| November 10, 2020
How is it possible that, in 2020, direct mail remains a viable channel for marketers?
The reality is, direct mail is enjoying a resurgence in popularity. According to the United States Postal Service, 65% of consumers feel that mail lifts their spirits while being physically distanced from their friends, family and local businesses.
In addition to positive consumer sentiment, marketers are also taking advantage of new technological advancements that make direct mail more effective. How? By tying direct mail to digital channels.
These digital integrations give rise to a better experience for the recipient. And, in many cases, an improved ROI for the marketer, too.
Let’s look at three such advancements you may be overlooking.
Informed Delivery: Giving Marketers Free Additional Impressions
Informed Delivery is a consumer-facing featured offered by USPS that gives you a digital preview of the mail arriving at your home.
Since the start, my wife and I have been users and now receive a daily digital “preview” of mail pieces arriving soon at our home. These previews come via email, through the USPS mobile app or in an online dashboard.
This helps us know what’s coming our way, and with four small children eagerly rifling through our mail, we’re able to keep tabs on things in a way we can’t otherwise if we solely rely on the physical mail.
For the brands sending us mail, they’re able to use the feature to enhance and extend the mail moment by sending use not only an image of the mailer, but also by making that image clickable to a target URL taking us to a digital experience like a landing page.
While the service is relatively new, it has rapidly grown. As of June 2020, 27.5 million people have subscribed to the service.
As to efficacy, the USPS reports an astonishing 67.2% open rate for emails.
And currently, only around 3,000 campaigns are active, representing a significant opportunity for marketers to use Informed Delivery without much competition.
And best of all? This service is entirely free for both brands and consumers alike.
QR Codes: What’s Old Is New Again
Yes, QR codes are making a comeback. For the most part, it has to do with the fact that most modern phones now have a QR code reader built into the camera. This means the consumer’s experience is greatly improved, as having the reader native to the phone means no more futzing with a third-party app that barely works.
Wondering if your camera has this feature turned on? Try this right now: Pull out your phone, open your camera and point it at this:
If the QR code reader is enabled on your phone, you’ll see a page that lets you connect with me on LinkedIn.
If it doesn’t work, you likely don’t have the QR code reader enabled on your phone. A few Google searches should show you how to turn it on for your specific make and model.
As a marketer, this innovation means you can now easily connect your direct mail to a pURL (personalized URL), making it even easier for recipients to engage with your piece.
As more people learn to point their cameras at QR codes and receive an online experience, we fully expect to see a rise in QR-enabled applications. This will pave the way for marketers to create compelling direct mail campaigns using QR codes in new and creative ways.
Direct Mail + Facebook: Harnessing the World’s Largest Social Network
According to a recent study performed by USPS, marketers see a 40% conversion rate when digital and direct mail are combined. For most, this is a substantial achievement.
What you may not realize is that Facebook can play a part in helping achieve these conversion rates. Here’s how.
For a few years now, Facebook has provided a way to upload a .csv list of people. Once the list is uploaded, Facebook finds these people and makes it easy to target them with a variety of ad types.
This means that marketers can take their direct mail list, whether that’s 10,000 pieces or 1 million, and upload them to Facebook to find each recipient on the world’s largest social network.
Once uploaded, it now becomes fairly easy to start “warming up” the direct mail recipients so that by the time the mail arrives at home, they’ve had numerous impressions in advance of receipt. Those impressions can be on Facebook, Instagram or any of Facebook’s partner content providers.
This technique is not widely known, giving enterprising marketers a significant opportunity to get ahead of their competition.
Before you discount direct mail, consider these three innovations and how they may aid your next marketing initiative.
And if you choose to use any of these digital innovations, speak with your marketing or print partner, and ask them to check into applicable postage discounts.
Often, the USPS runs postage discount promotions that save you money when using one of the eligible digital strategies.
Here’s to thinking outside the mailbox.
David Rosendahl is the president and co-founder of MindFire, a company that uses a unique marketing platform combining direct mail, email, social and other channels to create more leads and sales.
Marketing and Sales Business/Growth Strategies Direct Mail