Best Practices for Keeping ‘Junk Mail’ Label at Bay
Proper targeting starts with accurate, action-oriented data. Data must be readily accessible and allow the tailoring of relevant messages to specific customers for targeted offers. An efficient database will also have an established process for data capture and feedback mechanisms for driving performance measurement.
• Is my mail piece designed to optimize postal processing requirements?
The postal service is integral to the mail optimization process. Just like direct marketers, the USPS can’t afford to lose volume because consumers are getting turned off to mail. As a result, it continues to work hard to ensure that targeted recipients receive mail in an effective manner. Marketers must do their part by designing pieces that are sensitive to postal processing requirements. A campaign that can be stuck into a newspaper may not be suitable to be mailed, for instance.
- Do we offer consumers the opportunity to opt out of mail?
- Have we tested and retested our mail design? Format? Message?
- Can we “go green” to address our mail targets’ environmental concerns?
- Could we mail together with another organization, combining related offers in a unique way?
- Is it possible to mail multiple offers from our organization together, in one package, to a single household?
- How can we use e-mail as a preheat or a follow-up to improve the acceptance of our direct mail effort and to further hone our message?
Mail optimization comes down to the basics of direct marketing—getting the right offer to the right audience at the right time. Delivering relevancy to each consumer is the key to mail optimization, regardless of market condition. Mailing with relevancy equals mailing with responsibility—and that’s what it’s all about.
Charley Howard is vice president of postal affairs and Matt McPartlin is senior vice president and general manager of the Baltimore facility of San Antontio-based Harte-Hanks, a worldwide, direct and targeted marketing company that provides direct marketing services and shopper advertising opportunities. Contact Howard at (410) 412-1749 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact McPartlin at (410) 864-2883 or via e-mail email@example.com.