View Full Version : direct mail, again.

Mike M
03-18-2008, 10:05 AM

I'm sick of local media ad space and lack of basic design and value/respect for proof-revisions. I will either pay a graphics pro to do my work or do it myself.

I also realized the best placement for my ad is being the only placement. (direct mail.)

Quantummail was an awesome referral here, but my new Mac gear is not supported on it (argh!!). Also, they do have a production consitency problem and splotch up a little at times, but all in all, it is ideal for small, community-targeted mailings and very fast turnover. And you can do a small mailing for like 20 people (minimum) if you want. When they get it right, the color and uv coated cards look incredible.

My question, since they don't do Mac: who else offers a similar technology/service other than quantummail?

I'll post my response with RSVP, that is going out in a few days. The upside of RSVP is low cost for high volume, but the downside is narrowing down my demographic & communities and high-quality production (its okay, but not like the higher end quantum stuff), and the wait between mailings seems like eternity. I like to place an ad as fast as I can create one, when I need it.

Side note: I went in an "upscale home improvement magazine" this month and they put in a stock photo without me knowing, of unshielded glare-source lanterns, and they ignored 3 of my revision requests for my add, including my friggin website address, and my logo was cut-off.

No more in-house graphics peeps for me, ever.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
03-18-2008, 10:20 AM
Mike, that 'upscale home improvement magazine' would not be getting paid for the ad if they did that with my account.

I have always designed and produced my own ads here in-house. It can actually be fun once you get the hang of it. I like to keep things very simple and always feature some photos.

A couple of years ago I was offered a job at a local magazine company after submitting my ad to them. A nice compliment.


03-18-2008, 11:39 AM
RSVP does more than just send out the decks. We're having them do 9x6 cards for us and they will also send them out when we tell them to do so. Right now we're planning on sending out 5,000 a month to start. The cards that they do look great and the price is very competitive. Just give them a schedule and away they go. I'm not sure about the other locations, but our rsvp guy is great....probably another reason we go with them.

The Lighting Geek
03-18-2008, 12:35 PM
Mike, I would not pay a dime to the magazine. I have had to use a graphic artist because of the changes everyone wants to make to my ads. I use serveral different vehicles to advertise and I find it easier to design the ad and let the GD handle the calls and changes. It costs me a little more but I don't have the time to do it. I need to be out selling and doing work, and signing autographs...heh, well, maybe someday. LOL

I use RSVP and get a great return for the investment. I am now also sending 200 cards to addresses near the jobs we finish with the address of the job so they can check it out. Someone else did that and it really increased the interest.

The Lighting Geek
03-18-2008, 12:50 PM
I forgot to post this as well. It is a sample of my last ad. OK, I'm a spaz...lol

03-18-2008, 12:56 PM
nothin there..

03-18-2008, 02:26 PM
James, Tommy. Very nice looking adds from both of you.

Mike M
03-18-2008, 06:56 PM
Yeah, what Tim said.

James, what font is that, plus, I see that is a Corel Draw file? How much is Corel Draw? I'd like an alternative to the Adobe black hole.

Flow Control
03-18-2008, 07:04 PM
Is this the RSVP company you guys are talking about? www.rsvppublications.com if so could you tell me about any positive campaigns you have done with them.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
03-18-2008, 08:07 PM
Yeah, what Tim said.

James, what font is that, plus, I see that is a Corel Draw file? How much is Corel Draw? I'd like an alternative to the Adobe black hole.

The font is Goudy OldStyle BT

I use Corel Draw X3 Suite to do most of my desktopping of ads and promos and such. I also have Photoshop for post production of images. If you are on a MAC I would recommend Quark for desktop publishing... just be ready for a BIG learning curve. I used to use PageMaker, but have not kept it up to date.

There is a lot to know about desktop publishing for production print work. I am lucky, one of my oldest and best friends owns Metropolis Media and helps me out when ever I am in a pinch.

Chris J
03-18-2008, 10:30 PM
James, you have a registered trademark on the phrase "see the effect, not the source?" You're the one who came up with this phrase?

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
03-18-2008, 10:52 PM
Wow that is a flattering thought Chris, but no I make no claim whatsoever to that line.

I may be completely wrong, but until I am told otherwise, I will give full credit for "See the effect, not the source" to the late, great William J. Locklin. He is the first person I had ever heard say it

(Gregg C. will probably find some archival info that will either back me up or correct me!)

03-19-2008, 02:52 AM
ICS, that is the same company. RSVP sends out direct mail card decks. I think there might be somewhere between 50-60 cards per deck, however there is only 1 company per catagory in each mailing which makes it non competitive. Price per quantity is hard to beat when using them. I think they send out 50,000 per mailing. We've used them quite a bit and we always see a return, but just like any direct mail it's never really consistant. Sometimes we might get 25 calls per mailing, other times we might get 15. Either way it's not a bad way to go. The down side is that I think they only send the decks out quarterly.

Flow Control
03-19-2008, 03:02 PM
Thanks, I appreciate the info. I am going to meet with a sales person tomorrow. They told me they mail every two months (March, May, July,...) the timing is not ideal but the price point seems fair enough to give it a try.

03-22-2008, 02:43 PM
I found a printing company that looks like they have very affordable pricing. I saw some brochures and business cards from them and they did a really first class job. Anybody know of pricing that is more reasonable anywhere else?

Mike M
03-22-2008, 05:20 PM
Tim, they do addressing, but it looks like you have to provide them with the list on cd or email file.

I'm looking for another company like quantummail that does everything, including the list. They also have templates and an online graphics editor. Cheesy, but it can really work nice.

Quantum does not support my new macbook.

03-23-2008, 01:37 AM
Mike, rsvp does everything including the list.

The Lighting Geek
03-23-2008, 02:07 AM
I use RSVP and they do a good job of scrubbing their lists.The difference between all advertising companies in my opinion, is how well they scrub or update their lists. I have sent out the exact same card through 2 different companies at the same time and got very different results. Both did 40,000 units and were mailed within a week of each other. When I got a call, I also made sure to find out if they recieved both decks or not. Not scientific but interesting. I also have the same ad in different magazines (both mailed to similiar demographics) and the same thing happens. I suggest you get a sample pack or magazine and call the current advertisers and question them. I do and they are very forthcoming with info. Be sure to look at the ad and judge that against the results as well. A bad ad in a good vehicle will get you mixed results. Sorry for long post, but I deal with stuff daily.

03-23-2008, 11:57 AM
I have used Got Print for quite some time to print my door hangers and flyers. I use the flyers as inserts for a local weekly. They do a first rate job at a VERY good price.