United States post office implements cross channel marketing strategy to promote every door direct mail service.
Recently we have been getting many calls from local business owner’s inquiring about the new every door direct mail or (EDDM) program offered through the United States Postal Service. The interesting thing about this phenomena is not the details of the E.D.D.M. program itself (which is great and you can learn about here.) but the sharp increases of inquires that we have been receiving at the print shop, which is even better.
The truth is Every Door Direct Mail has been around for a while. It was in March of 2011 that I attended one of the first educational seminars on EDDM in Connecticut. And at that point there was quite a bit of marketing collateral associated with the program, including video tutorials of the EDDM web tool and industry tailored marketing templates, we only got the one for commercial printers of course.
I remember at the time being slightly confused when I saw a commercial on television promoting the “If it fits it ships” campaign and nothing on Every Door Direct Mail; until recently. And now as the calls are coming in I realize that I am participant of one of the most modern cross channel marketing campaigns, and it is worth paying attention to.
There are 3 main ingredients that went into developing the strong infrastructure that supports the program.
The first is the training.
Now there may be some points of contention considering the postal service has actually done a terrible job of training their desk clerks, but that is another story.
They certainly did a fabulous job holding multiple training events on EDDM in Connecticut, inviting the industry leaders like mail houses and commercial printers to attend and learn the dynamics of the program. As I mentioned before this training began over a year ago. So over the course of the last year the postal service has been developing an “outside sales force” if you will, armed with knowledge of a great new tool; of course these new partners are going to tell to all their clients about it. This created quite a buzz for printers and advertising agencies alike. Everyone wanted to be the first one to tell all their clients.
The second ingredient is one tool that the post office would be foolish not to use; the mail of course.
Probably beginning in the autumn of last year the post office has been mailing a well designed marketing piece to businesses that explains how every door direct mail could work for their business with examples and testimonials from other users.
The third ingredient has been the television & radio spots recently aired.
They are fun, informative segments that illustrate to prospective users the benefits and ease of the EDDM program, and most importantly the message carries the authority of the United States Post Office, Certainly a trusted resource when it comes to the mail.
Three unique mediums word of mouth, direct mail, and television/ radio working harmoniously to generate more counter sales at the post office. They built partnerships with the industries that would naturally inform their established client base. Trained these industries to properly full-fill and then launched a simultaneous radio/television and direct mail campaign.
Reinforcement, this is where I see many campaigns fail, miserably. Fortunately the EDDM campaign appears to be heavily reinforced with marketing collateral, aside from providing their partners with co-branded material they have posters at the office, and tear away sheets on a bright green pad at ever clerk station. Interested prospects can go-online or call to request an information packet sent to them via mail (of course). They are have been creating a database of emails, physical addresses and names of potential new customers for the post office to market to via email and direct mail.
This may be the first of many well planned multi-channel strategies used by the post office to promote this service and maybe others. And it gives us an opportunity to exam the marketing strategies of one the oldest organizations in the United States.
The lesson, pay attention to all the tools other businesses are utilizing in their campaigns. Don’t rely solely on your least expensive marketing medium. The post office could have very easily done nothing but a direct mail campaign (probably at cost or close) but they didn’t, they held training seminars, developed partners, created a buzz and used 3 separate advertising mediums and counting.
The bottom line is if you want your message or brand to be noticed by as many potential customers you’ll need to be seen on multiple mediums and by multiple demographics
By implementing a cross channel marketing strategy the post office is generating sales for their partners and return generating sales for themselves.