INKJET INFO received physical mail. In addition, over half of respondents reported that direct mail made them feel more connected to the sender.
DIRECT MAIL WITH AN INKJET INFLUENCE BY KAREN KIMERER AND EVE PADULA
he ritual of gathering mail has not changed much over the years. In a typical scenario, a mail carrier delivers the mail to a residential or office mailbox, and the recipient of the mail must then decide what to do with it. Professional organizers suggest that direct mail essentially falls into two categories — the pieces that are discarded immediately and those that are kept and dealt with. In many cases, this means that the life span for junk mail is short, perhaps lasting only long enough for the recipient to walk from his or her mailbox to the front door. When it comes to the mail that is opened and dealt with, people have become more discerning over the years. In addition, the narrative that accompanies the sorting process has changed. Aware of the power of technology and data, educated consumers and business owners are now putting more thought into their mail sorting efforts. With some promotional direct mail, the recipient might acknowledge that the piece serves a purpose, yet discard it anyway because it is not interesting or engaging. Other pieces might be discarded due to improper targeting. Suppose a loyal customer receives a piece of direct mail from a well-known brand, but it is targeted toward a prospect rather than an established customer. The recipient might then think, “I’m familiar with this brand, but they don’t seem to know me because they don’t acknowledge my loyalty.” Once again, that mail piece will
MAY-JUNE 2021 | MailingSystemsTechnology.com
miss its mark. And every once in a while, a piece of award-winning direct mail might cause the recipient to wonder why all mail can’t be done so well. Right now, you’re probably wondering… what IS award-winning direct mail? We’ll explore that shortly. Direct Mail Experiences a Resurgence Several studies indicate that direct mail is on the rise after years of reluctance to use it as a marketing channel. The lessons we learned from the pandemic suggest that B2B and B2C organizations
What Makes Direct Mail Effective? The direct mail channel has been proven to stand out, providing differentiation from the never-ending stream of digital messages that are delivered on a daily basis. As a result, it is perhaps not surprising that direct mail response rates have held steady over the past several years. Armed with this knowledge, you might be tempted to flood your audience with more direct mail… but not so fast! Just because direct mail has rediscovered its place at the marketing table doesn’t mean you can ignore the components that make it successful in today’s multichannel world. So what makes a piece of direct mail successful, or even awardwinning? Award-winning direct mail starts by developing clear answers to the following questions: What is your goal for the direct mail campaign? Who is your audience? What other marketing efforts are you conducting that direct mail can complement? How do you want your audience members to respond to the direct mail you’ve sent them? A Direct Mail Usage Report from USPS Delivers and Forrester Research asked marketers to address some very similar questions in 2020. After being given a long list to choose from, the majority of marketers stated that their primary objectives for using direct mail were to spark interest and trigger purchases. Marketers’ responses also revealed that email was their number one go-to for coordinating and complementing online efforts with direct mail. Desired actions in response to direct mail included website visits, program sign-ups, store visits, and, of course, purchasing a product or solution. When it comes to the delivery of direct mail, each organization will have its own unique objectives, audience members, and desired actions. The important thing to remember is that direct mail will not
Nearly a quarter of these consumers had made a purchase in response to a direct mail piece in the past 12 months. need to rethink how they connect with their audiences. Direct mail creates a tactile, tangible experience that can evoke emotion by putting the brand in the hands of its customers. According to a 2020 USPS study entitled COVID Mail, people’s spirits were lifted when they
Mailing Systems Technology May/June 2021