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The Art and Science of Direct Mail
The Art and Science of Measurement, Testing and Analytics in Direct Mail.
Every one of your prospects and customers are unique. Trying to determine this uniqueness is not easy, and in fact downright daunting. For once, technology may be on our side. Big Data may be getting smaller but will it ever be small enough to increase our response?
Our answer is YES
For example, in a typical day, a consumer will receive a direct mail piece sending them to a landing page for a particular offer. Some will opt-in and share their information. Then over time they’ll provide additional information based on their opens, clicks and other actions.
If we have the right analytics, processes, and technologies in place, communication can cause other reactions, such as using email for example, when sent a message of relevant information that is of interest to them.
Some of the recipients will respond to the offer, but unfortunately not everyone. Do we assume those who did not respond read the email, did not like the offer or it went into the spam folder?
Maybe a percentage of the opens never have and some of the orders received from the mail were first timers. Therefore, since email is so handy, the thought is to keep pounding away with emails and wait for more responses?
There is a better way!
If you are using analytics, what is the difference of those customers who replied by mail and those who replied by email? Assuming the offer and message were relatively simple, do we need to add another data type segment?
Looking again at the non-profit results, it is well known that charitable giving increases when multichannel communications are used to reach the charity givers. Since John Wannamaker was attributed to the phrase that one-half of our marketing dollars are wasted, it’s time, for once, to prove that is no longer true. But how do we do it?
Email affects consumer behavior and as noted above so does direct mail. Ask yourself, what other channels do we need to use to connect with our customer base?
The answers lie in the use of research in your data. Start looking at new tools presently available to more accurately attribute revenue sources and understand how channels influence behavior. No matter how big or small your company list of contacts is there are many ways to get answers. You need to mine your hills of data to get the gold.
Even the USPS loves data
The sooner you start the better. Beginning in January of 2014, the Post Office will mandate the use of the Intelligent Mail barcode (IMb).
The Intelligent Mail barcode, (IMb) uses a new type of barcode that can represent more information. As a result, the IMb encodes more information than its predecessors, but in essentially the same amount of label real estate as the POSTNET. In addition, a mail piece needs only one IMb, in contrast to the older method that required printing both a PLANET and a POSTNET code on the piece.
The most powerful feature of the IMb is that the code assigned to a piece of mail is unique to that piece, just like a license plate. With the older barcodes, two pieces of mail can be imprinted with the same code, compromising accurate tracking. This cannot happen with IMb encoded mail. In addition, when a piece of mail marked with an IMb gets forwarded, it retains its unique identity.
Each piece of mail addressed with an IMb can be reliably and uniquely tracked at every sort point on its journey through the US postal system, up through the exit scan. The IMb enables you to measure - not just estimate - the in-home window, down to the last mail piece.
Getting on board
More and more marketers are jumping on the data bandwagon. Start to learn more about analytics with the very basic techniques. Start adding more segments to your data. Start asking more questions.
Depending on your business you may need only one or many channels to communicate with your customers. But if future research deems the use of more channels, don’t hesitate to test it. Customer lifetime value to your company can make all the difference in the world to your company’s revenue.
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MVS Mailers, Inc.
31 Crossways East
Bohemia, NY 11716