LINGERING EFFECTS OF COVID-19 THAT WILL IMPACT RETAILERS’ HOLIDAY STRATEGIES IN 2021
This year, marketing mail postage prices will increase by an average of 6.5 percent for letters and 8.8 percent for flats. Paper prices are also rising across the board. 😱 (We know…it sounds scary, but this article is here to help!)
The USPS stated earlier this week that they will be implementing a temporary rate modification for Priority Mail and other shipping services. Temporary tariffs will be in effect from October 3, 2021, through December 26, 2021. This is on top of the new mail rate increases set to take effect on August 29th.
Supply chain disruptions also continue to be a problem as customers return and demand rises. This is due to a backlog of product and service supply lines that are taking much longer to replenish following months of interruption. As a result of these delays, prices are rising across the board.
As mentioned in our blog post, Paper Stocks & Postage Increases, the effects of COVID-19 have resulted in a significant decrease in the supply of paper from paper mills. This will largely impact the way marketers will need to budget and plan their direct marketing campaigns this holiday season. The USPS is also expected to see a national slow down in delivery beginning in October, which may impact impact your direct marketing campaign. (Business Insider)
Why Direct Mail Is Essential to the Marketing Mix
Now, you might be asking yourself…”Why not just remove direct mail marketing from my marketing strategy all together?”
Well…we have an answer for you.
Retailers around the world have seen a huge increase in website traffic and consumer demand as a result of COVID-19.
The pandemic created a massive shift of purchasing habits and consumer behavior. This came as a result of brick-and-mortar stores temporarily closing and people remaining home in fear of spreading the virus. These attributes led the internet to become the top destination for shopping, online ordering, and virtual services in 2020.
As companies jumped online drive traffic to their website in order to combat the devastating impact Covid was leaving on their businesses. This lead to a substantial influx of digital marketing advertisements. Almost $356 billion dollars went to digital advertising in the United States alone last year (despite the pandemic)! (Statista, 2020) ❗❗
How Does This Effect Your Holiday Marketing Initiative?
As a result, the online market has become significantly oversaturated making the competition of the digital ad world….BRUTAL (👀). Are you willing to spend a pretty penny in order to have any chance of being noticed online?
The only solution to the current crowded online marketplace is…. Direct Mail Marketing!
Businesses are revamping their marketing mix and creating direct marketing strategies that will better reach and leave lasting impressions on prospective and current customers.
It’s important to note that direct mailing is considerably more of a cost-efficient channel than that of digital marketing. Yet, it’s still a HUGELY popular channel of communication. According to Marketing Charts, direct mail offers 29% return on investment even with the higher postage rates. This actually closely resembles the return on investment of social media marketing efforts, which remains at 30%. (But, it’s cheaper! 👍)
Postage, paper supply, and delivery are the three main factors that direct marketers must recognize and prepare for to ensure that their circulation and mailing plans are adjusted and optimized for the current climate of mailing in this 2021 holiday season.
HERE ARE SOME WAYS THAT RETAILERS ARE WORKING WITH SOLO PRINTING TO PLAN FOR THE 2021 HOLIDAY SEASON
Consumers are ready to start shopping for the holidays. About 60% of US consumers start their Christmas shopping before December. (Statista, 2020)
This is another major reason we are recommend our retail clients to begin the planning process of their print materials and direct mail campaigns as soon as possible.
By having your direct marketing materials ready and strategized, you’ll be able to target those who are ready to buy right now without having to worry about last-minute postage rates and paper stock shortages.
We print and deliver high-volume catalogs and brochures that will boost your prospecting efforts and improve your direct mail acquisition outcomes. Catalogs and brochures are still on the up! According to the Data & Marketing Association, 44% of retailers have increased their catalog circulation in the last year. This is because they are recognizing that direct mail catalogs are driving catalog recipients directly to their websites which inturn is creating high conversion rates.
To combat the shortage and to keep your holiday print marketing campaign on track, contact us or submit a quote request. We can begin by discussing what works for your marketing plan.
If your desired stock choice isn’t available, extra lead time provides your print provider with the ability to recommend a similar stock that is available for your design.
The holiday shopping season is projected to begin earlier and run longer than that of 2020. It’s important to have your brand’s print campaign mailed out ahead of Thanksgiving and Black Friday! Direct mail is also an excellent approach to spread the word about end-of-season sales.
Ecommerce will make up nearly 18.9% of holiday retail sales this year according to a projection report by eMarketer. We expect an increase in that percentage in light of the national rise in Covid-19 cases this fall. The outbreak may lead many consumers to retreat back to the safety of their homes.
Direct mail marketing remains an ideal channel of communication with those who remain home. Retailers can use mail pieces such as brochures, catalogs, and booklets as a direct line to their current customers and prospective customers.
You can use your direct mailing pieces to encourage traffic directly to your online site with the use of QR Codes or discount code incentives.
Solo Printing can also help your business align your direct mail campaign with a digital marketing strategy through our SP Direct service. We can substantially increase brand visibility and campaign impressions, by combining direct mail with online retargeting strategies on some of the top platforms like Facebook, Google, and Instagram. This service can really help you set yourself apart from your competitors and keep track of your target demographics and campaign ROI.
- Work with a print provider to preplan your holiday marketing campaign to combat the paper shortage and increased postage rates. This will allow you to ensure you will have a seamless, and successful print campaign that remains on track for the holiday season.
- Ensure that circulation and mailing plans are adjusted and optimized for the current climate of mailing in this 2021 holiday season. USPS expects to launch a national slow down in delivery beginning in October. This may impact your direct marketing campaign. (Business Insider)
- This holiday shopping season is projected to start earlier and run longer than the one in 2020. Try to get your brand’s print campaign mailed out ahead of Thanksgiving and Black Friday!
- Align your direct mail campaign with a digital marketing strategy through platforms like, SP Direct. This will substantially increase brand visibility and campaign impressions, by combining direct mail with online retargeting strategies on some of the top platforms like Facebook, Google, and Instagram.
If you’re ready to preplan your print marketing collateral, reach out! The earlier you begin planning, the greater your options are to create a seamless and successful direct marketing campaign.