How to Customize Your Mailings
There are two aspects to creating physical mail pieces. The first involves creating a targeted list of customers and examining the rules you wish to apply from your prospect database in order to create your mailing file. The second aspect involves personalizing your messaging. And this entails creating messages that meet the specific needs of a different recipients.
Make Your Mail Stand Out
Most transactional mail whether it is invoices, statements or letters starts with a blank sheet of paper. What you need to decide is how you wish to customize your mail before actually folding, inserting, metering and sending it to your customers or prospects. You need to be clear about what you want to print on that sheet of paper in order to help you drive an important message to a customer. You may also wish to add intelligence to help you include inserts or additional messages for that particular customer’s mail piece. You need to decide how to print that mail piece and decide if you wish to use black and white or color in order to make it stand out.
Quality Address Data
Mail centers should be able to add a wide variety of quality and intelligence to the internal contents and external mail piece (the envelope or the front side of parcels) to maximize tracking and response rates for users. When we talk about quality we are really referring to data quality, or more specially, address quality. Quite often, businesses send out important mail to a list of either customers or prospects and they don’t go through the proper exercise of cleansing their address database before sending the mail out. About 17 percent of Americans (40+ million people) change their residence and nearly 20 percent of all businesses change locations every year. As a result, address databases can deteriorate at a rate of 15 percent annually. When you think about communications that aim to drive revenue, a 15% return rate on mail could really diminish your return on investment on mailing jobs. Therefore quality is key to making sure that customer communications get to the right people in a timely and accurate manner and the audience will read them and hopefully take some level of action.
Undeliverable Mail and Parcels
According to the United States Postal Service in Fiscal Year 2015, over 6.5 billion mail pieces and parcels were flagged as Undeliverable as Addressed (UAA):
- 15% Forwarded
- 22% Returned to Sender
- 62% Treated as Waste
First Class Mail, over 2.3 billion pieces were flagged as UAA:
- 39% Forwarded
- 58% Returned to Sender
- 4%Treated as Waste
Costs Involved with Undeliverable Mail
Many businesses don’t quantify and comprehend the amount of undeliverable mail that they send out. Nor do they quantify or comprehend whether this represents a lost opportunity that costs an enterprise. For example if 15% of an organization’s invoices are being returned as undeliverable, this delays the accounts receivable operations and the receipt of cash. It impacts cash flow, thus affecting the bottom line. Such a situation also leads to lost marketing opportunities and means people have to be paid to spend time going through the processes of recreating a mail piece and sending it with additional postage costs.
The Right Mail Piece for the Right Recipient
An intelligent mail piece however will be produced with data quality software and solutions that make personalization simple. Thanks to technology available today, mail center operators can add barcodes to mail pieces and when these barcodes go through folder inserters, they instruct the folder inserter to include the right insert in the right mail piece. This allows the user to incorporate certain messages or inserts into different customers’ mail pieces in a fully automated and productive fashion.