Even with the rise of digital marketing over the last decade, mail continues to be the $50 Billion workhorse in the marketing industry, helping drive transactions of all shapes and sizes. And while print and postage costs certainly make it a more expensive channel than digital options, mail consistently outperforms digital in response rates and often provides a stronger ROI.

So how do you use direct mail to your advantage? It’s simple, thanks to digital intelligence and efficient processes.

1) Take control of your data

There is no magic formula for success. But the good news is campaign management tools can help you forecast, mine, define and execute on the data you already have. So you can model your best customers to design truly seamless communications. Knowing your best customers happen to “own cats” or “have two children” might be the key insights that accelerate the sales process.

2) Build innovation-friendly processes

You might be convinced your letter package with an insert and affixed card will always be your champion, but consumers’ tastes keep evolving. And mailbox fatigue is real. You’ll want to implement some form of test-and-control to continue to optimize your top-performing pieces. BUT—do leave some room for innovation and risk-taking that isn’t solely defined by cost-per-piece. Adding a soft touch coating or unique envelope finish can be the “X” factor that increases open rates and creates positive brand impressions.

3) Design a “surround sound” conversation

Folding direct mail into your existing strategy can also improve response rates—because there is no silver bullet. Try syncing your in-home date with a supporting email campaign, or design a coordinated series of mailers to span across the consideration cycle. Studies show campaigns that paired direct mail with digital ads saw 118% higher response rates than those that only used direct mail. Plus, the DMA reports that direct mail can lift response rates for other channels by a whopping 450%.

4) Personalize for relevance

Personalization works. If you’re still in the budgeting phase, consider investing in AI tools that enable 1:1 personalization. Go beyond broad segmentation, even just adding a person’s name, to increase response rates by 135%. Just imagine if you could position your message based on where they buy today, or their purchase cycle (in a non-intrusive, non-big brother way, of course). Using data responsibly and respectfully? That’s the essence of relevant.

5) Identify efficiencies and take advantage of postal discounts

It’s good to know the impact geography has on your delivery windows. Fortunately, SPC is based in Chicago—the biggest mailing hub in the country. So when you need to get something in the mailbox and execute quickly, you can. Customers use our centralized postal logistics to their advantage so they can get mail to targeted audiences in a hurry.

Close on the heels of any deadline lies the other major constraint—postage. Choosing a pro-active vendor to help you spot opportunities is key. For example, here’s a preview of upcoming USPS promotions to reduce your postage spend in 2020:

Source: https://about.usps.com

Whatever the goal, it’s important to identify the right tactics—when you integrate all 5 of these components into your organization’s marketing playbook, you’ll have a higher chance to win. Remember to take 5: data, innovation, surround sound, personalization and postage.

Want the right partner to amplify your direct mail reach and ROI? We work with marketers looking to add mail to their acquisition or loyalty strategies. Contact Ryan LeFebvre, Executive Vice President of Sales at SPC, to learn how a fully integrated, turn-key strategy can make all the difference.

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