Print: More Bang for Your Buck, More Reasons to Use It


At AlphaGraphics, we’re shouting from the rooftops about our new, state-of-the-art digital printer from Xerox, the iGen4.

What’s fantastic is the new lower pricing…more bang for your buck!

With a bigger sheet size (an impressive 26” x 14”) and faster speed, it prints more impressions more quickly, resulting in a cost savings of, on average, between 25% and 40% on digital printing jobs.

Clearly, more is better. With the ability to make your digital printing budget go further, you should consider—what else?—more print!


Because print delivers benefits that other media can’t. To wit: Five reasons why print—especially with new lower pricing on digital printing—is a REALLY GOOD THING for your marketing mix:

1. Print Provides an Opportunity to Differentiate

  • According to ABM (Assoc. of Business Information & Media Companies), 96% of media users still read trade magazines to keep up on what’s happening in their industry, with 45% saying they read a print magazine at least weekly.
  • The United States Postal Service found that 98% of consumers bring in their mail the day it is delivered, with 77% sorting it immediately.
  • Roughly 80% of all physical mail is opened, while the open rate of emails is only about 20%.

2. Print is Viewed as Trustworthy

  • According to Print In the Mix, a clearinghouse of research on cross-media communications, a survey found that 56% of respondents say they found printed material to be the ‘most trustworthy’ of media channels.
  • The same survey found that nearly half of the respondents said they’ve retained a direct mail piece for future reference, and 17% regularly do so.
  • A study by VTT (a Finnish technical research group) found that consumers trust advertising in print media more than any other media.

3. Print Delivers Results (Think Lead Generation!)

  • Print delivers a higher response rate compared to email. The CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) Council found that the average response rate for emails is 0.12%, whereas the average response rate for direct mail is 4.4%.
  • According to Mail Media Centre, 11% of marketing emails are opened, the opening rate is 91% for prospecting direct mail.
  • According to Printing Industries of America, print catalogs carry an average cost per lead of $47.61, whereas the average cost per email lead is $53.85.
  • A survey by Print in The Mix found 79% of consumers act on a brand’s direct mail piece immediately

4. Print Helps to Connect the Online and Offline Worlds

  • Printing Industries of America found that 67% of online searches are driven by offline messages, with 39% of shoppers making a purchase.
  • Shoppers who receive a direct mail piece directing them to an online site spend an average 13% more than those who do not receive a printed piece.
  • Websites supported by catalogs yield 163% more revenue than those not supported by catalogs.

5. Print has a Proven, Loyal Following

  • According to a consumer survey, 33% of those surveyed say they’d have a  negative view of a brand not offering printed communications.
  • A survey by Two Sides, a non-profit organization dedicated to responsibility and sustainability in print and paper, found that 70% of Americans prefer to read printed paper over a digital screen, with 67% preferring the feel of print media.
  • When it comes to transactional statements,  Two Sides found that 64% consumers wouldn’t choose a company that didn’t offer a paper bill option.
  • 75% B2B professionals read magazines on a weekly basis with 68% choosing to read niche publications specific to their industry.

49 Cents Still a Bargain



A new year begins and, yes, the United State Postal Service will raise the price for a first-class stamp to 49 cents.

Now, before you get all hot under the collar about the price of everything going up, consider this – the price of a stamp has merely kept even with inflation since 1971. And while you’re pondering that, here are some interesting statistics on our old friend, the USPS:

Each day, the United States Postal Service picks up, processe,s and delivers millions of letters and packages. No single operation in the world comes close to this level of connectivity to so many households and businesses.

Here’s just ONE day in the life of the USPS (figures are averages):

215 million — revenue received, in dollars
157 million — dollars paid to postal employees in salaries and benefits
528 million — number of mailpieces processed and delivered
22 million — average number of mailpieces processed each hour
366,000 —average number of mailpieces processed each minute
6,100 — average number of mailpieces processed each second
226.7 million — pieces of first-class mail processed and delivered
262.4 million — pieces of advertising mail processed and delivered
727,167 —number of packages picked up through Package Pickup
4.3 million — number of miles driven by letter carriers and truck drivers
7,753 — number of letter carriers who deliver mail entirely on foot — The USPS Fleet of Feet
130,592 — number of address changes processed
2,160 — number of addresses added to the delivery network
1 million – number of people who visit
809,210 — dollar amount of online stamp and retail sales at
1.6 million — amount of money spent on postage for Click-N-Ship labels
44.1 million — number of Click-N-Ship labels printed
18,750 — number of passport applications accepted
358,553 — number of money orders issued
1.6 million — dollars spent at self-service kiosks in post office lobbies
3.2 million — customers served at more the 31,000 retail locations
0 — tax dollars received for operating the U. S. Postal Service


Now let me ask you this. If I were to give you two quarters and an envelope, how far would you be willing to carry it?

Happy New Year!


By Bill Palowitch, Mailing Specialist

Take One Minute to Remember…and Give


In this season of giving, won’t you take time to think about [insert words for the persons, places, or things that are struggling without others’ support] and make a donation to help today?

At AlphaGraphics, we help a variety of our non-profit clients to ask this very question of their constituents.  It is, indeed, the season of giving, and of receiving any number of appeals, in the form of direct mailers and emails, soliciting year-end donations.

People give for many reasons. They feel emotionally moved by someone’s story. They want to feel connected to a group or community. They want to pay their fortunes forward. They want to be recognized. They want a tax deduction. They want to leave a legacy.

The choices are broad. For me this season, my motivation comes from none other than Mr. Rogers, whose quote in his book, “You Are Special,” especially resonates with me:

“Have you had people who have touched you—not moved you in order to manipulate you—but touched you inside-to-inside? Take a minute to think of at least one person who has helped you become who you are today…someone you feel has really accepted the essence of your being. Just one minute…one minute to think of anyone who has made a real difference in your life.”

When I take one minute this way, I think of Mr. Palmer, my high school art teacher. He plucked me out of Art I my junior year after only three days, saying, “You have way too much visual acuity to be here,” and got my schedule changed so that I could take his Art III class that year, and Art IV and V the next year. He taught me how to paint with oils, make silk screen prints, create architectural renderings in perspective, and much, much more. As my greatest mentor, he opened up a new world to me.

Most of all, he taught me to believe in myself and in my talent as an artist.  He encouraged me to pursue a career in art, something I hadn’t really considered before. It was so perfectly right for me. I didn’t know it at the time. But Mr. Palmer did.

Sadly, Mr. Palmer passed away years ago in my hometown of North Canton, Ohio. But his spirit lives on in me, and I’m honoring his memory with a gift to The Little Art Gallery there, where many of my high school drawings and paintings were exhibited thanks to Mr. Palmer’s efforts.

Because Mr. Palmer touched me, inside-to-inside. And that’s the greatest gift of all.

By: Anne Flanagan, Marketing Strategist and Creative Designer

Handmade Arcade: A Great Venue For Unique Christmas Gifts



The Handmade Arcade is Pittsburgh’s largest craft fair, with over 9000 people attending last year alone. My family has attended the event nearly every year since it began ten years ago, and each year the talent seems to improve. Competition to exhibit one’s wares at the show is tough – over 350 crafters from all over the country applied, but only 150 were accepted. Shoppers can expect to find unique items like Pittsburgh themed pottery, one-of-a-kind cross-stitched jewelry, organic baby clothes, and much, much more. My wife and I do at least half of our Christmas shopping for family and friends at the event, and we always manage to take home a few things for ourselves. The show also offers more than just shopping – this year attendees can watch craft demonstrations and even participate in craft competitions!

The 10th Annual Handmade Arcade takes place at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center this Saturday. Admission is free between 11–7 pm.

For more information about the event and this years vendors, visit handmade arcade

By: Adam Cannon


The Colors of Fall


Fall is my favorite time of year. It’s a time of change and new beginnings. School is back in session, football season is in full swing, and new episodes of my favorite TV shows are ready to be watched. With a chill in the air, anticipation of the holidays, and pumpkin EVERYTHING, I can hardly contain my excitement.

But, my absolute favorite thing about fall is the abundance of brilliant color – bright yellows, vibrant reds, majestic oranges. Being surrounded by so much color makes me feel warm and energetic and inspires my creativity.

In marketing, color conveys an image, sets a mood, or defines a style. It can sway thinking, change actions, and cause reactions. In fact, studies have shown that color:

  • Increases brand recognition by up to 80%
  • Improves readership as much as 40%
  • Increases comprehension by 73%
  • Can be up to 85% of the reason people decide to buy a product

So, don’t underestimate this powerful form of communication when launching your next marketing campaign. Need inspiration? Check out one of my favorite resources:

By: Tracy Schneider, Design and Marketing Manager 

The Uncertainty of Life



My niece has been living in the Philippines for the last year teaching English. Prior to the Philippines she lived in Tai Pei, Spain, and Switzerland. She loves to experience the world and make every new destination her home.

I have always been the world traveler but only as a vacationer, never as a resident. I always had a home base in America to come home to. I have lived through a hurricane in Mexico, a train crash in Egypt, but never did I live through something like the Haiyan Typhoon that recently hit the Philippines.

The minute I heard about the typhoon, my heart sank. Where was my niece? Was she safe? Would we be able to get her back home? For days I have watched the devastation and ask myself how one lives through an experience like this without being scarred for life.

But those who survived will live. They will bury their dead, give thanks they were spared, and start all over again. So if you are feeling like you are having a bad day because someone took your parking space or your caramel latte wasn’t made to your liking, just think of those who are trying to make sense of a typhoon that has pulled the rug from under them and changed their lives forever.

I think of my niece every waking moment and wonder who she will be the next time I see her. Will she still have that sparkle of innocence and excitement or will this change her forever? I give thanks she is alive and wait for the time I can hug her, tell her how much I missed her, and do what ever it takes to replace the memories of the typhoon named Haiyan.

By: Susan Banahasky, Account Manager

Zombies to Invade Arsenal Park this Saturday!

World Zombie Day started in 2008 after the success of Pittsburgh’s Zombie Fest. Zombie Fest began at the Monroeville Mall in 2006 as a basic Walk of the Dead throughout the mall where George A. Romero filmed his iconic Dawn of the Dead. The main idea behind the original event was to collect donations for the Greater Pittsburgh food bank and to pay homage to the city’s rich history of the undead. As years went by and word spread to the hordes, Zombie Fest grew and World Zombie Day became a showcase of all things zed.

This will be my 3rd year attending this event.  This year, zombies will invade Lawrenceville’s Arsenal Park located on 39th Street. The day is filled with activities including:

Live Bands

Contests: The Zombie Olympics, Brain Eating Contest, Ugly Pageant, and Best Scream Contest.

Vendors, food, beer, oddities, games, and more.


Zombie Walk – This year the undead will invade Lawrenceville with the first annual Zombie Bar Crawl

Pittsburgh will once again attempt to claim the Guinness world record for “Largest Gathering of Zombies”.

Many other cities followed in Pittsburgh’s shambling footsteps and started doing their own zombie walks and festivals with much success thanks to the undead’s current rise in popularity. World Zombie Day has become a worldwide event taking place every October spanning the globe from Pittsburgh to Brussels and back again. This year’s World Zombie Day falls on Saturday, October 12, 2013. Now is the time to round up all of your undead buddies, get some non-perishable food items together, and prepare yourselves for all the gory, good times that will happen at World Zombie Day 2013!

For more information please visit:

Or check out the event on Facebook:


By: Robin Ranii