CASE STUDY - Imprint delivers tracked solution for Direct Mail | DMA

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CASE STUDY - Imprint delivers tracked solution for Direct Mail


DIRECT MAIL IS COMING back. The most recent ad spend indicators point to a continuing fall in the value of newspaper and magazine dvertising, but give a 4.5% rise to direct mail.

While this is relative, compared to the depressed direct mail budgets that have prevailed for recent years, printers across the sector are sniffing a change in the wind. It is too soon to declare that this sector of print is out of the woods, but maybe there is some basis for a return to print and mail as a means of communicating a sales message. It would be impossible to decide whether this is the result of the relentless marketing produced by the Royal Mail about the effectiveness of direct mail and its simple - mentation of Mailmark as a system to add a layer of control over mailing campaigns, or whether it is fatigue with digital channels to the extent that email is now considered “the new junk mail”.

WHAT SEEMS EQUALLY CLEAR is that print will no longer be the junk mail of the past where spray and pray methods to reach customers reached saturation point and tarnished the whole sector.

There will be instances of mailing campaigns with millions of items using at best rudimentary personalisation. But the new direct mail will be using better data, better production values and better materials. And the new direct mail will deliver measurable and predictable results.

There will also be closer links between the physical mail piece and a digital element to a campaign. In the simplest form this is a catalogue received through the post which encourages a customer to visit a website to make a purchase.

The catalogue becomes a more sophisticated entity: covers will be personalised to the customer, changing the highlighted hero products according to the profile of that

SUNLINE IS STEEPED in the mailing business, working at the volume end of sending out catalogues which may have been printed in Europe along with inserts that might come from somewhere in the UK and personalised letters it might have produced itself.

There is also data management, mail consolidation, response handling. In short a full service for those wanting to ship printed content to households. This can amount to more than 200 million items going into the post a year from its centrally located offices in Loughborough and warehousing in Leicester.

The company has grown with the explosion in internet shopping which has provoked a rise in use of targeted catalogues that follow online business. Although not a printer itself, the company has installed an MIS from Imprint. “Previously the only way we could review the performance of the business was at a monthly management meeting, with stacks of paper.

“We looked at the options in MIS, but it was Imprint MIS that took us in a different direction. The price was reasonable, the support level was very good,” says commercial director Nick Roberts.

The system was only installed in the summer and Sunline is still discovering all the features in the Direct Mail BCS version of the MIS. Shopfloor data collection has still to come, for example. It is scheduled for the middle of next year.

“At the first step we wanted to track information for management, how many jobs we had put through, what they required whether lasering, finishing or printing. And we can drill down to see profitability at any stage. We will then be able to see the types of work that we should be chasing and focusing our sales effort on that. It is providing the transparency we need to make the right decisions,” says Roberts.

While Imprint has a print heritage, the Essex developer has concentrated on building modules that relate to important market sectors, one being direct mail. It has recently joined the Direct Marketing Association to emphasise this. “They have been able to adapt certain things that we needed.

They were easy to communicate with and understood our issues. It is easy to call up jobs and create new jobs and create new jobs and our managers are finding it very, very useful." - November/December 2015

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