Over the past couple years, this blog page has talked a lot about integrated marketing—the blend of digital and traditional mail tactics to achieve greater results.
Well, now the U.S. Postal Service is taking that blend one step further by allowing customers to preview their household mail in digital form.
Essentially, residents who sign up for Informed Delivery can preview their physical mail via email before it ever hits their home mail boxes. This exciting feature offers marketers a unique chance to touch customers across two marketing channels with one tactic—increasing reach and frequency while cutting campaign costs.
Postal residents who sign up for the free Informed Delivery service will receive email notifications that contain gray-scale images of the outer envelope or address side of mail pieces that are scheduled to be delivered to their home. Users can also see the previews via a mobile app or online dashboard—making it easy for residents to manage notifications, reschedule deliveries and track packages from anywhere.
Fortunately, the USPS realized the marketing potential of this preview service right away—and integrated a synchronized campaign feature to offer businesses the opportunity to create two touch-points through one connection.
Businesses who sign up for the service can send artwork of their direct mail pieces (from letters and mailers to full catalogs) to be included with residents’ informed delivery preview. Instead of just the address label, recipients can view the entirety of a marketing piece online—and in color—BEFORE it arrives at home.
Once you sign up for the program, setting up a campaign is relatively easy. Simply create and send your physical direct mail piece, then provide the USPS with your digital image content and web address. From there, you can either choose Ride-Along Image or Representative Image campaigns.
Ride-Along Image campaigns include the USPS gray-scale scan of your image for letter-size mail pieces, as well as the digital image you provided the USPS. The digital image (or Ride-Along Image) is placed below the scanned image within the preview and assigned to a targeted URL you’ve also provided. The image, along with a dedicated “Learn More” button, are linked to your URL so recipients can click through to your landing page right from the preview.
Representative Image campaigns utilize a Ride-Along Image and URL as well, but also includes a non-clickable (i.e., static) color image in lieu of your gray-scale scan. This type of campaign is optional for letter-sized campaigns but is required for flat-size mailings such as catalogs and magazines, as these formats are not able to be processed through the USPS gray-scale scanners.
By synchronizing the delivery of your marketing through both physical and digital touchpoints, you can potentially:
• Achieve an email open rate of 70%—twice the industry average
• Generate multiple impressions from a single mail piece
• Enhance the customer call to action with interactive digital content
• Digitally reach anyone on your physical mail list
• Receive data insights to increase ROI and maximize marketing spend
Utilizing Intelligent Mail Barcodes (IMB), the program allows you to create a single campaign for your entire list or run multiple campaigns for segmented targets. For added convenience, you can manage your campaigns, view click rates and review more detailed results from an easy-to-navigate portal within the USPS Informed Delivery Site.
Best of all, Informed Delivery is a free program—so it’s a no-risk opportunity to engage consumers through an integrated campaign that generates more impressions, interactions and insights. Click here to learn more about the program, its requirements and benefits.
Want more help getting the biggest bang for your direct mail buck? Download our free Postal Rate Guide today!