What is data cleansing for businesses?

Data cleansing, often referred to as data scrubbing or data cleaning, involves the identification and removal or correction of inaccuracies within your data. These inaccuracies can be errors, duplicates, incomplete entries, data corruption, or improper formatting. There are multiple techniques, tools, and software solutions available for conducting this essential data refinement process.

Why is data cleansing important for businesses?

Data cleansing is vital in helping businesses grow. Accurate data ensures that a company’s decisions are based on reliable information, leading to more effective strategies and improved customer engagement. 

Data cleansing also helps in avoiding costly errors and inefficiencies, such as sending marketing materials to incorrect addresses or contacting customers using outdated information. By maintaining clean data, businesses can enhance their reputation and customer relationships by providing personalised and accurate communications. This is essential for building customer loyalty and trust, which are pivotal in driving growth, and is useful when sending direct mail campaigns.

What is the process of data cleansing at a print company?

The process of data cleansing by a print company involves refining and optimising the data used for printing projects. It is crucial for ensuring the accuracy and quality of printed materials. 

At ThreeFiveFour, we offer data cleansing services for both warm and cold data. Take a look at the step-by-step guide to our data cleansing process:

1. Data collection and reviewing

The first step is to collect all relevant customer data that will be used for your next project. This data can include customer names, addresses, contact information, and any other details relevant to the project.

The data is then reviewed for any obvious errors, such as spelling errors, incorrect addresses, or missing information. This initial review is best for identifying the most obvious issues.

At ThreeFiveFour, our data cleansing service is always tailored to each individual customer. Our recommendations are only ever beneficial to you and are aimed at improving your data.

We then standardise the data to ensure consistency. This involves formatting data in a uniform way, such as using a standardised address format or date format. This makes it easier to process and ensures that printed materials look professional.

Data collection graphs

2. Deduplication

Once the data has been formatted, the next step is to identify and remove duplicate records in the data. Duplicate entries can lead to wastage and errors in print materials. The process can be manual or automated, depending on the volume of data.

Deduplication is specific to each individual customer. For example, if there are multiple customers at one address we can choose to dedupe addresses. This means only one person at this address would receive the mailer.

Duplicate records can result in unnecessary expenses. Removing these means you’ll be saving money by not advertising or sending mailings to the same end user multiple times.

3. Check and enhance data

The data then needs to be validated to ensure its accuracy and correctness. This step includes verifying addresses for correctness and ensuring that all contact information is up to date. Our services means you can guarantee your data will be correct.

We also enhance the data by adding any missing information or correcting errors. For example, if a customer’s address is incomplete we will make sure this is completed correctly.

4. Printing

Once the data is thoroughly cleansed and validated, it’s ready to use in the printing process. Whether you’re printing direct mail materials, labels, or any other print project, the clean data will help ensure the accuracy and effectiveness of your materials.

Printed material about to be put into guillotine.

5. Mail Sorting

Once the data has been cleansed and printed, we then mail sort this for optimal postal discounts subject to quantity and client requirements.

The efficiency and accuracy of the mail sorting process are crucial for timely and cost-effective delivery of printed materials. Automated systems, address verification tools, and adherence to postal guidelines play essential roles in ensuring that the materials reach their intended recipients promptly and accurately.

ThreeFiveFour is an experienced print company, so you can count on us for all your print production and direct mail requirements.

Data cleansing is a critical step in print production to avoid wasted resources, errors, and inefficiencies. By following a structured process, print companies like us can enhance the quality and impact of our customers’ printed materials while maintaining the accuracy of customer data.

Reduce your carbon footprint with offset printing

At ThreeFiveFour, we understand that our industry has a significant environmental footprint. The paper, ink, and energy we use to produce high-quality prints can contribute to greenhouse gas emissions (like many other industries do).

However, we believe that every business should play a vital role in working to reduce climate change and preserving the environment where possible. That’s why we’ve made it our mission to become a carbon-neutral printing company.

Carbon neutral printing

Our customers have the option to make their entire printing process with us carbon neutral. From the ability to offset not only the paper but also the postage with Royal Mail, we’re glad to offer sustainable options to those wishing to make a positive difference.

Offset paper (also referred to as ‘uncoated paper’) is highly absorbent, which allows it to effectively soak up ink. This results in clear, sharp printed images with minimal ink spread. Offset paper is often used for various printed materials, including books, brochures, business forms, letterheads, and envelopes, which we produce for a large number of clients.

Take a look at our customer ‘COOK’ and their latest carbon offset mailers. Each and every piece of our work for them is carbon neutral (and looks great too)!

We produced 200,000 of COOK’s latest Christmas mailers to be sent to stores, and another 100,000 mailers to be sent as direct mail in the post. If you’re looking for a reliable print company to produce high quality prints while helping the planet, get in touch for more info.

After its useful life, offset paper can often be recycled, which helps to reduce waste and the need for new paper production. 

Carbon offsetting 

We work closely with the Royal Mail to deliver our printed direct mail. So, our customers can be rest assured that their mail is delivered with the best possible intentions of reducing our carbon footprint as they are partnered with Climate Impact Partners.

As experts in the voluntary carbon market since 1997, Climate Impact Partners have been working with clients and project partners to meet impressive climate goals. ‘As a leading carbon offsetting company, we deliver some of the largest carbon offset programs in the world.’

So not only do we print with carbon offsetting in mind, our postage is also helping to reduce our carbon footprint. At ThreeFiveFour, we are committed to producing high-quality prints while minimising our environmental impact. We’re glad to be taking steps in the right direction to reduce our carbon footprint for the planet.

5 Tips for Saving Money on Printing for Your Business

Finding ways to save money on marketing campaigns and mailers remains a top priority for most businesses. Printing, despite living in a digital world, is still an essential part of many businesses operations. However, it can also be a significant expense. That’s why we’ve put together a few top tips for saving money on printing for your business.

1. Explore Printing Services

The first thing you should do when it comes to saving money on your printing, is to seek reliable and cost-effective printing companies. Do your research and don’t just settle for the first one you find. 

Exploring local or regional print vendors might also be beneficial. You might find that they offer competitive rates compared to printing companies on the other side of the country. 

Not only can you find cost-efficient options, you can also look around for reputable printers. Online reviews, testimonials, and recommendations from trusted sources can provide insights into the printer’s reliability, customer service, and overall satisfaction level. Opting for vendors with positive feedback and a solid reputation helps businesses avoid potential issues and ensures a smooth printing experience.

ThreeFiveFour offers reliable and cost-effective printing options, get in touch with us to see how we can help.

2. Reduced Equipment and Maintenance Costs

Investing in high-quality printing equipment can be expensive. That’s why most businesses outsource their printing services to save paying out for the equipment. 

Not only is the cost of printers expensive, you’d need to consider the ongoing costs for supplies and maintenance. This includes things like ink cartridges, toner, printheads, maintenance kits, and specialty papers. High-quality printers often require specific supplies in order to produce optimal results.

Maintenance costs can also add up when investing in your own printer. Printers need regular servicing, cleaning, and new parts may be required. If any technical issues or breakdowns occur, the cost of repairs can also add up. 

That’s why outsourcing your printing is handy and cost-effective. Printing service providers, like ThreeFiveFour, take care of all the costs including maintaining high-quality printers. 

3. Expertise and Efficiency

Printing companies can offer solutions to make your printing cheaper. When opting for reliable print service providers, you can guarantee that your work is in safe hands. ThreeFiveFour has over fifty years experience in the printing industry, so you can be rest assured that we’re experts in managing all printing processes.

Most printing businesses have skilled staff who are experts at printing. This means they can optimise print jobs, minimise any waste, and offer ways to save money on printing projects.

There are many ways around saving money on printing. For example, businesses can save a substantial amount of money when their mailer is sent as a closed piece mailer, as opposed to a naked mailer. By simply glueing the edges of the mailer, it saves roughly 5p per item (which adds up to a lot when sending out thousands of mail).

4. Advanced Technology

Keeping up with the latest printing technologies can be challenging and costly for businesses. Printing service providers continuously invest in state-of-the-art printing equipment and software to deliver high-quality results. 

Advanced technology allows printing services to offer a diverse range of printing options. This includes various print formats such as brochures, posters, business cards, banners, and personalised printing. With advanced digital printing equipment, we can cater to the specific needs of businesses and provide versatile printing solutions at a fair price.

By utilising the services of printing experts, businesses gain access to cutting-edge technology without spending on upfront investments and ongoing charges.

5. Buy in Bulk

Did you know that ordering higher quantities brings the unit price down? For example, ordering 1000 leaflets makes each individual leaflet cheaper than ordering 100 leaflets, despite the overall price being higher.

This is a great option if you reorder the same print materials often – just order higher quantities, less often!

It’s clear that outsourcing any printing work is vital when it comes to saving money while producing quality print material for your business. You can ensure to keep all maintenance costs down and find better deals from experts in the industry, all whilst ensuring your print is in safe hands.

Get in touch for all your printing needs!

T: 01268 293 794

E: [email protected]

5 Reasons Your Business Needs Direct Mail Marketing

In a world where email campaigns and social media advertising dominate the marketing industry, it’s easy to get lost in the crowd. That’s why direct mail remains an effective tool for businesses to engage with their target audience. It gives a personal ‘touch’, and allows your audience to quite literally get a feel for what you have to offer.

'DIRECT MAIL MARKETING' inscription on paper.

What is Direct Mail Marketing?

Direct mail marketing refers to the practice of delivering promotional materials and messages directly to a recipient’s physical mailbox. It offers a personalised and hands-on experience that really engages with people, as it delivers straight through the letterbox.

Businesses might choose to send a piece of direct mail when they have a promotional offer on their products or are announcing something exciting, for example. From postcards and brochures to catalogues and personalised letters, direct mail campaigns come in various forms. Each piece of mail is carefully designed to capture the attention and leave a lasting impression on their target audience. Businesses can strategically reach their intended recipients, ensuring that the marketing messages resonate and generate a higher response rate compared to other marketing channels.

In our digital age, it’s the perfect way for businesses to cut through the digital noise and connect with their target audience on a more personal and memorable level.

Benefits of Direct Mail Marketing

If you’re looking for ways to capture your audience’s attention but are running out of ideas, it might be time to strip back to the basics. Let’s take a look at the benefits of using direct mail marketing for your business.

1. Personalised Experience

Direct mail marketing offers a real experience that digital marketing channels simply cannot replicate. The physical nature of direct mail allows businesses to engage with customers in a more personal and memorable way. Whether it’s a well-designed postcard, a creatively crafted brochure, or a personalised letter, direct mail captures attention and leaves a lasting impression. 

Read more about the benefits of personalised print marketing here.

2. Enhanced Audience Targeting

Another benefit of direct mail marketing is that it allows for precise targeting and segmentation. This enables businesses to accurately reach their desired audience, which can ultimately lead to higher conversion rates. 

By leveraging customer data and demographics, businesses can tailor their direct mail campaigns to specific geographic locations, income levels, interests, or purchasing behaviours. This level of customisation ensures that marketing messages are relevant and resonate with the intended recipients, resulting in higher response rates and conversions.
Did you know that individuals aged between 45 and 54 have a response rate of 14.1% to direct mail pieces? If you’re looking to target this demographic, you definitely won’t want to miss out on this opportunity!

3. Reduced Competition and Increased Visibility

You might be thinking direct mail marketing is old-fashioned. However, there’s still space for this traditional marketing method – in fact, there’s more space than ever before. 

As the popularity of digital marketing continues to soar, our real life mailboxes have become less crowded with promotional materials. This presents a golden opportunity for businesses to stand out and grab the attention of their target audience. With fewer competitors utilising the power of physical mailers, direct mail marketing leaves you with more opportunity to stand out from the crowd. 

If you want your next campaign to receive the attention it deserves, it’s time to cut through the digital noise and harness the power of higher visibility through direct mail!

4. Improved Response Rates and ROI

The physicality of a direct mail piece creates a stronger emotional response and it’s perfect for creating a more memorable experience for the recipients. The idea of better personalisation also enables businesses to connect with customers on a deeper level.

These factors contribute to higher response rates and, ultimately, a higher return on investment (ROI) for businesses. In fact, direct mail generates a higher response rate than digital channels, with a 4.4% rate compared to email’s 0.12%.

Colour blocks to indicate sales growth

5. Integration with Digital Marketing

While we’re focusing on the power of direct mail marketing here, we can’t ignore the fact that traditional methods can be further amplified when integrated with digital marketing strategies such as email and social media marketing.

Most businesses have a website, too, which essentially acts as a digital storefront. This is great for engaging with customers and allows businesses to showcase their products or services to a global audience. But how can direct mail marketing integrate with digital marketing?

By including personalised URLs (PURLs), QR codes, or social media handles in direct mail pieces, businesses can drive recipients to online platforms for further engagement, lead generation, or sales conversions. This seamless integration allows for multi-channel marketing campaigns, where direct mail acts as a driving force for building online interactions and conversions.

Apple iPhone 7 on wooden table with icons of social media facebook, instagram, twitter, snapchat application on screen.

Direct mail marketing, despite being a traditional approach, remains a valuable asset for businesses seeking to enhance their marketing strategies. Its personalised nature, coupled with enhanced audience targeting, make it a great way to engage with customers and drive desired actions. 

By leveraging the power of direct mail and integrating it with digital marketing efforts, businesses can achieve a more comprehensive and effective marketing campaign, ultimately leading to increased brand awareness, customer engagement, and revenue growth. 

At ThreeFiveFour, we help businesses stand out amongst the crowd by producing high quality printed mail. Whether you’re sending out leaflets or catalogues, magazines or postcards, get in touch to see how we can help.

T: 01268 293 794

E: [email protected]

Print Marketing: Why Personalisation is Important

In a world where personalised emails and targeted online ads dominate the marketing industry, it’s easy to question the relevance of print mail marketing these days. Although we’re glad to say that there’s still a large market for print mailers, especially when personalisation comes into play.

Personalisation remains a crucial element that can significantly elevate the effectiveness and impact of print mail campaigns. Did you know that 70% of people believe direct mail is more personal than email?

At ThreeFiveFour, we produce anything from business cards to brochures, and magazines to personalised leaflets. Our services, no matter what we print, are tailored to our customers exact needs.

So if you’re thinking about using personalisation in your next print campaign, take a look at how it can help business growth and enhance customer connections.

Worker in a printing and press centre uses a magnifying glass and check the print quality
Worker in a printing and press centre uses a magnifying glass and checks the print quality

1. Captivating Attention

It’s no lie that generic advertisements have taken centre stage in the marketing industry. That’s why now more than ever, personalised print mail stands out as a refreshing change. 

By tailoring the content and design to cater to individual preferences and needs, businesses can instantly capture the recipient’s attention as they pick up the printed mailer that’s been delivered directly to their door (read more about direct mail marketing here).

Personalised elements, such as using the recipient’s name, referencing previous purchases, or incorporating relevant images, instantly makes the individual feel involved and ‘spoken to’. 

As a result, personalised print mail has a higher chance of being noticed at a first glance and engaged with. This then increases the likelihood of your desired outcome, for example converting the customer or generating a sale.

For example, ThreeFiveFour produced this brochure for Butlin’s. The brochure features all the latest news from the holiday park, from entertainment and games, to exclusive discounts on holiday packages. 

The personalisation of the recipient’s name and address on the front means the customer immediately knows the mailer is not spam and is in fact intended for them. Following a similar format of a letter, of course it’s enticing them to open it up.

Butlin's leaflet sample printed by ThreeFiveFour, featuring personalised name and address

2. Building Customer Relationships

Not only can personalisation in print mail marketing grab your audience’s attention, it also helps businesses build stronger customer relationships.

By demonstrating a deep understanding of the recipient’s preferences, purchase history, or demographics, companies can create a sense of familiarity and build trust. Customising the messaging to address specific pain points or interests shows that the business values and cares about their customers.

This personalised approach helps to establish an emotional connection, making customers feel valued and appreciated, and building long-term loyalty.

3. Increasing Relevance and Response Rates

One of the primary advantages of personalisation in print mail marketing is its ability to deliver highly relevant content. 

By leveraging customer data and segmentation, businesses can tailor their messages to align with the recipient’s preferences and interests. The element of personalisation then increases the chances of the recipient engaging with the mail piece and taking the desired action. 

The fact that people’s names are printed on mail increases response rates by 135%. So the idea of using personalisation means businesses can drive better results and improve return on investment (ROI).

4. Enhancing Customer Experience

If you’re looking to build a better relationship with your customers, personalisation is the way forward. 

Personalised elements in any form of advertising, whether it’s print or digital, enhances customers’ experience. By delivering tailored content that meets customers specific needs is always going to gain more traction than general, non-specific content.

Flying Flowers leaflet sample printed by ThreeFiveFour, featuring personalised name and address

When recipients receive print mail that speaks directly to their interests or offers personalised promotions, it enhances their perception of the brand and creates a positive experience. This positive experience not only increases the likelihood of a response but may also encourage recipients to share the mail piece with others, amplifying the reach and impact of the campaign.

So, if you’re thinking about your next print campaign it’s a no-brainer that you should be using personalisation. From captivating attention and building customer relationships to increasing response rates and enhancing the overall customer experience, personalisation is a powerful tool that can drive excellent outcomes. 

Why not embrace the power of personalisation in your next print mailer and let ThreeFiveFour take care of the printing side of things for you. Get in touch with us to get the ball rolling!

T: 01268 293 794

E: [email protected]

New Royal Mail King Charles III Stamps

Introducing the new King Charles III definitive stamps. New definitive stamps mark a milestone in British philately, with this one updating upon the Coronation of King Charles III.

Image shows new Royal Mail King Charles III definitive stamps.

ThreeFiveFour are delighted to say that we have officially been accredited by Royal Mail to print the King Charles III definitive stamps.

History of British Stamps

Stamps have become iconic symbols of British heritage. With a rich tradition dating back to the Penny Black, the world’s first adhesive postage stamp was introduced in 1840.

In 1911, the reign of King George V witnessed a significant change in stamp design with the introduction of the definitive series known as the “Downey Head” stamps. These stamps featured a profile of King George V and were in use until 1934. They were then followed by the iconic “Machin” series, named after its designer, Arnold Machin. The Machin series, introduced in 1967, featured a timeless profile of Queen Elizabeth II that has become one of the most recognisable stamp designs worldwide.

The Royal Mail, responsible for issuing stamps in the UK, takes great pride in curating unique stamp collections that capture the essence of British life and commemorate significant moments. From royal celebrations and sporting achievements to cultural icons and natural wonders, UK stamps beautifully capture the nation’s achievements and celebrations.

These stamps are treasured by collectors, admired by enthusiasts, and cherished as miniature works of art.

Vintage mail stamp commemorating a 100 year period of the British monarchy, circa 1940.
UK – CIRCA 1940: vintage mail stamp printed in the UK commemorating a 100 year period of the British monarchy, circa 1940

King Charles III Stamps

The new definitive stamp of HM The King features an image of an adapted version of the portrait created by Martin Jennings.

The colours of all four stamps are taken from the Machin definitive stamps that featured Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II:

  • 1st Class – Plum Purple
  • 2nd Class – Holly Green
  • 1st Class Large – Marine Turquoise
  • 2nd Class Large – Dark Pine Green
Image shows new Royal Mail King Charles III definitive stamps.

At ThreeFiveFour, we help businesses stand out amongst the crowd by producing high quality printed mail. Whether you’re sending out leaflets or catalogues, magazines or postcards, get in touch to see how we can help.

T: 01268 293 794

E: [email protected]