Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Direct Marketing: Real vs E Mail

2. Michael Hofmann
Resource Mail Services
PO Box 52, Stn. C
Toronto ON M6J 3M7
Hello Reader,
There you have it: two forms of address and two very different worlds.
The first, electronic mail, gets you there instantly. Your words, your message, your offer delivered in scant seconds to your audience.
The second, real mail, takes days to get delivered.
So that's it - no contest, e-mail is better and is the winner.
Obviously not, the two media co-exist in todays world. Which should you use for Direct Marketing? That depends on what you are trying to accomplish, what kind of lists you have, what your end goal is and what your budget is.
Let's look at e-mail today.
E-mail blasts are cheap, but their effectiveness is still a matter of debate. I've heard of million e-mail blasts that got less than 10 orders; that's right, a response rate of below 1 in 100,000. That is not cheap by any measure.
One problem with bulk e-mail is that a lot of the mail gets filtered out by servers etc.
Another problem is that arguably most bulk e-mail gets deleted without being read.
Bulk e-mail also has a bad rap as spam; ideally you would like to get get sanctioned lists, but who really wants an advertising e-mail from a company that they don't know. Nobody. Essentially, you are not reaching your target.
Of course it's different if you sign on with a company to receive their newletters etc, but that is a different animal. An animal that you already know and care about.
So e-mail is very effective for your exsting audience, but maybe not as efrective for finding a new audience.
Next time I'll look at good old paper mail.
Michael Hofmann

Monday, May 17, 2010

Target Mail to a Greener World

Dear Reader,

Last week I wrote about the physical component of greening your mail, envelope and paper stack, size materials etc.

This week I would like you to carefully consider where and who your audience is.

A 3-5% response rate is considered good for most direct mailings. Of course, that means that 95% of that mail is garbage, of no value at all to the person receiving it.
Direct mail that doesn't hit the target is junk mail.
So let's review what we can do.
First of all, make sure that you have got the correct, accurate, validated, updated address for the recipient.
Run your database through certified address correction software and national change of address software.
Eliminate any duplicates.
Verify rental lists for recency of updates and complete accuracy/NCOA validation.
Take a hard look at your selection criteria, and choose only the most relevant prospects. You can turn junk mail into "treasure" mail by sending the right offer to the right person.
By following the above considerations, you will reduce waste, improve your numbers and make the world a little bit greener.
Michael Hofmann

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Green Mail

Dear Reader,
In today's world, green, environmentally resp0nsible mailings are imperative for many reasons.
Greening your mail practices:
- can you save you money, decrease your CPM and increase your response rate and ROI.
-better connect you with your audience; they will immediately see your commitment to the environment and sustainability.
Good reasons for going green indeed!
So, let's look at the physical mail package for starters; here's what you ought to be doing:
Use a design that uses the least amount of materials, such as smaller envelopes, lighter stock paper; less is better for the planet.
Use FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified paper. The FSC audits forests for their environmental and social standards, so you (and your audience) can be sure that the paper comes from sustainable wood sources and practices.
Bonus: your audience can clearly see that you are environmentally friendly because you can show an FSC logo on all of your mail pieces, from envelopes to letter to brochure etc.
Use paper sourcing some degree of recycled paper, and it should also be recylable. For more information, please visit
Keep your ink coverage light, and ensure that you use inks low in Volatile Organic Compunds. VOCs combine with sunlight to produce ground level ozone, which is a component of smog and helps to cause breathing problems.
So there you have some green mail considerations. Next week, I'll look at more ways to green your mail.
Michael Hofmann

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Opening the Mailbag

Dear Reader,
In round figures, the world's postal adminstrations will deliver greater than 400 billion cards, letters, magazines and parcels this year. That's more than one and a half billion pieces of mail delivered every day.
Mail is still large and is still relevant; it's stuff you can touch and feel, and though it is under pressure it is still a big business.
This blog is here to look at all areas of mail, to shed light on opportunities, and provide information on a veritable postpourri of mail matters. This blog will also be an opportunity for me to learn more about the mail business from my readers; I welcome your comments.
I've been in the domestic and international mail business for more than 25 years, working for and with Postal Administrations, International Delivery Organizations and Mail Service Providers. The mail business is a constantly changing world, now more than ever because of:
-the touchy global financial situation
-climate change
-virtual competition
I look forward to blogging about the mail, and my next post will touch down on some basic green pointers.
Michael Hofmann