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Using Web to Print for Viral Spread in B2B

March 19th, 2012 - Posted by Ellen Hurwitch, Director of Operations - The Americas


Siggy’s blog posted on the 20th of February (you can read it here) mentioned Viral Spread, and it’s a good topic to talk about.

As we already know, web to print offers the opportunity of reducing costs and controlling brand identity. You can expand upon this by offering suggestions or ideas to your customers that will increase utilization. In addition, you can capture new customers this way. Let me explain.

A medical office has a built in database. An appointment reminder postcard can be produced online, where once a month, a patient list can be uploaded and the printer can send out the monthly mailing. When the medical office does the intake, they always ask for the date of birth. Why not take that information and produce a birthday card that can also become a monthly mailing? In this day and age where doctors’ spend less and less time with their patients this little extra, the ‘viral spread’ birthday card, can help with patient retention. But let’s not stop there. That very same doctor may send their female patients for a yearly mammogram at a radiology group. With technology being expensive, most doctors outsource tests like CT scans and mammograms. Who sends out those yearly reminders? The radiology group! Thus, another form of viral spread. Now you have 2 clients, the medical office as well as the radiology group.

In both cases, you have the ability to further expand your client’s use of a web to print portal. Intake forms are always pre-printed, and then there are the business cards and the stationery to go along with it. A medical group can have several doctors – this could lead to the need for several business cards!

What about helping your clients to think outside of the box? If you have a client in the financial sector that uses web to print for their sales people to order marketing material, why not offer them an opportunity to purchase Christmas Cards on the same web storefront? They can then personalize these cards and either have you, the printer, post them, or they can make their purchase on line and send the cards in bulk to themselves, where they can then add their own handwritten note and/or signature.

In a study conducted by Milward Brown in 2009 Using Neuroscience to Understand the Role of Direct Mail, a couple of the many findings included:

  • 1) Physical material involves more emotional processing, which is important for memory and brand associations
  • 2) More processing is taking place in the right retrosplenial cortex when physical material is presented. This is involved in the processing of emotionally powerful stimuli and memory, which would suggest that the physical presentation may be generating more emotionally vivid memories

These are important factors to remember when talking to your clients about adding direct mail products to their storefronts.

Then there’s the ability to create viral spread through premiums. Never sold one before? Still don’t? With RedTie’s ability to allow for 3rd party suppliers, you can add stock items as part of your clients’ storefront. A good example of this is a portal for a college or university.

You may have a portal set up for the local college that allows various departments to purchase stationery and/or business cards. Let’s say there’s a Sociology Department and a Nursing School at the college that you are producing printed materials for. What about including the ability for the staff to purchase hoodies, with not only their college name on it, but also include their department? For example, Queens College and a line underneath that says Department of Nursing.

And finally, there are verticals. Are you doing work for franchises? There are hundreds of food franchises, big and small. Why not look at other types of “chains”, like insurance brokers, shoe stores, clothing stores? Have you thought about financial companies? If you are doing work for a bank, why not approach credit unions or other banks?

The possibilities are endless; all you need is a little viral spread with your B to B.