It’s well established that response rates go up when marketers use email and direct mail together. According to the USPS®, the combination increases response rates 1.3x as compared to direct mail alone. Now, the numbers are going higher. In tests, the USPS®’s new Informed Delivery™ service is demonstrated promising results with response rate increases of 2.0x when compared to direct mail alone. What accounts for the difference? The USPS® calls it the “Embedded Coordinated Campaign.”
The USPS® Informed Delivery™ Embedded Coordinated Campaign
After two years of testing and development, the USPS® has begun to roll-out a novel service called Informed Delivery™. Now, businesses and organizations of any size sending direct mail pieces via FIRST-Class Mail® or Standard Mail® can also submit two images and a web link to the USPS® to be included in the email that consumers sign-up to receive on a daily basis. Emails are sent to recipients every morning. Unfortunately, there is no present solution for Every Door Direct Mail™ also known as EDDM, but the USPS® plans on developing one in the near future.
The Informed Delivery™ service delivers a well-organized page that lets users scroll and view an image of physical mail soon to be delivered to their residence. To ensure maximum email deliverability, the content displays images of the first ten pieces only. However, if more physical mail is actually being delivered; subscribers can click a link that takes them to a private and personal Informed Delivery™ dashboard to view everything.
The default image of mailing pieces provided by the USPS® is a grayscale photograph of the address side taken during automated mail processing. However, businesses and organizations can supplement and even replace this grayscale image with full-color images that do not have to be from the physical mail piece. In addition, organizations can submit an URL to any website, landing page or social site. The content becomes part of the Informed Delivery™ email and dashboard. This combination of the direct mail piece and Informed Delivery™ content comprises the Embedded Coordinated Campaign.
Leveraging the USPS® Brand with Informed Delivery
We’ve seen how Informed Delivery™ makes use of the “Embedded Coordinated Campaign” concept and how this elevates traditional email and direct mail campaign combinations. However, there is an additional factor that also contributes to the increase response rates - the email delivery source is the USPS® itself. Here’s what I mean: The USPS® is an exceptional brand. Indeed, the USPS® is the fourth highest trusted brand in America. Not only is the USPS® trusted generally, but in 2014, it was also the highest trusted federal agency in the nation according to the Gallup Organization. For the first time ever, businesses and charitable organizations can leverage the USPS® brand by promoting their products and services via email in combination with their direct mail marketing from a highly trusted and source. According to the USPS®, 70% of Informed Delivery™ subscribers open their emails every day and the average time from email receipt to subscriber open is just 2 hours. Moreover, 68% of subscribers are excited about digital offers related to the physical mail they will be receiving within a couple of days.
Informed Delivery™ promises to be the fusion of direct mail and digital marketing. It increases direct mail’s delivery speed with “heads-up” email notices and additional content. Plus, it increases direct mail’s reach to audiences who rely on the convenience of mobile apps to manage their daily lives and live an “on the go” lifestyle.