How to ACE Your Direct Mail Effort

by Tim English - VP Superior Business Solutions on September 27, 2018

How to ACE Your Direct Mail EffortSmart Sending = Wise Spending

On Tuesday, I wrote about the lack of results in direct mail marketing that some companies report from their efforts. When I hear that, I can be pretty sure of one thing. Chances are, the direct mail “didn’t work” because the company didn’t work very hard to do it correctly. They did it without a print management plan in place.

To me that’s like fishing in a swimming pool. (It looks pretty good, it’s just not where the targets are.) Or, it’s like fishing with nothing on the line. (Again, looks pretty good on the surface, but there’s really nothing to attract your targets.)

Post Office Delivers Vital Information

Take another look at the USPS case study I mentioned Tuesday. It contains a great deal of information gathered in a 2017 survey of mail customers and their “mail reading” habits. While not all of the statistics are positive for direct mail marketers, there are plenty of positive signs and helpful indicators if you look at them closely. Here are my thoughts on a couple of them, and how proper analysis will help you “flip the findings.”

Result #1:  24 percent of recipients say they don’t read or even scan advertising mail, up from only 9 percent back in the late 1980’s. Gloomy right?  Nope, not at all.

Rethinking it:  The statistics show that 50 percent of recipients do read advertising mail and another 25 percent at least scan it. That’s great news. Know what the average “click-through” rate is for Internet advertising? Three (3) percent. Which prospects are really getting the message?  Are YOU?

Result #2: For some types of advertising mail, nearly half the recipients (46 percent) discard it immediately.

Rethinking it: For other types, nearly half (46 percent) read it, and another 14 percent scan it. That means (and sorry if this is a “duh”) people read what interests them. That suggests that if you put more effort into using the right kind of mailing with the right message, and sending it to the right targets, you can enjoy outstanding results.

Findings Should Direct You to Find an Experienced Print Management Partner

I could provide plenty more examples. But I think the takeaway is pretty clear here. For your direct mail effort to succeed, think it through. Make sure your prospects get something of value from your mailing, at a time that makes sense. They are far more likely to read it and act upon it.

It could mean working along with an Internet marketing effort. I read about a non-profit that had little luck generating participation with its traveling mobile unit when the schedule was announced via email and social media. But when they send added printed direct mail postcards to those in the targeted areas, it made a difference. Postcards hang around – people can save them, put them on the refrigerator, or put them on the desk.  That way they will see it, and remember it. Not delete it.

An experienced print management partner can suggest tactics like this. Perhaps digital on-demand printing will also be involved; that makes direct mail less expensive (since waste is largely eliminated). It also makes direct mail more effective, since advanced on-demand print technologies (like our Corporate Kiosk™) allows for customization based on knowledge of the prospect. It works better that way.

Your Print Management “Ace in the Hole”

Well, two aces, really. One is what I believe is the most effective direct mail opportunity available. If you’re not taking advantage of it, you are really missing a bet. I’ll tell you more about that next week.

The other “ace in the hole” is – you guessed it – us. At Superior, we know print of all kinds, and are experts at print management. (We’ve been helping businesses work more efficiently for nearly a century.)

Our  ISO certification is an indication of how we operate; all our systems focus on customer satisfaction, both in how we design them and how we use them on behalf of every customer. Thanks to that customer focus, we have received two consecutive  Best of Print and Digital awards.

Sift through that post office report I mentioned earlier. There’s plenty of opportunity in those stats, but only if you know where to look. We do.  Make sure you stop back here next week for the best direct mail opportunity going. And contact Superior for a jump start in making direct mail and all kinds of print work harder for your business.

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