Revolutionary Relevance in Direct Mail

RELEVANCE. More vital today than ever before. Why? Because each of us is deluged with information each and every day. The challenge we all face is sorting through the clutter in the limited time we have available in order to get to the really important stuff that is, well, relevant!

So, if you’re the author (read: Marketer) of any of that information tidal wave coming your way, your challenge is crafting a message that is truly relevant. You might be pushing that relevant message out via email, social media, e-commerce or the channel that drives all of us at SPC—direct mail!

Turning Data Into Action

Here are a few reasons why this is so important: Marketers gather tons of data about their customers. That’s all very interesting, but turning interest into action is the key. Making data actionable is vital. It has to be so much more than personalization in the form of the right name and address. There is a difference between personalization and truly dynamic content. Dynamic content is relevant. Dynamic content turns interest into action! We see this at work in mobile marketing and web sites that cater uniquely to our buying preferences. Now it’s time to put this to work in the direct mail channel and the technology is ready to take us there together. Millennials love getting direct mail. They read 82% of the direct mail they receive from retail brands1. And now there are more Millennials than Baby Boomers!1 Marketers need to focus on this audience segment today and for years to come and they will demand relevant messaging.

Those marketers—our customers—want us to be able to help them deliver. We at SPC have been innovating around the production technologies that enable relevant messaging for quite some time, and we’re always searching for the next big thing. Keeping our fingers on the pulse of inkjet technology has caused us to dig deep with our customers and prospects about why being able to deliver highly relevant messaging using full color variable imagery might be great. And we decided to put our money where our mouths are.

Our Trip to DRUPA

So, we went to DRUPA in Germany and saw all of the manufacturers and their ink jet presses, both sheetfed and web. We narrowed the options to a few and then did print tests with the major contenders. We evaluated the results and then went to the negotiating table. We came away with a solid, two phase deal with Canon-Océ, and we’re really excited about it:

Phase One: We will put the Océ VarioPrint i300 sheetfed inkjet press in our Lettershop facility right now to be production-ready in August. This press will be our opportunity to learn the nuances of inkjet printing and augment our existing toner-based Kodak Nexpress platform. It will give our customers a more efficient and productive solution, allowing them to deliver highly relevant offers to their customers.

Phase Two: Our installation of the Océ ProStream inkjet web press is expected in early December and will be the first in the United States. It will allow SPC to deliver high volume, exceptional quality, fully variable, full color products driving highly relevant messaging on behalf of our customers.

Savings from Efficiency

Another huge benefit of utilizing the i300 and ProStream is our ability to combine multiple versions into a single mail stream, realizing significant savings. To put this math to the test, we modeled five real-world projects for SPC customers, analyzing both freight and postage to find an overall sweet spot of efficiency. On the largest of these projects, a 4.5M piece project yielded a savings of $55K, even though freight costs increased – because of significantly reduced postage costs. Two other jobs also saw freight increases more than offset by postage savings – to the tune of $7K saved per job. Another run brought a savings of $1,400, and the final job came out at basically the same price. The i300 and ProStream allow us to fine-tune the mail stream and let SPC do some of the USPS’ work where it makes sense for our clients.

Empowering Clients with Data

It’s been a process getting to the point where we can utilize both data and mail stream efficiencies for the benefit of SPC customers. Until now we believed our customers simply weren’t ready to convert their data into truly dynamic content, but now many are willing and able to take the leap. With the technology SPC is putting into play today we’re ready to empower our customers who want to turn interest into action and deliver amazing results through truly relevant direct mail marketing messages. These are exciting times!

Bill Mattran
Senior Vice President Business Development

  1. Quad Graphics. (2015). Millennials: An Emerging Consumer Powerhouse. Retrieved from


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