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Is direct mail dead? Use it to punch up your email marketing

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This morning I was listening to the Diane Rehm show after leaving an appointment. Her guest was John (Jack) Potter, U.S. Postmaster General.

Mr. Potter had the unfortunate task of defending to Diane and her listeners why the U.S. Postal Service was still relevant and how to fix the acute financial crisis that was affecting it.

While there is a very real financial crisis effecting the health of the postal service, it was a very in depth and extremely informative interview.

There was one interesting perception of Postmaster General Potter’s that really stayed with me.

Stayed with me so much I actually had to tweet about it.

Now I am not a big twitter-er when I am out and about. I primarily use it when I am behind the computer screen, to share stories and internet marketing thoughts.

But once again this really stuck with me. A Postmaster General who views the postal service as an advertising medium. Same as TV, radio, magazines, etc…

General Potter shared with us that 90% of all money spent with USPS is on business advertising. WOW.

So that got me thinking to the next logical step (at least for me). What is the return on that investment for those business that advertise through the post?

1%?

7%?

I am willing to bet it is not much higher that 12% and even still, how do you measure that return?

Email Marketing.

C’mon, its so simple! Direct Mail and Email Marketing, just like peanut butter and jelly. Well, kinda…

First things first you need to follow the same old direct mail song and dance. Which is:

Buy a direct mailing list

Create a campaign

Draft a compelling call to action

AH HA! Stop right there. When designing the compelling call to action, give them MANY actions to take. First of all you want them as a customer. So a direct sale would help solidify that hard ROI.

Secondly they call you. Maybe they are not ready to buy from you, but me hopes you are gathering their personal information to marketing back to them. Preferably an email address. (Email Marketing opportunity #1!)

Third, and most importantly, give them a landing page (www.yourcompany.com/directmail) that can help drive targeted traffic and truly give you a handle on how effective your direct mail campaign is. Go even further with that call to action and give them a special discount, deal, or offer when they sign up for your newsletter on that page. (Opportunity #2!)

Watch that marketing effectiveness skyrocket.

And now not only can you feel good about yourself for increasing your companies’ sales, just think of how good you will feel when the U.S. Postal Service DOES NOT ask for a bail out, because revenues have spiked! 🙂