Direct mail is one of the OG's of marketing, and it's still a tried-and-true method for getting your message across to target audiences. And the numbers don’t lie…
- Adding direct mail to your marketing strategy can increase sales by 27%, acquisition by 40%, and market share by 104%.
- 62% of consumers say direct mail has inspired them to take action.
- The average response rate of direct mail is between 2.7% - 4.4%, while email marketing is around 0.6%.
- 73% of Americans prefer to receive direct mail from brands instead of digital ads.
But there's more to direct mail marketing than meets the eye. There are multiple steps between the first stage of ad creation and the final phase of a prospect receiving the mail piece and taking action.
Those steps are called fulfillment, and direct mail fulfillment is just as critical to campaign performance as a perfectly-crafted direct mail marketing strategy.
In order to achieve high-performance direct mail campaigns, businesses need to understand the ins and outs of direct mail fulfillment, including:
- What is Direct Mail Fulfillment?
- The Business-Boosting Benefits of Direct Mail Fulfillment.
- 2 Key Components to Direct Mail Fulfillment: Speed and Personalization.
What Is Direct Mail Fulfillment?
Before getting into the specifics of what direct mail fulfillment entails, it’s important to understand the difference between direct mail fulfillment and direct mail marketing.
Let’s use a pizza restaurant as an example.
Think of direct mail marketing as the chef and direct mail fulfillment as the delivery driver.
The chef (direct mail marketing) is responsible for creating a delicious pizza with just the right combination of ingredients. In the marketing world, this is similar to crafting an engaging message, designing eye-catching visuals and selecting the right audience to target.
Direct mail marketing encompasses:
- Developing the overall strategy.
- Designing the materials.
- Managing the campaign from start to finish.
The delivery driver (direct mail fulfillment), on the other hand, is responsible for the logistics of getting the perfectly-crafted pizza to the customer’s doorstep, hot and fresh. Direct mail fulfillment is the same and ensures the fast, accurate and successful delivery of a direct mail campaign.
Direct mail fulfillment refers to the logistics and processes of preparing, handling and delivering direct mail to the intended recipients. The direct mail fulfillment process includes various steps, such as:
- Data management.
- Storage and warehousing.
- Order processing.
- Kitting and assembly.
Direct mail marketing and direct mail fulfillment work in the same manner with one focusing on creating an enticing message while the other ensures its successful delivery.
The Business-Boosting Benefits of Direct Mail Fulfillment
It may seem harder than ever to stay ahead of changing market conditions and dynamic business environments these days. Marketers face the enormous challenge of deciding how to budget effectively while also delivering high-performance campaigns.
A direct mail fulfillment partner can solve this challenge. For this reason, most businesses find it easier, faster and more cost-effective to work with a direct mail fulfillment partner who can take care of all the fulfillment and logistics for their direct mail campaigns.
From reduced costs to faster delivery times—working with a direct mail fulfillment partner comes with a lengthy list of ROI-boosting benefits, including:
- Bulk mail discounts: Since a direct mail fulfillment company sends high volumes of direct mail and qualifies for wholesale postage rates, businesses can benefit from bulk pricing and lower postage rates.
- Faster delivery times: Speed is critical to direct mail marketing. The best campaigns will fall flat if they’re delivered late or after the competition. We’ll hit more on the importance of speed in the next section, but direct mail fulfillment companies have the infrastructure, equipment and technology to fulfill direct mail campaigns fast. Tip: Look for direct mail fulfillment companies with Seamless Acceptance to ensure more consistent and predictable delivery times of your direct mail campaigns.
- Targeted mailing lists and clean data: Direct mail fulfillment providers can help businesses create hyper-targeted mailing lists that reach specific demographics with pinpoint precision, reducing the cost of mailing to uninterested or unqualified recipients. They can also manage your mailing list data and provide data hygiene services to ensure accuracy.
- Reduced labor and storage costs: Outsourcing direct mail fulfillment can also reduce labor costs associated with storing, preparing and mailing. Take sample order fulfillment, for example. Direct mail fulfillment providers can handle all aspects of the process, from housing inventory in their warehouse to processing orders as they come in for same-day fulfillment. The same goes for marketing collateral requests, too. A direct mail fulfillment partner can handle all of the kitting, assembly and packaging. They can ship marketing materials directly to prospects, too.
2 Key Components to Direct Mail Fulfillment: Speed and Personalization
Direct mail marketing can be the MVP of your overall marketing strategy, but speed and personalization are a must for high-ROI direct mail campaigns.
These are two of the most critical components of any direct mail campaign–and they can make or break the performance of your campaign.
The world moves fast these days, and the on-demand expectation of consumers can make it difficult for marketing teams to move fast. Businesses that can move their direct mail campaigns through design, production, fulfillment and distribution quickly benefit from:
- Seizing lucrative windows of opportunity first.
- Getting their message in front of prospects before the competition.
- Establishing a long-term strategic positioning as a market leader.
Fast fulfillment is critical for keeping businesses top-of-mind and ahead of competitors, but coordinating the deployment of a direct mail campaign with multiple vendors requires time and resources. Additionally, there’s little-to-no room for error, so a small hiccup can quickly create delays that require additional time and money to fix. For example, weak links in the marketing supply chain create the perfect storm for significant delays and missed opportunities.
This is where a direct mail marketing fulfillment partner can drastically help expedite speed to market.
By consolidating vendors and working with an all-in-one direct mail marketing fulfillment partner that specializes in speed to market, businesses will streamline and expedite the entire process by:
- Reducing the number of vendors in the supply chain.
- Sending marketing assets directly to prospects and target audiences.
- Ensuring ready-to-ship marketing materials are always in-stock and ready for same-day fulfillment.
Some marketers are surprised to learn that direct mail is innately a highly-personalizable marketing channel. A state-of-the-art printing technology, called variable data printing, allows for each mail piece to be tailored to the preferences and needs of individual recipients or audience segments.
A direct mail fulfillment partner with in-house variable data printing capabilities allows businesses to target audiences with laser accuracy.
See the difference personalization makes?
Experts like Michelle Tilton, Vice President of Marketing at Gryphon.ai, agree, "Consumers are human, and all humans react to things that are relevant to them personally.” The power of personalization is so strong that 93% of businesses saw an increase in revenue after implementing an advanced personalization strategy.
Direct Mail Fulfillment with Jet Mail
At Jet Mail, we specialize in direct mail fulfillment for B2B, B2C and e-commerce businesses across the country. Since 1993, our team of marketing fulfillment experts has provided fast and personalization fulfillment solutions for businesses looking to expedite delivery times and accelerate speed to market.
Contact us today to learn more about our custom solutions for direct mail fulfillment.