Direct Marketing, Mail Order, and E-commerce News from the National Mail Order Association

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Pitney Bowes Introduces Mailstream Marketing – the Next Level for Direct Marketers

Free Mailstream White Paper Available at www.pb.com

As consumers move their media choices to highly customized, one-to-one vehicles such as iPods, satellite radio and TiVO, marketers are challenged in managing multi-channel messaging opportunities. As spam is auto-dumped from personal computers, traditional mail has emerged as the most effective “first touch” in Customer Communications Management (CCM).

According to the Cable & Telecommunications Association, 70% of consumers today prefer to receive advertisements and promotions via the U.S. Mail. Letters including transactional mail constitute a $36 billion dollar industry in the U.S alone, and the entire global mailing industry – including shipping packages -- tops off at $900 billion.
 
“Mailstream marketing is the fastest way to optimize both B2B and B2C customer communications management. Printed mail – postcards, letters, catalogues or brochures – are all catalysts to driving Web site traffic today. Mail continues to be a traditional medium that drives behavior in the digital world,” said John Schloff, Vice President of Marketing at Pitney Bowes Document Messaging Technologies. “The customer intelligence delivered throughout the mailstream is essential to marketers who are both optimizing their customer communication management, and also benchmarking their marketing performance.”

Customer communication management is core to effective one-to-one marketing with mixed media that merges digital and physical channels. Direct mail today is comprised of data-rich systems and processes that provide mailers with options for making their customer, production and channel intelligence more comprehensive and precise. Data integration can make each communication more relevant to customer needs. Relevance and accuracy are the result of combining data integration with name and address cleansing and standardization. Automated inserting, mailing and tracking technologies enable accuracy and higher efficiencies. When mail operations leverage communication intelligence across production and delivery channels, they are practicing mailstream marketing.

Brands that use the traditional mail channel have a particular sweet spot for highly personalized, relevant marketing to current clients. Financial statements, mortgage bills, credit card statements, insurance premiums, even drivers’ license renewal forms, all arrive directly through the consumer’s front door to deliver timely, useful information.

Pitney Bowes offers the following advice for marketers who want to optimize the mailstream:

· Leverage customer intelligence to create more personalized messages that enable cross-sell and up-sell opportunities and ultimately foster customer loyalty.

· Deliver relevant communications to your customers. Your message is traveling with an important personal document (eg, bank statement, insurance explanation of benefits). Be respectful of the medium by keeping the marketing message aligned with the purpose of the document. In addition to content alignment, a relevant document is always accurate.

· Apply the highest data quality practices . The shortest route to the trash bin is via a wrong address or a misspelled name.

· Mandate the highest mailing accuracy and integrity – especially with personalized transactional mail and inserts. Misdirected mail can turn customers off an entire brand. The wrong marketing message – or worse, the wrong personal document to the wrong person – is far more than a bad impression.

· Practice event marketing . Be opportunistic about events in your target customer’s life such as birthdays, graduations, home moves, weddings and births. Sending helpful promotions around life events can create close connections with customers.

To download the free white paper “Toward an Optimized Mailstream,” visit www.pb.com .

About Pitney Bowes
Pitney Bowes provides the world’s most comprehensive suite of mailstream software, hardware, services and solutions to help companies manage their flow of mail, documents and packages to improve communication. Pitney Bowes, with $5.5 billion in annual revenue, takes an all-inclusive view of its customers’ operations, helping organizations of all sizes enjoy the competitive advantage that comes from an optimized mailstream. The company’s 86 years of technological leadership have produced many major mailstream innovations, and it is consistently on the Intellectual Property Owners Association’s list of top U.S. patent holders. With approximately 34,000 employees worldwide, Pitney Bowes serves more than 2 million businesses through direct and dealer operations. More information about the company can be found at www.pb.com .

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