A more direct approach

MAILING house Post Data has beaten a field of advertising agencies to win the gold award at the inaugural Australia Post WA Direct Mail Awards.

According to the judges, Post Data’s work for Vets Alliance showed direct mail doesn’t need to be expensive, just relevant.

Vets Alliance marketing manager Sue Mitchell said members were previously mailing letters to remind clients of check-ups for their animals. The decision to streamline the process through Post Data has not only reduced costs, however, but had also improved return visit rates.

“We transferred from letters with just a letterhead and details to a postcard format,” she said.

“The idea was to use images that people could stick on the fridge, and since we’ve gone to that format people have been collecting them as an art series.

“The biggest benefits of this has been reducing the costs.

“It has taken the job away from each clinic, which would type up the letters and send them out and so we’ve reduced labour costs, but we’ve also reduced the costs to send out the cards.

“Before every clinic would fold the letters and send them out and we didn’t get any post discounts. Now we’ve got them going from the one place and we are getting bulk-mail discounts.”

Ms Mitchell said the cards, which were designed in-house and sent out every fortnight, had improved response rates.

She said while rates varied from clinic to clinic, between 30 and 50 per cent of people made contact with their clinic after receiving the postcard.

“There was a marked increase from when we changed from letterhead to postcards,” Ms Mitchell said.

Of the 30 member clinics, she said, half were using the postcard mailouts with the remaining clinics to come on line within the next 12 months.

Post Data customer service manager Priscille Surendran said the Vets Alliance program used personalised and targeted messages to its database of clients.

“No message is exactly the same and all the cards are personalised, some of them are even addressed to the pet,” she said.

Ms Surendran said direct marketing was more than just mailing out information. 

“We’ve been doing it for 21 years and we know that direct marketing is more than creative. You have to have good management of the database, know who you are targeting and get to them. It needs to be a whole campaign not just an image,” she said.

Breakthrough Corporation was awarded silver for the WA Tourism Network’s Mega Bite campaign and Marketforce won third place for its work on Home Building Society’s pre-approved personal loan mail-out.

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