Global supply chain issues have carried into 2022 and there is one more thing to add to the list of products that are in short supply – mailing envelopes. This shortage stems from continued disruptions in the manufacturing of all paper related products and is primarily due to the limited supply of paper coming from the mills. The current challenges in procuring envelopes within a reasonable timeframe will continue to cause frustration for a large variety of businesses when it comes to their marketing and customer communication.
By being proactive, Darwill can help you navigate the envelope market by incorporating alternate tactics into your marketing plan. Keep reading to learn how Darwill is combating the challenges we are facing today.
Darwill continues to closely monitor the paper industry trends and partners with our vendors to manage the supply that we obtain. In doing so, we can align our customer needs with the resources available in the market. This helps our customers plan ahead, so that we can continue to produce successful campaigns for them without interruption.
Our number one recommendation is that all our customers preplan and forecast their future needs with as much time as can be given. Paper lead times and envelope manufacturing timelines continue to grow to unprecedented levels as the list of backlogged and pending orders keeps getting longer. We are hopeful that the paper shortage will resolve itself sooner rather than later. Our team members work hard to stay proactive by continuing discussions and exploring options that can be provided as solutions to our customers.
One solution that we encourage all our customers to consider is the use of alternate, but equally effective formats. Changing formats can be a good solution to maintain your communication schedule. One key solution is to try using formats that do not require envelopes. Self-mailers, snap-packs, and postcards are all great options depending on your creative, messages, and offers. Each of these styles come in a variety of USPS approved sizes and layouts, all designed to help effectively get your message to your client.
Switching up formats allows you to test new pieces that you may not have considered before. Test and analyze the performance of alternate formats during this time as they will bring different results and could even outperform your current campaigns.
If switching formats is too drastic, consider simplifying your envelope designs. For example, full color custom converted envelopes may have much longer lead times. Instead, select a standard envelope size where messaging or creative does not bleed. Often, simplification can be a viable solution and still be effective and efficient.
Another effective method to combat short term delays lies in digital marketing. Supplementing your direct mail campaign with digital communications can help you continue your marketing effort and bring in leads until envelope production normalizes. You may even consider utilizing digital communication long term by adding it into your marketing mix.
Darwill can offer you customized digital strategies which can include digital ads, eblasts, SEO, or streaming video ads to help satisfy your marketing needs. We are happy to help you navigate our digital services product suite and choose what fits best in conjunction with your direct mail efforts.
Until paper availability gets back to normal, planning in advance and incorporating creative marketing tactics is a great option to continue to reach your audience. Darwill can help you customize your marketing strategies and recommend proven solutions that will help you navigate the current market disruptions. Contact your Darwill account executive today to discuss recommendations and explore our full line of marketing options.
Written by: Tim Strout, Director of Pricing & Strategic Sourcing