Direct Mail Journal

Direct Mail and Marketing Tips

Stamp Up Response Rates

Postcards are a popular format for direct mail campaigns. They serve as a small billboard in the mail which can provide an immediate impression for the advertiser. If the message (or image) is memorable, they might even win a spot on the fridge, and provide lasting value for advertisers.

However, if a message is long, or complicated, or contains personal information, or requires enclosures, then a postcard is off the table. We usually need to consider some type of letter format. The challenge with a letter-mailer, is that there is usually no immediate impression, an “open” is required before the recipient can see the offer and act.

One technique that can be used is to put a teaser on the outside – “personal and confidential”,  “time sensitive – please open immediately”, or my favorite, Postal Code 18 SEC 1702 (below).

OPEN ONLY IF A VETERAN OF THE US ARMED FORCESWARNING; $2,000 FINE, 5 YEARS IMPRISONMENT, OR BOTH FOR ANY PERSON INTERFERING OR OBSTRUCTING WITH DELIVERY OF THIS LETTER U.S. MAIL 18 SEC 1702 US CODE.  

We have seen all of these techniques (and more) used in practice – still do. What does this type of message mean to you when you receive a letter? Do you automatically think,” this must be a great offer, can’t pass it up, can’t wait to open it and see what’s inside?”

How about this piece below? Does this look like something you might want to open? What is the difference? What elements drive your initial impression of the direct mail piece?

One aspect is that the letter has the format (shape/size) of a greeting card, it has a seasonal greeting, and it has a live holiday stamp. Research tells us that when we include a “live” postage stamp, response rates can increase. On balance, recipients know, when a live postage stamp is being used, then the content is probably more relevant/valuable. This should make an “open” far more likely.

Zairmail now offers the option of using a live “action stamp” rather than a postal indicia. There are more than a dozen different designs, and the choices continue to expand. Using an action stamp shows recipients that the message is unique (stands out in a crowd) and is valuable.

Just as with other tools/techniques, response rates will vary, and this format will not perform the same with every target audience. If the response rates you are seeing today, are a little soft compared with historical results, this may be a powerful option for you.

Just as with any other targeting, messaging, or change in the offer, you will want to conduct an A/B test with a smaller audience. Once you are comfortable with the results, then you can step on the gas, and increase the size of your campaigns.

Remember the discussion of postcards we opened with? We can also place a live stamp on postcards to deliver an extra boost in the mail and increase perceived value.

We can also put postcards in envelopes and add an action stamps to create a low-cost, highly effective, greeting card campaign for the holidays (image above). This is a standard option at Zairmail. We would love an opportunity to help you affordably build a closer rapport with your clients (prospects) this holiday season and supercharge your “open” rates.

Start pushing the envelope and increasing your response rates even further. Use action stamps to stand out in the mail and drive more responses to your campaigns.

Zairmail is the fastest, easiest, and most cost-effective way to send mail.

Zairmail (www.zairmail.com) is the fastest and easiest way to send (real) postal mail. Give us a call anytime at 888.898.0066, we would be happy to help with your direct mail needs.

 

 

About the Author

Wilson Zehr is a Direct Mail Industry Expert, Direct Marketing Specialist, and CEO of Cendix (www.cendix.com), the leading provider of Web-to-print solutions that increase sales both online and offline. He is also the founder of Zairmail (www.zairmail.com), the company responsible for many "industry firsts" in direct mail.

 

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