During the eTail West conference earlier this year, I had the chance to speak with marketers about the challenges that keep them up at night. One of the most common responses was the growing number of people unsubscribing from their email lists, and subsequently, what this meant for effectively reaching and retaining customers moving forward.
The answer may not be to ramp up your digital marketing activity, as 82 percent of marketers plan to do in 2019, but to look to another channel altogether — direct mail.
Let’s Get Physical
A distinct advantage of direct mail is the accessibility of physical addresses. This accessibility stems from the U.S. Postal Service® who delivers to 159 million addresses with a service obligation that ensures delivery to every household and business in the U.S. Readily available and already well-regulated, direct mail enables marketers to put a real, personalized message directly to the hands of their customers without fear of going unseen, or worse yet, being blocked.
And with an average 2.63 people per household, not only are you getting in front of your intended individual but frequently you earn additional attention from other household residents, thus increasing your reach and opportunity.
Aside from creating access to your desired targets but recipients regularly engage with their direct mail, taking the time to not only retrieve it from their mailbox but to open it and read it.
|Informed Delivery email example. Here, Hayneedle uses the custom ride-along image and URL, shown as the second image from the top.|
Filling the Gap
Of course the key to leveraging direct mail is having your audience's physical address.
What was previously an opportunity barrier is no longer an issue as our connected world has created the ability to identify and append physical addresses to an email address, creating the opportunity to re-open that door of communication.
With the physical address in hand, create personalized pieces using the same level of targeting and ease that has made email and display ad marketing so popular.
Variable data printing enables the individualization of each piece with copy and images at scale. Reference previous purchases or website activity and even provide an incentive to purchase through a unique offer code.
Take Your Direct Mail Back to the Inbox
What if there was a way, even though you’re dealing with opted-out individuals, you could regain access to the mail box? With Informed Delivery® you can.
Through the USPS®’ Informed Delivery program registrants receive a daily email that provides a digital preview of the mail a household will receive that day. The email features scanned images of the exterior of incoming mail pieces, thus providing an immediate additional digital impression for your direct mail campaign.
What's more, brands can take engagement one step further by including an interactive campaign with a custom ride-along image and target URL. The best part — the USPS charges no fees to participate in these interactive campaigns.
This means that even though you may not have the ability to use an individual's email address, by using Informed Delivery, you regain access to the recipient's email box via the Informed Delivery email.
Doing so, you create a holistic omnichannel effort with two touch points — one physical with direct mail and one digital with email — for limited additional effort and no additional cost.
While many brands see their engagement rates stagnating, the Informed Delivery program continues to grow in popularity — as evidenced by its 65 percent email open rate. Pretty compelling.
So, while you may have though that a lost email subscriber means a door has all but shut, direct mail is providing new ways to re-open that door, providing a distinct opportunity for engagement that compensates for email marketing's challenges.
Want to learn how direct mail can help with your email subscriber challenges?
Contact us today. We're happy to brainstorm with you and share how we've helped other marketers re-engage their contacts.