by Bill Houghton
While I recognize the USPS continues to take a beating to their reputation and I hear many times weekly, that ‘print is dead’, the evidence and behaviors of Americans, even youngest adults, tell a completely different story!
Mail gets results! People check their mailboxes almost daily and even if they sort their mail over a recycling bin (like I do), each piece earns face time with the receiver and there are many ways to stand out!
Appeals to All Ages – Senior citizens love mail and Direct Mail remains one of the foremost and preeminent ways to reach this demographic. Middle-aged, Gen X and Y adults who grew up to adulthood before the internet also overwhelmingly sort thru and review their mail. And the great news, young adults, aka millennials also love receiving mail. They love the physical form and messaging that they receive in their mailboxes daily and give it their attention.
Here is the opportunity for savvy businesses to connect with customers & prospects that they may otherwise not have access to. Does this mean it is easy or every business will achieve success? Well no. But a review and adoption of these below Tips will greatly improve an organization’s odds of success!
Tip #1 – Stand out from the rest – Marketers have seconds to grab the attention of their prospective audience, make it count. Consider color, consider unique sizes, paper types or spot UV coating, colorful envelopes. Build the organization’s personality into the mailing piece!
Tip #2 – Make sure the messaging or offer has great appeal. Something that will motivate the audience to participate, engage, enroll, seek further information. Companies want to gain the attention of their prospect and right here is where to do it.
Tip #3 – Three ‘touches’ significantly increases the response! Prospects have proven time and time again that the ‘third time’s the charm’ with marketing messaging sticking. In some cases, this could mean coordinating your Direct Mail message along with email, phone, outdoor, text or other digital avenues, or it could simply mean getting your message out via direct mail three times to the target audience.
Tip #4 – Carefully define the Target Audience! Marketing 101 will dictate that the need to determine who the best customer is and learn where to find more of the same. What is not as well known is that List Providers can dig into depths to provide lists well beyond geographic locations or income. Details such as whether they have children living in the home, hobbies, charitable tendencies, vacation habits are also available and can be important details in a marketing campaign
Tip #5 – Now with information about the prospect, use this info! Use images that the prospects can relate to, people of similar backgrounds, preferences, and tendencies can greatly improve the opportunity to make the prospect feel as though you are speaking directly to them. Using variable print technology, this capacity is no longer price prohibitive.
Tip #6 – Direct Mail & Technology are Teammates, not Competitors! Today’s most sophisticated mailers are embedding technology into their mail piece oftentimes at little or no additional cost! Consider QR codes, which can be scanned and direct link to a web address, YouTube video or many other destinations.
electronically, are an easy inclusion to a print piece, typically no added cost. Augmented Reality and PURLs (Personalized URL addresses) are other ways to bring Direct Mail into the digital age!
Tip #7 – Types of Mailing Pieces; Flat piece, postcard, self-mailer or Envelope with letter/collateral are the primary options for styles of Direct Mail piece. For postage cost purposes, anything above 4.25 x 6 inches (postcard size) is the same postage cost until you get to oversized, larger than 11” wide or 6” tall, when the postage is more
Tip #8 – Types of Postage; Standard mail, now called Marketing Mail used to be called Bulk Mail. Cost for this is between $0.287 and $0.30. This type of postage typically delivers in 4-7 days, but in some cases can take up to 2-3 weeks to the destination. First class presort mail is treated the same as stamped mail in that it is given highest priority and often gets to market with 2-3 days. Cost for First Class Presort is $0.378 and $0.422. The reason for the variance is that more mailing pieces in a single route, the lower the rate. This is called Saturation. Another great option is EDDM or Every Door Direct Mail. This option can easily touch every residence and business on a specific postage route, for a low price of around $0.18
Tip #9 – Measure results! This can be a significant investment with huge potential ROI, but companies need to pay close attention to what their audience responds to. Track everything to gain feedback and modify the messaging to appeal to the largest percentage of prospects.
Tip #10 – Use experts in the Mailing Industry! Mailing Service Providers (MSPs), USPS mailing specialists and the local Postal Customer Counsel (PCC) provide much-needed information, advice, insight, and experience to a Direct Mail Campaign. Visit USPS.com and NevadaSierraPCC.org for more information. Sept 26th is PCC with national, state and local postal officials gathering to share the latest and greatest from the
Bill Houghton is the owner of Horizon Business Solutions and is an established print and mail expert in the Las Vegas area of over 25 years. Learn more about Horizon