Can Every Door Direct Mail Save You Postage Money?
Mark Hale ‐ December 27, 2013
The United States Post Office has recently introduced a new mailing program that reduces the postage to .17 cents per postcard. To many this sounds like a fantastic deal and it is but there are some caveats that add extra cost and labor to the program you should know about. Is “Every Door Direct Mail” right for your business?
The fact is Every Door Direct Mail is not right for every business. The basis of the program is the post office gives a huge postage discount because you are mailing to every “door” on a postal route. The cards are not personalized with a name. Another reason why the postage is so cheap is that you are doing all the work for the post office.
The fact is Every Door Direct Mail can be a very good deal for “some businesses” but like with most government programs, there are some strings that add to your costs and you should know what they are.
This program is available for postcards only. The card has to be an extra large size. The card has to be 6.5 x 11 or up to 8.5 x 11. This larger size is more expensive to print so allow for extra cost here.
The cards have to be bundled and banded in bundles of 50 cards per bundle. This takes time to bundle correctly. Allow for manpower to do this or pay someone like Wilson Printing to bundle the cards for you. This has to be done by hand and is labor intensive.
Each bundle has to have a tag stating the number of cards and the carrier route wanted. The cards have to be delivered directly to the local post office that delivers to the area. You have to deliver them to the post office yourself, pay for shipping to the post office or hire someone to take them to the post office. Again there are costs associated with getting them to the local post office.
You have to give them the exact number of cards for the postal route. You can get the counts for the postal routes from the USPS website. Mailing to everyone in one zip code or carrier route is ideal for some businesses that have a broad general target public, such as:
- Grocery stores – everyone eats food.
- Pizza or other fast food stores – people have to eat.
- Home service type businesses like pressure washing, lawn services and other general services that are lower ticket items.
- Real Estate – you can blanket an area promoting a listing you sold or have. Still a targeted mailing might produce better results.
- Auto repair centers. Most people have cars and will need repairs and oil changes. You can more or less target the carrier routes by neighborhoods.
Businesses that “Every Door Direct Mail” is not an ideal program for is anyone who sells a higher ticket item needs a targeted prospect. The thing about Every Door Direct Mail is that it goes to everyone regardless of qualifications. Your business may need a certain type public who has the need and finances to pay for it. So mailing to everyone gives you the potential for a lot of waste.
Every Door Direct Mail is a move in the right direction on postage rates, but you will have to look at the product you sell and who buys it to determine if it is right for your business. I have seen business people get excited about the cheap postage, print and mail 5,000 or 10,000 postcards “Every Door Direct Mail” and get little or no response.
Direct mail is one of the most effective means of advertising. When direct mail does not work there are only three (3) reasons that could cause it not to work:
1. A bad list: People on the list were not prospects for the product or service, they were not qualified to buy it or the list was old and outdated.
2. Message failure: The most common causes of message failure are as follows:
The message was not clear and was confusing. Too many products or services were presented or products were presented that appeal to a totally different public caused the mailing to not appeal to anyone.
Typically the message was composed of features and listed no benefits to the prospect. People buy benefits not features. A poor design could also contribute to a message failure.
The first rule is – it has to get noticed. Too often a bland, unappealing design contributes to message failure. No call to action.
The most common cause I see for direct mail failure is there is no call to action with a benefit to buy now. You have to give people a reason to buy from you now.
3. Lack of Tracking System: Often, business people do not have a tracking system in place so they do not ever get an accurate picture of how many people responded. Example: If you put your website on the mailer, typically people will go to your website to get more data about your business. They decide to buy and call you. Your receptionist asks how did you hear about us. The prospect says from your website. Your website gets credit for the sale even though the postcard they received prompted them to check out your website. One way to track this is to sign up for Google Analytics. This is a free service and it shows you how much direct traffic you get to your website. Direct traffic is people who typed your web address directly into Google.
I hope this information helped you to decide if Every Door Direct Mail is right for your business. Either way, we can help you by printing and mailing your postcard using Every Door Direct Mail or using a more targeted direct mail approach.
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