Invest in Mail for 2011
By Dan Dettman, Wells Print & Digital Services
Many businesses like the idea of direct mail because of its return on investment, ease of targeting an audience, and measurability. Direct mail is still one of the best ways to reach out to specific consumers. Mailing lists can include household income levels, ages, buying patterns, professions, and hobbies. Typically, the demographics chosen at this stage greatly influence the response rate of a mailing. When a direct mail campaign is completed, businesses usually like to recap and measure the return on investment. As long as the customer has a promotion to reference on a mailer, the sender can gather how many responses are coming in. From there, the design, list, and mailing times should be reviewed to determine the best way to move forward with future direct mail campaigns.
When will it Hit?
The day that a piece arrives to the addressee is a key consideration when mailing marketing materials. There are a few schools of thought here. Many people think that invoices sent at the beginning of the month saturate mail boxes. Due to this, some wait a week or two into the month to allow their piece to stand out. Bulk mail turnaround times are usually better during the middle of the month. It’s also a good idea to keep in mind the day of the week a piece will arrive. Many times mail from the weekend arrives on Monday, bogging down the recipient’s time to view marketing literature. Sending with the intention of a drop date around Wednesday or Thursday may provide a better option. If the post office’s delivery times will greatly affect your marketing plan, it might be a good idea to upgrade from bulk to first class mail.
New technologies at the post office allow clients to track where bulk mail is in its delivery process. Standard bulk mailings are scheduled to arrive to each recipient in 3-10 business days. For local mailings, the post office’s turnaround time is almost always on the low end of this range. In addition, bulk postage costs will be considerably lower when mailing to areas close by. These are just a few advantages of working with a local printer and mail house!
Create a Variable Message
Commercial printers everywhere have adopted digital printing for short run projects. When these projects consist of postcards or mail merge letters, there are opportunities to mail in-line when the piece is printing. This means that a digital press can merge a different address to each postcard at the same time it prints. A great way to add value to a project like this is to include a variable message to the written component of the card. Instead of directing the message to a “Valued Customer”, an organization is able to insert a personal name on this spot of the card. Response rates can drastically increase when variable data is used properly. It will also demonstrate that your customer is a name and not a number.