Tuesday, July 30, 2013

How an Old Fashioned Envelope Can Stand Out in the Digital Age

Before I tell you about how envelope can make your business stand out in the digital age, here's a few facts to help set the mood:

What do these stats tell us about the state of digital marketing? First, the average person is getting slammed with digital marketing messages, whether it be tons of emails or Facebook posts. And when they get bored or annoyed by all these messages, they'red not afraid to unfollow, unsubsrcibe or simply ignore those messages. Plus if you're sending emails, on average you're losing 17% of your email list every single month. What we're not saying is that digital marketing doesn't work. The Precision Envelope team uses both email and social media. But the point is that digital marketing isn't everything. And sometimes you need direct mail to reinforce your marketing message and drive conversions.
As just one example of a custom envelope, think about all the emails you receive daily. If you're like most people, you probably receive dozens every single day. But how many of them do you open? Probably less than a quarter. Most of those emails get deleted. But think about the mail you get. When you receive a colorful envelope, or one with your name printed right on it, you're much more likely to open it than an email. Or how about those social media posts? You can't read the messages from every single person you're following, so you just skim through the news feed. But mail has a way of commanding your attention. So remember, while digital marketing is important, envelopes are capable of grabbing your audiences attention in a totally unique way.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

5 Beautiful Custom Envelopes that will Inspire You!

As we like to say, when you're creating a customer envelope for your business, take every opportunity to make them stand out! These envelopes are somes times the first interaction that customers have with your company, so you want to make sure that they represent your brand and that they demand to be opened. But what if you're feeling a little light on inspiration? Well here's 10 fun examples of custom envelopes I found around the web!

"From Cologne with Love" By Are We Designer. A design firm in Germany created these retro custom envelopes. It perfectly encapsulates their creativity and represents their brand well (Found on Behance)

Ivy Hotel Sales Kit. Ivy is an upscale hotel in San Diego, and they created an appropriately sophisticated envelope to help better sell their banquet halls and meeting rooms. (via CRU Agency)

"Newspaper Boy" by Alex Kwan. Alex is a designer who created a package showcasing his skills. The envelopes are so simple, yet so much fun!

Flywheel Design by Nicole Kraieski. There's something about a black envelope that is so eye catching and unexpected. Plus with the beautiful splash of color in the upper left corner, these envelopes really pop. (via http://www.behance.net/nicolekraieski)
 Dog Envelope by Michael Hacker. It doesn't get much color than that! Michael has done an amazing job of using all the space available to create a truly special envelope (via creativereview.co.uk)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Creating a Professional Image Through Branding, Customer Relations and Yes, Envelopes

Are you "dressing for success?". The phrase may be a cliche but it's necessary to cultivate a professional demeanor that will represent your business well. But dressing for success can mean many different things to different companies. Depending on your type of business, as well as the image you'd like to create in the customer's mind, this phrase can mean several different things. This is where branding can help.

By creating a consistent voice throughout your entire business, you can reinforce your company's mission statement. This doesn't just mean throwing together a nice looking website with some well meaning prose. Branding should resonate throughout your marketing pieces, the way your employees act with customers, their uniforms and even your envelopes. Whether you're sending out customized envelopes as a bill, an appointment reminder or even just internally to your employees, no small detail should go overlooked when creating a consistent brand.

Branding is about more than just looking good in the eyes of the customer. By having the right attitude, as well as utilizing your resources as a business owner to create consistency you can alter the energy of your business, and that creative energy can have a tremendous positive effect on your employees and yourself.

Remember, a professional image isn't just wearing a suit and tie to work each day. Branding can also refer to the type of service your company offers. For instance, if speed is a benefit of your company, how can you showcase that to customers? More so than just professionalism, these are the type of things you need to take in to account. "dressing for success" means so much more than simply a sharp suit.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

What Social Media Can Teach Us About Direct Mail

A few weeks ago I wrote about how email marketing can inspire your custom envelopes, but social media marketing has actually got plenty to teach us. Despite how different they may seem on the surface, the basic truths of social can serve as inspiration in crafting your envelopes for a direct mail campaign. But first and foremost...

  • Your Envelopes and social media campaign should work together: This doesn't just mean you can put a Facebook logo on your direct mail campaign and be done with it. Your social media work should reinforce your direct mail message, and vice versa. Remember, you don't have direct mail and social media, you have an overall marketing campaign that is working towards a singular goal.
  • Ask for Feedback: Social media marketing is just that- Social. Some of the advantages include the ability to respond to customers and allow them to help shape your message, thus qualifying potential customers in the process. Don't be afraid to create a direct mail campaign where you get to learn from the recipients. Ask them for a response, even if it's not in response to a call to action, or direct the recipients to a website where they can learn more. Whatever you can do to start the conversation.
  • Create a Viral Envelope: The truly successful social media campaigns are the ones that are shared ad nauseum. Shares means more impressions, which means more potential customers viewing your work, and learning about your business. The truth is, the only way to make something shareable is to come up with a very interesting idea. A visually-arresting design or some witty copy (or both) that demands attention. A great idea can exist just as easily on a custom envelope as it can on Facebook. Don't be afraid to go bold when creating your envelope.
  • Use Trends to Your Advantage: Social media marketers are able to capitalize on hot trends quickly and easily (think about that great tweet from Oreo regarding the Super Bowl blackout). Direct mail can't necessarily move that fast, but there are ways you can use popular trends to your advantage. For instance, let's say you serve a particular area, and the local baseball team just won the World Series. Seems like an excellent time to have a huge sale in honor of the new champions! You could even create a custom envelope that features the winning team's colors.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Can You Really Mail a Coconut? Or- Why You Shouldn't Let Your Envelope Limit Your Creativity

Did you know that you can mail a coconut? And I don't mean a coconut in a box. You can slap a stamp directly on a coconut, write the address and the United States Postal Office will deliver it for you! There's even some companies in Hawaii who have mailed coconuts as part of direct mail campaigns. So why do I bring this up exactly? No, I'm not advocating that you start mailing coconuts to all your clients(Although for some businesses it might just work!). I bring this up because when it comes to creating custom envelopes, whether it be as part of a direct mail campaign, or simply because your company needs envelopes, do not let parameters of the envelope (both literal and figurative) limit your creativity.

Your printed envelope needs to be exciting, inviting, unexpected and they need to be in line with your brand's personality. Most times when a company orders custom envelopes, they simply place their logo and return address in the upper left corner. It's simple and effective, but this isn't your only option. Though our website you can design your envelope online yourself, or have one of our in-house graphic designers create it for you. If you've got a create vision for your envelopes, don't be afraid to speak your mind!

Still not sure how you can get creative with your envelopes? Here's a few ideas to get you started:

  • Include a tagline or special offer with each envelope: Even if your envelopes aren't a part of a direct mail campaign, why not include a tagline that can help create brand awarness. Or include a special offer that is only printed on those envelopes (could be a great way to increase the average transaction of each order).
  • Data Variable Printing: With variable printing, you can have each recipient's address, name and any other info you have printed right on the envelope (save yourself plenty of hand cramps!). But don't just limit yourself to printing their address- How can you use the information you have to create a truly personal envelope? Maybe you can reference something based on their geographic location (perhaps during football season, you mention the local team). Think about how this can be used to your advantage.
These are just two ideas of ways you can make your custom envelope something special. Remember, don't limit yourself. If you have anything you want to do, please let us know and we'll work with you!