Getting into Mailing: What Printers Need to Know

Written by Ted D. Seward

Continued from page 1

Your most significant organizational “ally” might turn out to berepparttar Mailing & Fulfillment Service Association,repparttar 145428 national trade group that serves asrepparttar 145429 “voice” of mailers. (For details, visit

Choosing Mailing Software

What qualities should you look for in a software solution? Consider these factors:

* “Easy to learn” is important, but no more than “easy to use.” Wizard-guided steps may seem valuable as you’re getting started, but once you understand how to userepparttar 145430 software, they’ll probably slow you down. * Don’t underestimaterepparttar 145431 importance of seamless integration from entry-level products to more full-featured versions. Nothing is worse than outgrowing your existing software only to learn that suitable upgrades don’t exist or require learning from scratch. * Nail down all compatibility issues — not just withrepparttar 145432 computer on which it will run, but also with your existing print infrastructure. * Make surerepparttar 145433 software will handle your current needs, and is not “dumbed down” in terms of speed orrepparttar 145434 number of records it can handle. * How good isrepparttar 145435 Customer Support? Seek third-party references from industry forums — not justrepparttar 145436 cherry-picked happy customers vendors may provide, but unrehearsed contacts that can give yourepparttar 145437 unvarnished good and bad news. (Don’t forget to include references from printer manufacturers). * Be sure to consider all costs, not just startup figures. Find out how longrepparttar 145438 initial data subscription lasts, and what’s included in annual renewals. * If you already offer variable-data printing services, good news: VDP is now hot in mailing as well. Some software packages support, and even enhance, this technology.

Marketing Mailing Services

Many printers stumble into mailing services; some subcontract direct mail jobs, only eventually realizingrepparttar 145439 benefit of bringing jobs in-house; still others buy, or merge with, existing mail houses. Here are some strategies for building mailing services into your business:

* Know Your Market. A thorough awareness of your current client base will help you launch into mailing while anticipating future customer needs. Try to determine how much of what you currently print is mailed after leaving your shop. Next, learn about your customers’ presort needs, and position yourself as a logical candidate to handle that work. Finally, see if they have database demands such as list hygiene or de-duping, and make a case for why you should handle that data-manipulation work. The one who controlsrepparttar 145440 database, controlsrepparttar 145441 customer — but that control won’t be handed over lightly. * Make it Personal. Review your plans with your top mailing prospects. Key benefits may get yourepparttar 145442 business: billing yourself as a one-stop shop offering faster results, and predicting time and cost savings for centralized printing and mailing. * Heedrepparttar 145443 Competition. Keep service offerings in line with your market by learning who you’re up against, what they offer, and what they charge. * Spreadrepparttar 145444 Word. Exploit all points of customer communications — from traditional advertising to promotional copy on your packaging and bills, and from revamping your Web site to including an “Ask me about mailing services” message to your phone system’s on-hold recording. * Joinrepparttar 145445 Club(s). Seek out and become a member of industry-specific organizations. People buy from people, and networking is an important element of new-venture success.

What’s In It For You?

Once you’ve answeredrepparttar 145446 questions and checked offrepparttar 145447 “to-do” points described above, you’ll find mailing to be a rewarding addition to your printing-services business. It’s hard to imagine a better way of exposing such a sizable chunk of your existing business to incremental revenues. What’s more, printer-mailers often claim that incorporating mailing services even helps build their printing business. Customers enjoyrepparttar 145448 convenience and economy of a “one-stop” print-and-mail house — and they’ll have you to thank.

Good luck, and good mailing.

Ted Seward is Vice President of Marketing for BCC Software, the leading developer of high performance PC-based software and solutions for professional mailers. BCC's flagship product, Mail Manager 2010, allows users to optimize postal presorts, utilize streamlined database maintenance functions, and improve deliverability of mailpieces.

How To Use Pictures To Immediately Start Increasing The Response Rates Of Your Marketing

Written by Craig Garber

Continued from page 1

This brings them much closer to buying your products.

Here's an example of what can happen when you use pictures of your product in use, in your marketing. First, go to this website and look forrepparttar picture ofrepparttar 144202 couple usingrepparttar 144203 wine-cabinet, about a third ofrepparttar 144204 way downrepparttar 144205 page.

I had my client use this exact same photo offline, using this web copy as a long-form sales letter.

Want to know howrepparttar 144206 sales letter did?

O.K., I'll tell you: We sent out 40 letters to a cold list, at an average cost of $2.25 for each letter: it was a $1.38 each forrepparttar 144207 printing, 83 cents forrepparttar 144208 postage on each letter, and another 4 cents forrepparttar 144209 envelope.

The first mailing, my client got 10 orders worth $20,970 Dollars, and since your second and third mailings will usually give you at leastrepparttar 144210 same number of orders your first mailing produced... we're expecting another $21,000 Dollars worth of business from this mailing.

Not bad, hey?

There was one tragic thing, though. The painful part of this was...

He didn't have 400 names instead of only 40!

So remember:

If you're going to use pictures, use photographs... and nothing else.

If you're going to show a photo of your goods and services, show your product or service actually being used.

And lastly, I didn't tell you this before, but I'm going to tell you now: Always put captions underneath your photos. People tend to look at photos with captions, and then readrepparttar 144211 caption itself, but many times, photos without captions get ignored. Why?

It has to do with your early programming from way back in elementary school when you were trained to read using textbooks, and then later on, newspapers.

Allrepparttar 144212 photos always had descriptive captions underneath them, didn't they?

And think back... what wasrepparttar 144213 first thing you did when you saw a photo with a caption?

Chances are, you looked atrepparttar 144214 photo and then you readrepparttar 144215 caption.

Well... just like bakery bread-slicing machines... some things never change.

What's going to happen is, your prospects will be doingrepparttar 144216 exact same thing when they're reading your sales promotions: First they'll look at your photos, and then they'll readrepparttar 144217 captions underneath.

Good pictures always lift your response rates. Start using themrepparttar 144218 right way, immediately... and you'll guarantee this.

Here's something else I bet you'll find unusual: Did you know, studies show men actually prefer seeing pictures of men using your product, and women actually prefer seeing pictures of women using your products? Yes, it's true!

Craig Garber is one of America's Top Direct-Response Copywriters and Direct-Marketing Consultants. For more copywriting tips, go to Copyright 2005

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