Connecting the direct channel with the digital channel to boost marketing campaign effectiveness
Content Marketing Manager
Imagine knowing what was coming in your mail before it arrived. You know the check from a big job you did last month will arrive in two days. Your high school senior’s first-choice university has an envelope on the way. Your college alumni group has finally sent its annual giving newsletter. The email from the United States Postal Service shows you your college’s newsletter is in full color with a link directing you to their fundraising page. In two clicks you’ve fulfilled your yearly donation and checked that off your to-do list.
This is called “Informed Delivery,” and it offers exciting opportunities for nonprofit marketing teams. Informed Delivery might alleviate your direct mail woes and help you achieve a great omnichannel strategy.
It might be tempting to think that direct mail is over and your digital marketing campaign should be front and center. With mailers you don’t often get precise open rates or click-through rates that can help you make future decisions, so this marketing channel can feel clunky. And yet, Data Axle’s numbers still show that 31.2% of people prefer to make donations by mail, and 29.1% of people also said they like to make an online donation after seeing information from another channel.1 So we know direct mail is still a vital part of marketing. We just don’t always know if that part of your campaign was a success.
And postage keeps going up! The cost of metered letters and domestic postcards will increase by four cents in July. This comes on top of increased prices set in January. The USPS expects to transform vital postal service infrastructure with a $40 billion investment over the next 10 years2 – so don’t expect price drops any time soon.
That’s why we were excited to see that the USPS is running a promotion in the back half of 2022 for their Informed Delivery system. For campaigns that run between August 1 and December 31, your mail campaign could qualify for a 4% postage discount. Every little bit helps!
Informed Delivery gives customers an early glance at their mail through their email, online dashboard, or USPS mobile app. Usually it’s a black and white picture of the front of a piece of mail, but companies who opt in can provide full color scans of their mailers, complete with clickable CTAs to take users to a digital experience. With informed delivery, customers can see your mail ahead of time, click through to the link, and engage with your campaign online. Then, they’ll get the physical piece of mail when they re-experience your campaign, raising brand awareness again and integrating your messages and channels.
If you’re looking for a true omnichannel strategy, look no further.
Let’s say you run a clean water campaign, and you’re unveiling the photos and stories from a project in Uganda that has broken ground at multiple sites. Data Axle has helped you develop your address book with donors who are connected to and passionate about your projects in East Africa. One of your new contacts with family in East Africa hasn’t ever donated, but they have signed up for Informed Delivery. They get an email from the USPS with a full color picture from a new well in Uganda. This potential donor is very invested in your projects, so they click through immediately to see the rest of the story. A couple days later, the mailer arrives in their mailbox. Between the time of the email and the mailer coming, your customer has seen several ads for your organization because you set up digital retargeting, and by the time they collect the mail, they’re ready to make a donation.
Before, the mailer would only create one touchpoint. Now there are several. You also have way more information now about the donor’s journey toward conversion.
Market saturation for US households is about 26% right now, with over 18,000 brands participating, and 46.6 million registered users.
Post-campaign reports show that during Informed Delivery campaigns over the past year, there was a 68% average email open rate across all campaigns, an average 1.3% click-through rate, and 1.4 billion campaign impressions.3
Informed Delivery reaches an engaged user base that already has a higher-than-average email open rate. It increases interaction by generating multiple impressions from a single mailer, and it encourages faster responses. Informed delivery also allows you to reach customers digitally from their physical address, thus allowing you to grow your audience base.4
It can be hard to quantify how many people saw your mailer, how many people threw it away unopened, and how many people used it to make a decision about donating, especially if they tend to prefer donating online. With Informed Delivery, you know the touchpoint directly responsible for the website traffic and the donations you see.
Remember the donor passionate about clean water in East Africa? The clean water nonprofit worked with Data Axle to include Pixels to the mailer’s QR code. Including Pixels like this allows you to retarget those individuals who click through to your online experience, thus pulling your campaign further into your customer’s sphere. The more touchpoints you create, the greater your conversions will be.
With an Informed Delivery mailer, you get a physical touchpoint, a touchpoint on their email, and then after clicking through you get more touchpoints during the course of their normal browsing and internet activity. Campaign effectiveness gets a 57% boost from well integrated and customized ad campaigns.5 Post-pandemic, your fundraising strategies are already shifting toward omnichannel strategies that optimize ROI per channel and reach new people. Informed Delivery can help in all of those areas.
Getting 4% off your already scheduled mail campaign means you can justify a little experimentation. USPS can help you get started with their Mailer Campaign Portal or through PostalOne! You can also find more information on Informed Delivery here.
Our team of omnichannel strategy experts can go into more detail and help you craft the right Informed Delivery campaign that helps you achieve your goals.
With a passion for writing and an enthusiasm for data and tech, Natasia creates content designed to deliver nuggets of wisdom to help nonprofits elevate their data governance.