An analysis of 40 months of data from the archive (January 2009 to October 2011) shows the growth of VDP for direct marketing pieces:
• In 2009, 28 percent of direct mail pieces were personalized
• In 2010, the number of personalized mail pieces increased to 34 percent (a 21 percent increase)
• In the first 10 months of 2011, the use of personalized mail pieces increased 21 percent over 2010, which is a 46 percent increase from 2009
The increased use of VDP for marketing is due to improving cost/benefit ratios (though a personalized direct mail piece costs more than a static piece, companies print only the number they need) and better response rates. MindFire, an industry supplier of personalized URLs (PURLs) and personal landing page technology, studied 1,856 cross-media marketing campaigns in 30 vertical industries. Results showed that in 2010 the response rate across all industries averaged 4.5 percent, compared to an average response rate from static direct mail of between 0.5 and two percent.
The USPS continues to pour resources into promoting the use of Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM), its product for smaller local businesses whose target sales and service area is a neighborhood. After a less than enthusiastic reception from printers and mailers following the 2011 debut of EDDM, the USPS has added a focus on helping printers and mailers sell EDDM to their customers.
At the EDDM website (https://www.usps.com/business/every-door-direct-mail.htm), printers, mailers, and marketing service providers can find information specifically tailored to their needs—four PDF documents (overview, retail fact sheet, BMEU fact sheet, and quick reference guide) written in easy to understand language and featuring examples of how to conform to postal regulations for EDDM. These documents can serve as the basis for training your customer service and sales staff as well as developing a sales promotion for attracting potential EDDM customers.
Other resources for printers on the site include:
• A brochure for printers explaining how EDDM can be used to attract new business
• EDDM User Guide with step-by-step instructions for preparing an EDDM mailing
• A schedule of Grow Your Business seminars presented by USPS personnel
• Sample Retail and BMEU facing slips
• Downloadable Retail indicia in a variety of formats
• Links to USPS forms to accompany prepared mail
• Link to Priority Mail Open and Distribute information
Finally, there is a USPS-produced video on EDDM available for viewing on YouTube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2d1ZJcEnZ64 and three USPS television advertisements for EDDM viewable at https://www.usps.com/business/mail-videos.htm. There is also a free EDDM webinar on MyPRINTResource.com at http://bit.ly/RqYToE.
Direct mail remains a strong product offering for printers. Interestingly, EDDM provides an opportunity for printers with a limited knowledge of postal regulations and without mail list management software to add this specific type of direct mail marketing to their service offerings.
Nancy DeDiemar is a former chairman of NAQP and Printer of the Year. She is the co-publisher of Printips (www.MyPRINTResource.com/10206473), a newsletter subscription service for printers. Contact her at Nancy91762@gmail.com.