The way in which businesses communicate is an ever-evolving process. But with postal communications remaining at the heart of a business toolkit and hybrid mail solutions being adopted at a rapid pace, we wondered if hybrid mail, its process and what the solution has to offer is really understood by those outside the communications industry. Let’s take a look…
Hybrid mail solutions are an easy-to-use, digital mail service designed to change the way in which organisations communicate with their different audiences. It takes the traditional postal method and transforms this into an online, step-by-step process removing the physical attributes of sending printed documents. Say goodbye to printing documents, stuffing them in an envelope and post office trips, with hybrid mail you can send letters in a few clicks and let the providers handle the manual work.
Hybrid solutions are cost-effective, modern and easy to adopt within businesses so that communications can be streamlined instantly, to generate thriving results.
From savings in time and money to improved internal efficiencies, organisations have been adopting hybrid mail at a rapid pace in recent years. Hybrid mail solutions can now be found in use within small, medium and large businesses across all industries, through its scalable and flexible approach to sending printed documentation online.
These types of solutions work alongside existing processes, allowing organisations to transform the way in which they communicate, in a few simple steps.
But how does hybrid mail actually work?
The process of hybrid mail couldn’t be simpler.
Hybrid mail is secure, fast and is utilised by businesses across the world to communicate in an efficient and engaging way.
Once an account has been set up, the standard hybrid mail process consists of three easy-to-follow steps.
Create your document as standard. This could be an A4 letter, postcard or A3 newsletter that you would like to send directly to your audience. If you want to personalise each mailing to each recipient you can even add personalised tags e.g. <<firstname>>
Upload the tagged file to the online portal
Upload the audience data, containing the matching merged tags e.g. <<firstname>>, <<lastname>> and address
Validate the addresses - most hybrid suppliers use the Royal Mail address validation database and in some cases, this may even save you money as validated addresses can be cheaper to send to
Choose the required print and delivery options - from colour or black and white, to second or first class (postage)
Review the real-time prices
Preview the mailing and submit the order
Correspondences are securely sent to a factory, where they are printed, enclosed and mailed to each individual recipient.
The best hybrid mail providers will even let you send letters from within the application your staff normally work from, whether that is Microsoft Word, a Customer Relationship Management system or similar, skipping the need to even go to an online portal and interrupt their workflow.
Whilst different hybrid mail providers offer different document print capabilities, the standard print formats found within hybrid mail systems are:
A3 Folded sheet (newsletter)
Doesn’t sound like a wide variety? In fact, these four types of formats, cover the majority of documents that a business may send. For example, an A4 letter can be used as an appointment letter, legal letter, reminders and notices, updates and much more – remember an A4 letter can be sent as a single or multiple-page document to cover whatever you may require. As well as this, a postcard isn’t just something you send to someone from your holidays anymore, organisations are using this format to send sales or marketing materials and business updates.
Hybrid mail really does offer flexibility for all your postal requirements.
Documents can be checked and managed at a final proofing stage within your hybrid mail platform. This provides businesses with the ability to check documents before they are dispatched and delivered to the customer's doorstep. If there are any errors or the order is no longer required, at this stage, the mailing order can be cancelled or amended so that your orders are delivered correctly, every time.
Your provider might even offer an approval option, before placing the order and a full audit trail of the order creation, print and dispatch.
Hybrid mail is designed to manage both ad-hoc and planned postal campaigns, as well as the sending of a single document or thousands… the choice is yours.
Within your hybrid mail account, you can send instantly send or pre-plan your mailings, so that they are delivered when required.
The process takes the same time for any number of documents sent, so there is no longer a need to waste large parts of your day to stuffing those envelopes.
Most hybrid mail suppliers offer a range of delivery options including first and second-class, recorded delivery and online delivery (yes that’s right, online!). The prices vary for each delivery option and can be selected, along with your print options, at the end of the mailing process.
Hybrid mail providers offer different levels of security around their online offerings. The very best providers offer a service that is supported by the very best technology, is GDPR compliant and has the supporting certifications, including ISO 9001, Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus to ensure your communications are produced in the best and most secure way possible.
It’s always recommended to undertake due diligence before partnering with any supplier who handles your data. Speak to the teams available and they will always be happy to help!
With its online access, hybrid mail solutions can be accessed by employees based everywhere and anywhere! From those in the office to those working from home, to those on the go or even those climbing Ben Nevis, hybrid mail communications never need to stop.
With the secure online log-in, your mailings can be managed, created and sent from anywhere, all you need is internet access.
Whilst some hybrid solutions are contracted, the market leaders offer a pay-as-a-go service so that communications and the system usage is as flexible per your requirements. From one mailing every year, to multiple mailings a month, hybrid mail offers you complete control over your communications and when you’d like to send them, all whilst knowing your communications are being produced by a secure, trusted partner.
Here at CFH Docmail, we offer a UK-leading hybrid mail service, Docmail, that has been available for businesses to utilise since 2008. Taking business postal requirements and transforming this process, our ever-evolving service ensures that you are able to communicate in the very best way, every time.