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Showing posts with label #booklet #catalog printing #printing long island #printing new york city #direct mail #design #custom labels #signs #banners #printing new jersey #post cards. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #booklet #catalog printing #printing long island #printing new york city #direct mail #design #custom labels #signs #banners #printing new jersey #post cards. Show all posts

Monday, April 25, 2022

How to Compare Direct Mail Printer- Author:Jordan Crawford

No all direct mail printers are created equal. Don't just compare based on final per-postcard cost. But there are tons of great questions you can ask that will help you determine how to get the best bang for your buck.


Direct Mail Printers Quick Start Guide

Here's a 3 minute video if you'd prefer to watch, it will go over the basics of how direct mail printers are different from one another and how to price compare, but the post below goes into greater detail. I personally consume information better in audio-format, so I like making the videos for you.



What Impacts Postcard Printing Costs

Besides simply size and postcard, there are a ton of factors that can impact your bottom line across various direct mail printers. Let's take a quick look at the different capabilities of direct mail printing companies that effect you.

  1. EDDM vs Addresses
  2. Postage options (there are a ton, actually)
  3. Type of postcard (printing process)
  4. Scale of your postcard send
  5. Personalization
  6. Technology

Each of these factors can impact the cost of your campaign. I'm going go through each of them so you can understand them all and at the end of this post there's an email template that will help you reach out to printers to be able to compare their cost. 1. Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM):

First, EDDM stands for Every Door Direct Mail. It’s a way for you to send postcards to entire carrier routes (subsections of zip codes). This impacts cost because EDDM postage goes to every address in a carrier’s entire route (there’s no sorting needed) allowing you to send at a super reasonable price.

“The Every Door Direct Mail-Retail price per piece for Flats weighing no more than 3.3 oz is $0.197.”

It’s way cheaper for the post office to give a bundle of postcards to a route carrier than to have to sort the mail. While you save a lot of money going this route, you can’t personalize and you can’t do address targeting. We don’t do a lot of EDDM for this reason, as most folks do targeted direct mail. Some businesses do work well using this model, though. This is the cheapest you'll ever pay for a postcard for any direct mail printing campaign, so keep that in mind when considering your marketing efforts. Postage Options, First Class:

Postage costs 55 cents, right? No way. It’s one of the biggest tricks in the mailing service industry… to talk about printing plus 55 cent postage.

Let’s look at your various options. First class mail is the highest priority mail. If sent in the US, it arrives 3-4 business days after it is sent. Also, if you send a postcard with a bad address or is undeliverable for any number of reasons (which, happens a lot surprisingly) it will return back to the address you provided. Your mail also gets auto-forwarded to someone if they have moved.

First class mail also includes tracking information and guaranteed delivery time. Presorted First-Class is about 20% cheaper than first class. This gives you all of the benefits of first class, but all mail needs to be cleaned by the NCOA (National Change of Address) registry, the printer must be CASS certified, and each card must be presorted.

Postage Options, Standard Class: Standard class is cheaper than first or presorted, of course. But it comes with some downsides. Mailtypically takes 10-14 business days to arrive, but don't come with guaranteed delivery times. Your mailwill not be returned to sender and is not tracked at all. You usually need to mail a bunch to qualify for this (200 - 5k+ pieces, depending on your direct mail printer). If you’re a non-profit you can qualify for significantly cheaper pricing (70% off first class even), but you’ll need to fill out the three page PS_3624 to qualify.

Direct mail printers vary a LOT with postage options, so you can save a lot of money if you just ask about these options alone. Type of Postcard: For this, it’s just best to make sure that your printer uses these specifications:Printed in color, back and front, 120# 14PT UV Coated. These measurements are the thickness of the card and a protective coating that helps prevent the postcard by getting marked up too much by the USPS sorting tools.

Your Scale: I tried to find fish on a scale, so there was a double pun. But, you'll have to settle for this single pun. Ok ok, back to the content.

If you’re sending over 100k direct mail pieces in one print run, you’ll want to do offset printing. It’s different printing process than what you’ll often find at most printers and you’ll want to seek out offset printers. This allows you to do printing at much cheaper price at huge scales.

Personalization and Technology Needs: A ton of people doing postcard marketing are using outdated techniques. And, doing so will save you a good amount of money because there are a lot more printers that don't do personalized printing (often called variable printing) and aren't very tech savvy. 

Personalization is one of the most efficient ways to improve your conversion rate by 2-5x. Here’s a campaign we ran that included the first name, address, a calculated savings per year based on the customer’s roof, a heat map of the customer’s roof from space, and a phone number with an area code unique to each city. This can really improve your conversion rate, even if you just do things like add the person’s name. A lot of direct mail printers offer an API for personalization, but it's often stone-age level quality... perfect if you could hire Fred Flintstone as your engineer... but not really great for anyone else. Always ask your engineering team to evaluate your options.

But, it will cost you more generally. Here’s a good Quora post on a bunch of API printers and this programmable web post. While we won't recommend a specific API, if you contact me I am happy to talk about the API that Scout uses. Direct mail printers are mostly stuck in the past. Consider finding a direct mail printer that supports the API route if you're a more advanced marketer. If you don't have engineering resources, you can use Scout or I can put you in touch with a few engineers and graphic designers that may be able to help you build something custom. Call Today 516-561-1468 or FOR MORE INFORMATION ON ANY OF OUR MARKETING PRODUCTS GO TO:www.printcafeli.com