Print and Mail From Start to Finish

October 2, 2012 by  

For most marketing executives, managing a print and mail campaign can quickly become complex, if not downright daunting.  After all, it’s not the typical day-to-day project for a business owner, so many properly managing a direct mail campaign falls to the wayside.  The good news is that managing your direct mail marketing campaign doesn’t have to be challenging at all.  Here’s how…

 Step One:  The Audience

Keep it simple.  Start at the beginning….the list.  Many business executives do this backwards.  Because of their own knowledge and insight their market, they’ll attempt to create a mail piece and an offer prior to looking closely at their potential customers.  It’s far more effective to understand who you’re talking to before you start talking.

So do your homework on your market.  Start by having a profile run on the people within your market territory.  Within any given population or community, there will be a cluster of these folks, and a cluster of those folks.  Segment your market into pieces and get a better understanding of what messaging would better resonate than another.

 Step Two:  The Message

Once you have your segments identified, you can now develop a message that’s consistent with your segment.

For example, let’s say you’ve got a restaurant that caters to a larger variety of people.  One segment of your market may be the younger, hip crowd that would frequent your establishment on ladies night.  Another segment might be young families.  And still another might be an older segment of retired people.  It makes better sense for the message to be different for each of these segments, i.e., invite to ladies night Thursdays, family dining, and early bird specials.

 Step Three:  Printing

Printing your mail pieces is pretty simple.  You start with the messaging from Step Two.  If you’re working with a good print mail provider, like Print Mail Direct, you should have no trouble talking directly to the graphic designer about putting together your mail piece creative.  Remember, the more revisions you have, the more costly the project can become.

Your printer will need a high resolution copy of your printed material and should always include the postal permit within the art.  If not, you’ll have to have it sprayed on later which looks unprofessional.

If it’s a postcard, many printers will gang run your postcard printing along with other postcard mailers.  If this is the case, your piece may not begin until you have enough to fill the gang.  So, check with your printer to see how long before they have enough projects to complete your order.  This could be a day, or 2 weeks.

Step Four:  Mailing

Mailing with a professional mail service provider like Print Mail Direct is also fairly straight forward.  More times than not, wherever you get your printing done, you’ll likely be able to get help from them.   All the mail service provider will need from you is the mail pieces, and the mailing list.  They’ll presort the list to be sure to maximize the postal discount.  After spraying the mail piece, they’ll deliver the bulk-mail directly to the post office on your behalf.

Also, you’ll typically find that you will need to pay the postage portion of the campaign with a check since there’s usually a merchant cost associated with a credit card payment.  Since your print and mail provider doesn’t charge more for postage than the actual cost, they’ll want to be sure they aren’t having to pay extra on your behalf.


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