The Lowdown on Hybrid Mail
Innovation never stops. Especially in business. When emerging technologies can be applied to your workflows, you use them. After all, if a new invention, piece of software or program can streamline what you do, help you be more efficient and make you a better-run company, you’d be daft to ignore it.
But some things stay the same. The mail, for instance. True, we don’t send and receive quite as many letters to each other as we once did, but postmen and postwomen across the world are still kept pretty busy. Believe it or not, we’ve had emails since the early 1970’s. But the simple letter? That’s been going strong since way back in 500 BC…
Mailing out offers, coupons, updates and various other things to customers is a valid business tool. That’s why most of us still do it. Sure, a significant proportion of it all goes straight into the recycling bin, but even so – businesses everywhere have done the maths and letters still fly.
Mailing Out Letters is Ridiculously Time Consuming, Though
Yes, it is. Not only does stuffing untold levels of folded-up sheets of A4 into envelopes take a long time, but it’s also not a great use of your employees’ time. They can be much better utilised tapping into their skill sets. And avoiding paper cuts.
And Sending Out Mail Isn’t Cheap, Y’Know…
We hear you. It isn’t. Printing, stuffing, sealing, franking and sending out mail not only takes a lot of time, but it’s also pretty expensive. There’s wages, equipment, printing, paper, postage – it all adds up.
Okay, So What’s the Answer?
Well, we’ve already given it away with our title here somewhat. The answer is hybrid mail. The idea is that instead of printing and mailing out correspondence yourself, you create the document and send it to a special server (along with any postal and template/layout instructions). Your hybrid mail provider then picks up the document and does the leg work for you. Which may sound a little silly just for one letter. But when you’re talking about tens of thousands? The time saved can be really quite substantial.
How Do We ‘Automatically’ Send Out Letters?!
Well, you don’t. A hybrid mail service does. You sign up for their service and then any documents you need sending go out to your customers, via them. They receive the letter online and print, stuff n’ post for you. Their job is sending letters. So they can do it at scale and even with a profit margin added on, contact your customers via snail mail and charge you significantly less than you spend to do the same thing.
Sounds Like It Could Go Wrong
Any reputable company that offers hybrid mail services like Xerox will make you pretty watertight assurances regarding accuracy, speed and quality. They will have each piece of post checked, and any issues addressed. So not only are you streamlining your processes and massively reducing your mailing overheads, but you’re also eliminating errors in a big way as well.
How Can I Guarantee The Letters Will Look ‘Right’?
You can seek assurances from your provider over things such as print quality and style. It’s a good idea to ask to see some examples of their work before you sign on the dotted line too. But don’t forget you have a part to play in the process also. It’s essential that the provider receives your letters in the template(s) you agree upon. Otherwise, the letter can potentially look misaligned or strange. It’s also worth impressing upon all staff that send out hybrid mail that image resolution must be high wherever possible.
Is It Safe? Will My Information Be Secure?
Of course. You would only agree to use a hybrid mail company that is accredited and gives you firm assurances regarding security, data protection and privacy. After all, you have a duty of care towards your customers’ data being safe. So any hybrid mail business you instruct will know that and take keeping your customers’ details safe very seriously indeed. If you don’t get the impression they do, don’t sign up with them!
Some nice features to look out for include things like postcode validation and spending caps. You can have the provider flag up incorrect address details and also contact you when an agreed spending limit has been reached. Other nice touches include same day send outs on anything posted before a set time (say, 3 pm…). You can also request all letters are saved onto their servers for future reference. Oh, and there’s a not insignificant reduction in the carbon footprint of each and every letter mailed through a hybrid mail company too.
So there you have it. Instruct a hybrid mail service provider like Xerox to take care of your letter dispatch process, and you’ll stop diverting staff to letter stuffing, save money, become more efficient, better serve your customers and reduce even paper cuts in your organisation!
What’s not to love, eh…?