What Collateral Is Fit to Print?

PI_Reminder-CardPrinted material is an important part of a totally integrated communications strategy. When businesses think of printed collateral, the most common category is direct mail, which includes a range of pieces from event invitations to appointment reminders to follow-up surveys to oversized postcards thanking potential clients for their interest.

Four-fifths (79 percent) of consumers will act on direct mail immediately, compared to only 45 percent who say they deal with email straightaway,” according to the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council. These printed pieces have a great likelihood of immediately resonating a campaign message or brand identity, directed as a one-on-one conversation, to your audience.

Remember less is more. Decide what is the most important message. Don’t let the message become too general either. The best pieces are unique—highlighting an exact service line, promotion or new offering.

Start with a blank canvas.
Let’s rollback this production a few steps. All collateral needs to be purposeful. The finished product has no use if it is only designed to fill a space in your inventory. Pinpointing the need will do a lot to lead the direction of the project.

Before envisioning the end piece, start by first answering:HHS_CAB-Invite

  • What are you trying to accomplish? Where? and For Whom?
  • Will your sales force use the piece as a tool? Will this single piece be part of a larger campaign?
  • Is your existing collateral more than a year or 18 months old? Are the pieces damaged or outdated?
  • Do you have an approved budget?
  • Do you need a digital copy to attach to follow-up emails or to place online?
  • Is there a strong call to action that tells the reader what to do next to solve the problem?

Make sure it’s worth the weight.
Thick, glossy, beautifully designed collateral will make your company stand out as professional—compared to inexpensive, chinsie, amateur printouts. I always say, “If it looks important, people won’t throw it away.” Using the services of a creative marketing firm will help your team say more with great graphics or images, allowing the written content to be less wordy and more concise.

The latest craze on the tradeshow floor has been takeaway USB drives. At Mopdog, we see this as a high-tech gimmick that relies on the user plugging in the device at a later time to access content. Instead, we recommend having a specific landing page listed on the piece to direct the reader to more detailed information. This specific URL can then track the ROI for this exact audience.

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William Musial
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Cheryl Musial
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