It's in the Mail

  • By Poor Richard's Press
  • 01 Dec, 2016

Successful Mail Campaign Tips and Tricks from a Mailing Expert

     This past Tuesday was what is commonly known as #GivingTuesday in Internet-land and beyond.  It comes after the Thanksgiving Holiday, the cult-like "Black Friday", Small Business Saturday, (apparently Sunday got off the hook for a commercialized name), and Cyber Monday.  After all that buying and Holiday shopping surges, someone, somewhere decided it might be a good idea to give back.  Hence, Giving Tuesday was born.  Add a hastag to the front of it and you've got yourself a cyber movement of sorts.  Since Giving is the theme, it's a movement a lot of people can get behind.  It also comes at the time of year where giving is an underlying current in the daily lives of most people.  We think about Thanksgiving and what we are thankful for and we look ahead to the holiday season and think about what to get for our nearest and dearest.  Some consider this time of year to be "fundraising season".  

     That being the case, marketers and non-profit's alike must think of the most effective ways to be seen and heard so that their cause recieves the needed attention, funding and volunteer efforts.  A good mail campaign can help you accomplish all of this.  But what makes a "good mail campaign"?  Creative direction, design, and intention are huge factors that are variable to each client in question.  As far as some more technical tips to make your campaign stand out, read ahead to find out more on how your campaign can be the most successful one of the giving season! 


1.  The first step to any good Direct Mail Campaign is to USE. A. GOOD. LIST . Formatted with headers. Preferably an excel file with each row and column separated by name, address, city, state, and zip.

2.  Decide how you want it mailed. First class, standard, or non-profit standard?

3.  The Right idicia. Indicia is marked to let the USPS know postage has been paid in place of a stamp. If you are a non-profit you have to register with the post office to receive the non-profit rate.

4.  Meet the minimum quantities for bulk mailing. Standard=200 pcs minimum, First Class=500 pcs. Minimum.

5.  Choose the right mail piece. I.e. add value by using a postcard, letter, folded self-mailer, etc. Different types of stock could add value to the mailer. Is it something that will be kept and read or thrown away, looked at as junk mail, an offer, or a direct sale? What makes the piece valuable to your intended audience?

6.  Target your audience. To whom are you mailing? What ages are you mailing to? Are you looking for business to business mail marketing? Mailing to residents?

7.   Personalization. Adding stamps may make the piece look like it wasn’t factory generated. If it’s a postcard, adding a salutation in front of the person’s name makes it personal. Or try using a different style font.

8.  Be creative. Can this be a folded self-mailer rather than a letter or a simple postcard? Can you add something to be stuffed inside or a tear off coupon?

9.  Local mailings will be delivered next day whether postage is standard or first class. You could save money on postage if you have an all local mailing, by mailing standard vs first class. First class guarantees the actual delivery but it won’t be delivered any faster.

10.  Updating a list after mailing. NCOA (National Change of Address), ANK’s (Address not Known), and invalid zip codes should be taken out of your original mailing list. We provide those reports to you so that on your next mailing your list will be updated. As much as possible, update your mailing list as soon as you get this report so you aren’t scrambling to make corrections right before your next big mail drop.

Any further questions? Feel free to ask us! We’re here to help!

 

´╗┐Written by Robbie. Mail Specialist and all around nice guy at Poor Richard’s Press!

Inkdrops... a blog by Poor Richard's Press

By Poor Richard's Press 19 May, 2017

After 8 months of colorful cows gracing the landscape and local businesses in SLO County, the SLO Cowparade Herd was auctioned off for charity! Cowparade, SLO was presented by The Town of Harmony alongside the Vander Horst Family and Visit SLOCAL . Our very own Todd Ventura and crew (ringmen Ethan Ventura and Jim Settle ) auctioned off the eclectic herd while Adam Montiel of “Up & Adam in The Morning” and the Cork Dorks emceed the event. The entire Cowparade SLO event began last September and sought to support three main local charities through the purchase, artistic commissions and auction of the life-sized fiberglass cows. The three main charities were ARTS Obispo , the California Mid-State Fair Heritage Foundation and The Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County in an effort to support the regional focus on the arts, sustainability and agriculture. Other charities were able to benefit from the Cowparade experience by the designation of individual sponsors. Full list of benefitting charities is located at the end of this article.

Auction day showcased the amazing local artist talent SLO County has to offer and included fun, wine, beer and a fabulous dinner catered by The Ribline . The Oyster Ridge Barn at Ancient Peaks Winery provided a beautiful backdrop for the bovine art, similarly beautiful to the cows that roam the nearby hills of the Santa Margarita Ranch .   Barnett Cox and Associates sponsored the high selling cow beautifully brought to life by Dennis Bredow . “Jesse/Jane” raised a whopping $45,000 for BCA’s designated charity, 40 Prado Homeless Services Center in SLO. The Live Auction included 25 cows, while additional mini-moo’s and life size cows are still currently available for purchase via an online silent auction. If you are in the market for a piece of local art and flavor, you have until May 21st to bid online on the remaining cow herd here: http://www.biddingowl.com/Auction/index.cfm?auctionID=10709

Poor Richard’s Press was proud to participate in this great event as the Official Print Sponsor and your local printer in SLO County since 1947! Check out some scenes from the Live Auction and the full list of benefitting charities below.

By Poor Richard's Press 12 May, 2017

If you are in business, or starting a business, you’ll often hear that you need collateral materials. Collateral materials are all the items needed to market and promote your business. What you need exactly depends on you, your business and of course your ultimate goal. Read ahead to see the 8 reasons why you need to have collateral. Why 8 reasons? Because that’s how many it takes, trust us on this one.  

1.  You have to have collateral. -- Wait, the argument will get better we promise. The number one reason why you have to have collateral is because people will expect it. Imagine you’re at a party and you are telling someone what you do for a living and you mention your new business. They become interested in your business services or products and want to know more so they ask you for a business card… and you stare blankly at them then shuffle your feet a little and reply, “Well… you can follow me on Instagram.” Ok hipster, no one is going to take you seriously with that pitch. Hence the need for collateral materials such as business cards, a small brochure, a website, and maybe a pen or two to hand out with your contact info printed on it. If you want to get crazy you can think about apparel and other promotional items.

2. Collateral is a competitive tool. -- Successful companies spend time and money on themselves first. They hone their product or service and imagine themselves in the shoes of their ideal client. They ask, “What would my ideal client want?” So put yourself in your client’s shoes and try to image what they would want and expect from you. Then spend the money on yourself to make that happen. You are not just building a brand after all, but an entire client experience.

3. High Value products = High End materials. – If you plan to market yourself as a high end company, product or service, people will expect you to have high end materials surrounding your business. When someone hands you something as simple as a business card, you instinctively make a judgement call on how you feel about their business presence whether you consciously know this or not.  Items that FEEL nice, can have a big impact. It’s important to know the importance of substrate choice when selecting print materials. All your materials don’t have to be high end if that is not your brand, the point of the matter is that you have to be conscious that what you are choosing is “on brand”.

4. Look the Part – If you want to function like a real business, and have people believe that you are in fact a real business, you have to look like a real business. It’s that simple.

5. Collateral Materials Carry the Brand – Each piece of collateral material needs to have a purpose. The purpose of each individual piece needs to be part of the bigger overall brand story. For example, a business card is a way for people to contact you. A small tri-fold brochure is a great intro to your brand and a good “leave behind” item, a full product catalog is for those clients that are more serious about buying from you, a postcard could be a part of a promo campaign or a win-back campaign… you get the gist. They all tell the story of “you”, just in a different way.

6. Sales Tool – In the last point, we mentioned a possible “leave behind” item. Sometimes people want to think about a product or service before they buy it. This is where a collateral item can play the role of a sales tool for you by keeping you in the forefront of someone’s mind if they have a notepad or pen branded with your logo greeting them on their desk every day.

7. Creates Excitement In House – By giving your team the tools they need to represent your brand, they actually get excited about representing your brand. It can also serve to remind them of any current promotions or offerings you have going on so they know exactly what to tell a potential client.

8. Tells Your Story – Lastly, collateral material simply acts as another piece of the puzzle that represents and tells your brand story. So make your story a good one!

By Poor Richard's Press 30 Mar, 2017

When beginning a design project or branding your business, it’s easy to simply think of your favorite color as the obvious choice for “brand colors”. Why not? You like it. You think it looks good. But have you ever thought of why you like it? Or that there might be a reason it’s your favorite color? Let’s take a deeper look as to why color is important in design and why careful consideration should be made when planning your company branding for the long term.

Why is color important?

The use of color in design, art and even the way we dress ourselves on a daily basis plays a role in the way we feel. Whether we realize it or not, color tends to elicit an emotion, feeling or some sort of response when we see it used in certain ways. Blues may make us feel calm, sad, serene, or have a coastal or springtime connotation. Yellow might signify happiness, or even caution depending on how it’s used. When considering clothing, black is often thought of as chic and timeless.

By Poor Richard's Press 10 Mar, 2017

The Cal Poly motto and philosophy is “Learn by Doing” which is pretty true in regards to the Graphic Communication major if not all the majors at Cal Poly. The long laundry list of what we are able to do in our coursework at school includes, but it not limited to: running presses and making plates for printing, designing calendars, packaging and resumes and of course software training. We get all this hands-on experience in order to prepare us for whatever career we end up pursuing. But nothing quite prepares you for the real thing. Having a job in college that’s related to your major is so helpful if you are able to work it in to your busy schedule! Getting hands-on experience helps prepare you but no matter how much we try to simulate the processes involved in Graphic Communication in school, nothing compares to actually doing it in a work setting. It’s very similar to the phrase: “you don’t know what you don’t know”. There is so much that goes on in a printing company that school can’t prepare you for. Working in a company in your field while taking classes allows you to learn so much more and to truly see how what you design really ends up once printed – including the technical components of getting a perfect end product for a client. I feel so much more prepared to enter the workforce after college because of the experiences that I’ve had working in an actual print company. Doing design work and being able to see my design’s come to fruition has been a rewarding process. From concept to completion, I’ve gotten to live the words “Learn By Doing” at Poor Richard’s Press.

By Poor Richard's Press 20 Feb, 2017

Last month, Poor Richard’s Press had the honor of participating in Cal Poly’s Graphic Communication’ s Career Day. Alli and I had the pleasure of meeting the best and the brightest Cal Poly has to offer - from Senior’s and all the way down to eager sophomore’s just itching for the experience. We talked until our voices were hoarse and accumulated a stack of the most beautifully designed resume’s you’ve ever seen. Since many of the players at Poor Richard’s Press are Cal Poly alumni, we always look for ways to support Cal Poly students and programs at the school. The Cal Poly “learn by doing” motto is not taken lightly by any department on the campus and due to that fact, the students are some of the best in the west when it comes to post-baccalaureate preparedness. We enjoyed our time at the Winter Career Fair Day and look forward to the Spring Career Day in April! Follow us on Instagram at @ poorrichardspress for a few scenes from the Cal Poly GRC Career Day and for a look at what goes on in the print shop! Our next upcoming event is this week at the SLO Horse Expo at the Madonna Inn – see you there!

By Poor Richard's Press 17 Feb, 2017

When it comes to the peeps of Poor Richard’s Press, Client Service Consultant Wendy Scribner is the ultimate mover, shaker and print maker. She wears many hats around the office, but even more outside the office. With just a few of those hats being a cowboy hat and mom of two boys (which may or may not require a helmet). Wendy has been with PRP for 5 years and is a SLO county local hailing from her family’s cattle ranch in Cambria. She graduated Cal Poly with a degree in Animal Science and a concentration in Livestock Production. So it’s no wonder she handles many of our ag-related clients with ease. Have a bull catalog you need printed? A horse sale book? Nationally distributed industry magazine? She’s got you covered with print and mail! Looking for apparel for your ranch crew? Yep, got that too. Website build? You get the gist. Wendy says, “I love seeing our customer's projects come to life. Whether it is a flyer to advertise a car wash, polos for a business's office staff or a mail campaign.” This dedication may or may not have to do with her deep obsession with paper...

By Poor Richard's Press 13 Jan, 2017
Back in November we put out a Bat-signal for local photography talent for content in the 2017 Poor Richard's Press  Calendar.  The Central Coast answered the call with more entries than ever before!  You showed us why we love living here and highlighted the local flavor and beauty of the Central Coast.  See full list of winners below.  Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom to find out who made the cover!
By Poor Richard's Press 12 Jan, 2017

This month is all about Design at Poor Richard’s Press so it’s only fitting that the Employee Spotlight shines on our Pre-Media Specialist, Neal Fitzgerald. Neal is the epitome of a mover, a shaker and a print-maker and is the final Quality Assurance check before any client pieces go to print. He ensures all digital files are correct, performs final layout checks and ensures all images and colors will print correctly.  This aspect of printing is what is known as "Pre-Flighting".  Neal has been with Poor Richard’s Press since the early 90’s and has worked in multiple facets of the shop. From cutter operator to delivery driver to bindery, copiers, press and letterpress, he’s done it all. The aspect that really sets Neal apart is that he loves to help educate our clients as we produce pieces for them. His favorite action at work is to get on the phone with a client and walk them through the process of printing a beautiful piece. So I sat down for a quick minute with Neal to find out what makes him tick and to shine the Employee Spotlight on the man that’s usually behind the scenes!

By Poor Richard's Press 05 Jan, 2017
At Poor Richard's Press we believe in Client Service.  In fact, we're a little obsessive about it.  For us it's not just about getting the job done, or even getting it done right.  It's about getting it done right AND informing our clients along the way.  When you love what you do, you often want to share that passion with people.  Since we're so passionate about what we do here, we want you to get excited about it too!  This is YOUR business, or hobby, or event, or project.  It matters to you.  So it matters to us. 

Check out our light-hearted infographic below about some very basic "Graphic Design Truth's" from the peeps of Poor Richard's Press!
By Poor Richard's Press 15 Dec, 2016

Typography refers to the design, style and technique of using of text to make a piece of written work legible, readable and visually appealing. When discussing typography, it is important to understand the basic terminology.  Read along for a basic and broad stroke guide to typography and font families.  

First of all, there are four major kinds of typefaces (a.k.a. font families): serif, sans serif, script, and decorative. The former two are the most common, while the latter two should be used with caution since they are considered not as legible.

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