Mailing houses (AKA fulfilment houses or mailing services providers) are not all the same, and price is just one important factor to consider when deciding on the right mailing houses for you.
Mailing houses vary significantly, in size, capabilities, experience, credentials, direct mail services offered, quality, and of course fulfilment prices and postage rates. We would always advice you to visit the mailing houses you are considering working with, and our CEO Ian Kavanagh recommends these are the questions to get answered.
Do they have the mailing house capabilities you require?
BTB Mailflight operates a 43,000 sq ft direct mailing house (envelope inserting, lettershop, polywrapping etc), a 63,000 sq ft direct mail order fulfillment centre, a 20 seat Contact Centre, our own international postal solution (UK postage prices and international postage prices), a data services department, and print management team. That is a service range that other mailing fulfillment houses will find hard to beat!
Do they have the capacity within their mailing services to handle your direct mailings?
BTB Mailflight is one of the largest UK direct mailing houses. We print, polywrap, envelope enclose, pick and pack millions of direct mail pieces a month. With large capacity and sophisticated production planning systems you can be sure we can fit in your direct mailings, and if you are ever late with materials we can always see what we can do to still meet your direct mailing date i.e. run the direct mailing across more machines, gear up an extra crew etc. We have several collections each day from Royal Mail, alternative UK postal services, international postal services, and courier companies.
Do they have capacity if your direct mailing volumes grow?
BTB Mailflight has impressive growth plans and we continually invest in new direct mail services machinery and production space. Examples of this are our recent purchase of a 5th Sitma polywrapping line, and our move to a Order fulfillment Centre that is twice the size of our previous operation. We have several collections each day from Royal Mail, alternative UK postal services, international postal services, and courier companies and we can request more collections if mailing volumes grow, which will only help us agree lower postage prices too.
Are they direct mail services industry accredited?
BTB Mailflight has achieved many accreditations from the direct mailing, fulfilment, postal, mailing services, and response handling industries. We are one of few direct mailing houses to achieve all of these. Remember if you get offered fulfilment prices and postage rates that sound too good to be true they probably are, and you should check the mailing house is undustry accredited. Only use reliable mailing services.
Do their mailing houses have a documented quality policy?
BTB Mailflight is ISO9001:2000 accredited so all of our procedures are documented in our quality manual. This covers our direct mailing house operation and our order fulfilment centres.
What is their account management structure? Is it the same at all of their mailing houses?
BTB Mailflight aims to provide unrivalled client service. As one of the UK's most experienced direct mail fulfillment houses we have developed our account management culture since 1969 to be proactive, reactive, accessible, reliable, approachable and professional. We also aim to offer advice wherever possible, and this website also provides useful resources.
What are their technology investment plans?
The future of direct communications is a more intelligent approach utilising database marketing, CRM and personalised mailings and BTB Mailflight's UK direct mailing house is investing in these developments. We are also expecting to see global developments, with more print, fulfilment, polywrapping, and postage taking place in local markets, and we are part of the La Poste Group so are well placed to meet this growing demand for a global approach. In fact we can already offer local mailing services and discounted postage rates within some other countries as well as postage prices from the UK..
Can they provide maximum postage rates discounts for all of you mailing types?
UK direct mailing houses can help clients achieve UK postage prices discounts, but not all direct mailing houses are licensed by Royal Mail to undertake Mailsort, or OCR or CBC direct mailings, and BTB Mailflight are. In addition to these mailing services BTB Mailflight can also work to the requirements of UK Mail, TNT, DHL etc, and provide postage prices discounts on international postage that can be market leading, this includes mailing direct mail, polywrapping mailings i.e. catalogue mailings and magazine mailings, business mail, packets and parcels using our international postal services to achieve postal prices discounts.
What direct mail services can they handle?
Can they handle consumer direct mail services, B2B direct mail services, magazine mailings, catalogue mailings, business direct mail services, and packets and parcels? BTB Mailflight can handle all manner of direct mail services, and we provide the direct mail support services you would expect including cleaning direct mail lists, sourcing direct mail lists (UK and international mailing lists), print management of direct mail materials i.e. envelopes, letterheads, direct mail leaflets, direct mail brochures etc, handling the direct mail services fulfilment, the postage of the direct mail (UK Mailsort and international mail fulfilment services), and direct mail services response handling.
Can they provide added value services as well as mail fulfilment services?
BTB Mailflight is not just a direct mailing houses, a lettershop business, or a polywrapping company. As well as direct mail fulfilment and order fulfilment we offer several support services, including print management, materials procurement, data management, UK and international mailing lists services, and postage prices discounts.
Can they help you find good quality UK and international mailing lists?
A mailing campaign will not be successful if your mailing lists are poor, UK and international mailing lists can vary significantly but at least in the UK there are several well known reputable suppliers of UK and international mailing lists and we can introduce you to them. Also the UK mailing list market is governed by the DMA. With regard international mailing lists, sourcing good quality suppliers of international mailing lists is much harder than UK mailing lists, and it is highly recommended you enter the international mailing lists market with caution. Thankfully we work with a leading supplier of international mailing lists and international mailing consultancy so we can help you. Good data is key to making the most of our mailing services.
What postal services can they offer you?
BTB Mailflight is part of the La Poste Group, the world's third largest postal services and fulfilment services group (and Europe's second largest postal services and fulfilment services group). We can offer a wide range of UK postal services and UK postage rates. This includes being one of Royal Mail's largest fulfilment services partners, and we offer downstream access UK postal services and postage rates too, so our postal services include Mailsort, Presstream, first class postal services, second class postal services, and Mailsort 3 UK postal services. We can also provide discounted postal prices for packet mailing services and courier services. As part of the La Poste group, and as one of the UK's leading international mail consolidators we can provide the widest range of international postal services (international postage rates) as well as UK postal services (UK postage rates). We can provide cheap postal services and postage prices worldwide, much of the post we mail is direct mail being mailed to Europe, but a lot of companies also use our postal services for distribution of direct mail to the USA, Africa and the Middle East, and our cheapest international postage rates are actually often postage to the Far East, Australasia, and South America. Mailings to the developing world are on the increase and our international postage prices are very attractive.
How experienced are they at providing mailing fulfilment services, and UK postal services, and international postal services?
Established in 1969 BTB Mailflight is one of the most experienced UK and international mailing houses (direct mail services fulfilment, lettershop, polywrapping etc). We have also had our order fulfilment centre for over 15 years, and our print and data services have grown over the past 20 years. Our international postal services are over 25 years old, and the La Poste Group has been providing postage prices for hundreds of years!
Are they financially stable?
BTB Mailflight has been a profitable mailing services business for nearly 40 years, in this time many mailing houses have not been successful. Also, as part of the La Poste Group BTB Mailflight has the backing of a €20 billion organisation that is the world's third largest mailing services and fulfilment services group, so is going from strength to strength. Our position in the mailing services market will only get better and our UK postage prices and our international postage rates lower.
Where are they located?
Both our direct mailing house (direct mail fulfilment, lettershop, polywrapping, mailing services, etc) and our order fulfilment center and contact centre are located in Bedford, Bedfordshire in the UK, we have excellent road links as both the M1 and A1 pass through Bedfordshire and are within a fifteen minute drive, and with another operation close to Heathrow (a short motorway drive from Bedfordshire) we are at the heart of the international mail market too. We also have close links with our group companies and print and postal partners across the world, including Europe, USA, South America, Africa, Middle East, Asia, Far East, and Australasia.