Direct Mail 2019

What is Direct Mail?

Direct mail marketing is an offline advertising strategy that leverages direct mail pieces with creative visuals and sales copy to reach a targeted audience that has been identified as potential customers.

How Does Direct Mail Targeting Work?

When it comes to targeting it’s best to identify your ideal customer based on existing clients and their traits. This allows you to only send promotional mail pieces to an audience that has the highest potential to convert. The following are some demographics that you can use for targeting.

  • Age
  • Income
  • Education
  • Gender

Some companies take the hyper focused route and purchase psychographic characteristic lists with even more detailed information for advertising purposes. This information can include the following:

  • Personality traits
  • Lifestyle
  • Options
  • Attitudes
  • Interests
  • Habits
  • Social Status
  • Degree of Loyalty

How To Create A Successful Direct Mail Campaign?

A successful multi-channel direct mail campaign needs to include the following:

  • Understanding and segmenting data
  • Eye-catching creative visuals
  • Relevant and personalized messaging
  • A strong call to cation (CTA)

Can You Personalize Direct Mail?

You can personalize every mail piece to include names, different messaging and visuals. This is ideal for businesses who want to speak directly to the customer with relevant messaging and CTAs. This personalization yields a higher ROI when compared to traditional catch all messaging.

How To Use Purls (Personal URLS) With Direct Mail?

After segmenting your data based on known behavior you can further personalize your campaign by including PURLS on direct mail pieces. Doing this further enhances your personal messaging, CTAs, and increases your chance of conversions.

DME’s Branded Environment

Large Format Printing & Vinyl Wall Wraps

One of our divisions, DME Visual, is a large format printing company. Through DME Visual, we have installed custom environmental interior wraps for our customers all over north and central Florida. Our clients include Johnson and Johnson, Pepsi, Swisher, Walmart, Daytona State, and UNF among others.

After servicing several of these projects, we realized we needed to follow the advice we were giving our clients pertaining to the importance of branded environments. We started with a few internal meetings between our large format operations director, our creative team, our maintenance and construction crew, and other invested employees.

Our first step was to paint the exterior areas, number the buildings and have the wayfinding signs installed. We have four large buildings on campus, so between the design and production, this took us around two months to complete. While the outside was in production, we started working on the interior. We had two design meetings and two production meetings for the front half of our main building alone, which is a large space. Once the exterior portion of the buildings was complete, we began installing the vinyl wall wraps and signage in the front half. We used several different types of substrates and design techniques since this is one of our areas of expertise. The results were amazing, and our employees are constantly discussing how well the whole project came together.

Moving forward, the next challenge ahead of us will be working on our large production facility. We are going to design and wrap the entire production and fulfillment area. Not only is this space massive, but we must also contend with equipment that is in the way and the tall walls of the facility. Additionally, we must continue to meet our customers’ deadlines by fulfilling our orders. The target date for completion of this project is July 1st of this year. As we get closer to our estimated deadline, we will keep you updated.

These campus projects would have never gotten off the ground if we hadn’t set deadlines and had a single group in charge of overseeing the process. Having too many people involved in the planning would have slowed production down

Tour DME

We are very proud of our revitalized campus and everything we have achieved, which has led us to establish “Tuesday Tours” for DME companies.

We believe this is an excellent opportunity for local businesses and the surrounding community to come into our facilities and be inspired. Recently we have begun inviting the local community to “come see” what’s new at DME and the DME facilities. DME Visual, Daytona Stadium and the Daytona Ice Rink are also included in the tour. We can arrange all four in one day if you are so inclined.

This past Tuesday we invited the staff from Game Time Sports, which is located at One Daytona, to visit our facilities. To our delight, they were impressed with the changes that have taken place in just a few short months. If you own a business in the Daytona Beach area or are active in the community, we encourage you to come in and take a tour to see how much of an impact a branded environment can make for you.

Trade Show Tactical Musings

Our Team At NACDA

Are you a trade show veteran?  Your approach is all set.  Your products, solutions, collateral and team specialists are all tried and true.  That is wonderful for you but, from experience, reality changes and we know there is always room for improvement.  Your customers and prospects will know when your approach and your solutions, have grown stale.  You will know from their actions, or lack thereof.

Once you hit the convention floor, or during the chatter of the casual social mixers, is your focus on wining and dining your current customers or all about finding new customers?  Or do you find a healthy mix of both?

And how do you approach frequency?  Budget for one big show that reaches most of your target audience or do you hit the road regularly for many smaller shows, or even eschewing trade shows, as your prospects don’t travel far.  I am sure there are many factors that play into your corporate trade show decision making.

DME recently found ourselves pondering our trade show strategy as we prepared for NACDA 2017.

As 2017 began, DME and PPI merged and we were challenged to define and create distinct brand personalities for our three newly acquired solution sets. 

  • PPI: provides branding solutions via customized premium incentive products
  • PPI Loyalty: specializes in marketing solutions that establish and grow member/donor communities
  • PPI Sports Go GameDay: offers custom branded gameday solutions and promotional items

At times, the brands have been complementary but can also be perceived as overlapping depending on customer need, messaging and perception.

“People are more apt to buy products where they have a clear understanding of what it is and what it stands for and products that connect with them,” says Allen Schiffenbauer, chief research officer for the Brand Consultancy, a firm based in Washington, D.C., whose clients include Staples, Holiday Inn, and the NFL.

Branded as PPI Sports, it was judged the 2016 NACDA show was successful.  But with elements of all three brands in a smallish booth, feedback did allude to brand confusion.  The small booth made it harder to point out individual solutions based on varying customer needs.

For 2017, it was decided again one space would be shared, albeit in a much bigger showcase area!  And only two brands would be featured, PPI Loyalty and PPI Sports, but could see elements of PPI as well.  The larger space allowed for specific solutions to have their own space for customer conversations.  Many leads were generated and a few deals were closed on site, which is against the norm for what is normally a slower sales cycle at NACDA.  All agreed success was much greater than 2016.

Based on feedback from NACDA attendees, both during, and after the show, we have learned a great deal on how our brands and solutions are perceived in our marketplace and how our updates on brand definitions and messaging are working.  With 2018 ideas already being kicked around, one suggestion was made to have each solution in its own booth which could further reduce brand/message confusion.  But does that dilute the power of the well-defined, complementary brands?  That is what we will debate as we continue 2018 prep.

Please feel free share your thoughts.  Contact us at

The Art and Science of Storytelling

First impressions are important.

The visual and verbal impact of ongoing marketing communications should create a series of memorable impressions.  You also want them to generate a lasting impression.  Most importantly, they should generate the desired call to action (CTA).

When creating engaging content for your audience, you must do your research to understand them.  Among the many questions to consider:

  • Are they Customers or Prospects? Long term, one-timers or nevers?
  • Do you know their buying habits? And when they occur?
  • What are their emotional triggers during the buy cycle?
  • Who is your competition and what is their approach?

Once audience understanding is in place, it is time for words and pictures.

Content writing is more than putting words together for someone to read and (fingers crossed) relate to your message. Rather, content writing is the art of telling a story by using the right mix of knowledge, approach, and style to speak to a particular audience in a way they feel comfortable. This will go a long way toward generating that lasting impression.

Without question, imagery also plays an important role in telling your story. Visuals should be more than just look-good, feel-good design – it’s cleverly communicating your brand and value proposition with relevant and personalized imagery. .

Content and visuals are strategically used together, and connected to the audience segments, to attract attention, and more importantly, create a sense of urgency toward the call to action.  DME has developed three types of communications that speak to audience segments:

  • Inspire communications should create a growing feeling of customer value to the cause. They should express how important their support is to current initiatives and the organizational goals.
  • Advocate concentrates on year-round “stewardship” messaging that keep customers aware of special events, occasions, and important milestones. These messages reinforce the value that their support does make a difference.
  • Motivate serves to strengthen the relationship with existing customers through a suite of communications supporting various stewardship activities – leading to the next promotion or “ask.”

An integrated marketing approach is beyond required in today’s world. Mail, email, mobile, social etc., all offer opportunity to modify communications to best fit the delivery platform.  It is important that marketing messaging be adjusted across delivery platforms to what the consumer would expect on a given outlet.  These will increase the likelihood they remember your message, and increase the odds of your CTA being achieved.

During an ongoing campaign, or throughout your career, often times you will find huge success. Then there are other times when you miss the mark.  Either way, generating customer feedback via surveys and other response mechanisms will go a long, long way towards ongoing success, or righting the ship after a misstep.

Also be sure to test, test, and test some more.

A/B testing is critical for you to better understand audience behavior. Ongoing testing and applying learned results going forward is crucial to ongoing success.

Storytelling is not meant to be used only as a selling tool, but as a technique to foster stronger relationships with customers, eventually turning them into loyalists and evangelists. Each story identifies your mission and CTA and also serves as the basis for future content development.

Alumni, Athletic and Academic Fundraising

Understanding The Challenges

Every not-for-profit organization is challenged with building and maintaining a strong donor base. Stewardship, as it relates to higher education, is similar to acquisition, retention and loyalty type programs in the world of traditional marketing. It isn’t so similar, however, that the same processes and methodologies can be applied.

PPI Loyalty specializes in alumni, athletic and academic fundraising using our proprietary, and proven, methodology.


Inspire. Advocate. Motivate.

Our fundraising programs are designed to add new donors, and at the same time nurture and cultivate existing donors.

Our proven solutions will grow your donor database by…

  • Renewing the Loyal
  • Re-capturing the Lost
  • Convincing the Nevers


INSPIRE: It’s Vital to Add new Life to your Donor BaseNew donors must feel emotionally connected and that they truly can make a difference.  Managing expectations is key to showing prospective donors they will be valued.  We know it is absolutely more difficult to convince a donor to join, or re-join the cause, than it is to renew a current one.  And we know adding to your base is an equally important part of your stewardship goals.

Inspire communications should create a growing feeling of their value to the cause. They should express how important their contributions support current initiatives and the organizational goals.

ADVOCATE: Empower your Donors to become your EvangelistsUnderstanding why your donor base continues to support your mission is a major key.  For many, it’s as simple as wanting to know how their support is helping.  If they are made to feel that they are a big part of your successes, if they feel there is an emotional connection, they are more likely to stay involved.  Regularly engaging your current donors, to the point they feel evangelized, can grow your message exponentially. Your cause becomes their cause.

Advocate concentrates on year-round, post-donation “stewardship” messaging that keep donors aware of special events, occasions, and important milestones.  These messages reinforce the value that their donations do indeed make a difference.

MOTIVATE: Tie heart String to Purse Strings… Planting the seeds for growth is key to keeping your donor base engaged.  We know it is easier to retain current supporters than it is to generate new ones.  By showing your appreciation in every communication, it serves to preserve, and strengthen, your relationship.  As your relationship grows, it increases your chance of ongoing success.

Motivate serves to strengthen the relationship with existing donors through a suite of communications supporting various stewardship activities – leading to the next “ask.”

Our Inspire, Advocate and Motivate campaigns drive fundraising revenue, build a strong foundation of pride donations and further cultivate existing donors who will support the program for years to come.

Based on our more than 30 years of direct marketing experience, we understand the challenges and road blocks the collegiate world will inevitably experience when planning and launching donor campaigns. With over 150 collegiate clients, PPI Loyalty is your perfect partner for all your fundraising efforts.

Contact us to learn more about how we can grow your donor base.


DME Delivers Explores 3D Printing

DME Delivers has a history of exploring the cutting edge of technology. 3D printing is no exception. As 3D printing continues to evolve, we believe it has great potential for DME’s future.

DME is currently experimenting in the 3D figurine market for business and consumer use.

Other potential use may be found in the industries such as photography, gaming, fashion, medical, fitness, merchandising, and architectural design.

Architectural design and build is heading to a whole new level. Apis Cor recently printed an entire house utilizing concrete and if that isn’t amazing enough, they did it in just 24 hours.

DME has invested in Cobra, a full body scanner designed specifically to deliver superior studio and event experiences. Our machine can capture every expression, and feature, in seconds. This ‘photography studio’ has 128 Canon DSLRs and 7 strobes which allows us to capture photos for a 360-degree rendering of any person, family or pet, or a group of willing subjects!

With very short scan times, we can service an astonishing approximately 450 people in an 8-hour period. We are now exploring off-site events where we can transport a portable Cobra. This is ideal for trade shows, sporting events and other high traffic events.

Figurines range from 4-14 inches in height, and themes include action figurines, holiday ornaments, wedding cake toppers, game avatars and so much more. We understand every wedding is different so if the bride and groom prefer not to see each other dressed in your wedding attire until wedding day, we have you covered. We can take photos of you individually and then Photoshop both of you together.

All our products are photo-realistic, high resolution, and hand finished, ensuring you receive the highest quality. This is just the beginning for DME Delivers and 3D printing. In the future, we will expand and scale our 3D solutions.

If you are going to NACDA. in Orlando in June, look for our booth which will feature a mobile 3D printer!

The Main Type Of Organic Searches That Are Performed

In this blog I am going to cover the different types of searches that are performed on Google. Keyword & phrase searches can be broken into three main categories and they are the following:

Auto repair, auto shop, car service

City + Niche (Local)
Your city + transmission repair, brake service, car engine repair

Long-tail Keywords (City + Specifics)
City + fast break repair, quick oil change, best auto shop for brake service

Broad keywords are typically searched when people don’t really know what they are looking for. This is important to know because that means they are not ready to buy a product or service. When someone searches for broad keywords it typically means they are in the research stage.

Local searches (City + Niche) are ideal keywords phrases to optimize your website for.  The people performing local searches typically know what they want and are more willing to buy a product or service.

When you rank for these keywords you will also rank for very broad terms as long as Google knows where the person performing the search is located.  Which Google almost always does because they know everything.

The only down side in targeting local keywords is they are more difficult to rank for because there are a ton of people competing for the same keywords. When targeting these keywords just know it will take some time before you begin appearing higher in the search.

Long-tail keywords are searched when people know exactly what they are looking for, or at least they think they do.  People who find you using these types of searches will take up less of your time, be a stronger lead, and be more willing to purchase your services.

Even better, the more specific you are the faster and easier it will be to rank for those keywords. Many businesses ignore these keywords which make them ideal for anyone who is launching a new website.

This doesn’t mean you should target “Yodeling Orlando car mechanic” because you likely won’t get any business.  You need to target profitable keywords so put serious thought into them. When in doubt refer to the google keyword tool.

Now that you know the basics I need to warn you. Make sure you abide by Google’s polices. This means no keyword stuffing, no unethical link building, and do not over optimize your site. Remember when I said Google knows everything? They have things called robots that crawl your website periodically and they will know if you are trying to cheat the system. If you are caught, they will penalize your website.

Setting Up Meta Titles & Descriptions

One of the most important aspects of SEO is setting up your page meta titles and meta descriptions. Here are some questions to ask yourself before starting the keyword research. For this blog I am going to use a small direct mail firm as an example. Write down the answers and please do not skip this step.  It will help you decide on which keywords to target.

Ask yourself:

  • What is your area of expertise?
  • What cities in your area do you want to target?
  • What do you think people type into Google to find a direct mail company in your area?

After you have answered the above questions head over to the keyword tool in Google Adwords. Click on “search for keywords using a phrase, website or category”. Enter a list of keywords/phrases into the product or service field. Then select 2 cities from the targeting section and hit “Get ideas”. This will show you important information, including the search volume and how competitive the keywords are. Select the appropriate ones and head over to your SEO settings in your website control panel.

Depending on which web design platform you are using will determine where it’s located. It’s typically located in the settings portion of your site.

Keep in mind most search engines will only consider a maximum of 60 characters for the meta title and 160 characters for the meta description. However, recent case studies on SEO have shown the sweet spot for Google is 50 or less characters for the title, and 150 or less for the description. If your title and description are less than the maximum don’t worry about it, just try not to exceed the limit. Otherwise Google will cut your description short and you don’t want to lose out on valuable information your potential clients will see when displayed on Google.

The general rule of thumb is to target 2-3 profitable keywords.  The first keyword is the main target keyword.  For us, it would be “direct marketing agency”.  It’s followed by another profitable keyword, “direct marketing company”.  The last one is our brand name, “DME Delivers”.  You don’t need to place three within in your title but try to use 2 keywords in your title if possible.

Try the template below for your website.

Recipe For Title: Your Competitive Keyword | Less Competitive Keyword… or you can use your Competitive Keyword | Brand Name.

Recipe For Meta Description: Your city + competitive keyword specializing in less competitive keyword, then blurb.  Do not use your brand name in the meta description because it would be a waste for SEO purposes. An important note, make sure both your title and meta description accurately represent your business.



DME and PPI Join to Grow Market Penetration

New venture strengthens marketing solutions for customers

DAYTONA BEACH, FL, January 10, 2017 – DME Holdings, LLC (DME) announces that the Daytona Beach, FL, based marketing company is forming a new venture with Premiums, Promotions and Imports (PPI), also located in Daytona Beach. The new entity is named DME Delivers, LLC (DME).

DME brings more than 30 years of direct marketing experience with a focus on utilizing data for its customer retention and lead generation solutions for a variety of industries. PPI adds 30+ years as an industry leading promotional and specialty advertising firm.

The addition of PPI’s success in brand building, via a full suite of promotional programs and products, will greatly increase DME’s ability to provide a wider range of marketing services to its clients.

“The union of DME and PPI brings together some of the best and brightest minds in marketing,” said Mike Panaggio, CEO of DME. “It is exciting that this new venture will not only increase the solutions and services available to current customers, as well as new prospects, but let us incorporate new perspectives from our colleagues at PPI.”

“Our goal is to combine the experience and passion that DME and PPI employees possess in order to create a unified, and stronger, sales, marketing and production force across all industries,” Panaggio added.

DME’s expertise, and success, is built on creating integrated marketing campaigns across a variety of delivery platforms which include direct mail, email, personal URL’s as well as digital and social media marketing. Add extensive in-house digital print and production capabilities and DME is a true one-stop direct marketing partner.

PPI market leading promotional solutions include:

  • PPI Loyalty donor rewards programs, which is a leading provider of donor gift solutions to college athletic foundations and college alumni associations who focus on engagement and stewardship programs.
  • PPI Sports which services over 200 colleges and universities with promotional items ranging from game day premiums, donor gifts, staff apparel and other items embellished with an institution’s registered logo’s.

The new venture is truly born out of two very complementary companies. New 2017 growth forecasts at 25% with the addition of new customer solutions that will be announced in the first quarter.

For more information about DME, visit
For more information about PPI, visit

Keeping the Passion for Graphic Design

Finally, I get it.

As graphic designers, we chose graphic design because we love aesthetics and visual arts. We love color, line and form. When we were kids in elementary school, many of us lived for two, one-hour art classes a week where we could lose ourselves in the creative process. We loved to push rules aside to create beautiful pictures (so we thought). We dreamed some day of being the next Salvador Dali, or even the next Leonardo (not Dicaprio), though we likely at the time had never heard of them.

Life happens and we make choices. We give up the aspirations of our youth to pursue success, or at least, an ability to feed our stomachs in lieu of feeding our souls. We strive to be successful based on societal norms and definitions, and hope to find a place where our talents can earn a living for ourselves, and if we are lucky enough, our families (if we chose that path). Compromises are made and some of us give up vocational art all together and pursue professional paths like sales, medicine or something even less exciting to pursue a living.

If you are like me, you may have even spent four (ahem, yeah right), years at a university only to discover you have no passion for your chosen field of study. You finish, and instead of pursuing a career congruent with your formal education, your career chooses you, and you find your way back into visual art through graphic design.

With the hope to contribute with my passion, I began my first career job as an entry-level graphic designer for a trade magazine in Santa Ana, California. From there I worked at a consumer lifestyle magazine in Laguna Beach, California, an ad agency in Costa Mesa, a marketing agency in Carlsbad, a web development company in San Clemente, self employed in Palm Coast, Florida and now again at a marketing/production agency in Daytona Beach, Florida. I have now been in the field of marketing and graphic design for… oh man (ugh)… 27 years.

I still enjoy the business, but I have learned a few things:

  1. YOUR design is not important. Good design is.
    • Let your manager, your peer or your subordinate take the glory if it is better, or even on par. “My way or the highway” is for buttheads.
    • If you think your idea is better, let it be known and why. But don’t get so passionate that it comes out as anger.
  2. Always be humble. Don’t let your pride get in the way of your marketing goals.
  3. Design should ALWAYS aim at achieving marketing goals.
    • Don’t be gratuitous with your graphics (even if they are really freakin’ cool).
  4. Feel free to let your visual inspiration direct copy if it works.
    • Copywriters often try to dictate concept without thinking about the graphical implications. This can be a dead end if the graphical goals are too expensive or unachievable.
  5. The simple solution is often the better solution.
    • Overthinking the design often ends in clutter, roadblocks and lost messages. When in doubt, go clean and simple.

It did not take me long to realize that I am not always the best at everything, or anything, I do. I have peaks of inspirations between expansive valleys of “just doing my job”, and that is OK. Learning to see inspiration and passion in others has become as important more important than stroking my own ego. I actually enjoy the success of others more than my own at times. At my best, I can go home and spend time with my family knowing that they are more important to me than my ego at work.