Direct Mail Questions (Part 1)

Bob FranquizGeneral

I've gotten a lot of response based on my newest resource, "21st Century Outreach Strategies". So what I'm doing on the blog this week is answering the questions that come up about direct mail.  

Here's one that people ask that's critical to your direct mail success:

When should direct mail show up and how can I ensure that it shows up on time?

You can have the best direct mail piece in the world, but if it shows up late it isn't going to help you. Generally speaking, people should get your direct mail piece a week before your event. However, the challenge is to figure out how long it takes for your post office to deliver your mail. This is another reason why doing more than one mailing is important. At Calvary Fellowship, we never do just one mailing for an event. Our philosophy is, if we're only going to mail once, then don't mail at all. We like to send a piece 10 days before an event and then another the week of the event. If we're promoting Easter, we might send 2 the week of the event (One that hits mailboxes on Monday and another that hits on Friday). But to do this, you have to know your local Post Office's deliver time. 

Here's a couple of things to note: 

#1 – Low Man on the Totem Pole – Bulk mail is the lowest on the Totem pole, so it usually take a day or 2 longer for it to arrive. You must plan for this. Bulk mail takes longer than 1st class mail. 

#2- Work with your mail house – We never do direct mail without working with a mail house. Ask them what their experience has been. They will usually err on the side of caution, but they do this for a living, so you may want to take their advice. 

#3 – Test - Send a few pieces to yourself. Send a piece to your home, your office and to another location in a different zip code.  See how long it takes and plan accordingly. The last thing you want is for a piece to arrive late. That's one of the cardinal sins of direct mail. 

Sometimes people underestimate the power of direct mail because they fail to do the simple things that increase its' effectiveness.  So learn the time that your post office takes to deliver and factor that into your outreach plans.

I discuss direct mail in much greater detail in my new resource, "21st Century Outreach Strategies".