That “digital fatigue” is real is no longer up for debate. When searching Google, the experimental generative AI that is now featured at the top (yes, irony alert) provides this observation: “Digital fatigue is a state of mental exhaustion and disengagement that can occur after prolonged exposure to digital devices, apps, and screens. It can cause feelings of exhaustion, stress, and overwhelm, and can affect your well-being, productivity, and performance.” Prolonged exposure to endless emails and digital ads should also be listed as a cause.
We marketers at PFL have known this for quite a while, as evidenced by a blog we posted in 2022: “Wake Up, Marketers, Digital Fatigue is A Real Thing.” Nothing has changed in the meantime, nor is there any likelihood of the digital deluge abating. The numbers don’t lie: Digital marketing has grown significantly, reaching $322.2 billion in 2022. According to WordStream, digital marketing is projected to grow at a 9 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) through 2026. DemandSage predicts a 17.6 percent CAGR through the same time period. Digital advertisers continue to spend boatloads, and they are coming to get you.
Now, we are not suggesting that digital techniques and strategies are the devil’s work; far from it. Many a great direct marketing campaign had a digital debut. But there certainly are issues. Digital marketing can have several downsides for consumers, the main one being that many customers and prospects simply ignore ads and emails. People can block or skip ads on the internet. Too much exposure to advertising can lead to ad blindness and fatigue, which means people tune out your ads and become immune to them, while emails are either going into spam or being deleted unceremoniously before even opened.
Mail for Modern Marketers
So, what does that mean to modern marketers? Well, we have a few thoughts about that. We believe marketers need to: Uncover the value of direct mail; learn how to effectively add direct mail into omnichannel campaigns; and, perhaps most important, see direct mail as a key channel for the creation of meaningful moments across the entire customer journey.
In other words: Elevate your direct mail strategy. Coincidentally, “elevation” was a key topic in our 2023 e-book, “PFL’s Essential Guide To: Creating Powerful Direct Mail Moments Across the Customer Lifecycle.” In this sense, “elevation” means that it’s vital to extend your marketing beyond digital communications. Organizations that enhance their marketing programs using direct mail boost sensory appeal, create urgency, and add an element of surprise. Moments of elevation are experiences that rise above the routine that make recipients feel engaged, joyful, surprised, motivated.
The concept behind all of this is what we are calling “More Than Mail.” When direct mail is elevated, it becomes more than just mail. It can be more than a postcard or a routine letter. It can be more than the coupon you receive from your favorite store, a monthly bank statement, or the note your insurance company sends on your birthday. Mail can certainly be more than sheets of folded paper in your mailbox or a package left on your doorstep.
Direct mail can be the bridge that connects your brand to your audience, driving engagement across the customer journey with memorable moments that extend beyond the mailbox. With modern, automated direct mail, you can make every connection count.
Challenge the Status Quo
“More Than Mail” is based on an elevated direct mail strategy that is a bold challenge to the status quo. For too many, direct mail is synonymous with outdated, one-way communication that comes with complicated processes, high cost, and an environmental toll (an opinion PFL is very serious about dispelling). We see it differently. We see direct mail as a versatile, engaging, and dynamic force in modern marketing.
“More Than Mail,” empowers every marketer to transcend the expected and the forgettable. In the end, it is about fashioning powerful and memorable experiences for your customers and prospects.
As the year goes on, PFL will be exploring, in depth, how elevating your direct mail strategy into “More Than Mail” can be a game-changer.
If you’re looking to connect with prospects and customers more effectively; if your business is working to boost loyalty and brand value; if you’re hoping to use data-driven direct mail to better address challenges throughout the customer lifecycle; and if you’re looking for practical plays you can try immediately to create powerful moments and increase engagement; and if you want to make every connection count. . .then PFL’s “More Than Mail” approach is for you
This is just the beginning. There is much more about “More Than Mail” to come.