Postage costs still make direct mail a very expensive marketing tactic. Let’s look at the two biggest opportunities to keep in mind:
1. Mailboxes are a lot less full than they were a few months ago.
One of the oldest and most reliable factors for direct mail response rates is how full the mail box may be on any given day. The rule of thumb has always been that the less pieces of mail your content arrives with, the better the response rate. I have not seen a test for this rule of thumb in many years as this strategy has become a best practice over time. While this has become an “assumption”, I think it is one that can only improve response rates given our human behavior consistencies. If you observe you own behavior as you check the mail each day, observe how you are behaving.
There is a window of opportunity for the foreseeable future for those who are able to get direct mail pieces into the mails stream. If you are able fulfill orders and your supply chain can support a mailing, regular direct mail will most likely serve you well for the remainder of 2020 and into 2021 relative to mail box volumes. This is especially true if you competition is NOT mailing like they used to. It is a great time to build market share if others in your direct competitive space have succumbed to the CFO’s expense line reductions.
2. Consumer buying behavior has changed on a dime.
Personal care, social distancing and “essential business” product categories are booming and will continue to do well into the foreseeable future. Look for opportunities to expand your marketing and merchandise into these market places.
Personal care includes merchandise that helps boost immune systems, provides ways to take better care of ourselves and any way to improve our overall health.
“Social distancing” categories include market places like gardening, golf and other sports that are “socially distant” on their own and activities that happen in the confines of our own home. Home repair and improvement are especially active segments as the current time.
Essential business products are those that sell the stuff we all need to support our day-to-day life. Food, health care and personal entertainment come to mind as examples of these merchandise categories. On the direct-to-business side, the stores that are busy with essential services and products are a robust opportunity. They are operating and buying the services and supplies just as they always have.
The changes around us that created these “hot” sales opportunities are here to stay for long enough that it is worth some investment. Develop a plan that includes a standard business model to address merchandise opportunities that may serve you well.