Just my two cents

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Do Not Mail is going too far
Do Not Mail is going too far

Recently, the USPS posted a $1 Billion dollar net loss in the Third Quarter of 2008. This year looks even bleaker, with mailers of all sorts and sizes bracing for the next round of postal increases due on May 11, 2009. Officials blame the Postal loss on reduced mail volume across the industry, coupled with rapidly rising transport costs due to the increasing costs of fuel.

Seeing my mail box much lightened by the lack of mailings, I think this would be a great time for marketers to get new creative test mailings going. You know the one you always wanted to mail? Well, get it into the mailstream. How about that double postcard for your magazine subscription? How about your mini-magazine or mini-catalog of your editorial calender for advertisers? Why not that cute little Tiffany colored box mailing you wanted to mail out to your best top 100 prospects? Now is a great time to get into the mailstream.

I am saving two cents now and all the way up until Midnight May 10th. It's important to my ROI to cut out a potential two cents from my package costs. When I save my two cents, I am a happy marketer.

There are also rumors of only having 5 days of delivery time, instead of the usual 6 days of delivery time — another cost-saving idea bandied about the Postmaster's offices. I guess the letter-carriers are happy about that item, but not me. I want every day that I can get for my mailings to be delivered, read and then acted upon by my prospects or clients.

Our current economic times demand more creativity in our mailings. For instance, I recently got a nice mailing package from one of my magazine subscriptions. One other package I received was a brown Kraft envelope full of seeds for my Obama garden. Still, I have yet to see much difference in the mailings I do get, and now is the time to let the creative giant out and spring something new into my mailbox. I want my mailings to scream importance; I want my mailings to tell me to act now, to burst at the seams with vital marketing information on what I should do or how I should subscribe now.

What are we waiting for — another two cents to be added to the cost of postage, and a lower ROI? That's my two cents and I am sticking with it.  

James E. Sullivan is project director of Optic Nerve Direct Marketing. Reach him at james@opticnervedirect.com.

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