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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A Postal Promotion Makes Direct Mail Viable.

  Have the current postage rates forced your company to pull back on your direct mail marketing?  Don't feel bad, as you're not the only one.  First class mail has dropped 7% since 2001.  We all know the reasons; escalating postage costs, budget reductions and cheaper technology have been the major contributors to the decline of the once mighty USPS.  Due to this decline, the Post Office has been forced to run a much more efficient operation.  While the post office is scrambling to recover, there has actually been a benefit to today's postal customer.

  For one, with a vast majority of companies adopting email as the cheaper marketing alternative, the direct mail market has become substantially less saturated.  This gives direct mail an almost fresh look.  At work, I unsubscribe from at least 5 business email blasts per day.  In my personal email, I group by sender and bulk delete once a month to get rid of all the garbage.  Now I am by no means saying not to email to your prospects and clients (in fact, it's a service I provide), as there will always be an audience for it, but it is simply not as effective as it was five years ago.

  Another benefit is that the Post Office has become open to true customer service.  Postal consultants will show you how to get the most bang for your buck, reducing the overall cost of mail marketing.  CASS Certification and NCOA services have reduced the amount of bad list data, nearly eradicating the "return to sender" pieces.  The USPS has also been more open to consulting with 3rd party providers of mail metering machines and direct mail houses who pass savings directly to their clients as an add-in service.

  Lastly, the Post Office has become sexy!  I don't mean there is a calendar out there somewhere with your favorite postman in a Speedo...  What I am referring to is the USPS adoption of technology.  As of late, the USPS has become highly involved with research on Variable Data and PURL's in order to increase response rates, thus making direct mail a viable solution once more.  Most recently, the USPS is doing a two month promotion to help customers save 3% on mailings, accurately track metrics and increase response rates.  From July 1st - August 1st, the USPS will be doing a QR Code Promotion.

  Coupled with variable data, PURL's and a strong offering, QR Codes may very well be the best way to reach your target audience in today's smartphone era.  Read more about the promotion in the link provided and see if it is a fit for your business.  QR Promo

  Should you have any additional questions regarding the promotion or any of the linked topics, you can reach me via email or download a QR reader from your smart phone app store and snap my code below.  May your business live long and prosper!