Special Report - Direct Mail Technology: 3 Important Ways Print Is Transforming Direct Mail
Since the dawn of the Web, people having been finding excuses to declare print dead. One of those has long been that it's not interactive or as flexible as digital communications. But what if your mailpiece could be just as interactive and flexible as any Web page?
Those capabilities exist now; the only challenge is getting your customers to accept them.
Several articles in this issue of Target Marketing were "activated" using augmented reality technology (we used Layar, but Actable and Aurasma provide similar services). This allows our readers to launch digital content directly from the pages of the magazine, essentially the same way you would launch articles or media directly from an e-newsletter or other digital media.
That's not the first time we've used advances in print-related technology to add digital capabilities to this print magazine. Many issues have included QR Codes that launched exclusive Web content. And of course, there are URLs and social media handles scattered throughout just about any magazine today.
QR Codes and augmented reality may or may not catch on with users. But the capabilities they promise have to excite anyone who works in print—we are talking about the ability to literally make text and images jump off the page. And that is only one of the new technologies creating new opportunities for print marketing.
In this special report, two more articles explore how advances in today's printing technology allow marketers to leverage direct mail like never before. And of course, we have links to read more about it online! The conversation begins in print, but it doesn't have to end just because the page does. —Thorin McGee
A Digital Press Printed That? You Might Be Surprised What Today's Technologies Let You Do
From basic wood block printing to advanced industrial processes, the options for creating print using analog or digital techniques provide a plethora of options for designers. But designers are always looking for the next technique they can use for differentiation. Digital print techniques have been on the frontline as new options for toner, liquid toner and varieties of ink-jet have opened the door to high coverage printing on a wider variety of substrates, all supported by innovations in finishing.
Pat McGrew, M-EDP, CMP is the Director and Evangelist for the Production Workflow Service at InfoTrends. As an analyst and industry educator, McGrew works with InfoTrends customers and its clients to promote workflow effectiveness. She also has a background in data-driven customer communication, and production printing with offset, inkjet, and toner. Co-author of eight industry books, editor of "A Guide to the Electronic Document Body of Knowledge," and regular writer in the industry trade press, McGrew won the 2014 #GirlsWhoPrint Girlie Award for her dedication to education and communication in the industry, and the 2016 Brian Platte Lifetime Achievement Award from Xplor International. Find Pat on Twitter as @PatMcGrew and LinkedIn.