Author Archives: admin

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Direct Mail vs. Hurricane Season: PrimeNet has the advantage.

Julie blog direct mail vs. hurricane seasonBy Julie Fleming, Information Technology

 

PrimeNet Direct Marketing Solutions definitely has a huge advantage when it comes to Hurricane Season in Florida, and here’s why:

direct mail vs. hurricane seasonDirect Mail vs. Florida’s Hurricane Season:
PrimeNet, 10 : Weather, 0. Hurricane Season is arriving once again on the East Coast. Running from June 1st to November 30th each year, hurricanes and tropical storms can wreak havoc once they make landfall, damaging homes and businesses, uprooting trees, tossing around structures and spawning powerful tornadoes which can destroy any (unprepared) thing in their path. They can cause widespread power outages, internet outages, and utility outages forcing businesses to close up shop for awhile, and the list goes on. Hurricanes are absolutely not our friend when it comes to our coexistence. But the good news is:

We take our direct mail business very seriously at PrimeNet, and are highly prepared for whatever nature decides to toss our way.

Our facility in Florida was built to tall-order specifications and is Category 3 protected, with our data center inside the facility reinforced to Category 5 protection. Our Data Center is housed in an enclosed structure within the Florida facility, and has a hefty power supply backed up by well-maintained onsite generators. Our data centers in both Largo, Florida and Shakopee, Minnesota, which back up each other, are constructed of poured concrete reinforced by rebar, filled with a special waterproof material and are finished with an additional layer of water resistant material for ultimate weather protection. Watch a short video on our Data Centers here.

We know your direct mail message is important, and with our secure data centers and facilities we at PrimeNet Direct Marketing Solutions have ensured that we won’t let

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Print Marketing to the Gen Z Crowd

Print Marketing GenZ Crowd

Marketing to the Gen Z audience – Protip: Go Retro, Use Print.

To reach Gen Z, marketers must realize that everything that was once considered “old” is now new. Within the next couple of years generation Z will account for 40% of consumers which is approximately $4 billion in discretionary spending.1 And guess what — Market research surveys suggest that they prefer print marketing as most effective, and 98% of them prefer buying products in stores ‘sometimes’ or ‘most of the time’.1 What’s most import to note though; their values matter as much to them as price. Even though this generation grew up during the Great Recession, research has found that they’re willing to spend money on products from companies with similar values to their own. Advertisers who are consistent in providing value and relevancy in their advertising, and corporate actions such as fundraisers and causes, will earn and keep Gen Z’s respect.

Marketers can determine identities, purpose and values from Gen Z’s interests, activities and habits. And if they fail to get authenticity correct, Gen Z’ers will dismiss their messages. The right tone, language and relevancy are very important.

Print Marketing, An Uninterrupted Customer Experience

Gen Z expects service within seconds because they not only live online, but have a screen in front of them almost 24/7. Constant use of this technology plays a large part in why Gen Z values print channel experiences. It’s ‘different’ but relevant, and a break from the usual. Print advertising can be viewed without the kinds of interruptions that plague digital customer experiences, and that adds value.

The Millennial crowd is not much different. Despite being familiar with digital, almost half of Millennial market survey respondents, ages eighteen to thirty-four, reported having something professionally printed, such as stationery, contact cards or other items at least once a month.2

blog image gen z values print marketing

Price, The Number One Factor to the Majority of Gen Z Consumers

We stated earlier that values and ethics matter a lot to this generation, but they still won’t buy if the price isn’t right. The Great Recession and the recovery period impacted them greatly — to the point that approximately 60% have a savings account as a safety net.1 This shows that they’re not even buying from the competition. They’re just not buying at all if they won’t get exactly what they want.

Gen Z’ers witnessed the net worth of their parents plummet by greater than 40%. Gen Z has become accustomed to living in survival mode — to the point where they will price-check and verify online reviews on their phones while they are shopping in brick and mortar stores. They demand quality goods — affordable products, but not cheap products. Effective marketing will incorporate both quality and price into the message.

Omnichannel In-Store Experiences, a Must

While the in-store experience could be seen as Gen Z’s version of ‘unplugged from technology’, they’re still using their phones in stores. Nearly half of Gen Z consumers are on smartphones in the store, price-checking and contacting friends, family or online reviews for advice.

Market Research from Gen Z’ers, statistics:

Tangible and Digital work together for the Gen Z crowd. They’ve seen brands that started online with e-commerce only, then moved to brick and mortar stores, like Bonobos and Birchbox for example. And while 60% of Gen Z consumers prefer to go into a store versus shopping online, 75% of them will often additionally check a store’s app while they’re shopping there3. Developing your print marketing to match your apps and in-store experiences will capture this audience, PLUS adding new features like AR (Augmented Reality) to your app can go a long way to build rapport with your consumers.

 


1 MNI Targeted Media Inc. white paper “Generation Z: Unique and Powerful”
2 FedEx Office survey April 26, 2018, citation
3  Statistics from: GenZGuru.com


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Mailbox Direct Mail Postal

List Tips and Best Practices for Direct Mail

If you’re thinking of using a purchased list to send email as your ONLY marketing strategy – think twice. One of the best ways to make a purchased or rented list effective is to use direct mail to drive leads to a landing page, where potential customers can fill out a form to be entered into the company’s database. Once the form has been filled, your lead is now an ‘opt-in’ and can successfully be included in email marketing campaigns with little risk of spam or blacklisting. By using this strategy, marketers can get the most out of purchased or rented lists. However, as with any campaign that involves a targeted list, much will depend on the quality of the list.

Research has concluded that approximately 60% of your direct mail campaign is based on the quality of your list. If the quality isn’t up to par, then you are just wasting your time and money. To help you with the list building process, we have gathered some list tips and best practices for direct mail.

Be Very Specific – List Targeting 101

An excellent guideline for list building is the more targeted, the better. Whether you choose to buy or rent a list, it should be as targeted as possible. Step one is to sort through the basic demographics of your target audience like age, gender, income, family status, etc. Once you have a demographic laid out, check with the list company to see what other specific targeting options are available. Some list companies will be able to provide micro-selects which may come in useful for you. Micro-selects are top level models of consumer behavioral tendencies. An example of a micro-select would be “propensity to shop for a new car”. While this behavioral model is not 100% accurate, micro-selects are a very valuable indicator of consumer intent.

List Brokers Will Save You Time and Energy

The most convenient way to find your targeted mailing list for your business is to make use of the services of a broker. Brokers are direct marketing professionals who will be able to provide you with list recommendations – a.k.a. “list reco”. Brokers do the research according to your specifications and come back with a selection of direct mail lists in your target area. Unless you have experience in purchasing or renting lists, it will be a daunting experience for you, no doubt. A list broker is highly experienced in this area and will often help you negotiate lower list rental rates.

Be Sure to Have a Data Guarantee

Before paying to purchase or rent a list you should make sure the company is willing to give you a guarantee over delivery rates. List companies offer guarantees that include refunds for returns over a certain percentage or additional ‘free’ records for higher than normal returns. As a best practice, you should also tell the list company that you plan to mail First-Class, whether you actually will or not – with First-Class, the postal service is required to send returns. Stating that you intend to mail First-Class will prompt the list company to provide you with the actual expected return rate.

Start Small – But Not TOO Small

What IS small? When it comes to direct mail offers, small is bigger than one may think. The idea that you will send out 200 mailers, one time, and get a good return is pretty far fetched. To test out your messaging on a smaller scale, it’s recommended that you send out at least 2,000-2,500 mailers to a targeted audience with a couple of different offers, and then lock down on the most successful campaigns. Starting small can help you pinpoint the list types that are the most suitable targets for your business, and then you can expand your campaigns accordingly. But remember – you must keep a good campaign rotation going to keep your business expanding. Direct marketing is an ongoing effort.

Be Sure the 40/40/20 Rule Gets this Essential Upgrade

Traditional guidelines for direct mailers have always been to follow the 40/40/20 rule which states that 40% of direct mail success is based on quality of the list, 40% on the actual offer, and 20% based on the creative design. While each element in the traditional 40/40/20 rule is still relevant, direct mailers should be adding one crucial step to meet the needs of today’s consumer:

Direct mailers should look to drive their prospects back to a relevant landing page where they can complete a form if they wish to purchase or receive more information. Why? Consumers these days are getting more and more self-directed and are likely to research their options online before making a purchase. A good practice to keep in mind in this case – is to send prospects to a personalized URL or PURL so you can track the targets on your list who have visited your site.

stamps direct mail

Combine Direct Mail with Email for a Consistent Message

Consider delivering your offers by combining email and direct mail to reinforce your message and increase the probability your offer(s) will bring in business. When using varied channels, each communication should build on the previous contact. Direct mail should emphasize a key message and call to action while keeping visual consistency across all media and adhering to the same graphic standards to reflect the same voice so each piece reinforces and extends your brand promise. Direct mail offers can be used to start a conversation with people whose emails you do not yet have, or who have not responded to your emails.

Use Buzz Words

“Buzz Words” like ‘Introducing’, ‘Announcing’, ‘NEW’, ‘NOW!’ and ‘FREE!’ have been proven through research to attract above average response. Words like ‘easy’, ‘quick’ and ‘improved’ have been shown to increase product sales, so we say: Definitely use them!

When people are uncertain about what action to take, they tend to do what others tell them to do. Using techniques like posting customer testimonials or stating the number of satisfied customers a brand has – will increase your mail piece’s response.

email-iconDirect Mail for Large Scale Corporations

On large scale direct mail campaigns, such as franchise mailings, direct mail with email and other digital campaigns, should allow a marketer or salesperson login to a web based solution, make a few selections, upload creative assets and hit ‘send’. This automation comes in handy for corporate businesses with several branches or franchise businesses, and this is something that can be set up by your direct mail partner when necessary.

Be Sure to Use Mail Tracking

Direct mail tracking should be available 24/7 so you can see deliver-ability and activity rates down to a specific piece of mail. Always look for solutions with direct mail tracking and use them with your campaigns to continually ensure you are sending the most effective offers.

 


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PrimeNet Achieves G7 Status for Sixth Consecutive Year!

PrimeNet Direct Marketing is proud to announce for our 6th consecutive year we have met the requirements for Idealliance® G7 Master Printer qualification. We continue to print to G7 qualification in our offset printing department & digital printing department; plus our Epson Proofer once again has passed the G7 Grayscale, G7 Targeted and G7 Colorspace qualification and we are proud to be listed as a Certified G7 Color Contract Proof provider.

Though we have achieved this qualification for 6 consecutive years now, by no means is this just a re-qualification. Each year the criteria become more and more strict, thus fewer and fewer printers are investing the time, knowledge and expense to pass this.

“Each year that I’ve been a part of this process, I’ve been hit with something new and more challenging to get to that PASS bar. I just wanted to let everyone know it’s not a “yea yea yea, same ol’ same ol’, G7″ – PrimeNet works incredibly hard to achieve this qualification. Some may not recognize this because they only see what WE do and don’t have the opportunity to experience other environments that don’t strive for as high a standard. Top credentials ARE our standard, and that says a lot.”
Says Traci Blair, Print Manager at PrimeNet.

With our color digital department having G7 compliant output devices are positioned very well to match color across every output print area.

G7 Master Certified PrinterThe Idealliance G7 Master program is the world’s leader for printing facility validation programs.
G7 Master Qualification is granted to a physical facility to use the G7 Proof-to-Print Process that uses the most modern technology, techniques, and press controls to produce a close visual match from proof to print. This qualification is valid for only one calendar year and must be renewed annually. There are three levels of compliance for G7 Master Qualification:

G7 Grayscale        |        G7 Targeted        |       G7 Colorspace

The three levels demonstrate G7 Master capabilities by specified print condition and offer different levels of distinction for G7 Master Printers. Print service providers of all types know that a measurable, predictable, and uniform color management process provides significant business advantages.

For commercial printers to be successful, orders must be turned around quickly, they must be consistent and they must be predictable. G7 is the only methodology and print validation program in the world that crosses all print media.


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3 Reasons Ad Agencies Should Partner with a Direct Mail Supplier

With a direct mail partnership, ad agencies are able to exceed clients’ targeted advertising goals in ways never imagined. If you don’t currently have a direct mail partner, or you’re not satisfied with your current vendor, it’s time to consider a good solid relationship with a reputable direct mail company.

Why think about a direct mail partnership?

Direct Mail Partner Image

1. Direct mail is the best way for your clients to reach customers in their area.

No matter the type of industry, studies show that 80% of direct mail gets read or skimmed. That means that when businesses send direct mail, their message not only gets delivered to potential customers… it gets read. A physical offer in the mailbox is more likely to be saved and used than email or an online ad alone. Often times people are too busy to remember to bookmark an online advertisement – but an actual piece of direct mail with a valuable offer can be kept in plain sight as a reminder until the customer is ready to use it – before the offer ends of course!

2. Direct mail doubles customer interest in a targeted area or market.

By including a special offer and call to action on mail pieces, value is created for potential clients. Coupons, vouchers, percent off and BOGO offers statistically have a high return rate, so including specials and coupons is a wonderful way to take the extra steps toward grabbing the attention of new customers. Additionally, with a targeted mailing list, businesses can ensure that they are only sending offers to the demographic who will be interested in them rather than wasting money blindly sending hundreds or even thousands of extra mail pieces to those who don’t fit the target audience.

3. It’s the perfect way to encourage repeat business from current clients.

By sending offers to current customers, businesses can be sure that the right audience is targeted because they are investing in a relationship with customers which will keep them coming back. This will improve referrals, retention rates, and encourage repeat businesses over the course of the year by using the lasting power of print to build relationships with customers and market for success.

Wherever you or your clients are located, anywhere in North America, PrimeNet is ready to help take your marketing to the next level and increase your profits.

We are staffed with list experts, designers, marketers and dedicated account managers who will work closely with you to ensure your clients’ direct mail campaigns reach the RIGHT audience at the RIGHT time with the RIGHT offers.

PLUS: When you work with PrimeNet, your clients can enjoy ‘one-stop’ efficiency from idea to list targeting to creative design to final mailing – and they will be able to ship from either of two locations to get the most accurate in-home dates.
Largo, FL | Shakopee, MN


If you’re interested in a starting a business partnership with a reputable direct mail company, or if you simply have direct mail questions, please feel free to call us at 1-800-826-2869 or fill out our convenient contact form.

PrimeNet is an SOC2 Certified Business and G7 Master Qualified Commercial Printer.

 


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Use the Luck o’ the Irish to Drive Sales!

Holidays are an excellent time for businesses to launch a direct marketing campaign, and St. Patrick’s Day is especially great since many are excited about the upcoming spring… and their tax returns!

St. Patrick’s Day is only a month away, so now is the perfect time to start planning and implementing a direct marketing campaign that will help drive in more business. A well-designed direct mail piece will motivate your customers and potential customers to buy from you and keep your products and services in mind during the rest of the year. Here are a few direct marketing ideas for St. Patrick’s Day success:

st patricks mailers direct mail sample

Invite people into your physical location.
If you’re offering some sort of sale on St. Patrick’s Day, this is a great reason to invite people to your company’s physical location. Through a festive direct mail piece, such as our Custom Shamrock Die Cut Mailer, you can offer an incentive to get people shopping in your store on St. Patrick’s Day.

Send a postcard.
Postcards are a simple and affordable way to inform your customers of your St. Patrick’s Day promotions. Think about what message you will send to get your customers motivated to purchase from you.

Offer a holiday-themed discount.
Tie in your offer to St. Patrick’s Day and make sure it expires sometime around the conclusion of the holiday. This will get your customers motivated to purchase from you right away if they know your offer won’t last very long.

St. Patrick’s Day is full of imagery that most consumers recognize. Make sure you

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Konica Minolta’s “Clean Planet” Program Proves Earth-Friendly Resource

Scott Sabelko direct mail MN blog image


Beginning in March of 2017, with the purchase of the Konica 2250, PrimeNet was able to gain access to a wonderful recycling resource: Konica Minolta’s Clean Planet Program. This is yet another step in keeping PrimeNet “green“.

Upon signing up, we ordered the necessary tools to recycle the supplies that come out of our printers.

Any printing/imaging supply that can be replaced by the customer can be sent to recycle.
These are not limited to KM products and include:

• Toner cartridges
• Toner bottles
• Fusers
• Drums
• Waste Toner Collectors

This great program allows us to recycle materials from ANY printer we have, including the iGen and HLC180.
We can also recycle materials from the desktop and workstation office printers.

We’ve been keeping track from inception and the numbers from 2017 are inspiring:

The first chart is the number of pieces recycled, 688 pieces.
The second chart is the weight of items recycled and kept out of the trash. That’s 380.75 pounds of materials!

Click an image below to zoom in.

For more information on this program:  Please take a look at the Konica Minolta Clean Planet Program Page.


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Postage Rate Changes for 2018

UPS Envelope direct mail envelope blog
2018 Postal Rates Are Changing.

Postage prices increase on Sunday, January 21st.  According to the USPS website: ‘Mailing Services product prices will increase approximately 1.9%, and most Shipping Services products will average a 3.9% increase.’
The new 2018 Postage Rates Chart can be found here.

USPS announced the proposed price increases on October 6th and the PRC approved them on November 9th. Since then, marketing consultants and agencies, as well as marketing vendors have been suggesting ways for direct mailers, catalog mailers and publishers to save money while still using the postal service.

One of the most effective ways to save money and get the best value from direct mail is to keep an updated list.

Here are some more helpful suggestions to keep direct mail costs down and ensure that you’re getting the most value from your campaigns:

Size: For minimal postage rates, keep mail pieces at letter size: minimum of 3.5” high by 5” long / maximum 6” high by 10.5” long. Larger mail pieces fall into the “flat” category. Flats can cost more than double per piece as letters. Maximum allowed size is 12” high by 15” long.

Aspect Ratio: Letter size automation mail must be rectangular. Aspect ratio (length divided by height) must be from 1.3 to 2.5. Mail pieces that fall outside those ratios could potentially cost double the postage.

Address: Address and barcode block on letter size mail must fit into the USPS OCR read area. If it does not fit, additional postage will apply. We at PrimeNet are happy to provide clients who wish to provide their own designs with address area templates.

Folds: Self-mailers that fold: the final fold must be either below or to the right of the mailing address. Other fold configurations will cost additional postage.

Panels: Bear in mind when creating self mailers that tri-folded pieces must be addressed on the center panel to qualify for discounted automation postage.

Weight: Whenever possible, it’s most cost-efficient to keep the weight of a folded self-mailer under 1 ounce. Minimum 70# text paper and 1 inch tab closures can be used. When a mailer is over 1 ounce, 80# text paper and larger tabs must be used. Mailers over 3 ounces must go into an envelope.

Information obtained from USPS.

 


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