UPS customers in five test markets will receive a little something extra this month. Through the Direct to Door program, an extra box filled with marketing materials will show up with already scheduled UPS deliveries now through Oct. 2.
The value of direct marketing has been a long debated subject and my colleague, Kim Taylor, recently blogged about the fine line between direct and junk. I can’t wait to learn more about implementation of this new UPS venture and what side of the oh-so-fine line it falls.
The box packaging adds a unique twist on the traditional direct marketing format and if done right, UPS could be sending goodie boxes of free samples and special offers tailored to a customer’s demographics. On the other hand, Direct to Door could amount to little more than a box of useless fliers. On the plus side, if your junk mail is packaged into one neat little box, it’s easier to throw away.
With participants like Zappos.com, Sephora and Pottery Barn, my money is on UPS delivering offers and samples that customers will welcome. Cross your fingers for UPS . . . failure could quickly place the company among the ranks of spammers and jeopardize customer’s trust in their delivery service. With six consecutive quarters of lower package volume, the perception that UPS is selling customer information to advertisers is one this company cannot afford.