Direct Mail Outlook : Mail Matters for Marketers

The Top 5 Direct Mail Printers in the 2011 PI 400 ranking. (Double click chart to enlarge.)

It’s not like the mailing community doesn’t have a dog in this fight. But it’s important to note that, when push comes to shove, Mr. ZIP needs to look out for his own interests. And, as the postal drama continues to unfold, printers and mailers are mindful of their obligation to continue providing customers with maximized printing and postage savings. That won’t change, regardless of what the USPS looks like five or 10 years from now.

“We continue to find ways to 
partner with clients, to plan marketing campaigns with them that cost less to produce and investigate ways to realize postage savings,” notes Matt Coltharp, president of The Cyril-Scott Co. of Lancaster, OH, and a member of the Consolidated Graphics (CGX) family.

CGX prides itself on all 70 member companies and 600 sales representatives being able to offer distribute/print/mail strategies to clients. Its geographical footprint provides a quicker time to market, supplemented by efficient postage and freight rates, Coltharp says.

According to Coltharp, many of the issues that dominated 2010 (production and distribution costs, reduced print runs, increased competition) played a role in shaping 2011. Direct marketers continue to refine their mailing lists, taking personalization to another level. Coltharp believes one of the keys for his company is working closely with clients to maximize direct marketing campaign results by refining the channels and tactics that work best, as well as testing cost-effective options that align with customers’ sales objectives.

From an investment standpoint, the CGX chain added a number of key pieces to bolster direct mail production. Among the highlights: A six-color Goss M-500 heatset web press with in-line finishing system at Cyril-Scott, and the introduction of the HP T200 color inkjet web press platform. Also proving popular was the 2010 introduction of the CGX Flex Mailer, which allows a variety of material to be mailed as an automated flat. In addition, CGX released an upgrade to its Connect cross-media solution to improve client visibility of multichannel campaign performance in real-time.

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