It’s early days but, whisper it, the U.K. appears to be at the start of an actual economic recovery. News real wages are to rise, which means average wages are set to increase by more than inflation, will resonate more than abstract talk of growth forecasts.
In the aftermath of this year’s historic 6 percent increase in postal rates, mailers have been advised by postal consultants and agency wags to enter into a kind of direct mail rehab. The rate is the rate, it’s not going to change—the abiding wisdom goes—so clean your lists, right-time your mailings, integrate them with other channels, co-mail and commingle, and wring the most out of your increasingly dear postal dollars.
A strong direct mail campaign will generate impressive results. Financial advisors rarely generate the positive activity necessary to make this type of advertising worthwhile and cost effective. Advisors have an opportunity to capitalize on direct mail as a marketing strategy, especially since it offers advantages over electronic marketing (such as email): Direct mail reaches people directly in their homes and provides physical documents that recipients can save and refer to later.
What’s present in every household and business in the nation but remains an enigma to Americans? The mail. This riddle is keenly relevant among pure-play digital marketers unaware that response rates to direct mail are typically 200 times that of email. But it’s also true among consumers, who retain some surprising assumptions and notions about the U.S. Postal Service.
The Republican-controlled House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is starting over on postal reform legislation and taking as its template a somewhat surprising source — the White House’s fiscal 2015 budget request. Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., told members of the committee and the deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget during a hearing recently that he intends to “embrace to the greatest extent possible” the entire slate of legislative proposals for overhauling the Postal Service included in the President’s budget request.
In 2020, when your supplies of milk and butter start to run low, your refrigerator will know to send out a call to the grocery store and, later that day, the Postal Service will show up at your door with fresh provisions. Sound far-fetched? Not to Nagisa Manabe. Manabe, the chief marketing and sales officer with the U.S. Postal Service, offered a preview of an array of initiatives that the agency is working on to improve and expand its services through the use of technology, tapping into unused infrastructure and by forging new partnerships.
How can you stay in your customers’ minds? It’s easy with a few postcards. Mail postcards to prospects and customers every few weeks, and they’ll think of you first when they need something. They’ll pick up the phone and call you first when they’re ready to buy. Postcards are cheap, easy, hard-working marketing tools, and here’s why.
While it seems like both technology and business publications are constantly writing about the latest social media trends, direct mail isn’t a topic that’s known for making headlines. However, just because the press isn’t infatuated with direct mail doesn’t mean it’s not a valid marketing option. On the contrary, it’s a tried-and-true marketing tool that still works quite well.
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?