5 Changes to 'Junk Mail' That Will Triple Response

by Dave Lewis October 11, 2012

You know where I get the most junk mail? Mixed in with my snail mail at the office. Way too much B-to-B mail is junk mail in my opinion.

Oh, now calm down. Snail mail is not a pejorative term in my mind — postal mail is slow compared to email and many other media, just like real snails are slow. Being slow doesn't make real snails useless — they can be delicious! And snail mail remains an indispensable marketing channel when used correctly.

Junk, on the other hand, is just junk. It is neither delicious nor effective. And, too much of the B-to-B mail I get is junk. It is junk because it doesn't accomplish anything — no offer, no compelling value proposition, no reason to respond — I'm often not sure why they sent it. To me that is junk, and it could easily be made better.

A couple of examples:

A postcard from a paving company sent to me, the vice president of marketing. My title used to be President (five years ago) so it's using an old list to begin with. In all fairness, we do have a parking lot, but it looks pretty good to me. The card tells me the company is my best choice for full-service commercial paving. Yawn. Seems I can get a free quote is I send them an email.

There's even a QR Code — I'm hip, I scan QR Codes — but all it did was take me to the home page, which looked kind of puny on my iPhone. No IMB, by the way, so the paving company doesn't know if or when I got it, so I don't expect any meaningful follow-up.

This is junk mail. No offer. No compelling value proposition. No reason to respond. Junk.

Here are five changes that could triple response:

  1. Create some kind of offer — an August special, "10% Off!", a free parking lot analysis, "Six Things You Need to Know About Pavement" — something.
  2. Create a landing page with its own URL and a reason to fill it in — this may be a good place to offer those "Six Things about Pavement" fact sheets.
  3. Make the QR Code go to a mobile version of the landing page so there's a reason to go there, and it's formatted correctly when I get there.
  4. Personalize it — it looks like the card was digitally printed, so it would have been no big deal to add a personalized QR Code and PURL so you could tell that I had visited the landing page and prepopulated it for me. You could even say, "Hi Dave!"
  5. Track the mail — Intelligent Mail tracking is easy and you can use it to coordinate a follow-up, whether it's an email or a phone call.
Easy changes and now your junk mail is converted to direct mail. Direct mail I like.


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