Monday, May 9, 2011

What Do You Do With Your Direct Mail?



Obviously those credit card offers and other direct mailings you receive get thrown into the recycling bin. Seems normal, even I do all that. But recently I've been chosen to save all my direct mailings this month and send them in at the end of each weeks in prepaid envelopes. All participants are eligible for a drawing for $100 at the end of the survey.

What am I talking about, you ask? Three times already, first in February 2010, then in September last year and now for May 2010, I received a large yellow envelope from the Home Testing Institute, c/o Comperemedia, in Chicago. Inside the envelope was a notice regarding the test on how to save direct mail and send it in each week. Four large first-class white envelopes with green trimming are included for mailing the stuff at the end of each week. A survey to be completed at then

Credit card solicitations are included but grocery ads and catalogs are excluded. I misplaced the notice, but having gone through this twice already I know the procedure. Why I bothered with this thing the first time, I'm not really sure, but it helped cut out the amount of mail I had to recycle during the months in which the survey took place. The ads for the grocery stores and stores such as Target still went into the recycling bin since these were not included in the testing. Catalogs were also excluded, as I stated earlier, but I didn't get very many catalogs--does anyone still get catalogs by mail? Last summer was the last time I ever remember
receiving any sort of catalog, one sent from the costume website BuyCostumes.com. I ordered from this site for the first time in the fall of 2009 and starting receiving catalogs from the site thereafter. Oddly, one copy arrived in August last year and another in September, when I was doing one of these testing things. I'm now wondering if I'll get one of these catalogs this year since I have not ordered from the site again as of yet. I actually still have the catalogs as I saved them for paper craft projects I have been attempting (more on that another time, perhaps). The catalogs are pictured at the right.

The notice also said to include anything you're not sure of [their exact words, so please don't blame me for any grammatical misunderstanding;-) ]. I guess that this random passport cover I got in the mail last month would have qualified as such a questionable mailing. If I should get another one of these things during this month, I will include it as I feel it is questionable. I included my sample ballot for the upcoming election because I wasn't sure about that one.

I already completed the first week of this month obviously and sent out the envelope yesterday. Yes, I know it was Sunday, but I put it in neighborhood mailbox that day anyway, along with the Netflix movie I got last Saturday. So far for this week I've only received an offer from AT&T that was included with my monthly bill. The notice also said to include such promotional flyers without including the actual bill and statement. I also included a local election flyer which I am counting as a questionable mailing. My Target Visa bill also arrived today, but no promotional flyers were included with that one.

A half-sheet of calendar dates was also included in the envelope with the survey materials. Strangely, they include Sundays and holidays in each week, even though there is no mail on Sunday and holidays. And the three times so far that I have been chosen to participate in this survey have been in months that have postal holidays: Presidents' Day in February, Labor Day in September and Memorial Day in May. The last week of this month's survey actually goes from May 23 through 31, since the last day is a Tuesday. That weeks includes Memorial Day, of course. Each weekly envelope must be mailed at the beginning of each following week, and the last one is to be mailed on June 1 at the earliest.

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