As I was writing this, Minnesota experienced its first real cold snap of the season. While there was no snow, the temperature was 8 degrees with a wind chill of -13. This was definitely a day you would not want to be caught outdoors without a good pair of well-fitting gloves.
Like that glove, inkjet technology is a perfect fit for direct mail. IWCO Direct is in the process of purchasing seven HP PageWide presses. These presses will expand our ability to serve our clients in new and unique ways, while staying true to the best-in-class color quality and consistency that IWCO Direct is known for. Here are a couple of ways that inkjet is a perfect fit for direct mail.
One of the big advantages of inkjet is its consistency. Many of our clients’ campaigns have artwork and branding that span multiple months. It is critically important to have a consistent product, run after run, month after month. This is an area where inkjet really shines. Through proper calibration and gray balance, we have been able to improve the color match achieved by our inkjet printers to an average of under 1 delta E across multiple stocks. Coupled with state-of-the-art process control, this provides our clients the confidence that their art and branding will remain consistent week in and week out.
A common practice in direct mail is to litho print “shells” with just the static content in color and then personalize each form with black text. There are some inherent disadvantages to this approach. There is a need to print a certain amount of overage on the “shells” to account for fluctuations in the final number of records. In addition, the personalization can only be done in black. Printing your forms with inkjet solves these disadvantages. Since you are printing everything at once, there is no need to print extras. The level of customization that inkjet allows in personalization is truly staggering. Different color text and images can be used on each form, allowing for a truly personalized, one-to-one marketing experience.
Speed to Market
By combining separate processes into one, direct mail printers can do more in less time, increasing speed-to-market. In this ever changing marketplace where supply chain issues can challenge schedules, increasing speed-to-market is a competitive advantage.
Inkjet has come a long way in the last six years that I have been with IWCO Direct. With new inks and technologies around the corner all the time, inkjet will continue to fit direct mail like a glove for years to come. Now if you will excuse me, I’m going to go bundle up.