Direct Mail Finishing: Enhancement Strategy Series, Part 2

Last time, we discussed how paper can enhance your direct mail ROI. Now, it’s time to look at enhancing it with direct mail finishing. So what is finishing? Finishing is all of the activities that are performed on a direct mail piece after printing. They include binding, die-stamping, embossing, and laminating.

These enhancements can really make your direct mail pop! Let’s look at your options.

Finishing Options

  • Binding — There are several types of binding you can choose from. Perfect binding is when pages are fixed to a cover or spine using glue. Saddle-stitching is when pages are bound with staples through the center of the spine. Side-stitching is when the staples are driven through the pages, usually parallel to the bind. The remaining options must mail in envelopes. Comb binding is when the teeth of a plastic comb are inserted into a series of slits drilled into sheets. Spiral binding is when a continuous wire or plastic coil is placed through holes drilled into sheets. Loose-leaf binding is when a set of holes is drilled in sheets, which are then inserted into binders. Finally, Padding is the binding of sheets using a flexible adhesive, so that the sheets can easily be removed
  • Foil — This can be a great way to catch attention on direct mail. There are several kinds of foil. Metallic Foil is foil that has a metallic look, such as blue, red, green, silver, gold, or bronze. Reflective metallic foils really help your direct mail stand out. Pigment Foils are colorful foils that can be either matte or gloss, but have no metallic shine. Pearl Foils are foils that are transparent and have a pearlescent shine. Holographic Foils are foils that have a rainbow effect, so that when light shines on it, the reflection back is a rainbow of colors. You can also create a holographic pattern. There are still more foil options, such as wood or marble. You can get really creative with them.
  • Embossing — This gives a 3D, or raised, effect. Embossing makes something stand out from the rest of the piece. This also engages your prospects and customers with the sense of touch. They can feel the difference.
  • Debossing — This is similar to embossing, but in reverse. Rather than the paper being raised in specific areas, it is indented.
  • Perforating — These are used to allow easy separation of two parts of a piece. This is most commonly used for easy-to-remove coupons or remit slips. There are options on how large you want the perf and how easily you want it to tear off.

Each of these different finishing options really adds a pop to your direct mail piece that will not only get attention, but also create a fun experience for your customers and prospects. Make sure that you are using them to enhance your message; just adding them onto a mail piece to get attention without tying it all together is not effective. When you combine these finishing techniques with special papers, you can really create a special mail piece. Next time, we will discuss special coatings that can be added to your mail piece design. Are you ready to get started?