Given all of the issues we hear about the USPS recently, it has become difficult to predict, with any degree of certainty, the time line for delivery of a direct mail piece. Delivery could take a few days or it could take a few weeks depending on the class of mail and the distribution of the pieces across the country. We mail campaigns every day and the only way, up until now, we were able to determine the delivery time was by seeding the list or waiting for responses to come in.
Why would you want to know when a mail piece is being or has been delivered? With delivery information, you could:
- Begin measuring response rates and ROI
- Prepare your team to expect and respond to inquiries
- Send an imminent delivery email notification to the recipient that raises their interest level in anticipation of receiving the forthcoming direct mail piece
So how can you know when a mail piece is or will be delivered? Look no further than the Intelligent Mail Barcode. The Postal Service has mandated that we all switch to the IMB in January 2013. At this point, in the transition to IMB, over 95% of all mail is being scanned and “clocked in” when it enters the postal system and at several points along the delivery path including the “stop the clock” final delivery point facility just before it goes into the carrier’s hands for delivery to the mail box.
By identifying the date of actual delivery, sending an email to alert the recipient that an important mail message is coming today or tomorrow could mean a significant increase in response rates. The anticipation of knowing that a personalized, highly relevant mail piece is being delivered can become a strong marketing message.
By John Delavan, Editor-in-Chief, Print Solutions
New research shows that direct mail continues to outperform many electronic marketing channels when it comes to obtaining charitable donations, according to a report from AccurateLeads. A study by research company Campbell Rinker on behalf of the nonprofit advisory firm Dunham+Company found that people were more than three times as likely to donate after being contacted by direct mail than by email.
The researchers asked people making a donation what had prompted them to make their contribution to the charity. The portion of people who were donating after receiving a direct mail appeal was 17 percent, more than three times higher than the 5 percent who had been prompted to donate by an email.
The study also found that donors ages 40 to 59 were the most responsive to direct mail: 47 percent of them responded to receiving a letter by making a donation in 2012, up from 34 percent in 2010. Donors over 60 also responded well to direct mail: 24 percent of them donated in 2012 after receiving a letter, an increase of 6 percent since 2010.
Rick Dunham, CEO of Dunham+Company, described the study’s results as “a bit of a shock.” But perhaps there is a simple explanation: We may pay more attention to a physical object that comes into our mailbox than an email, which can be easily deleted with the click of a mouse. Although electronic campaigns are a good way to raise awareness and increase a charity’s visibility, it seems nonprofit organizations looking to raise funds should be wary of relying too heavily on only online campaigning. A combination of direct mail and digital marketing may offer the best return on investment.
Have you been looking for a unique product that virtually assures direct marketing success?
The InteliMailer™ is a variable print piece that allows full color printing on the envelope and inside letter on both sides for a very economical price. And, it’s unique design entices people to open it.
Because it’s variable printing, you can include personalization such as the receipient’s name, custom messages and PURL addresses.