The U.S. Postal Service will maintain overnight delivery for about 66 percent of the current overnight delivery volumes following the next phase of its network consolidation. That’s according to chief operating officer and executive vice president Megan Brennan, who was speaking to major customers in Salt Lake City at the annual National Postal Customer Council Week event.
The U.S. Postal Service has announced that it will deliver groceries on a test basis for Amazon. In doing so, the world’s largest mail delivery service is deepening its relationship with the influential e-commerce provider. So much for drone delivery. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos has the U.S. Postal Service, which handles 40 percent of the world’s mail and visits every address in America six days a week, now delivering packages for the Everything Store on Sundays, too.
“It doesn’t really matter if you’re the chief marketing officer of a national retailer or the owner of a pizza shop in a college town—you’re a marketer who is making decisions about how to reach customers and drive traffic to your business. And every marketer should be taking a fresh look at mail.” The name of the man who delivered that remark recently at the national Postal Customer Council conference in Salt Lake City won’t surprise you. It was none other than Postmaster General Pat Donahoe, the Don Draper of the United States Postal Service, whose job it is to question the sanity of anyone who questions the continuing value of direct mail campaigns.
Being good at designing direct mail requires having the discerning eye of a visual artist and the insatiable curiosity of a scientist. From font size and colors, to the position of the call to action (CTA), to the images on the page, there are hundreds of factors in the design of a direct mail piece that can have a measurable impact on the success or failure of a campaign. One small change can take the ROI of a design concept from indifferent to incredible! Or as we like to say, from challenger to champion.
Postmaster General optimistic about mailing industry opportunities amid stronger economic conditions
In a state of the business address to postal customers, Postmaster General and CEO Patrick R. Donahoe gave an upbeat assessment of the opportunities facing the mailing industry. “With all of the changes occurring in the way people communicate, mail is proving to be an especially resilient marketing channel, and its value to America’s businesses is increasing due to better data and technology integration,” said Donahoe. “When you combine these important technology-driven changes with the strength we’re starting to see in the economy, there are a lot of reasons to be optimistic about mail’s role in America’s marketing mix.”
Its obituary has been written over and over, but the political direct mail industry isn’t just still alive; it’s thriving. In an era of highly targeted digital and TV advertising, political campaigns are still banking on an old-fashioned, mundane routine: Voters picking up their mail and leafing through it as they walk from their mailboxes to kitchen trash cans.
Direct mail, in terms of volume, is in decline. This would usually be cause for people to steer well clear, which brand wants to be associated with a dying channel? However, it might well be that the savvy brand that goes where everyone else is steering well clear of, might well find they yield the best returns.
Here’s something that not enough nonprofits are saying to their boards and CEOs: “We need a more sophisticated marketing automation strategy.” There may not be a CMO at your NGO, but people who work in development, donor relations, and communications are looking for better, more cost-effective ways to fund their good work – whether your goal is running after-school programs, supporting innovative research, or providing humanitarian relief. Unfortunately, the retention rate of first year donors is only 23.7 percent.
At 67 percent, the great majority of companies are prioritizing the integration of key marketing activities across channels, according to a study released recently by Econsultancy, in association with Oracle Marketing Cloud. The study, which surveyed nearly 1,000 digital marketing and ecommerce professionals, found that less than half of marketers (49 percent) feel their company is set up to enable cross-channel integration, even to a “certain extent.” Only 7 percent claim that their organization is in a good position to deliver effective cross-channel marketing.
Digital marketing and digital media have changed the way many marketers communicate with their customers and prospects. Email has provided a cost-effective and expeditious vehicle to communicate with customers. Online vehicles, such as banner ads and content marketing, are demonstrating value as effective pull marketing mechanisms.
So has digital marketing, and more specifically digital media channels, changed or influenced direct mail best practices? And how should marketers adapt their direct mail to accommodate these new channels?