Is Late Better than Never?

Fail: Timing  

You’re a Marketing Manager working on the next campaign when you get that call from Production. “There’s a problem,” the production manager says, trying to sound as neutral as possible. The paper for your mass mailing didn’t arrive at the printer. The printer’s press went down. There was a freak snowstorm at the lettershop. Or something else totally random that will set your mail drop back a few days. There is no slack time left in your execution schedule because the creative agency didn’t listen to your instructions – for three rounds. You know your production specialists and vendors are doing everything they can, but that still leaves you with a choice: mail late, or abort.

Perhaps these two mailers were in this situation and chose to go ahead with the mailing. After all, much of the preparation costs are already sunk so the incremental cost is not much more than postage. Some response is better than none, right? It’s also possible that everything mailed on time but the US Postal Service delivered your mail even slower than anticipated. Still, these two mailings get a fail for arriving after Thanksgiving.

The Nutcracker plays 11/27 through 12/27, so arriving in home on 12/3 isn’t so bad. There are still 3 weeks of shows remaining.

A Thanksgiving donation message that arrives after Thanksgiving is late. This solicitation from Three Square arrived in the recipient’s mailbox on 11/29. By that time, it should have had a Christmas theme.

The letter even has a date of ‘October 2009’.

Learnings: Plan ahead for production delays. Mail on time, even a bit early. If you cannot mail on time, consider when it’s appropriate to cut your losses and not mail.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Loved the piece. When mailing at the holiday season, the mailer MUST remember that the USPS moves First Class faster than Standard. If the message is time-sensitive, consider first class at this time of year. Also never assume that your mail is the only mail in the USPS mail stream. Delivery times assume an average to low volume of mail.