Combining Direct Mail & Postal Optimisation to connect with your customer in 2020…

12 Mar 2020

young person reading a postcard in front of a modern laptop, sitting at a modern kitchen table]

It’s no secret. Over the past few years, direct mail has undergone quite the resurgence. It’s not that digital marketers are running out of ideas, but the landscape is changing & email fatigue is having a significant effect on email open rates.

It comes as no surprise that 18-34-year-olds are more likely to open & read a physical piece of mail than an email. Think about it: Gen Z grew up receiving email after email, barely receiving any post apart from the occasional bank statement or birthday card.

In 2020, direct mail is, dare I say it…novel.

Direct mail takes personalisation to the next level, because it’s not just about electronically adding someone’s name to the beginning of an email to make them feel special – it’s about giving them something to hold on to; something tangible; something that will sit on a kitchen table for days.

But that’s not all. The real key – in the globalised world we live in, where anyone with an internet connection can find your website – the real key is a little thing called Postal Optimisation.

What is Postal Optimisation?

Optimising your post to give you the best service, at the best price, giving you as much chance of a substantial ROI as possible. This includes, but is not limited, to:

Data Quality

You will have a bank of address data that you will select as the recipients of your campaign. These could be long-forgotten, lapsed customers or highly engaged prospects, who only require a slight push on their path-to-purchase. However, with such an extensive bank of data, there is likely to be duplicates addresses in there, incorrect formatting & a whole host of other abnormalities.

Address formatting is even more important when your customer-base extends outside of one country. Each country has their own system: some, like Ireland, don’t require postcodes; some, like Austria, have a four-digit zip code to be cognizant of; and some, like Canada & the UK, combine both letters & digits within their postcodes.

Whether it’s postcodes, PO boxes or alphabets, there are no universal rules for addressing when you’re going global. That’s what we’re here for.

Once you transfer over that address data, MHI check it, ensuring that everything is the way it should be. Removing duplicate data saves you money & correct formatting ensures the mail arrives at its destination. It’s crucial to the success of your campaign, and this leads us onto…

Route Selection & Localisation

The routes we select for your campaign will depend entirely on your mailing preferences. If your campaign has no time restriction, we can offer a cost-effective, consistent route combination classed as our economy service. If your campaign is time-sensitive, we can offer you a priority service using our premium services.

Furthermore, if your prime consideration is offering your overseas customers a localised service, then we can route via their national postal service & courier network. This can boost the integrity of your mailing as the PPI (top right-hand corner) will be familiar, as will the final-mile delivery from their usual postal authority.  

It’s a bonus if you’d like to tailor the artwork into your customer’s language, but even without it, you’re putting trust & integrity at your heart of your mailing.

Award-Winning International Routing Technology

We call her IRIS. Our technology takes your preferences – whether you want a full-courier, priority or economy service – as well as your country counts, and spits out the best services at the best cost.

With global coverage, 100+ carriers & over 15,000 route options within IRIS, you can be assured that your mail will take the most efficient route to your customer.

It doesn’t matter if you have 2,000 contacts in one country, and only 50 in another, IRIS ensures that regardless of country, your customers are treated with equal consideration.

This is also the bridge where good economics meets sustainability.

By maximising export efficiency, there are fewer pallets, meaning fewer trucks on the road and, consequently, fewer emissions released into the atmosphere. This is one of the prime reasons for our status as Green Business of the Year in 2019.

What this means for you? Simply that your cost per unit will decrease as we pass our consolidated postal rates onto you.

Domestic Mailings

Whilst the focus has primarily been on international postal optimisation, there is also optimisation to be had if you’re doing a UK-only mailing. MHI have access to all Royal Mail products, as well as Downstream Access Providers (DSAs).

Depending on your campaign characteristics – whether it’s advertising mail, transactional material or of a certain volume – we will determine the best service in which to mail your campaign. We dig into the detail in order to give you the best price & service.

Click here to get your bespoke direct mail quote!

Let’s look at an example:

A retailer using postcards to re-engage lapsed customers on a global scale…

You sell into international markets. You have a great digital strategy combining email, SEO, targeted ads & social. You have a great product & sales volumes are growing…but you want more.

You have a large database of customers, worldwide, who have purchased or ordered samples from you in the past. You have their address data & consent to contact them. Perhaps you select all those who haven’t engaged for a year.

You compile them all together & work out the volumes to each country. You create a coupon code, ensuring you can attribute sales to the postcard campaign & fully calculate your Return on Ad Spend (ROAS).

You create your artwork & send over your country volumes to MHI, receiving a bespoke quote from us within 24 hours.

MHI will put your global volumes into our technology & get you a price based on our award-winning postal optimisation. A few days later, your artwork is printed & the postcards are sent out to your bank of addresses on a fully localised service, depending on country.

From there you track the coupon usage on your website & see those lapsed customers awake from their slumber.


There are many out there who believe direct mail is dead & buried…our data suggests quite the opposite. In fact, as part of an integrated marketing campaign, it is often considered the gold standard in actively engaging a customer.

Amongst younger consumers, it is novel & the fact it’s GDPR compliant is simply a bonus. All you need to do is dig into your address data, create some artwork & send it over to MHI.

From there, we’ll do the rest.

Click here to get your bespoke direct mail quote!

Calum White

Head of Marketing – MHI

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