Well, not always. As all you casino marketers know, there are lots of things that can impact the end result of a direct mail piece. So I thought it would be of value to take a few minutes and walk through the top tips that will help your direct mail project print/drop correctly that your printer may be too deferential to relay:

  • Request confirmation

    • When you send an e-mail to your printer opening a new job (Hey Jim, we just sent/uploaded artwork for a new mailer for a VIP gift giveaway postcard), be sure your printer/mail shop responds and acknowledges that they received your e-mail and the artwork. In this busy world of e-mails, texts, meetings and overall hectic schedules, it’s easy for things to get missed. This sounds simple enough, but you’d be surprised how often it’s overlooked. If you get some type of acknowledgment, you’ll at least know your job has been received.
       
  • Don’t hold on to the artwork or data

    • If the artwork is ready, but the mail file isn’t, go ahead and send the artwork. This will give your printer an idea of what the final piece will look like and if any special items need to be ordered to accommodate or complete the job. Same goes for the mail file—if it’s ready and the director of marketing is still reviewing the creative, go ahead and send the data. This will allow your printer’s data team time to process and program your mail file. Given the urgent nature of the gaming industry, sometimes every hour or day counts when it comes to getting certain mail jobs out the door.
       
  • Get specific

    • It always helps your printer to know the approximate quantity of pieces you’re planning to mail. If you’re just sending in artwork, go ahead and say “approximate quantity will be 10,000 and we want to drop this piece next week,” or “approximate quantity will be the same as the last VIP event and we want the piece to arrive two weeks prior to the date of the event.” Again, all this type of front-end information will help your printer achieve the goal of dropping the piece on time.
       
  • State special requests early

    • If your mail piece requires a special envelope or has a special shape to it (for example, it’s a football promotion and you want your invitation to be the shape of a football), please let your printer know this as soon as possible. As you can imagine, there are thousands of different types of paper stocks and styles—same for envelopes. Most printers do not keep all of these in stock and need to order them from their paper supplier. Sometimes, depending on the nature of your request, ordering and delivery of a special stock or item may take several days.
       
  • Be an approval process hawk

    • This is probably the most important tip. When your printer sends you proofs, the ball is in your court. Be sure your printer has the correct e-mail address of the person(s) who need to receive or approve the art and data proofs. This is often where jobs get hung up—waiting on the clients to approve the proofs. Typically, your printer is ready and waiting to move your job forward to the next step, but can’t until you approve the job. If you have a good printer, they will remind you within 24 hours of sending you your proof if they haven’t heard from you.
       
  • Communicate as a team

    • Think of printers/mail shops as an extension of your team. And as with any team, communication is often the key to success. Your printer wants your job to be executed as smoothly and flawlessly as possible. So the more you can think of them as an extension of your marketing team, the more effective the process will be.

Well, not always. As all you casino marketers know, there are lots of things that can impact the end result of a direct mail piece. So I thought it would be of value to take a few minutes and walk through the top tips that will help your direct mail project print/drop correctly that your printer may be too deferential to relay:<br><br>

• Request confirmation—When you send an e-mail to your printer opening a new job (Hey Jim, we just sent/uploaded artwork for a new mailer for a VIP gift giveaway postcard), be sure your printer/mail shop responds and acknowledges that they received your e-mail and the artwork. In this busy world of e-mails, texts, meetings and overall hectic schedules, it’s easy for things to get missed. This sounds simple enough, but you’d be surprised how often it’s overlooked. If you get some type of acknowledgment, you’ll at least know your job has been received.<br><br>

• Don’t hold on to the artwork or data—If the artwork is ready, but the mail file isn’t, go ahead and send the artwork. This will give your printer an idea of what the final piece will look like and if any special items need to be ordered to accommodate or complete the job. Same goes for the mail file—if it’s ready and the director of marketing is still reviewing the creative, go ahead and send the data. This will allow your printer’s data team time to process and program your mail file. Given the urgent nature of the gaming industry, sometimes every hour or day counts when it comes to getting certain mail jobs out the door.<br><br>

• Get specific—It always helps your printer to know the approximate quantity of pieces you’re planning to mail. If you’re just sending in artwork, go ahead and say “approximate quantity will be 10,000 and we want to drop this piece next week,” or “approximate quantity will be the same as the last VIP event and we want the piece to arrive two weeks prior to the date of the event.” Again, all this type of front-end information will help your printer achieve the goal of dropping the piece on time.<br><br>

• State special requests early—If your mail piece requires a special envelope or has a special shape to it (for example, it’s a football promotion and you want your invitation to be the shape of a football), please let your printer know this as soon as possible. As you can imagine, there are thousands of different types of paper stocks and styles—same for envelopes. Most printers do not keep all of these in stock and need to order them from their paper supplier. Sometimes, depending on the nature of your request, ordering and delivery of a special stock or item may take several days.<br><br>

• Be an approval process hawk—This is probably the most important tip. When your printer sends you proofs, the ball is in your court. Be sure your printer has the correct e-mail address of the person(s) who need to receive or approve the art and data proofs. This is often where jobs get hung up—waiting on the clients to approve the proofs. Typically, your printer is ready and waiting to move your job forward to the next step, but can’t until you approve the job. If you have a good printer, they will remind you within 24 hours of sending you your proof if they haven’t heard from you.<br><br>

• Communicate as a team—Think of printers/mail shops as an extension of your team. And as with any team, communication is often the key to success. Your printer wants your job to be executed as smoothly and flawlessly as possible. So the more you can think of them as an extension of your marketing team, the more effective the process will be.<