Summit Direct Mail Blends Digital and Conventional Technologies, Grows to $36 Million

Led by owner John Barber and Mike Robinson, our good friends at Summit Direct Mail combine direct mail with Personalized URLs (“PURLS”), 1:1 landing pages, SMS text, call center management, and other channels to create predictable, scalable, and measurable campaigns for their clients.

We couldn’t be more proud of these folks and what they’ve done with MindFire technology.

But even more importantly, it’s their constant drive to innovate on behalf of customers that drives us to get better each day. Whether scaling to 10’s of millions of personalized URLs, building dynamic marketing automation workflows, creating sophisticated triggers, or routing leads in real-time to lead management systems, Summit Direct Mail leads the pack in terms of their ability to blend technology to create customer success.

Appearing today in an article from Printing Impressions (quoted below), Summit is in the unique position of being a printer who can actually incorporate both offline-and-online channels to drive revenue.

How? By orchestrating print (direct mail) into a tapestry of marketing services that fully incorporate PURLs, landing pages, SMS text, call center management, and other means to create what John Barber describes as “predictable, scalable, and measurable” campaigns for clients.

In the campaigns they create for Clients, Summit Direct Mail tracks recipients’ activity, and sends them trigger-based messaging until they take the actions the customer wants them to take.

The result is a decreased cost-per-action, like creating leads, phone calls, funded loans, and so on.

Here’s how John Barber describes it, as appearing in today’s post on Printing Impressions:

We bug you ‘til you buy.” When John Barber describes Summit Direct Mail’s approach to multichannel direct marketing that way, he’s just being blunt for effect.

Fully expressed, his company’s goal is to increase response rates for clients at the lowest cost of customer acquisition that any marketing services provider (MSP) can give them — an objective that Summit Direct Mail uses a highly sophisticated blend of digital and conventional technologies to pursue. 

With its auxiliary web printing company, Texas Offset, Summit Direct Mail offers mail-based and electronic marketing services to a nationwide clientele across verticals that include the financial services, consumer lending, insurance, educational, mortgage, and automotive sectors.

As an MSP that, as Barber says, “just happens to print one million pieces of mail per day,” Summit Direct Mail has embraced digital printing to maximize the productivity and cost efficiency of this key component of its business.

The company’s offset operation continues to be strong, with three variable-cylinder UV web presses that can run roll-to-roll, roll-to-fold, or roll-to-sheet.

But Barber also has acquired digital web capability in the form of one Truepress Jet520HD, and two Truepress Jet520ZZ inkjet web presses from Screen. A Konica Minolta AccurioJet KM-1 UV inkjet press provides B2 digital sheetfed printing, supplemented by two 13×19˝ HP Indigo liquid-toner machines.

Summit Direct Mail blends the output from this equipment into a continuum of marketing services that also uses personalized landing pages, SMS text, call center management, and other means to create what Barber describes as “predictable, scalable, and measurable” campaigns for clients.

In these campaigns, Summit Direct Mail tracks recipients’ activity, and sends them supplemental messaging until they take the actions the customer wants them to take.



Barber maintains that in direct marketing, response rates aren’t as important to his customers as the cost of generating the responses — a factor that Summit Direct Mail always works to drive down. 

He says digital printing help to keeps production costs under control by virtually eliminating makeready waste and enabling personalization at higher speeds than were achievable with offset overprinting.

The company’s well-balanced mix of digital equipment also lets it weigh all-inclusive click charges against running costs based on consumption of ink — a comparison that helps the pressroom assign jobs to the devices that can produce them fastest and most economically. 

Barber says that by augmenting its digital presses with high-speed cutting, folding, and inserting equipment, the company should be able to more than double its printing and mailing capacity without expanding the work force.

Where he intends to add talent is on the creative and analytical sides, hiring people who can help customers “throw sharp, accurate darts” by refining the effectiveness of the campaigns that Summit Direct Mail produces for them.

That may take some education and inspiration, because as Barber acknowledges, “we can be extremely innovative, but it can be very difficult for the client to be as innovative as we are.”


By Patrick Henry, Senior Editor at NAPCO Media and writes for In-plant Graphics, Printing Impressions and Packaging Impressions.

Congrats to the entire Summit Direct Mail team for their success. You’re an inspiration to all of us!

Questions about how Summit Direct Mail has achieved its success? Drop them in the comments and we’ll get them answered.