Tuesday, June 16th, 2015
As a printer in Pennsylvania, I see the concern faced by businesses that are looking for a quick and inexpensive way to direct mail market to prospective customers in certain areas. They worry about researching and purchasing lists also about the size of their direct mail pieces and cost of postage. Every Day Direct Mail (EDDM), a relatively new service offered by the U.S. Post Office, is the perfect solution to this direct mail dilemma. With EDDM, a business can reach customers with a printed mail piece for as low as 17-18 cents per piece.
EDDM works by zip code and mail carrier route. A business, such as a retailer or physician, can target a direct mail campaign based by zip code and saturate the market around their business, reaching all potential customers. Prospects could even be selected by carrier routes with multiple zip codes to specifically target certain geographic areas while eliminating others, which could be very beneficial to companies, such as a realtor trying to reach certain homes. Retail users can mail up to 5000 pieces per day per zip code. You can also mail as little as 200 in a particular zip code. You can filter by specifying that you’d only like to reach residential delivery points and not other businesses. You can also eliminate PO Boxes.
This U.S. Post Office link will help you begin your EDDM zip code search and see how easy it is to target potential customers. You must also have an active USPC Standard Mail permit number in order to process EDDM. Printers who offer full service direct mail services, including Corcoran Printing, have a mail permit number for customers to use at no charge.
EDDM is great for a variety of printed pieces and allows for much creativity with design and print of your direct mail piece. The printed direct mail piece must be a standard flat, a rectangular with four square corners. It must be taller than 6.125” or longer than 11.5” and smaller than 12” X 15”. The finished piece must also weight less than 3.3 ounces and meet a minimum thickness requirement. EDDM is ideal for oversize postcards and also tri-folds, such as local restaurant menus or salon brochures. Imagine the impact of getting a full color 8.5 X 11 postcard in the mail. It is sure to stand out and get noticed by your prospective customers! Incorporate a coupon, and you’re sure to increase business.
We all love to shop, eat and do business locally. Every Door Direct Mail is one of the most cost effective forms of advertising for any business, especially small and medium sized businesses that rely on local customers. EDDM is also effective for larger businesses looking to target specific geographic areas or promoters looking to advertise special events.
Ideal EDDM marketers:
- Pizza Shops
- Retail stores and small shops
- Hospitals/Health clinics
- Auto Dealerships
- Insurance Agencies
- Banks/Credit Unions
- Dry Cleaners
- Art & Cultural Centers
- Real Estate Agents
- Auto Repair Shops
- Pest Control
- Car Washes
- Repair Services
- House/Carpet Cleaning
- Amusement Parks/Area Attractions
- Special Events/Grand Opening
- Political Campaigns
- Jewelry Stores
- Grocery Stores
The direct mail print experts at Corcoran Printing can walk you through the entire EDDM process, from searching your target zip codes, through design and print, bundling, and delivery to specified post offices. Focusing on specific neighborhoods is an ideal way to increase foot traffic for your business and grow your customer base. Call the direct mail printers at Corcoran Printing toll free today at 800-564-0085 or visit us online at http://corcoranprinting.com/printing/direct-mail. We are experts in EDDM and service customers in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and across the country.
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Tuesday, May 19th, 2015
If you are a retailer or manufacturer looking for a way to increase sales, a full-color printed catalog of your products might be your answer. Retail giants have realized the value of catalog marketing in a digital age in driving web traffic and sales. After eliminating their catalogs, and seeing a reduction in customers as a result, J.C. Penney’s recently brought back its print catalog in an effort to increase sales, according to CBS News. Land’s End saw a similar decrease in sales after reducing the number of catalogs they mailed. CBS reported that most catalog readers spend more money, both online and in the store.
Other retailers have transformed their catalogs, both visually and in terms of content, to enhance the overall customer buying experience. Some now look more like eye-catching coffee table magazines, offering valuable information for the consumer, such as decorating tips and even recipes. They have become much sought-after sources of inspiration and information for the reader, and more importantly have succeeded in increasing website traffic and sales for many retailers.
Today’s most successful direct mail printed catalogs incorporate stylish color photos and some even tell stories. They succeed in catching a shopper’s eye and encouraging that important online visit to make a purchase. They are even driving traffic into stores to get certain items that might be featured in the catalog. According to the American Catalog Mailers Association (ACMA), 90 million Americans shop from catalogs, with consumers spending an average of $850 per year on their catalog purchases. The ACMA also found that 58% of consumers look at catalogs as soon as they arrive in the mail. If you are retailer, I’m sure you know that getting a piece of this catalog action can help to increase your sales.
Professionally printed catalogs, such as Williams-Sonoma, Anthropologie, Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware have all focused on improving the look and content of their catalogs. Williams-Sonoma offers recipes and cooking tips, while Pottery Barn and Pier One provide seasonal decorating tips featuring their many products. It’s also enabling retailers to enhance their brand and stay in front of their customers for a longer period of time. Even digital retailers, such as Bonobos and Birchbox, are using catalogs to drive traffic to their websites.
Retailers and others mailed 11.9 billion catalogs in 2013, according to a research by the Direct Marketing Association. This was an increase after years of decline in catalog marketing. Retailers such as Athleta and Victoria’s Secret travel to beautiful locations for photo shoots, showcasing their products in dream destinations that that offers an escape to consumers that flip through their full-color catalogs and truly enhance the customer shopping experience. These professionally printed catalogs and others are building a real connection between customer and retailer.
An article in The Wall Street Journal quoted Bonobos VP OF Marketing as stating that 20% of the website’s first time customers are placing their orders after having received a catalog and are spending significantly more than new shoppers who did not receive the catalog. You can’t argue with these results when looking for a way to increase your sales and expand your customer base.
The most successful brands going into the future will be those that recognize the value of integrating various forms of marketing into their plan. This includes printed catalogs and other direct mail marketing pieces, combine with their social media and online marketing efforts. It’s all about a better customer experience and developing a stronger bond with your target market.
Benefits of a direct mail printed catalog
- Develop a closer connection with your customers and stay top of mind
- Drive visitors to your website – Print is a driver of online behavior
- Build sales
- Track ROI
- Better targeting of customers and prospects
- Keep in touch with customers to get them beyond that initial purchase
- Enhance the overall customer buying experience
- Allows you to better express your brand
- Has a much longer shelf life than other advertising
- Will keep a customer’s attention for a longer period of time than other forms of advertising
Five Tips for creating a more effective printed catalog
- Invest in an eye-catching, colorful design
- Showcase your products with beautiful color photos and other visuals
- Provide editorial content focusing on a reason to buy – offer recipes that utilize kitchen equipment or food items you are selling, offer landscaping tips and sample projects that utilize flowers, gardening or landscaping materials you sell, provide fashion tips and suggested pairing for your clothing and accessories or offer design tips that utilize your home furnishings
- Provide a strong call to action to drive people to your website or store with your printed catalog- provide coupons and QR codes
- Track effectiveness of your printed catalog through offer codes
A professionally printed, color catalog offers a window into your brand. Take advantage of this effective marketing method to increase sales and develop a closer relationship with your customers. Other direct mail printed marketing materials, including flyers, postcards and booklets also work well to keep you top of mind with your customers and drive business to your website or store. The catalog printers at Corcoran Printing can help you with your next printed catalog project. Call 800-564-0085 today for an estimate on your catalog printing or other direct mail project or visit Corcoran Printing.
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Monday, April 13th, 2015
There are many ways to put print to work for you in the digital age. This includes cross promoting your Facebook page and other social media pages on all of your printed pieces. Including your Facebook URL and Facebook logo on printed materials is a great way to increase likes on your page. Examine all print media used in your business and develop a plan to include your Facebook information on all of your printed materials. Clearly display your Facebook page information on all printed ads, brochures, customer letters, statement stuffers, flyers, postcards, coupons, catalogs, direct mail pieces and even your business cards.
Posters and direct mail pieces, such as catalogs and postcards, are a great way to cross-promote your company Facebook page and your other social media sites, such as Twitter. Once you build your likes and followers, be sure to keep your fans interested with informative and insightful content. Be interactive, ask and answer questions, post photos and participate in discussions. Relevant content and interaction is a great way to turn Facebook fans and Twitter followers into customers.
How often should you post to social media? Yahoo Small Business says that in general you will want to post at least 3 times per week, but that posting every day is even better in keeping you connected with your fans. The shelf life of Facebook posts are actually quite short. A survey by Wisemetrics found that a Facebook impression takes only 2 hours and 30 minutes to reach 75% of its max. This is just another reason to post every day if you want to reach the maximum number of fans.
Print and social media go hand and hand in today’s world to help you get the most attention for you advertising time and dollar. Colorful graphics, foil stamping and die cutting on printed pieces still grab attention in the hands of potential buyers and those same graphics crossover well into social media. Driving customers and prospects to social media pages, as well as to your website, is a great way to insure immediate contact.
According to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) 44% of customers visit a brand’s website after receiving direct-mail marketing, while 34% search for them online. A survey by Pitney Bowes found that 76% of small business owners say their ideal marketing strategy encompasses a combination of both print and digital media.
With a combination of both, you will stay ahead of the competition in customer communication and engagement. Be sure to maintain consistency across both print and digital media to keep your brand instantly recognizable in both circles. Use special offers on printed pieces to drive customers directly to your website or social media pages and QR codes for customers to scan and go directly to your site. By printing a scanable QR code right on your printed piece, you not only allow customers to the ability to go immediately to your site, but you can also track use.
A fully digital marketing approach can be a big mistake. When planning your marketing and advertising strategy, remember that print and digital media work well together to enhance the results of your marketing efforts. When you find the right balance of both, you will see an increase in customer interaction and business.
Printed marketing materials are still the most effective way for companies to deliver their sales pitch to buyers. Great marketing materials can mean the difference between success and failure in sales. These materials must send a message that you are professional and serious about doing business. An emailed pdf just doesn’t pack the same punch as a well-branded pocket folder filled with professional marketing materials. Providing professional printed materials also lets your sales team know you are invested in them and their success. When you use these materials to enhance your social media presence, it will only strengthen the connection between you and your customers and prospects.
Corcoran Printing is a full service commercial printer serving northeast Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia and entire east coast. Corcoran Printing provides a full array of printed services from full-color postcards, brochures, kit covers, catalogs and other marketing materials, to specialty foil and die cutting projects and complete direct mail services. For more information on how we can help you reach your marketing goals, call 1-800-564-0085 or visit us at www.corcoranprinting.com. We also encourage you to like the Corcoran Printing Facebook page.
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