The energy vertical is seeing sparks of growth. Because I live in Pennsylvania, I’m seeing more acquisition direct mail offers from energy companies in my mailbox. If you’re not seeing these energy marketing campaigns, it’s because not everyone in the U.S. can receive direct mail offers from energy providers.
Energy market deregulation varies from state-to-state. In states with a deregulated energy market, customers have the option to choose an alternate supplier of electricity, natural gas or both. Pennsylvania is among 23 states including the District of Columbia with a deregulated energy market. My IWCO Direct colleagues in Minnesota don’t have the option to choose, since Minnesota is among the remaining 55% of states that do not have a choice when it comes to selecting an energy provider. If you are unsure whether or not you live in a regulated or deregulated energy market, you can find out here.
With a deregulated energy market affecting 45% of the country, companies in the energy vertical are competing hard for consumers’ business. This competition has acquisition direct mail volumes surging upward.
Market research firm Competiscan classifies the energy vertical as electric, natural gas and solar energy companies. Combined, these companies mailed more than 119.8 million pieces of mail from January to September 2016; 92% of this volume was acquisition direct mail. The third quarter was particularly hot, seeing a significant increase in acquisition direct mail offers from July to September 2016. In fact, the number of acquisition direct mail offers from these energy companies in Q3 2016 was 44% higher than in both Q1 and Q2 combined.
Some of the other direct mail trends we are noticing from this vertical in their energy marketing efforts include:
- The majority are letter package formats;
- Personalization of the recipients’ name appears throughout the letter;
- Incentives to switch energy providers are the main focus, and;
- Cross-channel marketing is directing recipients to a website or call center as a call to action.
Tips for Powering Energy Marketing Campaigns
Since companies in the energy vertical are competing for customers in certain states or even certain utility territories within states, it is important for marketing leaders at energy companies to create highly personalized offers for each recipient using data that not only factors in their buying habits and preferences, but also location. Personalization is proven to increase response rates. Increase personalization in your direct mail offers by using personalized incentives like these:
- Card packages continue to deliver results across all verticals. With Drop-on-Demand (DOD) card personalization technology, a card can be personalized with the prospect’s name and your toll-free number or website as a call to action. Many energy providers are using gifts cards as an incentive to switch providers: “Switch now to redeem your gift card from ABC Energy.” Cards can also be personalized with the potential gift card value.
- Energy providers are also using “pre-screened” checks as a sign-on or welcome bonus. The potential value of these bonuses are being observed between $250-$500, but can be variably personalized across your campaign.
- Comparison charts are an effective way to illustrate the potential benefits and savings of selecting your energy company compared to other providers in the market.
- Some energy suppliers offer electricity generated from “clean” or “green” energy sources, which is appealing to many customers. If this is a benefit you offer, use a Johnson box to shed light on it.
Our direct marketing experts can help Power your Energy Marketing efforts. Contact us today!
Subscribe to SpeakingDIRECT to have new articles delivered to your inbox as they post. We promise to keep it fresh and interesting.