Thysse Adds Capacity & Capabilities To Oregon, WI, Print Operations

Over the past couple decades there have been numerous consumer packaging innovations but if you ask Johnie Thysse, it’s still hard to beat the sombrero hole. Johnie is the fourth generation in the Thysse family to ply his craftsmanship in the rapidly evolving print industry.

The packaging line at Thysse has grown substantially over the past 12 years. Johnie has seen it go from literally hammering out sombrero holes to processes that perfectly punch thousands per minute.  …And from one customer to some of the biggest brands in the country.

We cornered Jason Thysse, CEO and Johnie’s dad, to reflect on the images:

Jason Thysse

That’s how our packaging line started. …Two buildings ago. It’s how many of our service lines started- small. Our growth is a testament to the team here. It’s really their skill, hard work, and dedication that made our growth possible. When you do that consistently, word spreads. We’re really doing the same thing we’ve always done, it’s just at a different scale now. 

The nostalgic look back is a great reminder that prioritizing exceptional outcomes from humble beginnings is a time-tested way to grow a business. In fact, Thysse is currently in mid-process on a multi-million-dollar tooling and capabilities investment aimed at meeting the rising demand for the type of service and quality it delivers.

Thysse Director of Operations, Tony Smithson, is managing the project and shared his insights on the growth:

It’s easy to slip into a mindset that commoditizes what we do in the print and brand services industries. It’s not hard to have a great day, come up with a great design element or have a clean production run. It IS hard to do that every time. It takes a lot of dedicated experts spanning many disciplines to resolve issues before they become problems. I doubt we’re ever the lowest bid, but our customer retention rate and growth indicate we’re often the highest value.

Thysse is a commercial printing and brand services provider located 20 minutes south of Madison in Oregon, WI. If you’re in the neighborhood, stop by and take a tour! Or, reach out! We’d love to discuss solutions to your next project!

Up Close and Personal – in Color!

Viva Magenta! Pantone™ isn’t the only team excited about color this year.

We’re back, baby! USPS currently has 2 postage promotions open for registration: The Tactile, Sensory, and Interactive Promotion and the star of today’s show: The Personalized Color Transpromo Promotion. Bring magic to your marketing messaging and account data through the use of color and personalization. (Brb, signing us up!) This promo encourages brands to combine customized touches with full-color prints to Direct Mail pieces. Add two or more colors to your marketing message or account data and receive 3% off postage rates. If a full-color reply piece is rolled into the mix, that number goes up to 4% total! Yep, it’s that simple. 

When it comes to communication, color can evoke emotions or change the way the viewer thinks. Each color on the spectrum can be used to enhance your message in a variety of ways; consider each when developing your next marketing piece. The print world talks in terms of CMYK, but color theory is based around the three primary colors. Different iterations and quantities of each can illicit different reactions, read on to help decide what works best for your brand.

Ready F(red)dy?

Looking to snag a little extra attention? Red’s a natural first choice. From catching a cop’s eye to our favorite bullseye superstore, red gets results because it can evoke both energy and danger. Sexy. We suggest you stay under the speed limit to avoid adding “reckless” to that list of descriptors. How does it help in your mailer? Red can also be associated with strength, power, determination, passion, or love. Beyond emotive responses, red can also create a physiological response by enhancing human metabolism, increasing respiration rates, or raising blood pressure. Consider the strong impact shades of red can have on your piece and design carefully!

Yellow, Is It Me You’re Looking For? 

Close your eyes and picture a brand using yellow in their logo or marketing. It’s fine, we’ll wait. Got it? Did you see the golden arches of McDonalds, the ghost of SnapChat, the fanning bars of Sprint or the loose hive of Bumble? These brands have very different audiences and products, but each uses a vibrant yellow to quickly grab attention and present a playful, energetic, and youthful vibe. So why isn’t everybody using yellow? It has some downsides, typically when overused. In large quantities, yellow creates adverse physical and emotional responses. In fact, babies cry far more in yellow rooms, and fast food restaurants have used it to quickly usher guests out the door.

Tangled Up In Blue 

Blue can bring warmth, peace, even compassionate responses. Think of it as the comfort hue, and use it effectively in your pieces to lower heart rates, create calming effects and give your message a positive energy boost. This can be especially helpful for brands dealing with sensitive messages of products like insurance or finance (think Blue Cross Blue Shield, Chase Bank, or Paypal). Other brands that are true blue? Dell, Zoom, IBM, and even Amazon. We can’t confirm or deny that these brands are anticipating irate customer call-ins, but it’s a distinct possibility…

We could stop here, but because orange is the color of creativity and a primary in our brand palette, we’ll go through one more!

Orange You Glad We’re Here?

We’re a little biased towards shades of tangerine and it could NOT be because Pantone™ 16 is also Thysse Orange, could it? Okay, you got us. But what’s not to love about a warm, approachable and energetic color? It aligns with who we are! We could debate about how well the color exudes creativity, reliability, resourcefulness and how great we are at listening, but let’s no. It’s in there. We view orange as more than just our brand color, it’s who we are and how we work. We wear orange. We live orange. We are orange. AND. WE. DRINK. ORANGE. KoolAid™.

The line at the very bottom is: Colors influence the way our brains interact with a message, item, room, emoji or traffic light…STOP! Thoughtfully leveraging color can produce tangible outcomes, especially in print advertising.  The USPS knows it, too. The Personalized Color Transpromo Promotion is part of a series of awesome opportunities to see the difference enhanced mail can make for you, at little-to-no additional cost. It’s on offer to drive mail growth through repeat and expanded usage because USPS knows it works.

This is where we can help: Print advertising and direct mail campaigns can be incredibly effective when run well. They can also hemorrhage efficiency and incur unplanned or unnecessary costs when there are expertise gaps in the process. Thysse modestly rates itself a 10/10 for being the sort of partner you want to work with, and our client retention rates support it. If you haven’t worked with Thysse before, try us.


Our expert explanations of the current USPS Promotions: Tactile, Sensory, and Interactive Promotion.

Calling all Direct Mail mavens and budget-concious besties! We’re back with more on the 2023 USPS Promotions. First on the list, we’ll  dive into the one sure to make your recipients say, “oooh that is VERY nice!” 

Whether you already have a piece designed or you need assistance imagining an eye-catching mailer, we’ve got you covered. From sensory treatments and interactive elements to specialty inks, your options are (almost) endless. And the best part? You’ll save 5% on postage while increasing customer engagement.

Ready to learn more? Join us for a good ol’ fashioned brainstorm on wacky ways this promotion could be used.

Sensory Treatments

We all see mail pieces every day, this promotion encourages the added combinations of sound, smell, touch, and even taste to engage your audience and create a memorable sensory experience.

  1. What smells? (Scent Marketing): Imagine you own a local wedding venue and are working to fill some of your less desirable dates. On St. Patrick’s Day, you decide to send off scratch-and-sniff cards scented with hints of Guinness and reasons to tie a Celtic wedding knot on one the luckiest days of the year. 
  2. “WHAT?!”(Sound Marketing): More like “QUAAAAAAACK!!” As an auto body shop, you test out a mailers with. a few funky sounds to different audiences, with messages like “Waddle on in for a tune-up.”
  3. Giving you all the feels (Texture Marketing): From House Hunters to TikTok, handy DIY homeowners are everywhere these days. Drum up business for your hardware store by using textured coatings reminiscent of sandpaper to get a gritty message out to your prospects.  
  4. You’ve got great taste (Taste Marketing): Are you selling quantity or quality? As a small purveyor of exotic coffee blends, we’re assuming you’re interested in prospects preferring the latter. Try sending a mailer with Peel ‘n Taste strips of your seasonal blends and a discount code for bulk buys.

Interactive Elements 

The key to keeping prospects engaged is to continually surprise and delight your recipients by giving them a dynamic experience each time. Interactive mailers can include three-dimensional elements, pop-ups, infinite folding, cutouts, and much more. 

  1. How Did You Pull That Off? (Perforated + Peel Off Opportunities) The Main Street watering hole is looking to attract a broader base of regulars. They develop a mailer with realistic pull tab plays, with each card winning the recipients a seat at the bar and a “First beer free.”
  2. What’s Popping? (Specialty Folding and Pop-ups) The last entry on the list gets a tad bit morbid, but also, you’re still here so… An independent insurance agency might promote a life insurance policy by sending cards with pop-up coffins (yikes) or perhaps, a gentler option of a white paper bouquet.

Specialty Inks 

Another opportunity for mailing enhancements lies within the inks themselves. Specialty inks can showcase the unique properties of your message and products in a variety of ways. If you’re interested in using conductive inks, thermochromic, photochromics, or metallic and optically variable inks, let’s chat about possible applications!

By now, you can see there’s a myriad of applications available for this promotion, and each will save you up to 5% on postage costs! This gives flexibility to try out something new while staying within your budget goals.

Curious to learn more? Drop us a line to see why Thysse is still where you go with your brand™.

New Year, New US(PS).

Your guide to the 2023 U.S. Postal Service Promotions.

The U.S. Postal Service recently announced their 2023 Mailing Promotions and we quickly read through them a few dozen times to break them all down for you (you’re welcome!).  Here at Thysse, we’re kinda known as THE Direct Mail experts. So buckle in, because over the next few months, we’ll be sharing all the ins and outs of these upcoming promotions to help you properly navigate them (and save a buck or two while we’re at it). 

This year, there are six different promotions scheduled to take place (two of which are brand-spanking new). We’ll be here to fully explain each promotion – along with all the important dates that go with it. Look for updates about a week ahead of promotion registration. Or just stay tuned to our socials and we’ll happily remind you each time one comes up!

Looking to get a jump start on any of the promos? YOU’RE IN LUCK because we’ve compiled a comprehensive list below. 

2023 Postal Service™ Promotions

  1. Tactile, Sensory, & Interactive – Trigger Sensory Engagement and awaken the senses (with a 5% Discount to boot!)
    • Registration Begins: January 9, 2023
    • Promotion Period: February 1, 2023 to July 31, 2023
  2. Personalized Color Transpromo – Stand out from the crowd using personalized full-color marketing and messaging while saving 3% on your mailers!
    • Registration Begins: January 9, 2023
    • Promotion Period: February 1, 2023 to July 31, 2023
  3. Emerging Technology – Boost brand awareness through AR, Voice Assist, and more! Depending on mix of technology, you could save up to 4% per piece!
    • Registration Begins: March 15, 2023
    • Promotion Period: July 1, 2023 to December 31, 2023
  4. NEW Reply Mail IMbA™ – Save between 3-5% by encouraging reply mail customers to adjust barcodes.
    • Registration Begins: May 15, 2023
    • Promotion Period: May 1, 2023 to November 30, 2023. 
  5. Informed Delivery® – Navigate eligibility and incentives of this incredible consumer-facing tool.
    • Registration Begins: June 15, 2023
    • Promotion Period: August 1, 2023 to December 31, 2023
  6. NEW Retargeting – Increase conversions and save 5% with follow-up mailings.
    • Registration Begins: July 15, 2023
    • Promotion Period: September 1, 2023 to November 30, 2023

If you’re already using the Thysse permit, we can quickly sign you up for any incentives outlined here. If you plan to use your own permit – what the heck?! Just teasing! You’re still able to sign up for incentives yourself, but #TeamThysse is always here to answer any questions you may have. 


It’s not a promotion, but we do want to promote it loudly – USPS has also released their shipping services increases, effective January 22, 2023. 

The following changes will take effect: 

  • Priority Mail service prices will increase by 5.5%
  • Priority Mail Express service prices will increase by 6.6%
  • First-Class Package Service prices will increase by 7.8% 

You can find more detailed information on these increases in the table below, or click here to see the latest edition of our Direct Mail Guide.

Starting From Square One

The endless possibilities presented by the 2020 re-emergence of the QR code. 

Scrunchies, biker shorts, and QR codes. All things we never thought would see a resurgence, yet here they are! Rewind back a few years and QR codes had a less-than-stellar reception. The average cellphone camera was not equipped to capture them easily, scan rates were generally low, and use cases were either too niche for the average user or resulted in dead links. 

Then 2020 happened. We were worried about every cough, dousing our groceries with Lysol, and refusing to touch public surfaces. QR codes became an excellent way for patrons to get information quickly. Consumers became increasingly comfortable with the new drill, and phone cameras more compatible. Now, everyone including your tech-challenged 2nd cousin knows how to scan a QR code. 

Besides being an easy way for consumers to get rapid and relevant reports (hence their lesser-known full name, “Quick Response Codes”) QR codes have become an unexpectedly-brilliant tool for marketers who tap their newfangled power in 2022 for a number of reasons. QR codes… 

  1. Create a bridge between the digital and physical world
  2. Are an excellent way to track and boost the success of direct mail 
  3. Require less work for the user (no URL-typing required)
  4. Assist remarkably in lead generation 
  5. Are endlessly versatile

And Oh, The Possibilities. 

QR codes are often used in stores, trade shows, and mailers to connect consumers to destinations like landing pages, donation portals, event invites, questionnaires, and the all-time favorite – free stuff. They can benefit businesses by collecting data from the curious customers who scan them. Each scan reveals who is interacting with your brand, and provides promising new leads for your contact list.

But the uses for our four-sided friends don’t have to be so, well, square. Number five on our list above got us thinking about the creative ways businesses could use QR codes, and as usual, we took that ball and ran with it right up to the edge of weird.

So while you start pondering the possibilities for your company’s uses for QR codes, enjoy the finalists on our short list of creative (yet highly-unlikely) QR combos: 

The “I Want to Believe” QR Code

In theory, QR codes can be applied to any flat surface. And we do mean any. In this case… A corn field. While perhaps more of a crop square than a circle, a larger-than-life QR code stamped into your field could drive crop loads of curious customers to the website of say, an ag. equipment company, eager to showcase their new line of products. While only scannable from the sky, a QR code of this magnitude would likely harvest enough publicity to drive traffic to your website with or without a plane. While you’re at it, why not go for the Guinness World Record for largest QR Code?

The Teleportation QR Code

A serene alpine lake in Italy? A bustling market in Morocco? What better way to urge cabin fever victims to book that flight they’ve been dreaming of than to transport them to a live feed of their dream destination? This QR code could come in handy for travel agencies or credit card companies. A live feed could also drive appeals campaigns for say, a wildlife conservancy, sending donors to a trail cam of an eagle nest or a big cat monitoring project. If you’re feeling a bit pent-up lately, consider testing out one site’s viral virtual feed encouraging the masses to Let it Out

The Wearable QR Code

Slapping your company logo on branded swag is already highly effective and pocket-friendly. Why not take that notion a step further and make that wearable marketing interactive? Put a QR code on your company polo to drive fellow golfers to your website in between swings. Or, skip the itchy tags in your clothing designs and create a square that links to iconic, Gen-Z-approved digital washing instructions. Laundry day has never felt so future

The Permanent QR Code

Conspiracy theorists have been rumbling about the government making on-body human tracking a requirement for years. While we prefer to ignore these darker notions, it is actually possible to get a functional QR code permanently scribed on one’s sacred vessel. Just imagine if someone asked you for a business card, and you had them scan your wrist tattoo with a smartphone to access your personal website? Your business would likely not be forgotten. 

The Portfolio QR Code

The last one on our list isn’t that weird, but it is a cool way to promote your skills and showcase your work that you may not have considered before. Ideal for college applicants or professionals applying for jobs, attaching your own custom QR code to the top of your resume could be what you need to set yourself apart from the competition. If you’d like to create a little more mystery, consider a business card with nothing on it but a QR code. Imagine how many more scans you’d get from curious recipients! 

QR codes are an affordable way to boost trackability and lead generation for direct mail campaigns. While we wouldn’t ultimately suggest getting a QR code tatted across your forehead, we do hope this list inspires some creative ideas of your own. If you’re still feeling a bit lost in the fog, that’s where we come in. Our team of experts can ensure your next campaign (direct mail or otherwise) strikes the perfect balance of messaging and design, performance and trackability. Drop us a line or head to our direct mail services page to explore on your own. 

Colorful Language: Perplexing Print Lingo Defined

Communicate with your printer like a pro for spot-on results and smoother workflows. 

Vamoose. Widdershins. Non-sequitur. Cattywampus. Will using big words make you a better person? No. But will it change the trajectory of your business and catapult your career to another level? Also, probably no. However, familiarizing yourself with some key print-related jargon will make you sound like a whiz in verbal exchanges with your printer. More importantly, understanding common lingo involved in the creation of your projects means you can better communicate your goals and expectations – ultimately resulting in a more buttoned-up final product, the best bang for your buck, and overall less-stressful communication along the way. 

Below we’ve compiled a short list of uber-useful print production terms and their definitions. However note that the following is just one of three lists we have yet to unveil – the others pertaining to Graphic Design and Brand Development. If awkward innuendos are your thing, be sure to check out the wild n’ wacky terms used in Specialty Graphics installations here.


Remember the primary and secondary color wheels you learned about in your elementary school art class? Blue + yellow = green? This is roughly the same concept. CMYK is an acronym that refers to the 4 color ink plates used in the color printing process: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Key (usually black). Different combinations of the 4 are used to create the full range of colors, with the key plate being used to print the detail – a tidbit you might recall if you’ve been following along with our monthly Trivia questions.

Offset Printing 

The most commonly used commercial print method, offset involves transferring an inked image from a metal printing ‘plate’ to a rubber cylinder, then rolling the image onto a sheet of paper. All of this of course happens inside a massive, state-of-the-art machine. Offset produces the highest-quality prints, with the most accurate color reproduction and clean, crisp images. However this method is more cost effective when used for larger press runs. 

Digital Printing 

That small laser or inkjet printer you have hooked up to your laptop at home? That’s a digital printer. However the ones used for commercial printing purposes are larger, faster and more precise. Unlike offset that utilizes plates, digital printing transfers ink directly onto the paper. Digital is often seen as more cost effective, and a better option for shorter press runs. 

G7 Certification 

A three-tiered certification system that indicates a printer’s ability to accurately reproduce colors and maintain color consistency across their various substrates and print processes. That means the red on your logo will match the red on your website, your packaging, your store signage, and so on. Color consistency has a significant impact on consumers’ overall impression of a brand, learn more about the science of color management here

Digital Proof 

Not to be confused with a pdf proof (viewed on screen), a digital proof is a physical copy of a project printed on a digital printer (see above). Digital proofs are a cost effective way to check things like fonts, graphics, lines, copy, and page layout with excellent accuracy. However, since digital uses process colors, it is not always an accurate representation of the actual pantone colors that may be specified for your job. 


The detail or visual sharpness of an image. If an image appears very crisp and clear, it has high resolution. If it appears blurry, low resolution. The resolution of an image in the graphic design world is measured in pixels per square inch (PPI) or dots per inch (DPI). 


The trim size represents the actual dimensions of your project. In other words, the trim marks where the paper will be cut, or trimmed away, from the surrounding border. In order to avoid potential white slivers from being visible around your piece after it has been cut, your graphic designer will typically extend the background beyond the trim (see below). 


Far less violent than it sounds, bleed is the extra ⅛” border of background color extended beyond the trim (see above). The bleed prevents accidental white slivers from showing up around the edges after a piece has been cut and ensures a polished final product. 


In the realm of direct mail, an ‘in-dee-shuh’ is essentially a printed postage stamp. They save time and money associated with having to manually stamp each individual piece, however they must adhere to a strict set of USPS formatting guidelines. It is generally the responsibility of your graphic designer to ensure these requirements are met and incorporated into the design. 


Sorry, no kittens involved. However, kitting is extremely beneficial for cutting costs and streamlining your work flows. Kitting (or kit packing), is assembling multiple related items into a single package and shipping them to a list of recipients. Commonly kitted items include signage resets for retail stores, promotional products for trade shows, and folders stuffed with pre-sorted documents. 


The department within a commercial printer which handles any finishing processes involved in a project, including scoring, cutting, stitching, stickering, foiling, assembling, embossing, and of course, binding. Bindery ensures your project looks polished and professional, and applies the final touches that make your printed piece stand out from the rest. 

Spot UV 

A fancy finishing technique that makes certain areas on a printed piece appear high-shine and glossy. Spot UV treatments are particularly eye-popping on a matte background, adding depth and visual contrast. This is a great finishing option to make certain elements of your piece stand out, such as your company logo on a business card for example. 


Ever wonder how greeting cards get those clean, crisp folds in the center? In the print world, scoring means to press or emboss a crease-line onto a substrate to allow for easier folding. Fold lines are especially beneficial for thicker substrates like cardboard. Pieces that require scoring should be designed so that the crease line runs in the same direction as the grain of the paper. Substrates should also be carefully selected to avoid the possibility of cracking. 

While we hope you spend some time familiarizing yourself with the terms above, we also recognize that becoming a human commercial print dictionary doesn’t always fall high on the priority list (that’s our job!). The great news is that Thysse’s team of graphic designers and production specialists have conversations about this stuff on the daily, and they’re always happy to break down any unfamiliar terms throughout the process. Got a print project in mind? Head to our contact page and drop us a line or check out our Print Services page to explore more on your own.

Introducing Mail+ : Thysse’s Latest Innovation in Direct Mail Marketing

Digital Advertising & Improved tracking for Direct Mail is here.

What is cloud-based digital marketing, and how does it boost the impact of your direct mail campaigns?

What if you could significantly increase the number of touchpoints on a single direct mail piece and improve its reach (per recipient) across multiple, integrated channels without lifting a finger? How is that even possible?

Picture this:

 A soon-to-be recipient of your postcard first catches a glimpse of your company’s ad while perusing Facebook (1). While enjoying their morning coffee, they see it again at the top of their daily Informed Delivery email (2). Perhaps they (3) click the interactive link and engage with your website before heading down the driveway.

Your recipient snags the postcard from the mailbox and gives it a once-over (4). Intrigued by the 20% off promo, they send a text with the SMS trigger printed on your piece (5). They receive a link to a landing page and coupon in an automated response; their contact info and website behavior logged. 

Before making the trek to your store, they decide to call your business to verify product availability (6). Any calls placed using the phone number printed on your mail piece are automatically logged and recorded.  

Your recipient gets pulled away on a business trip. Your postcard is slowly covered by a stack of dirty dishes. During that sad, spaghetti-sauce-laden stint, Google ads swoop in to save the day by reminding the recipient of your brand’s greatness (7).

What’s fueling these synchronized touchpoints? It’s called Mail+ and it’s Thysse’s latest technology in direct mail. It enhances the already significantly-higher response rates of direct mail, and combines it with the superb trackability of digital mail. But before we delve into the secrets behind how this cloud-based digital marketing platform works, let’s lay down the bottom line: What the heck is it? 

Mail+ is a marketing program that’s designed to track the effectiveness of direct mail campaigns – while boosting their overall results – through multi-channel marketing with Google, Social Media and Informed Delivery.  

This is accomplished via multiple integrated features, all of which can be tracked and analyzed on a user-friendly dashboard. Here’s what each component brings to the table:


Did you know that a whopping 80% of sales are made after multiple contacts? When it comes to enhancing the results of your direct mail campaigns, repetition is everything, (EVERYTHING). The Social Media Matching feature built into Mail+ matches the contacts on your mailing list with their existing social media accounts. Your targets not only receive your mail piece, but see ads before, during, and after on their Facebook and Instagram feeds.


With the Mail+ built-in tracking feature, you can track, predict and confirm delivery down to each individual addressee, just like a package! Knowing exactly when your mail pieces will be delivered allows you to align your staff and processes perfectly to handle the influx of responses (and make sure your printer isn’t pulling a fast one!) How can Mail+ provide such accurate tracking data? A small-yet-magical barcode gets added to your mail piece which allows you to view real-time tracking data on your dashboard. 


This entirely free, consumer-facing, service offered by the USPS has already garnered over 39 million subscribers. Mail+ takes Informed Delivery one step further, by enhancing the standard greyscale ad typically placed in Informed Delivery emails with a full-color clickable ad, interactive content, and a link that drives to your website. Additionally, Mail+ allows you to track where Informed Delivery emails have been opened geographically, and the behavior of any recipients who click your ad. 


Ever wonder who is calling as a direct result of your campaign? With Mail+ every call that comes through on the unique number assigned to your mailing is automatically counted and recorded. A unique phone number gets printed on your mail piece, which gets linked directly to your business line. No line changes are required on your end – simply answer the phone as normal, while Mail+ software collects contact info from callers. Additionally, you can listen back to recordings of calls that came in as a direct result of your campaign to ensure your processes are running smoothly. 


“Text ‘SAUCY’ to 608-555-1234 for a direct link to our pizza menu!” Is a message you might see on a mail piece enhanced with Mail+ Text Tracking. This feature is meant to increase engagement with your mail piece while driving more traffic to your website. When a recipient sends a text using the keyword, the Mail+ dashboard sends an automated response with a short message, and a link to your preferred web page. The prospect’s name, address and contact info is collected, which can then be added to your internal database. 


Here’s where that ever-important repetition, those extra few ‘pokes’ with your messaging, starts to pull some serious sway for your mail campaigns. Online Follow-up allows visitors to your website who leave without taking any action to be retargeted on Social Media, the Google Display Network, even on competitors websites. Ads are placed in front of your prospects as they peruse the web and scroll their social feeds, garnering more impressions and more sales. 


Imagine if you could tap the huge pool of anonymous prospects who visit your website who leave before taking action. LEADMatch is a particularly standout component of Mail+ because it can identify website visitors from your direct mail campaign, as well as unique visitors to your website. That means you can get the postal addresses of visitors who did not receive your mailing and retarget them. Think of LEADMatch as your ticket to building the perfect, optimized mail list.  

We understand that investing in marketing for your business can feel like more of a giant leap than a step. We also know you need to have the utmost confidence that your investment will be returned. Combining strategic, repetitive messaging with digital advertising not only enhances your direct mail campaigns, but provides real, tangible evidence that it’s working. 

While we love taking things a step further and explaining the ‘how’ behind everything we do – the great news is that you don’t have to do any of the leg work yourself! Thysse has a full team of experts ready to facilitate your Mail+ digital marketing campaign from start to finish. Intrigued? Give us a shout! Just bring your goals, a link to your website, and let Thysse handle the rest. 

What’s In a List?

Demystifying the list purchasing process for direct mail campaigns. 

Imagine yourself a plumber. You’ve worked hard to build a loyal customer base, and now seek to crack into a new market. You’ve spent countless hours designing the perfect mail piece. Yet, when your mailing lands in-home, all you hear is the distant drip of a leaky faucet.

What’s the mystery behind your direct mail misfire? Maybe you’ve sent your mailing to neighborhoods in which the vast majority of residents are renters. Or perhaps to younger housing developments where the homes have brand-spanking-new plumbing. 

Who you send your mailing to determines if it will be successful, or if your hard-earned dollars get flushed down the loo. 

Purchasing a mail list is a proven way to get your message in the right hands and attain detailed contact information for new leads. But the elephant in the room, the BFQ is, who should you send to? What kind of lists provide the biggest return? To start, frame your audience to understand your options. 


Consider the geographic location you’d like to send to. Will you focus on clusters of zip codes, carrier routes, a radius around your company, a state, the entire country? If you own a small Italian restaurant, it might not be beneficial for someone three hours away to receive your mail piece. That’s a long drive for a plate of pasta. On the other hand, if you’re selling custom boats, it might be smarter to send targeted pieces across the entire state, you never know where their trailer is hitched.

Next, move on to your audience. What do your current customers look like? Do they share common demographics like age, income, interests or marital status? If you own an Ice Cream shop for instance, you might find that the majority of your customers are families with younger kids. Thysse can help you examine your current list and enhance it by identifying patterns. Once you’ve defined your targets, the next step is to decide which type of list will accomplish your goals. 


Saturation mail is a budget-friendly way to send ‘blanket mailings’ to a large number of residences within a specific area. The problem with this “Spray and Pray” method (other than its rather suggestive name) is that it lacks a ‘real’ strategy. You’re wholly reliant on geographical location.

Saturation mail can be effective for local businesses whose products and services apply to a wide, general audience like pizza restaurants, childcare centers, or lawn care providers. If your aim is to get the word out about your business to as many people in your local area as possible, purchasing a saturation list might be a good option to get kids eating pizzas on a plethora of lawns.

While the USPS’s free tool, Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM), is intended to be an affordable option for businesses who don’t want to purchase a mail list, some businesses opt for purchasing a saturation list because they come with some snappy benefits:

  • They can be addressed to specific person vs “Dear Customer” which boosts response rates
  • There are no size limitations on mail pieces (just keep in mind that postage costs are still affected by size and weight)
  • You acquire new contacts for your internal database because you are purchasing a list 


If your services apply to a narrower audience (or if you want to have significantly more confidence in your messaging) purchasing a Marketing Mailing List is an option to consider. Marketing Mailing Lists can target recipients based on a huge range of demographics, from peanut allergies and vintage car interests to homeowner status. 

Perhaps you own an insurance company targeting retired cat owners with a pilot’s license and a penchant for base jumping. Who knows! With Marketing Mailing Lists, the options are nearly limitless. To give you an idea of the scope of possibilities, we’ve listed common categories, along with a few example demographic filters for each:

  • Consumer Lists: Purchasing behaviors, occupation, gender, ethnicity, age, children, education, household income 
  • Business Lists: Fortune rank, executives, employees by title, new businesses, credit rating, size, public/private, sales volume 
  • Healthcare Lists: Health care workers by job function, administrators, specialties, public/private practice, dentists, pharmacists 
  • Education Lists: School type, grade level, district name, public/private, educator’s by title, enrollment size, national rank 
  • Government Lists: Police officers, attorneys, parks and recreation, city managers and clerks, human resources directors 

Note that lists available for purchase can only include public-facing data like the examples listed above. Private data, such as medical records or unemployment status, are a no go.


When you purchase a list, you are actually purchasing the rights to access certain data. The more detailed your data, the higher the response rates will be. This is unfortunately reflected in higher costs up front. List cost is highly subjective, however typically dependent on a few factors: 

  • Size: The number of recipients on your list
  • Type: Business lists generally cost more than consumer lists
  • Specificity: The more demographic filters, the higher the cost 
  • Longevity: Multiple-use lists (good for one year) cost more than single-use lists because they require ongoing maintenance

Thysse’s direct mail team can work with you to get the most bang for your buck. If you have a mile-long contact list but your budget only stretches a couple blocks, we can help you reduce the number of sends by drilling down to more specific to your ideal market. 

The bottom line is that the more targeted your direct mail campaign is, the better the response will be. Purchasing a mail list can feel like a financial leap, but with a bit of planning, lists can ensure your direct mail campaign delivers the best possible results. 

Thysse has a dedicated team to help you identify your audience and purchase the right list for your business. Drop us a line on our contact form to learn more!

Results-Driven Direct Mail Design

All Eyes on Your Direct Mail Piece

Tips for creating a standout direct mail piece through design, messaging & personalization 

Designing a mail piece that delivers results involves a certain finesse. After all, unlike an email that contains a direct link to a sale or service, a physical mail piece needs to engage recipients enough to take an external action. 

So can a snappy design really increase the likelihood that recipients make the long slog to a retail store? As it turns out, yes. The more engaging your piece looks, the more likely it is to be handled, read or skimmed by the recipient, and the longer it tends to stick around on the top of the mail pile reinforcing your message.  

While designing, remember that it’s crucial to balance aesthetics with USPS requirements and to consider postage savings options to deliver the highest possible response rates.

A checklist for creating a standout mail piece involves three core components: the design, the messaging, and the personalization. 

We don’t care what anyone says, size matters. In addition to keeping your piece in alignment with USPS requirements for your specific category of mail, the dimensions of your mail piece determines how well it stands out in your recipients’ mailbox. Designing a mail piece with a slightly larger size, interactive folds, or choosing specialty finishes and substrates can also increase engagement, keeping your mail piece in hands for longer.  For instance, an oversized mailer at 11″ x 13″ is close to the length of a mailbox but still qualifies as a flat mailer under USPS regulations. The larger size provides plenty of extra real estate for your design without sending costs through the roof. 

Also linked to increased response rates are enhancing elements like embossing, foil, ultraviolet coatings, die-cutting and tactile features that appeal to the recipient’s sense of touch. Specialty finishes are especially important when marketing higher-end or niche-market products, where the mail piece needs to reflect a more upscale image.

Graphically speaking, authenticity is always better. Choose images or photography with your specific audience in mind, that align with your messaging and stay true to the visual identity of your brand. Incorporating strategic use of white space and colors, and ensuring your printer can reproduce them in a way that’s consistent with your brand standards, reinforces trust and can even elicit certain emotions

Rule numero uno for direct mail copywriting is ‘clarity’. A concise message trumps cleverness and grandiose vocabulary eleven times out of ten. If you can pepper in humor or wit without diluting your core message, by all means do so… then send us your resume. Don’t feel compelled to fill every space with content to get your money’s worth. In fact, a few simple, strong words can amplify your message and garner better results.  

Consider the audience’s demographics and interests while writing, after all, you’ve got the attention of the recipient for roughly two seconds so use it wisely! Review the contacts on your mailing list and look for patterns among your existing customers. Are there recurrent trends in their buying habits? Common complaints or pain points? Do they tend to fall within a certain age bracket or location? Understanding specifics on who you are targeting allows you tailor your messaging to achieve more impact.

Unless your piece is contained in an envelope, you’ll most likely need a strong headline to draw the recipient in. Generally speaking, your headline should be no more than 8 words, and include all the information your customer needs to know even if they don’t make it through the rest of your piece. Your piece should also feature unique activation codes, and typefaces that are easy to read. The most important element is your call to action, responsible for roughly 40% of your campaign’s success. Keep your CTA short, and keep it clear. Call Thysse’s mailing experts today! See what we did there? 

Blanket mailings like EDDM offer the highest cost savings per piece, and can be extremely effective for certain messages. However generally speaking, the more personalized your mail is to each recipient, the higher the response rates tend to be. Response rates for non-personalized mail pieces average about 2%, while personalized pieces have response rates of 6%. For all the math haters out there, that’s a 300% increase!

One of the most efficient ways to tailor your design and messaging to specific recipients is with a digital print option called Variable Data Printing (VPD). VDP digital printing offers flexibility of design during press runs that allows text and graphics within each printed piece to become interchangeable as needed. Each piece can be printed with a different recipient’s name, a unique barcode for tracking, even a unique promotion based on the zip code’s median income. 

VPD extends far beyond text variations. It also applies to things like color and image choices. For example, say you own a store that sells pet supplies. VDP allows you to tailor each mail piece to feature a dog, a cat or a parakeet based on each customer’s past purchase history. Likewise, if you’re a clothing retailer running a sale on t-shirts, you can feature a different color shirt on the cover of your mail piece depending on the gender of the recipient.  

Smart design decisions not only drive strong direct mail response rates, they can also ensure you aren’t paying unnecessarily high postage rates. Balancing the two components in accordance with your goals will give your next direct mail campaign the highest chance for delivering results.  

A strong mail piece involves careful consideration of your budget, target audience and goals. If you need some pointers, or have a unique idea for a mailing you’ve been dying to execute, give us a shout! If you’re more the ‘explore-on-your-own’ type, get the full rundown on mailing services here.

Direct Mail Savings Delivered

Making your campaign work harder without breaking the bank

There’s no lack of evidence suggesting direct mail delivers results. Take its average response rate: A respectable 5-9%, towering over that of email at less than 1%. 

Yet despite the smorgasbord of statistics underpinning its advantages, only about 50% of businesses report using direct mail in their marketing strategy, compared to over 80% utilizing email. 

If direct mail marketing is such a game changer, why aren’t more companies using it? 

Spoiler, it comes down to cost. The physical production and shipment of a printed mail piece typically comes with a larger price tag than that of digital mail. 

However, a strong mail campaign doesn’t have to be the budget-consuming super beast it’s cracked up to be. Knowing how to navigate USPS tools, and take advantage of postage efficiencies can cut costs significantly, and ultimately, increase your ROI. 

Here we’ve outlined some of the smartest ways to boost your return on investment and make your direct mail campaigns work harder without chewing through your budget. 

Get More From Every Door 

Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) is in fact not a new genre of dance music. It’s a free service from the USPS that allows you to send a mailing to every residence within a specified zip code. This is accomplished using a mapping tool on the USPS website. You can select mail routes within a certain zip code radius, as well as filter by age, income, and average household size. 

It can be used to reach your audience without needing (much) contact information and significantly reduces both production and postage costs because it: 

  1. Gets pre-sorted, thus qualifying for USPS discounts 
  2. Is zip code based, eliminating the need for a costly mailing list
  3. Prints in larger quantities, qualifying for bulk mail discounts 
  4. Involves simpler designs, hence doesn’t require elaborate creative services

There are two different types of EDDM, Retail and Business Mail Entry Units (BMEU), each having slightly different requirements. Things like the amount of pieces being sent, and how many different areas you plan to send to, help determine which to choose. Thysse can advise you on which type of EDDM is right for you, ensure your pieces are printed to proper specifications, and take care of drop off to the post office for you. 

Increase Your Reach with Informed Delivery 

Another handy free service from the USPS, Informed Delivery®, doesn’t cut costs per se, but it can boost the return on your investment by enhancing the impact of your mail. When the owner of a residence subscribes to the service, Informed Delivery sends a digital preview of the items inside their mailbox. 

The beauty of this email preview for businesses, is that it provides an opportunity to attach full color ride-along images and website URLs – effectively putting your mail in the digital and physical world simultaneously. Users can see their mail while traveling, obtain a digital, archivable copy of their mail, and take action on mail sooner via digital preview. 

Your reach is also extended to all members of the household who subscribe to Informed Delivery, even if they’re not on your mailing list. With over 39 million subscribers and average open rates hovering around 64.7%, Informed Delivery presents a promising opportunity to get more eyes on your message. Talk to us about designing a campaign to integrate seamlessly with Informed Delivery, as well as provide you with detailed post-campaign reports. 

Practice Good Hygiene 

No, we’re not suggesting that you take a bath… but it wouldn’t kill you to clean up your mail list. If EDDM is too much of a blanket approach for your business goals, using a mail list is a great option for targeting specific prospects. As we addressed in our last post, you can either purchase a list or create one. 

If maintaining your own mail list, ensuring proper ‘list hygiene’ is key for eliminating unnecessary campaign costs. A ‘clean’ list ensures you won’t be sending mail to duplicates, customers who have moved, are deceased, or no longer qualify for your service. Your high school health teacher would be proud. 

List maintenance is often easier said than done. The USPS can help match your list to the NCOA (National Change of Address) list to help clean up your data, which happens to be a step in achieving our next cost-cutting highlight: Automation. 

Don’t Hate. Automate.

Similar to EDDM, automation is a USPS offering that decreases the amount of futzing required at the post office. Thus, substantially reducing costs and processing time. However unlike EDDM, these pieces are tailored to specific recipients on a mailing list. 

Thysse can help you navigate the freakishly-long checklist of acronyms for a mailing to be eligible for automation. To give you an idea of complexity, the addresses on your list must be verified (using one of several options, like the NCOA process above), and specifically formatted to include zip+4 postal codes (a CASS certification). This generates a magical barcode on each piece which allows for more efficient processing. 

Like EDDM, there are a handful of design and size requirements for a piece to qualify for automation. However the range of styles and sizes you can choose from is slightly more diverse than that of EDDM. 

Find The Logistical Sweet Spot 

As per economics 101, the more mail pieces you print up front, the lower the price per piece. Unless you’re advertising a one-off event or a going out of business sale (knock on wood) repeat mailings generally perform better. However, more is not always better, and determining the most efficient number and type of mailings in accordance with your business objectives is a delicate dance. For example, is it better to send:

  • 30,000 pieces all at once? 
  • 10,000 pieces 3 times to the same list? 
  • 10,000 pieces 3 times to different customers? 
  • 10,000 plain white EDDM postcards? 
  • 500 targeted First Class pieces?

Consider how you want the recipient to act and select a style accordingly: Do you want them to order products directly from your piece (a catalog) or do you want them to visit your website and use a promo code (a flat mailer). The less components your mail piece has, the lower the cost. However if your target audience is a smaller, niche market, say, high-end custom boat owners, you may find more value in decreasing the number of sends and paying a bit more for a stand out piece. 

With near limitless options for design and customization, balancing cost with impact based on your unique objectives is the ticket to maximizing your return while keeping costs manageable. Understanding USPS requirements, maintaining your data, and knowing what free tools are available, are proactive steps you can take in creating a strong campaign that stays within budget.

Or, if all else fails… just have your printer do it. 

If you’re curious to learn more about the features mentioned here, or if you just need some pointers on where to begin, drop us a line! We’re ready and waiting to find the most cost effective direct mail solution for your brand.