Church marketer mails faster with automated presorting

Client: Outreach Inc.?

Agency: DYMO Endicia?

Objective: To increase the speed of mailings and reduce direct mail costs by automating the presorting process.?

Outreach Inc., one of the nation’s largest providers of church-outreach programs, needed help during crunch times — especially around Easter and Christmas, its two top mailing periods. During Easter, it mails from 6 million to 10 million postcards, requiring employee overtime and sometimes outsourcing to meet deadlines. ?

STRATEGY: Outreach sends presorted mailings via the US Postal Service’s Priority Mail Open and Distribute service, which processes bulk bundles at facilities closer to their destinations for faster delivery. However, the company was preparing mail trays manually, printing postage and labels separately, and mailing forms filled out by hand, making for a rate of only 30 trays per hour. ?

“They were getting very bogged down by the manual processes,” says Samuel Leinbach, product manager at DYMO Endicia. ?

The technology company integrated its mailing software into Outreach’s order processing and delivery system, and automated the printing of address labels and postage to get trays out the door faster. Outreach established separate accounts for each day of the week to track client mailings as they go out to USPS facilities around the country. Tracking numbers enabled clients to check that their bundles met their mailing windows. ?

RESULTS: The software doubled the rate of mail trays processed, from 30 per hour to 61, reducing the need for overtime and extra shifts. Outreach is still analyzing data to determine how much money was saved, says Andrea Rivera, the ?company’s mail lead.?

The company was also able to cut back on refunds that were being issued to clients when mailings missed their windows; some of those savings were passed on to church clients.?

Before, Outreach was forced to turn down work because it was at capacity, explains Amine Khechfe, general manager at DYMO Endicia. ?

Now the company, which is expanding to serve churches abroad, can work to bolster its client base, he says. Khechfe says the results of the Priority Mail software have worked out so well that DYMO Endicia is launching a program for Express Mail Open and Distribute, for customers who want an even faster option.

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