The Strategic Mailing Partnership (SMP) is a joint initiative between Royal Mail and the UK’s mailing house industry to represent and protect the interests of Mailing Houses across the UK. In 2016, the SMP relaunched as ‘The Strategic Mailing Partnership: The Mailmakers’ following a change in sponsorship from Royal Mail Retail to Wholesale.
The organisation, which represents 150 mailing houses across the UK, briefed us to not only celebrate the relaunch with a new design, but to revitalise its member communications while supporting the recruitment of new memberships.
At the heart of this campaign is the need for clear, concise and consistent communication. We refreshed the SMP’s member communications, giving the newsletter a new look and new name; Mail Together. A quarterly schedule was put in place with contributions from a variety of sources to ensure members were receiving valuable, informative content.
To communicate the relaunch to members, we designed a reactivation mail pack, which was posted to existing mailing house members with information on the relaunch and the option to claim a members’ certificate so we could measure the success of the pack. A second mail pack was created to recruit for prospective memberships.
To revitalise member communications, and with the new data we had received from the mail pack activity, we instigated regular email marketing activity to supplement the printed newsletters and launched a hard-working media relations campaign.
Targeting print-based press, we highlighted the SMP’s rebrand and liaised with the media to arrange for exclusive interviews with the SMP Chair, Judith Donovan CBE. Ongoing media relations activity centres around positioning the SMP as an industry expert, offering proactive and reactive comments to industry developments quickly and effectively using Judith as a spokesperson.
In 2017, we also helped the SMP launch its first ever website and continue to provide regular news updates to help keep the content up-to-date for members. Direct mail activity has continued with a second reactivation pack and a second recruitment mailing. We have also helped to promote the SMP’s two Technical Summits in 2017 and 2018 – which had over 100 people in attendance for each event.
The relaunch achieved significant coverage across target industry media, in particular, the industry’s flagship title, PrintWeek, as well as further marketing outlets. The SMP has been firmly established as a ‘go to’ for exclusive industry comment, with regular monthly coverage in target media and 100% message delivery across all secured coverage.
The first recruitment pack for the SMP relaunch achieved a 25% response rate that increased the total amount of memberships. In 2018, this recruitment pack generated a 15% response rate. Email communications also perform above the average industry open rate with 27%.
In a recent 2018 member satisfaction survey, respondents said the frequency of communications was just right (89%) and that communications were the most important benefit of the membership – with 62% agreeing.