Rocket DC

1. Can you share the story behind the inception of Rocket DC and how it evolved into the successful direct mail solution provider it is today?

Rocket DC came about due to a truly unique circumstance…

I broke my leg whilst away at a wedding of some friends of mine and my soon to be wife.  We were out the following day for dinner and I slipped on the staircase in the old pub we were eating at and broke my left leg just above the ankle. I hadn’t had a drop, I was driving.

The injury made the work I was doing at the time difficult (I couldn’t realistically set up a market stall).  Vicky worked for a below the line advertising company and one of her bosses asked if I’d look into a potential project for one of their clients, a mailing service company.  From there I developed an interest and as I was already looking to step away from market life decided to give it a go…

You never know where paths in life will take you.

2. What sets Rocket DC apart from other direct mail service providers?

Gaining experience by learning ‘hands on’ from the floor up is what I think sets us apart. 

This is how I learnt my craft. This is how I learnt to do it properly, by ‘sweeping the sheds’.

Some of our best account managers have been those that started by actually enclosing the mail, either on machine or by hand. They swept the sheds.

There is a great book about the New Zealand All Blacks called ‘Legacy’ by James Kerr where he discusses sweeping the sheds, learning personal discipline, not expecting somebody else to do your job for you but also being able to help where needed.

This is something Rocket DC has always done, even before I knew about the book.

3. What are some common challenges that clients face when it comes to direct mail, and how does Rocket DC address and overcome these challenges?

Postage costs seem to be an issue for some clients but it needs to be looked at with other considerations.

Mailing Houses can access postage discounts to reduce the cost of your campaign.

They can also help you clean your data by updating addresses, duplicate removal, identifying movers, goneaways (no forwarding address) and deceased persons. This helps reduce items being mailed unnecessarily therefore reducing postage costs and helping clients update their records, which is good GDPR practice.

Sometimes simple things like instead of sending an A4 item in the right size envelope (C4), fold it in half to A5 and use a smaller, C5 envelope.  This means that instead of sending a more expensive Large Letter it can go as a Letter (subject to not being over 100g or 5mm thick).

You don’t have to spend fortunes on postage, especially by implementing the above. How else are you going to get a specific piece of printed matter from one end of the country to the other for less than a pound!

4. With over 25 years of experience in the industry, what key lessons has Rocket DC learned along the way, and how have these lessons shaped the company’s approach and philosophy?

Listen, truly listen to your clients, potential clients, suppliers, anyone really that gets in touch.  Be polite and understand before you need to be understood. If you’re not sure of what’s needed, ask if it can be explained in a different way. Always be calling on your experience to give appropriate advice and be confident enough to tell people you will get back to them if you have to and make sure you do that as best you can.

Oooooh, I’ve struggled with this answer, being self-taught in this sector.

I would probably say don’t do it the way I did. A few things fell into place for me, like the enquiry from Vicky’s old boss and the fact I already had a van and some experience of being self-employed.

I think you can show your entrepreneurship by working for an existing printer or mailing house. 

I went to a trade show recently and one of the concerns is the lack of young blood going into these businesses. If it is a concern it means there are roles to be filled. People want to pass on their knowledge and that should be passed on.  Yes, the sector has shrunk over the past 10 years but it’s not going away. Get in there, listen, learn, and offer what you can. Could you set up social media accounts for them and run them properly, spread the word of print to your peers?

Remember too that print can reach those people who are either not on or inactive on Social Media. It compliments everything from emails to TV too. Show your potential employer that you understand that.

Good luck!

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