Beat the Clock
What is your competition in the mailbox? Personal letters? Bills? Other direct mail advertising? Whatever the answer, you need to make your mailing stand out from the rest—leveraging your chances of getting your mail pieces opened and read. Here are some strategies on how to do it.
Do Your Homework
You've got to know what you're up against, so you must do your homework.
• What is your targeted audience? Don't commit to a format or creative without knowing as much as possible about your targeted audience.
• In which country are you mailing? If you're mailing outside the United States, your targeted recipients probably receive much less mail than U.S. consumers which, theoretically, makes your job easier. Try to get samples of the type and quantity of mail your targeted audience receives to help you develop your stand-out mailing. The more mail people receive, the less time they are likely to spend with any one piece.
• How often is their mail screened? Remember, mail gets screened at home as well as at work, and the screener is normally female.
• What type of mail do these individuals receive? Is it mostly #10 white envelopes? Catalogs? Or, do they receive a mix of postcards, self-mailers and envelopes of all sizes? It was a true education for me to see the huge stacks of mail—boxes, letters, self-mailers, you name it—my college roommate-now-surgeon receives at home. What about your targeted audience?
• If you don't know what type or how much mail your targeted audience receives, you need to talk to a sampling of these folks. Ask if you can see what they get in the mail. Ask how many times their mail is screened before it's given to them. Talk to the mail screeners and find out what influences their decisions. Then use this information to help create mailings that stand out from the rest.