Automation Techniques for Store Locator Maps

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standard locator mapWe all get them. Those mailers from pizza shops, muffler places, car dealers, coffee shops. Inviting us to stop in and buy. When done well, they can make us feel excited to try something new.

Many businesses do a great job creating this desire - but still fail to win sales. Why? They haven't given their prospects the info they need to convert. For businesses that depend on foot traffic, the fatal blow to an otherwise dynamite direct mail campaign can come from something that seems so rudimentary it receives very little attention in the mailing piece design process. Directions to the store.

It's probably obvious that location-based businesses need people in their store to create business. So having a map on the mail piece seems equally obvious. Then why do so many pieces go out without a map? Maybe those business owners think everybody already knows how to find them? Or maybe they think there isn't room on the mail piece? Or that it's too expensive?

alt store locator mapAll of these assumptions are false. And as their direct marketing supplier, you can lift their response rates and secure more revenue for yourself by offering maps of their locations ("store locator maps") on their mailers. And if you don't offer it, then who might they get them from? Your competitors?

Why Should Your Customers Include Maps?

  1. New customers don't always know where businesses are. Heck, sometimes we consumers even overlook businesses right on our drive from home to work. If I get a dry cleaner's mail piece and recognize the map showing one of the streets I drive every day, I'm far more likely to make use of the 15% Off coupon you're sending me. Listing an address isn't good enough.
  2. Maps are small but powerful. I'm a consumer. I get tons of mail a day. I don't read everything. A map adds visual kick that makes me more likely to spend the time to read your offer. And even 2 inches by 2 inches is enough space to create a visually compelling map.
  3. Store locator maps are less expensive than you think. The best mapping companies have an automated process for creating these maps. That means you can offer these to your clients at a cost savings compared to what they have paid in the past, and you still make a profit.

Why You Think This Might Be Too Expensive

You (and your clients) are probably thinking that store locator maps are drawn by a graphic artist. If your client only needs one or two, that may still be the best way to do it. The quality is usually high, as is the cost. The graphic artist has to research the location, make decisions about how many streets to show, what scale to use, how to color and symbolize, then do the work. But what happens when you need 20 or 100 or 1000 of these?

Mapping companies have automated aspects of digital mapping for over a decade. But with automation, quality initially suffered. Sure, they were inexpensive, but businesses avoided them because it could hurt the company image. After all, how could a mapping system create as good a finished product as the graphic artists?

More Affordable Than You Thought

Maponics has developed a technology to automate locator maps and achieve high quality. This includes:

a) automated location of each store address

b) beautiful, stylized street labeling

c) intelligent scaling

d) two versions of each store location map, one showing local roads at one scale and a second version zoomed out to only show major roads

e) multiple output formats (color, single-bit monochrome, .pdf, .tiff, etc.)

f) very fast turn around times

You might think that this almost sounds too perfect. The truth is, anytime you rely on automation, there may be a map or two that can't be located or that shows "too many" streets. But even if 1% have to be reworked, you still end up with the same quality a graphic artist would render and at about 1/5 of the cost.

Give Prospects What They Need To Convert!

Visit the Maponics Online Store or call Maponics at 800-762-5158 and you'll make your customer happy and turn a tidy profit too.