Is the United States Postal Service (USPS) a marketing innovator? As it turns out, the kind folks in the blue shorts are in fact making it easy for even the smallest business to duke it out with their biggest competitors by using the USPS new “mailing online (MOL)” direct mail service - check it out at http://www.usps.com/mailingonline
With MOL, you can escape the dreary part of direct mail marketing - the printing, the stuffing, the stamps, etc. MOL users simply create a document, upload it to the MOL website with their mailing list and credit card information, and press “go”. Within 48 hours, the members of your mailing list are receiving the marketing message in their postal mailboxes.
Speed & Price
The best two parts of the MOL service are the speed and the price. Jobs uploaded early in the business day can be printed and postmarked the following day. The per piece cost is not much more than the price of a single stamp since even MOL jobs sent First Class get a “presorted” USPS discount.
A 4.24 by 6 inch postcard can be printed and mailed First Class for just 24 cents. A one and two-thirds page business letter or brochure can be sent “envelope free” (the last third is needed for the address) for just 56 cents per piece. And the minimum number of pieces you can send per job? One. That’s right, while other direct mail houses turn away customers with minimums under several thousand, the USPS takes all customers and gives them all equally great service.
Before MOL you had to create your master document, drop it off at the printer, wait until it was done to figure postage, apply postage and addresses, and drop it off at the post office. This whole process could take you a whole month to finish. And if you’re say mailing from the West Coast… it would be another week before East Coast recipients received their copy. With MOL your document is printed and dropped in the mail from several dozen USPS distribution points across the country…so everyone gets their document at the same time no matter where they live in the US.
As Easy As Typing An Email
MOL users don’t need to know anything more about document creation than how to type and save a document on their hard drive. Novice computer users can use their PC “Notepad” utility and save the document as a text (TXT) file. Most users will probably use Microsoft Word and create a slightly more appealing document. You may already have access to documents through your company that have a more professional appearance. You could also invest in a copy of Microsoft Publisher as it provides many templates to choose from and makes professional document creation a snap.
Content Creation - Keep It Simple
The biggest challenge will be in generation of content you believe is worth the price of postage. The following types of content pieces will get your creative juices flowing…. pretty much write themselves….and are worth reading:
Just Ask For Referrals!
If you do nothing else, just send out a monthly postcard asking for referrals. The commitment to a monthly postcard does two separately important things for you. It keeps your contact information in front of your customer and it reminds them on a monthly basis that they have immediate access to a friend in the “ABC” business. And of course the number one reason you don’t get referrals is you don’t ask for referrals. Well, if you’re too shy to ask in person or on the phone, let the postcard do the talking!
If you haven’t attempted direct mail marketing before because you thought it too costly, too time consuming, or too much work….think again. Things have changed in your favor. The time is right for you to give it a try.
About the author
Michael is the owner of FreedomFire Communications….providing a variety of voice, data, and internet solutions for homes and businesses ( http://www.billzilla.com/mscprez ) Try his Toll Free ISP service for business travelers: http://www.roibot.com/w.cgi?R7915_TollFreeISP
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