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Mobile Matters

How Mobile Marketing Can Reinvent Direct Mail

How Mobile Marketing Can Reinvent Direct Mail

by: | June 11, 2012

Mobile marketing presents such a unique and distinct set of opportunities that it’s easy to forget how seamlessly mobile-targeted promotions can integrate with small businesses’ existing marketing efforts.

A new survey conducted by digital marketing solutions provider StrongMail reports that 43 percent of businesses across the U.S. have achieved some level of integration between their email marketing and mobile marketing programs, with key areas of emphasis including mobile landing pages (32 percent of respondents), mobile number capture at email sign-up (25 percent), and mobile-optimized templates (22 percent).

But more sophisticated programs remain scarce: Only 27 percent of companies with integrated campaigns are running cross-channel, lifecycle marketing programs that include mobile messaging, and just 29 percent have leveraged mobile response data to optimize offers in email or other channels.

But remember— mobile marketing isn’t limited to digital channels. Think about all the places small businesses can incorporate QR codes: Product labels, print advertisements, in-store signage, business cards . . . if they print it, you can slap your QR code on it.

Even the United States Postal Service is jumping on the QR code bandwagon. This summer, the agency will launch its 2012 Mobile Commerce and Personalization Promotion, a push to encourage commercial mailers to integrate mobile marketing tools like QR codes into their direct mail campaigns.

During July and August, the USPS will offer an upfront 2 percent postage discount on Standard Mail and First-Class Mail letters, flats and cards (both pre-sorted and automated) that incorporate a two-dimensional barcode, or any other print solution that can be read or scanned by a camera-enabled mobile device. According to the USPS, scanning the code must activate a direct link to either a mobile-optimized web page enabling the mail recipient to purchase a product or service, or to a mobile destination uniquely tailored to the mail recipient and accessible by a personalized URL.

“Personalization has always been an effective attribute of direct mail, and studies show that it improves return on investment,” said Gary Reblin, vice president of domestic products at USPS. “Tying personalization with mobile technology is the next obvious step to enhancing the value of both mail and mobile marketing.”

Direct mail and mobile marketing may seem like strange bedfellows at first blush, but Reblin is right. The pairing benefits both approaches. The Direct Marketing Association estimates that marketing mail returns $12.75 for every $1 spent, meaning that consumers take notice of the advertisements that hit their mailbox.

What better way to expose these customers to the possibilities of mobile marketing services than delivering QR codes directly to their homes? From there, QR codes can unlock a customizable multimedia marketing experience that printed matter simply can’t match—e.g., mobile access to product demonstration videos. It’s more than a way to make direct mail seem new and exciting again; it’s a way to make your small business seem new and exciting, too.Marketing Zeus

Posted in: B2C, Campaign Development, E-Commerce, Lead Generation, Mobile Advertising, Mobile Matters

About the Writer:

Jason Ankeny is the executive editor of the FierceMobileContent and FierceDeveloper e-newsletters as well as a regular contributor to Entrepreneur magazine and the website All Music Guide. Additional credits include efforts for publications including Rolling Stone, Wax Poetics and No Depression, along with liner notes for a number of album releases. He lives in Chicago.

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