Personalized Direct Mail is a lucrative business. Now, with the added option to integrate digital touchpoints such as Landing Pages, AR experiences and Personalized videos, Direct Mail is one of the best tools for cutting through the clutter and getting your message across.
It also offers a strong return on investment compared to other channels. According to the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) 2021 Response Rate Report, Direct mail ROI outperforms all other marketing media and reports the highest average ROI of 112% when sent to prospect lists.
Yet however cost-effective, there will always be options for making efficiency savings when planning Direct Mail Campaign delivery. Some postal services worldwide, including the US Postal Service and Royal Mail in the UK, offer discounts to customers if they can pre-sort their mail themselves before sending it through the postal service. It’s a win-win since the postal service doesn’t have to perform that task and there are other benefits to the service provider. These include faster processing and delivery and, therefore, potentially a higher response rate but there are challenges:
How can you sort your output accurately to take advantage of Postal service discounts according to weight or address? It’s a massive benefit if you can determine how many pages and, therefore, how much each envelope will weigh before you print the files. There will also be discounts if your print is pre-sorted by address. If you send thousands or millions of envelopes, you can be sure that those savings will matter.
How can you optimize the Folder Inserter Machine’s identification process to recognize which pages are for each recipient? What if your hardware can’t extract the necessary data from the PDF/VT file? How can you get all the information you need to complete the print job and ensure the correct pages are added to the matching recipient’s envelope?
If you’re printing booklets, how can you ensure an even number of pages will be printed? Filler pages will probably be needed, perhaps with coupons. If there are different sections in your booklet, additional rules may be required, such as always beginning a section on the right-hand page and never the left.
If you offer Direct Mail or Transactional Document processing and want to take advantage of pre-sorting postal discounts by optimizing the print identification process for larger mail runs, the new version of PersonalEffect and uDirect makes the process much easier.
Dynamic Page Numbering
PersonalEffect and uDirect now support multipage dynamic page numbering. The page number markers will update automatically when the number of pages vary per recipient or when you add, remove, or rearrange pages in the document. An integration is no longer needed to power this function.
Flat ADOR Data Generation
You can generate flat ADOR data in a CSV file along with your chosen VDP output format simultaneously. This CSV file will include information about the PDF, including ADOR values, the number of pages in the output per recipient, and more. It can be used to create the Mail Record Data File that many Inserters use or as a simple manual run sheet to check the output from your printer.
New Preflight Output Format
You can also generate the flat ADOR data CSV file without the output file for ‘preflight’ checks. The file can be sorted according to weight (number of pages) or address or however else you want to sort it and used to generate the print files.
The new preflight output file is also a great way to check for missing fonts, text overflows, and other production errors.
These features are available now for all InDesign production. The feature will be extended to XLIM production in the next release.
In this version, we’ve also updated the uCreate Print interface and terminology to improve usability, match other InDesign panels, and reduce the learning curve for new users.
And coming soon…
Filler Pages with Page Numbering
This post-production feature will allow the removal or addition of pages to/from the output even if variable page numbering has been enabled. If, for instance, a variable booklet must have either four, eight or 12 pages but the variability rules result in different page totals, you can add extra pages of customized content or remove surplus pages to complete the booklet. The page numbering will still be correct.
To update uDirect, please download the new version from here.
To update PersonalEffect, email firstname.lastname@example.org.