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We all have them.   

We use Pageflex technology and we love it.  But one day, we come across a challenge that just doesn't seem to have a solution.  A question that we think no one else has. A cumbersome process that makes us say (or shout)  "There must be a better way to make this work!"   
We all have them. So Pageflex recently held a Tips and Tricks webinar designed to address some of these questions and provide tips to some of the more common challenges.

The planning for the webinar began by sending out a survey to customers asking them to tell us their biggest question about using Pageflex. We complied the many responses we got, and our panel of experts addressed some of the more common questions at the webinar.

 The feedback we got on the webinar was extremely positive - customers found the information we provided helpful in answering questions and in providing time saving tips.

If you missed it, a recording of the webinar can be found here.

More Tips! More Tricks!

This webinar was just the beginning. We have more Tips and Tricks to share in future webinars and we want more of our customers to be a part of it.

If you have a question about Pageflex technology that you'd like our panel of experts to discuss, just send us an email. We'll compile your questions and provide a solution at the next webinar.

We'd also like to hear about the solutions you have created to solve your own Pageflex challenges.  Perhaps you've used a DocAction to save time in the production process. Or maybe you've worked out a solution to a complex design project. The stories of your challenges - and how you solved them - will make this webinar even more valuable. If you'd like to share your story, send us an email.

We look forward to sharing more information and resources with you can continue to be successful with Pageflex technology.
Posted: 4/22/2013 11:29:31 AM by Marion Williams Bennett | with 0 comments

Target Marketing Magazine recently published its 2013 Media Usage Survey. This annual survey provides great information on how marketers plan to allocate their direct marketing budgets and the channels that are getting the most resources.

The survey revealed that, overall, marketing budgets will remain unchanged for 2013. Many marketers remain guarded about the economy and that uncertainty is what is keeping budgets flat. 50% of marketers said their budgets would stay the same, 25%  increased, and 18% decreased. The rest were unsure.

When describing their biggest factors on their marketing budgets for this year, survey respondents used words like sales, growth and funding. These all seem to be different ways of stating an uncertainty about the marketplace.

Over the next few weeks, we'll look in detail at some of the survey results and how they affect Pageflex customers and the client's they serve. To start, let's review some of the data on the use of email marketing and direct mail.

Marketers report that the ROI for both direct mail and email marketing are very close. In addition, both BtoB and BtoC marketers consider email and direct mail the media channels that deliver the best ROI - whether they are looking to acquire customers or to retain customers.  
But when deciding between direct mail and email, the numbers reveals how email is surpassing direct mail as the preferred marketing channel.
In the survey, email consistently rates as the preferred choice over direct mail.  Only 5% of marketers say they will not use email marketing -  5%!  Budgets also indicate the trend toward more email as 64% of marketers plan to increase their spend on email marketing and only 1% plan on decreasing it.
Compare that with the budgets for printed direct mail, where the majority of marketers - 43% - will keep budgets the same. 24% will increase spending on direct mail, which shows that although it lags behind email, direct mails still maintains a strong role to fill in the marketing arsenal.
The survey points to several indicators as to why marketers are increasingly turning to email.
Of course, producing email is less expensive the printed direct mail.
Email also wins out with the increasing number of marketers who are actively using technology in their marketing activities. Email become part of their marketing automation effort - another huge area of growth , with 1/3 of responders saying that they are increasing spending on marketing automation.
In the end, we see that direct mail still performs very well as a marketing channel. But as email campaigns continue to achieve the same level of ROI as direct mail, then the slow trend away from mailing will continue.
Are you seeing that trend in your business?
Will there always be a role for direct mail?
We welcome your input!

About The Survey
Target Marketing conducted this survey in January 2013 by emailing a questionnaire to approximately 19,000 of the magazine's print subscribers who have opted in to receive emails from Target Marketing. This audience was further refined by suppressing list services firms and creative services/advertising agencies to produce a list that was composed only of marketers.
Three email drops were made between Jan. 16 and Jan. 25. Survey results are based on the participation of 244 respondents (for a response rate of 1.3 percent). Of the respondents to this year's survey, 50 percent described their companies' activities as B-to-B, 23 percent as B-to-C and 27 percent as both. Respondents' job functions include: corporate and general management (27 percent); marketing and sales management (54 percent); operations/fulfillment management (4 percent); e-commerce management (4 percent) and other (11 percent).
In addition, respondents reported their firms' annual direct marketing expenditures as follows: less than $100,000 (53 percent); $100,000 to $499,999 (14 percent); $500,000 to $999,999 (8 percent); $1 million to $5 million (9 percent); more than $5 million (6 percent); and don't know (10 percent).

More details on the survey, including the demographics of the business who responded, can be found at the Target Marketing website.

Posted: 4/1/2013 12:45:16 PM by Marion Williams Bennett | with 0 comments

If you want to get the most out of Pageflex technology, please join us for these technical webinars!

First, we'll be exploring the power of our "Flex" technology.  "Flex" gives designers a powerful tool for saving time in the production of variable data projects. At this webinar, you'll learn more about  "Flex" and see real world examples that you can use in your own business.

Then, we'll address some of our customers' most common challenges in a technical tips and tricks webinar. This will be your chance to have your questions answered (stress levels reduced!) so don't miss out!

If you're not currently a Pageflex customer, but want to get a more in-depth look at the technology, feel free to join us, too.
Understanding the Power of Flex
Our “Flex” technology enables designers to automate the production of variable data projects. With Flex, designers can create just one template with design layout containers that dynamically stretch, shrink, and reposition in reaction to the quantity and size of the variable text or images poured into them.
At the webinar, we’ll look at different projects that show how to use this technology to the fullest to create dynamic designs that also save time and resources.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013 10:00 a.m. (EDT, -4:00 GMT)
Click here to register for the FLEX-ability webinar
Pageflex Tips and Tricks               
Join us for an interactive webinar that will provide tips, techniques, and information that will help you get the most out of Pageflex technology.

We'll be addressing the most common challenges customers have and providing technical insight that can help you avoid these challenges in the future.
Wednesday, April 17, 2013 10:00 a.m. (EDT, -4:00 GMT)
Click here to register for the Tips and Tricks Webinar
Posted: 3/26/2013 1:32:20 PM by Marion Williams Bennett | with 1 comments

In recent years, cross-media campaigns have become an important tool for anyone involved in marketing.  These types of campaigns give marketers the tools to not only reach their target audiences, but to gather valuable information that can further advance their marketing efforts.
Yet for all the promise that cross-media campaigns bring to marketers, many marketing service providers are still struggling with how to successfully implement cross-media campaigns.
In this post, we'll take a look at what steps you need to take to achieve success in your cross-media marketing efforts.  Whether you are doing a small campaign to a few hundred people, or targeting a list of thousands, the steps to creating successful cross-media campaigns are the same.
What is a cross-media campaign?
Cross-media campaigns reach a target audience using a mix of online and traditional media channels including direct mail, email, personalized URLs (PURLs,) and microsites.  Successful cross-media campaigns make extensive use of one-to-one customized marketing messages.  
What are your goals?
Before developing your cross-media campaigns, it's important for you and (if you are creating this campaign as a service) your client to define what the goals campaign are. Begin with the end in mind, and ask yourself,  "What will a successful campaign will look like after it's been executed?  

Some specific questions you'll need to answer are: 
  • Who are we trying to reach with this campaign? 
  • What action to do we want them to take? 
  • How we will measure success?
Data is King
Once you decide what you want to achieve with your campaign, you'll need to identify to whom your campaign will be sent. This is where you'll need to look at your data.
If you are using your own data, you'll want to ensure that it's "clean" data - that  all the records are complete and up -to-date, there are no duplicates in the data, and that any invalid or incomplete contacts have been removed.
If you are buying a list, you'll want to ensure that you get your list from a reliable provider and that your list selection is based on helping you meet the goals you set for your campaign.
Design for Your Audience
The design you choose for your campaign will need to resonate with your target audience, so keep that in mind when selecting images and designing the look and feel for your campaigns.

To be successful, all the aspects of your campaign should have the same look and feel. So be sure that your branding, images, and messaging are consistent across all elements of your campaigns.

Map Your Plan
A customer once said to me that our Campaign Manager software should come with a giant white board!
He spoke the truth, because once you have your goals, design, and list together, you will need to define how to use each of the media available to you and how the campaign will flow.  
For example, if you want to see results quickly, you may choose to send out an email that directs users to a landing page as the first part of your campaign, then follow that up with a direct mail piece. If you want to create awareness of your product in advance of sending an email, you may choose to send out  printed product information first, then follow up with an email and landing page.
Tracking and Using Your Results
The responses - or lack of responses - in a cross-media a campaign generate "triggers" which are used to facilitate cause and effect relationship marketing.
For example,  if someone doesn't respond to your campaign, you can use that information as a "trigger" to send them a different offer. If someone does respond to your campaign, a trigger can be set to direct them to a landing page that includes details designed for them.

The results can also be used  to evaluate and report on the campaign's return on investment  - information that is critical to today's' marketers.
Learn from Experience
Each campaign you do provides valuable information for you as well. After each campaign, be sure to evaluate what went well and where you can improve. 
Cross-media campaigns clearly require a lot of planning, preparing, and tracking to be successful. But if you manage each step carefully, these campaigns can produce information and results that surpass traditional marketing campaigns done alone.
Posted: 3/19/2013 11:38:22 AM by Marion Williams Bennett | with 0 comments

Earlier this week we held a webinar discussing the Pageflex/MindFire  integration.

In the webinar, we heard from Craig Hath of Zuza Marketing, who said:

"Combining MindFire Studio with Pageflex Storefront gives us a fantastic one-two-punch. Now we have the ability to produce the campaign and let clients order campaigns on demand.  This will open up a new marketplace that hasn't existed.  It's an exciting and powerful solution."

 Together, Pageflex Storefront and MindFire Studio bring together all the best elements of marketing automation. You get the robust capabilities of MindFire Studio to create trigger based marketing campaigns, and can use extensive document management capabilities of Pageflex Storefront to make those campaigns available to your users.

If you missed the webinar, you can access a recoding here. If you'd like to learn more about the Pageflex/MindFire integration, send us an email.
Posted: 3/14/2013 12:47:36 PM by Marion Williams Bennett | with 0 comments