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Launch a print mailout

Make a great first impression and reduce your printing costs

Early on in my marketing campaign, I recognised the need to send out my postcards in an envelope, which would give them added protection against the elements and handling to which they’d be exposed before finally reaching the recipients. Normally in this situation, companies – even large ones with massive mailouts – rely on labels. Here’s how I did it for my business’ campaign and saved time, money and effort.

Using Microsoft Word’s mail merge Wizard for envelopes (select Tools | Letters and Mailings... | Mail Merge Wizard then select Envelopes) I used the Business Contact records that had been previously entered into Business Contact Manager for Outlook 2003 as the source file for each of the recipient’s mailing details. The steps in creating the envelope mail merge are very similar to those described in Stage 3 of the Building a Database article. By adopting this approach to our envelopes we benefited by:


Using relatively inexpensive plain envelopes.


A clean “no labels” envelope.


Being able to include the company logo and tagline on the envelope for further branding.


Avoiding the need to waste time sticking address labels to envelopes.

Once the envelopes had been fed through and printed on the front, I set up a small envelope-sized template for the envelope reverse-side. This only included a small company logo, tagline underneath and a return address. Everything, from starting the mail merge through to printing the last envelope (both sides) took 15 minutes.

Postcards into the envelopes and up to the local post office for dispatch. Now it’s a case of waiting a while before following up with a phone call. But there are other things I’ll be doing over the next couple of weeks before I bring the campaign to a close.

Printing tip

One of the things I’ve picked up over the years by means of trial-and-error and talking to experts in the desktop printer market is to be careful about your choice of media – inks and papers. Professional printing houses use pigment-based inks that generally have a protective resin coating. This affords them a high degree of water-and smudge-resistance. Just because you put a lot of effort into the look, feel and finish of the prints you’ll be sending out, it doesn’t mean the recipient will treat them with kid gloves. They will have to withstand moisture and rough handling along the way; and if they’re unable to deliver this, then the image of your company suffers.

Most inkjet printers use dye-based inks and it’s an important fact to remember that these are by nature, water soluble. If you use a dye-based ink on plain or recycled paper then expose it to water and you’ll probably end up with a hideously unimpressive “running mascara” effect. Your best bet is to check the printer company’s web-site or call the support line to verify what combination of inks and paper are best for your printer to create documents that have the durability they need.

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