What do you notice from your trips to your mailbox? Just like the Post Office, you probably also sort your mail into piles such as toss, shred, keep, and look-at-later. All of those credit card offers, catalogs, and bulk mailings go into the toss and shred pile. Only bills, hand stamped letters, and packages make it into the keep pile. The rarest sort is your look-at-later pile. These are the mailings that scream and get your attention, the ones that are designed well and speak directly to you.
Marketers want to get into this pile and printers want to offer them 1-to-1 or personalized direct mail to get there. The difficulty for marketers is to find their ideal customer and learn enough about them to create a targeted mailing. In this regard, John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing fame has some solid advice on creating your perfect mailing list. First a narrowed list from a source like InfoUSA by demographic filtering, then cross-reference prospects from a magazine/catalog list from SRDS that caters to your ideal customer. People who show up on both lists offer a better chance of success to pitch your product or services toward. I would also look to your internal, inbound marketing lists (blogs, Twitter, Facebook, newsletter, etc.) to find potential prospects who know of your company but have yet to make a purchasing decision.
With this list you can then create a trial mailing and maybe iterate with a little A/B testing to find the better content and delivery. Test between different headlines or even different form factors. Instead of a direct mailer or personalized postcard, Jantsch suggests creating “lumpy mail” or a piece that has dimensions or weight beyond normal mail. Psychologically we will take notice of the different size and studies have shown we place more value on things simply because they weigh more.
Do you always open lumpy mail?
photo: Joe Schlabotnik