Are you “pigeonholing” your marketing strategies? We naturally like things to fit neatly into their own boxes; it keeps life and business organized and, by drawing stark lines between the digital and physical, we feel more in control.
Things are never so black and white, however, although it’s tempting to try making them so. But there are good reasons to blur the lines between digital and direct marketing strategies, because they interlink very well.
The Novelty of Physical Mail
Mobile technology is growing at a phenomenal rate, and marketers in all industry sectors are jumping on the bandwagon, optimizing sites and capitalizing on email and social marketing. It may seem like there’s no place for direct mail in this tech-dominated arena, but don’t be fooled.
In a digital world, having something you can hold fall through your postbox is something of a novelty, and Millennials are amongst the people who most value it. Retro is the new modern, and there’s something distinctly retro about a good, old-fashioned, personally addressed letter. Research by the Royal Mail in the UK revealed that physical mail engages a differently retentive part of the brain, so don’t imagine it’s just the older generations who place value on physical mail.
Printing, stuffing envelopes and devising creative copy for direct mail might seem like a more expensive option than rattling off a quick email, especially when you factor in postal charges. The US Postal Service has the answer to that, in the form of attractive discounts for business customers who incorporate emerging technology.
The Mobile Engagement Program offers a 2% discount on mail that includes technologies such as NFC (Near Field Communication) and AR (augmented reality). The promotion period runs until December 2015 so there’s plenty of time to get onboard.
Other USPS programs include:
- Emerging and Advanced Technology Promotion
- Earned Value Promotion
- Every Door Direct Mail
In many respects, the digital age has taken away the personal element in communications between company and customer. No one likes to feel they’re just an account number, yet that’s often what happens. Meshing direct mail with digital strategies helps bridge that gap when you use both postal and email or social CRM in concert. If you’re concerned a direct mail strategy will rob you of website custom, incorporating NFC or QR digital printing encourages DM recipients to get online where you can track their activities through your site or digital offers.
Emerging technologies are blurring, if not totally erasing, the lines between digital and DM. Smart marketers will need to include both in future campaigns, to capture a bigger share of the market than either strategy alone can achieve.