Redplum mailer lets marketers dissect why some mail practices are not ideal

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Redplum mailer lets marketers dissect why some mail practices are not ideal
Redplum mailer lets marketers dissect why some mail practices are not ideal

In critiquing this mailer piece from Redplum, we also can examine the direct mail practices we see every day that crush any chance of significant redemption and contribute to the definition of "junk mail." 

First, the format: How did you feel the last time you stood in the center of a crowded tourist destination with a flag-sized street map unfurled in your hands? This is a similar badge that coupons carry. It is part of the reason why gift cards, according to two studies recent studies, redeem 10% to 30% higher than coupons with an identical offer. Gift cards have a perceived value that coupons lack, and personalization only increases the perceived value. And, anonymous coupons sent to someone name "resident" lack any perceived value. 

Therefore, to improve the format of the piece, I'd like to see more personalization, less anonymity. Also, the structure of this Redplum mailer makes capturing redemption information difficult. The model allows for customer engagement, but doesn't give them a reason to. 

Next, the analytics: Coupons like these, are sent out en masse. Redemption is typically reported through a clearinghouse or a point-of-sale system after the fact. Whatever the case, this process can fail to capture significant amounts of information. While too long to list, two fundamental failings that stand out are which specific recipients redeemed and who was interested, but never got around to it. 

Finally, the relevance: While you could argue that saving money and pizza are universal constants, there is no predictor that the brands represented in this piece will benefit. A significant flaw with any saturation mailing, and a reason for lower redemption rates, is that there is no effort made to match the right offers to the right people.

Any offer that lacks relevance and perceived value could be seen as inefficient. More contemporary solutions should take these lessons, apply more advance targeting technology and offer marketers equal economy with far greater returns both in revenue and feedback. 

The bottom line is not to abandon direct mail, but to improve your direct mail investments. l

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