Hitting the Road with the Right Travel Publication 

Ah, the allure of travel. Even though some restrictions are still in place, the pace of travel has definitely increased from last year. Consumer air travel in June 2021 reached its highest levels since 2020, at 83% of 2019 volume (564,583 flights compared to 679,802 flights). Although cruises were suspended in March of 2020, as the industry aggressively pursued safety protocols, 200 sailings took place from June to December 2020, and in 2021, CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) expects the industry to continue its recovery throughout 2021 in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean.   

While it may be some time until travel and tourism numbers reach the highs of 2019, they are showing significant improvement from last year. Overall, July spending on travel reached $98.5 billion, only 6.5% under July 2019 levels. Demand for hotel rooms varies across locations, but is only 4% under 2019 levels. Business travel remains strong, and leisure travel rates are reason to be cautiously optimistic.

travel publicationSpreading the News 

Despite numerous online resources, the travel industry still relies on print to attract, inform, and retain customers. The travel book industry alone sold $124 million worth of print travel guides in 2017, the largest year for sales in the United States after several years of declining numbers. In another study,  73% of visitors would consider altering their plans because of a brochure. While the web facilitates travel planning, travel guidebooks introduce readers to the highlights of their chosen destination. Local contributors help give recommendations, write about can’t-miss experiences, and curate attractions to help their audience create memories.

 

Another print piece enjoying a resurgence is the travel brochure. Travel sellers and agents respond to consumer demand and create brochures for their customers to take with them out the door. People of all ages like to have something tangible to refer to, take notes on, and share with potential travel companions. These brochures are more like catalogs, with plenty of editorial content. While the internet provides basic details and prices, printed brochure content excites and entertains. 

Don’t Forget Direct Mail 

Travel agents don’t need to wait for customers to contact them to hand over a brochure, though. The travel and recreation sector uses direct mailers to attract and engage its audience. This industry uses envelopes, postcards, and self-mailers at lower rates than, say, non-profits and retail businesses, but reap the same benefits that direct mail delivers. Envelopes containing a brochure and response card can appeal to emotions, self-mailers are versatile and cost-effective, and postcards convey simple information with clarity (i.e., Now Flying Non-Stop to London!). 

Go on a Journey 

An experienced printer will enhance your travel and leisure publications. Combining the right paper type with unique inks and specialty finishes creates high-end pieces that will attract, inform, and entertain. 

Get moving and contact Consolidated Press to get your printed publications into the right hands. 

Local Publications Center Community

The local magazines, brochures or maps are still a vital and booming communications resource for small cities, townships, neighborhoods, and villages. Produced by local experts, and mailed to residents, these local and regional publications are regarded as trustworthy and filled with relevant information. 

Relevant Content for Readers community magazine

Community magazines, usually mailed to residents quarterly, provide timely articles on local issues, schedules of community events, information about recreational activities and clubs in local parks, and guides to community development. Local magazines targeted to local audiences impart a sense of community, and build a sense of comradery in neighborhoods.

For example, many community magazines publish information regarding the hours and contact information for the township or municipal offices. They share waste management schedules, including special recycling events and yard waste pick-up days. Parks and recreation departments publish trail maps, summer camp options, and farmers’ market schedules. Community events such as outdoor concerts, fireworks for the Fourth of July, and even car shows all appear in the local magazine.  

A similar community publication that neighbors enjoy is a calendar. Filled with photos of local flora and fauna, children enjoying nearby playgrounds, and other familiar images, plus holiday events, and information regarding, for example, school start dates or library book sales, community calendars are useful and stay accessible in households. 

Print Options for Advertisers 

Community publications are a boon to local businesses. Advertising dollars are well spent on space in a local publication. Because of the way these periodicals can build community, seeing an ad for a local business can feel like getting a recommendation from a trusted friend. These print publications help lead readers to an advertiser online as well; print ads that include QR codes and links to websites provide readers with more information. 

calendarWhether mailed to residents or distributed at a neighborhood business, locally produced calendars provide another cost-effective option for advertisers. Because a print calendar stays on-hand as a relevant reference in households, an ad is guaranteed to be seen. While an ad on Facebook may have a bigger reach, it does not necessarily hit the right target and demographic the way an advertisement in a local publication does. 

Print ads in magazines and on calendars have longevity. These publications have a life beyond the mailbox, often showing up in dentist and doctor offices, neighborhood grocery stores, coffee shops, and pharmacies. When someone picks up a magazine while waiting or just hanging out, they engage with the content and advertising differently than they do on social media.  

Professional Looking and Timely 

The nature of a community magazine demands a printer who knows how to print, bind, and mail in specific quantities and on schedule. Quality graphics, clear fonts, and the right paper are key to eye-catching content and ads. Events and shopping guides need to reach customers by mail well before they are going to happen so people can plan and budget, both time and money. Consolidated Press offers in-house mailing services, helping publishers navigate and negotiate the best mail rates for their magazine or calendar.   

 

 

 

publications

Periodical Publishers Should Capitalize on Surprising Finishes and Formats

The golden age of print is happening now. More formats are available than ever before, more enhanced printing and finishing options at a lower cost, and lightweight papers that convey gravity and elegance while being economical to print and mail, especially for periodical publishers.

As magazines, periodicals and journals continue to compete for shelf space and strive to reach the top of the inbox, publishers should capitalize on the unique, hands-on experiences printers have to offer. Look for a color that’s outside the lines, eye-catching sizes and shapes, and highly touchable papers and finishes. The trick is to find a printer with these capabilities that also offers value, speed, competitive pricing, and unmatched quality.

Refining the look and feel of your publication will set it apart from and above the competition. Consider going outside the box with:

Paper.

Consolidated Press offers more flexibility and economy, starting with picking your paper. CP’s process allows for lightweight paper options that most offset printers won’t touch because they can be hard to print on. Publications can be lighter and less expensive to mail, making a huge difference to a magazine on a regular schedule. 

Tipped-in pages.

Set your periodical apart with color illustrations, maps, coupons, advertisements, reply cards, and much more. Be sure your readers open to the page you want them to.

Customized binding and finishing.

Choose from in-house perfect binding, saddle stitching, drilling, laminating, gluing, and more — whatever binding matches the personality of your publication and works for mailing to your customers. 

Color that dazzles.

In publishing, a printer’s capabilities should show their true colors. In addition to striking and precise color matching, true to the last page, CP can do a fifth spot color, as well as spot varnish. CP can print “5 over 5”  in one press run, translating to faster delivery, less waste, and excellent color consistency throughout the run. 

Versatility.

Not all the pages are created the same, and they don’t all need to go on the same press. Consolidated Press offers the upgraded, in-house process of simultaneously printing the inside of a publication on one press and the cover on another. This optimized workflow offers efficiency for printing pages while opening unique opportunities to make each cover impactful and distinctive using handpicked stock and finishing options. 

After your unique publication is printed and bound, CP can shrinkwrap, mail, distribute and warehouse. We are indeed the premier resource for periodical publishers. See more of our work.

Consolidated Press is one for the books. Call or click today to start our valuable partnership in printing.

Hitting the Books with Expert Printers

While digital publishing trends may be the talk of the town in educational circles, the value of print pieces cannot be ignored. Whether you’re an educational institution looking to create and distribute marketing materials and alumni magazines, or an instructor seeking to reach students and help them learn, partnering with a print expert will benefit your audience and your bottom line. 

Student and Alumni Life 

As with print catalogs and other direct mail pieces, the use of graphics appeals to the senses. For student catalogs and curriculum offerings, photography will bring your campus to life in living color. For alumni who want to stay in touch with their colleges and universities, magazines incorporating photos, graphs and charts regarding where their contributions go, and other visual elements will evoke positive feelings and memories.  

An outstanding way to engage the user experience is by using tipped-in pages. “Tip-ins” are pages that pull the reader’s attention to a specific activity or content subset. If your university has a top-rated educational program, set it apart in the student catalog. For alumni, use a tip-in to highlight the achievements of their fellow graduate class members.  

Promote Learning 

According to research done by Dr. Naomi Baron, the vast majority of students say they learn better when they are provided print materials rather than relying on digital instructional materials and online educational resources (OERs). While higher ed institutions may be tempted to move toward digital resources because of perceived cost, learners still want print materials. Students report they re-read print materials, as opposed to just skimming through online resources one time; and they say they retain information better when they have read something from a print source. 

Because higher ed is facing a contraction of resources, especially from a federal level, it’s more important than ever for these institutions to partner with an expert that can optimize their dollars. As students continue to demand books in print, a responsive and experienced printer with versatile offerings and an economy of scale can support this market by providing high-quality content to readers who want it.  

Education print publicationContinuing Education 

Colleges and universities aren’t the only educational institutions out there. Many industries demand that employees continue to learn to stay on top of industry trends, appeal to an ever-evolving customer base, and keep up with advancing technology. Providing employee handbooks, workplace manuals, and other corporate materials will engage your workforce in knowledge development and skills training,  benefiting their careers and boosting productivity.  

Consult with the experts at Consolidated Press. Cost-effective options include sheet and web printing for more options with sheet sizes and basis weights; in-house perfect binding to reduce shipping costs and time; and various paper options.  We can ensure your printing projects will run smoothly, deliver on time and within budget, and thrill your audience with the information they are seeking. 

Printed Books Trend Upward in Sales Post-Pandemic

Hot off the presses: as we head into the post-pandemic era, print book publishing is picking up where it left off — skyrocketing in sales and popularity. As print books trend upward in sales post-pandemic, publishers need printers to rely on for speed and flexibility. 

Print is on Trend

The New York Times wrote, “Sales of digital books fell 3.6 percent to $1.02 billion in 2018, a third straight decline, while hardback sales rose 6.9 percent to $3.06 billion and paperback sales 1.1 percent to $2.67 billion, according to the Association of American Publishers.”

In January 2020, The Association of American Publishers reported that total book sales were $12.57 billion year-to-date in 2019. The growth was an increase of 3.6% over the previous year. Printed books continued to dominate the consumer publications category, accounting for $751.0 million, or 80% of the category’s $938.7 million in revenue. Paperback books saw the most growth, once again, climbing 11.0%. Professional publishing also jumped.

While book sales initially dropped off in early 2020, they began to tick upward in the spring and ended the year strong with print sales rising 8.2% over 2019, the most significant annual increase since 2005, and the print total of 751 million units sold was the highest since 2009. An increase in online sales drove numbers up, and online sales are projected to continue strong through 2021.

Printed Pages Produce Better Comprehension

Several recent studies have reviewed digital books and education materials vs. paper. According to the Hechinger Report, a nonprofit newsroom focused on education that examined these studies, reading on paper trumps reading on screens regarding comprehension and student preference.

The Right Partner Can Make the Difference

Let’s get your titles flying off the shelf,  What does all this mean for today’s book publishers and the way they work with printers? Here are the key takeaways:

The era of printed books is not over. It’s on the uprise, so finding a reputable, flexible, high-capacity printer like Consolidated Press to keep up with publishing demands is crucial.

Time and again, learning and comprehension are reported to be better on paper than with digital for a variety of reasons, which research is still uncovering. In the meantime, book publishers can rely on a powerhouse printer like Consolidated Press to increase efficiency and cost competitiveness to meet the demand for more printed books.

Independent bookstores are increasing their margins with gifts, consumables, events, and more. As a result, publishers don’t need to slash prices to be competitive. The boutique environment is also an incentive to experiment with bolder designs and visual impact to stand out on a shelf.

Sales of e-books are down and audiobooks are up. E-books compete primarily with paper books; audiobooks compete with music, podcasts, radio, and other paid audio media. Some publishers have adopted a digital-first strategy and need a printer that can nimbly print books on demand.

Paperback books continue to see explosive growth. You can depend on CP’s equipment to precisely print crucial information and images, perfect binding each piece with optical cameras confirming quality and placement. We ship straight from our warehouse, offering the most accurate addressing and cost-effective mailing available.

Whether on-demand or on a schedule, textbook or trade paperback, CP can meet today’s book printing market demands and exceed publisher expectations for quality, speed, value, and flexibility every time.

Consolidated Press is one for the books. Call or click today to start our valuable partnership in printing.

 

Embellished Direct Mail Discounts with USPS

Take advantage of direct mail with CP’s specialty print capabilities

Direct mail is an effective marketing strategy—year after year, the statistics tell the tale. A personal, targeted approach integrated with online purchasing and engagement is irresistible to many consumers.

At the same time, the costs of mailing and paper continue to rise, and organizations need the return on their marketing investments to be above average and consistent. Fortunately, the United States Postal Service has our backs. 

The USPS Mailing Promotions and Incentive Programs are designed to help marketers, printers, and mailers increase customer engagement and response rates with their mail pieces. Through July 31, the USPS will be offering 2% off eligible postage on mail pieces that encourage sensory engagement. The Tactile, Sensory & Interactive (TSI) Promotion leverages the technological advances the print industry has been steadily innovating.

From the USPS TSI Promotions Requirements and registration site:

The print industry has been actively innovative not only in print production equipment but the fundamental elements of the mail itself through new developments in papers/stocks, substrates, finishing techniques, and inks. These elements can be incorporated to engage a multi-sensory experience through special visual effects, sound, scent, texture/tactile treatments, and even taste! In addition, interactive mailpiece features (such as pop-ups, infinite folds, or other dimensional treatments) can also help drive a marketer’s customer’s engagement.

Neuroscience and neuromarketing research supports the potentially significant impact on brand recognition and message recall when marketing materials engage tactile experiences and/or senses. By leveraging the physical aspects of the mailpiece as well as the advances in print technology, marketers can enhance how their consumers interact and engage with mail

New technology and print techniques can enhance the traditional benefits of a physical mail piece and give higher response rates and an increase in overall return on investment. Three categories are featured in this promotion:

  • Specialty Inks
  • Specialty Paper
  • Interactive elements

Here is where Consolidated Press can step in with its vast capabilities in soft-touch, hybrid UV printing, vibrant inks, and specialty paper. CP is a leader in stunning yet economical direct mail from magazines to catalogs, directories, newsletters, promotional mail. We also are seasoned mailing experts. In addition to working with you to capitalize on USPS promotions running throughout 2021, we can analyze your files and provide postal logistics planning and strategy, often leading to bulk discounts and increasing your crucial marketing ROI.

Contact us today to start your tactile, sensory, or interactive direct mail campaign. We would love to put your project first.

 

Catalog Magazine

Catalogs are a Powerful Investment in the Marketing Mix

A great printer increases the return on that investment

It’s fun to get mail, and studies show consumers simply love it. Yet for a business, communication needs to be purposeful and powerful. With every page, there is a new opportunity to create a positive and lasting relationship with consumers that need your products and services. 

Enter the direct mail catalog—a powerful marketing tool that works synergistically with online purchasing, dynamic user experiences, and superior measurables.

Simply put, integrated online and in-hand marketing campaigns add up to much more than the sum of their parts. Beautiful, targeted, interactive catalogs are the beating heart of those campaigns. 

Learn the powerful ways catalogs convert your browsers into buyers, and how Consolidated Press can leverage that spark.

Customers who have a multi-channel relationship with companies buy more — and more often

Multichannel shoppers spend three times more than single-channel shoppers, and more than half of marketers today use three or more channels to promote their brands. Nordstrom reported recently that customers who connect with its brand through multiple channels spend four times as much as those who don’t. And while 95% of marketers know they need a multichannel strategy, most do not have one. Targeted catalogs offer that extra channel for buyer connection.

Customers are 46% more likely to buy from a company they are familiar with

Seasonal mailings keep that relationship up and offer enticing solutions and ideas just as consumer interest is peaking. (Think seed catalogs arriving in February just as the ice begins to thaw. So exciting!) But it’s important to be very targeted and personalized with your message in those seasonal campaigns because your direct mail is likely to arrive in the same week or even on the same day as your competitors. If you speak to those consumers directly while pushing them to your website or other online sales channel, they will have your company at top of mind.

Direct mail response rates are excellent and on the rise

Response rates to direct mail have increased dramatically in recent years, both to house lists and to prospects. More than half of catalogs are reported to be read or set aside to read later, an astonishing number compared to email marketing. Recent studies found that direct mail averaged a 4.4% response rate, compared to email’s average response rate of 0.12%. According to direct mail industry trends, a whopping 90.9% of merchants still use catalogs as a primary marketing tool, and 44.4% report their catalogs’ circulation grew year over year. 

The return on investment for catalogs is high, but smart businesses still want to keep that investment strategically budgeted and targeted.

This is where Consolidated Press comes in

A powerhouse printer like Consolidated Press can keep costs down through scale and technology. To achieve that sought-after ROI, catalog and direct mail printers need to be lean, agile, and consistent, reducing waste and saving time. With our web, sheetfed and digital presses, your project will always be on the most efficient equipment for the job. CP’s Quality Assurance process guarantees that crisp imagery and brand colors will be perfectly matched in each new publication printed, ensuring clients are always presenting a consistent brand to their customers.

Tip: Plan and design several seasons’ worth of catalogs at once

Increase brand familiarity and ensure your catalogs reach your buyers and prospective buyers just when they are ready to order!

21st-century printers help clients target their customers through clean data, versioned copy, and multi-channel connections. Consolidated Press can easily put the most persuasive message in front of stakeholders on the house list or tweak it for high-value prospective customers. If our clients have data on their customers, we can use it to the fullest extent during the printing, mailing, and metrics tracking processes. We can help you strategically and seamlessly connect your paper catalog with your digital point of sale using dynamic technologies and tracking codes.

Tip: Come to us early in your process, and we can make sure your data is clean and ready to target buyers and users

Remember: the better the data, the broader the reach!

Consolidated Press employs a consultative approach with our clients to achieve stand-out publications that will be read right away. We can walk you through the benefits of various paper stock and finishes to both save mailing costs and create an enticing user experience. We have the capability to print unique sizes and shapes, creating a coffee-table piece that will draw eyes and hands. Consolidated Press utilizes the strength of its front-end software to manage color definitions on the press, resulting in consistent quality throughout a project’s run, and on future runs.

Tip: Mailing costs cut into profits

Work with one of our consultants to achieve that sweet spot of eye-catching innovative paper that is low weight and highly printable!

Whatever your products or services, a series of beautiful, well-targeted catalogs can increase user engagement, resulting in higher sales and revenue. Call or click to find how Consolidated Press can put the pieces into place.