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Thursday, January 7, 2016

6 Important Steps to Prepare Your Direct Mail for Success

Direct mail marketing is one of the leaders in Return on Investment and Cost per lead. But in order to achieve these high ROIs and low Costs per leads, you have to ensure that your direct mail campaign is effective and avoids mistakes that will hurt your results. If you follow the tips and suggestions below you will be well on your way to receiving great results!

1. Proofread your content - and verify your information.

It’s happened to all of us. You’re in a rush to get your project out the door, all the copywriting is done, time to get it off to the design department! Don’t forget the all important proof-reading step. The last thing you, and we as your printer, want to see are typos in your already printed documents. Don’t be the only one to look over your document either, have a co-worker or trusted friend look it over as well. If you have the money in your budget you can also have it checked over by a professional proof-reading service. Also be sure that any data or statistics you use reflect your most current data.

Bonus tip: Want to save time, and money? Of course you do, who doesn’t. One way to do this is to proof-read and verify your content before sending your project out to be designed. Doing so will avoid costly and time consuming revisions.

2. Get your mail opened with creative and eye-catching design.

Make your recipients first impression of your mailer a positive one to ensure that it is read. If the first impression of your piece is drab and dull, there’s a good chance your recipient will ignore it. Print a tagline that calls the recipients attention to what’s inside. Is there a special offer, or a great opportunity to help your organization inside? Let the reader know right away!

Bonus tip: Unique Sizes, Bulging envelope, and interesting finishing ideas can help you get your mail piece opened. But they can also dramatically increase the cost of your mailing in both production, and postage (as well as impact your timeline). Check with us on the cost of your idea before setting your heart on a concept. We may have another great idea that works just as well at a better cost.

3. Make sure you have a Call to Action, and make sure it’s easy to use.

The recipient of your mail loves your piece, he’s read it and is ready for the next step! Make sure that next step is easy to find and it spells out exactly what you want him to do next. Whether it’s to contact you for more information on your services, a website to order your product, or to donate to your cause, it’s your job to make it apparent and easy for them to do. 

Bonus tip: There are several ways to make it easy for your recipients to get in touch with you, whether it be QR Codes, PURLs or even a specific phone number JUST for this campaign. Some of these will also help you to track the results of the campaign.

4. Know your data.

A great mailer that was beautifully designed, with an excellent call to action will get no results if you send it to the wrong person! Also you’ll get your best results with a highly targeted mailing. Segment your mailing so your message is more relevant to their interests and needs. For fundraisers, this could mean different letters for previous donors, and new prospects. For people selling products, it could be segmented by what a consumer has purchased from you in the past.

Bonus tip: A clean list could also help you out of sticky situations. By running your list through the NCOA (National Change of Address) list, if the recipient has reported a move with the post office recently, the address will be updated to the newly reported address. You can also suppress your mailing by different factors, such as Deceased suppression, Prison, Nursing Homes, Trailer Parks, Military Bases, and several other factors.

5. Know your timeline.

The design is complete - the copy is perfect it’s in the printers hands now so it’ll be going out tomorrow and in your recipients mail-boxes in 4 days, just in time for your big conference!

Not so fast, it takes time to print and get your project ready for mailing. Contact our production team early in your process and find out just how long your project will take in production. Don’t forget time in the design and proofing department, production time doesn’t begin until your piece is approved to run. If you know the date you want the piece in the hands of your recipients you can then work backwards from that date to give yourself a timeline on when all of the steps in the process need to be done.

Bonus tip: We understand that sometimes you’re under the gun and need something out FAST! Contact us and together we can find ways to streamline your project by simplifying, or coming up with other ideas to get your project out faster!

6. Ignoring other Channels of contact

It’s said it takes 7 points of contact to make a sale. These points of contact can be from various sources, Direct Mail, Email, Social Media, Phone, or even face-to-face. It’s also said that the best marketing campaigns are mixed media campaign meaning a campaign that hits several channels with the same or very similar messages. The same goes with non-profit and fundraising appeals, it may take more than one appeal letter or other mailing to get a donation.

Need help getting those additional touches? Contact us to find out how we can help!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Movad is a 2015 Neographics Award Winner!

Movad is excited to announce that we have once again been awarded the Neographics Power of Print "Best in Category" award for "Digital Printing Variable Data" in 2015. We are humbled to have received this honor, and proud to be recognized for the quality work and attention to detail we provide to this, and every job that that makes its way through our shop.

When Bloomsburg University wanted to do something special to thank their high dollar supporters of the Huskies football team, they immediately thought that Movad would be the perfect partner to team up with for the project. Together, the Movad and Bloomsburg teams brainstormed several concepts, and worked up several comps before narrowing it down to one final vision. The final package included a personalized letter, a game ball, and an image created by Christopher M. Malatesta from Bloomsburg University’s development office.

The final image contained photos across the top and bottom of the piece. And in the center along with text thanking the recipient, there was a football in the background. To make the piece extra special we made it appear as if the recipients name was signed on the football, following the curves of the ball, and giving some dimension to the photo with shadowed edges and a bit of transparency so it showed the texture of the ball underneath the signatures. These little touches made all the difference in turning a good looking mailing, into an award winning work of art!

Want to see a sample of the award winning piece? Click on the link below and fill out the form and we'll get one off to you as soon as we can.

Here are a few photos from the award ceremony.

Bob Hanf and Joan McCloskey
Christopher M. Matesta and Joan McCloskey

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Direct Mail is still relevant in the age of Social Media and E-Mail Marketing

In the age of social media, and e-mail marketing, you may be surprised to find that direct mail still proves to be amongst the most effective use of your marketing or fundraising budget. While the web is a great source for dynamic information and instant gratification, receiving a piece of direct mail is a more tangible experience.

Many of your recipients will prefer direct mail and print marketing over digital. With the proliferation of e-mail marketing, e-mail boxes are getting more crowded, while physical mail boxes are becoming less so. With less mail hitting these physical mail boxes comes less competition for the recipients attention. And while e-mail can be discarded with a click of the button, or filtered directly to a spam folder, your mail piece has to have at least been placed in the recipients hand and glanced at before hitting the recycle bin.

Response rates for direct mail marketing hover at around 3.4% while e-mail marketing response rates  land at a much more modest 0.12%. Admittedly direct mail marketing is a more expensive process - therefore e-mail marketing has a higher return on investment on average. A lot of marketers use this as an excuse to do so called "spray and pray" email blasts where they send generic emails to large numbers of email addresses and hope their message gets out enough to generate a decent response.

There is a better way. The most successful marketing campaigns are integrated, or multi-channel campaigns. These campaigns use aspects of direct mail, e-mail and social media combined. Perhaps you start with a highly targeted direct mail piece, one that is tailored towards the recipients interests. Along with the piece is a traditional return device to order a product, sign up for your service, or to donate to your cause. Along with this traditional return piece, there is also a QR Code or Personalized URL (PURL) which leads to a landing page for the recipient to sign up, purchase or donate. This web site can also serve as a source to gather more information from the recipient such as their e-mail address. It can also serve as an easy way to get them to follow you on twitter, or like you on facebook. This will allow you to communicate with them on a more regular basis, keeping you in front of mind when they are ready to purchase or donate.

Maybe your initial direct mail didn't get you an immediate response - but it was a first touch. It's been said that to make a sale, unless it was an impulse buy, you will need to "touch" the buyer several times. Maybe your next step would be a follow-up mailing, e-mail or even a phone call. If you managed to get the recipient to follow you on a social channel, sharing content relevant to your target markets interests will also keep your company in mind, and be considered a "light touch". According to the ‘Rule of Seven,’ formulated by marketing expert Dr. Jeffrey Lant, to penetrate the buyer’s consciousness and make significant penetration in a given market, you have to contact the prospect a minimum of seven times within an 18-month period.

To find out how Movad can help with your next campaign, click the button below.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

We've done it again with an Award of Recognition from the Printing Industries of America

You may have seen that we were recently awarded the 2013 Neographics Power of Print "Best in Category" award for "Digital Printing Variable Data." One of the benefits of winning this mid-Atlantic regional award was that our entry was automatically entered into the Printing Industries of America's 2013 Premier Print Awards Competition. We are excited to announce that our entry was honored with an Award of Recognition from the competition.

"It is very gratifying to win this prestigious award knowing that our customer's ROI was $15 to $1"
Joan McCloskey
President, Movad

For more in-depth coverage of the award winning appeal please visit our previous blog post regarding the 2013 Neographics Power of Print award.

Would you like to learn more about how we can help you get award winning results, and request samples of the award winning appeal?

Join us in celebrating our recent awards with a 10% discount* on your upcoming printing/direct mail project - just mention the awards blog offer when you place the order.

*One per customer - offer excludes postage - offer expires August 31, 2013.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Electronic communication is more environmentally friendly than print - Print Industry Misconceptions - Part 2

The second in my series of Print Industry Misconceptions is based on people thinking that "Electronic communication is more environmentally friendly than print." While in theory this seems like it would be the case, however when you take a closer look at what is involved with electronic communication, it becomes more and more apparent that it is not necessarily true.

The video to the right from the people at International Paper and, Go Paper Grow Trees illustrates some of the differences between electronics and paper. The video compares how these two methods of communication are produced, what resources they are produced with, and how much of it is recovered for recycling.

Did you know that In Europe and in the U.S. around 60% of energy used to make paper comes from renewable resources? (source Carbon & Energy Reduction, Print City, 2010) Additionally, the raw material in paper, trees, are also a renewable resource. Compare that to the fact that electronic devices typically require the mining and refining of dozens of minerals and metals, as well as the use of plastics, hydrocarbon solvents, and other non-renewable resources. 

Also something to take into consideration is that the adverse health effects from producing an e-reader are 70 times worse than producing a book (source Daniel Goleman and Gregory Norris, "How Green is My iPad," The New York times). Along the same train of thought, every time you turn on your e-reader, you will be using electricity. The same goes for email communication, text messages and other forms of electronic communication and correspondence. On the other hand, print is the only medium with a one time carbon footprint. (source 2010 PrintCity report on Carbon and Energy)

The E-waste centre of Agbogbloshie, Ghana
Let's take a moment to look at recycling, in my last blog post I had pointed to the fact that in 2010, nearly 45 million tons of paper and paperboard were recovered, a recycling rate of over 63%. (source U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.) In 2012, that rate had increased to over 65% (source American Forest & Paper Association.) Meanwhile, in 2008, Americans generated 3.16 million tons of Electronic Waste (Source EPS, MSW 2008 data). According to a 2009 EPA report, only 25% of electronics were collected for recycling, with computers collected at the highest rate (38%). (source U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.) In addition, 50-80% of electronic waste collected for recycling is shipped overseas and often unsafely dismantled. (source Facts and Figures on E-Waste and Recycling, Electronics Take Back Coalition)

As new research emerges, it is clear that "either/or" is not the answer. One must consider all the inputs and outputs before making a decision about which communications are better delivered electronically or on paper. By linking the power of paper with the efficiency of electronics, we can streamline our communications and help maintain the best environmental balance possible. (source International Paper, Go Paper, Grow Trees website)

I'm not saying that we should end electronic communication, (of course not, after all - I assume that you are reading this blog on some sort of electronic device.)  Both electronic and paper communications have their place! Those who say we should be going paperless to save the environment are doing you a disservice, as the facts show that most suppliers within the paper industry demonstrate sustainable forestry practices.

Movad is happy to provide you with this information with you in the hope that we can dispel the myth that the paper and print industry are bad for the environment.

Portions of this blog have been sourced from "The Value of Print" by the Printing Industries of America.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Misconceptions of the printing industry: Using paper kills trees.

Print Grows Trees LogoThere are many misconceptions about the printing industry, such as "Using paper kills trees" or "Electronic communication is more environmentally friendly than print." In the coming weeks I will focus on these misconceptions - and provide facts that prove otherwise.

The first misconception I will be going over is that "Using paper kills trees." According to Print Grows Trees "The primary raw material for paper is trees, which are a renewable resource. The trees in North America used for paper production come from well-managed forests or farms." In fact, believe it or not, today, the United States has 20 percent more trees than it did on the first Earth Day celebration more than 40 years ago. (source American Forest & Paper Association.)

Private landowners plant about 4 million trees every day, which is 3-4 times more than they harvest. This gives them the income they need to maintain, renew and manage this valuable forest resource sustainably. Without that income, landowners face economic pressures to convert forest land to other uses, including growing other crops that are more profitable or selling the land for development. In both cases, the forest is removed forever. (source International Paper, Go Paper, Grow Trees.)

Meanwhile - only 11% of the world's forests are used for paper, (28% is used for lumber, and 53% for fuel.) (source International Paper, Down to Earth Series, "Is it Worth Printing?"/Choose Print)

By providing a market for responsibly grown wood fiber, the U.S. paper industry encourages forest land owners to continue managing their lands rather than selling them for development or other non-forest uses. This is an especially important consideration in facing economic pressure to convert forest land to non-forest uses. (source Two Sides US)

In 2010, nearly 45 million tons of paper and paperboard were recovered, a recycling rate of over 63%. (Source U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.) In 2012, that rate had increased to over 65% (source American Forest & Paper Association.)

Want to find out more about this topic? Here are a few more resources to visit and learn from:

Paper Because - "Paper is a sustainable, renewable, recyclable, plant-based product that connects us in so many ways to the important things in life."

The Paper Life Cycle - "Promotes a wider understanding and positive action around the key environmental issues affecting the life cycle of paper."

Paper Recycles - "Recycling increases energy efficiency, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and promotes sustainable forestry practices."

SGP (Sustainable Green Printing Partnership)"Print plays a vital role in the graphic communications industry. and sustainable business practices ensure continued viability and growth."

Two Sides - "Our mission is to help people gain a better understanding of why print and paper is a versatile and sustainable communications medium. We strive to be balanced, reflecting views which may not always be those of Two Sides and its members." Phil Riebel - President - Two Sides U.S.

Portions of this blog have been sourced from "The Value of Print" by the Printing Industries of America.

Movad is happy to provide you with this information - stay tuned to our blog in the coming weeks as we disprove additional misconceptions about the Print Industry.

Friday, May 3, 2013

We are a 2013 Neographics Award Winner!

Update 7/11/13: We've just won an Award of Recognition from the Printing Industries of America for this piece as well! Please visit our blog post about the Award of Recognition.

Movad is excited to announce that we have been awarded the 2013 Neographics Power of Print "Best in Category" award for "Digital Printing Variable Data." It is an honor to have been recognized for this award, and we are very proud of this great achievement. This award is a testament to our attention to detail and quality, not just with this project, but with every project we handle. Our notification letter from the Graphics Arts Association, an affiliate of the Printing Industries of America, states "As a winner, you've joined an elite group of the best printers and graphic communications firms in the mid-Atlantic region. The competition this year was extraordinary, so you should be especially proud."

St. Joseph's University Letter SampleFor this award winning project, we partnered with the St. Joseph's University Athletics Department to develop a highly segmented, variable printed, direct mail fundraising appeal to raise money for the Hawk Athletic Fund. The mailing was split into 16 different segments based upon the recipients athletic interests - from Baseball, Golf, Women's Lacrosse, Men's Track and so on. Each recipient received a letter which was personalized to them from the department head or the head coach of the specific athletic team. Also changing in the piece were the photos along the sides of the fundraising appeal, for instance those receiving the baseball letter, received baseball photos on their appeal.

St. Joseph's University Envelope SampleBut the personalization did not stop there - the outer envelopes for the piece were also printed digitally. This allowed us to customize the envelope to reflect which office the mailing was from, for instance - Office of SJU Baseball, or Office of SJU Golf. By including this information the recipient is more likely to open the piece due to their interest/involvement with that particular sport.

"Saint Joseph's University Athletics congratulates Movad on a job well done!!  Partnering with Movad for our fall athletic appeal was great.  Their team was extremely thorough and easy to work with on every detail.  Thanks to Movad we had an extremely successful fall appeal.  We brought in over 290 gifts which resulted in over $97K for our programs." 
Rebecca Jurich
Associate Director Athletic Development, Donor Relations and Events

Saint Joseph's University

Would you like to learn more about how we can help you get award winning results, and request samples of the award winning appeal?


Join us in celebrating our Neographic Award with a 10% discount* on your upcoming printing/direct mail project - just mention the Neographic Award blog offer when you place the order. And be sure to follow us on Facebook or Google+ for photos from the award ceremony!

*One per customer - offer excludes postage - offer expires August 31, 2013.