March 19, 2014

How to Use the Postage Rate Increase to Your Advantage

Recent news about the postal rate increase has put a bad taste in the mouth of direct mailers across the country. Some may be entertaining the idea of ditching direct mail altogether in order to pursue a less-expensive marketing channel. According to Henry Schuck, CEO and cofounder of DiscoverOrg, there’s no reason for businesses to make such a hostile move. In fact, he says you could actually be using the 2014 Postal Reform Act to your advantage!

In a recent article posted on, Henry states that “Businesses can actually help pull the struggling USPS out of the red and make a decent buck in the process by investing more, not less, in direct mail marketing during 2014. The key is designing clever, targeted direct mail campaigns that take advantage of some creative approaches—and technology.”

Rather than throwing in the towel, what creative approach can you use to improve the design of your direct mail ads? Here are a few suggestions:


To increase your chances of gaining a higher response, an interactive approach might help your direct mail ad catch more attention. Need some inspiration? Motorola recently created a print ad that actually lets a person change the color of a printed page. You have to see it to believe it!

Here’s what TJ Panell of JMR Graphics had to say about the ad: “Motorola has made a very innovative advertisement for their product. Customer interaction is a great way to engage the consumer with your product and your brand. Also, the visual aspect of the ad is terrific. It is colorful and interesting, which will generate interest in both the ad and the product.”


Other companies are appealing to the sense of smell by using “scent technology” – yes, this actually exists! Johnson & Johnson placed a full-page ad in “The Times of India” and infused it with the scent of their famous baby powder. Recently, a cat litter company that infused their postcard advertisements with the scent of catnip and drove housecats crazy (in a really good way).

Using scent technology can be an extremely effective catalyst to increased response rates – it not only encourages people to talk about your ad, but motivates them to keep it around longer and share it with others.


By including a sample of your product in a mailer, you can give your direct mail prospects a chance to see and feel what you have to offer. This is an excellent way to engage your audience and let your product sell itself.


This may not sound like anything new; but it is actually one of the most important factors when it comes to getting higher response rates. Have you been reaching the ideal audience for your offer? Take a closer look at who you are currently targeting. If you have a service or product that caters to a specific demographic, you may need some adjustments in order to reach a more qualified audience. When you buy targeted list, you have a higher chance of reaching your ideal audience. This may actually help you save more on printing and mailing costs!

*Don’t forget to update your direct mail lists regularly. Increased delivery rates will help you save on wasted marketing dollars!

When all is said and done, direct mail is still an extremely effective form of direct marketing and will be for a long time to come. For more information on getting the most out of your direct mail campaigns, contact us at 800-383-1381.

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