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Everthing you need to know about SNAP PACK MAILERS…

by Becky G on July 25, 2011

Q: Should a snap pack mailer be fancy or simple?
► Design your piece around what is inexpensive to print & mail. Make it offical looking, not gimmicky. A fancy, complicated mail piece that costs twice as much will probably not double your response rate.
Q: How do I know that my snap pack is working?
► Test your mail. 5,000 pieces will give you a statistically measurable result. You can mail more after you know it works. Use a simple 800 tracking method or variable data key to link the caller to the campaign. You can get a 800 number tracking service for under $50 per month by searching on the internet.
Q:What is mail merge or variable data?
► Personalization Variable Data or Mail Merge is the area/s on your letter that can be personalized for every customer – name, dates, age, payments, numbers – everything can be personalized for every consumer. In hundreds of studies this has proven to increase response by up to 200%.
Q:How do I make my snap pack look more official?
► Your Snap Pak should have official logos or stamps to look more official. Use watermarks on the address side. You can use photos and examples. In hundreds of studies this has proven to increase response by up to 100%.
Q:Why does the snap pack mailer have a high open ratio?
► Snap Pack pressure seal documents should resemble important first class mail. Your letter will get opened and people will pay attention to it if it does. Snap Pack mailers should demand attention
Q:How much should it cost to get a snap pack layout designed?
► Some companies charge anywhere from complimentary with the overall cost to $50 per hour. Ask for samples before signing up with a print company.
► Your letter can feature your company’s logo, brands and competitive advantages. Using variable data you can customize your piece with different phone numbers, names, signatures, sales codes etc.
Q:How do I make sure that I get a good mail list?
► You target exactly who you want by address, credit, age, income & more. Or you can use your own list. If you purchase a list, make sure that they are NOT using recycled lists. Always ask for references when before you buy a list. Make sure they are legitimate list broker that is qualified and certified to buy direct from the major credit bureaus.
professional photography helps to build trust for your company.
Q: What else should I have in my snap pack mailer content?
► Simple, easy to read copy and strong special offers grab your readers attention. Personalized information builds credibility.
Q: What paper stock should a SNAP PACK MAILER be printed on?
► Your letter should be on # 24lb stock or similar quality paper. They will either offer you this in trifold, C fold, or single fold. There are also some variations of this. Color is an option, but often it is more official and economical to just use black and white.
Q:How long does it take to launch a snap pack campaign?
► Plan on taking 2-10 days to allow for a good art design and layout. After that your snap pack can be printed in a day or so and delivered to USPS ready to go with full CASS and NCOA certification ready. Then it takes you an average of 4-6 day delivery on standard mail, however it can take up to 15 business days as per the USPS (usually doesn’t take this long) *see www.usps,com for official rules and regulations
Q:How much does an average black and white snap pack mailer usually cost?
► Snap Pack mailers usually cost about 21-26 cents standard bulk mail delivery. The cost of the print is average anywhere from .08 cents to .20 cents depending on your specifications and overall volume. Keep in mind that “simple it better” with a snap pack mailer so don’t over think this. Keep your eye on the official design, offer, and telemarketing. This will ultimately bring in the business.

Postcard VS Letter mailers saving taxpayers millions!

Post Card to Replace Letter for Emissions Renewal; Change Will Save State $400,000 Annually (Connecticut)

Beginning Monday vehicle owners will be sent a post card rather than a letter to remind them that their emissions test is due. The post card is less expensive and is estimated to save the state $400,000 yearly in the mailing costs. Notices are sent to approximately one million people each year whose emissions test is due. Emissions testing is required every two years on all vehicles except those that are four-model years old or newer and those vehicles that are 25-years old or older. The cost for a test has remained $20 for the last 27 years since the program began in 1983. The testing process is easier for most vehicles manufactured after 1996 because they will require only a computer hook-up to test the engine’s on-board diagnostics for emissions controls. Older vehicles and some others still require the traditional tailpipe test that measures the emissions gasses. The post card mailing and $20 test fee are part of a new contract signed recently between DMV and Applus Technologies, Inc. Applus’ testing network is comprised of 225 garages and auto dealerships statewide. Customers can find the most updated test station list at, which also allows a vehicle owner to determine their renewal date by entering a vehicle identification number. Motorists who fail to comply with the state’s emissions testing law will be denied the opportunity to re-register their vehicle and also face late fees. Read the DMV press release.

Methods to Track Direct Mail Response

By Becky Gould, and

Tracking your advertising is crucial to any direct mail marketing campaign; if you aren’t tracking you are not marketing. Whether you are running a flyer with Valassis,  a snap pack mailer, a insert with the PennySaver; or whatever the piece, it needs to be tracked for effectiveness. Period.

I’m often asked how to track direct mail campaigns such as direct mail with snap packs, traditional envelope mailers, magazine advertisements, newspaper ads, as well as Valassis and PennySaver flyer advertising campaigns.

It’s a great question and one I enjoy helping with, because ultimately it means helping companies save money.

It does not matter whether you are launching a new product or service or you are an established business. Tracking will show you what marketing vehicles are working and which ones are not. This will help you in evaluating your marketing efforts and where you are spending your marketing budget. In the long run by tracking direct mail marketing efforts you can begin to create a more cost effective marketing campaign that will get you the results you desire without wasting money.

Whether you are tracking with URLs or Call Tracking systems, it’s relatively simple and effective…

How to Track Print and Direct Mail Marketing: Snap packs, traditional mailers, or print and deliver inserts with URLS?

When creating print or direct mail marketing pieces you want to track when the prospective customer visits your website to gain more information. The best way to do this is to have designated domains. You can use the designated domains to track visitors using the log files. It’s crucial to have separate landing pages on each domain, however they can look exactly alike, they just must reside on the domain to get accurate tracking results. In other words it would look like this:

Pressure Seal Snap Pack /direct mail Ad 1 – Tracking Domain –
Traditional letter/envelope/ direct mail Ad 2 – Tracking Domain – http://www.YourCompanyOnline.comDirect Mail Valassis Print and Deliver insert/ Ad 3 – Tracking Domain –

As you can see each piece has a unique URL so you will know exactly which campaign is producing results. Using programs like google analytics or other URL analyzing websites is easy and above all, FREE!

I know some of you will ask about branding, so let me go ahead and get that out of the way. Your advertisement should be creating that visual of your brand, and you still use “your company name” as a portion of the URL, but our goal here is really more about tracking than branding.

Tip: You do not have to have separate sites for each domain, just separate landing pages. You can use subpages to direct the visitor to your “main” site.

How accurate is this type of tracking? It’s not 100%, but is the easiest way to track your direct mail advertisements in order to see what is working. For example someone could just see your brand and type in and end up on your main site. This would create an error in the tracking the effectiveness of that advertisement. Realize there is some room for error.

How to Track Marketing Efforts Using Call Tracking

The best way to track the effectiveness of your direct mail snap pack or Valassis flyer is measure call volume using call tracking.  There are many call tracking companies to chose from. You can use call tracking to determine your cost-per-sale and cost-per-call rate. This can help in determining which marketing campaigns are most effective. Each direct mail campaign or PennySaver USA/ Valassis flyer must have a designated telephone number. You can use this information to see what advertisements are working and which are not. Call Tracking can be used on radio commercials, television commercials, direct mail and print advertisements.

There are many companies that provide call tracking solutions. We recommend the best seller book by Timothy Ferris, 4 Hour Work Week as a great source to find call tracking companies plus information on how to set up a call center. Let’s face it, “you are only as good as the person answering the phone!”  It’s important that you receive a report showing incoming calls in an itemized report that shows what number was called and what time that number was called as well as what region that call came from if you are doing national marketing. Some call tracking companies also offer to record the phone calls. This way you can screen your telemarketing team to see how they are doing with processing sales. It is a wonderful training tool!

Tracking and monitoring your marketing efforts and advertisements will help you in allocating your marketing budget in marketing campaigns that you know will work. There is nothing more devastating to a company than to spend money on an advertisement that produces no or little results. Tracking your direct mail marketing efforts can give you the knowledge that you need to have when it comes to knowing what worked and what didn’t.  Whether it be a snap pack, direct mailer, Valassis, or PennySaver campaign getting accurate results is measurement of what marketing efforts were effective. You no longer have to depend on inaccurate guesswork to determine where you spend your marketing budget. Take control, and let the data direct you!

USPS Cuts…How will this impact DIRECT MAIL?

Changes announced by the U.S. Postal Service will mean slower delivery times for first class mail and fewer mail processing centers nationwide, starting next spring. How will this affect your direct mail campaign or just mailing a package?

At a news briefing Monday, postal vice president  said the USPS wants to virtually eliminate the chance for stamped letters to arrive the next day, to avert possible bankruptcy next year.

The cuts could slow everything from check payments to movie deliveries  and DVSs-by-mail, while adding costs to mail-order prescription drugs and threatening the existence of newspapers and time-sensitive magazines delivered by postal carriers.

The latest changes in service, along with those already implemented, could have a big impact printing and direct mail.

“I think a lot of my customers will have to plan their advertising more strategically and allow for more delivery time. The mail has been such a huge vehicle for delivering direct  mail for their advertising purposes and it’s really sad because it really does still drive a lot of business,” said  Becky Gould, President of Snap Pack Direct Mail.

Some printing businesses have suffered from previous USPS cuts, Gould said. “Already we’ve had some issues with customers seeing that their mail’s not being delivered in a timely manner, however, if planning is done right the mail will still get into the hands of the reader. We now offer a “track and trace” software program that allows for customers to see where there mail is in the delivery process. This helps them to stay calm knowing where there advertising print piece is and keeps them reassured.

Gould said it’s all a sign of the times. Her company’s direct mail business starting implementing different services in order to accommodate the changing times. “You just have to change with the times”, she said, “ Internet became increasingly popular for communication, though  bulk mail marketing still has advantages the web cannot offer.”

Gould pointed out there is still only one mailbox at each household. “When those people open their mailbox and they pull out your advertising piece, you’re still the only one in their hands. I don’t think it will ever die. I think the smart marketers will keep doing direct mail, because it works!” Gould goes on to further claim that their “snap pack pressure seal mailers” still hold a 95% open ratio. She states that there is not a single email marketing campaign that can hold a candle to those statistics!

Postal service officials said first class mail volume dropped to 78 billion pieces in 2010, from more than 100 billion in 2001. Officials said the announced cuts would save up to $3 billion by 2015. Hopefully, there will be a happy middle ground and that the old fashioned way of carrier routes will still remain user friendly.

For more information go to

A Little Secret to Increase Mail Delivery Time with Little Extra Cost

Are you familiar with USPS Priority Mail Open and Distribute or PMOD??? For some  mailers, Priority Mail Drop Shipping is a well kept secret that they are not  aware of, and as a result they are missing out on some great opportunities to  improve delivery and reduce costs.

For those of you not familiar with this service, it is technically termed  Priority Mail Open and Distribute (PMOD) by the United States Postal Service (R)  (USPS). It is a method of drop shipping mail to additional postal entry points  using Priority Mail as the shipping method rather than more traditional methods  such as truckload, less-than-load (LTL) or air freight. The same service is  available using Express Mail Open and Distribute (EMOD), although it is more  expensive due to the quicker delivery time (next day service).

Regardless of which level of service is used, Open and Distribute is a pretty  smart way to drop ship to entry points with smaller volumes of mail which make  the more traditional shipping methods cost prohibitive. It works by entering the  mailpieces at their normal postage prices (e.g. Periodicals, Standard, etc.) and  then placing those trays or sacks of mail into Priority Mail sacks for delivery  to the postal entry point.

By using special sack tags, these Priority Mail sacks are identified to the  USPS as containing drop shipped mail, which the USPS then opens and distributes  the sacks inside as they would normally be routed. The Priority Mail postage is  paid on the weight of the mail inside the PM sack (and tare weight of the  sacks/trays inside the PM sack), and essentially replaces the shipping charges  that would have been charged by freight carriers if the more traditional  shipping methods had been used.

Automate PMOD

In the past, this process was very tedious because this mail had to be  manually separated, manually tagged with the PMOD tags, and postage statements  were manually generated. Now, however, there are software solutions that allow  these functions to be automated to the point that it is much more time and cost  effective to use PMOD.

How can mailers take advantage of PMOD? There are three major benefits to  using PMOD:

1) If you are experiencing delivery delays to remote or distant locations  (e.g. Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, Puerto Rico), or any location for that matter, PMOD  can be a great way to shorten the delivery time. Priority Mail has delivery  standards of 2-3 days, so the mail gets entered into the postal entry points  much more quickly than if the mail was locally entered at the printing plant or  letter shop.

2) You can take advantage of drop ship discounts even for entry points with  low mailing densities, such as Butte, MT or Fargo, ND.

3) You can mail at the less expensive Standard rates, but get very close to  First-Class delivery standards if you use PMOD to drop ship to additional entry  points.

Your mailings can be easily analyzed to determine whether PMOD will be  beneficial for you to use. Using a Mail.dat file, you can process this file  through post-presort Mail.dat management software in a “quick plan” mode. This  will allow you to see all the possible drop ship entry points for which your  mailing would qualify. You can then go a step further by applying freight  charges to the entry points with significant mail volumes. Any entry points with  small volumes can then be exported into PMOD software to determine the estimated  cost of PMOD shipping.

If you do not have post-presort mail.dat management software, you can ask  your printer/mailer to perform these analyses for you, or you can contact a  provider of this type of software to request a demo or trial of the software. If  you have been hesitant to use PMOD in the past due to implementation concerns,  or if you are completely new to PMOD, you owe it to yourself and your company to  check out the possibilities of this great USPS program.

For some mailers, Priority Mail Drop Shipping is a well kept secret that they  are not aware of, and as a result they are missing out on some great  opportunities to improve delivery and reduce costs.

Contact Becky Gould at for more information

Post Office Mailing 101- Everything you need to know about postage rates and delivery time!

Post Office 101- Mailing Classifications and what it means for delivery time and money!
There are basically 4 classes of mail and here is an explanation of methods, cost, and delivery time:
1) First Class mail- first class is priority over everything else and is usually transported via air unless it is local. It is full rate, however, if it is pre-sorted by a mail house it qualifies for the same discounts as listed for 3rd class mail, but 10-11 cents higher. Mail time is guaranteed 2-6 days AND undelivered mail is returned to the sender.
2) Second Class mail- this is the mail that is periodicals or thing like the Pennysaver or coupon books that have a bulk deal with the post office and mail regularly: shopwise, pennysaver, mailed newspapers, magazines- This mail qualifies only with a special permit and regular mailing-
3) 3rd Class Mail- OR “Standard “Bulk” mail”- is everything else, but there are several ways to mail out in order to qualify for lower postal rates. Mail delivery time is not guaranteed, but usually arrives 5-25 days(increased time due to USPS cutbacks and closures). Mail is NOT RETURNED TO SENDER if it is undelivered. It is recycled.

Below is description of methods within 3rd class mail for delivery and discounts:
a) AUTOMATED mail drop- bundle and sort bulk mail discounts- means that a mailhouse (like we are) does the work of sorting the mail into trays for easier processing. Within those trays if there are 175 pcs going to all the same zip code then it qualifies for a level 3 discount. If there are 175 pcs going to all the same carrier route then it qualifies for even deeper level 5 discounts. If the order is all in one state, it qualifies for a level 2 discount, etc…
b) Saturation Mail- saturation mail is when you decide to mail to at least 75% of a single zip code- if this is the case then the discounts are even deeper then a level 5. Sometimes with this type of saturation mail the address will say “resident” instead of the name of the person, so it is not the best means for variable data
c) Comingling is when one mail house groups with another mail house (such as we partner with a huge comingler, Pitney Bowes) to join their mail together to get the optimal discounts mentioned in A at a level 5.
d) PMOD- 3rd class mail with increased delivery time: Priority Mail Overnight Delivery= this is 3rd class mail costs and treated as 3rd class mail, BUT it is FLOWN and delivered to the main central post office if there are at least 175 pieces in one single batch. This increases delivery time. The price to fly the pieces is approximately .08 cents more than the automated rate after pre-sorting. We see delivery times of 4-8 days and this is a very good option for those that are saturating a entire geographical territory rather than the first class delivery of 11 cents.
e) Drop Shipping: if there are over 175 pcs or more going to one particular zip code it may qualify to be dropped shipped which may give the order overall better delivery time by transporting it to the local post office, therefore creating faster delivery times. We determine what is in the best interest of the client based on the cost of this and delivery times for the particular client-

For more information regarding postal rates or delivery methods or time please contact

The Truth about Mail Lists- They MAKE or BREAK your Marketing Campaign!

A Good Mailing List can MAKE or BREAK your Campaign- DON’T USE RECYCLED LISTS!
Everybody knows that Santa is a big believer in having a good list. But he’s not the only one! For years, direct mail experts have agreed that your list (the people to whom you mail) accounts for 40 percent of your mailing’s success. While the means you use to reach potential customers may now include email and social media, the basic premise still holds true: Who you communicate with plays a huge role in the success of your marketing efforts.
For example, let’s say you sell pool supplies and you’re looking for customers. You want to reach people who have pools! People who don’t own a pool are simply not going to buy anything from you—regardless of how great your product is, how wonderful your offer is, or how beautiful your marketing presentation is.
Identifying the right audience is not always as simple as determining who has a pool and who doesn’t. The more specific you can be about defining your audience, the better chance you’ll have of making them an offer that appeals to them—and the more likely they are to respond.
Once you’ve identified the characteristics of your audience, you can enlist the service mail list provider to get the names and addresses of people who are likely to respond. With a good provider you will have access to an incredible wealth of demographic information available that can help you reach the people who are most likely to respond.
Be aware that the more specific your list is (that is, the more defining characteristics you use) the higher the cost of the list. But the more qualified the list, the higher the probability of response will be. And the goal is not simply getting your message out—it’s getting a positive response to your message.
Let’s look at an example of how the quality of a list can impact the results of a mailing.
Let’s assume our mailer is selling pool supplies. The offer and the creative package are identical. One mailing uses a general (unqualified) mailing list that focuses on a ZIP code with a high average household income (people who might have pools). The other mailing uses a very specific mailing list that includes only people known to own pools.

Even though the cost of the qualified/targeted list was $1,000 more than the generic list, the net result was an increase of $14,000 in net profit-a pretty good return on the investment! While no one will guarantee that your response rates will go from 0.5% to 2% it is indisputable that-all other things being equal-a targeted list will out-pull a generic list every time.
Regardless of whether your marketing efforts include direct mail, email, or social media, a huge factor in your success hinges on talking to the right audience.
For a reputable mail list company contact

New JUMBO Snap Pack Pressure Seal Mailers- HUGE SUCCESS!!!

Super Large Pressure Seal Mailers that will BLOW YOU AWAY, Plus Discounted postage and Wholesale Production Pricing!

Are you ready for this? These new GIGANTIC Snap Pac pressure seal mailers will stop people dead in their tracks! Talk about an “attention grabber”! It just doesn’t get any better. Who says, “size doesn’t matter”???
This new Snap Pack is just like a blown up version of the standard 8 ½ x 11”. The oversized snap pack @ .35 cents each is actually 11” x 17” folded in half down to 8.5” x 11”. The jumbo snap pack is official looking and is personalized with variable data mail merge throughout. This pressure seal piece travels as saturation mail due the change in the postal requirements that allow for up to 15” pieces. It is extremely large and OFFICIAL looking. It has perforations on the side for easy tear off. Why not take advantage of a “BIG THING”. These snap packs are bound to be seen in the mail before ANYTHING ELSE. In fact, they might just scare you into opening them by size alone.
Saturation mail can be very large in size now – up to 12” x 15.No consumer has ever received any piece like this, and whoever mails it is going to do really well!!! These snap pack pressure seal envelopes will just stand out like a hot potato!
To get a better understanding of saturation mail, this is being run under the Every Door Direct Mail program. No mailing list is required (another savings), and we can target your campaign by house values and income levels. We can even eliminate apartments, and businesses. Honestly, this is the best program I have ever seen in mail. There is nothing like it.
Any company that serves a defined geographic area can and should use this type of snap pac pressure seal mailer and this type of inexpensive delivery. A year ago I would have told you to spend your money on Google. Today there is absolutely no question – send out a huge SNAP PACK mailer and grab more attention than you ever dreamed possible.
For more information on the Jumbo Snap Pack Pressure Seal Mailer contact Becky G at

NEW Brown Kraft Envelope with Inserted Check delivers HUGE Return on Investment!

To those of you who need a brilliant mail piece that drives response rates through the roof, look no farther1

Our custom Brown Kraft envelope with red is delivering excellent results!  Some clients are also adding a “CHECK” that can be seen through the window. We have tested response rates and expect this little number to be opened about 97% of the time!

We also offer similar design in a snap pack pressure seal mailer. Our check snappers with a window are also performing like a champ!

We are a commercial printer that has the capability to print any kind of mailer you need! We have a new envelope converter machine that will make just about any custom style you need. Call us for a free consultation or quote.

Call us at 209-992-1113 to order your next mailer.

Direct mail USPS Discounts 3% month of July-Aug

POSTAL NEWS- Discounts on postage summer 2011

The USPS is running a special promotion to entice mailers to test mobile barcodes on their direct mail. The ultimate goal is to build awareness of mobile technology and demonstrate to mailers how mobile barcodes can increase the value of mail.

At Media Print Solutions we can process and track your barcode for you. This will not only allow you to get a discount, but it will help direct readers to your website! We can add and track a barcode to any direct mail piece including standard envelope mai, snap pack pressure seal mailers, variable data mailers,  postcards, or catalog mailers.

A mobile barcode is a two-dimensional barcode that can be read or scanned by a smart phone and will direct the user to an advertising website. The two most common types of mobile barcodes are QR Codes (Quick Response) and MS (Microsoft) Tags.

Program Details

The program runs from July 1, 2011 through August 31, 2011 and is available for First Class, Standard and Non-Profit Mailers who incorporate a two-dimensional barcode either on the face or inside every piece in the mailing that is designed to direct the user to a promotional website. Mailers will receive an upfront 3% discount on postage for mailings that meet program requirements.

Program Requirements

  • First Class, Standard and Non-Profit mail is eligible.
  • All mail pieces must include a mobile two-dimensional barcode on the face or within the mail piece.
  • The barcode must be used for marketing purposes only.
  • Postage must be paid via permit imprint and all postage documentation must be submitted to the USPS electronically.
  • Co-mailing customers are eligible to participate in this progrom