3 Powerful Marketing Tips To Gain New Local Customers

Small businesses thrive when their local community embraces what they have to offer. Customers feel that doing business locally is easy, it’s close by and it’s probably good for the local economy.

Even though these customers are consumers just like anyone else in the rest of the country, these consumers have one specific characteristic that is completely different from any other: they SHARE your location.

Whether your local efforts are made at the town level or the state level, these customers can become loyal fans just how sports fans become loyal fans of their local (town,state) teams.


3 Powerful Marketing Tips for Small Business
3 Powerful Marketing Tips for Small Business

 1. Gain Local Customers with Local Rewards

Sharing your location with your customers means that you and your employees eat, shop and interact with the same local businesses that they do.

These days you can run a Loyalty Rewards program easily in-house. It’s simply a matter of how complicated you make the offer.

A simple way is to print custom coupons with areas that get marked for each purchase or transaction. When the customer reaches the pre-determined number of transactions, you reward them with a free gift or a discount.

Partner up with some of the popular local businesses and run joint advertisements or run discount coupons off of each other. By doing this you are advertising to their customer base and at the same time helping their advertising efforts.

2. Create Awareness Inexpensively

Every Door Direct Mail : For 18.3 cents each (postage) you can mail an over-sized postcard or folded piece to every mailbox in your surrounding neighborhood including PO Boxes. No mailing list required.

E.D.D.M. is an amazing opportunity to let your local customers know your business contact information, address and the services and/or products you offer…while your at it, give them a coupon or offer they can’t refuse.

With the large canvas of the over-sized card that you can send, there’s enough room to include vital information, an attractive image and a killer call-to-action.

3. Become a Social Magnet

Social media is all about community. By embracing the power of social media, you can create a community of brand ambassadors that will spread the word for you.

Sign up for Twitter and create a Facebook business page at the least and start conversations with your customers. When they talk to you, their friends and connections will see the conversation and possibly join in. With that alone you might have just scored a new customer.

Follow us on twitter : @mmprint

Although each one of these tips is powerful on its own, using them in combination will increase your chances of acquiring new local traffic.

Use Every Door Direct Mail to inform your local community of your location, product or service and make sure to let them know where to find you on Twitter and Facebook (and any other social media networks you are on). Then, on your Facebook business page you can offer a discount in return for a Like. Don’t forget to use QR Codes to make it easy to connect with you or visit your website via mobile phones.

Have you had better success using Targeted Direct Mail over using Every Door Direct Mail?



InDesign Tips to Speed Up Your Catalog Design


We sort out great websites for you to download free for commercial use fonts or free for commercial use vector art and write tutorials and tips for designers.


Why do we even bother? Well, honestly, it makes our job easier!


Truth is, we can use the most state-of-the-art printing presses like the Konica Minolta C8000 we acquired recently, but if the files are not print-ready and well crafted, the outcome can literally be garbage…that goes in our paper recycle bins of course!

In my experience:

  • 80% of the outcome of a print job is dependent on the design files
  • Most times, a graphic designer acts as a liaison between us (the catalog printer) and the customer
  • Many times the customer is the designer

Therefore, we sincerely want the designer/customer to be proficient with their design tools and so, we offer the resources to learn how to do so.


Keep reading to learn how InDesign can speed up your catalog design and make you a truly efficient designer…

Catalog Printing - Indesign Master Pages

Adobe InDesign Gives You Design Superpowers


Well, not really. But it does make the process of designing a catalog 10x easier!

One of the most tedious part of designing a catalog for print is well, repetition.

What would you find repeated throughout a catalog?

  • Headers
  • Footers
  • Backgrounds
  • Logos
  • Watermarks


Adobe InDesign Master PagesWhat can we do about it?

Adobe InDesign answers that question for us with “Master Pages”.

Notice how in the top area of the image there is a graphic of a page labeled “A-Master”. Notice the pages below it are all labeled “A”. That means that any changes done to the A-Master page will also appear in all pages labeled “A”.

Now isn’t that nifty??

You can place any repetitive information that will be found throughout your catalog in the A-Master page and it will be found on all of your pages marked A.

If you find that you need to have some of the pages with a different layout, you have 2 options…

  • Simply drag the page labeled “[None]” to the page that will be different. This removes the A-Master layout
  • Create a new Master such as B-Master so that you can use a totally different layout on other pages


This feature alone will save you countless hours that will be better spent designing the body of the catalog.


Now that’s efficiency.


Here is a youtube video from Lynda.com that explains how to use InDesign Master Pages in detail:


Please comment with any InDesign advice or tips you may have and don’t forget to share this post!

Printing Terms Infographic – Color Quick Guide

We strongly believe that an informed customer can make all the difference in print jobs going smoothly and without misunderstandings. I’m sure it goes for any industry.

We strive to offer a unique and pleasant experience when working with us. By providing our customers with informative collateral we not only educate our customer, but we also ease the lines of communication which instills confidence in our customer that what they are ordering is exactly what they want. It’s logical, it makes sense.

With the recent popularity and practicality found in infographics, we decided to release a series of Quick Guides of printing terms and print related infographics to offer to our customers and anyone else who can use them. Please feel free to share this!

For a more in-depth look at color, visit our Colorful Guide to Understanding Color.

Printing Terms Color Quick Guide





Coolest Roundup of Augmented Reality in Printing

Many say the printing industry is in decline, some even say print is dead. Think again Egon!
This has got to be the coolest innovation to hit print next to QR Codes and it has been said before: Print is not dying, it’s Evolving.

If you are a movie buff, you may have already heard of Augmented Reality (AR for short). The film industry is adopting this technology wisely and guess where it is found…yes, on their PRINTED movie posters and even on the official movie T-shirts which of course are screen-PRINTED.

A Revolution on the Rise

As augmented reality technology catches on and becomes more affordable, you will see its use more and more in our daily lives. The one aspect of augmented reality that really catches my attention is the fact that it could revolutionize learning.

Finally we have something to make those boring text books come alive, making learning interactive or better yet, fun. This would make kids actually want to study…Check this out:

The example above shows just one way augmented reality enhances print. This technology can also be applied to Direct Mail and just about every type of printed advertising from business cards to large format.

Augmented Reality in Print

The following round up of Augmented Reality print advertisements show that print is here to stay and is the medium which connects our reality to the virtual online world. Enjoy!

Godzilla 2012

Poster and T-shirt

Godzilla Augmented Reality Poster



iQ Toyota Augmented Reality Tech



Interactive Marketing sales tool – Building Magical Brochure



Augmented Reality Business Card – Avatar Concept

Business Cards


Augmenting a Postcard



Bouygues Telecom Augmented Reality Smartphones Brochure

Brochures (Wow!)


Audi Augmented Reality Calendar



I (heart) Augmented Reality

T-shirts (lol)


Augmented Reality Encyclopedia



Augmented Reality Game

Board Games


New Reality – Augmented Reality Magazine



TOUCH2PRINT -Augmented Reality: Can touch this

Touch Interactive Paper



Movie Advertising


This is only a small chunk of what is out there! Augmented reality can solidify print’s centuries-long foundation in our present and more importantly, our future.


In what ways will you use Augmented Reality in your Print Campaigns?



One Critical Component Missing from your Brochure Design

brochures by mmprintSometimes a business card just isn’t enough to leave behind when you visit a potential customer. Sometimes, customers come into your facility and want to learn more about your products or services while they wait or to take back to the office or home.

Sure, you can tell them to visit your website; there’s a lot of information and pictures there. But how sure are you that they will actually visit your site? How do you know that they will remember to do so?

Well by furnishing them with a printed brochure, you can rest assured that they have the information they seek, in their hands, ready to read. No computers to turn on, no website addresses to type, just a simple informative brochure in their hand ready to be read.

Online and Offline go hand-in-hand

Your brochure is a selling tool, it serves as a convenient hub to introduce your service or product, it can contain information about you and/or your business and a way to contact you. Now here is the way to extend the power of your brochure to actually make the sale for you: add a QR Code.
Yes, by adding a QR code to the inside or outside of your brochure, the potential customer can scan the QR code with their smart phone, go to a mobile-ready website that is formatted to make it easy for them to actually place the order for the product or schedule an appointment for the service you offer.

Read more about how to properly execute a QR Code campaign to get the best results from your efforts and save money on postage when using direct mail services.


Brochure Inspiration for Advertisers and Graphic Designers

Printed brochures come in many sizes and shapes. Of course we have to offer you a nice collection of beautifully crafted brochure samples to get your creative juices flowing and to end this post with some motivational visual inspiration.


Brochure by Brandzigners

Brochure by deviantonis

MSC Brochure by SherifShaaban

MineralKat Brochure A4 by pho3nix_bf


Brochure by ksteward

CropLife Brochure by jpz001


brochure by SeventhDesign

brochure by Amy Moen


3 Key Marketing Tips for the Modern Real Estate Agent

In today’s fierce Real Estate market you have to stay on your toes. Marketing your open houses, agency, available properties and yourself as a Real Estate agent is a key component to drive business, sales and changing that For Sale sign into a Sold! sign.

As a printing company we get to see what is new and what is working across different markets using different strategies. Here are some key marketing tips inspired by what we have seen work best for real estate agencies and agents in their marketing efforts:

Content is King

1. Apply the Content is King Concept to your Real Estate Marketing Efforts

To begin with, most home buyers want to know what they are getting and how much it costs; They peruse through the property listings on your website and find a few pictures, a list of features and a few bullet points with a sales price which gives them the skinny on the property. But where is the value?

Content is King is a phrase well known to today’s internet marketers, SEO gurus and social media experts. It’s a very successful concept on the web and has been for years, these days even more so. Content adds value to a product beyond its functions or assets. Is there a positive story behind the property, the street or the town? Did someone famous or worth mentioning live there at one point? Content can give a property personality; transforming a house for sale into a home for sale. Words can influence, that’s why Content is King.


For Sale Sign with QR Code 2. Modernize your Real Estate Marketing Materials

With the sharp increase in consumer purchases of smart phones, it is a big mistake not to consider incorporating mobile into your Real Estate marketing.

As a home buyer, I can remember the frustration caused by seeing a beautiful house with a for sale sign outside as I drove by and saying to myself: “I can’t wait to get home and look up the listing on that house!”
By the time I got home I had forgotten the address, the Real Estate Agency that was selling it and of course, I didn’t stop to write down the phone number on the sign.  For the Real Estate agent this meant a lost sale or a lost lead at the least.

Behold, the QR Code. It began as a special barcode to track car parts and has evolved into the connection between offline and online marketing. The QR Code can be scanned with a smartphone to display information or initiate an action on the mobile phone.

A For Sale sign with a QR Code on it can lead a person who is interested in the home to a mobile friendly website where they can view pictures and contact the seller or Real Estate agent. QR Codes can also store contact information directly into the mobile phone’s contact list simply by scanning the code. QR codes are open for personal and commercial use. Here is a list of free QR Code readers and generators.


Personalize Communications Variable Data Printing VDP3. Personalize Communications

Real Estate agents and agencies have access to a vast amount of data about potential customers and their interests. Too often, this data goes unused to its full potential when in reality, it is bursting with value.

There is a little hidden gem that doesn’t seem to get the exposure it deserves…yet! Only the big ad agencies and corporations seem to be using this technology to their advantage. The printing industry is currently experiencing a digital evolution and from it we have the birth of Variable Data Printing, also known as VDP.

Variable Data Printing is the personalization of each individual piece in a print run. Let’s say you have a database of 5000 potential home buyers and in that database you have details about the type of homes these potential home buyers are interested in purchasing: Cape, Colonial, Ranch, two family, etc.
In your magnificent database of real estate information you also have access to all of the listings of homes for sale that have these features.

Now tie it all together. A printing company with Variable Data Printing capabilities can take your database information (usually in MS Excel format) and customize each printed piece with information pertaining to the recipient such as their name and information related to their home buying interests such as images and open house dates.

Here is a sample Postcard with Variable Data Printing


Real Estate Variable Data Printing VDP Postcard


Here are the Variable Data Fields:


Variable Data Fields in Real Estate PostcardVariable Data Printing is a remarkable technology will absolutely increase your read rate. Most generic postcards are glanced at and discarded. If the recipient sees their name on it, they have a higher probability of reading all of your content and contacting you.



Have you used QR Codes or Variable Data Printing in your Marketing? What other technologies are you using in your Real Estate Marketing Campaigns?

Please comment below

The Need to Bleed

Bleeds and crop marks business cards
I recently asked my production manager and the graphic department manager here at Marsid M&M:

– What is the most common mistake that you find in artwork submitted by customers?
Answer: Missing Bleeds.

They also added that it is one of the biggest causes of delays in the customer receiving their order. It’s a fact that many businesses hire outside designers and when we contact the customer about the missing bleeds, it can take a matter of minutes to a matter of days to get the adjustments made by their designers.

Unfortunately our graphic department cannot always add the bleed because the file is not editable which is a whole other blog post (coming soon).
If we can add the bleed ourselves, we do it free of charge as a courtesy to our customers.

Bleed and Crop Marks

What is Bleed?

Some designs contain graphics or solid backgrounds that reach the edge of the paper as shown above. Printers require an additional stretch of these graphics or solid backgrounds, usually about 1/8th of an inch called a “Bleed” in order to guarantee the edges are not left without ink when the paper is cut.

Stack of paper showing bleed being cut

Quick tutorials: Adding bleed to your artwork

The easiest thing to do to prevent forgetting to add bleed is to simply make a bleed guide as the first thing you do when beginning a new design. Some professional design software makes this incredibly easy to do, some you have to do manually (still pretty easy).

Adobe Illustrator LogoAdobe Illustrator:

Illustrator offers one of the easiest and most convenient ways of adding bleeds to your documents from the start. In the “New Document” dialogue, under “Bleed” enter 0.125 in to any of the columns. If the link chain is selected already, then it will populate all 4 fields with 0.125 in automatically.

Add bleeds to an Adobe Illustrator Document

As you can see below, your bleed lines are added automatically. Shown as a red frame around the artbox…

Adobe Illustrator Bleeds

Adobe InDesign LogoAdobe InDesign:

In the “New Document” dialogue, make sure the “more options” button is pressed and at the bottom has a “Bleed and Slug” section. In the bleed box type 0.125 in and if the the link chain is selected it will automatically add it to the other 3 boxes.

Adding Bleeds in Adobe InDesign

Similar to Illustrator, InDesign automatically adds the red frame around the artbox as a guide for bleeds…

Adobe InDesign Bleeds

Adobe Photoshop LogoAdobe Photoshop:

In the “New” dialogue window, add 0.25 to the desired finish size. For example, if your designing a postcard that has a finish size of 5 x 7, then you would enter 5.25 x 7.25.

Add Bleed to Photoshop

Once you click OK, your empty canvas will appear and we will use the Rulers (View>Rulers) to use as guides to center our 5 x 7 within the 5.25 x 7.25 canvas and therefore make the bleed areas visible. Pull a guide from the ruler for each side of the canvas and drag it until it is 1/8th” inside the canvas from the edge.

Adding Bleed Guides in Photoshop

Photoshop Note:

We do not suggest using Photoshop for layout and typesetting of print projects. For best results use Photoshop for image manipulation and special effects. Import or place the image or object in Illustrator or InDesign for layout and typesetting.

Photoshop is a raster design program which uses grids of pixels to compose an object. Illustrator and InDesign create vector art which is composed of lines and curves or “Paths” to create objects and therefore create sharp edges and lines for both objects and text. Vector can also be scaled to extremely large sizes without losing quality.

Bookmark Worthy: Print-Ready Design Checklist

Use the checklist to double check that every requirement is already in your artwork to avoid any issues or delays!

Brand Visibility – Perforated Window Film

There is nothing better to make customers remember your brand than showing them something fun and innovative. Digitally printed Perforated Window Film (PWF) also known as “Window Perf” has an effect of mystery and surprise on everybody, and if you are able to affect your audience, they will remember you.

More and more businesses are using digitally printed perforated window film these days. We can find it on vehicle windows, bus wraps, rear window graphics, window privacy screenings, glass entrance doors and more.

Custom Window Cling  - Window Application

Digitally printed perforated window film should be laminated with an optically clear overlaminate to prevent dust and dirt buildup in each film perforation. Also, this overlaminate prevents rainwater from clinging to the film and provoking limited visibility for vehicle riders and operators.

One of the most interesting features of Window Perf is the one-sided privacy it can provide. No matter how colorful the print is, or how much the film is covering, the side with the brightest light will always be visible to the individuals on the darker side. This creates a one-way mirror effect that can be reversed with the simple turn of a light switch, or with the natural cycle of the sun.

Perforated Window Cling - Glass Door Application

A typical example can be found in city buses that display the printed work on the outside during the day. People outside the bus cannot see the passengers, but the passengers barely notice the film in between them and the outside world. At night, the situation shifts, since the inside of the bus is what is now lighted.

Window Perf should be printed using solvent-based, UV-resistant, exterior-grade inks for fade-free, long-life graphics, which allows its use indoors and outdoors without having to worry about fading due to the sun, or rainwater damage.

QR Code – The Advertising Double Agent

QR Code
Scan me!

QR Codes (Quick Response Codes) are the connection between online and offline marketing. With the advancement and acceleration of smart phones, consumers have the ability to scan and interpret this barcode with their mobile phone. Originally created by a subsidiary of Toyota, Denso-Wave, the QR Code technology has been around for over a decade.

Versatility is QR Code’s middle name.

The amount of data that a QR Code can hold is approximately 7089 Numeric characters or 4296 Alphanumeric characters as stated on Wikipedia.

This allows for the encoding of URLs, phone numbers, full contact information, SMS messages, links to launch YouTube videos, display static text… to name a few options offered by this revolutionary technology.

How Can Advertisers Use QR CODES in Printed Materials?

QR Codes in Advertising

Believe it or not, your entire marketing piece can be designed around a QR code.

Want to inform your customers of a GRAND OPENING? Create a Google Places Page which provides you with a pre-made QR Code that contains a link to your Google Places Page, Your customers can scan the code and visit your Google Places Page on their mobile phone. Once there, your customer will find all there is to know about your business and directions to your location. Scan the QR Code above and see for yourself!

Do you have a  product demonstration video? Include a QR Code in your postcard, brochure or even next to the product in your catalog that will direct the customer to view a product demonstration video on their mobile device. This also gives you the chance to direct the customer to a landing page on your website before or after the video is viewed, reinforcing the sale.

Want to make it easier for that potential customer to retain your contact information? Generate a QR Code that contains all of your contact information and include it on your business card. When a customer scans your QR Code with their mobile device, depending on the QR Code Reader they are using (see “QR Code Readers” below), your contact information will be displayed and saved to the “contacts” or phone book of the mobile device.

Depending on your product or service, QR Codes can serve a variety of customizable uses in your marketing scheme.

Business card with QR Code

Where can Custom QR Codes be Generated?

We must be thankful (to Denso-Wave) for the use of QR Codes being free of any license. This has given developers the ability to create online QR Code generators…FREE TO USE! Of course you will find some out there that want to charge to use their generator or allow for Non-Commercial use only, but here is a list I compiled to help you get started generating QR Codes and better yet… more sales conversions!

  • beQRious – Extensive Options – Featured: QR Code with Embedded Image
  • ZXing Project – Extensive Options – Featured: Wi-fi Login Information
  • QRStuff – Extensive Options – Featured: Google Maps Directions
  • Delivr – Extensive Options – Featured: URL shortening
  • Mobile-Barcodes – Extensive Options – Featured: Email Composer
  • Mofuse – Simple Generator – Featured: Generates Hosted Image Link
Here are some helpful links to download QR Code readers for your smart phone:

View this article via your mobile phone to download and install directly to your mobile device.

I-nigma – I use this one myself.



How have you used QR Codes in your marketing?