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Maximize Value with These Effective Direct Mail Techniques

Mike Dietz

Even though it may not feel like June across much of the country, the calendar doesn’t lie. With June being Effective Communications Month, we’d like to share some of our experience on what makes direct mail most effective and answer some common questions. If you’re looking for effective direct mail techniques to boost open and response rates, deliver the right message at the right time and maximize the value of your next campaign, look no further.

What are the best ways to get an envelope opened?

  1. Use a non-traditional size. Avoid the typical #10 or 6×9 mailer. By using alternative sizes, your piece will naturally get attention as the mail is gathered by the consumer.
  2. Don’t over sell. Keeping the outer envelope generic does not allow the consumer to make a decision about the mail piece without at least opening it first.
  3. Give your mail piece a unique feel. Adding a heavy stock insert, plastic card or a magnet will create intrigue as people determine which mail pieces to review and which to discard.

What is the best day to send direct mail?

Sophisticated marketers have moved from thinking about when to drop mail to when mail should be received. In other words, the conversation has shifted from drop date to in-home date. Data available through the Intelligent Mail barcode (IMb) enables marketers (who use the appropriate services) to know precisely when mail is delivered so they can staff call centers or integrate other channels like email, text or outbound telemarketing as an additional touch point for their offer.

With all that said, some marketers have found the end of the week to be most effective for delivery. This is based on the tested and proven theory that many people spend time on the weekend going through mail that was put aside to look at again. Targeting an in-home date closer to the weekend puts your mail on top of the pile. There’s still a human element to analyzing response!

What is the best way to judge the value and effectiveness of direct mail?

I’d like to share snippets of an article we received from our USPS Account Manager, which highlighted the value of direct mail campaigns, even as mail volumes decline.

According to Caribou Honig, founding partner, QED Investors, “…the value of a direct mail piece actually rises as total volume goes down. As total volume of mail declines, marketers who stick with it gain ‘share of mailbox’ and higher response rates as a result.”

Honig went on to point out these advantages of direct mail:

  • Response. Sending out a piece of mail may cost 50 cents, but response rates can run well over 1 percent.  If a customer is worth $100 or more, the return on investment is excellent, Honig said
  • Accountability. “Direct mail doesn’t pretend to build brand,” Honig said.  “Either it pays for itself, or it doesn’t.” It’s a channel that both the chief marketing officer and the chief financial officer can appreciate.
  • Big Data. “There’s a robust ecosystem of targeting data available [in direct mail marketing], often with no equivalent online,” Honig said.

What if my response rate didn’t measure up?

If your direct mail campaign didn’t deliver the results you expected, often times the easiest and most effective way to influence response rates is by adjusting the envelope. Simplifying the look, changing the color and paper stock or adding a secondary window that highlights an expiration date can often change the fortune of a package.

If you have any questions or need specific advice, don’t hesitate to get in touch. I’d love to learn more about your direct mail efforts and help you maximize the value of your next campaign.

link https://www.iwco.com/blog/2013/06/12/effective-direct-mail-techniques/
Mike Dietz


Mike Dietz

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