Why Timing In Direct Mail Is Everything

159269664Quite often when designing a marketing campaign, many miss the trees for the forest.  Sometimes certain components that are needed to make the overall campaign successful are overlooked.  These are often relatively simple details that should be obvious, and forgetting them can be costly.  There is usually more to a campaign than a well-designed postcard.  It is certainly best to ensure enough time is spent designing content and message for an effective campaign. However, for your postcards or direct mail campaign to be successful, you must think beyond the postcard.

What you want your targets to do is important, but if a ‘when’ is involved, properly planning your campaign is of even greater significance.

The ‘call-to-action’ is a critical component of the campaign; otherwise your postcard is just a pretty piece of junk mail.  What you want your targets to do is important, but if a ‘when’ is involved, properly planning your campaign is of even greater significance.  For campaigns that are time-sensitive, your targets must have enough time to:

  • Receive the postcard
  • Ideally make a decision that is favorable to you
  • And have enough time to take advantage of the offer

The latter point is where many companies falter.  For date-specific material such as coupons, or those designed for events, determining when clients need to receive your postcard is a critical, but often neglected part of the process.  Imagine you have an event or promotion scheduled for October 30, 2013, or a coupon that expires on that day.  Let’s say it is currently October 1, 2013, and you decide you want to send a postcard.  Let’s even be generous and say miraculously, given all the other demands on your time, you are able to create an awesome message, design a magnificent postcard, and place your order, all in one day.  So, now your printer or direct mail service provider has your order:

  • What is their processing time?  You must take into account how much time is required from the time your order is submitted, to the company printing and getting your order out for delivery.
  • It is also important to consider that there are other clients, and that jobs are likely processed in the order in which they are received.  Where is your place in that line?
  • Then you must consider mailing or shipping times.  What class of mail or shipping are you using?  This will affect delivery times.  If you chose standard or bulk mail postage, though less expensive, this option can take up to 3 weeks.  If the company is able to get your card in the mail in four days, it could be the 25th of October before your targets receive your postcard.
  • If you are even a slight believer in ‘Murphy’s Law’, then you might want to give yourself just a little extra time for the ridiculous, the unthinkable, and the impossible to happen – particularly if this is a major campaign.A truck breaking down on the way to distribution center, a missed delivery because there were not enough employees to cover a route, a poltergeist taking over a printing machine, can happen.

So when you are submitting a time-sensitive campaign think through all that has to take place before your target receives that piece of mail

So when you are submitting a time-sensitive campaign think through all that has to take place before your target receives that piece of mail, and think about how much time prior to the event you would like your target to receive the information.

Although it is not their responsibility, a direct mail service provider, who is observant, and who has your best interest in mind, will advise you if it is risky to send your order based on the timeframe involved.  It is not very professional to have a postcard delivered without enough time, the day of, or even worse, after the event has passed.  Apart from giving recipients a bad impression, you will also have wasted money on the campaign, and possibly face further consequences if it is an important event.

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We built our Web App, DirectMailManager.com around the importance of timing. It allows you to send direct mail when you need to AND achieve the maximum ROI on your direct mail projects. Plus, all mail is at the Post Office in 48 hours. Click Here to read more about how you can succeed with direct mail using DirectMailManager.com and all the tools provided by Postcard Services

 


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