Posted by | 06/19/2016 | Articles, Canada Post, Direct Mail Marketing, News Releases, Strategy

canada post truck

UPDATE June 13, 2016:

“A formal conciliation period ended on June 10, 2016, however labour negotiations between Canada Post and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) continue. The parties are now in a 21-day “cooling-off” period. Based on that timeline, there can be no legal work disruption until at the earliest July 2, 2016.” – Canada Post

You may have heard that Canada Post is currently in contract negotiations with their letter carriers and inside workers – both urban and rural.

A few people will scoff at this news and say they will hardly even notice the absence of any snail mail delivery as they receive nearly all of their correspondence electronically now. But did you know that for many small businesses and charities in your community, this is a powerful method of communicating the unique benefits and value of the products and services they offer to you and your neighbours? In addition, fundraisers and charities depend on Canada Post to keep donations coming in to support their appeals.

What is Kirk Marketing recommending?

In the event of a disruption of service, Canada Post has indicated that June 17 is the latest you can drop mail to ensure delivery by June 30. We believe they are being overly cautious with their timelines, and suggest a slightly narrower window before the last day of induction. Our estimation is as follows:

  • Personalized Mail (non-machineable) by June 23
  • Personalized Mail (machineable) by June 27
  • Neighbourhood mail (local) by June 27
  • Lettermail by June 27

woman checking mail

Introducing Kirk’s Every House Delivery™ Service

As an alternative to Neighborhood Mail, Kirk Marketing has arranged for an alternative to Canada Post’s Neighbourhood (unaddressed) Mail distribution. Here is a brief summary of the service we can provide for your business in the event of a disruption of service by Canada Post:

  • 5,000 piece delivery minimum
  • Full coverage Lower Mainland and Upper Fraser Valley
  • Coverage in many other areas in Western Canada based on volume.
  • Rates start around 16 cents per piece
  • Houses only (no apartment buildings)

While no one can predict exactly what will happen, if a work disruption does take place, we believe it will not go beyond one to two weeks. Our recommendation to our clients is to continue with production as normal, allow Kirk to manage your mail induction dates and have us hold your finished mail as needed until normal operations resume.

What should you do?

We continue to monitor the potential labour situation via our Canada Post Expert Partner representative, and will provide updates here as they are made available. Please contact your account representative if you wish to discuss your specific project.

Kirk Marketing has been helping clients with their direct marketing projects for over 60 years, so needless to say we’ve had a lot of experience dealing with postal disruptions in the past! Trust us to provide you with the proper advice, planning, and strategy so that your direct mail campaign will be a success regardless of the outcome of the current labour negotiations!


Posted by | 05/30/2016 | Articles, Canada Post, Direct Mail Marketing, Strategy, Tips

Customers move. It’s a marketing fact of life.

When you think of the cost of acquiring your customers in the first place, and to then have them literally move away from you through no fault of your own—it’s just awful. With almost four million Canadians moving every year*, your customer database will gradually become populated with degraded addresses that no longer exist for your customers. Efforts to reach these individuals will just add to campaign costs and reduce marketing ROI.

New Movers

Thankfully, Canada Post maintains a comprehensive list of all movers that spans the last 6 years and is updated on a monthly basis. It’s referred to as the Canada Post NCOA Mover Data list (NCOA stands for National Change Of Address) and it is simply the finest way to refresh your customer list with current and correct addresses. In addition to being a Smartmail Marketing Expert Partner, we are also an authorized user of this privacy-compliant database, and we regularly perform this service as best practice with our clients.

Why update your customer mailing list with NCOA data?

  • Increase your customer lifetime value by retaining contact with your customers when they move.
  • Create accurate customer profiles for business intelligence and future marketing campaigns with current and correct address information.
  • Improve the ROI of your direct mail campaigns by reducing postage spent on undeliverable and returned mail.

How can I use this service on my customer mailing list?

Simple, you get in touch with us and we will guide you through the process. Essentially, this is what happens:

  1. You register with Canada Post and ask them for a TOU ID (Terms Of Use ID).
  2. They provide you with the TOU ID (it’s a combination of letters and numbers).
  3. You provide us with the TOU ID and your customer data list.
  4. We run your list against the NCOA Mover Data and capture the updated addresses.
  5. We send your list back to you so you can update your CRM records or database.

Note: It’s important to understand that this service can be used with your customer list only. When you receive your TOU ID it means you are entitled to the new addresses and can use them immediately. Each TOU ID lasts for one year and is a simple renewal with Canada Post.

Woman reading a catalogue.

What about the lists I rent for Acquisition mailings?

We do have special provisions in place for performing this service for Acquisition mailings that are using rental lists. In this case we complete the application on your behalf and complete the NCOA processing for the final mailing list. Your acquisition mailings will not go to old addresses! The big difference here is that we cannot send the address-updated rental lists back to you. But any responses you get will automatically have current addresses.

What do I do about my customers that reside in the US?

No problem at all. The United States Postal Service has a very similar process in place for NCOA processing, and Kirk Marketing has been providing this service for many years. It’s actually a bit easier as we submit the forms to the USPS on your behalf. It is important to note that we are a fully licensed user of the USPS database and therefore authorised to perform this service at our facility—we do not outsource to third party processors.

You can register for a Canada Post Terms of Use ID at:

Please contact us if you require any additional information!

*Canada Post references

Posted by | 05/09/2016 | Environment

Who says you can’t be kind to the planet and reduce costs at the same time? Kirk Marketing has partnered with Kodak Graphic Communications and Spicers Canada, switching to Kodak SONORA Process Free press plates—and that means we’re eliminating all the processing chemistry and equipment associated with traditional plate processing. This single change in technology also means we use less water, less electricity and less paper for setting up the press.

“SONORA plates expose faster and improve print quality while reducing our impact on the environment,” says Ian McInnis, Prepress Supervisor at Kirk Marketing. “Of course, as in the past, these aluminum printing plates are recycled at the end of their lifetime.”

Want to know more about how this quiet revolution impacts the footprint YOUR direct marketing makes or any of the other environmental initiatives at Kirk? Please ask.

Posted by | 05/04/2016 | News Releases

Craig Bauer, Senior Account DirectorVANCOUVER, BC (May 4, 2016) – Kirk Marketing, Western Canada’s leading direct marketing services provider, welcomes Craig Bauer as Senior Account Director.

Over the past 22 years, Craig has been involved in all aspects of the printing industry. Most recently having spent over 13 years with Hemlock Printers, as an Account Manager and Client Services Manager, servicing a mixture of North American clients. With a four year diploma in Visual Communications, and a strong understanding of print production, he has helped many of his clients achieve their vision.

“Craig brings to Kirk a wealth of knowledge in print production and a creative and innovative approach to client management,” said Natalie Green, Managing Partner, Sales & Marketing. “We are thrilled to have him join our team, and look forward to the valuable contributions he will make towards our continued growth.

In a statement by Craig Bauer: “I am super excited to join Kirk Marketing. I believe my background in print management and creative design allows me to think uniquely to help clients solve their targeted goals. I am comfortable in a highly technical or a wildly creative discussion. I truly believe that, in this current world we live in, we have to communicate in new ways in order to allow the messaging to be heard and absorbed. I also realize the responsibility that my clients bring to me to ensure their messaging supports their goals and their corporate culture.”

Kirk Marketing ( is a data-driven direct marketing services company that helps clients reach prospects and grow customers with measurable results by providing marketing data services, creative services, and print services all from within their 50,000 square-foot production facility.

Media Contact:

Daryl Akin, Sr. Marketing & Production Coordinator

Posted by | 04/27/2016 | Direct Mail Marketing, Direct Mail Marketing, Strategy, Tips, Uncategorized

Our colleagues across the pond at Citipost Mail have looked at what you need to consider when planning your direct mail campaign and how to maximise your direct mail marketing efforts.
(Of course Saturday delivery is not an option for us here in Canada… yet!)

Direct Mail throughout the year

We can help you plan and execute a successful direct mail campaign. For inquiries, send us a note on our contact page.

Infographic attribution to

Posted by | 04/18/2016 | Canada Post, Direct Mail Marketing

Smartmail Marketing Expert PartnerAn Expert Partner, or what Canada Post now refers to as a “Smartmail Marketing Expert Partner”, is a company that demonstrates its expertise in direct mail execution and delivery and meets certain eligibility requirements established by Canada Post. These eligibility requirements include things like ensuring all our staff are adequately trained in direct mail management, sales and production.

Quite simply, it means we’re really good at direct mail and we can provide you with the kind of expertise and experience that Canada Post usually reserves for its larger business customers!

What are the benefits of using an Expert Partner?

  • Access in-depth knowledge – We have access to a pool of resources including market studies and test cases in various business verticals.
  • Get seasoned advice – If you’re new to direct mail, you’ll benefit from our experience in direct mail strategy and our knowledge of all rates and special discounts that could save you money and time.
  • Use our technical expertise – We will take care of the mailing details for you – such as sorting and grouping your direct mail by postal route, adhering to printing specifications and much more.
  • Save money with direct mail offers and promotions – Enjoy substantial savings on your next direct mail campaign. Canada Post provides us with access to special discounts, providing better value and cost savings on direct mail campaigns.

Contact any member of our client services team so that we can provide you with the “expert partner” knowledge that makes your next direct mail campaign a success.

Posted by | 01/23/2015 | Articles, Direct Mail Marketing, Direct Mail Marketing, Tips

In the quest to tie the print and physical world to the digital world for fully integrated advertising campaigns, marketers have been fervently waiting for a killer app to break out from the early-adopter market and into the mainstream. QR codes and NFC tags have fallen by the wayside for marketing use (though that itself is still arguable among marketing circles), and just recently one more technology is now threatening to join them.

On January 15th 2015, Google announced they will no longer be producing Google Glass eyewear. With the departure of Google Glass goes with it what has possibly been the strongest opportunity for augmented reality to fully enter into the mainstream.

Over the years, creative marketers have developed very attention-grabbing campaigns utilizing augmented reality, but it is arguable how much of the interest from these campaigns actually translated to revenue or brand equity, and how much of it was simply due to the novelty of it.

Here are some examples of Augmented Reality utilized in marketing and branding with direct marketing and print to let YOU decide if there’s a future with Augmented Reality and direct marketing.

McLaren P1

Using the camera on your phone and a special design on a brochure, this app puts a multi-million dollar super-car into the palm of your hand. Or on your desk. Or in your garage. Or wherever you place the brochure. You can also print the image yourself HERE and download the app (For AppleFor Android) if you want to try it out yourself.

McLaren P1

Starbucks Valentines Day

Starbucks used themed Valentines Day cups to create an Augmented Reality campaign that allowed users to create and send personalized animations and messages to their loved ones.


Ikea Catalog

Always innovative with their direct marketing, Ikea integrated Augmented Reality to their annual catalog allowing you to place furniture in your home.


Toyota Camry

In the fullest sense of the word, this award-winning campaign literally augments the brochure with additional information, interactive images, and videos that is simply not possible to convey through print. The video boasts a 20% increase in sales driven directly from this campaign.


Having seen these campaigns, do you think Augmented Reality can stand the test of time and fully go mainstream?

Google has said they will continue with development of wearable technology despite halting production of Google Glass, and as of January 21st 2015, Microsoft has announced development of their own device called HoloLens. There might be hope yet for the future of Augmented Reality and Direct Marketing.


Posted by | 01/09/2015 | Articles, Direct Mail Marketing, Direct Mail Marketing, Popular Blog Posts, Strategy

Creativity doesn’t have to be complex. In fact, trying to develop a simple, attention-grabbing, creative piece is arguably MORE difficult than a complex one.

Of course you can mail a clever gizmo or widget that is on-brand and on-message in an attention-grabbing dimensional box. However, limiting your message to an engaging piece that still fits in an envelope is an even greater creative challenge.

Best of all, the simpler piece is often more affordable than the complex piece… (Notice I say ‘often’ as a simple piece does not always mean it will be cheap!)

#7: Direct Mail Targets Your Kitty

Everybody loves cat videos, right? This direct mail piece looks past the target audience and looks at the target audience’s pet. Maybe B2P (business to pet) will be the next marketing trend?


#6 TELUS: Turf Mailer

While the cat-nip piece appealed to the senses of the pets, this piece appeals to the senses of the pet’s football-loving owners. This shaggy piece may not be considered ‘cheap,’ but it’s no comparing to this next piece…


#5 Porsche: Instant & Variable

Though the piece itself is simple (but highly personalized), the execution was definitely complex. Fortunately, with the advanced digital variable print technology available today (and a little dash of creativity), it’s possible to develop a comparably personalized piece without having to run a print shop out of the back of your van.


#4 Ikea: Jumping Table

Ikea is a veteran when it comes to creative direct mail. While this piece was featured as an insert in their annual catalog, it could easily be executed through the mail. The pop-up box is a common design, but it’s the on-brand creative of the outer envelope and the decision to feature the iconic LACK table is what leaves the impression to the recipient.


#3: Advent Calendar-Style Card

On the surface it’s just two pieces of paper glued together, cut and folded. However, besides the basic die-cutting and scoring, it’s the fantastic art direction that brings this simple card to life.


#2 Avis: Offline E-Mail

It doesn’t get any simpler than a hand-written letter in an envelope. However, the charming design of the letter and envelope enhances this otherwise ‘simple’ letter. Contrasting the ‘digital letter’ design with definitely-not-digital handwriting adds to the delightfulness. Have I mentioned Kirk has a handwriting machine?


#1 Mercedes-Benz: Fast and Easy

Call it an invisible letter? With the graphic printed on the inside of the envelope, the actual ‘letter’ is transparent. Talk about simplicity!

Are your creative juices flowing yet? What other examples of simple, yet creative marketing pieces have you come across lately?

Posted by | 09/09/2014 | News Releases

VANCOUVER, BC (September 9, 2014) – Kirk Marketing, Western Canada’s leading direct marketing services provider, today announced the appointment of Joe Pennell as Director of Operations. Mr. Pennell will be responsible for overseeing the direction of Kirk Marketing’s print, production, and materials handling teams.

“Joe has been integral as the Production Manager of our production team since joining Kirk in 2011” said Gordon Taschuk, President & CEO of Kirk Marketing. “I am excited about his new role as Director of Operations for Kirk Marketing, and I believe he is the ideal person to lead our production teams to continued success.”

Mr. Pennell brings over 22 years of experience in printing, mailing, bindery, and logistics to his newly appointed role.

Kirk Marketing is a data-driven direct marketing services company that helps clients reach prospects and grow customers with measurable results, by providing marketing data services, creative services, and print services all from within their 50,000 square-foot production facility.

Media Contact:

Nick So, Marketing Strategist


Posted by | 07/28/2014 | News Releases

VANCOUVER, BC (July 28, 2014) – Kirk Marketing, Western Canada’s leading direct marketing services provider, welcomes Sharon Steele as their newest Client Service Associate.

Sharon brings with her over 25 years of print industry experience to Kirk’s already highly capable client services team. With expertise in prepress and project management, particularly in the not-for-profit arena, she will help reinforce Kirk Marketing’s reputation as a premiere direct marketing services provider by assisting in the growth and success of Kirk’s clientele.

“Sharon is not only an expert in the print industry, but she has committed many years to the success of her clients in a project management role,” said Kate Lucas, Director of Client Services for Kirk Marketing. “We are thrilled to have her on board as her expertise will greatly benefit our organization and, most importantly, our clients.”

In a statement by Sharon Steele: “I am excited to be joining an organization with such capable print capabilities and considered to be on the leading edge in the direct marketing field. Kirk Marketing provides an ideal fit and a strong platform for further growth and expansion.”

Along with her accomplished career in print, Sharon is also a published freelance photographer and has been a visual effects artist for feature films.

Kirk Marketing is a data-driven direct marketing services company that helps clients reach prospects and grow customers with measurable results, by providing marketing data services, creative services, and print (digital & offset) services all from within their 50,000 square-foot production facility.

Media Contact:

Nick So, Marketing Strategist