Have you ever sent what you thought was a well-designed mailer, to a trustworthy database and got no, zilch, zero, response? I think everyone that has done mailings is nodding their head right now. So, what’s the answer … is it bad timing, unlucky, or is the meaning deeper? We all get a barrage of pieces via mail and especially e-mail these days and standing out in the crowded mailboxes is increasingly difficult.

First, I will address the e-mail crowd. This morning I came in to the office and the inbox was stuffed with over 225 new e-mails that arrived since I left last night and that doesn’t count the 500+ that were filtered into my junk folder. Standing out via e-mail is incredibly difficult and avoiding the spam filters is very hard. My suggestion is to keep the e-mail personal and it should come from an individual and not from marketing@xyzcompany.com. E-mail has become the in thing with the economic downturn since it is far less expensive to send an e-blast than send a mailing. E-response rates are very low and if overdone can actually turn-off a prospect. I think e-communications should be a part of any marketing plan, but e-blasts should be used in conjunction with other media.

The amount of actual mail I receive lately is actually diminishing. Much of this is due to the economy, and companies choosing to cut marketing budgets in these tough times. I agree that companies must tighten the purse strings and scrutinize all decisions closer than ever. If done correctly, mailings should be looked at as a way to build revenue, increase brand strength, and market share, not as an expense to the business. With the new technology and variable data printing, often the answer is to print less, and send out much more targeted mailings. There is no sense blitzing the market with 100,000 postcards if response rates are well below 1%. Instead, examine your top prospects and create personalized mailings that get results. A well ran variable data campaign can increase results 400% over traditional static mailings. With mail boxes becoming a little less crowded a well-designed variable data campaign will get results.

We also have a free Guide to Variable Data Printing.