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Snail Mail Isn't Dead - Here's How We Know

June 24, 2019
By Lizzie Hoffman

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Personal convictions might suggest that snail mail is obsolete in today's modern era of social media and mobile technology, and who acknowledges it anymore? Actually, snail mail is not dead, and direct mail is more effective than ever. It's a great way to capture individual attention in an age in which consumer inboxes get an average influx of 120 emails daily.

It's hard to stand out in all that chatter without neon lights. The U.S. Postal Service, however, conducted recent studies that revealed that consumers retained the information in physical ads longer and they were more emotionally engaged with the material. Learning how to use snail mail in 2019 just may exponentially increase a business's bottom line. Here's how.

Cross-channel functionality

The switch to more analog tactics doesn't mean creating a separate wing in the marketing department. Instead, using print mail as an invitation to engage with businesses on social media, a mobile application, direct phone line, website or other more specific initiatives can be a great initial touch point.

Unlike the distractions that can happen in the email inbox, such as getting a text notification or a new urgent incoming message, postal mail comes once a day and forces recipients to decide between keeping it or trashing it. The key is that it requires an action rather than leaving unread items to pile up in an inbox.

Collecting customer data at all touch points is vital to maintaining consistent messaging, completing customer profiles, and staying top of mind in a competitive market. Find ways to use direct mail to encourage customers to interact with businesses on all platforms: mobile apps, website, landing pages, social, in-store, etc.

Sometimes the only pieces of data a company has on its subscribers are the name and email address. But now, companies can easily move from online to offline by using Identity Matching to enhance databases with postal addresses, supplying marketers with the information they need to successfully launch their next direct mail campaign.

Using creative packaging

Just as with any digital platform, how a company delivers print mail to its audience should reflect its unique branding, voice, and goals. Consider the color, design, shape, and material used in the print deliverables.

For example, an environmentally conscious brand might send out mail on seeded paper (allowing recipients to plant the seeds after they've read the mail). A travel brand could send a postcard, or an Etsy seller can send customers a hand-made and hand-written letter.

Just don't be generic. That's a sure way to guarantee the mail piece will go into a trash bin rather than the trash folder. Using personalized touches makes the recipient feel important, so it's critical to put some thought into what businesses send, what they say and even when they say it.

A note on timing: sending mail during the standard high-traffic postal seasons (holidays) defeats the purpose of standing out from the crowd. Find select dates for each customer and send on those days (that could be an industry- relevant day or even an anniversary of some kind).

Implementing personalized print mail campaign

Struggling to find efficient strategies for connecting with an existing audience? Print mail could be the solution. Establishing a print-mail initiative should include these four four steps:

  1. Be on brand.
  2. Inform the campaign with comprehensive data.
  3. Be unique.
  4. Offer only value-led content.

Start taking advantage of direct mail. Register for our upcoming webinar with Lob to discover how brands can use automation to trigger targeted direct mail campaigns.

For help enhancing a database with postal data, consult with our experts at TowerData to ensure customer database is optimally enhanced, clean and comprehensive across all channels.

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