Offering mailing services is in vogue in the printing industry, and for sensible reasons. Offering a full line of services is attractive to customers since it eliminates the stress of depending on multiple vendors to produce a mailing. In addition, not having to transport printed jobs to a mail house can shave a day or two off the processing time. Most importantly, if operated intelligently, mailing services boost profits while at the same time making it harder for a customer to move to another printing company.
The Print Market Survey in August 2010 by Printing Industries of America revealed that 31% of member printing companies surveyed offered mailing services, representing about 8% of their revenues.
The growth in mail services was spurred by variable-data printing. With the use of mailing software a printer could print variable-data self mailers in presort order, bypassing the mail house. As printers became familiar with the mailing process, they started inkjetting addresses onto envelopes and preparing those mailings as well.
Success in the mailing business demands careful investments in people and technology along with attention to standard operating procedures. Mailing is a complex business with a need to understand and stay on top of extensive postal regulations and speedily and accurately perform all of the mailing steps necessary to maximize postal discounts. Liabilities loom large, such as having to cover the cost of lost postage savings due to a processing mistake, patch a customer relationship due to missing a critical mailing date, or somehow making amends for corrupting or failing to safeguard the security of a customer’s database.
In an effort to assist member companies that are adding mailing services to their repertoire, we’ve put together a host of information and will be adding more over the coming months.
If you have comments about this material or need an answer to a mailing-related question (member firms only), please contact Jim Workman (by clicking here or at 800-910-4283 x710).