Online mail delivery may well be cheaper than letter post these days, but we still sent 346.5bn letters across the world in 2012. And the reason? Because there are distinct benefits to getting your direct mail message across by post - the response rate, for instance.
A good response rate can convert into sales, and therefore increase your ROI. So before you go rushing to the computer to send your cheaper direct mail message by email you might be surprised to learn that in a study carried out by the DMA (Direct Marketing Association), the average response to a direct mail item was 30 times more than to an email. And don’t forget that most email Inboxes are full to overflowing these days.
While the need and the expectation of sending and receiving mail through the letterbox clearly remains, consideration needs to be given to keeping the costs down as much as possible if you are to run an efficient and profitable business. But if you’re a business that needs to advertise your wares via direct mail, how do you keep your postage costs down?
While there are volume discounts available from the Royal Mail for businesses, using a mailing fulfilment house can actually reduce your postage costs further, and in some surprising ways - not just the cost of the stamp.
For instance, you have to ask yourself: is it a good use of my staff’s time to have them stuffing envelopes for hours on end and sticking on stamps, or putting mail through a franking machine? The answer’s ‘no’. You’re probably paying them to handle much higher level tasks than stuffing an envelope. They could undeniably use their time more constructively for your business.
And what about the franking machine? Franking is a cheaper alternative until you consider the investment in the franking machine, the time element to sort the post in order to benefit from discounts, and the fact that you need a licence from Royal Mail to operate it, so not as cheap as you might think.
All in all, a mailing fulfilment house can save you time, and time is money. Why tie up staff doing low-level labour when a mailing fulfilment house can do it by machine a great deal faster than any human. But if you really need the option of hand-fulfilling, most mailing houses can supply that too.
A mailing fulfilment house can even print your PPIs (post paid impressions) straight on to your envelopes during the fulfilment process - all you need to do is supply them with your PPI number (issued by Royal Mail) and your chosen design.
Then there’s the posting. Using a mailing fulfilment house affords you the opportunity of benefitting from discounts for bulk mail. You don’t mail enough items? Then utilise the mailing house to consolidate your mail with mail from other companies to create the bulk, and profit from the savings.
If you can see that the advantages of using a mailing house negate the costs of employing one, read on. Your next task is to find an efficient mailing fulfilment house with excellent credentials, the ability to offer cost-effective fulfilment and postage, flexible services and an extensive network of postal routes around the world.
As mailing fulfilment houses go, Asendia UK has an unprecedented heritage behind it, ISO-accredited premises and access to distribution routes across the globe. As a joint venture between La Poste and Swiss Post, the post offices of France and Switzerland, we enjoy privileged entry into those countries, not to mention the centuries-old heritage of two postal giants. A widespread network of distribution routes lead to over 220 destinations, and with offices in 14 countries Asendia customers benefit from our extensive local knowledge.
Before the mail even leaves the Asendia mailing houses, customers also reap the benefits of various flexible postal options and prices for UK and international post. Make the most of the discounts available for consolidating your mail into bulk shipments after fulfilling and sorting.
Asendia UK offers a range of options for preparing your post including:
· supplying materials for your mailings (paper, envelopes, polywrapping for magazines and publications)
· fast machine folding
· intelligent collating
· inserting into envelopes
· hand work inserting for more bespoke mailings
· inkjet addressing, to save time and money on labels and production
· sorting - bagging and tagging - for bulk despatch to save money on UK and international postage
· bulk discounts on postage.
Value added services
You can further reduce the costs of mailings by using Asendia’s end-to-end product which includes a number of value added services, such as printing, address data cleansing and Maileva, a hybrid mail service.
Asendia has the facilities to produce high-quality digital printing, using variable data, which is ideal for all kinds of business print including invoices, statements, and promotional material. Some of our customers are even using their invoice and statement mail to include targeted direct mail, known as transpromo mail.
But all this is no good to a business if the mail doesn’t arrive. Asendia offers a data cleansing service to check addresses and enhance deliver, ensuring your mail arrives safely with the intended recipient.
If you have a dedicated mailroom - or staff still sitting in the corner stuffing envelopes - then it’s time you heard about Asendia’s hybrid mail service, Maileva. 10,000 customers across Europe who use Maileva can’t be wrong. Its beauty is in its simplicity - just send your letters to us over the internet and we’ll print and post for you in a matter of hours.
For more information about all the Asendia UK services and how you can reduce your postage costs, see www.asendia.co.uk or call us on 01234 84 84 15.
standard mail services
fully tracked mail services
partially tracked mail services
premium insurance options
lightweight specialist services.
For instance, Asendia’s country-tracked goods will partially track a parcel under 2kgs, providing the retailer and customer with information when it has left the originating country and arrived in its destination country. This may prove sufficient information for both parties and cost little more than a standard postal service.
If delivery information for parcels under 2kgs is required, then Asendia offers a fully tracked goods service. For more valuable items, insurance is recommended and Asendia will offer their premium service - with a choice of insurance levels - and this service is also suitable for parcels up to 30kgs.
More options surround the delivery address. Customers now have the choice to request parcels are delivered to a more convenient pick-up point instead of to their home.
Asendia is also uniquely positioned to send packets and parcels directly into France and Switzerland, thanks to its legacy companies La Poste and Swiss Post. Retailers can also optimise their shipments by using Asendia’s professional services for all key areas of despatch, customs and VAT advice and tracked returns management.
For more information see http://www.asendia.co.uk/en/services/order-fulfilment-centre/order-fulfilment-overview/ or call Asendia on 01234 84 84 15.
About the author
Catherine Jackson is an NCTJ-qualified journalist and has been a publishing professional for over 30 years, working in newspapers, magazines, and marketing in the education, retail and travel sectors. She has also worked as a freelance copywriter, editor and proofreader before joining Asendia UK as Content Marketing Executive & Copywriter. Google+