When Direct Mail becomes Junk Mail

by Kim Taylor

I know what you’re thinking—all direct mail is junk mail.  But, for years, companies have subscribed to the notion that direct mail marketing works … even if the statistics show that the average response rate can be as low as a half percent.  Those stats also show that some campaigns can garner a much higher response … maybe even double-digits.

What creates that vast response variation?  Many things, from content to design, but perhaps most importantly, how targeted (read: appropriate) your list is. 

If you buy one of those canned lists and blanket thousands with your message, it’s no longer direct mail, it’s junk mail. 

If you know your audience and your intended target, but you opt to address your piece generically to “Resident” or “John Doe or Current Resident,” it’s no longer direct mail, it’s junk mail.

So, if you’ve taken the time to develop a custom piece for John Doe thanking John Doe for his contribution to your organization and then include return address labels specifically for John Doe as a part of the “thank you,” why not go all the way and mail it to John Doe rather than “Joe Doe or Current Resident” as was the case with a piece that arrived in yesterday’s mail.

Do you think the charity will ‘get it’ when the piece is mailed back to them using one of those personalized return address labels?

2 Responses to When Direct Mail becomes Junk Mail

  1. […] value of direct marketing has been a long debated subject and my colleague, Kim Taylor, recently blogged about the fine line between direct and junk. I can’t wait to learn more about implementation of […]

  2. […] When Direct Mail Becomes Junk Mail – September 17, 2009 […]

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