Some direct mail formats have higher “open and read” rates than others, according to a study conducted by Nielsen and RAPP Germany. Their study, “Future of the Mailing,” tested five different types of mailings from a fictitious travel agency, sent to 1,800 subjects. The five types were a mailing in a standard envelope, a mailing in a printed envelope, a self-mailer, a wrapper and an email.
The format that generated the highest open and read rate was the mailing in the printed envelope. Second best response came from the email. The mailing in the printed envelope was twice as likely as an email to motivate the recipient to recommend the offer to a friend or acquaintance. On the other hand, email performed strongest for moving recipients to search for further information on the specific offer.
Here are three take-aways from the study to improve the success of mailings:
- Use real envelopes. They give a perception of high value.
- Personalize it. Make the personalization immediately apparent, such as in the address of the envelope or in the subject line of the email.
- Use both print and email, depending on the objective of your mailing.
Thanks to our friends at WhiteOak for sharing this insight with us!
Mark Twain said, “Clothes make the man.” We say paper stock makes the printed piece.
Choosing the right paper stock is an art, and a science. There is much to consider: coated, uncoated, matte, textured or not, the weight of the stock. But the most important consideration is how the stock will enhance and complement the printed piece.
Selecting just the right paper is a skill we have mastered over time. In fact, for us it is an award-winning skill. Neenah Paper recently gave us an Award of Excellence for our use of their stock on two pieces we designed for Holy Spirit Hospital’s 50th Anniversary. We’re flattered – and proud that we made our client look so good.
We are a tight-knit group–partly because we are a smaller agency, but also because we’ve known one another and worked together for a long time.
Of course we have each other’s backs and can easily jump in someone else’s seat when we need to. But when one of us is missing, we really feel it.
Carla, our “Numbers Mover,” has been out for a while due to illness. She is a vital part of our team and without her, we felt like a piece of the puzzle was missing.
Carla came in to work for a little while on Monday and we are so excited to have her back. She looks great and is feeling better and stronger every day. We really missed you, Carla!
Megan Harley’s route from her home in East Petersburg to the Art Institute of York, where she is working on her Associate’s Degree in Graphic Design, takes her right by our front door. She must have noticed that our Welcome mat is always out, and called us about doing an internship. We’re glad she did!
Megan spends a couple afternoons a week with us. We work in such a collaborative way that she is getting a taste of many aspects of our creative process.
“I want to learn as much as I can about the real business, how it all works,” says Megan, who described how her love of art began as a little kid and continued through high school. She “loves logos” and has a special interest in working with companies to develop their corporate identity and brand.
We expect to benefit from the internship almost as much as Megan will.
“In our business, learning never ends,” notes our art director, Kim. “Megan brings us a fresh perspective from today’s design classroom.”
As Hollywood was making final preparations for the Oscars, we learned that we had brought home a little gold of our own! With our client, Lancaster County Career & Technology Center (LCCTC), we were honored by Higher Education Marketing Report and their 29th Annual Educational Advertising Awards, earning Gold for Total Advertising Campaign. The campaign, focused on branding and boosting enrollment, included radio and TV spots, print and online ads, bus posters, mall signage, trade show and open house signage, and program sell sheets. In addition to the Educational Advertising Award, the LCCTC TV spot earned a Bronze Telly Award. The spot featured graduates describing how their LCCTC education had helped them find their “dream job.” Earning awards for our work is great, of course. But more importantly, the campaign for LCCTC helped them exceed strategic goals. For their 2013/2014 academic year, full-time enrollment has increased more than 100 percent and short-term program enrollment is projected to increase by 30 percent. That makes LCCTC the real winner and we couldn’t be happier.
Our friend Maureen Powers, CEO of the YWCA Lancaster, is a finalist for the Nonprofit Leadership Excellence honor in Central Penn Business Journal’s Nonprofit Innovation Awards. The program honors local community service and the Leadership Excellence category recognizes “an exemplary nonprofit leader.”
Maureen is exemplary – and a whole lot more. We’ve worked with her and YWCA Lancaster on their Race Against Racism for 16 years. Now, we are excited to be helping with their 125th anniversary celebration. Maureen has been the organization’s CEO for 28 years, demonstrating compassionate leadership and unparalleled dedication.
We are sure that all of the finalists for the Nonprofit Leadership Excellence award are dedicated and deserving. The winner will be announced at an awards ceremony on February 28. Regardless of the outcome that day, in our view, Maureen already is a winner.
We work in a fun and creative business and we’re some of the most talented people around. (We’re not just saying that; our clients tell us that all the time.) Creativity, like money, doesn’t grow on trees and even the most creative people need a little fresh thought and a nudge now and then. One resource we’ve used comes from creative coach Mark McGuiness. It’s a creative thinking booster called reframing.
Essentially, reframing moves you from one interpretation of an event, situation, behavior, person or object to a completely different interpretation. Maybe you’ve formed an opinion of someone as being difficult or unpleasant. Then you learn about a challenging personal situation the person is dealing with and your feelings turn from annoyance to sympathy. You’ve reframed your opinion.
Here’s another example: your daughter is failing math. She studies extra hard, does well on a test, and her grade rises. It’s still a failing grade, but her overall performance is on the upswing – failing vs. progress in the right direction. Framing her situation in a positive way does not change the essential nature of it, but your daughter feels better about herself and sees a good outcome from her efforts.
Creative reframing lets you see new possibilities. Where some might see an obstacle, you see an opportunity. With reframing, you are simply reappraising a situation, event, person, etc., which stimulates your thinking and recalibrates the way you feel.
McGuiness suggests you start reframing by asking questions such as these:
What else could this mean?
Where else could this be useful?
What can I learn from this?
What is the funny side of this?
How does this look to other people involved?
What opportunities are lurking inside this problem?
What does the solution to this problem look like and can I start doing that right now?
The best thing about reframing or any type of creative thinking is that it leads to creative doing. And that’s really the fun part!
Quotes about love abound, but this one by Dr. Seuss is one of the best.
In many ways, we feel we’ve been living a reality that other agencies may just dream of living. Here’s why: We love working together. We love the work we do. We love our clients, who work with us to create terrific advertising and marketing campaigns. We love the excitement as we begin to work with a new client. At the same time, we love the comfort of working with long-term clients who trust and respect us. We love seeing our clients succeed and knowing we’ve played a part in their success.
That’s a whole lotta talk about love, for sure. We know we’re lucky to have days filled with people and work we love. And sometimes we have to pinch ourselves just to make sure it’s not a dream.