5 Ways to Connect with Customers During a Crisis

Life is always throwing curveballs at us marketers, making it harder for us to reach and connect with our customers. The current crisis is throwing a spitball and we’re swinging a broom stick. How do you reach people making limited trips outside? You meet your customers where they are… at home. Below are five ways you can make a connection when interaction is limited.

Email Newsletter

Email engagement is already up 21%, so I know I’m not speaking for myself when I admit to checking my email about 40 times a day during the COVID-19 outbreak. Put something in their inbox to lift their spirits and remind them you care about their safety and the struggles everyone has during the social distancing era.

Direct Mail

Who doesn’t love getting personally addressed mail? You can brighten their day with a simple gesture of personalization. If you really want to be a hero, print some kid’s games on the back so mom and dad can take a break.

Text Messaging

Text messages are a great way to share updates with you customer, they want to know when you’re reopening because they need somewhere to go that isn’t home. Tell them your new store hours, updated safety protocols and what they can expect to see when this is all over with.

Branded Care Packages

If you really want to go the extra mile, send them something they really need. A care package filled with personal protective equipment can really go a long way in assuring your customers your company cares and you’re committed to helping in any way you can.

Magazines

Anyone else taken up reading since COVID-19 started? A magazine is a great way to tell your audience how your company is joining the fight against this infection and what you are doing to take care of those in need.

Things to Remember

COVID-19 is a unique and delicate experience for everyone. Every action you take as marketers should be heavily scrutinized.

  • Do not try to sell a product that isn’t helpful.
  • If you haven’t sent an e-blast or text message in over a year, maybe try another option. (People will see right through that.)
  • Know your company’s voice and don’t stray from it. Some brands can do humor right now, some can’t.

Magna IV is here to help. Give us a call or fill out our contact form and we’ll work with you on your COVID-19 marketing plan.

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Magna IV on COVID-19

Since 1975, Magna IV has prided itself on delivering the most innovative and highest-quality print products and services possible.

We understand many of our partners have concerns about the impact COVID-19 may have on your business or organization, including your marketing campaigns.

Let us reassure you. COVID-19 or not, Magna IV remains steadfast in our commitment to you.

As we have for 45 years, our expert team is prepared to deliver your projects—on time and on budget—all while protecting the health and safety of our employees and customers.

In accordance with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control, World Health Organization and federal and state officials, we have closed our facilities to outside visitors, limited on-site personnel and temporarily eliminated non-essential travel. We have also provided our forward-facing staffers with personal protective equipment and added the option for free, no-contact deliveries. We continue to encourage employees to practice good hygiene habits, social distancing and, above all, to remain at home if sick.

If you ever have any questions or need our assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact our team members who are readily available by email and cell.

From all of us at Magna IV, thank you for your continued support and partnership.

Sincerely,

Kent Middleton

CEO

President

Kristi Dannelley

Menu solution switch brings big savings to Dave & Buster’s

Barbecue Sliders. Tropical shakers. Refreshing Summer popsicle drinks. Since it was founded in Dallas in 1982, Dave & Buster’s has focused on offering fun eats and drinks for every season. But with each seasonal promotion, the national restaurant chain was having to invest in new menus. To help it save its marketing dollars, Dave & Buster’s looked to long-time partner Magna IV.

Magna IV senior account executive Lisa Wooten first assembled a collection of current and previous Dave & Buster’s menus to brainstorm ideas. After testing different prototypes, she created cut-out inserts, which could be scored and folded and then slid in-between stitches without having to print entirely new menus.

Next, Lisa developed an innovative packaging solution to safely ship the new menus and inserts to Dave & Buster’s stores without damage. With Magna IV’s fulfillment team, Lisa decided to stack the menus in alternating groups of 10 with the inserts in the middle.

Once the packaging was ready, Dave & Buster’s tested the new menu inserts in three different markets, Today, it uses them nation-wide for its monthly drink and dining menu specials.

If your restaurant is looking for a cost-effective, simple way to keep your menus fresh, contact Magna IV today.

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Offset vs. Digital Printing

After days, if not weeks, of hard work, your next print project is coming down the pipeline. Now you must answer the age-old marketing question, “Should I use offset or digital printing?” Don’t let panic mode set in. Magna IV is here to help you weigh the pros and cons.

What is Digital Printing?

With digital printing, PDF images are sent directly from a computer to a laser or inkjet printer. These printers then recreate the digitized image with ink.

What is Offset Printing?

Offset printing uses a process called lithography, where liquid ink is applied to metal plates and press the ink onto rubber blankets. These blankets are used to transfer the image onto the selected printing material.

Advantages/Disadvantages of Digital:

Advantages:
      • Fast
      • Cost effective for small orders
      • Highly customizable
Disadvantages:
      • No color match
      • More expensive for higher runs
      • Smaller selection of print materials and sizes

Advantages/Disadvantages of Offset:

Advantages:
      • Exact color matches
      • High-quality images
      • Lower prices for higher quantities
Disadvantages:
      • Less cost effective for smaller jobs
      • Longer time investment to produce plates
      • Higher cost for design changes

In Summation:

If you want to print a small run with highly customizable content, opt for digital printing. However, if you have a higher quantity order, you may want to consider offset printing which offers an almost infinite amount of printable materials and guaranteed color matching. Marketing problem, solved. Now that you’re ready to tackle your next print project, contact our experienced team directly.

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6 ways to save on your direct mail campaigns

6 Ways to Save on Your Direct Mail Campaigns

Snail mail: a thing of the past or marketing tool of the future? According to a study by the direct mail marketing association, direct mail has a 10-30 times higher response rate than email marketing. As a result, marketing mail is expected to increase an average of 1.89% this year alone. To help customers save on their campaigns, the United States Postal Service recently announced its price changes and promotions for 2020, with discounts set at 2%.

2020 Postal Promotions

  • Tactile, sensory, and interactive mail piece engagement – Use multi-sensory experiences—from special visual effects to sounds and scents—for a 2% discount from February 1st to July 31st.
  • Emerging and Advanced Technology – Increase response rates with Augmented Reality, Video-in-print or Near Field Communication and receive a 2% discount from March 1st to August 31st.
  • Earned Value – Include a pre-paid postage reply envelope with your Business Reply Mail, Courtesy Reply Mail or Share Mail campaign for a $.02-$.04 credit per piece of mail sent from April 1st to June 30th.
  • Personalized Color Transpromo – Incorporate color and graphics on mailings like monthly statements and bills for a 2% discount from July 1st to December 31st.
  • Mobile Shopping – Add a QR or bar code to route customers to mobile optimized shopping pages, where 87% of recipients are influenced to make purchase, a 2% discount from August 1st to December 31st.
  • Informed Delivery – Incorporate graphics that are hyperlinked to your company’s landing pages in customers’ mail preview notification emails for a 2% discount.

Direct Mail Services with Magna IV

Direct mail campaigns are still the most successful way to reach audiences and generate high response and engagement rates. Magna IV’s experienced design and production team can create your direct mail pieces, landing pages and even pre-sort to save you even more at the post office.

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Ultraviolet Printing Enhances Printed Restaurant Collateral

Ultraviolet Printing Enhances Printed Restaurant Collateral

In our years of experience, we’ve found that restaurant customers are less and less interested in dull and muted printed materials. How do you fix this? Ultraviolet Printing. UV printing produces marketing materials that brand your restaurant with eye-catching colors that enjoy a long lifespan. This versatile printing technique produces quality results on a variety of surfaces such as vinyl, plastic, and synthetics. In addition to those surfaces, ultraviolet printing offers high gloss, matte, and satin coatings. With all of these options available, there’s no reason to continue using anything else but UV printing for your restaurant marketing materials.

Advantages of UV Printing Services

UV printing offers advantages to restaurants of all sizes:

  • Ultraviolet printing is ideal for print projects with tight deadlines thanks to the ink being dry when it comes off the press
  • UV printing works with both paper and non-paper substrates
  • There is less of a chance of scratches, fading and blotches as UV-cured ink resists these issues when the printed materials are handled by a person
  • UV printing is environmentally friendly because it does not have harmful substances that can evaporate into the air
  • The final printed product stay vibrant and vivid longer because the ink does not spread since it quickly dries

Ultraviolet Printing Gets Attention

Thanks to the sharp, crisp results produced by ultraviolet printing, restaurant printed materials get noticed and grab the attention of those that want to learn more about a restaurant. UV printing provides a look that is three-dimensional along with higher contrast to items as varied as pocket folders, menus, specialty packaging, and postcards that promote the offerings of the restaurant and let customers know about events and specials. Restaurants that want to make a good first impression and stay top of mind to customers utilize ultraviolet printing to create printed materials customers won’t soon forget.

Put the power of ultraviolet printing to work for your restaurant by contacting our experienced print specialists today.

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Direct Mail Solutions that Save You Time and Money

Direct Mail Solutions that Save You Time and Money

Direct mail campaigns remain a popular way to reach a large audience of current and future customers. One of the biggest obstacles companies have with direct mail is having the resources to execute the design and mailing of the direct mail piece. Magna IV consults with you about your desired results and then determines the best USPS method to achieve your marketing goals including Informed Delivery Interactive Campaigns (consumers get a preview of your physical direct mail piece before it arrives) and EDDM (Every Door Direct Mail allows you to send your direct mail piece to each house on your target route). Because we know how to handle the complex, and sometimes confusing, rules and regulations of USPS direct mailing solutions, we save you time and money while making sure your direct mail marketing message is delivered quickly and efficiently to everyone on your target mailing list.

Direct Mail Services for Businesses of any Size

Here are just a few of the direct mail services we offer:

  • First-class mailing for direct mail campaigns that need to be delivered within a certain time frame
  • Non-profit direct mailing solutions including printed pieces that engage donors and online strategies to increase response rates like URLs and personalized landing pages
  • Every Door Direct Mail to ensure your direct mail piece is delivered to every home in your targeted area
  • Informed Delivery Interactive Campaigns let consumers preview the actual direct mail piece via a colorful and interactive digital image
  • Procuring, and mailing to, specific mailing lists
  • Mail tracking so you can see when the direct mail piece enters the various stages of the delivery cycle
  • List segmentation that allows you to break your mailing list into segments such as active, inactive and prospective customers

Direct Mail Campaigns that Work for Your Budget

Direct mail still makes a powerful impact on customers because they enjoy being able to hold a physical direct mail piece they can refer to at any time, day or night. One way we recommend ensuring you have a cost-effective and efficient direct mail campaign is to use address lists from your CRM versus buying one from a list broker. We’ve found that building your list helps to ensure you are targeting your desired audience instead of casting too wide a net with names and addresses that might not be relevant to your services. Once you have your list together, design and refine your direct mail piece so you are delivering the marketing message you desire as opposed to wasting time and money on unfocused and unsuccessful direct mail campaigns.

Contact our experienced design team today about direct mail solutions that achieve your desired ROI when it comes to time and money.

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New Year New Trade Show Displays

New Year New Trade Show Displays

Here at Magna IV, we’re always looking for ways to ensure our customers stay ahead of the current trends in the printing industry. Below are a few of the trends that have taken over the trade show circuit that will be the perfect way to update your trade show displays in the new year.

  • Unique Floor Graphics
    • Enticing and appealing floor graphics go further than you realize. The trade show is a massive, expansive space and can be overwhelming to take in. Having purposeful and creative floor graphics can help guide consumers to your trade show booth. Don’t be afraid to add vinyl or printed flooring, it’s a cheaper and more creative alternative to carpet inlays.
  • Ceiling danglers in place of traditional signs and banners
    • Ceiling danglers offer maximum visibility and stand out in a crowd of trade show displays. Traditional signage goes a long way but adding an option that floats above the competition will only get more eyes on your booth. Unique danglers are a cost-effective and customizable way to captivate someone from afar.
  • Dye sublimation on tension fabric
    • Custom table covers, full backdrops, flags, and so much more. All of these large-format trade show staples can now be done using stretch fabric. This process produces trade show graphics that are easy to install and takedown saving you valuable time. Because of the dye sublimation process, the color and design of your product don’t fade over time.

How to Create the Perfect Trade Show Environment

Now that we’ve gotten the customers into or around your booth, how do we get them to not only stick around but enjoy their experience with your trade show display? While there are many ways to accomplish the perfect trade show environment, we’ve listed a few of our favorites below.

  • Make it interactive. Offering up a product or virtual experience helps customers get a break from the normal meet and greet grind of the trade show circuit. Implement touch screens around your booth. This allows users to experience your product in their own unique way.
  • Make it an experience. Visitors want to be awed by what they’re experiencing. If applicable, use multiple video walls showing off various aspects of your product. Games are becoming more and more popular as well. Find fun ways to tie in your product to a game, this allows trade show guests to have fun while learning more about what you have to offer. We’ve even seen booths go as far as offering a smoothie bar!
  • Don’t forget comfort: Show attendees are on their feet all day. Providing a place for them to sit for a minute or two is mutually beneficial. The same can be said for charging stations. Providing the opportunity for an attendee to rest both their feet and their electronics allows you an extra few minutes to talk with them.

The new year is the perfect time to step up your trade show displays. Contact our team to get started.

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Jefferson Regional Unveils New Interior & Exterior Branding

Jefferson Regional Unveils New Interior & Exterior Branding

Jefferson Regional has long been recognized as a healthcare leader in south Arkansas. Since the medical center opened in 1908, the hospital has continually strived to enhance the patient experience with state-of-the-art services and facilities. As part of its ongoing renovations and expansion, Jefferson Regional recently unveiled its new logo and tagline, “Your Life. Our Commitment.”

To introduce its new branding to the community, Jefferson Regional looked to the marketing experts at Magna IV. With its in-house large format equipment, Magna IV created temporary, yet durable, signage for the hospital’s buildings that was affordable. It produced and installed oversized banners on the outer walls of each location, including an impressive 10-foot by 35-foot banner for a parking deck. It also printed new logo panels for Jefferson Regional’s existing directional signage and elevator wraps for its main campus, professional centers, I-530 clinic, and White Hall location.

The interior and exterior signage from Magna IV was so well received that Jefferson Regional now plans to expand the graphics into other areas of the hospital with street light banners, sky bridges, and more. If you’d like to create eye-catching signage that reinforces your brand, contact Magna IV at 800-946-2462.

“With its high-quality signage, Magna IV helped Jefferson Regional refresh its brand and reaffirm our ongoing commitment to meeting the needs of our patients, employees, and community.”
– Clay Mercer, Director of Marketing

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How Do I Make Print-Ready Files?

Print ready files save you time and allow your print project to be produced in a fast and efficient manner. One of the first steps in making a print ready file is creating a print ready PDF with some of the most commonly used design programs.

It’s an easy process using Adobe PDF Preset (in InDesign or Illustrator) or Conversion Settings (in the Adobe PDF menu that is available in many apps). The settings also have an impact on the size of the PDF file that will be created:

  • The Standard option is best if you plan on posting the finished files on a website.
  • High-resolution printing needs to use a commercial printing option such as High-Quality Print that will leave the color unchanged and can be used on high-quality desktop printers.
  • Press Quality Print converts a document to the CMYK color model for print production and it also sets color working spaces.

In addition, print layouts can be converted to print ready files using such programs as InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop. Print layouts can be converted into a PDF from a word document in Windows or using the Acrobat tab in MacOS.

Design Program Settings For Print-Ready PDFs

Follow the steps listed below to create a print-ready PDF:

  • Adobe InDesign Print-Ready PDF – Start with File>Export. Set the format to Adobe PDF and click Save. Use the High Quality Print Adobe PDF preset and then click Export.
  • Adobe Illustrator Print-Ready PDF – Convert all of the text to outlines (Select>All. Type>Create outline). File>Save as. Set the format to Adobe PDF. Click Save. Start with the High Quality Print Adobe PDF preset and then click Save PDF.
  • Adobe PhotoShop Print-Ready PDF – Check that the file is in CMYK mode (Image>Mode>CMYK color). Flatten the design using the layer palette drop down menu to click Flatten image. Image>Save as. Then, set the format to Photoshop PDF before clicking Save. Use the High Quality Print Adobe PDF Preset and then click Save PDF.
  • The first step with Windows is opening the file. Go to the Acrobat tab and then go to Preferences to find High-Quality Print. The last step is clicking the Create PDF button.
  • There are no preference settings in the Acrobat tab in PowerPoint for MacOS. Instead, click the Create PDF button and then specify where you want the file to be placed.

Popular Print Layouts

Not all PDFs are created alike which means there are different layouts available to you. Each print layout listed below requires a high-resolution PDF with crops and bleed for it to be ready to use as a print ready file. In addition, two-sided postcards or sheets need to be sent as a two page PDF or simply as two separate PDF documents that are labeled in the manner in which they should be grouped.

  • Postcard – One of the most popular options is an 8.5’ x 5.5’ postcard. Please note that postcards that will be mailed need to comply with all current USPS regulations including a blank area for the address information and the barcode.
  • 8.5” x 11” sheet or Tri-Panel Brochure – The PDF document will be a bit larger than 8.75″ x 11.25” because it will include the 8.5″ x 11’ size of the document as well as the bleed and crop marks. To be safe, none of the text should be closer than .25″ from the document edge.
  • Standard Business Card – The PDF document will be a bit larger than 3.75” x 2.25” since it includes the document size and bleed and crop marks. Plus, the text images should be closer than .125” from the edge of the document unless it is an item that is supposed to bleed off the document.

Also, for even more tips on how to create print-ready files.

Still feel a little unsure of how to create print-ready files? If so, check out our Do’s and Don’ts List for creating print-ready files or feel free to contact us directly!

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