Saturation is the strategy of flooding a zip code with your direct mail marketing. This works especially well for local businesses, or national businesses that know they have something special to offer to a particular geographic zone. For example, a maid service will limit itself to homes within a certain distance, or an insurance company may blanket an area with a history of natural disasters. When this strategy is executed wisely it is an incredibly effective means of reaching the greatest number of potential customers with minimal effort and at a reasonable price.
Saturation versus targeted mailing – Targeted mailing is simply the process of ensuring that your direct mail marketing hits a specific demographic or other group. For example, if you sell video games, you may want to target homes with teenagers, rather than seniors who are less likely to play video games. If you spend money on a great looking postcard, you want to be sure that you target only those customers that are likely to respond. On the other hand, a pizza place that has printed menus will be better served doing a saturation mailing to all homes in the town where they are located. Saturation is a very specific strategy of targeting that ‘targets’ an entire zip code. This is helpful if you believe your service or product could be used by the majority of residents in a geographic area.
Pre-sorting for mailing routes – The important thing about saturation is that when you drop off your direct mail marketing to be processed at the Post Office you are required to pre-sort it in the order of the mail carrier’s route. By doing this pre-sort, you will save money on postage because the post office provides discounts because you have made their job easier. Thankfully, there are companies that collect and sell carrier route information for saturation mailing. If you are going to print postcards or flyers, consider using an on-line printer such as Conquest Graphics that can help with both the printing and the mailing. This will help you save money and make life easier by using an expert on both aspects of print marketing and direct mailing.
Maintain updated mailing lists – All forms of targeting require research to make sure that you’re hitting the desired market, and this is also true for saturation. While some businesses overlook this fact, the reality is that many geographic areas change over time. Zip codes are viewed too often as static groupings for targeting, but they can shift as well. If your business targets a zip code when the income level is at a certain average, and that average drops over the course of a decade, it’s important to track those statistics so that you aren’t flooding homes with a product or service they can’t reasonably afford.
Make sure your paperwork is in order – It is important for you to verify any required permits for your area. Some shippers require bulk permits, some have one specifically for saturation, and there are often others still—especially if you want to benefit from discounts. If you do not do mailings frequently, it is often easier to work through a company that can handle the paperwork for you. Conquest Graphics is one company that can help you navigate the confusing world of the postal service. Or, if you want to do mailings frequently, you can visit the USPS on-line or in person to inquire about bulk mail permits and the paperwork associated with targeted or saturation mailings.