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Why Direct Mail Still Works In A Digital World

Direct Mail in a Digital World - It Still Works

Forbes — As businesses adapt to consumer shopping habits in the post-pandemic world, it’s important to evolve your direct mail marketing strategy to stay relevant and ensure your direct mail list converts. Last year saw the rise of teleconferencing, remote working, binge-watching and grocery delivery across the globe. Even before the pandemic hit, the average American worker spent five hours per day on email, according to an Adobe study. While the rollout of the vaccine and dropping Covid-19 numbers are fueling consumer confidence, many Americans expect to continue to telework, and at least 26.7% of the workforce will be fully remote by the end of 2021, according to an Upwork survey of more than 1,000 hiring managers and chief executives. By 2025, 36.2 million Americans will be working remotely, an increase of 16.8 million people from pre-pandemic rates. As our digital footprint hits overdrive and Zoom fatigue kicks in, Americans are craving experiences outside of their computer screens. Email inboxes are overflowing, and people are growing numb to online ads. Direct mail marketing continues to deliver a personal and tangible alternative for customers suffering from screen overload, which will be more important than ever as the country slowly returns to normal. It allows small businesses to reach customers in their community at home, where they spend their time, providing a physical touchpoint of their message. As technology continues to innovate, direct mail marketing is evolving to provide businesses with real-time marketing analytics to help improve targeting and cut marketing costs. Direct mail can also include unique codes or barcodes to track individual responses to your mailings. Combine Accurate Direct Mail Lists With Technology Enhancements Small businesses can leverage their direct mail lists by taking advantage of digital enhancements. The USPS developed a unique feature for your direct mail postcard. Informed Delivery allows residents to get a copy of their direct mail piece in their email inbox before it arrives in their physical mailbox. Marketers can capitalize on this trend by including unique links in the message or videos about the deal. Voice activation technology allows businesses to use their smart speakers, like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, to respond to advertising offers. Focus On Sensory Experience Direct mail marketing allows businesses to focus on the sensory experience of their customers. Sensory marketing plays a major role in buying decisions, as it can help strengthen B2C connections. Both vision and touch are key senses that influence product perception, according to a report by IE University in Spain. Your direct mail marketing message can stand out and engage customers by offering an offline sensory experience in our increasingly digital world. Direct mail messages can further stand out by including increased personalization and physical touches like foiling, embossing and even scent. For example, my company provides an enhanced sensory experience for new residents in the community. We send an upscale, ribbed texture welcome package filled with oversized colorful proven offers from local businesses. Our businesses appreciate the high-quality design, and new movers receive a tangible offer giving them the opportunity to engage with new brands. Stumbling Blocks To Direct Mail Marketing While it’s clear direct mail is an important tool in your marketing arsenal, it’s important to remember that it’s not foolproof. Still, the high return on investment that a direct mail marketing campaign can bring makes these stumbling blocks worth conquering. Here are some of the most common hurdles businesses encounter and how to fix them: • Frequency. Determining the frequency of mailings is difficult to attain. Send out a postcard too often, and customers will cast them aside. Splitting up your list and sending postcards at different frequencies can help ensure you avoid saturation and find that sweet spot. Sending to a new, niche audience each time can also help with this. • Up-to-date lists. It’s also important to keep your mailing lists up to date. USPS can validate the addresses in your database to make sure they’re current. Routinely doing a database validation can help make your campaign more effective and could increase returns. If you’re working with a company that provides a mailing list, check with it to determine list accuracy. • Going over budget. Make sure your direct mail marketing campaign generates results. Overspending your marketing budget isn’t an option. Many providers offer apps to track the success of your campaign while also providing detailed demographic data to help streamline your next mailing. As Americans continue to weather the pandemic, reaching them at home with direct mail marketing can provide a solid return on investment for your business and a welcome respite from the digital overload. Article by Forbes Technology Council Member and President/CEO/CTO of Our Town America, Michael Plummer Jr. Forbes Technology Council is an invitation-only community for world-class CIOs, CTOs and technology executives.    Brittany N. JohnsonBrittany is the head of Our Town America’s corporate marketing department. She specializes in digital and print media, social media, and public relations. […]

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Direct Mail Marketing Options: Saturation Postcards, Targeted Postcards, New Mover Marketing

Direct Mail Marketing Postcards

Choosing the best platform to make the most of a tight marketing budget during uncertain times can be daunting for small business owners. Despite the increasing dependence on social media, one-click purchasing and online recommendations, direct mail marketing remains one of the most effective tools for boosting sales and developing loyal customers. Direct mail is said to be easier to understand and more memorable than digital media. It requires 21 percent less cognitive effort to process, and elicits a much higher brand recall, according to a study conducted by Canada Post Corp. Direct mail is also more likely to drive behavior than digital media, the study revealed. At least 70 percent of consumers say direct mail is more personal than online interactions, and 39 percent of consumers try a business for the first time because of direct mail, reported Fundera, a financial resource for small businesses. There are more than 30.7 million small businesses in the United States, according to the U.S. Small Business Association’s most recent report released in 2019. Small businesses created 1.8 million net jobs in 2016 and employed 59.9 million people. Our Town America offers a number of direct mail solutions to help small businesses promote customer loyalty, add new patrons and appeal to new area residents. But maybe you need some direction to figure out which type of direct mail program is best for your business needs. Easy & Affordable Method to Reach Community Members without a Mailing List Every Door Direct Mail® is a complete neighborhood mailer designed to reach every home and address in the selected ZIP codes without relying on a mailing list. EDDM® is a cost-effective saturation marketing method that allows you to filter by age, income and household size. Our Town America’s full-service EDDM® program includes printing, service preparation, postage and delivery. As people have been staying closer to home these days, EDDM® is a great way for local businesses to draw customers by delivering them a message directly to their home. Generate Customer Loyalty by Reaching out to Chosen Mailing List Targeted Postcards help celebrate existing customers by aligning with their motivations and goals. It’s a great method for businesses to send birthday specials, highlight new location openings and offer holiday specials. Targeted Postcards help form a connection between the customer and the business, building brand loyalty. During slow economic times, some customers rely on the brands they already trust, according to Harvard Business Review. It is important for businesses to reward their devoted customers with special offers or a simple holiday greeting or reminder of an upcoming sale. Our Town America uses your mailing lists to send Targeted Postcards. Make New Residents Feel at Home Moving to a new home during a time when social distancing guidelines are enforced can make it difficult to turn a new house into a home, but New Mover Marketing helps businesses make a great first impression on new residents by welcoming them to the area. It also gives residents the opportunity to support local businesses. “People are very loyal to their veterinarians. For us to grow just from people changing veterinarians would be a very slow growth,” said Dr. Sherry Weaver, owner of Animal Hospital of Towne Lake in Woodstock, Georgia. “Really, we’re much smarter specifically advertising to the people who are just moving in.” Our Town America’s New Mover Welcome Packages are filled with hand-selected proven offers. The 48-year-old company prides itself on offering the most accurate new resident mailing list in the country. Each Welcome Package contains only one business in each industry to ensure exclusivity. Our Town America also provides businesses with access to a proprietary mobile app that records redemptions, triggers an optional follow-up postcard and efficiently tracks return on investment. No matter the particular direct mail marketing method you choose, Our Town America will provide your business with an affordable solution to draw customers in. Learn more about how we can help your business grow today. Brittany N. JohnsonBrittany is the head of Our Town America’s corporate marketing department. She specializes in digital and print media, social media, and public relations. […]

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