Direct Mail: Is Bigger Better?
Size Has Impact Today
There are new reasons to test larger mailers in 2013, as well. For starters, dimensional, "bulky" mail is as far away from the plain envelope as you can get and often brings response rates to the left of the decimal point. That's the sort of thing worth testing, especially now that the USPS offers simple sampling, which reduces the cost of sending a sample to the consumer.
Another reason is a USPS policy that went into effect on Jan. 27 requires all domestic parcels to use the new Intelligent Mail package barcode. The larger label forces marketers to rethink what goes on the front of any mailpiece, and larger mailpieces give you more room to work with. Testing will show you if that pays off.
With less outer space to work with, try using the inside to print a coupon or a message that leads recipients to a web site or a social media campaign. Another intrigue to test is using the center of the package for a free premium item. Of course, sending a game board, a membership card or pairing items—say a tube of toothpaste and a toothbrush—adds to the expense. But adding a QR Code to it with another offer could make the difference in generating a response.
Data and Loyalty
More marketers are shifting their budgets toward retention or rewards programs for existing customers. If your business is only comfortable with acquiring new customers, I recommend changing your thinking now.
The 80/20 acquisition strategies that took root in the 1980s—spending 80 percent of the marketing budget to find new customers and only 20 percent on existing customers—started changing in 2008, or about the same time the recent economic recession was taking hold. With more rewards and retention programs being offered, and with retailers and consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies leading the way, the dynamic has flipped.