On Wednesday the mailing industry wrapped up another spirited National Postal Forum. Although previous years also had strong attendance, this year featured more energy and excitement than those in recent memory. That’s most likely due to the exciting postal trends and technology advancements that are adding value to direct mail and reshaping how marketers think of mail in their marketing mix.
A few things are certain. This isn’t your grandfather’s direct mail; mail is more personal, relevant and engaging than ever. There is a clear need to balance high tech with high touch. As one speaker said, “Used correctly, the mail moment is magic.” It’s also clear that mail has an important role to play in integrated, multi-channel marketing campaigns. And the tools needed to manage mail delivery and grow the value of mail get better every year.
Top Postal Trends
The key trends at this year’s event built upon the primary focus of the past few years: using data to enhance mail and connecting physical mail to digital experiences. Those include:
- Informed Visibility (using data to manage mail) and Informed Delivery (allowing consumers to integrate mail into their daily digital routines.). I covered these topics in depth in Wednesday’s article.
- Using advance personalization technology to make mail more targeted and relevant.
- Using technologies such as QR codes, augmented reality, or NFC to seamlessly connect mail recipients to digital interaction.
Our Time at the Podium
This year IWCO Direct and Mail-Gard were honored to make four presentations at the National Postal Forum. Bob Rosser and I spoke on best practices for implementing new mail management tools, such as eInduction, and how to use all the available sources of data to manage in-home delivery of mail to better support multi-channel campaigns.
Debora Haskel and Mike Dietz spoke on taking advantage of new personalization technologies to boost direct mail response rates and ROMI.
Christine Burke from our Mail-Gard division explained the value and importance of having a recovery plan in place to ensure your critical print and mail communications continue uninterrupted, even in the face of unexpected events.
We would like to thank everyone who attended these sessions, took notes and gave us great feedback!
Speaking of interesting presentations, four-time world champion and Olympic gold medalist Scott Hamilton was the final keynote. He gave an inspiring speech about perseverance and fighting through adversity to achieve goals. His message was that everyone falls sometimes, but we need to pick ourselves up off the ice and continue skating our program. If you’re not familiar with Hamilton’s story, he has battled through a number of physical ailments. He is also a Global Ambassador for Special Olympics, an organization that is very near to the hearts of many at IWCO Direct.
I can’t leave Nashville without a couple of quick shout-outs: First, congratulations to our customer, State Farm, who received the 2016 Partnership for Growth Award from the Postmaster General during the opening session of the Forum.
And if you’re looking for a great place for a burger and a beer in Nashville, be sure to check out The Pharmacy. My colleagues and I were looking for a place to get away from the hubbub of the convention center and found just what we were looking for in the beer garden of this unique neighborhood diner.
That almost does it for our thoughts on the National Postal Forum. Next week Christine Burke will share her experience of the event from Mail-Gard’s perspective.
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