Planning for Spring 2009 Campaigns
Has E-mail Rendered Direct Mail Obsolete?  Nonsense!

It is beyond dispute that e-mail is a proven tool for maintaining effective communications with your customers and others who choose to interact with your brand across one or more channels. On the other hand, if your objective is to generate sales for your catalog, sell insurance, or to drive new buyers to a point of sale, the jury is out on whether rented e-mail lists are more cost-effective than their direct-mail counterparts. When you look critically at campaign results using both mediums for a given offer, direct-mail campaigns may actually work better and cost less than e-mail.  Does that surprise you? Read the full article.

What’s Working
Direct Mail Marketers Find Sweet Spot in Hispanic Market
Direct mail is especially effective with the Hispanic market, according to a new report from the Direct Marketing Association (DMA). The DMA’s recent survey found 92% of all marketers and agencies in the Hispanic market use non-catalog direct mail, and 77% specifically tailor messages for this audience. Some 52% also telemarket to Hispanic households. Almost half of marketers use both Spanish and English in promoting to Hispanics.

Landing Page Design Is One Key to Conversion Rates
After crafting their e-mail or electronic ad creative, e-marketers should not neglect the landing page, which is more than a way to measure gross response. Landing page design has a key role in net response, and testing landing page designs is a way to quickly and dramatically increase conversion rates, according to e-marketing experts. One option is multivariate testing, in which marketers mix and match several page elements at once, such as headline, layout, images, and call-to-action messaging.  Since this requires complex set-up and analysis, an alternative is A/B split testing. Either way, test to boost ROI.

What’s New
USPS Plans ‘Summer Sale’ on Postage for Select Mailers
The U.S. Postal Service announced that it is planning a summer sale on postage for increased Standard Mail volume. John Greco, president of the DMA, which has long urged seasonal pricing, commented, “The current economic climate demands this new pricing strategy to grow mail volume during the slow summer season.” The details of the plan are still in the works and must be approved by the Postal Regulatory Commission, but mailers would be offered 20% to 30% discounts from June 15 to September 15 for mail volume above a baseline to be established for each mailer by the Postal Service. The base will be derived from past mailings during the June 15-September 15 period, adjusted downward by current mail trends in the first two quarters of fiscal 2009. Any mail volume above the threshold would receive the “summer sale” price. Because the Postal Service must calculate a separate baseline for each mailer, only about 4,000 of the largest Standard mailers will be eligible this summer. However, the DMA is urging establishment of the sale for 2010 to give mailers a year to plan.

Industry Survey
Are you expecting our nation’s economic recovery to begin before the fourth quarter of 2009?
(Click one) YES     NO

Results of previous Industry Survey: Of those responding, 70% plan to shift dollars from direct mail to e-mail or other interactive media in 2009

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