Tag Archive for Minimize Costs

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.

Tools to Stand Out

BNET shared some stories about marketing tactics that independent bookstores are using to remain successful.

  1. Expand your reach to a national market.
  2. Go green.
  3. Create a store within a store.
  4. Open your doors to the community.
  5. Cultivate the next generation of customers.
  6. Get social.

One or more of these ideas could work for your business. We would love to help you implement them and put together a story to tell your customers about it. Maybe it is just the reason you have needed to mail a postcard out to your favorite customers?

Do It Yourself?

CBS Money Watch posted an article about some instances when it might be less expensive to pay a professional. Their list included: changing the oil in a car, formal printing jobs, selling valuable personal items and taxes. There is even a website called diyornot.com that helps to calculate if it is worth the money savings to attempt a home improvement project by yourself.

To expand on the explanation of asking a professional to print invitations, posters or other materials, the Money Watch team discussed the costs of ink cartridges, time and frustration.

Mailing is very similar to printing. Using a professional mailer can definitely save you time and frustration. A professional mailer can also update your mailing list by checking for changes of address and identify undeliverable addresses that may only need a small correction.

Mailings can qualify for the discounted presorted rates with quantities as small as 200 items. The postage savings will start to save you money and pay for the services of a professional at surprisingly low quantities.

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.

Generate Sales Fast

If you’re looking for a reliable way to bring in revenue, the best place to start is by contacting your best customers.

Start by Segmenting Your Customer List

Your best customers are the most likely to purchase. Try dividing by sales or average order size. Analyzing your customers will identify strategic breaking points between groups. When you sort your customers’ sales activity, from highest to lowest and cumulate sales and calculate percentage of total sales, you may be surprised. The top customers will reliably respond to your offers.

Let Customers Know You Miss Them

We Miss You

“We Miss You” offers

Just because someone cancelled last year, or you have not heard from them in a while, doesn’t mean the sale is gone forever. Mail a “We want you back” offer. It will produce more sales than cold prospecting letters.

Business Database Differences

BtoB Online summarized a study on Sources of B-to-B Data that reveals an evolution in how business data are collected and offered.

“The background for this study is the lack of confidence business marketers have in publicly available prospecting files,” said Ruth P. Stevens, a customer acquisition and retention consultant, Columbia University business professor, and co-author of the study. “We did find that data from these compilers was more accurate, in terms of names, addresses, company name, ZIP codes, etc.” Stevens said. “But what we found is that there are a lot of business buyers names whose records are not in these databases.

Compiled lists for use by direct marketers are assembled from a variety of sources, including directories, contacts from trade shows, public records, social sites, credit reports and even by “scrubbing” business or other special-interest websites for information about business executives.

To increase the likelihood that marketers get the data they want, the researchers advised them to develop a detailed list ordering methodology. They also urged marketers to understand what vendors mean by “complete” information, a definition which can vary; to be specific about industry selections; to watch for vendor specialization by industry; and to choose between breadth of companies, or breadth of contacts or both.

We can help you evaluate multiple direct mail list choices, we are neutral and will do research for you to find the best alternative to meet your needs.

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

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.