January 2013

January 22nd

New Year, New Postal Rates

Direct mail is a powerful medium.  A personalized mailer connected with a PURL speaks directly to your customer and drives strong response rates.  Even with the new postal rates and regulations effective in January 2013, direct mail remains a flexible and inexpensive way to physically place your message in your customers’ hands.

Key changes may affect your direct mail campaigns.

  • The single-piece postcard rate, which already increased by 3¢ in January 2012, will increase by an additional penny to 33¢.
  • Automation discounts will be limited to letters, flats, postcards, Business Reply Mail and Permit Reply Mail with the Intelligent Mail barcode (IMb).  The new barcode holds all routing, sorting and additional services in one place, freeing up valuable space on your envelope for your marketing message.  Automated address correction will ensure that your material reaches the right recipient at the right time, improving response rates and increasing revenue.
  • Self-mailers are subject to new requirements for size, paper weight, folding and tabbing.  Failure to comply will result in a significant postage increase.

There are several steps you can take to control the impact of the postal changes.

  • Merge and purge your mailing lists to ensure clean data.  Target customers who will buy.
  • Review your existing stock of printed materials for compliance with new regulations before your next mailing to avoid any surprises when you receive your postage bill.  
  • Reduce the size and/or weight of your direct mail package.  For example, instead of mailing an 8½ x 11” piece at the “flats” rate, fold the piece to 5½ x 8½“ to qualify for the lower letter rate.
  • Creatively embrace the changes.  Develop a multi-touch strategy by using the tracking function in the new IMb to trigger email blasts.  Modify and test different formats that comply with the new regulations.
  • Review the calendar of promotional events at www.usps.com to learn how you can save on postage throughout 2013 by integrating mail with mobile and emerging technologies.

If you have questions about how the new rates and regulations will impact your business, call or email us today.  We can help you design your mail piece, choose the correct paper stock, and prepare your mailing to meet the revised standards and secure the lowest postage rates available.

To view a comprehensive list of the new USPS rates, click here:

Additionally, for a PDF guide for the new folded self-mailer regulations, click here:


Lead Nurturing vs Drip Email Marketing Campaigns

By Michael Ward From blogt.net-results.com
A guy walks into a bar. He spots his quarry. Comes groovin’ up slowly. He pulls out his best line and in a dark voice says to her… “Come here often“?


In real life what he says next is going to depend on how she reacts to the question. But this isn’t real life. This is Marketing. And our lascivious lothario is using the new hammer being hawked to him by every marketing software dealer on the block: Drip Email Marketing.

“Drip marketing is way cool!” they tell you. “It’s automated man, all you have to do is push this button”. And so it is.

Drip marketing is named after the infamous Automatic Drip Coffee Maker. No matter what you do it just keeps dripping regularly. All you can do is turn it on and off.

A drip email campaign sends email one then waits some amount of time – let’s say three days – and then sends email number two. Seven days later it sends email number three. And so on.

What it doesn’t do is react based on how any of your emails are received by your prospect. How useful would that approach be when wooing the opposite sex? No matter how they react you just keep going, saying predetermined things at predetermined intervals with no regard for the other person’s reactions. Good luck with that.

“But wait! My marketing automation system lets me do one thing if they click my link and another if they don’t. That’s behavior based – it’s not just basic”.

Well then riddle me this: Out of every 100 individuals that click through from an email in your drip campaign, how many of them look at only one page before they hit the highway?

How many – better yet, which prospects – looked at several pages and spent at least 2 minutes browsing your site? Are they no more qualified than those one-page-and-out bouncers?

What about the prospects that checked out your conversion page for at least 10 seconds but still didn’t convert? Are some of those prospects associated with large opportunities in your CRM system? Can your drip campaign react or branch based on that? Automatically?

Or does your drip marketing software force you to treat all of these prospects the same? I assure you, not all click-throughs are created equal.

There are a lot of marketing tools out there that do things that weren’t possible a while back, like sending a series of emails on a timed schedule automatically. This is drip marketing. But sending a predetermined set of emails to each prospect – no matter their reaction – can produce disappointing results.

Just as if you walked into the bar having pre-determined exactly what you’d say and when you’d say it – no matter what reaction your efforts elicited.

If you’ve made – or are working on making – the move away from homogeneous, one-time email blasts to drip email campaigns. Congratulations are in order. If you’re ready to take your ROI to the next level then step up from drip marketing to true Lead Nurturing.

Capable lead nurturing systems allow you to build campaigns that treat prospects differently based on different levels of qualification – as indicated by, for example, looking at more than 5 pages after clicking through vs. only one page. Or being associated in CRM with an opportunity of greater than $50k and having looked at your pricing page for at least 10 seconds.

Tip: Evaluating Lead Nurturing Systems
Look for tools that allow your campaigns to “branch” or “trigger” emails and other actions based on more than whether a prospect simply clicked through from your email. Look for tools that allow your campaigns to react fluidly based on meaningful combinations of conditions that are indicative of more highly qualified prospects such as:

  • Number of pages viewed after the click
  • Which pages were viewed or not viewed and for how long
  • Association with valuable CRM Opportunities
  • Current Lead Score
  • Decision maker status

Most popular marketing tools available today lack these capabilities. You’re forced you to run a brief campaign and, after it’s over, build a list of prospects who took qualifying actions. You then use this list to create a second campaign, then a third… A better approach is one that enables you to create just one campaign that branches as needed based on whatever qualifying conditions you choose.

The moral of the story: make sure your marketing automation system is capable of paying real attention to your prospects and how they react to your communications. 

Publish Date: 
Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - 11:30