There are numerous ways for an organisation to save money when undertaking a direct mail campaign. We have assumed in this article that campaigns are managed in-house currently and therefore a number of the tips relate to savings achieved through outsourcing to a mailing house.
Direct mail campaign phases
Direct mail campaigns can broadly be classified into the following 4 phases, which generally follow each other sequentially (although in some cases, there can be crossover) Each of these phases represents an opportunity to save costs in the process:
- Design – the design of the mailshot including artwork and process definition tasks
- Print – the print of the mailshot to the agreed specification in the design phase
- Fulfilment – a very specialist phase, this converts a mailshot print to be “ready to mail”
- Postage and distribution – mailing, sorting and postage of the mailshot campaign
1) Property related costs
Commercial premises cost money (and often lots of it!), by outsourcing a direct mail campaign to a mailing house many property related costs can be avoided:
- Equipment – Printing and mail fulfilment equipment itself takes up a lot of room and also in some cases needs special atmospheric controls for sensitive equipment.
- Power consumption – Machinery can use a lot of power, all of which can be avoided through outsourcing
- Staffing – Managing the print and fulfilment tasks take a lot of resourcing, which can be save through outsourcing
- Stock – The printing process requires significant input of raw materials (e.g. envelopes, ink, paper, etc.) to complete the finished product all of which have to be stored.
2) Print bulk buying
We have written a number of times about the benefits of print bulk buying, outsourcing the print function can save up to 30% on print costs, here are some of the reasons why:
- Outsourced savings – Although a mailing house will fulfil most requirements larger or urgent jobs can be outsourced at competitive prices due to the large number of jobs these organisations can bring to suppliers
- Reduced buying fragmentation – Many organisations buy print from a number of suppliers. Buying all print from a “one stop shop” saves fragmentation and is likely to lead to much keener pricing as well as process benefits associated with only dealing with one supplier
- Volume printing lowers costs – As mailing houses like bakergoodchild produce massive print volumes every day our costs are much lower than smaller competitors. This “economy of scale” benefit is passed to customers in the form of lower costs and operates due to the “pooled” / aggregate spend of all the customers combined
3) Data savings
Organisations can achieve cost savings through data cleansing and optimisation. A mailing house like bakergoodchild can screen all data through validity checking routines and external data sources (e.g. PAS) for its accuracy:
- Deceased records removal – by processing data through the death register deceased records can be removed, this save embarrassment as well as costs
- Duplications removal – mail only once through removal of duplicate records
- Goneaways removal – mailing professionalisation increases through mailing each recipient only once and money is saved in the process
4) Consumables discounts
Due to the bulk buying which a mailing house undertakes it is typical that there are sizable discounts available on consumables. An organisation can’t achieve these savings as they won’t be able to negotiate the deals as their volumes will usually be a fraction of the volumes of a mailing house. Examples of consumable savings available include envelopes, ink, paper, pen and stationery.
5) Fulfilment process savings
The direct mail fulfilment process is an extremely time-consuming process if undertaken manually, which is the only alternative if costly equipment (e.g. enclosers, folders, guillotines, polywrappers, etc.) can’t be afforded. The more automated the process becomes the more savings, which are made available. Automation through machinery investment costs money and it’s only through large-scale need for automation that the machinery becomes affordable.
Therefore, once again a mailing house has the edge due to economies of scale. Machinery is purchased to automate direct mail fulfilment processes, which reduce (often dramatically) the costs of fulfilling the campaign.
6) Mail Optimisation
We’ve previously written about the benefits of mail optimisation and their potential for savings in direct mail campaign. Here are some of the main ways to save money:
- Mailing shape – Irregular parcel shapes, e.g. a star, triangle or hexagon cost more to mail as they cost more for the mail carrier to manage through their systems. Although at times a campaign can benefit from a “WOW” factor in an unusual shape, consider this carefully and ensure you understand the extra costs and whether they are worth paying?
- Mailing size – The larger the mailing potentially the more it will stand out but also be aware it will cost more to mail. Carefully calculate the optimum size for your campaign and mail accordingly. Sometimes a postcard is an effective direct mail technique, particularly as part of a follow-up strategy
- Mailing weight – The heavier the mailing the higher the cost will be, obviously! Therefore, always try to convey your message using as few pages as possible. Be aware of mailing weight bands and try to keep within what’s affordable using lightweight materials wherever possible.
Mail optimisation is a particular area where years of experience helps a lot, why not call one of our experts on 0800 612 1972 who will be happy to advise?
7) General Postage cost savings
As well as saving from mail optimisation there are a range of general postage cost savings which are also available. these are through the use of schemes, which save money on the overall postage costs:
- Mail sorting – Mail is sorted into required sort orders by mail carriers (e.g. walksort or postcode order), which saves carriers time to fulfil the order. This saving to them creates a discount for mailings
- Mailmark – This service uses barcode technology to save money on mail, read our detailed article here
- Advertising mail savings – Various savings on advertisING related direct mail can be achieved based on volumes and the nature of the campaign
8) Downstream access
Downstream access represents an excellent opportunity for mailing customers to save (often substantial) sums of money off the cost of their campaign. With the deregulation of the postal market in the UK, mailing houses can now complete a price comparison exercise to find the lowest cost solution for a campaign from a range of alternative carriers (e.g. Whistl and Citipost, etc.)
Downstream access particularly saves money for bulk mailing campaigns and the particular carrier will vary from one campaign to another. This is why it’s essential to use the services of a quality mailing house to attain this particular type of discount.
Save Money with the bakergoodchild Mailing House
We hope you have enjoyed this article, so why delay – why not start saving money today with bakergoodchild. As a leading mailing house, we can save you money through all of the above methods with immediate effect! Call our mailing house experts today on 0800 612 0972 or complete the contact details at https://www.bakergoodchild.co.uk/contact/.