What disaster could be more obvious than a natural disaster? Hurricanes, tsunamis, and tornados are all examples of disasters that will lead to disastrous results. Natural disasters will definitely have an impact on your direct mail campaign. You will likely see a severely lowered response rate which could cost you thousands of dollars.
Predicting the weather is impossible. But once a hurricane or a blizzard or a major flood has struck, there still may be time to stop your mail from entering the disaster zone – where it could be lost forever.
All marketing campaigns face the risk of weather or natural disasters impacting their execution. With direct mail, bad weather can really slow down the delivery.
In some cases, a Post Office will actually close. If there is a serious storm or flooding, it could take a few weeks before it’s reopened.
Here’s a key tip for EVERYONE sending direct mail … this tip will save you MONEY and keep your response rates from bombing when floods and natural disasters occur:
Whenever you are processing your mailing lists (i.e., Merge Purge, Data Hygiene, NCOA, etc.) ask your data processor to “Please Omit Closed/Suspended AND Partial/Limited Zip Codes.”
What does that mean? It means that you don’t want to send your mail through any Post Offices that are closed, or temporarily closed, or have limited service. Ninety-nine times out of 100, the closure or limited service is due to bad weather or natural disasters.
And here’s why you don’t want your mail dropped off at those Post Offices:
What do you think happens when a Post Office is closed because of a huge snowstorm? They don’t toss your mail into the trash (thank goodness) … they have to hold on to it. But they’re holding on to lots of it. Now, think about how much mail you get each day. What happens after a 3-day weekend? Your mail pile is twice the normal size. Don’t you go through it quicker than if it was a smaller pile?
What happens when you come back from vacation and your mail covers your entire kitchen table? Do you meticulously go through each piece? I bet not!
If you send mail to an address and the local USPS Office is closed, then the mail will be held until it re-opens. If it takes a week to reopen, the amount of mail that will be delivered in the following week, or two, will be twice as much as the USPS customers are used to seeing. So, would you want to be in that mail pile, or should I say, do you want to be that needle in a haystack? I sure wouldn’t.
So, to avoid disastrous results, don’t have your mail delivered to Closed, Suspended, or Limited USPS Offices. Always use the “Please Omit Closed/Suspended AND Partial/Limited Zip Codes” order with your data processor. It will save you money on printing and postage, and help avoid a mailing that bombs completely.