Archive for Saving Money

One Way to Save On Printing

Think about common paper sizes. Your printer buys paper from paper mills in standard sizes. Hopefully your printer will try to help you minimize your costs and maximize the amount of the sheet that will be used, so you are not paying for paper that you won’t use or waste.

The most common sizes of paper from paper suppliers are:

  • 17 x 22 inches
  • 19 x 25 inches
  • 20 x 26 inches
  • 23 x 35 inches
  • 25 x 38 inches
  • 28 x 34 inches
  • 26 x 40 inches

We hope that you or your designer will keep these dimensions in mind while your piece is designed. Speaking of things to think about while you design, please talk to us about postage and classification before you go to press. There may be a small alternation that you can make that will save you a large percentage in postage.

Information Workers Are Resourceful

The Harvard Business Review’s Daily Stat reported that more than one-third of U.S. information workers use technologies their companies have not sanctioned, according to Josh Bernoff and Ted Schadler of Forrester Research, authors of Empowered. These people are researching and finding solutions to solve problems and make their jobs easier and faster.

According to Wikipedia a knowledge worker is valued for his or her “ability to act and communicate with knowledge within a specific subject area. They will often advance the overall understanding of that subject through focused analysis, design and/or development. They use research skills to define problems and to identify alternatives. Fueled by their expertise and insight, they work to solve those problems, in an effort to influence company decisions, priorities and strategies.”

We hope you consider us as one of your resources for marketing and direct mail.

USPS January 2011 Price Increases

The United Postal Service (USPS) will increase prices on January 2, 2011. The most noticeable will be the increase in the price of a first class stamp from $0.44 to $0.46. The post office is doing many things to help. They are releasing some new forever stamps in October. The stamps, featuring evergreen trees, can be purchased for $0.44 and used “forever” to mail first class letters.

Prices for Standard Mail and Periodicals will also go up about 5.6%. Knowing the facts in advance can help in planning for end of the year advertising and direct mail.

Political Campaigns

On November 2, 2010 we the people are going to elect 36 U.S. Senators, all 435 House of Representatives and 37 governors. During the coming days, many political candidates and interested parties will use direct mail because it is effective.

The USPS offers special services and some processing differences for political endorsements. Depending on the circumstances, the message may qualify for Standard Mail and/or Nonprofit Standard Mail prices.

The USPS offers this information for those who wish to use a special designation to facilitate processing of political mail.

“Any material mailed as First-Class Mail or Standard Mail for political campaign purposes by a registered political candidate, campaign committee or committee of a political party is classified as a “political campaign mailing.” An individual or organization recognized as such by the appropriate government (national, state, local) election control authority is considered to be a registered political candidate or party.

Political campaign mailings are identified and documented when deposited at Post Office acceptance units prior to entry into processing and distribution. Using a red “Tag 57, Political Campaign Mailing”, aids the Post Office in identifying the political campaign mailings. First-Class Mail and Standard Mail entered by a registered political candidate, campaign committee or committee of a political party can be identified by using “Tag 57” on the mailing containers. Use of “Tag 57” with eligible campaign mailings is optional.

Mailings made by organizations other than those listed above, even if promoting or endorsing political candidates, referendums and so forth, are not classified as political campaign mailings and cannot use “Tag 57.”

We strive to offer our experience and expertise to our customers to help them take advantage of every possible discount the USPS offers.

Saving Money on Air Conditioning is Good for Productivity Too

An ergonomics study at Cornell University found that warm workers work better, chilly workers made more errors. When the office temperature increased from 68 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit, typing errors fell by 44 percent and typing output jumped 150 percent.

This strategy makes sense especially this summer as we all are trying to save wherever we can. Can we show you how we use this sensibility to help you save every possible cent on your direct marketing too.

Special code: G3RCVE6X8DZH

Study: Most e-mail recipients delete message within seconds

Wow what a headline! The article was posted by BtoB. The study found that more than 50% of e-mail recipients delete messages within two seconds of opening them, according to Salted Services.

Do you want to reach a majority of the people on your list or do you just want to your message to be seen by a small percentage because the delivery method is so cheap?

We have seen some studies that found that using direct mail that leads to relevant information posted on the Internet has increased response rates dramatically. We can help you put together an integrated campaign.

Spray and Pray??

BNET posted an article titled “Spray and Pray: Why Does Anyone Still Buy Advertising?”

This stirs many controversial thoughts. While we agree with the line of thinking about the problems with many traditional forms of advertising that offer no accountability. We don’t want direct mail to get lumped into being called “spray and pray”, spraying money around and praying it works. Direct mail and direct marketing offer targeting and accountability.

We profoundly disagree with the author’s total, complete faith in online advertising. The author also stated “Advertisers love to claim that the decline in advertising is due to the recession.” What about the thought that the recovery is taking longer than it should because we are relying on new media to generate new business? Which came first the recession or the absolute dependence on a media that can so easily be deleted, ignored or closed with a click? There is a lot of science that supports the effectiveness of things that can be touched and felt.

We agree that much of the investment made in email and some other forms of electronic and Internet marketing feel so affordable. The costs are so negligible. Can you build or rebuild your business with such a small receptive audience to your offer?

Low Cost Publicity Tips & Ideas

You want to stretch every marketing dollar right now! If you decide to promote your own company here are ten ideas and tactics to get you started. We saved the traditional ideas for last.

  1. Network! Join groups and talk to people.
  2. Start a newsletter. This implies you have a mailing list. If you don’t have one, start building it now. In your newsletter always make sure you include news your readers can use – there has to be at least one part that will benefit your readers directly.
  3. Ask for testimonials. If your clients were happy with your services, ask them for a testimonial to use in your marketing. If they don’t time to write one, write it yourself and ask them to approve it.
  4. Blog about it. Don’t have a blog? Get one! If you’re worried about the cost, you can sign up for a free account. When writing your posts, take considerable time in writing your headline. Make sure to include keywords that relate to your post. Also comment on blogs. Compile a list of blogs that complement your service/company or relate to your industry and comment on their posts. Consider guest blogging too. Offering to guest blog on someone else’s blog can be a great way to introduce yourself or service to others. Research a list of relevant blogs and contact the blogger. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is and how willing bloggers will be to talk to you.
  5. Profile your company in Wikipedia. Check out how other companies profile themselves and use the same format. Be sure to include links to your site so people can find you.
  6. Leverage Social Media. Social networking sites can be a great way to market your company and/or offering. Make a list of groups on each that are relevant to you, join them, network with other members, and promote yourself and your service.
  7. Add E-Mail Signature Lines. You are probably constantly e-mailing vendors, clients, partners, etc. Did you know you can also market your new services in them? Add a signature line at the end of your e-mail with a link to your site that promotes your new service or blog post. It’s easy to do.
  8. Start a contest. Everybody loves to win something and a great way to market your company is to start a contest. Make one of your offerings for free as the prize. Use this opportunity to add to your mailing list.
  9. Write an interesting article. Writing articles is a great way to establish credibility. The key is to make sure your article ends up benefiting the person reading it. Send us an email and we will share lists of topic ideas. Your headline should draw people in make it short, funny, thought provoking and/or engaging. Sometimes writing it last works best. Your byline should give readers a brief background of yourself and your company. Be sure to include contact information.
  10. Submit a Press Release. Write a noteworthy press release in third person and submit it yourself at free online sites. You can also send the press release to the local media around your area. To gain a better chance of getting it picked up, include a cover letter that showcases how the information in your release benefits your local community. It may prove worthwhile to pay for one PR service if you have truly newsworthy information.

Tips for Print Buying

We are all being pressured to produce more with less. More powerful campaigns, more cutting-edge designs, more targeted pieces, more tangible ROI, more pizzazz than your competitors’ materials, more pressure to deliver faster with less money in your marketing budget.

These tips should apply in any economy, but right now it is so important to save every possible fraction of a cent.

  1. Maintain a list of vendors and their capabilities, they offer different services at different prices, this is due the differences in press sizes and other equipment features. Also track information about concerns, list the name of the vendor, dates and any possible problems.
  2. Get recommendations from other buyers and designers who produce similar types of materials, ask about pricing, service, ability to meet deadlines.
  3. Don’t expect printing to be done overnight.
  4. What matters most to you, delivery date, price, print quality or “wow!”? Know your priorities and share them with your printer.
  5. Get quotes from new suppliers and develop relationships during times when you are not busy, the more details you provide a potential printer, the better estimate you will receive.
  6. If you plan to mail the pieces, think about schedules, post office regulations, designing for mailing, USPS rates/costs, mailing lists, mailing houses, fulfillment, and so on. Dean’s Mailing is happy to review proofs before they go to press to look for possible improvements.
  7. Take advantage of payment terms and discounts.
  8. Consider direct paper stock purchases, paper is the biggest cost factor of a print job.
  9. Meet with paper vendors to determine what paper stocks can bring the most value and look for incentive programs.
  10. Work with up to five printers, don’t concentrate all your resources with just one vendor.
  11. Find the printers who can offer your more; creative ideas, lots of experience, current with the technology, and people who understand your business.

Make the Most of What You Have

Direct Magazine published an article titled, “Make the Most of What You’ve Got”. Author, Carol Lustig, shared some realistic practical information with a great attitude. She talked about how her information technology systems were not completely up to date and she was not able to get the exact customer purchase data that she wanted to use for a new campaign.

The result was that working with what was available, a new campaign has been launched and customer relationships are being retained using targeted specific information.

We have talked about the ideals of customer segmentation and market analysis, but the other side of those ideas is that we just need to do something! Maybe that something is just to start with what we have.

Please talk to us, we are here to save you every possible fraction of a cent on postage and that sensibility can help you make the most from what you already have (creative ideas, artwork, customer information, extra mailing pieces, samples…).