Tuesday, February 14, 2017
Are Self-Mailers Effective for Your Target Market?
Looking to tighten budgets in 2017, some direct mail clients are taking another look at self-mailers. Is it the right move for your market? Drawing on the experience of mailing experts, Target Marketing magazine has a great article with four key questions you'll need to answer before spending on self-mailer testing. First, consider your industry. Is it an industry with self-mailer success? Retail marketers have long used self-mailers and continue to do so, plus educational, auto dealer, catalog, telecommunications, travel and event marketers have used the format successfully, say direct mail pros, with some seeing new converts in business-to-business marketing and publishing. Why the interest in self-mailers in those markets? A simplified piece generally allows for reduced production and postage costs without a postcard's content limits or sacrifice of response vehicles (a self-mailer can include phone, website, QR, PURL, plus tear-off BRC/reply card). Targeted personalization also remains a response driver thanks to variable printing. So what markets don't fit self-mailer promotion? If you need a lot of space to explain and persuade, such as high-dollar B2B technology or machinery, self-mailers aren't likely to perform as well. Magalogs and tabloids also remain more popular formats for financial newsletters, business opportunity or nutritional supplements. And where letter packages still rule, such as fundraising, experienced direct marketers say they aren't seeing inroads by self-mailers; in fact, Who's Mailing What! reports the self-mailer format is at its lowest percent of mail by nonprofits of the last five years. Last question: If your market is a match for a self-mailer effort, how can you maximize results? Take a lesson from the pros in retail and keep the message and offer simple and timely ("act before this date for a special offer"), say experts. And put extra effort into design, starting with an arresting mail panel, a cover that drives opens, a clear offer, a strong call to action and easy response. To download the article with self-mailer examples: http://www.targetmarketingmag.com/resource/4-key-questions-to-ask-about-the-self-mailer/