Editor's note: This article was written by our partners at Blueshift.
Deploying separate customer experiences on various channels is no longer enough to captivate audiences and create loyal brand followers. The key to increasing brand awareness and affinity despite today’s oversaturated digital marketing landscape is to orchestrate cohesive, engaging, and personalized customer experiences across all channels. In other words, omnichannel marketing is essential.
When we hear the term “omnichannel,” our minds typically jump to tactics like email campaigns, ads, or social media. However, the last time you opened your mailbox and discovered offers from your favorite retailer or a new food subscription company did you consider that those mailpieces are a key piece of their marketing strategies?
Direct mail marketing is on the rise. In this article, we’ll explore three reasons why direct mail is a crucial component of your omnichannel marketing strategy.
1. The results speak for themselves
Check out these stats from Pitney Bowes and PR Newswire:
- 98% of consumers bring in their mail the day it’s delivered
- 67% of consumers feel mail is more personal than the internet
- 55% of consumers “look forward” to discovering the mail they receive
- 8 in 10 marketers report good or very good ROI when direct mail is fully integrated into their campaigns
- For C-suite executives, direct mail is the second most effective marketing channel (29%) after events (37%)
Consider how you feel when opening your mailbox compared to logging into your email account. The former may be exciting — filled with curiosity about what could be waiting — while the latter may be stressful or overwhelming. Direct mail opens up a world of possibilities instead of getting lost in a consumer’s inbox.
2. Foster the human connection
If the end goal of your omnichannel marketing strategy is to grow your audience and nurture existing customers, it ultimately comes down to connecting with people. Though human connection seems like an oxymoronic concept in an industry making strides in AI, it continues to be a primary factor in a customer’s perception of your brand.
A study conducted by the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General (OIG) with Temple University’s Center for Neural Decision Making found that, though participants processed digital ad content more quickly, they had a stronger emotional response to physical ads and were more likely to remember them later. This easy recall of physical ads correlates with the desirability of featured products and signals a greater intent to purchase.
While digital ads quickly capture the attention of your customers — increasing brand awareness and engagement — direct mail appeals more deeply to their humanity (emotionally and neurologically). Think about which would make you happier: an email with an e-gift card attached, or a handwritten note accompanied by a gift personally picked out with you in mind?
That’s not to say online platforms aren’t as important as direct mail to your omnichannel marketing strategy. After all, omnichannel is all about incorporating all platforms. Keep reading to learn more about why each is more effective when implemented together.
3. Combine print and digital
Peanut butter and jelly are each great on their own, right? But when you combine them between two slices of bread, they become an iconic sandwich loved for generations. Similarly, though direct mail and digital marketing can lead to positive outcomes individually, they’re even stronger in tandem.
One way to ensure that your omnichannel marketing strategy is creating a seamless customer experience is to use direct mail as a pathway to online engagement. For example, you can send a print mailer to customers with a QR code that allows them to engage with your website, one of your social channels, or a branded YouTube video. If you’re more focused on conversion than brand awareness, the mailer can include an exclusive offer, and the QR code can link directly to a product page.
According to the 2021 USPS RISC Report, “QR codes are an easy and quick way to access digital content...The surge in the number of digital online sessions prompted by QR codes — which grew from 2.5 billion in 2019 to 3.7 billion in 2020 — illustrates the acceleration of this trend.” Shifts in customer interaction resulting from the COVID pandemic have contributed to these numbers.
Another benefit of combining print and digital efforts is the ability to track results clearly; if your mailer includes a specific tracking link for your direct mail audience, you can measure success compared to your email campaigns or social ads, for example. Then, you can refine your omnichannel marketing strategy accordingly.
As you strengthen your brand’s omnichannel marketing strategy, put direct mail at the forefront instead of leaving it as an afterthought. As all of these channels — physical and digital — work in sync, you’ll see your engagement, conversion, and revenue numbers rising. By partnering with experts at Lob and implementing a SmartHub Customer Data Platform (CDP) like Blueshift, you can take your omnichannel marketing strategy to the next level.
Check out our ebook, Direct Mail’s Great Digital Transformation: A Fireside Chat with Verizon to see how marketer's are transforming direct mail.
San Francisco-based Blueshift helps brands deliver relevant, connected experiences across every customer interaction. Its SmartHub CDP uses patented AI technology to unify, inform, and activate the fullness of customer data across all channels and applications. Through unified data, omnichannel orchestration, intelligent decisioning, and unmatched scale, Blueshift gives brands all the tools to seamlessly deliver 1:1 experiences in real-time across the entire customer journey. Leading consumer brands such as LendingTree, Udacity, Discovery, PayPal, Groupon, and the BBC use Blueshift to drive continued revenue growth through elevated customer engagement. The company is backed by leading venture capital investors, including SoftBank Ventures, Storm Venture Partners, and Nexus Venture Partners.