Let’s face it, direct mail is not known as the speediest of the marketing channels. The typical direct mail campaign can take several weeks and sometimes months to execute from start to finish. Over the past year, the industry has been challenged with even longer lead times due to paper and labor shortages.
In general, direct mail projects require incredible pre-planning and careful mapping of schedules long in advance. But what happens when time is of the essence and it is critical to get a message out quickly? World events, organizational crises, natural disasters, and legislative actions can happen unexpectedly and they often require a much more rapid response than the typical direct mail campaign can support. Fortunately, there are options to get that message out at lightning speed.
“Off-the-shelf” package formats can be executed and produced in just a few days from the time letter copy and data is available. Certain supplier partners have a ready inventory of #10 double-window outer envelopes, #9 center-windowed return envelopes, and 8.5 x 14 blank letter/reply stock. While the envelopes are not specifically branded to your organization, the outer envelopes are often brightly colored and may or may not include urgent messaging that screams “open-me!”. The letter/reply can be fully lasered in black on both sides and includes a perf-out reply form that can be returned in the window return envelope (there are even courtesy reply mail or business reply mail options).
Postcards are another great option to look at when you have the need for speed. Postcards can be digitally printed and addressed at the same time making for efficient production. Since postcards do not allow for a reply device, drive donors to a specific landing page where they can make an urgent donation with the use of a QR code. The USPS also has an added incentive by offering a special “postcard” first-class rate, providing the speed of first-class delivery at a slightly discounted rate if the sizing and paper thickness requirements are met.
Modify an “In-Process” Campaign
Depending on where things stand in the production process, a current mailing may be able to be adapted to include late-breaking news or messaging. Below are a few techniques to modify a “soon-to-be mailing” campaign:
There you have it! A few options to get your mail out quicker, when you have the need for speed. Reach out to your PS contact to test any of these options, or if you have any questions.