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FAQs

Printing, Mailing and Marketing Resources

We believe in providing knowledge and resources to help keep you informed on the strategies and trends that are currently showing successful results in direct mail and online marketing. We also feel that the more information you have the better informed you will be in knowing that the strategies we provide will get you the results you’re looking for.

Between our resources and blog pages, we offer everything from frequently asked questions, strategic marketing resources, non-profit fundraising resources, templates and a whole lot more. We hope you enjoy the free resources and make sure to check back often as we are always adding more and more content.

 

Q. How do I know when I should print offset four-color process or digital?

A. Borns Group offers both four-color process printing and digital printing. With years of experience with each option, we can guide you to the right choice for your project.

Here are the advantages of each technology:

Main Advantages of Offset Four-Color Process
> High image quality
> Cost-effective for high volume jobs – the unit cost goes down as the quantity goes up
> Works on a wide range of weights and types of paper

Main Advantages of Digital
> Shorter turnaround
> Every print is identical – more accurate counts, less waste, and fewer variations
> Cheaper low volume printing – lower per unit costs for very small print runs

Other considerations will vary from project to project, and we’ll work closely with you to take into account the following factors:

> Quantity. Offset printing has a front-end cost load. Short runs may have a high unit cost. But as quantities increase, the unit cost goes down. While today’s digital presses are close to the cost/benefits ratio of offset for high-quality work, they are not yet able to compete with the volume an offset press can produce.
> Flexibility. Do you need or want a special paper, finish or unusual printing surface, or unique size? The options are increasing continually for digital, but offset printing still offers the most flexibility.
> Color. Offset printing will give you the best color match since it uses actual Pantone® ink. Digital printing simulates the color using a four-color matching process, so it may offer less accurate color matching on projects.
> Turnaround. If you need it fast, digital usually offers quicker delivery.
> Proofing. Digital offers accurate proofs since you see an actual sample of the printed piece. Accurate color proofing for offset printing can be expensive.
> Customization. Digital printing offers the most affordable way to customize projects using variable data printing. Text and graphics can be personalized on each piece without stopping or slowing down the press.

 

Q. What do you see for the near future of postal rates and direct mail?

A. As of late 2011, the Postal Service was predicting a loss of $9 billion or more and seeking relief from Congress and regulators. While it does not receive any public money, the Postal Service is restricted by law in how it manages its pensions and employee health plans, the products and services it offers and how much it can charge customers.

In 2010, the Postal Service requested the Postal Regulatory Commission allow it to raise rates an average 5.6%. That request was denied, as current law restricts postal rate increases to no more than the rate of inflation.

The price for a first-class mail stamp did not increase in 2011. Effective April 17, 2011, there was an increase in rates for postcard postage, first-class letter additional ounces, and on letters to Canada and Mexico.

The Postal Service is well aware of the value of commercial mail and wants to continue to encourage increased volumes of advertising mail. Recent “summer sales” have offered postage rebates for increased commercial mailings. In the summer 0f 2011, in an attempt to make mailed pieces more interactive with digital marketing techniques, the Postal Service offered an upfront discount of 3% for mailers of first-class and standard mail that use 2-D barcodes, such as QR codes or Microsoft Tags, on their pieces.

Other business-friendly initiatives, such as the new Every Door Direct Mail program, allowing businesses to use so-called “saturation mail” to every business or home in a geographic area without having to include actual recipient names on the pieces.

Although we have heard the predictions of the death of direct mail as we know it, direct mail spending was predicted to grow by 5.8% in 2011. We still like this medium as it allows you to place a customized communication with a relevant offer in front of your customers and most desirable prospects.

 

Q. When trying to acquire customers, should I mail to them more than once?

A. Say you’re given 100 seeds with enough water to water each seed once. Would you plant all 100 seeds and use all of the water at once? Or would you be more successful if you planted 25 seeds and watered each of those seeds several times?

Undoubtedly one of the biggest wastes of marketing dollars we see is direct mail campaigns that are implemented without adequate frequency. More often than not, it’s a matter of timing. You want your message to show up when something happens in your prospect’s life that creates a need for your product/service.

Since you can’t always predict when that is, you need to mail with some frequency, establishing a connection and nurturing it with timely and regular communication. This keeps your business top-of-mind with your prospects and stimulates an action.

Strategies may vary depending on your specific market emphasis. However, the common denominator is if you create a plan for multiple mailings, you will get your best returns. A strategically planned out retention program combined with a cost-effective acquisition program will deliver optimal results. To avoid recipient fatigue, it is important to implement a variety of outreach techniques. As a rule of thumb, it is recommended that you invest at least 10% of your top line sales revenue on an on-going marketing campaign.