Why postal mailings are irreplaceable for a successful marketing mix
Mailings are advertising you can touch. Whether letter, postcard or self-mailer – thanks to their tactile qualities, we like to take them in our hands, examine their design and weigh up their usefulness. But what does the exact development of a mailing actually look like once it has reached the recipient? A study has now got to the bottom of this question.
The results show that mailings pass through different stages from the letterbox to conversion, attract the attention of several people and convert at a much later point in time. The following findings provide exciting insights into this marketing channel.
Mailings have a long-term effect
66% of all recipients cancel mailings that they consider useful. The average retention period is 17 days – often mailings are retained for up to 12 weeks or longer. On average, recipients interact with their mail for 22 minutes a day. This period is spread over several shorter interactions, the longest of which can last up to seven minutes. Attractive offers therefore also bridge longer periods until conversion. To ensure that letters, postcards, etc. encourage customers to buy, it is important that the content is optimally tailored to the customer’s needs.
Daniel is a real fitness fan. One day he has an attractive postcard from his favourite mail-order company for fitness and sports equipment in his mailbox. The message is “Hey Daniel! Try our new protein powder! Exclusive to you, 30% off the next order of our private label.” Since Daniel still has some protein powder left at home, he decides not to redeem the voucher for three weeks.
Mailings are kept in special places
After the first fleeting contact with the mailing, his further development is decided. 69% of those surveyed say that they keep mailings at these places in the household:
- unsorted filing (e.g. chest of drawers in the hallway)
- sorted stacks (e.g. storage trays)
- special display location (e.g. on the refrigerator)
Mailings land on the unsorted stack immediately after receipt. At this point, the contents were only briefly skimmed over. If a closer look reveals that it is an attractive offer, the mailing is kept in a clearly recognizable display location. Thus 39% of all recipients keep particularly relevant postcards, vouchers and voucher codes in a special display location. At 51%, the kitchen is the most common display location for time-limited offers. Mailings are also kept in the following household locations:
- Living room (31%)
- Corridor (18%)
- dining room (6%)
- Study (5%)
- bedroom (3%)
- bathroom (1%)
When Mrs. Müller comes home, she immediately notices the appealing postcard on her fridge at home. From the logo she recognizes that it is an offer from her favorite fashion mail order company. Through the personal address “Hello Mrs. Müller. We miss you” she feels valued. Since competitors also made her good offers in the past, she had not ordered anything there for a long time. However, she likes the fashion of this mail-order company especially well, so she is happy about the 20% discount on her next order. The appealing picture language shows excerpts from the upcoming collection. When her husband comes home, he tells her that he has pinned the postcard to the fridge so that she cannot miss the great offer.
Mailings are read by several people
23% of all mailings are passed on to people in the household and discussed with them. In shared flats even 35% of all mailings are read by other people. Since the residents of shared flats are usually younger, another important finding becomes apparent: Millennials love mail! For example, 75% of 18-24 year olds say they are really happy to receive mail in their letterbox.
One morning, when Maria takes the mail for herself and her roommates out of the letterbox, a mailing catches her eye. It is a self-mailer from the pizza delivery service, from which her flatmates regularly order food. The offer sounds very tempting: “Exclusively for our most loyal customers: Order two party pizzas and pay for just one.” The mailing shows her enthusiasm to her roommates. After a short meeting they decide to redeem the voucher at the next shared flat party.
Mailings also convince in the business environment
Postal mailings also play an important role in the business environment. For example, a letter produced in high quality signals to your business customers that you attach great importance to maintaining this business relationship. Because this format also conveys the necessary trust in the best possible way. Furthermore, your postal mailings do not have to compete with the mass of emails that accumulate in the inbox of a managing director. Provided you have the necessary email opt-in for this type of address. An opt-in is not required in the case of the postal channel. You can therefore address almost the entire customer base.
As the operator of an online shop for craft and industrial supplies, you decide to automatically send your business customers incentives for repeat orders by letter. So you create the appropriate business customer segment that you want to address based on the average shopping cart. You rely on the postal channel, since in most cases you lack the necessary opt-in for email. You also signal to your customers that you value the business relationship particularly highly.
Relevant content is the key to success
The figures show that mailings offer great potential for a profitable customer approach. In addition to the reactivation of existing customers, their numerous fields of application include, for example, recommendation marketing, cross-selling, as well as welcome and birthday letters. Hands-on advertising therefore has several positive effects: We feel valued by them, talk to other people about them and keep them for the right time. The younger generation of digital natives in particular is also happy about mail. So it is high time for marketers to use the advantages of the channel for their own marketing strategy. But it is not enough to send generalized mass mailings. For your mailings to convert efficiently, they must be tailored to the needs of your customers. Because the more relevant the content, the greater the chance that your mailings will be retained, discussed and ultimately become a purchase.