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Postage to rise- Direct Mail Still Viable February 16, 2011

Posted by Jack Macholl in Communications, Marketing, Marketing Planning, ROI.
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Of interest to marketers is a proposed inflation covering price increase  of 0.8% by the U.S. Postal Service to take hold in April 2011.

With that in mind this is great time to look at your database and do some list cleansing or consolidation of recipients, particularly for those of you mailing catalogs, newsletters and other informational items. “Householding” or sending one copy of a newsletter for example  to a given address can create numerous efficiencies beyond postage.

Although I read many articles and hear podcasts that predict the death of direct mail as we know it, direct mail spending is predicted to grow by 5.8% this year (source DM News). I still like this medium as it allows you to place a customized communication with relevant offer in front of your most desirable prospects. As a retention tactic, direct mail allows you to connect database and list overlay intelligence, securing cross sell or repeat purchases from those already doing business with your firm.

What percentage of your budget is earmarked for direct mail in 2011?  I’d welcome your observations and thoughts on making this time-tested medium even more efficient.

What is your direct mail ROI?

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Comments»

1. Direct mail volume set to see modest growth, remain viable marketing channel |                                        | PrintMediaCentr.com - May 2, 2011

[…] Postage to rise- Direct Mail Still Viable (jackmacholl.wordpress.com) […]

2. Mark Ryan - February 18, 2011

Jack,

I have designed, managed, and sold direct marketing campaigns for over 11 years. The bulk of my work has been centered around direct mail and creating profitable lists for small and medium sized companies. What I have always tried to teach people, in every industry, is the value of creating an “ideal customer” or the “perfect profile”. From experience, I have seen that every client/company I work with can dissect their client base and pull out key identifiers that are unique to that pool of customers.

Larger companies, with considerable resources are able to efficiently identify these patterns between customers and ‘hyper-target’ them. They are able to drive strong returns to their marketing campaigns because they know how to reduce the size of their audience and only hit the best possible prospects who not only meet all of their demographic criteria but also, by reducing their audience size, they reduce their campaigns cost. In short, costs go way down, and returns go way up.

The model and method for this approach is not terribly complicated. It just requires a little bit of study and practice. It is for these simple reasons that most small to medium sized businesses have such a difficult time marketing themselves effectively. Simply by knowing HOW to determine what your customer profile is will make a HUGE difference to ‘the little guy’ out there.

The issue I run into most often is the little guy does not know as much as he/she thinks they know about who is buying from them. Whether it is a question of where those customers live, how much money they make, what their interests or buying patterns are, smaller businesses tend to be in the dark on a great deal of that info. Or worse, they guess! And their marketing campaign either doesn’t work or produces lackluster results.

Sincerely,

Mark Ryan

Jack Macholl - February 19, 2011

Mark, thank you for this well written post. Yes, the very small businesses I see often run on “gut instinct” or intuition- but even that is flawed. An investment in a simple contact software like ACT would allow smaller companies to grasp at least the basics and have some form of an organized contact system.


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