As the UK enters a continued period of lockdown, for businesses across all industries staying connected with customers is of paramount importance. But how can brands remain in the mind of consumers and prospects during these times of uncertainty? As Paragon Customer Communications explains, many digitally focused brands are harnessing the effectiveness of the physical channel to stay relevant and visible.
With the country adjusting to significant behavioural changes as the public continue to practice social distancing and self-isolation, organisations are similarly having to adapt their marketing strategies to keep customers close as they stay at home during the crisis.
While the majority of organisations have focused their efforts on digital marketing, many are beginning to realise that such a singular approach often fails to address the broad audience demographic that is their customer base and reach those less digitally inclined.
For instance, a 50-something who is unfamiliar with digital marketing is going to react very differently to a social media ad than a more digitally-savvy Gen Z adult (ages 18-23 years old) who actively uses platforms such as Instagram (73%), Snapchat (63%) and YouTube (62%) on a daily basis.
In a bid to address all audiences, and cut through the digital fog, organisations are now considering postal direct mail and door drops as a way of physically keeping in-touch, delivering offers, ideas and lead generation.
Embracing the physical channel
With less face-to-face contact, it’s natural for brands to go completely hands-off and digital. However, with household behaviours towards postal mail presenting positively – with the DMA reporting that 51% of emails are deleted immediately on receipt, while on average, people keep door drops for 38 days – direct mail delivers serious potential for Return on Investment (ROI) if managed appropriately.
Such behaviour towards mail can significantly increase brand amplification across the household. Data from JICMAIL’s data portal – JICMAIL Discovery – revealed recently that the average piece of finance direct mail is not just seen by the person it's addressed to. In fact, it is shared within the recipient’s household and typically reaches 1.13 people, giving it an additional reach of 13%.
To put this into context, a typical finance brand’s 1 million mailers will in fact reach 1.3 million people. Given that figures show that individuals interact, on average, 4.3 times over the course of the month with any given piece of finance direct mail and there is a potential to gain 4.8 million impressions.
This is only further emphasised by the response rate of mail. At 9% (house list) and 5% (prospect list), direct mail response rates are an overwhelming nine times and five times higher than that of email, paid search and social media respectively – with online display at just 0.3%. It is perhaps little surprise, therefore, that direct mail remains in the top two preferred marketing channels amongst consumers – particularly in the post-GDPR landscape – according to the DMA’s Acquisition and the consumer mindset report.
Using mail to get the best from digital
Today’s consumers are influenced by marketing messages across myriad channels - from non-digital to digital platforms. By supplementing digital initiatives with more traditional channels like direct mail, and utilising generational segmentation in marketing communication, organisations across all sectors can drive acquisition and retention.
Generational targeting in direct mail can be instrumental in increasing your response rates. Organisations must be acutely aware that each generation is comprised of unique individuals; and broad generalisations about different demographic cohorts must be set aside during the planning and implementation of marketing communication strategies.
For instance, Millennials, the generation typically associated with smartphones and an affinity for all things digital, are now being influenced more by direct mail with 77% of them paying attention to postal advertising they receive - surpassing that of many other generations.
The best and most successful omnichannel campaigns – particularly those that employ direct mail tactics – should be underpinned by a not only a critical understanding of a brand’s customer’s mindset, a complete picture of the likely target demographics of any given campaign, but also the stage they are at in the customer journey.
Acquisition and retention
Harnessing a combination of leading edge technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), and creative marketing experience, can help to achieve this incisive targeting and ensure tailored, customer-relevant content is delivered through channels that consumers are most likely to engage with, at the most appropriate times.
Such invaluable customer insights ensure not only that retention-driven mail will be made simpler and more effective, but also, by using the most appropriate communication channels and tailored messaging, more cost-effective.
The increased knowledge of each individual customer, and the ability to deliver highly-personalised content based on aspects such as the products/services they have purchased previously, means brands can provide customers with offers they would be most interested in – keeping costs down and increasing campaign ROI.
What’s more, by creating a greater distinction between existing customers and potential customers (prospects), more effort and, indeed, budget can be put into acquisition and lead generation direct mail tactics.
As one of Europe’s leading providers of customer communications Paragon Customer Communications is highly experienced in delivering impactful, tactile and long-lasting direct mail marketing that speaks to customers. For more information on how we can support you in integrating your direct marketing campaigns with digital channels to maximise customer experience and return on investment, visit: www.paragon-cc.co.uk