April 10, 2018

A to Z of Design: I is for indicia

Filed under: Design & Art — Tags: , , , , , , — lidia @ 10:00 am

A to Z of Design: I is for indicia

An indicia is an imprint on a mailpiece, that is instead of a stamp, indicating that postage has been paid. All pieces in a permit imprint mailing must be the same weight. The mailer must submit forms and a fee to the Post Office where the pieces will be mailed.

TIP: Many print vendors handle this as part of their mailing and fulfillment services.

For more info, see this USPS Quick Service Guide on permit imprints.

See all of the A to Z of Design posts here.

October 15, 2009

How to design bad direct mail

Filed under: Marketing & Promotion — Tags: , — lidia @ 2:21 pm

photo by Olga__[FR]As I’ve been signing up for industry events lately (as well as planning my big day), there’s a ton of direct mail coming through in my mailbox—and along with it, many examples of what NOT to do.

Here are a few examples of direct mail DON’Ts:

  1. No return address: who is this coming from? Why should I open it?
  2. Generic content: how does this relate to me? Why would I buy this?
  3. Poor design: this seems like a no-brainer to a designer such as myself, but apparently not everyone gets it: good design sells. 
  4. Cheap paper: if you’re spending the money on printing, please use a nice, heavyweight paper*—especially if your piece is targeted to graphic designers (we’re a finicky bunch!)
  5. No design: I’ve received direct mail that resembles an office memo, 2 pages typed and stapled together: straight to the recycling bin!
  6. Too many mailings: let’s try to save a few trees, yes? A postcard every week (or more often) is really not necessary.

*No neon shades of copy paper, please!

And now, some direct mail DOs: (i.e. pieces that make me take action)

  1. Simple yet eye-catching design and layout
  2. Well-written with content I can relate to
  3. A multi-channel campaign: a postcard followed up with a corresponding e-blast
  4. Unique format or size (folded, square, oversized**)
  5. An offer I can relate to or take advantage of
  6. A personal note or handwritten message (if you have a manageable clients, give your direct mail a personal touch)

**Make sure to check postal requirements

Don’t have an in-house team to give your direct mail the love it deserves? Work with a [insert shameless plug here] graphic designer, who can walk you through the process and help you achieve results.

July 16, 2009

Direct mail that directs you online

Filed under: Marketing & Promotion — Tags: , , , , — lidia @ 8:00 am

mac_sumoPCContrary to naysayers, I don’t believe print is dead! Though I’ve been noticing more direct mail that directs you to the web.

Take for example, the piece I recently designed for BAI Banking Strategies’ new online magazine. A printed piece was mailed to readers who may not be active web users, encouraging them to visit the new online publication.

Shown at right is an oversized (pink!) postcard I recently received in the mail from MAC COSMETICS announcing a special 3-day sale. This was followed-up with an email blast. In this case, their customers are likely already web-savvy, so a printed piece strengthened their brand message and call to action. Personally, the postcard tempted me to the website quicker than the email blast (and how can you resist a sale at MAC…)

Have you incorporated a print to web campaign into your own marketing?

July 15, 2009

Featured Design Project: Direct Mail Brochure

Filed under: Featured Design Project — Tags: , , — lidia @ 8:00 am


Lidia Varesco Design recently worked with our longtime client BAI to create a direct mail piece to promote the launch of the online version of their publication, BAI Banking Strategies. The goals were to make current subscribers aware of the new online format, point out its value proposition and benefits, as well as make it easy for new subscribers to sign up online. The result was a concise, eye-catching brochure, sure to make readers reach for their mouse.

June 9, 2009

Get bragging rights

Filed under: Design & Art,Marketing & Promotion — Tags: , , — lidia @ 9:50 pm

deliver_bragWho doesn’t love showing off their work every now and then? Deliver magazine is seeking submissions for their newly-created Brag Room—a gallery featuring the best direct mail pieces from the past year. Have you created a marketing piece you’re dying to show off? Read the submission guidelines and then send off those samples! Or just browse the Brag Room to see what’s new and exciting in direct mail.

P.S. Send in your samples before July to be eligible for the Best of the Brag Room prize.