Postal code targeting – a new product from Canada Post

A brief introduction to Canada Post’s newest direct mail product.

For the last couple of years direct mail has had the same options available to reach customers, neighborhood mail (formerly unaddressed admail) and personalized mail (formerly addressed admail). As the acceptance of 2015’s Smartmail MarketingT rebrand continues to gain momentum, Canada Post is preparing to launch Postal Code Targeting (PCT) in 2017. This new offering hopes to bridge the gap between neighbourhood mail and personalized mail by adopting the best of both worlds; mail targeted to reach new prospects by leveraging Canada Post’s data assets.

At present there are two ways to reach consumers:

Neighbourhood Mail – one to many approach: generally perceived as “junk mail,” can be sent to every point of call within a postal route, a postal code, a city, etc.

Personalized Mail – one to one approach: addressed mail sent to a specific person, where a recipient list is bought or provided by the client.

Both approaches have the potential to generate revenue. Precision Targeter has made it simple to specify and mail generic promotional materials to defined audiences, such as neighbourhoods of a certain income level. The drawback is that the tool can only identify postal walks that possess the highest concentration matching the selected factors; clients have no way of reaching only those explicit points of call that match their demographic filters. Therefore, one must deliver the promotional material to the entire area and cross their fingers new customers respond.

Conversely, personalized mail targets specific customers from a list. These lists can be client generated or supplied by a third party. While a one-to-one approach allows advertisers to customize their mail to particular customers, there is a fee to acquire lists with new prospects and personalized mail has a higher postage rate compared to neighbourhood mail.

PCT offers a new, economical solution of reaching customers. At a postage cost of thirty cents per piece, it lies between the prices for neighbourhood and personalized mail. As part of the service, PCT uses data about where a client’s customers live to target similar,dissimilar, or nearby prospects in postal codes based on either geographic and/or demographic attributes. The service also includes customer suppression, and the application of demographic, psychographic, and interest filters, allowing clients to isolate their target candidates.

PCT works by Canada Post supplying mail service providers with an alphanumeric list, where each field represents a point of call chosen based on the customer’s criteria. Each unique addressee is printed on the piece as a variable data matrix to the left of the indicia. Canada Post’s equipment reads this barcode and then uses a water-based ink to inkjet on the recipient’s address for delivery.

Canada Post’s automated equipment will inkjet on the recipient’s address identified within the 2D barcode in preparation for mail delivery.