By Olivia Cahoon
Digital print enables personalized direct mail based on customer attributes. Production presses provide the ability to produce graphics, color, and text on envelopes and postcards cost effectively. These devices also target large volumes and offer print providers the necessary equipment to satisfy targeted audiences.
Direct Mail Specialists
Founded in 1984 by Pamela Cassick, The Mailworks started in a family home as a lettershop. It has evolved to a full-service direct mail marketing provider that offers direct mail solutions to local and national businesses. It currently employs a staff of 80 in an 80,000-square foot facility in Albany, NY.
Brianne Baggetta Noonan, president, The Mailworks, says the shop processes over 100 million pieces of direct mail per year.
The company provides digital printing, offset printing, variable data personalization, direct mail services, graphic design, campaign consulting, mailing list hygiene and acquisition, priority shipping and trucking, and postage savings. It understands the value of direct mail and leverages digital printing equipment as well as the latest in production software for an effective workflow. With these tools, it enables marketers to customize applications based on company or list data including variables such as age, gender, location, and purchase history.
Among its most popular direct mail offerings, The Mailworks provides postcards, self mailers, and letter mailing. Noonan stresses the company’s experience in this area. “This has always been our core business,” she shares.
The company offers postcard production at competitive rates. In addition to customer data, The Mailworks offers a mailing list service. Postcards are available in full color with paper stock options featuring a maximum size of 6×11 inches.
The Mailworks also offers self mailers at a maximum size of 10.5×18-inch trifold. These products are presented in a variety of shapes and designs that include images, logos, and marketing messages. They are mailed without an envelope as bifold or trifold and secured shut with seal tabs. Noonan suggests the application is commonly used to highlight special offers that entice recipients to discover what’s inside the fold.
The shop also offers personalized letters and invitations. Noonan says highly personalized letter mailings increase response rates and strengthen relationships with mail-merged pieces. Personalized letter options include variable personalization, live stamps, handwritten fonts, mail merge, and various invitation styles.
The company also offers envelope printing. Noonan believes that envelopes make the first impression, and taking advantage of extra advertising space is a smart move. With this capability it includes taglines, logos, and full-color designs with bleeds on the outside of a mailing.
Inside the Mailroom
One primary benefit of digitally printed direct mail and postcards is full-color personalization and variable driven marketing messages. By speaking directly to the intended audience through customization, companies engage with customers and promote relevant information to heighten response rates.
For smaller runs of digital color printing, its two Xerox iGen4 presses were selected for its larger sheet sizes, color quality, accuracy, and efficiency. The iGen4 has a speed of 110 pages per minute and handles gloss, matte, dull, silk, textured media, and specialty stocks.
The Mailworks also has two Canon Océ VarioPrint 6000 presses as well as an Océ VarioPrint i300 cutsheet inkjet printer from Canon Solutions America.
The Océ 6000 series of digital monochrome presses are based on Océ Gemini Instant Duplex technology and provide printing solutions that meet transactional printing and corporate in-plant environments. Noonan says the Océ 6000 printers were selected for endurance and speed.
The Canon Océ VarioPrint i300 inkjet was chosen due to cost, speed, and overall quality. The printer runs monochrome and color print jobs on one engine, moving monochrome applications to higher margin and value color products. It prints up to 294 letter images per minute or more than 8,500 duplex letter sheets per hour.
The Mailworks relies on a variety of different papers, but for inkjet treated on the Océ i300, the shop uses Appvion and Glatfelter.
The shop uses both Planet Press and XMPie software. “Traditionally, our entire shop was run off Planet Press but since moving into web to print solutions we found XMPie to be a better software to use in order to create our own storefronts,” says Noonan.
Pretty Polite Print Boutique
The Mailworks’ subsidiary company, Pretty Polite Print Boutique, is an online print boutique specializing in invitations, personal stationary, and other consumer printed pieces. Its mission is to help customers create beautiful prints that enhance life’s special events. The shop’s philosophy is to give every order first-class treatment and commits to using paper from the finest mills in the country.
The Mailworks and Pretty Polite Print Boutique teamed up to create self mailers promoting Pretty Polite’s holiday promotion specials. “We wanted a cost-effective way to send a promotion out to our existing customers, highlighting holiday card specials,” explains Noonan.
To complete the job, The Mailworks used Appvion 9 pt. matte paper. “The ink on matte paper really gave the piece a deeper feel,” she adds.
The self mailers were printed on the Océ i300, folded using MBO America equipment, and tabbed for mailing.
The completed product contained 1,800 pieces that was finished in one day. Each piece was personalized with the customer’s name and mailing address. The cards featured a holiday design with a red background on the outside and inside. The mailers included promotions, images, and a holiday discount code. “We were surprised how well the red printed, this can be a challenge with some other digital equipment,” shares Noonan.
Overall, Noonan was pleased with the finished holiday card specials.
From Postcards to Promotions
Digital printing enhances response rates from direct mail. Print providers like The Mailworks offer innovative direct mail featuring full color and customization to make a lasting impression.
Mar2017, DPS Magazine