Key Notes – Volume 05 Number 02

Creative Direct Mail for 2018 – Direct mail has been around for a very long time.  If you continue to do the same old pieces you have been mailing in 2017, you will see a drop in your response rates.  You must create new, fresh and engaging direct mail pieces to get the results you need.  Why should you continue to mail with all of the other channel options?  Here are two stats from the DMA 2017 Fact Book:  Direct mail customer response rates increased year-over-year by 43 percent and prospect response rates increased year-over-year by 190 percent.  Taking the time to set goals, get creative and track responses will help you create the best direct mail for 2018.  Source:  Target Marketing

Print and Paper Packs a Punch in a Digital World – In June 2017, a survey of over 10,700 consumers was commissioned by Two Sides and carried out by leading research company Toluna.  The results reveal a strong preference for print when it comes to recreational reading e.g. books, magazines, news, etc. 72% of global respondents prefer printed books, compared to only 9% preferring e-books. Not only is there a global preference for print, there is also greater trust in print.  76% of all respondents believe “fake news” is a worrying trend and only 24% trust the news stories they read on social media.  Source:  Two Sides

AF&PA Targets Paper-Options Safeguards and Regulatory Reform in 2018 – The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) announced its top 2018 advocacy priorities that include free and fair trade, transportation efficiencies, regulatory process reforms, and government policies that respect market dynamics for paper-based products. The association will pursue them as it supports the pulp, paper, packaging and wood products industry’s ability to grow the economy and create American manufacturing jobs.  Additionally, AF&PA supports legislative measures that help the U.S. Postal Service achieve long-term viability by realigning its outdated cost structure, encouraging new revenue resources and leveraging a unique infrastructure to meet the service needs of future customers.  Source:  Digital Journal

The Resurgence of Print – Online marketing – albeit lower cost – is passive.  Therefore, instead of sifting through the post – we are bombarded with emails that are easy to delete without opening and who is to say what else has landed in the junk folder or been blocked by spam filters.  On the other hand, printed direct mail – although higher cost – is active, tactile and has higher impact – demanding the recipient to do something with it.  This is particularly evident in the growing resurgence in print by some online companies who are skillfully using direct mail to enhance their brand through developing direct mail pieces that their customer base eagerly await.  Source:  East Midlands Business

Five Vehicles in Running for Next Generation Mail Carrier – A rapidly-accumulating mountain of goods purchased online are shipped on undersized delivery trucks often 20 years old or more, which has the U.S. Postal Service seeking roomier vehicles with safety and energy-saving features.  The U.S. Postal Service intends to decide from five contending carriers, including two overseas brands and an electric vehicle. Contract awards to build prototypes were valued at $37.4 million, according to a public statement and request for proposal from the postal service.  Drivers began trying out test models of the Next Generation Delivery Vehicle in early fall in at least six markets, chosen because of their varied weather conditions and traffic volume. The USPS will select one or more delivery vans to replace up to 180,000 mail trucks over the next seven years, resulting in an estimated $6.3 billion of business, Trucks.com said in a November 2017 report.  Source:  The Post and Courier

Boost Sales by Improving Catalog Circulation – Catalogs can be an important driver of sales for certain types of customers and merchandise categories.  They capture the attention of consumers, engaging them in your content differently than other channels like e-commerce and social shopping.  The key is to understand which customer segments contribute most to your annual sales and evaluate their key metrics, including order frequency, retention rate, and catalog sales attribution rate, before developing your catalog circulation plan.  Source:  Multi Channel Merchant