Lindsay Gray

Elise Hacking Carr is editor-in-chief/content director for Print+Promo magazine.

The unique EasyMailer product, also marketed under the name “Transformailer” by Colortree Marketing Resources, now will be manufactured by cross-media specialist AccuLink in a cooperative agreement with Colortree/Graphic Innovations of Richmond, Va. This niche direct mail product combines up to three highly personalized inserts into a self-sealed personalized envelope, all sharing variably printed full-color text and graphics from the same print file.

When thinking about business cards and brochures, Peter Posk, president of Fort Lauderdale, Florida-headquartered BCT, encouraged business people to think about the difference between a nice, affordable car and a high-end sports car

If you ask five people to explain what the term "web-to-print" means to them, you will most likely end up with five different answers. Quite simply, different needs require different implementations.

It's not just a print job. Examine these tactics to better sell direct mail. "Start at the end result and work your way forward," said Lindsay Gray, vice president of Acculink, Greenville, N.C. After lengthy deliberations over the most effective ways to sell direct mail, Gray settled on this simple advice to help shift the typical distributor's perspective: Encourage distributors to move out of the mind-set that direct mail is a print job and into the idea that it is a campaign. "That is how distributors have to approach it," Gray said. "Direct mail is something that has to be sold through advertising methods, as

Short-run, digitally produced direct mail could be the next big thing. Distributors have long prided themselves on their ability to save money for their customers by finding the lowest-cost vendors, streamlining workflow and using forms management strategies. But, with so many products becoming commodity items, those time-worn strategies are no longer enough to keep distributors' businesses healthy and growing. Savvy distributors are searching out products and services resistant to such price erosion. One potentially lucrative avenue is direct mail. According to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), in 2003, approximately $49 billion was spent on direct mail services—including postage, agency fees, printing and bindery—up from

Although direct mail projects may require a great deal of coordination, the payoff can be sweet. With the national Do Not Call Registry freezing out telemarketers and spam overwhelming e-mail inboxes, businesses trying to solicit or retain customers must rely more than ever on direct mail to do the job. That's good news for distributors, with their expertise in printed products, although it can also mean a bit of a learning curve for those inexperienced with this niche. Although invoices and marketing pieces may seem to dominate the mailbox, there are myriad reasons a company or organization may need to send a mailing, according

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