THROUGH MY FRONT DOOR: MY MAIL MUSINGS

04 September 2017 Jo Lucas

Ever since I started in direct mail, some *cough* years ago, I have been obsessed with all things postage related. I am signed up to literally hundreds of companies just so I can spend my weekends perusing their brochures, analysing their polywrapping and checking out their postage choices. Every morning I see my postman staggering up my front path laden down with catalogues, letters and leaflets of all different shapes and sizes - poor guy must dread coming to my door! I’ve even enrolled my family into my obsession, every visit they turn up with various pieces of mail they think I might like.

So, with my passion in mind, I thought it would be a great idea to share my thoughts on what has landed on my doormat recently in a new blog series. Of course, I won’t be sharing company names and none will be ADM clients, but I thought it would be nice to share my obsession with you and give some hints and tips in the process.

Major UK Online Retailer

Now this one caught my eye as soon as it dropped on my doormat because the envelope was so beautiful. The design was tasteful and the colours they had chosen were bold but elegant. Quite often companies forget that the customers first view is the most important, and for letters, the first thing they see is the envelope. So, creating a gorgeous design or using top quality envelopes can be worth it. It can help you overcome that first hurdle – enticing people to engage and open the envelope.

The other aspect that really impressed me was the use of the recycle logo – it was displayed loudly and proudly on the back of the envelope. Using the recycle logo as a real positive not just as a means to the sustainable postage discount. Huge thumbs up to this retailer!

One of the UK’s Leading Membership Organisations

This company has a huge membership, within the region of 450k members - that is a lot of bulk mailing! I’ve received two letters from them recently. The first was regarding membership renewal. I was rather baffled when I saw that they hadn’t used CBC or Mailmark. These both enable a letter to be automated through the Royal Mail sorting process, which will save considerable postage costs. In fact, with a membership pool of as large as theirs, they could save a staggering £9k per annum.

However, the second letter from their fundraising department had got the postage spot on! How odd! It got me thinking that perhaps they were using two different direct mail suppliers, one who was getting it right, whilst the other wasn’t. With a company as large as this they really do need to ensure that they are getting consistently accurate advice.

US-Based Luxury Clothes Company

This was a fabulously glossy brochure, designed beautifully, with eye-grabbing, stylish images (can you tell that I want to buy all their clothes?). However, this was all spoilt by the huge, ugly Royal Mail PPI. If they were my client I would advise them to redesign the PPI to include their logo and make it fit with their brand-look.

They were also missing a recycle logo, which is important nowadays as it illustrates that you are a green-conscious company. Having a recycle logo also carries with it the benefit of granting a postal discount, a fantastic incentive that they should be taking advantage of. Finally, I would also look into their downstream access provider choice, just to check that they are choosing the right, most cost-effective option for their requirements.

Leisurewear Retailer

This was a completely new company to me (courtesy of one of my lovely family members’ weekly direct mail drop-offs). The catalogue was beautiful, everything looked lovely and I could have spent hours perusing the clothes. Their postage choices were all absolutely spot on as well.

But (there’s always a but), the quality of the printed address was really poor and that’s a shame as it is the first thing your eye falls on. Whilst this may initially sound a bit nit-picky, Visual Aid software (which is available free-of-charge to our clients through Royal Mail’s MarketReach) tells us that the eye falls immediately on the address when looking at the back of a brochure. So, it’s unfortunate that the chosen mailing house for this company is using out-of-date inkjet addressing technology which has resulted in a smudgy mess! Not a great first impression.

So, there you have it, the first of many postal ponderings! If you want to discuss your postal options or find out more about our direct mail services, please do give me a call on 01384 215790 I’d love to have a chat. Or you can find me online at http://www.advanceddirect.co.uk