Making Direct Mail enticing to open

With the increase of email with companies one would think that the use of Direct Mail (aka junk mail) we receive in our mail boxes would decline.   There is actually what appears to be a trend that Direct Mail is not going away and to net out several articles I read that companies are discovering it is to easy for someone to hit the delete key in their inbox – but if there is a tangible item of mail in their hands it gets a better response rate.   Add to that there is a movement afoot to use stamps and/or ‘real’ stamps to get away from that ‘bulk mail’ look which in a lot of cases is all it takes to end up in the trash bin before ever entering our homes from the trip to the mailbox.   

Wikipedia defines this type of mail as “Advertising mail, also known as direct mail (by its senders), junk mail (by its recipients), or admail, is the delivery of advertising material to recipients of postal mail.)

Linn’s Stamp News Article

Attribution: Image from Linn’s Stamp web site of August 17, 2015 article: “Record number of coil stamps for 1-ounce fund-raising letter”

Back on August 20, my stamp club friend sent me this article from Linn’s Stamp News about “Record number of coil stamps for 1-ounce fund-raising letter” by Roland Blanks, August 17, 2015.

In their email to me they described the article as: Marketing and advertisement research has proven that people are more likely to open mail if real stamps are used to mail the item. People are turned off by metered indicia, postage paid permit, and bulk rate/presort rate mail. These envelopes scream BILLS and JUNK MAIL! Many mass marketers use real every day stamps to give the impression of “open me, something interesting inside”. Research has even proven that using more than one stamp improves the likelihood of the mail being open…” 

Add to that this blog post from Ed Bristol Advertising & Printing

The article entitled “Using Pre-canceled Stamps to Improve Direct Mailing Results” begins with “Many companies are not aware that there are “live” stamps that can be used with a bulk direct mailing campaign. The stamps are available as 1st class presort, 3rd class presort and non-profit. The USPS postage for these stamps is the same rate as using an imprinted mail indicia. There are a number of advantages to using a stamp versus imprinting a mail permit (indicia) for a non-profit or school fundraiser and for business marketing campaigns.”

Attribution: Image of four Precanceled stamps by USPS Business Mail 101

Over at the United States Postal Service

There is this Business Mail 101 on Precanceled Stamps.    “Precanceled stamps are special stamps that come in small denominations and are specifically for Presorted First-Class Mail and Standard Mail mailings. Mailers apply these special stamps to envelopes at a lower postage price (say, 15 cents) and pay the difference when they drop off the mail at the Post Office. The business mail entry unit clerk can help you fill out your postage statement to calculate how much you still owe. You can pay that difference with a check, a meter strip, or through a postage account.”

Precanceled stamps are available in various non-denominations in coils of 500, 3,000, and 10,000 for the following classes of mail.  For Presorted First-Class Mail only; Presorted First-Class Postcards only; Regular Standard Mail only, and Nonprofit Standard Mail only

EU Services 

There is this “Get The Stamp of Approval On Your Direct Mail Package” from March 8, 2011.  It goes into some detail about “live stamp” and determining which type of postage to use with Direct Mail.

Thank you to my  stamp club friend at the Wilmington Philatelic Society for sharing the Linns Stamp News article, suggesting the blog post topic and inspiring me with today’s blog post title;       and @Wikipedia who are all referenced in today’s blog post.

So the next time you see that stack of mail sitting in front of you – don’t be surprised – if you start rating their job of making the item enticing and something you WANT to open!  Operators are standing by….

Anchors Aweigh,




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