What are you going to do about it?
Postage rates are on the rise and email marketing is beginning to look more appealing than ever. While we believe wholeheartedly in the powers of direct mail, we anticipate seeing decline every time the US Postal Service announces an increase in rates. Before you dismiss direct mail and the rising cost of postage completely, consider these marketing approaches that make postage rates a nonfactor.
Balance spending with projected ROI. Since direct mail can be costly, it’s important to calculate your ideal cost-per-acquisition up front. Remember: With proper targeting, you can reduce your total overall cost. Targeting is a keyword here. Segmenting your database, perhaps by region, products, or industries, then sending direct mail with content that speaks directly to that segment’s needs, will garner more interest in your message than a generic message meant for a large audience.
Hyper-personalize! Take this one step further and include variable data within your message. This allows for a more relevant but smaller mailing. Sure, it has a slightly higher unit cost but has a much higher ROI. We’ve talked about hyper-personalization before, and we can’t emphasize enough to use the data you have to send targeted, relevant direct mail.
- A municipal federal credit union used VDP postcards to drive $1 million in loan activity and achieve an ROI of over 2,700% for the first year of interest income. Source: The Print on Demand Initiative. Wallingford Municipal Credit Union. 2010
- Combined with personalized URLs, email, and telemarketing, a local travel club found that variable data and imagery printing boosted bookings and membership. Source: The Print on Demand Initiative. CLUB ABC Tours Travel Campaign, 2010
- VDP plus cross channel marketing earned Hershey Entertainment and Resorts a 17% higher revenue and 10% more bookings. Source: DM News: July 27, 2009.
Take a multi-channel approach. Email marketing works. You may ask, “Why is a direct mail marketer who has been adamant about using direct mail over email talking about the benefits of email marketing?” Simple. Even though we focus on direct mail, we are still in the marketing industry. To ignore the effectiveness of one platform in favor of another would be business suicide.
But, as we firmly believe, taking a multi-channel approach will always be the winner. Rather than focus on an exclusive direct mail campaign or an exclusive email campaign, why not combine the two?
Adding a landing page, microsite, or PURL to continue driving your targeted message is another huge way to make sure your postage expense worth the cost. By including these platforms in your campaign mix, you will increase conversions by being laser-focused on one objective and one message, showing your customer that you are listening to their needs and have a way to answer them.
Like any marketing campaign, it is imperative that you have a strategy in place that will guide you and will help you measure the impact of the rising costs of postage moving into the future.