Articles by Heidi Tolliver-Walker


Heidi Tolliver-Walker Heidi is an industry analyst specializing in digital, one-to-one, personalized URL, and Web-to-print applications. Her Marketer’s Primer Series, availalbe through Digital Printing Reports, includes “Digital Printing: Transforming Business and Marketing Models,” 1:1 (Personalized) Printing: Boosting Profits Through Relevance,” “Personalized URLs: Beyond the Hype,” and “Web-to-Print: Transforming Document Management and Marketing.”

Clients Okay with Sloppy Databases? A Cautionary Tale

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

We all know that it’s a good idea for marketers to clean, update, and de-dupe their mailing lists on a regular basis, and as their print provider, this is something you should be encouraging them to do. Yesterday, we received a piece of mail that reinforces the importance of this practice. It was addressed to…

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If Consumers Aren’t Scanning Codes, Maybe They’re in the Wrong Venue

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

According to ExactTarget, more than one-third (34%) of smartphone owners report scanning a coupon or QR Code with a mobile device while shopping in a store. Forty-three percent have scanned a coupon or QR Code in the past six months. Of those who did, 90% found them to be useful.[1] So why do we hear…

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Could You Have Saved This QR Code Fail?

Friday, November 14th, 2014

If a marketing project using QR Codes fails, it’s not the fault of the QR Code. Just like the failed QR Code I scanned yesterday. By scanning this code yourself — just as a doublecheck — before the job printed, could you have saved this opportunity? It was on a marketing piece that came home…

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McDonald’s Takes QR Codes Beyond “Marketing”

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

QR Codes aren’t just for sending people to a web page to sell stuff. That’s how most companies use them, but marketers who truly understand the value of these codes don’t pigeon-hole them this way. McDonald’s is one of them. I saw three QR Codes in use on the same day. Drink cup “To go”…

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Personalized URLs Grow Up

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

I just released my update to “State of Personalized URLs,” my nutshell observations and analysis of the usage and best practices of personalized URLs. What do I see has changed in the past year? Deep integration with multichannel campaigns that include email, direct mail, and social media (particularly Facebook). Integration with broader campaigns. We still…

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You Might Be Sick of QR Codes, But Are Your Customers?

Friday, October 31st, 2014

Several times this week, I have heard people comment that QR Codes are so yesterday. They are old, outdated technology and nobody wants to hear about them anymore. That’s funny, because I’ve seen QR Codes on several new places in the last few weeks. Back of one of our Christmas catalogs. My USPS receipt. Poster…

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Combating “Unsubscribes” with Direct Mail

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

I just read a fantastic case study from Data Services Inc. that reinforces the value of direct mail in a world going increasingly electronic. Direct mail goes (and succeeds) in places email cannot. That includes the world of unsubscribes. Belgium-based Outlet-Avenue, an online overstock retailer targeting younger, fashion-conscious consumers, was finding that it was losing…

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The Performance Challenge: How Would You Score?

Friday, October 24th, 2014

As digital production equipment begins to equalize to a certain extent, I am increasingly seeing vendors differentiating based on tools and business development support to help them get the most out of their investments. One of the most recent tools I’ve seen as part of this trend is The Performance Challenge from Canon Solutions America….

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Best Self-Promotion Ever

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

I have spent a lot of time recently poring over a printer’s self-promotion campaign. It’s a calendar, but not like any calendar you might have seen. Called “Twenty13: Details Matter” from McArdle Solutions, it has multiple layers of meaning and purpose. The first layer of purpose is showing off what it’s digital presses can do….

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Plastic Print Pavilion Re-Raises Questions about Business Models for 3D Print

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

In case you didn’t notice, a lot of traditional press vendors were touting their new 3D press offerings or soon-to-be offerings at the Plastic Print Pavilion at Graph Expo. So it seems like a good time to revisit the business models currently in use in the commercial printing industry. These aren’t simply ideas presented by…

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Why Are You Doing What You’re Doing?

Friday, October 10th, 2014

I do a lot of writing for printers’ blogs, white papers, and, increasingly, their websites. There is a trend that I’m noticing that I think is very telling. When it comes to blogs, I am starting to hear printers ask the question, “Why are we doing this? Who are we writing for? Are they reading…

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Best Practices for Getting User Buy-In for Web-to-Print

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

I have been surprised lately by how much traction my posts on Web-to-print have been getting lately. It tells me that I’m on to something. Currently, I’m working on an article for Printing Impressions on getting user buy-in once the system is installed. In other words, printers only make money with Web-to-print if their clients’…

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Web-to-Print: Selling from a User’s Point of View

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

It seems that I’m seeing user stories about Web-to-print everywhere recently. I’ve written here about best practices, the most important of which, I have argued, is getting the user buy-in. At Graph Expo, I attended a press conference by CHILI Publisher, and one of the elements of the conference really struck me. It was the…

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It’s Not About Feeds and Speeds Anymore: It’s What’s Behind the Press

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

After three days at Graph Expo, attending press conferences, seminars, and lunch and learns for the show daily, I am heading home, but a mechanical issue on the plane has left us sitting on the tarmac for an undetermined amount of time. As I sit, I am playing with the question, if I were to…

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Web-to-Print: Just One Best Practice Worth Talking About

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

What are the best practices in Web-to-print? I’ve spent the last month researching, reading case studies, listening to Webinars, and doing a lot of mulling, I have finalized my list. In “State of Web-to-Print: 2015,” I have 11 of them. But I’ve decided that only one of them really matters. Have a strategic plan to…

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