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Are You Giving Your Mailing List Enough Love?

Quick! If you had to identify the most important component of your marketing, what would you say? Did you say your mailing list? If so, make sure it gets enough love. Let’s look at some basic steps you should be taking regularly to keep your list in top shape.

1. Address correction. If you do bulk mailings, the United States Postal Service requires you to run your list through NCOA within 90 days of every mailing. Even if your mailings don’t fall under the “bulk” category, using NCOA on a regular basis is just a good idea.

2. Enhanced change of address. NCOA is only about 80% effective. It only works for people who file their change of address with the Post Office, and it is only accurate for those who have moved within the past four years. Enhanced change of address services tap into the data from third parties and can yield 20¬–40% more matches than NCOA alone.

3. Address accuracy. You should be running your list through CASS (Coding Accuracy Support System) on a regular basis, as well. This corrects and matches street addresses to postal specifications.

4. De-dupe names. It’s easy for duplicates to sneak into your mailing list (for example, Jane Smith and Jane A. Smith may be the same person), but it’s just as easy to remove them.

5. De-dupe households. Unless you are selling to businesses in which multiple practitioners may be at the same location (such as an office building), why send multiple direct mail pieces to the same address?

6. Deceased suppression. This is another mailing service that may be unfamiliar to many marketers, but it should be a regular part of your routine.

7. Service endorsements. With service endorsements, you are asking the Post Office to let you know if mail cannot be delivered because of an incorrect address. If a new address is available, the Post Office will provide it. If not, you can remove the name from your list.

How many of these services do you use on a regular basis? If you need help with your mailing service and maintaining your list, we’ll be happy to help.

Is Your Print Project Really Finished?

Any marketer has access to high-quality printing, but far fewer take the time to invest in high-quality coating. For those that do, the extra time can make the difference between buyers seeing your project as “a nice piece” and a really great, memorable one. Let’s look at three reasons you might want to add a coating before your project goes “live” into the hands of your target audience.

1. Protection. Sometimes a project needs that extra level of protection to keep it looking its best. Printed pieces can be exposed to a wide variety of harsh environmental conditions, including mailing equipment, high levels of moisture and dirt, high-traffic conditions (such as retail signage and displays), and constant handling. Coating provides an important level of protection that keeps the piece looking its best. If you need full waterproof properties, you may want to consider a laminate.

2. Gloss. Shine adds sparkle and impact. It instantly conveys the impression of value and quality. When you print or mail a piece with a high-gloss coating, you are telling recipients, “You matter!” UV coating offers the hardest coated surface and the highest level of brilliance and sheen.

3. Special effects. The number of options for specialty coatings is exploding. Spot varnish, for example, highlights specific areas of the printed piece for visual interest and impact. (Think lips popping out on a lipstick ad.) Soft touch creates a printed piece with a velvety finish. It produces a wonderful tactile feel, with the added benefit of offering fingerprint resistance, as well. Some specialty varnishes can be enhanced with effects such as glitter, tint, and scents. If you want to use a laminate, you can even get holographic effects.

Different finishes have different benefits and drawbacks. They also have different ranges of cost. Talk to us about the differences between coating types and ask to see samples. Then use coatings to make your next project shine.

Do You Know These 9 Buyer Types?

Do you know who your buyers are? Are they trailblazers? Status seekers? Do they play it safe? Different messaging appeals to different personality types, so it’s helpful to know which categories your customers fall into. Here is the list of “types” created by marketing strategist Gary Hennerberg. Do you know which categories your customers fit?

#1. Trailblazers/Early Adopters: These are the technology innovators. They yearn to be first. They are the ones standing outside the Apple Store overnight just to grab the latest gadget before anyone else. In your marketing copy, position them as ahead of the curve.

#2. My Brand/My Lifestyle: These buyers associate themselves with specific brands. They are proud of the brands they own and like to brag about them. Flatter them by positioning them as influencers.

#3. Money Matters. This audience is practical and combines cost and value when making a decision. Talk to them as sensible buyers who make smart choices.

#4. Right Thing to Do. These buyers have a strong sense of ethics and feel that if the right causes aren’t supported, the world will suffer. Talk to them as the ones who are doing their part to make a difference.

#5. Social Relationships. These buyers have a deep need to be accepted. If they don’t buy the right products or travel in the right circles, they believe their social ranking will suffer. Position them as achieving the status and acceptance they desire.

#6. Adrenaline seekers. Adrenaline seekers feel that the odds are stacked against them, so they need to take advantage of opportunities when they arise. If they don’t, those opportunities may never come back. Financial investors tend to fall into this category.

#7. Playing it safe: These buyers are cautious and methodical. They want to gather all of the information before making a decision. Help them in the process and provide assurances that their decision is safe.

#8. Feeding my insecurity: These buyers feel that they have something to hide and fear that their flaws will be exposed. Position your products and services as helping to protect their vulnerabilities.

#9. Did I matter? For these buyers, their legacy is important. They want to be remembered for their impact on the lives of others. Position your products as helping them make a difference for future generations.

Which personalities fit your products best? Understanding how your customers fit into these buyer categories will help you craft the right messages to motivate them to buy.

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