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Is it Direct Mail or Junk Mail? Analysis of an inner city mailbox

I am fortunate enough to live in an inner city apartment in one of the greatest cities in the world, Sydney, Australia. As an unfortunate by-product that means that I am a regular victim of mailbox spam.

Here is an analysis of the contents of my mailbox over June 2009. I’m sure this will look familiar to many.

Analysis of an inner city mailbox

Analysis of an inner city mailbox

Key insights

• I received 70 items in my mailbox, and over 25% of it was addressed to people who no longer live here. I imagine this is a common factor of mailing inner city apartments, but annoying nonetheless.

• Over 50% of the mail received was “Junk Mail”, or unaddressed, unsolicited mail. Unfortunately with direct mail, unlike email I can’t opt out from just one advertiser. It is either “No Junk Mail” or “All Junk Mail”. There is no spam filter. I even got a leaflet from a leaflet drop company!

• Instead of addressing mail as “Dear Resident”, try “Dear Trash Can” because that is where it is going. Last time I checked “Resident” doesn’t live here.

No Junk Mail

No Junk Mail

My Direct Mail manifesto

• Response rates of 1% and lower are often Return On Investment positive. This is great for the advertiser at the time, but it causes diminishing returns for all future campaigns as people stop opening direct mail as they learn that most of it is irrelevant. No other industry celebrates a 99% failure rate!

• If you walk into a home uninvited, at least give them the benefit of sh*t hot targeting, offer and creative. Mediocrity doesn’t deserve any place in my mailbox.

• All Junk Mail shall be reborn as art

Junk Mail Hendrix (courtesty of Schimmel Art)

Junk Mail Hendrix (courtesty of Schimmel Art)

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Categories: Direct Marketing

Author:Chris Maloney

Chris is a multi-channel marketing strategist and one of Australia's most awarded young marketers.

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