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What is Banjo?

Written By Shannon Bailey

October 6, 2022

At More Vang, we strive to keep print both relevant and efficient. That said, it’s almost impossible to scale marketing efforts via print and direct mail without a tool to bring efficiency to the process. This is exactly why we created Banjo: to help our clients produce highly customized, automated direct mail at scale. Banjo is a software tool that automates the production of print, packaging, and other physical brand experiences. 

Traditional direct mail campaigns require a lot of work. There is graphic design time, data clean-up and prep, and of course, lots of back and forth with your printer and/or mail house to nail down print specifications, data processing requirements, schedules, and budgets. Through decades of print, data, and mailing experience, we’ve found many of these interactions are recurring and predictable. For example: new customer or employee welcome experiences, retention and customer loyalty marketing, invoice or payment renewals, the list goes on.

Does this scenario sound familiar?

Client: “Here is the latest data list. Please pull the letter from the last mailing and proceed with this batch.”

More Vang PM: “Sounds good. We will send a quick round of variable data proofs for approval prior to production.”

What follows is a very turnkey process:

  1. Pull the art from the previous order and process the new data;
  2. Send client PDF proofs to approve ahead of production; 
  3. Finalize any project details regarding schedule or postage requirements. 

Turnkey, yes. Efficient? Not particularly. That is where Banjo comes in.

For recurring projects like these, Banjo automates the entire process from data intake to mailing. Banjo facilitates data sharing, specifically audience or consumer data bound for a print deliverable. Most direct mail automation software requires you to use a marketing automation platform or an integration tool for data sharing. With Banjo, that is not the case. We know marketing teams use a range of different tools, CRMs, and digital marketing programs to deliver content. As such, Banjo offers two options to facilitate data sharing: Banjo Smart Folders and Banjo Pro.

Banjo Smart Folders

Banjo Smart Folders allow you to automate direct mail without doing a system integration. We program and manage the entire workflow on our end. You trigger your direct mail campaigns via a simple data feed or drop into your Banjo Smart Folder.

Banjo Pro

Banjo Pro, on the other hand, offers automation via integration with full API access. With Banjo Pro, you control the workflow in your marketing system and trigger campaigns based on rules and actions you set up.

We’ll go into more detail on both Banjo Smart Folders and Banjo Pro in a future post to help you figure out which option is right for your company and project. 

Once we set up data sharing, the rest of the process is pretty much the same, regardless of which option you choose. Using your artwork, our developers program your direct mail templates. Each template includes data processing instructions and data mapping requirements for any variable content. The programming tells Banjo what to do with the data, which template to pull, where to place content in the art, and what mailing instructions to follow. With everything set up, we run a test campaign for proofing and QA. After you approve the proofs, we’re off to the races! 

Banjo process

Because the entire workflow is programmed and approved in advance, your direct mail campaigns go from data to delivery in a matter of days. The best part is, Banjo eliminates the entire manual process we laid out earlier. No more data work, no more emails, no more time-sensitive proofs. Banjo even automates project billing. 

The most important thing to keep in mind when considering Banjo is that it works best for predictable, recurring direct mail touch points. Banjo requires consistent data input and direct mail with minimal changes (other than the data of course). Because we custom-built Banjo and we control the entire production process from start to finish, we can get very creative with the type of direct mail you send—so long as it’s consistent and predictable.

To learn more about Banjo Smart Folders or Banjo Pro, schedule a free consultation with one of our direct mail experts. We can learn more about your direct mail strategy, answer any questions you have, and discuss how Banjo can help you achieve your marketing and operations goals.