PRINT ISN'T DEAD – IT'S JUST IN NEED OF A MAKEOVER

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.

AND I LOVE PRINT.

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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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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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!