In part one of this feature, published in Inside Direct Mail, postal experts reflected on the rules and challenges marketers face when implementing the U.S. Postal Service’s (USPS) new Intelligent Mail Barcode (IMB) system. From that discussion, experts agreed that full service was a more attractive option than basic service and implementing IMB before the May 2011 deadline could take anywhere from a couple of months to two years, depending on an organization’s existing IT infrastructure.
In the world of direct mail, sometimes it feels as though the postcard format is on trial, defending its basic two sides against the prosecution’s long letter, freemium, brochure, buckslip and reply. The letter package promises a whole entourage of elements buffering an offer, while the bare-bones approach of a postcard arguably loses the touchy-feely, hold-your-hand sell of a letter package.
Nine billion pieces of direct mail just went missing. That’s how many mail pieces the USPS estimates diminished from the mailstream in 2008, and there’s no uptick in sight. Such a decline has an enormous household impact. “There’s 110 million active households in the United States, but about 50 million of them really get the preponderance of mail.
One “urban legend” in direct marketing is the story of the direct mail campaign with an online call to action that completely fails. Certainly you’ve heard horror stories about testing a URL call to action, in hopes that, like an 800 number, the URL will boost response. Yet, when the results come in, the mailer is several percentage points below its expected response levels—perhaps even lower than previous non-URL campaigns. What happened to the unaccounted responses? Are they unconverted sales from people who visited the URL without making a purchase? Without proper tracking, the campaign manager cannot know. The tale ends with the marketer,
Thanks to U.S. laws banning more than two consecutive presidential terms, in November, there won’t be anyone outside the White House chanting: “Four more years!”. Instead, there is an exciting race for a new candidate to step into office, embodying hope and change. For years, the USPS has held sovereign control over rate cases, without regulations in place, like the consecutive-term legislation, to protect public interest. “One of the big issues under the old laws was whether the then Postal Rate Commission (PRC) had the authority to look at the size of the piece of pie that the Postal Service was asking for and
Auto dealers are receiving the brunt of current economic problems, including swelling gas prices, a slowing economy and a credit crisis. Yet, new vehicle dealerships are still a boon to retail sales in the United States—accounting for 20 percent of all retail sales in the country at more then 675 billion dollars in sales per year, according to the National Auto Dealer Association’s 2007 study. Collectively, the more than 20,000 U.S. new vehicle dealerships recorded in the study spend annually a total of 7.8 billion dollars on advertising, with each dealer spending an average of $37,029 or 10 percent of its advertising budget on