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publications

Periodical Publishers Should Capitalize on Surprising Finishes and Formats

The golden age of print is happening now. More formats are available than ever before, more enhanced printing and finishing options at a lower cost, and lightweight papers that convey gravity and elegance while being economical to print and mail, especially for periodical publishers.

As magazines, periodicals and journals continue to compete for shelf space and strive to reach the top of the inbox, publishers should capitalize on the unique, hands-on experiences printers have to offer. Look for a color that’s outside the lines, eye-catching sizes and shapes, and highly touchable papers and finishes. The trick is to find a printer with these capabilities that also offers value, speed, competitive pricing, and unmatched quality.

Refining the look and feel of your publication will set it apart from and above the competition. Consider going outside the box with:

Paper.

Consolidated Press offers more flexibility and economy, starting with picking your paper. CP’s process allows for lightweight paper options that most offset printers won’t touch because they can be hard to print on. Publications can be lighter and less expensive to mail, making a huge difference to a magazine on a regular schedule. 

Tipped-in pages.

Set your periodical apart with color illustrations, maps, coupons, advertisements, reply cards, and much more. Be sure your readers open to the page you want them to.

Customized binding and finishing.

Choose from in-house perfect binding, saddle stitching, drilling, laminating, gluing, and more — whatever binding matches the personality of your publication and works for mailing to your customers. 

Color that dazzles.

In publishing, a printer’s capabilities should show their true colors. In addition to striking and precise color matching, true to the last page, CP can do a fifth spot color, as well as spot varnish. CP can print “5 over 5”  in one press run, translating to faster delivery, less waste, and excellent color consistency throughout the run. 

Versatility.

Not all the pages are created the same, and they don’t all need to go on the same press. Consolidated Press offers the upgraded, in-house process of simultaneously printing the inside of a publication on one press and the cover on another. This optimized workflow offers efficiency for printing pages while opening unique opportunities to make each cover impactful and distinctive using handpicked stock and finishing options. 

After your unique publication is printed and bound, CP can shrinkwrap, mail, distribute and warehouse. We are indeed the premier resource for periodical publishers. See more of our work.

Consolidated Press is one for the books. Call or click today to start our valuable partnership in printing.

Paper Demand Creates A Need to Strategize

Paper and packaging manufacturing are feeling the squeeze as demand for printed goods continues to outpace the supply of paper. It’s a sign that industries are recovering from the pandemic, but what does it mean for consumers? Consolidated Press is ahead of the curve with a healthy supply of materials in stock, and we want to share just a few tips and tricks that will come in handy for our clients who purchase printed goods. Our goal is to help you save time, money and more than a few headaches in the future.  

Plan Ahead 

Preschedule the print jobs you know are on the horizon, particularly as we enter the crucial holiday catalog season. If you can provide your print service provider with estimates of the number of projects, materials needed, and page counts, they can, in turn, place supply orders now for paper goods to have in stock at a later date.  

What’s Happening 

There are critical shortages in the supply chain required for the manufacturing of paper. International imports of paper are at a lower volume than normal forcing domestic mills to try to pick up the slack. COVID-19 protocols and short-staffing are also causing slowdowns in production cycles and port operations across the globe. This perfect storm of circumstances leaves inventory low for many paper suppliers. It also means that paper prices are increasing.  

How We Can Help 

We constantly manage our customer expectations and make every effort to not disappoint anyone or delay work unnecessarily because of supply shortages.  

  • Work with your sales rep to identify projects well in advance 
  • Be creative about the size, shape, or type of paper you’re using for your printed piece to help with both supply and costs 
  • Consolidate projects into one print run to save time, money and paper 
  • Target or segment your audience for greater impact at a reduced volume 
  • Look at other printing options like roll-to-sheet versus sheetfed 

The road to economic recovery will have a few speed bumps along the way, but we’ll get through this together. Ultimately, the temporary supply shortages are a sign that more and more companies are investing in the future of commerce, and that’s a win for all of us. Know that we have your back and, when in doubt, pick up the phone to discuss your options for print success with Consolidated Press 

 

 

direct mail

Direct Mail is Worth a Thousand Words

According to a study of commercial printing trends, direct mail campaigns are on an upward swing. It’s expected that almost 72% of corporations will use direct mail, including catalogs, postcards, brochures, and books. Well-executed direct mail campaigns have a higher response rate than digital tactics, and direct mail reaches audiences that online campaigns don’t 

An outstanding metric to note is that companies of all ages – even new companies founded in the digital age – use direct mail. Companies 10 and 20 years old are leveraging direct mail at rates of 14.5% and 15.8%, respectively. Google, Amazon, Door Dash, and industry leaders in real estate, health care, leisure and travel are all using direct mail marketing to reach consumers.   

direct mail

Sending a postcard as a direct mail marketing piece is a quick and versatile way to get consumers’ attention. Using eye-catching graphics, an attention-grabbing headline, and quality card stock gives a postcard heft and authority. A brochure mailer has the advantage of giving consumers more information than a postcard, while still providing contact information and calls-to-action. Staying in front of your customers with relevant, targeted messages and offers can help keep your business front of mind.

One cost-effective method to reach customers is with self-mailers. A quick way to get your offers or branded materials into the mailstream is by creating a self-mailable piece or publication that can be inkjet addressed inline as it is printed—no inserting into envelopes or additional assembly work. The printed piece catches the eye as soon as it lands in the mailbox.  

More Direct Than Email 

  • Consumers like getting mail, and they especially seem to like postcards and catalogs.  
  • Because of their tangibility, direct mail pieces last longer than emails.  
  • Direct mail postcards are perfect for coupons. Putting a coupon on a postcard makes it easy to hold on to, and easy to use. 
  • Direct mail is also perfect for images. On a postcard, a powerful image paired with short, concise copy tells the receiver everything they need to know at a glance. With brochures and catalogs, companies have the opportunity to tell a longer story, and still emphasize image and copy elements. 
  • Response rates to digital interactive elements, also called digital calls to action, have doubled in the past four years. These callouts include social media channels, QR codes, and prompts to visit a website. 
  • Postcards and brochures are versatile. These types of direct mail come in a variety of sizes and card stocks, with specialty coatings and graphic elements that can make an immediate impact. 

Consolidated Press is your printing partner for direct mail. Contact us to talk about specialty printing, unique sizes and special mailing rates. 

 

Printed Books Trend Upward in Sales Post-Pandemic

Hot off the presses: as we head into the post-pandemic era, print book publishing is picking up where it left off — skyrocketing in sales and popularity. As print books trend upward in sales post-pandemic, publishers need printers to rely on for speed and flexibility. 

Print is on Trend

The New York Times wrote, “Sales of digital books fell 3.6 percent to $1.02 billion in 2018, a third straight decline, while hardback sales rose 6.9 percent to $3.06 billion and paperback sales 1.1 percent to $2.67 billion, according to the Association of American Publishers.”

In January 2020, The Association of American Publishers reported that total book sales were $12.57 billion year-to-date in 2019. The growth was an increase of 3.6% over the previous year. Printed books continued to dominate the consumer publications category, accounting for $751.0 million, or 80% of the category’s $938.7 million in revenue. Paperback books saw the most growth, once again, climbing 11.0%. Professional publishing also jumped.

While book sales initially dropped off in early 2020, they began to tick upward in the spring and ended the year strong with print sales rising 8.2% over 2019, the most significant annual increase since 2005, and the print total of 751 million units sold was the highest since 2009. An increase in online sales drove numbers up, and online sales are projected to continue strong through 2021.

Printed Pages Produce Better Comprehension

Several recent studies have reviewed digital books and education materials vs. paper. According to the Hechinger Report, a nonprofit newsroom focused on education that examined these studies, reading on paper trumps reading on screens regarding comprehension and student preference.

The Right Partner Can Make the Difference

Let’s get your titles flying off the shelf,  What does all this mean for today’s book publishers and the way they work with printers? Here are the key takeaways:

The era of printed books is not over. It’s on the uprise, so finding a reputable, flexible, high-capacity printer like Consolidated Press to keep up with publishing demands is crucial.

Time and again, learning and comprehension are reported to be better on paper than with digital for a variety of reasons, which research is still uncovering. In the meantime, book publishers can rely on a powerhouse printer like Consolidated Press to increase efficiency and cost competitiveness to meet the demand for more printed books.

Independent bookstores are increasing their margins with gifts, consumables, events, and more. As a result, publishers don’t need to slash prices to be competitive. The boutique environment is also an incentive to experiment with bolder designs and visual impact to stand out on a shelf.

Sales of e-books are down and audiobooks are up. E-books compete primarily with paper books; audiobooks compete with music, podcasts, radio, and other paid audio media. Some publishers have adopted a digital-first strategy and need a printer that can nimbly print books on demand.

Paperback books continue to see explosive growth. You can depend on CP’s equipment to precisely print crucial information and images, perfect binding each piece with optical cameras confirming quality and placement. We ship straight from our warehouse, offering the most accurate addressing and cost-effective mailing available.

Whether on-demand or on a schedule, textbook or trade paperback, CP can meet today’s book printing market demands and exceed publisher expectations for quality, speed, value, and flexibility every time.

Consolidated Press is one for the books. Call or click today to start our valuable partnership in printing.

 

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.