Direct Mail Fulfillment Services By Spectra
What Are Direct Mail Fulfillment Services?
In order to drum in more customers, businesses are willing to try a lot. A lot of things that are tried end up not working and it can be rather discouraging. One marketing method that is tried and tested and still has positive results involves generating awareness about a product or service that you are offering through physical mail.
The intended customer or client opens up their mailbox, engages with the marketing as they hold it in their hands, which in the end leads them to contact you. This is what direct mail services are all about.
Direct mail services are rarely done by companies in-house. The process of organizing, packing, and sending mail on a daily basis is a very time-consuming task and takes up a lot of resources. This is why companies are best off outsourcing their direct mail services to a direct mail fulfillment provider.
So who needs these services? Small businesses and large businesses alike can benefit from partnering with a provider like Spectra. People can appreciate receiving mail from local small businesses in particular. We will discuss the benefits in greater detail further down.
Mail Fulfillment Preparation Tasks
Trying to do everything that is involved in sending mail every day in large volume is not easy and there are multiple different tasks involved.
Process of Securing a Printed Material Provider
Most fulfillment providers have their various inserts and printed material stored at a warehouse on-site so that everything is organized and convenient in one place. One important thing that has to be done to get to this point is partnering with mail houses so that they agree to reserve a certain level of stock for your upcoming direct mail campaigns.
Having materials available is extremely important for the entire process. The foundation for your business relationship with a direct mail fulfillment provider is built on their continuous guarantee to mail bulk amounts of printed material for your brand. It’s never a good thing to have this interrupted.
Address Information & Accuracy
In order to make each piece of mail personalized for every customer, it requires variable data printing technology, and this is something that every direct mail fulfillment provider should have. In order to reduce postage costs and ease distribution, customers will have their addresses sorted by postcode. Having accurate and up-to-date address information is a necessity so that the money spent on postage isn’t wasted at all. To have everything be as accurate as possible, our lists are CASS certified and we also occasionally perform move updates.
Management & Planning
In order to ensure that everything is stocked and that all mailing steps are done correctly, it requires a level of management. It’s important to always have the right staff available and to train them properly, especially due to the fact that everything that is sent through the mail must be checked thoroughly for accuracy. The other major part of this task is to consistently have equipment available to do the printing and being able to respond to any issues with the printing equipment to avoid downtime.
The Benefits of Direct Mail Outsourcing
Don’t burden yourself with trying to produce and ship continuous amounts of brochures, catalogs, and other materials when you don’t have to do it alone. Managing your own direct mail campaign is going to involve all that. It’s exhausting and without the proper experience, it’s unlikely that you’ll have a smooth operation. With that in mind, the benefits of partnering with mail fulfillment companies are valuable and are as follows.
Imagine if sensitive information about someone you were sending mail to was exposed. That can lead to a lot of legal problems and it’s just disrespectful to let it happen. Fulfillment providers who go the extra mile become HIPAA compliant for this reason. It’s simply the right thing to do to protect the assets of clients and keep their best interests in mind.
When you have resources to handle a full-service fulfillment center, it typically comes with a certain level of automation. The extra level of automation helps avoid human error and makes it easy to ensure accuracy with special computer programs behind the scenes.
Speed & Accuracy
The speed of delivery will vary day to day, but professional mail fulfillment companies consistently get mail out the door in face of any challenges. The main goal for most mail fulfillment companies is focused on the speed of delivery. While speed is important, it must come with accuracy.
Whether it’s hundreds or hundreds of thousands, mail fulfillment companies are usually very flexible with the amount of mail that you want to be sent every month. It’s best to go with a professional direct mail fulfillment provider that has been around for a number of years and has evidence of a proven track record.
Stages of Direct Mail Fulfillment
In order for direct mail fulfillment services to happen quickly and accurately, there are multiple different stages that go on behind the scenes. Depending on the business, these stages may vary slightly because each project has different requirements. It really depends on what type of printing is happening, the amount of it, and how fast it needs to be done. However, as a general rule, there are five unique stages and they are as follows.
Automatic collation is the part where multiple inserts are fed into an envelope at a quick speed to develop the final product. There are many different types of inserts such as newsletters, letters, free product samples, leaflets, coupons, vouchers, order/renewal forms, promotional cards, etc. The type of insert is dependent on the business’s campaign and the targeted customers.
Automatic folding is a critical stage in the direct mail fulfillment process because it has a strong influence on the overall cost of the fulfillment process. Basically, there are folding machines at play that make specific folds in just the right places to optimize everything into the smallest possible envelope. When everything is nice and small, it reduces postage costs. There are many different types of folds that these machines can do, including the roll fold and “slit & nest”, as well as the accordion, among other options.
Automatic Closing of Envelopes
Nowadays, machines are able to close envelopes and secure the contents of the mail. Sometimes the envelopes might just be plain or windowed, it just depends on what’s needed. Compared to the labor involved in the manual closing of mass amounts of envelopes, having machines do it is an especially labor-saving task. In addition to cost-effectiveness, having machines do all the closing of envelopes means that everything will be closed in a secure manner to ensure that the mail is safe.
Bundling & Packing
Now this part of the process requires a keen eye to make sure everything is right. It’s very important that nothing is left out and that everything is ready to be collected to be shipped. Workers are to bundle the direct mail into boxes as they are packed and prepared for the final stage.
Typically, the final stage is where either the postal carrier partner comes and collects the batches of mail, or where the fulfillment provider delivers the mail to the post office on a daily basis. In our case, we deliver the mail to the post office for them. They then distribute everything into batches before they reach their final destination. By using downstream access providers, direct mail fulfillment companies have a money-saving opportunity.
Why Use Spectra for Mail Fulfillment Services?
When considering all your options related to mail fulfillment, it’s definitely worth learning a bit more about Spectra.
Expressing Your Brand
The core of any direct mail fulfillment campaign is driven by inserts and printed material. It is a direct reflection of your brand as well as the first impression potential new customers will have of you. Having the ability to express your brand is an important part of the process. If you lack artistic and graphic skills, that’s no longer an issue because Spectra will help come up with drafts and samples of past work so you can visualize what will be printed. Spectra can help you express your brand’s message in ways you never thought you could.
Access to Materials
We talked about how important this was earlier but we will reiterate it now. When you work with Spectra, we will always have access to the materials that we need to send your mail accurately and on a timely basis. We are diligent when it comes to our stock.
When it comes to sending mail on your behalf, we take it seriously. And because we take it seriously, we have gone the extra mile by becoming HIPAA compliant. Therefore, all protected health information (PHI) can be trusted to be handled by us.
Arguably the strongest reason, scalability is extremely important. If you worked with a direct mail fulfillment provider and a time came when you wanted to increase or decrease the amount of mail being sent and your provider isn’t flexible, then you would have to start from scratch with a different company. Spectra scales with you.
Now that you are a subject matter expert on direct mail fulfillment, you should know enough to be able to make an informed decision. Spectra offers highly customized services that are flexible enough to meet the needs of everyone. Whether you’re sending small or large amounts of mail, we are here for you.
To take the next step towards getting direct mail fulfillment services, we recommend you fill out our contact form or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will talk with you, get more information about your needs, and then come up with a fair quote. Thank you for reading and please feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns.
Are you able to put QR codes on mailed pieces?
Yes, we can certainly put QR codes on your mailing pieces. A QR code on your mailing piece can help you track user data. Give us a call for more information.
What do you call those special forms that you have to rip off the side edges to open? Do you guys do those?
Those are called pressure-sealed forms and yes we print those. A lot of people don’t realize that you can print those in full color and make them look really nice! Please contact us for more information.
My boss has asked me to look into HIPAA mailing services. Do you offer that?
Yes, Spectra achieved it’s SOC 2 + HIPAA certification. We are fully certified to handle any personal information or data that needs to be protected. We currently do a lot of business with various insurance companies and medical offices.
What is it called when you put a different name on your printed letters or cards?
I believe you’re referring to Variable Data Printing or VDP. A lot of people also refer to this as Personalization and the two are interchangeable. This is when each printed piece is printed with a different name or artwork.
Hi there, I have a postcard that I want to mail out to about 10,000 people. Can you handle that?
We sure can. As a matter of fact, not only can we can provide the mailing service we can print it for you as well. If you’d like to make it personalized, we can do that for you as part of the printing process. Give us a call to discuss your project.
Do you make sure that mailing lists are CASS Certified?
Yes we do. We send in mailing lists to make sure that they are CASS Certified and good lists. If there is a problem with your list, we’ll be sure to let you know.
The last time I did a direct mail project, a lot of them came back because people had moved. How can I prevent this from happening?
We can send your list to the USPS and have them perform what’s called a move update. This will eliminate the problem of returns; however, it will only help with people that have reported the move or asked for address forwarding.
Hey, do you mark up postage? I used a mail house and they marked up the postage amount.
No, we absolutely do not mark up postage. As a matter of fact, we have postage accounts for most of our clients and that enables them to use their own indicia when they have large mailings. If you don’t have an indicia (permit number), we will provide you with an exact cost for the postage amount.
Do you just do mailing or can you print too?
We’re a digital print shop and offer full color printing as well as mailing services. This combination allows us to provide direct mail fulfillment services, meaning that we can print your materials and also handle the mailing as well, turnkey. Please call us and let us help you with your printing and mailing needs.
Hi there, do you offer HIPAA compliant mailing?
Yes we do, we’ve been doing HIPAA compliant mailing since 2015 and we’re also HIPAA SOC 2 Certified. We’d love to help you with any mailing projects that you may have. Please contact us to discuss.