DOME’s New Cross Media Ad

DOME recently had a chance to promote our business with a cross media ad on the back cover of Visual Media Alliance’s (VMA) Storyboard magazine. We felt the ad was the perfect opportunity to promote our capabilities. The premise behind that ad was to explain to our viewers and the readers of the magazine how DOME can help leverage “Big Data.” The ad was set up to utilize Augmented Reality, by having our clients download the Layar app, scan the cube and watch the fantastic video we created.

Check out the video below and share!

8 Tips for an effective Cross Media Campaign

You’ve probably heard the term cross media being tossed around in your marketing meetings, but what is it exactly and how do you even begin? A cross media campaign uses targeted communication and delivers it across various multi-media channels. This can include everything from print and email to SMS text messaging. Every business, big or small, can utilize cross media campaigns to boost their client communication. In fact, you are probably using aspects of cross media in your 1 to 1 marketing without even noticing. A printed postcard containing a QR Code that directs customers to your webpage is a simple form of cross media marketing.

There is no one algorithm used to execute a cross media campaign successfully, but there are some great fundamental tips to help you with your marketing goals. These 8 tips have helped us at DOME create great marketing campaigns for our clients, and can help you get your campaign heading in the right direction.

Tip #1: Prepare your strategy

Your strategy is not just the technology or data. It also includes who are you try to target, what media outlets you want to use, and what goals you are trying to achieve from your campaign.

Tip#2: Know your client base

Your company is unique and so are your clients. They may respond to certain forms of media differently depending on their demographic. Understanding whether your clients respond better to print, email, PURLs and/or SMS messaging, will provide a higher ROI.

Tip#3: Track all your channels

Watch the response rates of each of your channels to get an idea of the best ways to reach your clients. You may find that more clients responded to your campaign from their mobile phone. On your next campaign you’ll want to make sure you include a well-developed mobile aspect.

Tip#4: Integration

Cross media marketing is most effective if all of the channels are integrated together. They should always reinforce the other channels in the campaign. Use common branding and similar messaging to tie all the components together.

Tip#5: Print!

Of course a printing company would love to tell you this, but it is true! Variable printing creates a more personalized direct mail piece and will improve your results.

Tip#6: Watch all metrics

Look at all of the metrics not just the response rate. Yes, it is fantastic to have great response to your campaign, but understanding the best time to contact clients, or where they are located will provide more variable metrics to your data. And you can use this information to refine your next campaign.

Tip #7: Make it easy to share

If you have a fantastic message, allow your client to share your content. The more viral your message goes, the more your business will thrive.

Tip#8: Always ask for feedback

A very important tip that often gets overlooked. Clients can provide you with the best feedback and help you create a better marketing environment for your business. Allowing your clients to fill out a survey can help you focus your attention and create a dialogue with your clients.

In a world where clients are looking for a more 1 on 1 approach and want to feel like they are important, cross media can provide be a very effective marketing tool. It’s funny how a simple direct mail piece that is personalized with the clients name and some personal information can have a greater impact than just a simple run of the mill piece. Cross media is your greatest friend for marketing.

 

What is Big Data?

Big Data! It’s the new hot term in the corporate world. But what exactly does it mean?

At it’s core, Big Data is basically a term the industry uses to describe an instance where your data set is so large and complex that it becomes difficult to process using traditional data processing applications. This type of data is analyzed to show information like trends and consumer interaction patters.

Traditionally, the data companies and marketers collect standard information like name, phone, email and address. With big data, you are collecting lists that may contain social media interactions, search histories, buying trends, etc. Not the typical lists that many marketers and mailing companies are aware of.

So why collect this big data information? It’s data that matters. You can now successfully measure helpful data to leverage and optimize the best opportunities to market your brand. Also, with the increased influx of data, you can create customer profiles, test assets, and determine the success of your marketing campaigns. The idea is to use your data to create a better one-to-one marketing strategy, helping increase your ROI. It’s hard to do that with only a name and address.

So the big question to ask yourself or your company is….Where do you start with all of this Big Data? You want to start by educating your team on what data information you want to focus on. The report from 360i.com, asks a great conversation starter, “If I knew…”. For example, If I knew what blog topics our clients were interested, how could I use them to improve our conversion rate to for new clients? What questions will help your company gain traction with clients?

As a print solutions provider, DOME has help many clients with their marketing plans. From PURL and Cross Media Campaigns to VDP (Variable Data Printing), cross media is a great way to collect and analyze your data. Set up campaigns mixed with creative strategies like personalized 4 color print pieces and responsive email designs.

So, what is Big Data? It is your company’s greatest ally! Using data correctly can help you retain clients, identify new leads, create better marketing plans, and make your advertising budget last. Start thinking of better ways you can leverage your Big Data now.

DOME delivers results with VeraCore fulfillment software

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:

Sean O’Connor

VeraCore Software Solutions, Inc.

(860) 721-8929

[email protected]

Rocky Hill, CT, October 7th, 2014

DOME Printing, of Sacramento, California is in the process of implementing The VeraCore Fulfillment Solution to support the dramatic growth of their fulfillment business.

One of northern California’s strongest privately-held commercial printing companies, DOME provides a wide range of services to a diverse client base. In addition to web and sheet-fed printing, DOME’s suite of integrated business solutions includes creative services, digital printing, finishing, mailing and fulfillment.

Order fulfillment, long a component of DOME’s service offering, has grown substantially in recent years. The firm now manages hundreds of their clients’ products and kits in their expansive 60,000 sq. foot climate controlled warehouse. The technology infrastructure that supported DOME’s fulfillment operation was composed of several different systems, some purchased and some developed in-house. Recognizing the increasingly important role that fulfillment played in their business, DOME’s management team set out to assess their fulfillment technology and, where appropriate, make investments in support of three key objectives – growing the business, retaining existing clients and improving process efficiency.

The management team approached the process of assessing their fulfillment technology and evaluating their options the same way they approached other IT decisions. Whether building or buying, technology decisions are predicated on delivering “best in class” solutions for the task at hand. After evaluating several options, the management team unanimously concurred that The VeraCore Fulfillment System was the right choice for DOME, and for their clients. DOME’s CEO, Tim Poole, explains – “Technology decisions can’t be made based strictly on our own business objectives. We strive to truly understand how new technology will impact our clients. This is tricky with fulfillment because each of our clients has their own unique requirements. VeraCore will provide the operational efficiency required to support sustained growth and an extremely robust client-facing offering that will help to ensure growth”.

The VeraCore Warehouse Management System’s extensive support for barcode technology and process automation will ensure Dome’s pick/pack operation and kitting lines run at peak efficiency. VeraCore’s billing capabilities will save Dome’s account managers countless hours each month by eliminating the need to manually compile billing data. Each of Dome’s clients will benefit immediately from The VeraCore Order Management System’s real-time reports and dashboards, which will provide up to the minute information on all aspects of their fulfillment programs. In addition, VeraCore’s support for order restrictions, budgetary controls and order approval chains will provide DOME’s clients with greater control over their fulfillment programs and marketing spend.

A technology company in its own right, one of DOME’s central requirements was that any new fulfillment system be capable interacting with the technologies that DOME developed in-house as well as systems provided by other vendors. The VeraCore Fulfillment Solution will serve as the new foundation of DOME’s fulfillment infrastructure. For truly specialized applications, DOME’s developers and technology partners will be able to create real-time integrations via the VeraCore web-service which supports sophisticated two-way communications between VeraCore and external applications.

Denise Lunden, President of VeraCore Software Solutions, Inc. commented on the DOME implementation under way now. “We are really excited to be working with Tim and his team of professionals. The combination of Dome’s talent and The VeraCore Fulfillment Solution will be hard to beat and will ensure DOME continues delivering results for their clients”.

For more information about DOME Printing and their award winning services, visit: https://www.domeprinting.com

 

About VeraCore Software Solutions, Inc.

VeraCore Software Solutions, Inc., has been providing software solutions for commercial printers, fulfillment companies, and marketing service providers for over 30 years. Their flagship product, The VeraCore Fulfillment Solution, enables fulfillment service providers to manage all aspects of their clients’ order fulfillment programs.

For additional information on VeraCore, visit their website at http://www.veracore.com

 

Case Study: Responsive Email Design

The development of smartphone and tablet devices has ushered in a new age of receiving information and content faster. Companies are using email marketing to send upcoming events, information and new product release to their followers and clients. As some of you may know that web content needs to be responsive, adapting to the size and dimension of the display screen, or you are forcing the customer to expand or compress the window with their fingertips. I know, “it is not that difficult to maneuver the screen and adjust to your liking” but from experience, most customers will respond to content that is already adjusted.

Responsive Email design is relatively new to the email design, but it is not new to web design. Responsive email design is gaining in popularity with over 47% of emails opened are on a mobile device. Over 80% of people will delete an email if it doesn’t look good on a mobile device. The foundation that responsive design is built on is CSS3 and the use of fluid design. 

80%

of people delete an email if it doesn’t look good on their mobile phone

 

At DOME, we are always experimenting and trying to implement responsive email designs in our email marketing campaigns. Whether it is weekly email messages or Cross Media Campaigns, we are trying to provide the best, fluid designs as possible. I want to outline our process in designing an email message, and provide our commentary.

STEP 1: Planning email campaign

When DOME receives a request to produce an responsive email design for a clients campaign, we start by outlining the design, determining the hierarchy of the design. It is always key to develop an email with your customer usage in mind. We have had different format of design, from splicing a photoshopped layout and adding links to each section, to providing live content with images next to or on top of the content.

Some of the issues we have come across here are trying to determine what will be live text and what will have to be image based text. Most email clients will not allow the use of background images and will throw them out of your design from the start.

When determining the responsive layout, you will have to determine the way the images and content will stack when the media query is in effect. The content will always stack in order from left to right, top to bottom. We made it a clarification from the start that if they want the image on top, the image needs to be on the left. This allowed us to keep our media query short and not have the email based solely on the query stipulations.

STEP 2: Design and Coding

When you finish with your planned email layout, comes the fun part, design and coding. Now a lot of articles online will tell you that certain email clients do not read responsive email CSS3 and will toss them out from the design. Mobile applications like: Gmail, Yahoo , and some Windows Phone OS do not accept responsive email designs.

Responsive Email Non-Supported Devices

iPhone Gmail appiPhone Yahoo! Mail app
iPhone Mailbox appAndroid Yahoo! Mail app
Android Gmail appBlackBerry OS5
Windows Mobile 6.1Windows Phone 7
Windows Phone 8

 

Now when I design the table, I found that it is always best to set the width of both the table and each column. Use a fluid design method and try not to use pixel widths. This could force weird scaling to the document. Use percent widths will always make the image fill the table section.

The next issue I have experienced is determining the exact size of the image. This is where you can use both pixel size or percent size. But make sure you use the align attribute for each column and table to place the image exactly where you want it.

STEP 3: Testing

Make sure you always use some form of email testing client, Like Litmus, to get an accurate email test for each email client available. The clients I always check, no matter how many times I refine my document, are Outlook 2007, 2010, 2013, Gmail browser client, and Yahoo browser client.

Outlook will always be an issue. Outlook adds a 25 pixel buffer for each table. If you have tables next to each other, you will see an added space that is not in the code. It can create a lot of issues with your design and can cause your tables to stack. Some web clients will ignore you CSS and I always recommend using inline CSS together with a CSS in your head section.

Conclusion:

If you are planning a design for a responsive email, remember to test, test, test and test until you are completely satisfied. Not every email client will accept your design how you want it, but it will help you refine to have something acceptable in all clients.

If you are interested in building responsive email designs for your campaigns, Litmus provides a great way to test your design and has a great amount of resources and inspiration for your design.

Comment below, anything I have missed or if you have your own stories about email design.

Augmented Reality Takes Print to the Digital World

Hearing that “print is dying” or “direct mail is not effective” because of the emergence of digital advertising spaces and the speed of social media is an uncreative thought. With preparation and planning, print can very well benefit from the digital world. Take Augmented Reality paired with digital printing. A digital world and a physical print world, working together to create a unique, personalized message for the consumer.

Augmented Reality, or AR, is a technology that will allow the user to view an enhanced “real world” view, connecting creative content with the user. AR is not a new technology. It has been used in TV, video games and film. AR can have a huge impact on print adverts and marketing campaigns, sometimes referred as “interactive print”. With Augmented Reality, people can scan an image with their smartphone or tablet to add an extra layer of information – whether it’s videos, audio clips, images or even links – directly on top of the printed piece.

Publications, like Elle and Maxim magazine, are using AR technology to provide interactive content for their readers. A recent article published by WSJ.com, talks about how Augmented Reality is gaining traction among recognized brands like Pepsi and Heinz.

At DOME, we can help our clients produce AR campaigns. Whether it is a cross media campaign, a printed large format item (like backlit posters and point-of-purchase items), or a direct mail piece, the ability to expand your message with interactive technology is endless.

What are your feelings about Augmented Reality? Do you feel like it is a gimmick or is it the next great form of cross media advertising? Comment below with your thoughts and check out our personal favorites when it comes to Augmented Reality and Print.

Source:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augmented_reality

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304585004579417612087615766

http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/what-is-augmented-reality-iphone-apps-games-flash-yelp-android-ar-software-and-more/#!3ilAC

Mailing

The Seamless Acceptance Way

DOME is cutting through the postal red tape and introducing a system called, Seamless Acceptance. Seamless Acceptance is a new streamline and automated acceptance, verification, payment and induction into the United States Postal Service® (USPS®) system. What does this mean? We have the knowledge and expertise to help move your mail pieces into the system faster; efficiently getting your pieces into the consumers’ mailbox. DOME is proud to be the first on the west coast to adopt Seamless Acceptance from the United States Postal Service®.

Here’s a little background on what it means to become a Seamless Acceptance mail provider. In order to be accepted, a company must do two things.

1. Use an Intelligent Mail barcode (IMb)

2. Be a certified full service mailer.

3. Submit documentation electronically.

DOME has been using Intelligent Mail Full-Service since 2009. Full-service requires us to use a unique IMb on mail pieces, handling units, and containers. It also requires us to submit our documents electronically to PostalOne!® before the mail enters the mail stream. Seamless Acceptance was put in place to speed along the process.

90% of DOME’s current mail production require us to submit eDocs to PostalOne!®. With our expertise and knowledge of Direct Mail and other mail services, we no longer need a mail clerk to authorize our pieces before they enter the mail stream. Some common issues with the old regular acceptance method include: an inconsistent experience, acceptance delays the mail induction, and a manual, time-consuming mail verification. With Seamless Acceptance, the United States Postal Service® certifies that DOME’s well training staff is allowed automate the verification process by comparing our system data to the electronic documentation, as the mail pieces move through the mail stream.

In short, with DOME’s new implementation of Seamless Acceptance, you’re projects will get submitted into the mail stream faster and with fewer hiccups. Not only do we have the training, knowledge and expertise to automate the verification process, but we have the support confidence of the USPS backing us up.

DOME has given a whole new meaning to the “One-Stop-Shop”. What other printer do you know is allowed to become their own USPS postal clerk?