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Tag Archives: On-demand printing

What’s the Difference: Digital Printing vs. Offset Printing

dans Marketing Strategy

What is on–demand, digital printing? Defined, it’s a printing technology that allows for digital files to be quickly and economically printed in short run quantities (short run is considered about 5,000 prints or less). However, what on–demand, digital printing actually is and what it can do for a business is much greater than its definition.

On–demand, digital printing is a powerful accumulation of technologies that will change the way you communicate with your audience.

Before I get into describing all the benefits of using on–demand, digital print technology, I think it would be helpful for you to understand the traditional commercial printing process. In contrast to it, you’ll be able to appreciate the significant advantages of on–demand, digital printing.

The most common technique used for high–volume commercial printing today is color offset printing. It’s a method that prints layers of four, and sometimes six, different colors of semi–transparent ink on top of one another in order to reproduce the original image.

The Color Offset Printing Process

offset printingThe process starts with having the original artwork, image and text, separated into red, green and blue components.  Each of those color separations are then inverted and negatives are produced.  Think of it like a roll of film from your camera.  When it’s developed, the images on the negative are represented in colors opposite to the actual, true–life color values.  In color offset printing, the opposite to red, green and blue is cyan, magenta, and yellow, respectively—the three main pigments used in printing to reproduce color images.  In addition, a black separation is made to help “fill in” shadows and improve contrast of the image.

Next, each color separation, or layer, is represented on a plate or screen.  Ink will be rolled onto each of those four screens. Then, the screens will be aligned and, one at a time, each screen will be pressed against paper to transfer the ink and reproduce the original image.

As you can see, preparing and printing the artwork using a color offset process is arduous and time consuming.  There is little room for missteps or errors.  Flexibility to allow slight adjustments in marketing message is just about non–existent. Read More »

QuantumDigital Helps Santa Deliver Christmas Wishes to Children in Need

dans Marketing Strategy

It feels so good to help those in need all year round, and we do so by participating with Mobile Loaves & Fishes and Angel Tree Prison Fellowship among others. But I’ll admit it feels exceptionally good to bring a smile to a child’s face during the holiday season. I can just imagine the look of utter joy and amazement on an adorable kiddo’s face when he or she discovers that a special present has been waiting just for them.


This year, QuantumDigital–an online service provider for targeted direct mail, on-demand printing and eMarketing–contributed to Salvation Army’s Angel Giving Tree by sponsoring the holiday wishes of 30 children. Requests from children were divided up amongst many of our QuantumDigital team members who purchased items such as clothing, soccer balls, riding toys and dolls.

Thousands of little angels could still use your support and care. It’s not too late to help. Go to and purchase a gift for an angel by December 9 or a JC Penny gift card by December 14, 2009.

Thank you to all the QuantumDigital team associates that donated time and resources in order to put a smile on a child’s face this year. Here’s what a couple of our participants had to say about this great program:

Why did you decide to participate in the Angel Giving Tree program?

I feel so very blessed to have all the things I have that I just wanted to give to someone who might not otherwise have anything to open for Christmas. I can’t bear the thought of a little one not having warm clothes to wear or toys to play with. I also like to set the example for my own daughter, so that she understands the meaning of giving. – Deborah L.

Because I feel really fortunate to have a decent job during these hard times and I wanted to try and make a difference for a few children whose parents may not be as fortunate. – Robert “Dude” S.

Read More »

IBM’s First Impression

dans Marketing Strategy

I recently went to a tradeshow where the expo hall was filled with interesting vendors introducing new products and services.  The marketing materials often attract your eye… but it was interesting to see who “skimped” on their marketing and branding.  I took a photo of the materials from the trade show below, try to pick out which flyer/handout most jumps out at you (click for larger image):

Flyers collected at Tradeshow

Flyers collected at Trade show

To me, the one on the most right pops out because of the vibrant use of color and interesting subjects (3 superhero kids).  Second in line is the one on the most left, because I am really into modern art and the postmodern graphic design illustration from the AT&T flyer definitely grabs my attention.

Notably, the least attention-grabbing is IBM‘s flyer, which could have been created by a product manager intent on dissemminating the most information possible about their services, instead of a thoughtful marketer.  Why did they think that a black and white flyer printed on copier paper with 1 stock photo inserted would impress anyone?  Just look around – every other vendor uses at least color, if not double sided printing.

IBMs Flyer

IBM's Flyer

I realize that IBM’s in a new world since they sold off their laptop division to Lenovo, but to continue to win business against their rivals they need to re-introduce their brand with a compelling “first impression”.  Using black and white one sided marketing flyers just isn’t going to help you do that.

Driving Online Conversations

dans Lead Generation, Video Blogs

Eric Cosway talks about various techniques in using personalized direct mail to drive customers to a company’s online presence, including Facebook and Twitter, to engage them in an ongoing dialogue and track the results.
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The Direct Marketing Voice Links 6-15-2009

dans News & Trends

Self-Defense Tips for Your Budget

via Don’t look now, but budget cutters are greedily eyeing your department. And, in lean times, there is nothing quite like a marketing budget to set off their inner Pavlovian bell.
Good luck reasoning with them. You can try explaining that marketing creates sales, and that cutting back in a slow economy is like reducing insulin when a patient’s diabetes worsens. It’s a fair analogy but, in a recession, an analogy is no match for a red pen.

Increase Mail Efficiency with Web-to-Print

via When Jessica Paindiris became marketing director for industry-leading Massey Knakal Realty Services, she found herself taking on a customer communications problem that wasn’t just strategic — but frustratingly systemic, too. “We had more than 75 brokers among three offices in the New York City metro area, each using three or more vendors for direct mail printing and distribution, all doing their own thing. Nothing was consistent,” says Paindiris, who joined New York’s top building sales firm two years ago.

The Direct Marketing Voice Links 5-19-2009

dans News & Trends

How to Write Copy for Short Attention Spans

via No matter how gripping your sales copy is, it’s an unfortunate fact that the majority of people will only read the first few lines of it. Does that mean all the effort you poured into the perfect call to action is wasted? Not at all! But in today’s fast-paced world of communication, less really is more. Taking into account that many people will be reading your copy from a mobile device or skimming after a quick search, it’s worth breaking up larger thoughts into small, mentally-digestible “chunks” for easy, quick scanning.

12 Tips for “Psychological Selling”

via People are highly complex and often mysterious, so we all struggle to understand our fellow humans. However, now that you’ve gotten over being afraid to sell, here are a few basic psychological tidbits that can help you write compelling copy.

Uniformity is Everything in Printed Copy

via When you are creating a business image in print, for sales or corporate use, you must convey a unified single voice in everything you use. This does not mean simply having the same logo or letterhead on every print piece, although that does help. Having uniformity in printed copy means having the same voice, angle, style, and brand recognition in everything a customer sees.

Recession Marketing Example 1 – Money and Price

dans Marketing Strategy

The billshrink blog recently outlined “12 ways companies are reacting to the recession“, and a few of us here at the Direct Marketing Voice thought these examples good enough to outline one by one in greater detail.  I’m going to start with the first one mentioned which was “explicit” mentions of money or savings.  Just to be clear, this is slightly different than offering a coupon, or building up value in a product/service.

Here are a few examples in addition to the Geico Ad campaign that billshrink already mentioned:

Ad from

Ad from

The web host 1&1 has an ad that specifies in red their “old” price ($24.99) and have it crossed out, with their “new” price ($11.99) right below it.  The use of red on their new price draws attention to this point, and the fact that they mention prices right on the advertisement is an overt use of price point strategy in a marketing campaign.  You can’t miss the “50% off” call out on each service, prompting one to action.

Newsweek insert

Newsweek insert

I included this Newsweek magazine insert, because it’s also a great example of using savings in an ad.  Note the old price, the new cost which is drastically below the one above, and the amount of savings which is more than the new cost.  All these factors, combined with the use of red and the simple, bare font – gets people thinking about the large savings associated with getting a subscription – now.  Also note that Newsweek puts at least 4 of these inserts in their magazine.  This ensures that a newsstand customer will see the subscription offer at least once or twice.  As in any outbound marketing, the more touches the better.  Re-thinking this “newsweek insert” approach for direct mail is very easy – this artwork can easily be slided into a business reply card design, and with the right list could quite easily yield great ROI.

Ithaca Escape Ad

Ithaca Escape Ad

Here is a campaign that does not appear to use money or savings – as your eye is first drawn to the views of waterfalls and bicycle riders.  As the image of a luxury getaway is painted in your mind, this is reinforced by the verbage of “award winning wineries”.  However the ad shocks you by describing that this experience is accessible for “less than $30″.  Again, the focus on savings hits our recession mentality and shows us ways of enjoying life on a budget.  In my opinion this is one of the more clever ads of the three because they build up value in a particular experience but follow it up with a specific price point that everyone (especially NY/NJ citizens) can afford.

Though not all of these examples were strictly direct mail, I hope that some of the creative elements and overall strategies can apply to your particular audience or industry.

The Direct Marketing Voice Links 4-28-2009

dans News & Trends

The Future of On-demand Print Technology is Here

Can on-demand digital printing technology revitalize the traditional print media? I wanted to share two interesting uses of on-demand digital printing that I came across recently. They clearly exhibit the benefits of this technology and give insight as to what on-demand digital printing can do for the future of marketing and advertising.

More Thoughts About On Demand Printing

via Ann Bartow’s post about the Espresso on demand printing press highlights that change takes time. Ann’s post notes a Guardian article touting the machine as revolutionary and that a publisher in the U.K. launched a service based on the machine in the past few days. Yet, I wrote about the machine (and more importantly Time magazine did) in November 2007. That post compared Kindle and Espresso. So where did Espresso go in the interim?

Digital printing myths…according to some

via Seeking the facts on what the latest digital printing technology offers in comparison to conventional printing methods? Here’s a list of myths that were presented by HP’s Matthew Gindele last week at the Digital Packaging forum hosted by Innovative Labeling Solutions:
1. Digital is only effective for short runs and prototypes—Myth

Market and promote your book in “record time” by using a system that organizes your content

via Systems also save time marketing books Having identified the 8 Pillars of Traditional Design, for example, Russell Versaci has also created a simple, narrative framework that he can use to create numerous marketing and promotional projects. This framework simplifies creating content for marketing and promotion project

The Future of On-demand Print Technology is Here

dans Video Blogs

Can on-demand digital printing technology revitalize the traditional print media? I wanted to share two interesting uses of on-demand digital printing that I came across recently. They clearly exhibit the benefits of this technology and give insight as to what on-demand digital printing can do for the future of marketing and advertising.

Mine Magazine, the consumer-customized magazine printed on demand.

Mine Magazine, the consumer-customized magazine printed on demand.

Earlier this year, Time Inc., and American Express Publishing (AEP) along with Lexus launched the first ever, totally consumer-customized magazine called Mine. I just received my first issue and it’s pretty neat. The 36-page magazine is filled with content tailored to my interests and personalized especially for me. To get Mine, I visited and selected five magazine titles out of a pool of eight and I answered a few survey questions regarding my hobbies and entertainment preferences. Based on my selections and answers to the survey, the magazine is customized and personalized with my name, location and mentions of my interests. It is then mailed directly to me.

The other very exciting use of on-demand digital printing technology is the Espresso Book Machine. This giant ATM-looking printer can access thousands of books saved in digital format and can print any of them on demand within 5 minutes. Take a look at this video to understand why some are calling this “the biggest change for the literary world since Gutenberg invented the printing press more than 500 years ago and made the mass production of books possible.”

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On-demand print technology offers many benefits for both the consumer and marketer. As described in a post on QuantumDigital’s Steve’s Blog, here are a few:

  • The consumer gets the content they want, tailored to their interests and personalized specifically for them.
  • On-demand digital printing, as compared to traditional offset printing processes, translates to a savings of money, resources and time.
  • Digital printing allows the introduction of variable data that gives marketers the ability to personalized marketing messages for each individual recipient.
  • On-demand digital printing can just as affordably print one, one hundred or thousands of pieces exactly when they’re needed. This virtually eliminates the need to stock inventory and reduces instances of waste.

Embracing on-demand print technology can really change the way marketers and consumers communicate with each other – the possibilities are endless.

How do you foresee this technology changing the print media landscape?

The Direct Marketing Voice Links 4-27-2009

dans News & Trends

Synchronous vs Asynchronous

via Earlier today I needed to find out if a bounced email occurred synchronously or asynchronously. During the course of my research, the thought occurred to me that the difference between synchronous and asynchronous bounces is probably fairly unknown among email marketers, but knowing the difference would probably come in handy

TH – Technology Article

via Bowen illustrates both the potential upside and downside for charitable causes hoping to cash in on the popularity of social-networking sites such as Facebook and News Corp.’s MySpace. With millions of users worldwide, the sites would seem fertile ground for fundraising experiments — especially ones where users aren’t asked to make direct contributions. But it’s far from certain that social networking will prove as effective as more traditional fundraising methods such as direct mail, telephone solicitation and even e-mails to past donors. One hurdle to overcome is the sheer deluge of information online.

Essential Selling Blog: More Thoughts on Attraction Marketing

via Mark was quite rude to me on a voice mail he left and in our actual conversation. He told me that he uses “Attraction Marketing” and doesn’t “waste his time” with other forms of marketing or sales. I found this so interesting, because I know that selling is all about building relationships with people. You can supplement with emails, newsletters, and direct mail, but eventually you will have to speak to someone about what you do and what you offer. Did you know that if someone is satisfied with your product or service they’ll tell maybe 6 or 7 people? If someone is dissatisfied with your product or service they will tell up to 23 people.

NextMark: San Francisco passes first ‘Do Not Mail’ law

via As reported in DM News, Fox Business, and others, San Francisco became the first American lawmaker to pass a “do not mail” resolution. Although non-binding, the measure that passed by a 9-2 veto-proof majority in the San Francisco Board of Supervisors calls for the creation of a do not mail program. The Forest Ethics Council was “unbelieveably pumped” about the decision. Meanwhile, the Direct Marketing Association and its Mail Moves America coalition was “disappointed that the committee would endorse an action that would hurt small businesses and destroy jobs.” I’ve got to believe there’s some middle ground here…. A “do not mail” program is a blunt instrument that serves nobody well. Can’t we put some bright minds together to give people control over their mailbox without further destroying the economy?

Drake Direct Roundtable: 1 out of 5 not tracking email campaigns

via The latest results are in and nearly 20% of email marketers said they are NOT tracking their email campaigns.
Wow, what a missed opportunity.