What if you could increase revenue without adding more customers? As a print/mail service provider, it’s possible to sell billable services to your existing clients as a natural extension to what you’re already doing. Cross-selling means you can charge your customers a bit more, add value to the services you offer, distinguish your company from the competition, and strengthen your customer relationships.
The cross-sell opportunities available to you will vary according to the work you do.
Direct Mail Marketing—Data Enhancement
If your organization handles direct mail marketing, data enhancement could simultaneously allow you to charge higher fees and increase the effectiveness of your customer’s campaigns. You can add data to a standard name and address list, allowing you to filter out unlikely prospects, segment a list, or personalize the mailpieces with appropriate offers.
Many third-party services can augment a postal mailing list for you by adding email addresses, phone numbers, gender, estimated income, credit rating, age, and more. The data you add depends on the targets for the direct mail campaign and the product or service in the offer. In B2B campaigns, your client may be interested in SIC codes, for example, or the number of employees, building square footage, or executive names.
Data enhancement opens the door to other billable services you can offer, such as multi-channel campaigns, multiple-drop mailings, and variable data printing. Augmenting your client’s data so they can market more effectively makes your product more valuable and allows you to bill for the data enhancement work.
Direct Mail Marketing - Informed Delivery
USPS Informed Delivery campaigns add value to direct mail marketing efforts. The best thing about Informed Delivery is the US Post Office charges nothing to add a digital delivery channel and extra impressions to a planned direct mail marketing campaign.
As the print/mail service provider, you can be a key resource in setting up Informed Delivery campaigns for your clients. This work will be billable, of course, and can be outsourced if you don’t want to do it yourself.
Mailing Systems Technology has covered Informed Delivery extensively over the years. If you’re not familiar with the program, just visit www.mailingsystemstechnology.com and search for articles on Informed Delivery to get caught up.
The revenue you earn from setting up Informed Delivery campaigns is just one benefit of offering this feature to your clients. Running Informed Delivery campaigns provides you the opportunity to connect with your clients to review and explain the results, talk about future strategies, and identify other campaigns where Informed Delivery makes sense. This interaction strengthens your client relationships and also broadens it. You’ll likely be working with individuals in your client’s organizations different from your normal principal contacts.
By the way, the USPS has included Informed Delivery in their promotional programs in recent years. The promotional period is a perfect time to run a pilot program with some of your direct mail clients.
Bills and Statements
Transactional documents like bills and statements have a job to do. An investment in on-premise document reformatting software or pay-as-you-go reformatting services in the cloud allow you to make these items come alive with graphs and charts, color graphics, or data-driven marketing messages. The modifications happen on your end—your clients won’t have to bother their IT departments to modify the statements. Your work to change the content and appearance increases the effectiveness of your clients’ transactional documents.
Document reformatting software also allows you to make your workflow more efficient. The software can allow you to alter the print layout, such as changing the location of the outbound and return addresses. This modification is essential if you want to combine jobs and use a single outer envelope.
I’ve covered document re-engineering often in this column. Here’s a link to the latest article on the topic.
Regardless of the applications you run in your shop, clients will be interested in your ability to track the mail after it enters the delivery network. By familiarizing yourself with the USPS Informed Visibility program, you can provide your clients with statistics and information that shows them when their mail is delivered. Clients can use this information to calculate cash flow or anticipate customer response volumes. You can help them identify chronic delivery problem areas and work with your postal representatives to address the issues.
Third party services can offer a mail tracking solution, so you don’t have to ingest and manipulate the USPS tracking data yourself.
If you are mailing the bills, you can also handle the payments. Clients appreciate the all-under-one-roof convenience of dealing with a single entity. Small companies may lack an online payment processing option, or they may use a process completely disassociated from other business functions. Payment processing is an opportunity to expand your business relationships with your clients.
Like many cross-selling opportunities, print/mail service providers can offer payment processing to their clients without developing the software on their own. An article about the benefits of adding payment processing to your operation appeared in this column recently. See “Should You Be In the Payment Business?”.
All your clients would like to save money on postage and the USPS Promotions are a good way to do it. Every year, the Postal Service announces the promotional programs available to mailers at certain times of the year. You can always find out about the promotions at the USPS Postal Pro Promotions website. Here you can learn about the requirements for the promotional programs which offer savings to mailers that try new technologies or techniques with their mail. Service providers can split the savings with their clients any way they see fit. The postage discounts have risen in recent years, making it even more lucrative to participate when it makes sense for your operations and your clients.
The postage savings are not automatic. You must register for the promotions, follow the guidelines, and submit samples for approval. Help your clients save some money and test new techniques with their mail during the promotional periods. If the techniques are successful, clients may choose to incorporate them permanently. They will rely on your company to help them in these efforts, which generate one-time conversion fees and ongoing revenue opportunities.
Cross-Sell to Survive
The mailing business is not stagnant. New challenges and technologies are always requiring print/mail service providers to adjust to the times and now is a good example. Organizations must be vigilant in efforts to keep mail relevant and valuable to their customers, while still making the profits that allow them to continue investing in their businesses and attract the talent they need.
Cross-selling to existing clients is one way to do that.
Mike Porter at Print/Mail Consultants creates content that helps attract and retain customers for companies in the document industry and assists companies as they integrate new technology. Learn more about his services at www.pmccontentservices.com. Follow @PMCmike on Twitter, or send him a connection request on LinkedIn.