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Direct Mail Best Practices

Purchasing our turnkey direct mail solution?

Here is an overview of the best practices for direct mail.

In this article, we will review best practices to help users discover your Art House direct mail campaign while complying with USPS’ direct mail regulations. 

 

USPS has very strict guidelines for direct mailers. Be sure to follow these guidelines, ensuring that your dot the i’s and cross the t’s.

 

In regards to promoting your AR activation, we suggest using a combination of these on the back of your direct mailers to ensure users are aware of your activation and it is a frictionless experience. An example would be using a Call-To-Action and a QR Code and / or NFC tag. These also are not the only ways to promote your project, so get creative!

Designing Your Direct Mailer

USPS has a lot of rules and regulations for their Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) service. It is important to follow all of these when designing your direct mailer. In this section, we will outline the various requirements.

*If you are not using the USPS Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM), but using a mailing list instead, you can disregard this section. When not using USPS' EDDM service, you are essentially sending standard mail and do not need to follow these guidelines. Speak with your account manager for more details.

Mailer Sizing

With our turnkey direct mail solution, we currently standardize the size of our direct mail for simplicity. We use the most common size, which is 6.5" by 9".

 

If you'd like to customize this, please speak to your account manager and reference the below guidelines.

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  • Rectangular with four square corners or finished cor­ners that do not exceed a radius of 1/8 inch. Must be one of the following: more than 11.5 inches long OR more than 6 1/8 inches high OR more than 1/4 inch thick. (Note: If an 8 1/2 x 11 piece is folded in half, the final dimensions would not be a flat-sized piece.)
     

  • Cannot be more than 15 inches long, 12 inches high, or 3/4 inch thick.
     

  • Cannot weigh more than 3.3 ounces when submitted at the local Post Office.

Indicia Placement

Instead of using precanceled stamps or a postage meter, the mailer prints postage information in the upper right corner of the mailpiece. This postage block is called an "indicia." The indicia are printed onto each mailpiece and should be included in your design.

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  • Orientation of the address does not matter, i.e., whether the address is applied parallel to the long or short side of the piece. However, the address must be in the top half of the piece. 
     

  • The shortest end will always be the top half of the piece. Length is always the long side.

Indicia Design

USPS has specific indicias for specific types of direct mail. Contact your account manager if you need assistance choosing the proper indicias. Click the examples below to download.

Business Mail Entry Unit Orders

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Retail Orders

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Every Door Direct Mailers - Business Mail Entry Unit Orders:
 

  • “Postal Customer” for all active deliveries (business and residential).

  • “Residential Customer” for residential deliveries.

  • “PO Box Customer” for PO Box deliveries.

  • City, State, and ZIP Code are recommended, but not required.

  • “EDDM” must be included after “ECRWSS” on the label of pieces greater than 10.5 inches and up to and including 11.5 inches in length.

  • See above for label and indicia examples on the left.
     

Every Door Direct Mailers - Retail Orders:

  • “Local Postal Customer”for all active deliveries (business and residential).

  • See above for label and indicia examples on the right.

Promoting Your AR Activation

Promoting your AR activation might be the most important piece of the puzzle. It is important to include a clear and concise call-to-action on the back of your direct mailer. To improve the user experience, we suggest including tools such as QR codes or NFC tags linked to our Immediate Experience to make the activation frictionless. In this section, we’ll dive into each of these in detail.

Call-To-Action (CTA)

CTA Example

Tell users what they stand to benefit from scanning (what is the value proposition). Use phone graphics (like the one above) to make the action of scanning clear. Put yourself in the shoes of the user. In the context it’s placed in, would someone scan it? If the answer is ‘no’, you probably need to go back to the drawing board to ensure the QR code is visible and the call to action is incentivizing scanning.

 

What we have found is that the success of an AR project can have everything to do with the process and communication. Creating this clear and effective Call to Action is part of what we call the 5 C’s for Success:

 

Context - Put yourself in the shoes of your end user in the exact moment of

assistance and ask yourself what that moment would feel like: do you have a hand

free at the moment, good network connectivity and the dwell time to make it a

positive scanning experience?

 

Control - How well can we control this context: the lighting, the image itself

being scanned, the distance of the user from it, occlusion, the acoustics, file size

etc. The more control we have in that context the better the end user experience.

Remember that when it comes to AR, the experience will only be as good as what the camera on the device can see at that scanning, detection, initialization and tracking moment.

 

CTA - Make sure the Call to Action clearly tells people HOW to scan and WHAT

they are going to get for their efforts. Make sure the CTA is connected to the image

or place you’re asking people to scan. The greater the distance from CTA to scanning

moment the greater the drop-off in activation. Getting the CTA right is crucial. This

is the C that on the surface seems the simplest to get right but 9/10 is left too late

or not thought about deeply enough. Remember that no one is looking for (or cares

about!) your AR experience so be very clear about what you are asking them to do

and what they’re going to get. 

 

Content - Make sure the content you are delivering is valuable to your users

and could not have been more easily accessible or better delivered by just going to

your website or YouTube channel! Reward them for their participation with digital

value add or real world value (sweeps, coupons etc.) and offer levels of immersion,

engagement and interaction that make AR so powerful.

 

Communications - Make sure to leverage your other comms channels

to tell people about this new camera capability (through POS, Print, TVCs, social,

online ads, influencers, PR, internal comms etc.). This is a new behavior for your

audience so help them understand the benefit and how they can participate.

Remember, beyond your core consumers, your internal audience and sales staff are

your most powerful advocates for spreading the message. We find that when there are failures or shortcomings in a campaign, going back and revisiting how everyone collectively performed against the five C’s is instructive to improving for the process going forward.

 

A detailed example of this could look like: This postcard comes to life! Follow these steps to see for yourself and access a 10% off coupon:

  • Open the camera app on your phone.

  • Point your camera’s viewfinder at the QR code on the back of this postcard.

  • Follow the prompts to launch the AR viewer “Art House”.

  • Tap ‘Allow’ on the security prompts to provide access to your camera (this allows the AR viewer to operate).

  • Point the viewfinder of the AR viewer at the front of this postcard.

  • Watch it come to life!

  • Swipe for additional layers of experiences and your coupon code.

A streamlined example of this could look like: This postcard comes to life! Follow these steps to see for yourself and access a 10% off coupon:

  • Point your mobile camera at this QR code.

  • Follow the Art House prompt.

  • Flip this postcard over and point your camera at Andy Warhol on the front of this postcard. 

  • Watch this limited edition print come to life, and be sure to swipe for your coupon code. 

QR Codes

Promoting your AR activation might be the most important piece of the puzzle. It is important to include a clear and concise call-to-action on the back of your direct mailer. To improve the user experience, we suggest including tools such as QR codes or NFC tags linked to our Immediate Experience to make the activation frictionless. In this section, we’ll dive into each of these in detail.

NFC Tags

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Users can tap their mobile device on NFC tags that you place on or near your Art House activated item to launch an Art House Immediate experience, even from the lock screen. Currently, NFC tags have a reach of about 4 inches. Be sure to include the universal NFC icon near the tappoint to let users know it is available and to avoid any confusion.

Design Services

Overwhelmed by all of the rules and regulations? We can take care of it all for you! Our Content Partner Network is waiting by. Our Content Partner Network is a group of careful selected creatives that know how to create immersive content that power engaging activations. Let our team take care of it all for you. Contact your account manager for more information.