In May 2014, Canada Post hosted a webinar on direct mail best practice called ‘Rock the mailbox’ with Trish Witkowski from Foldfactory as the guest speaker. The main topics covered were direct mail planning from strategy through format choice to analysis and some best-in-class best practice examples and inspiration.

In the modern direct mail, 60% of success is your targeting


In May 2014, Canada Post hosted a webinar on direct mail best practice called ‘Rock the mailbox’ with Trish Witkowski from Foldfactory as the guest speaker. The main topics covered were direct mail planning from strategy through format choice to analysis and some best-in-class best practice examples and inspiration.

Successful direct mail communication is fairly easy to deliver and can be divided into three distinct categories: strategy, format and analysis. The term junk mail, according to Witkowski, originated only because a lot of direct mail campaigns are not properly prepared or followed up. As B2B Marketing puts it in their ‘Best Practice Guide: Direct Mail’, “when direct mail fails, it’s for the same reasons that every other type of marketing fails: bad targeting”.

In order to make sure the direct mail does not fall into the junk category, Chief Folding Fanatic from Foldfactory pointed to three questions a mailer must answer.

  • Is the offer clear?
  • Is it timely?
  • Is it relevant?

Another important aspect of direct mail marketing Witkowski refers to is the 40%-40%-20% (audience, offer, creative) rule, which she deems as not being relevant anymore. Because of the advanced data tools available today, Witkowski suggested the success of a modern direct mail campaign depends in 60% on the audience, 30% on offer and in only 10% on everything else.

Further in the webinar, the best drivers of sales were discussed; these were identified as fear, greed, guilt, anger, exclusivity, salvation and flattery. Based on these drivers, different direct mail inspirations were shared regarding the format, visual tricks, sensory and sampling and colour of the direct mail piece.

Witkowski also talked about variable data, quick response codes, personalised URLs and augmented reality, all of which can enhance the success of a mailer. As discussed during the webinar, variable data use ranges from including a recipients’ name on the envelopes to including a personalised image or video inside of the mailed piece. Personalised URLs (PURLs) work well when advanced data collection is a priority for the campaign, while augmented reality and QR codes allow the reader to access extra content by using their smartphones together with the mailer. Lastly, the direct mail format was covered, including swinging fold, panel tabs, accordion fold, sliding reveal format.

The Rock the Mailbox webinar delivered expertise on direct mail preparation. The key take-away for the budget-sensitive marketers is that you can produce a really creative and interactive mailing idea at low cost and then combine the mailer with digital channels for even more interactivity and response collection.

Trish Witkowski is Chief Folding Fanatic at Foldfactory.com where she showcases best practice examples about direct mail campaigns which use folding solutions. She also developed a system that standardises file creation for folded materials. Foldfactory video gallery can be accessed here.

This article was originally published in IPC Market Flash, issue 488.

Source: Canada Post’s webinar ‘Rock the mailbox’