Because there are many moving parts to direct mail print production process, it helps to break it down into smaller subsets to better understand what takes place. During direct mail print production, the overall goal is to match the final product with the needs of you, the buyer. If you’ve done your homework, your needs are in tune with what your target demographic wants and the result is that you meet and exceed your sales, goals and expectations.
A Closer Look at the Common Elements of Direct Mail Print Production
Here’s a breakdown of the core elements of direct mail print production and what they mean for you at every step of the way:
- Planning & Consultation. At this stage of the production process, a team of professionals will help you develop a marketing plan and strategy for your direct mail marketing campaign. This includes things like design, time frames and manufacturing, all done with an eye towards cost-effectiveness and technical proficiency.
- Production Support. An account manager and production coordinator will assign the proper tasks to the proper people, all the while answering all of your questions and tweaking anything that needs tweaking along the way.
- Data Processing. This is a complicated process that is best left in the hands of the professional direct mail printers and includes services such as merge purge processing, NCOA, scan line & finder number, creation, address correction, move update processing and intelligent mail barcode processing.
- Direct Mail Printing. The actual process of doing the printing arrives. Choosing the right printing processes and machinery to get the job done right is a big part of direct mail printing. When this happens, everyone is happy.
- Digital Printing. From flyers to posters to bound books to full sheets, digital printing helps your brand and message stand out from the crowd. Whether that brand is you on a business card or your company on a poster, the quality of digital print you pay for is going to pay off exponentially.
- Personalization. This is the technical side of the business where direct mail print professionals really earn their stripes. The amount of personalization on any direct mail print campaign is going to directly dictate the success or failure of the campaign. From simplex to duplex, from inkjet to laser printing, the choices you make with your direct mail print production team are crucial to the overall campaign.
- Mailing & Commingling. Mailing services are super important to any direct mail campaign and unless you want to personally do the mailing, you’re going to need a company that handles this for you. Why spend extra to have one company print your direct mail campaigns and another actually mail it? Look for companies that can handle the simplicity or the complexity of your project. They should also offer commingling services, which will sort your mail with other mail in order to lower your prices by qualifying your direct mail campaign for a lower postage rate.
- BMC & SCF Shipping. A good direct mail printing service will never send your mail to the local post office where bottlenecking causes timely delays that could spell disaster for a time-sensitive marketing campaign. Instead, make sure your mail is shipped directly to the BMC or SCF for speedy processing and mailing. Be sure that they are also able to co-palletize the mail for even more savings on the mailing process. All of this will ensure that you are able to track and monitor the delivery process and the delivery date for every piece of direct mail you send out.
- In Home Schedule. Good direct mail campaigns always work backwards from the date that you want your direct mail to physically arrive in the homes of your potential leads and customers. When you choose an experienced direct mail company, they will have a large volume of data on factors that could affect your in home schedule such as flat vs. letter deliver, holiday jams, regional distribution, problems with seasonal carriers, etc. This cuts down on any possible delays.
- Personalized URLs & QR Codes. These URLs will allow you the ultimate in personalized marketing and data collection, giving each one of your recipients their own URL or QR code where you can data mine information through surveys, swap out images in real time and pre-populate a response form.