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The Mailworks

Updates

An Update from The Mailworks: Hearing Aid Marketing Merges with The Mailworks

For nearly 10 years, Hearing Aid Marketing has been owned and operated by The Mailworks. The Mailworks is a full service direct mail marketing company helping a variety of industries nationwide.

Hearing Aid Marketing was once a customer of The Mailworks, outsourcing its print and mail production to The Mailworks’ facility. We became one team in 2012 through an acquisition that helped us better serve our customers through increased efficiency. Joining together allowed us to streamline our process, tighten our turn around times, and pass along more aggressive pricing. During this time we have continued to operate under Hearing Aid Marketing. Although, internally we have been working as one team, The Mailworks. 

I am excited to take this next step. Starting September 7th, the Hearing Aid Marketing brand will be officially operating as The Mailworks. 

What Changes:

  1. Our emails and signatures
  2. The logo you see on our portal 
  3. Invoices will now come from The Mailworks/ Data Network Marketing LLC

What Stays The Same:

  1. The team you have come to rely on will still be there for you. We will continue to offer our unique expertise in the Hearing Health Industry.

What You’ll Gain:

  1. Introduction to The Mailworks Store
  2. Additional service models
  3. The ability to have postage paid separately on your invoice beginning Quarter 4.

The service and standards you’ve come to rely on will not be changing. If you have any questions or concerns and would like to speak with me directly, please do not hesitate to reach out. You will be hearing more from your Account Managers over the coming weeks as we make this transition.

Sincerely,

Brianne Baggetta
President and CEO

Updates

An Update from The Mailworks: USPS Postage Increase

The USPS has implemented a postage increase that will begin on August 29th, 2021. This mid-year increase is a part of the USPS 10 year plan to achieve sustainability and service excellence. USPS does not expect an additional increase in the beginning of January 2022, as is normally present.

  • First-Class Mail is increasing  $0.03 to $0.58
  • First-Class postcards increase $0.04 to $0.40
  • USPS Marketing Mail and Nonprofit is increasing anywhere from  $0.015 – $0.034

As always, we strive to provide the lowest postage rates possible, and customers will continue to pay the actual postage rates – free of hidden up-charges. You can contact us at any time with questions or concerns about the postage price increase.

Direct Mail School, Guides, Tips

The Ultimate Direct Mail Checklist

Direct mail works and we make it easy. We’ve put together a checklist to make it even easier for you! Did you know you can build entire campaigns through our online store? Direct mail is your opportunity to connect with customers like never before. Download and save this checklist for when you’re getting ready to send out your next direct mail campaign. Then head to our online store to get started!

 

PDF DOWNLOAD

MailWORKS, Tips

The Unexpected Generation You Should Be Mailing To

Let’s imagine for a moment that you’re looking to send out a new direct mail campaign. You want to go big and decide to create a piece that has all the bells and whistles. A QR Code, foil lettering, personalization and more!

But you get to the moment when you’re determining who needs to receive this campaign. Your company is selling the latest baby gear and you need to define who your ideal target audience is. You dive into research and find out it’s… millennials. 

Before you scrap the whole campaign, read this! Millennials may be the next big audience that you can reach through direct mail and we’ll tell you why.

 

Who Are Millennials?

Millennials aren’t who you may think they are. This generation has gotten older and are well into or starting their adult lives. The Millennial generation is now anyone born between the years of 1977 and 1995 making the age range 26 – 44 years old. What’s even more interesting is according to Gallup Analysis, 41% of Millennials are married with children. This generation is much into the trials and tribulations of adulthood but also the great milestones as well. They have adult concerns and priorities and if you’re going to market to them, it needs to reflect that.

Since this generation is moving into it’s top spending years, they will reshape the economy and change the way you sell. It’s important to study their habits, wants, and needs. They’re a unique generation who still remembers what it was like to receive a handwritten letter in the mail from a pen pal or a card during the holidays. Give them the nostalgia they’ve been longing for with direct mail.

 

What Do They Want?

Market research can often tell us a lot about what a demographic wants. But the good thing about the Millennial generation is that they don’t hold back. You may be shocked to hear that the millennial generation enjoys direct mail, despite the fact that they’ve grown up in a digital age. In a study by the USPS, convenience and immediacy are key opportunities when it comes to doing business with Millennials. But, this can be true for any business looking to sell or market to this generation. Millennials also like the convenience of self service. They believe that it eases the burden of most tasks, so consider this in your marketing. 

And finally, personalization is a home run when it comes to marketing to Millennials. Use their name, know what they like, and how they live. This generation is more likely to interact with a company who speaks directly to them and offers a personalized service. Want to take it a step further? Keep them coming back for life with a loyalty reward program. 

 

 

Make The Most Of It

Tips for Reaching Millennials Through Mail

  1. Give Them An Offer They Can’t Refuse

  2. Get Creative

  3. Personalize, Personalize, Personalize

  4. Make It Easy: Convenience is Key

  5. Customization

  6. Reward Them 

Whether this is your first time marketing to Millennials or your thousandth, you can’t go wrong with direct mail. Include a strong call-to-action and tap into their emotions. You will begin to build or nurture a relationship of trust and longevity.

Sources:

USPS Delivers

Forbes

US Data Corporation

Hydrate Marketing

USPSOIG

Direct Mail School, Tips

How QR Codes Are Transforming Direct Mail Into a Data Gold Mine

Article reposted with permission from Mapp.com.

Let’s face it… In today’s marketing landscape, offline marketing gets a bad rep. It’s often seen as an outdated option with limited data and reporting capabilities.

Direct mail is no exception to this rule. As one of the oldest forms of marketing, it’s often written off by marketers for this very reason. As a whole, direct mail truly has lagged behind the rest of the marketing industry in terms of targeting, personalization, and proof of ROI.

But direct mail’s lack of priority status in media plans is about to change. In fact, the true data-driven players are already using direct mail in new and innovative ways. The big driver of change? QR codes.

What is a QR code?

QR Code

It seems like QR codes are absolutely everywhere these days. Posters, billboards, restaurant tables, business cards…even in the sky! It’s no wonder they’re becoming more popular.

We’ve all seen them before. But what exactly is a QR code, and how does it work?

A QR code, short for quick response code, is basically a type of barcode that directs you to online content. In the past, you needed a special app on your phone to scan a QR barcode. But now, most people can conveniently use their smartphone camera to complete the scan process. This is what is making QR codes more relevant and accessible than ever before.

Each code contains information about an item that is linked or attached to the code. This information appears once someone scans the code. If the QR code is attached to a URL, you would need an internet connection in order to open the attachment.

QR codes are the ultimate way to link the offline and online worlds. Rapidly growing in popularity in the marketing landscape, their incorporation in direct mail is making a big splash.

How are QR codes being used in direct mail?

QR code data

For the direct mail industry, QR codes have been sorely needed for a long time. And while they were actually invented back in 1994, they weren’t widely used until recently. Especially in direct mail.

The most common way that QR codes are being used in direct mail is by incorporating them into calls-to-action. A mail piece only has so much space, so QR codes open up the opportunity to link to additional content.

Another benefit is convenience. We all know that customer experience is key, so why not make it easy on your audience with a quick and simple way to take the next step? Instead of having to manually type in a website, a QR code connects you instantaneously.

And it gets better! QR codes also provide the one thing that is like gold to all marketers: data. By using a QR code on direct mail, marketers create an entirely new layer of data (more on this later).

Even more exciting is the augmented reality QR code. While not widely used yet, this interactive option is a compelling way to further engage an audience.

What data is provided by QR codes? 

Let’s get to the important stuff, the reason you probably clicked on this blog post. What data points and tracking capabilities can QR codes add to direct mail? The short answer is…a lot.

Depending on which QR code provider you use, you’ll be able to access a ton of rich data that standalone direct mail can’t give you. Expect to receive total vs. unique scans, scans by operating system, scans by location (city and country), the operating system used to scan, and more.

Each of these data points is amplified even more when your QR code is attached to a PURL. In direct mail, a PURL一short for personalized URL一is made possible by variable printing. Leveraging PURLs enables marketers to create a unique QR code for each recipient that will take your strategy to the next level.

Instead of accessing aggregated campaign data, a QR code with a PURL will allow you to actually track behavior on an individual consumer basis. Now that’s a game changer.

To personalize your QR codes on a large scale, it’s best to select a QR code provider with an API. Also check to ensure that it links with Google Analytics.

What CTAs are being used for QR Codes on direct mail?

QR codes are versatile, which makes them even more valuable for marketing purposes. In addition to driving traffic to a simple URL, you can also attach QR codes to virtual business cards, PDFs, social media, payment platforms, videos, surveys, apps, and even songs. The possibilities are endless.

Apart from being interactive and convenient, QR codes don’t actually change direct mail’s calls-to-action all that much. Think of a generic marketing funnel for prospecting. You’ll move consumers further down the funnel using similar tactics, with the added benefit of better tracking.

Direct Mail QR Code

 

Recommendations for success

There’s good news and bad news. Let’s start with the bad news. Chances are, you’re not going to get it right the first time. QR codes are fairly new territory in marketing, so it’s going to take some experimentation to get it right.

The good news is that you can accelerate the learning process with some good old-fashioned A/B testing. In addition to experimenting with the types of content, targeting, design, and calls-to-action that you use, you can also switch up the actual look of the QR code.

QR examples

Chances are, you won’t get statistically significant results for smaller campaigns. But with larger quantities, you’ll really be able to tell who the true winner is.

Key takeaways

If you’ve never incorporated QR codes into a direct mail campaign, it’s worth giving it a shot. It truly adds another dimension to this old-school, offline marketing medium.

  • Experiment with different calls-to-action. The more personalized, the better.
  • Keep a traditional marketing prospecting funnel in mind. With QR codes, it’s enticing to branch out. But sometimes, the tried and true tactics just work best.
  • A/B test to accelerate learning. You won’t get it right the first time. Using variations will help you learn faster and get you the results you’re looking for. The data doesn’t lie.
  • Attach your QR codes to PURLs. PURLs will bring individual-level data to your campaigns. If you find a certain strategy is getting a lot of attention, invest in PURL technology to get even more data insights.

Remember that if the results aren’t there at first, try again! It takes some experimentation but when you are successfully able to connect the offline and online worlds, it’s marketing magic.

 

This guest blog was written by Brianne Baggetta at The Mailworks.

Goodworks

A Marathon of Kindness: Beekman 1802 + The Mailworks Collaborate for Wedding Event

(Credit: Becky Miller for Beekman 1802)

When June comes around, Upstate New Yorkers know they’re in for warmer weather. Along with the first signs of summer, June is also the start of peak wedding season and Pride Month. This year, all of those signs of summer fell in line when Beekman 1802 announced their Let Love Bloom Wedding Marathon

Goodworks

Here at The Mailworks, we’re committed to bettering the communities where we live and work. That’s why, when we heard about the Let Love Bloom Event, we knew we wanted to help or contribute in some way. For a little background, last year we created Goodworks, our community engagement program that channels valuable resources and attention into various causes. We aim to identify causes that align with our corporate values, specifically seeking out initiatives that foster progress and equality. For the month of June, we wanted to celebrate Pride Month through our Goodworks initiative and give back to the community that we work and live in. 

About the Event

As part of Beekman 1802’s commitment to kindness and creating a more inclusive world for everyone to express their love, they welcomed couples to the farm on June 26th. Couples took the quick trip north to the very spot Dr. Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell were married years ago atop ‘Matrimony Hill’, the highest point of the Beekman farm in Sharon Springs. There, 30 weddings and vow renewals were performed under a beautiful Tom Fruin Glass House Art Installation. Couples paid $100 to participate in the event, with a portion of the proceeds donated to the Ali Forney Center to support homeless LGBTQ+ youth.

(Credit: Becky Miller for Beekman 1802)

Meet the Artisan: Tom Fruin 

Upon his arrival in New York City in 1996, artist and sculptor Tom Fruin became fascinated by the idea of community engagement, particularly the ways in which art can reflect the authenticity and individuality of specific communities. Using highly colored recycled acrylic and steel, Fruin created magnificent, highly visible pieces that accurately showcase communities in a positive light and reveal that what may be seen as waste to some can be transformed into something beautiful. 

The Mailworks and Beekman 1802 Team Up

To commemorate the event, we collaborated with Beekman 1802 to create an exclusive gift – a paper model replica of the Fruin sculpture that the lucky couples cut out and built. “Beekman 1802 is a brand built on kindness. Partnering with our neighbors at The Mailworks to create this unique gift will Let Love Bloom, as well as to help celebrate the anniversary of the day the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage 6 years prior in 2015,” said Dr. Brent Ridge. Our President & CEO, Brianne Baggetta shared, “It’s an honor to be part of such a special event and support Beekman 1802 in their effort to build compassion and equality for the LGBTQ+ community. It’s our hope that the paper replica of the Fruin sculpture is a joyful reminder to each couple of this momentous day.”

Love to Last a Lifetime

The wedding day was a success as 30 couples, from as far as Texas, Ohio, and Florida, tied the knot or renewed their vows under the Tom Fruin Sculpture on Matrimony Hill. Upon arrival, they were lovingly greeted and chauffeured to the one-of-a-kind glass altar, in an officially ordained ceremony. To say that the day was filled with love is an understatement. 

We want to thank Beekman 1802 for letting us be just a small part of such a wonderful day!

(Credit: Becky Miller for Beekman 1802)
How To, Tips

How To Use QR Codes Like a Pro

What Is a QR Code?

We’ve all seen them. On posters, food packaging, advertisements, and more. QR codes are once again becoming a go-to digital tool. But what are they?

QR, or quick response, codes are square images consisting of a unique pattern and scanned using a smart device. After scanning the code, customers can get instant access to a URL, contact information, video, PDF–the list goes on. A link between the offline and online worlds, QR codes initially gained popularity in the early 2010s. The value of these small codes has been seen once again by marketers and consumers alike. 

Let’s dive into the ways you can use this mini tool to see a big return. 

 

Different Ways To Use QR Codes

If you haven’t been using QR codes in the past few years, you may remember the old way of downloading an app in order to scan a code. Well that has all changed. Users now open the camera on their smartphone and leave the rest up to the code and camera. A QR code’s ease of use is what makes them ideal in a “now” world where information is wanted quickly and efficiently. 

The best part about QR codes is that they can link to pretty much anything and your call to action is the perfect place to bring your customer. What are you trying to get the customer to do? Do you want them to send you an email? Redeem a coupon? Or like your business on Facebook? If one or all of these are the case, then you’re in luck because QR codes can link to them. Provide your customers with a quick prompt to scan the code and leave the rest in their hands. 

Because we have a few more favorites, here’s a list of 10 different places to send your customers using a QR code:

  • Email Address

  • Website

  • Form

  • Social Media Channels

  • Coupon or Offer

  • Calendar 

  • Download an App

  • Phone Number

  • Fundraiser

  • Purchase Link

Where Do They Go?

So, now you know how to use QR codes but where should you put them? 

On anything! And we mean it. Put them on your products, packaging, advertising, and our favorite, direct mail. 

To make it simple for you, here’s another list of all the places you can put QR codes:

 

Get Started

At this point, it’s safe to say that you’re a QR code pro. But it wouldn’t be fair if we gave you all of this valuable information on QR codes and not tell you how to get started! There are many QR code generators out there that all provide a similar type of product. One that offers great features is QR Code Generator. They give you the option to create your own “landing page” and link to different types of resources. These include a virtual business card, event, social media, app, video, PDF, coupons and more. It’s easy to get started and you’ll be adding QR codes to your products and marketing in no time!

 

Direct Mail School, Uncategorized

The One Rule You Need To Adopt for Successful Direct Marketing

If you’ve ever sent a direct mail campaign, you know that there’s a lot that goes into it. And when you’re thinking about sending a campaign to your customers it’s probably because there is something you want to share with them. But where do you start? That’s where the 40/40/20 Rule of Direct Marketing comes in. 

The rule was created by marketing guru Ed Mayer and has proven to be successful by many marketers. The formula turns the focus onto your audience and offer, with a little less on the creative side, which is often where most marketers want to start. 

Let’s dive into why the 40/40/20 Rule needs to be on your radar for every direct marketing campaign you send.

Your audience is the group of people who will receive your message. It’s important that your audience is highly targeted and well defined. With a targeted mailing list, you’ll be able to reach the right people with quality data. By using a combination of location and demographic selects, you’ll reach your most profitable consumer groups and mail to those most likely to respond. Taking the time to find the right audience for your campaign is essential and you can easily order a mailing list while placing your order with The Mailworks. Enter your zip codes and choose from hundreds of unique selects to target the best recipients for your campaign.

 

Everyone loves a good offer, so why not incentivize your audience when they receive your campaign. Because you defined your target audience you can really narrow down on an offer you know they can’t refuse. What have they been asking for? Or what can you do to get them to make a purchase? The offer should come in the form of a discount, rebate, bonus, or freebie. A time limit on these offers will require your audience to act quickly, leading to more sales.

 

Now that you’ve determined your target audience and offer, it’s time to get creative. How are you going to present your offer and campaign to your audience? You’ll want to present your message so it grabs the attention of your audience. Think about their senses in terms of what they will be able to see and touch. Will your direct mail be oversized or have a foil finish? Great design can reinforce your message and be a persuasive power for your campaign. In this step you’ll also want to determine the price and postage of your printed mailing piece.

 

Whether you’ve sent 5 or 5,000 direct mail campaigns, The Mailworks is here to help you get started and guide you through the process. We offer targeted mailing lists, guidance on how to present your offer, graphic design services and more! Get ready to acquire more clients and a return on investment with direct mail marketing. Visit The Mailworks store to get started today!

Press Release

THE MAILWORKS LAUNCHES FUNDRAISING EFFORT TO SUPPORT LGBTQ+ COMMUNITY

100 percent of purchase price from vinyl decal sales to support LGBTQ+ organizations and businesses for Pride Month in June

ALBANY, N.Y. (Jun. 1, 2021) — Albany’s go-to print + mail facility, The Mailworks, is launching its next charitable initiative to benefit the LGBTQ+ community. To coincide with Pride Month, the company will sell vinyl decals for the entire month of June and will donate 100 percent of the purchase price to support LGBTQ+ organizations and businesses. 

By visiting www.themailworks.com/pride, customers can choose from a selection of 8.5 x 11” vinyl decals for $10. The decals, which are printed and mailed out of The Mailworks’ Albany facility, feature various designs to support awareness for the LGBTQ+ movement. Each decal also features a scannable QR code to generate additional donations by directing the user to the decal purchase link.

“The Mailworks is proud to support Pride Month by fundraising for the LGBTQ+ movement,” says Brianne Baggetta, President & CEO of The Mailworks. “It is our hope that by using our resources to support this initiative, it helps build compassion and awareness for the LGBTQ+ community.”

100 percent of the purchase price from the decal sales will support LGBTQ+ organizations and businesses, including The Pride Center of the Capital Region, In Our Own Voices, and the Alliance for Positive Health, and more. The purchaser can select where their purchase funds are directed when ordering, and also have the option to increase their donation. A “Shipping and Expenses” fee is charged as a line item to cover production, labor and shipping costs.

This idea for this charitable initiative stems from the company’s success supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. Through a similar initiative in 2020, the company raised over $30,000 for local Black-owned organizations and enterprises. 

Additional information about this initiative can be found at TheMailworks.com, on Facebook (fb.com/themailworks), and on Instagram (@themailworks).

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About The Mailworks
Based in Albany, NY, The Mailworks is a woman-owned, family business that provides print and direct mail solutions to companies nationwide. Processing over 90 million pieces of direct mail each year, The Mailworks’ comprehensive offering includes graphic design, list building, printing, mailing, and targeted delivery services. Customers can place orders online by visiting www.themailworks.com

Marketing, Tips

7 Steps to Branding Success

Branding. What is it and why does your business need it? Branding goes beyond, fonts, colors, logos, and slogans. Branding is what your business needs to set it apart from the competition. It evokes emotion and allows your customers to align with your products or services.

The big question here is:

Have you made a strategic plan to implement branding in your business?

If you’re just starting out, are in need of a rebrand, or don’t know where to start, we’ve got you covered. Even if you’ve established your branding, it’s important to revisit what you’ve outlined often. Do a check-in on what you’re doing and where you want to go, analyzing if it aligns with your branding and goals.

These next 7 steps will help you establish your brand by tuning into what your expectations are but also your customer’s.

Steps To Success

Branding will be the basis of everything you do and say within your business. And the good thing is, you probably know what your branding is without realizing it. You know how you want to make people feel when they interact with your business. What will your business be recognized for? Start this thinking from the start. 

 

Inspiration is everywhere. What brands or businesses do you connect with? Do you like what they’re saying? Use that as inspiration for your business. But remember what makes you different. Your competitors can be a big source of inspiration. They’re either succeeding at what you’re doing or they have a community that’s super loyal. After being observant and taking in all you can, pour it out on paper or create a vision board. 

 

This is when you get to be creative, or hire someone else to be creative! Create your logo, choose your colors, fonts, and more. The colors you choose are more important than you may think. Colors elicit emotions and can mean different things across cultures or industries. For example, red and yellow, McDonald’s iconic colors are said to evoke hunger. So red and yellow may not be the best colors to place in a gym or fitness center. But again, it’s important to focus on how you want your customers to perceive your brand. 

 

The target audience is who you’re trying to reach and sell to. But how do you find out who they are? Research. Research. Research. Go out and see how people are interacting with your product in real life or who’s talking about a similar product on social media. This can give you great insight into who you should be reaching out to. You can start at a high level and break it down to where someone likes to vacation. It’s okay to be specific and as you learn more about your ideal customer add other personas. There won’t always be one perfect person which is why it’s common to create three avatars and even a secondary target audience. Some tools that are great for finding your target audience are Google Analytics, Reddit, Social Media, Surveys, and Nielsen. 

 

Your brand voice will set the stage for your business and how your customers perceive you. Brand voice is how you talk to your customers and the style in which you will communicate. How do you find your voice? Keep your target audience at the forefront of your mind. You want this voice to feel true to your brand values and persona. Keep in mind what you outlined in step 3. How do you want people to feel when they hear from your brand? Are you talking to them like a friend or a leader? This will all help to determine whether your voice will be playful or serious. Your voice is truly dependent on the nature of your business and how customers will interact with your brand on a daily basis.

 

Now that you’ve established the necessities of branding, it’s time to determine how you’re different. What sets you apart from your competitors? Is it a unique twist on your product or service? Or how your brand speaks to them through email and social media? It’s up to you to decide. If you need some more insight on this, take a look at your target audience again. Is there something that they like or are drawn to? Do you have a different way of reaching them where your competitors aren’t? The best part about this step is that you can test it. Spend a few weeks trying one thing and pivot if needed!

 

It’s time to put your ideas into action. When we say connect it to everything, we mean everything. Your website, emails, social media, print, advertising, store front, and more! However you’re doing business, you want your brand to be reflected in everything you do.

 

To Wrap It Up

Branding is the key to success in this social age. Your brand or business was created by you but it prospers because of your customers. How they perceive your business is incredibly important in an age where people have less time and are looking for quick and easy content to consume. Evaluate your branding on a regular basis and make sure it’s reflected in all parts of your business.