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Do the unexpected in direct mail: The opposite
Do the unexpected in direct mail: The opposite
Paul Bobnak writes, "Marketers often ask me if there any new tactics or creative approaches in their specific industry's direct mail or email. That’s a tough one to answer, even with what I know about each sector. So, I sometimes recommend that t...
Honesty is critical for direct mail success
Honesty is critical for direct mail success
We’ve all experienced dishonest and predatory marketing tactics – ones that made us vow never to do business with a particular person or business and that might even have prompted us to warn friends on social media or discuss them with fami...
Charities still reliant on direct mail to fundraise
Charities still reliant on direct mail to fundraise
Some charities are still relying on direct mail to raise funds, with some spending up to 90 percent on their income on it. Despite many charities moving away from reliance on the method, a study by the Charity Commission show some groups remain almost ...
Stop annoying your customers: Direct marketing that works
Stop annoying your customers: Direct marketing that works
Direct marketing is still relevant in a digital world, but it needs to be deployed in smarter ways. What worked 20 years ago will not fly with today's more savvy prospects. Want to assure that your offerings persuade instead of annoy? Avoid these direc...
4 effective hooks for new mover direct mail
4 effective hooks for new mover direct mail
According to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau statistics, about 40 million Americans move every year. New movers are people who represent one of the most potentially valuable segments in life event marketing. They’re ideal customers, blank slat...
The new sortation challenge
The new sortation challenge
Everyone has figured out how to sort mail. Each year, high-volume mailers earn billions of dollars in discounts, taking advantage of U.S. Postal Service workshare concepts first introduced over 25 years ago. You employ software, systems and services th...
7 top tips to improve your direct mail performance
7 top tips to improve your direct mail performance
One to one communication really works – but you need to make it ultra relevant to the individual. Old hat name personalization is vastly inadequate because it fails to fully utilize your client data insights. There is no excuse now for marketeers...
Direct mail postcards: Design vs. copy
Direct mail postcards: Design vs. copy
When it comes to direct-mail postcard marketing success, which is more important: design or copy? This is a debate worth exploring, as all of us have seen poorly-designed postcards with great copywriting and well-designed postcards with poor copy. In a...
NASA unveils new planet-themed stamps for the US Postal Service
NASA unveils new planet-themed stamps for the US Postal Service
You can now embark on a tour of our solar system- from the innermost planet Mercury to the dwarf planet Pluto- just by visiting your local United States Post Office. The U.S. Postal Service issued two sets of postage stamps illustrating the eight plane...
The 3 Cs of Standard Mail
The 3 Cs of Standard Mail
Numerous surveys and studies across the country overwhelmingly prove direct mail's success as a marketing tool capable of driving positive results.
15 tried and true rules for direct mail from a legend
15 tried and true rules for direct mail from a legend
There seems to be as many theories regarding nonprofit direct mail as there are about the weather. No other area of today's fundraising world has as many consultants and "experts" making their opinions known on a single subject.
US Postal Service still in limbo waiting for Congress to act
US Postal Service still in limbo waiting for Congress to act
The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform recently held a hearing regarding the state of the U.S. Postal Service. As expected, Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan continued to maintain that the financial situation of the USPS will remain i...
Want to reach the decision makers? Use direct mail
Want to reach the decision makers? Use direct mail
As each new communication technique flourishes, so arrives another posse of pundits ready to hammer another nail into direct mail's coffin. And yet, decades on, in a world of email, SMS, personalized URLs and social media, businesses continue to devot...
Public sees direct mail in fonder light, survey finds
Public sees direct mail in fonder light, survey finds
Data specialist Wilmington Millennium questioned 2,000 consumers in December and found 48 percent thought it is a good way for businesses to connect with them, a rise of 7 percent since a similar survey in 2014. The research also found 44 percent of co...
How repetition leads to direct-mail success
How repetition leads to direct-mail success
How important is repetition to direct-mail marketing success? We’ve all seen statistical statements such as the average customer has to be exposed to your marketing seven times before they buy, after all, but is that really true? Is repetition re...
How to avoid duplicate barcodes in mailings
How to avoid duplicate barcodes in mailings
Data departments are generating duplicate barcodes for some of the mail their Lettershops are giving to comminglers. This is a serious problem that’s burning mailers of record like Midwest, left on the hook for potentially steep postal assessment...
The ultimate gatekeeper, and how direct mail breaks through it
The ultimate gatekeeper, and how direct mail breaks through it
In the world of marketing and sales, there exists many barriers between you and your prospects. As we enter into an increasingly digitized world, those barriers are only getting larger. To add to this, the average American’s attention span is now...
Why direct mail gets opened more than email
Why direct mail gets opened more than email
Do friends and relatives still send your holiday card by mail? Or do they instead dash off an email, or post a message on Facebook to everyone at once? Only one of those greetings offers the more personal touch and is most likely to be opened and read....
RIP, Victoria's Secret catalog ... but long live catalogs!
RIP, Victoria's Secret catalog ... but long live catalogs!
The news came out a few weeks ago: Victoria’s Secret – one of the most iconic catalogs of the last few decades – will be discontinued sometime this year. Parent company L Brands cited high costs and a need to simplify its brand, but ...
5 trends in direct mail
5 trends in direct mail
Every year, people say that direct mail is dead. Every year, direct mail proves them wrong by being one of the most successful non-web-based marketing tactics out there. That may change one day, but for now, it's as true in 2016 as it was in 1916, and ...
How much should you spend on marketing?
How much should you spend on marketing?
Joy Gendusa writes, "I’ve asked hundreds of business owners what their marketing budget is. Most of them respond the same way: with silence! I know. Coming up with a marketing budget is boring. And confusing. But it is VITAL to your business succ...
Set up your monthly giving marketing plan in 4 simple steps
Set up your monthly giving marketing plan in 4 simple steps
Did you know that six out of every ten donors are likely to stop giving to your organization next year? Donor retention is a hidden treasure of funds for your nonprofit. But if you want to grow your number of monthly donors, you need to do more than as...
5 tips to get connected with millennials through direct marketing
5 tips to get connected with millennials through direct marketing
Millennials have been dominating the demographic conversation for a close to decade now, and as they continue to grow they turn out to be the most influential consumers around the world. So, it does become important to know precisely how they could com...
Direct mail ideas for all the senses
Direct mail ideas for all the senses
Direct mail has always been a visual medium, and that’s never going to change. However, if your pieces are already working well on the visual front, then maybe it’s time to take your direct mail to the next level and stimulate one or two mo...
Direct mail: Is it old fashioned if it still works?
Direct mail: Is it old fashioned if it still works?
Carolyn Goodman writes, "I still get a lot of sneers if I bring up the idea of direct mail to a client. Comments range from 'Does anybody still read that stuff?' to 'Aren't postage rates outrageous?' The simple answers are 'yes' and 'no.' Let’s s...
How to win with political direct mail
How to win with political direct mail
Direct mail can be a powerful tool for your political campaign. It influences not only the opinions of voters, but their actions as well. For many years now, the majority of political mail has been on the attack of opponents. Some have gotten downright...
Personalize your messages without stalking your customer
Personalize your messages without stalking your customer
As you well know, batch-and-blast is on its way out as an ecommerce strategy. Emails jamming up a shopper’s in-box are often ignored. One of the best ways to grab a shopper’s attention is by using segmentation to personalize messages that m...
Marketing to millennials — 3 myths shattered
Marketing to millennials — 3 myths shattered
Once again, millennials — the generation born between the early 1980s and 2000 — give us reason to sit up and pay attention. According to Accenture, in less than five years, millennial annual spending will surge to an estimated $1.4 tri...
3 ways to make your direct mail maps great
3 ways to make your direct mail maps great
Maps are a pretty common element in direct mail. Whether it’s an insurance agent looking for leads, or a retail brick-and-mortar store trying to create traffic, maps can provide a lot of information quickly to a customer. But the effectiveness of...
13 holidays that offer direct mail marketing potential
13 holidays that offer direct mail marketing potential
Everyone knows holidays are great for advertising purposes, including direct mail marketing. And there’s a good chance you’re already capitalizing on widely celebrated events like Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Halloween. But there ar...
Oldies but goodies: Direct mail strategies that have stood the test of time
Oldies but goodies: Direct mail strategies that have stood the test of time
Direct mail has been around for a long time. A very long time. In fact, the first known example of direct mail was found in Egypt, and it dates back to 1,000BC! Over the millennia, there have been a few strategies that have stood out, and stood the tes...
A great match: Diamonds and direct mail
A great match: Diamonds and direct mail
Paul Bobnak writes, "Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and you know how that goes. Candy and flowers — they’re easy. But jewelry ... diamonds ... not so much. This year, I wanted to get something different for my beloved, so...
How to talk to Generation Z
How to talk to Generation Z
Whether you call them Generation Z (Gen Z), the iGeneration, Centennials or kids, young consumers are a tough bunch for marketers to reach. Born roughly between 1995 and 2010, Gen Z is effectively a sub-set of Gen Y. Its members are immersed and obsess...
Direct mail case study: UOB makes a statement with customers
Direct mail case study: UOB makes a statement with customers
In this digital age, one would believe that the printed form was surely turning obsolete. From the decline in newspaper subscriptions to the growth of iBooks and Kindle, reducing paper and going digital was the only way forward. Unfortunately, this was...
When is a document really redacted?
When is a document really redacted?
David Day writes, "Pick up a newspaper or watch the evening news and at some point you have seen a redacted document – you know - that nice document with all the black boxes covering up the data. Recently I received a PDF file with a redacted do...
Direct mail lives: 5 reasons to make it a content marketing tactic
Direct mail lives: 5 reasons to make it a content marketing tactic
Yvonne Lyons writes, "I've said it before: Print is not dead. In fact, as one of the tactics in your content marketing arsenal, direct mail can be more effective for certain audiences than email. Gasp! I know what you're probably thinking, 'It's a digi...
2017 Postal promotions get out of the gate early
2017 Postal promotions get out of the gate early
Mailers love the savings they receive on innovative mail pieces through the Postal Service's yearly schedule of promotions, but they've long had two gripes about the program: Set-up costs are price prohibitive for smaller businesses, and the promos are...
UPS updates hybrid delivery trucks to extend their range
UPS updates hybrid delivery trucks to extend their range
UPS has announced updates to 125 hybrid electric trucks operating in its delivery fleet which will extend their range and improve their fuel economy.
Don't just do direct mail different — do it better
Don't just do direct mail different — do it better
Most businesses would agree that it’s important to stand out from the competition. Differentiation is key to business success, and a lot of businesses use their marketing—including their direct mail marketing to help make that differentiation.
A teaspoon of telemarketing with a pinch of direct mail
A teaspoon of telemarketing with a pinch of direct mail
As a telemarketing company operating in many industries we notice fluctuations regarding preferential forms of marketing. In recent months we have had clients, specifically in the private sector who have been using our services alongside their own form...
How anti-spam laws revitalized direct mail
How anti-spam laws revitalized direct mail
Once upon a time, when the Internet was young, anyone could collect email addresses from wherever they wanted to and send as many unsolicited emails as they liked. By the early 2000s, spam had become a huge problem, and countries like the U.S. started ...
Direct mail: Us vs. them
Direct mail: Us vs. them
So many times, poorly executed direct mail campaigns come down to how we wanted to send it vs. how recipients wanted to receive it. This can and should be avoided. Just because we went to a seminar on the latest direct mail trends that taught us all th...
Postal Service looking to grow experimental delivery business
Postal Service looking to grow experimental delivery business
The U.S. Postal Service has been mired in what might be described as a perfect storm of financial woes, but the embattled agency is looking ahead to expanding its partnerships and offering a new wave of innovative and competitive services such as groce...
House Republicans block effort to deliver mail faster and keep US Postal Service facilities open
House Republicans block effort to deliver mail faster and keep US Postal Service facilities open
The House last week blocked a measure to require the U.S. Postal Service to revert back to the delivery standards it maintained before 2012, which the mailing agency said would have cost it $1.5 billion annually.
The vote that could lead to Congress finally passing postal reform
The vote that could lead to Congress finally passing postal reform
A House committee on recently passed a measure to overhaul the U.S. Postal Service, giving the legislation bipartisan support that could lead the lower chamber to pass its first significant U.S. Postal Service reform in 10 years.
4 ways to push the envelope
4 ways to push the envelope
So you’re walking down the street, window shopping, but not looking for anything in particular. One store is bland and uninviting. Another appears completely irrelevant to your personal lifestyle. Then you’re stopped in your tracks outside ...
Why brands are targeting empty nesters with traditional direct mail
Why brands are targeting empty nesters with traditional direct mail
Older people whose children have left home to start their own careers and families can often feel sad and nostalgic but also excited about the next chapter of their own lives. The peak age for empty nesters is between 55 and 64, and many are still work...
Great envelope-opening tactics of today
Great envelope-opening tactics of today
To get your direct mail envelopes opened, rely on tactics both new and old, drawn from today’s mail. Join Who’s Mailing What!’s Paul Bobnak as he looks at examples of both fresh from today’s mail.
Technology in the post and parcel market: Refining performance
Technology in the post and parcel market: Refining performance
The post and parcel industry is a dynamic sector. Parcel companies are adjusting to a change in the business mix: driven by ecommerce, parcel volumes are up, by 6.7 percent globally in 2015, while e-substitution has seen mail volumes fall by 3.9 percent.
Alpha mail: Print is retaking ground in the marketing mix
Alpha mail: Print is retaking ground in the marketing mix
The piece clearly struck a chord; it has had a much longer lifespan than most news stories and is still being shared on social media to this day. The survey, by data specialists Wilmington Millennium, found an increase in the number of consumers who t...
Direct mail: What you can't see can hurt you
Direct mail: What you can't see can hurt you
We’ve all heard, “what you don’t know can hurt you.” But sometimes it’s what you don’t see that can hurt you—or at least hurt the response to your direct mail efforts. It’s why good design is essential to...
Exigent rate is likely to be baked into new postal reform
Exigent rate is likely to be baked into new postal reform
Sen. Tom Carper's relentless mission to pass postal reform this year appeared to have several backers at the recent hearing of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. All senators and witnesses seemed to be in agreement that th...
Going paperless does not save trees
Going paperless does not save trees
Recently, Two Sides North America released a new study outlining key facts on why paperless initiatives do not save trees. Findings point to mounting evidence that loss of markets for paper and other wood products, a large portion of which are produced...
3 direct mail and email lessons from the for-profit world
3 direct mail and email lessons from the for-profit world
The nonprofit and for-profit sectors can learn a great deal from each other. For example, there are three powerful insights from the for-profit sector about direct mail and email marketing that fundraising professionals can certainly benefit from. In a...
How to create compelling direct mail fundraising
How to create compelling direct mail fundraising
It is brainstorming time again, and the topic of discussion is whether you should stick to your trusted direct mailing campaign or make a switch entirely to digital. Why can't it be both? The print vs. digital debate has been a constant discussion in f...
Why choosing the right graphic designer matters
Why choosing the right graphic designer matters
We’ve talked before about the importance of good design when it comes to your direct mail package (whether that’s a flier, an envelope mailing or a postcard mailing). In direct mail circles, it’s been pretty commonly accepted for year...
Direct mail designers stealing smart ... from digital
Direct mail designers stealing smart ... from digital
Paul Bobnak writes, "A few weeks ago, I was standing at my desk, opening the boxes of direct mail that get delivered to our Who’s Mailing What! offices. We all have a ritual like this with our mail at home, right? Multiple studies say it’s ...
House Appropriations Committee votes for amendment to restore mail delivery standards
House Appropriations Committee votes for amendment to restore mail delivery standards
The US House of Representatives Appropriations Committee recently (June 9) approved the FY2107 Financial Services Bill, and also adopted an amendment which calls for the restoration of mail delivery standards to the July 1, 2012 level.
Creating catalogs: When your direct mail includes product guides
Creating catalogs: When your direct mail includes product guides
Most of us are most familiar with simple forms of direct mail. Flyers, post cards and single page documents are the most common items we find in our mail boxes. However, in 2010 alone, nearly 13 billion catalogs were mailed in the U.S., and they remain...
10 surprising things your business can do on the USPS.com website
10 surprising things your business can do on the USPS.com website
Ensuring orders reach customers on time is a top priority for businesses. And one company that has been helping businesses with reliable shipping services is the United States Postal Services (USPS). Interestingly, U.S. Postal Serice is not just about ...
Why compliance needs a change of image
Why compliance needs a change of image
Compliance, like death and taxes according to Benjamin Franklin, is unavoidable. Synonymous with rules, regulations and restrictions, it’s not a word that generates great excitement. Just staying aware of new regulations is a challenge in itself:...
What makes catalogs work
What makes catalogs work
The end of Victoria's Secret's print catalog doesn't mean catalogs are over. Far from it! Join Paul Bobnak as he looks at how print catalogs stay relevant today, drawn from the files of Who's Mailing What!
5 creative ways to use printed materials to grow your email list
5 creative ways to use printed materials to grow your email list
Get your audience's attention and stand out from your competition, using printed materials as a way to promote your email list. With these unique ideas and an easy way to capture contact information — like Text-to-Join — you'll increase the...
Talking baseball ... and direct mail?
Talking baseball ... and direct mail?
They’re not exactly two things that you would think go together, but when I got a postcard from my hometown Philadelphia Phillies in the mail, I knew it would make for a good story. Or maybe two. So here’s the deal.
Top 4 benefits of direct mail (and how to make them even better!)
Top 4 benefits of direct mail (and how to make them even better!)
Much can be said for online marketing and social media; they certainly have their place in the marketing mix. However, there are a few benefits to direct mail that you can’t get anywhere else, and we’ve got them listed right here (along wit...
Top mistakes in direct marketing campaigns
Top mistakes in direct marketing campaigns
Direct mail marketing can produce some of the highest conversion rates. The average campaign converts at a 4.4 percent rate, which is significantly higher than electronic mail's .12 percent average. However, you can only expect these optimal results by...
Direct mail in the digital era
Direct mail in the digital era
Just a few years ago, common wisdom in marketing predicted that digital would snuff out direct mail, along with many other more traditional printed sales methods. Despite an obvious decline in direct mail’s popularity since the pre-Internet days,...
Senator decries 'shameful' colleagues for leaving US Postal Service board with only one member
Senator decries 'shameful' colleagues for leaving US Postal Service board with only one member
The U.S. Postal Service is down to just one member on its Senate-confirmed board of governors, and at least one member of the upper chamber is not happy about it. Sen. Tom Carper, D-Delaware, a long-time U.S. Postal Service advocate and proponent of al...
When you know your target customer, you can't beat direct mail marketing
When you know your target customer, you can't beat direct mail marketing
There are dozens of ways to market to potential clients: television, radio, newspapers, billboards, and the vast plethora of social media options, just to name a few. Each of these mediums has its own advantages and disadvantages. You might want to use...
8 print media mistakes to avoid
8 print media mistakes to avoid
If you’re working with a direct mail company that offers in-house design and printing services, then chances are you won’t have to worry too much about printing problems. It’s always a good idea to know what the mistakes are, however,...
Bipartisan house leaders introduce new proposal to overhaul the Postal Service
Bipartisan house leaders introduce new proposal to overhaul the Postal Service
House leaders with oversight of the U.S. Postal Service introduced bipartisan draft legislation to overhaul the mailing agency, expressing confidence their measure would finally push Congress to pass a bill that has eluded it for nearly 10 years. The 2...
The finishing touch
The finishing touch
Clive Stringer, Business Development Director for Pitney Bowes, argues that finishing plays a huge part in the success of physical mail. Waitrose is the latest big-brand business to declare the success of its print campaigns, hailing it as their most e...
Re-thinking direct mail: Are you using non-digital tweets?
Re-thinking direct mail: Are you using non-digital tweets?
Wes Powell writes, "It never ceases to amaze me how the more things change, the more they stay the same—at least on a certain level. I sometimes hear discussions about 'old school' versus “new methodology” when it comes to marketing. ...
Retooling mail optimization: How real-time actions put direct mail back into fashion
Retooling mail optimization: How real-time actions put direct mail back into fashion
Before the evolution of digital, direct marketers relied on physical mail as a rewarding channel to drive customer actions, one that they continue to spend $45 billion on each year in the US. But marketers have made more room for digital as postage...
Tips for direct mail fundraising success
Tips for direct mail fundraising success
Direct mail has been a great way to raise funds for a long time, and for a good reason: people tend to be more receptive to direct mail requests for donations than they are to phone calls asking for the same thing. This type of fundraising request is l...
The 7 best direct mail teasers of 2015
The 7 best direct mail teasers of 2015
How do you engage direct mail prospects in your message? It’s a question that’s always in the back of my mind when I analyze mail for Who’s Mailing What! The easiest and hardest place to start with, if you’re mailing with envelo...
Are you realizing optimal postal savings?
Are you realizing optimal postal savings?
With the recent rollback of the exigent surcharge, we should be experiencing a savings in our postal spend. But have you reviewed your jobs to make sure you are squeezing every dollar you can? With the acceptance of electronic receipt of invoices, EOBs...
Whatever happened to the Full-Service mandate?
Whatever happened to the Full-Service mandate?
Just over two years ago, U.S. Postal Service had proposed that Full-Service mail preparation be required for mailers to claim automation rates. While many larger companies were already using Full-Service, most mailers were scrambling to make the change...
What's an ideal mail center?
What's an ideal mail center?
This white paper takes a look at what should be taken into account when setting up and managing a mail center, explains how a mail center can support small and medium-sized business (SMBs), and highlights what needs to be taken into consideration befor...
5 tips for direct mail marketing
5 tips for direct mail marketing
Direct mail can be an incredibly powerful marketing tool. It can also be a black hole into which you pour money without a return on your investment. Below are five tips to help you ensure that you remain on the right side of the ledger.
3 reasons why direct mail is growing
3 reasons why direct mail is growing
Just a few years ago most of us in the political media business were predicting a gradual phase out of direct mail.
The 3 Cs of standard mail: Commingling
The 3 Cs of standard mail: Commingling
On July 6, 1976, the U.S. Postal Service offered the first workshare discount for First-Class Presort mail. Thus began the opportunity for mailers to save money by "sharing the work;" sorting and preparing mail for presentation to the U.S. Postal Servi...
Building your ideal customer profile for direct mail using information you already have
Building your ideal customer profile for direct mail using information you already have
Knowing who your customers are is a big part of marketing success, whether in direct mail or any other marketing efforts. There are some great tips you can use to create your ideal customer profile, so you know who you are marketing to when you design ...
4 delicious ways to leverage recipes in direct mail
4 delicious ways to leverage recipes in direct mail
Direct mail can affect you in a lot of ways. It can make you happy, angry, inspired or sad ... but can it make you hungry? It can when it includes food recipes, even when one of them turns out to be for borscht.