Wondering “Where’s My Mail?” You’re Not Alone

Written by Ted D. Seward

Continued from page 1

Time-sensitive follow-up: Key items like mortgage papers, travel vouchers, or contracts linked to customer support allow for quick follow-up.

Trigger automated events: A direct mail piece is to be sent in waves to solicit donations for a college alumni association . By usingrepparttar anticipated in-home date you can link follow-up phone activity and create additional impact using multiple media that might otherwise be used less effectively.

Gauge store activity/inventory: Mail has long been a great way for retailers to build store volume. Mail tracking offers a powerful tool to correlate mail delivery times within store traffic. This information can help users better manage their marketing efforts and control inventory turnover generated by retail sales.

Assess alternative postage methods: If you use First-Class Mail only to ensure your mailings hit at a specified time each month, you could be wasting money. PLANET Code tracking can be applied to Standard Mail, as well, helping you to better predict whenrepparttar 145479 mail is being delivered — while taking advantage of much more reasonable mail rates.

Ever wonder if “black holes” really exist? With PLANET Code tracking, mailers are better able to identify and work withrepparttar 145480 Postal Service to address any potential delivery problem spots. If you’re onrepparttar 145481 waiting side of determining a campaign’s success, these unknown quantities can quite literally keep you up at nights. PLANET Code tracking keeps you informed.

Why wait for customers to respond, when you can keep them engaged with multi-tiered marketing efforts? PLANET Code tracking helps you maintain communications momentum and strike whilerepparttar 145482 iron is still hot. You can even adjust staffing requirements based on mail flow, and more accurately time subsequent mailings by either accelerating or holding them back depending onrepparttar 145483 status ofrepparttar 145484 mail being tracked.

PLANET Code tracking allows marketing managers to get a jump start on a campaign’s effectiveness and success. Finance managers love this service, because it helps them to better predict cash flow. Sales teams and telemarketing managers can better plan follow-up activity.

One mailer’s comment puts it all together: “With competitive pricing from third party providers,repparttar 145485 cost ofrepparttar 145486 Confirm service is seldom an issue. I can meet my customers expectations and exceed typical delivery standards. And I get to help them improve projections for when telemarketing and follow-up should begin.” In short, PLANET Code services allow informed follow-through, and provide a terrific value-added service. That’srepparttar 145487 kind of service we could all benefit from.

Ted Seward is Vice President of Marketing for BCC Software, the leading developer of high performance PC-based software and solutions for professional mailers. BCC's flagship product, Mail Manager 2010, allows users to optimize postal presorts, utilize streamlined database maintenance functions, and improve deliverability of mailpieces.

Getting into Mailing: What Printers Need to Know

Written by Ted D. Seward

Continued from page 1

Your most significant organizational “ally” might turn out to berepparttar Mailing & Fulfillment Service Association,repparttar 145428 national trade group that serves asrepparttar 145429 “voice” of mailers. (For details, visit www.mfsanet.org.)

Choosing Mailing Software

What qualities should you look for in a software solution? Consider these factors:

* “Easy to learn” is important, but no more than “easy to use.” Wizard-guided steps may seem valuable as you’re getting started, but once you understand how to userepparttar 145430 software, they’ll probably slow you down. * Don’t underestimaterepparttar 145431 importance of seamless integration from entry-level products to more full-featured versions. Nothing is worse than outgrowing your existing software only to learn that suitable upgrades don’t exist or require learning from scratch. * Nail down all compatibility issues — not just withrepparttar 145432 computer on which it will run, but also with your existing print infrastructure. * Make surerepparttar 145433 software will handle your current needs, and is not “dumbed down” in terms of speed orrepparttar 145434 number of records it can handle. * How good isrepparttar 145435 Customer Support? Seek third-party references from industry forums — not justrepparttar 145436 cherry-picked happy customers vendors may provide, but unrehearsed contacts that can give yourepparttar 145437 unvarnished good and bad news. (Don’t forget to include references from printer manufacturers). * Be sure to consider all costs, not just startup figures. Find out how longrepparttar 145438 initial data subscription lasts, and what’s included in annual renewals. * If you already offer variable-data printing services, good news: VDP is now hot in mailing as well. Some software packages support, and even enhance, this technology.

Marketing Mailing Services

Many printers stumble into mailing services; some subcontract direct mail jobs, only eventually realizingrepparttar 145439 benefit of bringing jobs in-house; still others buy, or merge with, existing mail houses. Here are some strategies for building mailing services into your business:

* Know Your Market. A thorough awareness of your current client base will help you launch into mailing while anticipating future customer needs. Try to determine how much of what you currently print is mailed after leaving your shop. Next, learn about your customers’ presort needs, and position yourself as a logical candidate to handle that work. Finally, see if they have database demands such as list hygiene or de-duping, and make a case for why you should handle that data-manipulation work. The one who controlsrepparttar 145440 database, controlsrepparttar 145441 customer — but that control won’t be handed over lightly. * Make it Personal. Review your plans with your top mailing prospects. Key benefits may get yourepparttar 145442 business: billing yourself as a one-stop shop offering faster results, and predicting time and cost savings for centralized printing and mailing. * Heedrepparttar 145443 Competition. Keep service offerings in line with your market by learning who you’re up against, what they offer, and what they charge. * Spreadrepparttar 145444 Word. Exploit all points of customer communications — from traditional advertising to promotional copy on your packaging and bills, and from revamping your Web site to including an “Ask me about mailing services” message to your phone system’s on-hold recording. * Joinrepparttar 145445 Club(s). Seek out and become a member of industry-specific organizations. People buy from people, and networking is an important element of new-venture success.

What’s In It For You?

Once you’ve answeredrepparttar 145446 questions and checked offrepparttar 145447 “to-do” points described above, you’ll find mailing to be a rewarding addition to your printing-services business. It’s hard to imagine a better way of exposing such a sizable chunk of your existing business to incremental revenues. What’s more, printer-mailers often claim that incorporating mailing services even helps build their printing business. Customers enjoyrepparttar 145448 convenience and economy of a “one-stop” print-and-mail house — and they’ll have you to thank.

Good luck, and good mailing.

Ted Seward is Vice President of Marketing for BCC Software, the leading developer of high performance PC-based software and solutions for professional mailers. BCC's flagship product, Mail Manager 2010, allows users to optimize postal presorts, utilize streamlined database maintenance functions, and improve deliverability of mailpieces.

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