E-Mail A Winner This Holiday Season


The use of direct mail as a marketing tool has been identified as a winner for this holiday season by Belardi Wong. The agency pointed out that direct mail has a very personal contact with customers that brings results.

Now, Marketing Insider reinforces that finding and points to e-mail as being even more personal and direct than other consumer communication programs out there. It noted that more than 90% of Americans subscribe to at least one e-mail newsletter. Further, according to industry research, 74% subscribe to between one and ten of these publications. Consumers seek more direct, personal and curated experiences, and analysts note that the widespread revival of e-mail is predominantly led by the implicit trust that comes with opting in to receive communications directly sent from a respected source to a personal inbox.

Based on these findings, there is clearly great potential for national brands looking to reinforce customer loyalty and at the same time increase customer awareness. Email fits nicely into most marketing practices when it has contextual relevancy and content adjacency to the marketing message.

My personal experience confirms this. I subscribe to the Harvard Health Letters; this newsletter communicates health problems and their solutions. The scholarly approach makes the findings believable, and the solutions receive urgent attention.

Let’s face it. The goal of all advertising and marketing that retailers do is to generate more traffic and business in stores by presenting brands in a favorable, vibrant light. Both newsletters and direct mail have the ability to do so and can deliver a personalized message to customers. What makes these mailings even more valuable is that the publications are read and often discussed with friends as well.

Research finds that the growing number of e-mails hitting inboxes will not stop consumers from clicking. 84% of holiday shoppers keep their eyes open for deals, discounts or promotions during this busy season according to Think with Google
. In fact, 69% of consumers say they may pay more attention to marketing e-mails during the holidays. According to Natalee Geldert, head of brand media at PMG, newsletters are powerful marketing tools because they tend to guarantee consumer attention. People engaging with paid e-mail newsletters also supports the move to more privacy because reading these emails is based on audience opt-ins. Importantly, these vehicles leverage first-party customer data to continually generate relevant content that keeps readers engaged.

E-mail offers authentic and personalized communications that will be crucial in building strong relationships and trust in the future. Today, customers are often overwhelmed by political solicitations. The personalized messaging in a brand’s direct mail piece – like a suggestion of a needed appliance – is often a welcome relief.

POSTSCRIPT: Stores can receive attention for their mailings if they stress the special value of their merchandise. A mail piece that answers – Why is this item on sale? Why should the customer buy it now? Is there a price difference? Does the widget have special features? Is there a guarantee, and how long is the guarantee? – can motivate purchase activity. And, if it is a fashion item, is it for now or the future? Talking about a personal benefit or reason to shop will resonate with customers and get them excited about how fabulous the sale will be.


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