Four Automated Print Dos and Don’ts
January 29, 2008

As companies look to automated marketing tools to improve their speed to market with relevant communications, they will want to be careful not to equate “automated” with “unsupervised.” To effectively leverage the benefits of automated print workflow, marketers need to take heed of the following dos and don’ts presented by Jim Liszewski, president and COO of Dallas-based digital print provider WMSG Inc., at last December’s NCDM conference in Las Vegas. DO … Anticipate future program data requirements. When in doubt, add the data field. DON’T … Change data characteristics when submitting files to your print partner during the duration of the program. These include file type,

QuantumDirect Changes Name to QuantumDigital and Announces New Digital Marketing Solutions
December 6, 2007

New Name Reflects 20-Year Austin Company’s Focus on Providing Advanced Technology Tools in Direct Marketing AUSTIN, Texas, December 6, 2007 — QuantumDigital, the only complete online service provider for direct mail, on-demand digital printing and eMarketing solutions, announced today that it has changed its name to reflect its new digital direct marketing offerings. QuantumDigital has also announced a new eMarketing service to provide corporate and small business customers with enhanced tools to build successful integrated campaigns. “QuantumDigital has provided its customers the most technologically advanced direct marketing services for more than 20 years, the new services and new name will allow us to bring our

Smile—and Flash Your pURLy Sites
October 1, 2007

Direct marketers have worked for decades to personalize their contacts with customers. Back in the 1940s, for example, after a human typed “Dear Eric” on the first line of a sheet of paper, the remainder of the sales pitch would be typed automatically by a player piano roll that was hooked up to a typewriter. By the 1970s, people saw their names on contest letters from Reader’s Digest and thought they might be winners. With new technology comes new ways to personalize pitches, and the personalized URL—or pURL—is a new tool that will bring great benefits to marketers who know how to use it correctly.

Reduce Direct Mail Paper Waste
September 26, 2007

Sustainability is on the minds of marketing, procurement and production managers as concerns about climate change continue to grow. Many companies are introducing mandates to reduce, reuse and recycle materials in every facet of their operation—including paper-based direct mail programs. The following suggestions will help ensure your next campaign wastes as little paper as possible: Communicate with your partners. Many of the best ways to reduce paper waste in direct mail production have little to do with paper itself. Reducing paper waste begins with effective design. Be sure your design and production staffs are working closely with your printer to facilitate optimum imposition of

Special Report: Paper and Production
June 1, 2007

This special report bears the moniker of “Printing and Production,” but in all honesty, it’s missing a third “P” for postal. Every discussion of direct mail production for this editorial section either started with or came around to the topic of the recently implemented rate case and the way it’s affecting campaigns. Given some of the drastic changes to postage based on shape, marketers and their mailing services partners have good reason to zero in on these developments. But not every marketer is heading for the online hills or abandoning large-format controls in favor of letter-size mail. In this report’s main story, “Driving Innovation,” freelance

Straight Talk: The New Green
June 1, 2007

Increasing numbers of investors, regulators and customers want the so-called triple bottom line (environmental, social and financial) that factors in corporate responsibility, natural resource conservation and climate change. “Call it the New Green,” says Don Carli, senior research fellow at the Institute for Sustainable Communication (ISC), a nonprofit group that promotes environmentally responsible practices for the printing, publishing and packaging industries. Here’s a small part of my recent eye-opening chat with Carli, a former strategic planner within these industries. To read the entire interview transcript, go to EB: What got you interested in the topic of sustainable printing? DC: It grew out of

The Increasingly Green Paper Trail
April 11, 2007

One year ago, almost to the day, TM Tipline published a Q&A entitled “Derek Smith on Direct Mail and the Environment.” As a former CEO of a major paper, printing and packaging group in South Africa and now a Washington, D.C.-based consultant whose mission is to bring environmental reform to the paper, printing and graphic design industries (, Smith noted some improvement in the industry’s environmental performance, but was also painfully aware that much work remained to be done. Here’s an update, with some growing problems alongside some signs of hope. Old Problems in Some New Places The nonprofit Natural Resources

Digital Print Lives Up to Its Promises
March 1, 2007

A mere decade ago, digital printing was seen as a luxury buy for direct mailers—used only for ultra short-run campaigns that perhaps didn’t require a high level of output quality. Back then, several barriers stood between the direct marketer and digital print—print quality, cost-per-impression, color-matching capabilities, and limited media compatibility. Today, these barriers have all but been removed, enabling direct marketers to finally capitalize on the promise of digital print. Quality: Still King Most digital print manufacturers contend that the quality of their printing systems’ output has greatly improved in recent years. That’s certainly measurable in print resolution. “When digital printing first

A Step-by-step Approach to Variable Data Printing
February 21, 2007

Taking the plunge into using variable data printing, or VDP as it’s called in the industry, can be a daunting step, even for the most aggressive of marketing organizations. To create successful variable data mailings, you need to be ultra-confident in the accuracy of your database in addition to being able to handle the usual aspects of developing a mailing—compelling copy, creative and offer. But with increased effort required to properly leverage VDP comes the potential for an increased payoff. Keith Goodman, vice president of corporate solutions at Modern Postcard, a full-service provider of postcard products and services in Carlsbad, Calif., explained some of the

Six Ways to Keep the Yikes! Out of the Postal Rate Hike
December 6, 2006

With the sting of one postal rate increase in recent memory and another looming on the horizon, the mailstream can be a pretty expensive place to do business. But the upcoming postal rate hike does not have to be as painful as it looks—if you take the time to explore the many ways you can trim costs from your direct mail program, particularly by taking advantage of the many workshare and automation discounts the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has, or will have with this new rate case, in place. Here’s a look at just a few of the tactics you can try. • Scrub those