Vibrant. When you think of direct mail and print as a whole, you likely don’t think of it as being a “vibrant” industry. Despite the allure of social media, email, and other digital channels, direct mail remains a viable resource for marketers aiming to reach their target markets in a unique, personalized way.
While advancements in data science have pushed targeting and segmentation capabilities to new heights, it’s the technology behind print production making it a more vibrant option than ever. Below, we’ll share how BlueWing's white paper workflow is helping to inject new life into the direct mail marketplace.
Variable Information Printing
The ability to insert your customer’s name, address, age, or any other piece of identifying information into the copy of your collateral makes direct mail an attractive alternative to heavily saturated channels like email. According to a recent study by the United States Postal Service (USPS), recall among consumers is 70% higher when they’re exposed to direct mail rather than a digital advertisement.
“Beyond just a different logo or a different message, we can really make it targeted and personalized,” says Mark DeBoer, Director of Customer Experience, of variability in direct mail. “We're now able to offer this high level of customization to an audience of one.”
But how do you actually achieve replicable, sustainable, efficient personalization? BlueWing is an expert in producing highly variable, complex messaging for integrated marketing campaigns, from targeted social media campaigns to direct mail drops.
In BlueWing's repertoire of equipment is the Epic Print + Messenger Color Inkjet from Pitney Bowes, a fully intelligent inkjet and inserting system. With the Epic, BlueWing can print high quality, variable, full-color text and images on envelopes to increase client response. The Epic prints variable text and images in-line, allowing clients to leverage their customer databases and personalize communications down to a single envelope.
Superior Quality, High-Speed Printing
The Océ ProStream™ continuous, web-fed feed inkjet printer allows companies like BlueWing to print pieces with incredible print quality and unbeatable turnaround times; the ProStream is capable of printing 1,076 pages per minute. Furthermore, the print technology allows for 4/4 color personalization for long run direct mail in “one pass”.
Let’s say a client wants to produce 35 customizable direct mail templates, all of which include information that can be customized to speak to specific audiences. In the traditional production workflow, this would require management of an inventory of pre-printed masters (or shells) that would have to be produced, cut, and stored for each job.
These shells would need to be pulled from inventory every week for imprinting (laser personalization) to fulfill a twice-weekly production run, for example. The coordination and space requirements of this effort slow productivity and production schedules, affecting in-home dates for clients.
In the new, more advanced white paper workflow, blank paper starts on one side of the press and is variably printed in line, then cut to size, creating 4-color personalized letters ready for folding and mailing. These letters (with any variation of 4-color images all integrated) allow for:
- A single production stream allowing for postage savings when common formats are used
- No inventory to manage or throw away at the end of a campaign
- Flexible testing environment — add test groups without interrupting production
- Quicker manufacturing time because of less material handling
Variability, Speed, and Quality
Advanced production equipment enables BlueWing to create 4-color, variable envelopes for direct mail pieces and consolidate personalized content; varying campaigns into single production runs and reducing client postage costs.
These advancements, along with increases in data science capability and design technology, are making direct mail “vibrant” again. Just like the colors, images, and tactile enhancements BlueWing can add to clients’ pieces, the industry as a whole is once again catching the eye of small and large businesses alike.
If you’d like to get started on your own custom direct mail campaign with BlueWing, contact us today.