Internet Service Offers Postcard Production for Corporate Clients

Internet-based direct mail services firm USAData launched a postcard service last month designed to help corporate sales representatives or franchisees save money on postcard mailings.

FGI Print Management Inc., which will handle printing and fulfillment for the postcards, has lowered its rates to attract large corporate orders.

Campaigns can be produced at a floor cost of 98 cents per mailing, said Patrick Dineen, vice president of client development at USAData, New York. Dineen said the service lets corporate salespeople bypass more expensive prices of local printers.

USAData offers corporate clients a secured Web page where sales representatives or franchisees can create corporate-branded postcard campaigns for their local market. They receive a user name and pass code to use the service at

The service offers mail templates specific to 12 industry categories, including automotive, business products and services, computers, finance and legal, food, home and garden, home improvement, medical, fitness, real estate, retail and travel.

Marketers choose the category that best fits their company, select from a series of templates, customize a prospect list and start the production of their piece.

Campaigns involving more detailed creative also are available at the site. Marketers can import creative elements from existing campaigns or create a new piece.

The service also includes Quick Picks, a feature that allows corporations to target specific postcards to their representatives for branding purposes.

FGI, Hanover Park, IL, has eight locations nationwide that will use the firm’s on-demand printers.

“You can design the mailer in the morning and have it out that night,” said Dave Walters, CEO of FGI. “That's pretty nice when you consider it used to take three to four weeks, where you'd proof a piece, then print it, then proof it and go back and forth.”

The service offers full-color graphics that can be customized within the templates. The text can be personalized according to the prospect and the product being offered. Orders must consist of at least 250 pieces.

MetLife Insurance Co., New York, has started to use the service.

Dineen said MetLife has created a library of 70 mail pieces at its Web page for sales agents nationwide. He said the firm has filed thousands of postcard designs for potential future campaigns.

Acxiom Corp. is providing demographic and geographical prospect lists for the service. USAData’s Web site will clean out any overlapping of names and addresses on prospect lists and customer lists.

USAData plans to add an application that will map a 10-mile radius around a retail store, giving merchants the opportunity to target nearby residents with mailing campaigns.

USAData falls in the print business-to-business stand-alone market, which is reportedly suffering from a lack of cash industrywide. Dineen predicted that his 5-year-old firm will survive the market conditions and reach profitability for the first time in its history in the fourth quarter.

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