Friday, April 5, 2013

Great Article from What They Think, Check it out!

Direct Mail v. Email: No Contest!

By on April 4th, 2013
A few weeks ago, a direct marketer asked me about the value of direct mail versus email. We often address “ROI” issues like these in Marketing AdVents, the monthly newsletter of the Direct Marketing Association of Washington (DC), of which I am editor. The answer is, of course, “Let’s find out.”
You’ll hear direct mail advocates argue that nothing works as well as a targeted letter containing the perfect response device, mailed to the right recipient. In the April issue of AdVents, Kevin Mills, director of membership for the National Legal Aid & Defender Association, put it this way: “With more than 15 years of experience developing marketing strategies to increase membership and member benefits, I have the most confidence in direct mail … Direct mail provides legitimacy to our organization and its cause, and provides the vehicle for email and social media campaigns to be successful.”
Quite a few association marketers and fundraisers feel this way and some point to statistics like those found in the 2012 DMA Response Rate Report. This report collected data from 481 survey respondents in July 2012, concluding that, “Direct mail response rates outperform email. Direct mail has the lowest cost per lead or order of media distributed to lists.”
CMI quoted the same data in its August 2012 post about the effectiveness of direct mail in marketing to health care providers. And the GRI Marketing Group picked up the 2012 Channel Preference Study conducted by Epsilon, which noted that “direct mail is the preferred channel for consumers to receive brand communications – because they can read the information at their convenience.”
More recently, in February this year, Chief!Marketer noted that “direct mail is still a bargain for marketers … with results that boil down to lists and data, offers/messaging, creative and copy, and timing.”
Other marketers make a different, but also strong, case.
Studies like this from Hubspot in January 2013 suggest email can outperform direct mail, hands down. Quoting Harvard Business Review’s article “Why Email Marketing Is King,” Hubspot points to email marketing’s low cost, measurability, and the “choose-your-own-adventure” response a recipient can take.

To keep up with back-and-forth conversations like these, follow the 20,617-member Direct Mail Group on LinkedIn and any of numerous email marketing groups, including Email Marketing Gurus, Email Marketing Roundtable, and the grand-daddy 470,000-member  eMarketing Association Network.
So what’s the bottom line?
No contest. In this multi-channel world, no single channel choice is ever first or final. As savvy direct marketers would say, “Who knows? Who cares?”  It’s easy to find out what works best for us: Let’s TEST!
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Our New Promotional Video - Check it outttt :)

Hey Guys!
Remember wayyyy back almost a year ago when we were searching for actors?  We were shooting a Promo video and it's FINALLY done! :) Check it out at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKzXFLFKkUs and let us know what you think! :)

The video is a great way to learn more about Vanguard Printing and how we can really help you move forward with your company goals. :)

Talk soon!

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Great Article from National Geographic!

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Domtar Goes Beyond Sustainability

Over at GreenBiz is a nice story on Domtar. Not only have they been FSC-certified for more than 10 years, but the paper manufacturer is taking sustainability to the next level by taking the waste produced during pulping and seeing what other types of products they can make from it.
Take, for example, lignin. Lignin is an organic material that comprises about 15-35% of wood, depending on the species of tree. It's purpose in a tree is to bind fibers of cellulose together, and one of the functions of the pulping process is to remove the lignin. But what to do with it? Some mills use it as fuel for their production facilities, but Domtar is working on developing lignin for use as an alternative to petroleum.
Its first commercial-scale lignin separation plant in Plymouth, N.C., began producing Domtar's BioChoice lignin in February and is targeting eventual production of 75 tons per day. The material could be used for creating more environmentally sensitive asphalt, as one example...
The investment in the facility began back in 2010 and it was partially supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Energy, through the Biomass Research and Development Initiative.
Domtar is also at the forefront of an effort to commercialize an eco-friendly product called nanocrystalline cellulose, which is extracted from tiny wood pulp fiber particles. It is incredibly strong and lightweight, and could be used as a material for aerospace and auto components, textiles or bio-composites (such as bone replacement).
(Bone replacement? I can see the e-mail signature now: "Save a tree! Go boneless!")
Anyway, kudos to Domtar for going beyond mere sustainability.

I'll Drink to That

Here's a new word to add to your vocabulary: "philanthropub." Via the Sustainable Business Forum, a philanthropub is a drinking establishment that--a la Newman's Own--donates all of its profits to charity. For example, there is Washington, DC's Cause, where "having a good time helps a great cause." The establishment aims to provide 3 to 5 charitable organizations each quarter, and all of the bar's net profits go to those charities. (To answer one burning question, no, one's bar tab is not, as a result, tax-deductible as a charitable donation. Would that it were...)
A great idea, but how is it as a pub? I have not been there (yet...don't know if a trip to D.C. is in the offing any time soon) but they got good reviews from the Washington Post and Yelp!-ers seem to be enthusiastic.
Other establishments are on the way. The Oregon Public House in Portland is opening soon, and the owners have liaised with local charity organizations and will likewise donate 100% of its net profits. I don't know if this is the future of the hospitality industry, but I do like the idea.

If you've got green news, or know of a green event you'd like to see listed on Going Green, burn a few electrons and email me, Richard Romano, Managing Editor, with all the details.

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National Geographic Explores Their World

Over at Dead Tree Edition, our friend Mr. Tree (if that is his name) turns the microphone over to Frank Locantore, Project Director of the Green America Better Paper Project, to discuss the highlights of a new study (pdf) commissioned by the National Geographic Society and conducted by Environ that attempts to gauge the environmental impacts of virgin vs. recycled paper. The conclusions?
1) The relative environmental impacts for deinked pulp are better than those for kraft or mechanical pulp in all environmental categories studied.
2) It isn't demonstrated that it is better to use recovered fiber in non-magazine paper.
3) There are currently no significant limitations on recovered paper supply.
Well, you can see what would happen if the paper and printing industries switched over to 100% recycled paper--after all, recycled paper has to start out as virgin pulp. Also, too: you can only recycle the same pulp so many times (at most five times, it is generally estimated) before the fibers become unusable. So, there's that. And what I would argue is an important issue for a magazine like National Geographic: is there any impact on the quality of the product? The hallmark of National Geographic is the quality of its photography and the printing of that photography. Is there a compromise in using recycled paper? (I'm not saying that there is, I am just putting the question out there.)
One qualification in the study caught my attention:
Other impact categories, such as biodiversity and carbon sequestration were not included, because supporting data and/or impact characterization factors could not be obtained within the project scope and available resources
Another important point--covered ad nauseam in this space--is that reducing the demand for virgin pulp may have a significant negative impact on certain elements of the environment, namely forests, forest health, biodiversity, etc. Trees used for wood products are crops and, like any crop, can be sustainably or unsustainably managed. Sustainably managed forests preserve forest health and biodiversity. The alternative--if demand drops to such a point that it is not profitable to manage the forests at all--is for forestry products companies to sell the forestland, where it could very well be destroyed for real estate development or other uses that don't include trees. Not that that is inevitable, but land has value, of course, and that value can either reside in the trees--or what replaces the trees.
Anyway, not to dis recycled paper; I am all in favor of using as much of it as is practical, but there are other issues involved. And given the perilous state of the paper and print publishing industries today, I'm not sure they are the biggest contributors to our environmental problems.

Need Green Ideas? Look to Other Industries

Across the pond, Printweek has a jolly good bit of advice for those in the commercial printing industry seeking to "go green": look at other industries and market sectors for ideas. And well why not? As the author points out, print touches just about every other industry in some way--print clients are just about everywhere.
For, within those client sectors, there are multiple lessons for print to learn and apply when it comes to greening up its processes and procedures. On the face of it, they may seem ill fitting or irrelevant to print's particular parameters of business. However, looking beyond the sector-specific elements there are universal benefits to be drawn for all.
How can environmental sustainability initiatives adopted by such diverse sectors as retail, automotive, real estate, consumer goods manufacturing, and logistics be applied to printing? It's not as difficult as you may think. After all, we borrow ideas in many other areas--sales, marketing PR, and so on--why not look to other, disparate companies for ideas with sustainability?

Long Distance Voyager

On September 5, 1977, NASA launched Voyager 1, whose primary mission was to fly by Jupiter and Saturn and their respective moons. It visited Jupiter in 1979 and Saturn a year later, becoming the first spacecraft to photograph these systems.
What you may not know is that Voyager 1 is going, and it's still sending back data. And, in fact, it has become the first manmade object to leave the Solar System. In a study soon to be published in Geophysical Research Letters, researchers say (via SciTchDaily):
On August 25, 2012, NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft measured drastic changes in radiation levels, more than 11 billion miles from the Sun. Anomalous cosmic rays, which are cosmic rays trapped in the outer heliosphere, all but vanished, dropping to less than 1 percent of previous amounts. At the same time, galactic cosmic rays--cosmic radiation from outside of the solar system--spiked to levels not seen since Voyager's launch, with intensities as much as twice previous levels.
It is officially outside the influence of the Sun, but scientists are still debating whether the probe is now officially in interstellar space, or if it is some hitherto unknown region of space between the heliosphere (essentially, the Solar System) and interstellar space.
"Within just a few days, the heliospheric intensity of trapped radiation decreased, and the cosmic ray intensity went up as you would expect if it exited the heliosphere," said Bill Webber, professor emeritus of astronomy at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces. He calls this transition boundary the "heliocliff."
Now all we have to worry about is when it collides with an alien intelligence and comes back as V'ger.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Gotta love this.  Speaking of tone, how do you feel about our new blog look?  I appreciate all of your input!  Thanks a ton!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Vanguard is looking for Actors!

Hello Readers!  We are producing a short promotional video and would love to make you a part of it!  IF you are interested in acting in our video and more thereafter, please contact our Social Media Connections Manager, Chelsea at 607-330-7199!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Check us out on MagazineLaunch.com!

Here is Vanguard Printing LLC's Profile for Magazine Launch;
As you know, Vanguard Printing LLC is not your run-of-the-mill printer. Yes, Vanguard is a full service web and sheet-fed printer specializing in short to medium-run publications, catalogs, calendars and financial printing... But, did you know we also specialize in things like Digital Editions for your publications such as mobile websites, QR Codes, Flip-Page technology and more? Or perhaps our car wrapping and architectural wrapping capabilities? (Taking your image/Ad/etc and literally wrapping it around your car or building!) All of these options help to make your publishing and marketing needs come together as a one-stop-shop experience. Our Company is located in Ithaca, New York and serves customers throughout the United States and Canada. We would love to quote your next big project today, so what are you waiting for? Give us a call now at (607) 272-1212. Vanguard Printing LLC, "Where your Impressions Counts!"