In the print production of direct mail there are many factors which affect costs. Because price is dependent on the design specifications unique to a project, commercial printers price every job individually. Color, paper choices, print method, and bindery finishing all contribute to cost and should be taken into account during project planning and budgeting. It is important to have a basic understanding of how your direct mail project will be produced. The following overview covers some of the more common considerations every marketer should be aware of and how different production techniques affect cost.
When was the last time you received a birthday present, wrapped in decorative paper, tied with a brightly colored ribbon, and you chose not to unwrap the gift? If you’re like me the answer is never. What’s in the box? Shake it. Does it make a noise? Is there something loose inside rattling around? How heavy does it feel? What could fit inside? These are some of the thoughts that might go through your mind.
Savvy marketers know the best allocation of their budget is a mix incorporating multiple channels. It could be a mistake to neglect the use of one particular channel over another, and eliminating one entirely could hinder your ability to effectively reach your target audience. Success or failure of a marketing campaign can mean rapid growth or calamitous loss of money.
Take a moment to think about which TV ads you remember most from years past. Chances are the ads you remember most are either the funniest or out of the ordinary. Two of my favorite ads both debuted during Super Bowls. One is the Betty White Snickers commercial created by BBDO North America from 2010, You’re Not Yourself When You’re Hungry. Betty White is playing a rough game of football and turns into a young man after eating a Snickers bar. The other is Cat Herders, made by Fallon in 2000 for Electronic Data Systems (EDS). In this one grizzled cowboys herd thousands of cats like cattle. My all-time favorite is the Quiznos commercial from 2004 which featured two rodent-like creatures, dubbed spongemonkeys, singing about loving Quiznos subs. One is wearing an old fashioned bowler hat and the other is wearing a seafaring hat and playing guitar. The ad created by the Martin Agency in Richmond generated a huge amount of buzz. People were divided, either loving or hating the ad. Quiznos saw a 400% increase in unique visits to its website in the month the ad aired on TV and the campaign is considered one of the first to go viral.
Years ago, printing on either a web press or sheetfed press was a clear-cut choice – your project was a fit for one or the other. With today’s technology and state-of-the-art equipment, such distinction between web and sheetfed printing has been erased. Now you can glean the efficiencies and advantages of both processes – often on the same project – while enjoying optimum results.
The United States Postal Service (USPS) filed a notice with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) that it intends to remove the exigent surcharge currently in place. Assuming no legal intervention takes place, the postage rate changes will go into effect on April 10, 2016. The average savings will be about $0.0125 per piece or about 4%.
Many months ago, I sat down with the data team at John Roberts and I grilled them about variable data printing. I wanted to understand how variable data works. And, no, I didn’t need a basic overview of what variable data is, and the components that were needed to make it happen.
I understood the principles of the process, what I needed to know was how a normal human being can start using variable data from scratch for the first time. I needed the practical tips and strategies for the common man, so to speak. Luckily, I was talking to the right people.
On Thursday, December 10, the Postal Regulatory Commisions (PRC) approved the USPS's 2016 proposed postal promotions sparking direct mailers to use advanced print techniques, A/B testing and mobile technologies to increase engagement and response in their mailing campaigns.
The approved promotions offer a 2% upfront discount on qualifying mailpieces, with the exception of the Earned Value Reply Mail Promotion, which offers mailers a rebate credit on qualifying reply mailpieces.
I’ve seen a lot of mail, and I can tell you that a lot of it is the same. Different content, yes, but the carrier is often a #10 envelope or a large card (a “billboard” as they call it in the mail industry). Now, I’m not knocking these staples in the mailing industry — they’re proven formats that can be very effective, however they’re predictable.
These days I study all of the different ways we can be engaging as direct marketers, and the great news is, you don’t have to spend a ton of money to stand out. Today I’m going to share with you a few of my favorite “cheapskate” direct mail ideas.