How to Get the Most Out of Hybrid Mail
If you are looking at ways to improve your print communications, you’ll most likely have come across Hybrid Mail.
No? Then take a look at our comprehensive guide to Hybrid Mail and learn what it’s used for, the type of features available, the benefits it delivers and how to implement it.
By incorporating this “print and post” system into your communications operations, you can solve a lot of inefficiencies and cure a fair few headaches at your organisation.
But in our experience, it can be so much more than meets the eye.
With an optimised Hybrid Mail operation, you have access to a self-serve platform that offers extra value, and not just in the financial sense.
In this article, we’ll show you the many benefits of Hybrid Mail, and what to look for in a vendor so you can maximise its value.
What are the benefits of Hybrid Mail?
The fundamental promise of Hybrid Mail is to give you:
- Significant cost savings
- Mitigated human error
- Improved brand consistency
- Recovered time and resource
- Improved sustainability
- Simplification of back-office tasks
So let’s go a bit deeper into each one and dig out the “why” and the “how to get more”.
Significant cost savings
This is why most people ask us about Hybrid Mail solutions. It’s the most common reason businesses adopt it.
When you outsource your ad-hoc customer communications to a Hybrid Mail vendor, you are benefitting from the cost efficiencies gained from high-volume printing and postage optimisation.
You can take advantage of their consolidated print runs, not to mention their favourable rates with Royal Mail. In all, you can expect to be paying around 40% less than what you are probably paying now.
Plus, you won’t need your own franking machine or heavy-duty multi-function printer if you opt for Hybrid Mail. Leasing and maintaining one of these will certainly cost more than a service contract.
In fact, we have built a calculator that shows you how much you could save if you switched from conventional mail services to Hybrid Mail.
Give it a go!
Hybrid Mail Savings Calculator
Please note that estimated savings are indicative and there are many variables to consider before making a final decision.
For a more detailed view of how much you could save, click here to book a call with a member of our team. Together we’ll go through your exact situation and provide you with some solid numbers.
What to look for in a vendor: Gauge their buying power with Royal Mail. Do they have their own C9 postage licence?
To make sure you’re getting the most value, pricing should be per pack, not per user, and it should be activity driven with no other associated costs. The number of employees able to send your post with Hybrid Mail is limitless, which surprises some people!
Mitigated human error
If your business is printing, enclosing and sending your documents in-house, it’s likely your back office team takes care of it.
Often, it’s not really part of their job description – or it’s a very small part but takes up a significant amount of time. And it can often be rushed.
Hybrid Mail simplifies the process with an automated, centralised system keeping track of it all with a full audit trail, and is GDPR compliant.
In order to keep human error to a minimum, any good vendor will provide a simple and quick onboarding process, with an easy-to-use platform.
What to look for in a vendor: Of course, simple automation is not foolproof since your staff will still be inputting the information. So, make sure your vendor offers a failsafe solution that mitigates errors before they are sent to print.
Mistakes can cost you. If an address is not printed in the correct position, Royal Mail will disqualify your discount.
But this is something that can be solved by having a clear onboarding process, an intuitive platform and a robust process to ensure the address is displayed correctly in the window.
All good platforms should also use a secure cloud connection. For example, if they operate on Microsoft Azure, AWS or Google Cloud, make sure they use TLS protocol 1.2.
Smooth the transition, and read our Top 5 Hybrid Mail Mistakes Costing You Money
Improved brand consistency
By printing in-house, you are leaving yourself open to branding inconsistencies and poor output quality, with different components of the pack printed on different materials.
Back office teams tend to do periodic print runs of inserts to save time. This usually means printing far more than is needed, keeping the surplus in storage.
Those inserts often go out of date, unnecessary capital is tied up in stock and there can be a risk of sending out literature that isn’t compliant with regulations.
You’re either wasting paper or damaging your brand.
Hybrid Mail prints all the components of each pack that you send, on-demand. This means your documents will all be printed on the same paper, using consistent branding, formatting and materials.
What to look for in a vendor: Firstly they should offer a platform that mitigates mistakes before they go to print. And a white paper solution that gives you full control to keep your materials up to date with your brand.
They should also be able to produce onserts and attachments as part of this white paper solution, avoiding the need to print, stock manage and replenish physical inserts.
Recovered time and resource
With Hybrid Mail, you’re not just reducing costs, you’re recouping the time and resource your back office team currently spends on sending out customer communications.
Rather than have them spend time getting frustrated with the printer, stuffing envelopes and taking the mail to the post office, your team can focus on core, day-to-day objectives that help you drive operational efficiency and deliver cost-savings.
On average, a good system will save 3-5 minutes of staff time per document. If you send ten documents a day, that’s nearly an hour a day.
That’s about 22 days a year you’re getting back per person. A whole working month.
What to look for in a vendor: Any good partner will be doing all of the heavy lifting. Your IT teams are busy, so the Print Driver installation should be a simple process with clear instructions provided on how to install across the estate. and shouldn't have to spend time with installation.
Typically, this installation should be completed within a week.
Your operations guys will need to spend a small amount of time at the start of the relationship during onboarding. This will help mitigate any errors further down the road.
Any initiative that reduces paper is doing its bit helping the environment. By only printing exactly what you are sending with Hybrid Mail, you can avoid overprinting and mitigate the need to produce physical inserts.
Both saving paper and using recycled paper reduce the need to produce new paper, which helps us all in a few ways.
Hybrid Mail is better for the environment
- Reduces deforestation – the average person uses 4 trees worth of paper per year
- Saves water – it takes around 5 litres of water to produce one sheet of paper
- Reduces emissions – paper mills produce toxic gases and wastewater
- Reduce landfill – paper makes up 26% of waste in landfills.
What to look for in a vendor: Any Hybrid Mail operation will save you paper, but only if it works well. A user-friendly platform will minimise mistakes and reduce waste, so always ask to see the software before committing to a partnership.
Also, consider their breadth of materials options. Not just the quality, weight and material, but also check if they can offer Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) accredited paper or even 100% recyclable and biodegradable envelopes.
Maximise the benefits
Hybrid Mail is an amazing asset to any back office or operations team. It reduces inefficiencies, errors and waste, and gives you better control of your brand.
What will change your service from a good one to a great one is in how it’s implemented, how it’s managed and how it’s communicated to your staff.
It’s all about getting it right. This is why we made a comprehensive guide to Hybrid Mail – what it is, what it’s used for, its drawbacks and FAQs.