Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Are Your Direct Mail Plans Election-Ready?
After Labor Day, the nation will be heading full tilt toward the election--with TV, online and mailboxes full of national, state and local political appeals. Have you adjusted your direct mail plans for that political mail deluge? Because, despite the dominance of TV and the growth of digital, leading market researcher Borrell Associates forecasts political direct mail spending will still hit over $380 million in 2016. The biggest challenge for direct mail marketers will be delivery delays. Political mailers get preferential rates and expedited processing from the U.S. Postal Service, while commercial direct mail marketers generally use Standard rates or Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM), which are processed on a time-available basis and thus pushed back by political mail volume. So we thought it would be a good time to help our nonpolitical clients prepare for the coming political promotion flood by passing along a timely post by the Planet Central ad agency. The biggest spike in political direct mail usually comes at the end of September and continues through Election Day, the post points out. So marketing plans need to take into account potentially delayed in-home dates during that period--assuming an added two to three days for local mail delivery and up to a week longer for national campaigns. So how can marketers minimize the impact of congested mail delivery? The simplest option is to accept delays and help meet target in-home dates by mailing earlier, the post notes. A second option is to avoid delays by switching to First Class postage to earn equal delivery priority with political mailers--assuming the added cost makes bottom-line sense. A third option is to reduce delays by drop-shipping mail closer to its destination. So, for example, rather than following the multi-step path from the originating USPS sectional center facility (SCF) to the regional Bulk Mail Center to the destination SCF and finally to the local post office for delivery, drop-ship mail as close to the destination as possible to shave delivery time. For the complete post, including planning for election impacts on media and online advertising, read http://planetcentral.com/2016/08/04/is-your-marketing-plan-ready-for-the-election/