"What's new in direct mail?" is one of the most frequently asked questions I get from colleagues, clients and readers of this column. These people aren't asking about the latest USPS postal regulations; instead, like you, they want to know about new practices, formats, offer incentives and other elements they should consider testing.
According to a study by TowerData, e-mail append—the process of adding e-mail addresses to extant postal addresses in a customer database—has become steadily more accurate and effective over the past four years. In a whitepaper, Growing Your List with E-mail Append, the e-mail and data solutions company reports that match rates have trended up and opt-out rates have trended down since 2004.
As environmental consciousness seeps into the corporate boardroom, some companies are publishing two annual reports. One report is the traditional shareholder document that contains financial statements and other information deemed relevant to investors and other stakeholders. The other report provides a view of the company's "carbon footprint" and progress toward environmental improvement across the various aspects of its business operations.
Over time, fulfillment programs can grow complicated and unwieldy, becoming less efficient if marketers do not carefully assess the impact of incremental changes to materials and processes. To keep a program running in Olympic form, marketers should invest in regular audits that take into account the full spectrum of operations and materials needed to achieve the desired goal - balancing cost with response.
The new postal regulations have made it hard for mailers to keep doing exactly what they had been doing with their envelopes, as in format choice, ordering and even design. Here, from a recent white paper from the direct mail envelope company ColorTree, based in Richmond, Va., are three tips to tackling those challenges.
Razor Wars: Little Schick cries foul and the giant is nicked Look over the saga of Gillette vs. Schick-Wilkinson Sword, and you do not find two rivals vying for share of shaver market. This latest decision in favor of Schick is but one small victory in what is a truly nasty, all-out war between a corporate Goliath (Gillette with 90 percent market share) and David (Schick). The conflict is not only being waged in the media and on retailers' shelves for the whiskers of the American post-pubescent males, but also in courtrooms on both sides of the Atlantic. To follow their endless