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Direct Mail Industry News
USPS Approves ON-CARD, a Reverse Telemarketing Solution
DELRAY BEACH, Fla. --(Business Wire)-- Jan. 11, 2005 -- In a surprise move, USPS Mailing Standards approved ON-CARD, a breakthrough direct mail solution, opening the door to a new marketing channel -- reverse telemarketing. Reverse telemarketing results when prospects call a company, in contrast to traditional telemarketing where the company makes the calls.
In the past, approvals for innovative mail solutions have typically taken two to five years. But the USPS approved ON-CARD in just two months based on its potential to drive sales of postage by creating a new class of direct marketing opportunities.
ON-CARD achieves reverse telemarketing through a simple but effective act: generosity. Each ON-CARD includes a free gift available to every single recipient. No purchase is necessary to receive the gift. Rather, recipients need only call a toll-free number, provide information requested by the marketer, and their gifts are activated. Marketers in turn inform respondents about special offers and promotions during the call. Responses are tracked and reported to the marketer instantly online as they occur.
In September 2004, ON-CARD introduced its revolutionary product at the USPS-sponsored National Postal Forum in Washington D.C. Upon seeing the concept, postal officials were enthusiastic but cautious, saying in effect, "This is great! We need to test this to ensure that it's fully machinable and complies with standards." USPS salespeople, however, immediately recognized ON-CARD's revenue potential and got involved.
The USPS Southeast Area Sales Team in particular was instrumental in getting ON-CARD approved. Working closely with that team, ON-CARD revised its mailer to meet the Postal Service's requirements, earning Mailing Standards' seal of approval quickly.
ON-CARD test campaigns have generated positive dialog between consumers and corporations, delivering remarkable results. Instantly compensating consumers for their time and attention, ON-CARD breaks through the growing consumer resistance to marketing identified by Yankelovich last year. And by delivering ROI reports online in real-time, ON-CARD answers corporate demands that marketing be more accountable.
Two direct marketing innovators, Verizon and AEGON Direct Marketing, will be first to seize upon this new marketing opportunity. Verizon's campaign is already under way; AEGON plans to launch theirs in early 2005. ON-CARD is approved for mailing at automated and presort postage rates for both First-Class and Standard Mail. More information is available at http://www.on-card.com.
[Editor's comment: Having customers call a company may be a "breakthrough direct mail solution" to telemarketers, but outside that dark little world it's really fairly common. I guess they don't get out much...]
DX Services joins forces with Mail Boxes Etc in move to rival Royal Mail
The new venture will involve blue pillarboxes being installed in 96 outlets of Mail Boxes Etc with items to be delivered to business addresses overnight.
The 25-year-old service was originally set up as the Document Exchange for members of the legal profession after frustration over the increasing frequency of postal strikes.
DX bought the company in 1980 and de-merged from its parent company Hays after being listed on the London Stock Exchange in November 2004.
The group says its service is different to other rivals in the market in that it offers private business-to-business mail services, including collection, sorting, and last-mile delivery, for about 27,000 companies in the UK and Ireland. It also delivers small packages and bulk mail services.
The service works with companies signing a contract for a year based on an estimated annual fee, with prices charged at the same or less than Royal Mail, which is expected to announce record profits of around £500m tomorrow, up nearly £300m from last year.
DX is one of a number of private sector firms competing with Royal Mail, including Business Mail, which picks up mail for larger companies, although it relies on Royal Mail for the "final mile" delivery.
DX recently began testing a new blue and white stamp for business mail in Scotland and Northern Ireland, which if successful will be adopted throughout the entire UK.
MoneyGram Obtains Top ROI - With Carmens Hispanic Co-Op Direct Mail Program
MoneyGram is proof of the impact the Carmens program can have on a businesss share of volume, for as little as 3-1/2 cents per Hispanic household. - Carmens Cupones is a segmented co-op direct mail program addressed to highly acculturated Hispanic females, the decision maker in the Hispanic household, and reaches 2.5 million Hispanic homes each mailing in 7 states and in the top 12 US Hispanic markets for as little as 3-1/2 cents per home. Participation for the November/Holiday mailer is still open.
Carmens Cupones is a segmented co-op direct mail program addressed to highly acculturated Hispanic females, the decision maker in the Hispanic household, and reaches 2.5 million Hispanic homes each mailing in 7 states and in the top 12 US Hispanic markets for as little as 3-1/2 cents per home. It arrives in an attractive 6 x 9 flat oversized envelope with advertisements in both English and Spanish, although bilingual ads are recommended. Participation for the November/Holiday mailer is still open.
Augusto Esclusa, Hispanic Marketing Director for MoneyGram International in the US, states that the results theyve obtained have been phenomenal, increasing volume by 10-12%. He adds that one of the advantages that Carmens offers is that their database is very targeted.
According to two surveys by Draft/Simmons and Media Audit, 72% of Hispanics say they always read their advertising mail, 66% respond to their advertising mail, and 39% say they want to receive more. The typical Hispanic household receives an average of 50 direct mail pieces per year, compared to 500 or so received by the general US population, so there is no mailbox clutter. In addition, Hispanic consumers tend to be price conscious and 46% say they always or sometimes use coupons, particularly those with high acculturation, 75% of which reported using coupons compared to 56% of overall consumers in the US (NCH Marketing Services Hispanic Coupon Survey, 2002).
Very few things surpass the impact that receiving a personalized envelope, full of discount coupons and information in their language, can have on the Hispanic consumer, says Shayne Walters, Founder and President of Walters Media Group, Inc., launching the program back in 2001. Our next mailing is in November, just in time for the holidays and we continue to get calls from companies who want to participate. Theres still a short time left to do so, whether or not you have printed materials. For those advertisers who wish to participate yet do not have existing materials, Carmens can also produce an insert in a relatively short period of time through their production partners at PlanetWoot, LLC (www.planetwoot.com).
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