Give Your Salespeople Something New to Sell

To be competitive in today’s volatile print services business means you must embrace change. The equipment and methods used for generations are still in demand, but are viewed by customers as a commodity. To prospective customers one print provider often seems as good as the next. Your salespeople need to offer capabilities that distinguish them from the competition. That means variable data printing.

The traditional presses on your production floor represent a significant investment. You’ve got an established workflow and finishing equipment to handle the printed output. There’s no reason to abandon those assets and adopt a completely new digital printing platform unless you’ve got the business to support such a move. Why not keep those reliable presses and just add variable data printing to your existing operation?

Similar to many print service providers across the country, American Litho faced the challenge of how to implement variable data printing. They worked with Document Data Solutions to integrate inkjet print heads, high-volume ink reservoirs, software, and controllers to solve this problem. They preserved their core production practices and continued to utilize their existing presses. American Litho is now applying full-color variable data information and images to campaign runs from 100 pieces up to millions with the hybrid system. Read about their experience here.

A tailor-made hybrid printing solution expands the portfolio of products your sales force can promote while preserving your investment in traditional equipment. It’s the best of both worlds.

Advantages of Hybrid Printing

  • Inkjet made simple – Print heads start up and shut down in less than 5 minutes. Hybrid systems enable high uptime and productivity. You can begin production quicker.
  • Extends equipment life – Leverage your current investments in web presses and finishing technology by integrating hybrid print technology.
  • Retains offset strengths – Continue printing integrated cards, perforated coupons, foils, metallic or fluorescent colors, UV coating, heavier weight stocks, etc.
  • Low cost – Hybrid is the most cost effective method of printing large jobs containing both static and variable information
  • Minimal touch points – Paper moves through the press to VDP inkjet to in-line finishing equipment, and into USPS mail trays

With help from DDS, American Litho extended the life of their equipment and set themselves apart from the competition. They improved productivity (and therefore profit margins) while simultaneously giving their sales force a tool they are using to retain existing customers and attract new business. To talk about how your company can enjoy a similar result, contact us here at DDS. We’ll be happy to discuss your unique configuration and suggest options for improvements.

3 Things Direct Mailers Should Know About Document Integrity

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Direct mail is changing. Marketers may still occasionally create campaigns to send the exact offer to an entire list, but they are keenly interested in personalized pieces. Marketing people know that personalized approaches create better results. With personalized campaigns, they invest more money in data analysis, creative design, and integrated channels to achieve the ROI that makes direct mail worthwhile.

For mailers, processing personalized direct mail demands a greater emphasis on document integrity, a new area for some mailers. Clients expect their service providers to account for every mail piece in the job. Discarding damaged documents may have been acceptable in the “spray and pray” days, but that’s no longer the case. Greater up-front data costs, triggered multi-channel messaging, and smaller list sizes force mail service providers into the world of item tracking and reprints.

Here’s three ways personalized direct mail will change the way mail service providers handle jobs in their shops:

Matching
Multiple elements in a direct mail packet may be personalized. They must be matched perfectly. Mailers must check the identity of each element before adding it to the package. You can match with 2D barcodes, OCR characters, or even images, but it must be done. Spot-checking isn’t good enough. Sending mismatched elements to a mail recipient not only defeats the purpose of personalization, it discourages customers from responding to the offer.

Reprints
Documents will get damaged during production. Pieces get jammed in machinery or have defects like ink dropouts, smudges, and smears. Tossing damaged pieces in the trash isn’t acceptable. Unmailed marketing pieces lower the campaign’s ROI, which could discourage marketers from further investments in direct mail advertising. Integrated multi-channel campaigns may feature triggers such as USPS mailpiece scans to issue email or text messages timed to coincide with mail delivery. Your clients will know if a mailpiece didn’t go out.

Duplicates or Missing Pieces
Every mailpiece in a personalized campaign is important. Clients expect mail service providers to catch errors such as duplicate batches or missed mailpieces as they process the job. Learning the service provider mailed such mistakes not only results in client demands for refunds, they could very well cause a client to stop doing business with your company. Cameras mounted on mailing equipment capture item identification numbers as mail is processed and compares the information to data files of expected items. Any duplication, missing, or out of sequence condition will stop the machine and alert the operator.

You may have been in the direct mail business for a long time and never concerned yourself with the issues described above. To be competitive, document integrity must be part of the service you offer to your direct mail clients. If not, clients will find someone that can provide the levels of quality and accountability they demand.

Document Data Solutions has been manufacturing vision-based verification equipment and software for twenty years. We understand exactly what our customers must do to meet client expectations and regularly adapt our solutions to meet their unique needs and equipment configurations. To learn more about what document integrity means to your business, contact us today.