The magic touch for direct mail results

Impressive overall direct mail results

Your prospects are looking for warmth, sparkle, and excitement — and ALitho is ready to help you deliver.

The ideas we’ll share with you here are part of the trend toward multisensory marketing, which is proving its value in direct mail and many related fields.

In working with clients all over the country, we’ve proven that coatings and varnishes can do a lot more than protect printed pieces from mailing damage, dust and fingerprints. Many have discovered just how much these special printing effects can do to boost response rates and build interest in new and existing brands.

We’ve developed new ways to add texture, dimension, and even scent to printed pieces using what we call Miracle Effects. These techniques combine UV coatings with special additives, placing texture, shine, glitter, or scent exactly where you want them.

Imagine: now your prospects can feel the rich grain of leather upholstery … touch the sands of a sun-filled beach … or enjoy the scent of a fresh-picked rose. You can dazzle them with visual effects that simulate metal, plastic, ceramic and other surfaces, igniting their interest in your product and offer.

Sounds exciting, doesn’t it? But we don’t recommend these techniques just because they’re cool. They actually track with what happens when a busy prospect sees your offer.

These days, people sort their mail standing next to the recycling bin. You have about 3 to 5 seconds to give them a reason not to toss yours aside. Engage their senses and suddenly, you’ve made them want to learn more.

Using specialty paper stock with special effects can make your offer even more intriguing. The closer you come to putting your product in the prospect’s hands, the closer you are to making new sales.

Here’s one example of how Miracle Effects, combined with superior graphic design and paper selection, made a dramatic difference.

A major medical supply company with billions in sales asked for our help with an important new product line they were launching.

They were getting ready to introduce a new line of surgical uniforms for medical professionals. This launch represented a major investment, so they had to be sure their catalog would stand apart from dozens of others out there.

They asked us: how can we make the pages feel like the textiles used in our garments? And how can we achieve exact color matching so prospective customers can really see what they’re buying?

We proposed a soft-touch coating for the main catalog pages and a soft-touch laminate finish with brushed-foil stamping for the cover. Together, these effects would convey rich product detail while also making clear that this was a premium garment line for medical caregivers who want to look and feel their best every day.

Precision color-matching techniques that begin with our pre-press operations assured that garment colors would not only be vibrant and beautiful, but true to life. The designer also specified a quality paper with excellent brightness and color holdout. Her choice helped to ensure color fidelity and impressive overall results.

And just for the record: not every print project needs the most expensive paper. In fact, many times a cheaper sheet will work just fine. But in this case, premium paper helped reinforce the brand’s top-quality image.

The results were even better than anyone expected. Sales were so strong that, following the catalog’s success, the client launched a second product line, creating an entirely new division within the company. We have handled 3 reprints of the original clothing catalog since its release.

I mentioned earlier that coatings can do much more than protect printed materials – but sometimes, protection really is the main goal. We’re happy to fulfill those needs, too.

We work with a global provider of fire rescue equipment for local fire departments, municipalities, fire protection districts and marine transport ships. Their catalog spends time in firehouses, city halls, lunchrooms, waiting rooms and TV viewing areas. Since it comes out only once a year, it needs to hold up and look good for a very long time.


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We showed this client how to create a catalog that can take extreme abuse, starting with a secure, branded shipping envelope. This way, the new catalogs arrive in perfect shape, free from the scuffs and tears that result from regular postal delivery.

The sleeve we created for them was printed on 18-pt. paper, which we converted at the American Litho plant in Carol Stream, Illinois. The designers loved that they could showcase their brand and message on the outside, generating excitement from the first moment the catalog arrived.

The catalog cover was coated with a UV laminate to repel dust, fingerprints and even spilled beverages. The body pages were protected with UV coating, and stay-flat binding was used to help prolong catalog life over hundreds of views.

The designer also selected an FSC paper, making this print job an environmental win, too. And we hear that the new, improved format withstood all the abuse that firemen and municipal people could dish out, all year long.

Success with specialty coatings flows from careful pre-campaign planning, which is how we deliver the best possible results for you. Suggestions and ideas can be tested for little or no cost before your project goes to print, giving your marketing and communications team a true preview of how the piece will look, feel and perform.

Our goal is to make your brand look fabulous and speed your message into the customer’s hands. Working with us early in the design stage helps us achieve both. Careful planning can reduce print cycle times by as much as 25%, boosting the power and relevance of every campaign you mail.

Want to learn more about special effects for your next direct marketing campaign? We’re happy to send you live samples that are going out now as part of ALitho’s drip marketing campaign.

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