Direct mail marketing is still widely used within the marketing industry and is one of the most effective methods of communicating your services and products to your brand. Many companies miss out on the advantages of direct mail services, as we live in a digital world. However, the direct mail stats say otherwise; you should be taking advantage of direct mailing and, subsequently, a mailing house.
A mailing company, or mailing house, is a business that looks after the print, mail and postage services of a client – producing fantastic direct mail. Mailing houses UK are typically used for their fast turnaround and economies-of-scale deals. It’s a cliche, but mailing companies do genuinely offer a one-stop-shop for all of your direct mail services and needs, providing expert knowledge to boot. It’s why you should try outsourcing to one of the UK mailing companies.
For companies that don’t have the time to invest in producing direct mail, they’ll benefit massively from using a mailing house. A good mailing company provides mailing services, such as design, finish and understanding the company data sent across.
The cost of labour for your staff to produce your direct mail marketing campaign in-house is staggering, compared to that of a mailing company. Mailing houses and mailing companies UK offer competitive rates for direct mail services. You’ll find that you can save money on postage, as direct mail companies typically have lower postage costs for the UK, and international, available. The bulk postage is perfect for companies producing large quantities of direct mail – particularly transactional direct mail services.
You also have to consider whether direct mail in-house is the most cost-effective method for your business, especially when it comes to hiring staff. You will have to pay them a salary for their direct mail services and provide them with benefits as an employee. However, by outsourcing your direct mail to a mailing house, you are eliminating these costs and placing your campaign in the hands of experts.
There’s no denying you’ll save time in creating your direct mail campaign if you place your marketing project in the hands of a mailing company. Designing the direct mail campaign is time-consuming in itself, let alone producing and printing the mail and boxing it up ready to be delivered. If you use exceptional mailing services from a mailing house, you can use your company’s time productively while knowing your direct mail marketing campaign is in the hands of professionals. Mailing companies handle thousands of direct mail each month, so can delegate mailing services and tasks effectively. A mailing house will also have the space and machinery to get the direct mail campaign produced within the expected date, but you may have to hire in the equipment needed. Again, wasting time and money you may not have.
As mailing houses will have experience in producing thousands of direct mail marketing campaigns; rest assured they will be able to accurately read the data you have provided. It’s important to note that you should provide clear data when dealing with a mailing house, to ensure a successful direct mail campaign. We have outlined our tips to defining the best data requests for direct mail services.
As mentioned above, mailing companies use professional machinery for folding, embossing, printing and addressing direct mail. They also have a team on-hand to produce the marketing campaign, as well as a spacious warehouse or office, so they can deliver the best possible service for your company.
The staff at mailing companies in the UK, and WDM Online, are experts in the trade. They will be able to find the best rates and mailing services to help you produce a successful marketing campaign. They will also be able to provide tips and tricks of the mailing services trade.
If you were to take your direct marketing in-house, the costs to your company could prove staggering. Not only do you have to introduce print and mail services, but buy the equipment. To fulfil your marketing, you will need digital and litho presses, booklet makers, binders, folders, cutters, polywrappers and envelope enclosure machinery (we’re getting a headache just thinking about it). A mailing house, however, frees you of the expenditure, including leasing, insurance and health and safety.
Defined Service Level Agreement (SLA)
Most UK mailing companies will operate on an SLA basis for regular standards of work. Subsequently, should the direct mail company miss the deadline through no fault of your business, they will incur penalties. This enables peace of mind that you can rely on outsourced print and mail services.
Depending on your choice, there are a range of direct mail services offered today. We always recommend discussing your objectives and aims before going ahead, as they may not be able to truly fulfil your marketing campaign.
You can be sure the mailing company, UK options definitely, offer automated enclosing. This is a staple of trade, involving automated filling and sealing of an envelope. At WDM, we cater for all UK envelope sizes.
Two, Three and Four Way Enclosing
Two, three and four-way enclosing is an extended version of automated enclosing. Each envelope must include two, three or four pieces of personalised elements, that should be 100% aligned together. This service can include personalised accounts, bills, legal paperwork and other transactional mail. A quality UK mailing house will achieve this through 2D barcodes, optical character recognition (OCR) and weight reading technology.
Another version of automated enclosing, but the direct marketing elements are ‘wrapped’ in see-through or opaque polythene. Polywrapping allows the client to differentiate from their direct mail items from the normal envelope, and provides more waterproof protection during delivery.
No one likes to pack, so we’ll do it for you. Our direct mail services include packing elements into envelopes/boxes to prepare for distribution.
The inkjetting process is usually combined with lithographic print items, such as one-piece mailers, postcards or envelopes and sealed mailers. Address data is then inkjet printed onto the outer face, rather than using address labels.
Personalised Digital Printing
If anything signifies the evolution of direct mail marketing, it’s personalised direct mail. If you opt for the help of mailing companies, they can personalise every colour printed on the direct marketing campaign – whether dozens or even millions. When this service is combined with personalised digital advertising, it creates an especially powerful marketing strategy.
Litho printing is beneficial for direct mail campaigns as it proves cost-effective. Although, you cannot personalise your mail during the litho print process, the longer the print run, the cheaper it becomes.
Print finishing goes hand in hand with print and mail services, designed to improve the overall look and feel of your marketing. For example, print finishing can include:
- Perforated lines
- Gloss, matt and silk finishes
Mailing houses usually have several methods of dispatch. Your choice of distribution can have a huge impact on your budget, so choose wisely. For instance, you need to be sending a minimum of 4,000 letters, or 1,000 large letters, to be eligible for a postage discount. The discount is dependent on volume.
All quality mailing companies will be registered as a Royal Mail ‘MailMark’ partner. As luck would have it, WDM is one of those firms. This allows us to register each posting of direct mail on their systems, with reports generated when a particular job has been delivered.
There are, of course, certain costs included when opting for external print and mail services. However, they are significantly less than producing your marketing campaign in-house.
Direct mail design costs are, typically, based on an hourly rate. If you would like a brand-new, unique design – you are looking at more money. However, a template design will cost less, but may not have the desired effect.
Materials depend on the paper grammage or card stock chosen, along with additional items: glue dots, seals etc.
Print and Finishing
Mailing house print costs refer to two processes:
- Digital printing: Costs are accrued for each piece. If you want 100 pieces at £1 each, your total is £100. Importantly, this rate does not change, even if every piece was different.
- Lithographic printing: Costs based on initial setup, and sliding scale of costs depending on the volume. If the setup is £20, and the costs for printing 100 pieces is £80, your total is £100 and so on. However, if you significantly increase the volume of direct mail, the actual costs will decrease.
- Finishing: Print finishing can also add costs to the marketing campaign budget.
Direct Mail Fulfilment
At WDM, for instance, there are several methods of fulfilment. You need to discuss exactly what goes into this process before going ahead with the campaign.
Postage is a significant overhead for direct marketing, but many mailing houses provide bulk discounts for postage. Speed of dispatch can also affect the costs, so you must discuss opportunities and limitations of each postal service.
A management fee based on estimated hours to oversee the project can be charged to your campaign. You can agree on a figure prior to working with the mailing companies, ensuring there are provisions in place should the direct mail overrun.
Direct mail marketing is experiencing huge popularity in 2018, with everyone from Facebook and Google using the communication tool. You’d be surprised at the sheer variety of companies using UK mailing houses, recognising they need external knowledge and specialist printing machinery.
- Marketing agencies
- Heads of Marketing, CMOs and Marketing Directors
- Internal marketing teams
- Business owners / Marketing Directors
You should always look for ISO certifications and industry accreditation. In addition, they should supply previous customer testimonials, Trustpilot score and customer reference sites upon the signing of a Non-Disclosure Agreement. Look out for:
- Direct Marketing Association (DMA) Member
- Royal Mail, MailMark Partner
- British Print Industry Federation (BPIF) Member
- ISO9001 Certification
- ISO14001 Certification
- OHSAS18001 Certification
- ISO27001 Certification
- Client References
Getting the most out of your mailing campaign begins with preparing a brief and clearly defining your objectives and goals. Ask advice from others within your industry as to whether they have used direct marketing services before, and which mailing houses to use. Similarly, confirm the abilities of the company and if they can meet the deadlines.