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How to Brief Your Mailing House

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.

 

Data Management

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 Do you need to clean data by removing duplicates, merging records or purging those that are outdated?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.

 

Insertions

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.

 

Plastic Wrap

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!

 

Postage

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.

 

Find out more about our mailing services today and how we can help you boost sales. Contact us on 01494 539300, email enquiries@firstmove.co.uk or fill in our online contact form.

 

You might also be interested in the following articles:

5 Reasons to take another look at Direct Mail

The Past, Present and Future of Direct Mail

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How to Save Money on Direct Mail

The mainstay of marketing, direct mail remains one of the most useful tools in customer procurement, engagement and retention. Direct to homes and businesses across Britain, it’s front and centre where your prospects live and work. Direct mail’s unique selling point is its physicality, something that is rare to find in the predominantly digital landscape in which we live. But why send a mailer when you can send an email? Higher engagement rates, that’s why.

Of course, a printed mailer has a greater production cost than its electronic counterpart—what with the printing, the postage, and the man hours required to get it just right. That said, direct mail has greater rates of engagement and comes out as the overall leader in cost per acquisition. There’s always room to save money on Direct Mail, and it comes from being strategic, sensible and planning your campaign from the outset. Here are some pointers to get you on the way to greater campaigns for less.

 

Cleanse Your Database

An accurate database means less returned mail, which equates to money saved. Think of the environment and your back pocket before mailing out into the ether. Ensure your database is up to date by validating all records, merging duplicates, and data matching any gaps.

Find out how we can help manage your data.

Buy Lists

Rather than pounding the pavement to find new clientele, let someone else do the hard work for you. Data companies have millions of records awaiting your special brief. By pulling data from a variety of sources, they can match your requirements to build a comprehensive client profile. Now just wait for the leads to roll in.

 

Outsource Data Entry

Got a stack of unentered customer data cards sitting in a shoebox somewhere, but can never find the time nor resources to have them entered into you database? It’s easy—get some outside help. Using electronic data scanning, a computer can read cards in milliseconds, digitising all the contact information in the fraction of the time it would take you or a team member do the same.

 

Mail Discounts

When you work with a professional direct mail company, use their power of persuasion to attract discounts. Bulk mailings do attract special postage rates from the Royal Mail and Down Stream Access competitors and these can vary depending on your requirements Advertising or Business? Prepared to wait a little longer for the mail to reach your customer? There’s a discount for that. Pre-sorting the mail before dispatch? It will be cheaper again. There are endless ways to work the system, and your direct mail specialist can show you the way.

Find out more about our mailing services.

If you’d like in-depth insights to successful direct mail campaigns, call us on 01494 539300 or fill in our online contact form

You might also be interested in the following articles:

5 Reasons to take another look at Direct Mail

Achieving better Direct Mail response rates in this digital space

How to Give Your Direct Mail Database a Health Check…

Your customer and prospect data is the basis of all of your communication, and you must take care of it. Sales records, customer preferences, and most importantly, names and addresses are your way to generate leads and convert to sales or subscriptions, so you’ll want to make sure you’re armed with the best information. There’s an easy way to achieve optimum performance from your campaigns—by checking they’re in tip-top shape with a database health check.

500,000 people die in the UK each year

6,000,000 people move home each year in the UK

Databases of all sizes—from the thousands to the millions—should be checked regularly, and the reason is two-fold: Not only do you ensure your database is current, you also prevent wastage by delivering costly mailers to out-of-date addresses. Both of these reasons achieve one simple conclusion: Cost savings for you and your company, and extra budget to increase your direct-mail activity.

There is always a natural reluctance to remove hard won names from your data. After the time, effort and cost involved in winning your data to simply remove people inevitably feels like a regressive step rather than a positive one.

A data cleansing or data quality agency can take the legwork out of the exercise, allowing you to concentrate on producing the creative of your mailer. A larger, reputable agency will have volumes of information at their fingertips, that can improve the quality of your database at the press of a button.

Data matching is one such service that takes your current database and compares the records with those they have on file and adjusts or suppresses records that are affected by modifications. These can include out-of-date phone numbers, emails, change of postal and street addresses, and the deceased. By doing so, you eliminate any room for error, and can avoid possibly detrimental and embarrassing situations.

Removing duplicates is also important and also perhaps focusing on 1 name per address?

Your mailing house or data agency can also provide you with more information about your database pulled from a variety of sources. Profiling information that has been provided to other third parties about spending habits, income, family information and more, all with their consent and given to you completely above board so that you can better understand your data – and of course potentially rent external data as you seek to grow your business. Think of the potential direct mail opportunities that can come from this kind of additional data.

Overall a direct mail database health check is something every direct mail specialist should conduct on a regular basis at least twice a year. It’s fast, it’s efficient, and it gives you even more insight into those you wish to convert.

http://www.qas.co.uk/knowledge-centre/support/glossary/data-healthcheck.htm

http://www.datahealthcheck.co.uk/

Find out more about our mailing services today and how we can help you boost sales. Contact us on 01494 539300, email enquiries@firstmove.co.uk or fill in our online contact form.

You might also be interested in the following articles:

5 ways to personalise your direct mail campaign

A guide to testing in direct mail