Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are breaking new ground in broadband expansion. But with this continued growth comes fierce competition. To stay ahead of rivals and build awareness, many ISPs have chosen to adopt direct mail marketing.
With online direct automation tools for ISPs like Postalytics, sending and tracking direct mail has become as easy as implementing email campaigns.
But how do you come up with creative direct mail campaigns? Which direct mail marketing trends should you adopt? What are some best practices you should follow?
In this article, we’ll uncover the answers to all these questions. Better yet, we’ll show you how to leverage them to attract and convert more customers.
What We’ll Cover:
- Understanding Direct Mail in the Tech Era
- The Significance of Direct Mail for ISPs
- Broadband Providers: Leading the Charge
- Direct Mail Trends in 2024
- #1 Enhanced Personalization
- #2 Integration with Digital Channels
- #3 Sustainability and Eco-Friendly Practices
- #4 Interactive Direct Mail
- #5 AI and Predictive Analytics
- #6 Augmented Reality (AR) Experiences
- #7 Innovative Printing Techniques
- #8 Emphasis on Storytelling
- #9 Inclusion of User-Generated Content (UGC)
- #10 Compliance and Data Security
- Tips for Smart Direct Mail Campaigns
- Direct Mail Insights for ISP Success: Beyond ROI
Understanding Direct Mail in the Tech Era
Direct mail marketing is any physical piece of correspondence you send directly to your target market to convert them into customers or retain them.
It might seem a bit stoneage in our tech-dominated landscape. But when combined with a digital strategy, direct mail offers a host of benefits;
- It helps you escape the digital noise,
- It increases response rates,
- It offers a better and more personalized way to connect with your customers.
Tracking these rates and sending campaigns used to be a complex process. Now, advancements in automation tools mean monitoring your direct mail campaigns is as easy as an online campaign like email. You can also use QR codes on your direct mailers to bring your prospects online and track their activity on your website.
By implementing direct mail marketing with your digital campaigns, you can increase brand recall, create excitement around your ISP business, and push customers down the sales funnel.
Check out our deep dive on direct mail marketing trends for a broader perspective.
The Significance of Direct Mail for ISPs
Many ISPs are now targeting rural areas and leading the charge in broadband expansion. But to reach this wider audience, you can’t rely on online marketing campaigns.
You need to find different ways to connect with these prospects. One such way is through direct mail marketing. Here are four reasons why you should adopt it for your ISP business:
- It helps you stand out in a crowded online marketplace and build real connections with your prospects.
- You can strengthen existing customer relationships by sending them regular direct mail (discounts, valuable content, new service additions, etc.) and forming a loyal community of fans.
- High segmentation and personalization with the different features in direct mail tools allow you to reach your audience in the right way at the right time.
- It helps deliver an outstanding customer experience because of the tangible nature of direct mail.
For additional insights into digital marketing strategies, learn about software marketing management.
Broadband Providers: Leading the Charge
With USDA investing in rural broadband to provide everyone with access to high-speed internet, hundreds of millions of dollars are available as grants and loans to eligible ISPs.
It’s led to a gold rush, with internet businesses desperate to gain momentum and offer services in rural areas. To reach these customers – many of whom don’t use the internet or online platforms – ISPs must adopt direct mail marketing.
When they combine direct mail with other campaigns like billboard promotions, newspaper advertisements, or social media marketing, they can reach the right audience and lead them toward conversions.
Direct Mail Trends in 2024
The marketing landscape is evolving. To hit your marketing goals, you must adapt your direct mail campaigns to meet the current trends.
After extensive research and surveys, we’ve compiled a shortlist of the top 10 direct mail trends you need to be aware of as we approach 2024.
#1 Enhanced Personalization
Nobody likes receiving a generic email. The same goes for direct mail. When investing resources in direct mail campaigns, you must ensure a good ROI from it.
Enhanced personalization helps you achieve that. Here are some personalization options you can try:
- Greet people by their names.
- Bifurcate recipients in different segments according to their internet plans or demographics and then personalize content based on it.
- Showcase different imagery for different segments.
- Provide higher discounts to selected subscribers who you think are migrating to other providers because of lesser-priced plans.
Here’s an example of how you can personalize your campaigns in Postalytics.
#2 Integration with Digital Channels
You don’t have to stop investing in your other marketing channels when you adopt direct marketing. Instead, integrate it with these channels to complement them. A multi-pronged approach creates multiple touchpoints for a seamless experience.
For example, if you’re sharing a direct mail catalog about your different internet services, follow up with an email campaign where you provide discounts to motivate a purchase. You can also add a mix of other digital channels, like social media, web marketing, PPC, etc.
Here’s a guide on creating a digital marketing strategy that integrates well with your direct campaigns.
#3 Sustainability and Eco-Friendly Practices
Did you know that the electricity used to power digital and video marketing campaigns creates more greenhouse gases than the direct mail industry?
It’s important to note that even if you switch to direct mail, consumers will still expect you to reduce paper waste and adopt sustainable practices. Here are some of them you can implement:
- Use targeting to reduce sending direct mail to everyone on your list.
- Use recycled paper or paper that is easily recycled, and display that on your mailer.
- Use smaller mail pieces like self-mailers, which consume less paper, need less electricity to print, and weigh less to ship.
- Fund reforestation projects or purchase carbon credits to neutralize the impact.
#4 Interactive Direct Mail
Interactive direct mail provides a unique customer experience and lets you engage them better. United States Postal Service is also offering incentives and discounts to direct mail marketers who adopt all or some of these strategies:
- Three-dimensional elements, pop-ups, zip strips, clean release cards, and other creative interactions.
- Infinite folds/layers of information hidden behind folds.
- Eye-popping cutouts and shapes that allow your direct mail piece to stand out.
Another advantage of implementing these creative strategies is that they leave a lasting impression on your audience.
Find more real-life examples on the USPS’s site.
#5 AI and Predictive Analytics
AI has arrived in almost every industry, from intelligent personal assistants like Siri and Alexa to self-driving cars. The same goes for the direct mail industry.
AI and predictive analytics can understand and analyze vast amounts of consumer data. It can assist with many tasks, including;
- Finding customer behaviors and preferences
- Predicting which plans would appeal to different customer segments
- Determining which marketing message would work the best
- Automating tasks like content creation and direct mail campaign management
Through this, ISPs can increase the effectiveness of their campaigns and achieve higher returns on investment.
#6 Augmented Reality (AR) Experiences
Augmented Reality (AR) involves creating an interactive experience by portraying a real-world environment through digital visual elements, sounds, and other sensory stimuli.
A recent study by USPS showed consumers were 135% more likely to purchase a product they viewed through AR than from a traditional advertisement.
You can show icons on your catalogs or letters that indicate to customers AR features are available for that page, product, or service. These features are generally enabled by using an app on a smartphone or tablet device.
You can conjure many creative ideas to use this technology for your ISP business.
#7 Innovative Printing Techniques
If you want to create a unique and memorable experience for your audience, using innovative printing techniques can be a great strategy. Here are some techniques you can use:
- Windowing: Reveal a little at a time with this technique. You can create multiple windows to evoke curiosity and enthusiasm.
- Embossing & debossing: You can emboss or deboss some aspects of your postcards or letters to add texture and depth to your mail.
- Thermochromic printing: This technology produces color-changing effects by using heat-sensitive inks. When exposed to certain temperatures, your marketing material may disclose concealed messages or visuals.
- 3D printing: You can use this to create product replicas or pop-ups of real-world objects that captivate your audience.
- Variable data printing: Use this technique to create personalized direct mailers using variable data features.
- Glow-in-the-dark printing: This technique uses special inks that absorb and emit light to create a bright effect in a dark environment. This is used chiefly for event marketing.
#8 Emphasis on Storytelling
Have you ever wondered why you like reading some marketing content but ignore others after a paragraph or two?
That’s the power of storytelling. Some marketers are great at drawing you in by weaving an engaging story.
In 2024, consumers will demand a unique marketing experience. Your generic content won’t get more engagement or conversions. Instead, create stellar direct mail pieces with storytelling that complements effective design.
Here are some do’s and don’ts you can follow.
#9 Inclusion of User-Generated Content (UGC)
Take these two statistics of UGC.
- 79% of people say that UGC impacts their purchasing decisions.
- UGC results in 29% higher conversions than campaigns or websites without it.
If you are unsure how to incorporate it, start with customer testimonials or reviews first. For example, if you’re sending content on your premium internet plan, share testimonials of your existing premium subscribers.
You can also share QR codes that take these customers to your case studies or user-generated videos.
#10 Compliance and Data Security
For example, if you have gotten your subscriber’s addresses through a shady website or portal, consumers would not appreciate this and might even abandon your business altogether.
Some might go on to spread negative word-of-mouth or take legal action. To avoid this, stay updated on the various compliances published by the government or legal entities.
Pull these together in a document so everyone on your team is on the same page. This strategy can also limit the chance of a human error that could lead to a loss of reputation or money.
Tips for Smart Direct Mail Campaigns
When it comes to direct marketing, guesswork won’t do. To deliver effective marketing campaigns, you need to be making data-driven decisions. Platforms like Postalytics offer analytics and insights that help you improve and iterate your campaign. With these insights, you can fine-tune your way to success.
Here are four strategies that we recommend.
#1 Highlight Unique Value Proposition
A unique value proposition (UVP) indicates to your audience why they should select your product/service over competitors. It could be the features you provide, the pricing points you have, the support your team provides, etc.
As a best practice, when you create marketing content for your direct campaign, ensure you highlight this UVP.
#2 Focus on Customer Service in Your Direct Mail
With so many internet service providers entering an already cluttered market, how do you differentiate your services? Almost every provider claims to offer fast internet or strong broadband connection at affordable prices.
Here comes an element that many miss out on – powerful customer service. Whether it’s pre-sale support or after-sales service, talk about it in your direct mail campaigns to win more customers.
#3 Segment Your Mailing List for Targeted Messaging
You’d likely be targeting different customer segments for your internet business. You can thus make different segments according to their location, past purchasing actions, interests, etc.
Creating these lists in Postalytics takes no time. You can simply import them with integrations to tools like HubSpot and Salesforce. Then, you can create targeted messaging for different segments to make it more relevant and effective.
#4 Personalize Your Direct Mail Campaigns
To make a lasting impression and create a personal relationship with your audience, you should personalize your direct mail campaigns. This means understanding the different customer behaviors, motivations, interests, and requirements and then creating content accordingly.
You can even personalize the images and other design elements for different segments.
Direct Mail Insights for ISP Success: Beyond ROI
There’s no doubt that direct mail campaigns are getting great success for businesses. But it’s important that you understand how to make effective campaigns by following the latest marketing trends.
Whether adopting AI, segmenting your audience or including UGC in the content, experiment with different strategies and track what works best for your brand.
If you want a seamless experience creating, sending, and tracking your direct mail campaigns, go no further. Postalytics is a direct mail automation tool that will do everything for you from start to finish.
Get in touch with our team for more information.