AMiable Solution #397: 4 Tips for Mailing in a COVID World
It’s no secret that mail took a hit over the holidays. Even with the Postal Service and retailers warning consumers about potential delivery delays, packages and cards still missed their desired marks, dropping as late as mid-January.
But should that change our approach to marketing? Should we be eliminating our direct mail promotions and focus solely on digital?
No. The timeframe for deliveries may have changed in some cases, but the effectiveness of mail has not.
To make your direct mail marketing efforts as effective as possible during these COVID-affected days, we suggest the following:
1. Start early. Jump ahead of your usual sales or promotional cycle. Postal delays are real in many areas across the country. Just last month, NPR reported that as many as 14,500 postal employees are currently under quarantine, but Union officials say that the Postal Service is working on a deal to add almost 10,000 new jobs at processing plants. Your mailings will get where they’re going, but they might take a little more time. Plan ahead and get ahead of potential delays by mailing earlier than scheduled.
2. Skip the deadline. Although imposing a deadline in an offer is traditionally a great way to incentivize a buyer to act, setting deadlines in our current environment could end up backfiring on you. Instead of setting ONE deadline, consider setting up SEVERAL. Subscription-based services tend to take this kind of approach, offering incentives for all of the deadlines, but decreasing the value of incentives with dates set further out. Setting multiple deadlines gives your offers the urgency you desire while also giving prospects one or two more opportunities—and reasons—to respond promptly.
3. Consider who you’re mailing to. If your primary customers are residential, by all means keep mailing. But if your list consists primarily of businesses, do your research. Know which industries/businesses are open and which are not. You don’t want to waste resources on mailings that are just piling up somewhere.
4. Test. Not sure how many people are getting your mail and when? Test. Be methodical. Take notes. Provide a simple but intriguing call-to-action and make sure you can track the results. If you test segment-by-segment or location-by-location, you’ll be better able to identify your best, most reachable audiences right now.
Mail, like everything else we rely on, has taken a hit, but it hasn’t been defeated. Adjusting your direct mail strategy might be all it takes to stay connected with your market and achieve your goals.