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Tips to Design a Full Color Dynamic Message for Your Invoice

By Guest Author, Ashley Sherrow, OSG Manager of Production Graphics

Did you know that a dynamic message on an invoice or statement is a designated area that allows you connect directly with your audience?  It’s your monthly opportunity to relay a specific message to your customer. And since research tells us that invoices are opened 97 percent of the time, you are virtually guaranteed of having your message read.

Using a little bit of creativity you can create a message that is eye-catching, colorful and informative. The OSG data-driven application, Campaign Composer, gives you full transpromotional marketing capabilities that compliment your statement or invoice package.

So what do you need to do?

First you’ll want to compose your message.

    1. You can do this using design programs such as InDesign or Illustrator. Designing your message in one of these programs makes the design process easy. Also, since these are the same programs we use in the OSG Creative Studio, should you need help, we can guide you through either of these programs to help you get the message you need created.
      • Tip: If you are designing multiple messages within an area, it is a good idea to separate the messages with a thin line between each message, or a border around each message.
    2. This space provides a great opportunity to cross-sell and up-sell your services or even your customer’s services. Not sure what to feature? Think about deals, sales, promotions or even important messages you want to share with your customers.

Next, as long as you’re designing a bill or invoice, why not create a whole invoice package? You can coordinate by utilizing other OSG communications tools such as Envelope Messaging, Additional Message Page and OSG Inserts.

You’ll want to be sure you’re designing your message to its full potential. To ensure this, here are some things to pay attention to:

    1. Is the message sized correctly so that it will fit into the message space on the bill?
    2. How will your message look on the invoice/statement? Make sure your messages blend in with the colors and style of your invoice/statement.
    3. Have you used imagery and colors to your advantage?
      • Choose bright colored images and text that will stand out and grab your audience’s attention.
      • Remember, less is more – you don’t need to plaster the message area with tons information. Short and sweet. Then direct the customer to a website for them to gather more information.

Let the Madness Inspire You

This weekend is Selection Sunday. You know what that means! Tourney Time is upon us. What that also means is that employers can expect to see a slight dip in productivity this month. According to a study by employment consulting firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas, nearly 2.5 million people devote over an hour of each workday to following the NCAA Tournament. So that’s an hour you’re not actually spending on work. To help your productivity we’ve pulled together three easy ways for you to maximize the effectiveness of your invoice or statement package.

  1. Add an insert to your next invoice or statement package mailing. They fit easily into your mailing and provide cost-effective one-to-one marketing to your customer base. Don’t have one? Not to worry, the OSG Creative Studio can design one for you.
  2. Add a Full Color Dynamic Message to your invoice or statement. Your readers are already looking at your invoice statement. Why not add a message unique to them on the invoice as well? A recent Pitney Bowes study found that color increases reader’s attention by 82 percent.
  3. The invoice isn’t the only colorful part of your invoice or statement package. Are you taking advantage of Full Color Envelope Messaging? That same Pitney Bowes study found that 69 percent of the study participants were more likely to open an envelope with color or graphics on the front than those without. Take a look at your envelopes and see if they could use a splash of color.

By implementing some or all of these ideas you can end up being the winning team and enjoy a championship season.

 

 

The Calendar is a Valuable Tool in Lifecycle Marketing

As hard as it may be to believe, New Year’s is but a memory and holiday-laden February is just ahead. Are you using the calendar to inspire your Lifecycle Marketing Campaign? In February alone we will celebrate Groundhog Day, Lincoln’s Birthday, Washington’s Birthday, Presidents’ Day, Valentine’s Day, Black History Month and American Heart Month. Each of these holidays and observances lends itself to some type of communication from you and even if you don’t have anything specific to share, each is a great excuse to be in touch with your customers.

Here are three reasons it’s important to maintain a Lifecycle Marketing Campaign (or launch one if you don’t already have one in place).

  1. Every time you send an invoice or bill to your customer, you’ve opened the door to a one-on-one conversation. Take advantage of it. Transactional documents are open and read 97% of the time according to InfoTrends. That makes your monthly invoice or statement the perfect place to include a targeted message because it’s almost guaranteed to be read.
  2. It’s easy. Simply put it’s delivering the right message, at the right time, through the right channel, to the right customer. But you think you’re too small a company to implement or maintain a Lifecycle Marketing Campaign?  No you’re not. All it takes is some time and effort and you’ll be amazed at what you’ll get in return.
  3. You already have these customers on board. You want to keep them, right? Use the calendar as a way to stay in touch with them throughout the year. Pick any of the upcoming holidays and give your customers a reason to celebrate. Don’t feel like using the calendar. How about sending out a survey to get customer input? Since part of the reason you’re staying in touch is to keep them, it’s good to know how they feel about your company and if you’re meeting their expectations.

From welcome postcards to calendar inserts to win-back programs, lifecycle marketing can help you grow and nurture long-term relationships with your customers.

 

 

 

Postal Rates to Increase in 2017

 As your print and mail authority, we wanted to let you know that the Postal Rate Commission has approved some United States Postal Service (USPS) rate and structural changes. For the first time in several years the USPS has requested rate increases for both its competitive (packages and overnight shipments) and market dominant products (letters and flats). The new rates will go into effect Sunday, January 22, 2017.

This increase represents a 2 cent increase to First-Class Mail, raising the price from 47 cents to 49 cents. The good news for commercial mailers is that the price of letter mail will be the same from 1 ounce to 3.5 ounces, with rates as low as .373 for letters presorted into a five-digit tray. Additionally, the price of Postcards, International Letters and First-Class Letter additional ounces will also stay the same.

There will also be an average 3.9 percent increase on Priority Mail and an average increase of 3.3 percent in Priority Mail Retail prices, which means about a 20-50 cent increase depending on the item. Automated commercial marketing mail will only be increased by one price up to 3.9 ounces.

The new prices do not include any Shipping Services price increases for First-Class Package International Service, Priority Mail Express International and Priority Mail International. The changes do benefit PC Postage and postage meter users with a .5 cent savings.

The USPS is rebranding Standard Mail which will now be known as USPS Marketing Mail. The only immediate impact of this name change is the name listed on USPS forms and postage statements. As always, we’ll keep you updated as we learn more.

In anticipation of the increase, now might be a good time to clean up your mailing lists, look at bad address reports and add an Address Service Requested line to your mailings if you don’t already include one.

If you have any questions about this upcoming change, please don’t hesitate to contact an OSG account manager.

Use Color Deliberately

The results are in! “Greenery” has been named the color of the year for 2017. Last week the Pantone Color Institute®, the global color authority and provider of professional color standards for the design industries, announced the “fresh and zesty” color as the perfect representation of our hopes for the coming year. This choice of color is based on the need for reunification as a country and as a world during a tense political climate. Pantone explains that this color is always present when bold change is occurring, when grass starts to grow again and trees take root. Interestingly, this color also tends to manifests itself when the world is ready for a massive social change.

Color is a powerful communication tool and its effects should be taken advantage of and maximized. What better way to get the year started off on the right foot then by working with your billing company to choose the right colors to get your message across? Your billing company has plenty of color options, so take advantage and reach your customers in the subconscious language of color. According to Xerox Corporation, color increases readers’ attention span by 82 percent and improves reading comprehension by 73 percent. Get 2017 started off on the right foot with deliberate use of color.

 

Make Sure Your Message is Received this Holiday Season

After a week that included Thanksgiving sales, Black Friday sales, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday sales, #GivingTuesday and holiday messages galore, it’s time to make sure your communications are strong and impactful. Everyone is so used to flashy messages grabbing their attention and piquing their interest that a standard white envelope and invoice just won’t measure up. It’s time to pull out all the stops and roll out your next invoice with all the bells and whistles.

Your regular invoice provides you with great communication opportunities and it would be a waste not to take advantage of the 97% open and read rate on your monthly invoice with opportunities like Dynamic Messaging, Additional Messaging Page, Inserts, Envelope Messaging and so much more.

Dynamic Messaging along with Additional Messaging Page help you to engage your customers with different formats and designs to make sure your message is received loud and clear. Sending inserts allows you to place key promotional information with your invoice and show your customers that you care. Envelope Messaging gives you the ability to grab attention the moment the invoice arrives.

But the key isn’t just to use these services, the key is to utilize the service, and the OSG Creative Studio is here to help you stand out! Our team combines fresh ideas and the latest technology with proven design methods to develop a customer communication solution that meets your unique needs. With their help, you can send a message that will truly be impactful and remembered.

Warm Up with Dynamic Messaging

Brrr! It’s getting colder outside and though the snow hasn’t fallen just yet, a steaming cup of hot cocoa would definitely hit the spot. Without a snowstorm to enhance the hot cocoa though, we’ll have to think of something else to keep warm – a dynamic workout perhaps? But who has the time (or motivation) for that? Why not just take advantage of Dynamic Messaging instead?

Just like a dynamic workout changes a regular workout from boring to exciting, with OSG Dynamic Messaging you can transform your ordinary invoice or statement into a highly-customized customer touchpoint using full-color technology. And unlike with the chilly weather, you have total control over how you want your message to look! Not only that, if you find yourself running out of room on the invoice, have no fear because with Envelope Messaging and Additional Messaging Page Inserts, you have additional opportunities to effectively communicate whatever message you want to your customers in an exciting and vibrant way.

So hurry up and use Dynamic Messaging before it’s time to curl up by the fireplace with your mug of hot chocolate.

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