5 Ways Marketers Are Taking Advantage of a Lighter Mail Stream
While the general shift of marketing budgets from print to digital media and the resulting effect on the U.S. Postal Service is largely a troubling situation for marketers that still use the direct mail channel, the short-term reality is less mail in circulation also produces an opportunity.
"The decline in First Class mail, combined with the decline in Standard mail ... is an opportunity for those with some marketing dollars and a story to tell. There's just less clutter in the mailbox, which means that any mail gets more attention. I'm seeing some life in control packages that have softened in the last two years, just because the clients haven't mailed them in a while," notes Stefanie Pont, managing partner of Pont Media Direct.
Based on the feedback of some leading direct mail specialists, marketers are seeing results in the following five areas:
Logically, marketers looking for performance should start with the main element that makes a direct mail effort "direct": the offer. And according to Sandra Blum, president of Blum & Company, "Consumers are still looking for and appreciate promotional offers and bargains in their mail. Coupons, discount certificates, special offers to take into the retailer or use online pay off."
The creative approach also benefits from regular experimentation. At the present, a variety of creative tacks are working. Alan Rosenspan, president of Alan Rosenspan & Associates is seeing surveys, unusual envelopes (like those made of vellum) and longer letters get results.
For Blum, it's large-size postcards and self-mailers, especially for the B-to-B market. Also in the B-to-B sector, she says, series of mailings in different formats are being used to nurture leads. And marketers in the conference/training course business have begun to add letter-size magalog brochure formats back into the mix.