By now, you’ve probably heard that the US Postal Service will stop Saturday mail delivery in August, 2013. How will this affect your direct mail marketing efforts? Less than you’d think.
First, we want to allay any fears that the move has something to do with the death of mail. Mail service is still alive and well, and will be for the foreseeable future. The shift away from Saturday service is an attempt to control costs at an agency that’s losing money largely in part to internal decisions relating to health care and pensions, not the volume of mail being sent. Also, it’s worth noting that packages will still be delivered on Saturdays, giving you a chance to stand out from the crowd with dimensional mailers or other special items for your best customers or biggest prospects.
From a practical, management standpoint, the stop of Saturday mail service means you’ll need to time your drops differently. If you’d previously scheduled mail to arrive in a customer’s box on Saturday, you’ll need to decide whether it’s more advantageous to have it arrive on Friday or wait until the following Monday. Depending on your messaging—is it a fun, frivolous mailing right for the weekend or something more serious that would be better received at the start of the work week?–either one might be the right option.
Some direct mail printers may have trouble adjusting to the new rhythms of mail service. They’ll have to shift their printing schedules to accommodate the new schedule. However, in companies that have available capacity, the difference will be minimal.
You’ll also need to consider that every day during the week will now see a slightly higher volume of mail, since the number of delivery days has been cut by 16%. That means it’s more important than ever to make sure your direct mail piece is something that’s going to stand out. Consider timing more pieces to arrive mid-week rather than in the last push to get mail delivered before the long, mail-less weekend.
Direct mail marketing isn’t going away. There will always be a need and a demand for physical mail people can hold in their hands and stick on the refrigerator. The move away from Saturday mail presents some new challenges, but nothing that can’t be overcome with the right direct marketing partner. Still have questions? We’d love to help. Contact us at Premier Advantage Marketing and we’ll walk you through the changing direct mail environment.
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