Mailstream


Mailstream

The term mailstream was coined in the late 20th century to recognize the emerging industry that combined business insight, customer engagement, document workflow and mail production.

Today, the Mailstream is defined as the physical and digital mail, documents and packages, that flow across organizations to their customers and back. It encompasses people, technology and processes from document creation to production, distribution and management. Industry leaders estimate that the mailstream represents a $900 Billion global category. [1]

The term takes a broad perspective on the mailing process as part of the interconnected media mix marketers, businesses and governments use to reach customers. The process of using targeted mailings lists, printing, inserting into envelopes and mailing communications involves several information systems.

  • Customer Intelligence involves leveraging high-quality customer data, including up-to-date address information, demographics and preferences as well as past buying behaviors.
  • Production Intelligence integrates this customer data in a production environment, while linking print and mail operations in ways that improve control, integrity and efficiency.
  • Channel Intelligence helps deliver this content consistently across all channels using electronic document management and enterprise content management technologies.

Print mail – postcards, letters, catalogues or brochures – drives consumers and business professionals to corporate and retail Web sites. A particularly effective medium for direct marketers is called transactional mail. Financial statements, mortgage bills, credit card statements, insurance premium statements and even driver’s license renewal forms arrive in homes with useful information. Advertising and promotions included in transactional mail a discipline known as TransPromo, are particularly effective in driving consumer behavior.

The term mailstream recognizes the evolution of mail in the Internet-era. Correspondence mail - postcards, personal letters and telegrams - has been on the decline as it has been replaced largely by e-mail. However, direct mail and catalogue volumes have increased as online retailers use market data to target customers who often visit their sites or have specific tendencies. As an example, customers living in warmer climates are more likely to purchase air conditioners in the summer. Businesses track when customers are most likely to make certain purchases, and communicate with their customers accordingly through direct marketing. When businesses leverage this intelligence by synching their communications with customer data, they are optimizing their mailstream.

Internet shopping has also led to a growth in parcel shipping, and today a host of products including prescription drugs and DVDs reach their intended recipients via the mailstream.

Innovations in the Mailstream

In recent years, new applications and technologies are making the mailstream more valuable to companies and government agencies.

Location intelligence combines geographic- and location-related data with other business data, so organizations can gain critical insights, make better decisions and optimize important processes and applications. [2]

Postal voting applications increase voter participation and strengthen voter confidence in a growing number of states. New technologies, including the Pitney Bowes Relia-VoteTM Mail Balloting Solution, offer integrity across three distinct processes: voter file preparation, outbound ballot assembly and inbound mail ballot processing.

Personalized postage offers consumers and businesses an easy way to add a personal touch to physical mail by designing customized stamps that include photos and logos.

Eco-friendly solutions are also addressing consumers concerns about mail and the environment, including consumer education, reducing undeliverable mail, recycling and reforesting, creating more targeted mailpieces and reducing CO2 emissions.


References

  1. ^ http://news.pb.com/article_display.cfm?article_id=3847-Pitney Bowes/Harris Interactive Study – Newswire December 5, 2005.
  2. ^ http://www.intelligententerprise.com-Ventana Research. Geographical Context Spurs Innovation.

Additional Resources

Toward an Optimized Mailstream

The Truth about Green – How mailers can protect the environment.


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • mailstream — The total live mail at any time in a USPS mail processing function. Also a mailing industry term that describes the assembly line production of mailpieces in a highly automated plant …   Glossary of postal terms

  • United States Postal Service — This article is about the government agency. For individual post offices, see U.S. Post Office (disambiguation). For the cycling team, see Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team. USPS redirects here. For the non profit boating safety and education… …   Wikipedia

  • Intelligent Mail Barcode — articleissues cleanup=September 2008 wikify=September 2008The Intelligent Mail barcode is a 65 bar code applied to mail in the United States, which provides information and benefits to both mailers and postal officials.The Intelligent Mail… …   Wikipedia

  • Michael J. Critelli — Occupation Dossia CEO Dossia Michael J. Critelli is the CEO of Dossia and former Executive Chairman of Pitney Bowes. Critelli retired from Pitney Bowes in December, 2008, and was names Dossia CEO in 2011. He went to the University of… …   Wikipedia

  • Postmark — A postmark is a postal marking made on a letter, package, postcard or the like indicating the (more or less precise) date and time that the item was delivered into the care of the postal service. Modern postmarks are often applied simultaneously… …   Wikipedia

  • First day of issue — The first day of issue is the day on which a postage stamp, postal card or stamped envelope is put on sale, within the country or territory of the stamp issuing authority. Sometimes the issue is made from a temporary or permanent foreign or… …   Wikipedia

  • Private Express Statutes — The Private Express Statutes (or PES) are a group of United States federal civil and criminal laws placing various restrictions on the carriage and delivery of letters by all organizations other than the United States Postal Service.HistoryThe… …   Wikipedia

  • Pitney Bowes — Infobox Company company company name = Pitney Bowes Inc. company type = Public (NYSE: [http://www.nyse.com/about/listed/lcddata.html?ticker=PBI PBI] ) company slogan = Engineering the flow of communication foundation = 1920 location city =… …   Wikipedia

  • Postage stamp demonetization — The demonetization of postage and revenue stamps is the process by which the stamps are rendered no longer valid. In general, stamp demonetization is a rare event, since any unused stamp is effectively equivalent to its face value, and there is… …   Wikipedia

  • OneCode — OneCodeSOLUTION Barcode is a mailing barcode used by the United States Postal Service (USPS). Each barcode can be 20, 25, 29, or 31 digits long, depending on the type of ZIP code (the U.S. postal code) present. Each digit has four possible states …   Wikipedia