With marketing communications comes the need to deliver the message at the optimal time. Even the ultimate messaging/offer and swanky design can benefit from being delivered at the best time for that audience.
In the online world, it’s easy to monitor ‘optimal time’ down to the exact minute. You can schedule your email marketing and social media content to reach people at the perfect time.
However, one of the limitations of digital is that it’s mostly passive. This means that you don’t reach out and grab customers, you have to wait from them to come to you. You can control when you send an email, you can control when you post on social media, but you cannot control when people read it.
On the other hand, direct mail is active communication. We drop it in the mail and it seeks out our prospect. If it’s a postcard you will get an immediate impression. Letters, of course, require an open, just like an email. Since it’s tactile, it’s a different kind of impression, and not prone to the “delete, delete, delete…” mentality that comes when sorting through email.
It’s a fact that direct mail does tend to work better on certain days compared to others, but it does vary slightly from the audience and the type of content you’re mailing out. Most mail is received on a Monday following the weekend, but this doesn’t make Monday the best time to send your campaign. In fact, quite the opposite. Why send mail on a day when it’s more likely to get drowned out alongside other mail? Generally, it’s also a very busy day for working families. Mail tends to get ignored more on Monday’s.
According to the Data & Marketing Association, Tuesday-Thursday is the optimal time to mail your campaigns. It’s thought that people are more engaged with the content because they are into the flow of the working week.
At Zairmail, we provide FREE tracking with every direct mail campaign. That means you can see when your order is processed, printed, mailed, and delivered by the USPS. This can be really helpful if you are trying to schedule a series of follow-up phone calls.
Send vs Receive
A simple mistake to make is mailing out your campaign on THE optimal receive day, instead of in-advance to allow time for the mail to be posted. So, if you want to the mail to be received on a Wednesday, consider a Monday send date (again, dependent on delivery times).
A good technique is to start with first-class mailing which usually takes 3 days anywhere in the continental US. If your mail can’t be delivered USPS will return it to you, which can help you clean-up your database. From here and once you have things rolling if you’re concerned about costs you can switch to Standard A mailing. This takes 7-10 days for delivery but it is more affordable.
Don’t forget to consider limited time offers with expiration dates and how this might fit into your send/receive dates. If your offer is time-sensitive it might not work alongside the ideal receive date and instead might have to go a day either side. Only you can make this call. You must always plan your campaigns around the offer/promotion you’re communicating. An impending date is used to force immediate action if the date has passed it will have no effect!
Delivery Dates Are Not Everything
Arguably, the day you send your mail might not one of the top things to consider when you’re starting a campaign. Don’t throw the basics out the window; design, messaging, content type, the audience (postal list), etc. These elements are the defining features of a successful campaign. Personalization can go a long way to stand-out and turn a simple piece of mail into an actionable piece, leading to more than a 50% increase in response rates. Above all else, this is the most important thing; creating a direct mail campaign that drives responses. Color can also increase response rates, so splash on the bold color choices unless it’s not appropriate to do so.
On average mail is kept in the household for 17 days. This is another great reason not to worry too much about the day your mail is received. To take the example of a postcard, you want that postcard to take a prime place on the fridge. Here it will stay for a considerable amount of time until it’s actioned, a daily reminder to take action.