Welcome to the Dove Direct Print and Marketing Blog. Today's post, "The Benefits of Partnering with a Mail House," presents the differences between an in-house mailing infrastructure versus partnering with a fully functioning mailing organization. Delivering timely printed marketing materials, such as brochures and catalogs, to recipients is the critical factor for managing a mailing infrastructure. In general, mailing can be a large percentage of a printing project's overall cost. Further, successfully managing and controlling the complexities of the mail flow can help reduce costs. It is not uncommon for some print shops to outsource the mailing to a partner that is a well-established mail service and solutions provider, while others decide to bring the mail portion in-house. Someone should base the decision to either partner or keep the mailing in-house on the mail volume that requires processing, client needs, and other considerations. That said, whatever the decision is, it should be part of the overall business strategy.
Quote of the Day: "You know something is wrong when the government declares opening someone else's mail is a felony but your internet activity is fair game for data collecting." ― E. A. Bucchianeri
Components Needed for In-House Mailing Mailing on the surface may seem like a straightforward task, particularly if you limit the steps, such as creating the piece, using the database for personalization, printing the number of elements to mail, using barcode presort, gathering, and dropping the mail to the post office for delivery. While those steps are generally considered the front end to build and sort the creative pieces, there's much more on the back end. Whether in-house or outsourced to a partner, any mail house will need to have experience in the following areas.
Mailing requires researching, monitoring, and imparting various specifications for divergent postal products. In a nutshell, this means being up to date on design regulations, sorting machinations, and understanding how to achieve optimal post rates. In addition, in-house mailing solutions also require proficiency to purchase and operate mailing equipment.
Depending on the business model, there are business justifications that support an in-house mailing scenario. Besides using the system for business operations, an in-house model can serve as an additional revenue stream. A revenue model also provides the organization with subject matter expertise that could offer clients other mail services, and more importantly, cement client relationships.
An in-house mail set up can reduce time to complete jobs and shorten delivery times. An additional benefit for processes is the ability to control internal processing, establish consistent mail prep by the company's internal standards, and security, which helps tremendously when handling sensitive information, such as transactional documents, billing statements, healthcare information, and the like.
Components Needed for Outsourced Mailing Those who choose to opt for a mail partner solutions organization should also consider the following factors. First, any mail partner that a business selects should have data safety protocols to ensure accountability if there is a mishap, which protects the company and the mail partner overall.
One primary consideration is who will be appointed to manage the relationship with the mail house. This responsibility means that someone must create communication protocols. Additional duties for vetting the mail house include how materials handling, examining the workflow status, assessing the organization's financial stability, examining the expertise, and of course, taking stock of the available and needed equipment.
When the critical infrastructure and components of a mail house have all been examined and meet muster, opting to engage in that mail house could prove to be an astute choice. For one, mailing equipment consumes a large swath of space, not to mention resources, as these machines, including mail sorters, are expensive and highly specialized. The advantages of engaging a mail house partner mean you can allow the mailing partner to manage the critical pieces, including researching and financing the equipment, handling maintenance, and allocating the necessary square footage to accommodate the operation, staffing, and overhead.
Further, those who outsource mailing to the pros can also pass along all responsibility for managing postal regulations and compliance.
The Benefits of Partnering with a Mail House Well-established mail houses can provide services and maximize discounts. For example, a mailing partner can consolidate mail from various sources headed to a single zip code, or a variety of them. Consolidation could result in additional presort discounts and other discounts that the USPS extends to certified mail handlers.
Besides, when mail equipment is idle, or labor is not active during down or slow periods, organizations can pass those issues, including labor and overtime, to the mail partner.
Selecting a Mail Partner Managing a mail enterprise is very complicated. However, suppose an organization believes it can successfully handle postage costs. In that case, the total cost of ownership, while developing positive revenue forecast models, investing in the equipment needed to manage the entire mail process, then that could be a good investment. In the event an organization is seeking a mail house partner, there are several boxes to check:
How long has the mail partner been in operation?
What kind of infrastructure and equipment are in place?
What are the average turnaround times from creation to mailing?
Does the mail house have a certified in-house USPS mail clerk?
Is there a Secure Data Management Lifecycle solution?
Does the mail house partner have Lettershop and Fulfillment capability?
Is there an Automated Barcode and Presort capability?
Some commercial printing organizations can deliver a complete array of offerings and provide many solutions based on specific challenges. Those organizations should fit the bill and make partnering with a mail house a good fit.
The Net-Net Regardless of creating an in-house mailing system or outsourcing to a mail partner, direct mail marketing is riding high due to internet overload. Therefore, an investment in a mail partner will ultimately pay for itself. It would appear that recent prognostications from the medical community indicate that COVID-19 will be around for some time, certainly through 2021. Even when the first version of a vaccine passes the medical efficacy standards, manufacturing and distributing a vaccine on a broad scale will take time. Meanwhile, the internet will continue to experience slower load times during this period. If you are looking for a mail partner, Dove Direct can review and address any requirements for a comprehensive mailing solution. Thanks for reading The Benefits of Partnering with a Mail House!
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