One of the major concerns people have about their collateral, including brochures and direct mail pieces, is whether they’ll wind up in a drawer or worse, the trash. Or, whether they’ll even register in the mind of their recipient at all in our information-cluttered world.
Of course, high-end printed pieces, 3D pieces or promotional items often solve this issue, but the solution can come with a price. However, we’ve seen clients who have chosen relatively inexpensive, economical upgrades to their printed pieces see great feedback and retention as a result. There are two ways to achieve this: being memorable, and being useful.
Belmont Day School recently came to Ambit with an idea for a better holiday mailer—one that would stand out in a crowded, end-of-year mailbox. They envisioned impactful die-cuts and a brochure/mailer combination that would catch attention. But upgrades to a mailing piece can quickly add up. We were able to consult with Belmont Day School about the cost implications of their ideas, make smart upgrades and size the piece for impact while still controlling costs.
We created an oversized postcard with the words “Making Change” die-cut into it to help create texture and additional impact. The poster was actually an envelope that held two additional inserts. One was a colorful postcard that contained a holiday greeting and doubled as the color behind the die-cut, while the other held a newsletter-style update.
Creating these memorable touches does not have to be expensive. Some suggestions we have for an impactful collateral or direct mail piece include:
- Utilizing die-cutting: This is one of the less expensive finishing options and it really does create texture and color in a way that flat printing simply cannot.
- Changing the format: In this case, a postcard mailer sleeve was unexpected as compared to a traditional envelope. It gave the mailer a more festive and high-end feel. Changing from a tri-fold brochure to a postcard in a sleeve can make your information stand out from the rest of the mail and from competitors.
- Investing in creative: We often see companies going to mail with fairly average creative. Investing smartly and doing the research to figure out ways to make creative stand out can help produce a better message, more visual appeal and better ROI on the mailer.
Usefulness is one of the major goals for many companies when they select promotional products, but even when you’re printing collateral, consider how it will stand the test of time. Is it useful and is it something that your client or prospect will hang onto?
A really great example of this is Brandeis University, which came to us to design a printed piece to commemorate their 100th anniversary. Instead of signage, postcards or brochures to alert students, faculty, staff and visitors of the milestone, Brandeis settled on magnetic cardboard bookmarks with their university branding.
The feedback they’ve gotten on the bookmarks has been great. They’re the perfect fit for a university crowd and are useful along with providing some Brandeis pride. Relatively inexpensive to produce, these have had a great impact and proven staying power for the university.
Other simple and relatively inexpensive printed pieces that double as useful items include:
- Wall Calendars: Creating an attractive calendar piece—particularly one that’s magnetized–can help ensure your brand stays around throughout the year.
- Post-Its: You can never have enough Post-Its. At Ambit, we now offer sticky notes that allow you to print your own message on the first page and provide branded blank sheets for the rest of the deck.
- Reference Guides: Depending on your industry, a sturdy printed, attractive reference guide can be a great handout. We recently received a cardstock piece called “The Anatomy of Direct Mail” that contained a useful infographic about direct mail. It’s remained on our wall and we refer to it whenever we’re talking about the topic.
Ready to create a stand-out direct mail campaign by using smart upgrades that control costs while making an impact? You’ll need a list, too! For the month of March, we’re offering FREE list analysis and planning services that will ensure you get even more bang for the buck on your campaign.