Tag Archives: printandmail

Are you switching off from digital media?

As the lines between work and home time become increasingly fuzzy and our modern day life so intense, people are being drawn to paper based media as a way of slowing down, relaxing and switching off from all the digital media and noise!

Technology is affecting our lives exponentially; it doesn’t tire easily; is constantly changing, evolving and getting faster!

Change and development are good things without technological development the world wouldn’t move forward.

More and more content is being made available, quicker, richer through every conceivable channel and device known to man from T.V, ipad, PC, smartphone, SMS, mobile phone and so the list goes.

Information is in abundance, anything you want to buy, need to understand or want to look at is viewable at a swipe of the hand or a touch of a button.

But have we gone too far? Are our brains becoming saturated with too much information? Are we coping with managing this information from social media and the internet and the speed in which it moves?

Only you can answer that definitively!

The last two decades the rate of technology has increased year on year; the social media revolution has exploded, proliferating into each and everyone of our lives.

There has been miles and miles of copy written on social media; how it has changed our lives, what impact it has on our businesses.

I believe there is a slow noiseless rebellion in our midst; with lines between work and home time becoming ever increasingly blurred people are looking for a way of escaping from “always being in contact”; always “on” social media; perhaps that refuge is the printed word?

Is it possible that although we once viewed the printed word as a our primary source of news and articles; we are now turning toward it in search of solace and relaxation? Where we switch off from our screens and mobile devices by turning to print to help us relax, tune out and read at our own pace rather than being governed by the speed of the internet.

I, for one can lay claim to the above, I’ve always enjoyed reading books, magazines and the written article why? Because its tactile, the smell and feel of a new book; you appreciate turning over a page and the satisfaction of completing a novel; something you don’t get with an e-reader or mobile device!

Print is a distraction from our ever increasing work-life balance; you become absorbed into the contents without being distracted by an email ping or other distractions. Reading print gives you time to yourself, time to reflect. OK so the same can be said using an e-reader but there is something more fulfilling about reading the printed word as opposed to holding a screen in front of you.

When I started composing this article I became aware when I was out and about in London just how many people were absorbed into books or magazines I hadn’t really given it any credence at that point and then it made me analyse why it might be that people are straying back to print. Could it be a way of getting out of our fast paced modern world to just slow down, relax and reflect.

Time to relax and read

Despite billions being spent on digital technology and there can be no disputing its influence pervading our lives; it has improved our lives everyday; the opportunity to relax isn’t one of its advantages.

There is a general view that online or digital publications should be free rather than paid for; yet we feel comfortable subscribing to a magazine. Is this something to do with print being tactile?

Could it be that printed publications are a way of telling us a little bit more about the person, what their interests are and what it says about them?

Why do you think so much investment is put into the covers of glossy magazines and books? It adds to the uniqueness and attraction to the purchaser.

Does the newspaper or magazine tell us a little bit more about the person who is holding it in a subliminal way?

In our life where time is currency; time is a precious commodity; what is it that we all want but very rarely get enough of time!

There are still a few pleasures in life to be had; a fine wine, delicious food and reading a book on warm summer evening where time becomes irrelevant as you sink into that comfortable chair and enjoy a good read!

Do you still read a book or a newspaper?

Do you enjoy the printed word and reading from a mobile device?

Are publications, books, paper dead? Has technology really sealed the fate of the book?

What are your thoughts?


How to make your invoices rock?

After 20+ years being in the print and mailing services industry I am still amazed how invoices are under utilised for promotional advertising what we refer to as “transpromo” for every day business documents such as an invoice or statement.

With variable or personalised printing why not use the white space to drop a personalised message to the recipient?

You see, gone are the days when the invoice was simply a vehicle for chasing payment for goods and services sold.

But before I go into my rhetoric of how to make your invoices work better for you here are 10 things that should be on your invoice from fellow colleague and F.D Garry Mumford.

Surprisingly; we still see invoices that are missing this fundamental information!

Assuming you’ve ticked all the boxes:-

Here are some ways you can really make your invoices sing:

Are your logo and address details prominent? Why not jazz up your invoices so they stand out from the crowd after all if the credit team are chasing for payment one sure way to find your invoice in the pile is to use colour. Not black and white its a misnomer if you think it costs a lot more to have a colour logo it does not!

Marketing is no longer the sole preserve of the Marketing Department if you are sending an invoice for specific services or goods then hi-light what other products and services you provide; this can be done by adding a strategic personalised message so the recipient is made aware of your other services and if you target a specific product or service you could tie this in with a sales push to promote that given product.

You see gone are the days that an invoice is purely a vehicle used just for collecting money it is so much more than that!

I go into more detail here on ways to make your invoices rock more!

White space management – I am sighing here now because I see 3 lines of transactions and then a big white space – use it, say something even if it’s just to say A big Thank You for the business but mean it and don’t leave it on every invoice run because it then becomes valueless!

I just sent my first invoice to a new client of ours and made a point of asking our accounts team to drop in a”Thank You for choosing Digital Print Management as your payroll provider on your next copier paper order we will give you 5 reams free”; guess what, we took a call from the customer to say how much they appreciated us doing that, we got an order for copier paper. So, it does work!

Judicious use of colour – OK so I’ve covered this earlier BUT I’m also talking about hi-lighting areas of personalised text in colour to draw attention to this relevant bit of information. Research has shown that colour has tremendous power to add impact to communications boosting recall and influence. Pantone® and the the internationally recognised Pantone Color Institute® indicate that consumers are up to 78% more likely to remember a word, phrase printed in colour than in black and white!

When colour is combined with the written word it impacts readers with greater recall, recognition and attention – full colour variable/personalised documents enhanced customer loyalty and retention generating 34% faster response rates; a 48% increase in repeat orders and 32% increase in overall revenues!

Who said invoicing wasn’t a science?

Reverse of invoice – Not just for Terms and Conditions as these should have already been stated prior to the supply of goods and services. This part of the invoice is a great way to show how your customer can get in contact with you; or how to pay you by showing the methods of payment you accept as an organisation.

Of course you can optimise the benefits of multi-channel distribution by combining the benefits of e-billing and paper based solutions.

If you want to stop feeling like this:-


Then why not give Digital Print Management a call we provide free no obligation print audits which include looking at your document flow and invoice processes.

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Outsourcing the pros and cons. Why customers are scared to change suppliers?

I want to share a true story.

In March of this year, Digital Print Management met with a £200m+ turnover company based in the Midlands.

How to outsource your print

Companies that offer a cost effective solution for your business needs are the companies you should be listening to because they provide expert advice.

The sales process began in 2008 with an informal meeting with the Finance Director; the key influencer and decision maker.

The company were already engaged in an outsource relationship for the printing of their billing and debt collection letters.

In spite of a very informative discussion we were unable to woo them with our offering.

The incumbent supplier we were advised were doing a satisfactory job but the FD insisted we stay in contact.

Note the word satisfactory. The following three years met with quarterly telephone updates, emails and general newsletters on Digital Print Management’s services and consultancy at the behest of the Company.

Then bingo, we were invited back again for a preliminary discussion.

We met this time with the Credit Manager (we had been referred by the FD) who was very open about the current relationship with their print partner.

Things were not good to say the least.

Co-incidentally, their print partner was a large UK based print management company. Information was forthcoming and we knew what the specifications and  requirements of the applications were and more importantly, what they were looking for in a working partnership.

A proposal was requested and dutifully submitted and received with gasps of ohh and aahhh as we showed savings in excess of £15,000 factoring in postage, paperless billing and processing costs.

The proposal was based on margins in keeping with our philosophy a fair price without de-valuing our service offering, skill and expertise.

A follow up meeting took place which was favourable with all the buying signs evident. We tested their buying signals to ensure they were keen to progress and a formal written request for us to proceed was issued and a live implementation date agreed at the end of the meeting.

There were calls to action and the prospective customer appeared to be content and confident with advancing the project.

And then SILENCE!

The silence was deafening!

Frustration at the short-sightedness of companies limited outlook!

We duly followed up our actions, with their call to actions, no response. We emailed again, no response, we called, guess what, no response.

I know that when a company wants to change vendors this can be fraught with many variables and we had said that if at any stage a well meaning person should question the decision taken that they should take one of our very special DPM sweets.

And if that didn’t work to alleviate any concerns then to telephone directly.

Because we all know what happens after you make that buying decision it’s called buyers remorse. The one that says I know it makes sense and I’ve made the right choice but then someone comes a long and happens to say oohh is it the right time to be changing suppliers now? Or words to that effect.

One seemingly throwaway comment suddenly propels a buyer into panic mode questioning the decision he/she has made.

Irrespective of how well the service provider has absolutely done the best job and closed ‘that sale’.

The success in changing the vendor is determined by the longevity of the current relationship.

How was the supplier relationship founded i.e does the MD happen to be socially connected with the MD of the print company?

Who else in the company does business with the print vendor?

The inertia to change has to be there and in this case was all too evident!

As far as Digital Print Management was concerned it clearly was a bench-marking exercise and was a poor way of the prospective customer fleecing us of information of our services and solutions.

They probably went back to their current vendor and no doubt bartered for more discount.

And then I stumbled upon an article which said that buyers are not interested in developing connections or relationships for the long term they prefer to connect and disconnect as their requirements change or, as needs arise.

I consider this to be a very transient relationship bourne out of a short-term need rather than a long-term productive relationship.

It is a fleeting transaction between that of the buyer and that of the vendor providing the service/commodity.

Depending on the size of the purchase will dictate the duration of the buying process.

To quickly illustrate buying a pair of shoes is not like buying a house, the former taking minutes and the latter being a long drawn out process requiring trust on the part of the estate agent and solicitor!

Surely any business relationship can prosper if both parties are keen to work together to reach a fulfilling and satisfactory result in which both parties benefit but this can only be achieved over a period of time, right?

Was it the fact that it was just too much hassle to move supplier? Is it the fear factor i.e. better the devil we know which far outweighs the need to change? Or is it quite simply that business relationships are formed only when the need arises.

Is customer loyalty outdated?

After all I am sure you’ve experienced speaking with a contact one week only to find the following week they’ve moved jobs!

What do you think? Do you have any similar experiences to share? Do you agree that buyers see suppliers as “loose connections” there only to satisfy an immediate requirement?

Please feel free to leave a comment and share your experiences!

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Print and mail service. What to look out for in a print and mail services company.

print and mail service

Many companies manage a steady stream of mail including marketing letters, bills, promotional items you name it, none of us are immune from receiving them!

But processing, printing, folding and sending these items is a costly and time consuming exercise. Factor in higher UK postage prices which came into force in April 2013 with a standard first class stamp for letters weighing up to 100g now at 60p and a second class stamp at 50p making it even more costly for companies to stay in touch with their customers.

The personnel involved in these processes would be better served in being re-deployed into other business activities which are revenue orientated.

Optimising the skills of a print and mail services company will improve and manage your paper flow more efficiently and ensure that the envelopes actually reach either the consumer or the customer.

In the present economic climate, this is one area companies should be evaluating to look at reducing their print and mailing costs by working with a managed outsource print provider.

Despite growth in paperless solutions, companies still require a reliable way of ensuring that their critical documents reach their intended destination! Using a managed service provider, organisations are likely to reduce the hidden costs associated with actually processing an invoice or statement.

Big postage cost savings can be made using DSA (downstream access) rather than the  traditional route of the Royal Mail these savings can make a huge difference to companies who rely on a steady stream of invoices, statements and marketing material being posted out each month.

A Print and Mail services provider has the technological resources, investment in mailing kit, hi-speed printers and the technology infrastructure in place to manage volume mailings.

Coupled with account management your print and mail service now becomes a manageable and structured process with the print and mail of invoices and statements at month end or the posting of a promotional mailing campaign designed at attracting new customers.

The process is organised, planned and represents effective management of a companies resources and time.

Quite simply an organisation can spend a lot of effort trying to keep up with the demand with requests for copy documents or marketing information if they do not make use of an established managed print and mail service provider.

By outsourcing, the company can transfer these chores to an organisation that is expert in delivering mailings every day.

A managed print and mail service will in the long run ensure your paper flow is manageable, timely, effective and delivered to the right person at a cost that you will find surprisingly inexpensive! print and mail service

For more information or to get a quote click here

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