DM Boosters to Fuel Your Direct Mail Campaigns – Part I

We all want our direct mailing/marketing programs to be successful and DM (Direct Marketing) Boosters can certainly help. DM Boosters have been around in various forms for years. They come in many varieties, and used individually, or in combination, they can make a big difference in your direct marketing results.



Here are some DM Boosters that are used on an ongoing basis. I am also pleased to note that some of these do not add much to your budget, if at all.

Customized Postal Indicia
RPNs (Repositionable Notes)
Lumpy Mail
Samples & Promotional Items
Polybag as Compared to Envelope
Self-Mailers
Tip-ins
Die Cuts
Big and Bold
Integrated Microsites
pURLs (Personalized URLs)
Insightful Personalization and Connection
BRM (Business Reply Mail)
Tracking


I will go into each of these in more detail over the next couple of posts. At the same time, your mail service provider can also help you with these items.
So, let’s take a look at these individually.

Customized Postal Indicia
The postal indicia is that little printed box in the upper right corner of your addressed envelopes or mailing pieces (I know, the singular is supposed to be indicium, but nobody follows that rule). For the past few years, Canadian mailers have been able to use graphics that represent their brand, logo or product within the indicia (on addressed pieces). Of course, this is an excellent way to get your brand/image in front of your customers.

A customized indicia can be very cool, but they are not used as often as we might expect, and that is a little surprising, as there is no cost whatsoever associated with using customized indicias (provided your printer is printing the indicia anyway).
To learn more about the customized postal indicia please visit: Customized Postal Indicia

Repositionable Notes (RPNs)
We are all familiar with Post-It Notes™. Well, RPNs are similar. They come on a large role and are applied to the outside of mailing pieces. Canada Post specifications state that RPNs must be must be machine-applied. Per Canada Post’s definition, “Repositionable Notes (or ‘sticky notes’ as they are commonly called), are a handy way for mailers to affix a message to the outside of a mail item–reinforcing a key advertising objective or call to action–that can be removed and kept as a reference by the recipient.”

As noted above, RPNs are machine-applied and one of the other requirements is that 1/3 of the back must be covered with adhesive.

RPNs can be used for many different purposes. Your mail service provider can help you with both print and ordering requirements for RPNs.

Lumpy Mail
People are very curious, by nature. If an envelope arrives with a pronounced lump, curiosity will usually get the better of them, and they will open it to see just what that lump actually is!

Although I will talk about samples and promotional items under a separate heading, I want to note that the obvious lump in an envelope need not be expensive. For example, I have seen a couple of mailings where a branded, wrapped hard candy was the lump, with the theme of a “sweet deal”. Very clever and very inexpensive!

Samples & Promotional Items
If you have a great product, and are able to produce samples, there is no better way to prove its effectiveness than to put it into the hands of the consumer.
Product sampling campaigns do tend to be expensive, but they can also result in significant lifts in product sales.

Many businesses that cannot readily produce product samples often use a promotional item that is consistent with the overall theme of a campaign. These items are often more expensive that the candy mentioned under Lumpy Mail, above.

Considerable planning must go into these types of campaigns, which will include determining the most cost-effective category of mail and packaging options, just to mention just a couple. Planning usually includes the agency, the customer and the mail service provider.

Common sense must also prevail. Temperatures inside trucks, that are shipping mail, vary dramatically, from under 30 degrees below (Celsius) in the winter to well over 30 degrees above in the summer. If samples are subject to temperature variations, they should not be mailed. I vividly recall a campaign where a customer insisted on mailing gold-wrapped chocolate covered coins in the summer. You can imagine the disaster.

Clear Polybag as Compared to Paper Envelope
If you use an envelope...

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