About 32 years ago SHM Mailers set up one of the first direct marketing firms in Princeton. Today the firm has a new name and a new home to go with its new direction.
SHM recently changed its name to Digital Dog Direct, a move that sales and marketing director Lisa Edelstein says is meant to reflect the company’s new direction and its focus on loyalty. The name SHM Mailers, she says, makes the company sound as if it only does mailings. But the company does digital printing and binding too.
Part of the reason for the move to Ludlow Drive in Ewing, in fact, was to find more room for the company’s expanded IT equipment. SHM had operated in Princeton Junction (last at 39 Everett Drive), but had outgrown it, Edelstein says. Digital Dog’s new space in Ewing lets the company build more to suit and also gives it a more modern home. The “dog” part of the company’s name, she says, is meant to evoke feelings of loyalty and friendliness.
The new direction, Edelstein says, is a product of the times. “Back in the day, when everybody had a lot of money,” she says, “everybody was OK with sending out mass mailings.” The approach was broad and generalized and, ultimately, wasteful.
These days IT has helped direct mail marketers zero in on more specific markets and allows mail communications to be more personal. “We can be a lot more custom and less generic,” Edelstein says. “We can send you something with your name written all over the place.”
Digital Dog still provides mailing lists and fulfillment, Edelstein says. The company also locates the post office nearest to where a shipment would go. As opposed to sending everything through the Hamilton Post Office, for example, a mail-out that targets southern New Jersey would be cheaper to mail from Camden. The company would then truck its shipment to Camden.
Owner Ken Maisel purchased SHM Mailers from founder Patti Lang in 2007. Before then he had already been in the direct mail business for 24 years, with a larger company that catered to a national client base.
Like SHM, Digital Dog caters to a client base primarily in Princeton, Lawrenceville, and Skillman, handling mailings that range from a few hundred to a hundred thousand pieces.
Digital Dog Direct (formerly SHM Mailers), 200 Ludlow Drive, Building E, Ewing; 609-882-3444; fax, 609-882-3447. Ken Maisel, owner. www.digitaldogdirect.com