PRC Denies Exigent Postage Rate Increase … Big !@#$ Deal
OK, now what?
Direct marketers aren't getting slammed with another 5 percent-plus postage rate increase in January. Big whoop-de-doo. Postage is still the biggest expense in all my clients’ mail campaigns. And the cost of mailing vs. the risk of the unknown is still the biggest reason marketers shy away from the direct mail channel.
The second biggest reason? Well, everybody has heard the horror stories. All that money spent on killer creative, design, lists, printing, postage, and then the campaign bombs.
OK, so many direct mail campaign “bombs” forgot to follow the basic principles of the business — i.e., the 40/40/20 rule. They probably did the creative first and then figured out lists last.
This kind of activity perpetuates the urban legend that direct mail doesn’t work. Well, except for a few companies. Those companies, the junk mailers, big companies with unlimited budgets who don’t care about results and just want to build their brand images.
I won’t even get into the whole environmental argument of direct mail not being green. Believe what you want, but that’s a myth. The direct mail and paper industries are ultracautious to replenish the environment.
And let’s not forget about your internet marketing brethren, who have done such a wonderful job throwing you under the bus, positioning direct mail as passé or old school, while they prop themselves up as the future of direct marketing. I won’t even go there today.
Let's face it, direct mail has a bad reputation. But that can change. Here’s how:
The smartest thing those wunderkinds at our beloved Postal Service can do is nurture the direct mail industry. Imagine what would happen if the USPS actually offered discounts for online marketers to give direct mail a chance? Now imagine the same thing happening with small and emerging businesses. How many companies would try direct mail if the risks were reduced? How many tests? How many rollouts?