The challenges of 2020 have made promotional planning for 2021 a challenge for many business owners, marketers, designers and strategic creatives across North America. Pretty much anyone with a goal of connecting to an audience had to think and rethink their approach using what’s more than likely a lesser budget. One thing is for sure, the power of print and paper has held strong during the uncertainty of 2020 and will continue to do so no matter what next year holds. When used strategically and with the right data, incorporating print in your promotional plan is a sure-fire way to connect to your target.
Here are two critical ways adding print to your strategy will help you look smarter in 2021:
Print Delivers the Mail Moment
Have you heard of the mail moment? As explained by the USPS “…the Mail Moment defines the highly interactive daily ritual that consumers devote to bringing in their mail and discovering what it offers.” Even in booming economic times, people look forward to getting the mail and looking through it—especially if it’s relevant to their needs or interests, eye-catching, entertaining and tells a great story. During the pandemic—when your audience has undoubtedly already binge-watched any Netflix series of interest and began experiencing the effects of Zoom fatigue six months ago—it stands to reason that the personal, tactile feel of print would have an even bigger impact.
During the past year, you may have noticed that you’re getting less mail – this is due to cuts in advertising budgets brought on by the pandemic. What this leaves for you is an even greater opportunity for the recipient to focus on your message with less competition during their mail moment. Additionally, you can use your data to created highly targeted campaigns for specific audiences. For more information and ideas on the possibilities of making data work for you, check out the Publicis Hawkeye interview in our latest issue of Paper Matters titled Data Builds Relationships—available for download now.
Need ideas on how to take advantage of today’s hyper-focused mail moment? Here are three that I’d love to see more of in my mailbox:
- Direct Mail – Elevate your direct mail with an offer that’s highly targeted, relevant and eye-catching. I personally love the direct mail campaigns I’ve received from Hello Fresh. Offers include coupons presented in an attractive self-mailer with messages that are relevant to me – we save you time, stress, money and provide healthy options. As a working mom, this pretty much checked off every item on my wish list.
- Magalogs and Catalogs – Everyone loves a good story and everyone loves flipping through catalogs—why not combine both vehicles for maximum impact? Enter the magalog, a hybrid between a catalog and a magazine. Magalogs allow businesses to showcase the products and services they have to offer while also incorporating content that adds to the enjoyment of the experience of the reader, such as interviews that are of interest to your audience or customer-centric stories of what your company has done for the greater good. Another fun idea is adding a fun, interactive element to your catalog that elevates the user experience. This season, the winner in this category goes to Amazon. Their Holiday Wish Book, complete with stickers, coloring pages and a wish list, occupied and entertained children while providing parents with at least 15 minutes of quiet time—what more could any parent wish for?
In addition to being fun for the recipient, catalogs provide a multitude of benefits to the businesses that use them as well. For more insights on this, check out Printed Catalogs – A Gift to Marketers.
- Cards – Human connection is something everyone appreciates right now. Why not print custom cards and let your customers know you appreciate and are thinking about them? Cards are a nice gesture during the holiday season, but they can deliver an even bigger impact when sent out during other months of the year. From Earth day to celebrating the back-to-school season, or getting creative and coming up with a holiday of your own—there are unlimited ways to create a connection. Also, bonus points if the cards include a hand-written element with a personal message. For inspiration, explore the many self-promotional cards featured in The Gallery.
Enhance Technology and Embrace the Media Mix
If you’re a regular reader of our blog or Paper Matters magazine, you already know that we’re big proponents of the media mix here at Domtar. And for good reason—an agile, omnichannel approach to marketing is absolutely the most effective way to reach, engage and ultimately build loyalty and sales with your target customer. Within this customer journey, print plays a very important role. The inherent strengths of print (people enjoy interaction with print, they remember what they read and they’re more likely to spend time with it) actually make it even more of a valuable tool in today’s virtual environment.
- Enhance Virtual Meetings – Chances are, your customers experienced Zoom fatigue a few months back. Can you blame them? We’re all so sick of staring at a screen that the idea of someone booking another meeting with us to look at a PowerPoint sounds like pure torture. To make the meetings more engaging, why not create a meeting kit or a printed piece and get your customers to follow along with that instead? For all the printers out there, ordering a few of our complimentary promotional pieces and setting up meetings with your customers to explain paper and printing techniques is an easy way to remain connected.
- Link to Videos, Podcasts and More! Another way to embrace the media mix is to use AR or QR codes to link your print to podcasts or videos. This would be a great way to add a touchpoint to anything you send a customer in the mail. Right now, we’re fond of using QR codes because it’s not necessary to download a new app to get the additional content. Download our latest edition of the Paper Matters magazine to experience the connection first-hand.
For more success stories of how businesses have used print to help cut through the clutter and better engage with audiences, download the latest issue of Paper Matters today!