Even as the pandemic rages on, direct mail is one of the most effective channels for reaching remote workers. If direct mail isn’t part of your mix or if you hit the pause button back in March, now is a great time to rethink that strategy.
Industries are showing tentative signs of increased activity, but many people are still working from home. Marketers must adapt to the new normal, as we always do….
…or don’t, as it turns out. In the past few months, the response of numerous marketing teams has been to do more of their familiar tactics and hope for the best. That hasn’t worked out very well. HubSpot recently released a COVID-19 Marketing and Sales Benchmark Data report. Since March 16, sales emails increased above the benchmark by as much as 67%, while their response rates declined by typically more than 25%.
We’ve heard from many marketing professionals who have felt hesitant to ship during the pandemic, particularly because shipping to a home address isn’t something they’re used to doing. Most wanted to wait and see what other companies would do and what worked.
Change is hard. We get that. That’s why we want to share a few great reasons to maximize your effort using proven methods. Targeted, relevant, and personalized direct mail works, as shown in our 2020 State of Multichannel Marketing Report.
Read on to find why you should use direct in the age of the remote worker.
1. Customers are receptive to receiving direct mail at home.
You may be wondering how to send direct mail to remote workers, or if your contacts will be open to receiving mail at home.
Here’s what we at PFL and many of our customers are doing with great success:
- Find home addresses through public online sources or an address append vendor (like PFL).
- Email the contact and request confirmation of the address.
- Send the package regardless of whether they confirm the address.
When you deliver direct mail based on the contact’s choice, you have voluntary engagement, which leads to more conversions. Even if a contact doesn’t confirm their address, sending the package grabs their attention. It’s important that you add value in that moment of attention and give your prospect a reason to continue engaging with you.
At the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, PFL stopped sending swag in our outbound BDR sequences. We didn’t want packages piling up on empty office desks. The results were disappointing, so we added direct mail back into our outreach using tactile marketing automation. Our reply rates doubled, and our meetings booked increased by 10x!
Our BDR outreach to remote workers:
|Phone, Email, and LinkedIn Only|
|With Tactile Marketing Automation|
|9.7% reply rate||21% reply rate|
|0.9% meeting booked rate||9.8% meeting booked rate|
And to put the icing on the cake, 22% of prospects who confirmed their address booked a meeting.
This article from Gartner sums it up nicely:
“Risk-averse privacy ideas often prevent organizations from creating great customer experiences.”
Remember: Your contacts can never opt in if you don’t give them the chance.
2. Other companies are doing it already — possibly even your competitors.
PFL is a company that thrives on tactile marketing automation, so of course we’d take the risk to try sending during the pandemic. We also aren’t the only brand that took the plunge on shipping to home addresses. Early on in the pandemic, other companies leaned into the change and switched gears quickly.
KELL Partners is a strategic consulting firm that helps non-profits and higher education institutions better use Salesforce. Before the pandemic, they sent welcome kits to new customers at their places of work. Now while people are working from home, KELL’s new customers have been happy to share their addresses to receive the kits. Some have even showed off their mugs on video calls.
Sumo Logic was sending direct mail to preferred addresses well before anyone heard of COVID-19. The tech company is a leader in continuous intelligence that provides cloud-native machine data analytics. Their marketing team uses various direct mail campaigns aimed at developers, offering to send a T-shirt in exchange for taking a survey or signing up for a free trial. Sumo Logic has always requested preferred addresses because this top-of-funnel activity commonly involves contacts without any address on record. So when the office workforce suddenly went remote back in March, their campaigns simply continued as usual.
Associa, the global leader in association management, focused on sending thoughtful mail to contacts who put their Associa deals on hold when the pandemic hit. This drove a 7% increase in closed won deals amongst their COVID-19 impacted accounts.
We’re sending to home addresses successfully. Our customers are doing it and seeing success. Your competitors could easily do it too. The new normal has already begun. Will you adapt to it?
3. If your competitors are not using this strategy, all the better to crush them with it.
When a competitor leaves a powerful channel like direct mail untouched, you have a great chance to differentiate yourself. Raise awareness by ensuring that your brand shows up not only in emails and social ads, but right on your contact’s doorstep.
Undivided attention is the holy grail of marketing. So why not put your brand in their hands when your audience is guaranteed to focus on your message?
Incorporate tactile marketing automation with your account-based marketing strategies to blow the competition out of the water.
4. More webinars create more white noise, but you can enhance virtual events with direct mail.
Again, it comes back to differentiating your brand and standing out in the crowd. With more webinar events, your target audience has more options. You want to ensure that they choose your event.
One way to do that is by enhancing your virtual event with something physical to make it more engaging, such as snacks and a branded baseball cap or bandana to wear on camera. For more details on this concept as well as tips and strategies, see our previous blog post.
We recently had a chance to talk with Matt Sweezey, Market Strategist at Salesforce, about his book The Context Marketing Revolution. (You can find our recap here.) He also posted an amazing deck on LinkedIn about the recent transitions that are taking place as we go virtual.
According to Sweezey, “Direct mail is now being used to remind people of upcoming events, as well as becoming a part of events themselves.”
5. Receiving a package has never been so meaningful.
This is a time of anxiety and stress. When something as simple as a hug can be dangerous, a little joy goes a long way.
At PFL, we frequently talk about how receiving and opening a package creates a bright spot in someone’s day. It doesn’t matter whether the receiver already knew the package was coming — seeing it on the doorstep will turn anyone into a kid again.
Make your package personalized, make it relevant, and show how you’re going to make life a little better. Let your brand be a bright spot in someone’s day.
After that, if you still feel nervous about the idea of sending direct mail to a preferred address, then maybe — just maybe — it isn’t about the customer. Maybe the comfort zone got just a little too comfortable, and this is outside the zone.
Be bold, be confident! With PFL as your partner, you can trust that we’ll help you deliver engagement that drives your business to new heights.