Leaking Profits? Plug up the UAA Drain!

Melissa Team | Address Check, Address Correction, Address Quality, Address Standardization, Address Validation, Address Verification, Article, Direct Mail, Mailing, Mailing & Shipping, Mailing Lists, NCOA, PAVE Certified | , , , , , , , , ,

Are you struggling to keep printing postage and service costs down? One culprit that could be putting a drain on your profit is return mail. You’d be surprised how undeliverable-as-addressed mail (UAA) can operate like a small tax on your business – costing a little bit in a lot of areas. Turn to page 24 in Mailing Systems and Technology’s June issue to see Melissa’s article: Taking Action to Void Undeliverable-as-Addressed Mail. It details the causes, affects and ways to prevent and deter this expensive, yet avoidable, tax on your business.

Carpe DM!

Blog Administrator | Article, Creative, Direct Mail | , ,
By Alan Rosenspan, President, Alan Rosenspan & Associates
Remember how much direct mail you used to receive?
How much time it took you to sort through it, see what was interesting or relevant, and select the envelopes you wanted to open?
Not anymore.
Direct mail volume is down significantly in the last quarter of 2008, and the first two quarters of 2009 – and it doesn’t look to improve any time soon.
The USPS® admits that volume is down 20% – but I think it’s much, much higher. Plus it seems very few companies are investing in larger size or dimensional packages.
Which means now is a great time to send out direct mail for your company!
There’s less competition, less clutter in the mailbox, and less likely for your direct mail to be lost in the shuffle.
In a recent article in The New Yorker, James Suroweicki wrote about the real recession.
“In the late nineteen twenties, two companies – Kellogg and Post – dominated the market for packaged cereal. When the Depression hit, no one knew what would happen to consumer demand.
“Post did the predictable thing: it reigned in expenses and cut back on advertising. But Kellogg doubled its ad budget, moved aggressively into radio advertising, and heavily pushed its new cereal, Rice Krispies.
“By 1933, even as the economy cratered, Kellogg’s profits had risen almost thirty percent and it had become what it remains today: the industry’s dominant player.”
As you know, Carpe Diem is Latin for “Seize the Day.” Today, it’s “Carpe DM!”
You can take advantage of this historic opportunity – to use direct mail to reach more prospects, gain more customers, and get a better response than ever before.
Now is the time to increase your direct marketing initiatives with a fresh, targeted mailing list. Click here for a FREE list count!
—Source: Alan Rosenspan is an internationally renowned direct marketing expert and president of Alan Rosenspan & Associates. He has written over 100 articles for direct marketing publications around the world, which can be found at www.alanrosenspan.com. Email him at ARosenspan@aol.com.

How to Deal with “Do Not Mail” Mania

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By PostCom, Association for Postal Commerce
These days in the mailing industry undoubtedly are not the best of times. They may not be the worst either, but they certainly are challenging. For the past three years, those who use mail for business communication and commerce have had to deal with unrelenting attacks by self-styled critics of our industry and practices who are relentlessly pursuing state and federal legislation that would stringently limit your ability to use mail within your business.
These critics come in various guises. The most common centers on their “concern” over the environmental impact of mail. According to the stories they tell, anyone who uses mail within their business is guilty of destroying the world’s forests, polluting our air and water, overfilling our landfills, and just about every other nasty behavior one can imagine.
In making their claims, they claim to offer “facts.” What they offer instead are lies, myths, and the sharing of a general ignorance of who uses mail, the purposes for which it is used, the environmentally sound aspects of doing business by mail, and just about every other of the common sense and good economic reasons why the establishment and maintenance of a universal mail delivery system has been a hallmark of every country around the world.
Below are a set of links to help your business and foster our common goals of preserving and promoting the use of the mail for business communication and commerce.
The materials include model letters you can revise as you see fit to tell your employees and advertisers about the value of the mail and your response to junk mail attacks. There are also letters to the media and any group that is out to destroy your business by funding or supporting antimail legislation or negative consumer attitudes. There are fact sheets you can use on your company website, or otherwise, about the benefits of mail, and the real impact of ad mail on the environment.
Links to Important Information You Can Use
Start By Doing Homework At Home (Getting your employees informed and involved. A sample letter.)
Communicating With Those Who Advertise and Market by Mail (A sample letter.)
Taking The Lies Head On (A sample letter.)
People In Glass Houses Should Never Throw Stones (Educate Your Environmental Colleagues. A sample letter.)
Mail, Public Policy And The Law
Truthful Messages You Can Use
Some Interesting Facts That Belie The Myths
Other Useful Goodies You Can Use
Q & A On Paper, Ad Mail, Landfills, & Recycling
Some Facts About Trees and Common Sense
Facts About America’s Landfills
Recovery And Reuse of Mail And Paper
How To Make Your Case
Working Effectively And Honestly With The Media (An excellent guide produced by media consultant Peter Miller.)
—Source: PostCom (http://postcom.org/eco/do.not.mail.mania.htm).

Prospect Better to Grow Existing Lists

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Greg Grdodian, President, Edith Roman-ePost Direct
Do you know what you’re doing? That’s not a personal question. All mailers should ask it when building their customer lists. It means, simply, do you have a plan in place?
If it’s time to generate more top-line revenue, then it’s time to grow your list. It should be done methodically, using tried-and-true direct marketing methods.
First, outline your goals. Are you looking for quantity or quality? Are you seeking prospects or immediate customers?
If it’s quantity you want, you might be tempted to try social media, but you could end up with a glut of unqualified names. The best channels for generating customers are the traditional direct marketing ones. You’ll get more meaningful data, and you’ll have greater control.
Start by profiling your existing customer file. Match it against a comprehensive business-to-business database and overlay firmographic data like SIC and employee size, and individual details, like text title. Once you’ve created your customer footprint, you are in the best position to acquire new customers.
Next, prospect through the traditional channels, such as direct mail, e-mail, and telemarketing. You’ll generate higher conversion rates when you use them together. And, you’ll learn more about potential buyers–for example, how they like to respond. If it’s postal, send an e-mail to trigger response to a direct mail piece. These insights (and others) can be used when the prospects become customers.
Also, improve your ROI by negotiating multi-use volume deals. Don’t drill down in a list to the point where there are no prospects, and stop mailing unresponsive names. Remember the IOU formula: Your copy should generate interest, offer a deal, and deliver a sense of urgency.
Another way to build your list is through lead generation. Do you have a digital content library made up of white papers, e-books, webcasts, and analysts’ reports? Syndicate it through websites, newsletters, and through b-to-b co-registration networks. Prospects can be qualified with a couple of simple questions.
 
The Takeaway
Plan ahead, set reasonable goals, and understand the anticipated ROI.
 
—Source: DM News Aug. 23, 2010 (www.dmnews.com)

Simple Rules to Make the Most of List Rentals

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By Dave Scott, CEO, Marketfish

The secret to successful list marketing is good testing. Unfortunately, many companies aren’t sure how to test effectively. They simply rent a list of prospects, send out their e-mail to everyone on that list, and wait for the results. When their campaign isn’t successful, they assume list marketing doesn’t work, and never try it again.
If testing is done right, it can be a powerful tool for any direct marketer. The following rules will increase your chances of a successful list marketing campaign.
1) Test the right number of prospects and lists
Many companies start out too small or too large. Some rent a list with only 500 prospects for an e-mail campaign and get zero response from it. Other companies spend $50,000 for a list with one million prospects, only to find out later that they’ve sent their message to the wrong audience–or worse, that they bought a “bogus list” full of old, inaccurate contact information.
I believe an ideal test list size is 25,000 names. E-mail marketing is a large-numbers game. You need a certain amount of throughput for it to be effective.
Test multiple lists to find the most receptive prospects for your message. For example, if you send marketing e-mails solely to a list of CMOs, you will probably get a minimal response. You increase your chances of success if you test additional lists of VPs/directors of marketing, marketing managers, and even VPs of sales (who often influence marketing decisions).
2) Test the creative and subject header
I strongly recommend doing A/B split testing for your e-mail campaign. Test different versions of the subject header and creative, and then use the elements that get the best response. This will maximize your chances for a successful campaign.
You never know what a client will respond to. On a recent A/B split test, our client mistakenly sent out a test e-mail with only the word “Webinar” in the subject line. To our surprise, the “Webinar” e-mail got three times the response of the test e-mail with the well-crafted subject header.
3) Establish goals
Before you begin testing, establish goals for your list marketing campaign. Know how many leads (or sales) you hope to generate, and know your projected cost per lead (CPL). Then use the testing results to help meet your goals.
For example, say your CPL goal is $10 per lead, but the CPL in the first series of tests is $20 per lead. You can use these results to negotiate a better rental price for the prospect list.
One of the best pieces of advice I ever received was, “That which isn’t measured doesn’t improve.” The more elements you test, the more likely you are to have a successful list marketing campaign.
—Source: DMNews June 23, 2010 (www.dmnews.com). Dave Scott is the CEO of Marketfish.