Do mailing jobs where clients aren’t concerned with the disposition of each mail piece still exist? If so, I suspect they are disappearing. Other than saturation-type mailings or Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM), it’s hard to imagine scenarios where marketers will spend money on direct mail campaigns with no expectation of accountability and tracking.
Today's direct mail relies on personalized and relevant messages. Every mail piece has a job to do, and that means print/mail service providers must control and monitor the document creation and distribution process. Marketers are investing in extensive research and data analysis to identify their best prospects and then present them with relevant offers at opportune times. They naturally expect their service providers to protect their up-front investments by accounting for every mail piece as they create, finish, and mail them.
As companies emerge from the COVID-19 shutdown and contemplate how to attract customers back to their businesses, they will be cautious about spending money. If you’ve convinced them to invest in direct mail, they will want assurances their targeted mail pieces were all created, processed, and mailed to the customers on time.
This is an excellent time to show clients how to benefit even more from their direct mail campaigns. Educate them about Informed Delivery and offer to track their mail through Informed Visibility.
I’ve been reading a lot about absentee ballot mailing as governments prepare for an onslaught of participation in vote-by-mail. Several of my writing services clients are associated with ballot mailing and other aspects of vote by mail. Ballots are an application where mail piece integrity, accountability, and tracking are minimum requirements. No one wants to leave any aspect of this high-profile work to chance.
Document Integrity for All Mail Jobs
The same technology used to ensure service providers print, assemble, insert, and mail every ballot also applies to direct mail marketing jobs. Mailer investments in ballot mailing technology will pay off long after election season. Piece integrity measures are especially important for marketing campaigns featuring interrelated messages delivered in multiple channels.
In most cases, mailers won’t have to buy new inserting equipment to add mail piece integrity to their production workflow. Cameras and software can usually be added to ensure every mail piece is printed, inserted, and logged as it enters the stacker or conveyor at the end of the machine. For more complex jobs that require matching or selective inserts, cameras at the insert feeders can ensure exact matching.
Intelligent mail barcodes will allow you to track the progress of mail pieces as they travel through the USPS delivery network. More precise in-home date prediction based on Informed Visibility data allows marketers to trigger emails or SMS messages tied to the promotional mail arriving in customer mailboxes.
Plenty of experts are telling us the Coronavirus will change business forever. They may be right. The advancement of direct mail strategies and tactics was already underway before the shutdown. Everyone knew the spray and pray days were over. The pandemic might be the stimulus that encourages mailers to make higher integrity part of every job and convinces clients they can get great results from targeted, personalized, and accurate direct mail.
Mike Porter at Print/Mail Consultants creates content for the document industry and helps document operations build and implement strategies for future growth and competitiveness. Learn more about his services at www.printmailconsultants.com and www.pmccontentservices.com. Follow @PMCmike on Twitter, or send him a connection request on LinkedIn.