Jan 09, 2020
Here's our round-up of the new trends and technologies — in the direct mail industry and at Click2Mail — that will be making waves this year.
Direct Mail + Digital = A Happy Marketing Marriage
Statistics show that the trend to omnichannel promotions is still gaining strength. In 2019, combining direct mail with digital produced a 250% higher purchase and engagement rate than single channel marketing.
QR Code Use Will Boom
In the next two years, 5.3 QR code coupons will be redeemed by smartphones and 1 billion smartphones will access QR codes. Add one to your direct mail piece to drive sales, direct traffic to your website, give customers an AR experience, track customer response, re-target prospects on social media, and much more.
Direct Mail Response Rates Will Rise
Even though the total volume of direct mail pieces has declined by 29.85% since 2006, response rates have steadily risen over the same period:
Causes of this trend include the growth of online bill pay, which has reduced mailbox clutter and allowed direct marketing messages to stand out. Another cause is our next trend:
Personalization Will Make Its Mark
Customizing your message to each recipient boosts response rates by 50% to 135% (depending on which study you look at). With today's on-demand printing capabilities, you can do anything from a simple name to content that's entirely unique to each recipient. Sources of targetable information range from subscription form data to customers' past buying habits.
Customer Stories Will Gain Appeal
Businesses have realized that self-promotional messages are not terribly effective. Customers want to know what they will experience and how they will benefit, not how great you think you are. Thus, we have the trend toward using customer success stories and testimonials to show how you add value to their lives.
Political Mail Will Be on the Campaign Trail
Political mail in 2018 totaled 2.7 billion pieces; and based on that success, the 2020 number is expected to be even larger. New research technologies allow marketers to micro-target niche markets, while personalized printing makes it cost-effective. Meanwhile, the USPS has developed tools for better tracking, such as IMb (Intellegent Mailbarcode) tracing reporting.
Postage Rates Will Increase
On January 27, the 2020 postage rates go into effect. Never fear, most rates will stay about the same, including First-Class letters, Stamped Mail, Postcards and International Letters and Postcards. However, Priority Mail rates will go up by an average of 2.8%. Of course, Click2Mail will still pass on a postage discount for standardized addresses.
We're Looking for Beta Testers
We think you'll love the new, easy-as-pie Click2Mail user interface that we've developed. But before it goes live, we need select customers to give it a test drive. If you'd like to be a beta tester, click here.
We'll Keep You Informed
Do you use our APIs? Now you can sign up to receive status updates and details about any issues as they happen.
We'll Release ZendaNote for Android
Already available as an iPhone app (in the Apple App Store), Click2Mail's ZendaNote instantly sends a personalized, folded note right from your phone.
We'll Introduce New Automation Tools
Stay tuned for details as these new projects become available.
If you have any questions about what's coming up for Click2Mail and the direct mail industry, please don't hesitate to call us at 866-665-2787 or email us. Here's to a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!
Nov 06, 2019
Another reason your mailpiece may not reach its destination is an unrecognized addressee designator on "occupant" or "resident" type addresses.
What Is a Postal Approved Addressee Designator?
When you're not addressing your recipient by name on your Marketing Mail (Standard Mail), use one of these designators approved for use with USPS sorting equipment:
• Postal Customer
• Resident/Current Resident
The only situation where you can't use these designators is if you're mailing to a simplified address, such as rural or star route deliveries and post office boxes. The USPS just doesn't have the selective distribution capability in those areas as it does with a street and number address.
What Happens If You Don't Use It?
You can get very creative with your addressee designators: "Voter," "Pool Owner," "Foot Pain Sufferer," etc. But chances are that the USPS sorting equipment won't recognize your designator. It will then look for a change of address, not find one, assume there is no such person, and return the mail to sender.
The Postal Service doesn't prohibit the use of creative designators, as long as they are in acceptable taste and don't invite controversy. So your mailpiece won't be rejected for that reason; and it may go through to the recipient without a problem. However, you do run the risk of failure in the postal automation system.
What's the Ideal Format for an Addressee Designator?
This is what the postal equipment wants to see:
John Doe or Postal Customer
123 Main Street
Anytown, Anystate 12345-6789
Want More Info?
Read the USPS Customer Support Ruling on addressee designators here.
And of course, our own Click2Mail mailing experts are always just a click or phone call away. Please get in touch — we love to help make your mailing as effective and profitable as it can be.
Sep 04, 2019
We can say it in one word: money. Mailpieces that never reach their intended recipient return zero on your investment of printing and postage costs.
People Move — a Lot
The statistics tell the story:
• 36.8 million address changes were processed by the USPS in 2018 (Source: USPS)
• Approximately 1 in 6 families moves each year (Source: USPS)
• 4,071 addresses are added to the USPS delivery network every day (Source: USPS)
• Americans move an average of 11.7 times in their lifetime (Source: Steinway Movers)
How many of these people are your customers or prospects? Even if it's only 5% of your list, that could make a significant dent in your response and conversion rates.
USPS Address Accuracy Requirements
In the olden days, the postal carrier would make an effort to see that mail got forwarded to the recipient's new address. Now that everything is automated, it's up to the mailer to make that address as perfect as possible.
To qualify for Marketing Mail and First-Class Mail postage rages, you must verify the following address elements by the deadlines listed:
5-digit ZIP Code
Carrier route information
Within 12 months of mailing
Within 95 days of mailing
Within 90 days of mailing
Checking List Accuracy
The USPS offers suggestions on its Checking the Accuracy of Your Address List website page. These include CASS-certified software, NCOALink® and the USPS's own address list correction service (fee required).
The good news? When you mail with Click2Mail, CASS and NCOA are automatically part of the ordering process. Not extra steps or fees.
Note: If you are using mailing lists from multiple sources, you'll also want to perform a merge/purge in order to remove duplicate names/addresses.
You want more evidence that verifying addresses is important? Look what happened to global shipping company UPS. In May of 2018, mail addressed to their corporate headquarters — including senior executives' credit cards and sensitive company information — was rerouted to the apartment of a man who had simply filled out a change of address form at the Post Office. He had not even been asked for proof of identity!
Help Is Just a Click or Call Away
If you need more info on how often you should update your mailing list and the best methods for doing so, please get in touch with our Click2Mail mailing experts. Also, be sure to check out our Mailing List Center for some reliable lists and data analysis.
Jul 30, 2019
Cost effective and inexpensive yet highly effective, postcards can be a marketing goldmine. Here's how to boost their return on investment.
1. Update your mailing list.
When was the last time you weeded out money-wasting duplicate or dud addresses? How well does that list you bought or rented match your target customers?
2. Say it again — and again.
People need to see your name and hear your message more than once before they take action. Don't give up on these potential customers after just one mailing.
3. Keep it simple.
De-clutter your postcard's design and copy to make a stronger impact. Remember, you're not closing the sale from this vehicle — just triggering the customer's first step.
4. Make the sales pitch bigger than your logo.
Customers are motivated by what's in it for them, not how proud you are of your company.
5. Add urgency.
Get customers running in the door with offers that must be acted on NOW: limited time savings, limited supply, etc.
6. Make it personal.
Personalize the words or images on your postcard for a one-to-one emotional connection. The customer's name is just the beginning of the possibilities.
7. Enable response.
The MOST important element of your postcard is the "call to action." Clearly tell readers how to respond; phone, come to the store, visit your website, scan the QR code.
8. Provide complete company contact info.
Return address, telephone/fax numbers, website, email (probably on the back of the card). This makes your business look more professional.
9. Be colorful.
Stand out from the crowd with bright graphics or photos. If you don't want to pay for a full-color printing, consider colored card stock (Click2Mail offers yellow, green and pink).
10. Use a real postage stamp.
Recognized as a sign of higher quality and importance than standard printed indicias, it could significantly improve readership and retention rates.
Need help creating your profitable postcard? Click2Mail offers 3 resources:
• The Click2Mail Knowledge Base answers most general and how-to questions
• A program-specific Help Menu is available after you sign into your account
• Our experts are standing by for phone consultations at 1-866-665-2787 Monday-Friday, 9AM to 8PM Eastern Time.
Jul 17, 2019
Lee Garvey is an experienced business leader and Internet entrepreneur. He is the founder and CEO of Click2Mail, a company that develops and operates SaaS mail-room services and marketing solutions for small and medium scale businesses. Lee founded Click2Mail in 2003, pioneering the introduction of SaaS in the postal industry. Currently, Click2Mail provides services to thousands of organizations. He has been a speaker at industry conferences in the US and Europe. A graduate of Columbia Union College with a Bachelor of Business Administration, he also earned a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from George Mason University School of Business.
When asked about his vision and the efforts which enabled his company in reaching there, Lee Garvey said, “Our vision has always been to make mail more accessible, affordable and available. We have developed a whole bunch of apps, websites and we continue to do that. We have just launched 2 new apps and we are about launch a Google app. We are proud of it”. His views about InterCon were, “Conference is good and inspiring. I have enjoyed hanging out with so many entrepreneurs who have unique visions and are executing on their vision and I like it.”
Intercon 2019, a subsidiary of Prism Events, aims to bring together the brightest minds of the industry that have made significant contributions in the realm of technology. We offer a global platform which accolades the unparalleled efforts of entrepreneurs, tech enthusiasts, and thought leaders. After the success of InterCon 2019, Las Vegas, we are planning to expand our horizons in Middle-East and Asia Pacific.
At InterCon, we’re looking forward to bringing together some of the leading minds in the tech space on a common platform and help drive the new global economy by sharing ideas, innovation and things that shape the future of technology. Come and be a part of this exciting journey with us!
For more details on InterCon — The Internet Conference, Visit http://www.intercon.world
Jun 10, 2019
Enticing recipients to read your message is only the first step. Profitability lies in what comes next: getting those readers to take action and become customers.
The single most important element of your direct mail marketing piece is the request for a response. Here's where you tell prospects what you want them to do, whether it's placing an order, using a coupon or requesting information.
The success of the mailing will be judged on how many recipients took the step you asked for. What's more, responses that include customer information can help you expand and improve your database for greater effectiveness in future mailings. Here's how to make sure that response rate is the best it can be.
Offer more than one response method.
Give prospects a choice of whether to respond by mailing back the response form, calling you, emailing you or visiting your website's response form. That way, everyone can choose the method they're most comfortable with (such as internet use with younger demographics or paper forms with older ones) and you won't miss out on any potential customers.
Always include a physical response device.
Even if you expect to receive most responses through telephone or digital channels, a paper reply form or card is an important visual cue about the purpose of your mailing. It increases response in all channels, not just physical mail.
Repeat the offer on the response device.
Reinforce your message with an actionable headline, such as "YES, I want to help homeless families have Thanksgiving dinner" or "YES, I want to learn more about your 0 % premium Medicare Advantage plans."
Add an incentive.
Give prospects an extra reason to respond to your offer.
Make it easy to understand and do.
People just won't bother with complicated, time-consuming or unclear response methods — except to throw your mailpiece in the trash. Use a clean, minimalist design, step-by-step instructions, 6th grade level language and large, readable fonts.
Keep it as simple as possible, but don't leave out any essential information. For example, if there's an expiration date or minimum order, it should be re-stated on the response form in case that's the only part of the mailing recipients keep.
In your physical response form, give people plenty of room to fill it out. An address field whose lines are only 1/4" apart will cause problems not just for the responder trying to write, but for you trying to read what was written.
Reduce their effort.
You can make it even more convenient for readers to respond by doing some of the work yourself, such as pre-printing your address on the return envelope or providing a postage-paid reply vehicle. Click2Mail offers reply formats that simplify life for both you and your customers:
Reply Postcard with a tear-off post-paid reply card
Reply Letter which returns the response in the original envelope
Our direct mail response experts are standing by if you need help designing or using these formats, or want to create your own. Please feel free to give us a call.
May 28, 2019
If your nonprofit has been disappointed with the results of telephone or digital campaigns, add direct mail to the mix and watch donations soar.
A multi-channel approach that includes well-integrated direct mail, email and website yields a 28% higher conversion rate than digital alone, according to Nonprofit Source. Check out these proven tricks for getting the best return on your investment.
1. Personalize it.
Using the recipient's name and full color can increase response by 135%. Adding more database information can increase the response rate up to 500%. Imagine the impact of receiving a letter that addresses you by name, thanks you for your previous donation (including the date and amount) and shows a photo of a specific goal that was achieved with the help of that donation.
Sound like a lot of work? It's not, thanks to Click2Mail's automation tools. Just a few clicks create a mailing where every piece is fully customized to the individual donor.
2. Persuade with positivity.
Draw readers in with a story of a recent success, or how your overall mission is being accomplished. Make it emotional, as that's why most people give. Provide proof (anecdotal, statistical or visual) that you are saving or changing lives. Emphasize the "opportunities" rather than the needs.
Include engaging images. Happy looking people and animals draw better than sick ones, and photos of people draw better than photos of buildings.
Relate to the recipient one-on-one with frequent use of the words "I" and "you" and references to his/her interests and "valued support." Include a handwritten signature (or an image of it) of the organization's leader.
3. Stick to the goal.
Each mailpiece should have one — and only one — purpose. If you're soliciting donations, don't add any other communications such as news items; it will only confuse and weaken your message. Save those for a separate mailing.
4. Create an effective appeal.
Repeat the appeal several times throughout the mailpiece. Most importantly, it should be in the last paragraph and again in a P.S. below the signature.
Ask for a specific amount, or tiered options for giving (Basic, Patron, Leadership). Next to the check boxes, show how each amount will help the cause: "$50 buys 36 bowls of pet food." You could also make the amount a customized field based on the recipient's donation history.
Avoid using the word "gift." Better words are "contribution," "help," "support" or "investment."
Create a sense of urgency. Give a deadline for making a donation and the reason for the deadline, such as to relieve a currently urgent situation.
5. Make it easy to respond.
The call to action should offer clear directions for them to send you the donation. It might be a response card and return envelope, a link to your website page, or a scannable QR code that will take users to the website.
Actually, your website should always be listed in your mailpiece for those who want to learn more about you, even if they're mailing you a paper check.
6. Follow up.
Sending a follow-up letter a few weeks later makes a huge difference in response rates. For those who didn't respond to the first letter, say that you haven't heard from them and repeat the appeal. For those who did respond, thank them and ask for an increased donation.
Even better, plan a direct mail calendar that touches your donors throughout the year, keeping them up to date and making them feel valued in between fundraising letters.
7. Maintain professional quality.
Even in our digital era, physical mail is valued more highly than email or online ads by all age groups. And the classier it looks, the better it performs. This covers everything from design to spell-checking to the paper it's printed on. Don't risk turning off prospects by cutting corners.
Optimize your database for more cost-efficient, targeted mailings. For example, categorize it by people who gave 1 year ago, 2 or more years ago or never; people who've attended your events, and so on. Of course, your list must also be checked for duplicate and outdated addresses, which will reduce postage costs.
Click2Mail helps nonprofits create successful fundraising appeals in minutes with a sophisticated array of database and automation tools, powerful design templates, super-fast print-to-mail times and state-of-the-art delivery to the post office. All right from your computer! Get started today, and please feel free to give us a call if you need any help or advice.
May 06, 2019
ARLINGTON, Va., May 6, 2019 -- Today at the 2019 National Postal Forum in Indianapolis, IN, Click2Mail announced the release of ZendaNote and Mail-it Now on the iTunes App Store. The free apps enable smartphone users to mail personalized notecards or documents from their phone or tablet to any address in the world, from anywhere they happen to be.
"With Americans' renewed interest in all things analog--including hyper-personalized physical mail, and everyone's love of mobile convenience, Click2Mail felt compelled to offer apps that makes sending postal mail quick and easy," said Lee Garvey, Founder and CEO at Click2Mail.
Many individuals and businesses already benefit from Click2Mail's cloud-based SaaS print-to-mail services, now clients can utilize Click2Mail's services from mobile devices.
With Click2Mail's new apps for iPhone and iPad users can:
This launch is another significant advancement for Click2Mail in the enablement of physical mail on every connected device. Google selected Click2Mail to develop the Mail My Doc Add-on for Google Docs, and recently the company launched a Word Add-in for Microsoft Office. All Click2Mail apps are free and available for immediate download on the respective app stores.
Click2Mail is a SaaS print-to-mail service that enables companies nationwide to automate postal-related functions and bring them out of the mailroom and into the cloud. What that means for customers is: no printing, no postage meters, no permits, no subscription fees and fewer trips to the post office. Click2Mail has disrupted the traditional mailroom model to provide affordable cloud-based, just-in-time mailing services. Since 2003, Click2Mail has helped more than 400 thousand clients send millions of mailpieces. For more information, visit http://www.click2mail.com or call our U.S.-based customer service team on 866-665-2787, M-F, 9 a.m.- 8p.m. EDT.
The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.
Mar 20, 2019
As a small fish in a big, competitive pond, you need proven strategies for growing your customer base and keeping existing customers coming back for more.
That's where direct mail comes in — again. Small businesses are now realizing that, while digital media may be inexpensive, it's yet another huge pond where small fish get lost in the crowd.
With direct mail, on the other hand, it's much easier to precisely target and reach your ideal audience. Here are four ways it can help you achieve business marketing success.
1. Increase Brand Recognition
People won't patronize your business if they don't know you exist. Use direct mail to send your message to a specific group of prospective customers based on demographic data (age, marital status, income level, etc.); need for/interest in your type of products or services; geographic area around your location; and more.
Brand recognition isn't only about making a first impression. Long-term engagement is the real key to lasting business success, so it's equally (if not more) important to stay in touch with your existing customers. Build loyalty and encourage repeat business by reaching out periodically with news about your products or services, promotional events, or even a thoughtful thank you card.
2. Build Your Dream Mailing List
When you're first starting out, you may have to buy or rent a list of prospective customers (such as pet owners). But as people respond to your marketing efforts, you'll be able to fine tune that list to those who are genuinely interested and most likely to buy. With every successive list refinement, the potential return on investment grows.
It will also enable you to customize mailpiece content to each recipient. How? You can capture information through reply mail, website response forms and customer purchasing history. Then, by using on-demand variable printing, present each individual with the information, offers and images most relevant to him or her.
For example, the pet store owner mentioned above might customize the postcard's image to a cat, dog or bird, depending on what species of pet the recipient owns. The coupon could also be customized to a discount on cat, dog or bird food.
3. Get Better Open Rates
Given the spam filtering and blocking technology now in common use, the likelihood of your marketing email being read by prospective customers is pretty small. Most of them will never even see your subject line, let alone open the email.
Direct mailpieces, on the other hand, are at least glanced at before the recipient decides whether to read them or toss them. Eye-catching design and a compelling call to action can further improve readership. As long as the offer was correctly tailored to the customer's needs/wants (during your list development), you're practically guaranteed a far better response rate than you could ever hope for from an e-blast.
4. Look Sharp
Never underestimate the importance of presenting a professional image in every contact point with your customers, from the corporate brochure to the invoice. Elegant, consistently designed materials help your business be perceived as more trustworthy, successful and authoritative. And that's sure to translate into more decisions in your favor, rather than your competitor's.
We've given you four great ways that direct mail can boost your business marketing. Even better, our advanced automation tools make it as fast and easy to execute as a digital campaign. It's the best of both worlds: delivering your message to the right people at the right time, with minimum effort and maximum results.
Jan 21, 2019
Just when you thought all the marketing action was in the digital arena, customers are demonstrating that direct mail is still effective. In fact, if you use the strategies below, it can be MORE effective than online and email messages.
The Personal Touch
With marketing "noise" at deafening levels, customers are turning off and tuning out the generic messages that pop up on their screens and in-boxes. What gets attention now is personalized content. And no medium, besides a one-on-one sales talk, does personalization better than direct mail.
• 48% of consumers spend more when marketing is personalized
• 90% of marketers believe that personalization will continue to increase in importance
• 74% of consumers hate when marketing content is irrelevant to them
Of course, the basic "Dear Bob" personalized mailpiece has been around for decades. But current technology takes it to a whole new level. The smart marketer captures information about the customer from every channel and interaction, and uses it to create content that's uniquely relevant to his or her needs and interests. On-demand digital printing makes it easy to customize every piece in the mailing.
However, marketers must also be aware of the increasing demand for privacy and security of customers' information. The GDPR, which took effect in Europe last year, and California's privacy law, coming in 2020, are signs of the future. The key is to use the information ethically, in a way that adds value rather than violating trust.
The "touch-and-feel" qualities of direct mail are, ironically, as influential with millennials and gen-Zers as they are with baby boomers. Just as old-fashioned vinyl records are making a comeback in the face of streaming music services, the physical presence of a brochure, postcard or letter is perceived as having higher value than an email or internet banner ad. Not to mention that such digital efforts are often blocked by the user.
• 90% of millennials believe that direct mail is a reliable form of advertising
• 83% of baby boomers say direct mail is a trusted source of marketing
It's part of a bigger social trend towards the desire for rewarding experiences, which is playing out in every venue from shopping malls to the travel industry. Marketers capitalize on the trend by providing a consistent, stand-out experience that builds customer loyalty.
Companies that previously focused on short-term sales gains are now realizing that a long-term relationship is not only more lucrative, but costs less to maintain than to acquire new customers.
You're probably already doing multi-channel marketing, where you communicate with customers through different media, including your physical location, direct mail, email, social media, etc. Omni-channel marketing turns those two-way streets into infinite loops which connect the media with each other as well as the customer.
For example, you might send prospects a postcard with a scannable QR code that takes them to your website, social media page or email response page. By tracking interactions through the various channels, you provide a seamless experience for the user and demonstrate that you care about their specific needs and wants.
From lead management to invoicing, new technology tools are doing much of the labor that once was necessary to produce a direct mailpiece. This trend will keep going strong because of the benefits it offers:
• Saves time over manually inputting list data
• Reduces human error
• Integrates the sales and marketing departments, eliminating silos and duplication of effort
• More effectively tracks customer responses, payments, etc.
• Performs follow-ups at programmed times or trigger events
At Click2Mail, we connect with hundreds of business and accounting management applications to transform your data into a direct mailpiece with just a few clicks.
Keep these trends in mind as you develop your direct mail strategy for the year ahead. Every one of them can help you increase the precision and effectiveness of your marketing efforts, preventing wasted time and money. What's not to like about that?
Jan 11, 2019
The new postal rates are almost upon us — they start January 27, 2019*. So if you're planning a mailing in the near future, now's the time to do it.
Fear not! It's Not All Bad News
Some rates are staying the same, and some are actually going down. Here's what's ahead in 2019 for the most popular mailing formats:
• First class letter rate increases from $0.50 to $0.55 for the first ounce.
• First class letter rate for additional ounces drops from $0.21 to $0.15.
• Postcard rate remains at $0.35.
• International letter rate (Country Groups 1-9) remains at $1.15 for one ounce.
• International postcard rate (Country Groups 1-9) remains at $1.15 for one ounce.
Even More Good News
You can still take advantage of our fantastic postage discounts on every mailpiece with a STANDARDIZED address. Look how much you'll save:
New Postage Rate Effective 1/27/19
|Postcard||New Rate||C2M Discounted Rate|
|Letter||New Rate||C2M Discounted Rate|
|1 oz letter||$0.55||$0..428|
|2 oz letter||$0.70||$0.274|
On a mailing of 3,000 postcards, your savings add up to $228 — 20% off the full rate. That's not chump change!
At Click2Mail, we MailNerds are here to help. If you have any questions about your upcoming mailing please contact us.
PLEASE NOTE: Mailings submitted after 8PM EST on Friday, January 25, 2019 will be calculated at the new postage rates.
Oct 17, 2018
The Postal Service recommends the following mailing and shipping deadlines for expected delivery by Dec. 25 to Air/Army Post Office/Fleet Post Office/Diplomatic Post Office and domestic addresses:
Nov. 6 – APO/FPO/DPO (all ZIP Codes) USPS Retail Ground®
Dec. 4 – APO/FPO/DPO (ZIP Code 093 only) Priority Mail® and First-Class Mail®
Dec. 11 – APO/FPO/DPO (all other ZIP Codes) Priority Mail and First-Class Mail
Dec. 14 – USPS Retail Ground
Dec. 18 – APO/FPO/DPO (except ZIP Code 093) USPS Priority Mail Express®
Dec. 20 – First-Class Mail (including greeting cards)
Dec. 20 – First-class packages (up to 15.99 ounces)
Dec. 20 – Hawaii to mainland Priority Mail and First-Class Mail
Dec. 20 – Priority Mail
Dec. 20 – Alaska to mainland Priority Mail and First-Class Mail
Dec. 22 – Alaska to mainland Priority Mail Express
Dec. 22 – Hawaii to mainland Priority Mail Express
Dec. 22 – Priority Mail Express
*Not a guarantee, unless otherwise noted. Dates are for estimated delivery before December 25. Actual delivery date may vary depending on origin, destination, Post Office acceptance date and time and other conditions. Some restrictions apply. For Priority Mail Express® shipments mailed December 22 through December 25.
Busiest Mailing and Delivery Days
Thanks to more people shopping earlier and shopping online, the Postal Service’s “busiest day” notion is now a thing of the past. Instead, the Postal Service now has a busiest time, and it starts two weeks before Christmas. Beginning the week of Dec. 10, customer traffic is expected to increase and the Postal Service expects to deliver nearly 200 million packages per week during these two weeks. The week of Dec. 17-23 is predicted to be the busiest mailing, shipping and delivery week. During this week alone, the Postal Service expects to process and deliver nearly 3 billion pieces of First-Class Mail, including greeting cards.
- Source: USPS.com
Aug 10, 2018
Please be advised that current weather conditions and wildfires in California and other western states will inevitably impact mail delivery in many areas of the northwest United States for an unforeseen period of time.
Up-to-date reporting by the US Postal Service on conditions and delivery service disruptions can be found here: https://goo.gl/8YLP9B
We recommend that these disruptions be considered and monitored prior to scheduling any postal mailings to this area through Click2Mail. Just because something gets mailed, doesn't mean that it can be delivered. We suggest checking delivery service is available to an area before mailing to it.
We appreciate your patience and our thoughts and prayers are with all of those affected. Please contact us if you have any questions or need assistance in accessing USPS updates.
May 21, 2018
There's no doubting that online marketing has taken the world by storm. Not only is online video consumption reigning supreme over traditional TV viewership, but it seems the world has gone mad for—and forgot about—the value still held in offline marketing.
One of those offline tactics is direct mail: sending letters, postcards, and notes to the mailbox of your ideal customer.
With the rise in popularity of online mailboxes, the ones stood outside your door get a bad reputation. Emails deliver discount codes for your favorite shops, but IRL-mailbox space is filled with bills, right?
What can direct mail marketing offer that online marketing can't?
Online marketing is great, but its offline alternative has been proven to drive better results.
It's easier for customers
One reason direct mail marketing is more effective is because it's easier to understand. One study found it takes 21% less cognitive effort to process, meaning your audience don't have to invest time (and brainpower) into your mail.
The success of any marketing campaign—whether it be online or offline—depends on how it resonates with your ideal audience. If they're finding it tough to understand or become confused at any point, it's unlikely to meet your objectives.
The brands you've listed nailed their marketing campaign; it had a long-lasting effect on you. Direct mail marketing is proven to be better at this than the virtual alternative.
It's been found that millennials who spend more time with physical ads have a stronger emotional response, leading to better memory of them. You could be on the list of the next generation's most-loved advertising campaigns by optimizing your use of direct mail.
Direct mail has a better response rate than email marketing, with 4.4% of campaigns receiving a response when delivered through the mail, compared to just 0.12% online.
That means that in a campaign delivered to 1,000 people, 43 more people will interact with your direct mail than your emails.
You're missing out if you push your entire marketing budget into email—especially when direct mail can be more cost-effective.
1. Be creative
Direct mail empowers you to be creative. Don't just fire off a boring letter that could get mixed up with a target's bills; create something nobody has seen before. Throw a party in their mailbox!
You can do this by sending:
A fantastic example of creative direct mail marketing comes from the team behind World Water Day's campaign. Their aim was to raise awareness about the event, but they opted to create a direct mail with words that only became visible when soaked in water.
Direct mail marketing example
Not only did this direct mail campaign explain their aim creatively, but it became an interactive piece of content. Interactive content has been proven to generate 2x more conversions than its passive alternative. Genius, right?
2. Make your audience feel something
The second way to ensure your direct mail marketing campaign is a success is to make your audience feel something. Emotion has been the marketer's secret weapon for years. Various studies show that people rely on emotions, not just logical information, to make buying decisions.
Feelings of anger, disgust, affirmation, and fear often top the list of emotions that work well in advertising.
A fantastic example of this comes from the Natural History Museum. In an attempt to educate local people about the danger of animal extinction, they sent an eraser to their audience with a quote about the topic.
Direct mail marketing example
Because their audience could see a visual representation of extinction in their daily lives, it made them stop to think about how serious it is... and want to act.
Pick an emotion and drive it home through your next direct mail campaign. You'll soon see the impact emotion has on marketing—but the victories will be for your own brand.
3. Make it unique
For the most part, mailboxes aren't fun environments. Bills, bank statements, and unwanted letters clog up this marketing route, but you can stand out by making your direct mail campaign unique.
A fantastic way to do this is through juxtaposition. Can you think of a smart, innovative way to show how powerful your offering is by comparing it to something completely different?
Let's take this direct mail campaign for example. Created by the theatre team behind a local performance of Macbeth, they wanted people to visit their show. Instead of online marketing, they exploited their direct mail opportunity and found a way to stand out in a mailbox.
Direct mail marketing example
You'd probably never compare a Shakespeare play to a fast food joint... but that's why it works.
The juxtaposition of both elements makes you take a second take at the direct mail, rather than toss it in the trash. It's bound to make an impact on their audience, who possibly have an interest in both but would never expect them to be paired together.
- Elise Dopson
Jan 30, 2018
Did you pledge to grow your business in 2018? Are you looking for a list of prospects to turn into new customers?
But wait, how many emails did you get yesterday? The average person gets about 88 emails a day--or more if you combine work and personal email. That compares to only 15 pieces of postal mail per week, per person according to USPS household diary study reports. Obviously, there's less competition in a physical mailbox, and neuroscientists have demonstrated that messages on paper resonate with people more than digital messages. Clearly, postal mail needs to become an element of any marketing campaign and getting a good postal mailing list is easier than you think.
What you need to know: Your ‘house’ file is comprised of your existing customers - one of your most valuable assets. In the early days of the list rental business, some owners kept lists of names and addresses in the bank, literally, in a safe deposit box. Using computer algorithms, you can model or mirror your existing customers' characteristics (also called cloning or “look-alike” analysis) to find similar prospects and likely new customers. You could choose to invest the time to compile your own list of prospective customers from other sources, but a time-saving option is to find a company that offers list rentals. Traditionally lists are rented for one-time use only, so that list prices increase when multiple use licensing is requested, but some list owners will discount the second rental or offer some other custom arrangement.
Click2Mail offers four basic postal mailing list types:
You probably already have a sense of what kind of rental list might meet your needs. However, did you know that demographic or behavioral criteria can often be incorporated into your search to narrow the audience more precisely? The criteria are called "selects" and the more relevant selects you can determine, the better the targeting, but the higher the price; for example, a list of single women between the ages of 24 and 34 is less expensive than a list of single women between the ages of 24 and 34 who live in single-family homes and are interested in health and fitness. But if you really know your target audience, a precision target will be worth the extra cost and you are less likely to waste money mailing to non-buyers.
Before renting from a specific list, you’ll want to ask how many unique names and addresses in the database, also known as the "universe". If you select a subset based on geography, age, gender or income, the process of obtaining counts based on your selects should be iterative. You'll initially select enough prospects to fit your budget and if you see favorable results, you’ll likely want to go back and rent more prospects from that list source.
Often both the list owner and the mailer will add seed/decoy names and addresses to the list, directing mailpieces to the office or the home of the mailer and the list owner (even though they may not meet the demographic or geographic criteria of the list order). List owners do this to monitor the list rental compliance terms, mailers do it so they can see what was really sent in the mail. Before the USPS introduced tracing for letter mail, decoys were also added as a means to track how long it took for the USPS to deliver the mail. Now, Click2Mail customers can find the delivery information for each piece mailed in their Click2Mail account because Click2Mail adds a USPS-compatible tracking barcode to each individual mailpiece before it is mailed. It’s still a good idea, however, to add yourself as a seed so you can see your own piece in the mail. Click2Mail’s video shows you How to Add Yourself to the Mailing List.
At Click2Mail, we MailNerds are here to help. Guidance with mailing lists is one way we can help you grow your business.
Jan 17, 2018
2017 was our most exciting year ever for product and service introductions! In case you missed them, here's a recap of all the new things you can now do with Click2Mail.
Mailing Directly from Your Business Software
With these new integrations and add-ons, you can compose your mailpiece, print and mail it all in one application.
New and Improved Mailpiece Products
The Unforgettable "Live" Stamp Marketing Event
To commemorate the solar eclipse of August 21, 2017, the USPS designed a unique morphing stamp for use on mailpieces. These mailpieces have become collectibles that won't get tossed in the trash — a marketer's dream come true!
Customer Support Upgrades
In 2017 Click2Mail launched the Mail Nerds blog on Medium, where the latest mailing tech info is presented in a fast, fun read. Follow us!
Based on customer requests and past successes, here are some of the ideas we're kicking around for 2018. Some are already in the works, others are still just a twinkle in our eye.
Save Time with Graphical Templates
Categorized by industries such as professional services, retailers, restaurants. These templates can be repurposed for anything. Select, customize the postcard templates and tailor them to your specific business needs.
(Template sneak peak )
Simplify Mailing for Your Nonprofit
Call us for Click2Mail concierge service to guide you through the process of submitting the request for USPS approval to qualify for Nonprofit postal rates.
Make a Hit with Live Stamps for Special Events
The limited-edition eclipse stamp last year was popular, so we'll be coming up with some new options for 2018.
Share Your Story
If there's anything you'd like to see happen with Click2Mail, please let us know. We'd also love to hear how Click2Mail helped you save time, effort or money, and maybe share some tips for our other clients. Please call or email us anytime!
Nov 27, 2017
In this blog, we’ll explore three ways to measurably increase your success rate for your next direct mail campaign. Managing the mailing list process includes deciding who to mail, who not to mail and how the postal service needs you to present the mailing address.
A good list is made of people you know; with all of their most up-to-date contact details. Let’s say your best friend got a new job in another town, she’ll be getting a new place and a new mailing address. As soon as she knows her new address, she lets you know and you update your records. Perfect, right? Simply put, a good list is one that you are constantly updating.
What about renting lists for prospecting?
There are literally thousands to choose from… “Consumer” lists that identify individuals or households by demographic data and past purchases; “Business” lists also selectable by industry, title, size, location, etc.
Two Industry experts collaborated to evaluate and share their findings on the quality of lists available to businesses to do prospecting. This measurement of data quality in the marketplace can provide a context for your own experience. Here’s a chart from their most recent report:
Returns are Inevitable
Looking at this chart, one takeaway is that no matter what list you use to create a mailing, the postal service will not be able to deliver 100% of the mail. Unless you use the electronic address change service, you should expect to get physical mailpieces back from the USPS. (Return to Sender.)
The Role of Suppression Files in List Management
Proper use of suppression files is a critical component of ethical data-driven marketing as it prevents people who don’t want to get your messages (by postal mail and/or email) from receiving them. In other words, just because you have someone’s contact details doesn’t mean you should contact them. Respecting consumer preferences is a practical way to increase your return on investment. Worldwide Innovators says, if your data causes you to send irrelevant, unwanted information to recipients’ chances are they will let you, and their network, know - this situation can be exacerbated if your campaign is set up for repeat sends.
How the mailing data is presented on the mailpiece is an important factor in deliverability. The postal service advises you mail to a street address or a PO Box™, not both. The USPS blog, ‘Don’t let your message get lost in the mail: How to Avoid Mistakes in Addressing’; offers a list of Do’s and Don’ts that focuses on the physical display of addresses.
At Click2Mail, we MailNerds are here to help. Guidance with mailing lists is one way we can help you grow your business.
1) Traditionally, the list rental marketplace was based on the principle of ‘one-time’ list rental. Now lists can also be rented for ‘multiple-time’ use and some lists are available for outright purchase. Talk to customer service about what might be best for your business needs.
Nov 17, 2017
One of the most successful books of the last three decades is The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey. What makes it so great is that its principles work for anything you want to succeed in. Let's see how they apply to marketing on a tight budget.
1. Be proactive. Proactive marketers assume responsibility for their actions; less effective marketers simply react to environments and events. This makes it practically impossible to control costs.
2. Begin with the end in mind. You can't plan a trip unless you know your destination. Highly frugal marketers clarify their goals before they even begin to develop a budget.
3. Put first things first. This means establishing priorities and sticking to them. If your marketing goal is to acquire new customers, then a mailing to existing customers should get a low priority.
4. Think win-win. In all negotiations and collaborations, seek a solution that's beneficial to both parties. Building positive relationships can save you more in the long run than squeezing one particular deal dry.
5. Seek first to understand, then be understood. Really knowing who your customers are and what they want is the essential first step in a marketing campaign. Without it, money could be thrown away targeting the wrong people, with the wrong approach.
6. Synergize. This means creating a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. Strategic partnerships that "fill in the blanks" of your own expertise can open many new doors to growth and profitability.
7. Sharpen the saw. The saw is the frugal marketer's desire to constantly seek out money-saving opportunities. For this one, you can start right here at Click2Mail:
• Postage discounts on qualifying addresses
• Minimized costs of undelivered mail with automatic CASS (coding accuracy) and NCOA (change of address) of your mailing list
• Volume discounts on large orders
Nov 05, 2017
In 1970, when Click2Mail’s founder and CEO, Lee Garvey, was 18 years old and fresh out of high school, he started his postal career as a letter carrier. As Mr. Garvey will tell you himself, he soon came to embrace the concept of postal mail as a universal communications system. In other words, he became a mail nerd.
Two years later Mr. Garvey, an avid futurologist, sensed a foreshadowing for the postal industry and wrote up an employee suggestion form for the higher-powers at the United States Postal Service with the subject line:
In his 1972 suggestion, Mr. Garvey described the inevitable impact digital technology would eventually have on postal organizations worldwide. He wrote, “…[In the future] the bulk of business communications and advertising will use an electronic communications system as widespread as telephone service.” Unknowingly foretelling the Internet revolution, he concluded, “The U.S. Postal Service should not and must not be left behind.”
For the next 25 years, Mr. Garvey served in many other capacities at the USPS, from retail services and acting postmaster to serving on an elite innovation team tasked with discovering and exploring digital opportunities for the Postal Service.
In 1998, he and a team of developers beta-launched a USPS service called NetPost, an electronic system that used the Internet to receive digital documents from small businesses and deliver them as physical mail within 48 hours. NetPost launched nationally in the year 2000 as a key component of the Post Office Online on USPS.com.
In early 2000, Mr. Garvey left the USPS for Silicon Valley and worked to promote a similar mailing system for a VC-backed startup, E-Letter. Within months the Internet bubble burst, and he was let go and the startup failed.
At this point, Mr. Garvey was presented with a fork in the road: rejoin the USPS or strike out as an entrepreneur.
Around the same time, the USPS started winding down its tangential digital and ecommerce initiatives. Jack Potter, a career USPS employee was appointed as Postmaster General and given the mandate to refocus the organization, staying away from anything digital. Essentially: cut everything not related to pure, traditional mail delivery.
Despite its market success, NetPost was flagged to be discontinued in late 2003. At the eleventh hour, USPS put out a limited solicitation to the program participants capable of continuing commercial operation of NetPost services to the te ns of thousands of customers then using it.
Mr. Garvey knew he needed to act fast if he wanted to keep NetPost alive. He quickly partnered with a printing company and a technology company and in 2003 formed the beginnings of his own company — PosteDigital.
Despite the fading support of the USPS and the divided interests of his new partners, his company — still operating the service exclusively for the USPS under the name NetPost — thrived.
One of the breakthroughs was when the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) abandoned their mail-by-hand process that took a week to send a stack of mail and plugged directly into Mr. Garvey’s automated next-day fulfillment system.
Over the next three years, Mr. Garvey bought out his partners, who were more concerned about profit and technology than postal mail innovation.
Then, in 2006, his company’s sole source of customers, the USPS, terminated its branding relationships with affiliate services and required the NetPost brand association to be dropped. Mr. Garvey had two months to find a new brand name for the NetPost service. Thus, Click2Mail was born.
The 2008 Recession hit right as Click2Mail tore up its contract with its technology partner to redesign its core systems. Expenses skyrocketed. Revenue plummeted. But now the company was free to rebuild.
Fortunately, Click2Mail had built up a solid base of loyal customers, including large firms like The Hartford and Microsoft plus many thousands of small organizations like IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) chapters nationwide. Unlike other companies that targeted big clients and made 80% of their business from 20% of their clients, Mr. Garvey served small to mid-sized customers so that if one disappeared, it didn’t rock the boat.
With the addition of several key team members, Click2Mail launched Mailing Online Pro, a revamped, cloud-based software as a service (SaaS). At this point, Click2Mail’s strategy underwent a significant transformation as it emerged out of the sunken U.S. economy.
Under the new Mailing Online Pro system, the company built digital tools for creating and sending postal mail from the desktop or the cloud. Each tool used the core system’s capabilities but provided different ways to access and use them for specific purposes.
Today, customers use Click2Mail to send all types of mail in a variety of methods. These include:
The future for Click2Mail holds great promise for three reasons:
As technology advances, Click2Mail adapts its postal mail tools to leverage digital innovations.
Mr. Garvey and his team are already working on integrating the USPS’s new Informed Delivery™ into their system. Informed Delivery offers higher visibility to mailers by having interactive images of mailpieces emailed to recipients before their daily mail delivery.
Ever since the day he turned in the employee suggestion, Mr. Garvey has had a vision of using digital technology to innovate the mail industry. Through success and failure and lots of stories, he’s happy to say that today, hundreds of thousands of people use Click2Mail to send mail for as little as $0.43, including printing and postage, with just a few clicks.
No more printing, stuffing envelopes, or running to the post office. Whether it’s one postcard or thousands of letters, he and his team want to help you find more time in your day by making physical mail easy.
Thanks for reading and we hope you enjoy using Click2Mail.
Nov 02, 2017
Nashville-based lawyer Dan Beasley started his own side business three years ago and has over 1,000 customers today.
His side gig, or “labor of love”, is extraordinarily targeted at a niche he’s deeply familiar with: lawyers.
Like the genesis of most businesses, Beasley saw a problem with CLE, Continuing Legal Education, a mandate that all legal professionals need to continue learning in their field to maintain their licenses to practice law. In the state of Tennessee, for example, the CLE requirement is 15 hours a year.
He partnered with his friend who ran Outkick the Coverage, a popular sports news site with over 20 million monthly visitors and 500,000 Twitter followers, to create Outkick CLE, a fun and engaging way to gain CLE credit for lawyers. The 1-hour courses sell for $50 each, or $200 for unlimited access per year, and cover interesting and time-relevant legal topics like bitcoin and blockchain, marijuana laws, and “basically anyone Tim Ferris interviews,” said Beasley, “We reach out and see if there’s a legal angle to explore.”
The Secret Sauce to Getting the Word Out
If you’re a small business owner, you know the hard part about building a business is not necessarily building the business but is marketing — getting the word out to the right prospects and converting them into customers.
For Beasley, he had a clever silver bullet for reaching new customers. We’ll explain what it is below without giving away his secret.
“Lawyers are pretty old school still,” he said and knew direct mail would be an effective way to reach his target audience. But he knew a blanket mailer about Outkick CLE to all lawyers in Tennessee would not only be expensive but also be inefficient because a large number of lawyers would have had already completed their hours.
Without giving it away, Beasley leveraged a well-known “industry event” to identify exactly which lawyers still needed CLE hours.
The list had their names and mailing addresses. That’s it.
After looking at local print shops, he found Click2Mail through a Google search and wrote up a “very vanilla letter” with text only, inviting lawyers to try Outkick CLE to maintain their licensure.
To track the effectiveness of the mailer, Beasley included a special coupon code for customers to input on the website when purchasing a course. He also cross-referenced any new customers with the mailing list to account for anyone who forgot or didn’t use the coupon code. “We found 3.6% of the list became customers from one letter.”
Beasley said he’s getting more bullish on print mail overall. He calls himself a closet marketer and secretly enjoys the art and science of copywriting. He follows folks like Neville Medhora, Jay Abraham, and other big-time copywriters who say print mail will help pull a 7x ROI.
The takeaway: If you have a good list, and write a good letter, chances are, direct mail will accomplish your goals.
Beasley plans to do 2–3 more direct mail campaigns before the end of the year and if they continue to perform as well as before, he said he could see himself sending out letters once a month.
How about you, reader? Time to try a mailer? Give us a call and we’ll help you find a good list and write a good letter so that you can get similar results for your business like Beasley did for his.
Oct 25, 2017
Leading a team of remote creative coworkers can be difficult, but here are the house rules that have helped Click2Mail’s creatives be happy coworkers.
Did one of these resonate with you?
What principles do you live by in your company?
Oct 04, 2017
Gone are the days of the printing press that required plates to be created for each and every item printed. That process, while revolutionary in its day, made it nearly impossible and very expensive to use variable data. Today, thanks to advances in technology have made variable printing as easy as using “mail merge” in a word processor. Variable data has been around for quite a while, but technology has made it easier than ever before to integrate it into direct mail. Personalizing a mail piece makes it a more relevant experience for the customer, which translates into more sales and responses.
Using variable data in direct mail delivers a bigger impact to your customers, resulting in a more effective and valued exchange of information. Variable data is information that you might prefer to change based on who exactly is viewing the mailing piece. For example, a mailing piece sent to young, single customers might be different than a piece that you send to married customers with children. Large companies with many store locations can choose to include the address and phone number of the most convenient store for each customer. This information, data that changes based on who is viewing the material, is what we call variable data.
Variable data is great for many reasons, but you must take care when using it to avoid crossing personal boundaries with customers. According to a recent study by Ipso, the majority of Americans, 68 percent, feel uneasy about having their online activity tracked. Although it is a fact that variable data gives a higher response rate for the resources invested in it compared to more generic pieces, there is a point where too much personalization can make a customer feel spied on and have a negative experience with the mail piece.
Transitioning from static direct mail to variable mail is a way that we can help a business stay ahead of the competition. According to data from Cap Ventures, variable data printing allows even the smallest business to compete with Fortune 500 businesses because, when properly executed, it can return up to 30 times the ROI of a static piece.
Technology has made integrating variable data into mail pieces easy, and Click2Mail makes direct mail easy! Over the next three months, we will be talking more about the value of variable data and planning a variable data campaign, including outlining your goals, deciding who exactly you are targeting, how you will measure success, and where you find the data in the first place.
Sep 28, 2017
In the second of our four-part series, we'll talk about designing your postcard for maximum impact.
Don't overcrowd. Too much information crammed into a too small space confuses the reader and is perhaps the most common cause of less-than-expected postcard results. Make sure your design works with the format, not against it, by paring down to a just few strong elements.
Design in some white space. In your process of un-crowding, leave some empty ("white") space around the key elements. Many studies of reader behavior have shown that this breathing room improves readership and comprehension.
Keep the copy short. A postcard should be one single announcement or call to action, not a complete explanation of your product, service or offer. (That's what your website and sales literature are for.) The longer the copy, the smaller its type size will have to be to make it all fit; and the fewer people will actually read it. Edit it down and scale it up until it's understandable at-a-glance.
Use an arresting image. A big reason why postcards are the most successful direct mail format is that their content is immediately visible, not hidden inside an envelope. Maximize that advantage with a unique, powerful graphic that will stand out and stop recipients in their tracks.
Stay clear of the USPS read areas. Another consequence of trying to incorporate too much information is that design elements might encroach on the clear spaces for address and indicia required by the Post Office scanning equipment. The USPS will automatically reject any mail that can't be scanned, and the money you spent producing the postcard will go down the drain. Our Click2Mail templates clearly indicate these areas, but it's something to watch out for if you're designing your own card from scratch.
Colorize it. If you've been sending black & white postcards, go for even bigger impact by adding a shot of color. Three ways to do this at Click2Mail are:
• Full-color printing on one or both sizes
• Black ink on your choice of yellow or green cardstock- (and now PINK)
• Printers choice: Black ink on one of four card colors chosen by Click2Mail
Upsize it. Maybe your message is just a bit too complex for a standard 3.5" x 5" or 4.25" x 6" postcard. In that case a larger 5" x 8", 6" x 9" or 6" x 11" postcard might be the perfect solution. And, of course, the bigger it is, the more attention it will attract.
Do a series. Sometimes a postcard is the right format, but the message has too many parts to fit according to the design rules we listed above. Why not split it up into several mailings? You'll multiply your impressions while keeping costs affordable.
A postcard is a great format for getting attention and response ... as long as you don't try and force it to do things it's not suited for. Give yourself the best chance for success by keeping it clean, simple and strong. And if you're not sure you can get it right, our Click2Mail team of expert designers would be happy to help. Just give us a call, or fill out our survey here.
Sep 19, 2017
In spite of the tsunami of digital communications that has inundated the world over the past couple of decades, business-to-business marketers continue to give direct mail the single largest chunk of their budget, according to a Pitney Bowes survey. Over half of the same survey respondents said that direct mail was the best way to reach senior management prospects. Here's why.
Perceived value. Something about the tangibility of a paper communication makes the recipient feel special. Its formality as compared to an email also conveys legitimacy and authority. What's more, a physical document has a longer shelf life: a mailed brochure is more often saved for future reference than an emailed PDF.
Personalization. Today's variable data printing technology enables us to customize a mailpiece for each individual recipient. A busy executive is much more likely to read a message that's relevant, specific and responsive to his/her needs.
Gatekeeper pass. Another advantage of personalized direct mail is that secretaries and personal assistants who open a senior manager's mail won't automatically throw it out as they would a piece that looks generic. And, of course, paper mail never gets routed to the email junk box.
Combo power. Integrating direct mail with other media can significantly improve response rates and lead generation. According to a BrandScience report, when direct mail was combined with digital marketing it produced a 62% increase in responses. And the UK television channel ITV found that direct mail combined with TV advertising elevated response by 143%. And direct mail seems to be the deciding factor in convincing prospects to make contact with businesses they didn't know of before.
If you're in the business of providing goods or services to other businesses, it's clear that the power of direct mail is not one you can ignore. Need help getting started with your B2B promotion? Our experts have lots of ideas, tips and guidance to share. Give us a call!
Sep 15, 2017
You may have heard recently that outbound marketing is so over. Consumers have been flooded with messages in all channels — TV/radio, email, the internet, telemarketing, the environment and, yes, the mailbox — to the point where they just tune it all out. Inbound marketing is where it's at, some experts are proclaiming.
What is inbound marketing? It's what you put on your website, social media pages, blog and news sites, and wait for customers to find you. If the content is relevant, informative and entertaining, these prospects will be half way down the sales funnel before you even make contact with them.
Inbound marketing is an excellent way of pre-qualifying customers, or rather, of letting them pre-qualify themselves. Anyone who arrives on your doorstep through these channels is highly likely to be genuinely interested in what you're selling. Unfortunately, the number of people who will find you this way is limited.
Take, for example, people who look for products and services like yours on a search engine such as Google. Optimizing your website so that it will show up in search engine results (SEO) is an extremely complex and competitive endeavor. Most marketers admit that it has become nearly impossible for any but the largest, most well-known business to achieve a page one placement on Google. And few people keep looking past page one or two.
If your new lead acquisitions are stagnating, it's time to take a fresh look at traditional outbound marketing channels. They are still the best way to reach people who never heard of you, whether your target is a wide audience or a specific niche.
Each outbound channel has evolved in response to customer saturation and inbound channel competition. Here we will focus on direct mail's best advantages in today's marketing climate.
At Click2Mail, we believe that the smart money is on the integration of inbound and outbound marketing. Both have their strengths, and their place in reaching today's media-savvy audiences.
Aug 23, 2017
Like your pizza hot? ... getting your physical address right makes all the difference in getting that pizza delivered before it’s cold. No one expects a telephone operator to connect their call; it is understood that you’ve got to use the correct digits when you’re ordering that pie. In the same way, physical address quality matters.
A complete, correct & current address is also critical for postal delivery of letters, catalogs, magazines, and parcels. Delivery failures are both costly and frustrating.
Think about how you maintain and manage your customer address records. During a single year, more than 10% of the citizen population and more than 20% of businesses change locations. Most of them file a forwarding address with the U.S. Postal Service. How do you find out about your customers’ new addresses? Do you have a process in place to catch address updates in your customer database?
Address changes don’t always require someone to physically move. Sometimes, when the street is renamed, often as result of ongoing efforts to improve 911 services (to make it easier for fire trucks and ambulances to find you in times of emergency), there is an address update.
Inspired by the growth in e-commerce, the Postal Service has introduced a new kind of PO Box® (aka a Competitive Post Office Box) that enables consumers to use a physical postal address for parcel delivery by FedEx, UPS or the USPS. This delivery address is different than where the customer lives or works. How do you handle this type of alternate and yet valid delivery address?
Improving customer address quality is time well spent. When the address isn’t found in the postal database, delivery is delayed and the cost to deliver goes up. Investigate how to integrate address verification tools in your workflow. Ask customers to let you know when their physical address changes.
Click2Mail standardizes the delivery address in your mailing lists, a process that compares it to the USPS’s database of valid delivery addresses. This can identify and correct many address issues, spotting misspelled street names for instance. The results of this standardization can be downloaded from your Click2Mail account, giving you the chance to research and make corrections as needed.
Not currently using Click2Mail’s mailing tools? The Postal Service offers both a lookup tool and an API to assist in cleaning up your mailing lists, a valuable endeavor to help improve your direct mail reach and reduce your mailing costs.
Aug 21, 2017
Every day the US Postal Service processes and delivers half a billion pieces of mail each day.
That’s an average of 351,656 mailpieces processed each minute. Fast!
Not surprising to learn that letters or postcards can get damaged in the process. Sometimes, you may even see a rub or smear on postcards that look similar to the example below.
In this post, you’re going to get the behind-the-scenes view of an actual USPS processing plant as we examine what really causes smears and rubs to postcards.
Smears rarely occur during the print process.
At first glance, you might think the postcards were mailed wet or smeared during the printing process, but this isn’t the case because in the Click2Mail print shop we don’t even use ink. We use toner crystals.
These electrically charged carbon crystals actually fuse to the paper with heat, bonding to the paper in milliseconds. The printing is dry before the postcards are cut into individual mailpieces.
<= Example of toner crystals
After the postcards are printed, they’re systematically checked for quality and any anomalies are removed.
So if smears and smudges aren’t happening during the printing process, then where?
Here’s what we learned.
To get a better understanding, we connected with the USPS Processing and Distribution Center (P&DC) in Denver, Colorado. We worked with one of their team of engineers and managers to test our letter mail, postcards, and flyers on the equipment. Here’s what we found.
The Delivery Bar Code Sorter (DBCS) is really the workhorse in a mail processing plant. It’s capable of processing about 40,000 pieces of mail an hour. The machine is programmed to sort the mail into the appropriate bin out of 270 bins.
This is the DBCS “letter feeder” with covering removed. The mail is placed on the “jogger shelf” to the right where the mail is jogged to tap it down so that it can enter the feeder. The DBCS’ Optical Character Readers (OCR) reads the address then sorts it to the individual bins. (see above)
Depending on how far the mail has to travel, it may be processed by four to six different DBCS machines along the way to its final destination (local post office). These sorting machines are made up of a series of belts and rollers that sort the mail based on outgoing ZIP codes.
The green and black rubber belts and rollers are typically the culprits and are usually the reason why you might see color smudges or scuffing on your postcards. The rollers physically grip and contact the mailpiece as it pushes (sorts) it through to the correct ZIP code bin.
If the roller applies too much pressure as it grips the mail, it may penetrate the color toner and UV coating on the surface of the postcard, leaving scuff marks.
Occasionally, the equipment may even rip the cards. Usually, though these marks occur about halfway to three-quarters of the way down on either side of the card where the high-speed belts make contact, like the example below.
Why first class returned pieces are almost always damaged
When first class mailpieces are undeliverable -- that is, when you see pieces with a yellow “nixie” sticker from the carrier indicating why it was not deliverable and returned -- they become especially vulnerable to scuffing and marking. Because the USPS takes extra steps to attempt to deliver this class of mail, the postal pieces are intentionally sent through the DBCS sorters several additional times to ensure that they are in fact “undeliverable”.
Next time your first class undeliverable postcards return to you, take note how scuffed they may look. This is because it’s going through the sorting machines more often than other pieces, increasing the chances of it getting caught or snagged.
But what causes the ink to melt?
At the top of the sortation bins, a black belt causes enough friction to rub and smear the toner off the paper.
(Top of the sortation bin and black belt)
In the photo to the right, you can see us exaggerating the pressure of the postcard on the black belt and we were able to reproduce the smear – every time!
How to reduce the risk of damage to your mailpieces
We tested different paperweights on the postcards and learned that heavier weight didn’t prevent the problem and in fact, in most cases, it caused more tears in the postcards.
For just a few cents more choose UV coating (versus uncoated stock) will help to make your images and colors stand out and should help to reduce postal scuff marks.
We changed our flyers/selfmailer and have added another tab to the lead edge to the mailpiece. That should help them from getting folded or bent in processing.
Next time you receive a postcard that looks smudged or smeared, don’t worry. It happens rarely. The postal service is doing their best to deliver those half a billion pieces every day in the most reliable way.
Aug 01, 2017
1. Go to Click2Mail.com
2. Navigate to the top left menu and select “Print & Mail to List”.
3. Select “Letter 8.5 x 11”.
4. Click “Start Here”.
5. At the bottom of the dialogue box under “Mail Class”, select “First Class Specialty Stamp”
Complete your order as usual and your mailing will be sent with the Total Eclipse of the Sun Forever Stamp.
Call our 5-star customer support line, toll-free:
Monday - Friday, 9:00AM - 8:00PM EST
Aug 01, 2017
If you have a mailbox then it probably doesn’t shock you to hear that 44% of Americans throw out their mail, unopened.
Impersonal ads, tossed. Irrelevant notices, thrown. Already-paid bills, slam dunked.
But did you know that B2B direct mail is 37 times more effective than email, according to a statistic published by the Data and Marketing Association? That means you could send an email once a week for 36 weeks to your prospect and it won’t get opened; on the other hand, send a physical piece of mail and it’s guaranteed to be in their hands.
Once your mail is in the fingers of your hopefully-soon-to-be customer, how do you send the message that your mail is worth opening and keeping?
Unlike email, which comes into your inbox the same way, mail has a few more creative options to be “engaging.”
In this post, we’re going to look ten ideas to create mail that doesn’t just get tossed in the garbage. Want to create mail that lasts? Read on.
1. Put a personalized map that outlines exactly where your customer needs to go.
Humans are visual beings. Our eyes are drawn to images faster than text. If you’re a local business, like a pizza shop, retail store, or walk-in office , you should see this.
With today’s technology, you can add custom maps to your mailpieces. Maps4mail.com is a company that lets you add a map with the addressee’s location routed to your destination. It’s like looking at Google Maps on your phone.
Instead of a plain map, this technology prints a different map for each mailpiece, so that the opener sees their unique route. This personalization creates a persuasive “just for me” feeling within the recipient because the mail piece would have be incorrect for anyone else.
2. “Add a lump, get a bump.”
Lumpymail.com claims that if your mail is “lumpy” -- as in, oddly shaped -- it will be stacked on top of the pile and always be opened. Due to pure human curiosity and the fact that postal services can’t stack lumpy mail, it’s opened 100% of the time.
“3D mail” products range from thumb drives to whoopee cushions to bank bags and more. The most hilarious example I found was for $3.50-$5.50, you can send a little plastic human foot and literally get a “foot in the door.”
3. Tactile mail changes the look and feel of your mail to draw attention to it.
To illustrate this point with a metaphor, imagine you are attending a network event and you receive (what feels like) hundreds of business cards. One business card is thicker than all the rest and feels coarser. It’s size is impressive and you pull it out of your pocket to view it. This business card has won the competition for your attention.
Adjusting the heft and texture of your mail can make it stand out from its typical smooth lightweight neighbors. A tactile variance can make all the difference, said Jeremy Zimmerman, Assistant Editor at Direct Marketing IQ.
4. Engage your recipients with interactive mail.
Usually, mail is made up of images and text, so ambitious (and well-funded) marketers will get creative and add a twist to their mail pieces.
Mercedes created an envelope that, when you lifted the flap, changed their coupe car into a convertible.
Some outside-the-box-thinkers will send a secret message written on a balloon. When the recipient inflates the balloon, the message becomes clear.
What would you put on your mailed balloon?
5. Design your mail to fold and give it a long shelf life.
Paper is a versatile medium. You don’t have to be a master-origamist to be able to make a cube or paper airplane. You could go all out and make a forest stand up in your stationery. Or have a box pop up with more surprises inside.
It could be as simple as a house pop up or a tri-fold. Give your mailpiece the ability to stand on its own two feet with interactive cuts and folds.
6. QR codes don’t have to be ugly to work like magic
While some believe QR codes are dead, and most might agree they never really took off in the first place, did you know that every Twitter app has a QR code reader?
Twitter introduced QR codes to their app at the end of 2016, and it works for any QR code, not just Twitter account links (like Snapcodes). That means over 328 million people have a QR scanner in their pockets (although they might not know it).
QR codes (and PURLs - “Personalized URLs”) are great for tracking direct mail open rates. If someone scanned the QR code, you know that they read your mail and took action. Tracking this data helps with quantifying the ROI on your mail adspend.
You probably didn’t know that QR codes can be works of art. Angry Birds designed a custom QR code to promote their mobile app.
Make a custom QR code here: http://goqr.me/.
7. If you’re limited to just paper, images, and text, you can still stand out by being funny.
Lisa Krowisnki runs Sapling Press, an Etsy shop that makes custom postcards and they. Are. funny!
Humor can go along way with building trust with your customers. Is there anything funny about the industry you’re in? Maybe challenge your team to come up with something comical to add to your next direct mail postcard campaign. Something that will make your customer crack a smile.
8. Don’t feel funny? Be beautiful instead.
Illustrations, photography, and art can give pause to anyone. But mail gets a bad rap for being ugly or plain.
In wit, the CEO of Scout Direct Marketing postcards, said in a podcast that the #1 error he sees companies making with their direct mail postcards is cramming them with too much information. The design gets complicated and crowded fast when the real estate is limited on a direct mail piece.
Instead, keep it simple and elegant. Easy-to-read and kind-on-the-eyes will go a long way.
Another Etsy shop, Little Paper Mama, makes prints for her customers. She uses floral accents and calligraphy to design beautiful invitations and cards.
If you’re doing a direct mailer, keep it simple. I know there’s pressure to make sure you’re getting your full message through, and that you spent a lot of money to do so, but resist the temptation to overcomplicate your postcard.
9. Google uses mail to reach the hard-to-reach.
Did you know Google uses direct mail postcards?
Google uses direct mail to reach local small business owners (bakers, tax offices, real estate firms, etc.) who might be too busy to pay attention to corporate emails.
As Chris Barr, director of marketing, puts it on LinkedIn, “Adwords is highly-addicting, competitive, and nearly impossible to shut down for fear of fewer leads, poor sales, loss of market share, etc. That's why Google deploys vast marketing efforts to drive new advertiser acquisition and retention. And the best way to do so, according to overwhelming data, is through direct mail. Google uses direct mail to deliver millions of marketing postcards to current and prospective advertisers each year.”
It’s interesting that Google made Gmail, the world’s largest email provider, and yet, relies heavily on direct mail for its Adwords marketing. One’s not better than the other; balance, that’s informed by your customer data, is the key.
10. Use a 3D printer to make your logo and mail it to your customer.
Digital agency Viget in Falls Church, Virginia used a 3D printer to make a Christmas ornament out of their logo as a gift for clients.
The ornament arrives in a well-designed box, lights up, and serves as a reminder that the creative firm builds hardware, not just software.
What could you build out of a 3D printer to mail to your customers?
We’ve been doing it since 2003. Learn more about our digital tools to create and send mail at Click2Mail.com, check out our Medium blog “Mail Nerds”, or give us a call at 866-665-2787.
Aug 01, 2017
It’s no secret that people love postcards. That’s why we’re reviving and refreshing our four-part postcard series with updated statistics that are relevant to both experienced mailing pros and novice beginners who are still trying to decide on a mailpiece format. As always, if you have any questions about this article or anything else Click2Mail-related, give us a call at 866-665-2787 or drop us a line at [email protected]
Why does everyone love postcards?
1. Most cost effective. Postcards are the least expensive way to send direct mail. Offering lower production costs and the least expensive first class postage on the rate chart, postcards cost less than letters or flyers. Postcard mailings are within reach of every marketing budget.
If you’re just dipping your toes in the water, we’ve got a product that’s perfect to get you started. We call it the Same-as-a-Stamp Postcard. It’s a 3.5” x 5” black and white postcard. Printing and postage for these cards are the exact same price as a first class postcard stamp!
If you’re looking for something larger or more colorful, we’ve got that, too.
2. Easiest to create. Because of their compact page size, postcards are the easiest mailpiece to design. You can use any design software you want or start with one of our preformatted templates. Online design tool Canva.com has an easy to use drag and drop interface that our Customer Support team loves to use when helping clients with their postcards. As long as you can pre-size your document workspace to match the dimensions and specifications of the postcard you’re sending and save that file as a PDF, it will upload without error to your Click2Mail account.
3. Fastest turnaround time. Not only are postcards easy to design, they're quick to print and mail. That means fast results: you can expect a jump in sales shortly after mailing. Postcard orders placed by 8 p.m. ET are mailed the next business day. (And you can schedule your postcard mailings up to 180 days in advance, too!)
4. Easiest to read. People love mail. According to the USPS, 98% of people check their mail every single day, and 54% of them describe the process as a “real pleasure”. People especially love postcards because they require minimal effort to mentally process. Without an envelope to open, postcards enjoy a 100% read rate. In fact, postcard reading has shown a 3.9% year over year increase according to the USPS Household Diary. As a result, postcards can generate a higher response rate compared to envelope mailings.
5. Superior retention. Postcards take up so little physical space, people tend to hang on to them. USPS studies find that mail recipients will carry mail from room to room, leaving it in places where it’s likely to be seen and used. Look around: you’ll find postcards on office walls or the refrigerator door in the break room. Whether it’s an event reminder or a promotional offer, one postcard delivers multiple impressions.
6. Great for testing. Thanks to their fast production time and low mailing costs, postcards are the vehicle of choice for testing mailing lists, markets and messaging. Results can be quickly and accurately measured. Keeping it nimble, based on those results, your follow-up mailings can improve response rates.
Stay tuned for the rest of this seried. In the meantime, if you have any questions, give us a call at 866-665-2787 or email [email protected]. We'd love to hear from you!
Jun 20, 2017
If you haven't yet tried Zapier's tools for making your everyday business software automatically generate a mailing on Click2Mail, take a look at what you could be doing ... and how much time and work you could be saving!
Idea #1: Mail with Google Sheets
If you use Google Sheets to manage sales leads or customers, this custom Zapier integration is for you. Simply adding a new row in the spreadsheet triggers Click2Mail to send your mailpiece to that new lead or customer. Without any extra effort on your part, you've jumpstarted the relationship with a personalized letter that makes the recipient feel valued.
Idea #2: Mail with Google Forms
If you use Google Forms to capture customer information, this Zapier integration can automatically submit to create letters and cards. It's simple. Create a Google Form and connect the responses (it's a Google sheet) to your document to create instantly personalized mailer. You can even insert merge fields in the middle of the document.
Idea #3: Mail with 123 Contact Form or WuFoo
If your website or marketing emails use one of these popular contact forms, this custom Zapier integration will make responding to the people who use them fast, foolproof and effortless. Whenever someone fills out and submits your form, Zapier triggers Click2Mail to send your mailpiece to that contact info. It could be a letter, a postcard, a product sheet — the choice is yours.
More in Store
These are just a few of the ready-to-use Zaps that we've set up for your convenience. And more will be added in the coming months. But there are literally hundreds of more apps that Zapier is compatible with, and you can easily add Click2Mail's postal mail function to most of them. Check them out here.
Right now Click2Mail is the only print-and-mail service on Zapier. So, while your competition is still spending hands-on time to generate their mailings, you're already done and have moved on to other tasks.
Set up your account on Zapier, and you're ready to go!
Get the Details
Jun 07, 2017
Susie Moon’s Jewelry with Spirit sells fine handcrafted jewelry at gem and jewelry shows in the Pacific Northwest.
To promote her appearance at each show, owner Susan Roberts sends postcards to customers in that show’s region. In addition to announcing where she will appear, she includes free admission to those shows that sell entry tickets.
Postcard mailings are always effective even though it is a painful, time consuming process. In the past, after designing each postcard and having it printed, Ms. Roberts would spend several more hours applying address labels, stamps and getting the cards into the mail.
That changed when an organizer of one of the shows told her about Click2Mail! Ever since following up on her colleague’s tip, Ms. Roberts has used Click2Mail’s convenient and efficient service for printing and mailing her postcards.
How working with Click2Mail helps
Saves time: It was taking four to five hours to get each mailing ready. As an artist, Ms. Roberts needs time to create. As a small business owner, she needs time for operational tasks. Click2Mail’s help has preserved more of her time for the jobs that only she can do, reducing the time it takes to complete a mailing to a half hour or less.
No minimums: Susie Moon’s is a small business and the number of customers targeted by each mailing is relatively low, determined by one geographic area. Ms. Roberts typically sends about 150-500 postcards in each mailing, not thousands like a larger business might. But with Click2Mail, she benefits from bulk pricing for both printing and mailing.
Prompt service: Thanks to Click2Mail’s next-day service, Ms. Roberts doesn’t have to plan each postcard weeks in advance.
The postcard project with Click2Mail
Ms. Roberts uses a double-sided layout for her Click2Mail postcards. She starts by composing the front of the postcard and saving it as a pdf document.
She creates a project in her Click2Mail account and uploads the pdf to that project. She also uploads the mailing list for the particular show she is promoting. Then, she uses the online editor to finish creating the postcard.
When she is ready, she checks and approves the pre-printing proof provided by Click2Mail. After she finalizes the project, her postcards are printed and in the mail the next business day!
Ms. Roberts doesn’t have a website at this time. You can find her at jewelry shows in WA and OR, including the International Gem & Jewelry Show at Seattle and the Gem Faire in Puyallup, Portland, Hillsboro and Eugene. She also participates in the Bellevue Rock Club, Puyallup Rock Club and Mt. Hood Rock Club shows, as well as the Prineville Rock Hound Pow Wow.
We’re proud to be Susie Moon’s direct mail partner and we’re proud of her success with postcards. Want to tell us your story? Email Carly at [email protected] to schedule an interview.
May 19, 2017
The Sioux Falls Quilters Guild has been bringing quilters together for over 30 years. In addition to monthly meetings, members stay in touch with a newsletter, The Patchworder .
The club knows it’s important to mail paper copies to members who prefer print, so it offers The Patchworder in both electronic and print formats. The editor – a volunteer – is responsible for creating and sending both versions. The physical task of printing and mailing the newsletter was taking time away from the more important task of composing an informative and enjoyable newsletter.
Click2Mail to the rescue! Working with Click2Mail has allowed the editor to focus on the content of the newsletter, rather than the mechanics of distribution.
How working with Click2Mail helps
Saves money: The Sioux Falls Quilters Guild spends less on printing and mailing with Click2Mail than they did on their own. This helps keep dues low, which makes it easier to attract and retain members.
Saves time: Click2Mail’s comprehensive service has freed up the editor’s time for creative tasks. Her total time commitment is also lower, which will make the position more attractive when it’s time to recruit a new volunteer editor.
Keeps it simple: Click2Mail is easy to use, which makes the whole newsletter project more enjoyable for the current editor, and will reduce intimidation for any new editor or assistant.
Keeps it prompt: Click2Mail prints The Patchworder immediately and gets it in the mail the next business day!
The Newsletter Project
Editor K. Jons collects stories, ideas and photographs from Guild members and composes the newsletter on Microsoft Publisher. Click2Mail’s templates provide guidance on making the document print-ready.
Jons logs into Click2Mail’s Mailing Online Pro, where she selects “Flyer 8.5 x 11” and uploads the pdf she exported from Publisher. Click2Mail standardizes her Excel mailing list, so she can easily see if any addresses fail to meet automation standards for mailing and postage discounts (because of inaccuracy or incompleteness).
Click2Mail provides a proof of the newsletter, which allows Ms. Jons to see how photos and layout will look in print. This helps her produce a polished publication. After she accepts the proof, the newsletter is printed and mailed the next day.
The club pays by automatic ACH transfer from its checking account. Ms. Jons says that not having to set up monthly financial transactions adds another level of ease for her as editor.
To learn more about how Click2Mail and EDDM can help your business, please contact our Click2Mail Customer Support team at 866-665-2787 or [email protected] Our customer support hours of operation are Monday - Friday, 9 AM - 8 PM Eastern.
May 15, 2017
Businesses of all sizes have embraced web-based applications in growing numbers for almost every business need. There are thousands of such applications providing CRM, business management, accounting, e-commerce and many other functions. Instead of paying large up-front acquisition costs, businesses pay low monthly fees. This makes these applications accessible to businesses that simply could not afford them in the past.
New integration platforms are springing up to connect these applications and automate their workflows without the need to hire developers. Zapier (http://www.zapier.com) can now integrate over 750 different applications with no up-front cost and no developers are needed. Though Zapier dominates this market, there are other competitors entering including Microsoft. This competition will increase the variety and number of applications that can be integrated and lead to new innovation.
How do these technologies create new mail? They can detect a user-specified event in one or more web applications and trigger postal mailings through a connection to a web-based mailing service like Click2Mail that supports that integration platform. For example, you can have Zapier trigger a “thank you” postcard, letter or note card after their first purchase is processed by an eCommerce system. Automated mail generation eliminates the labor associated with the mailing and can immediately improve the effectiveness of any time sensitive communications. It can make mail that was impractical in the past practical.
As Click2Mail’s “Event-Triggered Mail” volumes grow, it is amazing to see the variety of ways businesses are using it. Some larger businesses have utilized Click2Mail’s mailing API’s to generate certain types of mail automatically. “Machine-generated mail” is not new. What is new is that integration platforms like Zapier have democratized it so that even the smallest business can do this with off the shelf business software and without hiring developers. They can also trigger e-mail and other forms of electronic communication but many have discovered that postal mail has far more impact. Without the labor, hassle and delay often associated with smaller postal mailings, Event Triggered Mail is a terrific value.
May 08, 2017
When veterinarian Dr. Stan Carlin opened a new practice just for cats, he needed to get the word out to local residents and attract new clients. Dr. Carlin decided to include a mailing program to raise awareness about his Cats Only Veterinary Clinic in his advertising plan.
Dr. Carlin decided to use Every Door Direct Mail® (EDDM) after learning he could send his card to every resident in the ZIP Codes his practice would most likely serve. After shopping around, Dr. Carlin chose Click2Mail as the Every Door Direct Mail® (EDDM) service that was most economical and easy to use. He and his staff found the 6.5” x 9” postcard particularly cost-effective, and his project was quickly off the ground!
A Cats Only staff member created the mailpiece, chose the ZIP Codes and carrier routes most likely to reach prospective clients, and submitted their order using Click2Mail’s Mailing Online Pro. When the order was received, Click2Mail printed the cards and shipped them to the appropriate local post offices. The local post office delivered the cards to residents of the targeted area.
The cards asked recipients to send a text message to a specific number to receive the clinic’s price schedule. This enabled Cats Only to determine the response rate of the campaign (the number of pricing requests compared to the number of cards mailed). The Cats Only staff also asked new clients how they heard about the practice when they make an appointment. This allowed Cats Only to establish a conversion rate (the number of people made an appointment and referenced the mailing compared to the number of cards mailed). Both the response rate and the conversion rate were higher than expected.
Results: Using Click2Mail and Advertising via EDDM Benefitted the Cats Only Veterinary Clinic.
To learn more about how Click2Mail and EDDM can help your business, please contact our Click2Mail Customer Support team at 866-665-2787 or [email protected]. Our customer support hours of operation are Monday - Friday, 9 AM - 8 PM Eastern.
May 08, 2017
We are absolutely thrilled to announce that you can now use Zapier to automate and integrate mailing tasks on Click2Mail with your customer and lead management apps. Because you have better things to do with your time!
Imagine being able to:
• AUTOMATICALLY mail a product sheet to new sales leads
• AUTOMATICALLY mail a personalized welcome letter to new customers
• AUTOMATICALLY mail a thank-you card for PayPal payments
• AUTOMATICALLY mail a response to a contact form submission
The web app workflows you use every day — Google Sheets, Zoho CRM, Wufoo, 123 Contact and hundreds more — are now out of beta testing and seamlessly integrated with Click2Mail's postal mail function. Simply set up your account on Zapier, and you're ready to go!
Click here for all the details plus lots of ideas for using our custom integrated Zaps to save you time and effort on mailing chores.
Watch it in action:
Click here for our Zapier demo video, and see just how easy it can be.
Get a FREE one-on-one consultation:
Our expert will give you a personalized demo and set-up assistance, help you decide which tools will work best for you, and answer questions. Click here to request an appointment or give us a call at (1) 877-665-2787.
Don't see what you need?
Just give us a call. We think Zapier is one of the best ways to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of mailing programs we've seen in years, and want to make sure you feel the same.
Apr 21, 2017
Some people take big steps to ease their impact on the environment (like buying a hybrid vehicle); others take small ones (like recycling the soda can instead of throwing it in the trash). At Click2Mail.com, we’re fully on board with the “green” movement to be kinder to our environment. And you can be, too.
Steps Click2Mail has taken to make direct mail greener
1. We help you “green your list.” When you mail with Click2Mail.com Mailing Online, we standardize (free of charge!) your mailing list by validating all of the addresses with the USPS national Delivery Point Validation (DPV) database (sometimes called CASS Certification) and making adjustments where necessary;
That saves you money because we can mail your pieces using lower-cost presorted rates and because you can be more certain that the mail pieces you pay to print and mail will actually be delivered to the intended recipient. And it’s good for the environment, too, because it reduces the waste associated with sending mail to an undeliverable address.
2. Click2Mail’s products are recyclable. All of Click2Mail’s products are recyclable – even the UV-coated postcards (unlike plastic laminated ones).
Our products use recycled content paper. The quality and performance of our paper and printing is equal to that of virgin paper, but less strain is placed on global forest resources as paper recycling optimizes the use of a valuable material and reduces the amount of virgin pulp required.
We have printing centers across the country – for a smaller carbon footprint. When you order from Click2Mail, we use a sophisticated process to analyze and route your individual mail pieces to the printing center closest to the delivery address ZIP Code. That means your mail travels fewer miles (less transportation = less gas = less greenhouse gas emissions) and it arrives more quickly in your recipients’ mailboxes.
Additional steps you can take to “green” your mail
3. Personalize your message. Personalizing your message for each individual recipient (which is easy with Click2Mail) makes your mail dramatically more effective (estimates suggest that personalization can increase the return on your investment by 1500%). Plus, you’ll waste less (the fact is that your consumers and prospects like mail that is relevant to them).
4. Allow your mail recipients to opt-out. In e-mail marketing, allowing recipients to opt-out of receiving communications from you is required by the CAN-SPAM Act. Including opt-out provisions in direct mail isn’t the law, it is a best practice. Saves you time and money, most people who would opt-out of receiving your mail aren’t reading it (or acting on it) anyway.
Mail greener today with Click2Mail.com. Your kids and grandkids will thank you for it. So will your bottom line.
Mar 09, 2017
Creating a print mailer can be a big investment. Not only do you have to design the mailer, but have to pay for printing, possibly a mailing list and postage. You obviously want to create a mailer that the consumer will keep around for a while and not just toss in a trash can. Here are seven key ways to create an un-tossable mailer.
1. Know Your Target Audience The first thing you need to do is to determine who your target audience is.
For example, let’s say your target audience is between the ages of 20-24. Millennials, or those born in America between 1982 and 2000, outnumber baby boomers with 83.1 million compared to 75.4 million baby boomers. With such a large number of young people in the population, you might think that paper mailers would not be effective, especially if you are targeting millennials as part of your target audience. However, paper mail can actually be quite effective in this group. 84% of millennials spend the time it takes to thoroughly look through their mail and 64% of them prefer looking for info on paper mail instead of email.
Take the time to research your target audience and you’ll know not only if the paper mailer will be effective, but you’ll also understand the type of statements, colors, and tools that will attract those people to your business.
2. Keep It Simple Don’t try to include everything under the sun in one direct mail piece.
The consumer doesn’t need to know the history of your company to know they want to try out a product that solves a problem for them. Leave some white space on the page and include short, easy to read phrasing that can grab the reader’s interest at a glance. The goal is to get the message across to your reader before she tosses your mailer.
3. Add a Coupon Send a physical copy of a coupon out through the mail.
About 66% of millennials will use a coupon if they have a physical copy of the coupon in hand. This can bring new customers into your brick and mortar business. A coupon can target any type of need you want. You can offer a discount on any product or service. You can also offer a free consultation. The key is to make the coupon enticing enough that the consumer will want to become your customer.
4. Solve a Problem Think about what problem your product or service solves.
For example, if you run a solar panel company, you might start with a question such as:
Tired of high heating and cooling bills?
The high bills are the problem. You can then quickly present how your product solves this problem for the typical homeowner. If you can solve a problem, you stand a much better chance of reaching your reader.
SourceLink takes a look at a piece of direct mail advertising a home security system. This mailer presents the problem (those who would break into your house) and the solution (their security system).
5. Invest in Quality Paper
If you’re going to invest in direct mail pieces, spend a little extra to create a high-quality piece that will survive the rough treatment mail sometimes gets.
Print your mailer on glossy card stock instead of 20-pound paper, for example. If you had two ad copies side by side, and one was ripped a bit and cheap and one was pretty, glossy and heavy, which one would you be more likely to keep? If the customer sees your mailer as having value, it will be more un-tossable. Although it is sent directly via a magazine, IKEA’s direct mail piece of a tiny table that pops up when the magazine opens is an example of a high-quality piece of direct mail.
6. Create a Custom Offer Customize your mailer for the customer you are trying to reach out to.
This does require a bit more research and a more targeted mailing list but can make all the difference in whether the customer keeps your mailer or not. For example, you might purchase a list that shows the age of the home in a neighborhood and the owner’s name. You could then create a mailer that is addressed specifically to that person and that has the age of the house.
7. Share Current News.
One way to get consumers to hold onto your mailer is to offer information they’ll want to keep handy. For example, you could put local events for the coming months on the back side of your mailer.
One example of such a mailer can be seen on the Kopywriting Kourse website in the mailer for Realty Austin. On the front, they have some key information about the local real estate market and some homes for sales. On the back is a list of local events for February, March, and April.
Although there used to be more pieces of direct mail sent out, have you noticed that you get fewer pieces of advertising mail these days? Many people have turned to email marketing efforts. That means that a piece of direct mail has a better chance of being seen once the customer carries your mailer into his home. Direct mail is worth adding to your advertising efforts.
Lexie Lu is a freelance designer, writer, and marketing enthusiast. She constantly researches the latest marketing and design news and always has some coffee in arm’s reach. She owns Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner.
Mar 07, 2017
Click2Mail Webinar Schedule 2017
Introduction to Click2Mail -
Learn the basics of creating direct mail, newsletters and professional-looking correspondence with Click2Mail's turn-key system. Mail one - or thousands of mailpieces without leaving the comfort of your desk chair. We'll show you how the system works, where to find an assortment of ready-to-use templates and how to get started with your first mailing. Perfect for the first time mailer and a great refresher course for the seasoned professional. You'll learn how to save time and money and avoid non-essential trips to the Post Office.
Register now: Tuesday, March 28, 2017 | 3:00 - 3:30 pm EST
Mailing List Rentals
Get Your Money's Worth Using the Click2Mail List Wizard
Most direct mail experts agree that the mailing list is the most critical component of a direct mail campaign. Sending an entirely designed mailpiece to make the perfect offer to the wrong recipient, or sending any mailpiece to an undeliverable address is a waste of time, money, and environmental resources. A successful direct mail campaign requires a well-targeted and up-to-date mailing list. Learn about the different types of mailing lists we offer and how to determine which one is right for your campaign and order it online in just a few minutes.
Increase Advertising Effectiveness with Personalization
The days of the faceless customer are gone! Personalizing your letter or direct mailpiece with variable data is a proven way of increasing response rates. With the Click2Mail system, you can easily personalize every piece of direct mail you send out with a simple-to-use, online mail merge function. Learn how to make your marketing message matter! Also, if you mail invoices or other data-driven transactional documents, we'll show you how Click2Mail's mail merge function can make your monthly mailing tasks simpler and save you time and postage.
Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) Retail
Introduction to Click2EDDM.com - Use our new Click2EDDM.com website to create your order.
With Every Door Direct Mail from the US Postal Service, you can reach every home, every address, every time. This webinar will demonstrate the new Click2EDDM user interface for your one-stop EDDM solution. Learn how to select carrier routes with our online mapping tool, download a free template, and make changes with the online editor. Remember with EDDM you can mail to every home in your neighborhood without a mailing list at a low - low postage rate. Sign up for this free 30-minute session and get started mailing today!
Mar 02, 2017
There's a lot going on behind the scenes at Click2Mail, all with the aim of providing you with new options and services. You'll notice some changes right away, and some are coming soon.
New integrations. We are adding a variety of apps which will streamline your mailing activities. For example, a Zapier integration will connect multiple apps and automate tasks. These will officially launch at the end of this month.
Editor loads differently. This is the first step in new features that will be added in the very near future. For right now, the functionality is the same.
New products. A secure self-mailer will soon be added to your mailpiece choices. Great for mailing financial and legal documents, this format combines the protection of sensitive information with the affordability of a self-mailer (no envelope needed). Keep an eye on this site for details.
New notecard templates. Our recently introduced folded card is proving to be a hit, and our classic single-sided card is as popular as ever. These classy cards mailed in envelopes make a great impression whether you're sending them to business or personal contacts. Watch for new, professionally designed notecard templates that you can use to create an unforgettable mailing.
We are so excited about all the positive changes planned for 2017 at Click2Mail, we can hardly wait to share them with you! Be sure to check back often for more announcements and capabilities to make your 2017 mailings easier and better than ever.
Feb 02, 2017
Click2Mail’s celebrating Valentines Day by gifting you a FREE Folded or Single-Sided Notecard to send to a client, a friend, or a significant other--a little something to show them you care. Use it to send a Valentine Notecard to someone you LOVE doing business with. It’s easy, it’s memorable, and for a limited time, it’s FREE. *
Choose from 2 formats.
Create your own and use coupon code LOVEYA17 at checkout to try the folded notecard. (One coupon per account.)
Create your own and use coupon code GR81 at checkout to try the notecard. (One coupon per account.)
3 ways to get help. As always, we are dedicated to making the process as fast and easy as possible for you.
* Free card offer is limited to the first 4,000 orders. This special offer expires 2/9/17
Jan 19, 2017
This is the final installment of our four-part series on direct mail's most popular format, the postcard. We've covered why postcards work, how to design them, and how to track results. Now we'll give you the other side of the story.
When is it time to move to another format? There are several reasons why a postcard mailing may not be the best choice for you at this time.
• Needs repeat mailings. Postcards are most effective when prospective customers receive several of them over a period of time. You might not have the time or money to invest in an ongoing campaign.
• Message is too complicated. Short and sweet is what works in the limited space of a postcard. It's better suited for one-off promotions, or introducing your business to a new audience. If you're past that stage, you need a longer format which fully explains your product/service benefits.
• Won't close the sale. When mailing to new prospects, the postcard is your cold call. Don't expect that one vehicle to transport your leads all the way through the sales funnel.
• No incentives. Perhaps the most effective use of postcards is to announce a sale, discount coupon, introductory offer or other special deal that drives traffic to your store or website. If your business doesn't lend itself to this type of promotion, another format might be a better option.
Mix it up with a different format. Some businesses never use postcards for one or more of the reasons above. Others use a variety of vehicles depending on the message or marketing goal. Here are some alternatives that may work better for your circumstances.
• Flyer. Like a postcard, a flyer gets high readership because it's instantly readable — no need to be opened by the recipient. Plus, it offers much more space than a postcard to convey a multi-faceted message.
• Brochure. An essential tool for closing the sale, a brochure conveys quality along with the complete story of your business. In addition, you can have all or part your order bulk shipped to your office for use by your sales staff.
• Letter. For communicating with existing customers or following up with prospects after the initial contact, a letter lets you speak conversationally and at length. And it can be as easy to send as an email with our Email-to-Mail application.
If you have any questions about moving from postcards to a different format, please give us a call.
Jan 17, 2017
It’s Benjamin Franklin’s 310th birthday—and did you know that America's first national postmaster also created America's first volunteer fire department?
Arlington, VA -- January 17, 2017 – Like most volunteer fire departments, the Cherrydale Volunteer Fire Department in Arlington, VA, depends on local donations to provide support services to Arlington County Fire Department and keep facilities and equipment up to date as they receive no funding from the tax base. But Cherrydale has an additional challenge – the station, built in 1919, has been designated an historic landmark so a reliable flow of donations is essential.
For the 2016/2017 fundraising season, Cherrydale modernized its approach with the help of local experts at Click2Mail.com who agreed to volunteer their direct mail expertise to the cause of those who have served a community that includes The Pentagon for over a century. Cherrydale VFD paired personalized direct mail - a proven fundraising tool - with a modern-day twist -- Every Door Direct Mail and QR codes that can be scanned with a mobile phone to connect givers instantly to a donation page. Compelling mailpieces reminded the station’s entire neighborhood about all that Cherrydale VFD does in the community in addition, of course, to fighting fires and supporting career firefighters in the area. The response has been outstanding!
“We did less work, spent cents-per-letter, and got more responses,” says Bo Pryor, a long-time member of the station. “You load your letter into Click2Mail’s online system and everything is printed, processed, and mailed automatically. But most important, the new approach has grown our community of supporters and increased the amount of funds we've raised.”
"For the last decade, the CVFD has relied on its annual fundraising letter for the majority of its operating budget. They printed letters, stuffed envelopes, applied postage, and lugged boxes of letters to the Post Office," explains Lee Garvey, President of Click2Mail--"not the best use of a firefighter’s time." He added, “Benjamin Franklin might appreciate the collaboration, since not only was he was America's first postmaster, he also created America's first volunteer fire department."
Cherrydale Volunteer Fire Department is an important part of its community. It plans a number of annual events: a coat drive, a Santa visit, open house during Fire Safety Week in October, and general safety events. The station comprises members who are cross-trained as both firefighters and emergency medical technicians. Volunteers provide support to the career Arlington County Fire Departments with personnel, resources, and apparatus.
Click2Mail (C2M) is the nation’s most comprehensive digital-to-print mailing service -- a unique platform that has redefined the way organizations large and small create physical mail for business and marketing. Whether the need is to send a ten-page Certified letter with a Return Receipt, 500 simple postcards, or tens of thousands of direct mail flyers to targeted lists, C2M puts everything you need in a browser window - on any device. What that means for customers is: no printing, no postage meters, no permits, no subscription fees and, best of all, no trips to the post office. C2M, founded in 2003, has disrupted the traditional mailroom model to provide affordable cloud-based, just-in-time mailing services that would otherwise be difficult and costly. Now any size organization – large or small – can make sending postal mail as easy as email. For more information, visit www.click2mail.com or call our U.S.-based customer service team 866-665-2787, M-F, 9 a.m.- 8p.m. EST
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Jan 05, 2017
Updated postage rates, with discounts for all mail classes available on Click2Mail.com, including Standard Mail (nonprofit) and Priority Mail™ will be displayed on Click2Mail.com's product selector starting on January 22nd.
Jan 04, 2017
It's a time for evaluating the past and making new plans for the future. That includes developing your strategy and schedule for direct mailings throughout the year.
Like every other marketing channel, direct mail success is best achieved through repetition. One viewing of a TV ad, one email or one postcard, it's almost never enough to convert the sale. But after customers have seen your message several times, it's fixed in their minds and they're ready to take action.
Why use this channel? There are some good reasons besides simply being the most practical when broadcast's cost is too high and email's ROI is too low.
Stand out in the mailbox. For the reasons above, among many others, you may find that your competition in the direct mail arena is trending back up again. One great way to get noticed is with an oversized piece, such as a jumbo postcard.
Start your 2017 plan with our calendar. Click here to download a free PDF of the Click2Mail 2017 Calendar. In it, you'll find the major holidays for promotions, greetings, and reminders, as well as some fun ones to build a unique marketing message around.
The best is yet to come. Stay tuned for new products and services we'll be rolling out to make your direct mail marketing easier than ever in 2017!
Dec 27, 2016
If you have a product, service or special offer to promote, and you've decided that direct mail will be an effective way to send that message to your current and/or prospective customers, here's what to do next.
1. Define your customer. Things you should know about your customer include essential demographics (age, marital status, income group, etc.) as well as what motivates them to buy (price, quality, convenience, etc.).
2. Create, rent or buy a mailing list. Use the information in Step 1 to check that your mailing list is composed of high-quality prospects.
3. Determine mailpiece content. Refine your message until it precisely matches the needs and wants of your target customer. Your product/service and why it's the best on the market.
4. Design your mailpiece. In general, the KISS (keep it simple, stupid) strategy will work best. A short, in-their-face headline gets higher readership than a small, excessively wordy one. A single large photo grabs more attention than several small ones. If you're not confident in your design skills, Click2Mail offers easy-to-use templates as well as custom design services.
5. Analyze the results. Using the tracking device you chose in step 3, you can see exactly how successful your direct mail campaign was and calculate your return on investment. These numbers will guide you in creating an even more successful mailpiece next time.
Dec 12, 2016
This is the third of our four-part series on direct mail's most popular format, the postcard. In the previous articles, we covered why postcards work so well, and how to create the most effective postcard design. Now we'll talk about tracking your results and testing different variables to achieve maximum return on investment.
Tracking responses tells you what recipients are motivated by, who they are, and how they choose to respond — factors you'll use to make your next mailing even more effective. Here are some ideas for adding a tracking element to your postcard:
• Coupon code. Whether your offer is in-store or online, you can learn exactly who is responding to your postcard by giving it a unique coupon code that customers must use to redeem the coupon. Bed Bath & Beyond's coupon postcards also have the entire indicia/address area inside the dotted lines, giving them access to full customer information after the coupon is redeemed.
• QR code. Include a scannable code that takes customers to your website or mobile app. To get a QR code, Google "generate QR code" and take your pick of websites; most of them are free. And don't forget to give people an incentive to take out their mobile devices and scan.
• Landing page. Create a special landing page on your website that reflects the offer in the postcard. This is proven to get better response rates than simply directing recipients to the main home page and leaving them to hunt for the information; plus, you'll know they're responders to that particular postcard, not just random visitors. Once they're on your site, the back-end analytics can capture more information about them.
Testing different formats gives you the cold, hard facts about what works and what doesn't. Marketers call it split testing or A/B testing: you mail out two postcards that are identical in every way except for one element, and then you see which gets the best response. Elements you might want to test include:
• Messaging. Do customers prefer "50% off" or "buy 1 get 1 free"? What is their biggest motivator: pricing, product benefits or urgency? Does a personalized message have more impact? Which call-to-action works best: "buy now" or "learn more"?
• Design. Colors, images, fonts and layouts are all variables worth testing. Something as simple as replacing three small photos with one big one can make a significant difference in your results.
When you're looking at your numbers, it's important to differentiate between gross response (the total number of people who responded) and net response (AKA conversions: people who bought your product). You'll also want to know the quality of the leads acquired and the cost per acquisition when deciding whether to pursue any particular tactic.
Analytics like these take the guesswork out of creating a successful postcard campaign. If you have any questions about setting up a split test or incorporating a tracker in your Click2Mail postcard, please give us a call.
Nov 17, 2016
You spoke - we listened and we’re making a change to improve our non-color postcards. Starting Monday, November 21st, we will change the paper stock for all black and white postcards to uncoated stock. We believe this change will reduce the risk of postal damage and improve the appearance of your postcards when they arrive in mailboxes.
So, why now? Since launching our rating and reviews program earlier this year we have received over 450 comments and suggestions - thank you! Yet, despite much positive feedback, one frequent complaint has been smearing and rub marks on postcards - surface damage that is caused by the heat and friction of propulsion wheels on high-speed postal sorting equipment.
After extensive testing, Click2Mail determined that the coating typically applied to postcard paper to enhance its look and feel is likely to intensify the postal damage by melting and allowing the toner-based print on postcards to smear. In light of this finding we’ve decided to switch to an uncoated paper stock for black and white postcard products that we believe will help to lessen this type of damage. We’re continuing to research solutions for full color postcards and will keep you informed of our findings.
Please let us know if the change works. We have been truly humbled to see all the positive feedback and enthusiastic support in your reviews and comments and we encourage you to continue to share your thoughts and observations - we are listening.
Nov 03, 2016
There is hardly a better way to keep the spirit of Santa alive than with a beautifully illustrated card signed by St. Nick himself (and postmarked at the North Pole – really!) mailed to the young people (and young-at-heart) in your life.
6 Reasons You Should Remind Santa
1) The letters are beautifully illustrated. Choose from a variety of designs including a newly commissioned illustration by award-winning children's book illustrator John Steven Gurney.
2) Your message is customized. Your recipient will really feel like the letter is for him or her from Santa himself. Choose from several stationary designs and customize your message as much (or as little) as you’d like.
3) It’s postmarked at the North Pole. Really! All letters ordered between November 1st and December 10th are postmarked at the North Pole (Alaska)
4) The letter signed by Santa himself. Each Remind Santa letter contains a handwritten signature (Santa’s elves help him out on this one), a customized P.S., and a hand-addressed envelope.
5) It’s cheaper than a fruitcake. One letter is $6.99. Buy five for $30. And unlike fruitcake, recipients will keep this around for years to come.
6) Your order benefits a worthy cause. Click2Mail donates $1 from each letter to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Remind Santa is a fun way to celebrate the holiday and also give back to those in need. For other holiday mailing needs – like that annual family newsletter or picture postcard, check out Easy Letter Sender.
Oct 25, 2016
While there's no doubt that email marketing has its advantages - immediacy, reach, and affordability, but it also has significant drawbacks compared to direct mail. Check out the list below, and analyze whether your target audience is better contacted through the addition of direct mail than just the internet.
More competition for attention. The typical email inbox receives dozens, if not hundreds, of emails every day. The chances of yours getting noticed are much smaller with email than direct mail.
More often unseen. Your marketing email may very well go straight into the junk folder, and the recipient will never even have to decide whether to open it or not. Direct mailpieces, on the other hand, must be manually sorted through, guaranteeing you at least a glance.
More often unread: no time. If your email does reach the inbox, it's all too easy to delete without being opened. A mailpiece is frequently saved for when there's time to read it.
More often unread: no motivation. Another reason marketing emails aren't read is that your only tool for getting recipients to open them is the subject line. Even if you're the most brilliant subject line writer in the world, it still doesn't compare to a mailpiece's visual impact for instigating action.
Sent to the wrong person. Targeting a mailing list is basically the same process for both direct mail or email; and both will have the same percentage of inappropriate recipients. But a mailpiece is a physical presence in someone's home or office, thus more likely to get passed on to the right person than an email.
More easily blocked. Opting out of email from a particular sender is now just a click away. Although the Direct Marketing Association also offers a procedure for opting out of unsolicited commercial mail, comparatively few people bother with it. So your list can stay pretty much intact for as long as you want.
Too impersonal. Digitally printed direct mailpieces offer unlimited opportunities to customize and personalize for each recipient's name, location, interests, and so on. This is a proven strategy to increase response.
Too much. Because email is so easy to send, there's a tendency to flood recipients with multiple emails per week, even per day. This is often considered annoying and invasive. A well-planned direct mail campaign can keep your business top of mind without turning those minds against you.
Email and direct mail both have a place in your company's marketing strategy. Understanding the nature of your audience and your message will help you decide on the right mix.
Oct 05, 2016
Want to keep customers loyal through the holiday season? The time to start reactivating that relationship is right now.
Although customer loyalty marketing should be a year-round activity, it's especially important before your expected peak season, such as the 4th quarter holidays. Here are a few ideas for October promotions to get your name top of mind as we head into prime selling time.
Sports celebrations. October is the sports fan's dream month, with football, baseball, hockey and soccer all in action. Jump on your local team's bandwagon by offering a great deal or gift with purchase for every win, home run, touchdown, and so on.
National Awareness Month. Give customers an incentive to come in and learn more about your products and services.
National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Display the pink ribbon and announce that you'll donate a portion of your proceeds to the breast cancer research or support organization of your choice.
Oktoberfest. A timely theme for an open house or sale event. Of course, it's natural for businesses in the hospitality industry.
Boss's Day, October 16. Offer a special product, service or discount for any boss, or employees who want to do something nice for their boss.
Halloween, October 31. A spook-tacular tie-in for a wide range of tricks and treats. Or have your staff dress in costume and ask customers to vote for their favorite on social media — a great way to build your social media community.
Fall harvest. Rake in the sales with a promotion related to the fruits of the earth. Hand out a gift with purchase or reward the first 100 customers with something pumpkin flavored.
Sep 26, 2016
Gary Holman, Sr. Manager of Operations
Click2Mail customer since January 2015
McMurdo Group uses a proprietary software for customer management and invoicing that utilizes SATCOM invoicing. However, a significant number of customers, including some with international addresses, preferred to receive their invoices in the mail.
"We had to print out invoices for these customers," Gary says. "That meant folding, stuffing and addressing the envelopes - ugh!"
The First Solution
Gary discovered Click2Mail's Email-to-Mail™ service. "Actually, it was my boss who found Click2Mail and recommended I check it out," he laughs. His first move was to investigate ways to integrate this service with McMurdo Group's software.
McMurdo Group's software provider worked with Click2Mail to developed an email template that integrated with Email-to-Mail in the billing software they already had in place. Once the template was set up, it was a simple to way to use email to "mail" real invoices using the Email-to-Mail function.
This solution worked well for McMurdo Group, Gary says, with two caveats: "There were occasional problems with international addresses, and the invoices didn't need to be printed in color." (At the time Email-to-Mail didn't support a black-and-white printing option.)
An Even Better Solution
When Click2Mail introduced our beta product, MailJackPlus, (coming soon) we immediately let Gary know about it and asked if he'd like to be a beta customer. He's impressed that "they reached out to see if this option might work better for me. It does."
Gary created a MailJackPlus template that he loads once a month, "so setup is simple and mailing is easy." Click2Mail also provided him with online training in MailJackPlus to make sure the process would run smoothly.
Now, mailing monthly invoices is as simple as uploading one PDF file. Gary says, "It automatically parses my file into individual letters which are then printed and mailed - even the international addresses."
This Click2Mail customer is very pleased with the product and service we provided. "The follow-up and support have been exceptional," Gary says. "MailJackPlus has even saved our company money!"
Sep 14, 2016
Sep 01, 2016
Children are more accessible to marketers than ever, thanks to their increased participation in technology, entertainment and popular culture in general ... not to mention their growing influence on their parents' purchase decisions. Although kids today are more media savvy than previous generations, there are still concerns about their inexperience and inability to critically reflect on the information they receive.
The result has been a slew of government statutes as well as self-regulating guidelines among marketers themselves.
FTC: online privacy. The Federal Trade Commission oversees advertising practices in general, and has also addressed children's issues on a couple of fronts. The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) prohibits websites from collecting personal information about site visitors under the age of 13. If your website is aimed at these kids, or if it's aimed at a general audience but you know kids are seeing it, this regulation applies to you. In that case, you must provide parents with direct notice of your information practices and obtain their consent before collecting information from children.
FTC: food marketing. In response to the epidemic of childhood obesity, the FTC is intensively working with consumer advocates, academics, and the food industry to formulate marketing guidelines to children and adolescents. So far its role has been to support self-regulation, but we expect more governmental control in the future.
ICC: legal, decent and honest. The International Chamber of Commerce is a global watchdog for responsible marketing. It considers children a group that requires special care and diligence to avoid exploiting their vulnerability and credulity. Its guidelines include:
• Only products suitable for children should be marketed in media intended for them
• Advertising and marketing communications geared to children should be clearly identifiable as marketing
• Communications should not undermine positive behavior, social mores or parental judgment
DMA: suitability for children. The Direct Marketing Association's Guidelines for Ethical Business Practice include a section on marketing to children. Most of it involves the collection of personal information online (see the COPPA info above), since that's often where direct marketers get their mailing lists. It also makes these points, which should apply to every marketing medium including direct mail:
• Offers and the manner in which they are presented that are suitable for adults only should not be made to children
• Marketers should not entice a child to divulge personal information by the prospect of a prize or other offer
• Marketers should not make a child's access to a website or mobile content contingent on the collection of personal information
• Upon request from a parent, marketers should promptly provide the source and general nature of information maintained about a child and allow for removal or correction
We hope this brief overview and links to the sources will help you market to your young consumers responsibly and effectively. After all, getting their parents on your side will lead to a bigger payoff, both in the short and long term.
Aug 16, 2016
The fact is, familiarity has bred contempt among consumers. With such massive quantities of emails coming in every day, they now perceive it as having the lowest value of any communication channel.
Let's look at the comparison made by one large consumer survey*:
• Email gets 0.12% response
• Direct mail receives 4.6% response
Considering that a direct mail letter and a sales email take about the same amount of time to write and develop a mailing list for, that's a pretty significant difference in your return on investment.
Check out this statistic from another study of conversions from responders into customers:
• Email converted 24%
• Direct mail converted 34%
There are several reasons for this. The first is simply that a direct mailpiece is more likely to be seen by the recipient than an email. After all, it's a physical presence in his/her mailbox; the recipient must hold it and read it (at least in part) in order to decide what to do with it. An email can be made to disappear in one click without ever being opened, assuming it even gets past the spam filters.
Another reason is that direct mail has a higher perceived value. It conveys substance as well as emotion better than email does. And if the goods or services you're selling require some level of trust from the buyer, a classy direct mailpiece will give you a distinct advantage.
You may decide that a mix of direct mail and email is best for you. Here are a few factors to consider when planning your use of each channel:
• Stage in the sales funnel: direct mail is better for the prospecting stage, email for follow-ups to an already established relationship
• Lifetime value of the customer: email might have a lower initial ROI, but cost you more in long term gains
• Mailing list demographics: The millennial generation skews towards email, everyone else towards direct mail
One factor you don't have to worry about anymore is the relative complexity of sending real mail. You'll be glad to know that we make it as easy as email with our Email-to-Mail service. Check it out here: https://click2mail.com/email-to-mail.
Aug 07, 2016
One of our top frequently asked questions has to be: Can I schedule a job to mail on a specific date in the future?
The answer is, yes you can! Here's how.
1. Complete your order.
2. Once the job is in the shopping cart, click the date in the Date of Mailing column. A calendar will pop up, which lets you pick the day you want your job to mail, up to 120 days in advance.
Here are some other common questions we receive about scheduling jobs.
Do I have to pay for the scheduled mailing now?
Yes. If you decide later that you need to cancel the mailing, contact Customer Support PRIOR to the mail date. Your account will be refunded.
What if I need to change my mailing list on a scheduled mailing?
If you change any portion of an advanced scheduled mailing, including the list, that will change the order and it will need to be resubmitted. We recommend you work with Customer Support to make any changes.
What about EDDM orders?
EDDM is not a next day mailing product. However, you can schedule future mailings up to 30 days in advance using the Click2EDDM Anticipated In-Home Date scheduler. Keep in mind:
• The anticipated in-home date assumes USPS Priority Mail® of 3 days or less
• Allow 7-10 days for mailpiece production
Aug 01, 2016
Summer is winding down and you're probably already thinking about your marketing plans for the busy season ahead. But that's no reason to let your business slip out of sight ... especially when there are some juicy opportunities to generate sales this month.
Simplify Your Life Week, August 1st-7th. If you offer a product or service that makes people's lives easier, use this event to connect with your customers. Interior design/organizing services, restaurant coupons and personal finance consultations are just a few of the ideas that fit in perfectly.
In the spirit of Simplify Your Life Week, we've enhanced our Email-to-Mail service to add even more capability and convenience for you. Now, simply by sending an email, you can have us print and deliver:
• Letters in black & white or color
• Certified Mail with return receipt options
• Priority Mail with or without signature confirmation
Back to school. Vacation is over and kids (and their parents) are getting ready to go back to the grind. Major expenditures will be laid out on clothes, accessories, educational tools, electronics such as laptops, and dorm room furnishings. And not all of those purchases will be for the junior set. Ladies and gentlemen, how many of you are updating your fall wardrobes right now?
Pre-Labor Day. Make sure you're top of shoppers' minds when one of the year's biggest sales holidays arrives. Start advertising in the third or fourth week of August that you're moving out summer merchandise, from bathing suits to patio furniture. Big ticket items such as appliances and mattresses are popular buys. And savvy car shoppers are looking for deals on current year models before next years arrive in September.
Senior Citizens Day, August 21st. With all Baby Boomers — by far the largest segment of the U.S. population — now in the over-50 age group, there are huge marketing opportunities awaiting any business they patronize. You may already offer senior discounts year round, but how about a promotion to celebrate their own special day, increase traffic and build loyalty?
And remember, most people in this demographic don't use email or social media much, if at all. Direct mail is definitely the better way to reach them.
August doesn't have to be the dog days of your marketing calendar. A timely promotion that answers customers' current needs can keep sales ticking along while you gear up for the 4th quarter.
Jul 25, 2016
We’re excited to introduce you to our newest Email-to-Mail enhancements — making mail even easier.
Use your email application to send printed copies of digital documents via US Mail email attachments, automatically printed and mailed the next business day, through the US Postal Service, for just pennies more than the price of postage alone.
• Current Quickletter users: Letters now default to a black & white letter - that's about an $0.80 savings per letter!
• Approved senders: Allow multiple email addresses to use your account.
• Multiple Mailboxes: Set up as many combinations of product options as you need—each in its own uniquely named Mailbox. Choose color vs black and white, paper colors and weights, First-Class vs Priority vs Certified, and so on—then email your document to the Mailbox that applies.
• Confirm your orders: Optionally proof new mailbox mailings before you commit.
• Email-to-Mail will no longer support mailing to a mailing list. But we do have some new options that we think you'll find even easier to use.
Find out more by joining us online for a live demo and Q&A session:
• Google Hangout: Tuesday, July 26, 2016, 2:00 EST
• Google Hangout: Wednesday, July 27, 2016, 11:00 EST
Jul 01, 2016
'Tis the season ... to think about the holidays! Smart marketers start preparing now, so they'll be positioned to take maximum advantage of the biggest profit-making time of the year.
Stay top of mind with your customers. You want your business to be a familiar face among the multitude that will be competing for customers' attention in the 4th quarter. How do you build that valuable recognition? With regular mailings all year round, even if it's a simple "thank you for your business." (Our cost-effective postcards are perfect for that.)
Integrate your direct mail with social media. This is another excellent way to stay top of mind with customers. Obviously, most of them aren't holiday shopping in July, but getting into their news feed now means that when the holidays roll around they'll already be comfortable with receiving messages from you. Include your social media addresses and hashtags in your mailpieces (if you don't already); maybe offer an incentive for customers to visit, like, share, comment, etc.
Test your creative. You'll spend the majority of your annual marketing budget during the holidays. Don't risk it on new designs and messaging that haven't been proven to perform well. The time to test is now, with a smaller spend and less at stake. (Check out this article on split testing.) Once the winning formats are determined, it's easy to sub in holiday images and keywords.
Develop your campaign strategy. Before the holiday frenzy ramps up, have your media allocations in place ... and vow to stick to them. Analyze what performed well last Q4 and what's working right now. With this knowledge supporting your strategy, you'll be less likely to make unplanned buys in reaction to market events or competitor activity.
Plan your promotions. People expect to get discounts during the holidays. It can be tough for small businesses to compete with national chains on the basis of price, but you may be able to offer things the big boys can't. Start testing a few different ideas now, so you'll know which will get the best response in November and December. Some promotions that have worked for small businesses:
• Unique and/or customized products and services
• Referral bonus (i.e. bring in a friend, get 50% off)
• Targeting niche markets
• Loss leader
• Gift with purchase
• Frequent shopper program
The holidays can make or break your entire year. Start laying the foundations now, and you'll be ready to have a very merry season.
Jun 19, 2016
If your sales are in the doldrums, chances are it's because your marketing is, too. Tactics that were initially successful are now just giving your target customers the familiarity that breeds contempt (or at best, boredom).
It's time to shake things up! Generate a surge in customer attention — and sales —with something different. And deliver your new message through the medium with an unbeatable history of fast results: direct mail. Here are 5 proven successful ideas to get your creative juices flowing.
1. Price-driven promotions. Nothing gets people in the door like sales, clearances, discounts, BOGOs, coupons, rebates and similar money saving deals. Just seeing the words on your mailpiece will stimulate renewed interest from existing customers and attract new customers.
2. Add-on products or services. When customers buy something from you, follow up with a mailpiece offering related items they might be interested in. A common example of this is an extended warranty or service contract on electronics purchases.
3. Publicity events. Ideal for opening a new business or location, launching a new product, or simply reminding people that you're there, a party is a fantastic way to get yourself known to the entire neighborhood. Advertise your event comprehensively and cost-effectively with EDDM, which will deliver your invitation to every postal address in your area.
4. A different look. If you always mail postcards, surprise recipients with a sales letter or self-mailer. Or if you know that postcards are the best format for your message and budget, try our Printers Choice postcards which add a jolt of color without the expense of 4-color printing.
5. Widen your prospecting pool. You may have fished the same mailing list so often that it's gone dry. If so, biting the bullet and buying a new list may be your best way out of a sales slump. Or you could extend the scope of your EDDM mailing into a new zip code. Another source of new addresses is your website: invite site visitors to request your materials (brochure, catalog, price list, white paper, etc.) and when they do, capture their information.
Refreshing your direct marketing doesn't have to cost you a huge amount of money or time. Most of the tweaks we've mentioned require only a small change in what you're already spending or doing ... but they can deliver a big payoff in sales.
Jun 13, 2016
We continue our series on how to make Click2Mail work better and faster for you with a quick tutorial on duplicating a previous job. Instead of starting a new job from scratch, you can save time and effort by:
• Sending the duplicate to a new list
• Updating the duplicate with new text
This works with any completed job (but not cancelled jobs). Here's what you do.
1. Log in. Then click "My Account" in the upper right-hand corner.
2. Find the job you want to duplicate. You can search for it by document name, list name or job number.
3. Duplicate the job. To do this, click the "Action" menu under "Job Status" and select "Duplicate Job."
4. Assign the duplicate to a project. You can either choose an existing project in your account or create a new one. Then click "Continue."
5. Make changes to the duplicate. If you need to update the document's content, return address, mailing list or job options, do so now by clicking the "Edit", "New" or "Change" buttons. When everything is the way you want it, click "Continue."
6. Approve the proof. Click the hyperlink to open a PDF of your artwork. If you're satisfied, click "Yes" to approve. If you're not, click "No" and repeat step 5 to make corrections.
7. Proceed to checkout. Enter your name and initials, then click "Add to Shopping Cart." You will then go through the normal checkout process.
And you're done!
Jun 01, 2016
This month we'd like to talk about an even more fundamental question: why advertise at all? Especially if you're a small business, you may think the possible rewards aren't worth the risk of spending limited resources.
The fact is, advertising can bring you a very nice, and reasonably safe, return on your investment, no matter how big or small your company is. Here's why.
You can dictate what is said about you and when. Unlike word-of-mouth, an ad says exactly, and only, what you want it to say: why customers should buy from you instead of your competitor. If you are holding a sale, product launch or other special events, an ad will get people in your door at the right time.
You can spend money only on genuine prospects. Selectively putting your ad in front of the right audience ensures optimum response rates. Direct mail is one of the best mediums for doing this because you have total control over the mailing list (unlike Google AdWords, which can cost you in unqualified prospects no matter how carefully you manage your keyword selection).
You can look more legit. Ironically, people think a business that advertises is more credible than one that doesn't, even though they may take the ad itself with a grain of salt. Maximize your message's effectiveness by keeping it real and believable, and you'll build your reputation as well as your customer base.
You can stay ahead of your competition. This is especially necessary if they're advertising and you're not. Keep an eye on what they're doing and be ready to respond with an ad that goes them one better. We're not saying you have to start a price war; your point of superiority could be product quality, customer service, a gift with purchase, etc.
You can boost the impact of your unpaid marketing efforts. For obvious reasons, small businesses often rely on free/cheap attention-getters such as blogs, Facebook pages, press releases and YouTube videos. Even a small spend on direct mail advertising can hugely increase the traffic to these endeavors, which in turn will lead to more shares, referrals, and conversions.
The Small Business Administration states that an entrepreneur's advertising budget should be 5% of gross sales. By strategically allocating this budget to your defined market, you can expect to receive significantly more than you give.
May 08, 2016
Content marketing is adding text (content) to your website that will help generate sales and/or leads. Here are a few FAQs on the whys and hows of synergizing content with direct mail.
Q: What's the difference between marketing content and plain content?
Plain content is simply information about your company and its products. Marketing content seeks to engage the visitor, create a loyal following and motivate prospects to take action.
Q: What are some ways of content marketing?
Keep people interested, informed and on site with:
• A blog (like the one you're reading now)
• How-to articles, tips and/or videos related to your products
• Stories about the company's history, mission or community service
• Public participation through contests, hashtag campaigns, and invitations to post photos/comments
Q: What does this have to do with direct mail?
When the mailpiece's call-to-action directs prospects to your website, you can:
• Increase both the quantity and quality of the leads obtained
• Capture more information about those leads for future marketing efforts
• Bring them into your store and online
Q: Won't sending mail recipients to the website delay or decrease response?
Prospects who don't need any further convincing can go ahead and call or email you immediately. For those still on the fence, the site's content allows them to self-select (saving you the time and effort): either they'll decide to do business with you, or that you are not suited to their needs.
Q: Why should direct mail recipients bother going to the website?
Many people will research your site as part of their due diligence whether you ask them to or not. But you can also offer some incentives, such as:
• A landing page or URL created for the direct mail campaign
• A reward for "signing up" (i.e. giving you their information)
• Additional content tailored for the campaign or individual recipient
When all channels of your marketing strategy are integrated, each one extends the impact of the others, giving you a better return on your investment. And that's the best reason of all to get your direct mail and online content working together.
May 01, 2016
You are now entering the family fun zone! And with a summer full of celebrations and vacations on the horizon, we're offering a 15% discount on postcard mailings* to help your business get in on the action.
Events of a lifetime. Graduations, weddings, proms and anniversaries will be commemorated with parties and gifts. Jewelry and clothing boutiques, hotels, event planners and even car dealers can tap a rich market of happy celebrators.
National holidays. Honor our country's heroes with an event centered on VE Day (May 8), Armed Forces Day (May 21), Memorial Day (May 30) or John F. Kennedy's birthday (May 29). Mexico's Cinco de Mayo (May 5) gives many Americans an excuse to join their neighbors to the south in a fiesta fabulosa.
Family vacation. Everyone's looking for ways and places to have fun this summer. Any business related to travel and entertainment should reach out to these potential customers ... who will also need apparel, luggage, etc. Don't forget the staycationers: everything from grills to swimming pools will hit their sweet spot right now.
Children's activities. Summer camp, play programs, bible school and sports clinics are being researched and booked in May. So your sales literature had better be in parents' hands ASAP. Plus, every kid will need active wear and sporting equipment whether they're going away or playing in the backyard.
15% off your next order, 1 weeks only! May is the start of prime sales time for many of our Click2Mail customers, and we're delighted to give you an extra edge with a 15% discount on your production cost. This offer is good for postcard orders (excluding EDDM), may be used one time per account, and is effective May 1 through May 7, 2016. To receive the discount, use coupon code MAY16 during checkout.
*This special offer does not include EDDM products.
Apr 23, 2016
You asked for it, and we listened! Now you have the option of using real, live postage stamps, instead of an indicia imprint, on the mailpieces we produce and mail for you.
Why use traditional stick-on stamps?
The plain and simple answer is that some types of mailings make be taken more seriously and generate higher response rates. These mailings include, but are certainly not limited to:
• Fundraisers and non-profits
• Official legal or business documents
• Person-to-person (or customized to seem personal) mail
What it costs.
Since it does cost more to choose this option, each business should research and test carefully before making a decision. These costs are:
• Full postage rate; our usual discounts do not apply
• Handling fee of $.07 per piece for applying the stamps
What products it's available for.
To begin with, we're offering the live stamp option on two mailpiece formats:
• All 4.25x5" postcards except picture postcards
• All 8.5x11" letters in a #10 envelope
Apr 12, 2016
Apr 06, 2016
Our focus this year is on making our website's user experience faster, simple and easier ... and it's all thanks to you. Many thanks for your great suggestions, which have been passed on to our engineering team to investigate and, if possible, implement. Here's one that's happening this month.
NEW! Save your credit card info in your Click2Mail account. You asked for a faster checkout, and now it's here: you no longer have to re-enter your credit card number every time you make a payment. Our new option lets you register it once, and it will automatically be filled in during the payment step of your online checkout.
This new convenience is a result of a partnership between Click2Mail and Authorize.net, using the most secure methods and technologies available to protect your information. Our first concern is that you be able to purchase from our websites with both ease and confidence.
The choice is still — and always — yours. We want you to know that this is only an option, not a requirement. You can save credit card information to your account or continue to check out as before. You can change your mind whether you want in or out at any time, and you can change or update your credit card information whenever you like.
Mar 31, 2016
To remain effective in an ever-changing marketplace, your marketing strategy needs to be regularly analyzed and updated. April is a good month to do that, especially if your busy season is the summer.
If you are experiencing diminishing returns from your direct mail, you need to find out why ASAP. Here are some of the more common reasons we've seen.
Non-existent marketing plan. The business sends out a mailpiece whenever someone happens to have an idea for one. It might even get lucky and be successful now and then, but because it's based on a short-term tactic rather than a long-term strategy, this business is more likely to win the battle but lose the war.
Marketing plan not followed. As in the previous reason, someone had an idea or reacted to a specific situation and went off on a tangent. Result: confused customers and damaged brand identity. This business forgot that the marketing plan had been determined as offering the best chance for long-term success. If this action was based on perceived failure of the marketing plan, then it's time to change the plan, not abandon it.
Changed market and/or business. The company has not taken into account that customer wants and needs, as well as the product and service it's delivering, are no longer accurately represented by its old marketing materials. This business needs to analyze response data and get input from its sales and customer service teams to find out what should be updated going forward.
Copycat strategy. The business has simply imitated a successful strategy run by the competition. But if customers can't even tell the two apart, why would they switch? They need a differentiator, why one is better than the other: unique product features, faster delivery, friendlier service, longer warranty or whatever. Otherwise, that business will find itself having to compete on the basis of lowest price.
Each business is unique and will have its own route to an updated, optimally effective marketing plan. Modifications could range from a revised mailing list to a new visual design. If you would like our expert opinion on any aspect of your direct mail marketing, please don't hesitate to call.
Mar 30, 2016
Want your mailpieces delivered even faster ... guaranteed? Click2Mail is proud to announce that we now offer the U.S. Postal Service's fastest service, and the only one with a money back guarantee.
Yes, there's a significant difference in postage rates between Priority Mail Plus®and Priority Mail Express®. But if you have documents to send that are critically time sensitive, or you want to deliver maximum impact with your marketing mailpiece, Priority Mail Express is the way to go.
Not sure which service you need? Let's look at the differences.
|Priority Mail Plus®||Priority Mail Express®|
|Delivery Schedule||1-3 business days||1-3 business days|
|Guaranteed on-time delivery||No||Yes|
|Signature confirmation||Add for fee||Add for no cost|
|Carrier insurance||Up to $100 domestic||Up to $100 domestic|
|Forwarding and return||Yes (no cost)||Yes (no cost)|
Note that with Priority Mail Plus, the USPS says it will usually deliver your mail within the specified time. But with Priority Mail Express, delivery is guaranteed. If the post office fails to make that delivery date, you can get a refund on your postage fees.
When speed is the top priority, either of these two options is a good choice, depending on the nature of what you're mailing. When security is the first concern, we recommend that you send your document by Certified Mail®.
And all these classes of mail look impressive on arrival, which means they're much more likely to be seen and opened by the recipient.
Mar 28, 2016
Social media marketing is the new wonder kid on the block. But one of the best ways to maximize its effectiveness is to use an old faithful: Direct Mail. Here are some ways to get them playing well together.
Mailpiece to gain followers. The purpose of this piece is to get recipients to visit your social media pages (FaceBook, Twitter, etc.), and then hopefully share them with their own networks of friends. In this way you can extend your reach far beyond the mailing list.
• Offer an incentive for likes and shares on your social pages.
• Promote a Twitter hashtag for your business or marketing campaign.
• Invite comments or photo submissions.
Mailpiece to reward followers. This is where you capitalize on all the new sales leads you've acquired through social media. Given Click2Mail's practically endless variable data capabilities, it's easier than ever to use consumer information captured online to precision-target each individual (something social media marketing can't do).
• Tell a friend, get a discount.
• Preferred customer sale.
• Loyalty reward program.
Social media follow-up. Once direct mail has expanded your audience, keep them coming back with frequent posts and tweets. A constantly evolving presence is the secret to online marketing success.
• Announce new products or daily specials.
• Solicit conversations about current events.
• Share expert knowledge.
When social media and direct mail marketing work together, the results can be incredible. If you'd like help designing your integrated campaign, talk to us. We're here for you!
Mar 13, 2016
No matter how current your mailing list is, you're bound to get at least a few mailpieces returned by the U.S. Post Office at some time as undeliverable and unforwardable. These tips can help you understand what happened.
Q: What's that yellow sticker on my returned mail?
A: They call it a "nixie" label (derived from the slang word "nix," meaning "nothing"). It shows why the USPS has returned that mailpiece to you.
Q: How can I read the nixie label?
A: Click here for a diagram of what all those codes mean.
Q: Do I have to have return address on my mailpiece?
A: Yes. Click2Mail prints a postage permit indicia (the square in the upper right corner of the address area) on your mailpieces instead of a glued-on stamp, and the USPS requires all such mail to display a return address.
Q: Why is it important to use a "mailable" return address?
A: So the USPS will know where to return your undeliverable mail. Otherwise, it would go to a Mail Recovery Center (formerly known as the Dead Letter Office), and you would never know that that mail was not delivered. Thus, you would have no opportunity to update your mailing list and reduce postage waste.
Q: What else can I do to assess the effectiveness of my mail delivery?
A: You can "seed" your mailing — something that all direct mailers should do. Seeding means to add your own name, or those of trusted friends and/or associates, to your mailing list.
Q: What can I learn from seeding?
• Track delivery times
• Track quality
• Look for areas to improve
• Evaluate visibility
• Increase protection for rented mailing lists
Click2Mail is proud of its excellent, long-standing relationship with the U.S. Postal Service, and we're always happy to share our "insider" knowledge with our customers. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our mail specialists for expert advice.
Mar 01, 2016
The weatherman says that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb, but we say that you can keep sales roaring all month long with direct mail. Here are some smart marketing bandwagons to jump on in March.
Goodbye to Winter. Offer can't-miss discounts on your soon-to-be-out-of-season merchandise, from coats to snow shovels. Make room for arriving 2016 models by moving out last year's; computer monitors, for example.
Hello to Spring. Be the early bird that gets the shopping worm for warm weather supplies. Grills, air conditioners, garden tools and golf clubs are just a few of the possibilities.
St. Patrick's Day. Judging from previous years' track record, there's no limit to the type of business that can cash in on a "feeling lucky" promotion.
Easter. This year it falls on March 27, so expect the preceding few weeks to be busy for candy, gifts, go-to-church apparel and celebration foodstuffs. Restaurants and bakeries can tie in with special holiday creations.
Sports mania. The college basketball season concludes with "March Madness" playoffs. Major league baseball teams televise pre-season exhibition games. The Summer Olympics are on the horizon. And fans are itching to get their spectating ducks in a row.
Wedding and prom planning. For these popular May and June events, arrangements must be made as early as February or March. So party services — caterers, photographers, florists, musicians, venues, etc. — should promote themselves now.
Vacation planning. Remind customers that travel during the summer season should be scheduled ASAP to get their preferred dates. This is also the month for great deals on travel-related merchandise such as luggage.
If none of these events seem relevant to your business, simply have a Spring Fling! People are in the mood to lighten up and enjoy life ... in other words, to buy. Make sure you get your fair share with a timely March mailing.
Feb 22, 2016
Hands-on printing, folding and mailing of marketing and transactional mailings is so over. Now you can pretty much automate the entire process, and save countless hours of tedious labor. And of course, Click2Mail is leading the way into the future with a variety of automation APIs, some already available to Click2Mail's Mailing Online Pro users and more in the pipeline.
APIs are secure interfaces that you can add to your existing website or program to automate your mail-related activities: creating, updating, searching and deleting records, setting mailpiece production schedules and more. This first article in the series will cover the APIs you can get from Click2Mail today.
We'll help you choose the one that's most compatible with your programming style and platform. All three offer advanced features such as IMb (Intelligent Mail Barcode) tracking, automatic CASS (Coding Accuracy Support System) and NCOA (National Change of Address) address cleansing, and postage discounts on qualifying addresses. Account setup and integration support is FREE!
REST API and SOAP API lets you customize your program and integrate it with the Click2Mail system. It works across different platforms, so it doesn't matter whether your system uses Linux, Windows or whatever.
Easily integrates postal mail functionality into the mobile, web and mailroom applications you already use. No need to reinvent the wheel; just add a little more grease!
Batch XML offers all the functionality of REST and SOAP but also streamlines multiple projects. Group all of your mailings and print products and send them to us as one API call, instead of sending the files one at a time.
At Click2Mail we're working on even more new services, enhancements and automation tools, all designed specifically to make your business mailings more time- and cost-efficient. Watch this column for the new releases!
Feb 07, 2016
More than a year ago, we introduced Mailing Online Pro as a greatly enhanced alternative to our original MOL Classic. By now, we've added all of our products to Pro and our customers have migrated their accounts. It seems the perfect time to thank you for your patience while the transition was in progress.
From the feedback we've received, you are enjoying MOL Pro's added features and convenience. It's great to know that we've made your direct mail marketing even easier and more productive!
If you haven't yet made the move, take a look at this comparison between Classic and Pro. We think you'll be impressed at how much more Pro has to offer. And remember, whichever Click2Mail account you choose, it's always free, with no subscription fees. Our service is totally pay as you go. So what are you waiting for?
Switching from Classic to Pro can be done in just two easy steps:
1. Reload your Classic documents in Pro. (If for one reason or another you can't reload your documents, don't despair: we can almost always extract a usable file from our system. Give us a call and we'll take care of everything.)
2. Transfer your mailing lists with a couple of clicks.
For more detailed instructions on transferring your account, click here. And as always, if you have any questions or concerns, just pick up the phone. We truly want to hear from you and help make your experience as painless as possible.
We will be celebrating our 12th year in business in 2016. And we couldn't have done it without you. We look forward to providing even more improvements and doing even greater things together with you in the future.
Feb 01, 2016
Love is in the air! Take advantage by taking your customer relationships to the next level (or getting them back on track). Check out these red hot tips for making your customers love you:
Create an emotional connection. Break through their same-old-same-old fatigue with a new way of contacting them. If you normally send eblasts, try direct mail instead. Even — or perhaps especially — in today's digital world, a postcard, coupon or letter makes them feel more valued.
Demonstrate that you have the same or similar values. if they are health nuts, show them your company has the same goal keeping the healthy)
Create lasting value. Send a "keeper" mailpiece that will remind them of you every time they look at it. It could be beautiful artwork, an insightful message or something with long-term usefulness, like a calendar, tip sheet or recipe.
Show you appreciate their loyalty. You want them to love you? Let them know you love them! Reward them with an exclusive discount or offer, or just say a heartfelt thank you.
Every good relationship needs a little mystery. Keep customers guessing — and interested — by sending them a series of postcards that when put together reveal a secret message or savings opportunity.
Feature them in a promotional piece. Invite customers to share a success story or positive experience they've had with your business. People love to see themselves in print; and the customer testimonial is one of the most reliably effective marketing strategies of all time. Win-win!
Jan 29, 2016
12 Steps to Direct Mail Success – Step 6: Lay Out and Design Your Mailer
The copy and graphics on your mailer are what allow you – through that piece of paper – to create an emotional connection with your prospect. Create that emotional connection, and you’re exponentially more likely to make the sale. In Step 5 (Write good copy) you did that with text, now how to do it with design? These 7 tips will get you on your way.
7 tips for effective layout and design
1. Ask, “Would I put this on my refrigerator?” We can probably all recall a few mail pieces we’ve received that have stood out enough to put on the fridge – maybe they were particularly witty, or the art was especially appealing.
Certainly your mail piece doesn’t have to be “fridge-worthy” to be successful. And while the fridge test is a quick and easy way to determine how attention-getting and memorable your mailer is, it doesn’t guarantee a high response. But as Natalie Engler wrote in the magazine Deliver, “if you manage to make that great art relevant to your message, the place for your mailer just might be on someone’s office wall.”
2. Use eye-catching, relevant graphics to get your message across in an instant. A direct mail piece is kind of like a billboard in that it must grab your prospect’s attention right away. It’s unlike a billboard in that, if you can catch your prospect’s attention, you can take some time to explain the benefits of your product or service.
Postcards are typically thought to be the easiest attention-getters, because your entire message (graphics and all) is visible. With Click2Mail’s Easy Letter Sender you can take advantage of the benefits of a letter (including more room to explain your message in text) and have a visible image to grab recipients’ attention. (Our self-mailer flyers do the same.)
3. Whatever mail format you choose, pay attention to everything that is visible. If you’re mailing a postcard, pay attention to the design and layout of the “back” side (where the address is) too. In fact, the back is the first side that most recipients will see (since mail typically arrives address-side up). The images and text on the back side, then, should entice recipients to turn the card over and check out the rest of your message.
4. With every design element you add, think “What’s the point?” No matter the format of your mail piece, every inch of space should be designed purposefully (even if it’s white space). “Gilding the lily is one of the pitfalls of direct mail,” said creative director Steve Goebel in Deliver. “If you focus too much on the art and not enough on the call to action, you’re just making art for art’s sake.” Instead, ensure that all of your design elements work to accomplish the goal you’ve set out for your mailer.
5. Be consistent. Your direct mail is an extension of your brand. So the fonts, colors, and images you use to design your mail piece should be consistent with the fonts, colors, and images you use elsewhere – in your store or office, on your product packaging, on your website, on your business card and stationery.
6. Use white space. Designing your mail piece purposefully doesn’t mean covering every inch with text, images, or color. In fact, white space should be an important element of every mail piece, no matter the size or format. White space makes the graphic elements, colors, and text you do include more powerful.
As Inspired Mag put it, “White spaces play an absolute role in determining the hierarchical significance of various sections of content on a particular page. In many ways, white spaces direct how and upon what terms we ‘read’ a particular design artifact.”
7. Choose color wisely. Colors create emotional responses, even when we’re not aware of it. While the colors you use in your mail piece should be consistent with your brand’s, think about the emotional response they will generate before you decide to include them. For example, red symbolizes energy, passion, excitement, and power; it can also imply aggression and danger. Yellow conveys wisdom, joy, brightness, happiness, and light. Blue represents wisdom, confidence, loyalty and trustworthiness; it can also imply sadness and depression.
No pressure but the design of your direct mail piece can have an enormous impact on the results you get from it. One non-profit organization increased its response rate by 73% by simply switching from a black envelope to a white one, according to Steve Cuno in Deliver.
That said, you don’t have to be perfect on your first try (read our article on how Click2Mail makes testing your direct mail easy).
Jan 24, 2016
Click2Mail offers two ways to have your printing delivered: mailed individually to your customers or boxed up and shipped directly to you. Today we're going to talk about the print and ship option and how it can add new and profitable dimensions to your marketing plan.
Double-duty pieces. Just about anything you can mail would also work as take-ones, hand-outs, leave-behinds or request-responders ... just what your sales force always wants more of. And the most cost-effective way to produce these collateral pieces is to simply print extras of your mailpiece with the address area left blank. You avoid separate press set-up charges, and Click2Mail ships these extras to your office by Priority Mail for FREE.
Stand-alone pieces. Despite our name, what we print for you doesn't HAVE to be mailed at all. We can also print and ship menus, club cards, in-store flyers and other point-of-purchase collateral pieces. Once your design is set up, it can be saved for future use; so whenever you need to update prices or images, it can be done in just a couple of clicks.
Imagine the possibilities:
• Folded cardstock (ideal for menus)
Leave the designing to us. Of course, you can always create and upload your own design. Or you can take the easy way and start with one of our FREE templates, which eliminates all the tedious formatting work. If you don't see exactly what you want, our design services can work with you to come up with a unique and effective marketing piece.
Coupon special offer: try it now and save! There will never be a better time to give print and ship products a try. Starting January 25 through January 29, 2016, we're offering a 20% discount on your first order. Just use this coupon code TRYPRINT at checkout to save!
Jan 20, 2016
That's right, we're still passing the postage discount we receive from the U.S. Postal Service on to you! You can now mail for less when you choose the We Do It All checkout option. Here's how it works:
EDDM 101. Every Door Direct Mail® is a way to reach every household in a specified geography while taking advantage of lower postal rates. The postal services gives you lower rates because you do some of their work for them, like:
3 Ways to Do EDDM at Click2Mail. Every EDDM mailpiece you order from Click2Mail or Click2EDDM has the required indicia and simplified address printed on it. We give you three choices for bundling, labeling and mailing:
1. We Do It All —
We print, count, bundle and route-label your mailpieces, and send them via "open and distribute" to the local Post Office for delivery.
Discounted postage: $0.16 per piece.
2. Ready to Mail (Bundled) —
We print, count and bundle your mailpieces, then ship them to you along with the required USPS documentation. You drop them off at the Post Office and pay the postage there.
Postage: $0.183 per piece.
3. Do It Yourself —
We print your mailpieces, and then ship them to you along with complete preparation instructions and USPS documentation. You do the counting, bundling and route-labeling and take them to the local Post Office. Postage is paid at the post office.
Postage: $0.183 per piece.
You Get More, for Less. When you choose the We Do It All option, you don't have to lift a finger ... except to calculate how much in postage costs you're going to save. (On a mailing of 10,000 pieces that's $230!) Plus, all EDDM orders still receive FREE Priority Mail® and tracking to the Post Office.
Ready to cash in on this fantastic opportunity? Get started at Click2Mail.com or Click2EDDM.com. And if you need any help, just give us a call at 866-665-2787 and we'll talk you through it step by step.
Jan 17, 2016
A/B testing (AKA split testing) is how marketing experts find out which mailpiece design or message gets the best response. Once you have this information, you can stop wasting money on low percentage mailings, and maximize your return on investment. Here's how it works.
Create your A/B versions. Say, for example, you want to mail a flyer announcing a new product or service your business is offering, but you're not sure whether it should be a hard sell, price-driven message or a softer, corporate image piece. So you build one of each kind, mail them out, and count the responses.
Test only one thing at a time. There are so many variables that can be tested, including layout, choice of images, colors, typefaces, message tone or content. But if you include multiple variations, you'll never know which one made the difference.
For example, you might create A/B postcards that have identical design and content except for the headline: one says "BOYS' COATS 25% OFF" and the other "BOYS' WARM & COZY COATS 25% OFF". (Macy's actually ran this test some years ago and the second version pulled 40% more response. See, even a word or two can make or break your campaign.)
Integrate reply options with different channels. Giving customers more than one way to get in touch with you not only makes it easier for them to do so (in other words, more responses!), it can also provide valuable information about which method they prefer. For example, you might include a mail response vehicle such as a double postcard or postage paid business reply, and also offer an email or website address for customers who would rather go digital.
Track results. Without a tracking system in place, there will be no way to know which mailpiece performed better. For paper response vehicles such as coupons and order forms, simply put A and B code numbers in one corner. Similarly, for online responders, use different coupon codes or email addresses. If your mailer includes more than one reply channel, tracking will tell you which got the most responders.
Keep costs in line with Click2Mail. So now you're thinking, "There's no way I can afford to mail out twice as many pieces just to do a test." At Click2Mail you don't have to. Remember, there's no minimum order here. So take advantage of our short press runs to print and mail only what you need on any given day.
In reality, you have nothing to lose and much to gain by A/B split testing. If you need help setting up your versions, just give us a call and we'll stay with you every step of the way.
Jan 10, 2016
As you might imagine, cost efficiency is the driving force behind the important mail marketing developments of 2016. Let's look at 5 ways you can get the biggest bang your direct mail buck in the year ahead.
1. Data-based targeting. While mass mailing to every door in a specific geography still has its place, many marketers will be refining their lists to those with proven best response rates. (After all, every mailpiece sent to someone who will never be interested in your offer is money down the drain.) And for that, you need to collect actionable data. Which zip code, message or customer demographic gave you the best return on your investment?
2. Comparative testing. Sometimes, in order to get the data mentioned in #1 above, you need to create two versions of your mailpiece and see which one pulls best. Offers, images and colors can all affect response rates; but to know which is the deciding factor you need to do what is known in the biz as A/B or split testing. (Click here to learn more on this topic.)
3. Deeper segmentation. Direct mail marketers will divide and sub-divide their mailing lists based on audience characteristics and behaviors (again, enabled by improved data collection). They will then use this information to tailor their mailpieces according to what each segment is most likely to respond to. With variable data digital printing, it's easy to create numerous variations, and even personalize each piece with recipient names.
4. Mail-to-digital crossovers. Data collection is just one of the reasons that more and more direct mailpieces will include a QR code that takes customers to a mobile website with a simple point and shoot of their smartphone. The other reason is that the Internet is how the vast majority of today's buyers shop or obtain information, and including this feature can cause response to skyrocket.
5. Postage savings. You may not be able to control postal rates, but you can reduce the amount of time you spend dealing with mail delivery — time that would be better put into profit-making activities. When you work with Click2Mail, we take care of hassles such as buying a bulk mail permit and complying with postal requirements. Plus, as a partner of the US Postal Service, we can pass on standardized address discounts to our customers.
Possibly the best news of all for 2016: no increase in the price of first class postage! Don't worry, we'll keep you "posted" on any changes to that.
Jan 01, 2016
In other words, what will your recipients respond to best at the start of the new year? Figure that out, and you'll be well on your way to direct mail success.
New Year's Resolutions. Do you offer a product or service that will help people achieve their goals? Now is the time to mail to them, while their enthusiasm is still fresh. Here are the most common resolutions:
* Physical improvement. Lose weight, get in shape, quit smoking, eat healthy.
* Financial improvement. Pay down debt, stick to a budget, get a better job.
* Home improvement. Make repairs, get organized, buy a new house.
* Mental improvement. Take a trip, take a class, spend more time with family.
Campaign Kickoff. Just like TV ads you see over and over, direct mail marketing is almost always more effective if it consists of multiple touches to your prospects. Mailing once a week or once a month throughout your campaign season can seriously improve your return on investment. Here are some ideas:
* A monthly Every Door Direct Mail savings coupon for residents in your area.
* A series of postcards about your 2016 introductions and improvements.
* A keep-worthy piece, such as a calendar on a rack card, that customers will look at all year.
* A series of letters or flyers to current and past customers, reminding them that it's time to renew your relationship.
Holiday Wrap-up. Don't lose touch with the people who responded to your marketing efforts in December. Capitalize on that investment with a brochure that highlights your services. For this group, it's step 2 in your customer acquisition campaign, and a surefire way to get your name more firmly embedded in their memory.
In- and Off-Season Promotions. If this is normally a slow time of year for you, get the cash register ringing with a discount offer. And if customers expect to find your products on sale now, make sure your store is the first one that comes to their minds. Here are some great classifications to mark down in January:
* Home improvement products (see New Year's Resolution #3 above). Tools, flooring, carpeting.
* Domestics. White sales are traditionally held in January. Once limited to bedding and other home textiles, these days they often include housewares of all kinds.
* Summer-related products. Warm weather apparel, outdoor furniture, sports equipment.
* Electronics. The weeks before Super Bowl are the best time to advertise TVs.
Possibly the best news of all for 2016: rumor has it that the price of first class stamps might be going down. We'll keep you "posted"!
So as you can see, January is a great month to mail. Even if your type of business can't expect to profit from an immediate response, you can be laying the groundwork (and maximizing customer recognition) for your main marketing campaign. Let's get started!
Dec 21, 2015
The short answer is that it can increase response rates by up to 25%, according to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) — a fantastic result when even a 3% improvement is usually considered outstanding. But first, what does "variable data" mean?
The personal touch. Variable data is an incredible tool that came into being with the digital printing press. It allows you to customize each piece in your mailing with unique text, photos, artwork, QR codes, coupons, tracking numbers, personalized URLs or whatever else you can imagine.
Say, for example, that you're a realtor who is mailing a sales letter to every homeowner in a particular neighborhood. You could customize each letter with the owner's name, address and current market value of their property.
Or perhaps you're a travel agent with a mailing list of people who have expressed interest in different types of vacations. You could send them all a postcard about your business, with varying photos depending on the recipient's desired destination: Caribbean beach, Alpine ski resort, etc.
Maybe you own a regional chain of restaurants and need to print different menus for each location. It's as easy as creating one layout, then plugging in the various specials and prices. You can even have the menus bulk shipped directly to the restaurants. (Don't forget we offer free Priority Mail shipping with your order.)
Say their name and they'll listen. The possibilities of variable data are practically endless. But what they all have in common is a personal connection that gets results. Check out these stats:
• 74% of recipients are more likely to respond to a personalized direct mail piece
• B2C direct mail pieces with customized maps get a 20%-30% higher response
• 65% of large businesses surveyed use personalized or segmented campaigns
So, even if planning and executing a personalized direct mail campaign involves a little more effort on your part, the return on investment is definitely worth it. And the best news of all is that variable data printing is more affordable than ever.
Dec 13, 2015
The year may be winding down, but here at Click2Mail we're still going full steam ahead with expanded services and fresh ideas to keep you on the leading edge of direct mail marketing success. Check out these five new additions (plus one in the works) that can benefit any type of business.
1. Rack cards/4" x 9" Postcards: These "take-me" cards are displayed in a counter, wall or floor rack specially designed to hold them. They're perfect for presenting product or company information, special offers and much more. Put your rack wherever people are sure to see it: in your lobby, next to the cash register or at the front of your trade show booth.
Our 4" x 9" postcards can be configured with a portrait (vertical) front and are a standard size that fits most rack holders on the market, so they work perfectly as rack cards. Currently available as mailers, they'll soon have the option to bulk ship directly to you. So, why not order some extras for display ... and get two marketing opportunities in one!
2. Certified mail added to Mailing Online Pro. Now there's yet another reason to love MOL PRO, our super-easy, web-based publisher/manager that takes your mailpiece from idea-in-your-head to sales-tool-in-their-home. Take advantage of its sorting, labeling and mailing capabilities, plus the added proof of mailing with Certified Mail delivery.
3. FREE webinar: Personalized Letters How-To. You've gotten them in the mail: "Dear Bob, I can get you the best price for your home at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue!" They are the letters that feature unique information for each person on your mailing list. And they're so popular because they work! Our live webinar on Thursday, December 17 will show you how a simple mail-merge function can produce variable data (as they're also known) mailpieces that increase response rates. Sign up now!
4. Mailing Online Pro migration complete. We've worked hard over the past year to move all our products to our premium service, Mailing Online Pro. We appreciate our customers' patience during this transition and we hope you'll enjoy the convenience and versatility of the results.
5. Jazz up your black and white postcards ... affordably. There's no question that color gets attention. So we've come up with a way for you to add that pop to your postcards without paying the price of full color printing: Printers Choice card paper. When you order, we'll randomly select one of four eye-catching colors that will become the background to your message.
Coming soon: Priority Mail Express™. When you need guaranteed speed, this is the USPS's fastest delivery option, with 1- or 2-day delivery by 3:00 p.m., plus it includes $100 of insurance. Watch for it to be added to Click2Mail by the end of the year.
These ideas are just the beginning of what we have planned for making Click2Mail (and your direct mail marketing) better than ever in 2016. Stay tuned!
Dec 01, 2015
It's the height of the Christmas/Hanukkah/New Year celebrations, when people are making their purchase decisions, not just for right now but for the year ahead. Let's count the ways your direct mail marketing can strike while the iron is hot.
1. Boost retail sales. It's not too late to mail out product news, brochures, and promotional flyers. Surveys show that 93% of shoppers don't finish their gift list until the last few days before Christmas ... and nearly 20% don't even start until then.
2. Maximize nonprofit solicitations. 'Tis also the season to make donations (and get a 2015 tax deduction). Meet and exceed your target with weekly sales letter mailings throughout December.
3. Send holiday greetings. Send beautiful, customized postcards or photo letters to current and prospective customers, suppliers, employees ... in short, everyone whose "nice list" you want to be on. People still value a traditional card more highly than an email. Plus, it's the perfect excuse to push your agenda!
4. Invite them to a party. There's no better way to launch a product, open a new branch office, raise funds or thank loyal customers and business associates than with a party. And there's no better time of year to do it.
5. Be a tease. If you've planned an exciting new marketing campaign to kick off in Q1, get prospects to watch for it with a "teaser" postcard sent now. "Coming soon ... the best money saver ever!"
6. Get on their 2016 radar. Many businesses make their plan for the coming year (including what they'll do differently than last year) and finalize their budget before December 31. If you want a piece of that pie, now is the time to get your foot in the door.
Nov 11, 2015
Once again it’s time for holiday mailing. And once again Click2Mail is here to make it easy. We’ve got some quick holiday mailing options to fit everyone on your list:
RemindSanta: Send a personalized letter that's hand-signed by Santa and mailed from the North Pole. It's the perfect way to say "Happy Holidays" to family and friends – those who are young, or just young-at-heart. Remind Santa to send a magical, unforgettable, message today.
• Your choice of five beautifully illustrated Santa stationery, including one featuring a commissioned illustration by award-winning children's book illustrator John Steven Gurney
• Postmarked at the North Pole (really!) when ordered between November 1st and December 16th
• Handwritten (by human hands) signature and P.S. (by Santa, of course) and hand-addressed envelope (the elves do that)
• $1 of every letter benefits the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
Easy Letter Sender: This year, give your usual holiday letter-with-a-snapshot a unique twist. Easy Letter Sender makes it easy to create your special letter with a full-color holiday photo that appears in the top right corner of the letter (fully visible through our special photo window envelope). Simply add your personal message to our ready-to-use online letter template; upload your own family holiday image (or use our generic one) and then click to mail! And whether you send one or one hundred letters, it's always quick and easy. (The holiday version of the Easy Letter Sender will be open in late November.)
Easy Letter Sender Postcards: Creating your holiday postcard is quick and easy. Just add your personal message to our ready-to-use holiday template (use our specially-designed holiday image, or upload one of your own) and then click to mail! They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, so this holiday season, say a lot – send a picture.
• Easy Letter Sender Postcards are truly fridge-worthy: it's a standard size postcard (6 x 4.25), printed in full color on both sides and gloss-coated to protect your special photo
• Creating your postcard is easy with our super-simple editor (upload your picture, compose your text, and we'll put them all in just the right places)
• You don't have to register or sign in, so creating your postcard is incredibly fast – it won't take time away from that holiday party planning, shopping, decorating, and wrapping.
Learn more about Remind Santa and Easy Letter Sender at Click2Mail.com. Or give us a call at 866-665-2787.
Oct 20, 2015
Chances are, if you have been to any store recently you have seen Thanksgiving, or maybe even Christmas decorations for sale. On top of that, nothing gets you in the holiday spirit faster than a Pumpkin Spice Latte, which Starbucks starting brewing on September 6th!
There is no doubt about it (and no denying it): the holiday season is upon us. To help you jump-start your holiday marketing plan, we’ve put together a list (and checked it twice, of course) of things you can do to be ready.
1. Learn from last year. Taking a look at what you did last year, and the results you saw, is a great way to start planning for this year. It allows you to see where you did really well, and where there is room for improvement. With that in mind, make a plan of action on how you will do more of what worked and take advantage of areas of opportunity.
One area ripe for testing and tweaking is the type of mailer that you send. Maybe you want to use Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) one time and a targeted mailing list the next. Maybe you want to change up your usual small postcard routine and send out a larger format postcard, followed by a letter or booklet.
2. Plan the timing. When did your holiday season start last year? When did it peak? Were there any lulls? Plan your marketing strategy around those ebbs and flows. For example, if you had a lull between Halloween and Thanksgiving, send an extra mailer out around that time to entice your customers to come in. Coupons are always a great incentive!
3. Get started early. With Click2Mail, you can plan your mailings up to 120 days in advance, so there’s nothing stopping you from getting a head start. Especially around the holidays, when everyone is advertising, staying ahead of the curve is a huge advantage. Another great way to increase your holiday business is to participate in a Small Business Saturday (November 28th) initiative. Start looking into that now; check to see if there is a local merchant association that you could co-market with on a mail piece.
4. Make sure your mailing lists are up-to-date. If you have an in-house mailing list make sure it is up-to-date with correct names and addresses. If you purchase a mailing list, revisit your selection criteria to ensure that your list still matches your target audience.
5. Plan your execution – Once you have a strategy for how you will market, when, what, and to whom, create a calendar that maps out your plan.
Sep 17, 2015
Step 3 on the 12-step path to a successful direct mail campaign is to build (and maintain) a good list. Of all the pieces of a direct mail campaign, your list is the single most important. Having a well-built, well-managed list can dramatically reduce costs and boost the effectiveness of your direct mail.
Building an in-house list
Marketers refer to a list that you build “organically” (in other words, not by buying or renting it) as an in-house list. Names on an in-house list should come from prospects who have expressed interest, current and past customers, referrals, and (when appropriate) people in your “sphere of influence”– personal contacts who may be interested in your product or service. Take these steps to more effectively build your in-house list:
• Have a “sign up for our mailings” form on your website. These are most often used to build e-mail marketing lists, but they can just as easily be used to build direct mail lists. Many website hosting companies offer an off-the-shelf sign-up form which can be linked to an Excel file or database that you can use to build a list of prospective customers.
• Ask your customers. Even if you don’t get your customers’ names and addresses in the normal course of doing business with them, ask for the information (including full names and mailing addresses, telephone numbers, e-mail addresses, and birthdays or anniversaries, when appropriate – the more information, the better).
Buying or renting a list
Buying or renting a list from a third party can be a great way to supplement your in-house list; perhaps because you’re reaching out to a new demographic, or perhaps you’re just getting started and haven’t built a sizable in-house list yet. Take these steps to make your list buying or renting process an easy one:
• Decide on your goal. What is the goal of your direct mail campaign? Based on that goal, who do you want to target? Having a clear target in mind is essential in ensuring that you get the most effective mailing list.
• Compiled or direct-response? A compiled list is generated from secondary sources like the phone book, the Internet, and public records (magazine subscription and credit card lists are also popular ways to generate compiled lists). A direct-response list is made up of people who have responded to an offer of some kind (by mail, telephone, online, or some other way). Direct-response lists are widely considered to be the best – you can market to consumers and businesses who have already responded to organizations similar to yours and once a response is received, the name of that prospect goes on your in-house list
• Buy or rent? Most small businesses rent their prospecting lists because it is both less expensive and less involved than owning (and, consequently, managing) your own list. Most lists “go bad” at the rate of 2 percent per month (at the end of the year about a quarter of most lists are out of date), so if you choose to own your prospecting lists, you’ll have to invest in their upkeep.
• Owner, manager or broker? A list broker is an agent who coordinates the rental of mailing lists between the list owners and renters (much as a real estate broker coordinates a deal between a buyer and a seller). A good list broker like Click2Mail will have access to a wide range of high-quality lists and the necessary knowledge to help you choose the best list based on your campaign goals and your target recipient.
You’ve got your list. Now what do you do with it?
• Segment and target. Over time, you should use the information you gather as you do business with your customers and develop relationships with prospects to build a deeper, richer portrait of them in your database. When it comes to personalizing your direct mail, the more you know about your customers and prospects, the better.
With variable data printing (Click2Mail offers this option, click here to find out more), it is easy to change the elements of a mailer to target individual customers and prospects (with information about their expressed interests, the last product they purchased, or an upcoming birthday, for example). The benefits of that kind of personalization are clear: evidence shows response rates increase as much as 1500%.
• Track and test. Whether you’re using a list from a broker or your own in-house list, tracking responses is an important way to reduce the cost and improve the effectiveness of future mailings. Tracking response rates on your in-house list will help you maintain up-to-date records and design more effective mailers. Tracking response rates on mailed lists will help you and your broker hone in on the types of recipients that are best to target, and the messages that are most effective.
Click2Mail is here to help you on your path to a successful direct mail campaign. Remember, the quality of your result is directly linked to the quality of your list. We can help you purchase or rent an external list, or advise you on building your own. Visit Click2Mail’s online Mailing List Center today. (And, for more information, check out our recent webinar on creating and managing your mailing list.)
Sep 01, 2015
School is back in session, autumn is in the air, and the madness of summer is drawing to a close. September quietly signifies the beginning of the holiday season. September tends be a time to strategize, plan, and lay down the groundwork for the work that will be done the rest of the year. Whether it’s a school group planning fundraisers and booster programs, or your office prepping for the holiday rush, September is a time to look forward.
Local Festivals and School Events
From religious organizations to school groups to small town harvest pride, all across the US communities find a reason to gather and celebrate in the fall. Every Door Direct Mail is a great way to make sure that you reach every home in the community with information about your upcoming event. Send out a flyer with event details or a postcard with a coupon to be used the day of the event.
September is a common time for school to begin fundraising efforts and booster programs. School groups could send a catalog or booklet to families in the district listing ways to get involved, products to purchase, or other ways to help the school out. Managing your mailing list on Click2Mail is easy and efficient, without a single paper getting lost in a locker.
Plan Your Holiday Mailing
Don’t forget, with Click2Mail you can schedule mailings up to 120 days in advance. This makes September a perfect time to start organizing, planning and looking at your holiday mailing schedule. Now is a great time to update your mailing list and make sure you are able to reach all of the right people and not wasting time or money on invalid addresses.
Use the experiences of the last couple of years to lead your marketing efforts this year. Was there a lull at a certain point in the season? This year, plan a postcard mailing to invite your best customers to a pre-season event.
Track the marketing pieces you send this year to help set yourself up for success next year. Trying something new is easy and fun with Click2Mail. Send a self-mailer and monitor how your customers respond to it.
So while the calendar may say "fall," it's time to start thinking "Jingle Bells," hot cocoa and examining what your well thought out approach to the holidays mailing season can do for your business this year. Click2Mail can help be a key to your success!
Aug 25, 2015
Michael: Within an hour, he had a signed release for a certified check of $1000.
Kay Adams: How did he do that?
Michael: My father made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.
When creating your direct mail marketing campaign, you clearly can’t make a Godfather-style offer that can’t be refused, but you should pay careful attention to your offer – it will have a significant effect on your response rate and, by extension, the return you see on your investment. In fact, it’s said that 40% of a mailer’s success is attributable to the list, another 40% to the offer, and just 20% to the copy and design.
Don’t embark on this Step 2 until you’ve completed Step 1. Your audience – their needs and wants, hopes and dreams – should be the foundation of your offer (after all, what is one man’s junk is another’s treasure; what is an irrefutable offer to some might be meaningless to others). Identifying that target audience is an important part of Step 1. Another important piece is listing your goals – how you craft your offer should also depend on what you’re aiming to achieve.
Crafting your offer
With an articulation of how your product or service serves those motivations – fulfills your targets’ needs and wants or helps them solve their problems or ease their worries – you have a solid core around which you can craft an effective offer. Like the Godfather’s, it should be one that only an idiot would turn down – make it incredibly easy to say yes, and incredibly hard to say no. The types of offers you might use run the gamut:
Positioning the offer
Once you’ve crafted the offer – the 30-day money-back guarantee or 10% off, for example – you’ll need to position it, to write some copy that explains why your target should take the offer. While the offer itself is the most important, positioning the offer is where you explain its irrefutability.
The most effective positioning centers around the benefits that your product or service – and your offer – bring to your target. How will the target’s life be made better by responding to the offer? Rely heavily on the understanding you’ve gained about your audience’s needs and wants, hopes and dreams.
Calling to action
The best offer in the world will fall flat if you don’t expressly ask your target to take a particular action. This isn’t brand advertising, where the goal is simply to build people’s awareness and positive image of your company. In direct marketing, the goal is to generate a particular outcome – a web visit, a phone call, a sale. When you call your target to action, infuse a sense of urgency into the call. For example, “Act now! Offer expires on November 15” or maybe “Only 15 spots available. Act now to secure yours."
Test, test, test
You’ve decided to offer a discount on your oil change service. But should you offer a 10% off coupon or $5 off? You’ll discover the answer to that important question by testing. Measure the response from your first mailer (by including a unique identifying code on the coupon, for example), tweak your offer and then test again. The best marketers never stop testing, measuring, and tweaking, and http://www.click2mail.com/" makes it especially easy to test and tweak. Since there are no minimum volumes and your Click2Mail mailers are in the mail the next day, you can test mail several variations this week and have your response results in
hand within a few days.
Jul 31, 2015
The dog days of summer are upon us! This month may seem especially long to your customers without any national holidays to break up the heat. But, August is a great time to squeeze in as much summer fun as possible before the kids head back to school. So, we’ve come up with some ideas for you to make your own fun.
End of summer - As summer winds to a close, consider an August "It's still summer here!" event. Or a "summer may be over, but the fun doesn't have to be" mailer.
Back to school - Kids around the country will be starting back to school in August and September. That means time for back-to-school sales. Whether you sell school supplies, clothes, computers, or bedding for the freshman's dorm room, take the opportunity to get in on the back-to-school craze.
Seniors Citizens Day- August 21: When it comes to content marketing, Senior Citizens Day is a golden opportunity. Thanks to the baby boomers, seniors are the fastest growing population segment in the United States. They are also a powerful consumer segment that is worth a dedicated marketing investment. How about a letter thanking them for your business?
National Mustard Day- August 5: The first Saturday in August is National Mustard Day. Send out a yellow postcard with a special offer to your “seasoned customers” in honor of that condiment of choice.
National Book Lover’s Day- August 9: For any company that sells books, this holiday is a natural opportunity to send a flyer/self-mailer listing all the great books that will be coming soon. Other companies can send a flyer with some of the best book titles about their industry; for example, a realtor might send a self-mailer listing a few different cookbooks for interested customers to learn more or maybe recommendation to local books and libraries in their new neighborhood.
National Dog Day- August 26: Remind the pet lovers in your life to take care of their four-legged family. This is a perfect day for a Veterinarian's office to send postcard reminders for a pet check-up. For a pet store, offer a coupon for owners who bring their pet into the store on this day.
Even if yours isn't a retail business, you can send mail to celebrate your hard-working customers and prospects. Maybe it's a coupon, or a booklet with some ideas to make work easier (or better).
Don’t forget that with Click2Mail, you can schedule your mailings out for 120 days in advance. This makes August a great time to think about your holiday marketing plans. Save yourself some time by planning and scheduling your mailings for November and December holidays now. When the time comes, Click2Mail will take care of the rest.
Whenever you mail, whatever the occasion, Click2Mail is here to make it quick and easy. Visit Click2Mail.com today to get started.
Jul 17, 2015
Despite the seemingly constant barrage of digital marketing, direct mail continues to be highly relevant and effective way to reach your target audience. While many companies have stepped away from traditional direct mail efforts to bring in the new, tech-savvy marketing channels; successful companies know that the key is to integrate these new marketing techniques into the existing efforts that have worked for years. In fact, according to a study by PrintIntheMix, 79% of professionals still consider direct mail to be “effective” or “very effective.”
What makes direct mail so great? Here are three significant reasons why.
People Actually Read It
According to a study by the US Postal Service, 98 percent of people, check their mail and bring it in each day, with 77 percent taking the time to immediately open and sort it. Unlike email which can be easily deleted without ever being opened, mailpieces like postcards and flyers have to be actually looked at before a person can determine if they have value or not. A survey of 64,000 online shoppers revealed, households receiving print catalogs shop more often and spend longer periods of time exploring online retail websites than those who don’t. This is important information that can’t be tracked through your website and online analytics.
A different survey, this time conducted by ExactTarget, found that 65 percent of adult Millennials say they prefer to read something on paper. One theory is that printed material adds authenticity to your brand, a trait that can quickly be lost in a virtual world.
Business is Booming Again
Scarborough Research found coupons received by consumers via direct mail have a 35 percent redemption rate. People expect to find coupons and advertisements in their mailbox, so now that the mailbox isn’t as crowded as it used to be...it’s easier for people to see, keep, and use the coupons that are relevant to them.
Additionally, Direct order business-to-business direct marketing sales are projected to increase 5.4 percent over the next three years. Getting your product details in front of your clients is easy with a printed catalog, brochure, or white paper personalized and mailed directly to the individual. Direct mail enables your customers to keep and save your information for when they need it and ready to purchase. And another benefit is they can pass that information on to friends and family - translate that to new customers.
It Works Harder To Boost Your Efforts
Direct mail can actually make all the other marketing efforts you use work together more successfully. The Little Book of Big Returns (2011) found that, when used as a part of an integrated campaign, mail boosted an advertiser’s return on investment (ROI) by 20 percent. Mail also helped increase the lift of local ads by 44 percent and online campaigns by 62 percent.
Direct mail alone can be an outstanding marketing solution. But when combined with digital marketing it can be the vitamin your marketing plan needs to be truly healthy!
Our mission at Click2Mail is to make mail easy – for everyone. If you have any questions or would like to get started on a new mail campaign, visit Click2Mail.com or call us Mon-Fri, 9am-8pm EST at 866-665-2787.
Jul 10, 2015
They say that "success favors the prepared." It's wise advice, and it's the reason that Click2Mail has decided to share with you our 12 Steps to a Successful Direct Mail Campaign. In this and the 11 monthly newsletters that follow, we'll outline the steps that lead to a successful (results-generating, business-boosting, award-winning, however-you-measure-success) direct mail campaign. Watch your inbox for the newsletter each month save all 12 articles to build a complete manual - of everything you need to know to set up and run a successful direct mail campaign.
Step 1: Make a Plan
"Planning," said A. A. Milne, "is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up." In that spirit, Step 1 of the 12 Steps to a Successful Direct Mail Campaign is: Make a plan.
List your goals
First, list the goals that you want to accomplish through the campaign. Think about qualitative goals - expanding your brand into a new market, for example; as well as quantitative goals - say, increasing sales by 10%.
Identify your target audience
Then, identify your target audience. Who do you want to reach with the campaign? Are they in a certain age range? Men or women? Do they fall within certain income categories? Live in a certain area? If, for example, you own a chain of restaurants and your goal is to expand your reach to early-bird diners, then your target audience might be senior citizens living within a few miles of your restaurants.
Identify your key messages
Next, think about what your key messages will be. They should speak directly to your target audience - to their needs and wants, hope and desires. Try to think like one of your mail recipients. Or, better yet, get some people together who represent your target
audience. Make a list of questions for them that will help you understand what they care about. Then, if you can, test their response to your key messages.
"Storyboard" your campaign
Filmmakers use a process called "storyboarding" to plan out their movies - they sketch out every scene that they plan to shoot and then post them in sequence on the wall. Doing the same for your direct mail campaign will ensure that you have consistency across your campaign, with every piece working together seamlessly to deliver your key messages and achieve your goals.
As you go through the 12 steps in the creation of your direct mail campaign, create your own storyboard wall. Begin by sketching your "big picture" plan; it will help you ensure that all of your tactics - from design to copy to the type of mailer - are in line with your broad strategy. Sketch each phase of your campaign - what your mailer will look like, who it will be sent to, when it will be mailed, how responses will be handled.
Make a budget
Start with your quantitative goal (increasing sales 10%, for example). Then ask, "What do I have to do (or, more importantly, how much do I have to spend) to achieve my goal?"
Then think about what it will cost to send out enough mailers to reach your goal.
As you develop your budget, you may have to go back and forth between boosting the effectiveness of your direct mail pieces (to achieve a higher response rate) and lowering your costs, so that you can achieve your goals within a budget that works for you.
Jul 01, 2015
Why Mail in July? Fireworks, Friends, and Mid-Year Reviews
Summer is in full swing now, as are the backyard barbeques and neighborhood block parties. It's also, too soon perhaps, the beginning of the second half of the year. From helping your customers and prospects celebrate America's independence to helping them stay on track with their 2015 goals, there are plenty of reasons to mail this month.
Beginning of the third quarter. More companies mail regularly than mail for specific holidays or seasonal promotions. July marks the beginning of the third quarter - a good time to put out that regular mailer (if you don't mail monthly, you should at least mail once a quarter to keep yourself at the front of your customers' and prospects' minds).
As the beginning of the third quarter, July also marks the year's halfway point. If it makes sense for you, take the opportunity to remind clients that it's a good time to evaluate their 2015 business plans and see if they're on track to meeting their goals - then, of course, suggest all of the ways you can help them do that.
Independence Day - July 4th. The day of picnics, parades, and fireworks to celebrate America's Declaration of Independence. Design a mailer that invites prospects to "Declare your independence from high fees, absent ‘service' reps, and so-so-quality products." Highlight the key benefits you offer that your competitors don't (but take care to not identify your competitors directly or you could run into legal trouble).
Parents Day - July 26, 2015. Help your customers and prospects celebrate their parents with age-appropriate guides for "Making it a Great Parents Day" or special parents-only discounts.
Friendship Day - August 2, 2015. If you have personal relationships with your customers, send a note telling them how much you appreciate their friendship, as well as their business. Invite them to come in soon or pick up the phone to catch up.