Direct Mail – The 5 Second Rule

What do you do when you go through your mail each day? If you don’t know then observe yourself next time as you are probably not much different from the people going through their mail that you are trying to reach.

Our mail is propelled through a door slot and is often scattered in the entrance way so my system is different than someone who has a mailbox, but I do end up stacking my mail prior to going through it just like I describe below. Postal workers will tell you that they have a system for stacking the mail for each address that goes something like this:

Take the biggest piece of mail such as a magazine or large envelope on the outside with the rest of the mail sorted by size and wrapped inside and then band it together with an elastic.

Therefore the 5″ x 7″ and 4″ x 9″ postcards are almost always at the back of the pile and the No 10 envelopes with bills in them are in front of these larger pieces. 8-1/2″ x 11″ sheets folded in three and 4″ x 6″ postcards get stuffed in with the bills in envelopes and are lost. Mail delivery people will tell you that the bigger pieces always go at the back and are most effective because they stand out in the pile. So are you sending bigger pieces?

Mail Slot

What is the 5 second rule?

You have 5 seconds or less to make enough of an impact on the reader that they will either set aside your direct mail for reading later or flip it over while they are looking at it.

Are People Reading Direct Mail?

The following facts are sourced from ‘The Letterbox Factfile’ produced by the Direct Mail Information Service.

  • On average, consumers are likely to receive 14 items of direct mail every 4 weeks.
  • If you are an AB household, (the wealthiest socio-economic group) it is likely to be 18 items, whereas a DE household (the least affluent) receives 12 items.

Mail Boxes

Do you open it?

You might be surprised to find out that on average, 60% of consumer mail is opened and 40% is read.
37% of consumers said that they had responded to Direct Mail at least once in the past 12 months. This means that 63% didn’t respond despite receiving between 144 and 216 items across the year.

Read Outstanding or Can’t Stand It to learn how you can increase your chances of being one of the successful direct mailers.

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