What is a mailhouse?
A mailing agency (synonymous with mailing house, mail house, or mailhouse), such as ours manages its clients’ print, mail, and postage needs. A quality mailhouse provides an efficient and professional service, benefiting businesses that send large volumes of transactional mail (i.e. to customers to confirm purchases; or account statements), or that undertake direct mail marketing campaigns.
Our mailhouse’s core function is to prepare and organise transactional and direct mail that is sent locally, nationally, and overseas. It also provides a range of integrated services to support the mailing service. These include design, printing, personalisation, and data management. This combination of services provides businesses with a complete outsourced solution all under one roof.
Why do you need a mailhouse?
There are substantial benefits for your business in outsourcing your transactional mailings or direct mail campaigns to a mail house company.
Save time and money
Professional mailhouse clients can take advantage of lower bulk postage rates, data management expertise, cheaper consumables, and efficient processes such as automated folding, enclosing, and addressing. This combination results in substantial time and budget savings for your business.
Expertise in designing and printing
No only will a mailing house be able to provide full planning, preparation, and project management of your mail campaign, it should also have in-house design and print capability, such as we have at City Print. It makes sense to engage a mailhouse that can take care of all your outsourcing needs – design, print, mail, and postage. Then you won’t need to go to the trouble and expense of locating separate providers, and managing multiple contracts.
Design and pre-press services offered by a mailhouse include:
- Brand stewardship expertise, ensuring that your brand identity remains consistent across your mail collateral
- Graphic design that enhances the visual appeal of your direct mail campaign
- Ensuring that your file will print correctly
- Merging complex multi-page documents with variable fields
- Setting up barcodes
Printing and finishing capability of a mailhouse includes:
- Variable data printing
- Address labels
- Clear wrap
- Labelling options
- Folding, creasing
- Mail enclosing and packing
Benefits of mailhouse fulfilment services
A quality mailhouse offers mail fulfilment services. “Fulfilment” refers to the process of taking the raw materials of a campaign such as printed material and stationery and converting them into items that are ready to mail.
Fulfilment services include:
1. Database management
As your customer database is your most valuable intellectual property, effectively managing this data is vital. A mailhouse provides quality data management services.
Quality data including correct addressing is vital for the success of your campaign, and ultimately, your return on investment. After all, you want to ensure you’re reaching your target audience.
There are numerous opportunities for successful marketing by utilising your own data, and just as many pitfalls to avoid.
“Unclean data can result in mailing people who are deceased, or who have changed address. UK companies waste more than NZ$30 million a year mailing deceased people.”
Here are a few examples:
When data is compiled from multiple sources, it can become corrupted or contain errors. For example, when compiling data where multiple adults live in the same household, there can easily be crossover between people.
Data cleansing ensures that your database is up-to-date, error-free and correctly formatted. Clean data results in high-quality addressing, which lowers costs, improves your relationship with your customers, and makes your marketing more effective.
Unclean data can result in mailing people who are deceased, or who have changed address. UK companies waste more than NZ$30 million a year mailing deceased people.
Data needs to be correctly sorted ready for mail-out – for example, address order, postal code order, or membership number order.
Personal data security
A professional mailing house has robust security measures to ensure the safety of your sensitive personal data.
When people move, they fill out a form with the post office to notify them. The best way to check moves is to verify addresses with your customers.
Good data gives you the opportunity to precisely target your direct mail messages. When you know who someone is, what they like, and what they can’t resist, you can create a powerful mail piece with an impressive response rate.
You can use your data to create campaigns for special occasions throughout the year based on information you have collected. The more specific you can get, the more likely you are to get a response.
Your data can give you insights about who your best customers are. You can then use that information to find more people like them to send your direct mail to. When you’re able to reach the right prospects, your response rates will be much higher.
2. Personalisation makes the difference
Mail personalisation is the key to a successful direct mail campaign. It builds trust with your customers, stimulates brand loyalty, and increases response rates. Ninety-eight per cent of recipients prefer their direct mail to be personalised.
A mailhouse with printing capability can set up variable data printing to improve the personalisation of the campaign or mailshot by allowing for individual variations on pieces or batches of mail without interrupting the digital printing process. It is most commonly used to personalise address labels, and print unique codes or URLs.
“98 per cent of recipients want their direct mail to be personalised.” – Bakergoodchild (UK)
3. Postal compliance and bulk postage rates
A quality mailhouse ensures your job meets all NZ Post requirements, and secures the most cost-effective mailing rates. The mailhouse maximises postal savings by verifying data against the Postal Address File (PAF), removes duplicate entries and GNAs (gone-no-address).
An 80 per cent Statement of Accuracy for your customer addresses ensures the accurate and efficient delivery of your mail and reduces wastage such as returned mail. It also qualifies you for bulk postage rates.
4. Packing, dispatch, and stock management
A mailhouse provides efficient, accurate, and careful packing and dispatch of your mail to its local, national, or international destination.
A quality mailhouse can offer you a smart online stock management system, such as the Uview solution we offer at City Print. This will keep your content and design files secure, ready to print and mail.
5. Flexible rates
Your mailhouse will have flexible contracts available, so you can use and pay for their services only when you need to.
About the mailhouse at City Print
City Print Communications in Wellington has full mailhouse capabilities – design, print, mail, and postage, With decades of experience in the industry, we can ensure fast turnaround, accuracy, and cost effectiveness for your direct mail campaign, mailshot, or transactional mail requirements. We specialise in tailoring solutions to meet our clients’ needs, whatever the scale and demands of the project.
Get in touch with us to talk about how we can help you.