Offset vs Digital
For the past few years, we’ve been hearing about the demise of direct mail but we haven’t always been informed of the progress of DIGITAL direct mail. The possibilities presented by this medium are endless and have propelled digital direct mail to the spotlight as being one of the best ways to reach potential customers. While the concept of direct mail and digital direct mail are the same, the processes could not be more different.
Traditional direct mail uses offset printing whereas digital direct mail uses a digital press that is either laser or inkjet. Offset printing technology uses plates, which are used to transfer an image onto a rubber “blanket,” and then rolling that image onto a sheet of paper. It’s called offset because the ink is not transferred directly onto the paper—making it a two-step process. Digital printing is a single step process and uses toner or liquid ink to directly apply it to the paper or other substrate.
These differences in technique are extremely important, and digital print has completely changed direct mail! In fact, many would say this has “revolutionized” direct mail and we couldn’t agree more. Not only is there less time needed for production, there is less waste and more possibilities!
One reason is due to the variability that can be incorporated with digital print – we our HP digital presses, we are able to change every single word and image on every page within every mailer – making for true one-to-one marketing. In fact, the possibilities for this are basically endless. This variability means that the personalization is optimized, making your mail pieces more likely to be opened, read and responded to. It is also more of an “on-demand” print technique, meaning you only print the amount you need, when you need it. This is great for companies who deal heavily with market fluctuation or are changing rapidly.
While digital print and digital direct mail might just be the next big thing, it’s true that digital direct mail may not be for every brand or every marketing campaign. Largely, this depends on the quantity needed but it does also depend on other factors including the level of variability and how it’s incorporated into the mailer. For this purpose, Allied remains committed not only to digital direct mail but other forms of direct mail and print as well to best serve your brand’s needs and wants.
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