3 Tips to Deal With the Sticky Business of Direct Mail
Tip No. 2: The minute your mailpiece gets ripped, torn or mangled, it looks less valuable, less eye-catching, and less intriguing. As a damaged good, it's much more likely to end up in the trash.
Also, the more time spent fighting to open a mailpiece, the less likely it is to get opened and read. Are you familiar with direct mail's three minute and 33 second (3:33) rule? It's important when you talk about openability.
The 3:33 rule suggests you have three seconds or less to stand out in the mail and stay out of the trash, then 30 seconds to engage the reader enough to get opened and make the "short stack" for later reading. After the first 33 seconds — if you actually get the reader inside your mailpiece — she spends an additional three minutes or less reading and deciding whether or not to respond.
This rule applies more to solos and self-mailers than to catalogs, which typically have a longer shelf life, but the same principles apply. If in those first few all-important seconds of engagement you create openability problems, your sales message is much more likely to get trashed unread.
Tip No. 3: Challenge your writers and designers to create mailpieces that are easy and rewarding to open in spite of the tab, seal or glue. Draw attention to how to get inside. Make it fun to take the extra steps. And when using fugitive glue, get samples of glued pieces and try opening them. Tabbing, sealing and gluing aren't just production issues. Marketing needs to weigh in, too.
As direct marketers in the mail, we need to find creative solutions that 1) meet USPS requirements, 2) save us money on postage 3) AND make it easy and engaging for our customers.
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