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Magazines, Now is the Time to Shine

The print industry is here to stay, and at the same time, the industries that use print are changing. Magazines and periodicals are perfect examples of industries in demand, yet these media companies are also changing how they do business. Ad revenues are down; subscriptions are up (in some cases, 15% to 30%), and printers can serve these markets in creative and exciting ways. 

Reread, Retain, Reward 

Research shows over and over again that people enjoy getting mail and many prefer interacting with print pieces rather than digital advertising. People who read print media learn more effectively and retain more information. Magazine readers are diverse and include members of every age group, income level, sexual orientation and ethnicity. According to research, 91% of adults in the United States have read a magazine in the past six months, including 95% of adults under the age of 25.  

Magazines provide trusted information, and compared to Internet and television advertising; magazines persuade readers to try new things, buy new things, and help them make purchase decisions. Paper-based reading stimulates emotions and desires, and helps focus attention. Readers have positive associations with brands that advertise in magazines, and often seek out more information about the advertised product or service.     

According to “Mr. Magazine”, Samir Husni, Ph.D., the founder and director of the Magazine Innovation Center at the Meek School of Journalism at the University of Mississippi, magazines are here to stay. We don’t have a print problem, he explains. We have a business problem. The COVID-19 pandemic changed the business model in terms of distribution and revenue collection. Bookstores and newsstands closed, so periodicals need to depend on the post office to get to consumers. Advertisers have other, often less expensive outlets than print magazines. The loss of distribution outlets and advertising dollars is a real double whammy.  

print magazine and periodicals

Quality over Quantity 

In order to continue to publish, magazines need to deliver experience-making content, says Dr. Husni. People depend on the publications to which they subscribe to provide content they can trust, content that has been vetted and verified. Magazines are reinventing themselves by moving to quarterly publication, rather than monthly, or by releasing special editions. Timeless content that readers can return to will pay off for magazines as advertising models change 

Making a print project stand out from the pack can grab a person’s interest when browsing the magazine rack. As a non-disposable media platform, magazines have an advantage in style over other types of media. One option to engage customers is a bookazine, which is a publication that combines elements of magazines and books. A savvy magazine publisher will look beyond a monthly subscription, and create special editions on niche topics their readers will want to read and save. By using embossed graphics, foil printing, and high-quality paper, a printer helps publishers impart a feeling of value. (Very savvy publishers will also branch out into digital or streaming platforms, such as podcasts or television, information about which will be available to consumers via their print base.)  

A Knowledgeable Printer is a Valuable Partner 

Building a relationship with a printer will make a good print partner aware of the challenges magazines and periodicals face. By offering quality printing, an experienced printer will ensure that customers who are now laying down $12 or $15 per magazine get a collectible item that they can showcase in their homes. 

Hitting the Books with Expert Printers

While digital publishing trends may be the talk of the town in educational circles, the value of print pieces cannot be ignored. Whether you’re an educational institution looking to create and distribute marketing materials and alumni magazines, or an instructor seeking to reach students and help them learn, partnering with a print expert will benefit your audience and your bottom line. 

Student and Alumni Life 

As with print catalogs and other direct mail pieces, the use of graphics appeals to the senses. For student catalogs and curriculum offerings, photography will bring your campus to life in living color. For alumni who want to stay in touch with their colleges and universities, magazines incorporating photos, graphs and charts regarding where their contributions go, and other visual elements will evoke positive feelings and memories.  

An outstanding way to engage the user experience is by using tipped-in pages. “Tip-ins” are pages that pull the reader’s attention to a specific activity or content subset. If your university has a top-rated educational program, set it apart in the student catalog. For alumni, use a tip-in to highlight the achievements of their fellow graduate class members.  

Promote Learning 

According to research done by Dr. Naomi Baron, the vast majority of students say they learn better when they are provided print materials rather than relying on digital instructional materials and online educational resources (OERs). While higher ed institutions may be tempted to move toward digital resources because of perceived cost, learners still want print materials. Students report they re-read print materials, as opposed to just skimming through online resources one time; and they say they retain information better when they have read something from a print source. 

Because higher ed is facing a contraction of resources, especially from a federal level, it’s more important than ever for these institutions to partner with an expert that can optimize their dollars. As students continue to demand books in print, a responsive and experienced printer with versatile offerings and an economy of scale can support this market by providing high-quality content to readers who want it.  

Education print publicationContinuing Education 

Colleges and universities aren’t the only educational institutions out there. Many industries demand that employees continue to learn to stay on top of industry trends, appeal to an ever-evolving customer base, and keep up with advancing technology. Providing employee handbooks, workplace manuals, and other corporate materials will engage your workforce in knowledge development and skills training,  benefiting their careers and boosting productivity.  

Consult with the experts at Consolidated Press. Cost-effective options include sheet and web printing for more options with sheet sizes and basis weights; in-house perfect binding to reduce shipping costs and time; and various paper options.  We can ensure your printing projects will run smoothly, deliver on time and within budget, and thrill your audience with the information they are seeking. 

Use These Best Practices for your Next Direct Mail Campaign

(Spoiler alert: Hiring an expert in printing and mailing covers ALL the bases!)

Not only is direct mail a great way to engage with your customers, but it also offers a powerful return on investment. Direct mail provides measurable results that generate leads, especially when using branded visuals, a solid call to action, and integration with your digital marketing campaign elements. Recent statistics reinforce the high impact advantages when communicating with direct mail compared to email and other electronic solicitations.

Did you know?

As consumers begin to flood the marketplace again, now is the time to put your brand messaging where it makes the most impact — right on their doorstep. But time is money, and the use of best practices for printing and mailing ensures a powerfully effective campaign that fits your budget.

Consider these pathways to success:

Hire an Expert

Direct mail is a complex endeavor. Between branding, designing, copywriting, printing, data management, versioning, sorting, scheduling, storing, mailing, returns, and measuring success, you have a full-time job on your hands with a direct mail campaign. A full-service printer with a consultative approach like Consolidated Press can walk you through each and every step and then replicate it for the next mailing, ensuring brand standards and clean lists.

Weigh Less, Pay Less

Paper stocks, embellishments, special coatings, coupons, return mailers, and other specialty items can add up, and mailing with efficiency means traveling light. But some projects call for high-end stock, unique finishes, and stand-out enhancements. Ask your expert to show you what items you need to maximize your investment and to help you choose the right paper and finishes for your project.

Panels, Tabs, and Size Restrictions, Oh My!

Direct mail through the United States Postal Service is a tricky business — and a highly regulated one. Your mailer needs to be the appropriate size and weight, a specific number of panels and tabbed or glued to meet USPS regulations. The specifications are vast. If you don’t believe us, look here to dive into the seemingly endless details of mailing. Never mind, don’t do that. Consolidated Press has a massive mailing program all designed to seamlessly and painlessly work within the postal system.

Have Some Class

The USPS delivers mail at several rates or classes, determined by the client’s needs and purpose of the mailing. Most often, you’ll be using USPS Marketing Mail, which, for beginning mailers, is often the best choice because postage prices are very low. According to the agency, mailers use USPS Marketing Mail to send:

  • Printed matter, flyers, circulars, advertising
  • Newsletters, bulletins, and catalogs
  • Small parcels

All USPS Marketing Mail prices are bulk prices, and each mailing must meet a minimum quantity of 200 pieces or 50 pounds of mail. There is no single-piece USPS Marketing Mail postage. In USPS Marketing Mail, there are prices for letters, flats/large envelopes, parcels, marketing parcels, and Parcel Select Lightweight parcels. There’s more where that came from, but you don’t need to get into the weeds — you need to ask your expert. 

Consolidated Press, by the way, knows all this stuff and more. 

When you need expert advice on printing and mailing with a consultative approach to your project, call or click Consolidated Press to determine how they can put the pieces into place.

 

Embellished Direct Mail Discounts with USPS

Take advantage of direct mail with CP’s specialty print capabilities

Direct mail is an effective marketing strategy—year after year, the statistics tell the tale. A personal, targeted approach integrated with online purchasing and engagement is irresistible to many consumers.

At the same time, the costs of mailing and paper continue to rise, and organizations need the return on their marketing investments to be above average and consistent. Fortunately, the United States Postal Service has our backs. 

The USPS Mailing Promotions and Incentive Programs are designed to help marketers, printers, and mailers increase customer engagement and response rates with their mail pieces. Through July 31, the USPS will be offering 2% off eligible postage on mail pieces that encourage sensory engagement. The Tactile, Sensory & Interactive (TSI) Promotion leverages the technological advances the print industry has been steadily innovating.

From the USPS TSI Promotions Requirements and registration site:

The print industry has been actively innovative not only in print production equipment but the fundamental elements of the mail itself through new developments in papers/stocks, substrates, finishing techniques, and inks. These elements can be incorporated to engage a multi-sensory experience through special visual effects, sound, scent, texture/tactile treatments, and even taste! In addition, interactive mailpiece features (such as pop-ups, infinite folds, or other dimensional treatments) can also help drive a marketer’s customer’s engagement.

Neuroscience and neuromarketing research supports the potentially significant impact on brand recognition and message recall when marketing materials engage tactile experiences and/or senses. By leveraging the physical aspects of the mailpiece as well as the advances in print technology, marketers can enhance how their consumers interact and engage with mail

New technology and print techniques can enhance the traditional benefits of a physical mail piece and give higher response rates and an increase in overall return on investment. Three categories are featured in this promotion:

  • Specialty Inks
  • Specialty Paper
  • Interactive elements

Here is where Consolidated Press can step in with its vast capabilities in soft-touch, hybrid UV printing, vibrant inks, and specialty paper. CP is a leader in stunning yet economical direct mail from magazines to catalogs, directories, newsletters, promotional mail. We also are seasoned mailing experts. In addition to working with you to capitalize on USPS promotions running throughout 2021, we can analyze your files and provide postal logistics planning and strategy, often leading to bulk discounts and increasing your crucial marketing ROI.

Contact us today to start your tactile, sensory, or interactive direct mail campaign. We would love to put your project first.