There is no doubt that the novel coronavirus, COVID19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on the economy both on a national and global scale. Businesses being ordered to abruptly close their doors for public safety created a waterfall of crashing statistics for many vendor and supply chains, including the print and mail industry. Now as we embark on the cautious and surgical reopening of America those same businesses are faced with another new set of challenges including “How do I get back to successfully running my business?” and “What kind of pivot do I need to implement to recovery quickly?”
Businesses need to prepare for and begin implementing the “new norm” practices including signage for safety precautions, internal workflow modifications to stay within the CDC guidelines, social distancing floor decals and most importantly an “Open for Business” recovery marketing campaign. To assist marketers in making the best decisions for their business, DirectMail2.0 has aggregated and analyzed data from its direct mail marketing platform over the past 8 months to depict the current integrated marketing landscape and what we as an industry can expect moving forward.
Integrated marketing strategies like DirectMail2.0 provides the target audience impressions from multiple channels including Direct Mail, Informed Delivery, Social Media Platforms, and Google. According to the DMA Response Rate Report 80% of sales are made between the 8th and the 12th contact, which means a multi-touch omnichannel marketing approach is needed now more than ever. By implementing this strategy, marketers can see a 23-46% lift on campaign results versus the use of direct mail alone.
Despite the nearly 50% decline of promotional mail pieces over the past 8 months, overall ad displays to target audience maintained relatively consistent trends. During this span, campaign impressions saw a marginal uptick of 8.07%, thus salvaging the integrity of the integrated campaigns.
Since not every prospect or customer is ready to act right away; the re-engagement technology solution that DirectMail2.0 implements compounds campaign effectiveness and results over time. It tracks and engages based on target audience behaviors. Below is a progressive snapshot of a non-profit organization’s campaign statistics during COVID.
From 6 days to two weeks there was a 782% increase in total ad displays. From week 2 to week 4 there was an additional increase of 192%. Leads increased by 767% from 6 days to 4 weeks.
“With DirectMail2.0 we have 151 responses $10,447. Without 68 responses $4953. That is just the first-class mail, the bulk data does not represent a full response yet.”
In 2020 active social media users reached 3.8 billion, up 9.2% over 2019 figures according to Hootsuite. Percentage of social media users accessing via mobile devices jumped from 84% to 99%, creating the perfect opportunity for marketers to utilize omni-channel marketing to be where their audiences are. Facebook remains the juggernaut of social media platforms with 2.449 billion monthly active users.
Following Facebook is YouTube (owned by Google) with 2 billion monthly active users. Between Google, Facebook and Instagram, DirectMail2.0’s integrated marketing strategy ensures maximum exposure to the target market.
The technology integration strategy is meant to maintain presence with niche mail audiences to ensure maximum exposure when a prospect or customer is most likely to act. Engagements are tracked to understand the level of action the target market is taking and when. Like ad displays, engagements compound over time as individuals are groomed to make a purchasing decision.
According to DMA Response Rate Report a stand- alone social media ad campaign receives an average of 0.1% response. Likewise, a standalone display ad campaign receives a .002% response. Average clickthrough rates on both platforms combined is approximately .007%. With an integrated marketing campaign strategy, clickthrough rates are exponentially higher achieving well over 2-4% CTR on average. Microtargeting based on consumer behavior creates a more personal experience for the end user thus eliciting more action than a standard digital campaign.
Another opportunity for integrated campaign exposure is with the USPS Informed Delivery interactive campaign. An email alert is sent to registered users with a monochromatic image of their mail piece and a full color ride-a-long image. The full color ad is accompanied by a URL which will direct interested buyers to a designated page within the website.
Nearly 34 million people have signed up with Informed Delivery since its debut in 2017 and over 86% of registered users check their Informed Delivery daily. In the first half of the evaluation period, Informed Delivery click through rates hovered between 10% and 15.8%; a huge increase from the historical average of 7-8%.
Finally, it’s time to discuss the full repositioning of direct mail; direct mail retargeting. Through this time of uncertainty, it is important to spend marketing dollars on proven strategies and target the audience who will spend money now. However, what was working pre-COVID is not necessarily working now so how does an organization know WHO is buying right now? That’s easy, people who are actively visiting your website are people who are most likely to buy! And now you can reach them with direct mail! Direct mail retargeting consists of identifying unique website visitor’s postal addresses and sending them a piece of direct mail within 24-72 hours that furthers the communication of what that visitor was most interested in. Picture this, a potential student is on a university website looking at the financial aid page for 12 minutes and 36 seconds. Then that student leaves that page and goes to the athletics page, clicks on “athletic scholarship” and stays on that page for 10 minutes and 8 seconds before leaving the website. The potential student did not fill out a form, schedule a tour, or provide contact information in any way. An anonymous visitor. If the university had access to the behavioral information AND the postal address of that anonymous visitor they could send a brochure on financial aid options and a call to action to come tour the school and meet with a financial aid counselor. BOOM! Direct mail retargeting; hyper focused, hyper personalized, highly relevant. Right now, direct mail retargeting campaigns are seeing an average of 9-18% response rates. This, is the future and full repositioning of direct mail.
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