Smaller Printing Requirements Help Small Businesses

For many years, the conventional wisdom in small business printing has been to wait until you have a draft design you’re satisfied with, and confident will be useful for many years, and then order the largest print run you can afford. Small business owners spent small fortunes printing large stacks of business cards, promotional mailers and fliers for distribution, always in the largest quantity possible. That made sense when each plate had to be cut by hand and four-color toner was expensive, but modern printing techniques have made the conventional wisdom obsolete.

 

Economies of Scale

Before digital technology and the revolution it has worked on the world of small business printing, large runs of printed materials were the only way a small operator could match the efficiency of a large corporation for marketing and letterhead. Since most of the cost of printing was in the design and prep stages, with material as almost an afterthought, ordering a years’ supply of mailers at once made sense. This bulk then had to be stored somewhere, it was liable to damage before it could be sent out, and there was always the problem of prices changing or promotions ending before the last flier went out, but these problems just had to be borne at the time.

 

Smart Printing and the Economics of a Small Printing Run

Digital technology has changed nearly everything about the way small business printing works. Cheap, versatile computers are ubiquitous now, as is low-cost or free design software business owners can use to create their own materials from the concept stage on. In this world, where an idea can turn into a digital file, which is then delivered to the computer-controlled printers at the shop in seconds, small printing runs start to make sense for small businesses and niche marketers.

 

Advantages of Small Orders

Small print runs still take almost the same work to set up as large ones, but the per-unit cost has now dropped low enough to outsource the work and send through multiple small orders as needed, rather than making difficult projections months or years in advance. Smart printing like this lets a business owner market to very small groups, such as left-handed stamp collectors who like Classical music, without investing in a run of tens of thousands of sheets. It also encourages experimentation, such as rolling out a new price structure and announcing it on just 1,000 or so mailers. If the idea works out, the same design can be used to print 10 times more sheets. If the new idea falls short, then the stated prices can be quickly changed back, and a new order placed the same day. Or, the new offer can be scrapped altogether; since very little was invested in the small printing run, little has been lost.

 

Small business printing has changed much over the years, and new technologies have at last made it economical to print in small volumes at with tight deadlines. That fast turnaround and responsiveness to changes makes small runs attractive in small business printing. If you’d like to know more about how the economics of printing have changed in your favor, don’t hesitate to reach out to us and find out how a small printing run can make your business more competitive today.

Direct Mail Marketing for New Product Launches

When you’re launching a new product, you want to reach potential customers directly — So reach them with one of the most trusted and straightforward ways when you use direct mail.

 

Millions of companies use direct mail to reach their customers because it’s both effective and cost-effective. You can target your audience very precisely, and they’re more likely to feel comfortable receiving direct mail because it comes with none of the phishing or scam risks that sometimes attach themselves to email.

 

If you’re a small business owner, direct mail can be one of your best marketing choices for a product launch. Take a look at some of the benefits:

 

Measurable Results

It’s easy to track and measure the results you get with a direct mail campaign. Consider adding different coupon codes to different segments of your targeted audience, and count up the numbers of responses you get for each one. This is a great way to understand how well your message is getting through.

 

Precise Targeting

With direct mail, you can choose the people you want to reach very specifically. When you work with a company that specializes in direct mail targeting, you can narrow down your mailing so that it reaches only qualified and interested buyers. This precision targeting lets you receive a great return on your marketing investment.

 

Personalized Messages

A corollary of that precise targeting is the ability to personalize messages to appeal to your very specific chosen audience. Take the time to craft just the right message to tickle the fancy of the core customers you’re trying to reach.

 

Easy Scalability

Once you’ve seen the reactions to one round of direct mail marketing, you have the ability to grow your campaign as you choose. Tweaking your message is easy once you’ve gotten your initial responses.

 

Control Over Growth

Too many small businesses get into trouble when they elicit a big response with a marketing campaign but aren’t able to fulfill their orders due to problems in their production pipeline. If you’re doing a soft launch of your new product, direct mail is the ideal way to start your marketing, as you can control the size of your outreach. As a result, you won’t end up angering customers before you’ve had a chance to start a real relationship with them.

 

Brand Awareness

Direct mail lets you build brand awareness over time. You can use it to send product samples, if that’s a possibility for your unique product, and you can also make trial offers easily. In addition, people love receiving coupons and discounts in the mail, which make them anticipate your next mailing.

 

Speedy Response

A direct mail campaign can get going within a matter of days. Compare that to the weeks or even months it takes to run ads in magazines or newspapers or to get commercials on the radio or local TV. The speed of direct mail lets you know how people are responding to your new product quickly so you can tweak your campaign or boost your production orders.

 

Use direct mail in conjunction with the other elements of your marketing campaign to forge a personal connection with your prospective customers. Make sure this tried and trusted marketing strategy is part of your next product launch.

 

Commingling Mail Helps Save You Money

There are numerous ways to save money on direct mail. For companies looking for ways to get more product in their customer’s hand but may be  overwhelmed with the traditional costs associated with direct mail, commingling mail can be a solution. Commingling direct mail provides an opportunity to save money but still ensures your marketing messages reach the hands of your customers. Take a closer look at how it can help you.

 

Why Is This Such a Benefit?

Commingling mail may not seem like an initial cost savings. It may seem a bit confusing. However, it is rather a simple way to help the right businesses get a discount for the direct mail marketing they are using. The good news is that many businesses can benefit and it does not have to be complex. In fact, as long as you use the right service, there is very little that you have to do. Take a closer look.

The United States Postal Service provides specific rates for mail delivery, of course. In order to obtain a five-digital postal discount rate, which can be a sizable discount, the USPS requires a minimum of 150 pieces of mail per zip code to obtain that zip code discount. But, many businesses do not need or cannot reach that many addresses.

This is where commingling mail helps to provide the same opportunity and discount. In commingling mail the company will process all mail together. As a result of combining mail like this, it is possible to increase the chances that more pieces will be available per zip code. And as a result of this there is a greater chance to achieve a larger number of zip code discounts.

It’s important to know that commingling mail means that the mail comes from different sources. This is important. The USPS provides very specific regulations on how commingling mail can be used to achieve this type of discount.

 

What Is Your Job?

Here’s the good news. Commingling mail is a very simple and straightforward situation for most businesses. When you turn to a third-party company to handle your mailing, like our team, we do the work for you. In short, the more work that we do before your mail gets to the actual post office, the more money you’ll save as a direct result – because you’ll qualify for that lower rate more often. If your company has mail that goes out nationally, but you may not have enough pieces for the 150-piece limit that is required to achieve this big discount, we can help you. This is very common for businesses, but achieving the lowest first-class postage rate from the USPS is essential for reducing your costs.

Many companies will benefit from commingling mail. Saving money on direct mail to your customers or clients reduces how much you pay out of pocket for the exact same service. Why pay more? Why not let our team handle the work for you? Ask us about the commingling mail discount and how it may work to help you save money.

How Handwritten Fonts Changes Your Customer’s Perception

How many pieces of mail do your customers receive on a daily basis? Many of today’s postal customers know full well that many of the mail items they get are nothing more than marketing items. They make a decision within just a few seconds if something is worthy of being opened or if it is junk mail. What are they doing with the pieces that you send to them?

 

With handwritten fonts, and even calligraphy, it may be possible to change that perception a bit and get them to open your mail more readily and willingly.

Letter Printing

Boosting Your Open Rate

 

Every piece of mail you send out costs your company a bit of money. Getting just one more person in every zip code to open your mail could mean a significant ability to reach more customers – and to increase your profit margins. But, there’s a lot of competition and confusion when it comes to direct mail. Many customers just don’t interact with it enough. However, with a handwritten font on the front of the envelope it is more likely they will open up your mail.

 

Handwritten fonts give you a big advantage over the competition. They are different and they stand out. They allow for more personalization and have  more of an ability to reach your audience. They grab your would-be reader’s attention and give them a reason to pause, open your mail, and read it.

 

It’s very common for businesses to find that if they can get the customer to open the envelope they are more likely to get a sale or get a contact. With handwritten fonts like this, it is possible to achieve that higher open rate.

 

What Your Envelope Needs to Do

 

Look for ways to stand out in each piece of mail you send. Color printing is one way to do this. Using return addresses printed in color can help. With these handwritten fonts, it is possible to create a very realistic piece of mail that entices people to open it. For example, the use of calligraphy fonts is very uncommon. There are not a lot of companies that use this service. But, once you do, you’ll be able to make a bigger impression on your customers as a result. In fact, many of your customers may never have received such unique envelopes before. They’re curious about what’s inside of it.

 

Creating a different image and standing out from the true junk mail that comes in every day is critical to many businesses that rely on or could benefit from direct mail marketing.

 

With handwritten fonts, calligraphy envelopes, and a bit of color, you may be able to gain the attention of your ideal customer. This could mean giving you an ability to get more mail opened, more customer’s calling you or stopping by, and ultimately, a bigger profit margin. All you have to do is to turn to the right direct mail printer to make it possible.

Strategies for Using Variable Data Printing in Advertising to Current Customers

If you own a company that has used variable data printing for advertising before, you almost certainly know that this personalized advertising technique is effective in better customer engagement. All too often though, businesses only use variable data printing to replace some variation of their “valued customer” to a first and last name. While this small change is already a big help, it is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what you can do with variable data printing. Here are a few more ideas that really take advantage of the possibilities inherent in this technology when communicating with past and current customers.

 

Follow Up On Past Purchases

 

This is a particularly effective strategy that is well worth the investment on variable data printing. If a customer has purchased something in the past that either requires maintenance or has add-ons, a follow up personalized mail encourages repeat purchase or repeat withholding of services. When using this strategy, the main text of your batch flyers should reference that past purchase and identify a product or service that may enhance the past purchase. This shows you value the business they bring in, and that they are important to you. The thoughtful show of appreciation will definitely result in a better response rate and engagement.

 

One of the more common examples of this strategy is auto repair shops that send flyers with reminders about getting oil changes, inspections, or the need for other regularly scheduled maintenance. The auto repair shop industry is only one of many businesses that can take advantage of this approach. For example, a cleaning service shop may advertise new services or discounts; or, a phone carrier may advise customers of a new software. The possibilities are limited only by your creativity.

 

Customize Coupons

 

Variable data printing combined with a little bit of data analysis on purchase history can allow you to offer personalized coupons for products your customers want or need. For example, if you own a video game store, you are much more likely to entice a customer to repeat purchase by offering discounts for games that are specific to the console they are using.

 

This particular strategy works especially well when combined with the previous strategy. Returning to the repair shop example, a good ad from the letter they receive (which preferably notes both make and model of their automobile to personalize even more) might remind the recipient that they are due for an inspection of their car. Couple this thoughtful gesture with an irresistible offer like a 25% coupon for tire realignment and you’re sure to get a repeat customer.

 

 

 

Reward Loyalty

 

Variable data printing is also a great way to subtly reward customer loyalty and there are a number of ways to possibly do this. The simplest way is to send special coupons some time before occasions like company anniversaries or holidays to your customers to make them look forward to visiting your establishment again. A more advanced option is to create different tiers of reward cards and send better tiers to your customers over time as a reward for loyalty.

 

By rewarding loyalty in this way, your customers are likely to feel that you truly appreciate that they are making a conscious decision to use your services or frequent your establishment. In turn, when making a decision on what establishment to use in the future, they are more likely to return to yours, both for the monetary benefits and for the emotional connection.

Snap Pack Mailers – iti Direct Mail

The Official Direct Mail That Always Gets Noticed

A majority of companies use snap pack mailers to deliver relevant messages and time-sensitive information. They are extremely popular in direct mail marketing as they help drive sales as well as acquire new customers in e-commerce operations. Snap packs are pressure sealed mailers with perforated strips on three edges that allow a recipient to tear them open easily. Their design alone generates a sense of curiosity when seen in the mailbox leading to a high open and response rate. Because they have such a high open rate, snap packs are ideal for use in banks, insurance companies, automotive industry, mortgage companies, fundraising, and other professional service businesses.

 

Flexibility and Customization at Its Best

Industries that are keen to take advantage of this smart marketing tool have enjoyed increased flexibility in mailing and printing. Our snap pack mailers are available in a variety of sizes and unique designs. You can choose from letter size(8.5×11), legal size (8.5×14 -can be with or without built-in return envelope), or postcard size (4×6). They are also offered in variations of trifold, C fold, or single fold to suit your mail marketing needs. We offer free online templates for various snap pack mailer forms to help clients design their own snap pack pieces. More choices for the snap pack customization are available on our online price calculator which also helps in the planning and budgeting of personalized snap pack mailers.

 

Save Costs

Snap pack mailers are a cost-effective form of direct mail marketing as they keep costs down without sacrificing the ability to pass meaningful information. They eliminate the need to buy separate envelopes reducing the cost of buying envelopes as well as the labor costs of folding, stuffing and sealing them. Our minimum order quantity of 50 pieces is one of the lowest in the industry, and is meant to cater to smaller companies or simply for a smaller target market. Discounts are available for a minimum of 126 pieces; and, the more pieces ordered, the higher the discount we offer up to 77% off.

 

Increased Open and Response Rates

With its official, personal, attractive, workable tear off strips design, snap packs are designed to look important and urgent making the receiver open it as soon as they set their eyes on them. An estimated 95 percent of all recipients will open the dotted line perforations on the side as they easier to manage than opening a sealed envelope. Their high open rates result in a higher response rate which will work to increase your ROI.

 

Perfect for Sending Mass Mails

Another motivation for using these mailers is that they are used to send mass mails like pay stubs, billing statements, tax forms, credit card offers, discount offers, etc. They are easily personalized to list the recipient’s name, address, and other personal facts. We not only create unique snack pack mailing pieces, but we also help you in the selection of your mailing lists for a successful mailing campaign.

 

Take advantage of our snap pack mailers when sending your formal notifications. We can help you fully personalize and merge data from your targeted mailing list so that each snap pack is customized to the person receiving it. We print, fold, glue, perforate, and send it through standard mail. Let us show you how to increase your response rates with a cost-effective snap pack design. Contact us today at (866) 558-6365 for more information on your next direct mail project.

10 Things To Know About Direct Mail

Calm down all you forecasters-of-the-future because direct mailing service is still more than a $10 billion industry in the USA and here are ten reasons why your business needs direct mail:

  1. The fundamentals of straight to the audience mail are still the same, but the parameters have changed. Today, a recipient bothers opening a direct mail letter 66% of the time and 82% of them read it for about a minute, while 56% would react to the call to action. More crucially, 62% of the respondents would make a purchase. All these statistics broadly put much weight on the style of your direct mail printing.
  2. Organizations use direct mail services as part of their direct marketing endeavors to send letters, brochures, postcards or other promotional materials to their former, active and prospective customers. The focus of such campaigns is towards an end user or business market, or both. The objective of your direct mailing serviceshould be to meet the needs of your current and future benefactors by providing efficient and timely mail management.
  3. The days of send-it-to-everyone direct mail are long behind us. Today your mail will only get attention if you have deployed a structured and personalized approach. Typically 84% of recipients will open a direct mail piece due to its custom-made appearance.
  4. It can be beneficial to send periodical reminders to your audience. For example, if you have a mailing list of professionals from financial institutions, you could send them reminders before the start of the fiscal year 2017/18. The reminder may include your personalized direct mail letter as well as discount vouchers for using your direct mail services in bulk.
  5. Unless you cater to an exclusive audience, you can use offset printing (whereby an inked image is offset to a rubber blanket from a plate) over a longer period of time because of its quality and value-for-money. Moreover, you have the freedom to use many options with offset printing. For example, you can use the 4-color process (CYMK) which gives you a full range of 3000 colors using tiny ink dots printed from various angles.
  6. Apart from the cost of paper, weight and size are decisive factors to establish the price of postage. A direct mail printer will help you to find a balance between design and budget.
  7. Even before opening your direct mail letter the receiver subconsciously feels the paper to observe its quality. Therefore, it is essential to choose the best paper within your budget after bearing in mind its finish, thickness and weight. Paper is the canvas on which your marketing masterpiece is created.
  8. Today, companies are grabbing their prospects attention with distinctive direct mail printing pieces that are not postcards or packets. In fact, mail that is dimensional such as heavy objects, boxes, or tubes have a considerably higher response rate than traditional mail pieces and are also reasonably priced. A creative example of a dimensional mail piece might be sending a message-in-a-bottle. This innovative direct mail service may feature a small bottle with a label on it. Inside should be the letter briefing your products and services.
  9. The ultra-modern direct mail letter is in fact video mail with a built-in audiovisual player. The crisply edited video starts playing upon opening the mail or by pushing a button. With a built-in video screen, recipients are motivated to watch it immediately. Producing such videos is understandably expensive, but due to its newness they are offering a potentially high return.
  10. Irrespective of the fact that an email newsletter is the most common way to deliver real-time information to your list, print news and mail can be productive too. Through a regular mail newsletter, you can update and excite your donors with your offers, useful tips, discounts as well as announcements.

What Every Nonprofit Should Know About Direct Mail

If you are exhausted by spending your time fiddling with address labels and carrying heavy boxes to the Post Office, then the following eight direct mail aspects could lift the credibility of your non-profit.

  1. Process

Remember, non-profit direct mail fundraising is a process and not an event in isolation. It is a time-tested way for you to build long-lasting, mutually-rewarding rapport with many donors without meeting them in person.

  1. Long-term

It is a given that nonprofit fundraising rewards would progressively come over the course of a longer run. The real return on investment would be the generous donations you may receive a year from the start of your nonprofit mailing campaign. Still, a successful program mandates you to engage your contributors in many ways – as volunteers or activists and not just as financial supporters.

  1. Cost-effectiveness

The expense incurred on any non-profit direct mail project is of less significance than its profitability. The two are not the same. It is a sensible idea to invest more money on your top donors. Similarly,a useful strategy to cut corners is to spend less on dormant or less generous contributors.

  1. The list

The most critical aspect of all direct mail for nonprofits fundraisers is your mailing lists. This is because mailing an effective package to one list could raise 10 or 20 times as much funds as mailing the same package to a different, yet not regularly updated list.

  1. The offer

The second most important aspect is the proposal you make in the nonprofit mailing. For example, how much capital you are requesting, how it would be utilized and what tangible or intangible perks you would be promising in return for a gift. This is because there are many offers you can make as there are multiple kinds of mailings. The commonly used ones are annual nonprofit fundraising, membership renewals, special petitions and membership gaining (or benefactor prospect) mailings. Every type features an exclusive offer.

  1. Segmentation

The secret to actionable appeals to former patrons is segmentation based on the premise of different strokes for different folks. In segmenting a nonprofit mailing, you choose some donors to be included and the rest to be excluded. Otherwise, you will give some donors outstanding treatment (such as personalization, first-rate postage or top quality materials).

The compulsory measures to take when making decisions about which contributor gets what treatment depends upon the regularity and contribution amount of your donors and the means by which you originally procured your donors. For example, there could be a huge difference between donors who first responded to a Public Service Announcement on television and those who got interested through non-profit direct mail promotions.

  1. Annual giving

Most of the effective nonprofit fundraising programs are built on the structure of an annual charitable or membership development program. It is recognized as one of the most rewarding ways for most charities to harness the full potential of direct mail for non-profit funding techniques. In a membership platform – much like the magazine subscription renewal procedure – the renewal part is the fundamental element. Therefore, by using a series of three or more continuous contacts with every member you can convince a larger number of contributors to renew their affiliations each year.

  1. Record-keeping

To ensure credible results of your nonprofit fundraising campaign steady, timely, and accurate record-keeping is mandatory. It would greatly help you to measure, segment and produce strategic insights about your contributors over the years. A successful non-profit direct mail program necessitates an investment of money and time in a licensed electronic record – keeping system.

Pros and Cons of Vehicle Magnets, Decals, and Window Clings

When you want to advertise and use your vehicle or vehicles to do it, are you going to pay a professional to paint them? That takes time, it is messy and expensive, and then when you want to sell the vehicles, you have to scrape the paint off to make a sale. Instead, there are window clings, vehicle magnets, and vehicle decals. All of these have their pros and cons.

Window Clings

Window clings are vinyl decals that adhere to your vehicle’s windows via static electricity. A little water tends to create extra suction if you want the clings to stick harder. These you can adhere to the windows on the doors of your vehicle or to the rear windshield, so long as your rear view is not entirely occluded. They are the cheapest means of advertising on your vehicles. Because they are so easy to remove and reposition on another window, you can use them on just about any other glass surface too.

Vehicle Magnets

Vehicle magnets are giant magnets designed to advertise your business from the doors of your vehicle. They can be imprinted with any and all of your business information, logos, colors, etc. You will need to order two if you want the information to be on both of your vehicle’s front doors or back doors, if applicable. They are the second least expensive option for business advertising on your vehicle. They are also the easiest to remove because they are just magnets. Unfortunately, that is also a “con” of these big magnets, as anyone can remove them.

Vehicle Decals

Vehicle decals are your most expensive option here. However, they are still far cheaper than professional auto paint jobs when it comes to using space on your vehicles for advertising. You can think of these decals as giant stickers you slap on the sides of the vehicles. They can be custom-made to reflect your business information and fit certain vehicles. They can travel the length of the sides of your vehicles, or just cover the hoods or front doors; your choice.

The “cons” of vehicle decals is that you have to be very careful when applying them or you could apply them crookedly. You may need a professional auto detailer’s help. You also have to contend with sticky residue removal when you take the decals off and either sell the vehicles or replace the decals with updated ones. Fortunately for most businesses that opt to use decals, they do not change their business information for at least a decade after getting started, and there are sticker residue removal kits that make these decals easy to remove.

After You Have Made Your Choice

After you have selected which of the above forms of advertising you want to put on your vehicles, you can order everything you need from a single printing company. Anytime you need to recreate your vehicle advertising choice, you only have to call in the changes for “reprints.” If you decide that you do not like the option you have chosen, you can always try one of the other options above.

The Lost Art of Letter Writing

We live in a world where it is impossible to buy stationery anymore, and where the two most recent generations of youngsters do not know what handwriting is. Yes, writing is a lost art form, one which is going the way of the dodo. If you are past age twenty, you may still be one of those who knows how to write a letter by hand. If you want to keep this rare art form alive, our stationery products can help.

mail merge

 

The Stationery Paper

Crisp sheets of decorated paper pulled from a stationery box; you do not see that every day. We create the perfect stationery paper with your choice of colors, designs, and even your company logo and letterhead, should you so desire. If you want to use the paper for more personal letters, you can skip the logo and letterhead and just place your name and address, pre-stamped, in the upper righthand corner where it is supposed to go. All you have to do is date the letter and begin your salutations below.

 

The Matching Envelopes

Stationery sets done right have always had matching envelopes. These matching envelopes for your chosen stationery are as colorful and as attractive as the paper you have chosen. When you send a personal or business letter on this stationery and in these envelopes, people take notice. They want to open your letters and read the hand-written notes inside. It means you took the time, thought, and energy needed to compose something of meaning, just for the recipient.

Additionally, if you use the stationery and matching envelopes for business purposes, we can make sure your logo is on both the heads of the paper and on the exterior of the envelopes. Everything is perfectly stamped, inked, and clear. Your recipients will know exactly what company it is from, and what they may expect in the body of the letter.

 

Writing the Letter

If you have decent penmanship, writing a letter yourself is much more personable. Begin with a formal greeting if you are addressing customers, clients or business partners. Informal greetings are reserved for personal relationships, friends, and family. Then write the body of the letter.

The body of the letter should detail the main reason for making contact, as well as why you chose to write rather than call, text or email. Choose a reason that sounds believable, and one that you personally believe. A business letter discusses business that you wish to conduct with the recipient, while personal letters can talk about anything you want to mention to the reader. Keep things light, professional (if applicable), and reasonably short (unless you are writing a personal letter to someone you have not seen or spoken to in a while).

Always sign your name in ink. Skip the ink stamped version of your written name. The personally signed letter is always more impressive, regardless of who the recipient is.

 

Buying Sets or Buying a la Carte

We can package stationery for you so that it comes in a nice, organized, and orderly gift box. If you would prefer to order your paper and your envelopes separately, our company can do that too. Once you become accustomed to letter writing by hand, you may find that you use more sheets of stationery paper and fewer envelopes. That is normal and you can always buy more.