Thinking “Out of the Envelope”

May 24, 2012 Gary Ritkes

You have all heard the tired phrase, “thinking out of the box”. Even though it has been used over and over again, there is a good reason for it. That's because it continues to work. Most creative folks live to think out of the box every day, or at least their bosses hope they do. It amazes me that there are still many Senior Marketing Executives who believe that “Status Quo” is good, and “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. I love when I meet these folks because of the energy I get when I challenge them. Sure, many will never take the leap of faith and trust others who have had success because they fear they will fall down. But those who can open their eyes to new methods of attracting someone’s attention in advertising will always stay at the forefront, and continue to excite me because of the innovative things they think up.

Which brings me to a “new” but “old” concept in marketing: Handwritten Addressing on envelopes. Sure, you can add a hand written note inside as well. But the focus here is that direct mail continues to be a great option for many types of campaigns, and the results get even stronger at the local level when small businesses figure out how to use it effectively. As Local Marketing continues to gain more momentum, the national brands are all looking for ways to make sure they are participating more now than ever at the local level. The introduction of several platforms, including SproutLoud, are carving a very nice niche in this space by providing the infrastructure for these large brands to support their retail and distributed selling partners in promoting their products.

SproutLoud recently introduced their Handwritten Addressing service to a select group of customers. While all the numbers are not in yet, the initial lift results are very encouraging. We’re talking about a significant lift in open rates and inquiries. So much so, that one customer is now switching many of their upcoming campaigns to use this technology.  The technology and automation that marketing resource management systems like SproutLoud provide in back end manufacturing keep the costs lower than even most small retailers would pay at their local print and mail vendors for standard ink jet addressing on their direct mail. We know it works, if you are interested in raising your direct mail ROI, remember to not only think out of the box, but start thinking  "out of the envelope”!

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About the Author

Gary Ritkes

Gary Ritkes oversees all Business Development and Marketing at SproutLoud. He has been a pioneer in the emerging vertical of Distributed Marketing Technology and is an industry leader and innovator with 20+ years experience in graphic communications and marketing strategy. Gary has been involved with SproutLoud since the inception of the company. Prior to joining SproutLoud, Gary was VP of Marketing for Rex Three, Inc., SproutLoud’s first and largest vendor among its network of providers. He has served many Fortune 1000 clients and worldwide advertising agencies in providing marketing technology direction and optimization. He was an original founder of U.S. based Earth Color Group and a co-founder of Advanced Digital Services (ADS) which was sold in 1996 to publicly traded Katz Digital Technologies. He is a current board member of the local Advertising Federation chapter and has served as a member for other national industry associations including the DMA, AGA, and the CMO council.

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