Best Practices for Keeping ‘Junk Mail’ Label at Bay
Direct marketers that desire to “mail with responsibility” face an increasing number of formidable challenges, including a growing call for Do Not Mail legislation; the USPS push back against undeliverable mail; the ever-driving need to achieve improved response rates; the rising costs of postage and paper; and the slowdown of the economy in general. Each of these forces is hitting hard those marketers that have had to become leaner. The end result: It’s tougher than ever to do the right thing right now.
While mail remains one of the most viable, cost-effective and efficient marketing channels, today’s consumers have become increasingly upset by “unwanted” mail. Financial offers targeted at 13-year-olds and households that consistently receive multiple copies of the same mailing conjure up the dreaded “J” word. While mail optimization is the new buzz, it is relevancy that is the ultimate weapon against the “junk mail” label and all the negativity the term implies.
Ensuring relevancy requires a return to direct marketing basics. Marketers that want to tighten up mailing practices and cut down on unproductive mail—especially during these lean times—must address these basic, but critical, questions:
• Will my mail get to the right person?
The first priority is to mail to the right target. Existing credit card members that receive new card solicitations are justified in their feelings of irritation. Ensuring the proper offer to the appropriate target is—and always should be—job No. 1.
Also, the importance of file hygiene and formatting can’t be stressed enough. The initial step to getting mail to the appropriate target is increasing the performance of name and address matching and deduping. It is incumbent upon marketers to work with accurate, deliverable addresses that can be properly deduped.
• Is my database designed to allow me to target messages properly?