Why Use a Traditional Lettershop?
By Alicia Orr Suman
It used to be that a lettershop was where you turned to get your mailing out the door and to the post office. These days, your printer may offer some of the same services. So when does it make sense to stick with a lettershop to do your mail preparation?
A traditional lettershop may be better for more complex mailing projects, according to Kathy Johnston, creative services manager, J. Schmid & Company. In her experience, one-stop printers are great at "simple and quick lettershop work." For example, she says you may want to use a one-stop printer for ink-jetting a name and address on the mail panel only. "However, if you need list services, complex versioning or inserting, a lettershop is your best bet," she asserts.
Unusual creative also is a consideration. "If a package is unusual and it pushes the envelope in terms of postal regulations, a traditional lettershop that has a good working relationship with the Postal Service can help you avoid unpleasant acceptance problems by working with the USPS folks every step of the way," says direct mail consultant David Yale.
Speed and Cost
Getting your package into the mail quickly and at a reasonable cost is always a priority. When a mailing is large, a traditional lettershop sometimes can shave a day or two off the delivery time by working closely with the U.S. Postal Service, Yale says. "Ask your lettershop if they have USPS representatives working on site and what arrangements they have for getting your drop into the mail stream faster," he suggests.
When it comes to postage costs, a lettershop may be the best source if you need your mail trucked to a Bulk Mail Center (BMC) to get the best postage rate, Johnston says.