4 Tips for Making Your Direct Mail Campaigns Successful

These days, most marketing communications is conducted electronically through emails, newsletters and SMS. Although they help reduce costs, provide better opportunities to measure and collect data, and allow for a faster response speed, they also have several disadvantages. Electronic communications have to depend on technology, online security and fierce competition. Here’s where direct mail campaigns are more effective and efficient.

Direct mail campaigns are still a key tool in the overall marketing strategies of many businesses. Their individualized approach and high flexibility help you gain targeted visibility from potential customers. However, you must plan and execute your direct mail campaigns well. It isn’t enough to just design, print and mail your materials to your prospects and expect to get tangible results.

In this blog, we’ve compiled a few tips for optimizing your marketing and advertising efforts through direct mail.

  1. Segment Your Customers and Set Realistic Goals

 The effectiveness of your direct mail campaign depends on how you narrow your target customers. Segmenting your customer base according to their age, location, interests, activities, and needs will help you create a list of the right prospects for your campaign. When you prepare the list, it’ll provide you the opportunity to convey your brand message directly to your likeliest customers.

It’s important to set realistic goals while keeping in mind the campaign objectives. You can expect to get a response from 3-6% of your recipients. Take this into consideration when printing and sending out your mailers.

  1. Create Designs that Help Your Brand Stand Out

 Unless you create something exceptional, you can’t capture the attention of your prospects. Before designing your mailer, conduct market research to find out how your competitors are doing it. Find out where you can introduce an innovation that will be interesting for the prospects. Depending on the personality of your brand, choose bright or muted colours. Overall, your mailer should be crisp and unique.

Don’t forget to consider the size of your mailer. Some businesses may find standard postcard size ideal while others would benefit from oversized cards with larger spaces. Larger canvas provides you more space to describe your services, products and company.

You can also add some interactive elements like pop-up features and unique folding structures to keep prospects engaged and interested for longer. However, your choice should depend on the nature of your campaign.

  1. Include a Direct and Easy Call-to-Action

 The text in your mailer should be simple, direct and easy-to-understand. Whether you want your prospects to visit your website, buy online or follow your social media pages, add a straightforward call-to-action message that’s visually attractive.

  1. Personalize the Message

 Personalizing your mailer campaign is an excellent way to create an impact on your prospects. It’ll make them feel special and valued, and also promote your business as a user-friendly brand that makes the effort to know the preferences of its customers.

However, no matter how skillfully you plan your mailers, if the finished product doesn’t look professional and visually appealing, the campaign may flop. Therefore, make sure to print your mailers using high-quality printers. If you’re planning a direct mail campaign for your business and you are looking for printing solutions, contact us at info@microprinting.ca or call us at (905) 670-7309.

How Printed RSVP Cards Can Bring Better Success to Your Business Event

If you’re organizing a business event for your customers, its success depends on how many guests turn out for the event. When you send a professionally designed and printed invitation along with an RSVP card to your guests, they’ll be excited. It’ll make them feel important and enhance the chances of their participation in your event.

Be it a grand opening, a product launch, a success party or some other special event, include a beautifully designed RSVP card where guests can respond back to you if they’ll attend your event or not.

There’s no rule for wording RSVPs. You can write according to your formal business style or be creative and include humour.  However, apart from the introductory words, the basic format of a formal business RSVP card should include:

  • The response date by which your guests need to respond back.
  • Spaces to write names and phone numbers.
  • A space to check “Yes” or “No” regarding acceptance or decline of the invitation.

Don’t forget to put your RSVP card inside a stamped and self-addressed envelope so that guests can easily return the response cards.

Below we’ve listed some examples as to how printed RSVP cards can help you make a positive impact on your guests.

  1. They bring an Impression of Exclusivity to Your Event

 Including a printed RSVP card with your formal business invitation is an excellent way to make your event stand out. Usually, invitations mention to RSVP via email or telephone or a written message. In such cases, the guests must send their response in their own stationery. But when you, as a business, provide your own designed stationery which guests only need to fill out by hand and send back, it becomes an elegant addition to your invitation.

  1. They’re Personal

 A printed stylish RSVP card conveys the effort and thought you’ve put in for your guests. Psychologically, it gives your guests a positive feeling about your event and stirs greater interest. It makes them think that you’ve put a lot more effort in organizing and designing your event and prompts them to answer your RSVP in affirmative.

  1. They Have a Physical Presence

 Just like any other printed materials, a printed RSVP card can be held and admired. It has a stronger ability to retain the attention of your guests over digital alternatives. A digital invitation and RSVP can get lost in the sea of emails of an inbox. The physical presence of a printed card will also ensure that guests remember to respond back as soon as possible every time they see it.

Whether you prefer a vintage, classic or modern style response card complementing your brand and event theme, any of these options will help you get a better response. Design your RSVP cards and customize them according to your needs. To get high-quality prints, invest in a reputed printing service that will assist you in choosing the best printing options for your cards at affordable prices.

How to Utilize Oversized Postcards for Your Marketing Campaigns

Postcards are a powerful tool for direct marketing with a proven record of results in terms of ROI.  They’re available in various sizes that can be utilized according to your marketing campaign goals. These days, oversized postcards are one of the hottest direct marketing trends that are gaining popularity among marketers. Oversized postcards provide many advertising and promotional opportunities.

Why is Size Important?

 When your customers receive bundles of mail at their desk, the largest package will always get attention first. This means oversized postcards can immediately help your business get noticed by the potential customers. They can also convince your potential customers to get into the purchase funnel quickly as your business’ message is directly conveyed.

Depending on your goals and where it’ll be delivered, you can plan the best size for your oversized postcard. The sizes that are widely available are – 5” x 7“, 5” x 8”, 5.5” x 8.5”, 6”x 8.75” and 6” x 11”.  These sizes can easily fit into a regular mailbox.

How to Use Oversized Postcards

If you’re not sure how to use oversized postcards to promote your business, here are some ideas.

  1. Use as an Invitation: If you’re organizing an event, use oversized postcards to grab the attention of your customers and potential customers. In the age of social media mass invites, a printed invitation will be appreciated. To make your customers feel special, hand-write your message to impart a personal touch. This little extra effort can go a long way. You can also use high-quality large postcards to make a business announcement and hand them out to your attendees at the event. 
  1. Use as a Gift Card or Discount Coupon: Who doesn’t love to receive gifts? Oversized postcards are ideal for creating branded gift cards or gift vouchers. You can either mail them to your customers or hand them out when they visit your store. Offering the gift cards to the loved ones of your customers is an alternative. This will give your business added exposure and generate possible new leads.

 Unique discount coupons are another strategy. If you’re offering any special discounts on your products and services, you can send out oversized postcards with scratch-off foil. Hiding the special offer or discount code under the opaque foil will intrigue your customers. They’ll be more likely to engage and participate when they find your message in the form of a surprise.

  1. Use as a Token of Gratitude: Keeping your customers loyal to your products and services is crucial for any business. Send out personal thank you notes in the form of oversized postcards to your customers after a few weeks of making their purchases. If you own an online business, then include these postcards with the delivery packages to make an impression on your customer. It’s an excellent way to let your customers know how much you appreciate and value them.
  1. Use as a Feedback Form: Print oversized postcards into a questionnaire or survey/feedback form. You can either mail them to your customers so that they communicate back to you. Or, you can provide them to your customers at the storefront. You may also offer some discounts to your customers for their feedback. In this way, you can collect valuable feedback and improve your service overall and leave a positive impression about your company.

 Oversized postcards enable you to connect with your customers personally. They’re a great medium to promote your business and gain new customers quickly. With Micro Printing Ltd., you can get high-quality oversized postcards at incredible prices. We can also assist you in selecting the best orienting options for your particular needs.

What Are the Different Types of Inks Used in Large Format Printing?

There are several varieties of inks available for large format printing. Each type has its own features and purpose. To get the most of your large format printing materials, understanding the different types of inks is important.

  1. Solvent Inks

These are pigment inks that contain dyes. They enable printing on different types of uncoated vinyls (used to create vehicle graphics, banners, billboards, adhesive decals). Solvent inks are oil- based solutions that are resistant to fading, UV rays and water for at least 5 to 7 years. This quality makes them ideal for outdoor banners. Solvent inks are also comparatively inexpensive.

Hard solvent ink provides a greater durability than mild or eco-solvent inks. However, it contains high levels of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and requires specialized venting at the printing stage. Solvent inks also take a long time to dry.

  1. Eco-Solvent Inks

Eco-solvent inks are made from refined mineral oil. They have gained popularity in recent times for their low cost, durability, colour quality and lack of toxic fumes. It doesn’t require special ventilation like solvent inks. However, it does require a longer time to dry compared to hard solvent ink. Also, the durability is not as strong as solvent inks. They can be removed with glass cleaners and alcohol. Eco-solvent inks are ideal for trade show graphics, Point of Sale (POS) and Point of Purchase (POP) banners, vinyls, wall graphics and fabrics with inkjet receptive coating.

  1. Aqueous Inks

These inks are generally water-based. Produced by a process called dye sublimation, aqueous inks are the most common type of inks used for large format printing. They come in two varieties – Dye and UV. Aqueous dye ink enables detailed, smooth images as the process involves very small dots of colourants. However, dye ink is not resistant to water and UV light. It’s suitable for short term pop up displays and roller stands for indoors. It can even fade if exposed to strong fluorescent bulbs, so take care when choosing when to implement it.

Aqueous UV ink is UV light resistant, so it doesn’t fade easily. The colourant particles are not as small as the dye ink but it still delivers high-quality images. Also, the texture of the ink is rough. When light falls on the surface of the image, the light is scattered, leading to a muted colour appearance. It can be used to print window banners, POS/POP displays, trade show banners and indoor signage.

Aqueous inks are expensive compared to the other types of inks. The printing mediums for aqueous inks require lamination or inkjet-receptive coating.

  1. UV Curable Inks

After the printing is done, UV curable inks are exposed to UV radiation (LED light or mercury arc lamp) which then breaks the ink into liquid first, and then transforms it into a solid film on the substrate. Although the ink is exotic and expensive, the amount of ink required for the printing job is less. They dry out very fast. UV curable inks are perfect for printing on vinyl, glass, wood, and metal. However, some of these substrates may require a coating of primer so that the ink adheres properly.

  1. Latex Inks

They are the latest water-based pigmented inks. There are no VOCs and the printed materials can be immediately laminated once out from the printer. They are used on polyester, vinyl, paper and fabrics. They produce durable prints that can last for up to 3 years. However, latex inks require pre and post print heater and consume higher energy than other inkjets.

Consider what you want to achieve with your printed materials rather than only focusing on your budget. When you know about each of the ink types, you can make a more informed decision.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Large Format Printing

Image from – Pinterest.com

Large format printing offers you a large space to advertise your business, products and services. The high visibility of your content (graphics, text and images) helps deliver your brand message effectively to a large audience. Popular forms of large format marketing collaterals that most businesses use are posters, banners, pull-up banners, signage, decals and stickers, canvas printing and plan printing.

Advantages of Large Format Printing

With its low costs and lasting impression, large format printing is one of the most cost-effective print marketing tools available. It has several advantages:

  1. A Great High-Impact Advertising Medium: The use of droplet technology creates sharp and clear images that are visible even from a distance which increases brand recognition. Information about your business, deals and discounts on large printed collaterals can immediately catch the attention of potential customers when they’re out for shopping in your targeted area.

Large format printing is also a great way to entice attendees in a trade show or exhibition. It’ll help you stand out from the crowd. A call-to-action in your large format display can quickly generate leads for your business.

  1. Print on Demand: Unlike traditional offset printing that can only print in bulk, large format printing allows you to print according to the quantity you need. This means no unwanted surplus.
  1. Long Lasting: Some large format printing is meant to be mounted outside. Billboards and posters are placed outside for long periods of time. Therefore, maintaining the display quality is a necessity. Constructed from durable and UV-resistant materials, large format printing can withstand continuous exposure to different kinds of weather conditions without fading.

Disadvantages

  • Going Wrong with the Ink: Choosing the right ink and the right material for your large format promotional material can often be tricky. Businesses often try to save money by going for comparatively low-cost material and ink without judging if it’ll serve their purpose. Material and ink must be compatible otherwise the whole project can sink.
  • It Isn’t Versatile: Large format printing is meant for a specific purpose. It’s not a versatile marketing tool. If billboards, hoardings, banners, or large posters are not what you’re looking for to promote your brand, it can be a waste of time for your business.

Now that you know the advantages and disadvantages of large format printing, you can start building a marketing strategy. Make a business statement with large format printed materials and get an edge over your competitors.

Printed Brochures Are Still an Effective Marketing Tool in the Digital Era

There are many potential customers who are cautious to place an order for an expensive product from an unknown company online. They still prefer to make their choice through information available from various printed materials. This is one of the important reasons why a business cannot acquire and retain customers only by utilizing the online medium. To succeed, online companies must produce printed sales literature in the form of brochures and other forms physical media along with their internet marketing strategy.

Brochures still play a crucial role in boosting your sales although print, in general, is declining in the digital era. Here are 3 reasons why brochures are an evergreen marketing tool.

  1. Dependable Source without Internet

Printed sales literature helps in initiating the sales process. Imagine you have a potential customer in the vicinity and you’re looking for an opportunity to promote your company. Unfortunately, neither you nor your prospect has access to the internet or your prospect isn’t web savvy. The prospect leaves and you lose the opportunity because you never know if he/she will ever care enough to ever visit your company website. Here’s where a printed brochure can save the day. Customers can go through the information at their convenience without having to connect to the internet. It’s like reading a magazine or a newspaper. It’s easier for your customer to find your contact information on printed literature, enabling them to make a buying decision.

  1. Ensure Consistent Branding

In marketing, there is a saying that “out of sight is out of mind”. Information received digitally is only retained for a short period of time. Printed brochures on the other hand, retain the attention of readers for a longer duration. Its physical presence acts like a constant reminder of your company. Additionally, the format of the brochure is perfect for providing additional details and information about your business, products and services in separate sections. You can also include special deals and discounts.

  1. Cost Effective Marketing Tool

Compared to other forms of advertising, printing brochures can be an economical marketing option. The cost depends on the quality of paper, design, colour and content. Printed in large quantities, they can be used for various events like trade shows, pop-up meetings, conferences, etc. or for mailing them to potential customers. Brochures, if properly designed, can convey your business message in a much deeper level than through more expensive alternatives like print media ads, online ads or television ads.

A good brochure effectively communicates the solutions you can offer for your clients’ problems. To create high-quality brochures at reasonable prices, visit a professional brochure printing service.

 

Reprintable Paper: The New Breakthrough

Invented in China during 105 AD, paper has contributed a lot in the development of our civilization. For centuries, it’s been the most popular medium of conveying information. Paper can portray our thoughts physically, through hard copy.

With the growing demand, mass production of paper has led to environmental problems. More paper means more cutting down of trees for pulp extraction. To deal with this issue a group of researchers at the University of California, Riverside, along with Wenshou Wang of Shandong University in China invented reprintable paper.

What is a Reprintable Paper?

Reprintable paper is a recent invention made to solve the environmental problems caused by the mass production of regular paper. It’s developed with a coating that doesn’t require ink to write and can be printed on, erased and reused more than 80 times.

Printing is done with light and nanoparticles that coat the paper. The nanoparticles are between 1 and 100 nanometres in size (i.e., 100,000 times thinner than an average piece of paper). Each nanoparticle gets energy from light and causes the other particle to change colour.

What Makes It Reprintable?

The coating is the ‘magic ingredient’ of reprintable paper. Two types of nanoparticles are used for coating, that change from clear to visible and vice versa when exposed to light.

The first type of nanoparticle is Prussian blue that appears blue and turns colourless when extra electrons are supplied. The other nanoparticle is titanium dioxide that supplies the additional electrons when exposed to UV (ultraviolet) light.

This is the secret behind the reprintability of this revolutionary paper. The printing is done through a laser beam. Erasing is done by heating the paper.

Other Significant Invention

Scientists at Xerox Corporation have invented a reusable paper whose prints last only for a day. This makes the paper reusable, thus significantly reducing paper consumption.

The technology behind reusable paper comes from the development of compounds that change colour when exposed to a specific wavelength of light. The printed matter disappears in about 16 to 24 hours.

Reusable paper is currently part of a laboratory project and may soon curb the amount of paper waste.

Our society is becoming paperless by relying more on online technology. But, paper still plays a crucial role as printed materials have demonstrated that they can establish a strong emotional connection in marketing efforts. The introduction of reprintable and reusable paper for commercial purposes can save natural resources. This new reprintable paper can solve many problems and provide an alternative to the production of traditional paper.

Making Flyers an Effective Part of Your Marketing Campaign

Flyer Printing

Image from Pinterest.com

Social media plays an important role in today’s marketing efforts. Despite this, direct marketing isn’t dead.

Physical media such as flyers still play a vital role in the promotion of products and services. They are a lot more immediate than a pop-up, email marketing or banners. Flyers also have less competition for attention. When you receive a flyer, a person reads it and then decides what to do with it. With online ads, a person may never remember, or even it with all the other things that may occupy his/her screen.

Flyer Design Best Practice

The flyer you design and distribute gives a limited window to market to your potential audience. There’s a good chance that once someone has glanced over the flyer, they’ll put it down and never look at it again unless something captured their interest the first time. With that in mind, you need to look towards best practices to make the most of your flyers.

  • Use colours wisely. Colours can communicate meaning in themselves. Red can convey vitality, passion and danger, while white can convey space, and openness.
  • Take your time with the design. Flyers are physical media. As such, they are costly to correct once printed. Having a flyer with typos or incorrect information can be detrimental for the brand’s image.
  • Insert only what’s important. While it could be tempting to inform your customer with the entire history of your company in the flyer—don’t. Select and insert information that’s relevant to the purpose of the flyer. If the flyer is meant to promote an upcoming sale, then list the popular products that’ll be going on sale. If the flyer is to celebrate an event, then put the details of the event in it.
  • Understand your audience. While it would be nice to target everyone with any marketing effort, reality doesn’t work that way. By targeting everyone, your message will become diluted to the point that it’s bland. Instead, the content and design of your flyer needs to be specifically made to appeal to target demographics. You’ll need to do market research about who would most be interested in your products, services, event, etc. You’ll also need to do research as what your competition is doing to capture their attention. Once you’ve done this research, then you can design your flyer in a way to best provide ROI.

We cannot deny the importance of social media in the everyday lives of both business and people. But, physical media is still present strongly. On every bus, in every park bench or food court, you can always find some people happily reading a book. Physical media isn’t dead, it just shares some of the spot light with social media. People appreciate the tactile feel of paper.

That doesn’t mean you can slouch with your flyers. Like any marketing tool, they are an investment that requires your full attention. Only by doing your research and through informed, careful design can you see a ROI. So put in the effort and make something that people want to read.

Business Card Blunders – Printing Mistakes to Avoid

Business Cards

Your business card is important to you. It has your name, contact details and company title all in a fancy font. However, according to the stats, roughly 88% of your cards will be thrown out within a week. There are several reasons why this could be the case. Chief among them, are printing errors.

Here is a short list about some of the more common printing errors that you need to avoid.

Loud Borders

You may think an over-the-top, bright, gaudy border makes you seem confident. The truth is that it doesn’t. It’s visually annoying. Think of it as the visual equivalent of shouting at your customers. Instead, go for more subtle borders, roughly ¼ inch wide. This acts like white space, focusing attention on your company details.

Spelling Errors

This is one of the most common mistakes. It just looks unprofessional. Why should a client trust you to do business with if you cannot spot such a simple detail?

Black Backgrounds

Black may be a go-to colour for clothing and fashion, but this isn’t the case for business cards. You see, a card with a black background makes any other colours (other than white) appear blurry. White may look plain, but it’s a better background to add interesting colours, designs and fonts onto.

Too Much Unnecessary Information

The company logo, who you are, what you do and how to get in touch with you, is really the only information a business card should have.  Other pieces of information such as your hobbies, interests, aspirations and zodiac sign shouldn’t be included. Save those for your social media or dating profile!

Although the majority of business cards may spend their existence in a trash bin after a week, the truth is this marketing resources works. Business cards can increase your company’s profit by 3%. If you are in a hurry and don’t have in-house staff for designing a great business card, hire a professional. He/she can help you avoid the mistakes discussed above!

4 Reasons Print Is Alive and Well in Digital Era

print 1

A casual look around any public setting will reveal that most people are on their phones. The reason for this, is that digital media has become a big deal. Information about anything and everything can be gleamed online. Despite this fact, print is not dead; only the form content takes.

Most people would cite a lack of time as the main reason they no longer consume long-form content to the degree older generations did in the past. The demands of everyday life prevent most people from sitting down and reading a 1,000-page book. But, that doesn’t mean people are no longer reading. Most what’s being consumed online is text. The difference is that it’s customized to fit around the reader’s lifestyle.

Print media can still flourish if it adopts a similar tactic. Besides, printed media has a few advantages that its online counterpart lacks.

  • Standardization

Unlike information on a webpage, an article in a magazine can’t ‘break’. Articles published online have the potential to be unviewable if the code is changed, if the reader has certain apps installed, or even if the content isn’t viewed on the right device. Any of these issues is very frustrating to a reader.
Printed media on the other hand, doesn’t have this problem. How it looks once it leaves the printers is how it’ll look in the hand of the reader.

  • No online risk

Full privacy and control is a huge advantage on favour of print. A problem with digital content is that there’s always a risk of getting hacked, or of having malware installed on your website. Either scenario can seriously damage the bond between your company and its clients.

  • No eye strain

Unlike a digital screen, printed materials will never have glare. This has two benefits: (a) It won’t hurt the eyes of readers, and (b) it won’t take as long for someone to read the material.

As per a report by Forbes magazine, “People read digital screen text 20% – 30% slower than printed paper.”

  • Print is taken seriously

Generally, printed material holds more authority than digital content. That’s because of the ease of publishing online. Anyone can say anything online, thus, a lot of incorrect information goes viral.

In the public eye, if something is printed, it holds more weight. Someone had to read the material before it could be published. The editorial layer is what makes printed material more trustworthy than digital.

Digital distribution may’ve hurt print, but it hasn’t killed it. There are some advantages unique to print that digital material can’t match. It is these advantages that make print a value-added option for businesses considering their marketing strategy.


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