State of the Industry Report: Chasing Dollars
ON DIRECT MAIL
The Expert: Summer Gould, president, Eye/Comm Inc., Santee, Calif.
What are your thoughts on the current state of the direct mail sector?
Summer Gould: The biggest problem right now is the post office. Congress has not been able to pass legislation that allows the post office to reach financial stability, and that has them in the red every year. This has posed problems for postage rates and service times. The bright spot in direct mail is how effective it continues to be in all age groups, including millennials.
What do you think the biggest changes will be this year, and what will drive them?
SG: The integration of direct mail with technology will no longer be a luxury, but will be expected by recipients. It provides them with a smooth and quick user experience, which really helps increase response.
Because marketers need to spread their money farther and farther, what types of considerations need to be made with direct mail? Where are successful marketers excelling?
SG: The very first consideration for direct mail is cost. In order to keep costs down and returns on investment up, you must target every campaign you do to the correct people. You also need to make sure that you are not paying extra postage by designing without thinking about the postal regulations. Successful marketers are integrating direct mail with online content through mobile [and] providing a unique user experience that increases engagement.
What opportunities, if any, have marketers seen since Megan Brennan took over as postmaster general?
SG: Megan Brennan is a realist and has taken it upon herself to listen to and work with direct mailers. This gives us hope that she understands the struggles we have and will work with us going forward on service standards as well as postage rates.
If you could give marketers just one piece of advice, what would it be?
SG: Take your time with not only selecting your target market, but also in your design. You need to appeal to recipients but also meet postal requirements. Do not be afraid to enlist the help of a mail service provider to review your designs for postal issues before you print.
Based on past trends, what are your expectations for the short-term future of direct mail?
SG: Direct mail will continue to be used as part of a multichannel campaign and provide effective results. More technology will be added to increase engagement with customers and prospects.