Direct Marketing Isn’t Dead And Won’t Be For Some Time 

rs2-tombstoneSome have the idea in their mind that direct marketing is on its way out. They propose that the shift that the world has made to adopting electronics will be the death-blow to direct marketing efforts. This is just not so, and likely won’t for some time.

Reasons To Expect Continued Direct Marketing

You can count on your mailbox to continue being jam-packed with solicitations for a variety of services. Companies still see this as a great way to reach out to their customers. There are good reasons for this.

  • Rich Males- Men who have financial means are often still best reached through the mail. Direct marketing has proven perhaps the most efficient way to reach people who have money to spend. That is where the marketers are always going to gravitate towards.
  • Older Demographic- There is so much news about the latest trends that millennials are creating, but few follow along with what the older generation is doing. Ironically, millennials have little disposable income to throw around while those who are 50 or older have more money to spend. Those in this age group are still just as happy to correspond via the mail as they are to use the Internet.

How Direct Marketers Remain Relevant 

Marketers still must do what they have to in order to remain relevant. After all, there is pressure from other types of marketing. This is why the popular brands have long since polished their pitch. They want to offer you something unique, and they want to tell you why you need it now. explains their constant motivation simply like this,

Basically, everything in a marketing communication but especially in direct mail has to answer one question right away: What’s In It For Me? If the answer is clear, the prospect starts to get interested and look around.

This is the question always swirling in the minds of direct marketers, and it is part of what will keep them around for some time.

Contact us for more information about direct marketing and how it will continue to survive and thrive.

Why Hire Someone to Handle your Company’s Print Production?

canstockphoto21935046Business has been going well. Your company is growing. Your client list is expanding. That’s the good news. The bad news is that all that beautiful growth has also increased the needs on your daily To Do List. Some days it’s hard to keep up with those needs. Maybe it’s time to call in some help. Outsourcing your company’s print production is a good place to start.

Time is money. The time that you are currently spending printing and organizing promotional materials could be much better spent giving new clients your attention. Projects can move faster once you are no longer monitoring your printer for paper jams and low toner. Hours of your time and all of your counter space won’t be needed every time you put together a booklet. Instead, your printed materials will now just need you to do a quick quality check before they can be sent out into the world where they belong.

Consistency is important. No matter how wonderful your document design may be, inconsistent print runs can make you look less than professional. Variations in color saturation can negatively affect your brand recognition. Changes in paper weight, tone, or finish due to budget or space constraints in your office can cause big differences when it comes to the impact of your printed materials.

Save wear and tear on your office equipment. If you are trying to get the longest life out of your office printer, using it to handle every printing need your company may have is probably not the best choice. Consider sending some of the more print heavy projects to a professional printer. Letting someone else handle your client documentation binders, meeting agendas, company-wide policy pamphlets, and advertising brochures can greatly reduce the strain on your office printer while ensuring a quality product.

Enjoy larger print runs. Professional printers are in the business of handling print production on a larger scale than your office. This allows you to order larger quantities, often at a discounted rate, so you don’t have to worry about running out of company stationary, business cards, or price lists. Running your business successfully takes up enough of your focus, you shouldn’t have to worry about running out of take-out menus or rack cards as well.

Knowing when it’s time to hire a professional printer to handle your production needs can be hard. Adding the expense into your budget can seem counter productive. However, saving time and lightening the strain on your own equipment while maintaining a high quality product may actually be a big boost to your bottom line. Contact us, we can help you decide if outsourcing your company’s print production is a good way to help your growing company stand on a solid foundation.

What Overcrowded Email Inboxes Mean for Direct Mail Marketing

canstockphoto16015632Over the past few years, many businesses have shifted their attention away from direct mail and towards email marketing. In this blog we’ll explain how this transition has actually created a promising opportunity for businesses to send direct mail.

One of the main benefits of email marketing is that it’s cheap. Just about any business can afford to send emails out to subscribers. This benefit, however, eventually turned into a disadvantage.

Because any organization can send marketing emails, inboxes eventually got overcrowded. Due to the amount of marketing emails being sent, Gmail started separating promotional emails from personal ones.

Still, many businesses practice email marketing because it’s easy. As a business owner, you have to ask yourself why you would try to enter such a competitive field.

Some business owners are now realizing that it’s better to let the pack fight over email inboxes. According to a recent Entrepreneur article, this creates a great opportunity for direct mail:

“Email might have changed the marketing environment for good, but you can use that change to your advantage. Let other businesses focus on email marketing. Let them sludge through the massive inbox overload that everyone is experiencing. In the meantime, there is not nearly as much competition in your standard mailbox — and that’s where you should be aiming your sales messages.”

Direct mail and email marketing are what’s known as perfect complements. Although they’re not the same, they serve a very similar purpose and most businesses only practice one of them.

Because of this relationship, overcrowded email inboxes mean that real mailboxes aren’t receiving enough attention. If you send direct mail to consumers, you’ll have their full attention. Plus, you won’t have to compete against a bunch of other messages like you would with email marketing.

To talk more about direct mail marketing, or anything else, please contact us. Thanks.

The 5 D’s That Will Make Direct Marketing A Success

canstockphoto20177883Your direct marketing campaign is capable of wonderful results! It can bring prospects to your door and turn them into customers, giving a real punch to the bottom line.

Only if you do it right!

Here are the 5 D’s of a good campaign. These tips will help you maximize your ROI on your direct marketing campaign.

#1: Determine your goal. A mistake many make when undertaking a direct marketing campaign is to not sit down and set a goal. What do you want to accomplish? Do you want increased leads, a higher market share, a lower customer erosion rate? Do not be vague! identify your goals as specifically as possible, and make certain they are measurable. Defining your goal is the basis for the success of the entire campaign.

#2: Decide on the budget. Study your overall marketing budget to figure out what proportion needs to be spent on direct marketing. It all depends on what you can afford and your expectations of the results. If you are building brand awareness, or have heavy competition, you most likely need to allocate a big chunk to the campaign. On the other hand, companies who are well established with strong brand recognition may choose a smaller budget for this portion of the overall marketing strategy.

#3: Define your target market. Implementing a direct marketing campaign will be unsuccessful unless you decide who you are trying to reach. Who is your customer? What are their pain points? Study your current “best customers” to get an idea of who should be targeted. Create content that will appeal to those types of prospects.

#4: Develop leads. Have you created interest in your product through your direct marketing campaign? Great! Now what? Leads will need to be properly developed or they will wither on the vine. Push them through the sales funnel by putting a standardized, consistent follow up procedure in place beforehand. Follow through is KEY.

#5: Deliver the promised results. This is the most important step. Without is, all the others are useless. Provide a quality product, exemplary customer service and the promised warranties and guarantees. KEEP the customer that your company worked so strategically to gain.

Implementing the 5 D’s takes a little time on the front end. By sitting down and putting these items in place up front, you will see big rewards down the road.

Contact us for your source of top of the line printed direct marketing materials.

Catalogs See Resurgence in Direct Marketing

stackedcatalogsRemember catalogs? Those heavy books sent out by companies looking for sales and inviting customers to thumb through? Much has been made about the decline of this marketing methods. Most analysts point to the proliferation of online shopping as the reason that catalog mailings began decreased sharply beginning in 2007. The argument makes sense from a timeline and a common-sense perspective, as online shopping allows for much of the same opportunities without the cost of printing and mailing.

But in 2013, for the first time since that 2007 bench mark, the number of catalogs mailed in the United States increased. In all, 11.9 billion catalogs were mailed throughout the country. That’s still only 60 percent of the amount mailed in 2007, but an important increase over the following years.

When looking at many of the catalogs mailed out today, it’s not difficult to find a reason for that resurgence. Much like direct marketing as a whole, catalogs are undergoing an evolution to adjust to current market and consumer trends. They’re no longer full of product listings; rather, they read much like actual books, showing products in action, and even including product and company-related stories.

At the same time, they still take advantage of still-existing catalog customer base. According to the Direct Marketing Association, 90 million Americans still purchase from catalogs, and the American Catalog Mailer’s Association completes the picture by stating that every customer who receives a catalog spends on average $850 on catalog purchases.

As a result, marketers are returning to the concept of catalog-based direct mailing. J.C. Penney’s announced the return of its home good catalog earlier this year, while IKEA – long a catalog proponent – made waves with the originality of its catalog-based advertisement about a “book-book.”

In short, catalog mailings remain an important part of direct marketing. And we can help you produce and mail them! Contact us today for more information on how a catalog can help your company’s business.

Does Snail Mail Still Hold Any Marketing Value?

canstockphoto10738272Do a quick search for “snail mail” or the “United States Postal Service” and you are sure to find dozens of articles about how this means of communicating is disappearing. Before you jump on that snail mail bashing bandwagon, think about some of the ways that snail mail may in fact still hold marketing value.

The Excitement Is Real 

It is difficult to deny that most of us still get some thrill out of checking our mailbox. Many of the items contained in that mailbox are of little to no value to us, but that does not stop us from looking. Kern Lewis, a contributor for, wrote the following about the value of snail mail,

I still get a stream of credit card solicitations from the big banks via direct mail, and not via e-mail (partly for security issues). Response rates on these mailings must make them worth doing, or Chase, Wells Fargo, et al., would not run these campaigns.

He asserts that obviously there is still value in snail mail promotional pieces, or else they wouldn’t exist in the first place!

What Companies Must Do To Make Direct Mail Work

In order to make direct mail pieces work, one must put in place a few elements that work. A couple of traits of a successful direct mail piece are as follows:

Generous- A mail piece should make the receiver feel very important. They should almost feel as though they have been invited into an exclusive club or otherwise rewarded in some way just for receiving the piece of mail.

A Unique Feel- Who would want to open a piece of mail that looks just like all of the others? This is why successful direct mail campaigns start with creating something that has a unique feeling to it.

With these two elements in tact, a direct mail piece has a higher chance of being a successful hit with those who receive it.

Please contact us for more information on direct mail pieces and how they are still relevant in our world today.

Direct Mail Marketing Is Now Trending!

ROIIf you’re thinking of dropping direct mail marketing in favor of social media marketing, or email marketing – you should reconsider. According to a recent article, there is a current increasing trend of companies abandoning mass marketing (by sending out lots of bulk emails, or using social media) to reach as many people as possible. They are, instead, favoring one-to-one marketing. This is due to the “refinement in data mining, [such that,] companies are able to tailor… direct mail campaigns down to the individual person level.”

This personalized environment is perfect for direct mail marketing since you can better personalize physical mailings, unlike electronic marketing. If someone prefers a certain kind of physical package, you can physically send them that package. If you know they prefer products of a certain nature, you can include samples of these products. Do they have pets? You can even shape the envelope and letter to resemble pet-friendly shapes – like bones.

A recent case study shows how effective direct marketing truly is. History Asia decided to pursue a huge, specialized direct mail marketing campaign to advertise its new reality competition show. As the reality show was being filmed, photos of key events “were delivered twice a week… to introduce the series…. Each photo postcard consisted of a description of the series of the photographers and a call-to-action to tune in to the premier….” The response was more than favorable! “There were many positive comments… with some even requesting for high-res versions of the photos…. The total regional PR value garnered… to date is more than US$1.2 million.”

4CP, Inc. can help you with your direct mail marketing campaigns! We have been in the business for decades and throughout these years, we’ve helped numerous clients improve their business. In fact, we guarantee we can improve your marketing efforts and profits! Contact us today to learn more.

Future of Direct Marketing

canstockphoto17938294Many people talk about direct marketing in terms of mail versus digital. The thought being that one is better than the other and will win out in the long run. The truth is that the future of direct marketing is actually integrating the two. Mail is not going to be overtaken by digital marketing. In fact, people currently respond more favorably to mail marketing.

According to Statista the revenue of direct mail advertising has grown over recent years. In 2014 the revenue was 12 billion dollars. The response rate to direct mail has been found to be considerably higher than that of emails. DMA indicates that the response to mailings can actually be 10 to 30 times higher than emails. Digital ads have a lower response rate than emails do.

The theory as to why direct mail has the highest response rate is people are so overwhelmed by the quantity of emails they receive and the digital ads that they see they can’t and don’t read everything. Their mail is less overwhelming so they find they have the time to review a direct mailing.

By integrating direct mail and digital marketing success is even more likely. Embedding QR codes in the mail pieces is one way to make the mail more functional. Also providing a personalized mailing increases the chance the recipient will take notice.

Add in the fact that the USPS decided not to raise postal rates in January 2015 and the future of direct marketing is very bright. For further information about printing or mailing for your business contact us.

Creating a Successful Holiday Direct Mail Marketing Strategy 

stickersheet_1For many businesses the holiday season is their make or break time of year. Strong fourth quarter sales are crucial to making their goals and planning budgets for the next year. With so many businesses competing for customer attention around the holiday season how do you make your store stand out? Direct Mail is an essential part of a successful holiday marketing campaign. Creating an effective mail campaign for holiday shopping requires a special touch unlike any other.  Here are a few tips for helping your business rise above the rest.

1. Start Early- Current research shows consumers begin their holiday shopping as early as October. With many advertisers focusing on Black Friday, starting your campaign early can help keep your ad from getting lost in the sea of Thanksgiving time mail advertisements.

2. Mail Often- Starting your campaign early gives you a chance to get multiple mailings into the hands of your potential customers without them feeling as if they are being bombarded by your store. Do not make the mistake of waiting for a response to your first mailing to schedule follow up mailings. It’s important to remember mailing time is often slower during the holiday season. While you wait to see how the first mailer performs, other retailers are competing for consumers’ attention.

3. Do Not Neglect the Online Market- More consumers are choosing to do the majority of their holiday shopping online. Big box and chain stores are masters of capturing this market, but many people still prefer to support local businesses and find unique gifts whenever possible. A direct mailer driving traffic to your website allows you to capture part of this market.

When planning your holiday marketing campaign, direct mail is an essential piece to ensuring your success. Starting early, mailing often, and using a combination of in store and online sales captures the attention of consumers. As the holiday season starts to wind down, following up with a mailer advertising your post-holiday sales can give your business that extra push to end the year with strong sales numbers.

For more information on effective direct mail campaigns and to start your holiday push, contact us today. Our dedicated staff is ready to assist with your most successful season yet.

Research Shows Direct Mail Is The Most Effective

78397007It might seem like snail mail is a bad venue for advertising considering that we are exponentially turning everything digital. However, an article states, “Research has revealed that [direct mail marketing] is still one of the cheapest and most effective” methods of advertising. The article lists specific reasons for this:
  • You can’t ignore physical mail. With email, there are automatic filters and the one-click delete button that destroys advertisements before any kind of viewing. Direct mail requires that recipient physically open the mail so that he can shred it for privacy reasons. So, at the very least, the consumer takes one look at the letter. If you present your direct advertisement very well, the consumer might even read through your letter and might decide to take an interest in your business.
  • Versatility. Unlike email, with direct mail you can actual send consumers more than just a piece of paper. For example, you can send them a sample of your product. If you’re creative enough, direct mailing takes you beyond the limitations of a piece of paper and words!
  • Better targeting. Email is very anonymous, you can’t be really sure who you’re sending emails to unless you obtain an email list along with signup information. With physical addresses and actual names obtained from legal and government registries open the public – you’re sure of the demographics of the people you mail.

4CP is a professional print management company. Our expertise in direct mail advertising has been honed from the 15 years of experience we have in these fields. We offer the following services: Print Management, Laser and Mailshop Management, Press Check and Mailshop Site Checks, and On-Site Project Support. For more information on these services, contact us today!