In this day and age, there is a big focus on building a digital presence and forming a strong digital marketing strategy in order to succeed as a business. However, direct mail still proves to be an effective and popular way to reach new and existing customers, with direct mail spend in the UK last year reaching £1.1 billion. For businesses who are wanting to take advantage of direct mail and create an effective direct mail campaign, a mailing house can be an essential part of the campaign strategy and is often considered an essential resource.
In this blog we’ll explore everything there is to know about mailing houses. What a mailing house is, its benefits, as well as what services they offer to their customers.
What actually is a mailing house?
A mailing house is a company that specialised in preparing, printing, sorting, and sending large amounts of mail on behalf of businesses. Mailing houses often offer a large range of services and are commonly used to execute direct mail campaigns for businesses. Services can include design work, printing, postage, data processing and campaign tracking.
What does a mailing house do?
A mailing house will prepare and dispatch mail on a large scale on behalf of a business, usually for marketing purposes. Here are some of the services provided by a typical mailing house:
Mailing houses will offer a variety of printing services to their clients. They will have state-of-the-art printing equipment and will be able to print high-quality assets and mailings to a professional standard. Due to the industrial size of their printers, they will also be able to print material efficiently. The type of materials that can be printed are endless and most mailing houses can work closely with their customers to print custom pieces. Popular materials printed with mailing houses are flyers, brochures, postcards and catalogues, but could also include bespoke requests such as stickers, signs and menus.
Many mailing houses can carry out data processing, which involved helping businesses manage their mailing lists and carrying out general data hygiene tasks such as verifying addresses, removing duplicates and updating customer information. Data processing is an important part of a direct mail campaign as it reduced the likelihood of any undeliverable mailings, due to incorrect addresses and delivery information.
Some mailing houses are also able to provide data capture services. This involves securely collating and inputting customer data gathered from a campaign and presenting it back to the client. Documents data can be captured from include:
- Response cards
- Survey or Questionnaires
Production & Packaging
Mailing houses also have the capability to support their customers in the production and packaging of their mailings. Providing more than just the printing of materials, many can fold materials, provide poly wrapping, insert letters into envelopes, include product samples, add bespoke tabs, stickers and more.
A key service provided by mailing houses is their ability to organise the postage for a business’s mailers. They often have close relationships with postal services that allow them to offer discounted pricing on bulk postage to their customers. This creates a more cost-effective solution for businesses. Mailing houses can also advise on which postage is best for each campaign.
Tracking & Reporting
Tracking and reporting of the sent-out mailers are also able to be provided by some mailing houses and include details on how many were delivered and how many were undeliverable.
What are the benefits of using a mailing house?
There are many benefits of outsourcing and using a mailing house, in order to carry out direct mail campaigns, as well as other marketing and sales materials. Some of the key benefits include:
Using a mailing house can be a very time-efficient endeavour for a business. By outsourcing the work needed to produce and deliver a large number of mailers, a business can save significant time and energy, due to it being a very time-consuming task that many businesses don’t have the resources to do themselves. If a business sends regular mailouts, then they will definitely save time by using a mailing house, as the investment of using their services means they can focus their time elsewhere within the business or on other marketing activities.
Due to mailing houses often having close relationships with postal services, such as Royal Mail, they are able to receive discounted postal rates, especially for bulk items, that they pass on to their customers. This is a major cost-saving benefit for businesses when they choose to use a mailing house, and something they wouldn’t be able to receive if they were to do it in-house.
Overall, mailing houses prove to be a cost-effective solution to printing and delivering direct mail and other marketing materials, compared to if a business were to carry out the activity themselves. The cost of the printing and production equipment, the necessary materials, expert staff, as well as postage rates would accumulate too much more than the cost of using a mailing house. When using a mailing house, they will quote you a one-off price or an ongoing subscription based on your needs that covers all the above costs.
Using a mailing house means that a business gets access to its team of industry experts, who have valuable experience within the mailing, printing and direct mail sectors. They will have worked with numerous companies producing marketing materials and can advise you on best practices and what performs well, as well as make cost-effective suggestions.
Mailing houses have the benefit of offering flexible contracts to their customers. It’s likely that you will be able to work with them on an ad-hoc basis, as well as on an ongoing monthly contract if you regularly send out marketing materials.
All You Need Under One Roof
When using a mailing house, businesses benefit from accessing all the services they need under one roof. Outsourcing different tasks to various suppliers or companies can become complicated and time-consuming. Using just one mailing house provides a business with an integrated approach and covers all its requirements. It also allows the mailing house to manage all aspects of the mailing campaign from start to finish, leading to a more reliable and efficient result.
Who uses a mailing house?
Businesses and organisations are the majority of those that use a mailing house. Although some individuals may use their services for one-off services or printing capabilities, the majority of mailing houses clients are looking to send out high-volume marketing material. Common customers of mailing houses include:
- In-house Marketing Teams
- Marketing Agencies
- Business Owners
How do mailing houses work?
Mailing houses will operate in different ways and vary depending on the requirements. Once you reach out to a mailing house, they will ask about your needs and the services you wish to use, whether that be data processing, printing or postage. The mailing house will then work closely with you to deliver what is needed. Due to their expert knowledge, they will be able to advise on best practices and how to get the most successful results.
How to choose a mailing house?
When choosing a mailing house to work with, it can be hard to know what to look for. We recommend you follow the following steps:
- Check Their Services - First, check to see if they provide the services you need and have the ability to deliver your requirements.
- Check Their Portfolio - Secondly, check out their portfolio of work. A reliable and reputable mailing house should have examples of their work and may also list some of their current clients.
- Check Reviews & Testimonials - It’s always good to read customer and client reviews of a business before working with them.
- Get a Quote - Get a quote from the company before you commit to anything. You will want to make sure their services are in your budget and it always avoids any unexpected costs later down the line.
- Give Them a Call - We always recommend giving a mailing house a call to better understand what they can offer and if they can deliver on your requirements. They will also be able to answer any questions you have and you can get a sense of their level of customer service.
Direct Mailing Systems, a first-class mailing house
Direct Mailing Systems is one of the UK’s leading mailing houses and specialises in the latest mailing solutions that are cost-effective and environmentally friendly. Whether you are overwhelmed with your current mailing tasks in-house or want to produce more professional, large-scale campaigns, we can help.
Call us on 0117 934 1600 or email us at