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Advertising Your Business During Times of Uncertainty

Advertising Your Business During Times of Uncertainty

In times of crisis, people value truth. 

During the COVID pandemic, many people flocked to the internet for their source of news, entertainment, and socialization. And companies were quick to follow them with online advertising. 

However, does more advertisement equate to more sales?  The Truth About Online Data shows how weary customers are of their private data in the hands of unknown companies. 

People value authenticity, especially in uncertain times. Online ads may not uphold this standard when there are so many privacy concerns associated with it. In times of crisis, people need truth, and the solution for marketers is in direct mail.

Trustworthy in Times of Crisis

In August 2017, Royal Mail MarketReach published a study titled “The Value of Mail in Uncertain Times” to observe how the average customer reacts to mail in the face of social-political and economic change.

Although this study was before the 2020 pandemic, many findings still apply to the current population mindset. 

The study states that 87% of people trust mail in times of uncertainty. In comparison, only 48% thought emails were trustworthy.

Email and banner ads have the risk of malware when clicking on them or are from untrustworthy sources. Even if the ad is from a legitimate company, there is still the concern that one’s personal data will be compromised. However, there is no such risk with direct mail. Additionally, direct mail often includes a company’s physical address, adding to its authenticity. 

Mail Feels More Personal

USPS Market Research study reveals that over 2020, 1 in six customers sent more letters & cards than in previous years. The value and personalization of direct mail increased during a time of intense isolation and fear.

60% of surveyed individuals also stated that “it means more to me to receive a card/letter than an email”, further illustrating how impactful mail can be. 

It is no surprise that even marketing mail can receive the same treatment as a personal letter. If done correctly, the same personal touch and value can be associated with a company. The same Royal Mail study noted that 70% of study participants felt more valued when receiving mail; and 70% of participants claimed that mail gives them a better outlook on the company. 

Not only does the company brand benefit from direct mail, but the products themselves are perceived favorably. An OIG Study revealed that direct mail creates a higher subconscious value and desire towards products that advertise through print mail.

Less Competition in Uncertain Times

According to USPS, U.S. households received an estimated 61.1 billion pieces of ad mail in 2020, a 16.5% decrease from 2019. This decline is likely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which halted businesses across the US.

Many speculate that the pandemic sped up businesses’ switch to an online marketing platform. 

While many companies took the opportunity to increase their digital spending, the combined effects of less ad mail sent out and the increase in work-from-home employees may impact the read rate of both digital and physical advertisements. 

The USPS Household Diary study observed direct mail trends in 2020 and compared them to digital marketing trends. USPS compared the Click-Through-Rate (CTR) of internet ads and participant responses for direct mail. 50% of participants claim to have read their mail; and 23% claim to have scanned at least a portion of it. In contrast, the average CTR of internet advertising was 3% in 2020. 

With less mail sent overall and a significant increase in digital marketing, it is not surprising to see a higher reach in engagement with direct mail’s reading rate. 

Delivering Through Uncertainty

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Throughout all these fears and anxieties of the current world, people turn to those they trust and value. As a company, you must consider how to approach this audience in a way that is both impactful and authentic. 

At DK Solutions, our business model considers all the potential risks of a direct mail campaign. Thanks to our Targetlist methodology, we reduce the high costs and risk of advertising to uninterested prospects. 

Reach new audiences today through direct mail. Contact us today or visit our blog to learn more about our industry and why our clients enjoy 2-3 times the response rate for non-targeted mail on their campaigns. 

Related: Five Reasons Why Internet Users Block Digital Ads

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