As a business owner, marketing director, or brand manager, you’re continually looking for ways to advertise your business and reach segmented groups. You work with a marketing firm or advertising agency, and you explore different digital channels like Linkedin, Adwords, Facebook, Instagram and even Snapchat if your audience is younger. But, what if we told you your agency(full-service or just plain o’ digital) was missing or ignoring an old trick that still packs a punch? Direct mail!
Direct mail, if strategically utilized with impactful brand messages and dynamic graphic design, can be just as effective in moving an audience when it is considered in tandem with a 360-degree marketing approach. With the USPS rolling out Informed Delivery direct mail is more relevant than ever. This is why telecommunications, banks, and casinos still invest in this tactical method.
Direct mail offers a better response rate than email marketing
Surprising, sending marketing information in the mail yields a higher response rate than emailing it. 5.3% of campaigns get a response, compared to 0.6% through emails. Perhaps this is because people can use software to block some marketing material in their emails, but there are no filters on your mailbox.
Direct mail has a good ROI
Direct mail has an average ROI of 29%, which puts it one percent behind social media - and 6% ahead of paid search. When you think about how much money you invest in paid search and social media, direct mail starts to seem a little bit more appealing.
Direct mail is decreasing
This sounds like a negative point, but you can use it to your advantage. The most recent statistics saw direct mail decreased by 2%. Everyone is focusing more on digital advertising/marketing, which opens the door for your business. A lack of interest in direct mail means you have fewer competitors to worry about. There’s less chance of your mail getting lumbered in with dozens of other direct marketing mail, meaning they’d all likely get thrown in the can. Instead, yours has a chance of standing out and being seen - increasing the chances of a response. It does take a slight measure of “edge” in your creative to ensure you’re standing out and gaining the attention your brand deserves.
How Informed Delivery Works
Informed Delivery, a new service offered by the USPS, is a consumer-facing feature that provides users with digital previews of their household mail shortly before it arrives. Plus, marketers can have interactive elements added to the mail. Over 7 million people are enrolled, and 10,000 more are signing up daily. Since this can be a game-changer for marketers, let’s take deeper look at how it works, benefits and stipulations.
Consumers that enroll in the Informed Delivery service receive scanned images of the exterior of incoming letter-size mailpieces. Images are available via email notification, online dashboard, or mobile app. So now, more than ever, envelop branding is hyper important.
The user can also:
- Automatically track packages
- Set up email and text alerts so they don’t need to enter tracking numbers
- Enter USPS Delivery Instruction for their mail carrier
Plus, if the mailer/marketer conducts an Informed Delivery interactive campaign, in addition to seeing a preview image of what’s about to arrive, consumers also see:
- Banner ads related to the mail piece.
- URLs that allow them to respond to calls-to-actions (CTAs) immediately.
- Additional image ads that can actually replace the envelope image, with unique messaging and colorful graphics.
Flat mail–like magazines or odd-sized mailers–can also ‘deliver’ a color image ad as well—which is good since preview scans of the pieces are not available yet. They all still show up in the recipient’s incoming list of mail about to arrive.
What’s in it For Brands and Marketers?
The Informed Delivery interactive campaigns can add a lot of value and benefits to your direct mail initiatives:
- Generate multiple impressions from a single mailpiece. Each mailpiece scan generates additional messaging, graphics, and CTA’s.
- Every mail piece generates at least three impressions—the notification, the banner ad, the actual piece—and they remain online fordays.
- If other members of a household sign up, each of those email recipients also sees the same assets and banner ads for every mailer arriving in the box, resulting in expanded reach and even more impressions.
- Increase engagement with your target audience. The campaigns offer a high email open rate of %—more than twice that of industry average.
- Reach consumers digitally by merely knowing their physical address.
- Receive a summary report for each campaign that shows the click through rates by zip code, allowing marketers to see which areas are generating the best response so they can optimize marketing spend. Additional reporting features are scheduled to come soon.
- Drive consumer response with interactive content related to the mailpiece; potentially increasing ROI on direct mail spend.
So, don’t believe the myth that direct mail is invalid. It still has a place in the modern world of marketing, and it’s particularly effective when used alongside your existing digital strategy and an evolved Informed Delivery campaign.