Launch a direct mail campaign with Publisher

Direct mail campaigns are a great way to attract new customers or ask your best customers for more business.

When you plan your current marketing campaign, answer the following questions:

  • Which customers are you targeting?

  • What is the exact marketing outcome that you want?

  • What is your marketing message?

After you clearly establish the answers to those questions, you are ready to use Microsoft Office Publisher 2007 to develop your content and create your direct mail publications.

What do you want to do?

Develop the content

Choose the right publication type for your campaign

Choose a publication design

Prepare to mail your publication and track the responses

Develop the content

Before you choose the publication type and its design, be sure you know the message and purpose of the direct mail campaign. When you develop the content, you may need to change the design to accommodate the text and images, and vice versa. For help with content development, see Tips for writing effective marketing publications and Tips for working with images.

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Choose the right publication type for your campaign

In Office Publisher 2007, you can choose from a wide variety of publication types, including postcards, flyers, greeting cards, stationery, brochures, and e-mail.

You can also combine several publications into one direct mail package to get a variety of information out to a broad audience.

Postcards

Postcards are one of the most time-honored ways to reach customers directly. They are also one of the most economical direct mail marketing pieces to produce.

Use postcards to:

  • Announce a sale

  • Invite customers to a special event

  • Publicize a relocation

  • Offer a free sample or discount

Create anticipation, build a message, or unveil an offer with a series of postcards by sending each postcard a few days or weeks apart. Publisher provides you with more than 150 predesigned postcards to choose from.

Flyers

If you have more information to send to your customers than a postcard can accommodate, use a flyer. Usually less formal than postcards, flyers are just as easy and even more economical to produce. They are designed to fit on a full sheet of paper and can be printed on both sides to include two to four times more information than a postcard. The trick is to make certain that you don't confuse your customers by providing too much information. Keep your content choices aligned to your direct mail goal.

Flyers are ideal when you want to:

  • Provide a map and directions

  • Showcase special prices

  • Profile new products

You can choose from among 145 flyer designs that you can customize by adding a coupon, an order form, or a sign-up form. For more information about creating a flyer, see Entice customers and increase sales with Publisher flyers.

Greeting cards and stationery

A personally signed card or letter shows appreciation and makes customers feel valued. Here are several ideas for how to use greeting cards and stationery to target your direct mail goals:

  • Send a letter on company letterhead to introduce your business and suggest additional contact. Offer a special discount to customers who bring the letter in to your business, or include a gift certificate.

  • Personalize your business stationery by making the masthead and logo smaller, using paper with a soft color or texture, adding a background graphic as a watermark, and hand signing the letter.

  • Use holiday greeting cards to send a seasonal message, and include a business card with a special discount on the back.

  • Send a greeting card instead of a postcard or flyer to announce a sale or special event or to invite customers to a store opening.

  • Send cards as a thank-you for past business.

    For more information about creating greeting cards, see Reach out to customers and friends with Publisher greeting cards.

Brochures

Brochures are an ideal way to introduce your company and its products and services to new customers. You can mail brochures without the extra cost of using envelopes by adding your customers' mailing addresses to the back panel. You can also distribute brochures at your own or other businesses.

The brochure designs in Publisher give you the option of dividing the page into three or four panels. You can also customize any brochure by adding an order, sign-up, or response form.

Here are a few ideas for using brochures as direct mail pieces:

  • Include a company profile as part of the front and back page panels, and add part of your product catalog on the inside page.

  • List the products and services that you offer. Be sure to include an order form and instructions for phoning in an order.

  • Add a coupon from the Publisher Design Gallery to one of the brochure panels.

    1. On the Insert menu, click Design Gallery Object.

    2. Under Categories, click Coupons.

    3. Select the coupon and any other options that you want, and then click Insert Object.

      If you need to resize the coupon, drag one of the coupon's corner handles.

For more information about developing a brochure for your business, see Create brochures that help you sell in Publisher.

Publication package

If you want to send a lot of information and appeal to the widest range of customer interests, you can combine several marketing pieces into one direct mail package.

contoso landscape design postcards and brochure

For example, you can do any of the following:

  • Create a price list brochure that showcases the company's products, and include it inside a newsletter that gives customers a broader view of your business and its future growth.

  • Mail a newsletter along with a complete company catalog.

  • Send a package that includes a signed letter on company letterhead, a brochure that describes your company, and a postcard that offers a special introductory discount.

E-mail

By using e-mail, you can target an audience segment that may be difficult to reach through other methods. By using e-mail merge, you can send a more personalized e-mail message. You can even convert other publications that you create into e-mail messages for a more unified marketing campaign.

For more information about using e-mail as part of your marketing campaign, see Tips on e-mail marketing.

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Choose a publication design

After you decide on a publication type, it is time to choose a design. You can use:

  • One of the many predesigned publications that are available for each publication type.

  • A set of coordinated designs with the same look across many publication types. This is useful if you are creating a publication package, and it helps you to establish your company identity and brand.

  • One of the new templates available on the Microsoft Office Online Web site.

  • A publication that you design from scratch.

Use a predesigned publication

  1. Start Publisher, and then click one of the publication types in the Publication Types list. For example, click Brochures.

  2. In the Brochures catalog, click the design that you want, choose any other options that you want (such as a color scheme, a font scheme, or a business information set), and then click Create.

    Note: For more information about font schemes and business information sets, see Create and change font schemes for a professional look and Create, change, or remove business information data.

Use a set of coordinated designs

Office Publisher 2007 includes sets of different publication types that share a single consistent design. For example, you can create brochures, business cards, postcards, letterhead, envelopes, flyers, and newsletters that all use the Brocade design.

You can choose a design that is coordinated across publication types, or you can create a new publication based on a publication that you already created. Do one of the following:

Choose a design that is coordinated across publication types

  1. Start Publisher, and then click one of the publication types in the Publication Types list. For example, click Postcards.

  2. In the Postcards catalog, click the design that you want, note the name of the design (for example, Brocade), and then click the size that you want.

  3. When you create other publication types, select the same design name. For example, to create a brochure, click Brocade in the Brochures catalog.

    Tip: You can use a unique design for a direct mail publication and still keep the color scheme and fonts that reflect your company identity. With the publication open that you want to use, on the Format menu, click Color Schemes. Under Apply a color scheme, choose the color scheme that you use for your business. On the Format menu, click Font Schemes. Under Apply a font scheme, choose the font scheme that you use for your business.

  4. Choose any other options that you want, such as a color scheme, a font scheme, or a business information set, and then click Create.

    Note: For more information about font schemes and business information sets, see Create and change font schemes for a professional look and Create, change, or remove business information data.

Create a new publication based on one that you already created

  1. In Publisher, open the publication that you already created.

  2. In the Format Publication task pane, under Publication type Options, click Change Template.

    For example, if you are basing your new publication on a business card that you created, click Change Template under Business Card Options.

  3. In the Change Template dialog box, click a publication type. For example, click Brochures.

  4. Click the design that you used for the original publication, and then click OK.

    Important: If you already added content to the publication, in the Change Template dialog box you can choose to apply your changes to the existing publication or to create a new one. If you choose to create a new publication, the publication that you were working on is closed and is not saved. Be sure to save the publication that you are currently working on before you click Change Template. Or you can click Cancel to go back to your previous publication.

  5. Review the extra content.

    Any items that don't fit into the selected design appear under Extra Content in the Format Publication task pane. If you see an item under Extra Content, click the arrow to the right of the item and do one of the following:

    • To add the extra content to your publication, click Insert.

    • To delete the extra content, click Delete.

    • To add the extra content to the Content Library, click Move to Content Library.

Use a template from the Office Online Web site

Important: You must first be connected to the Internet before you can search Office Online for Publisher templates.

  1. Start Publisher, and then click one of the publication types in the Publication Types list. For example, click Postcards.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • In the Postcards catalog, click View templates from Microsoft Office Online. If you see a catalog subheading, such as Marketing or Real estate, click it to see the templates that are available.

    • In the Search for templates box, type a keyword. For example, type postcards. In the next box, select On Microsoft Office Online, and then click the green Search button.

      Note: The Search for templates box is above the catalog heading.

  3. Click the template that you want, and then click Create.

Use a design that you create from scratch

  1. Start Publisher, and then click one of the publication types in the Publication Types list. For example, click Greeting Cards.

  2. In the Greeting Cards catalog, under the Greeting Cards heading, click Blank Sizes, and then click the size that you want.

  3. Choose any other options that you want, such as a color scheme, a font scheme, or a business information set, and then click Create.

    Note: For more information about font schemes and business information sets, see Create and change font schemes for a professional look and Create, change, or remove business information data.

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Prepare to mail your publication and track the responses

No matter how clever your mailing is, it will have little impact if you send it to the wrong people. By carefully qualifying the customer names on your mailing list and targeting your mailing at customers who are interested in your offer, you can maximize the success of your marketing campaign.

After you qualify the names on your mailing list, Office Publisher 2007 can help you create, manage, and store a single customer list by combining and editing customer lists from multiple sources. For more information about preparing and refining your mailing list, see Tips for mailing lists.

Office Publisher 2007 also makes it easy to personalize each direct mail piece for its recipient — for example, with the customer's name and address, a personal greeting, or information about the customer's most recent visit. For more information about how to personalize your direct mail publications, see Tips for personalizing your publication.

By keeping track of the responses that you get to your marketing campaign and understanding what prompted those responses, you can identify which tactics succeeded and which did not. For more information about how to effectively track responses to your direct mail campaign, see Tips for tracking effectiveness.

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