CANOGA PARK, Calif. & ROCHESTER, N.Y.--June 3, 2004-- Mailmark, one of the nation's leading automotive direct marketers, has installed a Xerox iGen3 Digital Production Press to improve customer response rates and expand into new revenue-generating markets such as insurance and financial services.
"We want the highest response rates in the industry," said Foster Johnson, director of marketing, Mailmark. "We don't see any other model that can be more effective in direct marketing today than fully personalized, digital color printing, and the iGen3 is the best press to accomplish this."
Mailmark's customer-acquisition mailings typically improve by 100 percent or more over the industry-average response rates of 1 percent to 2 percent, while its customer relationship management mailings average more than a 400 percent improvement upon the typical 6 percent to 8 percent response rate to such mailings. The company chose the Xerox iGen3 because it believes the iGen3 is the best digital color press on the market, with quality that compares favorably to that of offset.
"The iGen3 is more vibrant than offset and has a wider color gamut, particularly in the blue and magenta range," Johnson said. "My view is that this gets closer to photographic reproduction than anything you can get from an offset press."
Mailmark uses the new Xerox digital color press to personalize images and text according to the recipient's demographics, for direct mail and other applications. The company's one-to-one marketing services are aimed almost exclusively at acquiring new customers or increasing the loyalty of existing customers. The firm mails about 2 million pieces per month.
Among its leading applications are service reminder cards, produced for national chains such as Valvoline Instant Oil Change. Each time a customer visits an automotive service center, data on the services performed is entered into a point-of-sale system that feeds a central database. Mailmark's system then analyzes the data to select a date for automatically generating the next service reminder card and incentive offer, based upon factors such as projected mileage.
For years, the firm has produced these cards and other printed materials by overprinting variable information on offset-produced pre-prints using Xerox laser printers. By moving to a digital color press, Mailmark improves its production efficiency by printing in one pass rather than two. By cutting its need for warehouse storage of pre-prints and eliminating the waste that results when pre-prints go out of date, the firm reduces production costs. And by printing variable text and images anywhere on the page -- rather than varying black type only in small sections -- Mailmark can improve the effectiveness of printed pieces to boost response rates.
Since it began running the iGen3 last year, the firm has transferred 80 percent of its print work to the new press, which prints as many as 6,000 pages per hour, or 100 pages per minute. A Xerox SmartPress Consultant, part of Xerox's customer business development team, helped transfer the applications by optimizing the digital press' quality for printing from different Mailmark software applications.
"Without the Xerox specialists, we wouldn't be close to producing 80 percent of our applications on the press yet," Johnson said.
Mailmark also has landed new accounts and applications, including a national florist delivery service, to create seasonal offerings to previous purchasers of flowers on holidays like Valentine's Day.
"These are offerings we wouldn't have been able to even talk about without the level of image quality we get from the iGen3," Johnson said. "Our approach is that the promise of one-to-one marketing has always been there. But today, with the proper application of data and high-quality printing, you don't just get the promise, you'll get the results."
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