In this article we explain what’s typical and what can be expected for customers within the direct mail fulfilment phase of a project.
What is direct mail fulfilment and what are the stages involved?
Direct mail fulfilment is a major stage of a direct mail campaign. Fulfilment takes the initial printed material and is a process which leads to its preparation and conversion into ready to mail items. Typical parts of the process would include:
- Preparation – There are several aspects to preparation, these include:
– Gaining access to printed material – Having access to the various printed material and inserts for the mailshot starts the process.
– Address information – The addressee information (where personalised) will be supplied with the printed material (which will typically be sorted into Mailsort (Postcode order))
– Gaining access to envelopes and stationery, etc.
- Automated collation – feeding multiple inserts into an envelope at high speed to provide a highly professional organised mailshot package
- Automated folding – using folding machines to create folds in the right places for the direct mail set
- Automated envelope closing – machines automatically close the envelope and its contents (the envelopes could be plain or windowed depending upon the requirement)
- Automated polywrapping and polyprocessing – polywrap where it is a requirement of the direct mail campaign. This is a common requirement for magazines, brochures and catalogues. Polywrapping is also an alternative to sending multiple enclosures without the use of envelopes
- Bundling, Packing and packaging – into boxes, etc. – bundling the direct mail, packing and packaging for preparation for mailing
However it’s important to note that the steps used will potentially vary from project to project.
The next stage after direct mail fulfilment is complete would be postage.
Although it’s usual for tasks to be automated it is possible for some tasks to be hand fulfilled. This is avoided wherever possible and may be needed for low volume runs and mailing of odd/unusual shaped items which can’t be processed by machines in an automated way.