The “shopper’s journey” is an elusive one. It’s what we, as marketers, spend much of our time researching for our clients. While it’s one thing to earn a sale, it’s another thing entirely to understand how and why that sale was made. Having a deep understanding of the how and why is what ensures a business’s continued success.
At Bluegrass, I ensure our clients understand the importance of direct mail even in modern times, where the impulse is to communicate digitally. Yet even now, the shopper’s journey still very much starts from a physical place, where our recall is highest thanks to the tactile response from printed media. The USPS website has done plenty of research to prove that, even in our digital world, print is still effective. Part of that research informed the USPS Mobile Shopping Promotion, which isn’t just a great way to start an integrated marketing campaign; it’ll save you some money.
The USPS defines the USPS Mobile Shopping Promotion this way:
“The Mobile Shopping Promotion encourages mailers to send mailings that highlight the connection between the mailpiece and the digital shopping experience. It is designed to enable customers to conveniently go from the mailpiece, directly to a mobile-optimized online shopping experience using platforms, such as Quick Response (QR) Codes, Snap Tags, Watermarks, and other advanced technologies.”
To put it simply, the USPS is offering you an incentive to integrate features into your direct mail that take your audience from the printed page to the smartphone screen. Thanks to the 2% postage discount that comes with this promotion, it’s a win-win situation!
Did you know that at least 42.2% of direct mail recipients either read or scan the mail they get? That is a staggering statistic when you compare it to the low amount of engagement produced by email, which MailChimp estimates hangs anywhere between 15-20%. Now, what if you were able to take that 42.2% statistic and effortlessly lead that audience to your digital channels? You can, through the USPS Mobile Shopping Promotion.
Most of your audience has a smartphone in their pocket. And their phone isn’t just an Instagram-browsing device. In the right marketer’s hands, your customers’ phones can be a point of entry to a shopper’s journey from the wide net cast by direct mail.
Ambitious displays aren’t for everyone, however, a simple QR code can be the difference between a customer who is interested in your product and a customer who takes the initiative to explore your business further. With just the snap of your phone’s camera, a customer can be lead on an interactive journey. Whatever you want, we’ll help you brainstorm something unique that works well with your brand.
I like to give our clients some real-world examples as well, which paint a more vivid picture of how to integrate mobile shopping technology into direct mail. Your mailer can be as complex or as simple as you want.
A local mattress store has sent out a promotional mailer for their upcoming President’s Day sale. However, this year it’s not just any old sale—the mailer is a digital playing board for an augmented reality experience.
The mailer directs the consumer to go to a special website developed for the promotion. From there, they are instructed to lay the mailer down on a flat surface and line the crosshairs of the website up with the edges of the card. Suddenly, like magic, the card comes alive. It becomes a mattress full of monkeys wearing presidential garb. They’re all jumping on the bed like the nursery rhyme. As the player, it’s your job to use your finger to put a pillow down to cushion their fall. If three monkeys fall without a pillow, it’s game over.
However, if you manage to cushion every monkey, you’re treated to a large digital prize wheel, which you can spin with the flick of a finger. On the wheel are a myriad of discounts, with one very exclusive prize space giving away a free queen-sized mattress. The consumer can keep playing the game until they win—the most prolific discount is 10% off storewide—something the company typically gives away on a normal day. However, that weekend, as the mailers make their way to mailboxes, the mattress store finds a surge of customers who played their game for 20 minutes or more until they scored their win.
A local boutique clothing store has launched a new direct mail campaign, which they call “snap a code to get a code.” The mailer is beautifully printed in full color. However, the technology behind the campaign is simple—a QR code.
Many people know what to do with a QR code already, but for those unfamiliar with the technology there are simple instructions underneath the code:
The instructions are just ambiguous enough to be enticing. To the delight of the consumer, taking a snapshot of the code brings up an URL to the boutique’s website. From there, it directs you to tap a button to generate a discount code, which you can immediately use on the website. With a discount in hand, the customer has no choice but to browse the online store to see what, if anything, they could spend their discount on. More than likely, they’ll find something.
Going back to the shopper’s journey—it’s not as elusive as it once was, especially with the digital tools we have at our fingertips that can track where and how long your customers interact with your online brand. And while direct mail very much goes dark once it’s sent out to consumers, integrating a mobile shopping experience can give you a lot of insight into who is engaged by your brand and what is most effective at getting their attention.
I always tell my clients that, with marketing, they can have their cake and eat it. Merging the old with the new is one of the most effective ways to increase the radius of your communication while refining the potency of the message. The Mobile Shopping Promotion through USPS is a great way to get started and a great way to earn a little postage discount along the way.
Learn more about the USPS’ Promotions here.
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