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Direct Mail

Many marketers find direct mail to be a complicated and intimidating marketing channel, especially if they are not familiar with it or have encountered problems in previous campaigns. Don’t let that stop you from using direct mail. According to a PFL study, 52 percent of marketers report a moderate to major improvement in campaign performance when direct mail is one of the channels. We have created a set of common questions and concerns about direct mail, that can help you not only avoid issues but have confidence that your direct mail will provide you a good ROI.

What is the best direct mail format?

This is really going to depend on what you are selling and who your audience is. Postcards are the cheapest, but larger pieces get the best ROI. Letters in envelopes work really well when you are going to a higher end group. Talk with us before you design so we can help you choose the most effective option for your business and your budget.

What do I do if my data files are not current?

There are a few ways that data files can be cleaned to give you a fresh list. The first is to update addresses for moves with the USPS NCOA(National Change of Address) data file. Your list is run against the USPS file and any move addresses are appended to your file. In some cases people move and do not update the post office with their current address. In those cases the records are flagged and the addresses can be removed. Many times an out dated file will have people on it that are no longer living. In order to correct that problem, your data file can be run against the national deceased file. This will provide you with all the people that should be removed from your mailing.

How do I keep my postage costs down?

The first thing to do is to make sure that the design of your mail piece is USPS compatible. If it is not, you will have to pay postage surcharges. If you need help with the USPS regulations contact us and we can guide you. The next thing to do is to make sure that you are only mailing to addresses that have been validated so that you are sending to good mailing addresses. Finally, choose your mailing list wisely. Only send to people that are interested in your specific offer. You can save the rest of your list for the next campaign that is a better fit. Sending an offer to someone who is not interested is more than just a waste of postage and printing, it can aggravate the recipient and have them think twice before buying from you again.

How long will my mail take to deliver?

On average the delivery times we are seeing for letter size mail are: First class mail to the other side of the country is 5 – 7 days, Standard mail is 7- 15 days. This can vary depending on the amount of mail at each post office along the way. The closer the recipient is to the origin post office, the faster they will get the mail. In many cases, in order to speed up delivery of standard mail we will drop ship the mail to a post office closer to recipients. The cost of the shipment is usually offset by the additional postal savings when submitting mail to a local SCF (Sectional Center Facility). Mail that is staying in San Diego County sees a faster deliver rate of about 2 days for first class and 3-5 for standard. Keep in mind that flat size mail moves slower than letter size.

Direct mail is a great way to reach  your prospects and customers; even millennials like to get mail. Using the information we have discussed you can create direct mail that is cost effective and will contribute towards your ROI. The 3 key factors that you must plan for in direct mail are the list, creative and call to action. Taking the time to create a formal marketing plan that includes direct mail is vital to your response rate. Do not send out direct mail without a plan, a way to track it and how you will follow up. Do you have a great direct mail story? I would love to hear it!

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