More Direct Mail for Your Money
By choosing to use
Zairmail to launch your direct mail campaigns you are already saving time and
money. However, there are other steps
mailers can take to get even more value for their direct marketing dollar.
CLEAN MAILING LISTS
Whether using a customer
list or a list of prospective customers, it is important to make sure that
addresses are accurate and deliverable.
Accurate lists insure the highest possible delivery rate and speed
delivery time. Mailing lists that are
kept in electronic form can easily be updated for accuracy by scanning through
manually or using an inexpensive off-the-shelf software. Incorporate these mail file hygiene
- Keep address records
up to date. Promptly incorporate
change-of-address information on customers for recent moves. Save returned mail and delete the
records associated with these addresses.
Use the USPS National Change of Address (NCOA) capability as needed.
- Remember to remove
duplicates. This is especially important
when merging two or more lists from different sources.
- Maintain USPS postal
standard addresses using postal geocodes, ZIP Codes, ZIP+4's, and Carrier
Routes. Employ the USPS Delivery
Sequence File (DSF) service to confirm the existence of a delivery
address. Zairmail automatically
cleans lists uploaded using Zairmail Express Direct.
REDESIGN MAIL TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF RATE AND OTHER CHANGES
any change in postal rules and rates comes a need to re-evaluate mail design
for the rate categories in which a company mails. Assure that the shape and weight do not require additional
charges. Design mail pieces with enough
flexibility to maximize possible postal savings while enhancing postal delivery
performance. This requires knowledge of
the rate & rule changes and where new opportunities may exist for optimal
postcard and letter templates featured on the Zairmail Express Direct site are
optimized for maximum savings.
TARGET MAIL, A MUST FOR TODAY'S DIRECT MAIL
the right offer, in the hands of the right prospect, and sales will grow. Put the wrong offer, in the hands of the
wrong prospect, and the only thing that will grow is mailing costs!
sure that the offer matches the recipients (e.g. don't mail a steakhouse coupon
to a vegetarian). Know who your
customers are and target those with similar demographic characteristics. Use smaller mailings at first to sample the
market you wish to reach. Have a
compelling offer and a call to action.
Test and measure each mailing's performance to fine tune the message and
using "Or Current Resident" addressing when targeting addresses; if a
prospect has moved, the new resident may fit the current best-customer profile.
Personalize mailings for
the recipient - response rates can increase up to 50% on personalized
offers. Test and develop different
versions of mail pieces to distinct segments within an audience. For prospects and less profitable customer
segments, employ smaller, more limited mail pieces than those mailed to the
most profitable customers. And if you
are mailing your current customers, let them understand that you recognize the
value of their business.
BE COMPATIBLE WITH POSTAL PROCESSING EQUIPMENT
sure the design of mail pieces facilitates easy postal processing so that problems
with automated equipment are avoided. For
example, some types of copy formats and fonts are difficult for automated postal
equipment to read, or make it difficult to identify a return address. Avoiding these snags eliminates the
increasing occurrence of "loop" mail - mail sent to the return
address because postal automation equipment read it as the "delivery"
using windowed envelopes, assure that the windows are large enough, and the
address is placement on the letter is correct, so that the delivery address is
always visible. Use the "tap test" of
tapping or shaking the envelope to simulate mail handling and see where the
address appears in the window.
design and placement of information in postal requested "clear zones"
on the face of mail pieces reserved for postal use. Request the advice of mail preparation and postal experts when
designing mail to maximize "mail deliverability" without compromising
marketing benefit. The local Business
Mail Specialist at the USPS can often provide advice for free. Automated processing makes strict adherence
to postal rules and guidelines imperative. Failure to do so may result in loss
of postage discounts, a potential drain on marketing budgets.
course, standard letter and postcard formats available from Zairmail conform to
postal rules to assure speedy problem-free delivery.
PARTNER WITH POSTAL CONTACTS
with the USPS in advance about large mailing events. Describe the purpose of an upcoming mail piece, expected mail
"drop" dates at a USPS facility, the target delivery date, and other
pertinent mail delivery needs. Use
preferred USPS partners and vendors, many of whom have established long
trusting relationships with the postal service.
TRACK THE PROGRESS OF ALL MAILINGS
often keep track of response rates, but it is also important to track the
progress of a mailing through production and delivery. Record the date mail is produced, when it is
mailed, and when it is delivered. One
common technique is to "seed" mailing lists (e.g. add the name of the sender
and/or other trusted recipients). When
the seeds arrive verify production quality and delivery time.
advanced services, such as the new USPS PLANET CODE Destination Confirm
service, WEB ADVANCE and other USPS or privately-offered mail monitoring
services, can also be helpful for larger mailers.
OUTSOURCE EXPERTISE WHEN NECESSARY
most effective marketing campaigns take all these factors into account. Yet, having all the expertise in-house is
rare - especially for small business.
Select mailing partners with fully integrated systems and knowledge that
compliments what you already have available to you. When in doubt, give Zairmail a call, they are ready and willing to lend a hand. Zairmail is "Your Special Delivery."
About the Author
Wilson Zehr is CEO of Cendix (www.cendix.com), the leading provider of Web-to-print solutions that increase sales both online and offline. Cendix also provides strategic and tactical marketing consulting services for emerging growth companies in the Pacific Northest. In addition, Wilson serves on the faculty for the School of Management at Concordia University, Portland, Oregon. A complete bio and contact information are available at contact Wilson Zehr and more details on the Zairmail affiliate program can be found at Zairmail Affiliate Program.