Global Strategy

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Offshore mailing strategy

Reasons to Mail from “offshore” first – and why…

Strategically your first and best move is to mail regionally or globally from “offshore” before investing in any local market. The cost and risk is low when you mail from headquarters across borders, and this strategy allows you to monitor comparative country response within each multinational list first before making a commitment to any local market where your costs and investment will be higher.

How does this “offshore” strategy work?

Quite simply you print, lettershop and mail from your headquarters to a range of carefully chosen countries within your region, or around the world, without the cost of establishing a local office or appointing a representative in each country. You mail from “offshore” (your headquarters is probably best). You use English language because you will initially be mailing individuals on multinational lists who have responded previously to an English language “offshore” offer. You direct response back to your headquarters, from where you process orders and payments, input into your customer database and fulfill. You build and maintain your customer relationships from headquarters.

You mail smaller markets from “offshore” where there are no lists or local DM infrastructure, and at the same time you “cream off” larger markets using multinational lists reaching those individuals who will be most responsive to an international offer, because they have responded previously to such offers (which is how their names got on to such lists in the first place).

There are refinements on this strategy. For instance, you can mail into selected larger markets using a local currency offer, local language and a local response address (or one or all of these). You can then arrange to have your response couriered by a reliable third party back to your international or regional headquarters for processing and fulfilling from there – saving you local overheads and costs.

Why use an ``offshore`` strategy?


In summary there are several reasons:

 

  • Initially you have no local costs or overheads in any one larger country until you have tested from “offshore” and discovered response to your offer is positive. Consistent variations in response between one country and another can be 1000% or more. More and more mailers are now direct mailing into the USA from offshore with response directed back offshore.
  • Many smaller countries have no local lists or DM infrastructure so local mailings are not feasible.
  • Smaller countries normally generate significantly higher response rates than larger countries. They are mailed less and there are little or no competitive offers. Individuals are more willing than in larger countries to respond to an “offshore” address.
  • Mailing from “offshore” (your head-quarters) across many countries allows you to monitor comparative response BY COUNTRY WITHIN THE SAME LISTS. Thereby you identify the countries that consistently generate higher than average response for your offers, and those countries that consistently deliver lower than average response. In this way you can select only those countries that perform best and deselect those countries that perform worst.
This gives you a powerful indication where to mail local lists on a local basis at Stage two.

 

An intermediary stage in larger countries before Stage Two is to test local lists in local language, local currency and a local return address either mailing from “offshore” or direct injecting mail and dropping locally. This should be tested first, because airmail delivery is often more reliable than using a “local drop”.



Using such a strategy is not expensive if:

 

  • You simply arrange for response to be couriered back to you offshore for processing on a regular basis.
  • Smaller countries can often only be mailed from offshore because there is no local DM infrastructure. You must continue to mail such countries from “offshore”. There is no alternative.
  • Once you have identified the larger countries that perform best, you can then, with more confidence, invest in a local presence and roll-out with local lists, a local approach and offer local telephone numbers for in-bound telemarketing. This can be expensive and risky in larger markets if you haven’t tested from offshore first.

How Do You Make the ``Offshore`` Strategy Work Best?

A prerequisite is to make sure your software allows you to analyze comparative response by country within list. Instruct your mailing house to record counts by country within each multinational list mailed or have each listowner provide counts by country which are then checked by the mailing house. If you don’t do this, you’re wasting your money.

To mail a package weighing above 20 gms (.7 of an ounce) is a luxury since most international postal rates are no longer based just on per kilo or per pound but on a piece rate as well. Use light-weight airmail stock for your envelopes and light stock for your materials to reduce weight below 20 gms if you possibly can.

  • A credit card payment option is mandatory. The higher the order value, the higher the percentage who pay by credit card up to 95%. Debit cards issued by local banks are used in China and postal giro remittances are widely used in China and many European countries.
  • Make sure cheques or bank drafts are issued in the currency of the country in which drawn. (US$ cheques should be drawn on a U. S. bank, sterling cheques on a U.K. bank, S$ cheques on a Singapore bank and so on). In large markets such as China or India, mailing to individuals on multi-national lists in those countries can generate good response because they have demonstrated they can access U.S. dollars or charge an international card. Any Indian cardholder can now use their card to charge a US$ mailorder offer.
  • Use the Order Form to drive people to your website – if it’s a good one and you accept orders on it.
  • One advantage of mailing into countries from offshore with response offshore is you do not necessarily have to comply with local restrictions and regulations.
  • When offering fulfillment of merchandise, it’s best to add to your order form that “any local duties or taxes that may be payable are the responsibility of the recipient”. This does not deter response. In fact, you will find the most responsive countries to merchandise offers are where duties are highest. Of course, there’s no problem if the value of the goods delivered is below the personal exemption level for that country.
  • Check with MLI on the best and worst times to mail. Your response can drop 35% and more if you mail into certain countries and regions at the wrong time (hot seasons, during religious holidays and for other reasons).
+ Analyze response by country within list

A prerequisite is to make sure your software allows you to analyze comparative response by country within list. Instruct your mailing house to record counts by country within each multinational list mailed or have each listowner provide counts by country which are then checked by the mailing house. If you don’t do this, you’re wasting your money.

+ Go lightweight

To mail a package weighing above 20 gms (.7 of an ounce) is a luxury since most international postal rates are no longer based just on per kilo or per pound but on a piece rate as well. Use light-weight airmail stock for your envelopes and light stock for your materials to reduce weight below 20 gms if you possibly can.

+ Other tips on how best to mail multinationally
  • A credit card payment option is mandatory. The higher the order value, the higher the percentage who pay by credit card up to 95%. Debit cards issued by local banks are used in China and postal giro remittances are widely used in China and many European countries.
  • Make sure cheques or bank drafts are issued in the currency of the country in which drawn. (US$ cheques should be drawn on a U. S. bank, sterling cheques on a U.K. bank, S$ cheques on a Singapore bank and so on). In large markets such as China or India, mailing to individuals on multi-national lists in those countries can generate good response because they have demonstrated they can access U.S. dollars or charge an international card. Any Indian cardholder can now use their card to charge a US$ mailorder offer.
  • Use the Order Form to drive people to your website – if it’s a good one and you accept orders on it.
  • One advantage of mailing into countries from offshore with response offshore is you do not necessarily have to comply with local restrictions and regulations.
  • When offering fulfillment of merchandise, it’s best to add to your order form that “any local duties or taxes that may be payable are the responsibility of the recipient”. This does not deter response. In fact, you will find the most responsive countries to merchandise offers are where duties are highest. Of course, there’s no problem if the value of the goods delivered is below the personal exemption level for that country.
  • Check with MLI on the best and worst times to mail. Your response can drop 35% and more if you mail into certain countries and regions at the wrong time (hot seasons, during religious holidays and for other reasons).
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Get In Touch With MLI For Advice On Offshore Mailing Strategy! Contact Us!

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