Tuesday, August 27, 2013

10 Strangest Mailboxes Of All Time

A few weeks ago we asked the question "can you mail a coconut?" But this week we're wondering, "what kind of things can you use as your mailbox?". Well, it only took a few quick Google searches to find a plethora of interesting, creative and just plain STRANGE mailboxes from all over the world! So let's check out my list of the 10 strangest mailboxes of all time. Oh, and FYI- Should you need something to stick in those mailboxes, check out Precision Envelope for premium custom envelopes.

1. That's certainly one way to recycle your old Mac:

2. This chiropractor found a very unusual (and creative) way to advertise his business:
3. Wow...no comment. Just....wow:
4. Deliver the mail...if you dare:
5. Perfect for Halloween. The rest of the year, not so much:
6. Even the USPS gets in on the fun! Check out these Star Wars mailboxes:
7. Your guess is as good as mine:
8. Any Futurama fan would love this Bender mailbox:
9. it's hunting season!
10. What a Jackass:

Got any weird mailboxes in your neighborhood? Tell me about them in the comments!





Tuesday, August 20, 2013

10 Reasons Why Your Direct Mail Campaign is Terrible

It's time for some tough love. All too often a company will run a direct mail campaign (usually without the help of an experienced company), sending out one piece to a few thousand people. They don't bother with proper follow-up, then assume that "direct mail doesn't work" (even though there's been numerous studies proving exactly the opposite).Rarely do these companies look at their own campaign and try to correct the issues, instead taking a very shortsighted point of view. So before you decide direct mail doesn't work, check out these 10 reasons why it didn't work and try applying them to your campaign:

  • You didn't Test: Did you send out a small batch in order to test your campaign or just have a graphic designer whip up a piece then send it out to everyone on your mailing list? With any kind of marketing you need to test in order to get the best results. When you don't test, you marketing can get very expensive and ineffective.
  • No Follow Up: A campaign should never be one and done. What's the plan after the piece goes out?
  • Bad or Non Existent Call to Action: You know that you want the customer to go to your website to take advantage of your amazing offer, but is it obvious to them that's what they're supposed to do?
  • Your Campaign Isn't Focused: Speaking of your mailing list- Who will be receiving this direct mail piece? Are you sending one out to everyone who's ever interacted with your business? Instead focus your campaign on a specific audience. That way you can cater the piece towards them, which will lead to a better response rate.
  • Boring Design: Try to look at it objectively: Are the colors and images in your piece boring? Is the envelope unexciting and plain?
  • Lack of Branding: Is it obvious who sent the direct mail piece? All of your marketing should be an extension of your brand. A generic piece will get ignored.
  • Not Researching What Works: How can you know what makes a good postcard if you haven't done any research. Check out the direct mail you receive personally- What do you find effective? What do you think doesn't work?
  • Too Much Fluff: You've got to be good at editing in order to create an effective direct mail piece. Keeping it direct and to the point will help you focus on what's important in your piece and increase the likelihood the recipient will read it.
  • Not Integrating with other Marketing: Remember, your marketing efforts do not live in a bubble. If you send out a direct mail piece, try sending the recipient an email a few day later. All your marketing should be working together in order to achieve a common goal.
  • Not Proofreading: Could you imagine sending out a direct mail piece to hundreds (or thousands) of people, only then to notice you've misspelled a word? It actually happens more often than you think! Always proofread multiple times and have several people look it over too.
What other direct mails tips should I add to the list?

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

5 Direct Mail Mistakes to Avoid at All Costs

Are you wasting money? It's a simple question, and yet few business owners ask themselves that before launching their direct mail campaign. When executed correctly, direct mail can be one of the most cost efficient ways to generate new customers. But if you're new to direct mail (and even if you're not) it can be easy to fall in to these expensive pitfalls. Here's our list of 5 direct mail mistakes to avoid at all costs:
  1. Not Updating Your Mailing List/Using a Bad List: Perhaps you've accumulated a huge mailing list over the past few years, but when was the last time you did a little Spring cleaning? Are all the addresses still up to date and accurate? Not only that, but also keep in mind that just because your list is 10,000 people, this particular direct mail piece might not be for everyone. Or if you're instead buying a list, make sure you are very selective when choosing it. Do a great deal of research before spending any money, as sometimes lists can be no good.
  2. What's Your Call to Action? Not having a clear call to action is a sure fire way to create a direct mail campaign that will fail. A call to action is a short and concise way of letting the recipient know how they can take you up on your offer. Something like "Vist our Website Now!", "Call Now before this Great offer ends" will give people short and clear instructions on how to get that great deal you're offering. Speaking of which...
  3. Are You Offering a Deal That's Worthwhile? Think about the reason why you're sending out this direct mail piece and try to view it objectively. If you were a recipient, would you really be interested in this deal (be honest). If you're not so sure, than this is not a compelling offer, and your recipients will ignore it. Run the offer by a few other people, and if necessary, test the deal on a small batch first to see if it works.
  4. Skimping on Creative: If you don't have a graphic designer in-house, and you're not exactly comfortable with photoshop, make sure you hire a competent and professional graphic designer. The creative design of your printed envelopes and your proofs are everything, so make sure it looks great.
  5. Not Following Up: You've put so much work in to launching your direct mail campaign, why wouldn't you plan on following up with the recipients? Don't just send out the direct mail pieces and then sit by the phone. Get prepared to handle those responses, and if you don't get the desired results, don't be afraid to phone a few of the recipients. You can use it as research in to why your campaign did or did not work.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Infographic: Why Use Personalized Envelopes?

Why Use Personalized Envelopes?
  • 94% of marketing directors believe personalization is critical to a campaign's success.
  • Personalized direct mail typically generates a 6.5% response rate. Three times higher than a non-personalized campaign.
  • 19% increase in sales when personalized messages are used.
Check out the Infographic Here.