Archive for category Connecting
Nine Things You Should Know About The Postal Service
“You probably know your mail carrier and the clerks at your neighborhood Post Office, but how well do you know the Postal Service itself? Here are nine facts that might surprise you.”
Above is a quote from this great USPS blog we discovered. It can’t be said any better, “how well do you know the postal service itself?” Please take a minute to check out this wonderful blog: http://uspsblog.com/nine-things-you-should-know-about-the-postal-service/ and learn nine facts that might surprise you about the postal service.
We would love to hear your feedback and see if you knew any of the facts or if you were truly surprised. Comment below!
Get Started with Every Door Direct Mail
How much do you know about the USPS program Every Door Direct Mail?
Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) gives you the ability to target a local neighborhood or to reach customers/prospects nationwide. The Simplified Mailing Process helps you identify which USPS mail routes to include in your targeted mailing area. There is a super cool, intuitive EDDM application available online to get you started.
You can access the online tool and get more information here: https://www.usps.com/business/every-door-direct-mail.htm
Who can benefit from EDDM?
- Auto dealerships
- Arts organizations
- Business services
- Dry cleaners
The list could go on and on. If you want to reach a local, or even national, audience EDDM provides an easy, cost effective marketing channel. Remember that $31,000.00 postage savings for my local customer?
Some things to keep in mind when planning your mailing:
- Mailpieces must meet Standard flats specifications
- Minimum length 11 ½” OR
- Minimum height 6 1/8”
- Weight equal to or less than 3.3 ounces
- Must contain at least 200 pieces (with a maximum per day of 5,000 pieces for the EDDM Retail option, but unlimited for the EDDM BMEU option)
The USPS is hosting a series of FREE business seminars designed to help you gain a greater understanding of this new service and how it can support your marketing plan.
I suggest reaching out to your local Postal Customer Council to find where and when the next seminar will take place in your area. You can search for your local PCC chapter here: https://www.usps.com/business/local-pcc.htm
The Postal Customer Council is a terrific resource and I hope if you’re mailing, you are taking advantage of all the experience and expertise they can offer.
How do you see yourself using this new Postal Service program Every Door Direct Mail? We would love to hear your ideas and success stories!
Often I am asked by novice direct mailers what elements to include on their mail piece. They are simply looking to design the best mailer possible to yield a high ROI.
- Make sure your list, mail piece and message are all targeted to the correct audience. What is your goal – lead generation, customer retention, a new product roll out?
- A clear, provocative call to action and a nice incentive.
- A compelling message – don’t forget, most people want to know “What’s in it for Me?”
- A First Class mail permit. Don’t skimp on standard mail postage. 10% of your mailing list may never receive the mail piece and you’d be surprised how many people simply disregard any piece of mail with a standard permit.
- Add a PURL, or Personalized URL. This will tie your printed piece with an online experience. Make sure the PURL ties in with your theme.
- As long as we’re adding hot new technology with that PURL, let’s add a QR, or Quick Response, code. You’ve probably been seeing a lot of QR codes on all kinds or marketing – from billboards to pizza boxes. We’ll talk more about QR codes and using them effectively in an upcoming blog.
- Use a fresh, unexpected image and a memorable tag line. You only have seconds to grab the reader’s attention.
- You’ve probably heard it said a million times, and it’s true, your response rate is only as good as your list. We will delve into list effectiveness in future blogs.
- Include a follow up on the call to action. Perhaps include an expiration date. This also makes room for a second communication (perhaps an email?).
- Since we repeated the call to action, repeat the PURL as well. Remind them how to respond to that call to action!
Tell us, what are your thoughts on creating the ideal direct mail piece? We’d love to hear your suggestions!
Are Email Campaigns Part Of Your Marketing Strategy?
Lately we’ve focused quite a bit on direct mail and specifically on Every Door Direct Mail. Let’s not forget that there are many marketing channels available to you and, often, a mix of these channels is the best plan for getting your message across.
Email marketing does not have to be intimidating. It is a simple, effective means of communication when you keep these tips in mind.
Grab the Readers Attention
- Create a compelling subject line
- Make sure you don’t look like spam
- Identify yourself
- State the intent of the email clearly
- Provide an opt out
- Personalize whenever possible; include the persons name, a reference to a previous purchase, etc
- Make the message relevant. Tie the subject line neatly to the body of the email.
- Keep the tone of your message conversational
- Be brief! No one wants to read a long, drawn out email. Studies show that on average, people spend about 15 – 20 seconds with each email message.
Before You Hit “Send”
- Test the email through several different email clients, both in text and HTML. You’d be surprised how different one email may appear through different devices.
- Make sure your email list is appropriate. Whenever possible get permission to email a person or place of business.
- Check again that your current marketing message is relevant to those on your list
- Keep your list clean. Remove any hard bounces from previous campaigns and always remove anyone who has opted out
Test, Track and Measure
- Track your click through rate, conversion rate and delivery rate. You want to make sure people are receiving your email, opening your email and clicking through
- Try variations of your message – change the subject line, offer or call to action – and see if your results vary
- Subscribe to feedback loops and pay attention to the data they provide
- Try launching your email campaign on different days or at differing times of the day and measure your responses
Properly executed, email marketing provides you yet another avenue for reaching and speaking to your customers and prospects. Why not make an email campaign part of your marketing strategy?
Five Things You Need to Know About Your Mail!
Author: Sandy Wallace
The U.S. Postal Service is the only delivery service that reaches every address in the United States. The Postal Service delivers to nearly 153 million homes, businesses and PO box addresses. These tips from a postal worker who cares will help you properly address your mail, ship packages, track your mail, send mail out of the country and forward your mail when you move.
What’s in an Address?
I see many cards, letters and packages every day that don’t get where they are going because of a bad address. My company processes and delivers about 523 million pieces of mail each day, according to USPS.com. Most of the mail is processed by machine, not by hand. If the machine can’t read the address or it’s not a valid address, your mail won’t make it where it’s going. A return address helps mail without a valid address be returned to sender. The address of the person sending the mail should always be written in the top left hand corner of the letter or package. The address of the person receiving the mail goes in the center of your letter or package. Be sure to write the name, street address or box number, city, state and zip code in that order for both addresses.
Box It Up and Pack It Well
When you’re mailing something thicker than 1/2 inch, don’t try to stuff it into a flat envelope. I know it’s cheaper to send an envelope than a package, but merchandise put into envelopes is often damaged by the machine process. Using a padded envelope or box instead of an envelope means your package will arrive in one piece, instead of coming to me in lots of little pieces. Be sure to add bubble wrap, shredded paper, styrofoam peanuts or other packaging material to protect the contents from damage. Use tape, not string, to close your box.
If It’s Important, Track it
I know everyone wants to save money, but anything important should be sent with tracking. Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail and Standard Mail parcels all come with free tracking. Letters and large envelopes can be tracked using Certified Mail. Consider purchasing insurance for anything of value. Be sure to hold onto the receipt until the item is delivered. We can only track your mail with the article number.
Shipping Across the Ocean: It’s Not the Same
It costs the same to mail to someone deployed in the military as mailing to someone in the U.S., but it’s a little more expensive to send to a non-military person living in a foreign country. Packages going overseas or to military APO, FPO or DPO addresses require a customs form. On the customs form, you need to fill out a detailed list of the contents, including weight and value of each item. If you don’t plan ahead, you might have to open your box at my counter to fill out the customs form. Check USPS.com for nonmailable items and country-specific listings of items which are forbidden to be mailed to your destination.
Tell Us When You Move
Tell us where you’re going before you move and we’ll forward your important mail to your new home. Mail forwarding is provided for free for 12 months for First Class Mail, Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express. If you move without filling out a change of address form, your mail will be returned to sender. Most standard mail, including catalogs and advertising mail, can’t be forwarded or returned to sender, unless the mailer requests and pays for the service.
Most postal workers are like me. We want to help you send and receive mail without delays. Spend a little extra time preparing your cards, letters and packages and your mail will arrive at its destination, making all of us happy. Learn more about our pricing and products at USPS.com.
4 Tips for Improving Customer Statements
The most opened and read mail consumers receive are transactional in nature. Statements are related directly to where their money is going so it earns a higher spot in the hierarchy of mail box content.
So how can you get the most out of this opportunity?
- Easy to read, easy to understand statements. The number one complaint people have about their bills and statements is that they are difficult to read or hard to locate crucial information. Review your statements – is it clear how much they owe and why? Is it easy to locate a customer service number if they have a question? Have you spotlighted a way for them to contact you or pay their bill online? Think about ways you could utilize highlight color to draw the attention to specific information or perhaps give a better flow to the overall design.
- Mobile applications. So many people are deeply connected to their smartphones, why not offer an opt-in and provide due date reminders or notices when their statement is ready? Think of this as another way to improve your cash flow by receiving payments timely. Mobile payments, provided they are device friendly, can help deepen the relationship with your company.
- Electronic billing or e-statements. Do more than offer a simple pdf. Your e-statement should match the printed statement for a clear, cohesive customer experience. Using your printed statement, offer an opt-in to receive only electronic communications. Include a website where customers can view, pay, review past statements and even view special offers.
- Special offers and marketing messages. Use your statements, both paper and eStatements, to make relevant offers of products/services, tips for savings and other marketing communications. Again, make sure any electronic statement matches your mailed (paper) statement.
In short, make the customers experience as easy and concise as possible. Provide multiple methods of statement presentment and use the real estate on your statement to highlight special communications and offers.
Questions? Feel free to contact a Strahm Client Service Representative at (816) 756-2733.
A Day in the Life of the U.S. Postal Service
Each day, the Postal Service picks up, processes and delivers millions of letters and packages. No single operation in the world comes close to this level of connectivity to so many households and businesses. Here’s just ONE day in the life of the United States Postal Service (figures are averages):
215 million — revenue received, in dollars
157 million — dollars paid to postal employees in salaries and benefits
528 million — number of mailpieces processed and delivered
22 million — average number of mailpieces processed each hour
366,000 —average number of mailpieces processed each minute
6,100 — average number of mailpieces processed each second
226.7 million — pieces of First-Class Mail processed and delivered
262.4 million — pieces of Advertising Mail processed and delivered
727,167 —number of packages picked up through Package Pickup
4.3 million — number of miles driven by letter carriers and truck drivers
7,753 — number of letter carriers who deliver mail entirely on foot — The USPS Fleet of Feet
130,592 — number of address changes processed
2,160 — number of addresses added to our delivery network
1 million – number of peple who visit usps.com
809,210 — dollar amount of online stamp and retail sales at usps.com
1.6 million — amount of money spent on postage for Click-N-Ship labels
44.1 million — number of Click-N-Ship labels printed
18,750 — number of passport applications accepted
358,553 — number of money orders issued
1.6 million — dollars spent at Self-Service Kiosks in Post Office lobbies
3.2 million — customers served at more the 31,000 retail locations
0 — tax dollars received for operating the Postal Service
A self-supporting government enterprise, the U.S. Postal Service is the only delivery service that reaches every address in the nation: 152 million residences, businesses and Post Office Boxes. The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses, and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations. With more than 31,000 retail locations and the most frequently visited website in the federal government, usps.com, the Postal Service has annual revenue of more than $65 billion and delivers nearly 40 percent of the world’s mail. If it were a private sector company, the U.S. Postal Service would rank 42nd in the 2012 Fortune 500.