Targeted Local Direct MailThe US Postal Service recently announced a proposed price increase for postage that will likely be instituted in January of 2018.  As I often do when such announcements are made, I have suggested that those companies that are on the fence about direct mail take the opportunity NOW to test the medium and see whether it is an option for them to incorporate into their marketing mix.

Lots of local business dismiss direct mail because they think it's too expensive or because they don't know how to target the "perfect" audience using the mail.  The reality is that direct mail can be a cost-effective method of reaching new prospects; businesses can use direct mail to announce sales and specials, drive traffic to the business, or simply just to "remind" local consumers that they are present and available.

Local direct mail can be geo-targeted. Businesses identify an area that they want to mail to, where they know many of their customers live.  A restaurant may want to specifically target people who live within walking distance; a lawn company may select a neighborhood where they have a few homes they care for, but they could use a few more to keep a crew there for a full day; a pizza parlor may want to reach just those people in their delivery area with weeknight delivery specials; and the list goes on.

So, where do you start?

EDDM

The US Postal Service offers a program call Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM). EDDM allows businesses to select geography based on carrier routes.  Although this is a great option for many businesses, there are some limitations with the program; using the retail tool, a business can't drop more than 5,000 pieces a day, and the pieces must be over-sized.  Since it can cost more to print a larger piece, businesses often cut corners on the quality, using lighter stock or printing in black only.  Additionally, pieces are not printed with the name of the resident, so it is obvious that everyone got that "special invite".  More importantly, the carrier route cannot be broken down.  Some businesses (those who need single family homes vs. apartment homes, for example) find themselves wasting money on printing and postage expenses to mail to consumers that could never use their services.

Need More Targeting?

Another option is StreetSmart, TMR's proprietary program which allows businesses to identify specific areas that they want to target.  With StreetSmart, businesses can select those geographic areas which are PERFECT for their mailing, and, where it is known, the name of the recipient is printed on the piece.  Standard letter sized pieces can be created, saving additional expense on the printing.

For help creating a local direct mail plan for your small business, please email Larissa Hansen!