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Apr 03 2018

Tip Tuesdays – Envelopes are the sports jackets of direct mail

The envelope. The sports jacket of the direct mail world. Done properly, it can enhance your mailings and increase open rates. Done incorrectly, and it’s a first class ticket to the trash. So this month, our Tip Tuesday is dedicated to giving you some ideas on how to make the most of your direct mail envelope.

If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a million times. Brand your mailings, people. Put a logo in the return address box. Get a stamp with your tagline or motto and stamp the back flap. Put a line of your signature color along the bottom. Anonymous envelopes look like bills and credit card offers. They get thrown in the trash. Let people know who the envelope is from.

In addition to telling people who the envelope is from, you need to tell them why they need to open it. Put a call to action right on that baby. Ask a question. Make a compelling statement. Let them know there’s a free offer inside.  Make it short, simple and powerful.

When I was a kid I got quite a bit of personal mail. Birthday cards, postcards from friends, notes from my grandparents. Now, I’m lucky if I get a few Christmas cards. SO, when I see an envelope with a handwritten address, you better believe I open that up. Its usually just a note from my accountant or dentist telling me I need an appointment, but still. Handwritten = open.

Color attracts eyeballs. In a stack of white envelopes, your bright orange one is going to stand out and pique the recipient’s curiosity. While colored envelopes are a little more expensive than white, it is still a very simple and cost effective way to make your mailings unique.


Dec 17 2017

5 things nonprofits can do now to prepare for a successful 2018

Amid the hustle and bustle of the holidays, don’t forget to keep the work hustle going. There are only 14 days left in 2017, and here are five things you can easily do in the next two weeks to ensure 2018 starts strong!

Order your save the dates. Spring is the big fundraising season for many nonprofits filled with galas, charity walks and golf tournaments. Although the event may be months away, NOW is the time to start marketing for it. Get your save the dates and invitations ordered. If you work with a mailing house, like One Step, you can also schedule those mailings for the future. Now is also the time to start working on programs, signage, emails, social media posts, and ads.

Clean your contact lists. Every direct mail piece, every email, every phone call, every door knock costs time and money. Stop wasting money on emails sent to bad addresses, postcards sent to people who no longer live at that address, or cold calling people who are not part of your target audience. Now is a great time to go through your lists and get rid of bad contacts, as well as add new ones you’ve made over the years.

Write new case studies or gather testimonials. What big projects did your organization accomplish in 2017? What were your significant impacts? Write those up as stories or case studies while they are fresh in your mind, and then you have impactful content ready for 2018. Now is also a great time to reach out to individual people who were impacted by your organization…recipients, employees, community members, donors, volunteers…and ask them for testimonials about your organization. Consider getting written and video testimonials.

Consider your brand. Take at a look at your visual brand and your messaging. Does it still reflect the values and goals of your organization? Does it convey the message you strive to live out in the day to day? If not, now is a great time to tweak it, or revamp it altogether.

Schedule your January marketing pieces. Order your direct mail postcards, write your email newsletter, schedule your social media posts and get that newspaper ad submitted. When everyone else is scrambling to get their stuff out that first week of January, you’ll already be done and strategizing for the next month.

Nov 10 2017

These sticky holiday direct mail pieces provide a great return on investment

Our annual holiday schedules of events are ready to order! We’ve done things a little differently this year. Instead of choosing a city, you simply choose your county and we’ll put together a list of major events taking place in different areas throughout the county. Have some specific events you want featured? No problem, just send those over and we’ll put them on the card you choose.

These pieces are particularly effective because they are sticky, meaning people are likely to keep them around for a while and reference them more than once. Every time they do, they’ll be reminded of your name, your face and your brand. These pieces have a strong ROI and are a  great way to wrap up your 2017 direct mail marketing efforts.

Each design is available as an 8.5×8.5 postcard or 8.5×5.5 postcard. As always, the production fee of $12 is waived when you order 200 or more. Additional bulk discounts apply for orders of 500+ and 1,000+. Download the order form and email it to or give us a call if you have questions 949-587-5301.

Holiday Schedule Order Form 2017


May 13 2013

How One Thank You Card Got Me To Increase My Annual Donation

Every year, I make a small donation to my Alma Mater. It would be a large donation, but since I’m still paying back the massive student loans I had to take out to pay for education at said Alma Mater, the donation is small for now. The university has always been good about sending thank you cards, but this year’s card really stuck out because of its personalized nature. Although it was a mass mailing, I felt that I was being personally thanked for my specific donation.

Instead of the usual letter from the President, this card was from 6 current students. The front of the card features the signature of each student. Now I know these were printed on the paper and that each student didn’t sign each individual card. However, even a stamped signature is more personal than simply a typed name. Although they didn’t put their name to each individual card, they have put their name on the entire project and approved if with their John Hancock.

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When I opened the card, I found messages from each student thanking me for my donation and telling me how my donation impacted them personally. The tone of the messages were very personal with phrases like “I appreciate you” and “You have made this happen for me.”  Even though I knew thousands of other donors received the same card, I still felt as if they were personally thanking me. Plus, it was encouraging to know that my money was actually helping students and not being squandered.

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To top it all off, the back of the card had a picture of all the students. This was another great personal touch as it allowed me to put a face with the signature and messages.

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Overall, what makes this branded thank you card so unique and successful is the fact that it doesn’t simply say “thank you,” it tells a story.  It’s the story of six students eagerly pursuing higher education and greatly benefiting from donations to their beloved university. But it’s also my story. It’s a story compiled of my memories of attending the university and my current donations. It’s a story so powerful, it’s convinced me to have a greater impact on the story by increasing my donation (side note: no where in the card does it ask me to increase my donation.)

If you’re a non profit organization in need of design, printing or mail services, give us a call. We’ve worked with a variety of non profits including sports leagues, schools, community organizations, and religious organizations. We know all non profits are working on a budget and we offer discounts to all our non profit clients. For more information, call us at 949-587-5301 or email

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