Is Your Direct Mail Trustworthy? 6 Ways to Make Sure It Is

Direct mail is a very popular and effective marketing channel. According to MarketingSherpa, 76% of people trust ads they receive in the mail. But do they trust yours? If you are not getting the expected response rate on your mail pieces, you could have a trust problem.

Direct mail is a very popular and effective marketing channel. According to MarketingSherpa, 76% of people trust ads they receive in the mail. But do they trust yours? If you are not getting the expected response rate on your mail pieces, you could have a trust problem.

There could be many reasons why your direct mail piece is not trustworthy. In order to get the best ROI, here are some key things to focus on as you design and write copy for your direct mail campaigns.

  • Testimonials  Real reviews from real people make a big difference. Be sure to use reviews that are clear and specific, as they are more believable. Make sure to include their names and, if possible, pictures. Of course only include ones that are relevant to what you are selling on your mail piece.
  • Cluttered — When you provide too much information on your mail piece, it can be confusing. People like skimming, so make it easy for them to understand what you are saying. You don’t want them to feel like you are hiding something in all of that extra copy. Bullet points and bolding will help highlight the most important information.
  • Content — Be direct and specific with your headlines, calls to action, and copy. Be realistic with your statements and promises. Authentic and direct messaging is the best way to build trust. Do what you say and say what you do. Under-promise and over-deliver to build customer loyalty.
  • Dated  Are you writing new copy for each campaign or are you picking up old copy? Check your copy for out-of-date wording. These days, information is changing very quickly. Your copy needs to change, too.
  • Fonts — Your choice of fonts matter. Fonts that are hard to read or super small sizes elicit suspicion. Use easy-to-read fonts. This does not mean you have to stick with Arial or Helvetica; you can still be creative with easy-to-read fonts. Do not use all caps. While it is OK to use smaller font sizes for less important information, there is no reason to use a 6pt font size on your direct mail.
  • Images — Are you using images with just your product in them, or are you using images where people are using your products? People relate to other people; make sure that you use images that include people.

Clear and compelling messaging is necessary to make the right impression. You only have a few seconds before you end up in the trash.. Your message is your brand promise; it cannot be vague and open to interpretation. This also includes over-promising or using bait-and-switch tactics. These things leave a very bad impression about you and your products or services.

People buy from people and companies they trust. Are you one of them? It’s not just what you say on your mail pieces, it’s how you say it that matters most. Honesty is the best policy, so stick to the golden rule. The colors you choose affect your prospects’ and customers’ moods, so make sure you are using the correct colors to go with your message. Not sure what the colors mean? Check out the colors post. Now you are set to create the most effective direct mail campaigns.

8 Direct Mail Enhancements, Other Than Paper, Finishing, Coating

Enhancing your direct mail through paper, finishing, and coatings are great, but there is one more category to discuss. And Part 4 in this series is about “other” direct mail enhancements.

Enhancing your direct mail through paper, finishing, and coatings are great, but there is one more category to discuss. And Part 4 in this series is about “other” direct mail enhancements.

So why use these things in your direct mail? The special effects of enhancements change the appearance, dimensions, and texture of your mail piece. They are beautiful and eye-catching, so that they draw attention to your message and increase your response rates.

So what are some options to consider in beyond paper, finishing, and coatings?

Other Types of Direct Mail Enhancements

  • Die Cuts: There are many options for die cutting, based on your design and desired effect. Make sure to consult with your mail service provider on postal regulations if you are sending a self-mailer. Create something really fun.
  • Maps: If you are trying to drive traffic to a store location or event, use personalized maps to show your prospects and customers how to get there. The easier you make it, the more likely they are to attend.
  • Informed Delivery: The post office has this program that sends emails to people who sign up every day with images of the mail pieces that they will get that day. You can include a web link with the image of your mail piece so that people can start shopping right away.
  • Personalization: Personalization of offers is an easy way to enhance the effectiveness of your mail pieces. When you send someone a special offer tailored to them, you drive response.
  • Augmented Reality: This is a really powerful and engaging enhancement for direct mail. You can make your mail pieces come to life when your prospects or customers scan the piece with their smartphone. This is only limited by your creativity and your budget. Imagine what experience you could create.
  • Video: You can include a video screen on your mail pieces to provide an enhanced way to share your message and create a little fun. Keep them no longer than 3 minutes and make sure they are not just informative but also entertaining.
  • Social Media: When you run social media ads for your mail list on Facebook or Instagram in conjunction with your mail pieces, you increase your response rates. Of course, they need to have the same offer and general design to be recognized as part of the same campaign.
  • Google Ads: Just like with social media ads, Google ads help increase response rates. You target only the people on your mail list by appending IP address information to it.

These are just some of the things you can do with your direct mail to enhance your ROI. When adding these enhancements, you increase the value of your mail piece and make a better impression. What we touch shapes what we feel, so how are you making your prospects and customers feel? Use enhancements to create a better experience.

One thing to keep in mind as you add enhancements, you increase the production time of your pieces. So make sure to add extra time into your schedule. Make the best impression with your next direct mail campaign and see your ROI increase. Are you ready to get started?

6 Reasons Why Print Marketing Is Thriving

A few years ago, you might have heard marketers claiming we were facing the end of an era for print. Online marketing is cheap, available to almost any business owner, and capable of reaching a global audience, so it seemed like the natural order of things for print marketing to die out. But this isn’t the case at all.

A few years ago, you might have heard marketers claiming we were facing the end of an era for print. Online marketing is cheap, available to almost any business owner, and capable of reaching a global audience, so it seemed like the natural order of things for print marketing to die out. But this isn’t the case at all.

Print advertising spending has dropped only slightly in the past several years, and is projected to remain stable at roughly $24 billion per year in 2021 and beyond. Business owners are still relying on print marketing to spread word about their businesses, despite the advantages of digital marketing strategies. But why is this the case?

Lower Costs

First, the cost of printing has dramatically decreased over the past couple of decades, thanks in part to the availability of online services. Printing a brochure online, for example, is much cheaper than printing one at your local office supply shop. That’s because printing companies have invested in new equipment that can operate much more efficiently, and rely on digital files and tools to facilitate more efficient production. This is especially true of higher-run orders, where businesses can decrease their per-unit price to absurdly low levels. Ultimately, this keeps printed advertising strategies in line with digital marketing strategies in terms of cost.

Higher Accessibility

Printed materials also are more accessible than they’ve ever been in the past, again thanks to the prevalence of online tools. Most major printing companies offer online platforms where business owners can create an account, log in, manage their ongoing materials, lay out exactly how they want their items to look, and order something new with the click of a button. Rather than dealing with a salesperson or trying to navigate the complex world of technical printing requirements, they can navigate thousands of options in a simple, consolidated interface. This makes print more appealing than ever.

Mutual Existence

Traditional advertising and online marketing aren’t mutually exclusive. Naysayers proclaiming the end of traditional marketing tactics tended to assume that if a business was spending $60,000 a year on print marketing materials, they would soon shift to spend $60,000 a year on online marketing strategies. But this hasn’t been the case; instead, businesses would often split their budgets, spending $40,000 on print marketing and $20,000 on new online strategies. In some cases, businesses would simply increase their total budget, retaining their $60,000 traditional spending and experimenting with an additional $20,000 for online techniques. The success of online marketing in no way overrules or negates the power of printed materials.

Consumer Preferences

It’s also important to note that not everyone prefers consuming material in a digital format. About 10% of the U.S. population doesn’t use the Internet, basically rendering them unreachable through digital means. In addition to that, some people either prefer or are more easily persuaded by material that comes to them in a printed format; for example, they may like flipping through the pages of a physical booklet rather than browsing through online pages.

This factor is somewhat dependent on your target demographics. If your audience strongly prefers printed materials, or is better influenced by them, there’s no reason to switch to digital marketing.

Local Visibility

Printed ads tend to be more approachable for local businesses; it’s easier to distribute printed flyers and booklets around a neighborhood than it is to climb the search engine rankings for keyword terms related to your city (though this may also be possible). Accordingly, new businesses trying to cater to a local population tend to favor traditional, print-based advertising methods.

New Techniques and Integrations

It should also be known that the world of print marketing today is very different than it was 20 years ago. New techniques, and new integrations with other marketing technologies make it much more versatile—and powerful. For example, thanks to digital lists and inventive printing techniques, you can customize your printed ads with the individual names of your intended recipients. You can also use QR codes or other tactics to send your printed ad recipients to an online or digital destination.

The Caveats

Of course, this isn’t to say that print marketing is a perfect strategy in the modern era, or that it should be favored over online marketing. There are a wide range of tactics available, in both digital and printed formats, and how your business performs depends not only on which tactics you choose, but how well you execute them. A good high-level strategy, backed with research and grounded in creativity, will always succeed more than a poorly planned one, regardless of the specific tactics used to execute them. Keep that in mind as you plan your next strategy—and how your campaigns might evolve in the future.

Direct Mail Finishing: Enhancement Strategy Series, Part 2

Last time, we discussed how paper can enhance your direct mail ROI. Now, it’s time to look at enhancing it with direct mail finishing. So what is finishing? Finishing is all of the activities that are performed on a direct mail piece after printing. They include binding, die-stamping, embossing, and laminating.

Last time, we discussed how paper can enhance your direct mail ROI. Now, it’s time to look at enhancing it with direct mail finishing. So what is finishing? Finishing is all of the activities that are performed on a direct mail piece after printing. They include binding, die-stamping, embossing, and laminating.

These enhancements can really make your direct mail pop! Let’s look at your options.

Finishing Options

  • Binding — There are several types of binding you can choose from. Perfect binding is when pages are fixed to a cover or spine using glue. Saddle-stitching is when pages are bound with staples through the center of the spine. Side-stitching is when the staples are driven through the pages, usually parallel to the bind. The remaining options must mail in envelopes. Comb binding is when the teeth of a plastic comb are inserted into a series of slits drilled into sheets. Spiral binding is when a continuous wire or plastic coil is placed through holes drilled into sheets. Loose-leaf binding is when a set of holes is drilled in sheets, which are then inserted into binders. Finally, Padding is the binding of sheets using a flexible adhesive, so that the sheets can easily be removed
  • Foil — This can be a great way to catch attention on direct mail. There are several kinds of foil. Metallic Foil is foil that has a metallic look, such as blue, red, green, silver, gold, or bronze. Reflective metallic foils really help your direct mail stand out. Pigment Foils are colorful foils that can be either matte or gloss, but have no metallic shine. Pearl Foils are foils that are transparent and have a pearlescent shine. Holographic Foils are foils that have a rainbow effect, so that when light shines on it, the reflection back is a rainbow of colors. You can also create a holographic pattern. There are still more foil options, such as wood or marble. You can get really creative with them.
  • Embossing — This gives a 3D, or raised, effect. Embossing makes something stand out from the rest of the piece. This also engages your prospects and customers with the sense of touch. They can feel the difference.
  • Debossing — This is similar to embossing, but in reverse. Rather than the paper being raised in specific areas, it is indented.
  • Perforating — These are used to allow easy separation of two parts of a piece. This is most commonly used for easy-to-remove coupons or remit slips. There are options on how large you want the perf and how easily you want it to tear off.

Each of these different finishing options really adds a pop to your direct mail piece that will not only get attention, but also create a fun experience for your customers and prospects. Make sure that you are using them to enhance your message; just adding them onto a mail piece to get attention without tying it all together is not effective. When you combine these finishing techniques with special papers, you can really create a special mail piece. Next time, we will discuss special coatings that can be added to your mail piece design. Are you ready to get started?

Marketing ROI Is in Your Past

That rumor we’ve been hearing for years is simply not true: “Marketing ROI is in your past.” And it never will be, as human nature does not and will not change. And neither will all the chaos in marketing channels from hundreds of marketers trying to get consumers’ attention simultaneously, 24/7.

That rumor we’ve been hearing for years is simply not true: “Marketing ROI is in your past.” And it never will be, as human nature does not and will not change. And neither will all the chaos in marketing channels from hundreds of marketers trying to get consumers’ attention simultaneously, 24/7.

What is true is that every 60 seconds more than:

  • 156 million emails are sent
  • 29 million messages are processed on What’s App
  • 350,000 tweets are sent
  • 243,000 photos are uploaded on FB; 70,000 hours of video contents is watched
  • 400 hours of video are uploaded on Youtube
  • 3.8 million searches take place on Google

And a lot more.

What’s not true is the decade-long rumor that print is dead. And it’s not going to happen anytime soon, if ever.

In fact, print is one of the most powerful channels for engaging consumers with brand messages that lead to more fulfilling brand experiences, according to the Data and Marketing Association’s 2016 response rate report and other sources:

  • Direct mail outperforms digital for response nearly 2X!
  • Print achieves 30% more recall than digital.

Most of us thought print died when email took over with nearly 4 billion people worldwide using email.

But we humans are a tactile species. We thrive on being able to touch things, and physically engage with the stimuli around us vs. observe from the other side of a screen. We like to hug those we love vs. send a digital wave. We like to touch the silky coat of our pets vs. just post cute photos on our screen savers. We like to touch paper books and turn the pages, and feel the weight of the story yet to unfold in our hands.

When we engage our senses beyond just sight, and actually touch things, we concentrate more and end up feeling more emotionally fulfilled.  The response rate and sales volume generated by printed sales-oriented communications such as direct mail and catalog, is powerful and does not show any signs of letting up. In fact, 90 million consumers in the U.S. make purchases from print catalogs and spend on average $850 annually, and printed direct mail commands a higher response than email, as mentioned earlier.

According to a  2018 Radicati Group study, there will be more than 3.8 billion email users before the start of 2019, over 100 million more than the previous year. In other words, over half of the entire planet uses email.

With all the technology constantly being developed by leaders in the print industry such as Xerox, it continues to engage more of our senses and create deeper levels of emotional engagement. Just recently, Xerox released its new Iridesse production press allowing printers to more beautifully and easily use metallic prints to further engage our visual senses and the emotions that result from exposure to shiny new objects.  Xerox has also simplified the process of highly personalized catalogs, allowing retailers to print consumers’ names, and past transaction information on covers and pages of catalogs, engaging our sense of value and appreciation, another “sense” proven to increase sales as more than 50% of customers will shop elsewhere if a brand does not recognize them personally.

Because of Xerox technology for personalization, and the ability to print striking, engaging, rich colors in communications that are highly relevant to consumers, print is not just competing with email. It’s now winning the game. We respond more and we actually engage a lot longer. We open envelopes with compelling graphics and relevant messages over clearly written subject lines and we respond twice as much. And we don’t opt out of print as easily as we do emails with that very convenient “unsubscribe” button, giving marketers another chance to communicate something that really matters to us.

Marketers in both B2B and B2C need to slow down when it comes to assigning market budgets to the latest technology apps and channels and rethink the past: print. Spending money on printed communications distributed via mail, trade show events, and in-store does and will pay off, and will drive consumers to your digital channels where you can engage via online chat, email and other ways. Trying to initiate engagement via email today is just getting harder, especially with GDPR becoming reality in the EU and other countries.

No matter how sophisticated digital technology becomes, and it will continue to find ways to engage us in fun ways such as augmented reality tools. Print will never die because human nature will never change. We will always want to touch things, to cozy up by a fire with a good story in a nicely printed book or catalog, and to “unplug” from the electrical world that in just 60 seconds bombards us with more messages and distractions than our human minds can fathom.

‘Who Cares?’ Online May Overtake Offline Spending in 2018

I found it quaint when my server at a hotel restaurant came up to me and said this morning, “Would you like to see today’s paper with your breakfast?”

server
“waiter,” Creative Commons license. | Credit: Flickr by faungg’s photos

I found it quaint when my server at a hotel restaurant came up to me and said this morning, “Would you like to see today’s paper with your breakfast?”

“No, thank you,” I said. I actually had had this week’s print issue of The Economist with me, and opened that to read, instead. As I looked around the room however, most everyone who was reading anything was doing so on their smartphones.

While my youthful eyes (that’s a joke) still prefer print for reading, and I still prefer print for pictures, the truth is that even my own preferences for print in many instances have fallen away to smartphone, tablet, and PC demands and consumption habits. It’s as if print media has emerged as a quiet luxury — a respite from digital content and its potential many distractions.

Two weeks ago, Bruce Biegel of The Winterberry Group provided his annual “Outlook for Data-Driven Marketing for 2018,” along with a recap for 2017, at the Direct Marketing Club of New York. Two excellent summaries of the presentation are here and here, and the presentation is available for a download at the Winterberry Group site, currently. Scroll down on the home page.

During the presentation, I tweeted out the fact that online ad spend (display, search, email, mobile, affiliate, lead gen and social) he predicts will overtake offline ad spend (direct mail, teleservices, shopper and event marketing) for the first time in 2018 — with measured media, traditional media (broadcast TV, radio, outdoor, magazine, newspapers and cinema), still holding onto the largest slice. One of my industry colleagues tweeted back, “Who cares?”

Winterberry Gorup report
Credit: “Outlook for Data-Driven Marketing – 2018″ by The Winterberry Group

I suppose meeting a milestone such as this truly is inevitable, and matters only inasmuch as a historical marker of changing patterns of media consumption — and a growing comfort level for data-driven marketing. Advertisers are only chasing consumers where they are, after all. Bruce even remarked how Winterberry Group even underestimated the rapidity of the offline-to-online shift in 2017, with direct mail spend falling faster than anticipated. (It is not without note that Bruce characterized direct mail as perhaps the most “measurable, accountable” of all media.)

The next “Who cares?” moment may be if and when traditional media spend is overtaken by either offline or online media spend (or both of them), as advertisers seek out such “measurable, accountable” ad spend over the straightforward brand spend that tends to dominate traditional media categories. As chief marketing officers become more data-conversant, will they seek out more direct customer engagement over impressions? Will cost-per-thousand be supplanted by cost-per-action, even within traditional media categories? With spending on data set to grow in 2018 by 5.7 percent, offline ad spend by 3.8 percent, and digital ad spend including mobile by 15.2 percent — while traditional media is projected to decline by 0.8 percent (quite remarkable for a year with the Winter Olympics and mid-term Elections) — one might expect the “Who cares?” moment for traditional media may be coming soon.

But who cares? There will always be a role for branding — even as consumer interaction as an objective rises. Omnichannel marketing, single data views of the customer, and “right place, right offer, right moment” are largely directional and aspirational, and are well-worth pursuing. But 100 percent efficient ad spending will always be elusive.

I’m not even certain the consumer wants to be all that much engaged. Consumers don’t always consume — they sometimes sleep, eat, relax and recharge, too. And it’s time for me to finish my breakfast.

The Power of Print and 1 Big Roadblock to Innovation

Maybe it was the mountain air, and my getting used to it. But seeing some cool technology at work, hearing about how it results in eye-catching work, and thinking about the possibilities for print and direct mail … well, it can leave you a little breathless.

I’ll explain.

In November, I had the privilege of attending and speaking at Ricoh’s first Engagement Marketing Executive Symposium, held in Boulder, Colorado.

The event brought together experts, executives, and customers from various parts of the printing and direct mail ecosystem. Together, we talked about strategies, tactics, and tools that can help create relevant, measurable, and state-of-the-art multichannel campaigns.

And a guided tour of the company’s Customer Experience Center gave us all a close-up look at its latest inkjet press capabilities. It’s impressive and powerful stuff when you see people’s eyes light up as they see it in action, or review all kinds of crisp printed samples with near-offset quality.

Ricoh USA, Inc. logo. (PRNewsFoto/Ricoh USA, Inc.)
Ricoh USA, Inc. logo. (PRNewsFoto/Ricoh USA, Inc.)

Among the objectives of the conference was discussing and showing how data-driven print and direct mail can be an Important part of marketing, whether you call it multichannel, omnichannel, or whatever.

I saw and learned more in two days than I could have on my own in a few weeks. So, it’s hard to pick a most memorable moment or narrow a long list of lessons from other attendees that resonated with me.

Like Diana Baldwin of SunTrust Bank: “My best friends are the data guys.” I loved that.

But I think the biggest was the challenge most mentioned across the group, by both printers and marketers: getting buy-in.

To use new technologies that deliver more personalized offers in print, other people have to be convinced to make the investment. Marketers and PSPs have to be advocates, or evangelists for this cause.

It’s not easy. Resources like money, time, and personnel, are limited.

White papers and case studies help. So do statistics, especially on how millennials love print and direct mail because they’re tactile and durable. It’s all about demonstrating the value in engaging customers in a more relevant way, starting with this new equipment, and the right marketing strategy to go with it,

These are exciting times in our industry!

For much more on these topics, please check out the first Marketing Innovators magazine here. It includes valuable insights from thought leaders, and case studies on increasing customer engagement using the latest print and paper technologies.

3 Ways to Make Your Postcards Stand Out

Back in the day (yes, I was a creative back then), prior to cheap 4-Color process printing, you had to find creative, inexpensive ways to get your postcards noticed in the mail. I was the king of using two PMS colors in combination to look as if you had full color, and an expert in paper stocks. Most importantly I learned all I could about printing. Why? Because printing techniques were and are one of the best tools in my creative toolbox.

Back in the day (yes, I was a creative back then), prior to cheap 4-Color process printing, you had to find clever, inexpensive ways to get your postcards noticed in the mail. I was the king of using combinations of two PMS colors to portray full color, and an expert in paper stocks. Most importantly, I learned all I could about printing. Why? Because printing techniques have always been one of the best tools in my creative toolbox.

Today I will discuss three of my favorite printing techniques — when applied to your concept, they can help your postcards stand out.

1. Paper

This is the easiest and one of the most effective ways to make your mail stand out. There are so many paper stocks that will make recipients stop and take a second look at your mail. But in today’s 4-Color world, creatives are not considering paper as much as they should.

Consider an ultra-heavy stock, or even sandwiching two sheets together. Most mail is floppy. If your postcard is the most rigid in a stack of mail, it will receive attention. That few extra seconds your consumers spend investigating will increase your response rate.

moothickpaper
Moo doubled up stock with edge color

You should choose stocks heavier than 16pt — double it up and make it 32pt. Print one side of the sheet, sandwich two sheets together and then trim to size. Printing companies like Moo Cards offer this as a standard option.

Your stock could be particle board on which you can use production techniques like embossing, silk screening or letterpress.

Companies like Ward/Kraft are sandwiching your postcard in plastic. I know, I know: Plastic will increase your postage costs. But not with this product — they’re getting standard postage rates. This card is extremely rigid and has options for punch-out cards and tags.

Ward/Kraft plastic pop-out card
Ward/Kraft plastic covered postcard with pop-out cards

2. Texture

Texture is a wonderful way to make materials stand out. Our fingers are amazingly aware and notice anything that is abnormal. Bumpy, sticky, rubbery surfaces — anything that is not the regular feel of paper.

Use a gloss or matte varnish as a texture for sections of your postcard. Varnishes across the entire piece, like matte or glossy, will not create the unique texture you want. You want gaps for your fingers to distinguish the differences. This will also work for spot UV as well, which can create an even more dramatic effect.

Spot Gloss Varnish
Spot Gloss Varnish from tasteofinkstudios.com

Dissolve’s Direct Mail and the Power of Print

For as long as I’ve been with Who’s Mailing What!, I’ve been impressed by the power of direct mail to sell, well … just about anything. One of my favorite things has always been any mail selling stock art, typography, and images.

For as long as I’ve been with Who’s Mailing What!, I’ve loved the power of direct mail to sell, well … just about anything. One of my favorite things has always been any mail selling stock art, typography, and images.

Shutterstock_01For a long time, graphic designers I knew would forward to me eye-catching creative mail like this postcard from Shutterstock. Hilarious, right? OK, full disclosure: I own a cat.

VeerHi_21And I’ve mentioned before this secret society campaign from Veer. This “Members Handbook” booklet is filled with rules of conduct, special handshakes, code phrases, some riddles, and typography humor.

Although most marketing for images is now conducted via digital channels, some companies still use direct mail in their mix.

The company that’s really captured my attention recently is Dissolve, a stock footage and photo provider based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Like some companies, they mail catalogs that are pretty traditional in how they show images from their video and photo collections.

But they also take chances by trying different approaches. A few weeks ago, I wrote about their blank story books and postcards that are great involvement devices.

Last month, Dissolve sent out a brilliant photonovel mail piece titled “Fantastic Footage.” My colleague Ashley Roberts of Printing Impressions got the scoop on this effort. The company’s Lori Burwash told her, “it’s an interesting challenge to convey video in print.”

Please check out Ashley’s fun, insightful take in her “Who’s Mailing What! Confidential” video below.

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These guys get what good, compelling direct mail is all about. With this campaign, the UV soft touch coating and high quality photography grabs me from the start. And, they get their marketing messages in like they should. As Burwash put it, “we like to create pieces that feel like gifts.”

We like them too.

Talking Baseball … and Direct Mail?

They’re not exactly two things that you would think go together, but when I got a postcard from my hometown Philadelphia Phillies in the mail, I knew it would make for a good story. Or maybe two.

They’re not exactly two things that you would think go together, but when I got a postcard from my hometown Philadelphia Phillies in the mail, I knew it would make for a good story. Or maybe two.

So here’s the deal.

For a couple of months, I’ve been providing direct mail pieces from Who’s Mailing What! to my colleague, Ashley Roberts of Printing Impressions (a sister brand of Target Marketing) for use in her video series on PI XChange. The only requirement is that they demonstrate an interesting printing technique.

Phillies_01This postcard jumped out at me for several reasons.

First, it came from the Phillies, my favorite team. I’ve always been a fan, even if it sometimes has meant a lot of time waiting for them to jell into a pennant contender again.

Second, the printing. I love the spot gloss that was applied in spots on the front.

Third, the clever messaging. It’s promoting game tickets to a business audience. Yes, business and pleasure are two things that definitely go together.

Anyway, long story short: I showed this mailer to Ashley, and we agreed that both the printing and marketing audiences of our brands might be interested in learning more. She did all of the legwork, getting all of the important information on who designed it, who printed it, and how.

Last week, we and our great video production crew were privileged to be guests of the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park in South Philadelphia. We talked with Tina Urban, the team’s Director, Graphic Production, and got more insight, as well as the nitty-gritty details about both aspects of this mail piece. And we got to wear our Phillies gear!

Please check out the video for much more. And, as always, any comments, etc., are welcome!

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