Check the mail

Check the mail

10/10/2016

Mailing lines can provide additional revenue streams for commercial printers, what is the best way to start?

For midsized and smaller print enterprises looking to offer new inhouse added-value services to their clients, mailing and inserting offers a good opportunity. In fact, low to mid-volume direct mail has emerged into its moment in the sun.

Unaddressed (junk) mail volumes are shrinking, and electronic solutions leave gaps in the communications formula. Email, once seen as a disruptive factor in marketing, has faded, as inboxes bulge with unsolicited content clamouring for readers’ attention. While still a useful tool in the marketer’s armoury, email – or for that matter the newer social media – are no longer seen as miracle fixes. All the while, printed mail has shown a surprising endurance.

As specialist mailing houses have hitched their mega-volume runs to the newest inkjet lines, a dynamic niche has opened up for commercial SMEs with sheetfed digital presses, which are seeking to add a new revenue stream with mailing.

Printers already have the customers, the skill level to operate mail and inserting systems is not high, the investment cost, at least to get started, is not high, and for the customer it means one less supplier to deal with, cutting back office costs and times, and creating production efficiencies, as the inserts are not moved from the printer to the mail house. 

Become an end-to-end provider, advises Neopost

Mail specialist Neopost Australia offers a range of equipment suitable for a commercial printer from low-end, free-standing machines built to produce up to 200,000 envelopes per month to full production systems capable of outputting up to 12,000 envelopes per hour and processing DL or C4 from the same input stream.

Neopost’s DS-200 production inserter can process up to 4,800 envelopes per hour. And the high loading capacity of the DS-200 means work can be fed through at the machine’s high speed. The system design reduces downtime, enabling parallel work on other tasks, enhancing productivity. 

The Neopost A-710 address printer can overprint up to 14,000 envelopes per hour, eliminating the need for label while an optional stacker and additional drop tray speed up larger mail runs.

Neopost communications expert Symon Cook says printers can take advantage of adding mailing services to access a ready customer base, leverage skill levels that are already in place (as it is another paper process). They can gain control of the entire mailing job – not just printing and sending on -- they can secure a customer by providing a one-stop shop, and they can reduce management for the end customer. And it also removes the risk of losing a customer because another party did not meet deadlines.

But Cook says getting started requires planning and education. Customers will expect a significant level of knowledge on postage and how they can maximise postage savings. He says, “It is also possible to get a little too eager to want to take on every job after making an investment. This can prove challenging as not all jobs can be processed on all machines."

“Make sure you understand the type of work you want to process – marketing (growing) or transactional (reducing) - and acquire equipment suited to the widest range of applications – DL to C4 is usually going to help you maximise your potential opportunity,” says Cook.

Printing on demand means there is no need to hold stocks of overprinted envelopes, and correctly formatted addresses can help qualify for volume postal discounts. It all adds up to an ability to manage direct marketing and customer communications in-house. 

Sourced: ProPrint Magazine, October 2016