As part of our ongoing marketing we are just about to use what’s called an “Unaddressed Delivery Service.” (That’s a fancy name for having our promotional material dropped into post office boxes.)
Just because some marketing is easy doesn’t mean it is cheap. And just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it’s good value.
I’ll use this article to take you step by step through the entire process we reviewed in deciding on this particular marketing strategy: Unaddressed Delivery Service.
Firstly, Bianka and I, as part of our usual marketing, identified our marketing goals for the next month. Part of that was to attract three- (3) new clients via ‘cold’ calls – whether that be direct mail, letterbox drops, whatever.
From there we established our target market – businesses within a 20-km radius.
We then discussed the possibility of having promotional material dropped into post office boxes. Once we had established post office drops as a possibility the research began.
We hadn’t completed a post office box for service businesses before (let alone ourselves). So our first question was:
What are the chances of success?
Now, the post office marketing team would be a good place to start. But we didn’t. Biased information from a group with a vested interest in us using what they recommend isn’t the best source of independent information.
So we waited. Over the next two- (2) weeks we kept a close eye on our own post office box. In that period we received 12 pieces of unaddressed mail. Some good, some bad.
In taking a look at the literature delivered we identified what sort of businesses use unaddressed delivery services.
We rated (and ask others to do the same for us) each piece of material to try and establish what drew different people’s attention.
Now that’s all well and good. But it doesn’t give us the information we really wanted.
What we really want to know is this:
What sort of success rate (and by that I mean does it do what it’s supposed to do) does unaddressed delivered mail get?
So we did the obvious. We gathered up the twelve- (12) pieces of unaddressed mail and rang who we could.
As is usually the case, everyone we spoke with was very helpful and we received some terrific information.
The results were what we pretty much expected: Worked well for some. Not so well for others.
But here is the interesting bit.
Every single one of the people we rang had used the service before.
That single bit of information was enough to convince me that it was worth trying a drop into post offices.
Next stop was the post office. Here we asked for as much information as we possibly could about the unaddressed mail delivery. Those people are helpful! I walked out of there with about forty- (40) pages of information – everything from pricing to examples to research.
One interesting fact that we established was that we could specify the post office boxes that our material was delivered to. We could specify that the material only go into post office boxes belonging to businesses.
That targeted things a little tighter for us.
Then we booked, right??
Nope. Just a bit more work.
Bianka and I discussed what we wanted to achieve with the drop. We didn’t want to ‘brand’ ourselves. We didn’t want to sell (almost impossible to sell a service directly from a mail piece).
What we wanted to do was generate enquiry. With a service such as ours we basically need to let people know about us and get them to contact us. That generates the lead. From there we demonstrate our expertise, start the relationship and move the business forward.
To generate the enquiry we had to firstly stand out and get noticed. In our review of the material that generally gets delivered to post office boxes we noted that the material was generally of low quality.
And that was probably fair enough. No sense in spending up big for quality material if the expected response rate is very low.
Mmmmm. This is why our marketing generally works. We’ve decided to go with a top quality DL (envelope) size card. It’s a brilliant red on one- (1) side, celloglazed for a quality feel.
That goes against everything we’ve reviewed, assessed and seen. So it just might work!
That card will stand out. It will get noticed. And it will get read.
To generate the enquiry we need to get our card noticed. And our message read.
And just what will our message say?
It will say the right thing. It will engage the reader and mention the benefits of doing business with us. It will encourage the reader to contact us. And the reader will be rewarded for contacting us.
So that takes care of the card.
The next thing we noticed was that no-one ever used more than one- (1) piece in a mailing. So we have a three- (3) piece sequential mailing booked.
Frequency works in most forms of advertising – so why not try it with mail into post office boxes.
I don’t think I’ve ever received direct mail or unaddressed mail before with any handwritten message at all. So we’ll try that and see if we can’t stand out even more.
Day 1: First promotional card with a handwritten call to action.
Day 10: Second card sent (same card). Different handwritten message (but same sort of message).
Day 15: Third (and final) card. Handwritten message to say “You’ve received this card 3 times. And each time it has had a hand written message. And it’s a nice card. The reason we’ve done all this is because etc.”
So we’ve planned our creative. Easy.
Then I did the math.
The DL cards cost us about 25 cents a piece.
In our assessment we reviewed which area we would have our cards delivered to. We narrowed it down to 2 places:
- Broadbeach – close to us and contains much of the market we target
- Gold Coast Mail Centre – close to Broadbeach with a very similar market
Broadbeach has 471 PO Boxes, the Gold Coast Mail Centre has 1,478 Boxes.
Which one should we pick for the biggest impact?
No idea! So this is what I did.
I pulled out my calculator and figured out the cards alone would cost me:
- $1,108.50 if I sent them to the Gold Coast Mail Centre
- $353.25 to be delivered to Broadbeach post office boxes
The cost per delivery is 11 cents. That’s:
- $487.74 for the Mail Centre
- $155.43 for Broadbeach
By looking at the numbers we can see that sending the cards to the Gold Coast Mail Centre would cost over $1,000 more than if I sent them to Broadbeach. For something I’m not even sure will work.
Getting back to “Which one should we pick for the biggest impact?” – I still have no idea.
And because I have no idea I’ll be smart (as smart as I can be!) and do a simple test.
- I’ll run the campaign through Broadbeach PO Boxes.
- I’ll measure the results.
- If it is profitable I’ll run the same campaign into the large Gold Coast Mail Centre PO Boxes.
Because then I’d have some decent data to justify and back up the decision to spend $1,500 on a marketing strategy.
Measuring the effectiveness
I mentioned earlier that the objective was to generate leads for the business. So that’s really our own measure.
We’ll also look at the quality of those leads of course.
And from there we’ll review the number of sales converted from those leads, the value of those sales and the ongoing value of those sales.
Testing what you do when you market can save you money and heartache.
Measuring the results of any campaign is a gimme. Measuring provides the information you need to make a well-informed and logical decision on all of your marketing strategies.
Some basic strategy
With some very basic strategy we have identified a whole range of issues (and certainly not them all) that can impact on this specific marketing technique.
By testing in the market we can very cheaply establish not only the effectiveness of unaddressed delivery generally but, by playing around with the variables, can gather some excellent information on specifically what works.
It’s good business sense and it’s sense that can be the difference between successful or failure.
It’s your choice.