NEW YORK, NY – The direct mail industry is about to get more competitive – especially for business who use mailing lists for traditional direct mail advertising. United Parcel Service (UPS) is testing a new direct mail service called Direct to Door.
The pilot program is to be conducted in five markets – Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Miami, Phoenix and Washington, D.C. UPS drivers will be delivering boxes containing about 12 premium offers and samples to targeted consumers. Some of the brands participating in the test are Zappos.com, FTD.com, Bed Bath & Beyond and Sephora. Over a dozen brands are said to be participating in the pilot program, according to a recent AdWeek article.
The AdWeek article also emphasizes that UPS feels that its drivers are its secret weapon. Being the world’s largest package delivery company puts its drivers on the doorsteps of more households than any other package delivery service. UPS director of new product development, Lisa Lynn, says that customers trust the drivers and see them all the time. She also states, “We can leverage the familiarity and trust people place in us to help our customers grow their businesses.”
Lynn also added, “There will always be packages that need to be delivered. It’s unique because it’s brought to you by the drivers. That personalized delivery is going to break through the clutter of those other channels.”
If the test is successful, then UPS plans to expand the program and support it with a full-scale marketing campaign. UPS is currently conducting an ad agency search where it is looking for traditional and digital advertising, media planning, media buying and customer relationship management efforts. Estimates on annual media spending by UPS on its brand is $200 million worldwide and more than $100 million in the U.S.
The UPS Direct to Door program will undoubtedly create more competition for companies who buy mailing lists for traditional direct mail and only the future will say exactly how competitive it will be.