How to Create Direct Mail that Appeals to Customers

Close Up of a Hand Pulling a Large Bundle of Mail Out of a Silver Mailbox

Even as the world of business and marketing goes more and more virtual, direct mail continues to be an effective form of marketing to potential and current customers. However, many companies know that direct mail is still a great way to market their products or services, which means you are competing with them for attention in customers’ mailboxes. So how can you create direct mail items that will appeal to your customers and make them more likely to remember your business and take further action? Here are a few ideas:

• Make it stand out: As soon as the customer or potential customer who receives your direct mail opens their mailbox, you want your mail to be the thing that stands out from the rest of the items in their mailbox. Custom envelope printing with eye-catching designs or unusual aesthetic features can keep your mail from blending in, and make the recipient more excited to open it up and see what’s inside.

Include a coupon or special offer: If your potential customer opens their mailbox and pulls out an item from you that has a message telling them there is a special offer or coupon inside, their curiosity will be piqued, and they will be more likely to open that piece of mail. Even better, if the coupon or special offer contained inside is one that they are interested in using, they are likely to set the mail on their counter or tack it to their refrigerator, meaning they will see your brand repeatedly, reinforcing your company in their memory.

• Include something functional: If your direct mail item is mainly intended to inform your customer of some type of news, or to let them know your business is opening in the area, they may just read the mail and then throw it out, and quickly forget your brand and your message. But if you include something functional with the mail, such as a small notepad for writing their grocery lists on, they will appreciate receiving something that is useful to them, and you will also be at the front of their minds when they look at the notepad featuring your company logo at the top.

• Include something informational: Similar to including something functional, including something informational can help the recipient attach positive feelings towards your company. If your company sells outdoor equipment, include an informational sheet on how people can stay safe while enjoying the outdoors. If your company provides home maintenance or repair services, give the recipient a calendar showing them the various preventive maintenance tasks they should be doing around their house each month. The recipient of that mail is likely to keep the helpful information that you gave them, and because it has your logo on it, they will remember to call your company when they are ready to buy your products or enlist your services.

From utilizing creative envelope printing and including special offers to providing items that are functional or informational, there are many ways to make your direct mail stand out from the competitors while also making your company memorable for potential and current customers. Direct mail is not a thing of the past, even as marketing becomes more digital, so get creative with your direct mail items!

Allegra’s Mailing Services Help You Connect with Your Customers

Senior Woman Standing Next to Her Mailbox and Looking at Letters She Just Removed While Smiling

When it comes to reaching your customers, especially in a world that is becoming increasingly more digital, it is important for your message to reach them directly while also being as relevant as possible to them. Allegra provides a wide range of mailing services that allow you to make direct connections with your customers, with messages that matter to them. Our direct mail services include:

Database management: A customized database of all of your customers’ data helps your business organize, manage, and keep track of customer relationships, which results in better outcomes when it comes to tailoring your messages to specific recipients.

Mailing lists: We provide high-quality and well-managed lists that are up to date, so you are not wasting resources sending messages to recipients who are no longer there or missing out on reaching new recipients in your target demographic. A quality mailing list will also help to ensure that your message will be pertinent and engaging to the people receiving it, resulting in more leads for your company.

Mailing services: We don’t just help with data and mailing lists when it comes to your direct mail needs, we even design the mail itself, print and collate it, seal and pre-sort it, and everything else that needs to be done to get your mail moving and on its way to your audience.

When it comes to mailing services, Allegra truly is your one-stop-shop. We will help you every step of the way, from determining who to send your mail to, management of your mailing lists and the data within them, conversions, tracking, and re-targeting once your mail reaches your audience, and even the physical actions such as designing, printing, collating, and addressing to get your mail on the move. Let our specialists show you why direct mail marketing is still an important and effective marketing strategy for your business!

5 Benefits of Direct Mail Services

A Woman in a Red Shirt Smiles as She Gradually Opens Her Mailbox and Peers Inside

If you think that direct mail marketing is a thing of the past, think again! Studies show that up to 90% of direct mail is opened because it is still considered a trusted form of marketing. At Allegra, we provide direct mail services that are customized to your organization’s specific needs, and this marketing strategy offers several benefits:

1. It is cost-effective: The cost of printing and mailing for direct mail is extremely low when compared to its return on investment, making this an extremely cost-effective marketing strategy!

2. It is personal: Potential and current customers who receive a marketing message that doesn’t feel personalized to them are less likely to respond to that message. Direct mail mailing lists can be used to customize the message to clients in particular neighborhoods or who fit other specific audiences, and the mail they receive can be customized to carry a message that feels specific to them, which they will then be more likely to act on.

3. It is tangible: Unlike a TV or radio commercial, billboard, or even an ad on a social media newsfeed, direct mail is a tangible piece of marketing that the recipient can hold onto. This could mean they save the mail as a reminder to act on its message, post the mail on the fridge or home bulletin board so that they see it often and your brand stays at the front of their mind, or they may even pass the piece of mail onto someone else who they feel would be interested in its message, spreading the word about your brand even further.

4. It is flexible: Direct mail can be integrated into your digital marketing strategies, further enhancing its effectiveness. Customers and potential customers who visit your website as a result of receiving your direct mail can be served with ads on Google and social media networks, making your brand even more memorable in their minds, and increasing the likelihood of a conversion.

5. It is measurable: With several different means of tracking the effectiveness of your direct mail marketing campaigns, you can see what does and does not work, adjust accordingly, and continue to have campaigns that are more and more successful each time.

Direct mail services from Allegra help you get the right message to the right person, at the right time! Even as our world becomes more digitally based, direct mail still offers the benefits of tangible, effective marketing that people trust. Let our specialists show you how we can grow your business through customized start-to-finish direct mail services.

Floor Graphics for Your Business Beyond COVID-19

Floor sign that is a blue circle with yellow shoeprints inside that says “please wait here”

A simple way to connect with your customers in order to deliver your message and gain more sales is by employing floor graphics. The need to socially distance and practice extra precautions in public due to COVID-19 boosted the prevalence of floor graphics. Making sure people know where to stand in line and what direction to walk down the grocery aisle was made much easier. That said, this cost-effective, space-saving, and versatile advertising solution has a place beyond instructing people to stand 6-feet apart in line.

Showcase Your Sense of Humor

People love to laugh, and they love a business that does not take itself too seriously. By having a certain degree of self-awareness as a business, you set yourself up with a great advantage. Make your customers smile or chuckle by leaning into the relatable nature of your brand. This is not appropriate for all businesses, but for those that can have a sense of humor, floor graphics are a creative way to highlight this.

Example: A sign at a dry cleaner that says, “drop your pants here”. 

Help People Find Their Way

When people enter your establishment, they may need assistance with where to go. This is true for both retail and office settings. Guide customers throughout your store or place of business with signs right beneath their feet. Wayfinding floor graphics are sensible and can be humorous when appropriate. They serve a much more direct purpose and take up less space than hanging signs or more traditional ways of directing people where to go. They also stand in – pun not intended – when someone is not immediately available to offer the direction they need. You can even use them outside of your place of business to help people find where you are.

Example: Floor signs in the lobby of your building that clearly direct people where to go in order to avoid crowding and bottlenecks.

Stand Out with Clear Branding

Bolster your brand with clean and clear floor graphics. Right when a visitor steps in the front door, the floor of your lobby or entryway can feature your logo prominently. In a retail store, you may want to include temporary advertising such as promoting an event or a limited time offer. If you have separate lines for checkout, pickup, or dropping off, floor graphics that include your brand colors or logo can help clearly define this.

Example: Place graphics on the floor at the entrance of your donut shop that says, “Where your donut dreams become reality.” Allow Allegra to help you get the most out of your space with floor graphics. Visit AllegraMarketingPrint.com to find your local Allegra.

How to Make Direct Mail Work for Your Business

When done correctly, physical forms of marketing can have a huge impact on promoting your business and bringing in new clients. Start by honing your mailing list to target the right customers. Next, get them to open up the mail that you send and from there, make sure that the content speaks to them directly. Allegra offers direct mail services customized to your specific needs. We have access to the equipment and materials to print and put together your marketing material and then distribute it where it needs to go. Here are a few tips on how to boost the appeal of your direct mail:

Man holding an envelope and putting a gift card inside.

Make it Personal

The way that mass mailers remain affordable is that they go out to a large number of people. The way that they remain profitable is by effectively drumming up new business. The way that you avoid your direct mail quickly being considered junk mail is by starting with the right audience and by making it personal. Whether your mailing list is for brand new customers or from a contact list you have accumulated, knowing what speaks to your audience and including it in your mailer makes a huge difference. Personalize the content in a way that speaks more directly to the person opening it. 

Entice the Recipient to Open Your Mail

This does not mean trying to trick your audience. There is no need to stamp the word “urgent” on the outside of the envelope if the information enclosed is not actually urgent. You should put care and thought into what the outside of the envelope looks like and formulate ways to draw their attention. Here is a different idea: include an object that makes the envelope feel like there is something inside besides just a letter. This will pique the curiosity of the recipient and make it more likely that your envelope will be opened. Choose something that is personal to your business, such as a product sample which gives your potential client an opportunity to try it out. Or, you could include something useful to the recipient like a promotional pen or sticky notes. While these may seem incredibly simple, it not only makes it more likely that your piece of mail will be opened, but that a next step will be taken to get in touch with your business.

Provide Immediate Value

Open with a proposition instead of building to it. While people enjoy receiving mail and they enjoy opening mail, their interest can wane very quickly if there is nothing of value for them inside. Give them a reason to care about what you are sending them by making your intentions known immediately. A great way to do this is by including an offer that is attractive while still being profitable. It could be something as simple as a certain dollar amount off of their first purchase. Be up front about the products, services, or solutions your business offers and let that value speak for itself.  Turn to Allegra for all your direct mail marketing needs. Visit AllegraMarketingPrint.com to find your local Allegra!

Stand Out with Allegra’s Business Printing

When it comes to making your business stand out, it is all in the details. Make sure that your brand, voice, and image are all conveyed accurately across every avenue. One of the best ways to do this is through business printing from Allegra. We offer custom printing solutions that are affordable, flexible, and tailored to you. Printing projects we take on include everything from brochures to signs, and envelopes to training manuals. Two key printed materials that may seem obvious but often go neglected are professional business cards and business forms. By putting time and thought into these two details, you will experience small benefits that add up to success.

Woman in a coffee shop holding a business card and calling the number.

Start off on the Right Foot with Professional Business Cards

Make an impact on a prospective business partner or client, then follow it up with a memorable business card. This honored business tradition adds instant value to an interaction by adding a personal touch and establishing a connection. Business cards are an affordable way to improve your first impression. Even the simplest business card delivers a level of professionalism that will be remembered. These convenient and versatile business tools fit easily into a wallet, pocket, or purse, and contain endless design potential to accurately reflect both the image of your business as well as the point of view. The best business cards:

  • Draw attention
  • Deliver information
  • Represents your business

Logo, website, and contact information can be displayed creatively on your business card in a way that makes sense for you. These are just some examples of what you can do to make your business card stand out:

  • Get creative with custom size and shapes.
  • Add texture with raised lettering or metallic inks.
  • Make the most of your space with two-sided printing.
  • Make it simple and easy for your potential prospect by including a QR code.

Business cards work because they are a tangible reminder that your business is ready to deliver solutions.

Keep Moving Your Business Forward with Easy-to-Use Business Forms

In order for your business to operate, you may need forms. Forms can be both internal, for your company, or external, for your clients. While they may not be a glamorous portion of marketing, they are a definite necessity to keep your business functioning smoothly from day-to-day. They also help your business stand out by improving your customer’s experience. The best business forms are:

  • Professional
  • Accurate
  • Clear
  • User friendly
  • Functional

The right business forms help you:

  • Save time
  • Minimize errors
  • Improve productivity

It is important to appropriately brand your business forms. Details like this are what set a truly professional operation apart, so make sure that your forms represent your company accurately. Additionally, you want to make sure they are as easy to fill out as possible. Forms that are too long, confusing, or disorganized can really turn off a prospect. Keep them short, sweet, and to the point while making sure they capture all of the necessary information. Allegra is available to help you align the goals of your business with the right print materials. We handle all of your printing projects from the initial design all the way through to distribution. Put our creative capabilities to work for your business today! Head to AllegraMarketingPrint.com to find your local Allegra.

6 Ways to Use High-Impact Printing to Stand Out

The tangible nature of printed pieces is one of the most important ways that it stands out from online marketing. In fact, studies show that consumers are more engaged than ever with print marketing, with an influx of brands using direct mail and other forms of print to cut through the digital clutter.

high-impact printing

One of print communications’ most compelling benefits is its ability to engage multiple senses. But have you ever considered the message that the paper itself is sending? Here are six ways to use high-impact printing to enhance your marketing, draw attention to your call-to-action, and stand out from the competition.

    1. Match texture to content. Think about how you want your printed pieces to be perceived. High-quality cardstock communicates something different than lightweight paper. Try to find textures in your content, products or stories that you can emulate through paper. For example, you can choose a texture that mimics a weave of fabric or a raw roughness that may match a more masculine product category.
    2. Add some sparkle. Consider using foil to catch the light and attention of your audience. Or, a variance in ink opacity can achieve an unusual effect depending on the direction from which the paper is held and viewed. These types of treatments are especially nice for special event invitations and new product launches.
    3. Show your shape with die cuts. Unusual shapes in printed materials can create interest and underscore your brand’s specialty. For instance, if you sell window treatments, accentuate a graphic of a window by using a die cut in the shape of your product.
    4. Use a creative fold. A unique fold – letter, accordion, gate, engineering, cross, double-parallel, baronial – can help organize your message and ensure that your piece fits in the correct envelope or folder – plus, it’s just plain fun to open.
    5. Try a pop-out image. Pop-out images that are revealed to the reader when unfolding a piece can add unexpected interest and drama.
    6. Wrap it up. Envelopes are influential to the success of a direct mail campaign. Looking to enhance your response rates? Test! Use your typical envelope as your control and send it to half of your mailing list. The alternate version of your mailing envelope could be different paper, color versus your standard white, or have different placement for the call-to-action. Measure which performs better and continue to tweak over time.

Whether you are creating direct mail campaigns, brochures, publications, event invitations, newsletters or business cards, you can cut through the clutter and increase engagement with high-impact printing techniques, specialty papers and folds. If you need help developing a campaign that can help you stand out against the competition, reach out to us. We look forward to hearing from you.

Why You Still Need Trade Show Brochures

In the last year, many trade shows had to be cancelled or postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Fortunately, innovation reigned as many trade shows adopted a virtual format so they could continue to help businesses like yours raise awareness about their brand. Believe it or not, it was discovered that virtual tradeshows still managed to effectively unlock opportunities and drive leads. Although it altered the way that face-to-face marketing took place, it also removed the physical constraints of travel and time which enabled more people to be reached. Additionally, the virtual format offered a budget friendly solution to brand awareness.

Man holding a brochure and pointing to the inside.

To put it simply, virtual trade shows work.

That said, the success of virtual trade shows does not completely eliminate the need for tangible materials. Items like swag, business cards, and brochures play a significant role in giving potential leads the chance to follow up with what you have to offer them. While making certain content and information immediately downloadable for your audience is both necessary and beneficial, sending this information in a physical form offers the incentive to take the next step with your business. A visitor to your virtual booth who voluntarily provides mailing information for you to send them more information has already expressed interest, and once you send them their physical brochure they will feel the effort you put in to go the extra mile beyond the virtual experience. Allegra offers brochure printing to help you do just that.

An effective brochure for a trade show accomplishes three simple tasks:

Grab Their Attention

The cover of your brochure is the first thing that the reader sees. It needs to be interesting to look at and should include:

  • A visually captivating layout
  • Compelling text
  • Eye-catching graphics

Allegra offers numerous design options including:

  • Various sizes
  • Unique folds
  • Die-cut windows or shape
  • Punched
  • Collated
  • Wire bound
  • Insert pocket addition
  • Paper stock options
  • Various coatings

We assist you with every aspect of the design process, so you are sure to create a brochure that meets your needs.

Make the Connection

While virtual trade shows have been an amazing tool for business to rely upon in the last year, we hope to get back to in-person trade shows soon. Either avenue offers a space to make a connection with potential clients and having physical brochures is an excellent way to nourish this connection. In order to do this effectively you need to consider your audience and what their needs are so you can highlight what you have to offer them as a business. Be specific by telling them why and how you can help them better than anyone else can.

Gain the Lead

Make sure your brochure includes a call-to-action that is clearly defined. Let your reader know what you would like them to do to take the next step. Be sure to include clear contact information such as:

  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Fax number
  • Website
  • Office address
  • Social media

Allegra is proud to provide full-service design, printing, and mailing options for your trade show brochures. Let’s get started! Visit AllegraMarketingPrint.com to find your local Allegra.

Highlight Your Project with a Custom Booklet

While technology enables us to create and disseminate information at a very large scale, not all special projects exist in a purely digital space. There is not only still room for physical publications, but it remains that they are incredibly necessary for certain avenues. Booklets are a handy way to inform, train, or to sell. Regardless of what your needs are, Allegra offers booklet printing services to meet them. This means that after your project is complete at the digital level, it can be printed and bound together in a tangible copy that lasts. We handle every aspect in four simple yet comprehensive steps:

Stack of open, bound booklets.
  • Design
  • Print
  • Bind
  • Distribute

Custom Booklet Design

When it comes to the design of your booklet, you can communicate your vision to us precisely, or ask for guidance. You can achieve a simple and clean look or run wild with creativity. For this reason, there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to booklet printing. We begin by understanding the goal of your project so that we can make recommendations about the appropriate style. You also receive expert direction on choosing the right paper stock, cover stocks, binding options and more. We even meet special cover requirements by providing specialized options such as die-cutting or embossing.  Some examples of booklets that we print include:

  • Owner’s manuals
  • Instruction manuals
  • Catalogs for products or services
  • Monthly magazine that you send out to all of your employees
  • Professional publications

Efficient Printing to Meet Your Deadline

As opposed to a flyer or brochure, booklets are designed and printed to last, so you are assured that your final version stands out. We make sure that each page is printed with precision, so the quality of the text and images is clear and legible. You can count on Allegra for short-run printing to make sure your project is complete on time.

A Variety of Booklet Binding Options

You may find that you need your booklets to lie flat when they are open, so just let us know and we can accommodate that. Or perhaps you are on a budget and just want to keep it as a simple as possible. Allegra offers several different binding options that include:

  • Coil binding works perfectly for catalogs or instruction manuals because it keeps the booklet open to a specific page. This enables hands-free perusal so whoever is reading the booklet can also have their hands available while they read.
  • Perfect binding options are also available that keep the pages in place using glue before securely attaching them to the cover.
  • Saddle stitch binding is an affordable way to add a professional finish to a booklet. It features a flat spine, so it fits easily onto a shelf next to other books and binders.

Distribution that Gets Your Custom Booklet Where It Needs to Be

After your booklets have been designed, printed, and bound, the next step is sending them out to the people who need them. We have all of your distribution needs covered including direct mail, so your booklets end up in the right hands. Let’s get started on your project! Visit our website at AllegraMarketingPrint.com to find your local Allegra.

Celebrate Achievements During COVID with Custom Yard Signs

More than a year has gone by since the COVID-19 pandemic struck the United States and Canada. Essential and frontline workers continue to serve their communities, putting themselves in harm’s way. Some have struggled immensely while others have found the silver lining in spending more time at home. One of the more positive outcomes of this difficult year has been the prevalence of creativity. Since we are not able to celebrate in the manner we are used to – by gathering together in large crowds, hugging friends, and neighbors, shaking hands – innovative methods of celebration have manifested that enable us to continue highlighting momentous events. Allegra is proud to design and print custom yard signs to help you celebrate any occasion from afar. These yard signs have many advantages which include being:

Graduation yard sign that says Jackson Class of 2021
  • Affordable
  • Customizable
  • Durable
  • Easy to Install
  • Effective
  • Flexible Location Options
  • Lightweight
  • Reusable

The following are just a few ideas to help boost a special day for yourself or someone you care about to get you into the celebratory spirit.

Graduation

While it has long been considered a rite of passage to walk across the stage at graduation, this practice may still be put on hold for many high schools and college students. That said, you can still celebrate the upcoming graduates for 2021 by placing a custom sign in your yard.

Birthdays

A milestone birthday like turning 16, 21, or 40 deserves recognition, but really any birthday is special and should not be overlooked. Celebrate from afar with a dazzling, eye-catching yard sign. Your friends and family members can drive by and toast to your life from 6 feet away as you shine on your special day.

Announcing a New Baby

Whether you are newly pregnant and want to share that with the world, just revealed the gender of your baby, or are bringing your bundle of joy home for the first time, a custom yard sign is the perfect way to make this known for your friends and neighbors.

Engagement & Weddings

Getting married is about starting your life with a partner you can depend, through sickness and in health. Even though large weddings are being postponed, you can still celebrate safely. Whether popping the question or popping over to the chapel, highlight this ray of happiness with a yard sign.

Allegra allows you to choose from lawn sign options including Coroplast® signs, plastic signs, and corrugated signs. All of these options are easily customized to include the message and graphics you desire. Visit AllegraMarketingPrint.com to find your local Allegra and to order your custom yard sign for your celebration!