Marketing specialists are not short on tips for boosting direct mail response rates: effective copywriting, targeted marketing, data mining, good list management, and so on. While these are crucial elements to any marketing campaign, don’t overlook the physical aspects of the printed piece itself.
One especially underutilized technique is the creative use of postpress or finishing options to add decorative enhancements to a printed piece. Let’s look at a few.
At minimum, you should consider the value of varnishes or coatings. These can be applied either during or after printing. They are used to protect or add gloss and sheen to make a printed piece “pop.”
- Spot varnish can be added to certain portions of a printed piece, such as a particular image or bit of text, accenting those areas and providing contrast.
- Aqueous coatings are water-based and more environmentally friendly than other varnishes and coatings. They can also be more expensive.
- UV coatings add greater levels of sheen and protection than varnishes or aqueous coatings.
Varnishes and coatings are also available in a range of gloss levels.
More elaborate finishing techniques can make your printed piece even more eye-catching. Embossing, for example, uses dies to create raised (or “relief”) areas that make images or text literally pop out. Debossing creates depressed portions of a printed piece. Foils and specialty inks can be added to embossed regions to add even more special effects. Foil stamping applies metallic foils like gold or silver to the substrate, also going a long way toward highlighting text and images.
Just as you would rarely make a cake without considering icing and other decorative touches, so too shouldn’t you think of creating a printed product without considering the available finishing options. We can help you decide on the best options for your specific job.