Why combining print and digital marketing is the best strategy

From startups with 1 employee, to companies with thousands of employees, the importance of print marketing has remained constant for the last 100+ years. We have 40 years of experience and have seen many trends come and go, and today more than ever, there are opinions everywhere on what you should or should not be doing. Our goal is not to answer any of those extremely complicated questions. All you will learn from this blog is what we know works, and how print marketing can help a business that is 1 day old or 1 century old.

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Combining Print and Digital to increase ROI

One of the important statistics we have read recently, came from the AMA(no we don’t get our business statistics from doctors), it is the American Marketing Association. There are numerous studies that show how print is outperforming digital, but the statistic that stood out most to us is that most Americans disregard 80% of their email but they open 80% of their regular mail. The same study shows that:

  • magazines and newspapers have the highest ROI at 125%
  • compared to 87% for TV and digital.
  • However, that number jumps to 163% when combining Print and Digital.

Also, that is in concrete revenue terms. So, we can now see the value of adding Print to your marketing strategy.

presentation-folder-booklets

What this means, is that people still enjoy reading and looking at tangible, physical content. Perhaps, it is because we are inundated with digital content on our phones, tablets, laptops, etc… Posters, calendars, business cards, and catalogs force us to engage in the content. Most importantly, print has the benefit of sitting on the table in an office, or a coffee table at home. A web ad is there and then gone permanently. 1 catalog can be viewed many times by many people. As retail businesses use signs to attract many drivers who pass by their business.

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How Print Marketing Works for you 

Now, where does that leave us in helping you establishing your brand identity, marketing it, and targeting your market?

For starters, packaging, presentation and appearance matter. If you’re like the majority of people, when someone gives you a business card with a plane white background, their name, their title, and their email address, it disappears into what is called the Bermuda Triangle section of wallets. It goes in, and not so mysteriously is never seen again. Now, think of that business card someone gave you in full color, with classic fonts, pictures, and UV coating.

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The person that gave you that business card is more likely to get your business. It is the same with people who dress sharply, or have great style. It is intuitive, if they spend time on the little details on something like a business card, we feel as though they will be a better person to conduct business with. Perception is reality. When it comes to potential clients, your catalog, brochure, calendar, or business card should represent your brand, and establish confidence.

Business Card with Spot UV Coating

Develop a memorable brand identity, that will speak to clients and potential clients about the quality of your products and services. This is where the right type of menu, catalog, business card, letterhead, brochures, flyers, and so many other print items, can establish and market your brand precisely for your target market. It can also be a great tool for maintaining relationships with clients, staying in touch with them or saying thank you. Perhaps, sending out custom greeting cards using variable data so that a company of 100 people will get a Holiday Card with each employee’s name on it. Or sending custom coupons for future business. There are endless ways with which we can help you establish your brand, and build on it.

 

eddmblogTargeting your market has never been easier. Direct Mailings are an effective way to reach out to new and existing customer. Perhaps you don’t want to buy a list, then use EDDM flyers, menus, and brochures. Ask us about EDDM today, it is the simplest tool to target a specific town, street, or neighborhood and ensure that every household receives your item. With the EDDM tools, there is no hassle of buying a list that may or may not be updated.

All of these are just a few of the effective tools Marsid M&M can use to help you grow your brand and ultimately, grow your business. You can visit us at www.mmprint.com today and chat live online with a print specialist.

Just In Time For Valentines: Forever® Hearts|USPS Stamps

The USPS has released the Forever Hearts, Forever® stamps, two versions depicting a heart shaped with lacy lettering spelling out “Forever”. Available in a white background with a red design and a reversed design in white design with a red background.

The perfect stamp to adorn your custom printed invitations valentines cards, announcements, anniversary cards and much more.

These beautiful Valentine’s stamps were first issued January 22nd, 2015.

Forever Hearts, Forever® | USPS Stamps.

Direct Mail Services
Don’t fret! The Marsid M&M Group has you covered for all of your printing and mailing needs. we are fully equipped to handle your next mailing extremely fast and accurately. Contact us right away toll-free at 1-877-mmprint or visit our mailing services page to request an estimate.

Getting There First: Standard Mail vs First Class

USPS First Class Mail Standard Mail Comparison

With all of the problems the USPS has been facing, it hasn’t changed the fact that direct mail is still one of the best ways to market a business or service according to a study by the Direct Mail Association and referenced in this article by Ad Age.

The political/internal/financial battle happening within the United States Postal Service has affected delivery times and in recent news, California Representative Darrell Issa suggested in a bill that the USPS will no longer deliver mail directly to your door. Only to curbside mailboxes and cluster boxes similar to those found in apartment complexes. You can pay a fee to keep the to-your-door service if you don’t mind paying for it and exceptions will be made for the elderly and those who can prove physical disability.

Although the USPS  is changing and will keep changing, what most matters is that your target audience gets their mail pieces in a timely fashion and convert into customers.

The Differences in Bulk Mail Classes and Mail Delivery Times

Bulk mail is processed by the mail house before it gets to the Post Office saving the USPS time and money. The mailer typically has a mailing permit that must be printed on to each piece identifying the postage class and the account of the mailer who performed the mailing.

Presort software is used to connect to the USPS to presort the addresses, qualify the quantity and mail piece cost from your mailing list, add barcodes, check for duplicates and verifies address accuracy against the National Change of Address (NCOA) database. Planning ahead with delivery times in mind will help your direct mail campaign to be more effective and you can save money as well.

Standard Mail

Standard Mail Permit IndiciaStandard mail is the least expensive and slower class of bulk mail for for printed matter, flyers, circulars, advertising, newsletters, bulletins, catalogs, and small packages. Deeply discounted, Standard mail costs less because your mailing company or mail house does most of the processing for the Post Office and those savings are passed on to you in the form of a postage discount. With Standard mail, any pieces that are undeliverable are not returned to the sender which is also saves the USPS time and money.

What do you need to qualify for Standard Mail discounted postage?

  • Standard Mail Mailing Permit (you can use our mailing permit free if we are mailing for you!)
  • Minimum of 200 pieces or 50lbs of mail
  • Maximum weight of 16 ounces
  • Domestic Mail only

First Class Mail

First Class Mail Permit IndiciaFirst Class Mail is the faster of the two and if the address printed on the mailpiece is undeliverable, the USPS will automatically forward it to the correct address (if it’s on file) or return it to the sender. This ensures that the recipient receives the mailpiece or at least you can remove them from your mailing list saving you money on postage costs on the next mailing.

Depending on your budget and time-frame, the extra cost for First Class Mail can be worth it and it’s still less than the cost of a regular single-piece stamp.

What are the requirements to qualify for First Class discounted postage?

  • First Class Mailing Permit (you can use our mailing permit free if we are mailing for you!)
  • Minimum of 500 pieces
  • Maximum weight of 13 ounces
  • Must be rectangular in shape

Note: A 4.25 x 6 Postcard is mailed First Class by default at a special Postcard Rate.

First Class and Standard Mail Postage Costs

First Class and Standard mail are considered Unzoned Mail. Meaning you pay the same price without regard to where the mailpiece goes (within the U.S.). Nevertheless, there are differences in the cost of each piece depending on mailpiece type (postcard, letter, flat or parcel – each mailpiece type has its own size restrictions), weight and traying sequence (5-digit, 3-digit, AADC and mixed AADC) which is determined by the mailing software used by your mail house.

  • The United States Postal Service offers a handy Business Price Calculator to give you a good idea of what your postage costs may be per piece.
  • Download our convenient Envelope Size Chart to learn about standard envelope sizes and differences.

 For other types of mail classes, the price is determined by the distance the mailpiece travels to arrive at it’s destination. The further it has to travel, the more postage paid for that piece. The distance is established by the use of zones.

[note color=”#FFCC00″] You may still have questions regarding your direct mail campaign.Give us a call at 1877-mmprint to speak with a mailing service professional about your project or visit our mailing services page for more information and to request a quote. [/note] [divider top=”1″]

 

USPS Folded Self-Mailer Regulations Update 2013

Effective January 5, 2013, the United States Postal Service (USPS) is revising the regulations governing the Folded Self-Mailer Standards. The final rules were published in the Federal Register on December 1, 2011 and can be found in the Federal Register / Vol. 76, No.231 / Thursday December 1, 2011 / Rules and Regulations [PDF]. Continue reading USPS Folded Self-Mailer Regulations Update 2013

3 Easy Steps To Every Door Direct Success

Every Door Direct Mail Retail is incredibly easy to prepare and mail.

The following steps will show you how to take your E.D.D.M. from concept to delivery.

Before you continue reading, please make sure you have familiarized yourself with E.D.D.M. by reading  5 Reasons Every Door Direct Mail Will Work for You and then come back to see how it’s done in 3 easy steps.

1. Discover Your Surroundings

Every Door Direct Mail Delivery

The USPS offers a very useful tool on their website where you can enter data about the area of your mailing and it returns detailed information about that area:

  • Number of residences in a route
  • Number of businesses in a route
  • Number of total routes
  • Approximate cost of Postage
  • Local Post Office for each route

There are various ways to select the areas where your Every Door Direct Mail will hit:

  • By City
  • By County
  • By Zip Code
  • By radius around a specific address

You can choose the type of routes served:

  • City
  • Rural/Highway Contract
  • PO Boxes

You can select from two delivery types:

  • Business and Residential
  • Residential Only
Once you have made all of your selections and have a final count of the area and routes that will be covered, you can continue by clicking “Next” to generate all of the paperwork required when delivering your EDDM prints to the Post Office. Don’t forget your postage check! But don’t fret, they also take cash and credit cards.

2. Bundle Your Advertising

Every Door Direct Mail Bundle Facing SlipThis is the most labor-intensive step of completing your E.D.D.M. mailing, but it’s simple!
The USPS requires that you bundle your Every Door Direct Mail pieces into stacks of 50-100. The reason for this is that the Mailman takes these bundles and places them in his bag or cart and delivers one to each mailbox on his route. Please be considerate! Don’t make the bundles too heavy.
One of the forms that the system generates for you is the Facing Slip. This form needs to be on the very top of every bundle, so make copies before you fill in all of the information.
I recommend that you fill the Date, Company Name and Post Office of mailing before making copies so that you don’t have to fill it in every time.
These are the required fields you must complete on the Facing Slip:
  • Route Number
  • Date
  • Number of Pieces in Bundle
  • Total Number of Bundles
  • Company Name
  • Post Office of Mailing

3. Delivery to the USPS

Postage Stamp Special Delivery EDDMOnce steps 1 and 2 are completed, the final and easiest step is your delivery to the Post Office. One of the forms generated by the E.D.D.M. system, the “Facility List”, is a summary of the entire mailing.
For your convenience, the form will list the address of each Post Office you must deliver the bundled mailers to, the hours of operation and contact information.
You will also find a table listing the Carrier Routes selected and number of mail pieces for each route and at the very bottom, the total postage cost (number of mailpieces x 14.5 cents)
The number of Post Offices listed will usually only vary if you selected more than one Zip Code.
That’s it! Your Post Office representative will review your paperwork and mail pieces, process the paperwork in the register and accept payment for your Every Door Direct Mail.
Your mail pieces will be delivered within the Standard Mail delivery time.
If you have any questions or would like a quote, please visit our E.D.D.M Page.

Is there anything you have noticed that can make Every Door Direct Mail even easier or more efficient?

 

Saving Money on Direct Mail with QR Codes

Although QR codes are quickly being adopted by major companies and industries, adoption is moving slowly throughout the small business sector.

In an effort to promote Direct Mail and create awareness of the benefits of using QR codes in Direct Mail, the United States Postal Service is offering a special postage discount during the months of July and August 2011:

Direct Mail marketers and mail houses can save 3% on their First Class Presort Mail and Standard Presort Mail postage simply by including a QR Code that must be easily visible on the outside of the mail piece. Simple as that.

 

Although the savings can be substantial, it is important to keep in mind that if your Direct Mail campaign is not thought out thoroughly and optimized for success, then all of your efforts and cost of printing and postage will go to waste.
On the bright side, you can always learn from your mistakes.

Direct Mail is about trial and error and consistency; improvement and repetition. I don’t think any one Direct Mail campaign can be the one or the best one for that matter.

 

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If you are thinking of taking advantage of the 3% postage discount and this would be your first QR Code Direct Mail campaign, the following paragraphs will help you begin with an advantage.

Incorrect Use of QR Code QR Code Malpractice

Creating and Reading QR Codes is easy and FREE! But the biggest issue lies with what happens after the QR Code is scanned.

Obviously (or maybe not obvious enough), a QR Code is scanned with a smart phone which typically has a screen size between 2 to 4 inches. This being the case, wouldn’t you expect to be taken to a mobile-friendly website that is compatible with your smart phone’s screen size?
Well, believe it or not, this is a very common mistake made by marketers that makes the whole Direct Mail/QR Code campaign a complete failure.

Let’s say your Direct Mail piece is a postcard that promotes a new product that you are selling and the customer scans your QR code. The customer lands on a mobile friendly page that contains a great description of the product but does not have a Buy Now! button anywhere on the page. The purpose of your Direct Mail piece is to offer a product that you sell, yet a way to purchase the product is not easily made available. This Direct Mail campaign can pretty much be considered a lost sale opportunity.

QR Code Best PracticesQR Code Best Practices

A complete Direct Mail campaign using QR codes must include a mobile landing page where a call to action is the main focus of the page. Whatever the purpose of your Direct Mail campaign is, it should reflect in your mobile landing page.
If your QR Code directs the user to a video preview, make sure the video is formatted for mobile screens and should start playing right away.  The purpose of a smartphone is accessibility and convenience – No downloads!

 

The following are a few key rules to follow to create a successful Direct Mail QR Code campaign:

  • Use a vector QR Code in your artwork to make sure that it prints clear and works 100% even on low megapixel cameras. I find BeQRious lets you generate vector QR Codes you can download in PDF format easily
  • Test your QR Code on at least 4-5 different QR Code scanning apps and different smart phones before printing the whole run
  • Include information on how to scan the QR Code
  • Your QR Code should direct the user’s mobile phone directly to the landing page
  • Your Landing Page must load quickly, keep images to a minimum
  • Include Call-to-action buttons or links such as “Buy Now!”, “Sign up here!”, or “Call us now!”
  • Keep the focus of the page on the purpose of the campaign and the Call-to-action buttons/links
  • Make your QR Code link using a link shortening service such as goo.gl or bit.ly (free versions) so that you can track the number of scans and other analytics

How have you used QR Codes in your latest

Direct Mail or Marketing Campaign?

Please share any lessons you have learned when using QR Codes in Direct Mail campaigns below…