Direct mail continually proves to be one of the most viable ways to get into your customer’s line of sight.
Direct mail has been a marketing staple since the Pony Express—Newton’s General Store circulars averaged 93% of all PE deliveries in Missouri from 1860-1872.* You’ve probably received thousands of pieces of direct mail over your life, but if you’ve never executed a campaign, the thought can be overwhelming! Here’s a quick 3-step rundown of how to get started.
Decide on a target. Who are you trying to reach? Think about your current customer base; how would they best be characterized? If you’re a local pizza place, you probably want to think broadly and hit a radius around your shop, because everyone loves pizza. If you’re a daycare provider, though, you will need think one step further and add a lifestyle qualifier to your geographic qualifier – let’s mail just to houses in your target area that have young children at home. There are thousands of ways to segment data; find the right combination to speak to your core audience.
Develop a compelling message & presentation. Once you’re in their mailbox, how will you grab their attention? It could be a unique mailing format like a die cut postcard, or an interactive piece with a scratch-off that tempts them to win, or a colorful and inviting textured envelope that piques their curiosity. It could be an offer that is just impossible to refuse (FREE PIZZA?!). Better yet, it could be a combination of both. Think again about who you’re mailing to and find the best way to speak to their wants and needs.
Find a way to track your success. This method can be as sophisticated or as simple as you’d like. Send your leads your website with a QR code that has a Google Analytics attribution code embedded, or to a dedicated landing page designed to expand upon the content of your mailer. If that feels too complicated, stay analog: give them a coupon or a discount code to refer to that is unique to your mail campaign and track its redemption. You’ll be able to utilize the information you gather to evaluate your efforts and improve in the future.
These three steps will set you off in the right direction for a successful direct mail campaign, and there’s no time like the present. Direct mail continually proves to be one of the most viable ways to get into your customer’s line of sight. Still feeling overwhelmed? We’re available for one-on-one consultations to help get you started! Call or email Tracy, (518) 437-5349 or firstname.lastname@example.org
We’ve all visited trade shows and noticed the vendors that are phoning it in: a tired-looking representative standing behind a tired-looking folding table. Don’t be that guy! Here are five things to think about when you’re planning for your next appearance:
Give them something to talk about—literally. Everyone expects to snag cool swag when they’re at a trade show, and your options these days are nearly limitless. Branded promotional items give your visitors a tangible reminder of who you are.
Be interactive! Don’t toss your high-ticket takeaways on a table; let your audience have a little fun in working for them. Our favorite experiences involve a prize wheel, because who doesn’t enjoy a game-show vibe?
Don’t be intimidating. Low-pressure scenarios are more likely to create a welcoming atmosphere for your audience.
Create an environment. You can do this in any number of ways, but no matter what it should be cohesive. Find out if you can lose the standard folding table in order to invite your audience in and utilize your 8×10 footprint to the max. Think outside the box to create a unique space: a branded color scheme, an exciting display wall, even miniature ponies!
Capture your leads. Use an email signup sheet, a business card-fueled raffle, or a landing page on a tablet—whatever your method, follow up with those leads to reinforce the awesome impression you’ve made!
The best part of a trade show is that you don’t necessarily need a huge budget to make an impact. As long as your booth is true to your brand, you should be able to forge valuable connections with your audience.
Our file wizards can work with just about anything, but properly set up files usually mean a timelier turnaround and in some cases, better output! To keep things running smoothly, we’ve compiled a list of the top three things to consider when creating print files.
1. Images: We don’t have forensic equipment—lost pixels are gone forever (RIP). Try to choose from high-res photos only; we recommend at least 300dpi at print size. If your only option is a tiny logo you pulled from a random website, try not to enlarge it any more than absolutely necessary. Open any image you want to use with your photo editor and view it at 100%. If it looks pixelated on screen, it’s probably going to print that way.
2. Make it bleed: If your artwork has images, text, or color that will extend off the page (bleed), you should include a bleed allowance of at least .125”. This allowance is essentially wiggle room—if the printed page shifts even a millimeter when trimmed, a properly set up bleed will show artwork instead of the white of the paper. Most applications will let you add a bleed in a setting called “Document Setup”.
3. Don’t get TOO creative: With your design programs, that is! Some programs are made for designing (InDesign, Illustrator, Photostop, Quark, Publisher) and some are not. Designing in non-traditional software means limitations for you, but it also limits your printer. If you don’t have access to any true design programs, try to send a PDF for printing instead of working files. It’s more difficult to transfer & convert a print file to PDF from non-traditional programs (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Candy Crush) without losing formatting, fonts, or image resolution.
These are by no means the only things to consider when setting up artwork, but they are a great start to getting great prints. Want to know more about proper file setup? Download our free File Prep Guide for a more detailed overview!
Members of the graphic communications union employed at Digital XPress last week voted overwhelmingly to leave the union effective November 2, 2017, according to Jodi Hess, company president.
Yesterday, the National Labor Relations Board issued a letter stating that the results had not been contested, making the vote official.
The printing, mailing, prepress and bindery departments at DXP had been unionized for over three decades. “This past summer, members of our workforce initiated a grassroots movement to reconsider their union affiliation,” said Ms. Hess. “The viability of union pension funds was at the heart of their concerns.”
“Several months ago, the union announced that our pension fund was in serious trouble, and that we would need to accept significant benefit reductions in order to save it,” said Tim Hotaling, DXP press operator and union delegate for the shop. “This revelation came only three years after the membership had voted to accept previous reductions that promised to keep the fund solvent for 25 years.”
Mr. Hotaling also served on the executive board of the union local for about 10 years. “Unfortunately, I could no longer ignore the uncertainty plaguing our union pensions,” he said. “I believed it was time to end our union affiliation and initiated the process that led to the vote.”
“We have always respected and supported our employees’ right to decide whether union membership is in their own best interests,” said Ms. Hess. “We also recognize that continuing to support them now remains in the best interests of our customers.
“Customers can expect the same conscientious craftspeople in all of the departments affected to continue performing at a high level,” added Ms. Hess. “We do not foresee any changes in staffing or pricing as a direct result of our employees’ decision to leave the union.”
One thing has changed: Digital XPress is no longer able to include union bugs on the materials it produces. Ms. Hess suggested that customers speak to their salesperson or project coordinator if this becomes an issue on any of their projects.
“While we can no longer place a union label on our work, the high quality of that work will not waver,” said Mr. Hotaling. “Rest assured, the same dedicated craftspeople customers have come to trust will still be manning the equipment and minding the store.”
Digital XPress employs about 75 people and is located at 5 Sand Creek Road in Albany, NY. Founded in 1981, the firm provides printing, mailing, large format display graphics and design and copywriting services to clients throughout the Northeast.