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Winning Customers With Direct Mail


Welcome to the Dove Direct Print and Marketing Blog. Today's post, "Winning Customers With Direct Mail," speaks to the value of direct mail marketing and how to manage your marketing campaigns better to avoid unexpected expenditures and subpar results. In 2022, marketing avenues will be plentiful, especially in the digital universe. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Snapchat, and now TikTok, along with Pinterest and newer digital advertising destinations, can be overwhelming. This is especially true if your team is tasked with tracking ever-changing algorithms, which is further complicated if you're trying to yield favorable response rates without going over budget. Understanding the importance of integrating direct mail campaigns into the marketing mix can increase the value of your digital drives and ensure reaching your targets where they are. And where are they most likely to be these days? One could argue that due to the rise in Omicron cases, many voluntarily resort to self-imposed lockdowns, including educational facilities, restaurants, service sector destinations, travel, and small businesses.  Apple and Google recently announced that they would continue with a work-from-home strategy through February. Executives will undertake a second review to determine when employees will return to the office. Marketing costs can evolve throughout the year based on demand, the state of the economy, and the popularity of a particular medium. 

Quote of the Day: "It's all about the right message, at the right time, in the right channel." — Brian Fabiano

The Five Phases of a Direct Mail Campaign
Five primary phases make up creating and completing a direct mail marketing campaign. Data management, variable data printing, letter shop & fulfillment, MLOCR Presort, and Mailing. Understanding these phases is critical to designing and creating a successful direct mail marketing campaign.

Phase 1: Data Collection and Management

Your organization's data is a fundamental asset. That's why it's so important to keep your information up-to-date, accurate, and secure. Collecting and cleansing your data is the first step to starting a personalized direct mail marketing campaign. The key to unraveling the data management experience is to be able to receive the following solutions:

List Data Acquisition - You can increase your sales and lower your acquisition costs with quality lists and data needed to complete end-to-end direct marketing solutions by purchasing your lists through a qualified vendor such as Dove Direct.

Data Management - Select a vendor that provides a full range of data management and processing solutions, including sophisticated data hygiene, data appends, while ensuring that the data is accessible, reliable, and timely.

Analytics - Data modeling and analytics are invaluable tools in learning more about your current or prospective customer's passions and behavioral patterns.  Your chosen vendor should effectively evaluate your data and provide analytics to optimize your business objective and results.

With a data management plan, experienced programmers can help you manage your critical information with optimum efficiency so that your data positively impacts your bottom line. Other solutions could also include:

  • Enforced data integrity at the point of entry
  • Administering standards for all data categories
  • Eliminating data corrections during transactions
  • Reducing wasted time reviewing multiple entries
  • Treating customers like people versus transactions
  • Executing sound decisions based on accurate and reliable data

Nailing down a reputable vendor for your data management needs to create solutions for lists, targeted analysis, and other data requirements that secure the best practices for crafting your direct mail marketing campaign.

Phase 2: Variable Digital Printing

Variable digital printing, aka variable data printing, or (VDP), is one of the most effective ways to communicate directly with each member of your targeted audience/data list.  It makes your direct mail marketing materials more personal and customizable. 

VDP lets you customize the entire message, including text, images, graphics, offers, and layout, using information from a database or external file.  In addition, recent surveys and reports allude to direct mail marketing having a significant impact in raising engagement and response rates for digital destinations, from email marketing, to social media channels, and even includes video marketing.

You'll know when you have selected a suitable VDP solutions provider, as other printers often use such providers for their projects. Dove Direct is the printer that other printers and marketers use for multiple direct mail projects. From personalized, variable documents to large offset runs, Dove Direct can customize your printed messages to achieve optimal results while reaching:

  • Go beyond "Current Occupant, Dear Sir, or Name Goes Here" addressing
  • Produce high-quality, personalized graphics and a call to action for each person

  • Increase your response rate by anticipating customers' needs and delivering relevant offers

Phase Three: Lettershop & Fulfillment

Lettershop & Fulfillment solutions enable your direct mail campaign project to effectively manage mailing projects from address integrity right through mail fulfillment.  Regardless of the design you select for your campaign, from postcards to non-standard, oversized parcels, a qualified vendor should be able to produce it, sort it, store it, and mail it, both domestically and internationally, all at a lower cost.

Lettershop Solutions
include - Automated and Manual processing of Letters, Postcards, Literature Requests, Membership Materials, Books, Booklets, Catalogs, CDs, Newsletters, Self-Mailers, Flats, Promotional Items, and Transactional Documents.

Additional solutions include Cutting, Folding, Ink Jetting, Tabbing, Metering, Match Mailing, and Collating. Your vendor needs to employ intelligent automated equipment within each process, allowing document matching capabilities and integrity throughout processing.

Fulfillment Solutions include - Document on Demand printing, eliminating the need for mass volume printing and storage of documents.  Dove Direct offers electronic ordering communications, inventory management, and advanced logistics.

Phase 4:  Fully Automated MLOCR Barcode Bureau

The benefits of instituting an MLOCR Presort Bureau partner can include:

  • Lower mailing costs
  • Ensure delivery
  • Delivery verification
  • Expedite and automate mail sorting
  • Tracking and tracing

Integrating an effective mailing strategy, which can provide a more efficient process, will ensure that paper and legal documents flow seamlessly and timely regardless of the format or device.

 These solutions should include:

Automated Bar-Coded Presorting - Select an authorized combined bar-coded presort mailer, allowing the vendor to co-mingle mail from various customers. The presort services should provide increasing the level of sorting, affording your customers the most significant possible presort savings. 

Selecting a Presort Vendor - The chosen vendor should also afford customers access to an Act-Tag System, which improves the delivery time frame by one to two days on mail routed via airmail. 

IMB (Intelligent Mail Barcode) - Be sure to select an IMB certified, according to USPS regulations.  That chosen vendor should also read, sort, and generate the IMB and offer additional savings with mail tracking and delivery confirmation services.

Phase 5: Mailing 

Mailing your direct mail campaign collateral is the final phase. In addition to postal savings, your selected mail vendor should offer USPS®-verified addresses, improved delivery times, mail tracking, and confirmation.  Whether you need automated or manual processing, and experienced team can provide custom flexibility and savings.

Your selected vendor should provide a variety of mail service classes and postage rates based on your mail projects.  There should be unique capabilities and benefits that include:

  • Act-Tag System
  • Airmail Reservation System
  • Hi-Speed Intelligent Inserter
  • Intelligent Mail Barcode (IMB)
  • On-site USPS Representative
  • Automated Bar-coded Presorting
  • Fully Automated USPS Certified Mailer
  • Continuous Run Sorting Variable Weights

In addition, there is also a range of mail services that can be available to work for your particular situation based on the level of mail preparation that is required:

Barcode Presorting (Full Service)
Barcode Presorting saves you money on fully addressed mailings using the latest technology to ensure delivery to the right person, at the right time, at the lowest cost.
Delivery Verification
National and International Mail and Track are two services you may need to incorporate to verify the delivery of your mail.

You may need to pick a vendor with 52,000 square feet of storage space, and Dove Direct is ideal for companies that need to outsource storage and handling.

International Mailings
Take advantage of a vendor that can offer cost-effective services, including volume-based pricing, regulation packaging, scheduled pick-ups, and aviation security.

Direct Mail Marketing
This class of mail means economical, on-time delivery for all your flyers, newspapers, magazines, and other periodicals.

Brands that manage the five stages to create and mail a direct mail do best when they partner with a commercial vendor. Moreover, direct mail marketing campaigns increase response and engagement rates for any marketing campaign, particularly digital campaigns, for social media, websites, video marketing campaigns, and email marketing. As the old saying goes, the best marketing strategies are those designed to reach people where they are, and right now, most are at home, where the mailbox does not have to compete with the thousands of digital messages bombarding each moment of every waking hour.

The Net-Net

We contend that now is the time brands and marketers should revisit every aspect that can institute a cost-effective marketing campaign, and to that end, add a direct mail campaign.  The current best practices should revolve around integrating direct mail in the marketing mix and, in some cases, leading the marketing initiative, particularly when employing any digital marketing campaign strategy.  Should you need an organization to partner with for direct mail campaign planning to deliver VDP, printing, and mailing, or employing a USPS promotion, contact Dove Direct; we'd be pleased to work with you. Thanks for stopping by and taking a moment to read "Winning Customers With Direct Mail."

Let's have a conversation about integrated business solutions and how they can help grow your business, change behavior, and improve the customer experience.  Let us show you how to improve your document processes to optimize your workflow, reduce costs, and maximize your organization's printing, letter shop, and mailing capabilities. Dove Direct does have an official USPS certified bureau located within our offices that will save you time and money. We can even create a demo file for you. 

For more information, call Carla Eubanks at 404-629-0122 or email Carla at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 

Dove Direct, your Atlanta based print and mail solutions provider, offers organizations end-to-end data, printing, and mailing solutions:

  • Data Management
  • Variable Digital Printing
  • LetterShop and Fulfillment
  • Digital Mail Scanning
  • Fully Automated MLOCR Presort Bureau
  • Marketing and Production Management Support
  • In-House USPS Postal Clerk
  • Secure Data Life Cycle Management
  • IT Solutions

If you don't want to wait, you can reach Dove Direct today by calling 404-629-0122 or using the Contact Form for Dove Direct.

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