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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Cross-media marketing FAQ

Targeted cross-media campaigns help grow your sales or donations, improve your marketing, and strengthen relations with your customers. Cross-media marketing combines personalized direct mail and email with personalized micro-websites to create integrated, strategic, multi-touch campaigns.

What is direct marketing?
This term describes any campaign that puts your offer directly into the hands of people you think might be interested in it. Typically, direct marketing has been done via direct mail, often supported by business reply cards or inbound telemarketing. Nowadays, direct mail may be supplemented with email marketing and micro web-sites. Direct marketing can be contrasted with display and broadcast marketing, in which all readers, listeners or viewers receive the same message indiscriminately. Direct marketing campaigns can be numerically measured for effectiveness, something difficult to do with display and broadcast campaigns.
What are micro-websites?
Microsites are small websites customized for a single user that allow the user to respond to you on the Internet. They exist for the life of your campaign and for that purpose only. When you include microsites in a campaign, your prospects log into them by keying or clicking on a domain address (or PURL), unique to your campaign, printed on their mail and email communications. This affords them a convenient alternative to phoning a call center, or filling out and mailing a business reply card.
What are PURLs?
Personal Universal Record Locators are the web addresses recipients use to access their microsites. As the name indicates, they are personalized for each recipient.
What do prospects see when they arrive at their microsites?
They first see a Welcome Page that includes your logo, your creative, and specific information about your offer, as well as a personal greeting highlighting their name.
What else is included in a typical microsite?
It can have up to four pages, including a:

  • Welcome Page
  • Survey Page (optional)
  • Profile Confirmation Page (optional)
  • Thank You Page

It may also include an animated introduction. The Welcome Page and Thank You page may be versioned. The microsite set-up can also include a trigger follow-up Thank You email (optional).

What does versioned mean?
Versioning means tailoring content on a microsite page based on information provided by the visitor. For example, we can alter messages on Thank You pages in response to how visitors answer questions on Survey pages.
What can microsites do for my direct marketing?
They’ve been called direct marketing’s “missing link,” because they:

  • Quickly generate and qualify leads
  • Gather information about the your prospects’ interests
  • Adjust messaging and content on the fly for greater relevance
  • Let you monitor campaign activity as it unfolds
  • Immediately alert sales reps when there is activity on landing pages
  • Help you learn about your prospects so you can continuously improve marketing communications
How do cross-media campaigns work?
They can work in many different ways. One example would be:

  1. A direct mail piece invites a prospect to visit his or her microsite to learn more about your offer
  2. A Survey page on the microsite requests information about your recipients’ interests
  3. As this happens, prospects’ contact data and Survey responses are sent to your follow-up representative
  4. A Profile Confirmation page asks your prospect to confirm his contact information
  5. A Thank You page presents a personal message, and may also provide links to white papers, corporate websites and so on
  6. Each step is carefully tracked by our system to assess campaign effectiveness
  7. You monitor all this as it develops on your campaign dashboard
For greater security, can you add login codes to PURLS?
Yes, at your option.
Will cross-media campaigns support my sales team?
Yes. When prospects visit their microsites and fill in your survey they pre-qualify themselves. This information, including the prospect’s answers to your survey questions, is immediately transferred to your representatives’ smart phones or computers for appropriate follow up.
What can I ask my prospects on the Survey Page?
Anything you want to.
What is a campaign dashboard?
A campaign dashboard is a viewer that shows you a real-time summary of the overall activity on your campaign microsites. You access your dashboard on a website we provide.
What is personalized or variable data printing?
Modern digital presses can vary the text, images, colors and layout of each and every print over the course of a press run. This allows you to design and tailor messages that are relevant to each of your prospects, and add individual PURLS to each piece.
How much customization can modern digital presses handle?
Conventional direct marketing mail pieces are typically customized only by varying names and addresses. Modern presses can vary everything on each piece, according to your goals and what you know about your prospects.
What do you mean when you say your campaigns are personal?
We strive to send each of your prospects information relevant to him or her as an individual, according to what you know about their interests.
What do you mean when you say your campaigns are interactive?
Like in a regular conversation, microsites let your prospects tell you more about what they want from you. What you learn allows you to treat them more personally in future interactions.
What do you mean when you say your campaigns are measurable?
One of the strengths of cross-media marketing is that you can track responses and compare the value you receive to the cost of your campaign.
What measures do you use to evaluate the effectiveness of your campaigns?
Cost per response is one measure. Return on investment is a better measure.
Will you help me calculate the return on investment of my campaigns?
Yes. Campaign follow-up analysis is part of our standard service.
Can you work with my existing collateral?
Yes. It is usually easy to add PURLs to your current designs.
How do you price your service?
We give you a fixed price for each campaign, based on the campaign development, execution, and management and review services you use. Campaign costs also vary with the size of your mail list, the number of mailings in your campaign, and the complexity of your mail pieces.
Does your fixed campaign price include postage?
No. We cannot compute postage until we presort your mailing list.
So how much does a typical campaign cost?
Cross-media campaigns typically run from around $2,500 to $12,000 depending on the development services you require, your mail piece complexity, the number of mailings in your campaign, and the size of your list.
Can a campaign include multiple mailings?
Yes. Multiple mailings make campaigns more effective. The cost of multiple mailings can be included in your fixed price, and their timing is completely flexible.
Can you do “trigger” campaigns?
Yes. We can send your prospects personal mail and email pieces triggered by events such as birthdays, when subscription or lease terms are about to lapse, or other relevant dates. We can send out such mailings individually, even one at a time.
Who uses this kind of marketing?
  • Candidates for political office use it to survey voters and raise money
  • Nonprofits and alumni associations use it to give people an easy way to donate online
  • Automobile dealerships use it to promote weekend sales, end-of-lease programs and service specials
  • Manufacturers use it to sell services and supplies, and to promote trade show traffic
  • University admissions departments use it to promote applications and improve matriculation rates
  • Professional organizations use it to promote seminar enrollment and attendance
  • You can use it in many other ways limited only by your imagination!

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Document Services FAQ

What is on demand printing?
The process of printing documents in exact quantities as needed, rather than printing in bulk in advance, and delivering them directly to the end-user. For example, in week 1 printing a run of 36 training manuals for a seminar with 36 enrollees, followed by printing in week 2 a run of 43 manuals for a class of 43 students, etc.
How does on demand printing work?
Documents are stored digitally, on protected servers, then printed out on fast printers, bound and delivered or shipped, usually within 2 or 3 days. Enter your orders online, using the document library feature on your custom portal on our website.
Who needs on demand printing?
You benefit from on demand printing if you currently trash materials because the content goes obsolete, or if you are spending too much housing and managing inventories of pre-prints.
What are the main benefits of on demand printing?
Compared to pre-printing materials for inventory, on demand printing reduces the costs of obsolescence and inventory management. On demand documents are very easy to update. By reducing or eliminating trashing, on demand printing is better for the environment, too.
What kinds of documents are amenable to on demand printing?
Training manuals, installation and repair manuals, some books, and marketing collateral such as sell sheets, catalogs, price lists and brochures.
Are on demand printed documents high quality?
On demand documents can be printed in black & white or full color. Quality meets high business standards. Many binding options are available, for a sharp, presentable finished product.
What is your VersaDoc service?
VersaDoc is an online service for personalizing and ordering business cards and other business documents.
How does VersaDoc work?
We set up an online template that replicates the static information on your business card or other personalized document. When your employees need new cards, they fill in their personal information online, view an immediate proof, and submit their order.
What are the benefits of using VersaDoc to manage business card orders?
Speed and brand integrity. Proofing time is eliminated; cards are printed as individual orders (no waiting for multiple orders to be “ganged”); orders are usually shipped in 1-2 business days. Everyone in your organization orders cards from a central supplier, so it’s easier to control color and other brand details.
What savings are associated with VersaDoc?
There is a small charge for setting up the template. Thereafter you are charged printing costs only. There are no proofing charges associated with individual orders. Order quantities are flexible, so you can order cards in smaller batches than with offset-printed cards.
How do I control costs my employees independently order cards and brochures?
We can set up your company’s ordering portal so that you have final approval of orders. Individuals create, proof and submit orders, but our system quarantines them until you approve printing.

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Digital Printing FAQ

How good is the quality produced by black and white digital printers?
Our black and white digital printing is as good as offset printing. Expect smooth solids and clear half tones. Photos reproduce very well. There is excellent print consistency across print runs.
How about digital color printers?
Although color quality varies somewhat depending on the brand of printer involved, you should expect excellent business quality color from our hp and Heidelberg presses. This means vibrant colors and skin tones that are realistic and attractive. Colors will be consistent across the sheet, across the run, and reproducible on future runs.
Can digital print shops produce complex products?
Yes. We can replicate many of the products you can get from large commercial print shops, with the qualification that, as a digital shop, we are set up to produce them in smaller batches, and much faster. Available services include single and double sided lamination, UV coating, die cutting, corner rounding, perfect (paperback book) binding, assembly of kits, full direct mail services, display graphics and banners, and fulfillment.
Anything else?
Yes. At Laser Image we are particularly adept at producing personalized and versioned documents. Our digital presses can print on an ever-growing range of substrates, including magnetic stocks, films and window clings, custom die-cut boxes, and lots of kinds of labels. Our presses can address and bar code self-mailers on the fly.
Can digital print shops help me find new ways to streamline my business and cut costs?
Yes, re-engineering how you manage documentation is one of our strengths. We provide online ordering and proofing processes, short-run on-demand (“as needed”) output to eliminate the cost and waste of storing pre-prints, online customization of business cards to cut administrative costs, and online tracking of digital inventories and print order histories. We can also help you retain and find customers with targeted, personalized cross-media campaigns.
What’s the best way for me to send you files to print?
Select the Upload files menu item under either the New customers or Existing customers menus. Our website is designed to handle transmission of large print files and to alert us when you send new ones. Files uploaded to our website are stored in secure, password protected folders.
Download our free PDF Preflight utility to make it easy to generate perfect PDF files, ready for printing.
How do I get my proofs?
You receive an email notification from us with a link to an online PDF proof. We print and deliver hard copy proofs at your request, for an extra charge.
How do I order a hard copy proof?
Online proofs are our standard. We provide hard copy proofs on request, for an additional charge. Simply contact your Laser Image Project Coordinator and order one.
What is a Customer Portal on your website?
A Portal is a password protected page on our site designed especially for you. It is where you go to order reprints from your document library and other management functions.
What are the benefits of a Custom Portal?
A Custom Portal simplifies ordering and management of on demand documents. On your Portal you can establish authorized users, set purchasing limits, and order usage reports, among other things. Versadoc templates may be housed in your Custom Portal.
How long does it take you to turn my jobs around?
Most commonly 1 to 3 working days after proof approval. Very large or complex jobs may take a few days longer. We deliver typical direct mail orders to the Business Mail Entry Unit in no more than 5 days from proof approval.
How do you prefer to receive files for printing?
In PDF format, with bleeds if required. Our free PDF Preflight utility will help you make sure your PDF files are in perfect order for printing. We also accept application files in many formats. If you send application files be sure to send fonts and graphics as well. Most layout programs have an “assemble for print” or “collect for output” command to help with this.
If I make changes and send in a new file, how soon can I see my proof
Typically within 1 working day.
Are there additional charges every time I send in a new file?
Additional charges will apply, depending on the amount of work required to produce a new proof.
What is a bleed?
A bleed is a page with color that prints (“bleeds”) all the way to the edge of the sheet. A full bleed is a page with color that prints to all four edges of the paper. For helpful definitions of printing terms, please see our Glossary under the Learn More tab.
How do I set up bleeds in my file?
Specify in your application that the color you want to bleed extend at least 1/8″ beyond the crop marks of your page. If you’re designing a sign such as a banner or poster, extend your color at least 1/4″ beyond your crop marks. If you have questions about this or other layout issues, please contact one of our prepress technicians.
For on demand printing orders, how many pieces do I have to specify per order?
Ordering denominations can be from one to several thousand. You define how many pieces given people in your organization can order at a time. You can specify that management approval is required to release orders.

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