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How does direct mail marketing cut through the virtual noise in 2020?

Posted by Dan Noonan, VP of Sales at BCG Connect on August 28, 2020

Organizations that rely on fundraising are familiar with the power of direct mail. Education, healthcare, and nonprofit sectors know that highly targeted direct mail programs increase brand awareness, foster donor engagement, and generate revenue. Recent studies show that direct mail generates more than 80% of direct marketing revenue when compared by channel. 

But as remote work, learning, and even medicine become increasingly popular by necessity, many organizations are questioning direct mail’s validity. How can such a tangible, “low tech” strategic marketing tactic be effective in an ever-increasing digital landscape?

Here are three ways direct mail cuts through the virtual noise in 2020:

"Virtual fatigue" is on the rise

Remember when quarantine started and every company you have ever purchased from sent you an email? Inboxes are tired, and so are we.

There is no doubt that an organization’s communication and transparency are vital during times like these. Unfortunately, one of the consequences is that people are becoming weary of constant digital outreach. When most aspects of life are conducted on a screen, it can escalate to what experts are calling “virtual fatigue.”

Virtual fatigue has many subcategories, including webinar fatigue and meeting fatigue.When these kinds of interactions are combined with an almost entirely virtual social life, it can start to grate on people.

Direct mail provides a much-needed distraction from the currently overwhelming digital aspects of life. According to the USPS Market Research and Insights report, 65% of those surveyed stated that receiving mail lifts their spirits.

The “home office” is just “the office” now

Many organizations are reaping the benefits of remote work from both an employer and employee perspective. Employers are enjoying fewer costs associated with maintaining a physical location, and employees have discovered the joys of increased work-life balance.

Having a home office has transformed from a nice perk to an essential space overnight. In fact, 69% of nonprofits are considering long-term remote work once the pandemic is over. 

Working from home means people are more likely to take small breaks and be more productive. Many of those breaks include physical activities such as taking a virtual workout class, walking the dog, or even a leisurely stroll to the mailbox.  

If that’s not enough evidence, HubSpot’s recent COVID-19 Marketing and Sales Benchmark Report stated that sales emails increased above the benchmark by as much as 67%, while their response rates declined by typically more than 25%. When you combine those numbers with the pre-established ethos and trust direct mail procures, it’s a no brainer.

Omnichannel outreach helps with customer attention spans.

If you’re still not fully convinced that direct mail can help you reach your goals on its own, have you considered adopting it as part of an omnichannel approach?

Direct mail is one of the best kept secrets from an omnichannel marketing perspective. In March 2020, 78% of CMOs said integrated, branded personalized direct mail is very effective.

An easy way to start using direct mail is to pair it with your pre-existing email strategy. Not only does it reiterate your message and act as an extra touch point, but it also provides an increasingly valuable non-virtual engagement layer.

Digital events and conferences are here to stay in 2020 and beyond. Direct mail can be used in numerous ways to promote your event, including appointment setting and special offers for your virtual booth.

In conclusion, direct mail can help engage your customers in new and unexpected ways. With attention spans steadily decreasing and technology usage rapidly increasing, there has never been a better time to implement the use of direct mail in your marketing strategy.

Our guest blogs are written and produced by organizations within our membership. They  are not intended to reflect the views nor opinions of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce.