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Postal & Marketing News


How to during a rate increase Examples of the proposed rate increase


s most have heard by now, the USPS has requested a rate increase to take effect January 2nd, 2011. What does this mean to you? You have two choices:

1. Accept that the rates are going up, adjust your budget and mail less. This means less people are using your products and services, which will hurt your business! 2. Use the rate case to your advantage and mail smarter! How can you mail smarter? 1. Make sure you are only mailing to valid USPS addresses. Non-automatable mail will cost more, and if it is not a valid USPS address the chances or it arriving where it should is unlikely. 2. Use NCOA (National Change of Address) when you must reach the person you are looking for. Examples would be donors to various non-profits or people who have a store credit card and shop at that store frequently. If you just want a person at that address to get your mailing, use “or current resident”. This doesn’t cost extra, and whoever lives at that address will receive your mail. Examples would be new churches or restaurants getting the word out that they have arrived in the area. 3. Have your direct mail piece direct people to your website and/or store location. Use direct mail to highlight the other media you use. 4. A long time ago, the way to get around steep postal rate increases (some might remember the days of 20% increases!) was to use “add-a-name”. Basically, it looked at your mail file and if you were only 1 or 2 names away from hitting the magical 10 names to qualify for 5 digit automation mailing or from qualifying for Enhanced Carrier Route mailing, the software would add those 1 or 2 names. Not only did you get the extra bang for your buck of an unforseen potential new customer, but your postage would go down to the next level, saving you postal dollars.

Let American Mail & Insert help show you ways to save money, even with a rate case looming.

May ‘09

Jan ‘11

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ith the looming rate case it’s more important than ever to mail smart. Even among GEN-Y, the 14-24 year old set, there is still a huge response to direct mail ads. They are directed to web sites where they instantly realize they need to buy something. The direct mail piece must hit them quick, fast and to the point. You must tailor it to fit the audience. They look at advertising differently than the Baby Boomers. It must direct them to a home page or social networking site that is not only user friendly, but also gives them immediate access to downloadable coupons and special offers. An added caveat with this group: they receive far less mail than their older counterparts. Use that to your advantage! Why mail? The majority of people still see direct mail as more personal than email communication. Whereas an email ad might go into your junk file, a mail piece is typically looked at daily. Mail touches everyone. Over 80% of people retrieve their mail daily. You can personalize every mail piece to touch each customer and prospect with the appropriate message. Integrate direct mail in your overall communication platform.

Did you know that direct mail still holds the lead in ROI for customer acquisition? Direct mail accounts for 34% while e-mail, the next highest, only garners 24%. And an even more impressive figure: the average revenue per contact with direct mail is $6.26. E-mail is only $0.36. Newspapers and magazines brought in an average revenue of $0.47! Use letter mail to your advantage More people are sending out their message in letter form. You can add more information if you print a letter! The tough part is getting the consumer to open the envelope. Use innovative ways to get that envelope opened. Let’s say you are a pest control company. Show ants or termites walking across the envelope with a tag line that says Stop them Dead! Some people are now using QR codes on the envelopes. QR codes can scan on any smart phone and take the recipient directly to the web site. Some people don’t want to be bothered opening the envelope, but will go to the company’s web site if easily accessible. This works on Postcards as well, especially with Gen-Yers. This is a great tool for non-profits. The scan will take you directly to the donation landing page.

Some ideas for direct mail campaigns: 1. Use personalization – and not just their name. Be creative with how it is used. Incorporate it on the coupons or free offers. A car dealer can send a photo of the car they think the person might be in the market to buy. Add their name to the license plate on the car in the ad. A pizza company can add an individualized URL to an ad so pizza can be ordered quickly and easily from their web site.

4. If you are selling big ticket items, with direct mail you can send out a personal thank you card within a day of the sale, perhaps offering a coupon for a companion product of the one purchased. For example, they bought a grill – send a thank you note for the purchase (and you can personalize it!), and include a coupon for grill accessories, lighter fluid, etc.

2. Utilize the countless creative formats that are available. You can send product samples, DVDs, or use different scents on the mail piece. You can use different shapes and sizes. Anything unique will catch their eye. The longer you can engage them the more likely they are to remember your product and to buy from you.

5. If you are selling a snack food product that is not yet well known, use a catchy postcard just before a big game. If there is a locally important game, offer coupons for samples of the product. Start a tailgating sweepstakes. Involve your audience. Market to them at least three times before the big game.

3. Mail can direct your prospects and customers to your other media venues. It can direct to web sites and other social networking sites as well your store locations.

6. If you are selling condos or rental units on a beach, use personalization to write their name in the sand. Make them want to be on that beach right now

We can enhance the art work you send to us! In this example, you can see that several

adjustments were made to improve the photo and make it more aesthetically pleasing.

Postal & Marketing News

American Mail & Insert

Social Media + Direct Mail:

a marriage made in heaven? Direct mail can help you further your connection with your customers and prospects by directing them to your social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter and even your web site.

The latest – the decoy offer The decoy offer is the latest buzz word in marketing to your existing customer base. Let’s assume you have offered an initial dental service at $79. Your current customer or mailing base has seen this offer over and over. You might want to add two additional offers: - Keep the $79 offer - Add an offer for teeth whitening for $170 - Add an offer for a combination teeth whitening and cleaning for $225

Some ideas: 1. Offer consumers an exclusive code to get into a members-only portion of your site that offers special promotions and coupons. You get the person’s email address and you also capture their buying habits which will help you hone in on how your customers buy. (this can be used for nonprofits as well). At a certain dollar donation level they become members of your inner circle; make them feel special, offer deals to them, and tell them different ways they can help. It will increase donations!

Instead of people taking you up on your low cost introductory offer you now have given then a decoy offer of teeth whitening for $170, or a cheaper alternative of the combination. Studies have shown consumers jump on the band wagon for the “best deal”, not necessarily the rock bottom cheapest offer.

2. Once you know your customers’ patterns, surprise them with direct mail offers. In various studies it has been proved over and over that, regardless of age group, people still enjoy receiving relevant mail offerings.

Studies have shown consumers jump on the band wagon for the “best deal”, not necessarily the rock bottom cheapest offer.

3. As the direct mail piece drives people to your web site, or to Facebook, give them opportunities to earn special bonuses by referring friends. The whole 9 degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon really works. Build your email and direct mail lists through friends inviting friends to join. Friends can receive a membership card in the mail that offers exclusive discounts. That way you have their mailing address as well as their email address. These are just a few ideas on how direct mail can get you more business. And above all,make it fun to do business with you. Engage your audience.

We can help you with all your direct mail needs. We have designers on staff to help you with your creative message. We offer the latest in digital variable data 4 color printing, even on envelopes! We have a full staff at the ready to help you with any and all postal and mailing needs. Call us today to see how we can help with your mailing campaigns. 615.370.5005 •

We will help you rise above the competition

A full service direct marketing company 7104 Crossroads Blvd Ste 110 • Brentwood, TN 37027 (615) 370-5005 • (877)377-5005 • (615) 370-1333 (fax) •

AMI Fall 2010 Newsletter  
AMI Fall 2010 Newsletter  

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