One of the easiest methods for reducing the postage bill is to cut mail volume of direct mail and migrate to other media where response is proven. However, this approach can have dire effects on both the marketing plan and bottom line.
Simply cutting back the volume of mail you send also means cutting marketing. While media channels can be switched, media response does not migrate as readily or as equally. To date, in multichannel environments, no other media channel is as responsive as mail. Less mail marketing usually translates into lower response and results. If a marketer really feels it's necessary to cut back in mail volume, it must be done intelligently. Targeting volume cuts to less responsive segments is the key.
So how do marketers perform this drastic step with less negative consequences?
1. Target the Communication
Before cutting mail quantities, first perform a series of test mailings. Initially, choose the most effective communication for your overall customer file; this is "the control."
At the same time, perform a thorough analysis of the mailing list: Where do your names live and how? What are their past purchase behaviors with the brand? And so on. Then segment the list along demographic and psychographic lines: How much they spend and how frequently?
Next, as a test, mail the control to the segmented file, analyze the response and then analyze the response across the file to see how various segments performed relative to each other. With these results, schedule your next mailing for only the most responsive segments.
The result will be fewer pieces mailed, lower postage and better response rates. By knowing customers' needs, you also make it easier to prospect for new customers. Depending on the level of targeting, you may find that print-on-demand may be a good fit.