Outer space: how to give your mailings plenty of welly

prog 2Believe everything you read and you might be forgiven for thinking that print marketing is suffering a long and painful death as digital spend takes over the world. However, the more savvy brands are recognising that a much more effective approach makes the best of both print and digital.
There is plenty of speculation that the digital overload will eventually trigger a direct mail renaissance. A recent study by TrueImpact, showed that three-quarters of consumers can recall a brand following a direct mail promotion, compared to 44% following an online promotion. What’s more, Enthusem claims that 51% of prospective customers prefer a company to use a combination of mail and email.
While it is usually considered that it is what’s inside the envelope that matters, in reality, this is the reason why important communications, sales and marketing collateral and other valuable content can be overlooked – the envelope that houses it simply doesn’t stand out and capture enough attention for the recipient to open it. With an average of four direct mail items delivered through each household letterbox daily, standing out matters.
If you want to ensure what’s inside the envelope truly makes an impact, you need to consider what kind of impression the envelope itself will have on the recipient. There’s little excitement to be found in a pile of mail delivered in white and manila outers, but insert a vibrant colour or intricate design into the mix and suddenly you’ve got a piece of mail that stands out and entices the recipient to open it before the others.
Colour has a powerful influence on the mind. Different colours convey different emotions. Red can provoke passion. Orange can convey energy. Yellow can elicit happiness. Blue can relate to trust. Marketers and designers have long understood the power of colour as one of their most powerful tools. Single colour envelopes aren’t exactly anything new. To really stand out, businesses need to think about creating more unique designs that use more than one colour.
However, adding colour and intricate designs means larger print volumes, higher costs and longer turnaround times.
But this doesn’t have to be the case. By investing in an envelope printer that can print colour-on-colour, print shops, small print houses and even print rooms within businesses, can run cost-effective direct mail campaigns, with a real competitive advantage. Even more of an asset is a printer that can provide five colour printing on demand – a break from the norm of typical envelope printers.
Recent innovations in LED printing technology have enabled white toner to be added to traditional four colour printing. As a result, five colour (CMYK+W) devices can push the limits of creativity to make your direct mail stand out with stunning white on colour as well as colour-on-colour output, producing eye-catching full-colour images.
This is especially effective on dark-coloured envelope media. Traditionally, printing on colour or in white involves lengthy and costly print processes often making it prohibitive for print shops and small print houses to offer this service to customers. Now with a minimum volume of just a single personalised envelope, printing highly targeted direct mail pieces on demand is a viable option, enabling print houses to extend the range of services they can offer customers.
The chosen envelope print system should open up a diverse range of different formats and finishes to maximise its value. It’s not all about the envelopes. To maximise value, the chosen printer should support various substrates such as plain paper, synthetic media, magnetic media, polyester, transparent film, heavier card stock and beyond.
Short run card production, for greeting cards for example, has never traditionally been cost-effective in businesses or print shops but envelope print systems that make this feasible enable affordable, on-demand short run printing that easily supports personalisation.
Compact, affordable and easy to manage envelope printers will provide businesses and print shops with diverse and vibrant possibilities to create direct mail campaigns with impact.

Shun Mochizuki is senior marketing manager at OKI Europe

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