Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Your Printed Envelope Needs to Be Obnoxious

Picture this: You're going to your mailbox, same as you do every day. You reach in and grab several envelopes. Most of them white, about the same size, when suddenly you notice something out of the ordinary. One envelope is bright pink, with text in blue, in a font you've never seen before.

Now you're back in your house- Which envelope will you open first?

When I say, custom printed envelopes need to be obnoxious, I'm exaggerating a bit to make a point. As a business owner who is sending out direct mail pieces (or really, any type of mail to a potential or existing customer), you obviously want it to be opened. You're not spending money to have your mail be ignored and tossed in the trash. Plus, custom envelope printing allows you a whole slew of design options that it only makes sense to take advantage. You can print virtually any image, text (with your choice of font and ink color), have each individuals name and address printed etc. Really, the only limit is your ideas.

At this point, I think I know what some of you are saying- "Well I can't do that because it wouldn't be appropriate for my industry". True, a bright pink envelope isn't right for every type of business, but that doesn't mean you can't produce something eye-catching that is indicative of your brand. Custom printing affords you those kinds of options. For instance, we've got a wide variety of color envelope options available. If pink isn't your thing, try green, gray, orchid or ivory. Plus combine that with some high quality printing, and you've got a brand consistent and outstanding piece. These are just some of the steps you can take to create a direct mail envelope that stands out. Beyond custom printing, a non-standard size is a great way to stand out. Think back to the example of one of your recipients at their mail box. If they've got a handful of standard #10 envelopes, then something unexpected like a #9, or a booklet envelope, you'll pique their curiosity, and they're likely to open that envelope first.

The areas of focus of any direct mail campaign is two-fold: You need an offer that is so good the recipient won't possibly pass it up. And you need to get them to open the envelope and check out your offer. Arguably, getting them to first open the envelope is more important. Which is why putting this extra thought into designing your envelope is so important. When it comes to custom envelope printing, make sure to take every chance you can to improve your response rate, and ultimately your return on investment.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

What Email Marketing Can Teach us About Custom Envelopes

E-Mail marketing isn't a perfect facsimile for direct mail marketing (direct mail has a better ROI, after all) but much of what we learn from digital can be applied in the real world. Specifically, custom envelopes, which are an integral part of direct mail marketing. But whether you're using envelopes as part of a marketing campaign or simply for sending out your day to day mail, here's 5 tips from the digital world that can help improve your custom envelopes:

Setting the Right Tone: You need to make sure the tone is in line with your business. Whether you're looking for something young and edgy, or knowledgeable and professional, this tone should come across in your custom envelopes. Luckily, printed envelopes allow for a great deal of flexibility, which allows you to think beyond simply placing a return address and logo in the left corner.

Subject Lines: A subject line is to an email what an envelope is to direct mail. It's your first and only chance to grab the recipients attention. Think back to what kind of emails you actually open. Usually the subject line is something interesting or unexpected. This same approach should be taken when creating your envelope.

Scrutinize Your List: You might have a few thousand people on your email list, and you're probably very proud of that number. But be honest- How many of them are legit? Are you checking the bounced emails to see if some of them are spelled in correctly? Or if some of the accounts have been closed? You should be regularly cleaning house with your email list. You should do the same with your direct mail list because unlike email, you pay per piece you send out.

Don't Stop at 1 but Don't be a Spammer: This is the line that all marketers must walk. You need to remain relevant to the recipient without being obnoxious but you also can't annoy them either. The problem with some business owners who attempt to do their own marketing is they'll send out one email, get a sub par response, then assume email doesn't work and they never try it again. Email and directly mail will generally need multiple touches in order to be as effective as possible. Be sure to set up a plan to reach out to the recipients at least 3 times, and be sure not to be annoying!

Have Something Important to Say: No matter what you're doing, you need to make sure your message is worthwhile. There's two ways you can do this: Make sure that the people who are receiving your message are likely to respond to it and make sure that you've got something interesting to say. Whether it be a big sale of the opening of a new location, make sure your content is something that's actually worthy of being mailed.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

How to Turn Your Envelopes into Powerful Marketing Tools

Remember, when it comes to marketing, the tactic is only as good as the idea behind. Just because you're using some trendy marketing tactic such as QR codes, it doesn't guarantee your campaign will be a success. Furthermore, custom envelopes can be an effective part of your direct mail campaign if you use them correctly. It's all about the execution. If you choose to view envelopes as just a boring vessel for getting your direct mail piece in customer's hands, than it won't be much more than that. But if you examine every opportunity you have to convince someone in to a customer, you can increase your Return on investment. Here's a few tips on how your envelopes can become an essential and effective part in your marketing.

  • Be Bold: If you're looking to attract attention, it's time to go big or go home. Explore several different options such as color envelopes, unexpected sizes or unique features. When it comes to envelope printing, go with interesting ink colors,throw in your business tag line, advertise an ongoing promotion or have a teaser the content of the mailer. Whatever you can do to grab their attention and make them open your envelope.
  • Use Brand Recognition: A great way to get people to open an envelope is that they're already familiar with your company. Don't make the recipient play a guessing game with your envelope, add your logo to make sure they know exactly what they're getting themselves into. Even if they're not customers, they may recognize your business name and logo from other ads or from driving by your store, increasing the likelihood that they will open the envelope.
  • Include a Return Envelope: Need the recipient to return a form in order to fulfill the order? Include a smaller, stamped and addressed envelope. Whatever you do, you need to make it as easy as possible for the recipient to become a customer. Seemingly little touches like including a stamp will save them the trouble of having to get one on their own, and increases the likelihood that they will respond.
  • Include Contact Info and a Call to Action: Don't save your call to action for your mailer. Put it right there on the envelope and make sure they know exactly what they need to do and why they should be contacting your right away. But a call to action isn't worth much if you don't make it as easy as possible for them to get in touch with you. Put your web address and phone number on the back flap so that the recipient doesn't need to go looking for it after they read the letter.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

5 Ways Custom Envelopes Can Improve Your Direct Mail Campaign ROI

Creating a custom and professional envelope as part of a direct mail campaign has been known to improve response rates and ROI. But not all direct mail campaigns are created equal. Incorporating custom envelopes can provide a huge boost to your campaign, but there are certain best practices that can help ensure that your campaign is a success:

  • Get Personal: Personalized campaigns are the latest trend in marketing. Technology has made it so we can provide people with very specific results, and audiences are now expecting to see their content (and their advertising) catered to their needs. Advances such as data variable printing and personalized URLs allow us to dynamically pull in each recipient's information and print it on their individual envelope.
  • Make it Look Handwritten: According to Helium.com, handwritten envelopes have been proven to improve response rates by 300%. Think about it- When was the last time you received a hand written note? When someone takes the time to actually handwrite your name and address, you're much more likely to take the time to read what they have to say. But if you're mailing to a few hundred people (or more likely several thousand) there's no way you can handwrite that many envelopes (without suffering some serious hand cramps). Luckily with envelope printing and some graphic design work you can create a "handwritten" that look nearly identical to actual handwritten envelopes.
  • Don't Give It All Away: If you're looking to increase your response rate, don't tell them all about your special offer right there on the envelope. Then they'll have no reason to open it! Instead, tease them with a line that will pique their curiosity.
  • Narrow Your List: You may have a list of 10,000 addresses, which is great. But should every single one of those persons receive this particular letter? By narrowing down your list to those who you think are most likely to respond, you can increase your response rate, as well as save money.
  • Include a Pre-Stamped Return Envelope: This letter is specifically for campaigns that require a response by mail. By including a pre-adressed and stamped, you'll increase the likelihood that the recipient will respond. While this specific example may not work for all campaigns, the main takeaway is that you need to make it as easy as possible for users to convert. Whether you need them to visit a website, pick up the phone or mail you an order form, try to eliminate as many obstacles that could prevent this from happening.
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