Why We’re Not at GraphExpo

This year WebsitesForPrinters.com decided not to exhibit at GraphExpo in Chicago. I have really come to love Chicago and GraphExpo, I really wanted to be there, but it just wasn’t meant to be this year. It was a tough decision, but I’m certain it was the right decision.

Our decision to not attend has found many of our clients asking, “Why not?” This blog entry is for you … here are the two main reasons.

Reason #1: Last year’s show (Print 09) was OK, but from the exhibitors’ perspectives it certainly didn’t have the excitement of other shows. Learning that Heidelberg, Komori, and others would not be attending GraphExpo 2010 made this year’s investment seem even more ominous.

Reason #2: This is the biggie. There are big positive changes coming around the corner for clients of WebsitesForPrinters.com! These improvements are taking a lot of resources … much of which (if handled correctly) will be invisible to our clients and prospects. It really came down to this choice: Do we put all this positive change momentum on hold for a few months in order to chase down new prospects at GraphExpo, or do we keep our focus on the positive change so we can build a more powerful solution for our existing clients? No contest. We’ll choose to honor the loyalty of our existing clients.

So what are these big changes? You can get a feel for what’s coming by visiting MarketingIdeasForPrinters.com. All our individual companies and product lines will be doing away with their autonomy to create one new, powerful company. Everything that everyone already knows about WebsitesForPrinters.com and Ink Inc. will continue to be there, but it will be there better under the MarketingIdeasForPrinters.com banner.

It’s really coming together. Joining WebsitesForPrinters.com and Ink Inc. is The Buzz, which is a service designed to allow printers to reach out to their prospects and clients through social media channels. It’s worth a look: SocialMarketingForPrinters.com.

I miss the hustle and bustle of Chicago … but at the same time I’m glad we decided to stay here in Fargo, keeping our focus on our existing customer base. It’s a tough time for a lot of printers, we’ll continue to do everything we can to help them … even if that means skipping our annual trip to Chicago and GraphExpo this year.

WebsitesForPrinters.com Clients Win web2awards 2009

WebsitesForPrinters.com is very proud and excited to announce that three WebsitesForPrinters.com clients have received awards in the inaugural web2awards, the industry’s first and only contest established for printing industry websites worldwide. Here’s an excerpt from the awards booklet:

The web2awards is the world’s first annual award competition that names the best websites in the printing industry. The web2awards were established by Printing Industries of America to recognize, honor, and elevate printers that are achieving excellence with their online presence. The mission of the web2awards judging body consisting of educators, designers, Web programmers, e-commerce experts, marketers, and industry consultants is to honor excellence in the various categories of print-related websites.

WebsitesForPrinters.com clients won three awards in the licensed web-to-print category, including the winning entry of the category!

 

WINNER – Best of Category: http://SupremeGraphics.com/

Supreme Graphics says:

Our customers love it. It’s made the print buying process easier for both us and the customer. Customers love the online order history, request for quote history, large file size transfer, and customized online product catalog.

 

Exceptional Website: http://www.AllegraAZ.com/

Allegra Print & Imaging says:

We now transact 600-700 line items per month. Innovation with our job ticketing software has saved one full time employee.

 

Exceptional Website: http://PrintingArtsPress.com/

Printing Arts Press says:

Our website is a great marketing and customer retention tool. It has allowed us to reach our customers and prospects anytime or anywhere. Customers appreciate the easy to navigate online tools, especially the ability to check online the products we keep in inventory for them. Prospects are routinely impressed with our website and appreciate the extensive information available about our company.

 

WebsitesForPrinters.com would like to offer a hearty congratulations to Supreme Graphics, Allegra Print & Imaging, and Printing Arts Press for being selected as web2award winners!

Printing Industries of America and the Digital Printing Council provide more information about the awards program at http://www.printing.org/page/5414.

Make Money? Save Time? BOTH!

I’m just about to hit the “Send” button on an e-mail to a prospect I visited last week. This printer has a customer that places 10-15  orders for business cards each week, and he wanted to find out if a WebsitesForPrinters.com website with the uDesignIT! variable data add-on would help his printing firm make those orders easier for his customer and more profitable for him. After hearing the monthly charge for this service I could sense some sticker shock. But … the sticker shock is unwarranted.

Here’s the e-mail I sent him regarding the way my calculator works:

Hi Larry,

Last week you called WebsitesForPrinters.com and we talked about the ability to allow your hospital customer to create and order their business cards online. You mentiond they are ordering 10-15 cards per week. When we discussed the WebsitesForPrinters.com monthly charges to allow those orders to happen, I think you went into a bit of sticker shock! 🙂

With that in mind, I’d like you to take a look at how my calculator runs the numbers.

Let’s start with some assumptions:

– 12 cards per week.

– Design rate of $70/hour

– 20 minutes per card to cover typesetting, proofing with customer, and all the back-and-forth that takes your employee time.

Now, the big assumption that comes into play is this: Let’s assume that the WebsitesForPrinters.com website eliminate 15 of the 20 minutes in the above assumption. (This is a totally realistic assumption. Keep in mind  you’ll get a production-ready card, already proofed by your customer. Your employee’s responsibility is then to reduced to entering the production-ready PDF generated by the website into your workflow.) You still get to bill for those 15 minutes saved!

15 minutes (or .25 hour) saved x 12 cards per week x $70 per hour = $210 per week

$210 per week x 52 weeks in a year / 12 months in a year = $910 per month

So … instead of your employees spending an extra 15 minutes to go through the process of putting a job into the system, they can instead use those minutes saved to generate an extra $910 of design or prepress revenue each month! Back out the $185 for the website plus uDesignIT! and that still leaves you with $725 each month. That means you’d pay for the WebsitesForPrinters.com startup charge in 2 months … which is a number that matches up nicely with the WebsitesForPrinters.com 60-Day Live Trial program.

In other words, you have absolutley nothing to loose (except your current website’s “We’re working on a new website!” display) and everything to gain! And … we haven’t even touched on other sales-building tools found in the website.

So with that said, are you willing to take a closer look at a WebsitesForPrinters.com demo website?

I’d be happy to dig deepr … just let us know if you have any questions. Thanks!

Happy Printing!
Dave


Dave Hultin, Managing Partner

Dave@WebsitesForPrinters.com

WebsitesForPrinters.com

800-736-0688 x 130

It will be interesting to learn his response. Now, if you are a printer that happened to bump into this random blog post on the Internet, I’d be interested in your response. One of the assumptions I presented was a billable design rate of $70 per hour.

What hourly rate are you charging for graphic design and typesetting? Is my assumption of $70 per hour on the mark? I’d really like to know! Please leave a comment…

Two WebsitesForPrinters.com Clients in June 09 Printing Impressions

Yesterday I was catching up on some industry reading, and was thrilled to see two clients of WebsitesForPrinters.com prominently featured in the June 2009 Printing Impressions magazine!

Jan and Mike Peissig of Gateway Printing are featured on the cover, with a great feature titled Working for the Long Term.

Frank Stewart and Carrie Parkinson of New Vision Printing and Graphics picked up a very nice mention in the Editor’s Notebook: New Vision Is Thriving Despite Bad Economy. A strong testimonial was pointing our way with this part of the story:

And he credits his firm’s Website (www.newvisionprinting.tc) as a great sales tool by projecting a more sophisticated image than one would expect for a company with under 20 employees and a little more than $1 million in annual sales.

Congratulations to Gateway Printing and New Vision Printing and Graphics for picking up the great press!

Fargo-Moorhead Flood Watch: Secondary Concerns

So far so good with the flood fight. The dikes are continuing to hold, the water continues to drop. But what a wild week. Just when things look like they might be settling down (albeit not to a safe level yet) we get whacked with an all-out Winter storm. Lots of snow, probably 10+ inches, and noone to clear the roads. The city plows are giving priority to the dike areas and main traffic arteries, so it could be a while.

The main concerns are obvious. Will the dikes hold? Will the high wind degrade their integrity? But I find myself thinking a lot about secondary concerns:

  • We just haven’t been able to get the phones because the city is asking all non-essential businesses to close up and stay home (to keep traffic to a minimum should the streets need to turn into emergency routes). Will WebsitesForPrinters.com customers think we’re ignoring them when we are unable to answer the phone?
  • Our business is national (international, for that matter) so our customer base keeps on churning forward. But what about local and regional businesses? I’m concerned for them … they are losing lots of revenue right now.
  • I’m concerned for hourly employees of the local and regional businesses as well. Businesses closed = no paycheck.

But even in the middle of all of this, I know that God is still in control. I find myself thinking often of something I used to say with a laugh and a smile. Regarding the 1997 flood, I would say, “That was our practice flood.” But as I think about it, there’s probably a lot of truth in that statement. God is sovereign, I won’t try to understand His amazing ways … but I can’t help but think if He allowed 1997’s flood to happen so Fargo would be better prepared for this year’s flood.

But enough writing for now. There’s SO much work to be done … back to calling customers and prospects from home.

We Love WebsitesForPrinters.com!

If a picture is worth a thousand words, this “motion picture” is priceless!

You Get What You Pay For

Apparently that is the chant being issued by the PrinterPresence staff on the floor of Graph Expo. We overheard a prospect mention that very phrase while holding a PrinterPresence brochure in his hands. I would counter that you don’t get what you pay for with Printer Presence. If they can’t compete on the objective merits of the product then they must resort to competing on subjective items as implied by the “You get what you pay for” comments.

Considering that WebsitesForPrinters.com provides a better product for less money, I’d say that claim is on very shaky ground. Consider this: WebsitesForPrinters.com has sent out over 200 issues of the e-mail newsletter Printer@Work on behalf of our clients. It’s a powerful tool that allows printers to connect with their customers; it’s included with each website at no additional charge. We provide the content, the printer doesn’t have to do a thing … it just works!

Contrast that to the product offered by PrinterPresence … it seems their e-mail tool costs extra and doesn’t include content. That means more work for printers to create content. (edited)

There’s more … but I’d rather rest up for the last big day of Graph Expo. Many more people to meet and more shoulders to rub!!!

WebsitesForPrinters.com Demonstrates Three Product Enhancements at Graph Expo 2008

WebsitesForPrinters.com is demonstrating three significant enhancements to its product lineup this year at Graph Expo 2008: Private Label Websites, Totally Custom Websites, and a major upgrade to its PDF workflow, PDF Piranha. These enhancements join the turnkey suite of sales, marketing, and print production tools printers need to be able to leverage success on the Internet.

PDF Piranha

Never before has it been so easy for printers’ customers to create ready-to-print files. A one-time download and installation of the PDF Piranha software allows the end user to print from any application directly to the printer’s website. After the file is transferred to the website it is run through a thorough preflight procedure, alerting the customer to items that may need attention (such as low-resolution graphics) and instantly correcting common errors that would otherwise lead to delays in print production. After preflight, the customer immediately is able to view a PDF proof of their order, with clear visual indicators pointing to items that may still need attention.

The customer realizes the benefits of being able to print directly from their native application, and the printer benefits from the automatic error correction provided by the PDF Piranha workflow. All parties benefit from the ease of use and time savings created by PDF Piranha.

Private Label Websites

The Online Print Center is the “nerve center” of a WebsitesForPrinters.com website, allowing customers to initiate estimate requests and place orders, and facilitating the communication between printers and their customers as print orders progress through the website. The Private Label Websites enhancement takes the Online Print Center to a whole new level, providing WebsitesForPrinters.com clients with a way to easily present the business end of their website in a “skin” created to match their customer’s brand.

Private Label Websites allow the printer to maintain full control of the print order process while at the same time allowing the printer’s customers to display their corporate identity. Private Label Websites are typically deployed to organizations where it is desirable to allow the organization’s members or employees to have direct access to the print ordering process, including access to static and variable Document Library items.

Totally Custom Websites

WebsitesForPrinters.com provides clients with eighteen professionally designed websites. For printers desiring to bring their own unique branding to their website, WebsitesForPrinters.com now offers Totally Custom Website design services. Now it is possible to create a unique design and wrap it around all the power and functionality of a WebsitesForPrinters.com website. This allows printers to present themselves to the world in exactly the way they want to be seen.

About WebsitesForPrinters.com

WebsitesForPrinters.com has been helping printers successfully leverage the power of the Internet to create success stories since 2001. Developed by industry veteran Mike Stevens in Fargo, North Dakota, WebsitesForPrinters.com was created for printers by a printer. WebsitesForPrinters.com provides Internet-based sales, marketing, and print production tools which would otherwise be beyond the reach of small and mid-sized commercial printers.

Out of Context … Again!

The same customer that offered this priceless gem has come up with another goody. As Andy (one of our customer service reps) was preparing for a conference call with her and her customer, she was explaining that her customers are doctors, and “they don’t have a lot of patience!”

The more serious she becomes, the funnier she becomes!

SiteBuilder (sent July 18, 2008)

Hello!

Many times we send out an issue of SiteBuilder when we have big news to announce. While we don’t have any single specific “Big News” item to mention this time, we do have a robust collection of updates that will be of interest to existing clients of WebsitesForPrinters.com. If you’re not a client of WebsitesForPrinters.com, you have my permission to skip this issue of SiteBuilder! But before you run off to your next project, I’d like to take a moment to explain one of the greatest benefits WebsitesForPrinters.com provides to its clients: a website that will always be technologically up-to-date.

Are you developing your website on your own? If so, when was the last time it went through a technology makeover? Clients of WebsitesForPrinters.com never have to worry about falling behind the technology curve. The websites we provide are always being updated to stay current with new technology (as evidenced by the changes detailed below), making it easy for you to concentrate on Job #1, selling printing. Do you see the connection? A progressive, always-updated sales-building website allows you to sell more printing … it practically pays for itself!

Here’s a list of what you’ll be reading in this issue of SiteBuilder:

  1. Design Tools Monthly Promo Reminder
  2. Website Statistics, Now Powered by Google Analytics
  3. A New Look for Design 18
  4. Public Document Library Items Hidden When Logged In
  5. Allowing Reorders on Non-Document Library Items
  6. Default Messages for Proofs and Estimate Responses

Now, on to the recent WebsitesForPrinters.com updates … starting with a reminder of a special offer from Design Tools Monthly.

Design Tools Monthly Promo Reminder

You may remember in a recent issue of SiteBuilder we mentioned three special offers provided to SiteBuilder readers by Jay J. Nelson, editor of the Design Tools Monthly newsletter. Jay’s newsletter is an incredibly valuable resource for anyone needing to keep up to date with graphic design news, hardware and software updates, font news, and more. (Visit www.Design-Tools.com to learn more about the Design Tools Monthly newsletter and the “software closet.”)

One of the three special offers is still available! If you’re an existing WebsitesForPrinters.com client, purchase any website add-on (Jaws PDF Courier, uDesignIT!, Instant Online Pricing) and receive a complimentary one-year subscription to Design Tools Monthly (a $229 value). This offer is valid through August 31, 2008. If you’re considering picking up any of these add-ons, now is the time to do so. Questions? Just give us a call at 800-736-0688.

Website Statistics, Now Powered by

From Day One, WebsitesForPrinters.com has provided comprehensive website statistics, allowing you to monitor visitor trends and patterns on your website. It just got better! There is now a setting in the WebsitesForPrinters.com websites allowing you to take advantage of a free service, Google Analytics. The site statistics from WebsitesForPrinters.com are still available, so why would you want to consider using an outside service from a company like Google? Here are a few reasons why:

  • Like the original WebsitesForPrinters.com website statistics tool, it’s free!
  • We believe the more Google knows about your website, the more relevant your website will be in Google’s search indexes. Using Google Analytics may or may not improve your search engine ranking … but it definitely can’t hurt!
  • Google has vast resources to very effectively analyze your website traffic. To put it another way, while we believe the reports generated by WebsitesForPrinters.com are technically accurate, we also believe that the reports may not be capturing the true picture of all website visits in every case. Quite honestly, it doesn’t make sense to reinvent the wheel when such an incredible wheel (provided by Google) is so readily available!

Clients of WebsitesForPrinters.com are able to access the Google Analytics settings by logging in to their website’s Online Print Center and then clicking the Website Statistics link (found in the My Website panel).

A New Look for Design 18

Clients of WebsitesForPrinters.com who use Website Design 18 have likely noticed a small but significant change to the website layout. The design is now centered horizontally in the browser window. We’ll spare you all the geeky details, but the update is simply a way of keeping up with computer display sizes. You are no doubt aware that display sizes have continued to grow larger and larger, so that yesterday’s display, which once neatly contained the contents of Design 18, now has room for much more. The design has been updated to better fit the space available. Look for similar changes to the five other original website designs (designs 13 through 17) in the weeks to come.

On a related note, have you considered switching to a different website design? Clients of WebsitesForPrinters.com may switch to a different website design at any time, as long as the new design is not already in use within your exclusive geographic territory. All you need to do is send us an e-mail or give us a call at 800-736-0688 and we’ll get the switch in motion for you. There’s no cost to switch to a new design, and your customers will love the fresh new look! If you’d like to view the design options available to you, please visit our Sample Websites page.

Public Document Library Items Hidden When Logged In

Due to popular demand, we’ve made an improvement in how Document Library items are viewed on your WebsitesForPrinters.com website. As you know, our Document Library is one of the most powerful benefits you can provide, allowing your customers to easily order their most common items. One of my favorite stories is from a WebsitesForPrinters.com client who had a customer who was a print buyer for a very large organization. This print buyer took some time off for maternity leave, and her replacement needed to reorder a brochure. She was holding one of the last brochures in her hand, and she needed to place the reorder in a hurry. She made one quick trip to the website’s Document Library, where she easily found the brochure, and ordered a new supply of brochures!

Document Library items may be set to be viewed only by specific customers that are logged in to the website, or they may be set to be viewed by everyone, whether or not they are logged in to the website’s Online Print Center. In response to client requests, there is now a new optional setting which prevents public Document Library items from being displayed when customers with private Document Library items are logged in to the Online Print Center. This will alleviate any confusion caused by the publicly available Document Library items being mixed in with private Document Library items. This new setting may be found in the Preferences panel at any level of customer settings (Default Customer Settings, Company, Branch, or Contact). In the Preferences panel, look for the setting with the label “Allow viewing of public forms when logged in” and set the preference as desired.

Allowing Reorders on Non-Document Library Items

Here’s another change to the website’s ordering system. In the past, only Document Library items had an easy Reorder button, allowing customers to place exact reorders. That Reorder button is now no longer limited to Document Library items. The Reorder button is now available to your customers on any completed job, including jobs originating from the website’s Place an Order forms.

Default Messages for Proofs and Estimate Responses

Finally, we have two more changes resulting from the “by popular request” voices of WebsitesForPrinters.com clients. When you use the website to send a proof to customers, you are provided with an area where you can send a personal message. Do you find yourself typing in the same message each time, possibly with only slight variations? Save the keystrokes! Set that message as the default Send a Proof Message, and it will automatically fill in for you each time you prepare to send a proof! (You’ll still have the opportunity to modify the message if you wish before sending the proof.)

How about responding to estimate requests through your website? WebsitesForPrinters.com provides a space for you to present your estimate terms to your customers on each estimate response. It’s common to present a message with information like “This estimate is valid for 30 days.” You are now able to define that message to automatically fill in each time you present an estimate to your customers. (Like the proof message, you’ll still have the opportunity to modify the message before responding to the request for an estimate.)

Both of these default messages are set in the website’s Online Print Center settings (look for the link in the Products, Forms, and People panel). When you’re in the Online Print Center settings page, look for the Default Send a Proof Message panel and the Default Estimate Terms panel.

That’s a lot of progress! With these changes, we trust you’ll realize that we listen to our clients and make the changes that are important to our clients. Additionally, you know you can count on WebsitesForPrinters.com to keep the website’s technology up-to-date. When talking with potential WebsitesForPrinters.com clients, I’m quick to remind them that an up-to-date website is one of the easiest ways to stay a step ahead of the competition. Clients of WebsitesForPrinters.com already know this … do you? If you’re ready to find out more, we’d like to encourage you to set up a personal demo website (no strings attached, no obligation) at the WebsitesForPrinters.com Free Trial page.

Until next time,

Happy Printing!


Dave Hultin, Managing Partner
Dave@WebsitesForPrinters.com
www.WebsitesForPrinters.com
800-736-0688 x 130

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