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General Interest, Mailing Services, Small Business, Welcome Bloggers

In spite of (and actually, because of) the influx of digital promotions in the marketing realm, a well-planned direct mailer remains one of the best marketing tools at your disposal.  In fact, direct-mail marketing is better today than ever before.  Why?  Because so many of your competitors are focusing exclusively on digital marketing, creating an opportunity for you to reach and influence your target customer base in areas being neglected by others in the industry.

A strategic approach to direct-mail marketing will yield exceptional results.  Your mailing list, design, copy and printing , as well as your choice of direct mailing service, have a direct impact on your return on investment.  Do your research and select a direct mailing service that meets the following criteria.

Experience

Your direct mailing company should have at least five years of experience sending successful direct-mail campaigns under its belt, or at least your job should be managed by someone who does.  Your direct-mail service has a vested interest in your success, since happy customers are repeat customers, so an experienced company will be able to catch any glaring errors before they become disasters.

Convenience

Full-service companies such as Overnight Prints are perfect direct-mail partners because they offer both convenience, and they can help your entire campaign launch without a hitch since they oversee the entire thing from start to finish:  design, printing, mailing list generation, and mailing.  What’s more, you’ll get better pricing by going this route and increase your overall return on investment, since such companies can spread profits out over multiple products.

Quick Turnaround

Many direct-mailing campaigns are time sensitive, so you want to select a company that offers quick turnaround.  Two to five days is good, and will ensure your holiday promotions arrive before January.

Verified Mailing

You don’t want to waste your marketing investment on unverified or repeat addresses, so make sure your direct-mail service employs CASS verification and removes any duplicate addresses from your mailing list.

Customer Support

You should be able to speak with a qualified account representative who can answer any of your questions by calling a published phone number, in addition to via email.  A direct-mail service with good customer support will also be one that pays attention to the details of your project.

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Flyers, General Interest, Posters, Welcome Bloggers

Looking through my garage the other day, I had a vision of myself on an upcoming episode of “Hoarders.”  If you can at all sympathize with this feeling, it may be time to look through your closets, attics, and garages and gather everything that is no longer needed (like, for example, the stationary bike with the pedals that have been similarly stationary for quite some time now). Put outdated clothing (e.g. the flannels from your “grunge” period) and items that no longer fit into a pile. Once this project is complete, you will likely have quite an inventory. Before donating it, consider having a yard sale. The weather is warm and a yard sale is a great excuse to get outdoors.

Aside from enjoying the sunshine, you can make some decent cash by selling unwanted belongings. However, this event will only be successful if your advertising is effective. Online ads are convenient and often low-priced but not everyone is computer-savvy. In some towns, yard sale patronage is comprised of the older generation and many of these folks do not own a mastery of the computer.

Capture their attention by using online printing to create full-color posters and attach them to street signs and telephone poles at major intersections. This advertising lets everyone know where and when the event will be held. They are large enough to fit a brief description of what will be sold as well as some photographs of these items.

While tumbleweeds are blowing through the yards of other sales in town, your yard will be jammed with shoppers. It may even be necessary to do another quick run-through of the home  during mid-morning in order to gather more items to sell. At the end of the day, the yard will be bare and you may very well have a large wad of cash in your pocket…not to mention room to actually park your car in the garage.

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The fact that we live in an increasingly technological world is not a groundbreaking idea to most. This trend, of course, also applies to the business world. It is an undeniable fact that almost all data, including contact details, are stored electronically nowadays. Regardless of how technologically-based business has become, the fact remains that plain old business cards can still be relevant.

Below are some reasons why business cards are still important even in 2012:

Business Cards Increase Name Recall

Simple truth: Human beings (this includes your potential customers) does increase the chances of being remembered – no matter the actual physical layout of the card or what kind of work you’re in. Wouldn’t you rather see a customer walking away with your business card than walking away with nothing? Business cards really do help a person stand out and be relevant.

Business Cards Are Easier to Hand Out in Large Crowds

Given the technological savvy of most consumers these days, business cards should theoretically have been phased out. After all, you could simply store names, addresses, and phone numbers on your phone now. As is true with a lot of other ideas that SEEM like they should be true, this is not always the case. Storing numbers electronically is fine when on a one-on-one setting. But imagine the horror should you find yourself somewhere like a business convention. Who has the time to store every number in your phone? And after it’s all said and done, would you even remember who these new friends are with nothing but a name and a number to help you?

With business cards, you can continue giving your pitch to that important investor without that awkward pause whenever he tries to type in your contact info into his smartphone – he could do that at a later time like, you know, when you’re done talking.

You can literally throw business cards around a convention and someone will surely pick one up. While that last statement sounds ridiculous (and not something I’d recommend you try; but hey, they’re your business cards so do whatever you want with them), I’d say it’s still better than introducing yourself one person at a time hoping someone actually stores your number for reference.

But if you’re all about technology – you know, the kind that can barely watch TV shows on a TV anymore, fret not. Business cards can be modern too…

Business Cards Can Be Customized to Fit Your Market

Your business cards don’t have to be dull. Try to be creative so you can have business cards that are custom built for your customers. You can print business cards in custom shapes. You’d be surprised by the variety of business cards out today. Again, you are only limited by your imagination. Use your cards, not only to provide contact information, but to also promote your company and brand.

Business Cards Are Good for SEO

I know how much marketers have thrown the term “SEO” around and for good reason. These days, almost everything is done online. Even if you’re not running an e-commerce business, there’s a good chance you still have an online presence (you should have at least a Facebook page). Having those URLs in your business cards will help boost your inbound traffic.

There you have it. These are just a few of the reasons why business cards are important.

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