Guest post by Elizabeth Lombard, manager of postal carrier education, Pitney Bowes
Direct mail is a cost-effective and highly successful marketing tool that helps business owners retain and acquire customers in the current economic environment. To effectively drive ROI with direct mail, consider the following tips to maximize its impact while keeping associated costs in check.
- Rather than a “spray and pray” type of campaign, which means to mail to everyone and anyone hoping someone will respond, refine your list to target primarily the most likely-to-buy customers and prospects. This will result in mailing fewer pieces, thus reducing material, postage and labor costs, yet the results will probably be as good, if not better, than a mass mailing.
- Consider mailing First-Class Mail® postcards instead of letter-size mailpieces. Postage alone could be reduced by 30 – 40 percent. The maximum dimensions of a postcard are 4 ¼” high by 6” long. A postcard-size mailpiece must also be at least 0.007 inches thick, so be certain to choose a heavier stock paper.
- An additional design strategy to reduce postage costs is to change large envelopes (“flats”) to letter-size, i.e., no larger than 6 1/8” high by 11 ½” in length and ¼” thick. Postage could be reduced by up to 50% using this method.
- Increase the likelihood that your mail will be opened with a message line on the outside of the envelope or the offer statement within. Remember to draw on emotions, be concise, add a deadline, i.e., “respond by…”.
- Provide a response vehicle such as a 1-800 number or reply mail envelope, and add a coupon or special offer code. This will create a sense of urgency and provide a means of measuring the effectiveness of a campaign.
These are just a few tips to help small business owners drive ROI on their direct mail campaigns. In this current economic climate, businesses are under enough pressure to meet their financial obligations. Using effective direct mail strategies will help them achieve their financial goals while riding out the recession.