If you’re producing and mailing marketing collateral, it’s probably costing you a decent chunk of change. From print costs to postage, direct mail can be costly. But with the right industry know-how, you can optimize direct mail pieces, reducing costs through efforts like envelope changes, switching up the mail schedule and ensuring optimal postal discounts.
Working with one of our global banking clients, we were able to make some smart changes that saved the financial institution big money:
Reductions in mail frequency and postage save $226,000/year
Mailing small quantities means incurring minimum processing fee from the post office. This is a challenge facing marketers with programs that mail multiple times per week.
One of the bank’s small business programs triggers a cross-sell mailing to businesses after they’ve signed up for a new account. This program was initially designed to mail daily, but the bank found it had smaller daily volumes than anticipated. As a result, it was not hitting daily minimum production volumes. Our team reviewed the program and suggested the bank mail three times per week rather than five. The result of fewer processing days per week: an annual savings of more than $133,000.
In addition to reducing mail frequency, our postal team recommended postage be changed from First-Class presort to Standard Mail presort—a decision which generated an additional $93,000 in savings.
Print and mailing efficiencies save $100,000/year, improve speed to market
This global bank uses an affinity program that offers credit cards to 87 different groups, including college alumni associations and non-profit organizations. The program, which mails quarterly, is required to have the association’s logo prominently visible on the mail piece. In the offset print world, this meant 87 plate changes and small print runs for both the letter and the outer envelope—not cheap!
We suggested a larger, customized #10 envelope window to allow the variable logos to show through from the inside content. By printing and using one generic envelope for all versions, we eliminated the 87 plate changes required to print the custom envelopes.
We also digitized the logos to laser print on a generic form. This allowed us to co-mingle all 87 versions of the letter, improving speed to market and reducing waste and warehouse costs—all while ensuring the entire mailing qualified for postal discounts.
Through our innovative solutions, we saved the bank $100,000 in annual print, inventory storage and production costs.
Envelope changes save $32,000/year, improve response rates
A change to an envelope may seem like the minor leagues, but it can have a dramatic impact on a mailing. Changes to two daily mail programs for the bank resulted in significant savings.
For a homeowners’ insurance program, we moved the client from four pre-printed envelopes to one window envelope, which showed a bank logo and address. The logos and addresses (required by law) were lasered, which eliminated three batches (and their associated time and costs) from each daily mailing.
For a home loan trigger program, we switched the envelope from a 6” x 9” window envelope with a generic return address to an envelope with a larger window. This allowed the individual mortgage agent’s name and address (in addition to the bank’s corporate name) to appear on the envelope. In addition to cost savings, the localized name and address likely increased the direct mail response rates.
In both instances, moving away from pre-printed envelopes greatly reduced costs, saving the client more than $32,000 per year.
More significant savings
As you can see, the right industry know-how can lead to saving big bucks. For more information, check out our video: Optimizing Direct Mail Production.
How much money could YOU be saving?
About the Author
Nicole Bump, Senior Content Manager, is responsible for developing the Harte Hanks content strategy, bringing this strategy to life through the editorial board, generating much of the company's content and managing the Harte Hanks social presence. A writer at heart, Nicole also enjoys evaluating ways in which new technologies can enable better content production, distribution and measurement.More Content by Nicole Bump