Where Direct Mail Fits in Your Omnichannel Marketing Strategy


Companies do their best to adjust their marketing efforts to an increasingly digital world by becoming more accessible on a variety of platforms. While quantity may make a company more visible, without integration and the ability to move from one channel to another, a company is never fully utilizing their marketing potential. Omnichannel marketing synthesizes marketing channels, letting a customer move seamlessly from one experience to another. A channel marketing professionals may overlook, however, is direct mail. While direct mail isn’t digital and may not appear to connect easily to all digital channels, it fills an often overlooked gap.

What’s the difference between a multi-level marketing strategy and an omnichannel marketing strategy?

Imagine that multichannel marketing is like a yarn made of various strands, with various colors. Now, imagining knitting those strands together to make fabric. That’s omnichannel marketing. An omnichannel marketing strategy takes a multi-level marketing strategy and weaves the multiple channels together together to create one total experience. Both strategies make use of various types digital media, like websites, social media, email, texts, and apps. Simply having all of these at the company’s disposal to attract and retain customers is multi-level marketing. What makes an omichannel marketing strategy different is that are interconnected to create one whole user experience. For example, if a user is on the Facebook app on her smart phone and opens an advertisement for something sold on Amazon the Amazon app will open, taking the consumer directly to the page where she can purchase the item without doing anything more. When she orders the product, Amazon will give her updates in real time by email and by alerts on her phone to let her know when it ships and when to expect it to arrive.

Omnichannel Marketing: is it really all online?

Most multi-level and omnichannel marketing strategies make use of the Internet and all it has to offer because it’s cheaper, easier, and the results can be seen much more quickly. However, that doesn’t mean that print is entirely dead, or that customers don’t respond to direct mail anymore. In fact, every omnichannel marketing strategy should still include direct mail campaigns precisely because it’s offline.

What’s different about direct mail?

It used to be that mailboxes would be inundated with direct mail, and the more shopping someone did, the more direct mail they would receive. Now, however, it’s more rare to receive direct mail from a company, as catalogs and special offer mailings have dwindled in recent years. However, unlike staring at a screen, holding a physical object with your name on it makes a lasting mental impression that digital material can’t imitate.

People don’t like getting things they consider “junk,” but they will keep marketing materials that are tailored to them and their needs, particularly if they’ve already done business with a company. They may use them right away or set them aside, but they’re always still available to them.

Direct mail campaigns can be tailored to customer’s specific needs and integrate with digital channels. Catalogs, direct mail pieces, and postcards can offer things that other channels cannot, like QR Codes, special discount codes, coupons, and free samples.

What if they simply throw it away?

Even if the customer throws the mail away, she still had to hold it in her hand, look at it, and commit to the act of throwing it away. That’s enough time and energy spent to make her remember something about it. On the other hand, she could always delete an email without opening it, or close a pop-up ad without letting the graphic load all the way. However, she has to hold, look at, and read direct mail for at least a moment. At the very least, direct mail is a part of the overall branding experience that captures a customer’s attention where they least expect it: offline. Thus, if you really want to create a holistic, omnichannel marketing strategy, reaching your customers offline through a direct mail campaign is a vital component (and too often overlooked).

The Power and Importance of Visual Branding in Content Marketing

In today’s digital-driven world, developing content for your marketing campaign is no easy task. Consumers are constantly bombarded with content every time they visit a website, check their social media accounts, or open their emails.

Visual content marketing has the power to overcome these impediments for marketing teams, and is extremely important for a successful marketing campaign.

In order to leverage visual content marketing to obtain the best results, marketers must use high-quality graphics that appeal to the consumer and help build their brand recognition. This powerful communication tool can influence the human visual system to deliver information in a compelling and incredibly effective way.

This article discusses the importance of visual branding and provides fundamental keys to successful visual content marketing.


Tell a Story

As with any content marketing effort, creating content around a message and executing well is crucial. All of the content that is created should focus around the central aim of your business and tell the story of your brand.

Effective brand storytelling communicates who you are, what you do, and how you can help your customers. Visual content will help you effectively communicate this message in a quick, simple and effective manner. In fact, according to the CMO Council, 65% of senior marketing executives believe that visual assets are core to how their brand story is communicated.

By telling the story of your business, you are able to distinguish your brand from competitors and build trust and credibility with your audience.


Appeal to Emotion

The trust that is built by telling your story through visual content allows you to appeal to the emotions of your consumers. Good graphics content evoke specific feelings, and communicate emotion in a way that words simply cannot do on their own. The graphics significantly augment the message of written content, such as blogs, emails, etc.

Science has shown us time and again that most people make decisions on emotions, not logic. The best way to drive people to buy your brand is to appeal to them emotionally first to get them onboard with your product or service. Then, when you offer the features and benefits of what you have to offer, they are already emotionally invested and inclined toward what you have to sell.

Colors, graphics, fonts, images and shapes used in visual content all convey a contrast of various feelings and emotions. Use these to connect with your audience and build your brand.


Look at the Numbers

It’s easy to take what we’re saying here for granted. However, when you look at the data behind the power of visual branding, you can really get a firm idea of its importance.

Visual content is crucial to a successful marketing campaign because of its ability to engage with the audience. According to recent studies, visual content gets 94% more views than content without relevant image, 63% of all visitors who click on a Google image will go to that website, and placing an image every 75-100 words can double the number of social shares an article receives.

In addition to engagement, visual content is also much easier for consumers to comprehend. In fact, according to a study performed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the brain can process an image in as little as 13 milliseconds. Think about how long it takes to read simple bullet points on a PowerPoint presentation.


Rules of Engagement

Visual content can help you tell the story of your brand and appeals to the positive emotions of your audience, but what is the most effective way to do this? Here are 3 rules of visual content engagement:

  1. Consider Audience Needs. Visual content should be sensitive to the needs of the client. You should deliver content that doesn’t impede web load times or cause viewers to scroll past without engaging in other material.
  2. Keep it Simple. Consider the fact that more than likely, your audience is viewing your content on a smaller device, such as a smart phone. Content that is too busy or hurts the eye means that you risk losing the connection you established with your consumers.
  3. Strike a Balance. Your graphics should resist the urge to use too many words to convey your message. Tell the story of your brand in images as much as possible. Although words are a necessity, don’t let them take priority.

Effective visual content is extremely powerful when used correctly to communicate your message. Visuals lend themselves to creative freedom and spread content in a way that reflects your brand. Develop content that personalizes your business while appealing to your audience and you’ll be very happy with the outcome.

Importance of Direct Mail in Omnichannel Marketing

As marketing techniques continue to change and evolve, so do sales approaches toward customer experiences. Consumers today can purchase the same product from a brick-and-mortar retail outlet as they can from a desktop or cell phone. Omnichannel marketing is the approach that seeks to ensure these various shopping experiences are seamless for the consumer. It supports a customer journey that is connected, fluid, and non-linear.

Like most marketing techniques, marketers focus their omnichannel efforts on digital channels. However, campaigns that simply operate in a digital realm are bound to fail. The extraordinary business competition in today’s market means that in order to be prosperous, you must use every tool at your disposal. This includes direct mail.

This article explores the importance of direct mail in omnichannel marketing and ways in which it can fit into an all-inclusive marketing approach.


Boost Online Promotions

Successful omnichannel marketing provides customers with a fluid experience from physical aspects to digital platforms. Direct mail aids in this connected experience by driving prospective consumers to online landing pages, including social media accounts or specific product sales pages. By integrating a QR code or customized URL to direct mail, you can provide consumers with a way to access your online presence that they may not have realized.

Moreover, by using tools such as Google Analytics you can track and record how often consumers are using your discount code or QR code, and how often they are staying on your site. By tracking and analyzing this data, you can tailor where prospective consumers go when they scan the code or enter the URL you provide.


Analyze Consumer Response

Direct mail can also be used to gauge the response of prospective consumers that have previously been targeted digitally or through telemarketing. Take email for example. Recent studies show that nearly 80% of respondent’s engage with direct mail. Conversely, only 55% say the same about their email messages.

The experience of receiving an actual piece of tangible mail is highly valued and gives us a much-needed break from our screens. The high frequency of engagement with direct mail means that consumers are taking the time to read what’s in their mailbox and interact with the content. It’s not as easy as hitting the delete button when a message pops up on your screen.

Direct mail can help you assess if you’re heading in the right direction with your omnichannel strategy by the way prospective clients respond to a direct mail marketing campaign.


Drive Desired Reaction

Customer experience is the key to successful omnichannel marketing, and this experience should be fluid from online marketing, to in-person sales pitches, to direct mail marketing campaigns. Omnichannel marketing that integrates a direct mail strategy that ties in with a digital strategy can drive a desired reaction by both prospective and existing consumers.

As direct mail is more likely to be opened and invoke an emotional response than email, it is a powerful tool to direct a specific response. In fact, some companies can generate as much as 60% more in revenue per customer by sending direct mail to consumers. The personal aspect of direct mail can not only direct a reaction, but it can also reach disengaged consumers and galvanize former consumers.

Unfortunately, there is a strong misconception in the marketing realms that younger consumers don’t respond well to direct mail. Because of this misconception, many marketing teams are making the mistake of not including direct mail in their ominchannel marketing campaigns. By making this mistake, companies are missing a huge opportunity to boost online promotions, analyze how their customers are responding to their marketing campaign, and drive a desired reaction by consumers.  

Direct mail that is seamlessly integrated into an omnichannel marketing strategy can provide significant benefits to the bottom line. Don’t make the mistake of overlooking its importance.

Email vs. Direct Mail Marketing: Is There a Clear Winner?

Ever since the introduction of email to mass consumers, there has been a debate as to whether email is a more effective marketing tool. As the convenience and speed of email pressed on, most people anticipated the eventual demise of physical, direct mail marketing campaigns. However, this hasn’t proven to be the case.

The most successful marketers in today’s world understand the difference between the two mediums, and how to leverage both to reach the most amount of consumers in the most effective way. This article explores the differences between email marketing and direct mail marketing, and some of the strengths and weaknesses of them both.


Options for Each Medium

As far as options go, direct mail may seem fairly simple and straightforward. You create a letter, magazine, catalog, etc., affix appropriate postage, and send it to consumers. This can often be time-consuming and become expensive, however.

In today’s market there are many options that allow companies to overcome this hurdle maximize efficiency with direct mail campaigns. For example, by searching “city name + direct marketing” in Google, you can find direct marketing services in your region. These services can help you print, design and send your ad to your consumers.

Email is a bit different. Email marketing software such as MailChimp or iContact can help you manage your subscriber list and send your campaigns. Additionally, emails services allow you to create “opt-in” boxes on your website that allow consumers to sign up for your email communications. These opt-in forms can be especially effective when placed on landing pages with a single marketing goal in mind.



When it comes to receptiveness by consumers, you may be surprised. According to a recent study by Salesforce, 44% of email recipients have made a purchase in the past year based on a promotional email. Moreover, 64% of recipients open email based on the subject line alone, and 7 in 10 people used a coupon of discount from a marketing email. This isn’t the surprising part.

What is surprising is that 56% of consumers find direct mail marketing to be the most trustworthy form of marketing. Not only that, 70% of Americans say direct mail is more personal than the internet, and 84% have purchased an item after seeing it in a direct mail catalog. For an “old” and “outdated” form of communication, these are pretty good numbers for marketing teams that use direct mail for their campaigns to see.


Interactivity & Tracking

It seems pretty obvious that email is interactive. Through an email message you can link directly to your company’s webpage, embed videos and audio, and even add links to external sources that consumers will find valuable. What’s great about all of this is that all of the information and data related to email interaction can be tracked and recorded to see what works and what doesn’t. Winner: email. Right? Not so fast.

Most people are not aware that you can also track data with direct mail marketing. By using personal URLs or QR codes, you can actually obtain the same tracking abilities as seen in email messages. With variable data capabilities, you can print unique QR codes or URLs on each mail piece. When the consumer scans the code or visits the site, it’s like they clicked on a link online.  



Targeted mail lists allow you to purchase already-specified lists, then target your marketing campaign to consumers listed on that specific list. While targeted mail marketing is available for both direct mail and email, the mailing lists for direct mail have had much more time to become more refined. However, email lists will eventually evolve and catchup in the near future.

One of the large differences between direct mail and email in this capacity is the number of addresses per customer. Most consumer will only have one mailing address, but it is very common for a single person to have multiple emails addresses. In fact, many people have separate email accounts they use merely to sign up for things to avoid spam.


In the end, there are many benefits to both direct mail and email marketing. Utilizing the strengths of both types of communication will undoubtedly work to your businesses advantage. The best marketing practice is not to look at these mediums as competitors or counterparts, but understand the differences between the two, and play to the strengths of each.  

6 Best Practices for Direct Mail Advertising

While direct mail advertising is decreasing, it is still 37 times more effective than email, according the Data and Marketing Association. Given the success of direct mail in advertising and marketing campaigns, it’s important to craft well-executed and creative messages to influence consumers. Below are 6 proven practices to ensure your consumers are reached and your brand gets noticed.  



  • Include More Information


Consumers spend more time with physical mail than with digital messages and interact with a physical ad differently than they look at a screen. According to Product Marketing Manager of Adobe, Mickael Bentz, this is important because it means you can put more information in your direct mail advertisement. “This is especially important since you’re most likely trying to close a sale rather than just capture contact information.”

Including all the information your consumer needs to make the decision you want not only helps your business, it also pleases the customer that they don’t have to go digging for the information they need.  



  • Size Matters


Oversized envelops have the largest response rate, followed by postcards, catalogs, and dimensional packages. In addition to standing out due to their size, larger pieces also allow you to be creative with your ad. Get imaginative with various colors, pictures, or even 3D objects. The possibilities are endless.



  • Make it Lumpy


Similar to mailing larger, eye-catching pieces, consumers are more likely to open mail that contain a lumpy object. In fact, according to the marketing firm Predictable Profits, mailers with something lumpy inside of the envelope have a near 100 percent open rate. “People are curious what’s inside, and the curiosity gets them to open it.”



  • Switch it Up


For the most part consumers know what to expect in the mail. They know what spam looks like and they know what the electricity bill looks like. To combat your consumer getting to familiar with your direct mail ads, don’t make them start to all look the same.

Use different colors, pictures, sizes graphics, etc. Feel free to swing for the fences and get creative. Although you may strike out every now and then, more than likely you’ll find you hit it out of the park.



  • Get Interactive


Face it, direct mail can be boring. Elements such as QR codes and other technologies provide some interaction with your consumer that is often lacking from traditional mail. It can add a new dimension that a typical consumer may not expect.

Try QR codes for downloadable coupons, for example. Also, while lengthy URLs can be an issue, you can eliminate this problem by providing a QR code that will take the consumer straight to your site. Also try embedding shorter URLs, or sending personalize maps of events or store openings.



  • Personalization Is Key


Establishing a connection with your customers can be difficult through direct mail. Most of the time, you’re hundreds or even thousands of miles away by the time they see your message. A great way to overcome this is by making your mail personal.

Personalize your message as much as possible. In addition to just the envelope or introduction, add their name throughout the message. Avoid making it look like your letter is a standard template sent out to everyone. Additionally, adding pictures or you, your staff, your business or your products can also help establish a personal connection with your consumer.

Another way to get personal is to send mail on special occasions such as birthday, graduations or weddings. We all like getting birthday cards from parents or friends, right? Why should your business be any different?

Direct mail can be a very effective marketing tool when used correctly. Develop a well-crafted message, make your mail stand out, and establish that lost personal connection with your consumer. You’ll likely see increases to your bottom line in no time.

Enough Already! Print is Not Dead

We’ve been hearing it for years now: “The print industry is dying!” “Nobody reads hardcopy anymore!” “Everything is going digital!” Can I just say one thing? Enough already! Print is not dead, nor is it going anywhere in the future. Yes, e-book reader sales are up, social media has taken over (virtually) every facet of our lives, and companies are making millions with online advertising. However, this doesn’t tell the whole story behind the current print industry. This article provides just a few of the many ways the print industry is thriving, and will continue to survive the doomsday predictions in the era of digitization.



One of the most important factors to examine before assuming that the print industry is suffering a slow death is e-waste. E-waste may not be something that everyone is familiar with or considers when they purchase a new cell phone, computer or tablet. E-waste, or electronic waste, is discarded material that contains any electronic component, such as a cell phone.

While many people assume that paper is the main culprit behind the destruction of our forests, consider this: e-waste is the fastest growing waste stream in America and only 12.6% of e-waste is recycled. Moreover, it takes 530 lbs. of fossil fuel, 48 lbs. of chemicals and 1.5 tons of water to manufacture one computer and monitor. Print is green. Electronics are not.


Cognitive Function

Aside from environmental factors, studies show that print materials stimulate our brains in ways that digital formats cannot. For example, a recent study from Temple University shows that while digital ads are processed faster, consumers engage with paper ads for a longer period of time, and the physical ads cause more activity in parts of the brain associated with value and desire.

Print is also much easier to process because it requires 21% less cognitive effort than digital media. Look at hypertext and multitasking for example. When reading online we frequently have multiple windows open, email alerts, stock quotes, social media updates, etc. With these distractions we often make micro-decisions about whether to continue reading or whether to follow the hyperlinks. Print lets us escape these distractions and allows us to focus on what we’re reading.



In addition to the increased ability of our brains to focus on print, there is also the good old fashioned aesthetic qualities that come with this medium. For most people, print is personal. It provides a way for the reader to really connect with what they are reading and have a more positive feeling generally when they decide to put that book or newspaper down. There are no feelings of anxiety about whether they need to check their email one last time, or see if there is breaking news. We can just finish the chapter, set the book down, and be content and reflect on what we just read. This is a comfort quality that is often overlooked by the naysayers of print media.


Look to the Facts

Believe it or not, people still prefer print over digital. According to the Pew Research Institute, in 2016 approximately two-thirds (65%) of Americans read a print book. By contrast, 28% of Americans read an e-book, and only 14% listened to an audiobook. And while e-book readership increased by 11-percentage points from 2011-2014, there was no increase over the next two years. Moreover, while nearly four-in-ten Americans read print book exclusively, only 6% are digital-only readers.

Given all of this, it would be a mistake to claim that print will always dominate readership. Indeed, I remember when analysts predicted that e-books would overtake print by 2015. Making such rash and general statements is unwise. However, to those that still claim that the printing industry is dead, just look at the facts. And I suggest printing those facts out and reading them away from your computer. Chances are you’ll retain more of the information, and have a better experience doing so.  

Spot vs. Process – Why and When to Go with Spot Color

As a designer, one of the most important decisions you must make is in regard to the colors in your design. 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. When color accuracy and consistency are crucial to your design, using a spot color is your best bet. 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 the spot colors in your design.


Spot vs. Process

In offset printing, a spot color is a special premixed ink that requires its own printing plate on a printing press. The colors are produced without the use of screens or multicolor dots, and the colors or your design are applied individually in layers filling up every spot in your custom design. Usually spot colors are created through an ink system such as the Pantone Matching System, which can either provide a standard solid color that can be purchased whole or mixed before printing.

In contrast, 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). Also used in offset printing, process colors 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.


Pantone Spot Color

As mentioned above, 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.


Why Use Spot Color

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. Contact Pel Hughes to discuss your options.

What Trade Show Product Do You Need?

Here’s a little secret about trade shows — they’re not all the same. If you’ve been to different conferences or conventions, this may not be much of a surprise. But if it’s your first time to set up a trade show booth –or if you want to make the most out of it –it pays to know where each of these trade show items would excel.


Retractable Banners   

These are a staple of trade shows. If you have a booth, you’ll need one to go with it. Our retractable banners come pre-installed on a durable aluminum frame and come with their own handy carrying case.

  • Comes with a travel-friendly carrying case
  • Optional pole pockets for easy mounting
  • Pre-installed on a lightweight aluminum stand
  • Perfect for indoor use

Retractable banners are best for indoor booths that need to be repeatedly moved through different venues.

Pop Up Displays

If you really need to turn heads at your next trade show, pop up displays are your best bet. These large format displays can be used as much in the same way as backdrops, but they excel as centerpieces for your booth. You can also add LED lights to your display to make them stand out even more. You could also order just the display, if you already own a suitable frame.

  • 8′ and 10′ frames
  • Made of lightweight stretch fabric
  • Optional LED lights
  • Comes with a trolley bag

Use pop up displays at all your important trade shows for a guaranteed way to grab attention. Pop up displays come with a trolley bag for easy carrying and storage.


Table Banners

Hanging large banners might be impractical in some trade shows, especially when there are space restrictions. Table banners are the perfect tool for these situations, and for augmenting other trade show materials. Our table banners come in heavy duty vinyl, perfect for both indoor and outdoor use, and can be made in any size up to 10′ x 5′.

  • Optional grommets for easy mounting
  • Standard, premium, and mesh vinyl options available
  • Custom and standard sizes available, to suit any table

Table banners are suited for situations where the booth infrastructure is limited to a table, or to add to your table’s branding. Table banners are also excellent for any indoor or outdoor booth.

Counter Cards

Counter cards are the perfect supplemental piece for any indoor trade show booth. Counter cards are made of durable PVC board, making them resistant to spills and repeated handling, and are supported by a double-wing easel stand. Small enough to sit comfortably on any table, they are sturdier than the easily crumpled cardstock counter cards.

Sturdier than standard counter cards

  • Waterproof
  • Fit neatly on any counter

These durable cards are essential in any indoor booth, or outdoor booths in low wind conditions. Counter cards are also a good choice for booths that have to be moved repeatedly.


Feather Flags

Attractive feather flags are the go-to way to promote your brand at outdoor trade shows. They can quickly catch attention by moving in the breeze, while the message and images remain clear and readable. Thanks to a selection of base attachments, they’re also a nice alternative to retractable banners for indoor promotions.

  • Choose between complete kits or replacement flags
  • Printed on washable polyester fabric
  • Nylon travel bag included with 10′ and 13′ complete kits

If you’re participating in a trade show held outdoors, these are a must have. Feather flags come with a travel bag for easy carrying and storage.

Table Cover

Custom cover can transform any regular rectangular table into a promotional tool that really completes the look of any booth. They help maximize the tight spaces available at trade shows. The best part about tablecloths is that they let you use the underside of your table for hidden storage. And they’re reusable too.

Our tablecloths are machine washable and are a great investment that will last through multiple trade shows.

  • Poly-blend fabric
  • Fits rectangular tables up to 8′
  • 3 and 4-sided tablecloth
  • Machine washable

Custom tablecloths are a must-have for every convention booth.Tablecloths come in 3 and 4-sided types.Choose the 3-sided option to allow easier access under the table and choose the 4-sided option for situations where all sides are visible to convention-goers.



Brochures are the quintessential trade show piece. You simply can’t expect to join one without them. Help your brochures stand out with full color and a variety of folding options. Our brochures are available in different gloss, matte, and uncoated stocks.

  • Leave them flat or choose 1 of 10 different folding options
  • Stock and finish options to suit any brand
  • Essential for any trade show booth

Convert convention attendees with a well-designed brochure. They excel for B2C marketing and for selling less complex offers than you would on a sales sheet.


Going to a tradeshow? Contact Pel Hughes to go over your options!

A guide to embossing and debossing

Embossing and debossing are both great ways to enhance your prints and bring attention to specific elements of your design. These processes add texture to business cards, post cards, brochures and more, by creating raised or depressed areas on the paper. Highlight important details, such as logo, graphic, or names! Adding a tactile dimension to your print is a memorable way to impress your customers and communicates premium quality.


What is Embossing?

Embossing uses a die (personalized metal plate) to slightly raise images off the paper of your print piece. It creates a 3D effect that brings emphasis to whatever area you’re having embossed.

Embossing is made using two dies, a “front” and a “back” that sandwich the paper and create the 3D effect. The most effective embossed pieces use a detailed die and heavier paper stock to highlight the depth and detail of the embossed graphics or images.


What is debossing?

You can think of debossing as the opposite of embossing. Debossing is when an image (logo, text, etc.) is imprinted into your print piece, creating a depressed effect. Just like embossing, you can choose to leave the debossed area untouched or fill it in with ink or foil stamping.

Unlike embossing, debossing doesn’t interfere with the back of your print piece, giving you both sides to work with. It can be used on its own, or in conjunction with embossing.

Things to know about embossing & debossing

  • Rule thickness. Fine lines and text appear thinner when embossed versus being printed offset. Request a rule reference sheet to properly specify your rule widths before manufacturing.
  • Small text. Text naturally loses character density when embossed, which can be compensated for in the design or prepress stages. Discuss your design goals with your consultant to ensure the end result is one you anticipate.
  • Because of the pressure, the bruise that is created on back of sheet may interfere with information on other side.
  • Single-level embossing refers to a die that is etched to one depth. Multi-level or sculptured embossing dies have multiple levels of depth etched in the die creating a sculptured look.
  • Add time to your schedule. Multi-level Embossing dies are often handcrafted, which adds 3 to 7 days to a production schedule, notwithstanding other scheduling and manufacturing considerations.


Talk to a Pel Hughes printing professional today about using embossing or debossing for your next project.

Eye catching envelope design

Even though email has become the go to method for communication, nothing beats sending a good old-fashioned letter. Having envelopes that are creative and unique will make your mail communication stand out. Custom envelope printing will help get you noticed and into the hands of your recipient.


Tips and guidelines for envelope design and printing

The number one goal for your envelope design is to grab recipients’ interest to open it up and see what’s inside. The key is to grab attention quickly through use of color, images and text. An important secondary goal is to build brand awareness by making your envelope printing fit into the larger scope of your brand identity. Keeping your designs cohesive on your business cards, letterhead, envelopes and other marketing materials will put forth a professional image and create the strongest brand impact.


  • Color – While black and white can make a bold statement with the right graphics, color usually packs a bigger punch. If you already have a nice, brightly colored logo? Place it prominently on the front of the envelope with images that reflect your companies image. Custom envelopes is that they are printed flat, then “converted” into envelopes, so your design can wrap around the envelope, or you can inject visual appeal by contrasting the back or flap.

Be sure to keep the top right corner available with a light background for a stamp.

  • Images – Creative use of images in your stationery can really help you stand out from the crowd. Sometimes all it takes is a hint of an image faded in the background to instantly set the tone about who you are and what you offer.
  • Text – To create a sense of urgency or draw special attention, use bursts of texts such as “Special Discount”, “Urgent Time-dated Materials” or “Limited Space – Act Now!” Just don’t overdo it, the envelope is the teaser – the contents of your envelope should do the selling.


Paper Quality and Sustainability

An important part of the design is the paper you choose for your envelope printing.

Smooth or textured, you’ll want a quality uncoated stock that you can run through your laser or desktop printer for addressing. Smooth 70 lb. stocks, show off your color designs the best and are the most cost effective, while textured 24 lb writing stocks such as linen or laid offer a nice tactile, high-end feel.

To match your letterhead and envelopes more closely to your business cards or brochures printed on glossy or dull/matte coated stocks, go for smooth stock.

With custom envelopes, you don’t have to sacrifice quality for environmental responsibility. Choose environmentally responsible papers, or ask about fine writing papers that include recycled content.

Envelopes are one of those things that everyone forgets about and takes for granted. Put some thought into designing these precious packages to ensure you connect with your customers and get a fair shake in your direct mail marketing efforts.


Professional printing services

Still have questions have any questions about preparing your envelopes for production?

Contact Pel Hughes for help.