Wednesday, December 28, 2022

3 Top Specialty Papers for Your Print Marketing

Our team at Duplicates INK - marketSMART works closely with our paper stock supplier partners so that we are upto date with the latest trends, inventory availability, price changes, availability and consumer acceptance.   Most folks don't realize how much the paperstock effects the overall engagement of the printing piece. 

Metallic, matte, recycled.

If you want to create direct mail marketing that stands out from the crowd, these three types of paper are the ones you want to know about. 

While it might sound simple, there are implications to using each type. So let's take a closer look.

3 Top Specialty Papers for Your Print Marketing

1. Memorable Metallic

This paper is shiny, durable, and oh, so sophisticated.

The metallic finish almost creates a 3D effect and gives your designs a warmth and depth that no other paper can.

Metallic tones add a bold and elegant touch to your designs, from projects as simple as homemade cards to more sophisticated endeavors like business cards, stationery, or even your wedding paper suite.

Use metallic papers to create a line of business marketing materials that pop. Try pairing metallic envelopes with non-metallic paper printed with metallic ink for a subtler look.

2. Earthy Matte

Why choose matte? It's chic and earthy.

Matte can make your materials look modern, and it's very on-trend. This paper is associated with a warm, soft, glowing effect.

Matte surfaces will reflect the light in different directions, diffusing light so there is less glare.

Matte paper is regular paper covered with a thin layer of inkjet receiving coating. This coating allows every drop of ink from the inkjet printer to be appropriately received, making for an exceptional, professional finish. It also dries quickly and resists fingerprints.

Matte paper uses less coating and undergoes less polishing than glossy paper. However, it is not the best paper for printing many pictures on, so if your project is photo intensive, you might opt for something different.

3. Renew with Recycled

Recycled paper is perfect for a company that promotes environmental awareness, as recycling causes 35% less water pollution and 74% less air pollution than making new paper.

This paper is made from a raw, fibrous material called pulp, typically made from the breakdown of wood chips or paper recovered for recycling. The latter is how we get recycled, eco-friendly paper.

While it is great for the environment, be aware that it does cost a bit more.

Whichever type of paper you choose, we're here to help you succeed and make the most out of your printing. 

Contact us today to start your next project!


Duplicates INK - marketSMART   843-248-2574


#paperstock #marketingwithprint #printmarketing #duplicatesink #marketsmart

Thursday, December 22, 2022


Why Do Some of My Mailed Postcards Have Smudges or Scuff Marks?

Postcard Smudges

Our team at Duplicates INK - marketSMART genuinely takes PRIDE in the quality of projects that we produce.  Over the last 30 years we have earned over 60 Industry Awards for our quality of work.  When we process direct mail and it enters the mail stream we loose our ability to control the quality.   In this article we want to share with you a few reasons why your project may experience some "Smudges or Scuff Marks"

These smudges and rub or scuff marks have been referred to as “postcard (or mail) survivability.” Meaning, how well does the postcard survive while traveling through the high-speed rollers and sorting systems of the United States Postal Service (USPS)?

Rubbing/Scuffing Contact Marks

When the postcards hit the USPS mail system, a machine orients the postcard (or other piece of mail) and cancels the stamp or postage indicia. At the same time, a digital camera captures the address and ZIP code from the postcard and assigns a fluorescent inkjet barcode and identification number. 

Next, the postcard is passed through a Delivery Bar Code Sorter (DBCS) system. Depending on how far the mail piece has to travel, it may be processed by four to six different DBCS machines along the way to its final destination (local post office). These sorting machines are made up of a series of belts and rollers that sort the mail based on outgoing ZIP codes. The black rubber belts and rollers are typically the culprits and are usually the reason why you might see color smudges or scuffing on your postcards. The rollers physically grip and contact the postcard as it pushes it through to the correct ZIP code bin. If the roller applies too much pressure as it grips the mail, it may penetrate the color toner on the surface of the postcard, leaving scuff marks. Occasionally, the equipment may even rip the cards. Usually these marks occur about halfway to three-quarters of the way down on either side of the card where the high-speed belts make contact.

Postcards sent via first class that are deemed as undeliverable by the USPS (meaning that they cannot be delivered to the addressee) are especially vulnerable to scuffing and marking. The USPS takes extra steps to attempt to deliver this class of mail. These postcards are intentionally sent through the DBCS sorters several additional times to ensure that they are in fact “undeliverable” before they are deemed to be dead. Next time you get your first class undeliverable postcards returned to you- take note as to how scuffed they look.

Local Post Office Equipment Maintenance Is the Key

If your local USPS post office sorting machines are not calibrated correctly they can penetrate the postcard’s paper and color toner leaving black smudges, burn marks, scuffing, rub marks, tears, and/or even rips. Some people may think that these marks are because the ink wasn’t dry when it left the printer. This is not the case. In fact, digital printers like us don’t even use ink. We use color toner crystals that are instantly fused to the paper and dried—before the postcard comes off the printing press.

Since every USPS mail facility contains sorting equipment, it is left up to each location to decide how rigorous the schedule is for regular maintenance. Ideally, this type of equipment needs to be calibrated and maintained frequently. Regular routine maintenance has a profound impact on how well your postcards survive through the mailing process. Simply stated, it boils down to how your local post office appropriates its resources and keeps up with routine maintenance. Given USPS cutbacks and budget constraints, however, machine maintenance is one of the first items cut by local postmasters.

The Good News

It's typical that these scuff, burn, smudge marks do not happen to every piece of mail.  It's unfortunate that a beautifully printed project can end up with quality issues at time of delivery.  Another positive note is that when surveyed most purchasing decisions were not influenced by smudge marks on the mail received.

Duplicates INK - marketSMART can help you design print and mail your next project with amazing results.  Give one of our team members a call at 843-248-2574 or reach out via email

#duplicatesink #marketsmart #usps #directmailmarketing 

Friday, December 16, 2022

5 Call-To-Action Tips to Use on Your Print Marketing (And Why They Work)

You are the expert in your business space, be it auto service center, carpet cleaning services, real estate, landscaping or whatever else it may be, understand YOU know that business.   When it comes to marketing strategies and particularly how to integrate traditional direct mail with digital our team at Duplicates INK - marketSMART are the experts.  Our team builds strategies that get RESULTS!!!

What about using Call to Action aka CTA.

In its simplest form, a call to action tells the recipient to buy now. 

However, sometimes saying, "buy now!" won't be quite as effective as an alternative, more creative strategy. 

Below are some tips for crafting a call to action for your print marketing campaign so you can have a better response rate than the average of 4.23%. 

1. Be straightforward 

Tell the reader what they can expect if they complete the advertised action. 

No games, no tricks. If you say this is what will happen, then advertise it accurately. If the deal only holds if they buy $X in merchandise, then clearly communicate that. You're not doing yourself any favors by making a misleading call to action. It'll just frustrate the client. 

Avoid misleading calls to action by including relevant numbers, such as pricing and discounts. 

2. Use strong command verbs

Begin your call to action with a strong command verb. 

Strong command verbs can help people follow your call to action. In one study, ads with strong action verbs performed about 89% better than those without.

Examples include, 

  • Buy the customer-favorite product now!

  • Shop at our newly updated store!

  • Order through our quick and easy website!

  • Download the newsletter for insider knowledge!

  • Subscribe to be the first to know about all our amazing deals!

Often, people have a hard time saying no, even to words on a page. By using confident action verbs, people will do it. 

3. Be enthusiastic

Enthusiasm is contagious. 

If customers feel you are enthusiastic and believe in your product and service, they'll get excited too. In writing, enthusiasm is best shown through exclamation points, so use them often!

4. Advertise scarcity

People are busy, so you must find a way to get them to act immediately. 

Including a sense of scarcity in your call to action by showing it's for a limited time or while supplies last will prompt people to act fast. This will help prevent people from putting direct mail in their "I'll get to it later" pile. 

5. Differentiate from your competition

Companies with similar niches can sometimes advertise similar calls to action. 

Make yourself stand out from the competition by brainstorming ways your call to action can be unique. First, think of the things your company does that are better than the competition. Then find a way to weave that into the call to action.

Try getting creative and unique by asking your customers to complete an action not commonly requested. For example, try telling customers to read customer reviews instead of prompting them to buy, shop, order, download, or subscribe. Customers trust other customers' reviews. If you have positive customer reviews, advertise them in your call to action. Potential clients can see what items or services are most popular and why. 

Calls to action are a crucial part of your marketing technique. Without it, customers often won't act. Using strong command verbs and enthusiasm makes target markets likelier to respond. 

With all the thought and research you put into your print marketing campaigns, you will want an easy, smooth printing process. Once you've settled your call to action (and a thousand other details), reach out for a hassle-free printing process! 

If you're not quite sure where to start, reach out to one of our team members for a no obligation discovery call and lets see if Direct Mail Marketing is a good fit for your business.

Duplicates INK - marketSMART 


#duplicatesink #marketsmart #directmailmarketing #omnichannelmarketing #calltoaction

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

4 Tips for Getting More People to See Your Direct Mail

Our team at Duplicates INK - marketSMART have dedicated themselves to being the absolute BEST in Direct Mail Marketing.  We understand that Direct mail is naturally advantageous when getting people to notice your business. 

85% of consumers open their direct mail, and 62% act after receiving direct mail, according to a recent report. However, your business can take action to increase further the number of people opening your direct mail. 

1. Use a Call to Action in Your Direct Mail 

The best call to action, or CTA, follows the format “Do something simple, get something great.” 

In this scenario: 

  • Do something simple = open the envelope.

  • Get something great = receive a credit card, special discount, or a gift or sample.

Creating a sense of scarcity works exceptionally well when prompting people to act. For example, try advertising a limited-time offer or a special discount while supplies last. Fear of missing out or not being enough gets the customer to act soon. However, don’t create a false sense of scarcity.  

2. Send Your Direct Mail in a Unique Envelope 

The envelope is the first thing people see when they take the mail out of the mailbox. 

Whether to open your mail or not relies heavily on the impression the envelope provides. 

Get your envelope to stand out and generate curiosity by switching up the characteristics of the envelope like… 

  • Size. Larger envelopes stand out but can be more costly. Smaller envelopes create a sense of casual and friendly correspondence.

  • Style. Use a color that catches the target audience’s attention, such as silver, gold, neon, or bold colors. Try changing the texture by using a matte or a glossy finish.

  • Font. Using a handwritten style font will make your envelope seem more personal.

  • Format. Including a see-through window lets your business prominently display products or enticing offers. 

Switching up the standard white 4 1/8 ” by 9 ½” envelope will make potential customers more likely to open the envelope. 

3. Personalize Your Direct Mail Marketing 

If the direct mail recipient feels that the mail is truly meant for them, they will be more likely to open it. 

Research your target audience so you can better personalize your direct mail. Create target market subgroups based on their interests, potential questions, geographic area, and products or services most interesting to them. 

Often, businesses will have better luck advertising to their local target market because there’s a greater desire among consumers to support local businesses as opposed to non-local ones. 70% of consumers support local businesses because they want to keep money local, connect with the community, support local creators, and have better service. 

4. Track Direct Mail Statistics 

Finding out what methods work for you and what don’t will help you generate a higher return on investment or ROI. 

Track cost per 1000 impressions (CPM), open rates, response rates, and conversions. Impressions are the number of people who see your direct mail, and conversions are the number of recipients who follow your call to action. 

Remember that those who have interacted with your business are more likely to engage again. Also, sometimes it takes multiple direct mail deliveries before the customer acts. 

Once you find a high ROI strategy, scale up your marketing. 

We’re here to help you stand out to potential customers through direct mail. From the design to the mailing itself, we’ve got you covered! 

If you're not sure where or how to start with your Direct Mail Marketing strategy simply give us a call at 843-248-2574 or drop us a note at 

Our promise to you is not any pushy sales techniques and a no obligation conversation to explore the potential that a GREAT direct mail campaign could have for your business.

Duplicates INK - marketSMART 843-248-2574


#duplicatesink #marketsmart #directmailmarketing 

Friday, December 9, 2022

7 Print Marketing Ideas to Boost Holiday Sales

Our team at Duplicates INK - marketSMART has helped hundreds of businesses market the last 30 Holiday Seasons. It kind of makes us some what of "Experts" in this space.

The holidays are a busy time of year for you and your customers, but print marketing has the power to get you noticed and boost sales.

How do you accomplish this? Here are seven ways to use print marketing to boost your sales this holiday season!

7 Print Marketing Ideas to Boost Holiday Sales

1. Creative Packaging 

Use beautiful boxes, papers, and images when you send out items to customers.

They are more likely to hang onto them and remember you in the future. Plus, it creates a warm fuzzy feeling when customers receive such packages.

2. Door Hangers

Create fun, whimsical door hangers to put on customers’ doors.

These will receive a lot of attention and will solicit a response. 

3. Coupons

Send coupons to customers on fun, holiday-centered postcards.

Include fun images, pictures, and sayings that will grab their attention during the holiday hustle and bustle.

4. Holiday Newsletter

Time and attention span may be limited this time of year, but a compelling and short holiday newsletter will get your reader to stop, read, and respond.

Put some fun quotes, tips, recipes, fun facts, a happy holiday message, and maybe even a coupon to help them save money during this time of year.

5. Subscription Package

A subscription package will keep them coming back throughout the year.

Offer special pricing, fun packaging, and items that will dazzle them. They can subscribe to your subscription box and receive great gifts throughout the year.

6. Gift Cards

A gift-card campaign allows customers to share your business.

It’s also an excellent way to offer deals. They can get something free if they buy a certain amount of money in gift cards. This is a popular way of helping people with last-minute and corporate gifts.

Make sure your gift card displays are front and center near your store’s entrance, checkout, and other high-traffic areas.

7. Loyalty Rewards

Mail special discounts to loyal customers during this time of year.

Research what most customers are buying this time of year, then send them a letter or postcard offering to discount it for them. Remember, it usually costs you a lot more to acquire brand-new customers than to retain the ones you have.

Whatever you decide to do to thank your customers during this time of year, we can help execute it with quality printing and papers. Contact us to get started today!

Duplicates INK - marketSMART - 843-248-2574

#holidaymarketing #directmail #duplicatesink #marketsmart

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

3 Winning Direct Mail Campaign Ideas You Can Start Using Today

We're proud to inform you that the reports of the supposed death of direct mail have been, as Mark Twain once said, "greatly exaggerated."

Our firm Duplicates INK - marketSMART has been helping businesses achieve their goals by creating effective engaging affordable campaigns that leverage traditional print.  Our team is not composed of a bunch of magicians and we do NOT sell Snake Oil.  We are proud that when we partner with a new client we take ownership in the project.  We want it to work sometimes more than the client themselves.  We know this, when we create and execute a campaign, the success of the campaign is critical in determining our future with the client.

Not only is direct mail just as effective as it ever was - it's positively thriving. According to one recent study, the market for direct mail advertising is anticipated to grow from $71.57 billion in 2021 to a massive $72.67 billion by the end of 2022. Much of this has to do with the average return on investment for direct mail collateral is $4.09 for every $1.27 you spend getting those marketing materials out into the world.

But it can be challenging to know where to begin if you've been out of the direct mail world for a while or are wading into these proverbial waters for the first time. With that in mind, here are three winning direct mail campaign ideas that you can start using immediately.

3 Winning Direct Mail Campaign Ideas You Can Start Using Today

Taking Advantage of the Holidays

One of the best direct mail marketing campaign ideas you can start using immediately involves taking advantage of the holiday season - a time of year that is already upon us again.

Remember that while part of the goal of any marketing campaign is always to raise awareness for your brand and get the word out about your products and services, this is just one small portion of a much larger story.

Equally important is your ability to get in touch with people occasionally and simply remind them that you're out there. Because of that, don't hesitate to send out a simple postcard for Christmas or the New Year to wish people well. It doesn't have to be overly "salesy" at all - it can be a simple message that illustrates that you care about your consumers, even when you're not coming right out and asking them to buy something.

When executed correctly, you'd be surprised by the difference this can make in generating repeat sales from existing, satisfied customers.

The Benefit of Unusually Sized Mail

Another technique that you can use with direct mail, in particular, has to do with sending out unusually sized mail.

Think about it - part of why messages like emails are so easy to ignore is that they all blend together in someone's mind. They all look the same, and they're far too easy to archive when someone is wading through their email inbox in the morning.

But if you send out a piece of direct mail collateral that is slightly larger or shaped differently than every other piece of mail that someone receives that day, they're going to notice. You immediately stand out, and at that point, you can use someone's curiosity to your advantage.

Bridging the Gap Between Direct Mail and the Digital World

Finally, don't be afraid to bring the benefits of both direct mail collateral and digital marketing together in innovative ways.

Always include information about the various social media channels you use, like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, which are great for allowing someone to get in touch with you in other ways quickly. This way, you can begin an experience with them through physical mail but give them the option to continue it over the Internet if that is their preference. 

If you'd like to find out more information about getting started today with any of these direct mail campaigns, or if you have any additional questions you'd like to go over with someone in a bit more detail, please don't delay - contact our team today! 

Duplicates INK - marketSMART is a leading marketing firm that specializes in print.  We have led the industry leveraging traditional mediums by integrating complimenting digital strategies creating a true affordable and effective omni-channel solution for our clients.   Reach out to day for a free consultation 843-248-2574 or visit our marketSMART page at

#directmail #duplicatesink #marketsmart #omnichannelmarketing #marketing

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Our team at Duplicates INK have come up with 7 Top Tips to Get Creative With Offline Marketing

At Duplicates INK - marketSMART we strive to maximize your investment in marketing? 

Utilize unique offline marketing techniques to get people's attention!

There are countless ideas for getting inspired with offline marketing, from traditional to off-the-wall. Take what you can and let it spur some creativity in your minds. 

7 Top Tips to Get Creative With Offline Marketing

1. Get Creative With Your Business Card 

A business card is often the first impression, and you want to make it last.

Try printing it vertically, adding rounded corners, or creating a die-cut image. Use bold colors that stand out against the competition.

2. Hold In-Person Events 

According to the Event Marketing 2018 Report, 95% of marketers agree that live events give attendees a valuable opportunity to form in-person connections in an increasingly digital world.

Give people a chance to talk to you and others from your company, and create bonds that will last a lifetime. 

Don't forget to have flyers, rack cards, brochures, and business cards ready for them to pick up.  

3. Volunteer 

Join volunteer organizations that will introduce you to other professionals who desire to help the community.

By getting out in the community, you will get your name out and help you build connections. Bring along your business cards so you can have some conversations about where you work and get information on others. 

4. Build Loyalty With Rewards

While investing in attracting new customers, don't neglect opportunities for retaining existing ones.

Give away fun gifts with your logo: magnets, flashlights, Frisbees, T-shirts, mugs, water bottles, and more. These will keep the magic going after the sales call is over. 

5. Create a Game

Use a tailor-made BINGO card that leads them around the store, then leads to a prize if they get BINGO.

Have signs to advertise your newest game. Invite everyone to play and win prizes. 

6. Go Head-To-Head With the Competition

Don't be afraid to promote your items over the competition.

If it makes sense, have a "taste test" as Coke and Pepsi did in the 1980s. Let the audience decide what items they like better. 

Be sure to have flyers made up to announce this event to let people know when it will be.

7. Take On Speaking Engagements 

Speaking at events puts you in front of your target audience and makes you an expert.

A speaking engagement puts you in front of a highly targeted and interested audience already primed and ready to pay attention to what you have to say.

It creates you as the go-to person for answers, which is a great position.

Take time to evaluate the best creative way to reach your customers. We all have an overflowing inbox. Instead, try something fresh and offline to capture your customer's attention. 

When you want to make a statement offline, try some freshly printed marketing materials. That's where we step in! 

We have what you need to make some fresh imprints on your customers. Contact us today!

Duplicates INK - marketSMART  843-248-2574

#duplicatesink #marketsmart #marketingtips #offlinemarketing