Have you ever wondered how United Mail became a major regional direct marketing force in the Midwest?
Lee Kirkwood recognized an opportunity and had the entrepreneurial courage to follow it. He spent times in the evenings pursuing this dream when he got off work at his job as a bank officer. In the late 1970’s, the US Postal Service offered a 2 cent discount to companies who presented mail to them in zip code sequence. Lee thought that he could gather a number of mailers and offer to sort their mail if they would split the discount with him. That’s right, 1 cent each!
So, in 1980 Lee rented a small space in the basement of a building in Louisville and began sorting mail by hand. Within one month he had signed up 20 clients and an enterprise was born.
Over the years, United Mail’s customers began to rely on the dependable services and asked if we could perform mailing assembly and fulfillment services. Inserters, folders and other bindery equipment were quickly added and the customer base grew so much that the operation moved to a 10,000 square foot building on Jackson St in 1990.
In 1992, I joined United Mail as the Executive VP and CFO. That year United Mail entered the Cincinnati market by winning a contract to perform onsite mailing services for a large regional bank. United Mail has become the largest provider of direct marketing and mailing services in Cincinnati.
In 2009 we acquired Amity Unlimited, an established mailing and fulfillment company in Cincinnati. The success of that combination is evidenced by the fact that we’ve kept 95% of Amity’s customers and many talented Amity team members.
In the last few years, United Mail has expanded its service offering to include a broad array of digital services that include digital document archival services, web-based marketing and analytics tools and digital storefronts for our clients to manage document fulfillment. Our strategic investments in these areas have helped our clients solve a myriad of problems and have provided them exceptional returns on their investments.
Today, United Mail provides a wide array of communications services to hundreds of national and regional business clients. United Mail clients view us as a true business partner, who develops personalized solutions, enriching the communications between them and their customers. Our resources include almost 400 employees, 150,000 square feet of space and a broad compliment of software and equipment that give United Mail clients the firepower and depth of talent to handle any size project.
Looking to the future, I see continued investments in technology and talent that will enable our customers to communicate with their audiences in a very personal, yet efficient, way. Integrating software tools with operational workflows and emerging digital print will help us drive our growth. Personally, I expect to see us double in size in the next five years. It’s an exciting time and I look forward to the ride!
By: Tom Clines, CEO