There’s nothing quite like getting a holiday card in the mail.
It’s a tangible way to see how your nearest and dearest have changed throughout the year and it’s a relatively easy way to make someone feel even more connected to you or your business.
Even if you’re so plugged into your social media accounts that staying up-to-date on your favorite peoples’ lives is like a second job, it’s still worth the time, energy, and investment to let them know just how much you care.
This goes for brands, too.
But we get it. Getting organized with enough time to create, purchase, ship and mail holiday cards to their intended recipients within that narrow holiday window can be tricky. Then there’s the fact that just designing a unique card with the right sentiment can be anything but simple.
To get you started, we’ve rounded up a list of some of our favorite non-denominational holiday cards from Red Paper Plane that can be customized to fit your needs, with downloadable templates available online. Each one is sure to capture the attention of your clients and prospects this holiday season, and your card will be top of mind (and top of recipients’ desks) in as little as 7 days.
Our StandOut Greeting Card line features three design options: a scenic winter sleigh ride, snowy park bench and holiday village, perfect for recipients to display on their desktops throughout the holiday season and beyond. Shipping flat, they take on their fully dimensional shape just by pressing in the sides. You’re able to customize the front oval, and also have the option to include a flat insert card or folding hang tag, where you can add your holiday greeting.
This holiday greeting mails flat, and once opened, the card expands and takes on its fully dimensional shape. This product is customizable with your messaging along the bottom panel and is sure to be on the desktop of everyone who receives it.
Open the card and interlocking die cut strips mesh into dimensional holiday tree shape.
Click here to see Red Paper Plane’s full line of holiday greeting cards.
No designer? No problem! Red Paper Plane also has a large selection of holiday cards with professionally designed artwork that are ready to be personalized. We can add your logo and message for free! See the selection.
It may only be fall, but already we’ve got the holidays on the brain.
Year after year, it seems the holiday shopping period grows, giving brands greater opportunities to take advantage of consumers’ willingness to purchase products, services and more. But don’t be tempted to allocate the majority of your marketing resources to Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
New U.S. research has revealed key information about holiday shoppers’ behavior. Not only are they shopping earlier, but they’re also researching a product, brand or service before making any financial investment. Now, more than ever, it’s crucial to be there for them consistently and earlier in the season.
In this recent Think with Google article, they break down the four different types of holiday shoppers – Evergreen, Early Bird, Deal Seeker and Last-Minute – and provide insights into how they shop. We’ve gone one step further to suggest ways to market to them based upon those habits and give you the best chance to connect with them during the holiday season.
Here’s how to make the most of the most wonderful time of the year.
THE EVERGREEN SHOPPER
Who: Making up the largest portion of holiday consumers, the Evergreen Shopper is likely a Baby Boomer seeking convenience, simplicity and exemplary customer service. This audience generally offers brands more loyalty when compared with other holiday shopper groups.
When: Late October through January 1
Where: The Evergreen Shopper typically conducts their research online, including on social media and video sharing platforms, but makes their purchases in-store.
How: To ensure you’re meeting the Evergreen Shopper’s needs, consider really playing up your customer service. Things like 24/7 call centers, in-store pick ups and no-hassle returns can really go far with this group. Because they’re receptive to both online and offline research and shopping, consider incorporating direct mail pieces like web keys, which can link both in a seamless way.
THE EARLY BIRD
Who: making up slightly more than a quarter of total holiday consumers, the Early Bird Shopper is also likely a Baby Boomer who strategically plans ahead, hoping to avoid the holiday rush.
When: October (or earlier) through November 26
Where: About 40 percent of the Early Bird’s time spent shopping for the holidays is spent online. However, about 65 percent make their holiday purchases in-store.
How: To get the attention of Early Bird Shoppers, it’s essential to develop an omnichannel solution that’s both engaging and valuable. Consider incorporating QR codes, web keys and video brochures into your holiday marketing campaigns. But, above all, keep your messaging consistent and send it early.
THE DEAL SEEKER
Who: The Deal Seekers make up the smallest group of holiday shoppers. These are mostly Millennials and a small percentage of Gen Xers who are searching for the steepest discounts and during days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. They are likely shopping for partners, children (their own or their friends’) and aging relatives who live within their households.
When: November 23-26
Where: This digital savvy group of holiday shoppers conducts online research across a variety of websites and rely heavily on social media influencers’ recommendations. Deal Seekers actively look for real consumers offering their authentic opinions on products.
How: With 82 percent of Deal Seekers admitting that word-of-mouth recommendations greatly influence their purchasing decisions, it’s crucial to incorporate testimonials and/ or social media influencers into your holiday marketing campaigns. Another way to take advantage of Deal Seekers’ shopping behavior is to turn them into brand advocates through shareable elements in and out of a brick-and-mortar store. Incorporate virtual reality, digital signage or pop ups to create experiences this group of holiday shoppers will want to share online and with their friends.
THE LAST-MINUTE SHOPPER
Who: The Last-Minute Shopper group is equally split between Millennials and Gen Xers. Like the Deal Seekers, these procrastinators actively seek out comparison sites to ensure they receive the best value for their money, but are willing to splurge on items they view as worth the cost. They procrastinate because they have decision paralysis, are too busy or are unsure of where to buy certain products.
When: December 21-25
Where: Nearly 70 percent of Last-Minute Shoppers purchase their holiday gifts in store.
How: More than half of Last-Minute Shoppers indicated an openness to multiple retailers or an uncertainty regarding where to buy products. This creates an opportunity for brands to position themselves as industry experts. Blog posts, a solid SEO strategy, social media buzz and consistent online and offline marketing will help position your business as a knowledgeable leader in your industry and help you rank higher in search rankings, keeping you top-of-mind.
Ready to get started on your holiday campaign? We have a few tricks up our sleeves that will help you stand out from the pack and keep you top of mind, no matter what kind of holiday shopper you’re after. Let’s chat.
One glimpse of the mail carrier, donning his USPS garb, and I wait anxiously to see whether there’s anything addressed to me. But on those days when I’ve got more than bills or credit card offers stuffed in my mailbox, that childlike excitement I felt earlier all too quickly disintegrates into something else: disappointment.
There are the flat mailers that have my name incorrectly printed on them. There are the catalogs with promo codes so buried I get exhausted from flipping through before even finding them. And there are the dreaded cards and the postcards that I barely even look at before throwing away.
These pieces all have one thing in common (besides meeting my recycling bin): they’reboring. And as businesses increase their efforts to vie for your attention this holiday season, as marketers you want to be anything but. So, if you’re not currently creating (or, at the very least, brainstorming) some ways to set your direct mail apart, you’re already missing out on the opportunity to make a memorable impression.
But don’t worry, it’s not too late to get your company or your products noticed in time for the holidays. Here, we’ve curated some of our most helpful tips on how to bring back that “wow factor” during the most magical time of the year.
Go dimensional. Perhaps the easiest way to make a real impact with little-to-no-effort? Incorporate dimension. By incorporating pieces like our 3″ pop-up cube into your marketing, it’s easy to put forth your messaging in a way that takes advantage of 3D (but still ships flat).
Embrace technology. For better or for worse, we live in a digital world and it’s just going to get that much more – er – digitaler. Instead of rejecting this characteristic of modern life, we say embrace it! Want your print advertising to play your jingle? Want to incorporate virtual reality or LED lights into your messaging? Make your customers feel like a kid around the holidays by sending them something shiny AND bright in the mail.
Video is your friend. Did you know that videos increase people’s understanding of a product or service by 74%? In case you’ve been living under a rock, video is super trendy right now. Combine video with one of our high-impact print solutions and you’ve got a powerful marketing tool.
Surprise them. If a consumer is able to predict how a promotional piece is going to look or feel before they even get their hands on it, you can almost bet that it will get lost and maybe even thrown away. Make your brand as exciting as you are – that unexpected element will not only set you apart from your competitors, but it’ll leave a lasting impression in your recipients’ minds.
Think Interactive. Print plays to the human senses in ways that digital tech is hard-pressed to match. By delivering a direct mail piece that recipients can engage with, you’re not only getting their attention, but you’re strengthening your brand’s longevity, too.
Feeling inspired? Have an idea for how your business can target the next generation of purchasers? Contact us to get started.
We love things that pop, bend, pull and are made of paper, so naturally we were thrilled to be a part of the creation of the Pier 1 holiday pop up catalog!
Pier 1 wanted a way to “craft an unforgettable holiday” by laying out their holiday catalogue differently. As you can see, each page opens up to a different room decorated with a holiday theme. Structural Graphics was involved in the final stages of design process and production engineering, manufacturing and hand assembly.
It didn’t stop at the catalog, though. See below…
This catalog replicated, and was handed out, at the Pier 1 pop up store in Manhattan!
The holiday season is in full swing, and hand-in-hand with that comes gift-giving fever. That fever has spread from our holiday hearts all the way to YouTube, with the increasingly popular unboxing videos. According to ThinkWithGoogle.com,
Unboxing video views have grown 57% over the past year, and uploads have grown more than 50%. But it’s not just the growth in the unboxing genre that’s impressive—it’s the sheer volume, too. It would take more than seven years to watch all the videos on YouTube with “unboxing” in the title that have been uploaded so far just this year. And those videos have more than a billion views in this year alone.
Thank you, ThinkWithGoogle. That’s just what we did – we “thunk with Google”, to design and produce their Unboxing box. This was sent to hand-selected YouTube celebrities to promote the Google Store, and designed to have an element of surprise when unveiling each featured technology product. And the response was simply outstanding:
4 million views, with 11 million projected by Christmas.
And also, some sweet comments straight from the Unboxing YouTube celebrities themselves:
“That’s the best part, the packaging. ‘Gavin came in, and he’s like “This packaging is legit.’ And you know when Gavin thinks your packaging is legit, you’ve got a great product.”
Thanks, Gavin & Shay fam! And from Captain Sparklez…
“What?! This is the coolest packaging I’ve ever seen in my entire life. I don’t even want to disassemble this.”
We’re blushing! That’s the highlight, but let’s backtrack (spoiler alert: here’s where we start to talk about ourselves, boxes, and Google, a lot)…
Fast forward to September, when it came time to develop the box for their Google Store Unboxing Launch, they asked us whether or not we do boxes. (Answer: look here, or even here for a bit more luxury.) I mean this is Google, and we’re Structural Graphics, so naturally, we said yes. We practically invented boxes.*
(That may or may not be true.)*
On September 16th was the initial kickoff call to discuss concepts. At first, the sole and simple goal we had to accomplish was, “we need a box to hold products”.
Originally, we started with a white box with clouds. All of these 7 technology products, which can be seen in the Google Store, could have easily been thrown into any old, standard, 8-sided-vanilla-box. But that’s not really our style.
We then started with what any sensible person does in this day and age: we Googled it. We googled the Google products to get grasp on what it would need to hold, specifically the size, and how we could package that up.
As time went on, the inspiration developed. We were given a few more things to chew on:
1. Google presented us with a ‘Mood Board’, basically a brain dump of what it needed to include, and 2. What not to do: not a traditional printing press or corrugate. I mean, let’s be honest here, creative freedom + super cool client = any designer’s dream. Our brainstorm session produced a list that looked like this: Rubik’s cubes, puzzle, with the idea to create more of an ‘experience’ than anything.
Mission: possible. Erik, one of our paper engineers, came up with the puzzle box concept, and that’s when things with the entire team really took off.
As you can see clearly, it was all hands on deck! From a design and materials standpoint, this box was pretty far out of the comfort zone for our group. The materials and scale of this project was foreign. Typically, we deal with folding cartons, but every single person had hands on this project in order to turn around 2 sets of comps and “push the limits of design & engineering”.
On November 6th, upon assembly of the puzzle box, this was their reaction:
“Sweeeeeet, it’s really coming along nicely!”
Of course, we echoed that.
So, the design was complete, but the job wasn’t over. Once these people receive it, what was the user experience going to be like?
There were a few small, yet critical details. First, was a card insert from the Google brand team, personalized & hand done with black Sharpie. Second, there was a little issue with the puzzle pieces, they didn’t quite stay together during shipment. Okay, thought our design team: how can we fix this? Why don’t we put it in gift-wrapping paper? Develop custom Google wrapping paper, which was actually functional. Genius.
Timing was a huge component for this project, considering it needed to drop by Black Friday. The second comp turn-around time was 3 days, and because of timing, we sent a template without sending a second comp. They never received a final produced prototype (only the press proof) before shipping to the influencers.
The night before delivery was crunch time. Gustavo, Vice President, Operations, and Teresa, Director of Business Development, left Mexico at 1:45am for delivery. They had 2 hours and 15 minutes to make it. From there, it was Fed Ex same day shipped, with critical care, and a contract with independent TSA couriers. Anddddddd, *sigh* just in time.
You might notice, if you’ve been paying attention to the timeline, that one of the most impressive parts of this story was the timing it took from concept to influencer delivery: 7 weeks.
“Amazing work under a brutal timeline.”
And just like that, that was it. 7 weeks. 7 products. 24 pounds without products, 35 pounds with products. Lots of hard work, and of course, a little bit of play…
So, it’s that time of the year again… and even if you don’t love the chaos of the holiday season, there’s one thing we can all agree we love: food! In honor of the upcoming holiday, here are some juicy Thanksgiving food facts to chew on.