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How Digital Print is changing Direct Mail – Interview with David Leitch

David Leitch

The Xerox Trivor – Interview with David Leitch – Digital Print Manager

Direct Mail has evolved and with First Move recently installing the new Xerox Trivor, A world’s first, we are now at the forefront of digital printing technology.

We interview our very own Digital Print Manager, David Leitch for his insights into the Xerox Trivor printer and how printing technology is changing the face of Direct Mail in today’s digitally focused world.

1. Why should companies take notice of the Xerox Trivor, how does it improve upon the current world of Direct Mail? Speed and Cost. The Trivor is a new era in terms of printing, inkjet has primarily been used for lower quality projects and to reduce costs. Whilst this is important, the addition of quality and the ability to make each sheet of paper totally individual, dramatically increases the options open to users.

2. What impact does the Trivor have on personalisation? The Trivor opens up new avenues of variable data and imagery in one file for customers, enabling you to target specific interests that their customers have expressed an interest in. In the Trivor arena personalisation is not just a name and address but potentially completely individual items of mail. Images and text driven through data analysis of the understanding of your customers buying habits, their likes and dislikes, their location, their proximity to the nearest supplier. In short improved relevancy to the reader of what is of interest to them – every page is unique!

3. EFI RIP what’s that and what’s the benefit to customers? The EFI RIP is where all of the data is collected and processed ready for the Trivor to print. The need to process thousands of pixels (drops) of ink per second requires huge computing power. The rip installed at First Move is the largest ever created by EFI (Xerox’s computing partner) and was shipped from San Francisco direct to High Wycombe. The RIP is the 1st of its kind in the world, its power enables clients to produce multiple image and multi placement of personalisation campaigns specific to each person. The benefit of this power is that it processes the information faster than anything previous.

Xerox Trivor 2400 Inkjet Press

4. How can companies save money when using the Xerox Trivor? Being a single process for print and variable data/images, longer run campaigns are printed in one run, rather than previously, where you would ‘litho’ print and then personalise.

5. How fast can a customer get something mailed using the Trivor and how much faster than the current world is that? As previously mentioned, we have taken a two stage printing exercise and changed it to a one stage. But let’s not be fooled, there are machines out there that can do low volume jobs quickly, what Trivor changes is quality and quantity. Trivor produces 270,000 A4 letters printed in colour both sides in an 8 hour shift.

6. Why should companies interested in Direct Mail speak to First Move? Now, with 2 world 1st installs of the Xerox Trivor and the EFI rip PLUS our understanding of marketing as demonstrated in our book Direct Mail 101 (this details the process required to deliver predictable profitable mail campaigns) our ability to assist our clients deliver improved results is unique.  Our achievements in this area have been recently recognised by Xerox and we are proud to have been asked to become part of their worldwide ‘Premier Partners’ programme.

To find out more about the new Xerox Trivor Printer and to establish how Digital Direct Mail can transform your business please contact First Move today on 01494 539300 or fill in our online contact form.

 

Click here to watch our video to see how the Xerox Trivor performs.

You might also like to read our recent blogs on How are digital marketers using Direct Mail? and Why use Direct Mail within your marketing mix?

 

Digital Semantics of Direct Mail

Digital Semantics of Direct Mail – The language of the way we work

Though they come from the same discipline, direct mail and digital marketing are distant cousins rather than siblings in terms of terminology. They share a vocabulary, though depending on which camp you’re from you could be speaking the language with an accent. Each was founded on similar principles and they’ve since developed to suit the types of results each achieves. An open rate is one medium and means something completely different in the other, and response rates paint a different picture. Confused? We’ve lifted the mystery with our direct mail dictionary for digital natives; your comprehensive guide to the semantics of the world’s most powerful marketing tool.

Digital

Generally digital measurement is focused on the immediate, which lends itself to the nature of its lexicon. Here is a round-up of the most common terms you’ll encounter and in the next section a rundown of how they translate to direct mail.

 

  • Conversion rate: The number of desired actions resulting from email activity. For example, sales transactions, downloads or mailing list sign-ups.

 

  • Bounce rate: It is as it sounds and in either outcome the recipient never sees the email. A hard bounce rate is caused by incorrect email addresses or domain issues; a soft bounce rate is when there’s an issue with delivery such as a full inbox or server issues.

 

  • Deliverability: The measure of an email campaign’s cut-through. You should measure the returned email deliverability (volume of emails sent less the number of bounces) and inbox deliverability (volume of emails delivered to the inbox as opposed to the spam folder or not delivered).

 

  • Average unique open rate: How many emails were opened divided by the number of emails delivered.

 

  • Opt-out: The dreaded enemy; when a recipient opts out of further communications.

 

  • Response rate: The number of actual responses made as a result of the email campaign.

 

Direct Mail

So in terms of semantics, there are subtle differences between the two mediums and these largely depend on the way they’re consumed.

 

  • Conversion rate: In direct mail a conversion rate is the same as a response rate. Sales or information request, both forms of contact mean an interaction with your valuable customer.

 

  • Bounce rate: In direct mail a bounce rate means undelivered mail due to a change of address or a deceased individual. Once they’re gone, they’re gone.

 

  • Deliverability: Deliverability means that your DM is undeliverable all together. The only way to improve this is by improving the quality of your database.

 

  • Average unique open rate: According to Royal Mail the average unique open rate is about 90%. When you know your most of mail is guaranteed to be viewed, digital open rates tend to pale in comparison.

 

  • Opt-out: There’s no need to consider opt-out rates as all clients have opted in in the first place; it’s a legal requirement of all direct mail. Recipients who don’t want to read your mail simply bin it and your database retains its integrity.

 

  • Response rate: The major difference between digital and print, response rates reflect the number of sales or responses to an offer, which in virtually all instances is a sale i.e. conversion rates in digital is a response rate in direct mail.

 

Knowing how to talk the language not only gives you the vocabulary, but helps you establish your authority on the subject. With the right set of tools you can competently recommend direct mail and watch your responses explode.

Contact First Move today on 01494 539300 or email enquiries@firstmove.co.uk for help with your Direct Mail campaigns.

You might also be interested in the following articles:

Harness the power of digital to execute your direct mail campaigns

Why use Direct Mail within your Marketing Mix?

Key Statistics: Direct Mail vs Email

 

Digital Marketers return to Direct Mail

How Are Digital Marketers Using Direct Mail?

The propaganda from digital marketeers said direct mail was dead. Now they’re retreating with their tails between their legs begging to be let back in. After all, the already powerful direct mail can have even more impact when paired with digital. But how are the digital natives returning to direct mail and why?

The realisation isn’t surprising and we all predicted it; digital would become so big it was impossible to hear the message clearly. But now with technology it’s easier to refine the message and hit the recipient from multiple channels. Direct mail with digital marketing integration can be even more targeted, personalised to specific individuals and an interactive and offline hybrid.

Avoid the Opt-Out All Together
With digital direct mail you can remove yourself from a list easily, and as mobile phone technology evolves, without searching for the unsubscribe button. This is bad news to marketeers as once you’ve lost a contact’s subscription, you’ll have to have a miracle to regain their following. Direct mail is different. Sending something to someone’s house or business is easy, and provided that you’ve acquired their data legally, totally within the eyes of the law.

Consumers throw things in the bin without hesitation, but unless the content is particularly objectionable, they never bother to find out from where it has come or how to get rid of it. Without the worries of email sender reputation, spam filters or IP blocking, provided Royal Mail is doing its job, nothing will stop it from reaching its recipient.

Increased ROI
Just like email marketing direct mail measurement is a dream. By using metrics and KPIs you can understand the insight of campaigns at a glance. Direct mail shares the same measurements as its digital counterpart and it can even improve digital marketing results. Sure digital campaigns can have their impact, but they’re soon forgotten. A follow-up print mail alternative hangs around and can be the one things that converts to purchase. Rather than sending five emails isn’t one direct mail a better use of your time?

Programmatic Direct Mail Marketing
Even the display ad networks and resellers have found it tough of recent years and have had to evolve their strategies to combat ad blockers and decreasing impression rates. Digital advertising and remarketing has now turned to direct mail to convert customers to purchase. With sophisticated algorithms and the ability to track users’ browsing history, products can go from a wish list on the web to a DM flyer in their letterbox the following day. How could your customer possibly resist temptation when something they’ve coveted online comes directly to their hands?

Seamless Synchronisation
Digital marketing is seeing the benefits of direct mail and how it aligns with general marketing objectives. It’s easy to integrate the physical nature of DM with online CRM systems to conduct a more telling and sincere communication with customers and prospects. Nothing beats a birthday card in the post and only DM can convey the emotion to express true gratitude to key customers.

 

Contact First Move today on 01494 539300 or email enquiries@firstmove.co.uk for help with your Direct Mail campaigns.

You might also be interested in the following articles:

Harness the power of digital to execute your direct mail campaigns

Why use Direct Mail within your Marketing Mix?

Key Statistics: Direct Mail vs Email

Combine Direct Mail and Digital Marketing

How to Combine Direct Mail and Digital Marketing

Direct mail is a much more sophisticated beast than you imagine.

Direct mail climbs new heights with the advancement of digital technology and now, you can take advantage of its potential. It doesn’t require a re-engineering of the way you run your business and marketing, just some tweaks that’ll bolster sales and increase response rates with very little effort.

Citipost Mail put together a study to show how digital integration can change the way you look at direct mail by taking a wider view and more informed approach. Here are those findings:

We already know that direct mail has high response rates: 3.7% from direct mail with a house list and 1% from direct mail and supplied prospect lists. All other forms total less than 1%; mobile, email, social media, paid search and display advertising fade into the distance. And it’s surprising to learn that email and social media are two of the three most popular marketing channels yet, have the lowest rate of response. Direct mail is not as popular but four times as successful as all of them combined.


Social and digital work better with direct mail

These days marketing is never considered in isolation and 44% marketeers use three or more marketing channels for their brands’ campaigns. You too can learn from this initiative and can combine direct mail with digital for even better results. The proof is in its success:

When social network users were sent direct mail, they responded as follows:
• 25% used a coupon
• 19% held onto it for future use
• 15% visited a store
• 10% passed it on
• 9% friend a new product or service

These are impressive results and a great example of how you can merge the offline with the online. Can think of any other ways to replicate that kind of response? Although social media claims to be a great connector, it’s largely impersonal. Direct mail bridges that gap. In fact, 45% of social network users have acted on direct mail they received and 29% who have used a social network in the past 12 months are 29% more likely to be heavy responders to direct mail.


Direct mail increases your total campaign’s effectiveness

When you add direct mail to an email campaign you increase the potential response rate by 26%. That’s huge. And with the capabilities of social media to spread your message to those who weren’t on your prospect list, you can expect that 9% of direct mail responses will be generated via email or social networks.

Direct mail can be used as one component of a multi-faceted campaign. Use various triggers to contact the customer through text, email, app push notifications and inbox messages and work with your postal operator to trigger the action based on the direct mail delivery. They’ll be grateful for the increased volume and have the facilities to realise your direct mail potential as you envisage it.


Track every response and understand it

Tracking direct mail with digital has never been easier and there are numerous ways to make it happen. Use QR codes and pURLs to track online activity and voucher codes to track conversions at various points of sale. To really merge the direct mail and online experience include a NFC chip that with a quick scan, swipe or tap can turn a smartphone into an extension of the mailer—direct mail brought to life. And reporting is even easier with various tools that can monitor social media for brand mentions and to receive more qualitative feedback through comments and commentary.

Direct mail with digital is the future and you can shape what it looks like with your clients and imaginations, just see how Gtech are going from strength to strength here.

Read our case study on how we helped Gtech combine direct mail with digital, resulting in a silver DMA Award and generated £14.4 million in revenue.


Contact First Move today on 01494 539300 or email enquiries@firstmove.co.uk for help with your Direct Mail campaigns.

You might also be interested in the following articles:

Harness the power of digital to execute your direct mail campaigns

Why use Direct Mail within your Marketing Mix?

Key Statistics: Direct Mail vs Email