Handy Mailing Service Blog

Helping you learn more about direct mail every day with help, tips, advice, and techniques.

Monthly Archives: February 2018

Is Direct Mail Dead?

By | Direct Mail Today | No Comments

Oh great… another blog post from a direct mail company saying people like receiving direct mail. Give me a break – It’s the age of email and smartphones. Direct mail is dead. And dead it will stay!

I get your skepticism. You’ve every right to be skeptical when mainstream news outlets say the same things: direct mail doesn’t work. Market online. Send emails. Strengthen your SEO. They suggest anything BUT direct mail.

Direct mail’s got a lot of haters. But is the hatred justified? We don’t think so. Our clients don’t think so. And the facts certainly don’t think so!

direct mail box

According to the Data and Marketing Association, the #1 hub for marketing statistics and information, direct mail is alive and well.  

According to their stats, direct mail has a better response rate than email, paid searches through search engines like Google and Bing, and social media. And not just by one or two percent. But four to five in almost every comparison.

For example, the household response rate for direct mail ranks number ONE at 5.1% whereas the other response to Google Clicks and email measures less than one percent

And we’ve all heard those “tech-savvy,” “digital-native” millennials only shop online or with their smartphones. But do they? Again according to the DMA, it simply isn’t true; the direct mail response rate for millennials is 12.4%! So… is direct mail dead?

So Why Does Direct Mail Work?

First, it slices through the clutter. It’s clean and simple. It’s not competing with hundreds of other marketing pieces. It’s dropped in the mailbox with four to five other mail pieces. But compare that with email – where the average person receives 10-20 marketing emails a day. There’s too much. Companies are bombarding us every day, and it’s causing our heads to burst. 

Second, it’s tangible. You can feel its texture and weight in your hands. It feels … well … it feels real. Contrast that with an email. Emails seem cheap. They lack substance. What does it say to your customers when you only contact them with an an email? I’d say not much.

Yes, we’re a direct mail company, but that’s not the reason we believe in direct mail. We believe in it because it works. And almost every direct mail marketer will say the same thing.

So if you’re looking to improve your marketing, mix in direct mail. There’s nothing wrong with sending emails, but compound your efforts with direct mail. The results might just turn you from hater to believer.

So what do you think? Is direct mail dead?

What Is Data Processing?

By | Data Processing | No Comments

Let me share with you a scenario that happens every so often when I am giving a customer an estimate or an invoice.They will ask me about the line item simply named “data processing.” So what exactly is data processing? I’m gonna let you in on a little secret…

The list the customer gives us doesn’t magically transform into the list that is mailed out!

Allow me to walk you through the journey of your list. When our customer service representative receives the list from the customer, it is put into a designated folder associated with a job number on our server database. Once the paperwork is made up by the rep, the data processing department is the next stop along the route as the job passes through the shop. One of our data processors accesses the list with our advanced software and then begins to follow a series of steps and check offs that have been developed over years of experience. This list processing checklist covers each and every detail that goes into a developing a final mailed list.

For example, some of these items include: removing duplicates, correcting fields, removing floating fields, updating addresses from NCOA, unifying the case of the text, checking the length of the longest record, postage verification, etc… All in all, there are 31 different items on this checklist that they work through by the time they are done with the list.

This eliminates any opportunity of error for grabbing the wrong list, including bad records and addresses, or even sending an incomplete list. Working through this process can take anywhere from 45 minutes for a cleaned up list, to four or five hours for a complex, messy list. Other factors that can add to the length of the data processing are how many fields are being included with each record or the amount of lists being merged together to form the final mailing list.

If the customer’s spreadsheet list has four or five different tabs or several excel files, that can take a lot of time for our data processors to import into the mailing software we use to presort the lists.

Well, as you can tell, there are a lot of little steps that are taken to ensure your mailed lists are as accurate as possible. Because these steps are executed correctly, we can provide the best mailing list for your direct mail campaign.