Direct mail marketing is exploding. By 2024, it’s projected that its U.S.-based revenue will reach more than $10 billion. Response rates are already 5-9x higher than any other advertising channel and open rates can reach as high as 90%. That explains why more than three-quarters of marketing executives who are currently using direct mail plan to continue doing so in the future. Of course, when you partner with a trusted direct mail expert, you’re increasing your chances of success. How so? We’re going to show you. Let’s look at five key benefits of direct mail fulfillment services.
1. Cutting-Edge Technology Leads to Effective Direct Mail Campaigns
Direct mail ceases to be as effective as it can be if you’re using outdated methods to create and deliver it. MSP provides direct mail fulfillment services with the latest equipment and technology to make your direct mail campaigns stand out in both quality and deliverability. The combination of web offset, continuous inkjet, envelope, and digital color presses allow us to produce millions of direct mail pieces every day.
Continuous Inkjet Web Press
Variable data printing (VDP) has become the modern-day marketer’s go-to weapon for marketing automation. Full-color VDP on our Truepress Jet520ZZ inkjet web press produces some of the best-looking direct mail pieces anywhere—with vibrant, crystal-clear graphics at lightning speed. For example, instead of sending 10,000 identical sales brochures to customers (each with the same message), you can create 10,000 targeted, customized brochures using VDP. Plus, you can accomplish this without sacrificing any additional press time. Furthermore, you can personalize your campaigns with location-specific information and/or other elements on each brochure. It could be a customer’s name, your brand’s website URL, a special coupon code, or any other bit of information that you want to change from one piece to the next.
Custom Envelope Press
A custom envelope press, like our W+D 410 Easy Enveloper (aka 410EE), increases the ability to achieve better color consistency and flexibility with your direct mail letters and envelopes. When time is of the essence (and when isn’t it?), it also helps to speed up the production process because there’s no outsourcing. That way, you’ll increase your speed to market (up to 500 envelopes per minute) and reduce your direct mail costs (via postal discounts) while creating almost any size envelope.
High-Speed Inserters and Bindery Equipment
Finally, we have a state-of-the-art letter shop that features high-speed inserters and bindery equipment (die-cutters, binders, folders, etc.) to quickly finish your direct mail campaigns and get them into your customer’s hands faster.
2. Revolutionary Software Streamlines Direct Mail Marketing
Managing direct mail programs is difficult and more often than not—tedious. If you don’t know exactly what’s going on with each aspect of your direct mail marketing campaigns, how will you know what’s working (and not working)? The answer is: you won’t! That’s why it helps to have the technology to achieve full transparency with your direct mail programs. The solution is our very own creation: a revolutionary software program called Direct Mail Panorama. This platform gives you more control and a better understanding of all your direct mail activities. Plus, it’s where direct mail fulfillment services really shine. The thing is, only one company offers it: MSP.
With Direct Mail Panorama, you’ll streamline everything from the editing and approval process all the way through to detailed reports and campaign lookup features for customer service staff. You’ll enjoy a “panoramic” view of all your direct mail metrics from start to finish so you can improve from one campaign to the next. It all leads to shorter cycle times and higher engagement rates.
Simplified Editing and Approvals
Consider direct mail’s typically tedious editing and approval process. With Direct Mail Panorama, you can follow each campaign from production to delivery with increased transparency and accountability, including an audit trail that monitors the changes. Official workflows make editing templates and managing approvals a snap. This cuts back on any confusion when you need to know what department or individual provided an approval. The process moves the project into the next phase as quickly as possible. The best part is that this proofing system is automated, so it only pushes relevant proofs to the user.
You can track and analyze every step of the mailing process—from production to delivery. That includes a real-time look at postal delivery performance. Plus, you can calculate your cost per piece of each campaign (factoring in postage, print, and mail production costs) with quick access to invoices.
Direct Mail Lookup
Direct Mail Lookup is a breakthrough feature for your customer support staff as they answer calls about your mailed offers. Service reps can see each piece of mail that shipped and find out when and where it was delivered. All they have to do is look at a detailed production dashboard where they’ll find a digitized version of any piece of mail. Don’t worry if you have a huge list, though. Direct Mail Panorama can hold and quickly access tens of millions of records and it scales to grow with you.
3. Increased Speed to Market Gives Your Brand an Advantage
Consider this situation. You and your competitors are preparing similar campaigns with similar messages. If you’re also selling similar products, what sets apart your brand from any of the others? Studies show it could come down to which offer arrives in mailboxes first. In marketing circles, a “first-mover advantage” is the competitive influence gained by occupying a market segment first. The same concept applies to direct mail. All things being equal, your brand will have an advantage over your competitors if your campaign arrives in mailboxes first.
You want to get your direct mail campaigns out quickly. We can help you do that. But it still leaves one important question: when’s the best time to send them? Let’s look to direct mail timing for the answers, which can vary according to your industry.
Direct Mail Timing: When to Send Your Marketing Campaigns
When you’re planning your direct mail campaigns, how much effort do you put into the timing of each one? Let’s look at some of the factors that determine how well each campaign performs.
- Time of the week. Typically, you have three good options for planning the arrival of your direct mail campaign: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. These mid-week days give you the best chance to get your direct mail opened and read.
- Seasonal. Your industry likely has its busy seasons. Use them (or it) to strategically send your direct mail campaigns. For example, if you’re in the automotive industry, marketers typically target springtime for travel tune-ups and autumn to prep vehicles for the upcoming winter.
- Special occasions. The holidays and birthdays are a great time to send direct mail. People are looking more carefully at their mailboxes for packages and cards during these times. As a result, you’re increasing the odds of getting your campaign opened and read.
- According to the Buyer’s Journey. Consider where your recipients are in the Buyer’s Journey. Are they in the awareness stage? Consideration? Decision? Post-decision? You can align automated direct mail messages to coincide with each one.
Direct mail fulfillment services experts know the print marketing subtleties that lead to successful campaigns. Trust their experience. After all, sometimes the smallest changes can make the biggest difference between direct mail success and failure. MSP calls upon more than 65 years of direct mail experience to help make your campaigns the best.
4. Variable Data Printing: Right Message, Right Audience, Right Time
Targeting your audience is one of the most important elements of any marketing campaign. To optimize your response rates and return, you want to deliver the right message to the right recipients at the right time. You may be wondering: “How is that even possible?” Well, it depends. Are you working with a trusted direct mail fulfillment services expert? Because that’s the key to getting every element of your direct mail strategy in sync. Let’s look more closely at these three phases (message, audience, time) using variable data printing.
Thanks to VDP, you can narrow your target market and speak to each customer individually. It’s personalized marketing that direct mail fulfillment services can turn into a game-changing feature for your brand.
About 20% of consumers say the direct mail they receive isn’t relevant to their needs. What a waste. Don’t make the same mistake many marketers are making. Look at consumer demographics when you’re planning your next campaign. Here are five primary ones to consider.
- Age. How old is your audience? For example, if you’re an insurance marketer selling auto insurance to baby boomers, you know that many people in this age group are delaying retirement. They’re still driving to and from work. VDP lets you change your marketing message based on the recipient’s age.
- Gender. Powerful gender marketing isn’t about stereotypes as much as it is clear, practical, highly targeted campaigns. Make sure all aspects of your message are clear when you’re attempting to appeal to a certain gender.
- Occupation. How much money do your customers make? The answer will likely affect how you market to them.
- Cultural background. What is the ethnicity, religion, and/or nationality of your audience? This may be particularly helpful for hospitality brands selling food-related products or specific types of cuisine.
- Family status. Look at your customers’ home life. Use your data to determine who would be the best fit for your message. Check marital status, family structure, and the life stage of each member of the family.
You can go deeper than mere demographics with marketing psychographics. This includes information like buying habits, interests and hobbies, lifestyle patterns, personal values, and more. To understand how your customers regularly think and act, you’ll need to get to know them better. Ask questions about their daily habits, but also learn how they relate to your product or service.
If your business includes multiple physical locations, the geographic data you’ve collected is vitally important. Local marketing now becomes a key part of your marketing strategy—and direct mail fulfillment services can help you speak to your customers based on where they live.
For example, you can offer special deals plus local contact information according to each customer’s geographic location. If you have an auto insurance marketing business, you could include the local address and a map for each customer’s nearest office plus the name of the local rep they can contact for more information. VDP adjusts the localized elements without slowing down the printing process.
QR Codes and PURLs
Direct mail pairs well with digital marketing. In fact, when you take a multichannel marketing approach that combines print and digital, you’re likely to see a 20% increase in ROI vs. direct mail alone. That makes multichannel marketing a no-brainer.
Two of the most useful and popular ways to bring the two worlds together are QR codes and PURLs. No matter what industry your brand is part of, you can assign your direct mail campaign’s QR codes or PURLs to connect with a web page that’s personalized for each customer. PURLs are a great option because you can use the customer’s name in the URL. This makes it look like they have their own microsite as part of your brand’s URL. The downside is they have to type in the URL. Alternatively, you could also include a QR code that takes them to a landing page with a quick scan from their smartphone. Use one or use them both. QR codes and PURLs are supportive time-savers that increase interest and trust in your brand.
5. Client Support Builds Relationships
Finally, when you use direct mail fulfillment services, you want a true partner that will treat you as their most important customer. That means being available when you have questions and concerns about your campaign or anything else that affects your direct mail marketing strategy.
MSP provides a professional support team that’s committed to helping you around the clock. Each MSP client works alongside a dedicated support member to ensure satisfaction from inception to delivery. We focus on building relationships with our clients, not just profits.
Yes, we produce the highest quality print collateral, but our devotion to offering the best customer satisfaction is second to none. A committed customer service staff that treats your brand like their most important customer is how great businesses set themselves apart from their competitors.
One of our clients, a nationally-known non-profit organization, said:
“I really like the people at MSP. They’re always available. They know what they’re doing. They think ahead and often find things we missed.”
Our clients place a great deal of trust in our services and we don’t disappoint them. We’re the trusted print partner of major national brands and we’ll put our experience to work for you, too.
MSP’s Direct Mail Fulfillment Services: Your Marketing Partner
These five benefits should convince you that a direct mail fulfillment services expert gives you the best chance to succeed in this thriving marketing channel. The numbers are proof and the extra support you receive from a trusted industry leader only improves your chances of implementing one successful campaign after another.
MSP is one of the most widely-respected, privately-owned direct mail fulfillment services facilities in the country. We offer all of the benefits discussed here, combining print marketing expertise and technological innovation so you can get the results you’re looking for. To learn more about how we can bring your direct mail ideas to life, contact an MSP representative today.
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