Maintain a Direct Mail Digital Edge to Convert Local Customers and Community Members
Print is back in a big way. Why? Because research has found that a multichannel approach to marketing increases engagement and sales across all channels. If you use direct mail, your email marketing is more successful. If you have an e-commerce website, your print catalog is more successful. Your in-store promotions are more successful if you take full advantage of social media opportunities.
In other words, a multi-channel marketing approach equals far more than the sum of its parts. When your customers, constituents, volunteers, and donors are a part of your local community, a personalized approach that includes print is even more powerful.
Let’s take a look at the numbers.
In a recent USPS survey of 324 marketers, an average of 23% of their overall media budget in the retail sector was allocated to direct mail, with more mail going to loyal customers over prospects. Sixty-three percent of marketers leveraged postcards, followed by newsletters (60%), self-mailers (57%), catalogs (49%), and packages (41%).
So marketers in the retail sector were using postcards to reach out to loyal customers. These marketers used low-cost direct mail to develop and maintain customer relationships. Combined with super-targeted address lists and a personalized message, postcard campaigns like these go a long way toward strengthening ties with a local audience—whether that be voters, volunteers, or shoppers.
Additionally, 76% of these retail marketers say digital innovations make their objectives more achievable, including digitally enhanced mail, retargeted direct mail, Informed Delivery notifications, and Informed Visibility mail tracking and reporting.
What are these direct mail magic wands? In essence, they are digital tracking and connectivity tools that propel your stakeholders along their journey toward making a purchase, engaging in a community meeting, or donating to a charity.
It’s getting much easier to connect a customer to your website through paper and packaging. Digitally enhanced mail can add in technologies like augmented reality, near-field communication (NFC), video-in-print, and QR codes to link to captivating online experiences. With some technologies such as NFC, just a wave of your phone over the direct mail piece will launch people toward your website, landing page, or online store, and well on their way to becoming a loyal stakeholder.
Nearly half of the surveyed marketers currently use an emerging technology with big potential—retargeted direct mail (RDM). RDM is personalized mail sent to people who visit your website or another online touchpoint but don’t convert or return right away. And these technologies aren’t just for big businesses— they work exceptionally well for companies of all sizes.
While a user is a browser online, a privacy-compliant process matches IP addresses with home addresses (remember all those cookies you agreed to?) and collects the data. This allows you to send postcards or other direct mail to people who, for example, left something in their cart at your online store, visited your nonprofit site but didn’t donate, or left an application uncompleted. Instead of intrusively calling, emailing, or texting these folks, you can send engaging mail that will be read as soon as it hits the kitchen table.
Direct mail open rates can reach up to 90%, and 42% of recipients say they actually read or scan the direct mail they receive. Direct mail response rates are 5 to 9 times higher than any other channel, and adding a name can increase response rates by 135%. Add a coupon for the item in their online cart, a special discount if they visit your retail location or a VIP invite to a local gala, and you skyrocket your engagement with customers and community members.
As you create your outreach plan for 2023, you can rely on paper, print, and mail as vital partners in your marketing mix. Think carefully about your customers, citizens, donors, and local community members—who they are, what they need, and how they would prefer to stay in touch. Wherever you begin those relationships, be sure to nurture and develop them using a powerful combination of personalized print, mail, and digital connections.
For more ways to reach your community through print and mail, reach out today to create campaigns that convert.