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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

        Large Format Substrates Every Print Buyer            Should Know

By  Haidan Dong


The large format industry is a large part of the printing industry (no pun intended) and sometimes goes by the name of wide format printing. It’s a competitive market with plenty of small sign shops vying to become their clients’ go-to printer.

One of the ways to get ahead is to become a one-stop sign shop that offers all the products that they need. We recommend that all printers get familiar with these common large format substrates so that they can offer them to their clients before their competitors can.

Coroplast

Coroplast is corrugated plastic. A good way to describe it to clients is to let them visualize a piece of cardboard made entirely out of plastic. Coroplast is available in different thicknesses. The most common ones are 4mm, 6mm, and 8mm.

Coroplast is generally used for signage such as yard signs, A-frame signs, and real estate hanging signs. It is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use because it’s sturdy, lightweight, and waterproof. The surface is also easy to clean.

Vinyl

Vinyl is a tough, flexible material made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) resin and mesh. There are many different types of vinyl that you can use to print anything from banners to wall decals. The weight, texture, denier (thickness of the threads), and weave density are different depending on the type of vinyl.

Some of the most common types of vinyl for banner printing are:

13oz Vinyl

This type of vinyl is often used for standard indoor or outdoor vinyl banners. It can have a matte or glossy finish. The matte finish is particularly good for reducing glare.

Adhesive Vinyl

The adhesive can be permanent or removable. Always test its adhesive/removable properties first before applying it to a large area.

Perforated Vinyl

This type of vinyl has tiny holes in it that allow light to pass through. It’s perfect for window graphics because it allows passerbys to see your message without considerably impacting the lighting of your store.

Mesh Scrim Vinyl

This type of vinyl allows for air to pass through, which makes this material ideal for windier outdoor areas. It’s usually printed with a backer that is peeled off before use.

Foam Board

Form Boards are amazingly lightweight for their bulky size. They work great indoors as trade show signage or displays, but we don’t recommend them for outdoor use as they can also be damaged easily. A common foam board stock that large format printers print on is 4mm foam core (approximately 0.16”).

Styrene

Styrene is a light but durable plastic material. Some of the most common styrene materials are thin enough to be flexible (such as the popular 20pt styrene), so they can be rolled for storage or transportation, but don’t fold them or they’ll crack. They are waterproof and has strong scratch-resistance.

Sintra

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Sintra is made from PVC and is waterproof just like styrene, but the surface of sintra boards are a little easier to scratch. It is, however, still a popular choice for smaller outdoor signage. You can also cut and scored Sintra easily.

3mm is one of the most common thicknesses of printed sintra. At this thickness it cannot be rolled but its lightness still makes it easy to transport.

Magnet

Large format printing produces car magnets that turn an unbranded vehicle into a moving advertisement. Magnets are measured in mils (1 mil = 0.001”), with 30 mil as one of the most common thicknesses.

Make sure a magnet stays safely on a vehicle by adding rounded corners. This helps it cling to the car better. You should never use car magnets with bent corners as this increases their chances of falling off.

Canvas

Canvas is a strong, coarse cloth often associated with art. Storage and transportation for canvas is easy because you can roll it or fold it lightly. It comes in different weights, thicknesses, and textures depending on the materials in the weave.

Some clients may want to wrap their canvas around a frame. In this case, you should leave approximately 1 inch for the wrap. Call Today 516-561-1468 or FOR MORE INFORMATION ON ANY OF OUR MARKETING PRODUCTS GO TO:www.printcafeli.com




Thursday, May 19, 2022

Reduce Work-Related Burnout with These Action Steps 

Burnout is extreme fatigue often caused by work-life imbalance and a lack of social support.

According to Ohio State University, burnout can cause extreme physical and mental exhaustion and has been connected with many health risks, including early mortality, depression, coronary heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. 

Certain personality traits, such as pessimism, perfectionism, and type A tendencies, may be more at risk for burnout. According to Forbes, in a survey of 1,500 U.S. workers in 2021, 52% of respondents said they were experiencing burnout. 

Luckily, both employees and employers can take actions to reduce work-related burnout. 

Actions Employees Can Take to Reduce Burnout 

1. Be Honest with Your Employer

Be transparent with your boss to figure something out. Find positives within your job and practice gratitude by daily finding something about your job for which you’re grateful. Sometimes you just need to take a break and return with a rejuvenated mindset.

2. Find Activities that Fill You with Energy 

“You often feel tired, not because you’ve done too much, but because you’ve done too little of what sparks a light in you,” inspirational speaker Alexander Den Heijer said. 

It’s not always possible to avoid doing things that suck the energy out of you. But you must find something that you genuinely enjoy, something that leaves you feeling energized. 

It’s okay if you don’t know of any activities right now. Think back to activities you enjoyed in the past. Be adventurous and try out some new activities. Make these activities that ‘spark a light in you’ a priority in your life by planning them into your schedule. 

3. Find a Support Group 

Eventually, everyone struggles.

These moments don’t feel quite as debilitating when you’re surrounded by supportive people. Perhaps you already have a support group through friends, family, and/or activities. If so, work on being more comfortable reaching out for help when needed. 

If you don’t have a support group, try your best to find or create one. Go to events. Connect with people through mutually shared interests. Be a little bit vulnerable and adventurous. 

Employees can only do so much to reduce work-related burnout. Employers should also be aware of burnout and actions to help their employees. 

Actions Employers Can Take to Alleviate Employee Burnout 

1. Hire Great Managers 

Managers are a key piece in reducing burnout.

They can make or break the work experience. Great managers should treat all employees fairly and not discriminate based on race, gender, or sexual orientation. They should give employees a manageable workload. This helps the employees and helps ensure the company is producing high-quality work. 

Great managers should communicate clearly and effectively by addressing employee expectations and responsibilities. Managers should also be supportive and, if possible, provide flexibility to employees. 

2. Prioritize Employee Wellbeing

Support your employees by helping them achieve the five elements of wellbeing: a fulfilling career, good physical health, supportive and loving social networks, a safe community, and a secure financial situation.

For example, foster positive social networks within the workplace through team projects and team-building activities. 

Burnout within the workplace is an increasingly serious problem. Luckily, there are actions you can take to alleviate workplace-induced burnout. www.printcafeli.com


Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Launch Your New Product or Service Easily With These Tips 

It’s an exciting time. You have a new product or service, and you want to let the world know.

Here are some tips to help you succeed.

Do Your Market Research

The best way to start is to do some market research.

A great way to do this is to call 10 or 15 of your current customers and ask them what types of issues they have had regarding what you offer. Ask specifics so you know how you could potentially solve the problem.

Your research should show you what motivates your customers, which should help you address that issue.

Define Your Positioning Statement

What’s your positioning statement?

Writing this should help you figure out just what you’re planning on offering customers. It will tell why you are the best place for them to receive help and why your product is the best. Flush it out so you know exactly why people should go to you over the competition.

After creating your positioning statement, it’s time to present it to stakeholders. Take time to explain your statement to managers, product developers, and others who might be able to offer some criticism. If they like what you have to say, you’re more likely to receive a warm welcome from customers. And if they have suggestions, welcome them and take them to heart to hone your marketing efforts.

Get Your Message Out

Think about how you will use the media to get your message out.

Create a buzz about your product or service. Include different media types, including press releases, ads, advertorials, and other media-related promotions.

Make sure you know how to write a press release, and don’t be afraid to reach out to journalists to tell them your story. Just remember it needs to be a story, not an advertisement.

Remember, you only get one chance to start the buzz and create something for people to talk about. So, get as much attention as possible.

Get Your Team Up to Speed

Be sure to assign roles to your staff, so they know what they are responsible for during the launch.

This will ensure a smooth transition into the new product or service and make sure no one is doubling up on a job, which can slow progress.

Consider Your Timing

Choose the right day for the launch.

Is your product or service weather-oriented or seasonal? Make sure you launch it at the opportune time so that people can welcome it immediately. During this time, make sure that stakeholders know what you are doing. Keep them in the loop so they can support you.

Reflect and Learn

After the launch, be sure to evaluate it.

Did you get the results you were hoping for? Did you increase awareness? Were there things you should have done differently? If so, be sure to note it for the next product launch.

Being organized in your product launch is vital, as is communication. We are here for you to update letterhead, create a new logo or direct mail campaigns, and more. Reach out to us today! Call Today 516-561-1468 or FOR MORE INFORMATION ON ANY OF OUR MARKETING PRODUCTS GO TO: www.printcafeli.com


Thursday, May 12, 2022

How to Use the 40-40-20 Rule of Direct Marketing 


The 40-40-20 rule of direct mail marketing breaks up marketing into three parts to help you predict and evaluate the success of your direct marketing campaign. 

According to Investopedia, direct marketing is any marketing that uses direct communication or distribution to customers through mediums such as mail, email, social media, and texting.

The success of your direct mail marketing is:

  • 40% dependent on your audience,
  • 40% dependent on your offer, and
  • 20% on everything else.

Let’s break it down and look at each one individually.

Direct Mail Marketing: Audience

You’re not going to get very far in your direct mail marketing campaign if you’re reaching the wrong people. Money spent on advertising to the wrong audience is wasted money. This is why reaching the right audience constitutes 40% of your direct mail marketing success. 

The right audience must be within your target market. The more precise you can make your target audience, the more effective your direct mail marketing campaign will be because the marketing will be more personalized. For greater personalization and success, go beyond surface-level characteristics. 

Build up a well-defined mailing list. Include people on the list who have bought similar products through similar methods. Keep records of who has bought from you in the past and how they did it. Target those who have bought similar products because of a previous direct mail marketing campaign. These people have a proven desire to buy your products. 

Direct Mail Marketing: Offer

The offer includes the product itself and incentives to get the customer to buy it now. It constitutes 40% of your direct mail marketing campaign success. 

First and foremost, the product must be something your audience actually wants. It’s going to be challenging to sell an unwanted product. Before releasing products, test them out with customers to see if there’s interest. 

Next, the offer within your direct mail marketing campaign must be good enough to incentivize your audience to buy now. Try out the following tips: 

  • Create FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out): if you can get the customer to feel as if by not buying your product, they’re missing out, you have effectively created tension and pressure within your customer to purchase the product.
  • Create urgency. If the customer doesn’t feel the need to buy now, they might never get around to it. But, letting the customer know that the offer is only for a limited time or until supplies last creates a sense of urgency to buy now, which translates into more sales.
  • Provide safety. People, in general, are incredibly risk-averse. Don’t let people’s fear of loss hurt your marketing campaign. For example, offer a 100% money-back guarantee offers. 

Direct Mail Marketing: Everything Else

20% of the success of your direct mail marketing campaign relies on everything else. This includes the copy (written material), design, and format. Advertisers often put most of their time and energy here when creating an ad campaign. But, usually, when an ad falls through, it is because of the audience or the offer. However, that’s not to say this step is not important.

Copywriters should connect with and compel the reader by identifying the customer’s pain points, frustrations, and hopes. They should effectively convince the reader why this product will work for them. The copywriters should work with the designers, whose primary goal is to get the material read. 

The 40-40-20 rule of direct marketing will help you create more effective direct mail marketing campaigns.Call Today 516-561-1468 or FOR MORE INFORMATION ON ANY OF OUR MARKETING PRODUCTS GO TO: www.printcafeli.com

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

8 Print Marketing Pieces Every Business Needs 

It is nice to have an endless budget for marketing; however, most of us don’t have that luxury.

But a business needs to have at least eight printed marketing pieces to be successful and leave its mark.

Whether you are new to business or have tired marketing materials, now’s the chance to freshen up. Here are eight must-haves when it comes to representing your business well.

1. Business Cards

Create a unique business card that not only contains all your necessary information but that represents the unique business you are.

Try using unusual shapes, foil, bold colors, and images. Don’t let it get too busy so that there’s no white space. It needs to be well balanced. Ask us for tips if you’re unsure or have it professionally designed.

2. Brochures

Your business card is the teaser for what you offer, but your brochure is where you can shine.

You can add more detailed information as to what type of business you are and what you offer. Here’s where you lay it out. Include detailed pictures of your products or services, along with an excellent description of what your company provides.

3. Flyers

Create some excitement for your offerings.

Include a large graphic or picture to draw people in and create some questions. Then you can hand them a brochure to explain it more in detail, and you can go through it with them for added impact.

4. Folders

You will want a way to package your marketing materials, and a custom folder is where it’s at.

Have your logo printed on it, along with some die cuts for you to include your business card tucked inside. This is like your shiny new suit; it represents who you are as a business person. That’s why you want quality and up-to-date design.

5. Letterhead

Every business needs high-quality letterhead to include quotes, correspondence, and business details.

This sounds like a no-brainer, but an inkjet printer won’t do. It needs to be professionally printed to show off your commitment to quality.

6. Logo

A logo is so important, and many people don’t give it enough credit.

A well-designed logo will look good on just about anything. Use it on merchandise give-aways, such as tote bags, mugs, koozies, and more.

Your logo ties your marketing together. You can use it on your letterhead, folders, flyers, brochures, business cards, and your website. Don’t skimp here. Have a professional design it for you, along with your input.

7. Banners

How will people get excited about your business if they don’t know you are open or that you have something exciting going on?

A beautifully designed and printed banner will announce that you have new items or that you are having a sale or even a grand opening.

8. Postcards

One more step to getting the word out and creating repeat business is to use gorgeous postcards that have been custom printed.

A postcard is easy to read and hard to ignore in a pile of mail. Use them to thank your customers for coming in, or send out an announcement of a new product or service you offer.

Every business deserves to be celebrated with high-quality printed products. This is not where you want to cut corners.

These eight items are important in getting a business off the ground or re-inventing your business. It’s never too late to do this and announce that you’re the one to do business with because of your commitment to quality. We offer all these items and more to help you get ahead of the competition. Visit our product list to learn more!

Call Today 516-561-1468 or FOR MORE INFORMATION ON ANY OF OUR MARKETING PRODUCTS GO TO:www.printcafeli.com


Thursday, May 5, 2022

The Importance of White Space in Marketing 

There’s a common misconception in marketing the more elements on the page, the better the marketing.

But, that’s not the case.

White space, or the negative space that separates text and graphics, plays an enormous part in the success of your marketing. Take a look at this handful of reasons why you need to utilize white space in your design.

White space is the framework of your design.

Not only does white space frame your essential information, but it also creates balance and allows the eyes to focus on what is truly important.

White space creates more interaction.

White space is resting space for the eyes, allowing people to take their time when reading your content. This makes for better interaction between the reader and the writer.

White space creates elegance and sophistication to your marketing.

If used correctly, white space doesn’t make your marketing look sparse. It makes it look professional, helping your images and text stand out perfectly when you want them to.

White space creates balance.

Too much white space looks like you don’t have enough to say. But too little white space makes your marketing information confusing and disorganized, making people want to move on and not read what you say.

White space helps draw attention to your Call-To-Action (CTA).

Your message will stand out better when the right amount of white space surrounds it. When people have no doubt what you want them to do next, your results are better at getting your audience to do what you ask.

White space increases imagination.

When we see white space in a design, it allows our imaginations to roam free, which results in a stronger emotional response. And this is what we want when creating marketing materials because it creates a response and connection.

White space helps brand design.

White space helps your logo and photos stand out more. They are given a position of importance rather than having it just lumped into endless text.

White space provides direction to the reader.

White space can also lead a reader from one element to another so that the “story” is read the way it was intended.

White space brings focus.

The more white space that surrounds an object, the more focus will be put on it, and people will notice it and remember it better.

According to Pratik Hedge, a writer for Prototypr.io.com, there is a study showing that “proper use of white space between lines of paragraphs and its left and right margins can increase comprehension up to 20%.”

The use of white space can make or break your marketing efforts. Don’t forget to edit so that you can use the white space to your advantage.

We are here to help should you need advice on editing your marketing materials. We want you to be successful and have your marketing materials go far. Reach out today!  Call Today 516-561-1468 or FOR MORE INFORMATION ON ANY OF OUR MARKETING PRODUCTS GO TO: www.printcafeli.com


10 Ways to Show Appreciation to Your Employees 

It’s no secret that we all like to be appreciated. So, why do we often forget to appreciate our employees?

According to Harvard Business Review, “Managers incorrectly assumed employees knew how they felt about them.” The study went on to find that only a few of the employees were being recognized. “If managers could make a far broader group of employees feel appreciated, the benefits would be considerable,” the study concluded.

The best way to keep good employees is to regularly show your appreciation to all employees. Here are ten ways to show your staff how much you like having them around.

Show Your Employee’s Appreciation With These 10 Ideas

1. Make birthdays special.

Order food or a cake for them on their birthdays. Some companies also give people a day off to use at their leisure since paid time off is what many people value.

2. Ask for employee feedback.

Ask employees to fill out a poll as to what they like and don’t like in terms of you showing your appreciation.

It can be as simple as candy, flowers, certificates, trophies, days off, gift certificates, etc. Let them tell you what makes them feel special.

3. Make appreciation fun.

Create a fun “trophy” to pass around the office when someone does something noteworthy.

It can sit on the person’s desk who needs to be appreciated for something they did. It will become something fun that they can look forward to, and it should also put a smile on their faces.

4. Verbal praise is still popular.

Thanking an employee verbally in front of others at meetings or in the office, where others can hear, is still popular with just about everyone.

5. Bring on the gifts.

Gift certificates for a massage, a restaurant, a bookstore, or other fun places can help employees feel appreciated and can do wonders to encourage them to keep doing more for the company.

6. Use food.

When you feel extra proud of your staff, bring in donuts, sandwiches, bagels, or cupcakes to lift their spirits and let them know you are thankful for them and their hard work.

7. Consider a wall-of-fame.

Hang a picture of the employee of the month in the breakroom or someplace where it will get attention. This has been a favorite for a long time at many companies because it works well.

8. Take your appreciation online.

Your website is a perfect place to show employees how proud you are of them.

Try to include as many employees on your website as possible and let them write their own short bio. Of course, some businesses can’t always do this, but try to list your employees on the website if possible. This makes them feel appreciated and wanted, and it makes them feel a part of a larger goal.

9. Offer additional education.

Another great way to show your appreciation to employees is to send them to a conference or workshop.

It lets them know you value their opinion and input, showing that you believe in them and want to invest in their future success.

10. Go one-on-one.

Take them out to lunch.

This is an excellent way to show you appreciate them, and it allows you to talk openly with them about their views and projections for the future.

No matter which ways you show your appreciation, we want you to know that we appreciate doing business with you. We are always excited to see your new projects and perform our best for you. See what we can do for you today!  Call Today 516-561-1468 or FOR MORE INFORMATION ON ANY OF OUR MARKETING PRODUCTS GO TO:www.printcafeli.com


Tuesday, May 3, 2022

 8 Direct Mail Mistakes to Avoid

You know you need to do direct mail.

After all, it’s been proven to be effective in getting the word out about your business, and it’s economical. Not only that, but it’s trackable to some extent.

In fact, 71% of people say they read their direct mail, and 54% say it leads them to try a new business or product. However, you only have about 3 seconds to get people to entertain your direct mail.

So what do you need to know when getting these little treasures ready to mail? There are some common mistakes people make when creating their direct mail. Here are some pitfalls to avoid.

8 Direct Mail Pitfalls to Avoid

Wrong Audience

When creating your direct mail, one mistake many people make is not writing it for the right audience.

You need to know who will be reading your direct mail and what they are looking for. Don’t write the copy as generic, meant for just anyone. Think about who you actually want to talk to through your letter, postcard, brochure, or other forms of direct mail. Then tailor it to the audience: men, women, certain ages or incomes, etc.

No Defined Goals

When creating a marketing campaign, you need to think about what you hope to accomplish.

Do you want to drive sales, have more people walk in your door, have more people go to your website, or other goals? You can’t accomplish everything, even if you really want to. You need to have specific goals that are somewhat measurable.

No White Space

We get excited about what we offer, but your audience needs the simplified version.

Don’t use too much text. Customers won’t read it because it looks daunting. Make sure you keep it short and sweet. Use active verbs and exciting adjectives, but choose words carefully.

No Call to Action

Yikes! You put all this effort into amazing direct mail, but you forget to ask customers to take the next step.

This is a setup for failure. We need to make sure we tell people what to do next. “Call us today!” “Stop in our store today!” “Check out our website.” There are so many ways to ask customers to take the next step.

Don’t assume they know what you want them to do. And don’t be afraid to ask for the sale or whatever you want them to do next. Just keep it simple. Only ask them to do one thing, and don’t overload them with requests.

It Focuses on Features

Even though you are interested in your accomplishments or where your business is going, your customers probably aren’t that interested.

They want value.

Tell them how you will make their lives easier and how your product helps them. Be results-oriented rather than features-oriented.  

Being Coupon Crazy

Direct mail coupons are great for repeat customers, but you don’t want to build a culture around saving a buck.

Focus on value more than saving money. Every once in a while, use a coupon, but don’t let this be your go-to.

Not Making It Personal

It’s so easy now to personalize direct mail.

Include their name, birthday, or anniversary. Choose colors and images that represent the demographics well. People tend to hang onto these types of direct mail and respond to them.

Saving the Best for Last

Unless you are a world-renowned company, you should lead with the logo and product. Don’t save it for the end of the ad or direct mail.

Start with what you can do for the customer, following up with details.

By avoiding these few mistakes that happen in direct mail, you can be sure to have a more successful campaign. We want to make sure you are successful. So we offer high-quality, beautiful direct mail that will represent your company well. Check us out today!  Call Today 516-561-1468 or FOR MORE INFORMATION ON ANY OF OUR MARKETING PRODUCTS GO TO:www.printcafeli.com