Marketing and Direct Mail Tips

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It may surprise you to know that all 3 work best, it just depends on your message and your recipient. Lets take a look at the 3 options in direct mail. Letters, postcards and self-mailers all have their uses, which will work best for you? That depends on who you are targeting and what your message is.

Letters: These work best when you have a complex message to get across. You can create an elaborate story within the letter copy. Make sure to break up text with bolding and bullets.

Postcards: These are the most cost effective to send out. Keep in mind that postcards work best for quick to the point messages that are driving the recipient to a website, phone call or visit.

Self-mailers: These are the most graphic intensive. Make sure you do not lose your message in all the graphics. Self-mailers are easily passed on to others to help spread your message.

Keep in mind that what works for one company may not work for yours. It is important to test each of these types with your own prospects and customers. Let them show you what they respond to most. You do not have to pick one and stick with it all the time. You many have a complex message one time and use a letter and then next time just a quick notice that can be effective with a postcard. Do not be afraid to experiment.

If you have any questions call us 619-448-6111 or email We are glad to help!

In an effort to curb machine jamming, the USPS has revised their standards for self-mailers. Starting January 5th, 2013 a self-mailer (single or multiple unbound sheets of paper that are folded together and sealed to form a letter-size mail piece) must comply with the following requirements:

  • New Dimension: Max size 6” height x 10.5” length
  • Weight may not exceed 3oz or it has to go in an envelope
  • Paper weight:  Book grade (Text, Offset): 70lb min up to 1 ounce and 80lb min over 1 ounce
  • Tabs: up to 1 ounce mailer needs two 1” tabs, mailers over 1 ounce needs two 1.5” tabs and if using perforations or inserts needs two 2” tabs
  • If using glue instead of tabs: continuous glue line 1/8 inch wide or glue spots 3/8 inch radius, 3 to 4 spots or elongated glue lines 1/8 inch wide, 3 to 4 lines
  • Folding: The final fold must be either below the mail panel or to the right of the mail panel
  • Inserts: if you are including an insert such as a reply envelope it must be secured inside either tucked around an inside flap or affixed inside the mailer so that it does not move
  • Panels: mailers can have between 2 and 12 panels (each section of a folded sheet is considered a panel) if you go over 12 panels then in must be inserted into an envelope
  • Address placement: mid to left position is preferred, must be on the center panel, perforations must be on the non-addresses side

All of these new regulations are to help the mail processing equipment run at a steady pace and lower the amount of mail piece destruction do to jamming.

If you have any questions call us 619-448-6111 or email We are glad to help!

In order to get a 2% postage savings between July 1st and August 31st your direct mail will need to meet the requirements. First you will need to register with the USPS or have your mail service provider register for you. Then you will need a QR Code on your piece and provide instructions on how to scan the QR Code.

There are two options:

1.            Have your QR Code link to a mobile optimized landing page that is personalized. You don’t have to use just name, you can use unique information that is applicable to each person.

2.            Have your QR Code link to a mobile optimized landing page that allows the recipient to place an order, donate money, or in some way pay for something. They don’t actually have to make the purchase but, the option has to be there.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when designing mobile landing pages:

  • Make sure it is easy to read
  • Quick load
  • Not many photos
  • Not too much text, be brief and to the point
  • Relevant to the message on the mailer
  • If you are using a form, use multiple choice answers whenever possible, keep typing to a minimum
  • The call to action should be at the top

If you have any questions call us 619-448-6111 or email We are glad to help.

The best part about direct mail is how versatile it can be. We can create a piece that inspires the senses and ignites the imagination! What better way to drive customers to purchase than to give them a memorable experience. So you say, how can you do that? Well, here are a few ideas for you.

  1. Smell: Use a scent on your mailer. This is not just for perfume, get creative! What are you selling and how does it tie to a particular scent? Make sure it smells good even if you are selling detergent. Use the fragrance of the detergent to let the recipient know that their dirty sock will smell good again.
  2. Sound: Capture their interest. One of the best things now is that you can drive people to a website or video with sound by having them scan a QR Code. There are so many creative options with sound, you can really stand out!
  3. Motion: Use Augmented Reality to create movement on your pieces. This technology is a great way to add a new dimension to your mailer.
  4. Texture: Create a unique feel to your piece. There are many different coatings now to give you a wide variety of feels.
  5. Taste: Add a taste to your mailer. If you are selling chocolate add that flavor or anything that can be associated with your product or service.

Be creative! Think of all the possibilities! You can really create a memorable piece and increase your ROI.

If you have any questions, please call us 619-448-6111 or email We are glad to help! Check out our website at

So how do you get your audience’s attention? With an eye-catching design. There are so many messages out there in our daily lives that in order to get noticed, you really need to put some thought into your design. Here are some tips to help:

  1. Color: Through your choice of color, you can immediately grab attention.
  2. Large Image: Choose a large image graphic or picture to help convey your message.
  3. Open Space: Do not over crowd your design. Leave open spaces. They can be in color, just leave them free of wording or graphics.
  4. Contrast: Use contrasting colors to create a standout look.
  5. Unusual Design: Use an unusual combination of images or alter them to create that unique look.
  6. Catchy Words: To create that lasting resonance use catchy words for easy recall and to create interest. Make sure to keep your wording concise and to the point.
  7. Fonts: Don’t use a standard font. Find one that stands out a little but is still easy to read. Pick 1 or 2 main fonts and that is it. You can use bold and italic to create different feels.

Be creative and don’t be afraid to try something new. When designing for direct mail, make sure you are meeting postal requirements. If you need any help let us know.

If you have any questions call us 619-448-6111 or email We are glad to help! Visit our website

You know you need to do it, so let’s jump in and get your feet wet. Social media marketing is very different from other marketing channels. Your brand needs to be humanized and relatable. Remember, this is not a place to talk about how great you are. This is a place where you offer helpful information and answer questions.

One of the easiest ways to get started on planning your social media strategy is to check out what your competitors are doing. Then create a plan that does it better. There are 4 main platforms you need to tackle first.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Company blog

We are not saying that YouTube, Foursquare and many others are not important; just start with the other 4 first.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to always be serious. Post funny photos or jokes occasionally, people love to laugh and it will get reposted. Ask questions and respond to answers as well as provide important information. This medium should be looked at as providing help to those looking for it, not a hard sales message. This is about humanizing your brand and increasing relationships with individuals

If you have any questions call us 619-448-6111 or email We are glad to help. Visit our website

Emotions drive all of our behaviors, from the food we eat to the volunteering we do. Before you can start trying to illicit emotion, you need to figure out 3 things about your recipients: feelings, want and how. You need to know how they currently feel so you can create a way to feel better. You need to know what they want so that you can target that and you need to know how you can solve their problems.

Here are a few tips to get you there:

  1. Emotional Marketing means nothing if the company and employees do not back it up.
  2. Set out to create a new category for your product or service so that you are seen as the first  doing it.
  3. Do not focus on attributes, they are rational and you want emotion.
  4. Use colors and photos along with your words to enhance the emotion.
  5. Start your message with the bad and morph it into your version of good.

The top emotions to target are: Curiosity, Hope, Urgency, Pain or Anger. Obviously there are many more emotions available to you and one of those may fit better for your particular target audience. If so, feel free to use one of them. The idea here is to know your target audience and go after what they will react to. If you can get your message to engage your recipients emotions, you will get their order.

If you have any questions call us at 619-448-6111 or email We are glad to help. Visit our website

Marketers are using many channels to reach their customers and prospects. The great thing about QR codes is they can be used to enhance the channels you are already using to make a greater impact. QR codes open up many different opportunities for your marketing. They form a new type of interaction between customer or prospect and your brand.

Make sure that you consider the following items before you launch your campaign:

  1. If your URL is very long, shorten it for easy scanning
  2. Add some copy to your piece to entice them to scan it
  3. Make sure your landing pages are mobile ready
  4. Who are you targeting? Make sure the call to action and the result of scanning is appealing to them
  5. Test, test, test to make sure the codes scan on as many phones and networks as you can

Think of unique ways to use QR Codes for your brand:

  1. Videos: How to or online guides
  2. Discounts or coupons
  3. Customized landing pages
  4. Directions
  5. Links to your social networks like Facebook
  6. Contests
  7. Special events

QR Codes allow you to include so much more information in your direct mail without taking up a lot of room. Make sure to track your QR Code scans to see what is most effective for your brand. That way you can continue to increase your responses over time.

Scan this QR Code that goes to our mobile website, to see an example of how easy a mobile landing page can be:If you have any questions call us 619-448-6111 or email We are glad to help. Visit our website

Now more than ever marketers are searching for the best channels to maximize their ROI. Direct mail will get you there. I am not saying to stop marketing in other channels, what I am saying is that direct mail is a very effective channel so make sure you are using it too. Jump aboard the freight train to better ROI!

Here are a few reasons why direct mail is very effective:

  1. No other medium allows for very specific targeting: This allows you to offer something that each individual is going to want. Don’t waste money sending out an offer to someone who is not interested.
  2. It is viewed as less intrusive than other forms such as email
  3. A tangible item is remembered better
  4. It can be put aside to review later
  5. It can be shared with friends
  6. You can drive customers to an interactive landing page using mobile barcodes like the QR code.
  7. You can use expiration dates to get people to respond quickly.
  8. It’s easy to track responses if you incorporate the requirement that in order to get the offer they must enter a code or bring the piece to the store.

There are so many options with direct mail, from the list to the creative and beyond. Take your marketing to another level with direct mail. Direct mail may seem “Old School”, but it is still very relevant and compelling. In order to reap the true value of direct mail you need to use relevant offers to very targeted audiences.

If you have any questions call us 619-448-6111 or email We are glad to help! Visit our website for more tools.

Every day the number of people accessing sites thru their phones is growing by leaps and bounds. What does this mean for you the marketer? Well this means that you need to mobile optimize your marketing. You need a mobile website. If someone is scanning your QR Code, they need to be sent to a mobile optimized site. How do you create one? We can help.

Creating a mobile website key ingredients:

  1. Limit the amount of text to short concise information.
  2. Have large easy to push button links that are relevant to the user
  3. Add code to your website to auto direct mobile phone users to your mobile site
  4. Take advantage of the cell phone technology, incorporate directions based on the user’s location.
  5. Have share buttons to pass information to friends
  6. Have easy contact info with one click calling and email
  7. Format your pictures to fit the phone screen and keep them to a minimum

Having mobile landing pages will increase your traffic and create great experience with its ease of use for your customers. Remember mobile is fast, connects you with your customers immediately and it’s effective. Keep people scanning your QR Codes by making it easy to navigate to what they need.

If you have any questions call us 619-448-6111 or email We are glad to help! Visit our website at

Starting July 1, 2012 thru August 31, 2012 the USPS is offering a postage discount to qualifying mailings. Qualifying mailings are presorted and automation mailings of First-Class Mail cards, letters, and flats and Standard Mail (including Nonprofit Standard Mail) letters and flats with a QR Code barcode inside or on the mail piece. The discount will be 2% off of the postage.

Here are the specific requirements:

  1. The mobile barcode must lead the recipient of the mail piece either to a webpage that allows the recipient to purchase a product or service on a mobile device, or to a personalized URL, which leads to a web page that is unique to an individual recipient.
  2. Participation requires electronic documentation.
  3. Commingled, combined and co-mail mailings are allowed, but a separate postage statement is required for pieces with mobile barcodes.

This is a great chance to try out QR Codes on your direct mail and claim a postage discount! If you have any questions call us 619-448-6111 or email We are glad to help! Visit our website


Creating integrated marketing campaigns across multiple channels is extremely important now. Why, do you ask? Well a repeated and reinforced message drives an increase in sales, which makes your marketing more effective. Also, when your message arrives at a time when the recipient is considering a purchase you increase your results.

So how do you create effective integrated marketing campaigns?

Here are a few tips:

  1. Tracking: Before you begin any campaign, make sure to set it up with analytics for tracking. Each channel should be tracked separately so that you can define your best channels and where you need to improve.
  2. Decide: You need to choose your offers for your campaign. Each channel will need a slightly tailored offer, but should stay within the boundaries of the overall campaign.
  3. Combine all channels into one department: You must manage all aspects of your campaign in one department. Separating each channel to a different department dilutes the ability to have a truly integrated campaign.
  4. Cross seed your channels: In other words, make sure that channels reference and link to one another. That way you are able to drive people to more than one site therefore building your credibility and you are able to interact with more responders
  5. Create a personalized experience: It is important to bond with people and in order to do that, they expect personalization. You can create that personalization with direct mail, QR codes, email and your website. Make sure to capture information about people with each visit, as this will allow you to build your data so that you can create offers that people want to receive.
  6. Make one change at a time: When reviewing your analytics, make sure that you only change one thing at a time to try to increase your responses. It is very hard to isolate what works for you if you change too much at a time.

Basically, the whole idea is to have your offers presented where people are; direct mail, email, social media, website, mobile and more. Figuring out how to tailor your offers in each channel can be a challenge, but creating integrated campaigns can be a very fun process.

If you have any questions call us 619-448-6111 or email We are glad to help! Visit our website at

First of all, lets define every door direct mail. Every door direct mail is the post office’s new program for small businesses wanting to reach potential customers in their area. The USPS mapping tool helps you target mailing routes by neighborhood, zip code or city around your business to identify the number of active households and businesses in your selected area. Many small businesses have stayed away from direct mail in the past due to the costs. This program is to help small businesses do direct mail at a lower cost. 

There are a few key factors you need to know:

  • The mail pieces must be a flat size (larger than 6.125 x 11.5)
  • You must mail to an entire carrier route
  • The mail must be entered at the local destination post office
  • You will need to register with the USPS
  • You will need to map your location and print your paperwork


  • A small business can send mailers for $0.142 each in postage
  • No mail permit is required
  • No mail list is required
  • You can send to the areas you select near you

Keep in mind that the only available targeting is location. If you need to target your list to homes with children or some other demographic, that is not available through this program. Make sure to have a good call to action on your piece and a way for you to track who responds. Here is the link to the USPS website:

If you would like to participate in this program, but don’t want the hassle of dealing with the USPS, we can help you with that. Call us 619-448-6111 or email We are glad to help. Check out our website


It used to be easy to reach customers and prospects with just television, radio, newspaper or direct mail. Today it is a whole new arena. Your customers and prospects are using so many different types of media it is hard to know what is best. Hopefully you have been tracking your customers and prospects. You need to know how people are responding to you. Is it email, direct mail, text messaging, search, or social media? Then you can figure out how can you reach them now.

Here are some questions to ask yourself when trying to decide which media will work best:

  1. Who is my target audience? Make sure to really spend time figuring this out so that the message can be effective.
  2. Are you trying to reach professionals or consumers? This will help to determine the best media.
  3. Where do they spend most of their time? You may need to segment your targeting down further to get this right.
  4. Do I have a mobile website? You need one for your QR Codes and one that is accessible via mobile phone browsers.
  5. What am I offering that will help the recipient? This is the time of “all about me”, so you need to show them why they can benefit from you.

On average you should be using a minimum of 3 media types for your campaigns to boost your results. The best campaigns incorporate print, mobile, social and online. You can too!

If you have any questions call us 619-448-6111 or email We are glad to help! Visit our website at

How To Get WOW Direct Mail

As a company that offers direct mail to our customers, we have seen the best and worst of direct mail pieces. In order to help you create great direct mail, we have come up with a list of ideas.  A WOW direct mail piece creates a drive to read the piece, act upon it and pass the message onto others.

How to create the WOW direct mail piece:

  1. Target your audience: If your audience is too general your messaging will not be targeted enough to get the WOW.
  2. Create messaging that is directly related to your recipient: The better you relate to your recipient the more WOW you will get.
  3. Design your campaign with eye-catching imagery: Make sure the imagery matches your messaging and audience to get that WOW.
  4. Use a format that will stand out: Do not use a 4 x 6 postcard, create a format that is unusual and will stand out in the mail box for the WOW.
  5. Clearly define the call to action: Make it easy for people to respond to you, ask them to do what you want them to for the WOW.
  6. Use QR Codes: These days QR Codes are everywhere. They can allow you to create an interactive experience with your direct mail, that will get a WOW.
  7. Use many response methods: Include all ways to respond such as email, QR Codes, phone numbers, web addresses and so forth so they can react to the WOW immediately.

So get started creating your WOW direct mail today! The best thing about WOW direct mail is that you will probably mail to less people by targeting the list, but get a better response than if you mailed more.  Most of all have fun creating WOW direct mail.

If you have any questions call us 619-448-6111 or email We are glad to help! Visit our website at

Marketing With Rhyme

Why would you want to rhyme your marketing? Well, it turns out there is a science to rhyming. A study was conducted in 2000, you can see it here by Matthew S. McGlone and Jessica Tofighbakhsh of Lafayette College. They wanted to see if a rhyming phrase had an impact on a person’s perception of truthfulness versus a non-rhyming phrase that delivered the same message. What they found was that rhyming was rated consistently higher for truthfulness than non-rhyming.

So, as a marketer what does this mean to you? Well, basically that rhyming can help you increase your message retention, recall and amplify your reach. If you use rhyme in your marketing it will be perceived as more truthful. Who doesn’t want that? So, how do you go about doing it? Start by figuring out your ideal message and then try to convert that to a simple rhyme. Next you will need to test it for its effectiveness as the line may look good on paper, but you need to see if it will really work.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • Does it create a sarcastic or negative response? This is the exact opposite of what you want to do.
  • Does it sound a bit pretentious? Stay away from preaching or commanding language.
  • Does the line help when you’re ordering the product or service? When it is related to your product or service and is helpful that will create a stronger bond to the phrase.
  • Does it sounds like ‘corporate-speak’, making it sound unreal? It must be believable and in layman’s terms.
  • Does it make you say “Oh yeah?” Creating a need in the reader to prove you wrong, is not what you want.
  • Does it sound a bit mixed up? It needs to be clear as well as concise.

This new phrase should be used in all your marketing items, direct mail, email, website, all printed brochures and social media. Have fun and be creative!

If you have any questions please call us 619-448-6111 or email We are glad to help!

Direct mail done right will bring you your biggest return on investment. So to get you started we have put together a list of how to get started with direct mail the right way.

  1. Decide who is your audience is going to be. Do you have a list or will you need to rent one?
  2. Decide what you want to accomplish, generate sales, acquire donations and so on.
  3. Decide what your message will be. Focus on the benefits to the recipient.
  4. Decide what your call to action will be. Make it clear and easy to respond.
  5. Design your piece with all the information from the steps above. Get creative but make sure it is a postal approved format.
  6. Use testimonials if you have some. They are a great source of validation.
  7. Use personalization whenever possible. These days digital printing allows for not only a personalized message but also pictures and offers directly related to that person.
  8. Make sure that you a creating a long-term program. Each campaign can build upon the last. The more times you reach out to them the better your response is going to be.

These days it pays to incorporate other forms of marketing with your direct mail. Social media and QR codes can help you broaden your message to a wider audience. Make sure to keep the same theme and end game in mind. The way you deliver the message may be different but the message should be uniform and not conflict.

If you have any questions call us 619-448-6111 or email We are glad to help!

QR Codes can increase the effectiveness of your direct mail in a many ways. The most important is by telling the recipient to scan the QR Code as there is an instant call to action when they are most responsive to your message. The QR Code also allows you to provide more details about your product or service and offer exclusive discounts. The best part about QR Codes is you can track your results to see what is working and what is not in real time.

So, how do you use QR Codes in your direct mail to get the best results? Here are a few ideas:

  1. Create a drawing for free products or services and have the recipient scan the code to be entered. Use this opportunity to ask them some questions that will further help your marketing.
  2. Create an event calendar, which when the QR Code is scanned, is auto updated into the recipients phone calendar.
  3. Create a QR Code that links to details about the product or service you want them to know about on a mobile friendly page.
  4. Create a QR Code that will automatically dial your number when scanned for the recipient to get questions answered immediately.
  5. Create a QR Code that links to a mobile website with a virtual tour.
  6. Create a QR Code that allows people to register for your event and pay for it at the same time.
  7. Create a QR Code that links to your inventory for your customers to know how many items you have available. Make sure they have a way to order from that site too.
  8. Create a QR Code that links to customer reviews so they can see what others are saying about you.
  9. Create a QR Code that gives a special offer to only those who have scanned the code.
  10. Create a QR Code that links to nutritional information or online menu ordering.

There are so many ways QR Codes and be used so be creative and fun with it. You can add pictures and themes to your QR Codes to make them interesting. Make sure that all your linked sites are mobile friendly and easy to navigate. No one wants dead links and hard to push buttons.

If you have any questions please call us 619-448-6111 or email We are glad to help!

In direct mail the design of your piece must be eye catching to get the attention of the reader. So with that in mind symbolism is the key component of your design. The definition of a symbol is something that stands for or suggests something else by reason of relationship, association, convention, or accidental resemblance; especially: a visible sign of something invisible. So why use symbols in your design?  When done right, symbols can be used to exploit the most unconscious human desire. Therefore when incorporated into the design, symbols gracefully create associations between a company and what the company wants to represent without the viewer even realizing it.

Tips on Using Symbols

1. Tell a story. Remember, not all symbols are created equal. Do your research and make sure the symbols incorporated in your design convey clear and concise meanings.

2. Check for conflicts of interest. Do not use multiple symbols in one design that could possibly represent conflicting ideas. It is ok to combine ideas, but be careful to not overload on symbols, or group symbols that cause conflict. You want the design to convey a united message.

3. Examine symbols from multiple perspectives to avoid misinterpretations. What a symbol represents in one culture may not be what it represents in another. This is extremely important for companies who seek to create international identities.

4. Make sure your communication is clear. Each design should clearly communicate something. That something is left up to the viewer to determine. Symbols are very powerful communication when used correctly.

A symbol is usually a picture that tells a story or a combination of graphic elements that represent something to the viewer. Therefore, you must avoid misinterpretations of your symbols. The last thing you want to do is use a symbol incorrectly and as a result make the company look bad. Today people and companies are more readily recognized for what they represent than for who they are. Symbols have become very important, and the use of them increasingly complex.

If you have any questions call us 619-448-6111 or email

If only postage was still $0.24 like these old stamps! Alas that is not the case, the USPS has formally announced their intent to increase postage rates on January 22, 20112. Click here for a price chart. Overall the average price increase is 2.1%.

They have also announced changes to the self-mailer requirements. There are many changes for self-mailers. Here is a link with detailed descriptions and illustrations of the new requirements. The post office is extending a 1 year compliance period from Jan 2012 to Jan 2013. During that period the current mail piece designs will be accepted. After that, you must comply with the new rules as outlined by the post office. Here are a few of the most important changes:

  • The new maximum size for a self-mailer will be 6 x 10.5.
  • The maximum weight will be 3 ounces.
  • Tabs will no longer be able to be perfed.
  • Tabs must be made out of paper, no plastic.
  • No loose pieces inside of self-mailers, they must be attached with a glue dot or folded over an inside mailer flap.
  • The tab sizes will vary between 1 inch, 1.5 inch and 2 inch tabs depending on the paper stock and folding.
  • Minimum paper stock thickness will be 70#.

Due to the complexity of the new regulations, if you are planning a self-mailer, call us to discuss the most cost-effective options. We can help you with what paper stock to use as well as the best layout to save you money.

If you have any questions please call us 619-448-6111 or email We are glad to help!

HOW TO: Use Twitter for Business and Marketing RT @smexaminer: by @SocialMediaDIY #Twitter #smm #marketing

TY @jet_mail_inc: Here’s this week’s #FF: @SourceLink @printchef @sumgould @CommuniGatorLtd @CMSOfficialPage @DMFacts1 @ThreeDogLog

@sd_creativedir Thats why it is important to have multiple channels for your messages.

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