Print Ideas for the future generations

Last month Amazon announced eBook sales have now overtaken print sales. The harbingers of doom in the print world shook their heads and put on sack cloth proclaiming “the end of print is nigh”. Print is dead (long live print!).

This prompted me to ask the question: Is print really dead, or is it just transforming itself? With this in mind I have started this blog. To show that print is thriving, but maybe not in the form some of us ‘oldies’ may recognize. That there is still life in the ‘old girl’, both now and for future generations.

The thing is, I love technology, I love all the wizzy things you can do with it. I have more computers, in every shape and form, than is healthy.

However I also love ‘old’ technology. I’m ‘old school’: I like my music undownloaded. To read with the help of paper. To watch ‘stuff’ without the assistance of a magnifying glass and a hearing aid.


I love the touch and feel and smell of print.

I love to create stuff on it. Colour it, shape and fold it.

I love print because you can put it on display. Illuminate it, show it off.

I love print because you can reuse, recycle and sustain it.

I love to spread it out and wallow in it.

I love to make it talk sing and move!

So I’m here to fight prints corner.

Please join me here at this blog. In coming weeks I’ll show stuff that gets me excited about print. Stuff that new tech can’t do. Stuff that will hopefully amuse and entertain you. Stuff which I believe will help drag print kicking and screaming in to the next century. Print that will get my kids excited both now and for future generations.

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For the-holidays you need it!

Sorry I’m going to have a rant!

In the past hour I received 35 emails from a nice gentleman called ‘Ov2.CialisViagra’ at yahoo, offering me ‘something’ for the holiday. What would that be? Christmas pud, box of crackers, a snowman, a rest? Yesterday about the same time another fellow called ‘LifeLove.EnlargePenis2’ at yahoo tells me my penis is like an expensive car. True but how does he know? Early yesterday I had 10 emails from a rascal called ‘joinconn2’ at yahoo telling me he is ‘USA only pharmacy’. Like I care, if it was true.

So enough already! Go away you nasty illiterate people! I like the size of my member, I like the watch I have and I don’t want you to drain my bank account. AND most importantly I’d like to do some marketing using email and not have you get in the way and muddying my message.

This blog is focused on direct mail for SME’s, so why you ask am I being wound up by email? In fact surely the more email gets its name bought down by spam the happier I should be?

Well yes I do believe DM is a better way to communicate but I do believe it should be done in unison with all the technology this modern world has to give us. Email is a fantastic communication tool its just no working as a marketing tool in the best way it can because users like me have to fight through the dross to get the relevant messages.

I want to be able to send marketing emails to people who want to know about my products. Even send emails trying to get punters to buy my Direct Mail product!

So for the holiday- you need it. Peace and goodwill not a bulging spam folder!

All the best

David Hyams

Direct Mail on Demand

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Brain waves for print

I’ve just read an interesting article from Roger Dooley’s Neuromarketing blog (Where Brain Science and Marketing Meet). In this piece Roger talks about a recent study by a branding agency comparing how our brain reacts when it receives paper or digital marketing material.

Well blow me down, the scientists have confirmed  what the Direct Mail evangelists have been saying is true for along time. Physical media leaves a “deeper footprint”. The meaning of this is more to do with physical material being more ‘real’ to the brain (rather than some sort of 70’s hooliganism).

As the article says: Physical activity generates increased activity in the cerebellum, which is associated with spatial and emotional processing (as well as motor activity) and is likely to be further evidence of enhanced emotional processing.

In other words our brain likes print.

Speaking for myself I get a real buzz out of opening an envelope or package to see what goodies are inside. (Excluding the bills of course). There is definitely increased activity in the cerebellum.

When thinking about your mailing, if you are working on tight budgets, even doing yourself, it doesn’t hurt to think differently. Do things that stimulate your recipients  brain cells: Think about textured paper, bright colours. Different formats. Why not go to town and add cut outs or pop ups (there’s something email can’t do!). If you can afford it think about adding samples of your products. All these things will make your mailing stand out and memorable. And if your mailings are memorable then you are sure to get a good return on your investment.

All the best

David Hyams

Direct Mail on Demand

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Direct Mail, every home should have one

One of my Linkedin friends Dave Lewis described Direct Mail being like the family dog waiting patiently for you at home.

I love this image and it got me thinking…

Do I see direct mail like a big sloppy dog? Loud, colourful and enthusiastic. Loves giving and receiving attention. Time consuming. Hard to ignore. Expensive to maintain but worth the investment.

Or maybe I see DM like my family cat. He sits around looking cute. Wants attention only when he wants it. Quiet and clean. Lethargic and low maintenance. All he asks is to be noticed at least once a day.

Then again one could ask, is direct mail like vermin? Hard to control. Bringing in to the house things we’d rather not have. Dirty and in need of ‘termination’.

There is actually a point here. I believe the population as a whole likes having direct mail round the house, just as we like having pets. They add more than they take away. Sure they can be an inconvenience. They get in the way, we trip up on them and resent the time and space they take up. But we’d miss them if they weren’t there!

I’m off now to walk the post and put the cat in the bin!

All the best

David Hyams

Direct Mail on Demand

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Spam, spam, spam, spam…

I saw an article recently that said in the US 14.4 trillion emails were sent in the US in 2009. What was unbelievable was that 81% of these were spam.

The same article also states that 177 million snail-mails were sent in the US in the same year. 47% being junk.

I’ve been weighing up the pro’s and con’s of email against direct mail. I love email, its free, eco friendly, quick and links to the net. HOWEVER I can’t help thinking the battle is between spam and junk. 81% v 47%.

If I’m sending out an important marketing message, trying to present myself in the best possible way. Do I want to be associated with a ridiculed, postwar, cold and tasteless meat, that nobody uses anymore?

Email marketing is great but while it has to fight from the grips of spam, myself and a lot of other marketeers are thinking maybe direct mail wasn’t so bad. A least with DM there was a chance our work would be seen!

Like everyone else, everyday I get hundreds of spams, most offering potions to change the shape of my private bits, sell me dodgy watches and wanting to help themselves to my bank account. This is grinding me down and changing my opinion of email marketing. I’m thinking now the old direct mail ways are not so bad and  I have a feeling I’m not the only one.

All the best

David Hyams

Direct Mail on Demand

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Cheap, nasty and beautiful

I got a direct mail the other day from a shipping service, selling their wares. The mailer came in a brown C5 envelope with a big white crooked label. My name wasn’t quite right but the address was ok (you can’t have it all). The print inside looked like it was designed (if that’s the word) in Word, bitmapped logo, Times as the font. It was printed badly in black and white on a bad photocopy. You get the idea…

The direct mail purist would hate this mailer on so many levels. Cheap and nasty equals no response.

I kind of see things a bit differently. I read the mailing and did not bin it. By reading the mailing it had achieved its first aim. If the mailing had been sent using email marketing (spamail as I call it) I doubt I would have even got to see it. By having a physical presence it was hard to ignore and easy to refer to in the future.

Sure if Harrods had sent me a mailing like this, I would question their marketing nous. But this was a small business selling their services on a small budget and as such it should be commended. I reckon this company would have got a good response for their efforts. The mailing was targeted. It wouldn’t have cost much (for reasons stated) and it would have had a high chance of being read (how many Junk mails do you read?)

My mission in this blog is to prove direct mail isn’t dead and that it’s a cost effective alternative to spamail for SME’s. I’ll be sharing tips, techniques and stats which hopefully will enlighten and inspire you. My website Real Print has been built to give SME’s their own online system to create direct mail.

I’m always happy to see examples of good of direct mail that SMEs are producing and feedback on my mission of flying the flag for print!