Far from being outdated, direct mail is the perfect way to satisfy customer expectations and also drive sales, says Precision Proco chief executive Jon Bailey.
With new Covid restrictions having an immediate and negative impact on retail footfall, there is no doubt there will be a range of challenges for the sector as we head closer to Christmas.
Not least how to create the immersive experience shoppers crave – and the engagement needed – to extract maximum value from every single customer and transaction.
“Virtual customer intimacy” requires retailers to satisfy three key customer expectations: personalisation, prediction and adaptability
According to Ernst & Young, such “virtual customer intimacy” requires retailers to satisfy three key customer expectations: personalisation, prediction and adaptability.
With so many communication channels open to consumers today, knowing which to use can be a minefield. But when it comes to finding one that delivers on these three expectations, data-driven direct mail is proven.
Hyper-personalised messaging used to be the sole domain of the online channels. The temptation for marketers to bombard contacts with emails proved too great for many and 35% of them admit sending customers three to five emails per week.
But digital print has continued to evolve. Powered by data and made possible by sophisticated data-management and applications, unique pieces of direct mail triggered by user actions and browsing habits can be printed on-demand to reflect not just their personal demographics, but their needs and preferences.
Shifting behaviours have been magnified by the pandemic.
For big-ticket items the path to purchase is slow, with buyers typically taking 22 days to decide on a car, 19 days to select furniture and more than a week to deliberate over household appliances.
These behaviours highlight that speed, timing and being ‘in the moment’ are key. Perhaps more important still is that these messages endure.
Direct mail is read and re-read over four times on average, with 45% of mail staying in the home for more than four weeks
There are science and research that direct mail wins here too.
It is read and re-read over four times on average, with 45% of mail staying in the home for more than four weeks according to a MarketReach report. Compare that to the 13.4 seconds average time spent reading an email and it’s easy to see which is most likely to nudge and nurture customers along the customer journey and elicit a response.
Smart consumers expect smart solutions and an omnichannel experience.
A data-driven direct mail piece, being tangible and tactile, helps recreate the multi-sensory experience of a store visit.
A data-driven direct mail piece, being tangible and tactile, helps recreate the multi-sensory experience of a store visit
But, with the addition of a simple QR code or more sophisticated image-recognition technology, can also include the seamless, frictionless ability to buy online.
To do this means retailers need to adopt smarter collaboration with experienced partners they trust with the management and accuracy of their data, with smarter automation for production and a smarter utilisation of resource.
The result? Marketing that is in the moment, using a channel that is of the moment, but with impact so much greater than momentary.
If you’d like to learn more then download the whitepaper by completing the form here.
Jon Bailey is chief executive of Precision Proco
With over 20 years’ experience of cutting-edge digital print experience and a passion for exquisite customer service, Bailey is dedicated to keeping print relevant. His passion for print, combined with his approach to leadership, culture and customer engagement has led to Precision Proco being considered one of the leading influencers in the world of print.
Bailey is the current chairman of the global board of Dscoop, now one of the world’s largest digital print user groups with more than 7,000 members, where he continues to evangelise on why life really is better when its printed.