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Great Direct Mail Examples From My Mailbox

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Call me crazy, but I look forward to getting my mail each day, partly because we do direct mail all the time, but also partly because of my curiosity on what is being sent by others. Of course I am super critical of what I receive; looking at the condition it is in, if there is personalization, if there are errors and if it captures my attention. You would think that now with my mailbox being less full that more would stand out to me, but most of the time, that is not the case. As marketers we need to step up our game! Have you been keeping an eye on your mailbox? What worked on you? I keep a stash of the ones that worked on me for reference on client projects. Let’s look at a couple of great ones.

The first example is a retention piece. It has been a while since I bought from them so they are sending me a special offer. (Always a good idea.)

Mail Piece 1: A 5×7 envelope, tri-folded card with attached coupon card

The envelope was blue with just my address, a return address and a tagline of “Very Special Offer For Summer.” The card was setup like a standard greeting card, once you open the first panel there is a personalized short greeting on the inside panel and a half size final panel on the right. To the left of the greeting was the attached coupon card with my name on it and the offer was for a free pair of shoes when I buy one pair. (Buy-one get-one free is great!) The short panel was perfed to allow me to tear it off and share an offer with a friend. The friend offer was 50 percent off a pair of shoes when they bought a pair. (This is a great way to extend your direct mail reach and quickly gain new customers. People decide to buy based on recommendations, who better than a friend to provide that recommendation?) Of course I bought the shoes and I gave the other coupon to a friend who also bought shoes.

Retention mailings work very well. You know purchase history and the value that customer has to you so you can make an appropriate, compelling offer to get them to buy again. Have you considered doing a share with a friend offer? They work great! We highly recommend them.

Mail Piece 2: A 6×11 Postcard

Now if you are like me, you do not normally get excited about a postcard — but this one was different. The first thing I noticed was my name on a tackle box next to a woman fishing. (Yes, I love to fish.) Normally when I get postcards selling fishing things, there is always a man on the card. Not that appealing to me. This card was so much better. There was no other copy on this side of the card. When I turned it over, I realized it was fully personalized with not just my name and address, but with tackle that was of interest to me. I am not a lure fisherwoman, but I get mailers all the time trying to sell me lures. This card had various bait and hooks. So the discount offer was for 25 percent off any of the items on the card. (Wow, an offer I can use for tackle I want!) Did I use it? Of course I did! The true advantage to personalization is that the mailer will appeal directly to the needs or wants of the recipient. This becomes a valuable piece of mail to them.

So why am I sharing my mail? Because I want to give you real-life examples of mail pieces that work! They work best when they stand out and are relevant to the recipient. Are you creating your direct mail this way? When you do your ROI will show it. Are you ready to be creative and make the best direct mail piece yet? Do you have any pieces that you received that were great?

 

 

Article from

http://www.targetmarketingmag.com/post/great-direct-mail-examples-mailbox/

 

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What’s the Deal With Billboards?

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Printing and Advertising

I just got back from a fantastic — however, too short — trip to the Adirondacks. I unplugged, showed my boyfriend one of my favorite places on earth, did some hiking, played in a ridiculous 3-inning wiffle ball tournament with my cousins and regularly wondered during my drive up north why certain marketers still feel the need to invest in billboards.

Now, don’t get me wrong … the billboards that alert you to an upcoming deluxe truck stop in 10 miles, or a brewery and restaurant two exits away are 100 percent okay by me. They provide travelers with quick information that is actionable 98 percent of the time. Good deal.

However, the billboard for a digital agency that I saw on 95 North? That is a billboard I question.

Now, I didn’t get a shot of the billboard because I was driving, and mentioning WHO it is also doesn’t really matter for this post. Why? Because I don’t know much about this company (though I just did a little googling), and I think I want to keep looking at this from a blind perspective. So let’s get back to that.

The billboard hails the company as an expert in SEO, PPC, social, Web design … all things that are digital, pasted onto essentially a huge sign by the interstate. And sure, we see display ads everywhere: bus stop shelters, inside train cars, on subway walls. But in most of those settings, the prospect is sitting or standing still, can take in the information, and if there is a call to action, can take it.

Because they’re not driving a vehicle 72 mph down the highway.

I’m not sure how many people are going to be able to take action on a billboard like that. Perhaps if they drive that way to work every day, the name will stick in their heads and they’ll remember to look the company up once they get in the office … maybe. Depends on how gnarly that inbox is.

But I certainly hope I don’t see someone looking this company up on their phone as they floor it to get to work on time.

So I ask: Why? What’s the point for this kind of advertising? On one hand you might tell me that this company sticks out among the Utz pretzel and various beer billboards (all brand exposure focused), and on the other hand I’ll say that I don’t know if I can trust a company who sinks cash into billboards. And don’t get me started on the billboards I’ve seen with QR Codes (thankfully, fewer and fewer nowadays).

That said, the digital billboards that Netflix had for the Santa Clarita Diet were pretty great.

 

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What’s the Deal With Billboards?

Commercial Printer

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Our Quality

Commercial Printer

For more than thirty years in Commercial Printer, NMG has remained committed to excellence in everything we do. Whether it is the loyalty of our customers and employees, or our network of industry partners, we bring a demand for precision and personal attention to every project.

Our Service

In our industry, a missed deadline is a lost opportunity. It’s simple, we do not make promises we can’t keep and truly believe honesty is the best policy. Great service goes well beyond project delivery. It is about adding extra value in forms such as responsiveness, creative suggestions, process improvement, open communication — whatever it takes to get the job done right.

Our Assurance

When you become our Commercial Printer customers, we will make sure your project is completed in the most efficient and economical way possible. Customers can trust that NMG will anticipate and identify any potential problems before they surface and strive to keep you updated as important production milestones are met. We go the distance for you because lasting relationships are the key to our future success.

Call Us 610-524-1600

 

 

4 Great Direct Mail Welcome Ideas

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Can direct mail make a red-hot customer even hotter?

That’s just one question some marketers may want to think about when acquiring a customer. They’ve paid their heard-earned money for your product or service, but why not get that new relationship off on the right foot with a solid welcome package?

There are some solid reasons for doing so. A direct mail welcome package can be one of the first few communications that your customer gets after getting an email confirmation of their order. It’s your chance to shine, to let them know that they’ve made the right decision. And it’s only polite to express your thanks, and put it in print.

So how can you say “Welcome”? I looked at a ton of mail from Who’s Mailing What! for some ideas. Here’s a sampling of what I found.

1. Make It Personal

Here’s a direct mail piece I got when I bought my laptop. A simple 6”x8” 8-page booklet that has some personalization going on, and a nice image on the front panel. Inside, it welcomes me to the Dell family and recommends that I keep the booklet in a safe place in case the information it holds is ever needed.

What information? My purchase ID number is the big one. It also lists lots of tech support and customer service websites and phone numbers. Some of them came in handy when I spilled iced tea on my keyboard last summer.

2. Remind Them About Your Brand

New York Times direct mailThe New York Times likes booklets, too, mailing this one to a new subscriber. Its 24-pages include lots of copy about all of its online and print features as it helps readers along “your journey.” And, the perfed inside back cover smartly has customer service contact info in case you lose your access, or your Sunday Times doesn’t show up on your doorstep.

3. Talk About Security

American Express direct mailThink of how data and identity security are constantly in the news. You need to make your new customer feel safe. So it makes sense not only to take precautions, but tell your customers what you’re doing to keep them and their information secure.

American Express onboards new cardholders with yes, another booklet. Here, it includes fraud alert protection in a rundown of features that are available in its app.

4. Take Further Action

National Audubon Society direct mailSo you’ve already thanked your customer for their purchase. Now what?

How about another purchase? This is the perfect opportunity to cross-sell or upsell other products or related services as well.

For non-profits, the direct mail welcome is a great time to really energize new donors when they’re most engaged and enthusiastic. The National Audubon Society, in its documentation, presents new members with an action plan “so that you can make the most of your ongoing membership.” Among the checked items: volunteering at an Audubon center, participating in citizen science programs, or making another donation.

You have nothing to lose by letting a new customer feel good about their decision, and spending their money with you.

By starting with a good welcome, you can help create a good experience for them, build a foundation for their future loyalty, and establish your brand at the same time.

 

 

Article from

 

http://www.targetmarketingmag.com/post/4-direct-mail-welcome-ideas/all/

 

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How to Generate Response With Your Direct Mail

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A lot of marketers go for flashy design with their direct mail. This can grab attention, but what if you could do something more? Can your direct mail make people think and react without even realizing it? Of course it can. So how can you design your mailings with that in mind?

Before we get into the how, we need to know more about this phenomenon. This is commonly referred to as neuromarketing — marketing that focuses on the brain and how it responds. People are not aware of where their first impressions come from, nor do we always understand what they mean; they just are. This means we can use that to our advantage as marketers and incorporate messaging and design to illicit a snap response once pulled from the mail box. This is thought to happen in the lower, old parts of our brain. Now, let’s see how we can do this:

  1. “Either or Scenario”: Create only two options to choose from in your direct mail. The good choice is your product or service and the bad choice is the other option. This is a great space for snap judgments, so make sure your distinction is very clear.
  2. Story: Use a real world story that shows your product or service and how it has helped other real people. This should be a short story that is clear and to the point. Testimonials are great!
  3. Messaging: Keep it short and simple. There is no need to get technical or to list a bunch of features — no one cares. Benefits sell for you so find the biggest one and use that in your message.
  4. Solve Problems: Your product or service solves problems for people show them how in your direct mail. Short and right to the point, you have this problem, our widget will solve it. One big benefit is your focus.
  5. Images: Invoke emotions and convey your message through powerful images and without a lot of copy.

On average, you have about 5 to 6 seconds for your message to be understood before the prospect or customer moves on. So in order to be most effective, you need to be using all five suggestions above while keeping your focus on your one overarching theme. Remember that the most important thing is to only be selling one thing at a time with your direct mail. The KISS method is your friend.

Your mail should never focus on reason or logic; that’s not what gets people to buy right away. It makes them think harder and slows down the whole buying process. Additionally, it is an instant turn-off for mail pieces. Do not end up in the trash! You highlight a big benefit when you solve their problem, just focus on that.

Take a look at your current mail pieces based on the five suggestions above: What could you change before you send out your next piece? Are you already doing some of them? Great, now just add the ones that are missing. Another thing to consider is to look at mail pieces you have received, which ones worked well on you? What did they have in common? This can help you build a better response with your direct mail campaigns. Do you have a great mail piece that worked really well for you? I would love to hear about it!

 

article from

How to Generate Response With Your Direct Mail

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5 Things to Not Do in Direct Mail

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1. Font: The most important thing in your direct mail is the ability for your audience to read it. If they can’t read it, they throw it away. When considering what font to use, make sure that it is easily read. Do not pick what you consider a fun and whimsical font; it makes your copy hard to read. Let your design and images do the eye-catching work. Your copy’s job is to sell your product or service, not look decorative. Your font size matters, too, so make it larger.

2. Lie: Your direct mail should never lie to people or as some people put it, stretch the truth. Always be open and honest about your product or service. You may get a sale under false pretenses, but you will lose your reputation and business in the long run. Your customers and prospects expect better from you. There are plenty of ways to create direct mail that works without being shady.

3. Old List: Old data is bad data. People and businesses move all the time. If you have a list that is three years or older without having ever been cleaned, don’t use it. Beyond the fact that addresses change, people and their circumstances change, too. Sending to people who are not there or no longer interested is a waste of money. There are ways you can clean it up, or you can purchase a new list of similar people. Keeping your data fresh means that you can correctly target the people most interested in your product or service.

4. No or Unclear Call-to-Action: The whole point of sending direct mail is to get people to respond. If you do not include a call-to-action where you tell them what you want them to do, they will not do it. Vague language and innuendo do not work either. A clear concise call-to-action is a must to drive response.

5. Features: Do not focus your direct mail on features — no one cares. People buy based on benefits, not features. All the latest gadgets mean nothing if they are of no benefit. Structure your copy so that you highlight all the benefits your customers and prospects are going to get when they buy your product or service. If you are having a hard time moving away from features, try listing the features on a paper and next to each one list at least one benefit. For instance, if you are selling a vacuum cleaner, a feature is the motor power. A benefit of a stronger motor is the amount of debris that can be picked up in a shorter amount of time. When you find the benefits and use them in your direct mail, you sell more.

This list could really keep on going, but we have hit in the five major areas. Have you made any of these mistakes or others? What else would you include in this list? We all make mistakes from time to time. The most important thing is to learn from them, to make your direct mail better. It’s time to make some great direct mail!

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Chester County officials urge residents to take survey guiding future growth

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WEST CHESTER >> Chris Alonzo, a lifelong resident of Kennett Square and third-generation mushroom farmer, remembers a time when there was only one traffic light in town.

 

 

But it’s not like that anymore.

 

 

“The number of people who want to live in the county has increased and the traffic has increased,” said Alonzo, the president of Pietro Industries and chairman of the Chester County Agricultural Development Council. “If we don’t plan this carefully, we’ll be the next Route 202 in Wilmington, Delaware, where there is a traffic light every mile.”

 

 

As Chester County officials plan for the future with the development of Landscapes3, the next comprehensive plan, they are looking at many factors, including the relationship between housing and jobs; growth and preservation; and trails and public health. The Chester County Commissioners launched a Landscapes3 public survey last month in an effort to gather residents’ input. More than 4,500 people have filled out the survey to date.

 

 

Alonzo believes all the Landscapes3 topics – housing and jobs; growth and preservation; and trails and public health – are interrelated.

 

 

“I agree they are all interconnected because when you have people who love living in the county because of how great downtown West Chester or Kennett Square or Phoenixville is, but also have the ability to drive a few miles and be in the middle of rural Chester County … and see horses, rolling hills and farms and be in this amazing place that is beautiful and scenic,” he said. “That’s why Chester County is one of the No. 1 places where people want to live.”

 

 

Alonzo — the co-chair of the Landscapes3 steering committee along with Matt Hammond, chairman of the Chester County Planning Commission, and Molly Morrison, president of Natural Lands — said Landscapes3 needs to balance the county’s vibrant growth with its scenic landscapes so that the county can continue to be a great place to live and raise a family.

 

 

“We have people who want to have businesses here, live here and enjoy open space,” he said. “Balancing that growth with that amazing sense of place is a challenge.”

 

 

Survey results to date have showed that open space and environment continue to be top priorities for county residents. As a result, embracing place will be a critical part of the Landscapes3 plan.

 

 

“Please keep as much open space as possible,” wrote one of the survey respondents. “The reason our county is one of the most popular places to live is because the towns are vibrant and the country living still feels like country: trees and streams and fields.”

 

 

Over 27 percent of the county, or 131,570 acres, have been preserved to date, according to county officials. Of that amount, 92,000 acres have been preserved over the past 20 years — since the adoption of Landscapes, the original award-winning comprehensive plan for the county.

 

 

Alonzo noted that agricultural businesses need to be economically viable so that open space contributes not only to our sense of place, but also to our economy. Agriculture is the county’s leading industry, and Kennett Square is considered the “Mushroom Capital of the World.”

 

 

From a growth perspective, the need for housing options and transportation choices are seen as important in Chester County. Enhancing choices in how and where people live, work, and connect will be an important part of the Landscapes3 plan.

 

 

“We need to have growth that is appropriate and planned,” said Alonzo.

 

 

Alonzo said there is a need to provide affordable housing to people of all income levels. He wants people of all occupations to be able to call Chester County home – not just a place to work.

 

 

Survey respondents made similar comments about the need for affordable housing choices.

 

 

“The need for more affordable housing in Chester County is the top priority in my opinion,” wrote one of the survey participants. “Many people are being ‘priced out’ of Chester County due to the majority of the housing being built (rental and for sale) is vastly overpriced especially in Phoenixville and Kennett Square.”

 

 

When it comes to future growth on a countywide scale, there are currently about half a million residents in the county, and a Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) report indicates there will be 146,000 new residents here in the next 30 years. There are about 310,000 jobs in the county, and the DVRPC estimates we will add 87,000 in the future. There are 185,000 housing units in the county now; there will be about 55,000 more in the next three decades.

 

 

Addressing this growth is a concern for some survey participants. “The upcoming generation will pick a place to live and then a place to work,” wrote one of the survey respondents. “Let’s figure out how we can move our communities together rather than having to rely on cars to get anywhere.”

 

 

After the survey closes, the county’s Planning Commission will evaluate residents’ feedback, and pull together other background information that has been gathered over the past year. The Landscapes3 steering committee will start meeting this fall to help guide the plan, update and create the plan’s vision and goals. The Planning Commission’s staff will develop the plan’s content based on the steering committee’s guidance and the continued input of the public and municipalities.

 

 

The message from the Chester County Board of Commissioners, Michelle Kichline, Kathi Cozzone and Terence Farrell, is unanimous: “Landscapes3 will serve as the blueprint for Chester County for the next 10 to 20 years. We are grateful for all the residents who have taken the time to fill out our survey and we invite anyone who hasn’t done so to participate now, prior to the close of the survey. We value residents’ input as we plan for our future.”

 

 

Residents are invited to share their input on issues that will be addressed in Landscapes3 such as managed growth, open space and the environment, modern infrastructure, transportation choices, the economy, healthy lifestyles, and housing options. Join the discussion by filling out the survey at: http://www.chescoplanning.org/survey.cfm.

 

 

The survey is scheduled to close at the end of June.

 

 

In addition to taking the survey, residents can stay involved and informed by signing up for future updates on the plan’s progress here: http://oi.vresp.com/?fid=a746e437ec and visit http://www.chescoplanning.org.

 

Original article from http://www.dailylocal.com/general-news/20170622/chester-county-officials-urge-residents-to-take-survey-guiding-future-growth?source=most_viewed

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How to Clean Computer Hardware

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Cleaning  Hardware

Cleaning Computer Hardware
 

We all know keeping the inside of our computers free of viruses is important, but how clean is the outside? Cleaning hardware isn’t difficult and can help alleviate gross buildup and overheating.

What you’ll need: A lint-free cloth, can of compressed air, dishwashing liquid, portable vacuum, water and cotton swabs are all it takes to get cleaning.

Before you start: Power off and unplug all attached wires and external devices. Also check your owner’s manual for device-specific warnings about cleaning solutions or procedures.

Wipe it down: Add a small drop of dishwashing liquid in a cup of warm water. Soak a sponge and wring thoroughly. Wipe the exterior of the computer, the mouse and trackpad. Use cotton swabs dipped in the soap and water solution for hard-to-reach areas. Dry everything with a lint-free cloth.

Blow it away: Ports and vents require compressed air to dislodge debris. Aim carefully to avoid blowing dust deeper into the machine. Go after any stubborn stuff with a clean, soft paintbrush or old toothbrush.

Clean that screen: Dust the screen with a dry lint-free cloth. Next, soak a sponge in plain water and wring it until slightly damp. Wash the screen by moving the sponge in small circles. When dusting and wiping, apply only the slightest pressure to remove fingerprints and grime. Avoid window cleaners, alcohol and other chemicals, which may damage anti-glare coatings or make touch screens less responsive.

Key in on the keyboard: Start by turning it upside down over a trashcan to remove loose particles. Then brush between the keys with a soft paintbrush, vacuum brush or the adhesive end of a sticky note. Wipe keys with a cloth pre-moistened with water or rubbing alcohol.

To maintain the best performance make sure to clean your computer every three to six months!

Sources: Consumer Reports, How-To Geek