Tag Archives: direct mail

Cool Door Post Cards!

One door or six?
Post cards or announcements?
Variable Data or generic?
All in COLOR and ALL COOL AS AN ICE CUBE IN WINTER!

Here is one of the coolest and EFFECTIVE things you can use to introduce a new product or announce an offer.   These 8.5″ x 5.5″  THICK cards  (.0023″) are perforated to open with a big door or six windows… Look!  Hidden message under the door(s) !

 

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Since these are variable data cards you can even mix up the messages…or hide targeted and variable photos under the doors (great for an art opening or a CONTEST!).  SICK (as my nephew says).

Very reasonable with the REACH of an orangutan!

Learn more!  Email me.  I am sitting here…waiting for your call….really…

– Deandrickman@yahoo.com

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Post Office News: 3,700 offices to close

Lately there has been a lot of news about the closure of about 3,700 post offices in the near future.  Of course this may effect your outbound direct mail pieces from our direct mail services system but, for the most part, this is just another sign of the times.

If you have not had a chance to review the list, here is a copy of it.  Actually one of the offices is in the town just next to my home!  I have been in there many times.

Click Here To See The List

http://about.usps.com/news/electronic-press-kits/expandedaccess/statelist.htm

WRAP UP: DIRECT MAIL DIRECT MAIL DY-NA-MO

We have covered a ton of inside info with the Dy-Na-Mo series…please reference the Dy-Na-Mo categories on the right.

As a follow up, CPC has published this VDP guide for your reference.

You can view it as a cool digital publication here:  http://www.cpcvdp.info/

Or, download the pdf file here: CPC_VDP

BE A DIRECT MAIL DIRECT MAIL DY-NA-MO

PART THREE: MAILHOUSE TRICKS

In Part 1 of this series we learned about the economy of mailhouse and the return on investment of traditional print mailing vs digital variable data mailing.  Part 2 of this series was about simple database processing.  Now we are going to go into the darker corners of the mailhouse.

Teach your mailing project some new tricks!

Yes…here your see a Border Collie balancing a bone on her nose…and, as a Border Collie, we know this is WAY beneath her natural ability to do tricks.

SIMILARLY, your direct mail pieces can use various “tricks” to perform even better.  Easy stuff to learn, plan for and implement.

Trick #1: Using images as variable data.

Surprise!  As a variable data project, your pieces can have more than just text.  For instance, if you are marketing to various auto buyers and you know their buying habits (for instance, as everyone knows, I LOVE station wagons…but they don’t make them anymore) you can direct the actual image to appeal to their interests.  Here we see the use of this technique using a post card…

Click to Enlarge

Note that the images change based on the recipient’s needs.   In this sample, we kind of know that Jerry probably likes trucks.  So Jerry gets a photo of the pick up truck and NOT a mini van. Note that the data beneath the image is also variable.  These variable blurbs can be as customized as you like.  Remember that each record will have its own field for the blurb and for the image and these then can change from one card to the next.  Of course, the images you use MUST ALL BE the same dimensions!  So, minivan.jpg, truck.jpg, sedan.jpg, etc are each the same “trim” size.   Finally, if you noticed, even the background can change on these images and, of course, you can use as many images as you have time for…and, of course, you can use images on both sides of the piece.

Trick #2: Printing cool fonts

Using the digital press, you are not limited to just a few boring fonts.   Indeed there are MANY fonts you can use with the variable data fields from you database.  Here is a simple idea of what this means:

Trick #3: How the Video Jet system helps you out.

We are all familiar with “ink jet” addressing.  At CPC we have a very advanced video jet system that uses your data (name, address, etc) (which is variable data, by the way) and can marry it to paragraphs, series numbers, and use many other innovative ideas.  This allows you to print a magazine or catalog on our Heidelberg equipment and then trick the system into turning that into a high end variable data project.

Here is a wild example of this idea:

Click to enlarge

Hey!  We are thinking way outside the bun now!

This magazine sample includes an appropriate paragraph of variable data, a THANK YOU (from a dog!), a QR code and, of course, the address.

So we can see that tight databases mixed with imagination can yield a more consistent and valuable return on investment.  Usually this is mixed with a lot of forethought and effort on your part as the DATA drives these ideas.  Again, spending a few hours this weekend “weeding” your database will prove to be a wise choice of time and energy!

That’s it for now…please contact me if you have any ideas or need some brain melding help!

-Dean

BE A DIRECT MAIL DIRECT MAIL DY-NA-MO

PART TWO: DATA

(here is part one: https://knowmorerightnow.wordpress.com/2011/01/16/be-a-direct-mail-direct-mail-dy-na-mo/)

Nothing seems to be more boring than data base maintenance!

In fact, there are not many exciting images to publish for  this post….even looking for images was boring!!  Yet nothing can spell success faster than spending time in your data base garden hoeing, weeding and feeding that precious patch of ground!  Data drives your email and USPS mail campaigns and must be looked at critically.  Without much fan fare, here are things I have seen that important guidelines for MOST databases:

1) The data base does not exist! It’s true…many companies I have worked with either do not have an electronic data base of customers and prospects or it is such a mess they can’t use it!  SUGGESTION: Hire someone for a month to go through your business cards, email, LinkedIn partners, notecards, Facebook, Yahoo and pile of NAPKINS to get all that data into a single xls file!!  Or, do it yourself.

2) Keep the data current. That means, if someone changes their name or email address, make that update in your data!

3) Build the data base so it is flexible. There are no set “field names” for your data base but, if it is appropriate, split out your database into at least these fields:

  • Title
  • Name
  • LName
  • Address1
  • Address2
  • City
  • State
  • Zip

..and if there are two people at the address (Dave and Lilly) and you need to contact both, either set up TWO records or introduce two (0r more) fields to handle this.  FName1, Fname2, Fname3, etc.

4) Be ready to add alternate fields. Imagine, down the road, the car dealership you own would like to send out a direct mailing.  Wouldn’t it be great to send the truck owners post cards images of trucks and the sport car owners pictures of sports cars?  What about a color field?  I like red cars…I will respond faster to a photo of a red car than a green car.  If you know that sort of thing about me, perhaps you should market to it!!  These fields can be added as time goes on.

5) Set up your spreadsheet properly.

Above are two spins on the types of data we get for a mailing.  The TOP one is correct.  The BOTTOM one is useless.  Study it closely before you are on top of your deadline and there is no time to convert the BOTTOM one to the TOP one!

Final notes: CPC can accept mailing list files in a number of file formats, including MS Excel, CSV, and text files. Please note that files must be organized such that each record is on a single row, with each column as a separate field. See example above.  If your lists require manipulation in order to be usable, additional charges may incur so clean them up and merge them before you send them to us! CPC will “preflight” all mailing lists, de duplicate them per your instructions and will submit them to the NCOA (National Change of Address) before we use them.  Of course you will be contacted for authorization to proceed with clean up if we see any issues.

-Dean