Proposed Change In Mailing May Affect Direct Mail Strategies

The direct mail strategies used by companies have evolved drastically over the years, and another change may be on the horizon with recently proposed rules by the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). According to the Advertising Specialty Institute, the USPS is proposing a limit on all Marketing Mail to content that is only paper-based or is printed matter.

A Change In Marketing Mail

This potential change means that no other merchandise or goods, such as pens, buttons, or magnets, would not be allowed to ship as Marketing Mail. The rule would apply to regular and nonprofit businesses and to both letter-size and flat-size envelopes. As many companies rely on sending out physical goods to grab the attention of consumers, this could impact their direct mail strategies.
The exact pricing for sending mail with non-paper goods has yet to be determined, but senders would have to use another shipping method, such as Parcel Select or Priority Mail. Based on the most recent USPS Price List, companies would be looking at a price increase of several dollars per parcel when they have to switch from Marketing Mail to Parcel Select.
The USPS claims within the proposal that the change would allow the USPS to track more merchandise and it would reduce the number of operational inefficiencies caused by inflexible letter- or flat-size parcels that machines can’t process. The Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers strongly disagrees with these listed benefits and issued a letter to the USPS that calls the proposal unlawful. Before Oct. 22, the USPS is inviting comments on the proposed change.

Other Effective Direct Mail Strategies

If you rely on sending non-paper goods in your direct mail campaign, there are several options that are still very effective at engaging consumers and promoting your business.

    • Dimensional mailers are taking the direct mail marketing world by storm. Design 3D mailers that grab the attention of consumers, thereby instantly increasing the ROI of your marketing campaign. Typical 3D formats include boxes and tubs that have teasers on the outside.
    • Postcards have a huge impact as mailers. Oversized postcards have the greatest response rate over other mediums at 5%, and regular postcards are close behind at 4.25%. They’re easy to read, and with the right design they’ll instantly engage consumers.
    • Discounts and freebies are the perfect way to encourage customers to read the rest of the direct mail piece and to then go online or visit your physical business. These incentives are essential to increasing ROI and gaining returning customers.
    • Interesting envelopes create a connection with the consumer immediately. An envelope with an interesting marketing message or design will encourage consumers to open it right away.

The proposed change by the USPS can be intimidating for many businesses, but if you’re concerned about paying more to send promotional merchandise, consider switching to a different direct mail strategy.

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Offset Printing vs Digital Printing: What Is The Difference?

When you are looking for the right printing company for your business, you may go into it thinking that there is really only one option for your project. Printing is printing, right? In actuality, you will have a whole slew of options when you bring your project to printing professionals. One of the decisions you will have to make is between offset printing and digital printing.

Offset Printing

This type of production is called offset printing because the ink is not transferred directly on to the paper. Instead, the process involved plates usually made from aluminum that transfer an image on to a rubber surface. That image is then rolled on to a sheet of paper. Offset printing is designed to produce high volume orders because of the process it takes to set up a job. So the more you print, the less expensive the price is per piece. Since the majority of shoppers (92%) prefer to make their purchasing decisions by receiving direct mail, using offset printing for a large mailing job is very cost effective. This method also gives your printing job the best possible printing quality, with a crisp and clean look and vivid color reproduction. Offset printing can also utilize a range of paper types with custom finishes and custom inks.

Digital Printing

Digital printing is a company’s best option when looking for Short run capabilities. This process prints using dry ink toner and goes directly onto the paper without plates. One of the Key Benefits of Digital printing is leveraging variable data, such as unique codes, names, images or even letter versions. Offset cannot provide variable data between printing pieces so all of the material is the same, but digital printing allows you to personalize each piece to the recipient. As the technology in digital printing has progressed, its quality has become more acceptable for more uses. Its speedy process is another advantage, as printing projects that use digital printing often have faster turnaround times. This makes smaller printing jobs more cost-effective when using digital printing and you won’t be stuck with extra materials after the job is done.

It is essential to understand the options when selecting a printer so you are selecting the right choice for your specific needs. Most printers aren’t able to do both types of printing so they won’t give you the option, which could jeopardize your potential response rates. Knowing is half the battle and Modern Mail & Print Solutions is here to assist you with all your printing and mailing needs.

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3 Direct Mail Marketing Mistakes You’re Probably Making

You know the power of direct mail marketing, it’s worked for you before. Yet, for some reason, this go around it doesn’t seem to be producing the same effects. Did your clientele change? Did the entire world suddenly delete their email accounts all at once?

Probably not. As with any type of marketing strategy, direct mail is subject to change in correspondence (get it? A little direct mail joke there for you) with the fluctuations of society. So before you bail on your next direct mail campaign, compare your strategy with the list below of what not to do.

You don’t stand out from the crowd

People open up mail on a daily basis and do you want to know what they see? A lot of white envelopes. One of the worst things you can do for your direct mail campaign is to blend in with every other Joe Schmoe’s piece of mail. Adding a little bit of color or design to make your mail stand apart from everyone else’s is a sure fire way to at least draw the recipient’s attention.

Having an vague call to action

Your call to action is essentially your statement of what you want the recipient to do once they’ve read your mail. Do you want them to visit your website? Take advantage of an upcoming sale? Sign up for your newsletter? Having an unclear call to action will ultimately result in a pretty poor conversion rate, no matter how good your overall campaign maybe. Ensure that the recipient doesn’t have to guess what you want them to do, clearly state it for them.

Bad Copy

Proofread, proofread, proofread. The last thing you want to do is send someone a piece of mail and ask them to trust your product or services when you have glaring typos or grammatical errors in your copy. You also don’t want to overdo it with language or use a weird format. Stick to a basic, well-written bit of copy and you’ll do wonders.

You will also want to pay attention to your demographic. Perhaps you’ve been targeting the older generations with direct mail and the younger generation with email, even though 90% of Millennials find direct mail advertising to be reliable according to a recent survey. So take a bit of time to rework your direct mail campaign strategy and avoid these mistakes.

If you’re getting ready for your upcoming campaign and need wholesale printing services, call us today.

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Direct Mail Marketing Versus Email Marketing: Pros and Cons

Direct mail advertising and email marketing: which one is best for your business? Well, it could really go either way and it’s dependent on your business and the strategies that you use. However, there are many advantages and disadvantages to each method and it’s important to know which one is best for what time and purposes.

Below you will find the pros and cons of both email marketing and direct mail marketing.

Direct Mail Marketing Campaigns

The pros and cons for direct mail are far more extensive than this list, but here are just a few to get the ball rolling.

  • Pros
    • Direct mail has come a long way from the traditional, boring postcard that you get from your dentist every time you have an appointment coming up. With technology such as variable data printing and things like QR codes, direct mail can be engaged on a completely different level than before.
    • Direct mail can instill a personalized feeling in the recipient that can’t be matched with an email. People feel as though you put in more of an effort to send them a physical piece of mail and consider it to be more important.
  • Cons
    • It’s not always easy to build a reliable direct mail list because people aren’t as willing to give out their physical address as they are their email address. Not to mention people move and don’t always think to update you.
    • While direct mail can pay off substantially in the long run, it tends to cost more upfront compared to email marketing. You have to purchase paper, ink, templates, and contract a printing company as well.

Email Marketing Campaigns

As with direct mail, email marketing has its benefits and downfalls.

  • Pros
    • Email marketing is probably one of the least expensive avenues to use in your campaigns. That also means it tends to have a higher ROI than other methods.
    • Sending an email is instantaneous compared to the average week-long wait for direct mail. That means you can send out next day promotions and reach your target audience at a much faster rate.
  • Cons
    • Despite all the benefits of email marketing, it is becoming less and less effective with time. In fact, when it comes to making purchasing decisions, 92% of people state that they prefer direct mail. That could be because there is something inherently “spammy” about email marketing and people’s diminishing trust in the content.
    • Emails often don’t look as good as you want them to compared to the look and feel of direct mail.

When it comes down to which one is better for your business, the truth is that you should probably continue to use both. You may lean on direct mail marketing campaigns more but you shouldn’t stop using email marketing altogether. Find what works for you and use it.

Looking for a printing company to handle your direct mail marketing campaign? Give us a call today.

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3 More Creative Direct Mail Advertising Ideas to Get You Noticed

In the last article, we learned about some pretty creative and fun ways to make your direct mail stand out from the others. Sending custom made maps that show the customer exactly how to find you, balloons with secret messages that are only able to be read once blown-up, and useful items such that the customer can use were the creative direct mail ideas discussed last time.

In this article, you’ll find out about some more creative direct mail campaign tips.

Get Funky

Chances are you’ve received plenty of direct mail in your life, and they all tend to blend together. Not just in design, but in shape and medium as well. How many times have you gotten direct mail postcards from the dealership where you bought your car, or a card from your dentist reminding you about your appointment, or any other piece of direct mail for that matter? They’re all usually pretty similar. right? Well then don’t make your mail anything like theirs, be funky instead. Send odd shaped pieces of mail that catch the eye, or throw 2D out the window altogether and send a 3D object. You can send someone any number of things to make sure they remember you.

Origami Your Mail

Remember those pop-up books you used to read as a child or read to your child now? You can take that same principle of interactivity and apply it to your direct mail campaign. Anything could work, so long as it doesn’t remind you of a postcard. Send a paper airplane, pop-up card, or an origami creation to let people know that you’re not like the other guys.

Code a Conversion

Your direct mail is supposed to serve a specific purpose, one that leads to conversions. Rather than sending a piece with your website printed on it and hoping for the best, add a custom QR code that the recipient can scan to take them right where you want them to go. You can even create a custom QR code that looks like a work of art rather than a bunch of black and white blocks.

When it comes to your direct mail campaign, don’t be fooled by the convenience of technology. Despite the popularity of mobile devices, 66% of shoppers are more likely to use a voucher if they have a physical copy. So find a printing company and get to creating unique and creative direct mail that sets your business apart.

For all of your direct mail printing needs, give us a call today. We’re here to ensure your campaign runs without a hitch.

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3 Common Myths About Digital Printing Debunked

Even though digital media has revolutionized the marketing industry and created a whole new facet to how businesses promote themselves, print isn’t dead. There are still many positive and effective benefits to using direct mail in your marketing strategy. So in an effort to prove that digital printing companies can help with a successful print marketing effort, here are some debunked myths.

  1. MYTH – Direct Mail is expensive: Direct mail actually costs less to set up than email marketing or PPC. From a per piece cost, direct mail may appear more expensive but it allows you to be more targeted than any other marketing mean, providing a higher Return on Investment. Also, the larger the volume of pieces you print or the more saturated the mailing is into one area, the cheaper the piece gets.
  2. MYTH – Direct Mail is Generic: This is a very large misconception about the industry. Direct mail can be personalized to each personthey’re sent to. Digital printing uses a technique called Variable Data Printing, or VDP, that allows for changes to be made to each piece allowing it to be personalized to the recipient. That means headings can be changed to have recipients names, birthdays and other personalized information can be added, as well as discounts and vouchers for specific demographics. You could print a voucher for one customer that gives them 20% off their next purchase and one that gives their neighbor a BOGO discount without having to stop the printing process.
  3. MYTH – Direct Mail is Ineffective: A whopping 92% of shoppers stated that when it comes to making purchasing decisions, they prefer direct mail. Many consumers prefer to have a physical copy of a coupon or voucher rather than a virtual one from something like an email. They’ll be more likely to come into your store or business and actually use the voucher if they can hold on to it.

Even though you might think that the best route to go is still digital marketing, you are limiting the capacity of which a much more rounded campaign can produce results. Rather than isolating yourself to one method or another, try them both. Work on targeting demographics that shop mostly online as well as those who prefer in-store purchases.
Contact your local digital printing company for your next direct mail campaign.

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How to Revamp Your Marketing Strategy with Direct Mail

Marketing messages are everywhere now, more prevalent than ever with the increasing amount of digital platforms that allow for display advertising and targeted ad campaigns. Social media sites have drastically changed how many businesses view their marketing strategies and achieve demographic coverage. So with everyone playing the same game with similar marketing strategies, how can your business stand apart?  The answer is to take a fresh look at one of the original vehicles for reaching consumers: direct mail.

Direct mail may be an older form of marketing, but that doesn’t mean it’s less effective. It is proven to be the best one-on-one form of marketing that you can control who you hit and when you hit them with your message.  In fact, it’s typically more effective than some digital marketing practices. And here’s the kicker — everybody still gets mail and they look forward to seeing what is in their mail box. Mail hasn’t disappeared in the slightest! Utility bills may be going paperless, but that presents the perfect opportunity for you to take over the mailbox with your own personalized piece of direct mail. If 66% of shoppers are more likely to use a coupon or voucher if they have a tangible form they can hold in their hands, then why not be the company who gave it to them?

  • Start by gathering data. This includes addresses of all current customers as well as prospective ones. Analyze shopping trends and methods. Compile all data that can help you in the campaign.
  • Create a way to personalize it. Use the data to send out coupons or discount vouchers to shoppers who buy more of one thing or shop at certain times. Add names and shopping history if you can as well. It makes customers feel special and more willing to continue using your business.
  • Find a great printing company. You’ll want to make sure you find a printing company that can handle your printing and cater to your needs. Don’t confirm to templates and doing what everyone else is using for direct mail. Work with someone that will help direct you and get you thinking outside of the box!  Work with a Direct mail marketing company that can help you execute the perfect campaign at a cost effective price.
  • Once you’ve started your campaign, you’ll want to make sure you continue to review it’s success and reevaluate if necessary. Continue to offer new promotions and member discounts to keep people’s interest peaked.  Track your response rates and adjust your offer and message based off those responses.

The success of your business is about being different while remaining relevant. Don’t count out old tactics for new ones, and always pay attention to the data. If customers want physical mail, then you should definitely be the one to oblige them.

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4 Ways to Make Direct Mail Marketing Work for You

Direct mail marketing, if done correctly, can be an effective means of forging strong customer relations and brand awareness. If done incorrectly, then your mail will be considered “junk mail” and end up in the trash.

In truth, your well-composed, articulate piece of direct mail might end up in the trash anyway — that’s a significant risk of direct mail marketing. However, it is still the best marketing mean that can hit your target prospect at the right time, with the right message.  There are many uses of direct mail that might encourage recipients not to throw them away. Here are a few.


Not everything has to be a colorful, oversized postcard. Sometimes the best way to grab a potential customer’s attention is to be an open book (pun definitely intended). Sending a catalog that lists all of your products and services takes the ‘spam’ out of direct mail campaigns and leaves recipients with a straightforward list of what you can do for them. You can even include a coupon, but ultimately you’re leaving it in their hands to make a decision.

Discount Vouchers

The tried and (sometimes) true method of direct mail: discount vouchers. What better way to get someone interested in your product or service by giving it to them a Discount to response now, rather than later.

Useful Tips

Even though it’s technically “direct mail marketing,” you don’t always have to be direct. Sometimes all you need is to put your brand in someone’s brain and let it marinate there for a bit like a good steak. Eventually, they might need a product or service you offer, or know someone else who does, and your name will come to mind. You can do this by sending helpful industry tips, recipes, calendars, and more.  Keeping your message in front of your audience and staying Top of Mind is a great way to increase responses with your customer base.

Free Stuff

Going along the same lines as the discount voucher, if you can afford to give away samples, then you might have a great marketing opportunity. People love free stuff, even if they’ll never use it or have no interest in it, they’ll gladly accept it if it’s free. You can do this by sending a free sample directly to potential customers, or to whoever responds to your mailing. You could even use the piece of mail as a trade-in voucher, stating that if they come to your business on this day during this sale, they can “present this card for a free such and such.”

If you’re still hesitant on direct mail in a general sense, you shouldn’t be. Direct mail is preferred by 92% of shoppers for making purchasing decisions. All it takes is targeted direct mail lists with a reputable printing company, and some creativity to make your campaign a successful one.

Looking for a printing company in Tampa, FL? Call us today.

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9 Facts and Benefits of Digital Printing

With the boom of digital technology that has swept the entire world over the past 20 years it’s hard for people to think that printing has advanced as well. The truth is that there have been significant improvements to the printing process and quality using the same advancements in technology. If printing is just a monotonous task for you, like printing out this week’s expense report or your flight itinerary, then you’re missing out on the benefits that digital printing can provide, especially over offset printing.

There are a few aspects of digital printing you should know about:

  1. Paper: Digital printing usually requires a specially certified type of stock that’s just for digital, but depending on the printing company you choose they may use non-certified paper.
  2. Quality: The quality of digital printing is much like that of offset printing, and has extremely high quality black and white printing.
  3. Speed: Since there’s no need for plates or mixing the inks in digital printing, the process is much quicker.
  4. Minimal Costs: There aren’t any set-up costs or minimum print quantities with digital printing as well as no plate costs. Some machines are even capable of doing bindings as well.
  5. Prints what you need: Digital printing is great for small to mid-sized print jobs.
  6. On Demand: Digital printing is great for last minute print jobs and changes.
  7. Variable Data: The use of variable data is possible with digital printing. In other words, content can be changed from one piece to the next without slowing down or changing the quality of the process. This means you can personalize each piece which is a fantastic feature for direct mail campaigns. Roughly 90% of millennials find direct mail advertising to be reliable according to a recent survey, so being able to efficiently create personalized mail is crucial.
  8. Cool Effects: Certain machines are able to print special effects like white ink, UV ink, raised ink, and more.
  9. Environmental: Digital printing means less waste since there are no plates, films, or photo chemicals to worry about. Digital printers don’t need water anymore so a lot of water is conserved each year as well.

So the next time you’re in need of a print job for a direct mail campaign or maybe just new business cards, contact your printing company to discuss the benefits of digital printing.

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Direct Mail Marketing: How to Create a Campaign That Works for You

Direct mail can be an effective way to get people engaged with your company and drive sales, but only if it’s done correctly. When tackling your direct mail campaign, there are a few things you’ll want to make sure you get right — including finding a printing company that can handle your printing needs.

Proof Read

This incorporates two aspects of your direct mail: editorial and design.

If you’ve written the copy yourself, or have a copywriter, then you’ll still want to ensure that everything is correct and readable. If you think a “there/their” mistake isn’t detrimental, you’re wrong. It can be the quickest way your piece of mail ends up in the trash without a second thought. Take the time to look over your copy once you think it’s ready to print, and then have multiple other people look at it as well. Grammar, punctuation, and spelling are all aspects that should be focused on, as well as flow. Even if your copy is a grammatical masterpiece with not a single comma out of place, it can still feel choppy and hard to understand. So make sure it’s simple and gets the point across.

Same goes for the design. The more complicated it is, the more inclined people will be to discard it. Most consumers won’t spend the time to understand the direct mail postcards that you’ve sent if they’re confusing or have an overly complex design. Keep things aesthetically pleasing, but simple and comprehensible.

Use Direct Mail to Boost Online Traffic

Even though it seems like an extra step, using direct mail can be extremely effective in promoting your online traffic. More than 60% of people who received some piece of direct mail were influenced to visit a promoted website and most of them were first-time shoppers, according to a USPS study. Add a call to action about following your company on social media. Promote giveaways for new followers. Give people a voucher if they use the website to make a purchase. Any of these can be effective ways of boosting the online part of your business.

Don’t let your competitors out market you, use direct mail to your advantage and increase your company’s success.

If you’re looking for someone capable of meeting your printing needs, then contact Modern Mail and Print Solutions today.

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