“You Have Mail!”
How A New USPO Study Confirms the Saliency of Mail in the COVID-19 World
The United States Post Office conducted a study in April, 2020 in the midst of the COVID-19 shut-down to better understand how it was impacting people’s feelings and behavior. Not surprising people felt more isolated and were reaching out to family more. The importance of getting cards and letters in the mail was strongly reinforced, with nearly two-thirds (62%) saying that getting mail made them feel more connected. And for families with kids, fully one-quarter (25%) said their kids were writing more cards and letters.
Both traditional card retailers (super centers, card stores) were important for card purchases with 38% of consumers preferring to buy their cards in the stores, nearly double the 20% level for online card purchases. Many consumers linger at card sections, carefully selecting exactly the right message for their friends and families, as cards signal a special relationship between sender and recipient. Overall mail volume had been declining in recent years, but the events of 2020 are likely to reverse this trend, at least temporarily.
Only time will tell how deeply seeded are these attitudes and behavior but with ongoing uncertainty in 2020, we feel confident that mail will continue to be a powerful way to connect, both for personal and for business reasons. This is the time to add Direct Mail to your marketing mix. It can serve many purposes:
- Letting people know you are open for business;
- Conveying your empathy for shared business disruption;
- Regaining top-of-mind awareness and strengthening your business relationships;
- Moving prospects through the purchase funnel to move them to the “buy” stage
- Offering promotional programs or discounts to encourage “Buy Now” behavior;