Direct Mail: The Future of Mail Is Here

Kick off 2013 by advancing your direct mail program to meet the demands of an evolving marketplace

You may have seen the term O-to-O (Offline-to-Online) to describe the relationship. In fact, the more accurate description is O-to-O-to-O—where the life cycle of the customer engagement can start in either galaxy, online or offline, be directed to the alternate, and then pulled back to the original touchpoint.

Think of an email where a response generates a catalog to be mailed which then guides the consumer back online to place an order. Alternatively, think of a catalog mailed to consumers that encourages them to place an order online, which then causes products to be shipped through the mail.

Why is this important? Because it provides multiple touchpoints to cement the customer relationship where at least one is tangible.

Make Direct Mail That Sizzles
Take a step back from the theory and look at your own mailbox. It is likely that you will find everything from letters that look like they were mass produced to incredibly slick brochureware using the full power of data-driven marketing. Some may have come to your mailbox because marketers bought a list of contact details, while others may have come in response to your inquiries online, in a store or over the phone. Remember, this is happening to your customers and prospects just as it is happening to you.

For the teams who have created, printed and delivered these pieces to your mailbox, the goal is to get you to take an action they hope will result in a sale.

As the recipient, you may be asking for more than a sales pitch to open your wallet. You want to be engaged, intrigued and rewarded. Normally the marketing team has to sort this out on their own, but new programs from the USPS in 2013 offer marketers the chance to be rewarded with postage discounts for using new technologies to engage customers through the mail.

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  • Rick O’Connor

    I enjoyed your article, but i think your content is way above some audience’s capabilities considering budget, office talent and fear of doing any thing new. (especially Charities.)
    Something anyone can do is combine an email with traditional mail and tell supporters by email that "something very important" is coming their way in the mail. When you do that for a few weeks, you are cancelling out most of your competitors mail "asks" until yours arrives.
    For those Charities & non-profits slightly ahead of the curve, start using text messaging to notify supporters of soon to arrive snail mail or a special email and then migrate them over to their preferred method of communication.
    There are three realities: traditional mail, email/online, and mobile/online, and each avenue creates results based upon your supporters demographics. The hot, new charities generating huge revenues do not use mail and their supporters are mostly all under 40. That’s got to tell you something!

  • Theo Pettaras

    Great article Pat. Most certainly from our experience our clients have indeed benefited from this process. Thanks for sharing.

  • Robert W. Bell

    Direct mail sent by itself is less effective and really shouldn’t been done any more.
    We have launched a new Patent pending solution called LIVINGMAIL and we are seeing it combined with our mail and QR Code solution AccuTrace really increase the response and action with the mail recipients.
    In my opinion, its either get ahead of the curve, or get left behind. When direct mail can, text, email, make a phone call why would you not use those mediums? Sending out just a old plane mail piece will not work like it used to.