As a stationery company, it only makes sense that you should be marketing through the mail. But unlike “direct mail” where you pay for a list that probably doesn’t fit your target demographic, you’ll get your addresses the old fashioned way, through research and hard work.
January, May, and August are popular times to send wholesale mailers. These months coincide with the major trade shows* and are times when retailers are ready and wanting to buy. In January, their stock is depleted after the holidays. In May, they might be depleted once again and are looking forward to all the new stationery. In August, they are loading up on orders for the upcoming holidays.
You may also want to consider sending your mailers out at unexpected times of year, which could help you stand out more since stockists will be receiving fewer mailers.
*The gifts shows in January and August and the National Stationery Show in May. Find out the exact dates (they vary from year to year) and send out your mailers a week or two before the show, so that buyers are sure to see it before they go, but not so far in advance that they forget about it.
Types of Marketing Material to Mail:
Keep reading for more information on the different types of marketing material…
Catalogs & Line Sheets
A digital catalog is fine if that’s all you can afford (and you aren’t working with reps), but if you are able, a printed catalog sent through the mail is a powerful tool. Shop owners and buyers love getting beautiful catalogs showcasing products that would look great on their shelves.
Postcard or Other Show Specific Mailer
Traditionally, manufacturers send out postcards to potential buyers to announce upcoming trade shows. As you can imagine, in the stationery industry, we’ve really upped the ante. Try to make your mailer as memorable as possible while remaining within budget.
For example, one year Kristin Ley of Thimblepress had the idea to fill push pop holders with confetti as her National Stationery Show mailer. They were such a hit that all the retailers asked if she was selling them, and now they are one of her best selling items and an iconic part of the industry.
But your mailer doesn’t have to be a completely new genre of stationery. A really fresh, well designed card should do the trick, too. At Sycamore Street Press, we often take one of our brand new greeting card designs and print a custom message/invitation to the show inside. It’s been simple and effective for us.
You might also like: Inventory Resources & Tips, Tips For Finding Stationery Suppliers & Manufacturers, & Tips For Assembling Stationery.
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Photos by Jessica Peterson for Sycamore Street Press.