Is Direct Mail Marketing Viable in the Face of Rising Postage Costs?
Late last year, the United States Postal Service (USPS) announced that it will raise the price of postage on January 26, 2014. Minneapolis companies will need to consider the rate hike when planning their direct mail campaigns.
Postage Rates to Go Up
The USPS is calling the $.03 rate hike a surcharge and asserts that it is only temporary and set to expire in two years or less. Many services are affected by the surcharge, including First Class Mail, Standard Mail, Periodicals, Special Services, and Package Services. This means that sending 5,000 direct mail pieces will cost companies about $150 more in 2014 than in 2013.
The USPS hopes the rate hike will help the Postal Service continue to recover from the recession in 2008. With the announced surcharge, the USPS expects to recoup the funds it lost within 24 months, which is why the increase is only temporary.
Direct Mail Marketing and Rising Postage Costs
With yet another rate hike starting at the end of the month, some companies may wonder if direct mail marketing will continue to be cost-effective in years to come. Before you throw in the towel on direct mail, however, consider the benefits direct mail continues to offer.
One of the greatest advantages direct mail has over other marketing mediums is measurability. Companies can track gross response rates, cost per lead, and conversion rates through direct mail, especially if they maintain good contact lists and use a contact relationship management system.
The Internet has made it easier than ever to track the effectiveness of direct mail campaigns. Companies can incorporate a few digital tools into their direct mail pieces to track response rates, including:
· QR codes printed on a postcard or flyer that direct recipients to your website
· unique URLs set up for each print marketing piece that let you know instantly if web traffic originated from a direct mail piece