Many people would be surprised to read that the US Postal Service ended their fiscal year 2011 with a volume increase of 2 billion pieces of standard class mail. This 2.6% increase comes in spite of the barrage of negative media coverage. Standard mail is the primary mail service for Direct Mail Advertisers.
The Direct Marketing Association’s Statistical Fact Book states that
US marketers send over 90 billion pieces of direct mail per year!
What does this mean? The volume increase sends a clear message:
Direct Mail Marketing still works!
My advice to Marketers, especially younger marketers, is to incorporate a multi-channel strategy when developing their marketing programs. And that should include direct mail.
When planning a direct mail campaign, there are many options to consider. Some methods are enduring, and have been used for many years by the best direct marketers in the world.
Here are some considerations to keep in mind:
- A strong offer or promotion is probably the most important element for all direct mail advertising campaigns.
- Select an updated and accurate mailing list that has been targeted to recipients considered most likely to respond positively to your offer.
- Consider making your promotion time sensitive to generate urgency.
- Testimonials or a guarantee can be effective, depending on your product.
- Copy and graphics focusing on the people you are sending to can increase results exponentially and easily justify the cost of using multiple versions. For example, use a different message for young adults than you do for seniors. Ask your printer about “variable print capabilities”.
- The use of Digital Printing can bring increased capabilities for personalization. These can include PURLS (Personalized URLs) which set up individual web pages for your prospects to key in, and QR Codes (Quick Response) that can be read by a smart phone to link to a special marketing page on the web.
- Postage is a large part of any direct mailing job. Make sure your mail list is certified and processed to get the highest postal discounts for automation.
- Consult your mail shop when you design the physical aspect of your mail piece. Something as simple as a flap folded in the wrong direction could cause problems with the automated machines, which could cause delays and cost money.
- Coding records and setting up tracking metrics so response and conversion rates can be done accurately
- Testing – Try a couple different offers and mail pieces to see what works best for you. This will help the success for your future direct marketing campaigns.
ListAbility is a premier mailing list company. Our dedicated List Professionals can help guide you through the process of obtaining a highly targeted mailing lists, telemarketing list or email list. A better list will pay dividends with higher response rates, savings in printing and postage costs – to say nothing of getting noticed by the right people!