API printing is the backbone of modern direct mail automation solutions. This technology allows customers and printers to easily connect their systems, exchange information, and run commands. No need to exhaust yourself searching for local printing services each time you run a mail marketing campaign. You can mail and print on demand whenever needed.
Switching from traditional mail to direct mail automation and API printing isn’t only about simplified mailing. There are at least three other valid reasons to start using mail automation software: additional marketing opportunities, competitive advantage, and cost-saving.
Today, we’d like to focus on the cost-saving potential of direct mail automation. In 2020, before the impact of Coronavirus pandemic, marketing budgets were expected to reach 12% of total firm budgets, which is the highest percentage compared to the previous years. Obviously, now all the estimates — as well as budgets — need to be properly adjusted. In addition, direct mail comprises a large share of operating expenses for companies that are legally required to send it. For banks, utilities, healthcare providers, and other strictly regulated mailers, overpriced mail production can result in considerable financial losses.
To optimize your mailing efforts and reduce operating costs, consider automation and API printing. More about cutting direct mail costs with the help of automation below:
- What is API printing and how does it work?
- API printing in direct mail automation: role and uses
- 5 ways to reduce operating costs with direct mail automation and API printing
What Is API Printing and How Does It Work?
API printing is the process through which several separate applications exchange information to produce print materials remotely. These applications are connected through an API that defines how they communicate with each other (e.g., what kinds of requests can be made, supported data formats, etc). Simply put, API helps two remote systems communicate and smoothly interact with each other.
In API printing, API usually joins the system of a customer-company with the system of a remote printer. This enables business owners and marketers to print on demand at different locations, reduce operating costs, and run better-tailored marketing campaigns. They don’t need to invest in expensive printing equipment and hire a team of specialists who know how to maintain and operate it. Everything happens automatically.
API Printing in Direct Mail Automation: Role and Uses
Here’s another thing you need to know about API printing. Even though it was initially intended to print large volumes of documents remotely, with technological advancement, its capabilities have significantly expanded.
Now API printing powers advanced mail automation software, including Inkit. When your system is connected with a printing provider through Inkit’s API, it automatically launches mail printing and delivery when requested. You can either initiate the mailing campaign manually or configure a range of triggers and events that launch it. This helps to optimize your printing efforts by making them better targeted while using the benefits of batch printing to reduce costs.
Such direct mail automation is widely used both for cross-channel marketing campaigns and business functions. For example, the system automatically launches API printing when users start to ignore all your emails. It sends custom postcards instead of sending an email to reactivate the dormant customers and increase sales. Alternatively, you can automatically print and deliver direct mail to provide consumers with bills, invoices, and other official communications. This doesn’t only streamline your communications but also helps to reduce operating costs in the 5 ways described below.
5 Ways to Reduce Operating Costs with Direct Mail Automation and API Printing
Regardless of who you are, a small business owner or a bank, direct mail automation and API printing will come in useful. These technologies reduce expenses, freeing additional funds for your business development and further investment. How? Read on to discover.
#1. Automated API printing can reduce operating costs with cheaper mail production
Despite a 9% response rate and proven marketing efficiency, sending direct mail is more expensive than emails. Therefore, to reduce the operating costs spent on marketing, you need to optimize mail production and delivery. Luckily, direct mail automation and API printing help with that. Connecting your system with a third-party provider through the API, you entrust mail production to specialists who know how to send postcards at an optimum price-quality ratio.
Just make sure to pick printing services with unlimited batch size. This way you won’t need to overpay for unnecessary mail pieces ordering a whole batch. Spend money only on the direct mail you need, even if it’s a single postcard.
#2. Reduce operating costs by making your marketing team more effective
Because of the unfolding 2020 crisis, 38% of businesses may start layoffs. Before you do that, answer one question. Are you sure you are using your marketing workforce effectively? There are always better ways to engage your team members than asking them to manually manage mail. Introduce direct mail automation to help marketers focus on strategic planning instead of routine tasks.
Furthermore, Inkit’s direct mail automation tool enables you to run cross-channel marketing campaigns. The combination of three or more channels has shown to generate a 250% higher purchase and engagement rates than single-channel campaigns. Thus, with direct mail automation, you will increase your sales and, consequently, reduce expenses.
#3. Reduce operating costs with better-targeted mail marketing
What is the connection between mail targeting and cost savings? More obvious than you may think. By sending postcards based on zip code or purchased mailing lists, you risk spending a large share of your operating costs for nothing. These people aren’t interested in your marketing mail and are very likely to toss it into the garbage. Everything changes with direct mail automation and API printing. Modern software enables you to print on demand only when a customer shows interest in your product or is legally entitled to receive mail. As a result, the open and response rates increase, while the volume and cost of mail decrease.
#4. Reduce operating costs with out-of-the-box software and hardware
Ease-of-use is the best thing about API integrations and API printing in particular. You won’t need to hire a team of engineers to develop custom remote printing software or complex integrations. No need to spend a fortune on large office space, equipment, office supply, or salaries for the whole team of technology experts. One tech-savvy specialist is enough to implement API printing and direct mail automation for the whole company.
#5. Reduce operating costs with increased mail marketing success
Direct mail automation makes mail tracking and testing much simpler. You can measure mail marketing campaigns before targeting a large audience and instantly make necessary changes. This offers you two huge advantages in terms of reducing the operating costs of your company:
1) You can see whether the campaign is worth starting at all before going too far and investing more.
2) You can calculate the future expenses and ROI to better redistribute your budget and focus on the most profitable mailers. As a result, your direct mail will yield maximum results and will increase sales with minimum expenses.
Need to reduce operating costs? Inkit supports automated API printing and direct mail automation.