Who - What - When - Where - Why

The who, what, when, where, why of getting your message out
(United States Postal Service, 2002)

1. Who should you mail to?
Mail to people with whom you do business. Mail to people with whom you’d like to do business. You can rent lists of potential customers and mail to them. Don’t be shy. You’re trying to let the world know about your great offer. Send mail to as many people as possible.

2. What should you mail?
Mail is very flexible. Send letters, postcards, self-mailing brochures – whatever you think fits your business. Professionals may prefer letters while retailers may prefer flyers. But there’s no rule. A retailer can send a “private sale” letter and a professional can send a postcard to announce his or her appearance at a seminar.

3. When should you mail?
Anytime you have news, an event, or upcoming news and events, it is a good time to send mail. An electronics store can let its best customers know in advance when the new digital cameras are coming in so they can have first crack. Are you a tax accountant trying to avoid that late-season rush? Write your clients in January.

4. Where do you send mail?
Again, send your mail to anyone who can do business with you. If you’re a local store owner, you can write to every home in your neighborhood and surrounding areas. If you have unique items that might appeal to people in other states, you can write to them.

5. Why send mail?
Mail is personal. And it can’t be missed. Looking through the mail means people have to spend at least a moment with your message. And sometimes, that’s enough to get their attention and lead them to a sale.