<![CDATA[C&R Graphics and Promotions - Blog]]>Fri, 20 Aug 2021 14:31:21 -0400Weebly<![CDATA[Show the World you Mean Business]]>Mon, 22 Jun 2020 16:45:24 GMThttp://c-rgraphics.com/blog/show-the-world-you-mean-business
The Science of Signage
All your projects related to a good sign are backed up with the science of signage!
Advertising is just a game of tug of war. There are advertisers who put in so much work and effort yet still struggle to get their message across. Then there are consumers who go ahead and ignore all the efforts of advertisers. Signage is one big break that ends the tug of war.
Why do signs work so well? A good sign conveys a lot of information; they attract attention and effectively communicate a message. A good sign is compatible with its surroundings and can even reach drivers going at high speeds. Communities and businesses alike are working hard to grab the attention of tourists and shoppers. But a great looking sign isn’t all that’s needed to get a community’s or business’s message across. A good sign uses both strong design and graphics with readability and safety for the viewers.
Business owners use signs to ensure that their customers are able to locate them. People use signs to find the services they require, i.e. churches, hospitals, government buildings, and schools. Signage is an important factor for branding, information, navigation, and inspiration. So, what makes a sign good?

Here are some simple rules that will help your signage work effectively:
Keep it Simple. A simple design with impactful imagery drives engagement. Get your message across by concisely stating it in a few words for your target audience. Too many words crowd your sign and make it hard for anyone to decipher.
Use Colors to leave an ImpressionA good sign needs to have colors that contrast with the environment. As a business owner or retailer, using a single color scheme creates visual clout. Using the same aesthetics increases the likelihood of a breakthrough to your customers.
Unique Shapes. Naturally, our eyes look immediately towards anything with a unique shape. Using unique shapes while developing a good sign in contrast with the environment improves the likelihood of it being viewed by passersby.
Keep Headlines Short. Ideally, a good sign will have a headline of 3 to 5 words. Always use clean, crisp, and easy-to-read styles to get the maximum legibility. Keep in mind that using too many capital letters will cause the sign to lose its legibility. Using both upper and lower case letters will be more legible even from a far distance. Lastly, no more than two different fonts should be used in a single sign. The general rule of thumb is to leave 30 to 40 percent of the sign’s area as white space for optimal readability.
Use Engaging Visuals. In any good sign, visuals have to be the dominating element. These visuals easily appeal to the subconscious of a reader. Suggestive images are much more powerful than the functional images. Like, use an image that will bring strong feelings or images to the mind of a viewer rather than some static, day-to-day images without much thought behind them.
So, if you’re looking make your signage a powerful marketing tool, then try incorporating these tips to your signage design. Your sign will ultimately become more compelling and result in increased sales. 
<![CDATA[How Do You Measure ROI of a Print Marketing Campaign?]]>Mon, 18 Dec 2017 15:50:19 GMThttp://c-rgraphics.com/blog/how-do-you-measure-roi-of-a-print-marketing-campaign

Try 3 simple strategies to monitor effectiveness. Print is a key player in any cross-media marketing mix. And with increasing personalization options and the ability to seamlessly integrate print pieces with digital components, today’s marketers can drive serious results. But how do you know what’s working and what’s not? You can easily measure the ROI of your next print marketing campaign using these three strategies.

1. Capture leads on a unique landing page.
Rather than simply directing readers to visit your website, create a unique webpage (known as a landing page) that builds upon the messaging of your print piece. Capture leads by having recipients take a survey, download a whitepaper, or request more information.

2. Use a clear and concise call-to-action.
Your print piece and landing page should both include clear, easy-to-read call-to-actions that direct readers and visitors along their customer journey. Be sure to include a specific timeframe for response to create a sense of urgency and make it easier to track results of individual campaigns.

3. Track your metrics.
Crunching data makes the not-so-tech-savvy among us cringe. But with today’s user-friendly analytics tools such as Google Analytics (free!), Clicky, and Heap, it’s surprisingly easy. As you see how visitors interact with your site by studying bounce rates, page views, and sources of incoming traffic, you can make adjustments where needed. A well-developed landing page, clear call-to-action, and metric tracking system will help you determine the effectiveness of your next print marketing campaign—and start a cycle of continuous improvement.
By Laurie Hileman (Millcraft Paper)

<![CDATA[10 REASONS DIRECT MAIL IS MORE EFFECTIVE THAN EMAIL]]>Mon, 06 Nov 2017 14:05:05 GMThttp://c-rgraphics.com/blog/10-reasons-direct-mail-is-more-effective-than-email

There are certain questions that are sure to spark a lively conversation. Dogs or cats? Waffles or pancakes? Coca-Cola or Pepsi?
Inside marketing circles, few questions stir as much discussion as the well-established debate over Email versus Direct Mail.
Each has their supporters with unique positions and arguing points. And certainly there is a time and place for both.
But when it comes down to it, which is truly more effective? Let us suggest some talking points that may be surprising and help settle this debate.
1. Direct mail gets delivered.
The delivery rate of direct mail stands at an impressive 98%, while email delivery rates hover around 50%. This is largely due to abandoned email addresses, unreliable list data and spam filters that are becoming more rigid with each passing day. If the email does then make it to the reader’s mailbox, there is a slim chance that it will actually get read in totality.
 2. Direct mail does not require an opt-in.
Simply getting an email delivered to your target audience is becoming more difficult and complicated, thanks to evolving anti-spam legislations. In Canada, brands are only allowed to send email to people that have agreed to receive communications.
With direct mail, you don’t need permission before sending and there’s no risk of getting fined.
 3. Direct mail stands out.
The average office worker receives 121 business emails a day. Meanwhile, more than 100 personal emails land in the average consumer’s inbox each week. With new filters on most email services — promotional emails are often filtered out of the readers primary mail box.
Compare that to the roughly 16 pieces of physical mail that the average household receives each week, and it’s no wonder why email messages get buried while direct mail stands out.
4. Direct mail gets noticed.
With email, the only real way to grab attention is with an ultra-compelling subject line. That’s about 60 characters of real estate.
Meanwhile, the ways to get noticed with direct mail are limitless. Oversized mailers, personalization, specialty substrates, die-cuts, colored envelopes, embosses, spot varnishes, metallic inks…the list goes on.
5. Direct mail is read.
All any marketer can hope for is that his or her message be given a chance. That’s why it’s a big deal when you’re only competing against a few other messages in the mailbox each day rather than the aforementioned 100+ emails.
The icing on the cake? With direct mail, your message will almost certainly be read. That’s because 98% of American’s check their physical mailboxes every day (USPS), 77% sort through their mail as soon as they receive it (Epsilon), and 79% of mail is read for at least a minute. Compare that with the rather pedestrian email open rates most companies see – around 20% – according to MailChimp’s 2017 benchmark research.
6. Direct mail tells a story.
Need to convey your brand, pitch a product, generate awareness or create an emotional connection? With email, you’re limited to pixels on a screen. Print affords you an almost endless amount of space to tell your story. From double-sided postcards to cleverly designed mailers and multi-page brochures – you’re limited only by your imagination.  Creative design elements alone account for up to 25% of enhanced response to direct mail.
7. Direct mail sticks around longer.
If you’re like most, your sorted mail probably sits on the kitchen island or coffee table for. In fact, people tend to keep direct mail for an average of 17 days, whereas the lifespan of an email is just 2 seconds. The longer the lifespan, the longer your advertising time – strengthening the chance your recipient will engage.
8. Direct mail has higher response rates.
When it comes to actually generating action, direct mail substantially outperforms email. According to the Data & Digital Marketing Association Response Rate Report; direct mail outperforms all digital channels — combined — by nearly 600%.
The Data & Marketing Association (DMA) found email to achieve a 3.7% response rate with house lists and a 1.0% response rate with prospect lists. Compare that to the 0.1% response rate email achieves for both house and prospect lists.
9. Direct mail is viewed as more trustworthy.
The DMA also found that 56% of consumers believe printed marketing to be the “most trustworthy” of media channels. This isn’t surprising, as email marketing has the perception of being ‘informal’ and ‘spammy’. Besides, you can’t get a virus or malware from opening printed direct mail.
10. Consumers prefer direct mail.
Consumers are finding physical mail to be a welcome retreat from the avalanche of emails they are constantly buried beneath. Supporting this belief is an Epsilon survey, which found nearly 3 in 5 American consumers said they enjoy receiving postal mail from brands about new products, compared to just 43% who said the same about email.
Originally published by Mohawk Fine Papers, Inc.
<![CDATA[Supercharge Your Signage with These 5 Tips]]>Wed, 16 Aug 2017 14:12:14 GMThttp://c-rgraphics.com/blog/supercharge-your-signage-with-these-5-tips
Grab your customers’ attention and draw them in with eye-popping (and effective) design.
Two seconds.

It’s the time you have to catch a customer’s attention with your business signs, according to Mike Barrett, a wide-format specialist at Millcraft. And in a world where messages come at us from all directions, effective signage is more important than ever.
A survey by FedEx Office® found that “almost eight in 10 (76 percent) American consumers enter a store they have never visited before based on its signs, and nearly seven in 10 (68 percent) have actually purchased a product or service because a sign caught their eye.”
Whether it’s indoor or outdoor, the most important thing to remember about signage is “to keep it simple,” stresses Barrett. Here he offers five tips to help you supercharge your signage and get customers in the door.
Audience appeal. Know your target audience and align your message and overall design accordingly.
Brand specific. Every sign—whether all-purpose or event-specific—should remain consistent with your brand image.
Color conscious. Multiple colors blend together at first glance. Barrett recommends one strong pop of color that will catch the peripheral vision of passersby.
Design for readability. Keep signs clean and simple, with few words, in an easy-to-read font, and with a maximum of one visual.
Eye-catching placement. Avoid placing signs too high or too low. Keep them close to your place of business and in the line-of-vision of passing customers.
Broaden your customer base and strengthen your brand with strategically designed business signage targeted to your specific audience.
By Laurie Hileman (Original Content Here)
<![CDATA[5 Reasons Print is still Necessary in the Digital Age]]>Tue, 30 May 2017 18:49:00 GMThttp://c-rgraphics.com/blog/5-reasons-print-is-still-necessary-in-the-digital-age
The influx of digital dependence has brought about many changes to marketing, specifically the onset of content marketing; consequently, this has also brought about many changes within the print industry.
These stealthy changes to the print industry have been happening for years as the internet and online marketing have soared. However, some industry pros, in both marketing and print, think that the best strategy to a well-rounded multi-media marketing campaign is to incorporate both printed marketing materials and online marketing and promotion.

Here are 5 reasons why print is still an important, if ever changing, industry in the digital age
1. Multi-Media/Cross-Channel Marketing
Research indicates that a well-rounded approach that combines both print and online marketing strategies is effective in increasing consumer and, in the case of Associations and Nonprofits, member reach. Not everyone surfs the web and is engaged in social media and not everyone goes through their postal mail, trying to determine what’s worth saving and what’s not.
According to Jonathan Mitchell, managing director at Arjowiggins Creative Papers, “Research has shown that cross media campaigns deliver the highest response rates.” Additionally, he purports that “Powerfully designed, high-quality print firmly establishes a brand’s positioning and the value it places on its customers and can create an emotional bond and brand loyalty” (“Paper & print focus: How can print and digital be integrated in the marketing mix?”).
2. Baby Boomers and Older Consumers
As stated above, not all consumers are reachable through web content and social media; as a result, it is crucial to take into account the online habits of older generations.
In any marketing campaign, a multi-generational approach is best. And, the best way to achieve that is to truly understand how older generations interact online as well as off. For example, baby boomers tend to prefer Facebook over Twitter and read consumer reports. As a result, an effective multi-media approach, could start with printed materials that lead baby boomers and older consumers to online resources that include Facebook resources in addition to consumer reports.
Also according to Tom Priestley of Liaison Print Management, “The most important question is, how is this piece of communication going to make the consumer change their behavior and where will they go from here” (“Paper and Print Focus”).
Ultimately, when considering how to integrate print and web into a marketing campaign, you have to consider consumer buying and consumption and how you can alter that to the benefit of your campaign.
3. Not everything can be digital (and it shouldn’t be)
Despite the power the internet holds…not all media can be transferred seamlessly from print to web and while marketers are trying to make this move, some things just can’t be replicated. Mr. Priestley says, “Consumers have an array of connection points with a brand, company, service or product and they don’t all live in a virtual space. Print and digital content should rarely be exactly the same. They shouldn’t be performing to the same goals but there should be cohesion between the two” (“Paper and Print Focus).
The takeaway…we do still need some printed materials, and they should be cohesive in branding and concept to online efforts. Additionally, when taking into account that not everyone surfs the web and it can’t all be done online, the benefits of a multi-media campaign become apparent.
4. Sometimes folks need something they can hold
Sometimes we just like to have something to hold. When the internet really started to boom, we made a move to purge all printed materials out of our mailboxes; utility companies insisted consumers sign-up for e-bills, employers insisted that employees sign-up for direct deposit and e-stubs, families started to send e-cards, and old school marketing practices started to wane…then we realized that all this paper hating was perhaps going a little haywire and just maybe, some consumers wanted to get more in their mail boxes than non-delivery notices for Amazon packages.
Because sometimes, it is just nice to get something in the mail that you can hold and marvel at. For instance, my grandmother still mails me a real, bona-fide birthday card, and I look forward to it every year. And, my realtor still sends out circulars from time to time. I appreciate these things because they seem more direct and personal than an e-card or mass email.
Additionally, because direct mailers and other printed materials have fallen out of vogue in the last ten years as many businesses have taken all of their marketing efforts online almost exclusively, now is a good time to start a mailer campaign as a means of standing out above the rest. In that light, it is time to jump back on the bandwagon…before it gets too crowded, again.
​5. Direct consumers to your digital efforts
In the end, the biggest advantage to a multi-media marketing effort that includes print as well as web resources is reach. You want to reach as many people as possible, and you want them to interact with as many of your marketing materials as possible.  For example, according to Millward Brown, a leading research agency, “physical media–AKA direct mail–left a ‘deeper footprint’ in the brain” (“Direct Mail: Alive and Kicking”), meaning that when consumers were given something to physically hold, the message presented stayed with them longer and was more memorable. Also, keep in mind that a goodmailer campaign will go beyond the typical postcard and will include creative, useful and unique media that the recipient can hold onto and engage with.
Yet another advantage of incorporating print into your marketing campaign is the ability to direct consumers to your online efforts. Therefore, including a mailer campaign in your overall efforts with QR codes and links to social media involvement is beneficial to your efforts by increasing reach and, in some cases, interaction.
In our ever changing technological scope, it is important to recognize that there is a great deal of content and media being presented to consumers on a daily basis and so a well-rounded, cross media approach utilizing both print and web is crucial to increasing reach, maintaining attention and growing ROI.

Original Article written by James Reid, March 12, 2015 HERE