NextPage began in 2013 when three regional print providers—Mail Print, L & L and Manufacturing and Graphic Services—merged into one company. Their mission is to “create exceptional experiences by reinventing how our customers engage their customers for better results”. This means they work to solve problems, gather data and identify the best-match printing and communication technologies. They specialize in marketing, with their key focus in variable data printing. They can create anything from personalized direct mail pieces to targeted mail campaigns to a marketing communications portal. They also work with architectural signing and wrapped graphics. We got a chance to speak with their marketing director, Joel Hornbostel, and account executive, Josh Shelton, to find out how NextPage attracts prospects and what differentiates them from the competition.
Josh says NextPage integrates their blogs and social media to draw traffic to their site and bolster their content marketing. Their most recent social media buzz has come from a Picasso window project done for the Nelson-Adkins Museum of Art. This project was even shared by the museum’s social accounts! They balance their dedication to Facebook and LinkedIn, platforms which have helped them draw traffic to their site and generate leads. They even invest in paid advertising on these platforms.
Joel says mobile has played a key role in their company’s growth. In fact, their mobile traffic has grown 69% this year vs. last year over the same period. Their responsive website plays a key role in this number. According to him:
“It will be important that every offer, piece of content and landing page be optimized and usable in mobile. And in some cases we may implement a campaign that is exclusive for a mobile user, if the goals of the campaign dictate that.”
Their biggest challenge in marketing is the growing number of programs and products available to boost conversions and create awareness. Though this creates an exciting time in marketing, it can be a challenge to track and interpret data with so many sources. NextPage uses Act-On for inbound marketing, Google AdWords and paid ads on Facebook/LinkedIn to get the word out about their brand. Joel says that without a full understanding of the analytics that come with these programs, you’re wasting a large chunk of your resources.
Q: Is there a campaign that’s inspired you?
“We did a campaign for Save the Children last year that was a hyper-personalized piece called The Annual Status Report. It is a comprehensive annual package they mail to sponsors that includes multiple printed pieces with content unique to each recipient, so getting this right was very important. The variable data incorporated into the campaign allowed us to send a personalized piece to each sponsor that included a new photo of their sponsored child, as well as updated information about their child’s interests and the projects their child participates in. A large part of this project was automated via a three-way match using cameras reading barcodes. However, a portion required hand matching and a human touch. We were proud to be able to deliver such a unique, personalized product for them.”
Other Marketing Tactics
As an account executive, it’s Josh’s job to make connections and acquire new customers. Many of his leads are gained from his 12 years of experience in marketing/print, including trade shows he’s networked at and influencers he’s connected with on LinkedIn. Referrals have also been a great conversion tool for their business, proving that their company excels at any task they’re given. Their quarterly newsletter, Connect, is sent out via print mail while their digital newsletter, Insights, is sent out via email. They’ve garnered several leads from their contact form on the website as well. One of their more unconventional lead generation tactics is their facility tours. They’re located in underground caves, so field trips are always a fun option for school trips or those interested in learning the ‘behind-the-scenes’ mechanics. Josh also works with an adjunct professor who teaches an integrated marketing class at Rockhurst. This keeps him up-to-date on the latest trends and gets the word out about their business.
What Sets Them Apart
People like one-stop shopping, so it’s an advantage that they do both printing and marketing. It used to be that business would work with a print shop, mail house and marketing company separately. With NextPage, theses services are combined. You can expedite, save money and prevent mishaps that might arise from moving your product and ideas around multiple sources. Even though they can handle all stages of this process, they’re also happy to take a backseat and work with an agency to execute the project.