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21 Ways to Add Flair to Your Direct Mailers

21 Ways to Add Flair to Your Direct Mailers

Welcome to the Preferred Direct Blog

21 Ways to Add Flair to Your Direct Mailers

Oliver Wendell Holmes once said, “Learn from the mistakes of others… You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself!”

How do you attract, inform, and appeal to your customers? How do you Add Flair to Your Direct Mailers? Do you use the telephone? Are billboards, radio ads, and glossy brochures more your style? Or do you wait for customers to walk through your door? That is what this article is about.  21 Ways to Add Flair to Your Direct Mailers.

Many highly-effective methods exist to promote a business. Direct mailers, however, consistently offer more bang for the buck than many other forms of promotion. If you’re new to the world of direct-mail advertising and promotion, you might be surprised at how easy, effective, and economical it can be. If you’re an ” old hand,” we have some new ideas and a score of suggestions you might not have considered.

Preferred Direct is a commercial printing and direct mail marketing specialist. Founded in 1987, our Norfolk-based company has built its reputation on creative communication and customer service. With more than three decades of collaborative success, helping businesses “tell their stories,” we have become leaders in the field. We continue to craft personalized solutions in the print, direct mail, and digital communications field. Here is a score of suggestions to energize your creative marketing mail campaign or 21 Ways to Add Flair to Your Direct Mailers:

  1. Keep the Message Bright. Convey your message graphically and with few words. Keep it simple and colorful. Rely on a single dramatic image to introduce a product, announce a clearance sale, remind customers of a deadline, or offer a discount.
  2. Upscale the Envelopes. Your choice depends on the message you want to convey. Be creative in placing your sales message on the front of your envelope. A good place to start is with your #10 envelopes.
  3. Include a Token Gift. A coupon for a freebie. A special discount for return customers. A refrigerator magnet, flexible jar grip or mini notepad are all easy envelope stuffers that have value for homeowners.
  4. Make Your Mailer Count. Use a direct mail piece as a calendar countdown to a special event. Choose an eye-catching large type font, and keep the message short and to the point to create urgency. Use color to distinguish your piece from other mail, and follow up with periodic reminders if that’s appropriate.
  5. Never Underestimate Postcards. At one time when people communicated regularly with picture postcards. The appeal still exists. Postcards are fun — and if they’re unique, they’re also sometimes collectible. Use a great photo or a humorous message. A postcard campaign can jumpstart a new promotion, or serve as a continuing reminder of your services.
  6. Sponsor a Charity. If your business supports a local organization during the holidays or throughout the year, include a pitch for support in your invoice mailings. Send special requests for support as needed. Customers like to be part of charitable efforts: Make it easy for them to participate and to lend a hand! Then send thank you notes for the support.
  7. Employ Special Shapes and Sizes. Let’s be honest. Standard envelopes can be easily tossed in the trash. But the impact of a brightly colored, oversized envelope can’t be ignored. Attract attention any way you can, but be sure your mailer conforms to postal regulations. (We can help you with that requirement.)
  8. Fold It Up! Flipbooks require customer interaction and promote engagement. Special folds encourage revisiting pages and allow prospective clients to reread your message in different ways.
  9. Die Cuts Tell a Story. It’s simplistic, but shapes add interest. There’s a reason: Our brains are wired to remember the unusual. Let us help you design a unique mailer that tells your story differently. There are endless possibilities.
  10. Add Sensory Surprise. All too often, a written message is forgettable. But there are other ways to elicit a response. Experiment with texture, scent, or even sound. While not for every business, scratch and sniff cards, a “touchy-feely” insert or a card that plays music will grab its share of attention. Maximize the element of surprise!
  11. Go for 3-D Appeal. The flat is not the only way to send your message. Small boxes and tubes don’t have to cost an arm and a leg, but they are likely to garner lots of extra attention.
  12. Personalize Your Marketing Materials. Fight the “junk mail” label by personalizing your message. Don’t address mailings to “Resident.” Send birthday greetings and holiday cards. Offer a discount on an anniversary-year purchase, or make a customer feel special by providing incentives using Commercial Printing with Variable Data for continued business support.
  13. Keep In Touch through Newsletters. Let your customers know what you’re doing. It’s only natural to respond to stories of achievement and growth. So, if your business has a good story to tell, don’t hesitate to share it through a monthly or quarterly newsletter, circulated either digitally or in print. Yes, Preferred Direct offers digital services as well as printed and mailing services.
  14. Shine a Spotlight on Your People. Recognize achievement, publicize promotions, and introduce new service technicians. Include photos. Use direct mailers to personalize your business. Add some flair to your marketing.
  15. Celebrate Your City. Partner with other local businesses to promote civic awareness and community celebrations. Show you care about your locale and your customers are likely to respond in kind.
  16. Get Behind Good Causes. While you’ll want to be selective about what you support, don’t feel that every mailer has to be only about business. Many worthwhile efforts can benefit from more public awareness. Always include your name and logo!
  17. Provide Usable Information. If you sell products or offer services, informative mailers about important topics are often welcome and appreciated. Be discerning, but don’t hesitate to share your expertise or communicate your concerns.
  18. Determine the Most Effective Delivery Option. Postage and delivery options affect price, and effectiveness varies. Know your options, or ask your direct mail printing partner for advice.
  19. Know Your Niche. Always consider the unique requirements of your business or industry, governing rules and regulations, and projected changes that will affect your message. Preferred Direct is HITRUST-certified with extensive experience with EOBs, and we assure that health care mailings are always HIPAA-compliant.
  20. Consider New Technologies. We agree that technology is changing the face of the direct marketing industry. We take pride in our ability to embrace new possibilities and pass new technological advances on to our customers.
  21. Track Your Success. No advertising and marketing program will be worth your time, energy, and money unless you know how well it’s working for you. Preferred Direct will work with you every step of the way to help you get it right.

Our “can do” attitude has served us well over the past three decades. What can we do to help you? We believe we can help you attract and inform clients, advertise products, explain your services, create goodwill, and establish strong bonds with your customers. We don’t perform magic, but we consistently achieve results by working with you to create magical direct mail pieces. We do it all within your budget constraints and following your timeline. We respond quickly, and we meet deadlines. Why not schedule a call to discuss options? We’ll be waiting to hear from you. At the risk of tooting our own horn just a bit, we have comments and testimonials from satisfied clients all over the country to support our claims. Let us know how we can best help you with your specialty direct mail needs.

In Conclusion – If You Need Help – We Are The Marketplace of Ideas

Our collective experience over the past 30-plus years has reinforced the values that were exemplified at our founding: Service, Value, and Creative Response to Client Concerns. 

We practice those principles every day in every way, embrace new technology and modern materials, and continue to focus on creative problem-solving. We value your collaboration, comments, and service evaluations, and rely on your feedback as we move in new directions. We value the ongoing relationships we have established with our customers. We will Boost Your Marketing with Variable Data Direct Mail and Commercial Printing.

For each project, Preferred Direct will provide a project manager to work with you to guarantee fast, efficient, accurate and confidential processing of information for your commercial printing or direct billing project. Our Commercial Printing and Direct Mail Platform provides for medical billing services, municipal utility bills, statement generation, e-billing, and transpromo marketing, a company’s direct billing is completed in a timely and professional manner.

 

Call Preferred Direct toll-free today. 1-844-719-1848

 

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How Commercial Printing Can Elevate Marketing Results

How Commercial Printing Can Elevate Marketing Results

Welcome to the Preferred Direct Blog

How Commercial Printing Can Elevate Marketing Results

Tips for Elevating Marketing Results with Commercial Printing

Professional commercial printing can make a difference in how customers perceive your company. Think about it; every marketing and sales piece that you print represents your brand. The more polished and professional your print marketing materials are, the more prospects will view your business as credible and trustworthy.

Benefits of Commercial Printing Services and Print Marketing

Print marketing pieces by a commercial printing company give people a well-prepared, tangible way to learn about your brand and have your contact info close at hand. In this digital age, commercial print services supplement your online marketing messaging—which makes you more memorable as the print pieces reinforce what customers see online.

Moreover, print marketing collateral helps build awareness of your business’s online presence. By sharing your website URL, email address, and social media profiles in your print communications, you can steer people to connect with you online.

How to Use Commercial Printing Services to Boost Your Marketing Results

Here are some tips for how to get optimal results from print marketing products created by a  commercial printer:

  • Partner with a reputable, experienced commercial printing company that understands what it takes to create marketing materials that will have a maximal impact.
  • Use a professional graphic designer if you don’t have that expertise and skillset in-house.
  • Use a professional copywriter if you don’t have that expertise and skillset in-house.
  • Make sure that your brand elements (logo, colors, terminology, etc.) have consistency across your print marketing materials.
  • Make sure all of your contact information is on your print products.
  • Include social media information so that people will know where they can connect with you online.
  • Proofread your print marketing materials.
  • Consider print-on-demand and inventory management services to save your business money and time.

Examples of Print Marketing Materials That Work

Rack cards

Rack cards have many uses and do well where there’s a lot of foot traffic. Some of the locations where you may have seen them include visitors’ centers, restaurants, hotels, and landmarks. Many different types of businesses have success with rack cards. For example, they can help efforts to promote fundraising events, live entertainment acts, charitable causes, tourist destinations and attractions, food festivals, and more. Rack cards are an inexpensive way to attract attention and communicate the most important information about what you want to promote.

 

Brochures

Brochures deliver a means to include more details than rack cards while still in a print format that’s convenient for people to take with them. They are cost-effective and easy to distribute at events or locations where you want them to be accessible to your target audience. Also, brochures allow you to communicate your brand’s value and essential details about your products and services in a tangible form.

 

Catalogs

Catalogs are critical drivers of sales and brand loyalty. Often, print catalogs are the catalyst for getting prospects to visit a retailer’s website or visit a store. Also, many retailers have found that sending catalogs to customers who have made online purchases often results in additional sales from those same customers.

 

Flyers

Flyers offer a simple, short-and-sweet way to grab people’s attention and impel them to learn more about your business. They’re easy to hand out or leave as a take-away at trade shows.

 

Newsletters

Print newsletters allow businesses to provide more in-depth information to readers than do e-newsletters. Moreover, a print newsletter is convenient for readers to pick up and read it at their leisure. People can enjoy them when they have time and aren’t distracted by a barrage of online notifications and emails.

 

Direct mail postcards

Personalized direct mail postcards can be highly targeted, enabling your company to reach ideal prospects easily. Moreover, they’re very affordable to produce and mail. As more and more customers are becoming inundated by email marketing messages, print marketing postcards help make brands stand out.

 

Signs and posters

For local events and fundraisers, signs and posters can help raise awareness and generate word of mouth. When strategically placed within communities, they serve as a powerful grass-roots marketing tactic. Of course, the more attractive they are (professional design and superior print quality), the more attention they’ll attract.

 

Sales packets

Usually consisting of folders with a variety of sales and marketing collateral, sales packets help move potential B2B buyers one step closer to making a purchase. An exceptional sales packet will reinforce the positive impression your sales team made during their sales visits.

And there’s more

These are just a few samples of the types of print marketing materials that your business might benefit from. Meanwhile, your imagination and creativity expand the possibilities. And you can count on our team at Preferred Direct to help you brainstorm ideas to differentiate your company from your competition.

Best Practices in Commercial Printing for Print Marketing

Not all commercial printers have the same technology, equipment, and capabilities. That’s why it’s critical to ask questions and ensure you’ll be getting the best quality, turnaround times, and value.

At Preferred Direct, we use digital printing and inkjet printing to produce stunning, cost-effective marketing materials.

 

Digital Printing

Digital printing allows us to send text and images in digital files directly to a printing press. Unlike traditional offset printing, it doesn’t require the time and cost to create a printing plate. With digital printing, you get high-quality graphics that make a strong first impression.

 

Inkjet Printing

Inkjet printing allows for fast and accurate printing of custom elements, such as addresses, barcodes, indicias, and more. Plus, it’s highly cost-efficient for creating large quantities of personalized marketing pieces.

 

Cost-cutting On-Demand Printing Using Variable Data

To keep costs extremely affordable for our customers, Preferred Direct does all of our printing on two roll-to-roll presses for cost-effective on-demand printing. This approach ensures you won’t have to pay for pieces you don’t need and will never use. Also, on-demand means you avoid the printing order minimums that come with traditional printing.

With on-demand printing at Preferred Direct, we print the number of items that you need now. And, we can use variable data (text and images) to customize marketing materials to your individual recipients. Whether catalogs or brochures or newsletters or other communications, that personalization will help you create marketing pieces that drive interaction and results. With printing on-demand, you pay an inexpensive cost per unit even when you only need a small quantity printed. And, when you want more units printed, there’s no need to start from square one again. We save your digital files and can print additional pieces as you need them.

Besides the cost-saving benefits, on-demand printing also conserves paper, making it a more environmentally friendly option. Many customers seek to do business with eco-conscious companies. By using on-demand printing, you can strengthen your value proposition and set you apart from your competition.

Print Inventory Management for Saving Time and Money

To ensure we can meet your on-demand printing needs quickly, we offer inventory management at our facility. Different marketing projects require different sizes and styles of paper and envelopes, and we can store large quantities of whatever your jobs will need. Our inventory management services ensure that when you need a print piece produced, we’ll have the resources on hand and ready to go. You can also get weekly or monthly stock level reports to keep tabs on your current inventory.

Next Steps for Marketing Success with Professional Print Marketing Materials

To learn more about how a commercial printer can help you achieve your marketing goals, contact us. Share your challenges and aspirations with us! Using our extensive commercial printing expertise and capabilities, we’ll create marketing materials to elevate your brand without deflating your bottom line.

The Marketplace of Ideas

Our collective experience over the past 30-plus years has reinforced the values that were exemplified at our founding: Service, Value, and Creative Response to Client Concerns. 

We practice those principles every day in every way, embrace new technology and modern materials, and continue to focus on creative problem-solving. We value your collaboration, comments, and service evaluations, and rely on your feedback as we move in new directions. We value the ongoing relationships we have established with our customers. We will Boost Your Marketing with Variable Data Direct Mail and Commercial Printing.

For each project, Preferred Direct will provide a project manager to work with you to guarantee fast, efficient, accurate and confidential processing of information for your commercial printing or direct billing project. Our Commercial Printing and Direct Mail Platform provides for medical billing services, municipal utility bills, statement generation, e-billing, and transpromo marketing, a company’s direct billing is completed in a timely and professional manner.

Call Preferred Direct toll-free today. 1-844-719-1848

 

 

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Ultimate Guide to a Direct Mail Campaign

Ultimate Guide to a Direct Mail Campaign

What Is Direct Mail?

Direct Mail Advertising

Direct Mail Advertising.

Ultimate Guide to a Direct Mail Campaign is posted for you to learn the specifics of Direct Mail. Direct mail refers to the act of sending a physical medium to potential prospects, current clients, or existing members of your organization. It could be a letter, pamphlet, package, postcard — anything that sends a message about your business or organization.

There is some thought that direct mail is for B2C, but it can be an equally effective strategy for B2B as well. Preferred Direct is both a print and direct mail operation, making us a powerhouse for businesses Direct Mail Campaigns over the nation.

The Power of Direct Mail

The Power of Direct Mail

The Power of Direct Mail

Direct mail creates a tangible experience in a person’s hands, one that can reach the practical senses to connect with the emotional side. It may explain why the Direct Marketing Association found that house lists generated an average response rate of 9%, and prospect lists generated an average rate of 4.9% in 2018. The response rate had roughly doubled from the year before, making 2018 the most productive year since 2013. Studies have shown that people view direct mail as more trustworthy, perhaps because it requires more effort to send than your standard email blast.

What Kinds of Direct Mail Are Most Effective?

The 2016 data revealed the following ranking (in terms of response rate):

  1. Oversized envelopes
  2. Postcards
  3. Dimensional mail
  4. Catalogs

Oversized envelopes create a sense of anticipation, an itch that needs to be scratched. Postcards give people all the information they need with nothing more than a single glance. Catalogs are both enticing and easy to flip through to see if anything catches the eye.

And, well, you might be wondering what precisely dimensional mail even is. In short, it’s anything that isn’t flat. In other words, if you make your flyer into the shape of a paper airplane, there’s a much higher chance that someone will open it. You can also try making your mail more than 3/4″ thick. That also seems to hold a lot of appeal to recipients if you’re measuring based on the response rates.

How Does B2C Direct Mail Work?

How Does B2C Direct Mail Work?

A B2C Direct Mail Campaign doesn’t have a lot of rules, which is one of the reasons why it can be a fun project for marketers. Some people will send instant coffee to customers to show them just how easy it is to use the company’s services (as simple as adding hot water). This type of direct mail works especially well for startup businesses. Others will work the personalization factor, addressing a person as directly as possible.

So instead of just including the person’s name, they might also incorporate the school they go to, the type of financial account they have, or their specific insurance policy. Non-profit organizations often include coins in their direct mail pieces to prompt the recipient to respond.

Addressing a specific person means using variable data in commercial printing. You’ll need a company that can quickly alter a piece, so it’s as accurate and useful as possible. So if you’re trying to send information to your patients about their insurance policy, you can vary your direct mail based on the patient’s plan and coverage levels. Preferred Direct has worked with countless Direct Mail Campaigns across a wide variety of industries, and we’ve seen what works along the way and the solutions they provide.

How Does B2B Direct Mail Work?

How Does B2B Direct Mail Work?

Consumer direct mail will inherently be different from B2B, especially if you’re marketing or targeting a highly select group of people. We recommend personalizing every piece of mail that goes out (similar to B2C efforts). Some businesses have even gone so far as to create personalized portraits or cartoons for each prospect. (Trust us when we say there are enough freelance artists out there to make this little gamble worth your while.) Others will send leftover swag to companies for everyone to enjoy, or create a fake press release or news article that details how their business can help recipients solve a problem they already have.

Whatever it is you do with your B2B direct mail, you need to consider the end product of each campaign. If the colors of your brand are a little dull or the artwork is a bit smudged, it can create a negative association with your company long before the reader ever really bothers to learn what you had to say.

What Is Digital Mail?

What is Digital Mail?

Digital mail is a way for you to personalize your correspondence using computerized tools and therefore more targeted. Digital Mail allows you to manage your mail through your Smart Phone if you like.

Mostly, it’s a way of piquing your audience’s interest without dramatically increasing the time or cost of the project. One of the biggest reasons why email campaigns and virtual advertising fails is because it rarely addresses the reality of the consumer’s life. A financial account holder who’s never invested before is unlikely to care about an opportunity with a minimum buy-in of $20,000. Parents of a toddler aren’t going to rip into a brochure that details the myths and facts of student loan debt.

For some, using variable data may have been difficult to do in the past, but this has largely been changed by the technology of the day. Rather than plates having to be swapped out every time you wanted to change artwork or wording, database-driven printing equipment can be programmed to go from one piece to the next seamlessly.

How Can I Best Personalize Direct Mail?

Direct Mail CampaignOne word: segmentation! If you’re not segmenting your lists, you’ll end up sending meaningless junk to people. You’ll end up wasting your direct mail budget! A marketer’s job is to comb through their audience to better understand what’s driving people’s habits and to make the mailing more targeted.

Variable data can be incorporated into direct mail, but you first need to know how to best work with that data. Ideally, you’d want to send a different message to every customer and prospect. Customers and prospects want to feel valued, especially given the level of competition in the business world today. And while this is a tall order, you can get closer to this goal if you can start paring your list by everything from age to income to lifestyle.

As you begin to make your lists more specific, you can use A/B testing to quantify your response rates. So let’s say you create a small list of people. They’re all roughly the same age, they all live in a similar neighborhood, and they all share vital traits in terms of their profession.

As an example, you send one half of the list a letter detailing how you can help them save some cash with your services. You send another half a letter discussing exactly how your business helps customers save time. From there, you can measure the response rates to see if people care more about their money or their time. There are many ways to A/B test your mailing piece. You can test colors, call to action, fonts, etc  The key is to test and test to be sure that you are getting the best response or the response you want.

Why Wouldn’t I Send an Email?

Consumers are consistently facing a deluge of email. When this strategy was first debuting, marketers found success in carefully constructed email campaigns. However, the influx has made it such that even the most dramatic of subject lines are not getting the desired results.

People receive 121 emails a day on average, meaning it’s become much more of a chore than anything else. In contrast, people still enjoy checking their mailbox, especially when they get something interesting or fun from time to time.

How Much Does Direct Mail Cost?

How much does direct mail costHere’s the rub if you’re comparing the two most common forms of communication: email is virtually free, but direct mail will cost you a little more. The largest expense for a Direct Mail project is the postage.

Direct Mail can end up affecting your ROI, but we still think it’s worth the risk.

Direct mail can cost anywhere from a few cents a project, the graphics collating of the data to the bindery of the medium.

If you’re looking to save a little cash on your project without compromising the quality, you’re in luck. The machinery used for direct mail has improved in the past few years, making it possible to handle high volumes and complicated design requests (whether in terms of graphics or folding). If you’re looking for commercial printing, it helps to pick a company that knows the value of a good investment.

Preferred Direct has the Xerox Impika and the HP T-240 HD printer, both of which have managed to blow us away with their efficiency and results. Print on Demand projects is high-speed full-color printing at its finest. What that means for your direct mail campaign is that no drop of ink is wasted, and no detail is overlooked. You can use the paper stock that fits your brand, so you can rest assured your direct mail is making the right impression.

How Does the Post Office Work with My Direct Mail?

The post office looks at everything from the size of your mail to the thickness to the shape.  Their visual inspection of the trays or sacks and the accompanying paperwork, whether First Class Pre-sort or Standard will be necessary for the mail’s approval. If everything isn’t labeled correctly, carriers may treat your direct mail without the kid’s gloves it requires. You don’t need your carefully crafted folding job to end up flattened at the bottom of a postal bag. Preferred Direct knows the U.S. Post Office requirements inside and out, and we make sure your mail is delivered precisely how you intended it. Why go through all that effort if customers or prospects end up with a half version of what you meant to send?

How Can I Use Direct Mail with Inbound Marketing?

Inbound is all about working with qualified leads, and direct mail is all about creating them. The more interest you can generate through your outbound efforts, the more you can grow your inbound efforts. Use direct mail to educate people about what it is you’re trying to do and watch how your efforts encourage them to take the next step.

As with any inbound strategy, you need to find customers where they are. It should come as no surprise to you that some people won’t even look at their mailbox because they’re too busy looking at smartphones. But for marketers in industries like insurance, finance, and education, you’re likely dealing with homeowners who are still interested in the mail.

You can also work with opt-in lists to create more inbound success. The people on your opt-in list have already asked for you to send them direct mail. Those who inherently have an interest in your company may be more likely to follow-up on your specials or promotions, which can lead you to more profitable relationships. Sending just the right number of publications can encourage customers to upgrade without annoying them.

Or you can try following up a virtual sign-up with a physical one. So if someone subscribes to your email list, you can send a thank you with direct mail. Or you can send an interesting case study that showcases how you help people just like them. Doing something a little different can help your company stand out.

Can I Cross Commercial Printing and Digital Marketing?

Yes, and the results can be surprisingly effective. Some people will direct customers or prospects to the website instead of asking them to call to make an appointment. Some will offer incentives to sign up for their app, but only make those incentives available to those who receive their direct mail.

You can also print a scannable QR code on your direct mail piece. The data will show you how people are interacting with your mail piece.

What Should I Look for in a Direct Mail Company?

A direct mail company needs to be able to keep up with you. Despite the many (many) printing companies who advertise cut-throat rates online, the moral of the story is that your level of service matters. If you need to make last-minute changes to your direct mail, you need a staff that can make it happen.

With Preferred Direct, you get a project manager who is looking after all the details on the project. They’re the ones coordinating different employees, so no request is falling through the cracks. These pros are also here to help guide you through the process of direct mail. So if you have questions about segmentation, branding, or A/B testing, we show you how to make the most of your hard-won lists.

How Can Direct Mail Directly Affect My Profits?

Conclusion.

Conclusion.

A Direct Mail Campaign is a great way to strengthen your branding efforts. The more times you can connect with your customers on different levels, the more likely they are actually to remember you. So while your direct response rate may not be 100%, that doesn’t mean you haven’t made another impression on your customers.

Your virtual communication, physical media, and broadcast efforts may all differ based on the audience and the communication method. Still, the essence of the brand and the messaging stays the same.

If you want to learn more about how direct mail can help you, Preferred Direct is here to give you a few tips. We have the equipment, know-how, and professional experience to provide you with more than just standard advice. And while we can’t get into the specifics of your campaign right now, we can undoubtedly dive right in when you give us a call.

 

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