Posts

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.

 

Catalog Magazine

Catalogs are a Powerful Investment in the Marketing Mix

A great printer increases the return on that investment

It’s fun to get mail, and studies show consumers simply love it. Yet for a business, communication needs to be purposeful and powerful. With every page, there is a new opportunity to create a positive and lasting relationship with consumers that need your products and services. 

Enter the direct mail catalog—a powerful marketing tool that works synergistically with online purchasing, dynamic user experiences, and superior measurables.

Simply put, integrated online and in-hand marketing campaigns add up to much more than the sum of their parts. Beautiful, targeted, interactive catalogs are the beating heart of those campaigns. 

Learn the powerful ways catalogs convert your browsers into buyers, and how Consolidated Press can leverage that spark.

Customers who have a multi-channel relationship with companies buy more — and more often

Multichannel shoppers spend three times more than single-channel shoppers, and more than half of marketers today use three or more channels to promote their brands. Nordstrom reported recently that customers who connect with its brand through multiple channels spend four times as much as those who don’t. And while 95% of marketers know they need a multichannel strategy, most do not have one. Targeted catalogs offer that extra channel for buyer connection.

Customers are 46% more likely to buy from a company they are familiar with

Seasonal mailings keep that relationship up and offer enticing solutions and ideas just as consumer interest is peaking. (Think seed catalogs arriving in February just as the ice begins to thaw. So exciting!) But it’s important to be very targeted and personalized with your message in those seasonal campaigns because your direct mail is likely to arrive in the same week or even on the same day as your competitors. If you speak to those consumers directly while pushing them to your website or other online sales channel, they will have your company at top of mind.

Direct mail response rates are excellent and on the rise

Response rates to direct mail have increased dramatically in recent years, both to house lists and to prospects. More than half of catalogs are reported to be read or set aside to read later, an astonishing number compared to email marketing. Recent studies found that direct mail averaged a 4.4% response rate, compared to email’s average response rate of 0.12%. According to direct mail industry trends, a whopping 90.9% of merchants still use catalogs as a primary marketing tool, and 44.4% report their catalogs’ circulation grew year over year. 

The return on investment for catalogs is high, but smart businesses still want to keep that investment strategically budgeted and targeted.

This is where Consolidated Press comes in

A powerhouse printer like Consolidated Press can keep costs down through scale and technology. To achieve that sought-after ROI, catalog and direct mail printers need to be lean, agile, and consistent, reducing waste and saving time. With our web, sheetfed and digital presses, your project will always be on the most efficient equipment for the job. CP’s Quality Assurance process guarantees that crisp imagery and brand colors will be perfectly matched in each new publication printed, ensuring clients are always presenting a consistent brand to their customers.

Tip: Plan and design several seasons’ worth of catalogs at once

Increase brand familiarity and ensure your catalogs reach your buyers and prospective buyers just when they are ready to order!

21st-century printers help clients target their customers through clean data, versioned copy, and multi-channel connections. Consolidated Press can easily put the most persuasive message in front of stakeholders on the house list or tweak it for high-value prospective customers. If our clients have data on their customers, we can use it to the fullest extent during the printing, mailing, and metrics tracking processes. We can help you strategically and seamlessly connect your paper catalog with your digital point of sale using dynamic technologies and tracking codes.

Tip: Come to us early in your process, and we can make sure your data is clean and ready to target buyers and users

Remember: the better the data, the broader the reach!

Consolidated Press employs a consultative approach with our clients to achieve stand-out publications that will be read right away. We can walk you through the benefits of various paper stock and finishes to both save mailing costs and create an enticing user experience. We have the capability to print unique sizes and shapes, creating a coffee-table piece that will draw eyes and hands. Consolidated Press utilizes the strength of its front-end software to manage color definitions on the press, resulting in consistent quality throughout a project’s run, and on future runs.

Tip: Mailing costs cut into profits

Work with one of our consultants to achieve that sweet spot of eye-catching innovative paper that is low weight and highly printable!

Whatever your products or services, a series of beautiful, well-targeted catalogs can increase user engagement, resulting in higher sales and revenue. Call or click to find how Consolidated Press can put the pieces into place.