Why won’t 100% of my mail get delivered? Why should I expect some returned mail pieces?
Although we perform extensive tests to ensure the highest quality data possible, there will always be a small number of undeliverable mail pieces/returned mail for various reasons that are out of our control:
Millions of Consumers and Businesses move every month. Most of them do not provide the Post Office with a forwarding address. If they don’t provide a forwarding address to the USPS, their mail cannot not be forwarded. It will get returned to the sender.
If a house is vacant, the postman is not allowed to deliver the mail and the mail will be returned to the sender.
Why does LeadsPlease have a higher deliverability rate than other mailing list companies?
We take our data quality extremely seriously and are proud to provide our valued customers with the highest quality data that’s available.
Our deliverability rate is higher than a lot of other list providers, because we take extra measures to clean, and test the data more frequently than most other companies.
Here are some of the steps that we take:
We perform rigorous independent USPS tests to ensure that all our mailing addresses and contact names are correct and viable. (NCOA 48, CASS, DPV.)
We are partners with one of the largest and most trusted data compiler in the USA. We rank each record with a ‘reliability code’, based on the amount of information/data available to them. The ‘reliability code’ for each record is ranked between 1 and 10, 1 being extremely reliable, 10 being the most unreliable. LeadsPlease only loads the most reliable/accurate records (1’s and 2’s).
We test massive sample lists from locations across the USA prior to loading each new release of data. We analyze each of these mailing lists using our own postal hygiene. The data is only made available on LeadsPlease after each database has been tested thoroughly and we can guarantee a deliverability of 95%.
Direct Mail – How to Keep Your Customer Coming Back for More
Your loyal, repeat customers help keep your business alive and booming. Don’t forget about them. Direct mail is a simple, affordable and effective way to stay in touch. Keep your name fresh on their mind, and keep them coming back for more!
The ’80/20′ Rule
Vilfredo Pareto, the most note-worthy Italian economist of the 20th century, introduced the proverbial ‘80/20 Rule’ in the early 1900’s. The ‘80/20 Rule’ or the ‘Pareto Principle’, claims that ‘80% of your sales come from 20% of your customers’. So, if 80% of your business comes from the 20% that makes up your steady, reliable flow of repeat customers , shouldn’t it be every business’s goal to keep those customers happy and coming back for more?
Direct mail is a hard-hitting and affordable way to stay in touch with your customers. It’s a simple way to show them that you care. Here are a few reasons to reach out and stay in touch:
Holidays are a simple and non-intrusive way to remind your precious customers that you care. You can wish them a ‘Happy and Safe Summer’ all the way through to a ‘Happy New Year’ and a ‘Happy Valentine’s Day’; any Holiday is a great excuse for you to stay connected with your customers and remind them of your services.
If you’ve surveyed your customers and have their birthdays on file, take advantage of the opportunity to send them special ‘birthday’ offers once a year. Unique ‘Birthday’ offers make your Customers feel important and special, and make the ‘only for you’ offers and ‘super’ discounts hard to refuse.
When you purchase your next mailing list or list of sales leads, ask for ‘Birthdates’ to be included, and attract new customers and prospects with hard-to-resist special Birthday offers.
Seasonal promotions are a simple way to lure-in current and new customers, whether you’re holding a ‘Back to School’ special or an ‘Autumn Blow-Out Sale’, special events and seasonal promotions are the #1 reason for small business mailings.
Tips / Advice
Keep your customers coming back for more with helpful tips and industry news/advice that your customers will find appealing and useful. Consumers indicate that ‘Expertise / Industry Knowledge’ as one of the 5 top items they consider when making a purchase. So don’t be scared of boasting – show your customers what you know and boast away!
New Products / Services
If you have a new product or are about to launch a new service, reach out to your customers and let them know about it! If they don’t know it’s there, how do they know to come visit you?
Customer News / Success Stories
Share your customers’ news and success stories in your mail pieces and on your website.
Positive reviews are proven to help sell products!
Use case studies that illustrate the bought product and the success your customer’s had with it.
Use short, helpful quotes that perfectly describes a product.
Make it easy to reach customer service.
Keep your contact details visible.
Post reviews on your website because there isn’t a better form of marketing than loyal customers boasting and bragging about your company.
This spreads the word about your wonderful products & services.
Maximize your Paper Usage- Speak to your printer/graphic designer about adjusting the size of your mail piece so that you take full advantage of each printed sheet of paper and ultimately, lower your print costs.
Paper Stock – You can cut costs dramatically just by choosing the ‘right’ paper stock that meets your marketing needs and the size of your pocket. Double check with your printer about the cost of various paper stocks and save $100’s by cutting back on expensive, heavy, glossy paper.
Know What You Want – Help your graphic designer understand exactly what you want and lower your design costs by giving them examples of the type of mail piece you’d like to create. Some designers will give you a break on pricing if you know what you want and are willing to forgo them building you a design from scratch.
Shop Around! Don’t want to pay for an expensive graphic designer? Do some research online and find a direct mail company who offers a reasonable rate for your direct mail project. Don’t be afraid to ask if they have a first-time-customer discount! You’ll be happily surprised when they do.
Save on Postage
Postage can’t be avoided, but what a lot of people don’t know, is that you can dramatically lower your postage fees by keeping a close eye on several factors that directly affect your postage rates.
Size – The height, length and width of your mail piece all directly affect the cost of your postage. The larger your mail piece, the more you will pay. So think about how you can shrink your mail piece and benefit from lower postage fees.
Weight- Weight also directly affects the cost of postage. So be careful not to weigh your mail piece down with heavy inserts or unnecessary gimmicks. Could you ‘slim’ down your direct mail piece by using a postcard instead of an expensive, multi-page brochure? Could you switch from using a heavy, laminated paper stock, to a less expensive, lighter paper?
Speed of Delivery – Plan ahead and use Standard Class (as opposed to 1st Class mail) and cut costs associated with speedy delivery.
Bulk / Commercial mail – The USPS offers significantly lower postage rates for individuals and businesses that direct mail in bulk and follow the USPS Bulk/Commercial mail guidelines. If you’re planning on mailing 500+ pieces several times each year, or if you’re thinking about a one-time large scale mailing of 5,000+ pieces to promote your new store, Bulk/ Commercial mail might be right for you.
The USPS offers significantly lower pricing for pre-sorted bulk/commercial mail because you will be saving them time and money by pre-sorting the mail and taking other necessary steps that they would otherwise charge you for.
Click here to learn more about USPS Bulk/Commercial mail.
Use a ‘Clean’ Mailing List
Use a ‘clean’, high-quality, accurate mailing list and save money on ‘returned’ or ‘undeliverable mail’.
Do Your Research – If you want to purchase a new mailing list of potential sales leads, take the time to do some research and find a reliable mailing list company that guarantees quality, ‘clean’ data.
Quality over Quantity – Use a quality direct mailing list, and you’ll maximize the number of prospects who will receive your mailing and in turn, boost your response rates.
Always Be Testing!
Testing is extremely important, because without it, you’ll never truly understand what you did that helped increase sales, and what you did that didn’t.
Keep track of your customer responses, ask them questions when you speak to them, and if you’re sending out multiple mailings each year, make sure you take note of which mailings bring about the best response and ROI so you can use the same ‘offer’ or ‘design’ next time around!
Direct mail is all about the ‘hook’ and the few-seconds-long opportunity to pitch your product and stop your reader in their tracks. When you only have a couple of seconds to ‘wow’ them with your promotion and services, you want to make sure that your ‘offer’ is as strong and punchy as possible. The 3 essential ingredients for a powerful promotion are: an offer they can’t refuse, a precise ‘call to action’, and a clear not-so-distant deadline.
Wow, that Offer’s GOOD!
Give your reader an offer they can’t refuse and you’ll win their business and watch your sales soar! A compelling offer will drive your customers to take action and respond to your direct mail message and could lead to a happy and loyal, repeat-customer.
A simple, hard-hitting offer can differentiate you from the ‘junk mail’ and the ‘save’ pile, so before you settle with a cost-efficient but boring ‘free pen’ promotion, you may want to think twice.
Give away ‘something for free’! Whether it’s a ‘free meal’ or a ‘free consultation’ or a ‘1 month free’, a ‘free’ offer is the best know trick to grabbing customers’ attention and persuading them to try your products and services. If they like what they see, you can bet they’ll be back for more!
Denny’s restaurant recently gave away a ‘free breakfast’ to everyone in the country, for one day only. Think about all the new customers they brought in that day, and think about all the people who quickly learned where their local Denny’s is, and how fast (and good!) their food really is…
Most businesses survive from both a steady flow of repeat customers as well as a fluctuating stream of in-and-out customers. So if you can win-over a new customer with a hard-to-resist offer and they end up coming back for more, the initial investment will be well worth it!
What Do I Do Now?
The second key ingredient to a powerful hard-hitting direct mailing promotion is the ‘call to action’. The last thing you want is your reader wandering ‘well, what do I do now?’, so be sure to ’tell’ them what they need to do to redeem your offer by using a clear and persuasive ‘call to action’.
A successful direct mailing must also include a compelling ‘call to action’ that drives the reader to ‘act’ and ‘respond’ to your mailing. A ‘call to action’ can be anything from asking your customer to go online to your website and fill out a form, to picking up the phone and calling you before the end of the month, or to stopping by and visiting your store.
No matter what your ‘call to action’ is, it needs to be obvious and compelling, so there’s no doubt in the reader’s mind about what they need to do to be able to take advantage of the promotion that you’re offering them.
Give Them a Deadline!
Offers with ‘expiration dates’ yield quicker responses and drive your customers to take action, sooner rather than later.
A lot of businesses make the mistake of giving their readers a non-dated offer with no expiration date; the problem with this is that offers with no expiration dates tend to get forgotten and ultimately un-used.
The key to creating the ‘right’ deadline for your offer is setting an appropriate deadline that nudges the reader to take action in the near future, before they miss-out on this special, limited time promotion.
We’ve seen them popping up all over the place – online and in our mail boxes – so what are QR codes? How do they work? And most importantly, why are they important to businesses’ that want to keep up with this powerful new marketing trend?
What is a QR Code?
QR Codes stand for ‘Quick Response’ codes, because they prompt readers to quickly respond to promotional offers and marketing messages by using their mobile phones. They look like this:
How do they work?
QR Codes, similarly to bar-codes, are a way to scan and transmit data. They were originally created by the automobile manufacturing industry as a way to scan and track auto parts, but today, QR codes are commonly used across all industries and scanned by millions of consumers every day.
They’re small enough to print and post online, and you don’t need a heavy hand-held scanner to use them. All you need is your mobile phone and an app that will allow you to scan and read them.
Why People Like Scanning Them
Consumers get bored with seeing the ‘same old, same old’ marketing messages, so it’s fun for them to see a new marketing tool like QR codes, that grab their attention and prompt them to get involved. QR codes give consumers a reason to be active and participate in their marketing message. QR codes are fun and intriguing; and let’s face it, who doesn’t like a little surprise every now and then? With QR codes, you never know what message you’ll find. These are a few of the reasons for their growing popularity and one of several reasons why businesses are starting to use them more often.
How Businesses can Use QR Codes
No matter how big or small your business is, you can use QR codes to promote your services and products. They’re not expensive, are quick and easy to create and you can integrate them on print, direct mail advertising, emails and on your website.
And there’s no one way to use them. QR codes are used to engage consumers in a variety ways :
Link to a video
Social Media (ex. Twitter, Facebook, Linked In etc)
So next time you’re thinking about using a boring URL on the back of your next direct mail piece -think again! Try something new, start engaging your customers and use a QR code.
Marketing messages come in all forms these days – direct mail, TV, internet ads, radio, email – just to name a few. So if you could choose your preferred way to receive marketing messages, what would you choose? Well, if you’re anything like the majority of Consumers, you’ll say ‘Direct Mail’.
Epsilon, the reputable US research company, just released a new study, “The Formula for Success : Preference and Trust”, that proves that Direct Mail is still the preferred medium for receiving ads and promotional offers.
Direct Mail wins again !
Maybe the steady stream of unwanted email ads are making email marketing less and less effective? Email ads just seem to be piling up and bombarding and cluttering our in-boxes, and we spend half our time deleting them or marking them as spam. According to this study, 65% of those surveyed “strongly agree” that they get too much email, and 75% say they get a lot of emails they never open.
So despite being bombarded by spam emails and online ads, the study proves that people still prefer to see and receive promotions at home, via the mailbox.
The study, found that respondents prefer direct mail over email marketing about brands or products in almost every category, including financial services (36 percent to 8 percent), insurance (36 percent to 9 percent) and travel (21 percent to 13 percent).
Direct Mail – Best Marketing Avenue for Small Businesses
As postal rates increase, some businesses have halted their routine direct mail campaigns – but maybe they should reconsider! Direct mail is still the preferred way for consumers to receive their marketing messages and promotional ads – so don’t stop! Keep an eye on your competitors, and beat them to the chase, and keep those direct mail promotions flowing.