Should You Track Your Direct Mail?
Direct mail marketing is very data-centric. Marketers are great at leveraging data about their customers and prospects, but many have never thought of leveraging USPS delivery data. The USPS has made many technological advancements over the years to enhance the visibility of mail as it processes through its plants. When you track your direct mail, it allows marketers access to not only delivery speeds but also accurate delivery dates.
What information does the post office have available?
- The USPS has first scan data, in other words, when the piece processes after being dropped at the post office.
- The USPS has out for delivery scan data, in other words the carriers have the mail on their trucks to deliver.
Why does this information matter?
- Delivery Speeds: The delivery speed of your mail can vary greatly—some areas of the US process mail at faster rates than others. When you have the information about which areas are slow, you can plan to mail to them sooner becomes essential when you have a hard deadline date on your mail piece. It needs to get to recipients before it expires.
- Delivery Dates: When you know the dates that your mail pieces delivered, you can coordinate follow up campaigns. With most marketers using more than one channel, it becomes essential to know when to send the next message. Accurate in-home dates provide you with a trigger point with which you can rely on. Knowing when your payments are coming by tracking your business reply envelopes can also be helpful for your accounting departments.
Since direct mail is an effective way to drive people to online content, it is usually the first step in a multi-channel campaign since Knowing that the USPS delivery information is the key to the steps that follow it. Since timing in marketing is everything, adding the USPS delivery information can give your ROI a boost.
Depending on the service provider of your tracking, there are many options for you to view the information.
Some of the most common are:
- Scans by SCF
- Scans by NDC
- Scans by State
- Scans by Date
- Scans by DDU
- Scans by 5 Digit Zip
- Scans by 3 Digit Zip
There is a lot of valuable information in these reports. One of the best benefits, when you track your direct mail, is being able to know when there is a problem. If you have the start of process scans, but they have gone no further for several days, it is time to reach out to a postal representative to find out what is happening. If you can catch a problem soon enough, you can get a resolution quickly, and your mail will get delivered in a reasonable amount of time.
Consider tracking your next direct mail campaign so that you can see when recipients are getting your mail so you can send out a follow-up message. Remember, the more times and ways you touch your customers and prospects, the better response you are going to get. Have you tried direct mail tracking? What did you like or dislike about it?
One thing to keep in mind is that just because a mail piece may not show scanned, it does not mean that it was not delivered. This is especially true for flats. Many times flat size mail is not run on the scanning equipment, so we see low scan tracking data on this type of correspondence. We recommend tracking letter-size pieces for better scan results. Are you ready to get started? Contact us today! We are glad to help!