The digital world has definitely changed the landscape of marketing and advertising. Many forms of traditional marketing have waned in popularity but that doesn’t mean all conventional print advertising is obsolete. One form of marketing that still deserves your attention is direct mail campaigns. When executed effectively, direct mail yields great results. The best way to increase the effectiveness of your direct mail imitative is to make it personal.

The Case for Personalized Direct Mail 

Response rates for direct mail are higher than most think. According to the National Association of Advertisers, direct mail solicits responses about 5.1% of the time. This is sustainably higher than the response rates of e-mail, social media, and paid search, which are .6%, .6%, and .4%, respectively. When a consumer sees his or her name on a piece of mail, it helps establish a feeling that this person is valued by your business.

The response rate for direct can be made much higher when mail is personalized to its sender. Estimates indicate that responsiveness increases 135% when mail is personalized with the recipient’s full name.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Consider the following statistics:

  • Direct mail incentivizes up to 40% of new consumers to try new businesses
  • Over 50% of consumers in the United States trust print mail more than any other form of advertising
  • Around 70% of people in the United States find direct mail more personal than the Internet
  • Direct mail resonates with millennials, too; about 30% of millennials are willing to take action after receiving direct mail
  • Response rates for direct mail for ages 18 to 24 is about 12%

There’s psychological reasons for personalizing mail, too. Modern human beings are inundated with information on a daily basis. To survive, our brains have become hyper-effective at filtering out irrelevant information. A great example of this is how we all have an uncanny ability to tune out conversations happening around our cubicles or in line at coffee shops. Since our brains are hardwired to push away chatter and messages that aren’t intended for us, personalizing mail helps break through this psychological defense mechanism. When we see our full names on a piece of mail, it allows us to turn off auto pilot and accept a message that is actually intended for us to read.

Pair Your Direct Mail and Digital Marketing Campaigns 

Direct mail and digital marketing don’t have to compete with each other. In fact, these two channels can cooperate. Providing a promotional offer on direct mail, to be used in an online store, is an effective way to merge these two forms of marketing. Since 90% of consumers will visit a website before calling a business, it’s important to provide easy links to websites and social media accounts on print advertising.

Our team at Pel Hughes is experts at helping businesses develop beautiful and effective direct mail campaigns. If you’d like to request a quote or talk to a knowledgeable member of our staff, fill out this easy contact form.

 

To say that most aspects of our daily lives are “going electronic” is an understatement. In fact, it’s wrong – we’re already there. Creative industries ranging from content marketing to creative design have moved their platforms to electronic formats. However, from time to time we still hear people argue that electronic content will never replace the good old-fashioned ability to pick up a book or magazine and connect with it on a different level.

This may be the case, but in the world of publishing, taking such a narrow view can hurt not only your revenue, but it may also be hurting your clients. Publishers should be thinking beyond the mere simplicity electronic print can bring, and consider what additional benefits consumers can receive through electronic publishing.

In this article we provide an overview of electronic publishing, or e-publishing, and discuss a few of the advantages of e-publishing for both you and your clients. We want to help you to start thinking outside the box, and recognize that e-publishing is here to stay – and that’s a good thing for those that know how it can be leveraged to maximize for readers and publishers.

What is E-Publishing?

On the surface, e-publishing is fairly simple. E-publishing is the electronic means of publishing content to an electronic form. At its most basic level, this includes the digital publication of books, magazines, and other types of literature. Digging a little deeper, it also includes the development of digital catalogs and libraries. This can include publications such as reference and technical publications, as well as encyclopedias and dictionaries.

Taking a step back from more complex publications such as encyclopedias, e-publishing also includes the publication of short stories or other simple collections. Essentially, e-publishing means that any work can be distributed electronically. And this can be extremely valuable for writers ranging from high school story writers to universities and corporations.

Better Reader Experience 

Arguably the greatest advantage of e-publishing is that it provides the reader with a much better way to experience the content they’re digesting. To start, e-publications are convenient for readers. All of their desired reading material can be stored and organized digitally, meaning those shelves and nightstands that are overcrowded with books and magazines can now become a thing of the past.

Additionally, e-publishing affords readers the ability to share content with a wide audience, instantaneously. Students, teachers, corporate training offices, and many others can distribute the same content to peers or employees, and these readers can electronically search for the content they require. And not only can it be shared instantaneously, it can also be done in more secure manner.

Interactive and Current 

In a similar category to creating a better reader experience, e-publishing can provide elements for the reader that hardcopy print simply cannot. For example, e-publishing allows publishers to be more creative with their designs, and even insert components such animation, audio, video clips and hyperlinks. The latter, hyperlinks, can be used both within the material itself, or even take the reader to another document or to relevant content online.

The ease of editability of e-publishing also means that content can always be current and up-to-date. As opposed to hardcopy, electronically editing can be completed with a few strokes of the keyboard, keeping readers current on any changes or updates to material their viewing. Moreover, the notion of electronic editing also means that mistakes can be more easily avoided, and if they are made, easily corrected.

Analytics 

The last advantage that we discuss related to e-publishing is a big one for publishers. By using analytics to track reader behavior, publishers can analyze and better understand how readers are responding to your content. Publishers can track open rates, readership, and clicks by platform and application data. This means that publishers can make data-driven decisions to improve content as well as marketing strategies. This type of data gathering just isn’t possible with hardcopy publishing.

Overall, e-publishing offers a more interactive, current, and overall more dynamic and simple reading experience. It also provides opportunities for publishers to gain further insight into their clients, and transform their organization into a modern mobile enterprise.

As a designer, one of the most important decisions you must make is when to use specific types of color. For years, there have been debates about which color printing method is supreme: process (which uses a variety of four main colors), or spot (also known as Pantone Matching System). 

Admittedly, there can be a lot of confusion when determining whether to use spot colors or process colors, and understanding the difference between the two can be the difference between a good and great final product. This article provides a brief look at some main differences between spot and process colors, and some advice as to why and when to go with each type of color process in your design. 

What are Process Colors and When Should They Be Used?

Process color is a way of mixing inks to create colors during the actual printing process itself. A process color is printed using a combination of the four standard process inks: cyan, magenta, yellow and black (CMYK). Typically, process colors are used in offset printing, and are the more common method of printing. Although the amount of process colors through CMYK may seem endless, process colors actually provide a limited color range. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be used, however. 

In fact, process colors can be excellent for specific printing jobs, especially when the job is small. For example, a print job that requires multi-colored designs and photographs such as full color books, brochures, flyers and postcards would do well to use process colors. Moreover, your printer at home and even most commercial printers go with CMYK to print texts and images. And as the technology that uses CMYK advances, we’re seeing that most magazines and newspapers are printed using process colors.

How Do Spot Colors Compare?

Spot colors are usually created through the Pantone Matching System, or PMS. A Pantone color is a standard color in the PMS that is used as a color reference system in most printing and printing-related industries. Spot colors can vary widely and by utilizing a system such as PMS, spot colors can be consistently reproduced and ensure accurate production of printed or manufactured goods across the globe. 

As noted above, process colors can be fairly limited in their color range as the final colors are merely a combination of CMYK colors. Because spot colors layer an infinite amount of colors, they can provide a much more vibrant and detailed color. In addition to the variety of options, spot colors provide much better consistency from page to page. When printing a solid color with process inks, there may be slight variations in the color balance that can affect the color’s consistency. While spot colors may cost a bit more, they can add a lot to your project making the extra cost well worth it in the end. 

When To Use Spot Color 

Spot colors are best used when colors are outside of the CMYK range or when accuracy is crucial, such as in company logos or color-specific brand elements (think Starbucks green or McDonalds red and yellow). Spot colors should also be used in printing jobs that require printing over a large area because spot color inks can provide more even coverage. Additionally, projects that require special effects such as metallic or florescent colors should use spot colors. Spot colors can add a little something extra to your project. 

There are a variety of things to consider when deciding to use spot or process colors. It’s important to look at each project individually and assess what the correct option is for that specific project. 

Although most of the country has transitioned to a largely digital lifestyle, the “email vs. direct mail” battle continues to thrive in the marketing world. And many are surprised that although there was an upswing in email marketing over a decade ago, there is more than enough recent research to show that direct mail has made a significant comeback. 

For example, direct mail is now tied with social media as the second-most used medium, and has a higher response rate than any digital direct marketing outlet. Additionally, 76% of consumers say they trust direct mail over digital channels when making a purchase. Even large companies are taking notice. Goldman Sachs Group recently invested $25 million dollars to integrate direct mail into email-based marketing automation platforms.

That said, there are still plenty of businesses and organizations that prefer email as the foundation of their marketing strategies. In this article, we point out three of the largest problems faced by email marketing strategies, and how they can be solved by direct mail. 

Problem 1: Unsubscribes

Although most of us love seeing the link to “unsubscribe” at the bottom of an email, this can be devastating to marketers trying to reach a broad audience. The chance that your email message will catch your customer at a time in which they are busy, or maybe just not in the mood to receive another email. When this happens all the customer has to do is unsubscribe from your email system, and they can be lost forever. And it only takes one time. 

If your organization relies on email as its sole form of getting messages to your customer, you are one click away from losing that customer. Direct mail eliminates (or significantly decreases) the possibility that your message will forever be directed into a junk folder. Typically, if you catch your customer on a bad day, the worst they’ll do is toss your mail in the trashcan. You’ll still have tomorrow to reach them. 

Problem 2: Lack of Personalization

Email has become so popular in recent years that it’s nearly impossible to find a company or organization that doesn’t have an email list to which they send consistent updates. One of the main problems with this is that there isn’t much room for creativity or personalization. Each message is put together quickly, and sent to bombard the recipient’s inbox. 

However, even more than just popularity or the ease of use, email and the associated digital technology is sophisticated. When you visit a website, that website can track your IP address, gather information on you, and start sending you email regarding their product. 

Direct mail brings back the personalization that is lost in the standard email blast. Approximately four in ten people look forward to checking their mail every day, and this isn’t by accident. Direct mail adds that personal touch that allows consumers to interact with your message and they don’t see themselves as just another name on an email “bcc”.

Problem 3: Overkill 

Similar to the problems of lack of personalization and the dreaded unsubscribes, email can suffer from a significant overkill to a consumer’s inbox. With the amount of emails that individuals receive on a daily basis, any email that isn’t immediately read is almost guaranteed to wind up in the trash. This is even truer when you consider recent changes to platforms such as Gmail, which may try to assume where a recipient would like an email placed (e.g., the Promotions folder). This overkill almost guarantees that your message will not be seen.  

Direct mail solves this problem in more than one way. First, recipients only receive direct mail once per day. Although they may receive multiple pieces per delivery, they aren’t bombarded with mail throughout the day. Moreover, sending a piece of direct mail, with content, postage, etc. is not as simple as throwing together a standard email draft. It takes more time to create these messages, thus, there aren’t as many sent to assault your consumer. 

Although many marketing teams continue to believe that direct mail is dying, those that see through this false narrative are already in a much better marketing position. By finding a medium that effectively and efficiently utilizes email and direct mail, you will see increased revenue, and more importantly, happier customers.

#1 Pharmaceuticals
– Medication labeling & packaging
– Guidance for medication for medical staff and for patients
-Legally mandated notices for proper treatment and side effects
 
#2 Healthcare
– Support documents for hospitals
– Key information for dental practices
– CDC guidance for COVID-19 treatment
– Inter-practice communication
– Patient discharge paperwork for post-care
 
#3 Communications
– Local newspapers & magazines
– Community bulletins on COVID-19
 
#4 Public Health
– Health & Safety information from government
– Mass public information campaign about COVID-19
– Key Information distributed to sanitation workers
 
#5 Food Industry
– Food & nutrition packaging components
– Grocery store signage for sales & ads
– Restaurant signage & menu cards
– Directional signage
 
#6 Legal
– Court documents & proceedings
– Important signage
– Time-sensitive Information
 
#7 Governmental Support
– Election ballots & mailings
– Time & classified-sensitive materials
– Information to Medicaid & Medicare recipients
– SNAP benefit information distribution
– Important ID renewal & expiration notices
– 2020 Census forms & supporting documents
 
#8 Financial Institutions
– Onboarding documents for online banking
– Mailed statements for current customers
– Support documentation for financial professionals to continue work

In today’s digital-driven marketing world, printed materials often sound like a superfluous burden on both companies and consumers. However, despite the increasing popularity of online marketing techniques, the brochure plays an important role in a company’s successful marketing structure. 

Brochures are one of the pillars of traditional printed marketing, and a well-designed brochure is one of the most cost-effective mediums to establish your brand, network your firm, and be show off some creativity that is often lost in digital marketing. Below are five reasons why brochures are an essential part of any effective marketing strategy. 

 

 

  • High Value 

 

At the outset, it’s important to recognize that a printed brochure offers the most bang for your buck when it comes to tangible marketing materials. Brochure printing is one of the oldest and established forms of marketing, and a large part of this is due to the simplicity of both construction and production. With the advent of digital printing, companies can quickly develop a simple brochure and have them printed with minimal cost and a quick turnaround time. 

For larger organizations that need to print them in mass, say for a large tradeshow or conference, brochure printing prices decrease if you buy in bulk. Moreover, because brochures have stood the test of time, changes are rarely required once they are printed. This means that you can print numerous copies to save money, and they will hold value for potential customers, loyal clients or business contacts down the road. 

 

 

  • Establish Authority 

 

We all know that digital marketing is on the rise and most organizations can easily and quickly produce ads online. The downside to these digital marketing forms is just that: new enterprises often start with digital and stay there. Companies that use printed sales literature such as a brochure sends the message to consumers that you operate an established business. It shows you are willing to invest in your companies marketing beyond digital, and you are willing to do the same with your clients.   

An important aspect of establishing your authority through brochures to keep in mind is that you shouldn’t skimp on design or printing. Because brochures have the ability to do so much to display your authority in a particular market, it’s crucial to show that you take every part of your enterprise seriously, including brochure printing. 

 

 

  • Brand Identity & Personalization 

 

Similar to establishing authority, printed brochures provide an opportunity to establish your brand identity and personalize your business. While many people view brochures as a lethargic or too-simplistic communication method, it’s likely the case that they are looking at lethargic or boring brochures. A creative and descriptive brochure allows you to showcase your brand to a large audience, and engrain your identity to consumers that are flooded with unimaginative brochures. 

Additionally, printed brochures provide a one-on-one communication with your client that just isn’t possible with digital marketing mediums. Make your brochure eye-catching and thought-provoking, while at the same time approachable. The written material adds a personal touch that we all miss from online marketing, whether we want to admit it or not.  

 

 

  • Networking 

 

Printed brochures are arguably one of the best ways to not only establish your authority, showcase your identity and connect with your audience, they’re also extremely important as a networking tool. Unlike documents, posters or banners, brochures can be printed in bulk and handed out at tradeshows, conferences or even your competitors’ establishments. 

Think of a printed brochure almost like a business card on steroids. A brochure provides information on your business and contact information for potential clients, but it also allows you to provide details on your services and show creativity in the process. They’re larger and stronger, but can still be thrown in a briefcase or backpack for networking events. 

 

 

  • Versatile & Tangible

 

Going back to a comparison with digital mediums, there is only one way to see an online ad – go online. Conversely, printed brochures are very versatile and can be distributed through multiple channels, including direct mail, newspapers, malls, exhibitions, etc. Even if your shop is entirely online, the versatility of a brochure lends itself to effective marketing. Throw one inside your next packaged order or send one to your direct mailing list. 

As we touched on above, brochures also offer the personal touch and convenience of tangibility. According to recent research, 98% of marketers believe that personalization helps advance customer relationships, and 76% of consumers say they trust tangible marketing over digital channels when making a purchase. Additionally, a tangible brochure means that consumers can reference your material at a later time, and the small size and portability mean they can be distributed anywhere. 

Although many companies have jumped on the digital marketing bandwagon and dropped traditional brochure printing altogether, these companies are missing significant opportunities. Leverage the value and versatility of brochure printing to establish authority in your market, develop your brand recognition, and connect with your audience.

Offset printing is one of the first printing techniques that allowed printers to inexpensively produce images and text. Although the process has been refined over the decades, it still remains a viable option for many companies. In this article we discuss the history of offset printing, how it works, and when it may be the best option for your printing needs.  

 

An Overview of offset printing

The offset printing press was first created in the late 18th century, and used limestone plates to create images by taking advantage of the immiscibility of oil and water. Before this method was introduced, printing was very low-quality, took an extortionate amount of time, and was reserved for the affluent that could afford it. Surprisingly, while offset printing has evolved since then, the basic concepts have not changed. 

Traditional offset printing (and still used today) is actually quite simple. A printed text or image is produced using a combination of etched metal plates and wet ink. A specific plate is created for each color used, then the plate is used to transfer a specific image onto a rubber sheet. This rubber sheet is then rolled onto paper, vinyl or some similar surface, and voila, a printed product.

 

The Advantages 

High Quality Printing 

The most important advantage when it comes to offset printing is the quality. Unlike other presses, offset printing uses true color schemes such as Pantone colors to produced unparalleled color quality. The printer operator can control the amount of ink that is used for each print, meaning the end-product can provide enough contract within the images themselves. As a result, you get a sharp and crisp image from each print. 

 

Variety of Materials 

Another advantage of offset printing is that it allows for printing on a variety of surfaces. Because you’re not feeding a piece of paper through a roller as you do with a digital printer, for example, operators can print on virtually any surface that will allow it. You can print on metal, wood, fabric, vinyl, and various types of paper, cardstock and plastic. This ability allows for truly unique products. 

 

High Value for High Volume

As noted above, offset printing requires individual plates to be created for each color of a print job. Because offset presses require these specific plates made for each print job, it requires an expensive initial investment in order to require the high-quality product offset delivers. However, once plates are made offset presses can produce a high volume of prints with very little additional cost. The higher the volume required, the higher the value received from offset. 

 

The Drawbacks 

 

Not the Highest Quality 

Although offset printing offers a higher quality print than that of digital printing, it doesn’t provide the highest quality available. For example, photogravure printing that utilizes a photo-mechanical process with copper plates and light-sensitive gelatin tissue results in very detailed and crisp images. Also, rotogravure, which uses a rotary press, produce superior prints typically found in long runs of magazines or stamps. 

 

High Cost for Low Volume 

Due to the high setup costs associated with creating and producing plates, offset printing is not a good value for print jobs that require smaller volumes. In addition to the high cost, the plates can take a significant amount of time to develop and use, and for those that need quick turnaround times, digital printing offers a much better value. 

 

When to Use Offset 

So, what is the main takeaway from all of this? Determining the correct printing method for your project requires an examination of many specifics, including time, budget and the type of material you wish to have your final product printed on. If you’re printing books, newspapers or magazines, offset may be the best way to go. Or if you have a highly unique project requiring printing on special materials, consider offset as your best choice. 

However, if you require a quick print for a few brochures and you don’t need the highest quality, other methods such as digital printing may be better. 

All-in-all, when it comes to quality, high-volume printing, the advantages that come with offset printing outweigh the drawbacks. 

Direct mail is one of the most established marketing tools of our time. For as long as any of us can remember, receiving a brochure or letter in the mail from our favorite stores has been a staple of the American household. But with the arrival of digital marketing, many view direct mail as an old-fashioned and outdated marketing medium.

This is a dangerous assumption for those in the marketing industry. 

In fact, quite the opposite seems to be true. Direct mail is providing advertising companies in the US with a 1,300% return, with an average ROI of between 18 and 20%. Moreover, last year direct mail had a response rate of 4.9%, the highest since 2003, and still pulls a higher response rate than any digital direct marketing medium. 

Direct mail hasn’t continued its dominance in a vacuum, however. Largely, this success is due to the emergence of programmatic direct mail. In this article we discuss what programmatic direct mail is, how it works, and look at the impact it’s had on the “old-fashioned” direct mail marketing system. 

 

What is Programmatic Direct Mail?

A simple way to consider programmatic direct mail is to think of it has a marriage between digital data and retargeting. Platforms such as PebblePost search for specific indicators as consumers browse the internet, and focus on how an individual interacts with a brand or product online. For example, it will track a consumer’s website browsing and make a note of when an item is added to a shopping cart but not purchased, or when a particular social media post about a product is made or read. 

At this point you may be thinking, “Well, this is nothing new. Plenty of algorithms do this.” And this is true. But here is the difference: instead of simply delivering a programmatic advertisement on the consumer’s screen, the programmatic direct mail algorithm will send direct mail.  

Here is a quick example to demonstrate how it works: You are a customer who just created an account on Nike.com to get a new pair of kicks at 10% off. You open the email that was just sent to your inbox and shop around the site for a bit. You add a couple of pairs to your shopping cart that you’re on the fence about, but you leave without making a purchase. Instead of another algorithm meant to flood your screen with annoying ads (which may happen anyway), the programmatic direct mail algorithm will kick in and send you a post card with a personalized offer inside.  

 

Connecting Online and Offline Behavior 

As we saw above, programmatic direct mail combines data-driven decisioning with automation to enhance marketing efficiency and optimize consumer response. And it does so by connecting the online and offline behavior of consumers without trying to change their behavior altogether. 

Lewis Gersh, CEO of PebblePost puts it nicely

Unlike digital advertising, Programmatic Direct Mail doesn’t attempt to change a consumer’s behaviour. If you think about how consumers use their devices, it’s very task-oriented. . . If that consumer is predisposed to engage with a piece of Programmatic Direct Mail, they can do so when the situation is best for them, as we provide a tangible, physical reminder. We make it easy and desirable for consumers to engage with that brand message — on their terms — and act on it however they like, by returning to the brand’s website or visiting a store, for instance.

 

As Mr. Gersh points out, programmatic direct mail leverages consumers actions online and their task-oriented approach on digital devices. While many digital marketing tools expect (or assume) immediate responses by consumers, programmatic direct mail allows them to respond on their terms.

Solving Direct Mail Problems 

A few of the main criticisms of direct mail over the years is that there are often long lead times to production, data is either difficult to collect or out of date, and it often requires significant capital resources to keep the tool moving. Indeed, it’s difficult to match consumer needs with direct mail campaigns when most of the consumer’s data is now tracked online, and by the time data is collected, the time it takes to produce and deliver direct mail leaves it obsolete.

Programmatic direct mail integrates the benefits of digital (e.g., data optimization, targeting, etc.) with the consumer preference of direct mail. The marriage of the two mediums produces a new, high-functioning marketing channel that can be used across web and delivered to anyone with a mailing address.

Conferences and trade shows are an ideal place to market your product, generate leads, develop a business network and drive revenue growth. Being surrounded by industry professionals offers on opportune time to invest in your marketing tactics and showcase your business ventures. 

However, it’s equally important that the connections you make during these events are not lost, and to recognize that your work isn’t over once the event is over. 

Most businesses will send generic follow up emails after a conference, and while an email may suffice, the most successful enterprises go further. Following up with direct mail is an excellent way to go above and beyond the expected communication medium, and show that you care about fostering relationships and have more to offer. 

The importance of using direct mail to follow up with conference leads cannot be understated. Below are a few methods to ensure you make the most of your direct mail follow up’s. 

 

Build Right List and Set a Schedule 

Although it may be fairly obvious, the first step to any successful direct mail follow up campaign is to build an accurate and comprehensive list of recipients. The best way to do this is to anticipate who will be attending the conference and start there. Usually you can obtain a list of prospective attendees though the host. From there, consider who you may want to connect with and start building your mailing list. 

The next part requires some time management skills. According to a recent study, 57% of organizations say it takes about four days to follow up with leads after an event. If you have a dead start on your mailing list, you can beat over half of your competitors to the punch. 

After building on your initial list and including those that you recently connected with, set a schedule for constructing your message, developing your mailer, and sending it out. By having a pre-set schedule, you can cut down on your follow up time and set your business apart from others whose communication may come days later.  

 

Broad and Editable Communications

Similar to building the right list and setting a schedule, having a communication that is pre-developed can help ensure that your follow up is sent out quickly, without losing the personal touch. 

Consider these statistics: 

  • 98% of marketers believe that personalization helps advance customer relationships.
  • In 2019, 72% of consumers engaged only with marketing messages that provided a customized message that matched their specific interest. 
  • Direct mail pulls a higher response rate than any digital medium.

 

One of the main benefits of direct mail follow up’s is also one that most organizations miss: personalization. A generic follow up email will not garner much (if any) attention, and the probability of losing a valued connection or consumer will be lost. Direct mail provides an opportunity to create a message that is personalized and shows your interest in the recipient. 

In striking the delicate balance of creating a message that is both personal and not time consuming is tough, however. The best way to do this is to create a message that is broad enough to reach a large audience, but can be easily tailored to an individual before it’s sent out. Remind them of the conference name, your contact information, and add any details about what they need or were interested in. Once you add this personal touch, it can be sent out quickly without sacrificing personalization. 

 

Call to Action 

The most effective direct mail campaigns include a call to action on behalf of the recipient. A call that is straightforward, not too intrusive, and provides a simple way for them to interact with you is ideal. For example, a call to action asking that a consumer make an immediate purchase is likely too aggressive. However, proving a QR code with a discount or asking them to follow you on social media works well. 

Direct mail is one of the most effective methods for following up after a conference or trade show. It provides an opportunity for you to demonstrate the value of your business, but also offer a personal touch that allows you to connect with your audience. Avoid generic email follow up messages and don’t miss the advantages that direct mail offers. 

From a relatively contemporary standpoint, the packaging industry began to flourish with the introduction of metal packaging in the early 1800’s. Since then, several technologies have disrupted the industry, from polyethylene, to cardboard, to plastics. Today, it’s digital printing that is changing the way the packaging industry operates.

When you consider the mass consumerization of today’s society, it’s becomes clear how significant the packaging industry is in modern economics. According to a recent publication in Business Wire, the packaging industry in the United States is expected to grow at a consumer annual growth rate of 4.1% from 2019 – 2024. The most successful packaging companies will leverage this growth to establish or continue their brand recognition, connect their tangible product with their digital operations, and promote environmental sustainability. 

 

Access to Digital Content 

Digitalization and access to the “internet of things” is one of the most significant trends that is projected to change the packaging industry over the next ten years. This should come as no surprise. With virtually everyone having access to a smartphone, the most efficient method of marketing a brand is by bringing the consumer online. 

Digital printing allows companies to do this by adding links or QR codes, linking consumers to endless digital content. Once the digital connection is made, companies can leverage this online channel to feed customized promotions to buyers. In a similar vein, digital printing affords companies the ability to provide consumers with easy ways to access their apps and continue digital marketing.   

 

Design and Customization 

The shopping experience is more than just purchasing a product. Consumers are purchasing a brand and seek personalized products that link the brand to their lifestyles, opinions and beliefs. Companies are recognizing that as the packaging industry grows, they must tailor their packaging in ways that speak directly to their consumers. 

A recent study by Transparency Market Research shows that the market for personal packaging was valued at $25.6 billion in 2017, and is projected to reach $38.1 billion by 2025. Digital printing offers the easiest and most cost-effective method of customizing a package to meet the expectations of consumers in this market. 

With digital printing, companies can quickly print customized labels or messages on their product at a low cost. Moreover, digital printing allows marketing teams to switch up their designs frequently and mass print them in a more cost-effective way than was previously available, such as offset printing.  

 

Sustainability 

As we mentioned above, the packaging industry is expected to continue growth at a significant pace. One of the largest trends within this expansion is sustainable packaging. As consumers become more aware of their environmental impact, the more interested they are in how companies are adapting sustainable packaging initiatives. According to a report from Smithers Pira, sustainable packaging is projected to be the number one challenge facing companies by 2023, becoming even more important than reducing costs. Digital printing offers one of the best methods for the environmentally friendly company. 

Sustainable and environmentally friendly packaging is more than just using recycled materials. It’s about improving the production process so that the entire supply chain is sustainable. Digital printing is a more sustainable method for creating packaging than using recycled or renewably sourced materials because it reduces waste produced during the printing process. 

Digital printing doesn’t require the creation and use of printing plates, and it uses four times less ink. Moreover, because digital printing allows companies to print small quantities faster and cheaper, it reduces excess inventory that becomes obsolete or no longer usable. When this is all put together, digital printing has a 30% lower carbon footprint than traditional methods. 

Over the past decade, digital printing has become the accepted standard for packaging converters. The ability of companies to integrate digital content into packaging, customize their message to consumers, and offer sustainable and environmentally sound practices into their packages means that it will continue to disrupt the packaging industry.