You’re exhausted. It’s Tuesday night, and you’ve just come home from work. Enough said! Munching on something, you go to pick-up the mail off the floor and sift out the promotional ad stuff which are in envelopes that practically beg not to be opened. Ads in envelopes; no thank you. You’ve gotten 9 pieces of mail: 7 are junk, 1 is a bill, and one is a letter. Who writes letters? This scenario plays itself out on anyone tasked with the chore of sorting through the mail. On the other end, hours have been spent getting that directional mail marketing piece just right. Teams dedicated to making sure envelopes get opened were convinced that their piece would get opened, but their directional mailer and everyone else’s which was housed in an envelope hit the trash. Money and time wasted on both sides. That sucks, especially if your marketing team spent a lot of money on the campaign. “You live, you learn, ” Alanis would sing.
Don’t stuff you direct mail piece in an envelope, they don’t get opened. There are exceptions but unless you’re going to shell out a heap of money on amazing envelopes, and by amazing I mean super high quality paper, don’t do it. Don’t believe me? Go home tonight and go through your mail. Will you open up those promotional envelopes? No. Will any of the direct mail marketing pieces even be seen? That depends if someone was clever enough to send their piece in the form of a post card.
Post cards by their very nature always get opened. If you think this is some hokey optical illusion I’m about to teach you, don’t worry, it’s not. Post cards have a 100% open rate! They’re already open, fully visible, and always viewed, even for a few seconds. Same can’t be said for marketing pieces mailed in envelopes. Envelopes are like emails, we might open them but if they look spammy they’ll be deleted. Post cards are the opposite; whatever the content on them, they are at least viewed when the mail is gone through. It’s only a few seconds, but in that time lies opportunity. You need to choose the direct mail piece that at the very least allows you to go up to bat. For those of you I lost with that baseball analogy, let me say that if you don’t get a chance to play the game, how will you score?
Any direct mail piece has a life of only a few seconds; are you going to waste that time on getting your target to open an envelope? Put all your effort into making a post card that will resonate. Create a clear message and then plaster it on the post card in a visually pleasing manner. Remember, time is of the essence and you ain’t got a lot of it. Always have in the back of your mind when creating the piece the fact that you’ve got a few seconds to get one message across. You need to set the right type of bait. Do you know what you’re catching? That main message is the bait that will get your target to read more and to proceed with the action you desire they take. Test, test, test, and test some more. Send a test batch to your friends, to the members of the marketing group you belong too, or better yet, a small segment of you target, perhaps clients who are you best brand ambassadors. Get their feedback and treat it like gold. One more thing: use a real stamp, it’ll deliver that personal touch which could lead to your target viewing your piece a few seconds longer.