This article originally appeared in the May/June, 2018 issue of Mailing Systems Technology.

Nowadays, it seems like new digital marketing techniques are booming. However, it is important to remember that when used alone, these techniques will never outshine direct mail marketing when it comes to response rates.

When done correctly, direct mail marketing can achieve about a 3.7% response rate on a house list and a one percent rate with a prospect list. In contrast, all the digital channels combined only deliver a 0.62% response rate — when used without the support of offline marketing efforts.

Even though response rates for mail are exponentially higher compared to other channels, it's our job as marketers to look out for new ways and tools in which we can help response rates continue to increase and more importantly, quantify where the results are coming from.

Mail tracking has been available for many years, but many companies still don’t understand its potential. The reality is, when used with today's digital tools, mail tracking is a powerhouse when it comes to calculating the response rates of ongoing marketing efforts. But, you may be asking, how?

Using Mail Tracking to Your Benefit
The first way a company could benefit from mail tracking to increase response rates is by using it as a tool to know when to trigger the rest of the marketing channels. For example, if your mail prediction says that mail will hit next Thursday, you could decide to set up an email campaign so that the prospects receive a warm-up email two days before they receive the mail piece and two days after in order to make the messaging memorable.

This technique is not just good for emails; you could also set up your online ads and social media campaigns so that they all automatically trigger on the day that your mail is going to hit.

Remember that repetition is vital for any successful marketing campaign. However, knowing when to use repetition is even more efficient.

When designing your omni-channel marketing campaign, remember that 80% of sales are done between the eighth and 12th contact. Your goal as an omni-channel marketer is to make prospects feel like your company is everywhere.

Putting This into Perspective
Imagine you're expecting a package to be delivered to your door, and you have the power to track it online. Do you feel like you have to check online several times during the day, just to see what its journey is currently like and when it will actually arrive?

Yes, I do, too.

If you think about it, tracking a package not only allows a customer to see where their package is currently, but it also builds up excitement and curiosity.

The same thing is true for Informed Delivery. This service introduced by the USPS can be seen as the mail tracking system for the end user who is receiving the direct mail campaign. Informed Delivery notifies users via email with an image of the mail they'll receive that day.

This alone increases your chances of turning a simple impression into a phone call or a website visit… but there's more.

Informed Delivery allows you to engage prospects at another level by allowing you to enhance your mail piece digitally with the addition of a full-color ad, interactive content, and a link redirecting to your website.

Enhancing a piece digitally is as easy as uploading it to the platform and adding some minor details to it, making it simple for direct mail houses to get all of their clients to take advantage of this incredible feature that the USPS provides.

The best part is, you can see how many people checked their Informed Delivery and how many people clicked on the interactive ad, proving the effectiveness of the direct mail impression!

Let's always remember that our job as marketers is to take maximum advantage of the marketing channels and tools available so that we get noticed by the right people, at the right times.