As you can imagine, trends in how businesses use direct mail is extremely important to us. Direct Mail is our business and we need to keep our finger on the pulse and make sure we tell you why direct mail works and how you can make it work best for you.
We keep our eye on the latest research and what today’s thought leaders are saying and Lois Alosno Geller makes some very interesting observations in Forbes Magazine this month which you might find interesting when planning your next direct mail marketing campaign.
Point 1: Direct Mail needs to follow the money
And who are the customers holding the majority of the wealth? Older people, of course. This isn’t news, but it is worth remembering. There are lot more older people around nowadays and they are living longer than ever. They are also the people holding all the cash. Remember the news story over Christmas telling us that those under 40 today will be worse off than those over 60 today? The other benefit of sending direct mail to older people is that they aren’t so wedded to electronic media. They are way more flexible about how they want to receive information than the young. They use electronic media, but they like reading stuff too – stuff on bits of paper they are holding in their hands.
Point 2: Keep your friends close
Having a focus on acquiring new customers is important, but we all know it is easier to keep those that are already close to us than it is to develop new relationships. Don’t forget the importance of customer retention and developing ever more personal direct mail campaigns that really speak to your existing customer base. Don’t let your direct mail marketing get lost in the clutter of impersonal leaflets, flyers and advertising post cards that fall through people’s letter boxes on a daily basis. Understand your customers and what they need. Make your direct mail campaign truly personal. This is different from sending out personalised direct mail. Personalised direct mail is something that is simply has someone’s name it – that’s a million miles from being personalised!
Point 3: We’re mad about the boy!
Think about men and especially older men. Direct mail marketing is a great way to reach this group, often targeted through broadcast media. We’ve talked about television advertising in previous blogs and how effective it was in the good old days when there were just a couple of channels. Now there are hundreds of channels with ridiculous amounts of adverts, all of which most people skip though either by channel surfing through the breaks, watching TV on demand or by watching recordings and fast forwarding though the ads.
In today’s world of media, we experience an extreme focus on the digital. The world of print media has admittedly gotten smaller in terms of physical publication and circulation. Although print media has become a smaller player in our media intake, it will continue to be a relevant and valued media element. Print materials remain active as vital elements of different areas of society in everything from education to business.
What Is Print on Demand?
Within the last few decades, a new printing process has emerged called print on demand, or POD which is great for resellers (check out our reselling option here). This process combines digital and print resources. With print on demand, a material is primarily available electronically until an order is placed for that material to be produced in print. If you’re wondering whether or not print on demand is the right choice for you or your business, read on to learn about some of the print on demand pros and cons.
Good for Smaller Audiences
Print on demand may be a good choice for you if you are selling a book that has a smaller market than most. If you use a normal printing and stock system for materials with smaller audiences, you may end up with an overstock of printed materials and lose money. It is relatively cheap to publish your materials electronically. And with print on demand, you still give that small audience the option of print. It makes sense economically to print those print orders on an “as they come” basis such as if you do drop shipping.
Higher Royalty Return
Another pro for print on demand is a high royalty percentage rate. Print on demand books make money on a by book basis. Royalties are something that’s really important to think about when it comes to the publishing world. With print on demand, you have the potential to buy and resell books for less than the retail price and then turn a profit.
More Textual and Visual Control
One of the pros of print on demand is greater control over your text and its final version. Because it is primarily available electronically, you have more freedom when it comes to edits and distribution of a final draft. That also goes for any art or visual elements of your book. Also, say you have a very long book and normal printing proves to be expensive. Electronically, your book can be almost as long as you want. And whenever it does get ordered in print, that’s the only time that the cost of length comes into play.
Good for First Time Authors
Print on demand publishing can be a smart choice for people out there who are publishing first works. Because you aren’t printing out thousands of copies of something in the hope that those copies are then purchased by consumers, there is a lot less risk involved. It is a good environment to try out a new work electronically to see how it does while also getting your name out there, especially if you are a brand-new author.
Disdain from Traditional Publishers
One of the cons of print on demand is that this process of publishing is looked down on by many of the older, more traditional publishers out there. If you think you’ll be really successful in the long run with your publication, it would be more favorable to avoid print on demand as it might help you down the road. Also, many bookstores may be more hesitant to shelve your book because books from print on demand publishers usually have a higher rate of non-returnability.
Problems with the Print on Demand Business Model
Some people that decide to go forward with print on demand publishing encounter problems with the POD publishers themselves. Some of the print on demand publishers operate on a business model that makes them primarily concerned with turning a profit. Because of this, they might not have the most interest invested in the overall value of your work. You might encounter problems with editing and issues with your text in the final published version.
Less Consistency than Traditional Publishers
Because print on demand publishers do happen to operate in a world that allows for more flexibly, it also might mean you lose some of the structure and the benefits that you might receive from a traditional publishing approach. For example, with some of the more traditional publishers, you usually get more reliability and stability that you might not get from some of the print on demand publishers out there. Also, publishing with a traditional publisher typically brings with it a higher rate of credibility and acclaim.
Talk to Publishers
If you can, it’s always a good idea to get in contact with some real print on demand companies and talk to them about their options. One company that’s worth looking into for print on demand is Foam Core Print. If you’re still on the fence about whether or not print on demand will best serve your purposes, it never hurts to do more research and learn more print on demand pros and cons!