direct mail

Print Politics: Huge Ad Spend in California Gubernatorial Race

Print Politics: Huge Ad Spend in California Gubernatorial Race

The flyers are flying! The mailers are mailing! The posters are posting! After two glorious, rock 'em sock 'em terms with the Terminator, California is looking for a new governor. And at a time when the state is as hard-hit by the recession as anywhere in the world, candidates vying for a spot in November's gubernatorial elections aren't sparing a dime on campaign spending. Under particular scrutiny, Meg Whitman, former eBay CEO turned politico. She's running for a chance at the Republican candidacy, and so far, her campaign has spent almost $60 million ($49 mil of it Whitman's own) blanketing the airwaves in commercials and the streets in political printing. She's pulled ahead of Democrat Jerry Brown and Republican rival Steve Poizner in the polls, but at a cost that makes this the most expensive nonpresidential campaign in U.S. history. The Whitman campaign has been distributing a series of direct mail pieces slamming Steve Poizner, accompanied by a URL to […]

Oberlin Plant Shutdown Sets Tone for Print Industry

Oberlin Plant Shutdown Sets Tone for Print Industry

And it's not pretty. Sad news today from Oberlin, Ohio. The World Color Press plant, located in Oberlin, is closing. 119 printing employees will be out of a job as of May 21st. The line of reasoning sent down from World Color's head office is simple and one we hear too often lately: the economy is bad, we all have to make tough decisions. The plant shutdown comes on the heels of Quad/Graphics acquisition of World Color (formerly Quebecor World Inc.) in January. While World Color reps call the closure unrelated, you don't have to be a genius to figure out that the multinational company is cleaning house and cutting costs where they can. Direct mail and magazine insert printing done by the Oberlin plant will be transferred to other World Color branches, and employees will be notified of openings at other locations. Unfortunately, in this economy, we all know what that means. Frustrations aside, however, the modus operandi of […]

Green Printing Practices: Direct Mailing List Management

Green Printing Practices: Direct Mailing List Management

Be green! Scrub that list! For a long time, list management has been an important part of the direct mailing process. List management means to carefully oversee and thoughtfully edit the list of recipients for a piece of direct mail. The process was created to make sure that mailings were targeted, relevant, and easy for USPS to deliver. Now list management has a new responsibility: environmental stewardship. For too long, direct mail has been listed as 'junk' because poor list management leads to the wrong people receiving mailers, mailers being delivered to out-of-date addresses, and too many mailers being thrown out, unread. And that's a recipe for waste paper disaster. According to the Direct Marketing Association, these practices are no longer acceptable, particularly from an environmental perspective. However, the alternative is not necessarily to stop printing direct mail, but to maintain rigorous list management practices. Keeping clean mailing lists is an eco-must, because it ensures that campaigns do not get […]

Designing An On-Point Direct Mail Campaign

Designing An On-Point Direct Mail Campaign

How to hit a bullseye every time. What has a better ROI: A blanket direct mail campaign sending tens or even hundreds of thousands of mailers out to diverse cross sections of consumers? A targeted direct mail campaign combined with a follow-through web presence using pURLs and personalization technology to instantly engage the consumer? A highly targeted, gift-giving style campaign that focuses on sending just a few super high-quality mailers – like glossy catalogues, posters, calendars, flowers, food, or even apparel – to ideal marketing demographics? The answer to this question is D: all of the above. There are dozens of different direct mail products out there, and depending on which marketing or advertising firm you're working with, and what kind of technology they're pushing forward this week, you will get a dozen different answers to this question: which direct mail campaign provides the best ROI? The truth of the matter is that it's industry and even promotion-specific. And the […]

What is a Marketing Communications Provider?

What is a Marketing Communications Provider?

Is it the next phase in the evolution of commercial printing? Last Week, the 2009 Offset and Beyond Conference took place in Las Vegas. It was an interesting year, with the focus of the conference mainly on the shifting face of the offset printing industry. Experts spoke about the importance of strong leadership, 'leaning,' and embracing new technologies to get printing companies through turbulent periods. However, the main point put across by many speakers is that to survive, printers need to shift from being 'just printers' to being 'marketing communications providers.' What exactly does this mean? Obviously, it's one of those amorphous, evolving words that can mean both everything and nothing. As more printers develop from technical craftspeople into these new hybrid creatures, a different term might pop up, but for now 'marketing communications provider' (MCP) will just have to do. What exactly is a MCP? An MCP is a printer who doesn't just offer a technical service so much […]

Would the Death of News Printing Benefit Commercial Printers?

Would the Death of News Printing Benefit Commercial Printers?

Welcome to touchy-subject-land. Every second piece of news about printing over the last couple of months has been about the death of print journalism – namely, newspapers, but also magazines, trade publications, and even the sacred BOOK. All this hubbub isn't unjustified. Just on Friday, Denver's oldest newspaper, The Rocky Mountain News, put out its last print edition. However, there seems to be this assumption flying around in the subtext of all the talk that if newspapers die, the rest of the print industry is bound – nay, perhaps even obliged – to go down, like some sort of incidental Titanic string quartet, with the ship. This is simply not the case. The question, in my mind, is not how commercial printing will survive the death of newsprint, but, dare I say, how it stands benefit. Intimations of these benefits are already appearing. Just yesterday, it was announced that The Daily News in Valencia, California, will quit printing, laying off […]

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