“Printed newsletters are a great way to keep both clients and employees up to date with news about your products, services and organisation as a whole”

Tips & Tricks for Successful Newsletters

  • Design them professionally (our graphic designers are available to you if needed).
  • Write your copy (text) carefully and methodically, then spell check, grammar check and check again. Ask a colleague or two to also proof read them before they go to print. You only have one chance for a good first impression and mistakes will look unprofessional.
  • Feature one particularly prominent article or news piece on the front cover and use a high quality image to make it even more appealing to read. You need to grab your audience’s attention!
  • Design and printing of newsletters - tipsEngage your readers with a wide array of news items, so there’s something of interest to everyone.
  • Try not to be too ‘salesy’ with regard to new products or services being featured. Sometimes a case study or guest review can be more convincing and will avoid people being switched off by a ‘hard sell’.
  • Try to include items that are not only ‘news’ but are also useful to your target audience. Carefully researched articles, case studies and unique market insight, for example, mean that your newsletter is far more likely to be kept by your audience (thereby representing a longer term reminder of your services or products).
  • A contents listing on the cover, perhaps in a side margin, is a useful way to help readers get straight to the articles that most interest them and to see what’s on offer at a glance.
  • Encourage other readers to sign up to your newsletter list by including a simple means of doing so (perhaps in the corner of the cover using a contact email address or mini form — or a link to an online sign-up).
  • Include one or more ‘fun’ items in every newsletter issue, for example a competition. Prizes are good but make sure they’re genuine and fair and that details are published for any winners in the next issue; after all, news of winners is great PR.
  • Don’t forget CTAs (calls to action) and ways that readers can, of course, contact you easily for more information.

Printing options

Printed newsletters can have Read more

Your Marketing Calendar for 2017

Your marketing calendar for 2017

Your calendar can be an amazing source of marketing opportunities. Keeping your eye on key dates throughout the year will help you to keep up with the larger companies and organisations that use carefully timed marketing communications as a matter of course. So, just thirty or so minutes spent with your calendar, or 10 reading this post, can help you to hit the ground running and kick-start a carefully orchestrated marketing strategy for the year. A couple of examples will demonstrate some of the many opportunities that you’ll discover through such an exercise then, below those, we include suggestions for a full marketing calendar for the year as a whole. If you find this post useful, don’t forget to bookmark it!

Valentine’s Day Promotions

At time of writing it’s mid January so, right now, you could be gearing up for a Valentine’s Day promotion in just under a month’s time. For example, come February 14th, I for one would open what I perceive to be a Valentine’s Day card if it arrived through my post box on that day. I’d open it for sure whereas I would ignore most other ‘non-themed’ junk mail, of the nature that arrives every day. Think of your corporate Valentine’s card — and most of the other ideas below — like they are a Trojan Horse; you are grabbing attention for your marketing or sales message under the guise of something people actually want to open and read! It’s a sneaky, but ingenious marketing approach.

Easter Promotions

During February, you could be thinking about an Easter promotion timed for March, helped along with images of eggs, Easter bunnies and little yellow chicks! Consider, perhaps, use of those popular little puns in your marketing headlines (for example, “We’re Egg-cited to Announce …” and so on). In case you were wondering, Good Friday falls on 14 April this year, with Easter Sunday on 16 April and Easter Monday on the 17th.

Those are just two of the many, many timely marketing opportunities that present themselves to you every year, if you think ahead and plan for them.

An At-a-glance Marketing Calendar for the Year as a Whole:

  • 1 January: consider a New Year’s Day or general New Year promotion come January 1st.
  • January itself is the start of the traditional sale season and is a great marketing opportunity (see our last post).
  • 25 January 2017:  consider a Burns Night promotion for your Scottish clients and prospects.
  • 28 January 2017: consider a Chinese New Year promotion (2017 is going to be ‘Year of the Fire Rooster’).
  • 14 February 2017: make the most of a Valentine’s Day promotion.
  • 28 February 2017: possibly launch a Shrove Tuesday promotion, particularly if your niche involves food.
  • 17 March 2017: St Patrick’s Day could be a promotion opportunity for any Irish clients.
  • 26 March 2017: consider a Mother’s Day promotion.
  • 1 April: an April Fools’ Day promotion could be fun!
  • 14 April to 17 April 2017: make the most of Easter for another promotion.
  • 22 April: an Earth Day promotion could be useful for ‘green’ promotions.
  • 23 April: a St George’s Day promotion perhaps.
  • 1 May and 29 May 2017: consider a couple of ‘Bank Holiday’ promotions – perhaps a sale.
  • 18 June 2017: Father’s Day presents itself for possible promotions.
  • 7 and 28 August 2017: some August Bank Holiday promotions perhaps – again, maybe a bank holiday sale.
  • 31 October: it’s Halloween so theme your promotion accordingly.
  • 5 November: a Guy Fawkes Night promotion could help your marketing go off with a bang!
  • 23 November 2017: Thanksgiving promotions for your American client base perhaps.
  • 24 November 2017: Black Friday and …
  • 27 November 2017: Cyber Monday promotions can really make the most of people’s shopping sprees in the run-up to Christmas, particularly while they’re in spending mode.
  • 25-26 December: plan a Christmas and/or Boxing Day promotion to grab those last minute sales.
  • 31 December: a Hogmanay promotion for your Scottish audience perhaps.

Promotions Around a Key Moment in Time

The list could go on, including marketing activity timed to Read more

Hit the ground running with a January promotion

Hit the Ground Running with a January Promotion!

Hit the ground running with a January promotion

Why not hit the ground running for the New Year with a January promotion. Whether it’s a mini catalogue announcing your sale prices, or printed flyers to hand out in town to get people to your store, the New Year is a great time to boost your bottom line. Not only is the New Year like a ‘new slate’ but many people will also have received money or vouchers for Christmas so will be on the look-out for a real bargain.

The January sales are also a great time to offload any overstocked goods that didn’t sell out at Christmas, so thinking of creative ways to garner customer sales and also clear space for new stock is a multiple win. Printed leaflets, vouchers and perhaps mini printed catalogues showing your special offers or sale pricing are sure to increase visitors, generate retail sales and add to your profits.

Ways to gain extra sales

Aside from the ideas above, other ways to generate customer interest and sales include:

  • Offering bundle deals – for example bundle up a few products together, with an overall saving, to offer great value overall whilst also off-loading some items that might not have previously sold well.
  • Offering B.O.G.O.F. (buy one get one free) or ‘3 for 2’ deals and similar will shift more stock while also giving your customers a great deal.
  • Cross-sell. So if you’re selling notepads, for example, offer savings on pens, erasers, rulers and pencils if bought at the same time.
  • Encourage people to subscribe to news and updates by including sign up forms on your printed literature. Mailing lists are worth their weight in gold and keep customers coming back to buy more and more, sometimes for years, when you use them to best effect (e.g. via newsletters, e-news, direct mailings).
  • Encourage people to sign up to voucher schemes or loyalty cards, for example, by having a draw for one lucky new subscriber each month. Make the benefits clear on your printed literature and publicise the win each time for added PR effect.
  • Maximise brand recognition. So, keep your brand visible and presented consistently so that people remember it and identify with it in the future. Brand recognition and a good corporate identity are important marketing assets for any business, service or product.
  • Publicise your special promotion with printed flyers, posters for your store windows, email campaigns and don’t forget to offer voucher codes for online sales.

How we can help:

We can help to maximise your New Year promotions by supplying excellent design and economical, high quality printing — or alternatively supply your own artwork if you have your own in-house design service. With digital, litho and large format printing all available in-house within the Firstpoint Print Group, we can supply pretty much any kind of printing. Moreover, that mixture of printing hardware means you receive the very best process for each particular job, the lowest pricing for the quantity you need and the fastest turnaround.

If you decide to go ahead with a January promotion, just a few of the things we can design and print for you include: Read more

Print & Design Support for Your Marketing Campaigns

Printing & design for marketing departments

So let’s assume you’ve got your marketing strategy in place, have written your copy and you are now ready to start production of each marketing piece.

Design & Artwork

Now you need some great design to back up your marketing message. If your company or organisation has it’s own in-house design team, then great. If not, you need look no further than our own graphic design team, which is on tap for you whenever you need it, here at Firstpoint Print. Our designers would be happy to take your brief and turn it into something attractive and eye-catching, communicating your message in just the right way for your target audience. On your approval of the design, they’ll finalise the finished artwork files for you, ready for the printing stage.

Printing

There is printing … and there is great printing. After investing time, money and effort to get this far, it would be a great shame to cut corners and rush things at the final hurdle. So it’s worth taking a moment to think about the most appropriate printing processes, paper and finishes to be used for your marketing pieces — rather than rushing in and wasting the opportunity. As we’ve said in previous posts, putting thought into the extra touches and detail can make a huge difference to that all-important first impression — and you only get one chance to do that!

“putting thought into the extra touches … can make a huge difference to that all-important first impression”

Firstpoint Print can help more than most other printers because we have both litho printing (for total Pantone colour matching accuracy and larger print volumes) and digital printing (for fast-turnaround jobs and low-to-medium quantities). We also have in-house large format printing for those extra large print-outs like posters, in-store displays, roller banners and exhibition panels. So, with all those facilities available within the Firstpoint Print group, we can *optimally* print pretty much anything — just one supplier, for all your sales and marketing literature. The mixture of different printing processes also ensures that you get the best possible pricing and the most appropriate process for each printed piece.

“the best possible pricing and the most appropriate process for each printed piece.”

What types of marketing pieces can we print?

It would almost be easier to say what types of marketing collateral we can’t print – as there are so few – but here’s a list of Read more

Printed postcards - the chameleon of marketing

Postcards: the Chameleon of Marketing

Printed postcards - the chameleon of marketing

 

In our latest post, we put the spotlight on the humble postcard and its incredible potential as a marketing tool. Why does it have so much potential?  Well, because it’s so adaptable and can be used in many different ways, for a whole host of marketing purposes. Postcards are also incredibly cost-effective and, as such, punch well above their weight as a sales and marketing tool.

An alternative to business cards

Postcards can obviously be used as standard post cards but let’s first consider their use as an alternative, or perhaps sidekick, to a business card. Right away their larger size lends extra impact, more detail and the ability to add a headline and some marketing copy. Try all that on a standard business card and you’ll soon see why we suggest a postcard as an alternative. So next time you are in a situation where you’d normally hand out your business card, consider handing out a well designed and well printed postcard too. It would be a great talking point — and that’s another great benefit.

An alternative to leaflets

Consider them too as a possible replacement for a leaflet. Their extra thickness alone gives them more gravitas than a thin leaflet while still allowing plenty of room for your sales message, contact details, product information and perhaps an offer of some kind. Compared to a standard leaflet, there’s something simply more precious, in the best sense of the word, about a postcard. So, people are simply more likely to keep hold of a glossy, attractive postcard than they are a standard leaflet.

Handouts

Postcards also make excellent handouts and give-aways at events. With the ability to be able to laminate them and perhaps even spot UV varnish them, when well designed they can leave a first impression that’s every bit as good as a posh brochure yet all distilled into a simple, compact, straight forward, instantly readable communication.

Another great application of a postcard is, of course … Read more

Top 10 tips for tip-top printing

Top 10 Tips for Tip-Top Printing

Top 10 tips for tip-top printing

Following publication of our design tips in the last post, it made sense to put together our top tips for successful printing too. After all, what use is great design and communication if the printing lets it down.

Although the ultimate process of putting ink onto paper is down to the skills of your chosen printer, there are a whole host of things you can do, before handover, to give your job the very best chance of looking great once printed.

1. First, read our ‘Top 10 Tips for Great Design’ post

… from earlier this month.

Why? It’s jam-packed full of tips to make the content, message and look of your piece absolutely as good as it can be. Here’s the link.

2. Use the right software

Why? Because professional printing works best with professional design and artwork software. Some of the higher end settings and functions are simply not available with ‘desk-top publishing’ software, while ‘Office’ applications like Word for Windows are simply not designed for use with high-end printing. If in doubt, use the services of a professional graphic designer — or indeed a printer who has them in-house, like Firstpoint Print.

3. Check your images are saved correctly

Resolution needs to be at least 300dpi (dots per inch, which is effectively the same thing as pixels per inch or ppi).

Related: If images include ‘rasterised’ text (text saved as an image rather than as editable text), also make sure that the resolution is 300dpi or more, at the final size.

Why? This will ensure that the images and rasterised text are sharp and legible. Anything less than 300dpi will make them look soft, fuzzy or, even worse, pixels will show on the final printing. Better still for text, use ‘real’ text or ‘vectorised’ text instead of rasterised text — see below …

4. Check your font settings

Before handing over artwork files, make sure any ‘live’ fonts are either 100% embedded or converted to vectors (‘outlined’ as it’s known in professional artwork packages like Adobe InDesign and Adobe Illustrator).

Why? Failure to do so may result in unintended font substitutions or even missing or unexpected characters appearing in the final printing.

5. Check your image modes

Coloured images like photographs need to be in CMYK mode, not RGB or Indexed Colour.

Why? Leaving them in RGB may result in Read more

Firstpoint Print Victoria branch

Our Victoria Branch – in the Spotlight

Firstpoint Print Victoria branch

In the third and final post of our 3-part series highlighting individual branches, we go to London’s SW1 to take a closer look at the Victoria branch of Firstpoint Print.

Firstpoint Print Victoria, SW1

The Victoria branch of Firstpoint Print is located on the Vauxhall Bridge Road, being the A202, roughly halfway between Victoria Station and Vauxhall Bridge itself. This means that the commercial printer is perfectly situated to serve individuals, businesses and organisations located nearby in such areas as …

  • Battersea
  • Belgravia
  • Brixton
  • Bond Street
  • Charing Cross
  • Chelsea
  • Embankment
  • Green Park
  • Hyde Park Corner

  • Knightsbridge
  • Lambeth
  • Lancaster Gate
  • Leicester Square
  • Marble Arch
  • Mayfair
  • Nine Elms
  • Oval
  • Piccadilly Circus

  • Pimlico
  • St James’s Park
  • Sloane Square
  • Soho
  • South Kensington
  • Vauxhall
  • Victoria
  • Westminster
  • & Southwest London

As with all Firstpoint Print locations, the Victoria branch is also happy to supply printing services less locally including to customers in the Southeast of England and the UK as a whole. With overnight courier services being so fast and reliable these days, and online ordering available on the Victoria website, the branch can be the commercial printer for pretty much anyone, in any location. More about our online services below …

Firstpoint Print Victoria’s Printing Services

The Victoria branch has just about every printing-related service and facility that you could possibly ever need. We have in-house graphic designers who can cater to all your creative design and artwork requirements. We have digital printing presses ready and waiting for your quick turnaround, low-to-medium volume colour printing, duplication work and ‘on-demand’ printing. We have litho printing facilities that are perfect for single colour, spot colour or full colour medium-to-high volume print runs with the ultimate high quality results. We have large format printing machinery standing by for anything that you require in a large size, whether it’s a simple poster or a full-scale exhibition stand, display, pop-up system or roller banner. Read more

London Bridge branch of Firstpoint Print, SE1

Our London Bridge Branch – in the spotlight

London Bridge branch of Firstpoint Print, SE1

In this, the second of our 3-part series of blog posts about individual branches, we focus on our London Bridge branch.

Firstpoint Print London Bridge, SE1

The London Bridge branch of Firstpoint Print is situated just off the A2 and A2198 at 27 Tabard Street, London SE1 4LA so is very close to both Borough and London Bridge stations. The commercial printer is therefore ideally located for businesses and organisations that are looking for a professional printing service in and around the following locations:

  • London Bridge
  • Bankside
  • Borough
  • Bermondsey
  • Elephant & Castle
  • Waterloo
  • Southwark
  • Brixton

  • Camberwell
  • Canada Water
  • Denmark Hill
  • Dulwich
  • Herne Hill
  • Kennington
  • Lambeth
  • Mansion House

  • Monument
  • Newington
  • Oval
  • Peckham
  • Streatham
  • Surrey Quays
  • Vauxhall
  • South London

The branch is also happy to supply printing to the South East generally, and Nationwide, via overnight couriers. In fact, Firstpoint Print London Bridge is accessible as a printer to anyone, anywhere, because artwork can be uploaded to their online system from anywhere with an internet connection. The same is true if you need to upload a brief to get a printing quotation. So, wherever you are, Firstpoint Print London Bridge has your printing needs totally covered and quotations are usually with clients in no more than 24 hours from initial enquiry.

What printing-related services are available?

Firstpoint Print London Bridge can supply printed sales and marketing collateral from concept to production as they have all the necessary services available in-house. These include:

  • A design and artwork service using our talented, qualified, in-house creative team that can make your job look a million dollars and stand out from the crowd. (We also accept client-generated design and artwork, of course).
  • Litho printing which is simply the best quality money can buy. Lithographic printing is suited to spot colour jobs, full colour (CMYK) jobs, larger volume print runs and anything that simply needs to look its absolute best. With regard to size, the London Bridge branch handles anything up to B1 in size (707mm x 1000mm).
  • Digital printing which is fast, inexpensive and convenient, particularly for low-to-medium printing quantities and those jobs that do not exceed SRA3 in size.
  • Our digital printing service also doubles as a copying, scanning and duplication service.
  • Large format printing which is a service suited to the production of larger printed graphics such as posters, in-store and point-of-sale displays, banners (including roller banners), exhibition panels, pop-up systems and signage.
  • A full print management service which does what it says on the tin, i.e. we organise and supply all of your printing for you so that you always have enough in stock, but not so much that you have boxes and boxes everywhere, taking up valuable office space. The printing management service allows you to get on with other tasks while we take care of what we do best, i.e. design, artwork and printing.

Read more

Printing terms & jargon - explained

Printing Terms & Jargon – Explained

Printing terms & jargon - explained

It’s sometimes easy for printers to forget that not everyone will understand some of the common terms and jargon that is spoken within the industry. For example, printers may refer to ‘process printing’, ‘CMYK’, ‘bleed’ or even ‘trapping’. But what do each of these actually mean? Here we explain …

Above the fold
This refers to the part of a document which you first see, for instance the top half of a document or, for websites, the part of a web page which you see without having to scroll down vertically.

Accordion fold
A way of folding a document or brochure so that it concertinas open/closed.

.ai file
An Adobe Illustrator file type (usually used for vector graphics like logos, charts or illustrations).

Ampersand
The letter &, meaning ‘and’.

Art paper
This is a type of paper, commonly used in commercial printing, which has a coating of a clay-based compound, to give it a very smooth surface on which the printer’s ink will sit without absorption. This usually results in the best type of printed result (e.g. saturated colours and good contrast).

Artwork
The type of professional digital file supplied to commercial printers, from which to print (if digital printing) or make plates (if litho printing). Click here for a guide to supplying artwork.

Binding
The fastening together of pages (e.g. of a book, manual or brochure). Examples include perfect binding, wiro binding, saddle stitch binding, hard binding and soft binding.

Bleed
An extra extension of images or graphics beyond the edge of a printed page or sheet (usually 3mm in width). This makes sure that, once trimmed, any images or graphic which extend to the edge of the sheet do not have an unwanted white margin.

Blind Emboss
An unprinted image, formed in relief, using a metal ‘die’ which is forced against the paper or card under pressure. Read more