Direct mail is a $10-billion per year industry. If you’re serious about print marketing, you need a partner that offers direct mailing services that guide you through the process from start to finish. Here are five things your brand needs to deliver successful direct mail campaigns.
1. Modern Direct Mailing Services Facility
The history of direct mail marketing dates back to the mid-to-late 1800s. That’s when retailers and service providers printed mail-order marketing materials like letters and catalogs to persuade buyers. But direct mail has come a long way since then. The USPS delivers over 450 pieces of marketing mail to the average U.S. household each year. Additionally, they deliver over 90 pieces of nonprofit marketing mail in the same time span. As a modern-day marketing marvel, the direct mail industry now demands the latest equipment to handle extreme workloads.
Your brand needs a modern direct mail printing services facility. MSP’s 150,000-square-foot production headquarters houses the latest in printing technology.
- State-of-the-art letter shop. High-speed inserters and bindery equipment efficiently manage campaigns and minimize your brand’s time to market. Our custom envelope press, the W+D 410 Easy Enveloper (410EE), increases the color consistency, speed, and flexibility of the production process.
- Full-color variable data printing. Our Truepress Jet520ZZ press offers full-color variable data printing through a single-pass, multiple-head pattern.
Also, we have a second Pennsylvania-based facility to offer even greater mail volume capabilities for our growing list of clients. It also adds a sense of security that comes from knowing such a location exists for disaster recovery if needed.
2. Direct Mail Industry Experience and Knowledge
No matter how many competitors you have in your industry, your company is unique. That’s why you should make sure you partner with a direct mailing services provider that has extensive industry experience and knowledge—one that treats your brand as a one-of-a-kind business. There’s more than one correct way to print and ship your direct mail marketing campaigns. But you need the right solution for your needs. For each campaign, you can begin by asking yourself a few questions:
- What size/style is best for the message I’m trying to convey?
- What paper stock matches the right feel for this campaign?
- What’s the time frame for the production and mailing of my campaign?
You’re not alone when it comes to answering these questions and others. The way you design your mail piece will determine how much you spend and how your recipients react to it. That’s an important first step. Share your thoughts with a direct mailing services provider that won’t limit your ideas based on their lack of equipment or experience. They should provide input on USPS standards for the best size/style mailings, etc. Then you can compare your options and move forward on your campaign with confidence.
Postal Rules and Regulations
Successful direct mail campaigns begin with the design of your mail piece. Before you start creating a campaign, it’s crucial to be aware of the latest postal regulations. This insight affects the dimensions of your mail piece and the postage rates. When you understand USPS guidelines from the start, you save money. That’s why your brand needs a partner with extensive postal service expertise. Direct mail services providers should have an in-house mailing center with industry experts that stay apprised of the latest postal requirements so you don’t have to.
- Postal optimization. Balance technology, logistics, and the dimensions of your mailing to lower your postage costs. A postage and freight feasibility report will help you get the lowest rates.
- On-site USPS verification. When you can verify important mailing data in-house, you increase your speed to market. It begins with a National Change of Address (NCOA) check.
- Postal logistics. The less the postal service has to sort your mail when it arrives at the sorting center, the more money you’ll save. Techniques like commingling, presorting, consolidation, and co-palletization help to sort your mail, thus saving time and money.
MSP provides more than 65 years of direct mail industry experience. From humble beginnings, we’ve grown to become one of the most respected privately-owned direct mail companies in the country. We’ve helped some of the world’s top brands manage highly successful direct mail campaigns and we can help your brand, too.
Your brand needs a direct mail expert.
MSP is a direct mailing services provider you can trust to help build your best campaigns.
3. Direct Mail Marketing Automation Technology
Marketing automation is the “cornerstone of modern data-driven marketing practices.” Over 80% of marketers agree it makes them more efficient. Plus, the global marketing automation market could reach almost $8.5 billion by 2027. Why is it so popular? The direct mail marketing statistics speak for themselves. Almost 80% of the companies that add marketing automation to their strategy see a positive ROI within a year’s time. Plus, close to 50% see a return within six months.
Marketing automation comes in many forms, including direct mail. Direct mail campaigns receive 5x more engagement when they’re triggered by a recipient’s own actions. Automated direct mail campaigns help you reach the right customers with the right message at the right time.
When you take innovative direct mail software and add it to a marketing automation system, you can optimize direct mail the same as you would any digital campaign. Better yet, you can combine the two in a multichannel marketing strategy.
Variable Data Printing and Personalization
Brands need direct mailing services that offer the latest marketing automation technology. One way to achieve this is with variable data printing (VDP). This allows you to change one or more parts of a direct mail piece (text, color, graphics, etc.) without slowing down the printing process. Thus, you can print millions of personalized, targeted direct mail pieces in a single run if you wish.
Personalization is a direct mail victory waiting to happen. It’s the foundation for many successful direct mail campaigns. Practically all retailers say that personalization influences the products and services their customers buy. Interestingly, about 90% of consumers agree, saying that personalization increases their chances of buying a brand’s product. That’s a marketing win-win in any industry.
Consider direct mail automation for:
- Customer reactivation. To get customers “back in the fold,” send them a direct mail piece to let them know you miss them. Determine the length of inactivity to trigger the message, then include an incentive to make a sale.
- Digital nonresponders. If your email marketing campaigns are falling on deaf ears, so to speak, send a direct mail piece as a change of pace. Trigger the direct mail piece based on a specific number of ignored emails. Use a personalized URL (pURL) or promo code to track your results.
- Thank you notes. Post-purchase, trigger a printed thank-you note (preferably handwritten) to let your customers know how much you appreciate their support.
- Scheduled reminders. Remind your customers about an upcoming event or scheduled appointment with an automated direct mailing. This prevents forgotten dates and no-shows.
MSP’s marketing automation solutions can work with both your digital and direct mail campaigns to nurture leads and grow profits.
4. Streamlined Direct Mail Management Capabilities
Behind the scenes, most direct mail campaigns have a measure of positives and negatives. After all, it’s difficult to manage high-volume direct mail programs. Look at the likely scenario. With each campaign, you’re tracking changes, maintaining spreadsheets, and coordinating last-minute revisions. Plus, you probably have lots of emails to deal with. Most businesses have managed their direct mail programs this way for years. They rely on their own experience, the same well-worn processes, and various third-party partners to complete each campaign. Then they rinse and repeat, as the saying goes. Their methods seem as old as the direct mail industry itself.
Those are the negatives. The good news is there’s a better way. Brands need direct mailing services to ease the complexity, not add to it. Introducing Direct Mail Panorama.
Direct Mail Panorama: Understanding and Managing Your Direct Mail Campaigns
MSP changed the direct mail industry with the release of Direct Mail Panorama. This revolutionary software system gives you more control and a better understanding of your direct mail marketing campaigns. With Direct Mail Panorama, you’ll streamline the direct mail process while gaining greater insight into your campaigns. The software provides a total “panoramic” view of all your direct mail metrics. As a result, this allows you to improve upon each campaign with shorter cycle times and higher engagement rates.
- Simplified editing and approvals. An automated proofing system detects changes, analyzes which templates those changes apply to, and then pushes only the relevant proofs to the user. This means faster approvals and less complex direct mail management.
- Direct Mail Lookup. This game-changing feature allows your customer service team to more easily react to calls about your mailed offers. They can see the exact piece of mail in question and find out its delivery date.
- Detailed reporting. Results are everything with direct mail. That’s why Direct Mail Panorama provides full transparency into campaign performance. You can track and analyze every step of the mailing process.
To learn how Direct Mail Panorama can help you reduce management time, improve speed to market, and boost the ROI of your direct mail marketing programs, download our information sheet to learn more.
5. Dedicated Customer Support Staff
Efficient production and cutting-edge technology are important traits for successful direct mail campaigns. But it’s a firm commitment to customer service that sets apart the best direct mailing service providers. It’s as much about building relationships as it is marketing campaigns. Brands need a dedicated support team with extensive direct mail experience. Don’t discount the importance of a devoted customer service staff that treats you like their most important customer.
A nationally known non-profit company commented:
“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.”
Customer experience is how great businesses set themselves apart from their competitors. You provide the best customer service to your patrons. Expect the same from your direct mailing services provider.
Direct Mailing Services: Your Key to Marketing Success
Successful direct mail campaigns begin with the right direct mailing services. From beginning to end, MSP combines:
- A modern direct mail facility
- Over 65 years of direct mail industry experience and know-how
- Direct mail automation technology
- Streamlined management capabilities
- The best customer service
We can help your brand achieve the results you’re looking for. Ask how we can become your direct mailing services provider. Contact an MSP representative to discuss your direct mail goals.
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