Web-to-print for a leading estate agent chain

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Web-to-print for a leading estate agent chain

In this case, having received mail pieces from a well-known estate agent chain, we approached them with a Web-to-print solution that we felt would allow them to get marketing campaigns out to market with a few clicks of a button.

The problem

The estate agency has dozens of franchises in the south of England. One of their ongoing campaigns consists of using mail to alert residents in a chosen area that a house is up for sale. On the flip side of the coin, mail is also used to showcase the types of property that have recently been sold in the area, to encourage residents to sell their property through the agent.

Previously, producing these campaigns was a cumbersome process. Once a property had been photographed, each mail pack had to be designed by a graphic designer, before being outsourced to print. This print was then delivered to a mail producer, where the names and addressed were ink-jetted onto the mail piece, before being posted. The whole process usually took around two weeks from start to finish.

The solution

Firstly, as there were multiple franchises operating in this way, we wanted to standardise the way these campaigns were executed. So, we build the client an online portal that all users within a franchise had access to.

Within this portal, we created a standard set of A5 4pp (printed page) templates that authorised users could use to build their own mail pack. All they have to do is drop in the pictures they wish to use – which automatically crop to fit the defined areas – and paste in the text. The text automatically renders in their corporate font and resizes to fit neatly within the defined area.

Once this is done, the user can then select the postcode areas they wish to mail to – all the data are non-personalised and this GDPR compliant. Once selections have been made, the user is presented with live proofs of the mail packs, which they can either sign-off or make amends through the system. Some franchises require managers to authorise sign-off, so where this is required, the manager automatically gets alerted that a campaign requires sign-off.

Having signed off the pack, the items are then added to a shopping basked (like on Amazon), where the user then goes to checkout. At the checkout the user must enter the correct cost centre, so that we can invoice the relevant franchise direct. The order is then placed.

A soon as an order is submitted, we are alerted and the files are automatically sent to the print cue of our digital printers, where they are then printed on high-quality gloss card and trimmed to size.

The benefits

Our client now has a uniform, cost-effective way of producing mail campaigns. Crucially, these campaigns are mailed by us on the same day we receive the order. The creation of a mail pack takes no longer than 10 minutes for a trained user. The system has completely revolutionised how the client does its marketing campaigns. It’s the same result, just a much better way of achieving it!

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