The National Postal Forum rolls on! Not only was it announced that a detailed plan for transition to 5-day delivery will be ready by the end of March, but Nagisa Manabe, Chief Marketing and Sales Officer, delivered her keynote presentation entitled, “Tomorrow’s Kind of Thinking.”
Before diving into the details of Day 3, we wanted to kick off our coverage with a recap of “Creative Inspiration for Making Mail Irresistible” – the presentation I had the pleasure of delivering Monday afternoon with my colleague, Mike Dietz.
Let’s dive right in:
Recap of Our Presentation on Creative Inspiration for Making Mail Irresistible
Despite being assigned the difficult task of presenting to a roomful of people after lunch, Mike and I were very pleased to see nearly 70 faces in the crowd. In fact, we received some great questions upon the conclusion of our presentation, but more on that later.
We focused on several factors to consider when designing direct mail packages – all of which increase open and response rates while capturing the attention of those receiving it. Along with considering human behavior and the little things that can make your mail stand out and get opened, we introduced three different design themes to keep in mind: Official, Hybrid and Promotional.
One way to consistently lift response rates is by adding a card, magnet or heavy stock insert to give your mail piece a physical presence. What’s more, one initiative being entertained by the Postal Service for 2014 is a discount for mailings with cards used to maintain consumer relationships and loyalty. And if that wasn’t enough to sell you on the importance of having a physical presence in direct mail designs, Mike left us with a quote for the bulletin board by saying, “Clients are tired of me telling them to put a card in the package to lift response but I won’t stop because it works.”
As I mentioned before, we received great audience participation. And who doesn’t like a lively Q/A session? The following questions provided great food for thought – and they are topics we will include in upcoming articles:
- How do you decide which theme to use – official, hybrid, or promotional?
- Is variable data on the outer envelope effective?
- How do you persuade clients to spend more to improve ROI?
Thoughts from Nagisa Manabe’s Keynote Presentation
Often billed as the second-most anticipated keynote of the Postal Forum, Nagisa Manabe’s presentation was certainly well attended. It introduced a number of initiatives and solutions to address the changing mailing needs across the industry. Manabe reinforced the opportunities for mail by saying, “Mail will be more than what people read – it will be what they act on.”
There were several initiatives included in Manabe’s presentation, but two that stood out were same-day delivery and incorporating new mobile technologies, such as augmented reality, into mail pieces. This has been a hot topic ever since the USPS introduced its own app at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show. Manabe provided examples from major brands like IKEA and Mercedes who have already incorporated augmented reality into their mailings.
The goal of these initiatives is to boost ROI by improving the experience with various forms of interaction and gratification. The Postal Service is listening to customers and already planning promotions for 2014. The USPS also presented opportunities for specific market segments like retail that we expect will be intriguing to our customers and prospects. Advances in IMb will tell our clients more about mail than ever before, and we’re already thinking about creative ways they can use this information.
That’s all for Day 3 at the Postal Forum. Check back tomorrow for our final thoughts on what has been another great show.
P.S. Special thanks to the Housekeeping Supervisor at the Hilton who knocked on my door this afternoon while I was writing this to make sure everything was “satisfactory.” I said it was, thanked her, and as she walked away, realized the coffee service hadn’t been replenished. She was already two doors down the hall when I called over to her about the coffee. She literally ran down the hall, brought me supplies for three cups of coffee, including plenty of cream, and profusely apologized for the oversight. It’s the little things that matter.
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