New York—The Direct Marketing Association has issued a number of suggestions to advertising mailers on how to ensure the safety of their mailings as well as to assure customers that their mail is free from contamination. Among the DMA’s suggestions:
*If you send samples, enclose them in a polybag or specify on the envelope or container what is contained in the package. The use of windowed envelopes might also be helpful.
*Consider using postcards in addition to the traditional mailed material to alert consumers to campaigns.
*Printers and insert providers often use a cornstarch-based slip agent or talcum powder to keep printed materials from sticking together. But several catalogers, including Lands’ End and J.C. Penney, received calls from concerned consumers who had founded the powders on their catalogs. It’s therefore advisable to limit use of the powders.
*Avoid using plain envelopes. Printed envelopes, especially those using colors, are less likely to appear like the hand-prepared envelopes involved in the anthrax incidents so far. Also be sure to use a clear and identifiable return address. Consider including your company logo in the address. And consider including a toll-free phone number and/or URL address on envelopes.
*Use an e-mail and/or telemarketing campaign in conjunction with a mail drop to notify consumers that mail will be coming.
*Temporarily consider briefly delaying business-to-business mailings because of potential logjams in receiving mailrooms.
*Personalization, at least for now, is less likely to boost response.