Hybrid Mail is not a new phenomenon in the world of Direct Mail, but it has to date flown under the radar somewhat. In layman’s terms, Hybrid Mail is essentially an ‘online postal service’ allowing you to upload letters or documents via a virtual portal online which are then printed, enclosed and despatched by a mailing house specialising in the process.
One of the main benefits of outsourcing your mailing requirements in this way are the postage savings Hybrid providers can offer, not only through economies of scale but also through Royal Mail initiatives and mail sorting technologies.
Another huge benefit is the time that is saved by outsourcing the mailing element of your campaigns. Communicating with your constituency is a vital part of the work you do and whilst this is hugely important, there are no doubt far more productive things you could be focusing your attention on than mailmerging, printing, enclosing and despatching your mail items.
Understandably, sending out vast campaigns by post wouldn’t be feasible for many but there are savings (both in terms of time and cost) to be made by implementing a hybrid mail process for some aspects of your mailing activity:
- Supporter and Member newsletters
- New Voters
- Hard to reach voters in remoter areas
When you consider a 2nd class stamp alone costs 58p, the fact that hybrid mail prints, encloses and despatches for you for as little as 43p per item shows the cost savings are significant.
So how does it work?
Implementing the hybrid mail platform is an extremely simple and painless process. You simply download the virtual print driver to your desktop PC and, once you’re happy with your mail merge, select the hybrid printer and click print. If you’d like to outsource the process completely, you can even upload various template documents to be selected for each mailing; upload your data and select the letter template you’d like to send and the software will merge for you.
Data files are uploaded in csv or xls format and your letter templates will need to be a word document or PDF with your logo, essentially an electronic version of your existing letterhead.
Once you have sent your mailing to be printed, a full suite of reports are available to ensure your mailing has gone out on time and in full, allowing you full control of the process. Any urgent mailings required to be despatched same day are also facilitated, allowing you to upload documents before 10am for a same day despatch. Any letters uploaded after 10am will be despatched the next day.
Although full training on the software is available, many clients find it so easy to use that this is not always necessary. With this in mind, we’d still recommend adding yourself to a test mailing and sending a ‘dummy’ mailer out to ensure you have grasped the concept fully.
Once you are comfortable with the process, you can send as many or as little items out as you require. If you have a specific deadline for a postal vote send out for example, you can also ensure these are sent 1st class so as not to miss your deadline, at an additional cost.
At Herald Chase, our Hybrid Mail software mailit.direct has benefitted many clients who had previously wasted hours weekly stuffing, enclosing and mailing letters. Not only has mailit.direct saved as much as 50% on existing postal costs, the time saved has allowed clients to focus on more business critical tasks and this is perhaps hybrid mail’s biggest plus point.
If you would like to talk to us about implementing mailit.direct at your offices for your postal campaigns, we’d be more than happy to help. Contact us on 01189 474 88 or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
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