Famous Last Words: Direct Mail Redux?
In addition, many direct mailers are migrating to e-correspondence, because it’s quick, cheap and you can measure response almost in real time.
Less Mail—A Lot Less
“Overwhelmed by delinquent debt and facing a new law that will almost certainly make credit cards less profitable, banks sent out only about 500 million credit card solicitations in the first quarter, half as many as in the last three months of 2008,” wrote Alex Mindlin in The New York Times. “That is fewer than in any year since 2000.” (Hey! 2000 was a great year for direct mail!)
We noticed a falloff in mail at home. “For the first time in years,” Peggy said on the first day of June, “I carried a full month of junk mail into the archive in a single shopping bag.”
Should You Test Mail Now?
Some timely considerations:
• Nobody likes an empty mailbox, and with mailers cutting back, a really good offer to the right person in the mail has a good chance of being noticed and opened.
• “Of all practical advertising media, only direct mail offers a sufficiently large canvas for telling a complex story.” —Bill Jayme
• “Of all the formats used in direct mail, none has more power to generate action than the letter.” —Dick Hodgson
• “Any package containing a letter will generally pull greater response than a package without a letter; extensive testing has proved this to be true in most cases.” —Dick Hodgson
• “Success in direct mail is dependent on the following ratios: 40 percent lists, 40 percent offer, 20 percent everything else.” —Ed Mayer
• The success of a direct marketing project is 30 percent offer, 20 percent lists, 20 percent package cost and 20 percent creative. If you pay too much, you can never recover.” —Bob Hacker