Monthly Archives: February 2018

What is Every Door Direct Mail?

By | Every Door Direct Mail | No Comments

Regardless if you’re a direct mail newbie or a veteran mailer, you’ve probably heard of it. But what is Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) and what should I know about it?

Let me share some information about the nature of EDDM mailings and how you can use it to market more effectively.

What is Every Door Direct Mail?

Every Door Direct Mail, or known as EDDM, is an affordable service provided by the United States Post Office, which allows you send a mail piece to every house on selected routes at the lowest postage rate without purchasing a mailing list or bulk mail permit.

The post office requires the mail piece to have the following requirements:

  • Minimum size: 6.125 inches high x 11.5 inches long or more than ¼ inch thick
  • Maximum size: 15 inches long x 12 inches high or ¾ inch thick
  • It can be a card, folded self-mailer, or an envelope with the same size specs as above
what is every door direct mail

EDDM Sizing Guide

What are the Advantages and Disadvantages?

EDDM provides some strong benefits to the mailer. Let’s take a look at some of them:

  • You can saturate neighborhoods and zip codes at a postage rate as low as $.17 each
  • You can select routes by averages of age, income, or household size
  • Ability to mail a large mail piece, sure to grab a recipient’s attention.
  • Because you can select carrier routes for free, you don’t need to purchase a mailing list.

On the other end of the spectrum, there are some disadvantages to EDDM:

  • Since you cannot address the piece, it can feel impersonal
  • You can’t select individuals, so you may be mailing to people with no interest in your product or service.
  • It costs more to print, as the pieces are bigger than your average postcards

How to get Started on an Every Door Direct Mail Campaign:

First, on the USPS website, select the desired routes and map out who you’re wanting to mail. Once complete, you can filter by average age, income, and household size.

Second, send us the the route and recipient information, and we’ll take care of the required paperwork to get your piece in the mail.

Third, send us your designed mail piece. Or, if you need help with design, let us know and we can design the piece for you.

Fourth, decide on a date to mail your EDDM, and we’ll put it in the mail on that date. It’s really that simple!

To launch your next EDDM mailing, give us a call at 800-624-3622 and one of our customer service representatives will take care of you.

 

every door direct mail

What Are Bleeds And Why Are They Important?

By | Printing | No Comments

Let me walk you through a conversation that happens quite often between a customer service representative and a customer…

CSR: “Hello, how may I help you?”

Customer: “Yes, hi! I would like to print some postcards for a mailing and need to get a price.”

CSR: “That’s great! I can help you with that! Let me ask you a few questions so I can get an idea of what you want. What’s the total quantity of the job?”

Customer: “2,000 postcards.”

CSR: “Will the postcards be printed on both sides?”

Customer: “Yes, I would like my card to be printed on both sides.”

CSR: “Does it bleed?”
Customer: I imagine the customer at this moment furrowing his brow or scratching his head and, saying, “ Bleed … uh … what … I’m not sure … I have no idea… what are bleeds!?”

This is normal. You are not alone. Few people understand what bleeds are and why they’re important.  But don’t worry, it’s not your fault. We in the mailing industry haven’t done a good job in explaining this concept. So let’s get down to business.

What are bleeds?

 

What are bleeds? A bleed is any artwork  – such as an image or color –  that touches the edge of a printed piece. It literally looks like it “bleeds” over. Think of an infinity pool, where the water runs to the pool’s edge, and you’ll have a good idea of what I’m talking about.

Here are two examples that also might help:

  • You have a postcard covered in a solid color other than white
  • You have a background picture that takes up the entire card.

Why are bleeds important?

 

To cut to the chase, here’s why bleeds are important: If you don’t add bleeds to your artwork, it will be printed with a thin white box around the outside edge regardless of what your artwork looks like. It will simply not be able to print your color all the way to the edge of the piece, reducing the appearance and appeal it brings in.

So to make your piece bleed, you need to setup your initial artwork bigger than its final size because printers cannot print edge to edge and add bleeds automatically. After we print the piece, we trim the extra off to give it the bleed effect with the color or background falling off the edge.

How do I set up bleeds on my artwork?

 

First, before you or your graphic designer begin designing, be sure to add an extra ⅛” to each side of your artboard. For example, if you want to print a 6” x 11” card, set your artboard size to 6.25” x 11.25.” In popular design programs like Adobe Indesign or Adobe Illustrator, there’s a box you can click and the software will add a bleed border for you. Just go to “File,” then “document setup,” then add .125 in. to each side. But if you don’t have access to these tools, just be sure to add that extra ⅛” before placing any text, images, or color.

Here’s what setting up bleeds will look like in Illustrator or InDesign.

what are bleeds

 

Second, keep everything inside the surrounding ⅛” border. Any art that goes outside the 6” x 11” border will be cut off when we trim. It’s especially important to keep all of your text within that original 6” x 11” border. One of the most common mistakes we see made is when someone stretches their entire artwork to the edge of the bleeds. You only need to stretch the background colors or images, not the text! However, if you do accidentally place something outside the border, we’ll tell you if we see a problem.

This is how your artwork should look like with bleeds set up correctly.

what are bleeds

 

Third, when you’re ready to send the artwork, remind your customer service rep that you want your piece to bleed. He or she will tell our print manager, who’ll then set up the piece to print in the correct format for bleeds.

I hope we were able to demystify one of the most commonly asked questions that we get from customers: what are bleeds?  If you have any confusion or need further clarification, don’t hesitate to contact us and one of our experts would be happy to chat with you.

personalized printing

Is Direct Mail Dead?

By | Direct Mail Marketing | No Comments

Oh great… another blog post from a direct mail company saying people like receiving direct mail. Give me a break – It’s the age of email and smartphones. Direct mail is dead. And dead it will stay!

I get your skepticism. You’ve every right to be skeptical when mainstream news outlets say the same things: direct mail doesn’t work. Market online. Send emails. Strengthen your SEO. They suggest anything BUT direct mail.

Direct mail’s got a lot of haters. But is the hatred justified? We don’t think so. Our clients don’t think so. And the facts certainly don’t think so!

direct mail box

According to the Data and Marketing Association, the #1 hub for marketing statistics and information, direct mail is alive and well.  

According to their stats, direct mail has a better response rate than email, paid searches through search engines like Google and Bing, and social media. And not just by one or two percent. But four to five in almost every comparison.

For example, the household response rate for direct mail ranks number ONE at 5.1% whereas the other response to Google Clicks and email measures less than one percent

And we’ve all heard those “tech-savvy,” “digital-native” millennials only shop online or with their smartphones. But do they? Again according to the DMA, it simply isn’t true; the direct mail response rate for millennials is 12.4%! So… is direct mail dead?

So Why Does Direct Mail Work?

First, it slices through the clutter. It’s clean and simple. It’s not competing with hundreds of other marketing pieces. It’s dropped in the mailbox with four to five other mail pieces. But compare that with email – where the average person receives 10-20 marketing emails a day. There’s too much. Companies are bombarding us every day, and it’s causing our heads to burst. 

Second, it’s tangible. You can feel its texture and weight in your hands. It feels … well … it feels real. Contrast that with an email. Emails seem cheap. They lack substance. What does it say to your customers when you only contact them with an an email? I’d say not much.

Yes, we’re a direct mail company, but that’s not the reason we believe in direct mail. We believe in it because it works. And almost every direct mail marketer will say the same thing.

So if you’re looking to improve your marketing, mix in direct mail. There’s nothing wrong with sending emails, but compound your efforts with direct mail. The results might just turn you from hater to believer.

So what do you think? Is direct mail dead?

New call-to-action

What Is Data Processing?

By | Data Processing | No Comments

Let me share with you a scenario that happens every so often when I am giving a customer an estimate or an invoice.They will ask me about the line item simply named “data processing.” So what exactly is data processing? I’m gonna let you in on a little secret…

The list the customer gives us doesn’t magically transform into the list that is mailed out!

Allow me to walk you through the journey of your list. When our customer service representative receives the list from the customer, it is put into a designated folder associated with a job number on our server database. Once the paperwork is made up by the rep, the data processing department is the next stop along the route as the job passes through the shop. One of our data processors accesses the list with our advanced software and then begins to follow a series of steps and check offs that have been developed over years of experience. This list processing checklist covers each and every detail that goes into a developing a final mailed list.

For example, some of these items include: removing duplicates, correcting fields, removing floating fields, updating addresses from NCOA, unifying the case of the text, checking the length of the longest record, postage verification, etc… All in all, there are 31 different items on this checklist that they work through by the time they are done with the list.

This eliminates any opportunity of error for grabbing the wrong list, including bad records and addresses, or even sending an incomplete list. Working through this process can take anywhere from 45 minutes for a cleaned up list, to four or five hours for a complex, messy list. Other factors that can add to the length of the data processing are how many fields are being included with each record or the amount of lists being merged together to form the final mailing list.

If the customer’s spreadsheet list has four or five different tabs or several excel files, that can take a lot of time for our data processors to import into the mailing software we use to presort the lists.

Well, as you can tell, there are a lot of little steps that are taken to ensure your mailed lists are as accurate as possible. Because these steps are executed correctly, we can provide the best mailing list for your direct mail campaign.

New call-to-action