Informed Delivery

Presented by Christopher Holder of the USPS

Chris Holder offered an engaging presentation about a United States Postal Service customer-facing featured program called Informed Delivery.

“This is an opportunity to build branded content with clickable space,” Holder explained. “And it’s free.”

Informed Delivery offers marketers, organization leaders and communicators the opportunity to reach more direct mail campaign audience members through a digital ride-along. In other words, when subscribers of Informed Delivery receive their notification from the postal service, a clickable link can be added by the sender for the receiver to act upon.

“Imagine one-in-four subscribing households clicking a link which takes them directly to your organization or group web page,” Holder asked?

He explained there are currently 20 million Informed Delivery users in the United States and the postal service expects that number to grow to 40 million by the end of 2020.

“Right now 12% of the households in the United States are engaged by an Informed Delivery subscriber,” Holder said. “Now imagine 63% of those subscribers clicking a link that drives them to your information site? That’s staggering. And it’s available for free through the US Postal Service.”

Holder said marketing decision makers across the country are embracing this opportunity; from retailers to manufacturing companies and even other universities. He said alumni groups, admissions departments, and other organizations within universities are using this service to enhance their communications and direct mail campaigns.

Holder concluded his presentation explaining that the effort to create this digital ride-along is simple and effortless and literally takes only a few minutes to create. He then offered his personal contact information to the audience and encouraged them to contact him for more information and assistance.

Creativity & Branding

Presented by University Relations: Laura Johnson and Katie Eissinger

Communications within the University of Minnesota must be kept on brand, but how do you be creative while still complying?

Laura and Katie started off the presentation by defining what they think of the brand: It’s the space that you occupy in your audience’s mind.

Elements of the brand are positioning, tone and voice, and visual identity. These help our audience cut through the clutter.

Driven to Discover is the brand position and it showcases who we are, how we’re set apart. The brand position is broken down further. Driven is our passion to understand our world. Discover is our focus and passion to change our world. It empowers the students and the community. The brand position was established in 2006 and was all about connecting to the mission of the University of Minnesota.

The voice of the brand is leaders and being imaginative and daring. The tone is engaging, intriguing, and motivating.

Why is it important to connect to the brand? It helps with recruitment of students and faculty. It engages alumni pride. The brand helps secure research proposals and grants. It’s an umbrella under which we can communicate our messages.

By connecting to the brand, departments can capitalize on what’s already working as the brand is held in high regard nationwide. Departments can leverage the university’s investments and it helps to amplify the departments’ stories too.

Staying on brand means the primary colors used on all communications should be maroon and gold. To be creative, there are accent colors that can be used to help differentiate departments, and different graphic elements may be employed.

Adobe Design Hacks

Presented by Printing Services Design Team: Laura Mazuch, Julie Longo, Lisa Anderson and Sysouk Khambounmy

The Printing Services design team presented on Adobe Design Hacks, highlighting some useful tools for InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop.

InDesign Paragraph Styles

InDesign Nested Style

InDesign Image Placement / Object Styles / Anchored Objects

InDesign Master Pages

Illustrator Clipping Masks

Photoshop Actions

Photoshop Smart Objects

Photoshop Refine Edge Tool

Photoshop Basic Color Correction