Direct Marketing In A COVID-19 World: 6 Things To Consider
By Mike Votava |
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has impacted us all. This includes businesses and the way they operate. During these difficult times many organizations are struggling to stay connected to their customers. It is important for companies to continue their marketing efforts during times of crisis, but they must be flexible and reevaluate their marketing strategies to adapt to the current landscape.
Direct mail is a proven and effective method to reach customers and prospects, but right now many companies are finding its tangibility, when people are experiencing an overload of “virtual,” is making mail not only more relevant than ever, but more effective. Now is a good time to take a fresh look at how you’re incorporating direct mail into your marketing mix.
Here are a few things to consider when utilizing direct mail during these uncertain times.
Be flexible with your marketing budget, but don’t cut it completely
Organizations are scrambling to adjust to the new normal. Some may be tempted to reduce their marketing budgets. This would be a mistake. Marketing efforts are crucial for keeping businesses top-of-mind during times of uncertainty. A good marketing strategy will help your business navigate its way through the Covid-19 economy.
Be mindful of your message and imagery
Do not try to capitalize on the crisis. This can leave a negative impression with your target audience. Instead, take a genuine approach that illustrates empathy with the conditions and consequences of the pandemic and your customer’s experiences. Messages of optimism and hope go a long way toward building valuable relationships. Focus on your customers and how they will directly benefit from your products and services. Keep your messaging relevant to the situation so you don’t seem out of touch.
Focus on the customers you already have
The cost of retaining a customer is far less than the cost of acquiring a new one. You can achieve excellent ROI with direct mail campaigns that help strengthen your relationship with the customers you already have. Your existing customer base is one of your best assets for generating continuous revenue. Use direct mail to clearly communicate with them, and do so often.
B2C direct campaigns may be more effective than B2B campaigns
Businesses are gradually reopening. However, many employees may continue to work from home, in some cases well beyond the current Stay at Home directive. As a result some B2B direct mail may not reach its intended recipients.
Well-managed B2C campaigns should achieve an increase in ROI. This is for two reasons. First, the amount of time people spend at home has dramatically increased, so they will be easier to reach. Second, everyone is suffering from screen fatigue. They are more likely to engage with a printed mail piece simply because they are tired of looking at screens all day.
Use direct mail to create awareness around your virtual events
Real-life events of any size that involve gatherings of people are not an option today, of course, due to our current situation. Many businesses that have historically relied on events for revenue and marketing activities are switching to hosting virtual events. Direct mail is great way to promote those virtual events and increase attendance. For attendees, print can also provide strong in- and post-event engagement when attendees are mailed tangible materials that will be used and referenced long after the virtual event is concluded.
Communicate to your customers that you are open
There is a lot of confusion surrounding which businesses are open during the crisis. Many businesses that are fully operational are losing out on opportunities simply because their customers assume that they are not open. A direct mail campaign can correct this misunderstanding. Direct mail pieces can communicate that you are open and ready to serve your customers.
“Business as usual” is not a viable strategy. Organizations must learn to adapt to the current climate if they are to succeed. Ongoing communication with your customers and prospects is a key component for success. Direct mail campaigns will enable your business to stay in touch and stay relevant.
The coronavirus pandemic has created new challenges for businesses, not just in terms of what, and how, they market but also in terms of where they spend their likely dwindling budgets. Many organizations right now are “crisis-sizing” their marketing budgets. Eliminating marketing spend completely, though, isn’t a viable long-term option for any business that wants to successfully make it through to the other side of this pandemic. Right-sizing your marketing budget may be needed, meaning smart spending on the right resources. Increasingly mail is punching above its weight in terms of ROI, and is a smart place to invest in the coming months.
AlphaGraphics Seattle is here to help. We offer a complete set of direct mail marketing tools and solutions. We can help you plan and execute direct mail campaigns to meet your marketing and communication goals during these challenging times. We are ready to partner with you.