Complex retail postcard mailing meets critical delivery, versioning, personalization requirements

The Client:

Fastest growing retailer in U.S. history and one of the country’s largest big-box retailers. With locations worldwide, the company is known as the leading one-stop shop for home improvement, construction products and services for consumers and professional contractors.

The Business Challenge:

This retailer sends about four million postcards each month to its credit card customers. To be effective, the cards must be customized in as many as 32 different versions, in different sizes and bilingual to reach numerous market cell areas.  Mid-project, the client added personalization to both sides of the card, with variable and static barcodes.

Timing of the postcards’ mailing is critical, as they must arrive 3-5 days before a promotional or sales event begins in the stores. Cards must be timed to reach different locations around the U.S. and internationally, simultaneously, and mailing data must be tracked and reported.

The client requires multiple employees around the U.S. to approve postcard proofs in a secure system, since the cards contain personal information.

The Solution:

HKM was able to provide large-scale project capabilities with highly personal customer service. Working with art, database and market cells from the client and credit card company, HKM created more than 30 postcard versions for multiple layers of customers. To personalize both front and back sides, traditional printing with combined with inkjet printing.

Drawing on decades of expertise in mailing, HKM designed a production workflow to meet the client’s critical timing and delivery requirements and provide accurate reporting using post office tracking data. Audit and data dumps were prepared for each market cell, for each creative and each mail class.

To meet approval demands around the country, HKM created a secure online audit system. Clients in multiple locations can view and approve proofs before mailing while keeping personal information secure, as well as input and output data.

Results for Client:

  • Provided high-end print quality standards to protect the client’s brand integrity
  • Created secure online audit site to proof postcard content, addressing and variable or static barcodes
  • Met critical timing demands with mailings arriving at different locations 3-5 days before promo event
  • Improved mailing delivery accuracy with National Change of Address processing
  • Saved cost of duplex personalized printing by using inkjet printing to add barcodes

Value Delivered:

  • Leverage Technology. With HKM expertise in programming, clients can expect large and complex mailing projects to flow smoothly and on schedule, with accurate tracking reports.
  • Improve Client Experience. With comprehensive and secure online audit sites, project approval is easy for clients worldwide.
  • Combine Offset and Inkjet Printing Technology. Complex personalized duplex projects combine traditional and inkjet printing for the most cost effective solution.
  • Meet Critical Timing Requirements. With decades of expertise in printing and mailing, HKM is able to meet multiple mailing deadlines so critical to many industries, including retail.
  • Enhance Service Levels. HKM has extensive resources and capabilities to serve national, corporate clients while maintaining a commitment to highly personal customer service.