- Why Consider Automated Direct Mail for Utility Companies?
- The Direct Mail Automation Process for Utility Companies: A Step By Step Guide
- 4 Benefits of Using Print to Mail Services for Utility Bill Printing and Mailing
- Which Utility Companies Can Benefit from Direct Mail Automation?
- Utility Mail Requirements
- Direct Mail Advertising Examples
- Easy to Use Utility Bill Printing and Mailing Services
Even though the average American spends more than 5 hours a day on their phone, email and social media marketing aren’t the be-all and end-all.
Believe it or not, direct mail is more memorable. Plus, it requires 21% less cognitive effort to process than digital media.
Utility bill printing and mailing services are an excellent way to streamline and simplify communication for utility companies. Plus, public utility companies aren’t permitted to use Google Ads, post publications on social media, or reach out to people on Facebook.
Utility bills and the statement printing process are both strictly regulated by the government, which can make for a delicate, timely, and limited communication process.
Automated direct mail is a simple and efficient way for utility companies to communicate with and bill their customers. Here’s why!
Why Сonsider Automated Direct Mail for Utility Companies?
Automated direct mail is a sector of Software as a Service (SaaS) tools.
It’s a system that uses direct mail as the primary form of communication, while still including many of the benefits that come with email marketing. Rather than just another letter or postcard in the bunch, automated direct mail offers customization, autonomy, and experience, not unlike the use of other marketing channels.
Some of the characteristics of direct mail automation are:
- Marketing automation integration
- Easy-to-use letter and postcard editing tools
- Personalization tools that go above and beyond the typical pre-press process
- Cloud-based software that manages the process from beginning to end
- Triggered and small-batch direct mail options
Reputable third-party companies offering print to mail services, including the need to send critical documents, know precisely how to achieve maximum readability and effectiveness in what’s printed and sent.
Plus, they come with a wide range of benefits, which we’ll discuss in a bit. First, let’s take a look at the direct mail automation process from A to Z.
The Direct Mail Automation Process for Utility Companies: A Step By Step Guide
The “old way” of sending direct mail can take weeks from beginning to end. From the graphic designer to the copy editor, and from the marketer to the printing team, there are so many hands involved in the process of creating and sending regular mail.
Plus, many printing services require large batches to be done at once, and smaller batches are often costly.
Until quite recently, direct mail was expensive, poorly targeted, sluggish, and inaccessible.
Nowadays, companies have access to automated direct mail, which is much easier, less expensive, and faster than it used to be.
When you opt to use cloud-based software to order your utility company’s direct mail, you can connect directly at any time to your databases. This greatly reduces the chance for human error and allows you to keep one single data set that updates across all your platforms.
The new way of using automated print to mail services begins with logging into your cloud-based software partner, such as Inkit.
Step 1: Log-In
For the first step, all you have to do is log-in to our automated software, where you can begin to play around with your next mailer.
Step 2: Create
The designated marketer at your utility company logs in and plays around with the many elements and options for design, word placement, and creation of the postcard or mail in question.
We analyze what you’ve done and work with you to ensure you’re targeting your audience in the right way and readable copy. We have multiple marketing partners to ensure we can help you in any way that you need.
Step 3: Print & Mail
We print and mail everything for you. There’s no need to bargain with your nearest printing service or hand-stick on the stamp after stamp.
Step 4: Delivery
Your mail is delivered to your customers!
Step 5: Analyze
Direct mail allows for analytics that determine the specific impact that outreach has on your customers. We’ll highlight a couple of examples later on in 2 of our case studies.
4 Benefits of Using Print to Mail Services for Utility Bill Printing and Mailing
There is a myriad of benefits of opting to use direct mail automation for your utility company.
Benefit #1: You’ll Save Time
When you opt to use direct mail automation through a third-party provider, you’ll be surprised at how much time gets freed up. Utility company employees can shift their attention to the many other tasks of the job without spending too much time on statement processing.
Benefit #2: It’s More Cost-Efficient
Your provider will work with you on optimizing your mailing process to reduce printing and postage costs. Plus, those third-party providers are familiar with the many USPS requirements for direct mail statement design and dimensions.
Benefit #3: Customers Will Be Happier
Even though printed mail has long been referred to as “snail mail,” research shows that 91% of customers prefer printed bills to electronic ones. When it comes to utility bills, even tech-savvy customers prefer to have theirs mailed.
“Snail mail” is making a comeback! That’s great news for utility companies, but it’s also a lot of pressure. Execution and quality are of the essence to ensure customer satisfaction.
Benefit #4: Regulations Are Followed
It’s no secret that bank statements and utility bills are viewed as critical documents. After all, they contain plenty of personal data. The processing of personal information is regulated on both state and federal levels.
Rather than opting to handle them on your own, it’s to the benefit of you and your customers to hire print to mail services that will make sure all data privacy and other laws are followed.
Which Utility Companies Can Benefit from Direct Mail Automation?
It’s not just bills that you can send through automated direct mail. You can also use direct mail to make suggestions on energy saving, send invoices, late notices, and transactional receipts.
These utility company types can all benefit from print to mail services:
- Gas companies
- Trash and recycling companies
- Internet and telephone providers
- Water and sewage companies
- Electricity companies
Many people prefer direct mail when it comes to utility bills and invoices because it allows for easier bill-tracking. Plus, a lot of individuals use bills to do things like getting a new license or acquire a parking pass!
Utility Mail Requirements
Utility mail is different than a lot of other mail because it’s a requirement. It also contains very specific information that must be detailed in a certain way and within specific periods of time.
Marketing campaigns don’t require consistency or time constraints (necessarily). Utility statements and bills, on the other hand, must be consistent and use a standard design that’s familiar to all customers.
When you opt to join forces with automated mail service, you can build a lasting relationship that will keep your bills streamlined, secure, and effective over a long period.
Utility bill printing tools provided by Inkit include many capabilities, such as:
- 24-hour support to assist with ANY mail-related questions
- Real-time notifications and updates
- Tracks consumer response
- Unlimited and flexible batch sizes
- Automatically launches printing once “Send” button is pressed
- 3-6 business days delivery
- User-friendly postcard and letter builder
Whether your business is big or small, there’s no question it can benefit from direct mail automation.
Direct Mail Advertising Examples
While there’s not as much room for advertisement when it comes to utility bills, the goal is still for customers to see (and then pay) their bills.
Automated direct mail provides an easier, more efficient, less expensive way to send all your mail.
Bite Squad’s case study shows how direct mail got 18% of customers to say “yes” on the first try.
The Inkit’s team partners with several marketing automation platforms, allowing businesses like Bite Squad to take advantage of industry knowledge on targeting and event triggers behind their direct mail.
A re-engagement postcard for our customer, NatureBox, resulted in a 60% increase in revenue per customer.
We integrate your customers’ data with your direct mail campaign to ensure automated and personalized postcards and mailers. This way, targeting those individual customers on more personal levels is much faster and easier.
Easy to Use Utility Bill Printing and Mailing Services
Countless hours are spent by utility company personnel, creating and sending mail. Plus, costs add up when it comes to printing big batches and having to pay more for smaller ones.
Utility mail isn’t easy. There are many restrictions on format and customer privacy that make outsourcing difficult and taxing. But you don’t have to outsource to take advantage of the many benefits of utility bill printing and mailing services. Software tools, such as Inkit, provide secure, fast, simple ways to reach your customers.
And it doesn’t take weeks! As soon as you hit “send,” your customers should receive their mail within 3 to 6 business days.
To start automating your direct mail and increase your offline conversations, try out our demo!