A cleverly designed mail piece can combine the best of print with digital to generate new leads in a target area.
Whether you have a bricks-and-mortar or an online business, it can’t grow unless you find new business leads. Print mail can be a cost-effective way of getting your name out to potential customers. Incorporating digital elements into your mail communications – from a simple website address through to personal URLs – can increase customer engagement and add that wow factor.
Businesses looking to use mail have a few options. For local businesses, flyers or brochures can be popped into the mailboxes of homes in a target area. Larger businesses might use unaddressed mail, directed to “the home owner”, as a way of reaching a wide audience in specific regions. You can also purchase the details of customers who match certain lifestyle profile criteria from a provider like the PostConnect Australian Lifestyle Database.
This gives you the opportunity to send direct mail, addressed to an individual that is in your target segment.
According to ADMA CEO Jodie Sangster, there has been a change
in how mail is used by businesses. “It used to be core to a
business’s marketing campaign but, increasingly, digital communications are taking that central role,” she says.
Australia has low mail saturation compared with countries like the
US and the UK, which gives it marketing cut-through. It’s also a
novelty for Gen Y, a group that communicates predominantly
through social media. As with any campaign, the marketing basics
still apply to mail. “If you have good creative and are delivering a message that is relevant, it will resonate with people,” says Sangster.
Given the importance of digital media in marketing campaigns, it makes sense that companies are integrating digital elements into their print collateral. “At first, businesses just included a website address to drive people online,” says Sangster. However, with Facebook, foursquare, Twitter and more, businesses have an opportunity to use digital elements that can create richer, deeper customer engagement and create a buzz.
Quick response (QR) codes that readers scan with an app on their mobile phones can be added to flyers or letters. They can provide contact details and your business location, and take people to your website. “QR codes are huge in the US but they aren’t being used to any great extent here yet, which is surprising,” says Sangster. QR codes, along with your website, Facebook and Twitter details, can all easily be included in flyers and unaddressed mail pieces.
SMS is another easy way to get people to interact with your brand on their mobile phone. You can ask readers to SMS you for more information about an offer, or use it as an entry method for a competition.
If you have a target customer’s name, then further levels of digital customisation open up. Sangster points to personal URLs as a new option to delight potential customers. “Each person receives an individual URL,” she explains. “When they follow the link, they are greeted by name and receive a page view and information that can be customised for them. There hasn’t been an awful lot of use of personal URLs yet, but the capability is there.”
Useful tools and resources
- The Association for Data-driven Marketing & Advertising (ADMA) promotes responsible, effective and creative multichannel marketing in Australia.
- PostConnect can help you source addresses for direct mail and develop, print and deliver a mail piece.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and the interviewees, and not of Australia Post.
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