• Lois Ritarossi

Informed Delivery, Visibility Deliver Customer Experience in a Multi-channel World

The USPS Informed platform has increased awareness, effectiveness and results for direct mail. Brands now have a platform to link direct mail with omnichannel communications across email, SMS, apps and the web. Informed Delivery campaigns enable consumers to respond and interact with products, services and offers before they receive their physical mail.

With over 16 million current subscribers and over 500,000 new subscribers each month, the United States Postal Service’s (USPS) Informed Delivery has hit the tipping point with 15% of US households now receiving a daily email showing images of the mail they will receive that day. The email open rates are an astounding daily average of 70%. The Informed Platform also allows any mailer using full-service Intelligent Mail Barcode (IMb) to create Informed Delivery campaigns that include a color representative image of the mail piece and a color ride along image, and a call to action link driving recipients to the web for interaction with the brand and offer.

Recent campaigns have produced impressive click through rates, over 3 times higher than email alone, and produced conversions prior to receipt of the physical mail. People trust the USPS and this daily email gets opened and read. B2C brands can leverage Informed Delivery to create meaningful interactions and results for mail campaigns. Print and mail service providers can guide their customers through the process to create the simple assets needed to add a campaign on the postal platform and track results for open rates and click through for 45 days after each mailing.

Informed Visibility enables mailers to track each mail piece through the postal system to near-real-time in-home delivery. With a significant investment in geofencing, the USPS now can enable brands and mailers to accurately determine in-home delivery times for each recipient of a direct mail campaign. With this knowledge, brands and mailers can intelligently deliver meaningful, relevant, omnichannel communications to engage consumers and drive results with specifically timed email and SMS messages.

Market Reach in the UK has recently published a study scientifically demonstrating the power of mail in boosting memory and recall and increasing the effectiveness of social media campaigns. The study compares reaction and recall for mail, email and social media campaigns. After testing brain activity for each type of media, the researchers concluded mail can play a pivotal role within the media mix to boost memorability and can potentially increase purchase intent. Our brains interact and retain information differently when we touch and read paper compared to reading on screen.

What is more startling is the evidence the researchers identified about how mail interacts with social media advertising. Printed direct mail plays a “priming” role, enhancing the impact of social media advertising so it garners a better response. The report showed physical mail is 33% more engaging than email and 35% more engaging than social media advertising.

Brands are challenged to cut through the clutter to create awareness and action to purchase. Direct mail is a proven channel with demonstrated ROI. Now scientific study demonstrates how direct mail creates improved memory recall to increase the effectiveness of social media adverting and campaigns. The Informed Delivery and Informed Visibility platform is a marketer’s tool to enhance the effectiveness of all campaigns and communications in an omnichannel world.

Because the USPS is committed to increasing the value and effectiveness of mail they are offering a promotion with a 2% discount in postage for Informed Delivery campaigns. Service providers will be heroes by enabling their clients to test Informed Delivery campaigns and save their client 2% in postage. The promotion period is for campaigns mailed from Sept. 1 to Nov. 30th.

Brands and mailers can now increase the number of touch points for direct mail and engage customers through a trusted digital channel while reducing the cost of postage. Leveraging Informed Delivery campaigns and Informed Visibility tracking is a clear strategy to demonstrate return on marketing investment and increase customer engagement.

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