Websites For Printers: 5 Tips to Market Your Print Website

You’ve updated your website, and now you’re ready to sit back and watch the sales roll in!

But there’s a problem.

Your website is impressive, but the masses aren’t flocking to it as you had hoped. And, when they do go there, it seems like they’re only looking around and not ordering.

What’s the deal?

If you’re struggling to get the kind of traffic to your website that you were hoping for, below are five tips to help you market it successfully and get the results you want.

1. Change your mindset

The best thing you can do to get people to your website is to retrain your brain on how to get them there.

Putting up a fancy-pants website doesn’t mean your print buyers will instantly flock to it. That’s sort of like putting a basket of clean laundry in front of some teenagers and assuming they’ll fold clothes. (Sigh.)

So, if you’ve spent the last decade or more training prospects and customers to call you to order their printing or to email you directly, it’s going to take some effort to retrain them to go to your website.

With “gazelle intensity,” as Dave Ramsey says, retrain your brain to ALWAYS be thinking about your marketing in terms of getting people to your website. That means every single piece of marketing content that your audience sees should say, “Visit our website.” Consider removing your phone number altogether for a while. If they want to call you, they can find your phone number on your website.

If you’re new to online ordering and trying to get people to order printing from your website, change your call-to-action buttons to say things like “Order Here” or “Start Your Order Now” instead of the options to call or email you. It’s important to note here that not everything has to be an order. Perhaps the first win will be getting an estimate. That estimate can start the digital dialog online and then eventually get turned into an order.

Your print buyers need to be invited into the online order experience and told how you want them to interact with your business. So, just like those teenagers, be patient! They’re not done yet. All they need is a little more training.

2. Don’t Fall Short on Content

With your laser-focus on getting people to your website, make sure your website isn’t a let-down once they get there.

Test it with this: If you were asked, “Why should I go to your website? What value can you offer me?” what would you say? If your answers to those questions speak only of the benefits to you as the printer, that’s an issue.

Your website should:

  • Answer the questions of your print buyers
  • Inspire new ideas
  • Provide valuable education
  • Guide visitors through a buying process
  • Make a connection and build your credibility

All of these are covered with consistent, relevant content. Not only will it keep you bookmarked as a valuable resource to your audience, but it’s also the most priceless tool for inviting people to your website in the first place.

3. It’s All About Promotion

If you have that value in your content (pssst… if you’re a MI4P website subscriber, YOU DO), tell the world about it by promoting your content in a variety of ways.

Remember the content invitation idea? Here are a few ways to extend your website invitation through content:

Run a Generic Direct Mail/Social Media/Email Promotion

This promotion could be geared for your current customers and built around this one idea: “Place your next order online and receive XX% off!”

Use Labels

Retrain current customers by printing labels to place on all of your orders that say something like, “Want great tips for how to maximize your print marketing? Visit our website at www.acmeprintingusa.com!”

Or, “Did you know you can place your print orders directly from our website? Order online next time and receive XX% off!”

Create Interest in Your Website Through Social Media

Balance your curated content (content that links to other companies or sources) with content that brings them back to your website.

For example, pull snippets from the Ideas Collection tips, from the [email protected] email newsletter, or from the white paper content to use as social media posts that provide value and invite them back to your website for even more, additional benefits.

Extend an Invitation Through Email

Similar to the social media concept, you can do the same thing with email.

Be careful not to overwhelm your audience here, but try emailing one piece of educational content each week even if it means cherry-picking the blog content you already have. Here’s how: grab the first paragraph or two of one of those pieces of content and combine it with a “Read More” call-to-action button at the bottom. Just like that, you’ve provided value to their inbox and invited them back to your website.

Don’t Forget Direct Mail

Remember your print roots, and send your website invitation with direct mail.

Your direct mail content could feature how-tos, such as how to build the perfect direct mail campaign, best design tactics for your postcard, or some other type of list. Put part of the list on your direct mail piece with a teaser similar to, “Visit our website to see the remaining tips.” Or, use other teasers like jokes, trivia, or challenges that then directs them to the website for the answers/punch lines.

(Side note: If you’re a subscriber to the direct mail content from Marketing Ideas For Printers, remember that you could easily add this type of “hook” to your content for a great online/offline connection.)

Embrace Blogging

Blogging is one of the best ways to get your name out there.

Blogs are great because:

  • They’re written for humans and search engines love blogs too.
  • They’re educational and conversational.
  • They help to increase the frequency of fresh content you’re providing on your website, and search engines love that.
  • They serve as a content bank for all of your other marketing efforts. Need a social media post or email content? Use the content in your blogs as a resource for your audience and draw them in.
  • They build your credibility and authority and show your audience you know what you’re talking about.

Begin to Experiment with Digital Ads

Test the waters with digital advertising like Google Adwords, AdRoll, etc.

If you’re not sure where to begin, use your competitors for research. Start an order on Vista Print, Canva, or Moo.com and see what ads start popping up for you. Then, use that inspiration to build it better. (You don’t have to finish the order to start seeing the ads!)

4. SEO Matters, but Not Entirely

While Search Engine Optimization (SEO) plays a small part in getting people to your website, it’s not the end-all-be-all of a successful website.

Remember the laundry basket and teenagers example? Just because you said and did all the right things to lead them to the laundry basket (and make them see it), that doesn’t mean they won’t walk right by it a billion times on the way to the kitchen.

This same concept applies to your SEO.

Yes, there are some things you can and should do to help your SEO. In fact, we even wrote an Ultimate SEO Cheatsheet to help you with this. But, remember that SEO is really about connecting questions with answers. That’s it.

Think of it like this:

On the one hand, you have all of these people trying to think like Google or other search engines and write content geared explicitly for web crawling. They’re thinking:

  • How will Google rank this?
  • Do I have enough longtail keywords?
  • Is my meta tag stuffed with keywords?
  • Yada, yada, yada…

But then, on the other hand, you’ve got the search engines. All those poor search engines are trying to do is think like a person (like you) and be as human as possible. They’re thinking:

  • Is this what they were looking for?
  • Am I displaying the most relevant topics for their search query?
  • Hmm… they clicked right off that website. That must not have been it.
  • Oh, they’ve been on here a while. I must’ve got it right!

Here’s the point:

Stop trying to outthink Google. Think like a person. SEO-friendly is important, but never at the expense of being human-friendly. 

If you create a website that is human-friendly and offers value to the visitor, and you promote it in the right way, that’s the best kind of SEO you’ll need.

5. Set Your Sights on Repeat Business

Trying to grow your print business doesn’t mean you go and cast a wide net off a distant shore somewhere when you can see schools of fish right beneath your boat.

Focus on what’s right in front of you: your current customers.

In marketing speak, we’d say it like this: Focus on retention instead of acquisition. Here’s why. Consider the following from Invesp:

  • It costs five times as much to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one.
  • The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%, while the probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20%.
  • Increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%.

If you want people to use your website and order printing from it, focus on existing customers and repeat business. Here are some tips on how to do that:

  1. In addition to the promotional suggestions outlined above, reach out to your customers personally to let them know about everything on your website that will bring them value. (Please note: this sales call should not be along the lines of “Hey, look how awesome we are. Come and see our great website.” Instead, you want to convey the value THEY get. It doesn’t matter that it will make your life easier; it matters that it makes THEIR life easier.)
  2. Send personalized emails or sales letters that let them know of the benefits of ordering online through your website.
  3. Schedule demos to walk customers through the solutions on your website. Here’s your chance to showcase how things such as the Reorder Forms Library and Private Label Websites can save them money and make the print ordering process quicker and easier. For more information on how Reorder Forms Library, uDesignIt, and Private Label Websites can help you boost your repeat online business, check out this Sell More Printing webinar episode.

These things really can be your secret weapons when it comes to getting regular, repeat business through your website. But remember, it does take some gazelle-intensity training at the beginning to show your audience how. But it will be worth it! See for yourself:

“I went from about twelve orders a month ten years ago to averaging 180-240 orders per month from online storefronts. Plus, 90% of the storefronts I’ve set up for customers have been used longer than eight years.”
– Gary Chmielewski, Northern Ohio Printing

The Main Idea

In conclusion, here are the key things to remember in getting your website to work for you:

  1. Invite your audience across all channels through valuable content.
  2. Make your website the destination.
  3. Communicate the value THEY’LL receive, or what’s in it for them.
  4. Commit to the work of training your buyers in a new way to order printing.
  5. Be patient and don’t give up. Almost all marketing is like a flywheel. It might be hard to get going at first, but eventually, you’ll be living (and growing) on the momentum it creates.

For additional tips to help you sell more printing, you can join our mailing list here, (Don’t worry, it’s one blog per week, not a gazillion emails.), as well as subscribe to the monthly Sell More Printing webinar series.

You got this!