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What’s New in Letterhead Trends

With so much communication occurring online and via instant messaging, is there still a need for branded stationery?

We think so. 

In fact, we think there’s still space in this digital world for beautiful design and so we’ve looked into letterhead trends in 2021 to see what’s happening.

Letterhead trends 2021

 With so many companies vying for attention and brands begging to be remembered, businesses need to be brave and more than a little innovative in order to stand out. 

Colour

Black on white? Boring! There has been a distinct shift toward paper and envelopes with rich colouring pulled from the business brand. While still easy to read and professional, communication on a coloured background seems somehow less bland, don’t you agree?

Nostalgia

Do you remember the stationery you used at school as a child? The slightly yellowing graph paper and lined sheets with a margin are being used to great effect by businesses who enjoy an “olde world” design element. Yes, it’s nice to have a sharp, monochromatic, and corporate look and feel, but when we’re communicating ideas or emotions, then remember that we’re talking to real people. 

Layout

If you are keen to stick to a more traditional black and white letterhead for your communications, there’s no reason why you can’t still keep it fresh and interesting. Ask your designer to play around with margins, font type, or header and footer placement. 

It’s tough to stand out in this crowded digital age, we all know that. But if our business dictates that we send paper mail to our customers then let’s step outside the black and white box and mix it up a little. Letterheads are a brilliant way to communicate a company culture or the personality of a small team.

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Paper Recycling Facts to Take into the New Year

As far as we have come in the drive towards the paperless office, we still rely heavily on paper. The importance of paper recycling has been highlighted often and to your credit, most businesses have a responsible recycling program in place. 

However, we can still do so much more – both as a company and as individuals – to reduce our reliance on paper and ensure that we are recycling what we can.

The value of paper recycling

It’s been estimated that it takes 24 trees to make a ton of standard office paper. 

Most paper production relies on wood pulp from a mix of hard and softwoods to create pulp for processing. While there are several methods employed to perform this function, the mechanical pulping process is by far the most efficient compared to the chemical processes employed. By way of comparison, the mechanical method will use approximately 12 trees to produce a ton of paper, whereas the chemical process will churn through approximately 24 trees. 

Available data from Global Forest Resource Assessment tells us that between 80,000 and 160,000 trees are cut down every day with a large percentage of these going to use in the paper industry.

That’s simply not sustainable, and as we are acutely aware, not helping the war on climate change. 

The good news is that we can do our bit, even in a small way.

  • Paper can be recycled numerous times – it just needs to get to the recycling depot and not end up in a landfill. 
  • We can shop responsibly and source paper from a company using sustainable products and processes. 
  • At home, we can use old newspapers in our braai, our pet’s bed, or in our compost bins. 
  • Donate old magazines to health centers for their reading tables or old books to the library.
  • Encourage your children to use the front and back of a sheet of paper when doodling. 
  • Keep old magazines and newspapers for kiddies’ crafts.
  • In the office, we can print on both sides of a sheet of paper.
  • Make use of a shredder which can securely allow your scrap to be shipped off to the recycling center.

When we consider that a single ton of recycled paper will save 17 trees, perhaps we can think of other ways that we can support this cause.

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Direct‌ ‌Mail‌ ‌Benefits‌ ‌for‌ ‌South‌ ‌African‌ ‌Businesses‌ ‌

As business owners, we know how hard it is to get heard in this digital age. Highway billboards, emails, display ads, social media and other platforms seem to shout at us from every corner and it’s easier to just submit to ad blindness and ignore the lot of it. It’s simply too much thinking!

We have to ask, however, in this digital realm is there still room for direct mail advertising? The stats say that there are, and that’s pretty exciting news for businesses that want to be seen.

Direct mail benefits

Paper mail is certainly not dead. Granted, it may not be as trackable as a digital medium, but there are some interesting points which make it a good option for some. Here are some stats that we uncovered courtesy of Small Biz Genius.

As opposed to an email where you have just a few characters in the subject line to encourage your user to open the message, around 42% of direct mail recipients will open and scan through your marketing message. It seems that people enjoy the physicality of receiving and opening an envelope and are curious as to its contents. 

Another seldom mentioned benefit to direct mail is that it takes, on average, 17 days to dispose of it. Left lying around the house, there is a better chance of being picked up and read, or just having your brand in the line of sight for a few days. An email or a display ad is seen once by a single person in a short period of time. Something to think about, don’t you agree?

Did you know that over 44% of businesses increased their catalogue circulation in 2019? An interesting decision considering the shift toward digital. However, it makes sense when you understand that a catalogue is a no-pressure option to browse products (minus pop-up ads!) and is likely to be picked up when the reader sits down for a coffee and a break.

So, are you still sending direct mail campaigns to your clients? Being involved in all things mail related, we’d be happy to assist you in the best printing and mail options available to South African businesses.

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3 Hidden Talents of the Humble Document Scanner

When faced with a paper document which we need to store, send, or put to digital use, you are likely to turn to a document scanner. However, did you know that there is so much more to this simple function than just replicating a sheet of paper?

We’ve detailed just three of these clever operations which we think cement the place of the document scanner in your office. 

Document scanner wins

Increased ROI

To be fair, a scanner isn’t going to be the most expensive piece of equipment in your office. But even so, it’s going to:

  • Reduce filing and storage fees

  • Improve customer service through 

    • Quick access to customer information

    • Securely saving and protecting data

    • Compliance with regulatory requirements

  • Improve access to information saving dozens of man-hours hunting through dusty boxes and refiling once done.

We’re sure you’ll know of other ways that a document scanner makes up for its initial cost.

Accurate records

Throwing a document through a scanner and saving it as an image takes a few seconds. Yet, the information saved on these records may be critically important at some point. 

Customers may forget having signed for a product or service, one of your team may have made assurances which the customer is now demanding, or we just need a replica of the signed document for legal purposes. Either way, a clear image with all the information unambiguously displayed is an excellent record to keep, digitally secured in the cloud or on your server for as long as you need it.

Multipurpose scanning

Scanning a document as an image and filing it away is one thing, but today’s document scanners are a little smarter than their older counterparts. 

Some scanners and their associated software offer the added benefit of converting an analogue document into several other formats. For example:

  • Optical character recognition can convert a scanned document into a usable Word document without having to retype the entire thing. 

  • Intelligent character recognition can convert hand-written notes into digital characters. 

  • Documents can be saved as a free-form document which creates a document with searchable text as opposed to a non-searchable image.

  • Some software has been programmed to read certain zones or boxes looking for information such as invoice numbers, checkboxes, or user-completed information. 

 

If you’re in the market for a document scanner, then you’re in the right place. Chat with one of the Mail Mech team today for all your office automation needs. 

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Faster Mail Sorting Makes Business Sense

While many businesses are moving toward electronic communications and cloud computing, paper mail is still very much a requirement for certain businesses. 

Invoices, bank statements, medical and financial communication, and salary slips will find themselves printed and posted daily as a necessary requirement for many. Special offers and promotional messaging will run the same course, as will flyers, brochures, parcels and bulky mail items. 

This means that you want the fastest and most accurate automated system available to process this plethora of paper. 

Neopost Mail Sorting Machines

One of the best in the business, Neopost mail sorting systems offer a flexible and user-friendly solution to bulk mail. 

Here’s what that looks like:

  • High-capacity envelope feeder

  • Automated mixed mail input

  • Hand feeder option for thicker items or parcels 

  • Optical barcode reading

  • Optical character reading for handwritten text 

  • Accurate printing on all envelope sizes for outgoing mail

  • Modular design with multiple sort bins

  • Dynamic scale

  • Various sorting options

    • By weight

    • By destination

Customer communication in bulk simply must be an automated function in today’s business. Who has the time or the inclination to spend days doing what a mail sorter can to in seconds?

Whether your business is mail delivery, re-mailing, internal consolidation, or essentially anything related to sending and receiving bulk mail, then the solution is right here. Weigh, sort, and distribute with the press of a button on a magical system which requires just one operator and will offer up statistical reports on all processes.

What’s not to love?

Neopost has several size and system options depending on your needs, and the Mailmech team will be happy to talk you through the pros and cons of each one.

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Business Card Dos and Don’ts

Do you still make use of a business card? Many people do, even though there seems to be a hundred other ways to exchange information.

If you still make use of a business card and you’re thinking of a redesign, or you’ve changed jobs, then why not have a quick scan of the current business card etiquette and make sure your new cards are perfect.

Business Card Business

Do these things

Far from just being a way for people to remember your name, a business card serves several functions. It should tell the recipient:

  • Who you are
  • What your position is in the company
  • Your company name
  • Your contact details including:
    • Phone
    • Email
    • Website address
    • Social media handles

The design and presentation of your card say much about you and your business, so it’s certainly worth spending some time making sure it’s perfect. 

Don’t be afraid of white space. A clean design is a good design.

Use both sides of the card. Business card design is a chance to get creative and be a little different.

Business card don’ts

These may seem like no-brainers, but you’ll be surprised to see how many of these no-no’s are still commonplace.

  • Old information. Have you crossed out the phone number and handwritten another one in? Yeh, don’t do that.
  • Illegible print. Flowery fonts and interesting colour choices are all good and well, but if you can’t read them then the point of your business card is lost.
  • Off-brand. Do your cards represent your company branding? Or has your printing company gone off on a bit of a tangent?
  • Too much information. You don’t need your personal mission statement on your business card along with everything people may (or may not) want to know about you. Keep it simple.
  • Cheap card. If you have chosen a cheap and nasty card weight, then you can’t expect to hook the big fish during your networking meeting. Fact.

No one knows how much longer the business card will be around, but while it is, make sure that yours speaks for you when you aren’t there. 

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The Glorious Glue Fold Machine

In the wonderful world of automation, the glue fold machine is an exceptionally clever piece of equipment. We know that the days of manually filling and stamping envelopes is a thing of the distant past, but somehow, we’re still fascinated with the speed and versatility of the glue fold machine.

What does a glue fold machine do?

As indicated by its name, the glue folder machine is a mechanised folding and gluing system. Taking an innocuous sheet of paper, this smart machine pulls a printed sheet, folds it in several variations, applies glue to seal it, and can quickly perforate it if required. It can also be used as a simple folding machine if the need arises.

Whether you need to print one side and conceal it in a C-fold, or you need to print on two sides and fold it into six concealed panels, the choices are endless.

It really is a wonderful way to reduce mailing costs while still ensuring secure, quality communication with your customers. 

Who needs a glue fold machine?

The process of glue folding is primarily used for security purposes and serves to keep confidential documents safe from prying eyes. Not only are they securely printed and sealed on site but are tamper-proof and recipients can quickly see if anyone has tried to take a sneak peek at their mail.

These are ideal for personal documents such as:

  • Tax notifications
  • Bank statements
  • Invoices
  • Salary slips

However, the speed and versatility of the glue fold machine makes it a great choice for other paper mail items. These could include:

  • Sales or promotional mail
  • Notices
  • Appointments
  • Order forms
  • Letters
  • Advice slips

If you’re still licking and sticking, please get in touch with the Mailmech team. We can help you to choose the best glue fold machine for your business. 

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5 Tips to Creating a Great Email Newsletter

If you’ve been more of a paper mail sort of company and you’re thinking of making the move to digital communications, then you’re probably considering a regular newsletter.  A monthly or weekly email to your clients with interesting updates, topical information, or special offers is a great way to stay front of mind. 

But with the flood of spam, news, views, and clickbait, how can you create an email newsletter that is going to get read?

The Foundation of a Great Email Newsletter

While there is tons of information on the web to guide you in creating the best ever newsletter, we’ve found five points which are a great place to start.

Why are you sending a newsletter?

If you want your readers to feel like they’re getting something of value, then you need to unpack why you are sending this mail and what your goal is.  

Are you highlighting special offers? Are you offering useful information to educate them? Whatever your reason for sending your email, make sure that it’s relevant to the recipient, exciting and easy to read.

Balance

Ideally, our messages should be less self-promoting and more educational. That is, of course, unless we are sending special offers. 

We want to offer something useful to our readers, and not just tell them to buy.

Focus on headlines

How many of us either delete or open an email based purely on the headline? The headline carries a heavy burden of responsibility for the success or failure of a campaign, and care needs to be given to creating an emotive and exciting opener. 

Have a single call to action 

We know that we don’t have much time to hold our reader’s attention, so making your message short and snappy with a single call to action is a great idea.

What do you want them to do? Book a call? Go to your product page? Whatever it is, make sure it’s clear and unambiguous.

Be concise

We are flooded with messages daily, and we tend to automatically filter out what is important and what is not. An email with short sentences, bullet points, and powerful imagery will fare better than a wall of text. 

Do you need help with your emails, mail security, or bulk mailing systems? Chat with our team now.

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3 Things You Never Knew Could Go into a Shredder

As much as we would like to be living in the age of the paperless office, the printing of documents is still necessary for several reasons. This, coupled with the crackdown on data protection and the stringent requirements which have been implemented, means a shredder is a vital piece of office equipment.

However, have you ever asked yourself, “What can actually go into a shredder?”

More than you think. 

What can go into a shredder?

Paper

Obviously, paper. 

Things like payslips, client files, contact lists, confidential company planning documents, staff records, and financial information should be shredded as soon as it is no longer required. This makes a shredder in both the HR and the Finance department a must-have.

Did you know, though, that some of the more robust shredders can handle more than just paper?

For example, the Kobra Cyclone is a beast of a machine, making short work of up to 500 sheets of paper at a time. It can also easily cardboard or boxes without a hiccup. 

Plastic

One of the best things about using a shredder is that the waste can be handled by recycling companies and put to good use – plastic being a significant waste product.

Therefore, plastic bottles, credit cards, and old plastic bound documents can be thrown in and dealt with responsibly. 

CDs

The day of the CD is almost over, having been replaced with access to the cloud and tiny, handy memory sticks which can hold enormous amounts of information. So, what do we do with those CDs or DVDs which may contain company or client data? 

We shred them of course. 

If you have been looking for an office shredder which can handle everything mentioned above, then we’d like to invite you to chat with the Mailmech team. We have a range of shredders which can handle everything but the kitchen sink.

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Paper Saving Tips: To Print Or Not To Print

Historically in the business world, paper was used in vast quantities. Prints were made without thinking twice and letters or memos were written and left on desks with reminders for fellow colleagues. But as this is no longer the case, we are continuously looking for paper saving tips.

In the modern office, everyone is looking at ways to become more eco-friendly, and one of the easiest ways to do this is to cut down on paper usage. 

Paper Saving Tips

There are many ways to paper-saving tips that you can implement in the workplace, and some are so simple. You will be surprised at how quickly your business can save paper, and money with these few handy tips

  • Print on both sides of the paper. Such a simple tip, but it will cut your paper usage down by half on the items that are essential to print
  • Store information and documents electronically. The use of digital storage is a great paper saving tip, and also saves you physical space. Rather use external hard drives or explore cloud data storage.
  • Re-use scrap paper. Printed a document by mistake or discovered errors? Re-use this paper as scrap to write your notes or messages instead of buying note paper or desktop calendars. 
  • Use emails. When communicating with colleagues or customers, opt for email. Everything can be sent digitally whether it is an advert for specials, a reminder for a meeting or a business contract
  • opt for digital signature and stamps. These are extremely easy to create and are a huge paper saving tip. They also save time as there is no need to wait for documents to print before signing or stamping them
  • Recycle. If there are documents that must be printed, make sure that once they are ready to be thrown away there is an option to recycle them instead of just tossing them into the bin.

For all things print and mail-related, chat with the Mailmech team.

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