As a member of the printing, packaging and allied industries you have certainly seen your volumes declining. This has come in a number of ways including the loss of customers to electronic communication, shorter runs and market contraction. This leaves you in the situation of having to look for work to make up the shortfall. How much easier would your life be if the work came looking for you and all you had to do was answer an e-mail? The SA Print Directory offers you this one-stop solution.
The South African Print Directory is a directory of printers and associated suppliers. Now moving into its fourth year of publication, the SA Print Directory has achieved more than 3 million views for its advertisers. Advertisers select the services they are capable of offering from a growing list which currently numbers more than 160 categories. They place their listing in the printed directory and onto the linked and interactive website. The rest is up to the people in the print-buying community to search for the type of work they want to have done.
The website has recently been completely revamped to improve the experience for visitors and to simplify the search process. When searching for a type of printed job, visitors to the site simply have to float their cursor over the relevant letter of the alphabet, for example “B” for Business cards and this will bring up a list of all the job types that fall under that letter. Nothing could be simpler.
Once the correct category has been selected, the visitor can view a brief description of each listed company. They can also view an expanded description by clicking on the names of the companies – giving them the ability to make a more informed decision. Users can send a single e-mail to all the listed companies in that category and request that they be contacted. This simplifies the process for print buyers and ensures that listed printers are included in all requests for contact.
The site automatically generates statistics for each customer according to the categories they are active in and the number of requests for contact they receive. These statistics are available to customers and can be viewed through their back-end access to the listing. Statistics can be viewed for specific periods or month-to-month. In addition, all statistics will automatically be sent to listed companies on a monthly basis. A feature of the new design is that mails can now be sent to more than one recipient, thereby ensuring that all mails received are followed up on.
Another new development in the website is the geographic or regional search capability. Visitors to the site will invariably be looking for a printer in their own city. Once they have made their initial category selection, they can refine their search to their own major city. If, however, the visitor has no geographic preference, then all service providers, on a national basis will be listed. The security on the site has also been upgraded to ensure that listings are more protected from virus attack and that e-mail addresses cannot be accessed.
As the printer or service provider the onus falls on you to make contact with those people who have submitted a request for contact via the website. Once the opportunity of achieving a new customer has been presented, the directory has served its purpose – until the next time. Every e-mail received could be your next customer looking for you.
A directory can only have value if people know about it and can make use of it. As the publisher of The SA Print Directory, Sentient Publishing has embarked on an extensive campaign of marketing the directory to a broad spectrum of print buyers. This campaign has included attendance at marketing exhibitions where marketing people from all sectors of business congregate, it has included running articles on the directory in media and marketing related publications and the placement of inserts advertising the directory into relevant publications. The result is that the number of hits received per year has more than tripled.
There are still opportunities for printers to have their details entered and to be included in the 2015 edition of the SA Print Directory. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org and one of our qualified and experienced staff can assist you in finding the right solution for your needs and budget.