When you think of sending out your company’s mail, promotional, or marketing material, you probably think of it as a one-way street. After all, who wants to deal with returns and missed deliveries? But as every business knows, not all communication is pleasant.
Direct mail is one of the best ways for a business to get its marketing material to its intended audience. With open rates as high as 90%, it’s clear how savvy marketers have completely reshaped their marketing strategies with direct mail. But like all successful campaigns, direct mail marketing campaigns require a lot of planning, not to mention the countless hours spent on research, development, testing, and implementation of different strategies.
With so much to do, you might want to outsource some parts of the process to a professional direct mail fulfillment company. So how do direct mail and fulfillment work? Here’s a quick rundown:
What is Direct Mail Fulfillment?
Direct mail fulfillment is the process of receiving, storing, and shipping direct mail for a client. It deals with handling, processing, and delivering mail directly to the consumer. If you have ever used a direct mailing service before, you may be familiar with some of the services involved in direct mail fulfilment.
- Shipping/ mailing (Mailings can include flyers, postcards, letters, and more.)
- Data collection and management
- Marketing Automation
Not long ago, marketing fulfillment was 100% manual - everything was done through manual effort. Today, marketing automation allows you to send specific messages to your customers based on their behavior. In return, your direct mail campaigns become more targeted and successful.
For instance, you will be able to see how many customers follow up with your company after receiving your mail. With this information, you can send more personalized messages that resonate with the customer and potentially result in conversions.
Mail Fulfillment Preparation Tasks
Getting your mail fulfillment up and running may seem like a daunting task, but once you've checked off these key items, you'll be well on your way.
Have a Printed Material Provider
Printing material service providers are at the epicenter of your direct mail fulfilment strategy. These mail fulfillment services make it possible to create the core message of your mail on a large scale.
A good print material provider can also reserve stock for your future direct mail campaigns. This will be kept on-site so that everything is in one place and ready to go. The provider must ensure that your items are in good hands and deadlines will be met.
Prepare the Materials
Mail fulfillment preparation dependS a lot on the availability of materials. If you are going to offer a free gift, you need to have it in stock or be able to get it quickly. If you plan to include an invoice or other printed material, you need to have it ready. If your product is a magazine subscription, the first issue must be available within a very short time after you receive payment.
- Do a physical count of the number of products and materials you have on hand
- Determine if you need to order more products or materials so that you can complete the project within your schedule
- Make a list of any problems with your products and materials. These problems may include missing parts, defective items, or other issues that may affect the quality of the finished product
Obtain Accurate and Updated Customer Address Information
What good is a mail piece if it never reaches its intended recipient? Inaccurate addresses result in undeliverable mail and higher postage rates. Mailing lists must be scrubbed against a reliable national address database to ensure that they contain only valid addresses and current zip codes.
Addresses with incomplete information should also be identified and either corrected or removed from the list. This ensures that your mail reaches its destination without delay, eliminating the negative impacts of poor address data and increasing the likelihood of a successful campaign.