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Successful Direct Mail Printing


Printing and mailing 500 postcards is a no-brainer and will not break the bank if you screw it up, but what about a larger, more complex campaign that requires various package components, like an RD or BRE, and the services of a lettershop? If you are new at direct mail, you will undoubtedly have many questions about the actual printing of your campaign.

  • WHAT kind of printer you should NEVER work with?
  • WHEN you should not use PDF art for your mail campaigns?
  • HOW to reduce the cost of your personalization?
  • WHAT is the #1 secret to a successful direct mail campaign?

While there are endless sources about direct mail in general, there are few books available that can guide you through the complexities of print production.

  • WHAT is the difference between a printer, mailshop and lettershop?Secret-Keys-3D-Book-Printing-Gold-2
  • HOW many ‘overs’ should you print?
  • WHAT is the ONLY type of perforation you should use on your laser stock?

A misstep at the tail end of a dm campaign during the actual printing and delivery can easily wipe out any ROI, and turn your project into a financial disaster!!

Get help with our new, revised edition of The 10 Secret Keys to Successful Direct Mail Printing, now available on Amazon.

Based on more than 30 years of hands-on dm printing experience, the book will show you the way around many of the pitfalls of dm production. It can literally save you thousands of dollars wasted on common printing and mailing mistakes.

Check it out today on Amazon.

Or… give us a call at 905.877.3656.

Direct Mail: The Olympic Decathlete Of Marketing


Ashton Eaton. Do you know this name? My quick poll around the office seemed to indicate that most people do not.

Ashton Eaton is the best athlete on the planet. He recently set the world record for the decathlon and won the gold medal in last week’s London Olympics. But you don’t even know who he is.

Ashton Eaton

What I’m getting at is, direct mail might just be the decathlete of marketing. Direct mail is the jack of all trades, but might not get the exposure and attention that the more glamorous or new technologies might have. Direct mail is the workhorse of your marketing campaign, and although not always flashy, it is reliable and efficient. Direct Mail can take home the gold medal in the marketing decathlon that every business faces to get their product/offering in front of consumers.

Let’s say Usain Bolt is emerging technology. Fast, loud, bold and everybody wants on the bandwagon. He’s in the spotlight and loving it. However, there is a problem with embracing every Usain Bolt that comes along… you can’t run fast with the same technology forever. In short bursts, embracing the latest technology can lead to big rewards, but eventually can run out of steam. Direct mail is the marathon, the reliable partner that you always know arrives. 98% of people bring their mail in the day it is delivered, and 77% sort through it immediately. With every direct mail piece, there is an ability to track the mailing and an understanding that the piece arrived.

Usain Bolt

Let’s say Michael Phelps is social media (with 1.2 million Twitter followers, this isn’t too much of a stretch!) Social media has staying power, and is a crucial component to any team. Add social media into an already strong direct mail program, and the combination only becomes stronger. Gabby Douglas is the SMS component of your marketing strategy, and Misty Mae Traenor and Kerry Walsh are your QR code and email parts. All of these components are exciting, popular and fun to watch, but cannot be your entire marketing plan as a stand-alone.

And then you have Ashton Eaton. Sometimes direct mail is the least flamboyant component in a marketing strategy, but it is the one element that can do it all. Running, jumping throwing and succeeding! He’s not shouting and demanding the spotlight, but diligently doing exactly what he is meant to do, to be reliable and to take all of the individual components (digital print, email, QR codes, social media, mobile, emerging technologies) and showcase them as a conglomerate effort.

Direct mail takes all of the elements of a successful marketing plan and allows you to pick the elements you want it to combine. Whether you have a heptathlon of a mailing with a QR code leading to a social media site with an SMS campaign, or whether you are utilizing a variable print, transpromotional direct mail piece with a mail-tracking tool to strengthen your database and Customer Intelligence efforts, direct mail can take any number of marketing initiatives and make them a gold-medal winning marketing campaign!

Congratulations to all of the Olympic athletes and to the nations involved in this year’s competition, and we all look forward to Rio in 2016!

This article appears courtesy of Matt Haskell from SourceLink (http://www.sourcelink.com ). SourceLink creates results-driven communication solutions. Combining strengths in marketing analytics, data intelligence, technology and production expertise, SourceLink crafts and executes data-driven direct marketing and transactional document outsourcing solutions. You can read the original posting of the article as well on SourceLink’s blog (http://www.sourcelink.com/blog/ )

Are You Ready For Mobile Marketing?


Click on the icons and scroll bar in the image above.

Being a print supplier for direct mail, I just read the latest issue of Graphic Arts (May 2012) and came across an article called Mobile Marketing (p.32).

I am not surprised that this article appeared in a print magazine under the category of Marketing.

Mobile marketing is HUGE, even for printers.

If you are one of the 10.5 million smartphone users in Canada (eMarketer 2012), you will probably already have experienced mobile marketing whether you scanned a QR code, downloaded an app or used your smartphone to browse the internet.

There are all kinds of revealing statistics and infographics surrounding mobile marketing and why it is something that should be seriously considered for ALL types of businesses and organizations. Here are just a few:

  • 4 billion mobile phones in use worldwide
  • More than 1 billion are smartphones
  • More than 3 billion are SMS-enabled (text messaging)
  • By 2014, mobile internet usage will overtake desktop internet usage
  • More than 60% of LOCAL searches are done on mobile, e.g. restaurants, fast food, dentists, taxis, physio, printers… just about anything, you name it
  • 29% will scan codes to redeem coupons and offers
  • The top 3 uses of smartphones are SMS text messaging, taking photos and internet browsing
  • Over 1/3 of Facebook’s 900 million users use Facebook mobile




To put it bluntly, if you try to marginalize the importance AND opportunity of mobile marketing, whatever business you are in, you will miss one of the biggest ships that have come by in recent years.

The new mobile consumer is looking for you on their mobile device and if you do not provide them with a mobile-enhanced experience, they will move on to one who does. Maybe to your competitor down the street.

In a nutshell – if they can’t find you in their mobile search, or if you don’t make it easy for them on your internet presence, they won’t shop with you!

Worse yet, if your site didn’t work well the first, 46% are unlikely to return to try again the next time.

If you still have doubts about the power of mobile, note that one of the most effective AND least expensive ways of marketing is through SMS (Short Message Service) or text messaging which is done on smartphones.

  • More than 90% of users will read their text messages within 15 minutes
  • Open rates for SMS are as high as 97% while only 6% of users will check their email messages
  • 75% of smartphone users prefer receiving offers via SMS
  • 65% of people like offers on their mobile phones

With the continued rise and accessibility of the smartphone, mobile marketing is a tool that EVERY business and organization should have in their toolbox. Whether it’s a full-blown mobile marketing campaign, or just a mobile-friendly site, or even just a mobile landing page, it’s worth it to jump in asap.

Question: What 3 things do you always carry with you when you leave home?

Answer: Your wallet (or purse), car keys and…. phone.


NOW AVAILABLE FROM DM GRAPHICS — Mobile marketing services are now available at DM Graphics under a new division called Grow Like Mad Marketing. Check out DM Graphics and Grow Like Mad Marketing on your smartphone!!




Promoting Your Business With Variable Data Imaging

Running a business calls for constant evaluation, building relationships with existing customers and developing new markets. Once in a while it is necessary to send letters to your customers. How about using variable data imaging which conforms to one-to-one marketing?

The traditional advertising procedures can be turned into successful marketing efforts that will reward you. Develop long-term business client relationship to promote your sales. Your goal should be long term business rather than one-time sale. Variable Data Imaging can help you customize huge bulk of postcards and other print products.

The following aims can be achieved with variable data imaging:

  • Touch the hearts of your customers by using marketing materials that build a strong relationship by appealing to them. It’s better to employ one-to-one advertising to capture your audience. Address your clients personally by using and printing their names to form a close relationship.
  • Brands are more in demand by the clients than products. Generate warmth and intimate customer service by creating advertisements that make your brand spell out these traits. Remember that quality and service are the pre-requisites customers that need to be catered to in the times when products and services are being produced on a massive scale.
  • It is better to use simple language when you are talking to your clients. It should be like the way you communicate to a regular person. Do not use heavy language which you use for product design manuals and dissertation papers.
  • When a new person enters your pool of clients initiate friendly correspondence with them. Develop a friendly relationship with your clients by using postcards, letters, greeting cards and other forms of correspondence.
  • It is advised to print your marketing material by including pictures which your clients can relate to. Good quality graphics should be printed in color to cast a strong first impression on the mind your customer.
  • Communicate to the customers as you would talk to a VIP and make the content more personalized. Approach them through words like you would talk to a CEO. Be direct and brief them about what they can gain from it. Do not talk too much about yourself in the manner of self-glorification.
  • When you personalize and detail each print with Variable Data Imaging, then you could increase the responses of your customers. That way you could earn a major return on your investment without spending as much.
  • It would be good if you send them personalized notes on occasions like Christmas. With the help of Variable Data imaging you can print a different image or detail. The most important thing is that your sincerity should come across strongly.


Article provided courtesy of John Adams, Chief Editor, DOW-PRINTING. Website: www.dowprinting.com – A printing website that provides  Variable Data Printing, Brochure Printing, Flyers Printing, Sticker Printing and other printing services online.

How To Design A Self-Mailer Insert

You See Them All The Time. You Know, The Inserts That Are Stitched Inside Magazines And Brochures.

You pull them out of their staples, fill in the form and return it inside the ready-made envelope.

For lack of a better name, let’s call them stitched-in self-mailers (SISM).

They’re a very economical way of using direct response marketing because they avoid the use of a separate direct mail package. The envelope is already pre-made and they just need to ride along with the magazine or brochure.

Here are a few points to keep in mind when designing a SISM:

Start From Finished Size
It’s important that the finished SISM will fit inside the magazine or brochure without any of the edges sticking out. The folded, stitched-in size should be at least 1/8″ smaller than the piece it’s being stitched into. If you can make it smaller, even better.

Work Backwards And Create A Mockup
To help in designing your SISM on a flat sheet, start with a finished envelope, flap and all, and just hand-draw some artwork on each side. Any kind of markings will do. It’s just to give you a perspective so that when the sheet is flat, you can position the artwork correctly.

Don’t Forget A Perforation
Your response piece needs to come off from the envelope easily. Use a perforation, and don’t make the prospect hunt for a pair of scissors. It’s best to position the perforation along the vertical line where it will be stitched in. That way, the prospect can easily tear out the response or envelope.

One Fold Is Enough
Try to design the response so that it will fit into the return envelope after only one fold. You can also make it fit with no folds if you add more perforations for sections of the response that don’t need to be returned. Don’t forget that because the envelope is not a ‘real’ envelope, the two edges have been glued together and will thus reduce the inside width by about 1″.

After all is said and done, and approved, don’t forget to add your SISM to your toolbox as a template. Your next one will be much easier.

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