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Direct Mail service goes from strength to strength

Article by Alistair Wood

Tue 11 Sep 2018

Direct Mail service goes from strength to strength

This year we’ve sent out more direct mail than we did in the entire of 2017. By the end of the year we expect to have sent out close to 5 million letters, a 30% increase on last year. That’s an incredible growth rate!

If you don’t know, ESco is not just a successful subscriptions bureau handling paid and free subscriptions for publications as diverse as Fertilizer Week and Doctor Who, but we are also a high quality mailing house processing complex data driven customer communications. Generally this takes the form of renewal letters, inviting customers to extend subscriptions but it also includes acquisition mailings, and financial services for the production of invoices, receipts etc.

We run these mailings for all our clients who use us to manage their subscriptions, but it is also a standalone service used by household names such as The Week, National Geographic for Kids and TV Times.

But what do we put this year’s growth rate down to?  I think broadly this can be attributed to three main areas:

  1. Direct Mail Works! -  At a recent industry event I heard Sarah Wilkinson, the Consumer Marketing Director at TI Media (one of the publishers who use our renewals service), announce that over 90% of their renewals are driven by paper based communications! Direct mail still works, and has a higher success rate than email. I can relate to this, my inbox is constantly inundated by people trying to sell me a new service or invite me to an event. There are just too many to digest and I press the delete button in quick succession until I get to the important emails that I actually need to respond to. However, when a letter lands on my desk I will definitely open it and engage with the content if it is of high quality and written well. Our clients are finding this too, and more of their renewal communication is happening via direct mail.
  2. GDPR – yes, dreaded GDPR. Since the introduction of the new GDPR legislation, earlier this year publishers have been much more careful about sending electronic communication to people who they don’t have the rights to send to. Sending a letter is much easier to do as you don’t need to be in contract, or have prior consent to do this as long as you run the data against industry suppression files. We are seeing more communication to promotional or lapsed customers being conducted over direct mail as a result.
  3. New clients – over the last year we have picked new clients who are using our renewals service. Either directly into our subscriptions department (Wanderlust, Anthem, MIXMAG, Kerrang! to name a few), or through our partnership with Air Business (Dennis Publishing, Prospect, Aceville etc).

All of this has added up to a successful year for our print and production departments.

Like all areas of ESco, we are continuing to invest in this area of our service and have recently purchased a new digital printer (see image below) that gives us even higher quality print, allows up to 400gsm and also opens up the opportunity to do high gloss printing.

Please do get in touch if you would like more information about the high quality renewals service ESco offers

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