A very basic definition given of web-to-print is a printed document (of any kind) that is ordered online via a website. This printed document can be something very simple as web to print business cards. It can also be something very complex such as entering a secure and branded web portal and initiating a multichannel marketing campaign design. This marketing campaign, called print extensions, can include everything from coordinating database driven; fully personalized direct mails to triggered mails that are based on response status of recipient to text follow up messaging.
The horizon of W2P solutions is ever expanding and as social networking and mobile web access is rapidly increasing the extent to which these web to print applications can be used. Many Web2Print vendors are already stretching the possibilities of these applications and offering the services of incorporating social media in campaign, through allowing exporting of images. Also users can now print hard copy photos and postcards directly using their mobile phones. A lot of W2P solutions already incorporate QR codes and the remaining are expected to in near future.
Web-to-print can be efficiently used for many more things than mere printing. One of the web to print benefit today is its ability to serve as a marketing portal that is effectively used for the creation of integrated marketing campaign components. Web to print is simply implies that printing be one component of the entire process.
Mentioned below are some characteristics of Web to Print features that can be utilized by marketers and serve as an ultimate guide to web to print solutions
- Designing of branded, customized and professional documents in no time at all.
- Shrinking of turnaround time through automating prepress and proofing processes.
- Streamlining and automating, processes of targeting, segmenting and personalizing of documents using optimized software, components and Web2Print templates.
- Developing personalized, customized multi channeled and multi component programs (for marketing).
- Decentralizing marketing activities enabling departments, head office and third parties to customize and tweak documents.
- Offering centralized repository of asset management allowing all sizes of marketers to offer third party access, required in brand management.
- On demand printing, cutting on time, reducing warehousing and obsolescence, reducing costs of posts, eliminating duplication and managing branding.
- Creating of personalized documents directed towards individual recipients (in form of web to print brochures, documents and direct mails.
Changing of marketing and web to print business models focusing on content only, compared to print as was done earlier.