Direct mail... Back-in-the-day or Future Play?

Posted by Robert Moura on Fri, Oct 29, 2010 @ 11:30 AM

With all the talk of social media, cell phone apps, email marketing, spam and the list goes on and on of “relevant” ways to keep in touch with and obtain new clients, I've asked myself if good old fashion direct mail is a back-in-the-day solution or a future play?

I don’t know about you, but I assume that Google and Yahoo know a thing or two about marketing, and I have been receiving direct mail from them recently promoting new ways to advertise my business and promote my products on their sites! Seems like a pretty strong case for direct mail to me. Can you appreciate the irony? Google and Yahoo using snail mail to promote their high tech web services.

Google and Yahoo Direct Mail pieces

Let’s face it, mail volumes are way down. Have you noticed how your mailbox (the physical one that sits outside of your house) contains about one third the daily volume of mail it used to just a few short years ago? Have you also noticed how your e-mail and PDA inboxes are jammed packed with SPAM? Which is the least competitive space to get your clear message through to your clients?

My point is that it seems to just make good sense to be a contrarian from time to time and take advantage of the not so obvious opportunities that occasionally present themselves. There are lots of wonderful gems to be found on the path less traveled!

With cost-per-clicks ranging in the $2 - $8 range a 30-cent stamp (rough cost for an average size direct mail postcard) seems pretty darn cheap. You know it will be delivered to the recipient and you know that they must at least look at it (click it) before they throw it away!

Food for thought – The printing and mailing industry has allowed the e-mail and pay-per-click folks to make some fairly absurd comparisons of the response rates and costs of snail mail vs. pay per click and e-mail blasts. Conventional direct mail Response rates do not necessarily translate equally to click rates. A common sence comparison of facts might surprise you. I’ll do some math next time!


Bob Moura
President

Tags: printing, commercial printing, printing services, business solutions, Social Media, direct mail

Commercial Printing Awards are nice... but that's not why we're here!

Posted by Universal Printing on Tue, Oct 26, 2010 @ 03:24 PM

Winning awards is nice.  There's no other way to put it. When you work hard, doing your best day-in and day-out, it's just nice to feel appreciated.  It's ESPECIALLY nice when you are appreciated by your Professional peers.

PrintImage Excellence Awards Icon

Earlier this month, we were fortunate to receive awards in 3 categories at this year’s PrintImage Excellence Awards.  It's a national competition and the judges are graphic designers, professional print buyers, printing professionals, and ad agency representatives... so pretty much people that understand printing from all sides.

Of course, it's an honor to be recognized for our efforts but it's important to point out that awards, while wonderful to receive, aren't our motivation. We're passionate about what we do.  We enjoy putting ink-on-paper... the technology behind it all... and working with our often-demanding but incredibly loyal clients.  Taking their projects, and applying our skills and experience to deliver better than imagined results, is something that really pumps us up! As Bob Moura, the president of our company likes to say, "We're in the WOW business!"

So yes... winning awards is nice. We're glad to have won, and we hope to win more in the future. We'll continue to keep you updated, but in the meantime we'll continue to do what we do: Offer innovative  printing services, high-tech business solutions like ePrint our web 2 print storefront and Symphony, our Multi Channel Marketing solution, fast  turnaround, and the commitment and experience to tie it all together in order to deliver a WOW experience for our clients.

arlier this month, we were fortunate to receive awards in 3 categories at this year’s PrintImage Excellence Awards.  It's a national competition and there were several outstanding entries this year. The judging panel is made up of graphic designers, professional print buyers, printing professionals, and ad agency representatives... so pretty much people that understand printing from all sides.

 

 

Of course, it's an honor to be recognized for our efforts but it's important to point out that awards, while wonderful to receive, aren't our motivation. We come to work each day, and give it our fullest and best efforts because we're passionate about what we do.  We enjoy ink-on-paper... we enjoy the technology behind it all... we enjoy working with our often-demanding but incredibly loyal clients.  Taking their projects, and applying our skills and experience to make them better than imagined, is something that really pumps us up!

 

 

 

o yes... winning awards is nice. We're glad to have won, and will hope to win more awards in the future. We'll continue to keep you aware of our progress, but in the meantime we'll continue to do what we do: Offer quality printing services, high-tech business solutions like ePrint and Symphony, fast  turnaround, and the commitment and experience to tie it all together.

 

Tags: printing services, business solutions, direct mail, multi channel marketing, Symphony, ePrint, PrintImage Excellence Awards, web 2 print

Green Printing.... what does it really mean?

Posted by Universal Printing on Fri, Oct 22, 2010 @ 10:30 AM

We love paper... LOVE it!  Our slogan for the past 30 years has been "Making You Look Better On Paper, ON TIME!"  It's something we truly believe in and strive to accomplish daily. We also hope that it's something that all printers, graphic designer, and marketing professionals all agree on: Paper ROCKS!

When many of our customers approach us, they want to know how they can produce something that's environmentally responsible.  Some will be familiar with some lingo... throwing out terms like "chain-of-custody," "carbon footprint," "petroleum free," and "green printing." Though by-and-large the term most often mentioned is "recycled."

"I want recycled paper!"  

"How much post-consumer waste is in this paper?"

"Let's get some recycled paper and use a recycled logo." 

Let's look at a bigger picture though.  There's more to it than just looking at recycled content in paper.  One should look closely at the entire process.  Now sure, printing companies like ours play a part. For example, we have a very healthy environmental policy in place, and try to make long and short term business decision with environmental responsibility in mind.  But what's more important is to take a look at where the paper comes from. Where are the sources, how is it being made, and what are the ecological impacts of that process?

PrintGrowsTrees

We at Universal Printing have chosen our paper suppliers very carefully, and do our best to ensure that all of our suppliers have aggressive environmental policies in place. A great source of information is the Print Grows Trees site. It talks about how printing is good for trees, which makes a lot of sense.  After all, there are a lot of synthetic papers out there, and almost none of them of are as eco-friendly as good, old-fashioned, made-from-trees paper. Few are recyclable, and most have very high carbon footprints in their manufacturing process.

At the end of the day... it's really all about what's best for the environment, for our customers, and for our community. We like trees... and we LOVE paper.

Tags: G7, green printing, environmental responsibility, recycling, carbon footprint

Direct Mail isn’t going anywhere...

Posted by Universal Printing on Tue, Oct 19, 2010 @ 11:19 AM

For years we've been hearing about the "paperless office" and the death of the printing industry.  While it's true that the industry has been changing, printing is still a very trusted method of communication. What's even more surprising is that even among the coveted 18-34 year old market segment, print is the preferred method of receiving information.

Let me say that again... P-R-E-F-E-R-R-E-D

That statement seems to go against everything we've thought and seen up until this point but, according to ZDNet, a recent study shows that young consumers prefer direct mail over online media for many types of marketing communications.

The truth is, there's something innately trustworthy in a tangible piece of paper in your hands. Holding something physical, where ink, time, and effort has been committed, just seems to add legitimacy. Let's face it, in this ever evolving digital world where more and more people get their news and information from the internet, we must also accept this information with a grain of salt.

So what do we do with this information? How do we reach people in ways that combine the trustworthy elements of direct mail, with the ever evolving presence of the internet. Three simple words: Multi Channel Marketing!

By combining personalized direct mail with variable data printing, adding pURLs (personalized URLs), and utilizing custom landing pages or micro-sites, you can reach your target audience and get your message heard. 

Below is a video link to Universal's multi channel marketing solution, Symphony. Feel free to contact us if you're interested our web demo.

 

Tags: printing, Universal Printing, internet marketing, direct mail, multi channel marketing, pURLs