While planning for the new year, marketers should keep in mind the value of an integrated marketing approach that includes the mailbox to activate consumers. Yes, that mailbox—the one that receives real, physical mail.

New research from media delivery firm Valassis revealed fresh consumer insights about the importance of incorporating activation-driving media into marketing strategies. Smart marketers understand the power of aligning consumer data and insights to their direct mail campaigns, averaging a 6 percent sales lift—and that’s why nearly 60 percent of Valassis clients increased spend on direct mail packages in 2018.

Direct mail still works in 2019—how it fits in with integrated marketing

According to a survey of value-seeking consumers, nearly three-quarters said seeing an offer in both print and online captures their attention, emphasizing the importance of having an integrated approach to media. However, marketers are increasingly drawn toward “shiny new objects”—such as VR/AR and voice—at times steering away from proven and dependable media channels that consumers have come to expect and rely on, like print.

“It’s important to leverage multiple media channels to reach, engage and activate consumers across a variety of touchpoints, but marketers should not overlook the proven and effective channel of the mailbox,” said Curtis Tingle, chief marketing officer at Valassis, in a news release.

“While marketers should test and learn from new media, allocating budget away from proven performance drivers like direct mail could prove costly. Achieving the right marketing mix is a challenging task, but by doing so, marketers and brands will be able to better activate consumers with the right deals at the right moments in the channels they prefer,” he added.

“The marketplace is recognizing the value created through the balance of precision and scale from our direct mail package,” said Gene Brandon, chief product and innovation officer at Valassis, in the release. “To date, nearly 60 percent of our clients have increased their spend on the RetailMeNot Everyday Direct Mail Package year-over-year.”

In addition, the USPS reported revenue and piece count increases on their Marketing Mail classes, which include Valassis’ direct mail packages, in their fiscal year ending October 2018.

“The reason marketers are rediscovering the value of the mailbox is our direct mail package drives performance by activating consumers with the use of location intelligence, web behavior analysis and more,” said Greg Green, chief data and analytics officer at Harland Clarke Holdings, in the release. “Especially considering the escalation of online ordering, most U.S. households have a mailbox or P.O. box, providing marketers a direct path into consumers’ hands. With consistent delivery of print offers, consumers have come to anticipate deals in their mailbox, such as RetailMeNot Everyday, and many plan their purchases accordingly.”

Further exemplifying the important role consumers’ mailboxes play in purchasing decisions, consider this:

  • In an ongoing study fielded in conjunction with The NPD Group, Inc., when asked how often they read or looked at advertisements that come in the mail, 69 percent of respondents said “always or most of the time,” with another 25 percent saying “sometimes.”
  • In the same study, 47 percent of consumers surveyed said within the previous seven days, they read through a direct mail package received in their mailbox from Valassis. Furthermore, 27 percent made a purchase based on the deals and offers within the package.
  • Parents responded even more favorably about direct mail; 51 percent of parents read mailbox deals from Valassis, and 39 percent made a purchase as a result.
  • Millennials are also known to be savvy, with 34 percent making purchases based on offers received from Valassis in the mail. Coupons and deals are a smart way to activate millennials overall, as 95 percent claim to use coupons according to the 2K18 Valassis Coupon Intelligence Report. Moreover, 44 percent of millennials say the mailbox is their most preferred channel for receiving offers, ranking slightly higher than mobile (40 percent).

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Richard Carufel

Richard Carufel

Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 12 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders.

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