Thursday, July 5, 2012

6 Ways To Use Direct Mail Shops

Many businesses and nonprofits prefer to use e-mail rather than direct mail. The reason for this is simple: It's quicker. When it comes down to it, people would rather adapt to new technology than potentially organizing countless pieces of mail.

Despite this, "snail mail" is far from dead. There are many organizations that still use it, such as St. Joseph's Indian School, which integrates direct mail with e-mail communications. Still, the thought of sorting through individual pieces of mail remains overwhelming. That's where direct mail shops come in handy.

In his book "Direct Mail for Dummies," Richard Goldsmith reminded readers that local mailing shops can make the tedium of mail sorting much more bearable. He listed six ways these shops can work for your organization:
  • Addressing the Mail: Mail shops take your files and address your mail by either labeling, ink jetting, or lasering it.
  • Bursting Continuous Forms: This technique enables high-speed personalization equipment to be used for the addressing and other personalization.
  • Affixing Stickers, Cards, Stamps, and Tabs: Using a machine called a Labelaire, mail shops can apply stickers and labels for you. They can also seal self-mailers and double postcards with tabs.
  • Inserting Components Into Envelopes: Machines in the mail shop can insert up to six different items in an envelope.
  • Sorting and Traying the Mail for the Postal Service: The mail is bundled according to Postal Service requirements.
  • Delivering the Mail to the Post Office: Your mail shop should get a receipt from the Postal Service, proving that your letters were accepted for mailing.


Brett Ridge said...

The other advantage of mail is that the return mail (forms and checks) can be scanned electronically to capture as much, if not more, data about donors than simple internet transactions.

However, mail houses with the capability of handling large numbers of checks are a little rare. So if you want to scale your operation for large campaigns (tens of thousands of checks and pieces of mail) you will need to do some investigation to find the right outsourcer.

Brett Ridge

History said...

Great points, Brett. Thanks for the comment!