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Direct Mail Custom Branded Marketing Portal

By | Automotive, Design, Direct Mail, Insurance, Mortgage, USPS | No Comments

Influence Direct recently launched another national corporate program utilizing it’s highly successful branded marketing portal.  Since 2016, Influence Direct’s marketing portal solution has allowed companies with a large corporate footprint to provide employees with approved marketing products to use in their marketing program for client retention and acquisition programs.  This solution allows marketers to produce materials such as letters, postcards, snap packs, business cards, and marketing flyers all with the click of a button. These materials can be fully customized based on the individual needs of each client’s specific marketing piece.

Once materials are approved, users of Influence Direct’s marketing portal can go from logging in the website to checking out their job for printing and delivery in 9 simple steps:

  • Step One: Simply log in to our Web2Print site.
  • Step Two: Browse to the product you wish to purchase
  • Step Three: Select any attributes for the product
  • Step Four: Upload a list (for products that require a mailing list)
  • Step Five: Verify that all fields are correct
  • Step Six: Click “PDF Preview” to generate a PDF live proof
  • Step Seven: Insert any special instructions, fill out our approval form, and add the job to your cart
  • Step Eight: Give you job a name
  • Step Nine: Check out the job

If you would like more information on this service, contact us today for a free demo.

2017 Postal Holidays

By | Direct Mail, Insurance, Mortgage, USPS | No Comments

Closed

Here is a list of days that the U.S. Postal Service will be closed. Post Offices will not be open and there will be no mail delivery on these dates.

Please use this to plan ahead for your direct mail campaigns. We will send you multiple reminders leading up to these dates.

2017 Postal Holidays

Monday, January 2 – New Year’s Day (observed)
Monday, January 16 – Martin Luther King Jr. birthday
Monday, February 20 – Washington’s Birthday
Monday, May 29 – Memorial Day
Tuesday, July 4 – Independence Day
Monday, September 4 – Labor Day
Monday, October 9 – Columbus Day
Friday, November 10 – Veterans Day (observed)
Thursday, November 23 – Thanksgiving Day
Monday, December 25 – Christmas Day

Mortgage Rates Still Low After Slight Increase

By | Direct Mail, Insurance, Mortgage, USPS | No Comments

Rates may be on the rise, but it’s still a great time to refinance. Many of our clients have been sending out more direct mail lately due to these rates.

“The most popular mortgage rose to its highest level since late June, after stalling for a month and a half near a record low.” says Holden Lewis in an article posted from Bankrate.

According to Freddie Mac, as of September 15th, 2016 rates are as follows:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.50 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending September 15, 2016, up from last week when it averaged 3.44 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.91 percent.
  • 15-year FRM  this week averaged 2.77 percent with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.76 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.11 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.82 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.81 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.92 percent.

 

Rates are still historically low when looking at the fluctuation in rates from 1971 to now. Looking back at January of this year, rates were at 3.87%, so 3.50% is still a great rate to refinance into. If you are interested at looking at the rates from 1971 to now, Freddie Mac has a great historical chart to look at.

Lets take that into consideration:

  • John Doe has a $200,000 mortgage.
  • At a 4.0% rate, his P&I payment would be roughly $955
  • At a 3.50% rate, his P&I payment would be roughly $898
  • While the savings is only $57 a month, over the life of the loan he could save over $20,000

I liked this quote from The Mortgage Reports that I read earlier this month: “More than 8.7 million U.S. homeowners are potentially eligible to refinance. And, if you’re buying a home, it’s a good time to be looking. Because of how mortgage rates have dropped, if you could afford a $400,000 home in December, today, you can afford a home for $427,000 — an increase of 7% to your purchasing power.”

2016 Postal Facts

By | Automotive, Design, Direct Mail, Insurance, Mortgage, Uncategorized, USPS | No Comments

Postal FactsThe post office has been around for over 2 centuries and has changed significantly. According to the Postal Facts 2016, they have over 490,000 career employees and over 214,000 vehicles and they processed and delivered over 154,000,000,000 pieces of mail. That’s right…over 154 BILLION PIECES OF DIRECT MAIL!

Their computer network is one of the world’s largest networks. There are nearly 32,000 facilities and they receive more than 11,500,000 legitimate emails a day delivered to more than 214,000 email accounts. Their communications network supports and maintains more than 145,000 desktop computers, 23,000 notebook computers, 81,000 printers, 12,500 smart-phones, 112,000 phone lines and 310,000 hand-held scanners. They have 35 petabytes of storage capacity (which is equivalent to playing more than 88,700 years of songs on an MP3 player with no repeats). There are nearly 1,300,000 email messages blocked monthly due to viruses and more than 210,000 blocked due to content. More than 381,000,000 credit and debit card transactions are processed annually through their IT systems in Post Offices and through www.usps.com. They also had 1,500,000,000 page views on www.usps.com.

After seeing those numbers, have you ever wondered what a day in the life of the U.S. Postal Service is like? Below are some average numbers for just ONE day in the life of the U.S. Postal Service according to their “Just one day in the life of the U.S. Postal Service by the numbers” post.

  • 227.1 million — revenue received, in dollars
  • 5.9 million  — dollars paid to postal employees in salaries and benefits
  • 509 million  — number of mailpieces processed and delivered each day
  • 21.2 million — average number of mailpieces processed each hour
  • 353,000— average number of mailpieces processed each minute
  • 5,890 — average number of mailpieces processed each second
  • 206 million  — pieces of First-Class Mail processed and delivered
  • 7,184 —  number of letter carriers who deliver mail entirely on foot — The USPS Fleet of Feet
  • 122,000 — number of address changes processed
  • 3,630 — number of addresses added to our delivery network
  • 4.1 million — number of people who visit usps.com
  • 758,356 —  dollar amount of online stamp and retail sales at usps.com
  • 1.5 million —  amount of money spent on postage for Click-N-Ship labels
  • 146,850—  number of Click-N-Ship labels printed
  • 306,930  — number of money orders issued
  • 1.5 million —  dollars spent at self-service kiosks in Post Office lobbies
  • 0 — tax dollars received for operating the Postal Service

Visit www.usps.com for more information.

Direct Mail Is Not Dead

By | Automotive, Design, Direct Mail, Insurance, Mortgage, USPS | No Comments

“Research shows that 41% of people over 65, don’t use the internet at all. For marketers, that’s a huge segment that can’t be targeted by email or social media.” says Scott Taylor in an article he wrote for the Huffington Post.

A lot of people have been saying that direct mail is dead with all of the social media and internet marketing. I read an interesting article from the Huffington Post and thought I would share a little from it:

“Are you part of the 33% who find direct mail the most effective way to remember a product? How about the 79% of consumers who will act on direct mail immediately? Or maybe you’re part of the 74% of consumers who can’t wait to find out what’s in their letter box? If so, then no doubt you’re already well aware that direct mail is far from dead.

With the online consumer having an attention span of around eight seconds (yes, less than a gold fish), the online landscape exploding into a fierce battle of the brands and email marketing failing to hit targets for many businesses across the country, it may be time to the consider bringing direct mail marketing back into the fold of your strategic marketing plan.

If you’re still skeptical of the results direct mail can harness, here are five reasons why direct mail is very much alive and kicking.”

Click Here to read the full article that Scott Taylor wrote for the Huffington Post

Click Here to follow Scott Taylor on Twitter.

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Influence Direct Overview

By | Automotive, Design, Direct Mail, Insurance, Mortgage, USPS | No Comments

We just completed our products and services overview booklet. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.

Influence Direct puts into action 40 years of combined direct marketing experience to provide our clients with a remarkably strong return on investment.  Our direct mail background spans major industries such as mortgage, banking, insurance, investments, automotive, retail, and business to business just to name a few.  We have at our disposal every tool needed to create any type of direct mail program imaginable.

We can print and mail just about anything such as snap packs, letters, envelopes, custom mailers, brochures etc.

You name it, we can do it!

Direct Mail Video

By | Automotive, Design, Direct Mail, Insurance, Mortgage, USPS | No Comments

So we thought it was time to put a quick video together. This is nothing fancy and pretty short, but it showcases a few of our popular direct mail products. The direct mail products in the video are snap packs, letters, envelopes, postcards and custom mailers.

At Influence Direct we recognize that our customers like to be “in the know” when they connect with their prospects and customers. We know the direct mail materials they like and the marketing channel they need. We know our clients choose us because of our cost effective printing practices that we pass directly to our clients and our expertise in mailing which potentially influences the response rate!

We want to be known as the most cost effective and knowledgeable direct mail company in the country!

Influence Direct is a full service direct marketing agency specializing in direct mail printing, mailing, and tracking. For a full capabilities overview, call 866-634-7771.

Direct Mail Generates Insurance Policy of $201 Million

By | Direct Mail, Insurance | No Comments

MoneySome people say that direct mail doesn’t work. This is where they are completely wrong.

SG, LLC was founded by Dovi Frances in 2010. This company is a global advisory firm that operates in the US, Russia, and Israel. When SG began, they sent out direct mail pieces to try to generate new business. One of the people who responded just happened to be a tech billionaire from Silicon Valley who took out a policy worth $201 million. That’s right…. $201 MILLION! This is a new record for Guinness. This policy more than doubles the record that was recently set for $100 million.

The firm has represented the billionaire since he responded to a direct mail solicitation in 2010. I am sure this person has plenty of contacts in the financial industry, but he did respond to a letter, postcard, snap pack or other type of direct mail piece that he received in the mail.

This person will remain anonymous for the obvious reasons. “We don’t want hit men running around Palo Alto trying to find him — or members of his own estate,” said Frances.

Some of you may be thinking, “why would a billionaire need a life insurance policy of $201 million.” Frances said “Most billionaires have their value tied up in hard assets and maybe don’t have so much cash immediately available for such a big hit.” This will also help his heirs avoid paying a 45 percent inheritance tax upon his death.

According to CNBC, the insurance policy is split between 19 companies since no one company holds “more than $20 million or so” of risk. The billionaire chose to remain anonymous for the obvious reasons, but SG did say that it was a well-known Californian tech investor.

Direct Mail Templates

By | Automotive, Design, Direct Mail, Insurance, Mortgage, USPS | No Comments

Green VA Trifold Snap PackThe design, size and shape of your mail piece can affect the postage you pay.

When starting a mail campaign you have to decide what you are mailing. You need to decide if all of your language will fit on a postcard, letter, snap pack, etc. A properly designed mail piece qualifies for bulk rate postage discounts. The post office requires parts of your mail piece to be clear of certain elements to allow for barcoding, addressing and permit imprinting.

To help you out, we have included some images of some postal templates below. We have a list of InDesign and Adobe PDF versions that you can download here.

If you need help, our design team will work with you to create your own direct mail piece. Contact us today for more information.

 

 

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2014 Postage Increase

By | Automotive, Direct Mail, Insurance, Mortgage, USPS | No Comments

usps-mail-hed-2013

The US Postal Service has been losing money for years. The proposed changes are intended to generate $2 billion in incremental annual revenue for the Postal Service. Beginning January 26, 2014, the post office is increasing the postage rate for most mail services.

The rate increases are as follows:

  • First class Automated letters – $0.025 increase
  • Standard Automated letters – $0.015 increase
  • 4.25×6 Automated Postcards – $0.02 increase
  • Saturation Automated letters or flats – $0.01 increase

For any questions, call Influence Direct today at (866) 634-7771 for more information.