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People like shiny things. They catch our attention. So why not use that to your advantage in print? One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to add that shimmer and pop is PANTONE Metallic inks.

Direct Mail A Disruptive Technology that is Changing Marketing

VOL. 9, ISSUE 2, 2019 Shawmut Communications Group |

Our cover features PANTONE 10412 C, part of the newly expanded Metallics collection. Announced this year, this collection now includes more than 650 trend-driven metallic colors that are perfect for packaging and commercial print projects. PMS inks are applied inline on our H-UV offset press, so it’s a faster and more cost-effective way to make the cover stand out. Compared to foil stamping or metallic substrates, PANTONE Metallic inks: • are less expensive • c reate no waste in the recycling process • a  re able to print fine screen values, as well as solid color • o  ffer more than 650 color choices

“In our visual society—where we are option saturated, attention-scarce and designobsessed—understanding how to leverage the power of color to tell your story will help you better engage and create strong emotional connections with your target audience, and build greater brand equity in a marketplace where competition for share of mind, heart, and pocketbook is fierce.” Laurie Pressman VP, Pantone Color Institute

DON’T FORGET! Claim Your Free Subscription to Tactics Like what you’re reading? To get future issues you’ll need to subscribe. As the article on page 2 explains, GDPR, or General Data Protection Regulation, is a law designed to protect consumer privacy. At the core of GDPR is the consumer’s right to consent to receive communications and the ability to withdraw that consent at any time. Although GDPR does not necessarily apply to direct mail, we want to get yours anyway! To sign up visit tactics-subscribe. By doing so, you’ll be providing your consent to receive Tactics by mail and email (don’t worry you can opt out at any time).

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FEATURED EXPERTS Rob Gartmayer Marketing Manager, UpToDate Don Lutkus Owner, Lutkus Partners Carlos Moreno Director of Mailing, Shawmut

Free resource:

DIELINES & TEMPLATES Design faster with our ready-to-go dielines and templates! Download the files to save yourself time on your next print design project, and don’t forget to check back often to see the new dielines we release each month!

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Bright and Shiny The days are getting longer and brighter. Soon enough we’ll be able to open up the windows and enjoy the fresh spring air. It’s a time when things become bright and shiny again—assuming the New England weather cooperates! Changing weather patterns aside, the yearly transition to spring is fairly certain. It’s a change we see coming and generally know what to expect. It’s the changes we cannot predict, however, that are usually the most exciting and offer the biggest rewards. Whether in our personal or professional lives, unexpected changes keep us on our toes, push us to learn, and help us uncover new interests.

dark ages. Well, the tides are changing. What’s old is new. And direct mail just might be the new bright and shiny object marketers start chasing after. Don’t believe us? Check out the data on page 13. This is an exciting time for marketers and designers to leverage all of the benefits of print. From new inks like the PMS Metallic shown on our cover to print integrated with Informed Delivery, NFC, AR, VR, IP targeting, social and digital advertising, and a whole lot more. Plus, where else can you make something that’s so shiny and bright? Like Tactics? Claim your free subscription: Enjoy!

In our cover story, we’ll show you how direct mail has become one of those unexpected changes. Marketers and industry authors have referred to direct mail as a “disruptive technology”—something most of us never expected to hear (although we totally agree)!

Michael Peluso President

Many of our fellow print-enthusiasts know the perception of mail wasn’t great for several years. We heard marketers say snail mail was for the



 GDPR has made consent a required best practice for marketers, but getting that consent is not always easy. Direct mail offers some relief but there are still a few things you need to know before sending your next brochure or postcard.



  Today’s buyers have grown up in a digital world, receiving nearly every marketing message through a screen. The result? Physical pieces have become an unexpected and welcome premium that disrupts the status quo—leading many brands to turn back to direct mail.



  Designing for print collateral and large pieces like trade show booths, banners, and signage requires alternate strategies and tools. We asked Don Lutkus of Lutkus Partners to share his tips for creating large print masterpieces.



Consumers are inundated with digital messages and tune out a majority of the ads they are exposed to. Marketers, on the other hand, are seeing an increased response mail and VOL. 9, ISSUE 2, 2019 to direct Shawmut 1 many are predicting a comeback.

Why Direct Mail Might Be the Solution to Your GDPR Troubles GDPR. Those four little letters have drastically changed the way marketers market. GDPR, or General Data Protection Regulation, is a massive piece of legislation that went into effect last May in Europe aimed at protecting consumer privacy. While the law originated across the pond, any American business with European customers is affected. Under the legislation, marketers can no longer collect, store, and utilize customer data to send targeted campaigns—unless they have a “lawful reason” to do so. For many brands, that translates into getting a customer’s consent before sending marketing materials. “GDPR has forced marketing departments to re-think their outreach approach,” Michelle Cardin, Shawmut’s Marketing Director, says. “In order to comply with the privacy regulations, brands might not be able to reach as many people digitally as they’d like.”



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“ Regularly scrubbing our databases

to ensure that we have permission or legitimate interest to communicate with each person is something we should be doing, with or without legislation.

Michelle Cardin, Shawmut’s Marketing Director

If you don’t have European customers, you’re in the clear, right? Perhaps for now, but legal experts believe it’s only a matter of time before similar legislation is passed in the U.S. But, here’s a little known fact. Direct mail marketing is a GDPR anomaly. Direct mail doesn’t require the same consent. In other words, you can send direct mail without having customers opt-in.

NO CONSENT NEEDED? REALLY? Really. The law doesn’t require marketers to get consent before sending direct mail campaigns. Instead, direct mail marketers can lawfully engage with customers and their personal information based on what that law calls “legitimate interest.” If, for example, a customer pays an accountant to handle their taxes



VOL. 9, ISSUE 2, 2019

every year, it stands to reason that the customer would have a legitimate interest in a discount for tax services or information about new tax software. Since direct mail has fewer regulations, it stands to reason that more marketers would use it. “In 2018 Shawmut saw a 20% increase in the number of mail pieces we processed. While we can’t attribute that growth entirely to changes in digital privacy regulations, it is likely a contributing factor,” Cardin says. Direct mail might be a more GDPR-friendly marketing tool, but brands realize that it’s not the only answer. GDPR is really about focusing on best practices regarding consumer privacy, Cardin says, which explains why companies are getting consent from customers even if they don’t need it.

WHY SOME BRANDS ARE GETTING CONSENT ANYWAY Even though companies can lawfully send direct mail to customers with legitimate interest, some brands are still getting consent from their customers with varying tactics like online forms and QR-coded business cards that deliver customers to a mobile consent page. Why? In a digital age where transparency seems lacking, many companies see the pursuit of consent as a trust-building crusade. “GDPR and other privacy legislation forces marketers to follow guidelines that we should be using anyway,” Cardin says. “Regularly scrubbing our databases to ensure that we have permission or legitimate interest to communicate with each person is something we should be doing,

with or without legislation.” Cardin says GDPR presents an opportunity to openly communicate with customers, gain their trust, and deepen relationships.

GDPR AND DIRECT MAIL: TIPS YOU CAN USE GDPR might be a little less stringent in the direct marketing world, but there are still a few things you should know before sending your next brochure or postcard. Here are some tips:

 Get legal involved early Marketers tend to create a campaign and run it by legal before sending it out, but GDPR forces marketing and legal departments to collaborate. Get legal involved in the planning stages. Whether you want to send an email, direct mail, or text, make sure you can create the campaign

you want without failing GDPR compliance by working with your legal team.

 Personalize your campaigns Contacting legitimately interested customers comes with a certain level of expectation. If customers know about your business and have formed opinions about it, you have to respond with tailored messages that encourage interested customers to act. Personalization is the key. Gather data, segment lists, and create targeted messages for each group.

U  se direct mail to get consent for email marketing

Send customers a postcard with a special promotion for an eBook or webinar, for example. When customers go to the landing page, include a request for consent for direct marketing. GDPR represents a shift in the way brands engage with customers, and it’s likely not the last. Several other countries are considering similar laws that take a hard line on data collection and use. To prepare, marketers should create a GDPR-compliant marketing strategy; one that embraces the best practices that the privacy law requires. 

You can use direct mail as a tool to collect consent for other digital forms of marketing like email.

VOL. 9, ISSUE 2, 2019





VOL. 9, ISSUE 2, 2019

Americans spend nearly half of their day interacting with media. Nielsen research shows adults rack up an average of eleven hours of screen time every. single. day. Consumers have become digital carnivores, devouring a steady diet of multi-device media.

Direct Mail

A Disruptive Technology that is Changing Marketing

This endless need to watch, click, and play has encouraged marketers to invest heavily in digital advertising. Digital ad revenues surpassed 50% of total ad spend last year, reaching $106 billion, according to a report from Magna. But, here’s the problem: digital media doesn’t stand out anymore. Consumers have built up an immunity to the endless array of ads they see while browsing for new shoes or checking their social feeds. To wake consumers from digital hypnosis, marketers are turning to a more disruptive option: direct mail.

VOL. 9, ISSUE 2, 2019



“Emails and social ads have become noise,” says Rob Gartmayer, Marketing Manager for Clinical Effectiveness at Wolters Kluwer Health. “As marketers, we need to be unique in order to break through to customers continuously. To disrupt the norm, we’re using direct mail.”

Average time spent per day Q1 2018 4:10

“There was a time when direct mail was considered junk mail,” Gartmayer says. “Now things have somewhat shifted and email feels overwhelming. You look at the messages in your inbox briefly and toss most of them in the trash. Meanwhile, a well done direct mail piece makes customers take a second look, giving you a valuable opportunity to gain their attention.” At Wolters Kluwer, direct mail is used as a major component in customer win-back campaigns. Gartmayer says the organization sends letters to lapsed subscribers of UpToDate asking them to renew


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Q4 2017




0:06 0:22









Q3 2017

0:06 0:21









Live TV

Time-Shifted TV


DVD/Blu-ray Device

Game Console

Internet Connected Device

Internet on a Computer

App/Web on a Smartphone

App/Web on a Tablet

their subscription to the company’s clinical resource. “We send a letter to subscribers in the medical profession asking them to renew. Like many marketers, we use a multi-touch approach and do outreach via email as well, but the real winner is direct mail. Response rates vary depending on the time of year, but we’ve seen an ROI on direct mail as high as 300%.”

Rob Gartmayer is the Marketing Manager on the Subscriber Retention team for UpToDate, the world’s most trusted clinical decision support resource. Rob manages marketing efforts including direct mail and email marketing campaigns.




Direct mail as a disrupter What makes direct mail a disruptive technology, you ask? In a world of screens and scrolls, holding a piece of personalized mail is different than catching a glimpse of yet another browser ad.

0:06 0:26

Carlos Moreno, Shawmut’s Director of Mailing, says Wolters Kluwer is one of many companies returning to direct mail to attract and retain customers. “Last year we had a 20% jump in direct mail volumes,” reported Moreno. “We helped clients send 14.3 million pieces of direct mail in 2018.” National statistics mirror the growth in direct mail volumes Shawmut has seen and points to a resurgence. In the last two years, direct mail volume has climbed and most experts expect volumes to continue on that trend through 2020. Forecasts show direct mail

Like what you see? Don’t miss the next issue.

Share of daily time spent by platform

Average time spent per day on social networking

Q1 2018

Q3 2017

Q4 2017


Q1 2018 0:05


26% 37%





60% 16%

Tablet 16%

16% 7%

14% 7%



6% 25%







0:46 Total

0:43 Total

0:45 Total


6% 29%

0:35 17%


2% 4%








Adults 18+

Ages 18–34

Ages 35–49

Ages 50–64

Ages 65+

Live and Time-Shifted TV TV-Connected Devices (DVD, Game Console, Internet Device)

App/Web on a Smartphone

volume increasing by an average of 4 or 5% each year, according to the CMO Council. Moreno believes more brands will lean on direct mail in the coming months, not just because it breaks the digital drumbeat, but also because direct mail can be personalized in so many ways. “There was a time when marketers sent the same direct mail piece to every customer,” Moreno said. “Now marketers are more data-savvy. They know their customers, segment lists, and create personalized messages that encourage action.”

Radio Internet on a Computer App/Web on a Tablet

Per adult 18+, based on total U.S. population Source: Q1 Nielsen Total Audience Report

One of the universities that works with Shawmut, for example, created a giving campaign that consisted of five different letters and 63 variations within them. “The university used a variety of data like giving history, giving frequency, and donation timing to create truly personalized messages to donors—and it worked. The university experienced its highest giving year on record,” Moreno said. Despite a generation of customers being raised by screens, success stories like this prove that direct mail is disrupting the status quo

and reaching customers in ways digital methods can’t.

Tips to “disrupt” using direct mail To help create an effective direct mail campaign in the digital era, Moreno and Gartmayer offer these tips:

Get data happy To create a must-read piece of direct mail, you have to know your customers. Collect and utilize customer data for every campaign. (Sound advice for any marketing campaign, really).

VOL. 9, ISSUE 2, 2019



Segment, segment, segment The days of sending generic flyers to the masses are over. Segment your customers based on demographics or behavioral data and create personalized messages for each niche.

Know the new USPS The postal service has launched new programs to help direct mail marketers that you might not know about, Moreno says. Look into programs like Informed Delivery and Mail Tracking using the Intelligent Mail Barcode to improve your campaigns.

“ Like many marketers, we use a multi-

touch approach and do outreach via email as well, but the real winner is direct mail. Response rates vary depending on the time of year, but we’ve seen an ROI on direct mail as high as 300%.

Rob Gartmayer, Marketing Manager on the Subscriber Retention team for UpToDate

UpToDate 230 Third Avenue Waltham, MA 02451-7528

Break the direct mail mold Don’t be afraid to try new things. For instance, Wolters Kluwer tested the envelope used with their UpToDate mailers. Recipients either received a plain white envelope, an envelope with an image, or a bright green envelope. After running tests, the company saw better response rates with green envelopes and is using this eye-catching idea to convert more customers moving forward.

UpToDate 230 Third Avenue Waltham, MA 02451-7528

UpToDate 230 Third Avenue Waltham, MA 02451-7528

Don’t ban screens While direct mail is shaking things up, it’s just one piece of your marketing puzzle. When you combine direct mail with email and social in a multitouch campaign, you’ll have greater success. In fact, according to Merkle, marketing campaigns that used direct mail and 1 or more digital channels experienced a 118% lift in response rate compared to using direct mail only. 



VOL. 9, ISSUE 2, 2019

Carlos is Shawmut’s director of mailing and data services. He leads a team of mailing experts and works with our clients to help them achieve optimal deliverability rates and postal savings. Carlos recently became certified as a Mail Piece Design Consultant (MDC), by the Mail System Management (MSMA).


Scaling Up: How to Turn Great Collateral Design into Large Print Masterpieces A Q&A with Don Lutkus, Owner at Lutkus Partners

Apples and oranges. Cats and dogs. Print collateral and trade show booths. You get the idea. Creating large print pieces requires a different approach. From the photos you choose to the placement of logos and headlines, there are a number of considerations that come into play when designing for big spaces. Elements that work for small-scale print design, like brochures and self-mailers won’t always work for signage, wall murals, and banners. And attempting to translate those files into larger than life graphics could be a recipe for disaster. After decades of design work, Don Lutkus has developed unique strategies and recommendations for just about every format. We caught up with him to learn what makes designing large print pieces unique. Here’s what he had to say. What is the biggest difference between designing for large spaces and print collateral?

It all comes down to viewing distance. Print collateral is almost always viewed close-up, typically by being held in someone’s hand. With large print pieces, however, you need to account for 2–3 viewing distances. Think about a trade show. When attendees walk the floor they may first see your booth from a 30–40 foot distance, which is often obstructed. There may be a lot of foot traffic or other signage blocking their view. How will they find your brand? Then you need to account for how they will see your both from 10–15 feet away as they walk down the aisle. Will it entice them to stop and talk with you? What about once they are in the booth and at a close viewing distance? Make sure the booth isn’t designed to tell your whole story, that’s the job of your sales reps and other exhibit staff. The booth should pull them in and support your conversation.

What resources do you need before designing large print pieces? Generally, people will say you need “high-res” photos, but that can be a misnomer. I don’t like to use the term high-res because the resolution you need depends entirely on the size of the piece you are printing. When starting a large design project, I ask clients to find the original photo or artwork file. That might mean they have to go back to their photographer, marketing team, or a previous designer so it’s a good idea to have this conversation early to avoid any project delays. How do you ensure consistency between print materials and large pieces? First things first, do your homework. You need to know your brand guidelines (or your client’s guidelines). These should inform your design considerations and cover the obvious stuff like typefaces and colors. VOL. 9, ISSUE 2, 2019




Small, Larger, Largest Small Format printing includes everything from standard copy paper to commercial offset or digital printing on sheets that generally go up to 40" wide. Large/Wide Format printing typically ranges between 18" and 100" wide and offers many substrate choices. Super Wide/Grand format printing is typically more than 100" wide.

There are also technical considerations to consider when designing for larger formats. For example, when printing wide format there is no such thing as a PMS color. Unlike in the offset world where you can use PMS values to specify a specific shade (similar to buying paint at Home Depot) you’ll be limited to CMYK values in wide format printing. Even if you use the same CMYK values across every project—which is a good rule of thumb to follow— color consistency can be dicey. Color output varies based on printing equipment and the substrate. Although using consistent values for CMYK (print) or RGB (on-screen) is a good place




to start it won’t eliminate color issues completely. Nothing will, but you can get the best match possible by sticking with printers that calibrate their equipment often or have color certifications like G7. If getting a match between wide format and offset is an absolute must for the brand, you could run tests with your printer and adjust CMYK values as necessary. Just remember that this will add time and money to the project so plan accordingly. What advice do you have for designers that might be new to designing for large spaces? Design for production. It’s one thing to throw down a bunch of ideas on screen, but as

Don is a hands-on creative. On any given day he can be found in his studio discussing marketing strategy with a client, writing a video script, or designing and coding a CMS-based website. Prior to launching Lutkus Partners in 2008, Don was the Creative Director at several large companies in the Boston area including Bose, MathWorks, and Constant Contact.



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you’re doing that make sure your proportions are correct. When I design I always start with production in mind. Rather than using low-res images and converting them later, I spend the time to procure the best images, create style sheets, and ensure I have everything else the printer will need to produce large pieces at the highest quality. What lessons have you learned designing for large spaces? Designing large pieces has reinforced the need to understand your audience. When creating a trade show booth, I base every decision off of how the audience will experience the design. That’s ultimately the biggest responsibility for every designer. Sometimes that means making recommendations that the client may not want to follow. However, if it serves the interests of your audience it usually works out in the long run. 


Direct Mail is Making a Comeback Remember when everyone said direct mail was dead? Marketing analysts predicted a future with little to no print marketing. Many of us nodded in agreement. To some extent the predictions were right. There is no denying that direct mail volumes have declined. It was a natural result of the birth of online bill pay and more sophisticated targeting strategies for marketers (less mail means better, more relevant mail).

And marketers certainly flocked to digital channels in droves, favoring their speed to market and cheaper price tag. But, now some experts say the pendulum has swung too far. Digital channels have become oversaturated and largely ignored by consumers. So what’s next? Does direct mail have a future in our high-tech world? Beyond a doubt. In fact, research shows it may be on the brink of a comeback.


In the United States, the average response rate for direct mail is 9% for house lists and 5% for prospect lists.







Direct mail response rates continue to rise: house lists have seen a 173% increase and prospect lists a 194% increase since 2006. Comparatively, email, paid search and social hover around 1% and display ads are approx .3%.1

98% of people check their mail daily. Alternatively, nearly 56% of all digital advertising is never seen due to ad blockers, tab switching and distractions, page loads and plug-ins.3

Hello, Jane!


Over 84% of consumers who responded to direct mail reported that personalization made them more likely to open a direct mail piece.2


of direct mail is opened, and 82% is read for a minute or more. 2

Nearly 80% of direct mail providers believe direct mail volumes will increase at an average annual growth of 4% to 5%.4

1: DMA 2018 Response Rate report, 2: InfoTrends study, 3: USPS & Google , 4: Trends and Future of Direct Mail through 2020 by PRIMIR/INTERQUEST

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Shawmut Communications Group 33 Cherry Hill Drive, Danvers, MA 01923

John Q. Sample 123 Any Street Any City, AS 12345-6789

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Tactics Magazine, Volume 9, Issue 2  

Tactics Magazine is a bi-monthly publication created by and for marketing and creative minds.

Tactics Magazine, Volume 9, Issue 2  

Tactics Magazine is a bi-monthly publication created by and for marketing and creative minds.