Increase sales by tearing down the wall between print and web: profit from more opt-ins and sales by displaying immediately readable, multipage, formatted documents on your website, surrounded by sales copy, links, order forms, and testimonials.
The inability to display fast-loading and immediately readable, printable, and scrollable copies of formatted documents in the context of web pages has been a long-standing frustration. It's represented the last wall between print and web.
Many websites, for example, encourage visitors to register their e-mail address in order to receive the firm's promotional e-mail newsletter. The growth of these lists, however, is limited by the inability of visitors to quickly preview the newsletter and evaluate its information.
Thumbnails, reduced-sized reproductions of formatted publications, are not enough. The type is usually too small to be read, and visitors can't preview more than one page. As a result, opt-in lists grow slowly and many visitors unsubscribe after receiving the first issue.
Acrobat is not enough
Although a major advance, Adobe Acrobat files offer a partial, but not a complete, solution to distributing formatted documents on the web. Acrobat files must be downloaded before printing or reading. After downloading, they open in a separate window than the website.
Downloading requires commitment and a certain amount of time--i.e., "How long will the download take?" and "Where will I save the file?" Downloading requires trust, rare in these days of viruses often attached to downloadable files.
Moreover, direct response marketers stress that order forms must be as close as possible to the desired goal. Downloading an Acrobat file, and expecting readers to return to the website to register or order, creates an obstacle similar to the folly of sending an order form in a separate envelope that arrives a day after a sales letter!
This wall between print and web has now been removed.
Print design pros and cons
Print design has always been better looking and easier to read than web design. Print documents, and Adobe Acrobat PDF (Portable Document Format) files created from them, permit formatting for impact and readability.
Designers can "voice" publications using typeface choices that communicate a desired image and visually differentiates a firm's publications from those of its competitors. Adobe Acrobat embeds the typefaces used in the original document. Even if the typefaces used in the original document are not on a reader's computer, the fonts will display and print.
Print documents are easier to read because designers can manipulate character, word, line, and paragraph spacing. Line spacing, (or leading), for example, plays a major role in making publications easy to read.
Print documents can be hyphenated. Hyphenation contributes to easy reading in both justified and flush-left/ragged-right text:
* In justified text--i.e., lines of equal length with varying word spacing--hyphenation maintains ideal word spacing regardless of the number or length of words in each line.
* In flush-left/ragged-right-text--characterized by equal word spacing and lines of unequal length--hyphenation reduces the occurrence of long lines alternating with short lines, caused by varying word lengths in each line.
Web design pros and cons
The internet makes it possible for publishers to sell and distribute information products to a worldwide audience without huge up-front printing and distribution costs. The only costs involved are site hosting, updating, and data-base management.
Web design, however, is crippled in many ways. Web design does not offer either easy control over typeface choice, line spacing or the ability to hyphenate words at line endings.
Although a few font embedding schemes have been attempted, unless text is converted into slow-loading graphics, it is near-impossible to "voice" a document with type. As a result, there is a distressing "sameness" to HTML documents. It is difficult to control line spacing and hyphenation remains an elusive goal.
Now, however, you can display formatted documents on fast-loading web pages without downloading. Web visitors can immediately see, read, and print, formatted newsletters, special reports, press releases, in the context of sales copy, order forms, promotional links, reader testimonials, and ordering information.
For the first time, the "magnetic" visual appeal and easy reading of multipage formatted print documents can be made immediately obvious to website visitors, increasing the likelihood that visitors will sign up for promotional news letters or purchase other information products.
You can preview the result by visiting sites like www.Gmarketing-design.com.
The key to tearing down the barrier between print and web is Macromedia Contribute 2 which incorporates Flash Paper. Contribute 2 permits you to:
* Create Flash Paper files from formatted publications created with any word processing or desktop publishing program. Like Acrobat, Flash Paper files retains all formatting attributes. You can add Flash Paper files to any page of your web site, where they will immediately display with Internet browsers equipped with Flash 6, a free and popular browser add-on already installed on many computers.
(If a previous version of Flash is detected on a visitor's computer, a link automatically appears directing visitors to download the updated software in less than a minute--even with a slow modem connection.)
* Web maintenance. Contribute 2 permits editors to update web sites using only normal word processing and web browser skills. Editors and publishers can easily make their own routine website updates, without incurring additional costs or delays.
Flash Paper versus Acrobat
Adobe Acrobat and Macromedia Flash Paper perform different, but complementary, roles. Since it is so easy to create Flash Paper files, information publishers will probably want to use both for different purposes.
Adobe Acrobat is intended for rigorous editorial and commercial printing applications, such as preparing publication files for commercial printing--preserving color separations, etc. Acrobat files can be edited, annotated, and searched. Hyperlinks can be included.
Flash Paper is intended to distribute formatted document files and display them on websites. Flash Paper files currently can not be annotated, edited, nor can hyperlinks be included.
Currently, it is easier to read previously down-loaded Acrobat files than Flash Paper files.
Flash Paper benefits
Flash Paper offers information publishers major sales and marketing opportunities.
Direct marketers stress the importance of having the order device as close as possible to the "goal" or "prize"--in this case, the newsletter itself or a special report. With Flash Paper, an order form can be right next to the display of a newsletter or special report. For example:
* Formatted samples of subscription newsletters can be displayed next to sales copy, special offers, testimonials, and order forms. Publishers can display either whole or sample issues. Previous issues can be displayed, proving the consistent high level of the information offered.
* Front covers and sample pages from longer publications, like e-books, special reports, or training materials can be displayed next to the order forms and testimonials. Sample pages can include the table of contents, Foreword as well as a sample chapter, or two.
* Conference materials, such as brochures, schedules, and topic or speaker descriptions can be showcased on a web site, next to registration forms and speaker audio/video clips.
Marketers of all types can use Flash Paper to increase mailing-list opt-in requests:
* Sample newsletters can be displayed next to e-mail registration forms, reader testimonials, and brief audio introductions or audio testimonials. Displaying previous issues encourages visitors to sign up to get the "latest news."
* Excerpts from sign-up incentives, such as free special reports, can be showcased. These excerpts encourage sign-ups by proving the incentive's value.
Flash Paper display options include:
* Multiple publications. Web pages can display more than one Flash Paper publication. Several e-books can be displayed on a single page.
* Rotating sample documents. Each time a visitor returns to your website, it can automatically display a different issue of your newsletter.
* Tracking and testing. The ability to rotate samples and order forms can be used to test offers, prices, copy, layouts, and colors.
* Links to printable coupons and promotions can appear next to sample newsletters. A newsletter describing Presentation Success Strategies can be accompanied by links to web pages offering worksheets, templates, handheld wireless remote controls, and personalized critiques.
* Sample marketing newsletters can appear next to links to previous issues archived on the website. These links encourage visitors to spend more time at your site, increasing re-sell, up-sell, and cross-sell opportunities.
* Radio buttons or text links can let visitors choose between several publications on a page.
Keeping web content fresh
Displaying a different newsletter each month leverages the equity you create each time you develop a new issue of your newsletter.
Constantly updating the newsletters (and press releases) on your website keeps it fresh with new content, without requiring extra work. Return visitors will find new information each time they visit.
Working with Contribute 2
There are four steps involved in replacing last month's newsletter with the current issue:
1. Create a Flash Paper file. Before leaving your word processing or desktop publishing program, select File>Print and choose the Flash Paper printer driver. When the Print dialog box appears. print using a descriptive file name.
2. Locate the desired page of your web site. Use Contribute 2 as a web browser to navigate through your site until you locate the page you want to update.
3. Make any desired changes, such as replacing the currently displayed Flash Paper newsletter with your newly created Flash Paper file and any other desired text changes.
4. Upload the revised page to your website.
A 30-day free trial of Contribute 2, is available at www.macromedia.com. Select Downloads, followed by Contribute 2 and Try.
Flash Paper tears down the wall between print design and web distribution. Flash Paper creates small, fast loading, multipage files that can be immediately read, printed and scrolled on your website next to order forms and links.
Flash Paper complements, but does not replace, Adobe Acrobat. Both have their place.
Contribute 2 is not a web authoring program.
You, or your web designer, will continue to create your initial site using hand-coded HTML, Adobe Go Live, Macromedia Dreamweaver, or Microsoft Front Page.
About Roger C. Parker
For over 20 years, writer and designer Roger C. Parker has been helping individuals and firms profit from advancing marketing technology.
Visit Roger's website, www.GMarketing-Design.com to view FlashPaper at work.
Download Roger's free 14 Biggest E-Book Design Mistakes and 8 Biggest Newsletter Design and Marketing Mistakes at www.OnePageNewsletters.com
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|Title Annotation:||Special Report|
|Author:||Parker, Roger C.|
|Publication:||The Newsletter on Newsletters|
|Date:||Apr 16, 2004|
|Next Article:||Haights Cross puts Oakstone on block.|