The U.S. Postal Service has updated their Brand and Policy with the following text: “The Postal Service — the original social network — has been connecting senders to receivers for more than 240 years. We deliver the mail and messages in a way no one else can, to places no one else goes, through a channel no one else has. The heart and soul of delivering is dependability…”
According to an Epsilon Research Preference Study, direct mail remains the No. 1 choice by consumers for receipt of information. As people are becoming savvier shoppers when it comes to finding savings, and the idea of finding a bargain has made couponing cool and chic, Money Mailer, a leader in direct marketing, is expanding its reach into Glenview with the launch of its newest franchise.
Since the dawn of direct marketing, companies have tried to determine what will entice prospects to buy. While demographic and financial data have been a trusted resource, behavioral data is taking direct mail to new heights. The explanation is fairly simple: What customers and prospects actually do is much more enlightening than what they say they will do. In direct marketing, it is far better to build a campaign around truth than conjecture, and customer behavior is one of the best sources of “truth” you can get.
As mailers and mail service providers prepare for our most active quarter of the calendar year, a number of factors are creating new challenges and new opportunities for our industry. Growing regulatory and compliance considerations, uncertainty about postal rate increases, and the continued proliferation of digital communication channels are influencing the way businesses and consumers use mail. At the same time, innovations in data collection, document design, mail production, and presort services ensure that mail will continue to play a leading role in enabling mission-critical communication and facilitating commerce throughout the world.
Sen. Tom Carper’s, D-Delaware staff on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee channeled David Letterman, giving senators a top-10 list of reasons why they should prioritize the passage of the Postal Reform Act penned by Carper and colleague Tom Coburn, R-Oklahoma once they return from their bloody midterm election battles. Unlike Letterman lists, however, this one is devoid of humor. Postal reform is no laughing matter, as direct mailers will be reminded when they read number 10. Following is an edited version of the list.
More than $150 million. That’s how much campaigns, party committees and outside groups spent on political direct mail in the 2014 cycle—just through the end of August—according to a recent analysis by Politico. At a time when data-driven digital advertising is the talk of the campaign world, candidates and campaigns are still spending heavily on political direct mail for one reason: It works. That’s exactly why so many campaigns avidly keep direct mail in their arsenal.
A frequently challenged marketing myth is that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to reach young people via traditional marketing. Many marketers are seemingly convinced that Generations X and Y simply won’t respond to traditional marketing tactics. From TV and radio to direct mail, the reality is that the most effective ways to reach Gen X and Y are surprisingly traditional. Yes, there’s social media, email, and several other digital platforms; there’s also traditional direct mail marketing.
In a recent Newsflash newsletter, it reported on how the Australian postal service is tapping into ecommerce to boost cross border trade with China. Australia Post signed a deal with Alibaba Group to set up a store on Tmall, its B2C marketplace for Chinese shoppers. The Australia Post storefront on Tmall lets even small companies begin selling to China.
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?