10 Steps To Design An Effective Incentive Program

  1. Establish Objectives: Identify three to five goals or objectives that are a) measurable, b) attainable and c) simple to understand and communicate.

    The right rewards make incentive programs work.

  2. Analyze the Audience: The entire workforce is most likely not the intended audience. Determine which group has the ability to impact the desired change. Will you involve the audience individually or in teams?
  3. Fact Finding and Involvement: Be aware that external factors may also impact results. Involving representatives from the participant audience in this phase will help to identify actions necessary to achieve the desired results. This is also the step where you decide which elements you will measure.
  4. Rule Structure and Budget: There are a variety of effective structures for incentive programs. Open-ended (where all who qualify can win) have benefits that differ from closed-ended (where only the top performers win), and there are places where each make sense—or you may wish to structure a program that uses a combination of both. The rules must be fair to all participants. Setting the budget requires identifying fixed costs and getting the best estimate possible for the award budget based on program expectations. An incentive professional can help you with this process. The rule of thumb for program spending is: 80 percent rewards, 10 percent promotion, five percent administration and five percent training.
  5. Select Rewards: This is another step where it is beneficial to include participant representatives in the planning process. If the employee is not motivated by the rewards you choose, the program is not going to be effective. Likewise, the reward must be commensurate with what you’re asking of the audience (i.e. working overtime on a project for six months to earn a $10 gift card is probably not going to work). Like any promotional product, an effective incentive:
    1. Is appropriate for the goal (it’s “worth it” to the participant)
    2. Reinforces the brand values of your organization
    3. Offers “trophy value”: something they’ll remember
    4. Creates excitement among participants
  6. Communicate the Program: Decide how you will announce and launch the program. Will you use social media, email or other internal announcement? Is training necessary? How, and how often, will you communicate throughout the program? How will you announce results and reward achievers?
  7. Operate and Track Results: Results measure and track outcomes; process measures and tracks actions that lead to the results. Based on your rule structure, choose two or three outcomes or process measures that will allow you to gauge the success of your program.
  8. Fulfill Rewards: The more immediate, the better. A formal presentation with peers can be as meaningful as the reward itself. Make the redemption process as easy as possible for the recipient: what information is required? Will the recipient receive order confirmations and shipping notices? How will you handle customer service?
  9. Evaluate and Measure: Include quantitative (that which can be counted) and qualitative (opinion or perception) measures—both can be valuable in evaluating program success. Document outside factors that contributed to the outcome, as well as any unintended consequences of the program. Calculate return on investment based on your budgeting process, weighing fixed and variable costs against the performance improvement or other gains achieved as a result of the program.
  10. Celebrate Success! Celebrate publicly: often the recognition is as important as the reward. Publicize internally and in appropriate external channels. Will you plan a banquet or awards dinner? Do you have support from the highest level? Will your top executive be on hand to recognize achievers?

Thanks to the Incentive Marketing Association for this information. Contact APTCO to partner with you in developing your own incentive program.

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Superhero wins the battle

PPWW Luchador




It’s true — promotional products get results. Maybe you have a problem that needs a knockout punch.

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Promotional Products Work

This is the week of a nationwide campaign reminding advertisers that promotional products are one of the most effective channels of advertising.

What are you waiting for? Make someone’s day!

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Screen Printing – Not Just For T-shirts

Whether in an industrial art class in high school or when ordering custom t-shirts, screen printing is often a person’s first contact with printing other than desktop computer printing. So screen printing is the term most often used to discuss an item that needs to be printed. Here is more information about the screen printing process as it applies to printing rigid plastic, glass and metal parts.Promotional Products are usually decorated by screen printing

Product Decorating Services – Screen Printing

Screen printing is a printing method that allows the transfer of large opaque images onto flat (or relatively flat) and cylindrical plastic, glass and metal objects. The origins of screen printing date back thousands of years — from early Polynesian natives who forced die through cut-out patterns in banana leaves to decorate cloth, to cave walls found in France and Spain that were decorated by way of stencils and colorant applied with blowpipes, to the Japanese creating intricate designs during the Sung Dynasty (A.D 960-1280). Today, screen printing is used to decorate rigid parts for a variety of industries.

The Process
The screen printing process is actually very simple – ink is pressed through an image in a screen onto an item. But there is more to understand about screen printing. The procedure starts with a screen that is tightly stretched around a rigid frame; the screen is made of very fine mesh that allows ink to pass through it. Next, a liquid emulsion is applied to the screen. Once the emulsion has had time to air dry, a film positive of the image to be screen printed is placed on the screen. The screen is then exposed to UV light, which hardens the emulsion to the screen except where the film positive is blocking the UV light. The soft emulsion under the film positive, which was not exposed to UV light, is then washed out of the screen. The hardened areas of emulsion prevent ink from passing through, but ink can pass through the open area on the screen which is in the shape of the image to be printed. The screen is then positioned over the item to be printed and ink is poured into the screen; a squeegee is used to press the ink through the image in the screen and onto the part. If using a solvent based ink, the printed items are either left to air dry and cure or passed through a heated oven. If using UV based inks, the printed items must be passed through a UV curing tunnel for the inks to cure.

Why choose Screen Printing?
While screen printing can be used to decorate almost any plastic, glass or metal item, the process is typically used to decorate large flat parts or cylindrical bottles or jars requiring two sided or wrapped images. Unlike other product decorating methods such as pad printing or hot stamping, screen printing is less restricted by image size. So, playing to this strength, the process is best used for parts requiring large images such as plastic or metal control panels or plastic or metal signs. Screen printing is also the preferred method for printing cylindrical items such as plastic bottles, jars, syringes, flow tubes and vials as well as the increasingly popular metal water bottles. When screen printing flexible parts such as polypropylene cosmetic bottles or PET jars, air is forced into the parts to provide the rigidity needed to withstand the printing process. For most semi-automatic equipment, multi-color images are achievable but require a separate pass for each color.

Inks for Nearly Every Material
As with pad printing, screen printing inks are formulated to match the type of material to be printed. Ink lines are developed to provide adhesion and durability for a variety of material such as plastic, glass, metal, wood or ceramic. However, matching ink to the substrate does not stop there. Ink lines are available for practically every plastic material such as (but not limited to) ABS, Acrylic, HIPS, polycarbonate or nylon and for various coatings or paint used on metal products. With certain pre- and post- treatment procedures, more difficult materials such as polypropylene, polyethylene, Delrin or Urea can also be screen printed. For most applications, inks are either solvent-based, which are cured with time or by adding heat to improve adhesion or durability for some substrates, or UV based using ultra-violet light for an instant cure.

Screen Printed Parts in Every Industry
Screen printing is used to decorate plastic, glass, and metal products – practically any rigid item that requires a logo or marking – from many industries including automotive, medical, electronic devices, cosmetic / health & beauty, and plastic molders and manufacturers.

I hope this information has left you with a better understanding of the screen printing process. Feel free to contact me if there is anything more you’d like to learn or understand about screen printing and how it works and relates to your project or business.

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Print Provides Results! … (interesting statistics)

Trade association Printing Industries of the Carolinas (PICA) compiled statistics from numerous sources showing how print marketing combines with other methods such as online, to create much better results than either used alone.
The Intelimailer direct mail package creates great marketing response

  • In 2010 an investment of $1 in direct marketing advertising expenditures returned, on average, $12.57 in sales.  This high return on investment held up across all industries. (Chose Print/DMA, The Power of Direct Marketing)
  • 79% of total nonprofit gifts come through direct mail, only 10% online.  (Chose Print/Blackbaud: 2011 donorCentrics Internet & Multichannel Giving Benchmarking Report)
  • 67% of online searches are driven by offline messages, with 39% of shoppers making a purchase.  (iProspect Offline Channel Influence on Online Search Behavior Study 2007/Chose Print)
  • 63% of consumers report that they bought something they saw in a custom publication.  (Ibid/Choose Print)
  • Those 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. (U.S. Postal Service FY07 Catalog Whitepaper/Chose Print)
  • Websites supported by catalogs yield 163% more revenue than those not supported by catalogs.  (USPS, Deliver magazine, Volume 5, Issue 5, 10/09)
  • 60% of merchants surveyed said that catalogs are their primary sales channel; websites came in second at 20%.  (Meta Analysis of Direct Mail study, Brand Science on behalf of Royal Mail)
  • Combining direct mail with other marketing activities increases campaign payback by up to 20%.  (Meta Analysis of Direct Mail study, Brand Science on behalf of Royal Mail)
  • Direct mail is an essential mechanism in the marketing mix for converting desire and intention into action. Consumers continue to view mail as a highly relevant and significant part of their lives.  (USPS Mail and the Internet)
  • A customer survey indicates an extremely high customer satisfaction rating among those clients who have used shaped mail in their most recent direct mail marketing campaigns.  Shaped mail increases the response rate over “regular” direct mail by two to three times. (Thinkshapes Mail)
  • 30% more dollars are spent by multimedia shoppers than single medium shoppers.  (USPS Mail and the Internet White Paper)
  • 41% of Americans shop using both catalogs and internet.  (USPS Mail and the Internet White Paper)

Convinced yet? If you want a promotion that produces results, talk to us. We can make it happen.

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