Editor's Notebook: Dancing in December
In recent chats with creative pros, I've heard that direct mail work is picking upand not just for holiday campaigns. Copywriters that serve the publishing, insurance and merchandise sectors say they are busier than ever, if not back to pre-Sept. 11 levels. Considering that Dan Minnick, Experian's vice president, postal and industry services, is predicting a possible 16-percent rate increase for Standard Class mail in the first quarter of 2006, it's definitely time to make hay while the sun shines.
A whopping postal rate increase need not be your only impetus to test new ideas. The results of a recent Vertis consumer survey, Customer Focus: Direct Marketing 2005, clearly point to consumers' attraction to strong creative; from 2002 to 2005, 14 percent more people responded that they open mailings that look interesting.
Naturally, this month's coverage of what's happening in direct mail should
be a good source of inspiration; in particular, check out the effort from Scotts LawnService that is analyzed in this month's How I Beat the Control. Created by Alan Rosenspan & Associates, this 9" x 12" package uses personalization to offer prospects a "Free Lawn Analysis"and beat the prior control by 51 percent. What's more, it won a Gold Echo Award in the Direct Marketing Association's 2004 contest.
Don't forget that the Who's Mailing What! Archive online database is a gold mine of direct mail ideas. If you haven't gone online recently, you might not know that thumbnail scans of hundreds of mailings are being added to the database regularly. The plan is to scan just about every package in the Archive and offer you digital scans of the mailings for which you can order samples. To facilitate this improvement, the Archive staff has developed a slightly different, all-numeric mailing code. You'll see these new codes throughout this and future issues of Inside Direct Mail. But rest assured that no matter how the codes are displayed, the database will still provide the sameif not a deeperlevel of insight on each mailing.
If you have any questions about the new codes or how to leverage the Archive database, feel free to give me a call at (215) 238-5437; or contact Archive Co-director Paul Bobnak at (215) 238-5225.
On behalf of the entire Inside Direct Mail staff, have a safe and happy holiday season. Here's to a wildly successful 2005!