I love fall in Pennsylvania—from the beautiful red, orange, and yellow leaves falling from the trees to pumpkin-flavored everything. We have been fortunate to experience an unseasonably warm fall season. Now it is time to finally bundle up and turn on the heat in our home. While turning up the heat may mean seeing red from your energy bills, informed consumers will look for ways to save green this winter season. Smart marketers in the retail energy sector will use direct mail to help retain current customers and connect prospects with the products, services, and initiatives they need.
Tips for Saving Energy
The Department of Energy (DOE) recommends keeping your thermostat at 68°F during the winter months, and turning your thermostat back 10° while you sleep or when you are out of the house. DOE says small adjustments can save you up to 10% a year on your heating bills (and who doesn’t like to save money?). In addition, the DOE website provides a list of fall and winter energy-saving tips to “save energy, save money, and stay comfortable.” Here are a few:
- Take advantage of heat from the sun and open curtains during the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat your home, but remember to close the curtains at night.
- Find and seal leaks by adding caulk around doors and windows. Also, use heavy-duty, clear plastic on the inside of your windows to keep cold air out.
- Maintain your heating systems annually and replace your filters as needed.
Retail Energy Direct Mail Volume Surges
As a consumer living in Pennsylvania, I can save money by shopping for my energy provider. As mentioned in my previous energy vertical blog, 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. The number of states with a deregulated energy market has increased to 30, including the District of Columbia.
Acquisition direct mail volumes within the retail energy sector experienced a huge power surge increasing 319% between Q2 2016 and Q3 2017, proving companies in the energy vertical are in heated competition for consumers’ business. According to Competiscan’s EMV Report, 26 million retail energy direct mail acquisition pieces were observed in Q2 2016, which boomed to 108.8 million observed in Q3 2017.
Competiscan attributes the expanded mail volume to retail energy providers mailing larger quantities and more providers utilizing direct mail to acquire new customers. The highest volume of retail energy direct mail acquisition mailpieces was sent by Reliant, TXU Energy, and CleanChoice Energy. These mailers accounted for nearly 30% of the quarter’s mail volume. Top energy providers are using direct mail best practices including “pre-screened” checks, personalized cards with an offer as a sign-on bonus for switching providers, and comparison charts illustrating savings compared to other energy providers in the market.
Tips to Energize Your Direct Marketing
Here are a few tips to energize your retail energy marketing efforts with direct mail and spark interest among both current customers and potential prospects:
- Use a laminated postcard with a perf-out card. The personalized card should include your toll-free number, website, and a personalized offer as a sign-on bonus for switching energy providers.
- Try snap packs and faux snap packs. They stand out in the mailbox because of their unique opening features and official look.
- Use compelling messaging to encourage consumers to think ahead. While retail energy competitors are offering short-term bonuses in exchange for switching providers, consider adding some heat to the deal by offering price protection for a one-year or two-year term for current loyal customers.
Looking for more ideas to power your marketing? Contact IWCO Direct’s experts and watch your retail energy customer acquisition and retention efforts spark rewards.
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