Neuroscience of Fonts

The architecture of your brain makes retaining everyday reading a major challenge. Psychologists and researchers at RMIT University in Melbourne developed a font that helps you recall and tuck away in your brain what you have just read. They call it Sans Forgetica.
The science behind this font creation is fascinating. Well if you are in the print and marketing business it’s fascinating. They made it sleek and back-slanted with intermittent gaps in each letter allowing the reader to recognize the letter but makes each word a simple puzzle for the brain. The more you need to process information the better you recall.
Visit http://www.sansforgetica.rmit/ to see what was behind the creation of Sans Forgetica or download the “The back story behind Sans Forgetica”.

If you want to use this font in any of your print and marketing collateral we got it and are ready to use it.

Do you SEO, PPC, or go both ways?

As you may know customers can get to your website many different ways. This blog is about SEO (search engine optimization) and PPC (pay-per-click). Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines are how your customers find stuff on the web. They pull out relevant information gathered from what you put in your search. Google alone accounts for 3,500,000,000 (3.5 Billion per day) that’s a lot of people looking for answers, products and services every hour of every day.
So how do you find which is the best way for you and your company to the first page on search engines? Both SEO and PPC work, but do you need both? To understand the difference between SEO and PPC, let’s take a look at them and see their strengths and weaknesses.

PPC (Pay Per Click)
Instead of organically and gradually ranking your way toward the top of search results, you pay the search engine to place your website on the top of page instantly. Every time a user clicks on your ad or website, the search engine charges a small fee. One thing to take note, it’s more than money that gets you to the top. It’s also “quality score”, location, relevance, and site functionality. But PPC search words are sold on the open marketing, meaning anyone can come along a take your spot if they want to pay more. Here are some of the top keyword costs per click:
Continue reading Do you SEO, PPC, or go both ways?

Understanding Your Color Space

In grade school, we learned how to mix primary colors (yellow, blue, and red), that yellow + blue = green, blue + red = purple, red + yellow = orange. Guess what? That was your first lesson in color theory. It’s not that simple when you are trying to color match your prints, though. It gets complicated in offset and digital printing vs. what you see on your monitor and smart phone.


Establishing your BRAND color is a great place to start, but it won’t cut it to simply say “We use dark green”. In fact, just knowing your company’s Pantone color values isn’t enough, since those values are generally used for specific printing processes. What about spot colors vs. CMYK vs. RGB?

One of the keys to having a successful brand is consistency. Every company Continue reading Understanding Your Color Space

2018 USPS Rate Increase

mail dogThe U.S. Postal Service once again raising rates. Here are some details of the 2018 postage rate increase. This increase takes effect on Sunday January 21st.

First-Class Mail

First-Class Mail Letter rates are slated to increase from their current 49 cent rate to 50 cents.  Now is a good time to buy Forever stamps, before the price goes up!
The postcard rate, which applies to individually mailed postcards measuring 4.25 x 6 or smaller, increases from 34 to 35 cents. The additional ounces charge for first class letters will remain at 21 cents, and international letters also hold steady at $1.15.

If you use metered postage in your office the rate also increases by one cent, from 46 cents to 47 cents.

Marketing Mail

Marketing mail (also known as standard mail) rates are slated to increase by an average of 1.94 percent. Included in this category are presort standard as well as the nonprofit rate. Presort Standard automated letters increase slightly less than the rest at only 1%, which is less than 1 cent increase. First Class Presort automated letters also see an estimated 1 cent per piece increase, from 40 to 41. Nonprofit automated letters hold at approximately 17 cents per piece.
The largest postage increases in this category target Flats, going up about 1.5% across the board.

Every Door Direct Mail

The USPS’s very successful Every Door Direct Mail program is also scheduled for a small increase from 15.6 cents to 15.7 cents on DDU shipments. The other categories also went up 1/10 cent each.

Shipping Services

As in previous years, the main focus of the rate increase is on Shipping Services, which sees an average increase for Priority Mail of 3.9 percent, including a 5 cent increase on most Flat Rate shipping charges.

If  you have any question or want to have your next mailing project quoted in advance please contact one our mail design experts.

Need the price chart?

Click here to download the PDF: 2018postage_prices

Net Neutrality: Not Neutral Anymore

Net neutralityIf you aren’t familiar with net neutrality, you are not alone. Most Internet users don’t realize what it is or how they can be effected. Below is a quick overview.

What is Net Neutrality?

Net neutrality legislation was put into place to prevent Internet service providers from discriminating against or showing favoritism toward certain websites. Let’s say you use your local cable and Internet comp for streaming video; without Net Neutrality they could now intentionally slow down the stream of competing services such as Netflix, giving themselves an unfair advantage.

How Will It Impact You?

Broadband providers will be able to charge consumers and companies varying rates. You could be charged more for a package that allows unrestricted access to streaming sites than someone else who only uses their Internet for email and reading newspapers.

What Does This Mean for Web Searches?

Currently, websites all have an equal opportunity to be found and visited. Without legislation in place to keep it that way, the stage is being set for large, established companies to be able to push out the little guy much like with current TV stations.

In a pay to play environment, large companies could put their websites in an express lane of searches. This is of course bad for smaller or new companies and bad for us as consumers, because our freedom to evaluate two services on a level playing field is restricted. This gives larger payers an advantage over smaller, similar services.

Specific to SEO, without net neutrality, it could mean that sites that rank high may not get the traffic or customers they did in the past. Also consider how highly Google values website speed; sites that are paying for speed will have access to their sites, a clear advantage based on money not merit.

The Internet has become a very integral part of our everyday lives. Even though recent legislation protecting Internet equality has been killed, it will take months if not years to see the full impact of an unregulated Internet.
If you are a small business owner with a websites or and online store, don’t completely overhaul everything just yet, the SEO industry isn’t going away for quite some time.

And the Future Will Be?

Web searches as we know them will be changing in the next couple years. But changes and evolution are just part of the game, good changes will evolve and bad ones will disappear. Help keep the internet equal for everyone:

SUPPORT NET NEUTRALITY

Why am I Santa?

It is not because I enjoy putting my Santa outfit on. I usually get a small room that isn’t heated with no place to sit or set-up. I go through the steps and pull on the big red pants over the bigger blubbery belly. I use my boot hooks to pull on my heavy black boots. Then comes the itchy beard & white gloves & glasses. The final step is a visual inspection so nothing is out of place. Now I am Santa. One thing that I noticed about being Santa, I never need to get in the mood. It just happens when I walk into a room or up on a fire truck. The magic of being Santa just happens. All of this is for other people to see Santa and enjoy the winter magic of Christmas. But I get much more than that. . .

When I walk into a room and kids of all ages run to see me for a handshake, a high five, a fist bump, and most importantly a big Santa bear hug it makes all the work and scratchy beard melt away like spring snow. Then the child’s eyes hook onto Santa’s and it lights me up inside as much as the excitement and wonderment lights up the children.

So I take my seat and prepare for “naughty & nice” of all ages. I always have a few stories to tell when I get up from my big red chair. One small girl about 6 years old couldn’t say out loud when I asked her what she wanted for Christmas; she had to whisper in my ear “I want my mommy to be happy”. Even Santa gets choked up on that one. Then there is always a situation of 2 brothers being a year or so apart. They can’t wait to be the first to tell me what they want, sometimes it becomes “tug of war” for my attention.

Continue reading Why am I Santa?

FYI your SEO and PPC work together

Before I explain the details, let’s take a look why it is important for your online business marketing. As you may know, Google, Bing  and other search engines are basically how people find stuff on the web. It pulls out relevant information it thinks people might find useful. That’s millions of people looking for answers to their real-life questions every hour of every day.
So how do you find your way to the first page on search engines? There are basically two ways to do that: SEO and PPC. Both of them work, but do you need both? To really understand what the difference between SEO and PPC is, let’s take a look at them individually and see what their strengths and weaknesses would be. Continue reading FYI your SEO and PPC work together

E-mail may be less active then ever before

According to Yesmail Interactive the 4th quarter of 2016 e-mail activity, response has been lower across several type of industries than ever before. For businesses that are using a multi-channel approach to their marketing this is nothing new. E-mail has been a good channel if you are looking at retaining and engaging with your current customer. If you are looking for new customers it is time to look elsewhere. Every business has many options to attract new customers, regardless if you are a “Business to Retail” or “Business to Business” you have choices. The most important is selecting channels that work for you, regardless of the price. If e-mail doesn’t work it doesn’t work, move on. Social media, direct mail, banners and other outside media, SEO or AdWords will help your business grow. Look for something new, learn the channels of advertising that will make a difference in your bottom line. If you want to talk about choices or budget just give me a call. Let’s have coffee and hopefully open your eyes a bit wider.

Postage Rates Move Sideways in 2017

Some are up and some are down. But there are new prices for your individual letter and presort mailing starting on Sunday January 22nd. Below is a few of the highlights of changes at the United States Postal Service.

First-Class Mail® Letters up to 1 ounce: price increase from $0.47 to $0.49

First-Class Mail® Flats up to 1 ounce: price increase from $0.94 to $0.98

Presorted First-Class Mail Letters/Postcards: There’s an overall average price decrease of .25%

Presort First-Class Mail will be able to send up to 3.5oz letters for the same price as a 1oz rate

Standard Mail will be re-branded as USPS “Marketing Mail”®

EDDM drop shipment postage for profit business goes up 1% and non-profits goes down 5%

But when the increase takes effect, Api-marketing is ready. Ready with the new prices and ready with ideas to maximize your return with targeted mail lists, personalization & marketing design.

2016 was a great year for “direct mail” resulting in an increase of over 10% from prior years. It works, it is not dead, and 2017 will be even a bigger year for businesses that invest in direct mail.

If you have any specific pricing questions on postage, or are interested in printing and mailing through APi-marketing, e-mail us or give us a call, we will be happy to get you all the answers you need.

For non-profits it’s all about the “ASK”

Working with non-profits one of the most common request concerns the “ask”. This is vital when attempting to get the greatest amount of return on your donor campaign.

Inevitability a majority of donors with give the smallest of the “ask” if they have a choice. What do you do? Well you make the lowest “ask” at a higher donation. But you don’t want to scare or alienate the donors that can’t make the minimum “ask”. That is the key for non-profits, know what the right “ask” is based on your donor profile.

One of the most valuable tools in using variable data in your donor campaigns. We use those fields as variables in your database to print on your letter-set, postcard or other marketing channel that you might use. And its easy, just set 3 different fields in your database associated with that donor and when we print on our digital presses call for that dollar amount for each printed piece. It keeps it in presort order so you maintain your highest automation postage discount. Below are a couple of samples of what that might look like in your database.

FirstName

LastName

Address

City

St

Zip

Ask One

Ask Two

Ask Three

John

Smith

1252 Mill Rd.

Alta

CA

95701

$25.00

$50.00

$100.00

Wendy

Taft

11454 9th St

Loomis

CA

95650

$50.00

$100.00

$250.00

Al

Sharkey

1147 Moss Rd

Roseviille

CA

95678

$250.00

$500.00

$1,000.00

Another way without going through each record in your database is to group them based on your “ask”. For example:

Group A – $10.00 – $25.00 – $50.00
Group B – $250.00 – $500.00 – $1000.00
Group C – $1000.00 – $2500.00 – $5000.00

Just mark your prospective donors to a group and we will take care of the rest.

It is so critical to know your database. Give one of our specialist a call and we will have the answers to achieving success and higher donations on your next non-profit campaign.