How to Deliver Direct Mail Results
Suppliers offer product suggestions and production advice for better returns on direct mail investments.
Except for commercial printing, direct mail probably takes more of distributors' time and energy than any other type of sell. Linc Spaulding, president of Sheppard Envelope, Auburn, Mass., and Mike Weinzierl, president of Sewickley, Pennsylvania-based Professional Graphic Communications, shared tips to help make it all worthwhile for everyone along the value chain.
Return to Sender
For instance, Spaudling discussed his company's two-way Boomerang mailing system—a low-cost, environmentally friendly product that dramatically reduces paper usage while stimulating high recipient response rates. Spaudling pointed out that "most successful direct mail campaigns consist of not just one, but a series of mailings, and Boomerang's exceptionally low cost allows for more mail to be sent."
Originally designed for billing applications, it was evident that Boomerang products held tremendous potential in the direct mail and not-for-profit arenas. "The products are extremely effective for memberships, donor mailings and surveys," noted Spaudling. "A unique, patented design allows a single piece of paper to serve as the outgoing envelope, the reply envelope and what's known as the 'ask' or the covering letter," he explained. "The ready-to-mail package can be in the mail within a few days of receiving all necessary approvals."
For applications requiring a separate covering letter of one or more pages, Boomerang products can adapt to that need. "They can be inserted automatically like conventional #10 envelopes," Spaulding continued.
Design options include flexographic printing and high-end, four-color printing on the face, as well as the addition of cost-effective donor recognition products with practical, everyday usefulness.
The newest Boomerang design, the Affinity Mailer, features five integral perforated coupons for targeting recipients' special interests. Again, a single piece of paper generates it all—the outgoing envelope, the reply envelope, the offer and the coupons.