Archive for the ‘TC Delivers News’ Category

13 Things Your Mail Carrier Won’t Tell You

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

from Reader’s Digest, | February 2011

1. Maybe your dog won’t bite you. But in 2009, 2,863 of us were bitten, an average of nine bites per delivery day. That’s why I wince when your Doberman comes flying out the door.

2. Remember this on Valentine’s Day: It takes our machines longer to read addresses on red envelopes (especially if they’re written in colored ink).

3. Why stand in line? At usps.com, you can buy stamps, place a hold on your mail, change your address, and apply for passports. We even offer free package pickup and free flat-rate envelopes and boxes, all delivered right to your doorstep.

4. Media Mail is a bargain, but most of you don’t know to ask for it. Sending ten pounds of books from New York City to San Francisco through Media Mail costs $5.89, compared with $16.77 for Parcel Post. Besides books, use it to send manuscripts, DVDs, and CDs; just don’t include anything else in the package.

5. We don’t get a penny of your tax dollars. Really.

6. UPS and FedEx charge you $10 or more for messing up an address. Us? Not a cent.

7. Paychecks, personal cards, letters—anything that looks like good news—I put those on top. Utility and credit card bills? They go under everything else.

8. Sorry if I seem like I’m in a hurry, but I’m under the gun: Our supervisors tell us when to leave, how many pieces of mail to deliver, and when we should aim to be back. Then some of us scan bar codes in mailboxes along our route so they can monitor our progress.

9. Yes, we do have to buy our own stamps, but a lot of us carry them for customers who need them. If we don’t charge you, that’s because we like you.

10. Use a ballpoint pen. Ink from those felt tips runs in the rain.

11. Please dress properly when you come to the door. A towel wrapped around you doesn’t cut it. And we definitely don’t want to see you in your underwear—or naked!

12. We serve 150 million addresses six days a week, so we’re often in the right place at the right time. We pull people out of burning cars, catch burglars in the act, and call 911 to report traffic accidents, dead bodies, and more.

13. Most of us don’t mind if you pull up to our trucks while we’re delivering and ask for your mail a little early. But please get out of your car and come get it. Don’t just put your hand out your window and wait for me to bring it to you.

TC Delivers Has A Facebook Business Page for mail solutions

Friday, September 28th, 2012


http://www.facebook.com/pages/TC-Delivers-Mail-Solutions-and-Savings/285805821510451

Please click on the link above to “like” us on Facebook. Also, please feel free to write about your experiences with TC Delivers.

Small Businesses To Increase Use of Direct Mail

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

Numerous survey have found plans for small businesses to increase their marketing budgets that coincide with reports forecasting greater direct mail revenues.

Now, PRIMIR, the company that recently published a study called “Trends & Future of Direct Marketing,” is adding its voice to the group, noting that while direct mail volumes is not set to gain rapidly, it will post small signs of growth.

“Direct mail is the largest direct marketing channel in North America. Although the decline has been precipitous, direct mail’s standing in the marketing mix remains strong,” PRIMIR noted. “Direct mail volume stabilized in 2010 and will return to positive and more modest growth, although it will be years before it reaches its prior peak.”

However, this growth will be challenged by a number of factors, including complicating postal rates and regulations and the low cost of digital channels.

Small businesses looking to take advantage of direct mail marketing strategies can employ a number of materials, including catalogs, flyers and postcards, and may even benefit from new programs from the U.S. Postal Service involving saturation mailing and quick response codes.

8 Reasons Why Mail Succeeds In A Digital Age

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

Reprinted from Delivery Magazine:

Out of 11 different categories of marketing messages, direct mail was chosen as the most acceptable means of communication in four categories, tied with e-mail as most acceptable in two others, and came in a close second behind e-mail in another four categories.

According to the survey, 65 percent of consumers have made a purchase as a result of a direct mail piece. The survey report provided the following analysis: “In the face of always-on channels like e-mail, SMS and social networks, consumers appreciate direct mail’s tangibility, flexibility and once-a-day pace. It also remains the only channel where unsolicited messages are acceptable to a majority of consumers.”

Other recent surveys on consumer preference provided similar results:

• In 2011, Epsilon, a multichannel marketing service, surveyed nearly 5,000 consumers, including more than 2,200 in the United States. More than one-third expressed a preference for direct mail over the multitude of other channels. Of those surveyed, 60 percent said going to the mailbox and receiving a piece of mail provided an emotional boost. Consumers said they found mail to be more trustworthy than other forms of communication. The study found that the preference for mail extended to the 18- to 34-year-old demographic as well.

• In 2010, a Durham+Company survey found direct mail to be twice as effective as e-mail for soliciting donations online. Further underlining the importance of direct mail to motivate online giving, 37 percent who give online say that when they receive a direct mail appeal from a charity, they use the charity’s website to give the donation.

So what is the reason for direct mail’s staying power? We sought the views of seven experts, including the author of the ExactTarget study: Jeffrey Rohrs, vice president, Marketing Research and Education of the Indianapolis-based company. Here’s what they told us …

Denver-based Heinrich Marketing likes to think of itself as the CSI of the marketing world, asking the tough questions before getting the creative department involved. Heinrich managing director Laura Sonderup says the research has shown that mail continues to be one of the most cost-effective methods for targeting that any marketer can deploy: “In many instances, mail allows us to localize lead generation far more efficiently than other marketing channels — down to the census tract and neighborhood level when necessary. Our largest clients insist that direct mail be included in their marketing plans as a means of maximizing budgets and increasing return on investment.”

1. Mail Is Tangible

Direct mail, says Jeffrey Rohrs of ExactTarget, “provides a tangible experience that digital media does not replicate. And in a world of hyper-fragmentation of communication channels, where you can get a phone call, text, e-mail, post on Facebook, message on Twitter, message on apps, there’s something about mail and how it cuts through the digital clutter that remains attractive to consumers.”

Jamie Matusek, marketing director of Austin, Texas–based QuantumDigital, echoes that view: “From a consumer perspective, yes, the majority of us have mobile device in hand 24/7 — but there is something to be said about a targeted mail piece and offer from a company I do business with. It’s a great way to help in making bigger decisions like home improvement projects, or even just getting an invitation to try a new restaurant in my local neighborhood. Mail tends to break through the digital noise for a bit and offers a moment for a targeted message to resonate. Plus, it offers a great way for businesses to focus on local neighborhood marketing, hitting potential customers who are close to home.”

2. Mail Integrates Well

Says Jeffrey Rohrs of ExactTarget: “As I look at our 2012 survey compared to our 2008 survey, the real story is that we have multichannel consumers due to the explosion of devices, so you’d better have cross-channel communication strategies. You need to be integrating your channels so that you can influence your consumers in different ways. This is where direct mail can work hand-in-glove with e-mail and social media. There will always be a place for channels that break the mold and pleasantly surprise consumers.”

3. People Like Opening Mail

Part of the power of mail, adds ExactTarget’s Jeffrey Rohrs, lies in the mundane consumer ceremony of padding to the mailbox each day: “There’s a moment every day where folks go to the mailbox, and they take that brief respite and they look at what they’ve received. It is a ritual. It goes beyond habit. It is part of what people do. And those marketers who can get there cost-effectively and creatively will continue to have an opportunity to differentiate themselves and their brand in interesting ways that will produce a return on investment.”

4. There’s Less Competition in Direct Mail

Jon Yokogawa, vice president of consumer engagement for interTrend, a full-service communications agency in Long Beach, Calif., contends that the technology age has actually boosted the impact of direct mail. “Your e-mail inbox is the new mailbox, filled with bills, letters from friends, family and work,” he says. “So the amount of paper in your mailbox is less. Therefore, you would be more inclined to look more carefully at any type of mail that you do receive from the Postal Service.™”

Content marketing expert Joe Pulizzi, the founder of the Content Marketing Institute, Cleveland, and the largest content marketing event, Content Marketing World, warns marketers against becoming too “infatuated” with other channels, as mail continues to get the job done. “For certain goals like getting immediate attention, direct mail is perfect,” says Pulizzi. “There’s so much less competition in the print channel these days, the opportunity to get noticed is probably as great as it’s been in decades.”

5. Mail Builds Loyalty

Joe Pulizzi of the Content Marketing Institute by underscores the value that mail has in cultivating loyalty and brand evangelism among consumers. “We know from our research at the Content Marketing Institute that only about 30 percent of our customers create and distribute a custom magazine, but we think there’s great opportunity in that channel to build loyalty,” he says. “Social media is selective. It’s hard to get on that must-read list. If you just go through any airport and walk around, you’ll see all the electronic devices and, at the same time, you’ll still see younger Millennials who are holding magazines, especially females, because it’s still such a visual, tactile media.”

6. Mail Is More Sophisticated Now

Jon Yokogawa of interTrend points out that the evolution of mail messaging — from the refinement of offers to new personalization tools — has also buoyed the channel and confirmed its ongoing relevance: “The sophistication of mail messaging has greatly improved over the years. Top companies use the platform, and that builds credibility. Nowadays, direct mail is not just for the remnant budgets of smaller clients. Many industries see this form of marketing as a proven medium, having better and actual measurements (ROI) than traditional TV, print, outdoor advertising or radio.”

Louis Maldonado, managing director of New York-based d expósito & partners, an agency specializing in integrated communications, including direct mail, points out how the digital age has added to mail’s power, introducing elements such as QR Codes, augmented reality and SnapTags to mail marketing: “Direct marketing has experienced a resurgence of excitement given the new technologies and tools available now. The increased targetability of e-mail and mobile channels, as well as the enhanced engagement and dialogue opportunities afforded through social media, serve to complement and fuel response rates to the tried-and-true channels, like direct mail and DRTV.”

7. Mail Helps You Target

Denver-based Heinrich Marketing likes to think of itself as the CSI of the marketing world, asking the tough questions before getting the creative department involved. Heinrich managing director Laura Sonderup says the research has shown that mail continues to be one of the most cost-effective methods for targeting that any marketer can deploy: “In many instances, mail allows us to localize lead generation far more efficiently than other marketing channels — down to the census tract and neighborhood level when necessary. Our largest clients insist that direct mail be included in their marketing plans as a means of maximizing budgets and increasing return on investment.”

8. Mail Delivers Results

Whatever its evolution, direct mail ultimately continues to resonate with marketers for one primary reason: It gets results. Robert Salta, owner of Maryland-based DirectMail.com and a 30-year direct marketing veteran, has strong views about mail’s staying power: “It’s all about results. Direct mail works,” he says. “The majority of people will open and read direct mail, but often will choose to ignore e-mail solicitations. The fundamentals of direct mail haven’t changed, partly because their efficacy has been proven time after time. What has changed is the advent of data and digital print technology, and both have benefited direct mail immeasurably.”

Don’t Fear The “List”

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

Marketing lists have a bad reputation. For B2B organizations, acquiring information about potential customers has historically meant buying or renting lists from publishers and professional directories. Poor data quality, lack of coverage, and few segmentation options were some of the limitations of an industry that owes much of its thinking and behavior to the byzantine, non-digital world of direct mail, rather than the needs of marketers driving today’s revenue generation engines. “List” is often a four-letter word associated with a sketchy industry.

However, we are seeing a turning point in the B2B data industry that has occurred because of the incredible growth of customer relationship management (CRM) and marketing automation — a sector that has boomed throughout the current recession. The combination of technology and business process automation in the sales and marketing environment continues to deliver revenue for companies large and small. However, when you mix dirty data and automation, quite simply, nothing happens. I refer to this as “friction” in the lead generation process, and it has been the impetus for change in the data industry, forcing the separation of the wheat from the chaff.

Marketing and CRM automation provide the plumbing of today’s sales process. Data are the things flowing through the pipes, and dirty information will easily gum up the works. When marketing emails bounce and sales follow-up calls reach a dead end, bad data get really expensive really fast in a revenue generation environment. Today’s B2B marketers are smart — they aren’t using lists for “spray and pray” tactics, but rather for targeted audience development driven by a bloom of content marketing. They’re also smarter data shoppers — not falling for the old tricks of buying data without accountability for its performance. Today, data acquisition and maintenance strategies are key ingredients of successful marketing departments.

This new market drove the turning point; the old way just wasn’t working for marketers, and the data providers needed to change. Fortunately, at the same time this was occurring, technology came into existence that forever overhauled the list business as we know it. Sets of segmented, consistent data of high quality are now the tools of a savvy marketer and the fuel that amplifies persona-based content marketing through automated systems. Marketers today can choose to work with data that have been “scrubbed” to ensure greater accuracy, disparate information can be combined more easily, and, with the advent of this cleaner and more complete data set, marketers can perform more complex segmentation, slicing and dicing to their hearts’ content.

Today’s marketer has choices when it comes to buying lists and improving the data they already have. As the industry continues to evolve, buyers will want to perform due diligence when they select a partner. Marketers can and should:

•Know the origin of the list data
•Be familiar with the methodology being used to keep the data clean
•Expect reputable list providers to offer a guarantee
•Ensure their email campaigns are CAN-SPAM compliant
•Look for a partner that provides additional data services that may be helpful, such as data cleansing

When done right, lists can be a respected and critical part of successful B2B marketing programs. Marketers leveraging automation, lead scoring, content marketing, and inbound web registrations all have one critical piece of the puzzle in common: contact and company data. The B2B data companies willing to rise to the challenge can become partners for marketers who need to amplify their messaging and create demand. The rest will be left behind.

TC Delivers provides up to date qualified lists for all business, consumer and life style categories. We can also provide data hygiene to your company list or even provide a hybrid of both. Let us work with you to maximize the quality and return of your data base.

TC Delivers Has A Facebook Page

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

As we continue to grow and improve the ways we communicate with our friends, we have added a Facebook Business Page. Please take a moment and search for us on Facebook. Once you get to the page, take a minute and tell us you “like” us. Feel free to add messages about your experiences with TC Delivers.

DMA: Direct Mail Response Rate Beats Digital

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

Despite the perception in the marketing industry that direct mail and telemarketing are less effective than digital channels, the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) has found that direct mail boasts a 4.4% rate, compared to email’s average response rate of 0.12%, says Yory Wurmser, director of marketing and media insights at the DMA.

Depending on how one crunches the numbers, direct mail has a response rate of up to 10 to 30 times that of email — and even higher when compared to online display, Wurmser continues.

Using transactional data from Bizo and Epsilon, the DMA analyzed more than 29 billion emails and 2 billion online display impressions to track consumer actions both immediately following a click and in the days and weeks after being exposed to an online ad.

“Overall for display, only 6% converted as a result of the immediate action of the click,” Wurmser says, meaning that 94% of conversions happen at a later date — an important finding, considering that the success of display’s impact is generally judged by its click-through rate.

Despite this news, Wurmser notes that in the nine years the DMA has been doing its response rate report, the rate for direct mail, while still “the better channel than any other out there right now,” has gone down 25% overall.

“Yes, there has been a reduction in the response rate level from a direct mail perspective,” he says. “But, looking at it strictly in terms of response rate, direct mail still outperforms digital.”

As to why direct mail remains such a strong channel while simultaneously declining in terms of overall response rate, the reason could be related to the fact that consumers are — now more than ever — continually bombarded by digital messages they don’t want.

“Because of the proliferation of emails and the onslaught of display ads everywhere, there is an advantage of going through direct mail,” Wurmser muses. “Direct mail in a way has become less cluttered.

The DMA’s report was based on data collected through an April 2012 email survey and an analysis of transactional data provided by Bizo and Epsilon.

Find Your Industry Resouces @ www.tcdelivers.com

Sunday, May 27th, 2012

TC Delivers has made it easy for our customers to find often needed industry information. Now you can find all of the information below by visiting the Industry Resources Page of the TC Delivers website:

http://www.tcdelivers.com/clientcenter/resources/

USPS Rules & Regulations
USPS Postage Rates
Zip Code Location
Order USPS Supplies on Line
Move Update Information
A Complete List of USPS Forms
Postal Customer Council Information
Domestic Mail Manual
Quick Service Guides

If you do not find what you need, one of our industry experts is just a phone call or email away to help. Please contact our Tampa, Orlando or Jacksonville mail processing facilities for immediate help.

Direct Mail: Alive And Kicking

Monday, April 16th, 2012

The following excerpts are taken from Forbes Magazine Market Share:

“…direct mail–left a ‘deeper footprint’ in the brain.” In other words media that consumers can touch and feel resonated and touched more emotions than those of the digital variety.”

“Direct mail surprisingly transcends the age demographic, with younger consumers (the 18- to 34-year-old demographic) preferring to learn about marketing offers via postal mail rather than online sources, according to national survey research from ICOM,” said Lisa Formica, president of FMI, a direct mail marketing and advertising firm”

“The USPS has made many advances over the years that has made direct mail more measurable and an even better value for marketers,” added Erik Formica, also of FMI and an executive member of the Greater Philadelphia Postal Custom Council. “For example, the introduction of the Intelligent Mail Barcode (IMB) has opened a range of new services and cost savings for marketers.”

According to a recent survey conducted by Target Marketing magazine, the channel that delivered the strongest ROI for customer acquisition for B2C marketers was direct mail. Direct mail also scored the highest among B2C marketers for customer contact and retention.

In these tight economic times, direct mail continues to be a cost effective marketing tool. TC Delivers is prepared to help you with a targeted cost effective, direct mail project. With three Florida processing centers, TC Delivers can handle any size project.

How to Target Your Mail For Direct Impact

Friday, March 30th, 2012

Direct mail can be one of the most misunderstood, underestimated, and miscalculated tools in marketing. It’s not just the business owner who falls in to these traps, but many marketers are unable or unwilling to communicate the realities – mostly positive – of direct mail campaigns.

Direct mail can prove to be an extremely effective tool within your marketing tool chest – especially when combined with other marketing tools like QR codes, social media marketing, personalized URLs or just your website. Take note that successful direct mail programs result from scientific direct mail processes. We won’t evaluate every single component, but let’s look at 3 common and COSTLY mistakes many businesses make when using direct mail. Then we’ll look at the 3 tested and proven fixes that lead to an effective and successful direct mail campaign for restaurants.

Direct Mail Mistakes & Solutions

Mistake #1:
“I’ll get as large a mailing list as I can, then just “blanket” my immediate location with our campaign.”

Executing a “blanket” strategy – by simply taking a large list of addresses and sending your campaign to those addresses – is the BIGGEST waste of your money and creative energy.

Solution #1
The same level of thought that you put into buying food inventory for your restaurant’s menu should be reflected in acquiring you mailing list. In buying inventory, you base your acquisition decisions around the preferences and characteristics of your customers. When acquiring a mailing list, the logic should be similar – you acquire a list primarily based on the characteristics of the customers you want to reach. For example, if you’re an upscale wine bar, you are better off sourcing a mailing list with individuals that have household income levels above the median income for your region, are college educated, and those who like wine. Your ROI can be 50% -60% greater on a targeted mailing list versus one that is not targeted. In addition, your list should be sourced from extremely reputable sources, because list quality varies widely and even a good initial list will age over time and become inaccurate. The good news is that MODsocket provides tools that allow you to leverage high quality lists from Dunn and Bradstreet, EquiFax and others, and to use very precise demographics in your own targeted direct mail campaign.

Mistake #2:
“Since my last direct mail campaign did not work for me, then that proves direct mail doesn’t work!”

Basing a decision on the ultimate effectiveness of direct mail on just ONE campaign is a bad idea – even if it worked great the first time. Would you say that franchising does not work, just because the first location you opened was not a success? You most likely wouldn’t.

Solution #2
Test! Test! Test! With direct mail, you must test your campaign carefully and often. When testing, use a sample from your overall mailing list and send to that sample. Once you’ve picked a random sample, divide that list into two equal parts and perform a ‘split test’.

Your first ‘run’ should be considered the baseline campaign or your control. From this initial distribution, you can establish a baseline response rate that serves as a measuring stick to evaluate changes in the response-rates of follow-up campaigns. Now that you’ve laid the foundation economically and smartly, you can make changes to your campaign for improved results. However, only change ONE thing at a time.

Now, testing is essential; but don’t go crazy with it! Possibly, start by changing your offer – this is almost as important as the quality of your list. Then review the success. Next time try change your graphics. Finally, try changing the dimensions of your direct mail piece. You many find that smaller is better and more convenient for the prospect, or that larger works better for a specific reason. MODSocket makes it extremely cost effective for restaurants to test, and re-test their direct mail campaigns at a relatively very low cost.

There are many components to testing your direct mail, but these few areas will really make a positive impact on your results and bottom-line.

Mistake #3:
“Let’s focus on telling our prospects how awesome we are!”

When you solicit, nobody cares about YOU. They care about what you can DO for THEM – i.e. YOUR OFFER!

Solution #3
Pay special attention to your content. Your headline, opening lines and offer must speak TO the reader not AT them. Your target audience wants to know “What’s in it for me?” or “Why should I spend my time and money with you?” Depending on your target audience, certain concepts around green/eco-friendly, healthy, fun, excitement may perk their ears. No matter what your demographic looks like or responds to, there are a few words we ALL react well to:
Free
Offer expires …
New
Only
You

After you’ve completed these tweaks to launch a successful campaign, don’t expect to get a 40%, 50% – or even 60% response rate. Success for direct mail range ranges between 0.5% & 3%. Restaurants with well-crafted campaigns and offers can experience between 2%-3% response rate within the first few months.

If you mailed to 10,000 people and 200 – 300 people (a combination of new and existing customers) to responded within 6 months, that’s a winner! Consider you now have the opportunity to create new repeat customers who bring their friends, and it’s easier now to see the potential of your campaign.