Happy New Year Direct Mailers!

09 September 2019 / By Jeff Tarran

3 min read

Mailing in January? Time to plan!

Many of our clients report that January is a strong month for sales overall. Certain industries, such as financial services and self-improvement products, are most likely to experience business bumps in Q1, but we find it’s also a good time for many other Gunderson Direct clients to be in the mail.

Why is January a key month for so many B-to-B and B-to-C marketers?

  • The new year is a natural restart. People often take time over the holidays to reflect on what’s working in their lives and what isn’t. In January, they are open to change — rethinking their finances, business relationships, home furnishings, and much more.
  • Your prospects are in debt. If you’ve ever overspent for the holidays you’re not alone. Many people are looking for solutions to debt hangover in January, and so are businesses.
  • Your prospects have extra cash. The holiday bonus still holds at many companies. And workers in certain industries, like retail and hospitality, are putting in more time and making more money.
  • Resolutions drive response. Lose weight, get out of debt, read more, invest better, go to the gym, travel more, change jobs, etc.
  • Back from vacation and back to work. People and businesses often target January as getting back down to business after putting off important decisions during the holidays

You can probably add your own reasons as to why your target might be more likely to buy what you have to offer in January than during the other eleven months of the year.

Then think about your mail plan.

From a business perspective, a strong Q1 DM effort can kickstart success towards achieving your KPI goals for the year.

A surprising amount of mail is slated for in-home/in-business delivery in early January. While many Americans are enjoying family visits or a beach vacation, direct mail production is in full swing through the month of December. Production facilities are busy, VERY busy, during that timeframe. Schedule it back a bit and that means data vendors are swamped starting in October. So what does that mean to you and your DM program?

 

 

Strategic mailers are taking the following steps starting now:

  • Data analytics — Segmenting, modeling, response analysis, etc. Now’s the time to perform analytics to determine what worked during the year so you can double-down for success in Q1 when more prospects are ready to act.
  • Put a mail plan together — If your budgets are set, start quoting jobs that will run in December. This leads to roughing out a mail plan that we can share with printers, many of whom are already slotting in December mailers.
  • Test planning — A greater mail quantity in Q1 means more opportunity to test, which could require additional data research and more extensive creative concepting. Build timetables that reflect these tasks.
  • Avoid timeline surprises — Obviously, a best practice, not a step. Data vendors and printers who are at or near capacity in Q4 often hold tight to schedules. We’ve seen last-minute creative or data change requests that might cost a day in a mid-year job seriously impact late Q4/early Q1 mail dates.

Don’t wait to get started. Your agency and data partners are waiting to make Q1 a great success for your DM program, so let’s get the ball rolling. The earlier we can start fulfilling your DM holiday wishes the better.

Jeff Tarran
About The Author

Jeff Tarran

As VP of Account Services, Jeff works with our clients to analyze business problems and develop direct marketing strategies that achieve their goals. A 20-year veteran and strategic thought leader in direct marketing, Jeff has headed two independent direct response agencies in the Bay Area after starting his career at Foote Cone and Belding. He earned a Dual BS in management and communications at Syracuse University and his MBA in marketing at Columbia University in New York.

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