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

By | October 8, 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’ employees are actually using the portals you develop, so how do you ensure that happens?

You can’t guarantee anything, of course. But here are 5 of the best practices I’ve been talking about in no particular order. What would you add to this list?

1. Charge for development, template-building, and execution. If something is free, there is little perceived value.

2. Place the link to the portal in a place where employees regularly go to conduct business. Also known as, “If they can’t find it, they can’t use it.”

3. Proactively work with the customer on its launch plan. If the customer doesn’t have a plan to get its employees to buy into and use the system, then help them create one. Webinars, seminars, help desks, employee newsletters. What would you recommend?

4. Understand how people will actually use the system. For example, if they are salespeople out in the field, ordering on iPads, the site cannot use Flash. If it relies on Flash, then — newsflash — it won’t get used.

5. Keep the feedback line open and respond to user requests. If the templates are being designed by corporate and employees, distributors, or other authorized users hate them, guess what? They won’t use them. (Assuming they’ve been given a choice.) Solicit and respond to user feedback and give the users on the ground what they need, want, and will use.

There are lots of more, but it’s a great platform for discussion. What do you think of this list? What best practices would you add to it? What has worked for you in the past?


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3 thoughts on “Best Practices for Getting User Buy-In for Web-to-Print

  1. Laurens Leurs

    My suggestion: do a real launch event – not an expensive time consuming party but an informal occasion where the printer’s sales rep or project manager and the team of the customer meet and officially ‘launch’ the site. Take a few snapshots, write a small article and use that in the customer newsletter to get extra attention for the new portal. Obviously the printer can use this in their marketing as well.

  2. Heidi Tolliver-Walker Post author

    At a “war stories” session at Graph Expo, I heard one building services manager talk about drawing in employees for training sessions by using popcorn as bait. When it’s time for a training or printing services education session, she fires up the popcorn maker (purchased specifically for this purpose), lets the aroma of freshly popped corn waft through the ventilation system, and she fills the seats!

  3. Elisha Kasinskas

    We offer a number of resources to our in-plant customers to achieve buy-in from users:

    The Top Five Factors for Web-to-Print Success:

    Success Kit (this is about Marketing):

    Earlier this year we held a contest to see who excelled in their marketing efforts (launch and on an on-going basis). Here is a link to stories about each winner with some samples of their work:

    Hope you find these informative.

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