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Canada Post Changes Could Affect Association and Event Mailings

Return To Sender
Canada Post will be making some very important changes effective January 2012.  Association and meetings industry professionals should pay attention to these as they could affect the deliverability of membership renewal and event promotion material.

New guidelines were introduced regarding standardized mailing addresses.  This change was to come into effect January 2011, but due to overwhelming response from businesses, changes were postponed until January 2012, to give businesses more time to prepare.

They will be looking for more exact mailing information going forward; otherwise, mail will be returned.  Here are a few examples of what will no longer be an acceptable mailing address:

1234 Main Street, 10th Floor
Toronto,ON M2M 2M4

Going forward, this address will need to be changed to reflect the exact suite number:

1001-1234 Main St
Toronto,ON M2M 2M4


1234 Main St Suite 1001
Toronto,ON M2M 2M4

Another example is if you mail to a company headquartered in a building with multiple other companies.  Unless you indicate which suite number they are located at, your mail will be returned even though it was the right building and right postal code.

How will this affect you?
If you are a professional or trade association, you likely mail materials at least annually to all your members, exhibitors or sponsors.  If you are a meetings industry supplier – a hotel, event venue or DMO, you may use mail to distribute meeting promotions or destination planning guides.

With the new guidelines, some of your data may no longer be deliverable,  and it could affect first class and bulk mailing discounts. Please follow the link below for more information:

What can you do?
  • Encourage your staff to update your database with the new standards.  Help them by posting what the new addresses should look like;
  • If you have an annual mailing campaign at the end of this year, provide an incentive for recipients to update their information with the full address;
  • If you use a mailing house for a mailing before the end of 2011, ask them to send you the “questionable” addresses report so you can have your staff call members, clients or other stakeholders, to update the information;
  • Or give us a call at Greenfield.  We will be happy to scan your list and help you determine a strategy to update the information effectively and efficiently.
These changes will affect everyone, whether it is a small portion of your list, or a larger one.  To ensure that you get the biggest ROI on your mailings, take a look at your mailing list and implement changes now to increase your reach in 2012 and beyond.

Emailing to Professional Associations' Members - When is the Best Time?

Recently email marketing provider Informz issued its 2011 E-mail Marketing Benchmarking Report containing some very interesting statistics regarding the better times of the day to send an e-mail.

Two key statistics jumped out at me. First, email messages sent in the morning reportedly have the highest open rate.


In comparison, the report claims that emails sent in the afternoon have the highest click-through rates:


These statistics made me think about the time of day we are sending emails on behalf of our clients.  It may be that information-based emails (newsletters, etc) are best sent in the morning, when the contact is getting ready for the day (before all the meetings, calls, etc).  Emails that contain calls-to-actions (registration for events, etc) may have better results if sent in the afternoon.

But there are no “silver bullets” here.  The only way to know for sure is to test and monitor the results closely.  You could, for instance, split your test into two and send to list #1 in the morning, and the same e-mail to list #2 in the afternoon.  Randomize your lists and do this with at least 3-4 emails of a similar nature (e.g. your regular monthly E-newsletter).  Make sure you keep all other factors consistent.  This is the only way you will know with as much certainty as possible what works for your members!

Other things to test may also include:
  • Subject lines:  should you use a directive subject line? (“Register by…”) or a provocative one (“Don’t be left out in the cold!”)?
  • Day of the week: some reports say never send on a Monday or Friday.  But what is true for your audience?
  • Length of message: are you better off giving snippets of the information with a link for members to “read more”, or are you better off having the entire text in the e-mail?
The goal of testing is learn about how members react to different elements of your messages so you can more effectively reach them.