Podington Garden Centre is an independent, family-run business located in the heart of Northamptonshire. They offer a comprehensive range of horticultural products and accessories as well as water features, wild bird and animal equipment, barbecue apparatus and even al fresco furniture - all for purchase either in-store or online.
As an independent business that relies heavily on direct mail to promote its services to a wider audience, particularly at key seasonal times of the year, Podington Garden Centre was finding the process increasingly time-consuming, tedious and a poor use of skilled staff time.
Valuable resource was spent manually mail merging multiple documents, printing, enveloping, franking and posting. Time that could have been better spent providing expert advice to customers – a service the garden centre had built its reputation on.
The Service Solution
As an electronic to physical mail solution, imail is accessed via the Internet using a simple step-by-step browser.
An automated solution was required which allowed the business to continue to maximise direct mail’s commercial benefits but at the same time reduce outgoings and inefficiency – and imail seemed the obvious answer. Of all the hybrid mail products available in the marketplace they tell us imail stood out as superior, in terms of technology, cost savings and creative control.
As an electronic to physical mail solution, imail is accessed via the Internet using a simple step-by-step browser and allows Podington to submit large volume runs of multipage direct mail pieces to a geographically dispersed audience, with minimal hassle. The business uploads its own pictures, logos and artwork producing improved communications via increased customer engagement and branding exposure.
Since adopting imail Podington has enjoyed a number of financial and business improvements; notably a 33% cut in mailing costs due to the elimination of printing, franking and stationery requirements, as well as a 12% increase in sales arising from the enhanced quality of direct mail campaigns. The automation of the mailing process has also had the added advantage of freeing up staff time.
imail’s two day definite delivery timescales means the business knows exactly when designated mail pieces will land on a target audience’s doorsteps, enabling it to appropriately resource its call-response centre. This has resulted in a higher pay back level for each campaign as all incoming sales opportunities are effectively managed.
With data quality being a key determining factor in the success of any direct marketing campaign, Podington has found imail’s slick postcode checking software, which isolates and identifies inaccurate postcodes, to be of huge benefit. The resulting reduction in volumes of returned mail has not only allowed for improved targeting but also secured a more effective appropriation of crucial marketing budget.
"imail has surpassed expectations in its delivery of cost savings, efficiency improvements and increased sales activity, proving itself to be an invaluable tool in the implementation of our direct mail campaigns. With green considerations also coming high up our agenda, we were thrilled to find a solution that simultaneously cuts the carbon footprint of our DM activity by reducing a letter’s delivery mileage and, thus, environmental impact."
Proprietor, Podington Garden Centre