For many, the whole topic of direct mail can be baffling and confusing. We are frequently asked, “what is direct mail, exactly?”. It’s true that there are lots of ways that direct mail can be practised, so here we go on to investigate in more detail what direct mail is to shed some light on its definition and uses.
Direct Mail – A Working Definition
Direct mail consists of two words “direct” and “mail”, which really tell the story of what is involved. Direct mail is a form of direct marketing where products and services are marketed through a range of promotional printed advertising materials which are directly posted to the business or home address of recipients.
Does Direct Mail Have To Be In Bulk?
Usually “yes” is the answer. This is mainly because by the time that an organisation has gone to the expense of artwork and creating a print design it will need to be produced in bulk quantities to be cost-effective.
For a mailing house like us, there is also a set-up cost for printing equipment, so in practice, minimum orders of 1,000 are required. This in itself though is not bulk mail, the Royal Mail definitions for bulk mail are:
- Letters – over 20,000 letters
- Larger letters – over 10,000 larger letters
Direct Mail Formats
There are a range of direct mail formats that need to be carefully considered for each mailing as some will work better than others depending upon the goals of the campaign. Formats available include brochures, catalogues, letters, magazines, postcards, and many more. Some formats will cost more than others, so format selection is important when determining campaign costs and potential ROI.
When Is The Direct Mail Fulfilment Stage?
Direct mail fulfilment occurs between the physical printing of the mail campaign and the postage and distribution of it. This stage is frequently called direct mail fulfilment and includes processes such as data cleansing, materials preparation, collation, folding, closing, bundling, packaging, and courier collection.
In some cases, there may also be a poly-wrapping phase which is a handy technique for sending multiple inserts without the expense of envelopes. The fulfilment phase has its complexities and can be challenging for many organisations to manage in-house as it requires significant investment in mailing house technologies. As a result, many organisations can’t realise sufficient ROI from investing in poly-wrapping mail fulfilment equipment.
However, mailing houses like bakergoodchild invest heavily in mailing equipment as we use them every day and can, therefore, obtain an economic return for our heavy investments. This is something that most of our customers couldn’t achieve from their own volumes.
Therefore, it is often an excellent idea to outsource to a mailing house like bakergoodchild who have all the equipment in place and can be a one-stop-shop for all your print, mail, and postage needs. In addition, mailing houses have in-house resources to plan and manage direct mail campaigns.
Other Direct Mail Definition Articles from bakergoodchild
This article is just one of a series providing “what is” and definition-type content, please read the following articles too for further information:
- Direct Mail – A Definition
- Direct Marketing – A Definition
- Mailing House – A Definition
- Mailshots – A Definition
- Bulk Mail – What Is It?
- What Is Involved In Direct Mail Fulfilment?
- What Is The Difference Between Direct Marketing and Direct Mail?
- What Is Transactional Mail?
- Variable Data Printing – What Is It?
Direct Mail Campaigns with bakergoodchild?
Work with bakergoodchild and we can manage the entire direct mail campaign process with you from concept through to distribution. Why not call us today on 0800 612 1972 to discuss your requirements and create your own live definition of a direct mail campaign? You can also contact us via our contact us page here. We very much look forward to hearing from you.