Digital and Physical Fusion

Marketing HEATS UP When Mail Fuses with Digital Channels
By John Travis

At the 2017 National Postal Forum (NPF), we heard a lot about digital and physical communications. I had the opportunity to attend, and it was nice to catch up with customers and listen to the latest industry trends.

In his keynote address, USPS® Chief Customer and Marketing Officer and Executive Vice President Jim Cochrane noted that members of the mailing Tension booth at 2017 NPFindustry are naturally going to be bullish on mail. Yet, he said, research supports that the key to success is using digital and physical mail together as part of an integrated marketing strategy.

Why? Digital has unparalleled reach in both our work and personal lives, and we’re just beginning to discover its potential. Mail has a much smaller reach than digital communication, yet continues to reign as the power communication channel (e.g. 79% of consumers act immediately on direct mail1).

When physical and digital mediums are fused together in an omnichannel strategy, mail can bolster the digital components through modern approaches to targeting, design and integration.

Target: Apply Data Insights

Targeting techniques ensure your marketing message reaches the right audience, and are becoming more sophisticated as digital communications evolve. In the past, demographics, geography and behaviors have given marketers the ability to land messages with relevancy. More recently, targeting has become even more refined, focusing on statistics, algorithms and subject matter experts who can translate customer data into actionable insights. Consequently, this has created a new breed of marketers who possess creativity, analytics, research, advertising, social media and even coding skills.

Design: Gain the Best of Both Worlds

In keeping with the new breed of technical marketers, creative direction has shifted from channel silos to a more holistic approach. Coordinating design across all of your print and digital channels early on can help you deploy consistent, visual language for the duration of your campaign. This type of design strategy yields “best of both worlds” results - campaign recognition happens across the multiple digital channels while mail acts as the workhorse, offering response-related benefits.

Integrate: Put it All Together

The result? Today’s marketer has the ability to send a message with precision accuracy and consistent, visual language to consumers who receive it on their terms - when, where and how they want via mobile phones, tablets or the mailbox. And, there’s a 45% increase in response when a campaign integrates print, web, email and mobile2. As we learned at NPF, this is partly because the mailbox has evolved into a unique-channel one that offers consumers something that’s tactical and different from a digitally-inundated scene, yet can still access the immediate responsiveness of digital through augmented reality (AR), landing pages, personalized URLs (PURLs) and generic URLs (GURLs).

A campaign that fuses physical and digital channels with sophisticated targeting, comprehensive design and omnichannel integration has enormous potential for marketers. Contact us today, and let’s talk about how mail can boost your next marketing campaign.


1 – Proactive Marketing. “Direct Mail vs. Email.” 2017

2 – InfoTrends. “Understanding Vertical Markets: Enterprise Communication Requirements.” 2012


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