Yikes! No More Saturday Mail Delivery!

I’ve been asked by several of my clients lately, what I think the impact of the U.S. Postal Service’s recent announcement to stop delivering mail and magazines on Saturday starting in August will be?

In reality, the change matters little to the companies that bombard Americans with the most mail because most businesses that rely on the Postal Service for advertising purposes have always preferred their mail be delivered on weekdays.

Still, the impact from this decision will likely vary by marketer and their individual direct mail strategy.

If you are trying to time mail delivery in conjunction with a specific offer, then some adjustments to your mailing schedule will have to be made.

An example would be a car dealer who tries to time delivery of their piece to their audience on the Friday before a weekend sales event. Typically a marketer can “time” their mail’s in-home delivery within a 3-day window where the early mailers are delivered on Thursday, another batch delivered on Friday and then the back end delivered on Saturday. In this new scenario however, those Saturday deliveries will become Monday deliveries and thus irrelevant, because the sale will have ended.

So, as a direct mail marketer, what steps can you take to circumvent the USPS decision?

Well for starters, the USPS plans to publish specific guidance in the near future for business customers about its new delivery schedule. Taking advantage of mail tracking via IMB (Intelligent Mail Barcode) will also help to better plan future mail schedules, as will taking advantage of accelerated delivery strategies such as drop shipping into local USPS SCFs (Sectional Center Facilities) or DDUs (Direct Delivery Units).

The truth is, direct mail remains as one of the best ways to reach more types of customers and reach them on a deeper level than other methods. In other words media that consumers can touch and feel resonates and touches more emotions than those of the nearly any other media variety.

Do you REALLY want to use the USPS Every Door Direct Mail Program®?

The Post Office is trying to get into the direct mail marketing business with Every Door Direct Mail®.

As a good friend of mine used to say, “Good luck with that.” If the USPS, losers of BILLIONS of dollars, can find customers to use the service to plug that deficit I say, HAVE AT IT.

So what exactly is Every Door Direct Mail®?

Rolled out by the US Postal Service in April 2011, Every Door Direct Mail® (Let’s just call it EDDM for short) allows you to mail flyers, brochures, coupons, menus, store maps, oversized postcards, saddle-stitched catalogs, booklets and more for as low 14.5 cents per mailing piece, delivered with the day’s mail to every household by carrier routes.

These types of mailing are known as saturation mailing, because it hits every home on a route and cannot be targeted like a normal direct mail campaign (except by geographic area).

The USPS refers to it as a “Simplified Mailing Process.”

Your first clue that EDDM isn’t quite as simple as it claims to be is the 25-page User’s Manual.

Next are the post office regulations.

With EDDM you don’t need to put an address on the mailer. Big whoop….instead you have to wrap them in bundles of 50 with a form on each bundle. And without an address, how can you make sure you know where your mail is going? Do most people even know what a carrier route is?

Then you have to take it to the individual post office(s). You can travel within a two-mile radius of your business and hit three different ZIP codes. That means trips to three different post offices.

Are you schooled in graphic design?

Can the average small business person design a mailer that will be attractive and generate response? That just MIGHT be important to the success of your direct mail campaign.

What about printing?

Oh yes, that minor detail. The average person probably doesn’t know how to go out and source the most economical print costs.

What about a mailing list?

It’s only the MOST important element of an effective direct mail campaign. Demographic information is critical if you want to target and reach your MOST LIKELY customers.

Yeah, but what about those HUGE postage savings?

For about a half penny more you can have your mailing drop shipped to the area Sectional Center Facility (SCF). Is saving a half penny REALLY worth having to jump through all of those other hoops?

So what is YOUR time worth? At the end of the day, dealing with a full-service agency like GamePlan Advertising & Marketing will not only save you a lot of headaches, we’ll handle the entire process from soup to nuts so you won’t have to, all at a price that will fit any budget.