As COVID-19 rages across the world, your first, second, or third thoughts might not be about how you can improve your direct mail marketing.
That’s OK. We’re all scared. It’s perfectly reasonable to feel like that in response to this terrible threat.
Let your fear sit.
And now … think about how you can be proactive as we ride this thing out, however long it takes.
How our customers live their lives is changing drastically, maybe forever. Our health and well-being, how we relate to each other, the economy … there’s so much we don’t control.
We can practice empathy for our customers. And with the gift of time – nobody really knows how long – we can think about a few ways we can do business differently in these unusual times.
1. Make and keep your connections strong
A lot of business has been disrupted – and not in the ways we’ve come to think of as positive. Face-to-face interactions have been replaced by social distancing for the foreseeable future.
Despite that, you should keep communicating with your customers, especially your key ones. Check in on them. Listen first. Ask them some good questions, such as:
- What’s most important to you right now?
- What are your worries for the short term – the next week or month?
- What can we do together to help you?
That last one is so important.
Look for ways to be a helper, without any expectation of a return. It’s not about making a transaction but being human. Like your clients, you want a constructive, hopeful future for your customers, your company, and yourself.
Also, please remember: whenever the outbreak subsides, and business starts to come back, it will NOT be like throwing a switch to return to the old normal.
Take this time as an opportunity to draw closer together with your customers, remind them – gently – that your business exists to serve them when they’re ready to do business and improve conditions for the people that they serve.
2. Continue mailing, but be smarter
From all indications, the mail stream is safe to use. Your customers can be reassured that USPS is protecting the entire system due to its vital role in delivering prescription medicines as well as important messages from the government and other sources.
So in some cases, you might not need to stop your direct mail. For essential services and products – groceries, drugstores, utilities, fuel, and healthcare – your marketing is needed more than ever.
At the same time, though, you want to be smart about it. Adjust your message to be relevant, especially in addressing recipients’ fears about health and finances, among other things.
Part of being relevant when communicating involves giving as much information to your customers as possible when developments unfold daily or even hourly. When you do mail, direct customers to your website and/or social media.
Your mail – as always – should make your customers feel that they are in control. If there’s one thing many of us feel right now, it is powerlessness. Any information and content you update online will keep people engaged as well as reassured that you are looking out for them and the larger community.
3. Improve your business processes
Now is a good time to get strategic with your data. You can start with a focus on fine-tuning your segments.
Because budgets will be tighter, focus on frequent buyers who are more likely to stick with your brand now and when conditions improve. Avoid changing your messaging on or your look too much, as this could alienate your core audience at a time when they’re looking for a constant, something familiar, in their direct mail.
Also, it’s imperative that you make sure that all of your direct mail data is as up to date and accurate as possible. You can’t afford to waste money on postage and printing when mail can’t be delivered to the right customer.
Wrapping it up
Any or all of these actions will take your mind off the difficult times we find ourselves in. That might sound like a selfish motive. But they’ll also focus you on the work that lies ahead for all of us.
The old status quo is gone. Whatever the new normal morphs into, you have the opportunity to build new, stronger relationships with your customers. Common values and goals will help us get through this current crisis, together.
At mailing.com, we are here for you at this challenging time. Please feel free to reach out to us for help with any part of your direct mail campaign – from design through production and mailing through the USPS. Just give us a call at 800-645-6659 or reach out here.
Be safe and healthy.