5 Steps to Unaddressed Admail Success – a guide prepared by Canada Post

Canada Post and Graphic Monthly Canada have released a report on “the most powerful advertising mediums going: direct mail”. Here’s a summary of this report:
Why is direct mail the most powerful advertising medium?
67% of Canadians prefer to receive ads by mail
18% prefer email
1% prefer phone
14% prefer other mediums

5 Steps to successful unaddressed campaign

Step 1: Managing Costs
The largest chunk of cost in direct mail is the number of pieces that you will be sending. But there are other costs that can be managed:
Creative: Make sure the layout meets specifications.
Copy: The point of direct mail is to get a response, therefore, make sure there is a compelling reason to action and the action is easy to engage.
Photos/Illustrations: Use stock photography rather than expensive custom photos.
Order Placement: (this is if you are doing this by yourself rather than letting the printer manage this for  you) Canada Post offers Full Electronic Order Entry, Partial Electronic Order Entry, Manual Order Entry, each will cost you a little different.
Mail Preparation: mail needs to be bundled and put into boxes or containers, according to CP specs.
Transportation to CP: if you are doing a large mailing targeting a large geographic area you may need to deliver to multiple CP locations to save or you may deliver to one CP location and let them distribute it for a per piece cost.
Volume Pricing: If you are planning to do over 100,000 plus mail drops over the next 12 months it’s a good idea to call Canada Post and look into volume-based discounts.
Mailing Costs: stamp cost depends on number of pieces being mailed and weight of the piece. CP’s price sheet.
Step 2 – Identify the target delivery routes
Good targeting drives as much as 60% of a campaigns success. Unaddressed Admail gives you many delivery routes: either a single route, a neighbourhood or the whole nation.
CP offers a variety of tools and services to help plan the target routes for your campaign:
Residential and Business Counts and Maps – this tool gives you the number of houses, apartments, farms and businesses for delivery routes across Canada. You can even search by postal code or letter carrier walks.
GEOPOST PLUS – This tool is similar to the above but a lot more sophisticated. It will tell you what your customers in a specified route look like (age, income, how much money they spend, what they buy, what do they read, watch and do); for businesses it will tell you number of employees and annual revenue.
Step 3: Design and Format
If you’re thinking of running an unaddressed admail campaign it is important to sit back and think things through really well. We all get unaddressed admail in our mailbox. Try to remember a piece of mail that grabbed your attention. Was it small? Was it large? Did it involve some sort of tearing to reveal the offer? Was it in colour? Black and white? All this is very important because we get tons of ads in our mailbox. You want to make sure that yours stands out.
Canada Post’s size specifications give the designer a lot of room to come up with imaginative mailing pieces but there are limitations. Consult your printer to make sure that the design will fit into CP’s specifications.
Step 4: Getting it Delivered
Before your piece reaches your target audience it must be delivered to Canada Post. The only way that Canada Post will accept your mailing is when it is organized in equal-sized bundles and inserted into CP’s approved containers. Paper work must be submitted with the mailing together with a sample of the piece. Talk to your printer about this.
Step 5 Measuring the Results
Many factors play a role in the success of an unaddressed admail campaign including: what is being promoted, who is targeted, the offer, time of year and even the state of the economy. Direct marketing is not simple. The key to success is constant learning and making adjustments which means that it is necessary to have in place some sort of tracking mechanism.
Here’s a brief personal example: Last year a barber in my neighbourhood distributed postcard-sized flyers to mailboxes within a radius of his shop. The information on the postcard: Name of the barber shop and address on top of a picture (can’t recall what the picture was). I don’t know how successful his campaign turned out to be but I personally don’t think it went well. First, there was no offer and no incentive for me to keep the flyer which means no way for him to track the response rate. He could ask everyone coming in whether they saw his postcard but from personal experience people will say ‘yes’ to such a question just to give a reply.

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