By the end of March 2020, the Coronavirus pandemic had already negatively affected 92% of small businesses. Some businesses were lucky enough to stay open with modifications, such as moving all shopping to online/social media, curbside pick up, and to-go’s. These companies were receiving a fraction of the income they had before the pandemic. However, the small amount of business was a sign of hope. As social distancing and stay-at-home orders continued through May, states started to allow their counties to gradually reopen businesses. This a good sign for businesses that have been closed for months, as well as the ones that have remained open. Your business may want, or most likely need, to regain customers at a faster rate than what may organically come.
Why You Need To Use Print Marketing
Print marketing has been a time-tested method to grab the attention of customers and it may be even more effective during and post Covid-19. Digital marketing has it’s merit and is also proven successful, however 28% of small businesses** don’t have a website. (Despite this, we do recommend getting a website for accessibility). When the spread of Coronavirus started causing businesses to close or modify business practices, it felt as if every business that you ever shopped at sent you an email. Even though the emails were to show social responsibility, consumers began to feel bombarded by digital and email marketing.
In addition to being overwhelmed by email campaigns, people used the newfound free time by staring at screens. According to New York Times research, websites such as Facebook, Netflix, and YouTube had an up to 27% spike in traffic in March after stay-at-home orders came into effect. Studies have shown that consumers ignore digital content that is perceived as ads, called banner blindness.
Avoid being ignored and take advantage of the open market of print marketing through direct mail. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, mail volume is down by 30%. Direct mail and EDDM are proven methods of advertising that people enjoy and respond to. Before Covid-19 took a major effect on American’s daily lives, 86% of households picked up their mail at the first opportunity. Studies also show that millennials are more likely to shop from mail advertising. The decrease in mail traffic means that right now is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of this direct mail medium to regain customers that have been unable to buy from your company for the last couple of months.
How to Gain Consumers Trust Again
Remember that every person in your community has been affected by the pandemic in some way. The best way to gain the trust of consumers is to show sensitivity and that your company is acting responsibly. Avoid phrasing that could appear that your company is trying to capitalize on the current situation. Instead, your message should show sincere empathy to the community and customer while keeping them informed about your company. Include the one or all of the following on your first direct mail campaign.
- Send out a postcard letting customers know that you’re open, what your hours are, and what modifications you are taking (pick up only, how many people allowed in your building at a time, must wear a mask, etc.).
- Highlight products and services that will help customers during the Coronavirus and stay-at-home orders, even if they may not be the most profitable product that you offer.
- Let them know that you take their health seriously. On your marketing materials, include a couple of sentences of what your business is doing to stay clean.
- If your customers can order online, make sure your website is visible. Encourage customers to continue social distancing by including an online-only promo code.
Know The Different Types of Mailing Services
There are two ways to reach customers with mailing campaigns through USPS: direct mail and EDDM. Direct mail is commonly used when your company has a pre-existing mailing list or has purchased one from a third party. Companies may have a list of contact information of their customers that they have accumulated when the customer contacted and/or bought from their business. Use direct mail when you want to target specific individuals. While direct mail targets specific customers, EDDM targets specific areas.
EDDM, every door direct mail, does not require a mailing list. Instead, you choose a zipcode or mail route that you want to connect with. This is a great tool for local businesses to utilize and make their presence known to potential customers in their community.
Which Products to Mail
If you’re having trouble figuring out how to start a mailer campaign, start by choosing the type of product to mail. Three traditional products are used to reach customers: postcards, flyers, and catalogs.
- Postcards – Postage is based on the weight and size of the bulk direct mail campaign. Postcards are the least expensive product to use to reach and inform your customers quickly.
- Flyers – Do you need more space to convey your message? Flyers allow you to include more information about your company and its services. Use the maximum letter size allowed (contact your local USPS for the specific dimension) and add half-folds or tri-folds to take advantage of all of the space that you can. Keep in mind that if you use folding, you will need to pay an additional cost for tabbing (stickers that keep the product closed while being mailed).
- Catalog and magazines – Showcase all of your products and services by sending customers a multi-page catalog or magazine of your products and services.
Start Print Marketing Now
The effects of Coronavirus have seemed to put the world on hold, but we have not forgotten that small businesses. They have always been an important part of America’s culture and economy. We encourage you to do everything in your power and budget to reopen better than ever.
Use direct mail and EDDM to remind customers and the community that you are welcoming business back. Once people start flooding back, make sure that you are prepared to keep them informed with banners, mini posters, and other print products. Click here to read our print guide to reopening! Whether you have your design ready or your need help getting started, contact Printivity for immediate assistance.
Please remember to social distance, wash your hands, and wear a mask.
**Edited on 2/28/2022