Hughes Network Systems’ Peter Gulla on Mail Tracking
TM: Have you made any changes to your marketing program based on delivery performance norms you’ve tracked?
PG: We drop earlier during holiday times and leave a little more time for mailings to arrive. We had a slowdown last year, and it helped us to understand why the phones weren’t ringing [right away]. The nicest thing to find out is has the mail hit yet, and [PLANET Coding] always answers that question. Is it something we did in the mail, such as when we’re testing? Maybe the challenger isn’t performing or the mail just hasn’t hit yet. PLANET coding takes the mail delivery variable out of the equation.
I think we could do a better job of timing those BMC drops, making sure we mail them in advance and don’t put them at the end of the list. When you have 100,000 pieces of mail and know that this BMC is slower than this one, and if you’re trying to meet a timetable, you drop them on the early part of it.
TM: Any advice for marketers considering the use of PLANET Codes for their mail campaigns?
PG: If you’re in direct marketing, you live and die by data. And it’s one piece of information that helps you become more efficient. You might not have to do it on every single mailing or every bin that you send out; there are different levels of it that you can do. But if delivery timing is important, and you have questions about whether your mail is arriving on time, then it’s an important piece of the puzzle in your planning.