Mail to the Government
• It’s the list. List selection is critical. Work with a list broker who knows the government (not many do, so you’ll need to shop around), and who will work with you to develop the profile. In many cases, smaller segments of your customer profile will be located in various lists. Instead of overlooking these sources because they don’t make the minimum number required to rent, find a way to access these names. Again, your list professional can help.
• Our research during the past eight years shows catalogs mailed in envelopes pull better than catalogs mailed without envelopes. But don’t put teaser copy on the envelope. This is not the consumer market. Your catalog must get through a government office’s mailroom and past other gatekeepers. Teaser copy is a dead giveaway that no one is expecting this mail.
• The cover message is critical; devise it carefully. Government decision-makers get a lot of mail, and you have only a small window of opportunity to grab attention and influence a prospect. If yours is a small business (as defined by the Small Business Administration), or a minority- or woman-owned enterprise, say so. If you accept SmartPay credit cards, make that clear. State clearly in your cover message anything that legitimately distinguishes you from the competition.
• If your product is on a GSA Schedule or another government contract, state it clearly on the cover and the order page.
• Your response device(s) should capture all necessary data for your database, including all the addressing components, and phone, fax and e-mail addresses.
• Avoid saturation mailing to military bases. Mail arriving in quantities of 25 or more on the same or consecutive days from a single mailer will be trashed. Instead, mail bi-weekly.