An A-Z of Direct Mail Services Infographic

An A-Z of Direct Mail Services

In by Alan Horton

The business of direct mail continues to grow from strength to strength. So what is that makes direct mail so successful? In our latest infographic we examine various terms relating to direct mail, bakergoodchild, therefore, hope you enjoy our infographic, “An A-Z of Direct Mail Services”.

A.   Advantages – There are many advantages to direct mail compared to other marketing channels, which is why this marketing method has endured. Direct mail being direct by nature offers a 1 to 1 connection with the customer/prospect. Direct mail has a lower cost of access than TV advertising and much higher response rates than e-mail marketing can provide.

B.   Bulk postage – Direct mail extensively uses the postal service. Many organisations may think that there is just one price for post and that everybody pays the same. This is far from the truth; organisations working with specialist Mailing Houses like bakergoodchild can achieve attractive postal discounts, especially when buying in bulk.

C.   Campaign – The terms “direct mail” and “campaign” flow together naturally. A direct mail campaign isn’t a random event, the whole campaign needs to be planned each step along the way from A-Z (concept to final distribution).

D.   Direct – Never forget that with direct mail there is always an element of directness. This is one of the major advantages of direct mail in that organisations can directly engage with a prospect or existing customer through the postal service.

E.   Envelopes – Don’t underestimate the power of the envelope, after all it’s the first part of the mailshot that recipients will read (except for non-envelope campaigns, e.g. postcards). Always try to optimise the envelope in imaginative ways, e.g. use colours, unusual shapes, add hashtags, etc.

F.    Fulfilment – Fulfilment is the process which commences with the initial printed material, prepares it and through the mail fulfilment process converts the print into a ready to mail campaign.

G.   Giveaways – The inclusion of giveaways and product samples are popular methods of enticing the customer and adding a “WOW factor” to a direct mail campaign. This decades old technique is proven to be effective, after all everybody loves a freebie!

H.   House – The majority of the direct mail campaigns seen at home and received by businesses will have been supplied by specialist mailing houses, which excel in providing mail, print and postage services.

I.      Innovative – Direct mail has survived the onslaught of the digital age by its constant adaptation and willingness to change to new technology and through innovation. There are many examples of innovations; a few are personalisation (including Personalised URLs (PURLs)), the use of pop-ups and unconventional shapes.

J.    Joined up / integrated – Although direct mail works well as a standalone channel it is also excellent when integrated with other marketing channels. So for example organisations can promote social media in mailshots, or encourage visiting an eCommerce website through a QR code insertion, the opportunities are almost endless!

K.   KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) – When commencing a direct mail campaign it’s always essential to set some baseline KPIs to properly measure success. At the most, basic level response rate can be measured. Other KPIs could be campaign ROI, cost per order, lifetime value, etc.

L.    Lists –”Mailing” and “lists” are words which go together naturally. The mailing list for a mailshot is usually created from internal data records and exported into a usable database formats.  Sometimes this internal data can be supplemented through external lists, in this case organisations need to ensure the lists are legally and don’t breach customer privacy laws. Working with organisations like bakergoodchild will ensure all data is screened and appropriate for use.

M.   Mailshots – A mailshot is simply a term used to describe the distribution of a batch of mail, the term is usually referred to when the mailing is of a promotional nature.

N.   Niche – A major attraction of direct mail is that it is easy to practice niche direct mail marketing. Through data analysis, organisations develop an understanding of products/product groups which appeal to a customer or customer groups. This niche approach to marketing will increase campaign response rates and improve ROI.

O.   Outsourcing – Many organisations find the whole process of managing a direct mail campaign to challenging to manage in-house. Therefore, outsourcing is commonplace in the industry of either the entire process or individual elements.

P.   Personalisation – The personalisation of direct mail campaigns is undeniably proven to be effective in improving response rates and customer satisfaction. Using variable data printing and through analysis of the customers behavioural patterns (where known) a truly personalised mailing can be provided to the recipient.

Q.   Quotes and Testimonials – When sending out a mailshot it’s always advisable to back your product/service claims with quotes and testimonials within the text from real-life customers. These quotes will naturally entwine with the copywriting and increase the likelihood of improved response rates.

R.   Response Rates – An all-important aspect of any direct mail campaign is achieving as high as possible response rates, simply the number of responses divided by the total sent for the campaign (the campaign universe). There are many ways of improving response rates, but essentially providing direct mail which has excellent copywriting, which is top-quality printed and is personalised to the customer will all be ways (amongst others) of improving the campaign response rate.

S.   Services – There are an abundance of direct mail related services, e.g. design, data cleansing, fulfilment, print, postage, etc. Organisations typically manage in-house what they can deliver well and outsource other parts of the process.

T.    Transactional – The main use of transactional mail is for the completion of transactions (e.g. invoicing, remittance advices, purchase orders, etc.)  Used tactically though direct mail can subtly be added into transactional mail via inserts, variable data printing, envelope advertising, etc.

U.   Universe – The term “universe” is a direct mail term used to describe the total number of businesses or people, which are being targeted in a direct mail campaign.

V.   Variable data printing – The process of variable data printing (VDP) is the insertion of variable data into a print run. This is perfect for direct mail as the campaign can be personalised at an individual recipient level with personal data, the most obvious example being the name and address.

W.  Worldwide – Although many people think of direct mail as either a local or national service it is infact available worldwide. International direct mail could for example include catalogues, letters, postcards and other forms of direct mail.

X.   X (dimensions) – Understand your dimensions; this is always important to control postage costs and the size of the mailing. Popular sizes for direct mail include A4 – 210 X 297mm, A5 – 148 x 210mm and A6 – 105 x 148mm.

Y.   Y (Generation) – Generation Y is also known as the Millennials and are statistically proven to be particularly fond of direct mail. Growing up in an age where mail is less prevalent, for them direct mail when combined with technology and social media is fun, they are more likely to respond than other generations.

Z.    Zones – When using international mail the world is split into zones by the Royal Mail. This impacts both the price and time required for the mailing.

Direct mail services from bakergoodchild

Well, we finally reach the letter “Z”, hopefully, now you’ll agree there is more than meets the eye with direct mail, which is why so many customers decide to outsource at least some of the process. Call bakergoodchild direct mail and print experts today on 0800 612 1972, or email for further information.