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Allegra Marketing Services April 1, 2013

An adroit mixture of everyday settings and extraordinary events.
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The world of business and finance gets skewered, as Bottom Liners tackles subjects such as foreign takeovers, office policies, getting a raise, and the fast-paced world of Wall Street.
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The off-the-wall humor of Off the Mark puts a refreshing spin on the things we see every day ... from your favorite icons to your least favorite trends, from commercials to pets to computers. Slightly skewed and just a little twisted, Off the Mark scores a bull's eye with readers looking for a laugh.
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In today's complex world of family issues, Focus on the Family provides grounded, practical advice for those dealing with family problems.
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A whimsical, slice-of-life view into life's fool-hardy moments.
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News From
Allegra Marketing Services
Idea of
the Week
Marketing Tip
Uncommon Product
of the Week
Tech Tip

3 Deadly Sins of Direct Mailings

When It’s OK to cut corners

The Bigger the Better

What's the Secret Password?
A Message From Allegra Marketing Services
The Way I See It

A Black Dot

During a business meeting, the president stood up in front of a group of employees and help up a large glossy piece of paper. He took a black marker and made a black dot in the center of the paper and asked the team what they saw. Everyone replied, "A black dot." "Don't you see anything besides the black dot?" "No," the audience replied. "What about the beautiful sheet of paper? I'm sure you can all see it, but you've chosen to overlook it."

Here's the way I see it: It's easy for us to overlook the potential of everyday things in life like a large open canvas that could have many opportunities for greatness and rather focus our attention on small issues like the black dot. Next time you find yourself focusing on the black dot, step back and take a look around at what you could be missing. And remember, our creative team is here to help if your print materials need help reaching your full potential.

Idea of the Week
3 Ways to Sabotage Your Next Direct Mail Piece (And How to Market Smarter)


What makes a direct mail campaign effective?

It all begins at a glance.

An effective direct mail letter or postcard doesn’t feel or look like junk. There are no buzz words, power expressions, or lofty claims about seemingly unbelievable benefits. Want your next direct mailing to credibly connect with prospects?
The most persuasive pieces avoid these three deadly sins:

1. Gimmicky

Have you ever received a direct mail pitch that is disguised as an official government mailing?

Or perhaps you received a stiff yellow envelope marked with words like “Pay to the Order Of” or with taglines threatening to “fine” anyone obstructing its delivery per the US Code. Upon opening it, your suspicions are confirmed: the check inside actually turns out to be a non-negotiable coupon offering you a discount for making a purchase. Did this make you want to trust the seller? Not likely.

2. Cluttered

Direct mail feels inauthentic when it seems to be trying too hard.
On the face of one envelope, you might see multiple call-out messages, like “Open At Once,” “URGENT,” or “Only 7 Issues Left!” When your postcard or envelope is cluttered, it is perceived as impersonal or mass-produced. And anything that looks like junk mail will likely go straight toward the trash.
Instead, work for designs that are simple and clean, with one unifying theme.

3. Product-Centric

When crafting a sales pitch, many marketers focus more on the product than its audience.

But readers are not primarily concerned with how slick your idea is, they are concerned with how great it will make their lives. Concise, persuasive direct mail clearly presents the benefits your product will bring the consumer. Selling the vision isn’t about functions or features; it’s about showcasing the possibilities. So instead of selling a pillow, sell a world of health and abounding energy.

Hand-Crafted with Care

Do you enjoy randomly opening gag gifts out of a big, generic pile? If you’re like most people, you would much rather open a meaningful gift lovingly selected just for you.

The same is true in marketing. When readers feel like your mail is impersonal or automated, their response rates will drop. The best way to strengthen your communication is to make it seem authentic, effortless, and personal.


See more great ideas like this!
Click here to visit the Allegra Marketing Services Ideas Collection.

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Marketing Tip
Die Cuts Enhance Your Marketing Materials

While the content of your marketing materials is obviously very important, the design is often responsible for first impressions. If you’re looking for a unique way to enhance the design of your print materials or simply make your marketing materials more memorable, consider using a die cut shape.

Die cut refers to any unique shape or cut. A die-cut can add a decorative element or a functional component to any design. Here are a few examples of die cut marketing materials that grab attention:

  • Create business cards in an unusual shape. For example, a bakery could distribute business cards in the shape of cupcakes.

  • Use a die cut shape that outlines your logo on any type of print materials.

  • Create thank you or greeting cards with a die-cut window for your message.

  • Die cut labels or hang tags are a great way to draw attention and create a memorable brand.

  • Use rounded or special die cut shaped corners on documents, invitations, or postcards.

  • Create unusual die cut covers on a presentation folder or booklets, such as a die cut logo or shape cut out with a contrasting color underneath to make the design stand out.

  • Create a marketing piece shaped like a school bus to promote your back to school specials.
Marketing materials with an unusual die cut are not only more likely to get noticed and read, but also shared with others. If custom die cuts aren’t in your budget, you can still use prefabricated dies to achieve many unique effects. The marketing potential for die cut shapes is limitless. Give us a call if you need help getting started on an idea your customers will love!

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Uncommon Product
Oversized Brochures

Oversized brochures are an easy way to make a powerful statement about your company and ensure that your brochures get noticed. Not only do large brochures stand out and demand attention in comparison to smaller marketing materials, but they also expand your marketing real estate and allow for more creative and attention-getting design.

Informative brochures are a great way to educate your customers about your specific products or services. By presenting lots of useful information, your customers will feel more confident and empowered to make the right choice, increasing sales. Here are a few ideas to consider when creating a successful oversized brochure:
  • Provide an in-depth comparison between your own product lineup or against a competitor.

  • Encourage customers to hold on to your brochure by making it a keeper. Include helpful tips, how-to information, industry resources, tips from the pros, and upcoming calendar of events, etc.

  • Include a tear away portion, such as your business card, coupons, sample vouchers, etc.

  • Use the large space to reveal a new product lineup or offer a product spotlight on a best-selling item.

  • Choose durable, heavy-weight paper since many may hold on to it as a reference guide.

  • Provide your contact information in multiple places so it is easy to find, such as along the bottom of every page or on the front and back covers.
Stop by today if you'd like help creating an oversized brochure that can do the selling for you.

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Tech Tips
Create Random Passwords

Everyone knows the importance of secure, difficult to guess passwords, however, it can be challenging to create a password that is truly random with a combination of lower and upper case letters, numbers, and even punctuation symbols, etc. Here are a few websites that can help you create random secure passwords:
  • New Password Generator is a great source for producing secure yet easy to remember passwords, New Password Generator can also be easily integrated to any website so your users will be able to generate secure passwords with just one click.

  • Random Password Generator allows you to create random passwords and choose the number of characters long (6 to 24).

  • Free Password Generator provides unique passwords instantly. You can specify what types of characters will be used (string letters, digits, capital letters, special symbols).

  • The PC Tools Password Generator allows you to create random passwords that are highly secure and extremely difficult to crack or guess due to an optional combination of lower and upper case letters, numbers and punctuation symbols.
While you won't need a secret password to work with our print shop, we promise that if you need copies or reproductions of confidential documents, your sensitive files will be in secure hands.

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