United States post office implements cross channel marketing strategy to promote every door direct mail service.
Recently we have been getting many calls from the local business owners inquiring about the new every door direct mail or (E.D.D.M.) program offered through the United States Postal Service. The exciting thing about this phenomenon is not the details of the E.D.D.M. program itself (which is excellent and you can learn about here.) but the sharp increase 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. In March of 2011, I attended one of the first educational seminars on E.D.D.M. in Connecticut. And at that point, there was quite a bit of marketing collateral associated with the program, including video tutorials of the E.D.D.M. web tool and industry-tailored marketing templates; we only got the one for commercial printers, of course.
I remember 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 a participant in one of the most modern cross-channel marketing campaigns, and it is worth paying attention to.
Three main ingredients went into developing the robust infrastructure that supports the program.
The first is the training.
There may be some points of contention considering the postal service has 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 E.D.D.M. 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 last year, the postal service has been developing an “outside sales force,” if you will, armed with the knowledge of a great new tool; of course, these new partners are going to tell all their clients about it. So naturally, 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 explain 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 the benefits and ease of the E.D.D.M. program to prospective users. 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 fulfill properly and then launched a simultaneous radio/television and direct mail campaign.
Reinforcement is where I see many campaigns fail miserably. Fortunately, the E.D.D.M. 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 every clerk station. Interested prospects can go online or call to request an information packet sent to them via mail (of course). In addition, 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 the post office uses to promote this service and maybe others. And it gives us an opportunity to exam the marketing strategies of one of 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. For example, the post office could have very easily done nothing but a direct mail campaign, but they didn’t. Instead, they held training seminars, developed partners, created a buzz, and used three 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 various demographics.
By implementing a cross-channel marketing strategy, the post office generates sales for their partners and returns, generating sales for themselves.