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Founder, Print Buyers International (PBI)

Margie's Buyer Insights

By Margie Dana

About Margie

Margie Dana, a former print buyer, is the founder of Print Buyers International (PBI) and its member-based organization, Boston Print Buyers. These professional organizations cater to print customers worldwide through education, an annual buyers conference, Print Buyer Boot Camps, and networking opportunities.

Margie's perhaps best known for her weekly enewsletter, Margie's Print Tips, which she's published weekly since 1999 in an effort to build bridges in the industry. For years, Margie has been a popular speaker at industry events here and abroad. Her clients include print company executives who rely on her to help steer their marketing campaigns and make their online efforts more customer friendly.


Make ’em Laugh!

I love to laugh. No, make that, I LOVE to laugh.

I took one look at a jumbo postcard I got from a book publishing company, did a double take, and let out a HOWL of a laugh.

Margie Dana mustache postcard
[+] click to enlarge
The postcard was sent to get me to visit the company’s booth at the recent Publishing Business Conference in NYC. Boy, did it work.

What got me was three head shots (woman, man, woman), each about the size of a postage stamp, lined up left to right.

These three seemingly staid “corporate headshots” of key employees show the people all sporting identical, thick black mustaches—even the women.

The rest of the postcard was ordinary—design, copy, creative and print—but this zany visual had so much damn ‘curb’ appeal for a direct mail piece that I saved it.

I thought of that song sung by Donald O’Connor in “Singin’ in the Rain.” Here are a few lyrics:

Now you could study Shakespeare and be quite elite
And you can charm the critics and have nothin’ to eat
Just slip on a banana peel
The world’s at your feet
Make ’em laugh
Make ’em laugh
Make ’em laugh

[There a number of clips of the song on Youtube, but it’s copyrighted material.]

To the funny folks at H&H Book Pros in Lancaster, PA, thanks for making me laugh.

The postcard served as a vital reminder: humor is a powerful direct marketing tool. Can you relate? If not humor, what else are you using in your direct mail campaigns that could make such a lasting impression?

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