So you have your creative and your database is about ready to go, now it’s time to deploy. Briefing your mailing house can be tricky, but it’s the part on which we direct mail specialists thrive. With so many options it can seem daunting to a first-timer, though with some expert guidance it’s a cinch. Here we will show you just how to brief your mailing house, which might even inspire you with other ways to save time in your next campaign.
Lists and spreadsheets mightn’t be your thing, but we love them. It’s our job to take your data, make sense of it, and manipulate it into a successful campaign. You might have your own vision, but we can help you shape it to achieve the best possible outcome when sending to customers and prospects. When speaking to your mailing house, instruct them of the specifics of data management. Do you need to clean data by removing duplicates, merging records or purging those that are outdated? Have you considered adding special postal information, such as barcodes, to each data record? Or does it need to be further segmented for A/B testing? The more information you provide the better.
Printing and Personalisation
Printing is hugely important in direct mail, and so is the method you choose. Offset printing is great for high-quality prints without personalization and you can then over print variable data in black. Digital colour print allows for unlimited personalisation. Inkjet allows you to add addresses and individuals’ other information to your mailer in a limited format to litho pre-print. Remember to tell your mailing house which delimiters you have used to identify areas that require personalisation, such as salutation blocks and customised offers. Once the mailer is set up, ask to run a small electronic trial of your first few records to ensure that everything corresponds.
Special insertions into your mailer can increase your response rate immensely. By enclosing an entry form or a self-addressed envelope, you make it easier for your customer or prospect to get in touch. When it comes to informing your mailing house of your requirements, it’s important to think about how you would like to present it. You can specify where you would like it to be inserted through camera matching, and the precise number of inserts for your mailing.
Wrapping mailers in plastic is an industry standard, but did you know that you can customise the overall look? Ask your mailing house to show you examples of how special printing can transform the outer of your next mailer.
Warehousing and Fulfilment
Need a little help picking and packing? This is something that many mailing houses can help you achieve. Simply brief them to the nature of your product, supply the inventory, and allow them to fulfil the orders as they flood in. Easy!
And finally, and probably the most important: How does it reach your recipients? Make sure you specify just how you would like your mail campaign to be sent 1st, 2nd or Economy – does it qualify as Advertising or Business mail? Is it by registered or international post? Do you qualify for postal discounts and if you are a registered charity check if you qualify for zero rate vat on production and use DSA to minimise your VAT charge. Your mailing house can advise on the conditions of which you mightn’t be aware, and can save you time and money in the long run.
You might also be interested in the following articles: