26 December 2007

Stamps Boost Response Rates Over Metered Postage and Indicias in Direct Mail Marketing

Stamps Boost Response Rates Over Metered Postage and Indicias in Direct Mail Marketing by Alan Sharpe

Direct mail fundraisers learned long ago that stamps boost response rates. Maybe the same will work for your sales letters. Why not test and find out?

In split-run tests, non-profit organizations have discovered that an envelope bearing a row of commemorative stamps often outpulls an identical envelope bearing a postal indicia or metered postage.

The reason is human nature. A stamp has a human touch. Unlike postal indicias and metered postage, a stamp is placed on an envelope by a person and not a machine. Stamps make the envelope look more personalized and less institutional.

You have only three ways to add postage to your letters. The most personal is a stamp, what people in the trade call a "live stamp." Which is a redundant moniker since all stamps are live. A stamp is a stamp.

Metered postage
One step down on the friendliness scale is metered postage. Metered postage is applied to each envelope in the lettershop using a laser printer or ink- jet printer. Metered postage is usually dated as well, giving it a look of immediacy. Plus, some machines let the mailer add a slogan or line of promotional copy next to the postage, which further serves to make metered postage more personal-looking than a postal indicia.

Postal indicia
The most institutional-looking postage of the three is a postal indicia. Even if it is for first-class mail, a postal indicia screams "bulk mail." A postal indicia looks official, and so it is at the wrong end of the scale for communicating that your message is from one person to another.

If you want your letter to look as personal as possible, line up a row of commemorative stamps of different denominations until you reach the correct postage for the class of mail you're using. Commemorative stamps catch the eye and add human interest to your envelope. A row of them makes your envelope stand out even more.

If you're worried that you lack the time and manpower to affix postage by hand to thousands of envelopes, don't worry. Your post office likely sells standard envelopes with first-class stamps already affixed.

To see samples of these three kinds of postage, visit http://www.sharpecopy.com/newsletter/index.php/stamps-boost-direct-mail-response-rates/
© 2006 Sharpe Copy Inc. You may reprint this article online and in print provided the links remain live and the content remains unaltered (including the "About the author" message).

About the Author
Alan Sharpe is a direct mail copywriter and lead generation specialist who helps business owners and marketing managers attract new clients using direct mail and email marketing. Sign up for free weekly tips like this at www.sharpecopy.com/newsletter

Source: http://www.goarticles.com/cgi-bin/showa.cgi?C=294053


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